6 Tips for Solo Female Travel

the post where I talk about female advice..

So you’re going travelling? Travelling alone? As a female? Isn’t that dangerous? Will you be safe? Are you sure you want to do that?

YES, YES, YES, NO, YES, YES

I’m sure we’ve all heard one of those questions, if not all of them at one point or another. I know I heard all six, and I still hear them now when people from home find out I’m travelling.

Here are some helpful tips, that have definitely helped me along the way

 

 

KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU

I’m not telling you to be terrified and trust nobody, but be vigilant. Just because you’re abroad and acting like a holiday, it doesn’t mean you’re invincible. When I go to a foreign country, especially alone, I write down the local emergency numbers and local words that can help you in you get lost or injured.

THINK, DRESS AND ACT LIKE A LOCAL

If you’re travelling to South India, make sure you cover your shoulders, chest and knees. If you’re entering a mosque, cover your hair. This really helps if you want to blend in, and avoid the unwanted stares and attention. A lot of the time when you travel you don’t want to look like a tourist, blending in with their clothes etc will definitely help you fit in more.

india 1.jpg

ARRIVE AT YOUR LOCATION BEFORE NIGHTFALL

This one is mainly for locations like Asia, but not limited to. Getting off the coach in the dead of night on an unlit road with no internet on your phone probably isn’t the safest. I personally always book flights/coaches where I know I’ll be arriving in the day time. Or at least know someone is picking me up from the other end safely.

DON’T BE SCARED ABOUT BEING ALONE

Solo travelling doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone. Whether you’re in a 16 bed dorm or camping on Fraser Island, you’re pretty much always surrounded by people. My mums biggests fear before I started travelling was that I would be alone constantly and that would be dangerous. I don’t think there has been a day where I’ve been completely alone unless out of choice.

aus 2

 

TELL SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL PLANS

Before you venture off into the Amazon Rainforest, tell someone, maybe some back home, where you’re going and the rough amount you’ll be gone for. That way, if no one here’s from you, then they can give a rough location of where you were last seen. I know a lot of people like to be care-free and separated from home, but sometimes that isn’t a good idea.

scot 1.jpg

 

TRUST YOUR GUT

If you feel that something doesn’t seem right, then you’re probably right. If you ever feel uncomfortable in a situation, don’t feel nervous to leave or speak up. Travelling alone can be daunting sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you have to be scared. Don’t leave you luggage unattended, and don’t be too trusting of everyone. Not everybody you meet is going to have good intentions.

ENJOY YOURSELF BUT DON’T GO TOO WILD

This one probably makes me sound like a party pooper, trust me, I’m not trying to be. I’ve seen too many occasions where girls (and guys) drink way too much and end up in sticky situations. Yes have a drink, enjoy yourself, but know your limits, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar foreign country.

aud 3.jpg

 

But at the end of the day, enjoy yourself. Travelling alone is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

 

Until next time x

 

 

3 Hours in Palestine

the post where I find Jesus..

I remember when my friends asked me where I was going on holiday and I replied ‘Palestine’ and they all laughed and said ‘no seriously, where are you going?’, to which I again replied ‘Palestine!’

I guess Palestine probably wasn’t what they were expecting to hear. Spain, France, Italy, yes, Palestine, no. But hey, I’ve done those places, let’s try something different.

beth 3
not my image

If you haven’t seen my previous post about my travels in Israel, then I suggest you click on that post first, so this post makes sense.

So after leaving the markets of Old Jerusalem we boarded back onto the coach to cross the border to the West Bank. As you can imagine, much like the Berlin Wall separating west and east Germany in a lot of the 20th century, the wall splitting Israel and Palestine is pretty much the same. A massive wall with barbed wire and security everywhere.

beth 3
not my image

As we approached the wall we had guards come on the coach and check everybody’s passports. Satisfied, we were free to cross. Unfortunately our tour guide for Jerusalem wasn’t allowed to be our tour guide for Bethlehem as he was permitted to work in Palestine, but a local guide continued the tour.

Bethlehem is just beautiful, but so so different from Jerusalem. You can really see the divide in the two cities.

