Blogmas Day 22: Traveling for Christmas


Christmas is one of the busiest travel times of year. Whether you’re travelling to get away from the cold weather for the joyous occasion of Christmas, or your travelling to be home with family, travelling can be stressful and lonely. I’ve been there.

This year marks the first year since graduating University that I am not travelling for Christmas. I’ve been away every year for work and it’s something I always felt sorry for myself over; looking back I regret the energy wasted on feeling like that rather than spending time embracing the holiday season around me, wherever I was. Although I’m busier than ever right now, and life is as hectic as it could be, I’m appreciating every single moment at home and with family and friends. I get to spend the Christmas holidays with both my family and Corey’s this year, whereas in years past I’ve only had time for one or the other before setting off on more travels. I’m more thankful than every that that part of my life is behind me.

I think I’ve travelled on every day within the week of Christmas, and truthfully there isn’t one day that is better than the other. Travellers are anxious to get home, weather conditions are often messing with plans, and people have too much excess baggage to deal with as they lug around their gifts. All of it adds up to complete madness. I used to get caught up in the madness; stress and sweat, cry if my flight was delayed. But I’ve learned a few things.

Being away by yourself at Christmas is extremely lonely. But being a party of one on travel days really does make everything that much easier. Step number one: don’t check baggage. Remember how I said everyone has excess gift baggage? Yeah, it’s a nightmare. Number two: don’t give yourself a timeline. I know the flight says you’re supposed to land at ____, but if you don’t have any expectations, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve spent nights on airport floors, added connections, airline transfers; don’t worry, you’ll be getting home. Noise Cancelling Headphones, the greatest invention for a lonely traveller. Put them on, and don’t take them off.

Even if you’re not flying this Christmas, but are buckling in for a bit of a road trip, take note. Roads are busy, icy, drivers are a little more reckless this season. Take your time, relax, and treat the journey as a part of the holiday season rather than your holidays beginning upon arrival. It’s all part of the tradition. And be sure to bring hats and mitts….a stalled car on the side of the road can get a little chilly, so just in case.

Be safe out there my friends, and travel smart this holiday season. I hope that everyone makes it to their destination safe and sound, but remember: Christmas is just one day of the year. As long as your with the right people, the day doesn’t matter.


How to Plan a Stress-Free Holiday


Going on vacation is an important part of modern day life. Everyone loves the chance to explore the world and forget the complexities of work and home. I’ve never felt more at peace with myself and my life than when I get the chance to immerse myself in a new culture. Arguably the most important feature, though, is that it’s a chance to unwind and recharge the batteries. Follow these tips, and you should enjoy a stress-free vacation. Let’s face it, this will make the whole holiday brighter.

Prepare Last minute booking and taking off may sound like a great opportunity for spontaneity. But truthfully, this method of holiday planning usually only winds up causing more stress. If you want to enjoy a trip to it’s full potential, it’s important that you plan ahead.

There are a number of factors to consider when preparing for your holiday. Taking these precautions now are well worth it, though. After all, the last thing you want is to find out you’ve forgotten something important upon arrival.

And make sure you’ve packed your bag with all the essentials. Nothing worse than forgetting your toothbrush.

Book A Package Nowadays, the internet allows us to book a holiday in a matter of minutes. Researching the best destinations is easy and we can organise travel, accommodation, and all other aspects by ourselves. But watch out! Arranging these bits separately can backfire!

What happens if the flight is delayed, will that ruin your onward journey? What about the excursions? Most travel destinations have specific websites you can use to book packages so that you don’t have to worry about this. For example, traveling to Italy? Check out Tuscany travel packages. If any mishaps do occur, it’s the responsibility of the agent to find a solution.

Having your itinerary pre-booked will certainly ease the stress and make the relaxation that much more attainable. After all, there’s a lot to see and do on Italian soil. A professionally organised trip is the best way to cover it all.

Travel With The Right People It might sound a little obvious, but it’s your travel companions that will make or break your holiday. They have the ability to brighten up the worst times, but can also bring the vacation down.

Vacations are a common cause of friendships breaking up, so be honest with yourself. If you don’t think you can handle a week in proximity with a certain person, then don’t travel with them. You won’t enjoy the trip and could lose a friend in the process.

Don’t Forget To Sleep The day of arrival is arguably the most exciting of the whole holiday. You’ll naturally want to dip your toes in the water of what the place has to offer. But don’t burn yourself out before the fun has even begun.

Sleep is a crucial part of the day, and a good night’s rest will leave your body and mind feeling refreshed. It’s especially important on the first night as you battle against the change of time zones.

Follow these few tips and you can hopefully have the lovely, stress free, relaxing vacation you deserve. Happy travelling.

My Favourite Travel Destinations


Anyone who travels has a favourite destination. Whether it’s the tourist-y attractions that pull you in, or simply just the memories you made there; there are certain places around the world that, once mentioned, you’ll yearn to return to. There are some such destinations for me, and I’m hoping to add many more in the near future.

I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to travel to 32 different countries on 3 continents. The majority of these travels were with my amazing family and my super adventurous parents. But I’ve also travelled for study, to visit foreign friends, and to visit family all around the globe.  As much as some of these were absolutely amazing locations, I sometimes feel that I was too young to fully appreciate what these destinations had to offer at the time. After studying art and architecture for four years, and being the person I have now become, I feel like I must return in order to place these on the top of my list once again. These are places like Athens, Istanbul, Russia and many more. But in my more appreciative years, these have been my favourite travel destinations.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand


I was in Chiang Mai for a week full of some of the most amazing, enlightening, and beautifully spiritual experiences of my life. Climbing mountains to be blessed by monks, spending afternoons lounging with tigers, and riding elephants through the jungle – these were just a few of the awesome things I did during my week. I felt that I really understood life; the peacefulness and beauty. Although the next few weeks in Thailand were an extremely different experience in Bangkok.

2. Prague, Czec Republic

DSC_0097I spent a few days in Prague before taking a train to Vienna with a small group studying art in the 12th grade. Having been to many many parts of Europe before I didn’t really have very high expectations, but Prague hit me with some history and beauty that I’d never seen before and am hard pressed to find again. I wish I had spent more time in this amazingly beautiful city and hope to return one day.

3. Kinsale, Ireland

DSC_0901I’ve been to Kinsale many many times. Visiting family in Ireland every few years brought me to Kinsale often. And now that my sister lives in Ireland (only an hour away from Kinsale), I go back any chance I get. Ireland as a whole is beautiful and astounds me, but something about Kinsale just makes me happy.

4. Scotland – I’ve never been to Scotland for a trip before, but was there for rather unfortunate circumstances. 2006 saw a liquid  bomb threat at Heathrow airport on the same day I arrived…..cancelling future flights from all surrounding airports for the foreseeable future, and ruining my family’s plans for a cruise leaving from Denmark the next day. Long story short, a taxi was called and we drove to Scotland…yes, from London to Edinburgh. But through that 4am drive, as the sun rose, we found ourselves in the most amazing Scotland scenery and I felt there was no reason to ever be stressed again – shit happens. I don’t know where we were, I don’t have pictures, but I dream of that place regularly and would love to find myself back there.

Traveling is the best way to find yourself. The best way to learn about the world. And is full of the most amazing finds. I love new adventures and hope to find myself lost in an adventure again some time soon. Where are your favourite travel destinations?


* All pictures taken by Coleen