A Guide On How To Plan Your Trip.

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This post is in reference to the trips I took to Moscow and St. Petersburg sometime last year.

It was my first time organising a (any, actually) trip all by myself. And it was all last-minute.

It was a Monday, I remember. Woke up on the best side of the bed! ūüôā And decided that I wanted to go to Moscow the next day. So I went ahead and bought my ticket… right away in fact! I had no idea where I was gonna stay. Had no itinerary. Hadn’t packed. Nothing! All¬†I knew was that I wanted to head to St. Petersburg as well after a short stay in Moscow. Ha! ūüôā

I thought everything would magically fall into place within 24 hours. You know…

Let’s just say that the hours until my departure were an emotional turmoil.

There were¬†times when I got frustrated because I wasn’t getting immediate email replies to confirm my accommodation. Teared up¬†once or twice. Thought of cancelling the whole thing. But I’m so glad I didn’t.

Because it turned out to be the best time I’ve ever had! ūüôā

So here are a couple of pointers to help you plan your next trip:

1. Destination.

First of all you need to determine which place(s) you want to visit. Town, City, Country.¬†Find out if you need to apply for¬†a visa if you’re planning to fly out of the country.

2. Date.

Then choose the precise dates for you trip. Because you need them for the step below.

3. Accommodation.

Now figure out where you’ll be staying. Hostel,¬†hotel or home? For how long? Call or email them to make a reservation. ALWAYS make a reservation.

4. Transport.

Time to book your ticket. Plane, train or bus? You pick. ūüôā

5. Itinerary.

And the fun part begins… planning your activities! Find out what amazing things the new town/country has to offer, list them down and schedule them for the number of days you’re going to be there. Make sure to spread them out evenly.

Any more tips you’d love to share? Please do write them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your opinions. ūüôā

Always be kind.

Dee.

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What To Wear: On Safari.

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I love safaris. I love adventure. But most of all, I love nature. Just the other day, while studying for my pediatrics class, I drifted off¬†and started daydreaming about the gorgeous¬†mountains in Canada¬†surrounding pretty little lakes, the amazing landscapes in Iceland filled with breathtaking waterfalls, the beautifully sculptured canyons in the USA…

I’d love to see all these places one day.

Ok, now back to this post. There are a couple of things to note when it comes to dressing right for a safari. One: You need to be comfortable. Like very comfortable. Two: You need to blend in with the environment (think browns and greens) to avoid disrupting wild animals. It’s for your safety as well. Three: You need to be well fed and hydrated because safaris are exhausting.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll need to wear:

1. Hats & sunglasses

To protect yourself from the sun.

2. Tops

If you’re planning a morning or evening trip, you’ll need to layer up since it’s most probably going to be chilly. Otherwise, a t-shirt will do for the day.

3. Bottoms

Keep these long to avoid scratches and bites.

4. Shoes

Sneakers are the best option.

5. Bags

Just a small backpack to hold your essentials like water and cameras.

Always be kind.

Dee.

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Travel Essentials.

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If you know me well enough then you know how much I love being on the go. Like literally. Flights, train rides, bus rides, you name it. So long as I’m covering miles, I’m happy! ūüôā

In today’s post I thought I should share with you¬†a couple of things that are always with me as I travel:

1. Purse.

I’ve had this pretty beige one for more than two years now. What I love most about it is that it has all these little slots¬†inside that make it easy for me to store a number of things¬†like paper money, coins, cards, passport photos, sim cards and any other necessary bits and bobs.

2. Headphones.

Another item that I’ve had for more than two years now. I got this set of headphones as a gift from my sister and I’ve been using them all the time. Pick good quality ones if you don’t want to deal with really bad¬†headaches later.

3. Watch.

I can’t stress enough how much you need this on you. You can’t rely on your phone much, especially if you’re going to be crossing time zones because you’ll get stranded if it doesn’t automatically update.

4. Comfy clothes.

When traveling you need clothes that feel as comfortable as your PJs but also presentable. I always go for a t-shirt, jumper, tracksuit bottoms and a pair of strappy sandals. I also, always, carry a warm pair of socks with me that I change into once my trip starts.

5. Neck pillow.

And a pair of ear plugs, a sleep mask and basic toiletry to freshen up if the journey is going to be a long one.

Always be kind.

Dee.

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Solo Travel: Pros & Cons.

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I’ve been on the road travelling solo for a couple of days now and it’s safe to say that this is quickly becoming my favourite way to see new places.

Let’s get straight to the pros then, shall we?

1. Total freedom.

No compromise. I really love the fact that I can change my mind/itinerary as many times in a day as I want and not have to worry about inconveniencing a travel partner.

2. More interaction with locals and others with similar interests.

Hence cultural exchange. It comes automatically. You become more approachable to others and since you’re¬†alone, you sorta have to initiate conversations as well to ask for directions,¬†recommendations etc.

3. You make more friends.

Most of the people you’ll come into¬†contact with are definitely sailing in the same boat as you are¬†and similar interests are a great base to friendships.

4. An opportunity to spoil yourself.

Who doesn’t love travel? Invest in yourself every once in a while.¬†Go someplace nice and treat yourself to whatever you want. The kind of fulfilment you’ll get is worth so much more than what¬†you could ever get from somebody else.

5. Personal growth.

When you’re on the road, alone, you¬†automatically¬†find yourself reflecting on life. The kind of paths you want to take. What impact you want to make to society. What your purpose is in life. This is a journey of self discovery and at the end of each trip you’ll have learnt so much about what makes you happy and what¬†exactly you should be pursuing and dedicating your time to.

