Welcome to the OPERA!!!!
26 hours, 4 G&T’s and 5 seasons of Brooklyn 99 later and we’ve made down under! Crazy to think right now I’am on the other side of the world to my friends and family, this is my first time being outside of Europe and the furthest I have ever (and possibily will travel) away from home. So join me and my blog as its about to get all things Aussie on here! G’day!
I’ve never had an issue with flying as I can sleep anywhere though any sounds, that being said I have never been on a flight longer than 4 hours so it was defiantly a new experience for me. I started this ‘experience’ in Heathrow London where I waved my family goodbye whilst having the cheesiest grin on my face as it was finally happening I WAS ACTUALLY GOING TO AUSTRALIA!! It didn’t feel real until that moment. 7 hours later and I landed in Doha, what the heck is Doha? I had the same reaction! Doha is the capital of Quatar, from the airport I could see a couple of tall buildings and that was pretty much it, thrilling stuff! Anyways on to the ‘fun’ part, I now had a 14 hour flight to board. The only thing that kept me sane through that flight was the fact that Sydney was on the other end, oh and gin of course :)
Arriving in Sydney was amazing! I had been dreaming of being here and planning it for so long that is felt so good to smell the Aussie air and feel the Sydney sun on my face, although I then quickly got my sunscreen out, no one wants to get burnt on the first day! After making my way through customs I headed to the trains, my hostel was in central Sydney so it was pretty easy to find. I arrived in Sydney very early in the morning, and as much as I wanted to pass out on my bed I knew I had to get through this first day! I’ve never had jet lag before but I know the first day is usually the hardest, with this in mind I dropped on my bags, had a quick shower, and went on a mission to keep myself busy until the night. Let’s be real what better city to ‘keep me busy’ than Sydney, so I started off how every young teen does trying to stay awake, COFFEE!! Once I got my caffeine fix I started exploring.
Like I mentioned my hostel was central Sydney, meaning I wasn’t too far away from any of the main tourist attractions, including the famous Sydney Harbour bridge & Sydney Opera house. Now believe it or not I actually found these attractions on accident, one minute I’m just walking down a high street selling cute clothes and lots of sushi, the next I look up and right in front off me in the Sydney Harbour bridge, naturally I start to walk closer to the bridge and then the Sydney Opera house comes into my focus, just like that I stumbled across two of the most famous Australian attractions, it was very cool! However my jet lag started to kick in as my eyes we’re struggling to keep open, what better place to take a break than on the bank of the Sydney Harbour. I honestly felt so much happiness in the moment lying of the grass using my backpack as a pillow, listening to the sound of the boats approaching the harbour and knowing that when I open my eyes the view of a beautiful Sydney skyline will be waiting. This adventure is truly so eye opening to me already, I’m realising a new sense of purpose and finally feeling back to my old self (which is a VERY good thing). There’s something truly relaxing and calming about the Australian air, everyone seems happy going about their day, no one is rushing, people actually make eye contact and smile at each-other, its very refreshing! So I recommend us all to take a leaf out of the Aussie’s book; hug a koala, throw that boomerang, put another shrimp on the barbie and choose living over everything!
Thank you for reading my day one of Sydney! As you can tell I’am very excited to be here and explore more of the city. All photo’s you see are my own using a Canon 1300D camera, I have many more Australian related posts lined up so make sure your following me on twitter @IzzyDirscoll to see when I next post! And remember to never stop exploring!
Okay I assume we all know that game would you rather? I'm pretty sure it was a popular trend back in 2016 but I thought I'd try bringing it back and putting my own twist! So instead of having those predictable and kind of dumb would you rather's, like would you rather talk to aliens or have a pet robot? (by the way pet robot is defiantly the right answer) I thought I would switch it up to more travel and experiences versus materialistic items. This is all fun and games so no judging will be made on your answers, and all these 'would you rather' questions are completely my own. Have FUN!
Would You Rather...???
Yep you see that title, its real! No more dreaming or wishing about it and then backing out last minute, now is the right time for me to finally put myself first and do something new and exciting!! So I should probs explain a little bit as to why I'm doing this and why sometimes there is NEVER a perfect time for everything. Lets begin!
Ever since I was at the tender age of 16 I've wanted to explore the world and everything in between, I've wanted to explore everything that came with travelling. And as soon as I was done with college I was hopping on a plane to start by new adventure. So there I was at 18 getting a flight on my own for the first time, sharing a room with 3 complete strangers (who are now my dearest friends), in a new country, eating new food, learning new skills. I felt like I was in my element, like this is what I was meant to do and wanted to do forever. I spent a year travelling in 3 different countries and honestly speaking (or typing,lol) Its the happeist I've ever felt, and I never wanted that feeling of magic to leave. However my little explorer bubble did burst and it was time to come back home and start living in the 'real world again', which wasn't all that bad, I love my family and friends and love coming back to them, BUT travelling the world is my real passion, and when you find something that makes you feel so alive and so happy to be alive, you should hold on to that right? When you love something so much you will literally drop everything (like your full time job) to go pursue your passion.
