I’d never heard that Beach Boys song before, I didn’t even know where Aruba was or that it was a Dutch island, nor was I aware of the language or currency but I found myself flying about eight thousand kilometres to get here (via Amsterdam and Curaçao) and I’m glad I did. “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya.”
Finally a fully fledged vlogger. I actually got sick of myself talking about doing a YouTube travel vlog and finally did it. I had all the equipment (thanks to Argos and Canon), iMovie the free editing software on my Mac, all the footage from trips around the world…so I really don’t know why I procrastinated for so long! I uploaded a make up tutorial to YouTube five whole years ago and it’s had 195k views. WTF? But if you’ve been reading my blog or following me on Insta or Snapchat, you’ll know my passion is for travel and doing a YouTube travel vlog is the organic next step for me…a natural progression from writing articles and taking pictures.
I’d feel like a massive fraud coming ten thousand kilometres all the way to Thailand and not experience, or at least see, some of the real country and what it’s about…the food, hear a bit of the language, chat to the locals…find out about some of their customs and traditions. Now don’t get me wrong, drinking buckets on Khao San Road was also up there on my list of priorities. I am only human, relatively young and need to experience it all before making my mind up on a place (Bangkok after dark post to follow!) and you’ve got to see that street to believe it. So when given a chance to live with locals in Thailand, I jumped at it.
The one question I get asked most often when posting my photos on social media or showing someone my pics is, “who took the photo?”. Even before “where was it taken” or anything about what’s actually in the image. I travel on my own a lot, but in fact, even when I’m travelling with others I often find that the best snaps are the ones I set up and take myself (no offence if I’ve ever asked you to take a photo for me). I’m by no means a pro, but I’ve been experimenting with different equipment and methods and have managed to up my Instagram game significantly in the past three months. So now I want to share how to take solo photos while travelling and maybe get some more tips in the process.
Me and my notions decided to pack up and head off to the French Alps for a bit of R&R, or yoga and hiking actually, last week and I can safely say it’s the first time I’ve come back from a trip feeling better than when I left. I’d already been on a multi activity yoga trip with Yoganic Moves (well, if watching the crew sail the 99ft gullet yacht is classed as an activity) in Turkey earlier this year so when instructor Annick invited me to go yoga and hiking in the French Alps, it was a no brainer. You know the usual saying, “you’d need another holiday to get over it”? Well I got a bit sick of feeling worse-off after a supposed “break”, so I decided a bit of fresh air, outdoor activities and healthy eating were exactly what I needed.
I’ve grounded myself for the month of August, this is officially a no-fly zone. July’s boozy trips to Bordeaux and Croatia left me feeling rather, shall we say…fragile. While I’m not about to give up those kind of getaways, I think in the name of balance, it’ll do me good to do something a little more relaxing and health-focussed. You might remember my yoga sailing holiday in Turkey with Yoganic Moves back in May (you can read my feature on independent.ie) and I’ve been lucky enough to nab an invite to Annick’s next yoga holiday. Next stop: French Alps.
When Life Before Work Travel asked if I wanted to go on their YachtLife trip, island hopping in Croatia for a week, I’d basically already packed before they finished the sentence. I’ve got this thing with boats you see (here’s a list of six reasons why your next holiday should be on a boat), plus I’ve never been to Croatia and LBW is an ethos I can really get behind.