Now, onto the cons:

1. The blues.

There¬†are going to be days (minutes rather) when you’ll wish that you were home at the comfort of more familiar streets and people. But that soon goes away as you begin to realise that those are the same reasons you decided to leave and look for adventure in the first place.

2. Pervs take advantage.

I hate this part.

3. You pay more.

For accommodation, activities and pretty much everything else. You see, when you have a travel partner there’s the “split-costs” option that allows both of you to get¬†more for less. ¬†Also, people in the service industry love groups. They see groups and see more¬†profit. They see a solo traveller and see, well, not so much. And no one gives discounts to “not so much”. ūüė¶

4. Exhaustion.

I love to walk. Especially when I’m alone. And I love seeing as many places in a day as I can. So when you put these two together, you have yourself a girl who¬†struggles¬†to get out of bed on by every¬†fourth day in a new location! Like literally. On these¬†days¬†I’m almost always just having my meals in bed and watching movies. ūüôā

5. I can’t think of any more cons.

I guess it’s just that good! ūüôā

Always be kind.

Dee.

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Solo Travel: My 5 Biggest Concerns.

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Now that I have finished my exams and have 3 full months of summer ahead of me, I’ve been writing lists. Lists of things I want to do, places I want to go, lots and lots of lists of stuff I’d love to accomplish before starting my 5th year of med school come¬†September.

More than half of the things on my “lists” are or have something to do with travelling to places…alone. Why alone? Well, thing is, I’ve always enjoyed my independence since starting university (especially it being abroad), and so I tend to prefer doing things that I want to do, and at my own pace.

If there’s one thing that would mess up a good trip is being tied down to someone else’s schedule, or them to yours. It just kills the fun in travel.

Ok, now about this post. As I’ve mentioned, summer’s here and travel is the theme! ūüôā Haha, does that even make sense? Anywhos, I’m gonna be taking my first solo trip in a couple of weeks and as much as I’m excited about it, I’m super freaked out as well.

My head’s been filled with all these crazy scenarios that have made me postpone¬†the trip over and over again. These are¬†what I’m talking about:

1. What if I find myself in harm’s way?

Having watched a million crime documentaries, trust me to be afraid of even the slightest gust of wind. I still wonder why I haven’t bought myself some pepper spray already. But then my heart’s like, “Come on. You’ll be fine.”

2. What if I get lonely?

As someone who¬†thrives in solitude, I can’t understand how this question keeps popping up in my mind. Perhaps, I’m just afraid of having to adjust to a new environment alone. I don’t know. We’ll see.

3. Medical emergencies?

Accidents happen all the time. And if I’ve been able to stay safe at home, I should be fine anywhere else. I hope.

4. What if I get lost?

I’m fine with getting lost in the morning. I see that as an opportunity for some adventure and exploration. Problem is getting lost in the evening, with no taxi numbers to call, and no public transport around to hop onto. Now, that scares me.

5. What if it isn’t as good as I expected?

Yeah, this too. Though I highly believe it might depend on my mood that day. I just hope it won’t be a case of, “Oh, ok. So that’s the beach. I guess we’re done here.” That would be such a waste of energy and resources.¬†If only I was assured of rushing adrenaline the whole time.

As much as¬†my head’s trying it’s best to alert me of possible threats, my whole heart just wants to be set free, and wander away. And that’s exactly what I’m gonna do. ūüôā

Always follow your heart. You learn from the experiences in your life, whether good or bad. If you don’t take the leap of faith, you will never learn. And you will never grow.

Always be kind.

Dee.

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My Kenyan Bucket List.

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I never really travelled much growing up, even within my own country. So I ended up assuming that there’s nothing much to see. Boy, was I wrong.

Kenya is one of the top safari destinations in the world, home to lots of wildlife and filled with amazing landscapes.

Studying abroad, I’ve been in awe of how much people from other countries love and would like to visit my country. This got me feeling like I’m sitting on a gold mine and completely clueless about it. How sad, huh?

Yeah, not any more though. Starting this summer, I’m going to visit as many cool places as I can within Kenya. And what if I don’t clear my list before I return to school? Well, that’s alright. Because¬†it will always be home to me. And no matter how many new places I’ll live in, I’ll always go back¬†home. ūüôā

Here are the top places I would love to visit in Kenya:

1. Mt. Kenya

2. Lake Turkana

3. Maasai Mara

4. Fourteen Falls

5. Samburu

6. Giraffe Centre

7. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

8. Nairobi National Park

9. Lamu

10. Amboseli National Park

11. Malindi

Always be kind.

Dee.

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How to make Every Day an Adventure.

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Feeling bored lately? Then this post is definitely for you. Try incorporating this few tips into your daily routine and watch the magic unfold. Ok, not magic per se but something close to that. ūüôā

1. Meet someone new.

Strike a conversation with a random stranger, or somebody you see on a daily basis but never talked to. You might just learn a thing or two. Or better yet, make a new friend! ¬†ūüôā

2. Eat/drink something new.

Something you’ve never tried before.

3. Go someplace new.

Take a short random trip to the next town, or any part of your town that you’ve never been to.

4. Shake up your routine.

Doing the same things, day in day out, the same way, can get a little boring. So change it up a bit. Maybe wake up earlier than usual to take a walk. Or use a different mode of transport to school/work.

5. Welcome new opportunities with open arms.

Most of us get scared by the idea of change. So much that we pass up opportunities to work in different cities, live in new apartments, or even take part in events that we’d usually¬†never attended. Personally, as much as I hate moving, I find changing apartments every other year to be such a breath of fresh air! ūüôā

Any more tips you would like to share? Lemme know in the comments below.

Always be kind.

Dee.

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