Edinburgh

It is a oddity that we (on maybe just me!) don’t consider travelling in our own countries as travelling per se. Travel in my mind normally involves really long flights and a complete change of scenery. Just now I was sitting at my laptop reading blogs about travel, and on one such blog Scotland was highlighted as destination one should travel to, and it suddenly crossed my mind that of course my trip to Edinburgh in January counts as ‘travel’. 😉

I often have to be reminded how lucky us Brits are living in a tiny island on the edge of Europe, we have so many countries we can visit Visa free! Once I have seen the rest of the world I will come back and explore Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Austria along with a host of other countries on my list.

So to Edinburgh in January…

Here are some lovely photos from my trip to Edinburgh in January 2016, it snowed! We did one of the haunted city night tours too, pretty good!

A very short weekend trip; We flew out on the Friday night after work… then flew home on the Sunday night… good job we work right near Gatwick airport.

We stayed a street away from the Royal Mile and on the Saturday we were sucked into around 4 free museums all on the same street before making it to the Castle for a visit, it was extremely cold with snow starting to fall, so romantic ;).

On Sunday our list was to visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse (outside, was too expensive to go in!) and Arthurs seat, it was extremely icy that day so we didn’t get far up the hill, but it was marvellous fun, after that we visited the Museum of Scotland which was so large you would need a day just to see all of it.

The main thing I love about Edinburgh is the architecture, it is beautiful.

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Planning for my trip…

In my last post I mentioned how I am saving up to travel next year, but now I am brainstorming where I actually want to go on my travels before I get to to Australia.

My thoughts are to head to Asia; visit Thailand and Malaysia before going to Oz perhaps even Indonesia too or China? I have visited Vietnam before but I do adore that part of the world 🙂

What I am worried about is travelling these countries by myself, is it doable? I don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on tour groups as this time it isn’t a holiday as such!

Ideas for where I should go and what I should see would be amazing 🙂

Preparing to travel – Saving

One thing that always stopped me from thoughts of travelling when I was a younger 20 something was…. money. It is elusive tool that is actually really useful to have a bit of!

But as I said in my last post, I have been saving for a number years… clear that I was only really saving for one thing…. to travel. I could easily keep my job and travel for a mere 4 weeks a year (never all at once, I have a new boss now, so no 3 week trip to Vietnam now allowed!!!!) and probably spend the same amount of cash on a short getaway as I will spend on a 3 month trip to a Asian country!

So now to let you know how I am socking away more cash, my ideal goal would be to pop my backpack on my back in March 2017 with 5k for travelling and about 5k extra as a safety net in case I need money when I return to the UK (which I will, for rent etc up front).

Well, how much have I stashed away so far you say? Well I am about 1/2 of the way to this goal with 6 months to go, but now I am not just relying on my wages to sock away cash; nope I have turned to my old friend Ebay and am loading it with ‘things’ that I have which are of value to someone else. Last week I took £250 after ebay/paypal fees, kerching!

One of the things that I sold was my old Osprey bag as was much too big for me, but it will now be going on a trip to Thailand, India and Indonesia, lucky bag!

Ps, my tips for Ebay success is 1) selling things that people want, if it is unique on ebay you will be able to charge much more for it 2) don’t be afraid of listing something for a while before it sells, you are just waiting for the right person to come along 3) list high value items as buy it now with offers, always list at higher than you want for the item then someone can offer the price you want 😉  4) keep an eye on what other people are selling it for  5) only sell in season if you want to make good money, people won’t be looking for heavy winter coats in summer unless they are bargain hunters!

It is actually very freeing getting rid of things that just clog you up, and drag you down. I used to have one cupboard just full of coats (about 15 in fact including 3 rain coats and a faux fur one!), these are all now going on ebay. I am actually astounded at the amount of rubbish I have accumulated over the 2.5 years that I have lived where I am, it’s crazy.

Other ways I could save is by cutting down on general spending, but I already spend the minimum I can on food etc! I already cycle everywhere so can’t cut down on train or public transport travel, don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, don’t party to excess….

My other great expenses at this moment are my short trips; Corfu (1 week), Canada (1 week) and India (3 weeks) this year, these are worth spending on but yet again the India trip would cost me less if I could go for longer but am tied into my flat until March, doh!

So my savings plan is;

  • Sell most of my belongs on ebay (accept the furniture that I love and a few clothing items I can’t live without ie my Dr Marten shoes)
  • Save 50% of my wages
  • Give everything not worth selling to charity (not really saving, but is saving the planet?)
  • Earn as I travel by taking jobs in Australia and New Zealand, and hopefully Canada