Our trip was short, and we spent most of our time at the Church of Nativity, a church that now stands over the supposed birth of Jesus Christ. It was so crazy going in, knowing I was going to be standing next to the place where Jesus was born all those years ago. Whether you believe in Jesus or not, it’s still a pretty interesting place to visit.

beth 2
not my image

We didn’t spend a lot of time in beautiful Bethlehem, but apart from the Church of Nativity I’m not sure if there was a lot more to see.

After my journey to the Middle East I have a complete different view. Yes there are issues, but I personally witnessed nothing there, and I did not once feel threatened or in danger.

Until next time x

around the world in endless days

 

all views are my own

Exploring Israel in Two Days

the post where I explore the Middle East..

Arriving in Israel in the middle of April last year was a surreal experience.

 

My mum had always wanted to travel to Israel, but always thought it probably wasn’t the safest place to take a child, or the sort of place you would go on a family holiday. Now, being 20, my mum thought it was an appropriate time to go. It was a very last minute holiday. Three weeks after booking the trip we were on the plane.

My first thoughts on Israel were how strict the entry was. We entered by ship in Haifa, and got woken up at 5:30am to report to the main hall to have all our passports checked by the Israeli guards. This whole process took around 3 hours before we were even allowed to step foot on Israeli soil.

I was super excited to get a stamp, because this is something I love collecting around the world, but I knew this wouldn’t be the case. Israel entry stamps stopped around 2012, as apparently many people were having issues entering other Middle Eastern countries with Israeli travel records in their passports. This was a shame, but I did get a landing card, so at least I have something to remember the trip by.

jer 7.jpg
not my image

 

We only had two days in Israel. Day 1 exploring Haifa and Day 2 was travelling from Ashdod over to Jersualem, then crossing the border into Palestine to go to Bethlehem.

 

DAY 1 – Haifa

Finally we were allowed off the ship, and we stepped foot in Isrsel. My mum and I didn’t know a lot about this northern city, but we were told that The Hanging Gardens of Haifa.

The gardens are around the Shrine of the Bab and are situated on Mount Carmel, and were created by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba. There are very strict rules about entering the gardens, with guards at the gates (I was made to spit my gum out in the bin).

We didn’t spend massive amounts of time in Haifa (as you can tell from the post, we were only in Israel for 2 days), and our ship left the harbour at 6pm.

 

DAY 2 – ASHDOD AND JERUSALEM

We woke up the next day at 6:00am, as we had a tour arranged from Ashdod to Jerusalem. Our coach picked us at 8:00 in Ashdod, and drove us the 64km to Jersusalem, where we started the tour at the Mount of Olives. After we went on to the Garden of Gethsemene where according to the New Testament was the place Judas betrayed Jesus. We then entered the Church of All Nations pictured below, where Jesus prayed the night of his arrest.

We reached the Jaffa Gates around 11am, and passed through the security to go to the Wailing Wale, also known as the Western Wall. I was always a bit cautious about going here, as 1) I’m not Jewish, and 2) I’m not a massive prayer, even though I was raised Catholic. I asked my tour guide if it was okay for me to approach the wall. He informed there is nothing wrong with other faiths going near the Wailing Wall, it’s just Muslims go on the other side and not on the same said as Jewish worshippers.

jer 2

On our walk through the streets, we passed through Via Dolorosa, the street believed to be the path Jesus walked on his way to his crucifixion. The next part of our tour took us to the Church of Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified, buried and later the site of his ressurection. It was incredible seeing where Jesus was crucified, and seeing people of so many faiths paying their respects and reaching out to Jesus and God.

The photo on the left is the outside of the Church, and the photo on the right is where the crucifix of Jesus stood. The Church of Sepulchre was consecrated on 3rd September 335.

The tour then allowed us to have free time where we could wonder round the markets and explore the stalls that were near the Church. Old Jersualem is full on tiny alleyways with bustling crowds of locals and pilgrims.

After our tour in Israel we then went on to Bethlehem, to learn of the early years of Jesus, but I’ll write about this in another post.

 

Our tour ended back in Ashdod around 6:00pm. We booked our tour through Israel Cruise Excursions with prices starting from $119 per person. I would highly highly recommend the tour if you don’t have a lot of time in the Middle East, but still want to see as much as you can.

 

There was a couple of places I really wish we could have gone to, Nazareth, Galilee and the Dead Sea, to name a few. Fingers crossed one day I’ll be able to return.

Until next time x

 

around the world in endless days

A Week in the Middle East

Okay, so this is going to be a little bit of a throw back post.

If you’re up to date with my blog then you’ll know my last few posts have been about Australia (where I’m currently settled in Brisbane), and I felt like for a little bit I should write about some other places.

Last year in April I went to the Middle East for a week with Mumma Sinclair, and I never wrote about it on my blog, oops.

Over the next couple of days I will be writing about my adventures in Irsael, Palestine and Lebanon.

I hope you enjoy the posts, and it breaks it up a bit after my many Australia posts..

ENJOYYYYYY

 

around the world in endless days

 

all views are my own opinions

 

Bottle Feeding Baby Alpacas

the post where I talk about bundles of fur..

Yep, you read that right, this post is going to be all about alpacas (and the occasional other farm animal).

After I finished my East Coast trip, I realised I was stuck up in Cairns, a place I wasn’t too fussed on. My aim was to get back down to Brisbane, and if you know Aus well, that’s about a 16 hour drive.. and I don’t have a car. Luckily I had come across Jarravale Alpacas based in Marian, about 20km inland from Mackay, and they were always looking for volunteers.

j 4.jpg

After 10 very long raing days in Cairns, myself and Amy drove the 8 hours down to Marian to work on the farm for 2 weeks.

Oh my, I was not ready for what I saw. ALPACA’S EVERYWHERE, EVERYWHERE!!

I was in love.

 

Meet Jolene

Jolene has been hand reared by Josie since her birth when her mother rejected her. Now aged 10 months, Jolene is the life of Jarravale. When I found out I would be bottle feeding her every morning, I was over the moon. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to spend their mornings bottle feeding a baby alpaca?

As well as Jolene, there is around another 30 alpacas of all ages at Jarravale. There isn’t  just alpaca’s though, they also have 3 miniture horses, a calf, 3 deer, two sheep, two goats, 4 pigs, two donkeys, and loads of birds and chickens (not to forget the 4 cats and one dog).

Initially when I came to Australia I was determined to do my 3 months farm work and stay for a second year. However, after completing the East Coast, I realised that maybe I didn’t want to stay another year. I knew that I couldn’t do my farm work at Jarravale as it’s volunteering rather than paid work, but I wasn’t too fussed. The fact I was going to be surrounded by alpacas was enough to catch my attention.

J 1
Josie and two of the alpacas

 

The average day on the farm:

5:45 – wake up. shower. breakfast. get ready.

6:30 – prepare the bottles for the baby animals aka Jolene, the calf and the two sheep

6:45 – feed the baby animals

7:00 – rack the padocks of poop from the night before (about 5 padocks)

7:30 – feed the rest of the animals

8:00 – change all the water and collect any eggs off the chickens

8:30 – move the animals into different padocks

9:00 – clean the laneways of any poop left from moving the animals

9:15 – break

10:30 – 2 hour tour including feeding animals, photos and information

12:30 – break

1:30 – 2 hour tour including feeding animals, photos and information

3:30 – break

4:00 – move the aninals into padocks

4:15 – prepare dinner for the animals (hay, grass and special nuts)

4:30 – feed the alpacas, and the rest of the animals

5:00 – collect grass for the guinea pigs

5:30 – rack the padocks the animals have been in

6:00 – take the wheelbarrows of poop down

6:15 – finisheeeeeed

 

This was the average day on the farm, but these weren’t the only chores we did;

Giving vitamin shots to all the alpacas. Fixing the fences after the baby alpacas *cough* Diego *cough* decided to destroy them. Compress the food into barrels (this took about 3 hours and a lot of jumping). Going to the local primary school (only 12 kids in the whole school!!) and weighing mummy and two baby guinea pigs for their school project. Injections in the baby alpacas.

 

All in all it was an amazing experience. I have never before worked on an alpaca farm, and to be honest I doubt I will ever get the opportunity again. If you are ever in the area, or would like to travel to Marian and volunteer on the farm, I would highly recommend it.

 

around the world in endless days

Riding to Paradise on the Whitsundays

the post where I talk about heaven..

Just two weeks after visiting the beautiful Fraser Island, I was off on another stunning adventure.. this time to Whitsundays. My trip began on the popular town of Airlie Beach, which is the launching point for the majority of Whitsundays trips.

If you know me, then you’ll know me and boats do not get along. I struggle to be on a boat for more than an hour before I throw up, and carry on throwing up until I step off my boat again. The idea of spending three nights on a boat with 30 people, and sleeping there too, was enough to put me off going. This was until I was told about Ride to Paradise. A Whitsundays trip where you stay on a resort complex, and go on a speed boat from Island to Island and activity to activity. Bingo, perfect for me.

Prices start from $569, for two days two nights, all food and accomdation included (but I get mine in a package I mentioned in my Melbourne post).

There isn’t a lot to say about Whitsundays apart from OMGGGGG. I was so so lucky that when I went it was clear blue skies, perfectly still water, and hot.

 

Instead of going into massive depths about the clear waters, pure white sands, snorkelling with turtles and sting rays (did I make you jealous?) I’ll let you look at some photos instead.

 

WS 4

WS 5

WS 3

WS 2

ws 6.jpg

WS 7

WS 8

 

unfortunately all my gopro footage from the snorkelling is currently stuck on my gopro.. but that will be uploaded as soon as I’m able to transfer over

 

around the world in endless days

Five Favourite Things about Fraser Island

the post where I talk about beauty..

At the beginning of January I travelled to Noosa to do my three days on Fraser Islands with Nomad Tours.

Even before I came to Australia I knew Fraser Island was definitely something I wanted to do. Everyone that I knew that had been to Aus had said Fraser Island and the Whitsundays are incredible. So it was only right I did it too.

These are my five favourite things about Fraser Island

 

4×4 Driving

This was something I had never done before. Growing up in the countryside of England, beach driving isn’t something you really get to experience. Unfortunately I hadn’t had my licence long enough to actually drive one of the 4×4, but that was probably a good thing (didn’t want to be responsible for killing people..). The beach driving was so different to driving I had seen before, one minute it’s so smooth, then you’re crashing through puddles and jumping across the dunes.

Fraser 4
Nomads 4×4

 

Lake McKenzie (Boorangoora)

Wow, where do I even begin with Lake McKenzie? It is a fresh water lake on the worlds biggest sand island. The water is completely clear, and because it’s fresh water, it means you can open your eyes. I have never seen a sight as beautiful as Lake McKenzie. My pictures don’t even do it justice and I would kill to be back there now. The sands around the lake are composed or pure, white silica and the water in the lake is also so pure that it is unsuitable for many species.

Fraser 1
Lake McKenzie

 

SS Maheno Shipwreck

The SS Maheno was an ocean liner that was washed ashore on Fraser Island by a cyclone in 1935, and has remained as a wreckage ever since. Over the years the wreckage has sunk further beneath the beach, and just the top remains. However it’s an incredible sight. In its time, it was the second largest ship after the Titanic.

Fraser 2
Team Nomads next to the wreckage

 

Dingoes

Unfortunately we weren’t able to see any, but we did hear them. A couple of us went down to the beach at night to stargaze, and we could feel we were being watched by the dingoes from the dunes. Even if you keep completely still and silent, they know you’re there, so its unlikely they’ll come near you (unless you leave food out then they’ll probably do anything to get that off you)

fraser 5
google images (not my image)

Peacefullness

Although I was with a group of about 20 people, you’ll be surprised at how peaceful the island really is. Especially as it is 250km long, if you did go in a small group then there is definitely stretches of beach where you won’t find any other people. This is something I probably loved the most. Even moreso when you go up Indian Head and can sometimes see the sharks in the water if it’s calm enough.

Fraser 3
view over Indian Head

 

There’s probably so much more I can say about Fraser Island, but the title says ‘five favourites things’ (mainly because it rhymed better than 6).

I would highly recommend doing Fraser Island as part of your East Coast trip. Although it can be pricey, it is definitely worth it, and something I would love to do again.

 

around the world in endless days