Okay so why there is NEVER a perfect time for anything! Sine coming back from travelling at 19 I've been wanting to go to Australia, I actually planned on going later that year right before my 20th birthday, but I somehow convinced myself the timing wasn't right. Now I'm not saying there's no such thing as perfect timing, but it is very rare to find, so sometimes we have to make our own 'perfect time'. For me it was never the perfect time because I wanted to start building on my career! WOOP WOOP being an adult it SOOOOO much fun! But being serouis I wanted to extend my experience in my craft and learn more about it and work my way up the hierarchy, mainly because having a good job is what we have all been told is what we need, I mean we literally dedicated 11 years of our lives to education just to get a good job, MENTAL! And being honest to make better money so I can actually eat food that isn't in the reduced section (which I still do because I'm cheap, but that irrelevant) So I worked my BUTT off, and put all my focus and energy into my job, and after a while of working like an absolute savage I didn't see any progression, so I thought maybe then I should just go ahead with my travel plans, but then I got promoted YAY ME! I couldn't possibly leave after just getting a new role and feeling like I was actually doing something with purpose. Naturally I stayed with my job, and continued working crazy hours, non stop, spending my days off catching up on sleep, and becoming the shell of a human, like all the life had just been sucked out of me, still doing well in my job and progressing, but extremely unhappy. Now still isn't the 'perfect time' with my job but sometimes you have to create your own perfect time, and for me I feel like now is perfect timing.
I'm now about to get incredibly real, but I feel like its something that is talked about a lot but no one ever believes it, including myself. But MONEY and having a CAREER won't make you happy in the long run, thats just a straight fact! Now of course its great to have and does make life easier but I've never been more miserable in myself than I'am right now, with my bank account looking better than ever (humble brag) and my career really taking off (another humble brag). The magic isn't there, the lust for life has vanished, and I know things come to an end, what goes up must come down, but what if you just float and live among the magic instead of just borrowing it. I strongly remember watching an interview of Kylie Jenner saying that the thrill of having everything you could ever want lasts about 10 seconds then your over it. With me thinking 'yeah right she's never lived without money her entire life, she has no idea what she's talking about', but I hate to admit it, she was kinda right. If you have found something that makes you truly happy, no matter how strange or unstable it may be, you should do it! Do something that creates amazing memories, whats the point in having great success and money without people to share it with? Forget the money, forget working so hard you can't even enjoy your life, and just run and jump into something that makes you unapologetically happy.
Well now your up to speed with everything, and I hope it gave you a good idea of where my heads been recently, and maybe you could relate to parts of it? I'd love to hear your thoughts and if you've ever done something like this! Drop a comment below or tweet me @IzzyDirscoll :) I will be doing another blog post about travelling to Australia and getting myself ready for that, so be on the lookout for that one!! Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and obviously remember to always keep exploring!
I was lucky enough this year to spend my 21st birthday in now one of my most favourite cities! Allow me to make you fall in love with Amsterdam as much as I did and if you've already visited then lets reminisce together. Enjoy!!
Amsterdam, A.K.A 'The Dam' was pretty septacular and exceeded all my expectations! Me and one of my best friends visited a couple months back for both our 21st birthdays and I couldn't think of a more cute, cool, charming and creative city to have spent this special day :).
Let me run you though the trip and share with you some pic's and stories straight from 'The Dam'. Hope you enjoy reading and comment below if you've ever visited, or if you were to visit where would be your first place to go? Also tweet me @IzzyDriscoll your opinion was of this post, okay Enjoy :)!
House of Bols
I've talked a bit about this insanely cool place in my last post, but I'm going to burn your ears a little more about this place. It is known as the 'ultimate cocktail experience' and it defiantly lived up to this title. Not only is this experience pretty cheap you can also just walk in and start straight away, as soon as you walk in your given a set of earphones talking you through the cocktail museum, I know that may sound boring learning about the history and all that, however it is highly interactive and there are different voices for each character making it actually intresting. Now one of my FAVOURITE parts was the colourful hallway (perfect for the gram) with bottles along the side containing different scents, if you go make sure you smell the banana scent, it was by far the best! Moving on you visit a mini theatre room, you watch a quick video and then a big red button is revealed, and you need to choose weather to press this shiny button or not (no spoilers to what happens, soz) Then at the end of the tour you come to one of the most beautiful bars I have ever seen!! Decorated with beautiful art work, and sculptures. You are shown a computer monitor and get to create your own cocktail, you get to choose the fruit, the style, and the spirit, then one of the friendly bar tenders will make it for you, AND its completely FREE!! We English do love free stuff :) But if you don't enjoy the cocktail, you can simply tell the bartender and they will whip you up something else, with NO ADDED COST! 1000% recommend hitting up this place!
I'm sure you have all seen the pictures of people climbing all over the big IAmsterdam letters, and besides that there isn't much else, HOWEVER! As we went in the winter there was a huge ice rink in front of the letters, which I did not go on as I have the same balance as Bambi on ice. But there was a cool ice bar next to the rink and drinking is more my thing than ice skating so it was all good :) It was such a beautiful spot especially because the previous day it had snowed and it looked super pretty and delicate.
If you like street art, then this is the place to visit! With artwork from Dali and Banksy. Now being honest I mainly visited because I am a HUGE fan of Banksy, he's by far my favourite artist and this museum is filled with original pieces, inspiring quotes and their is a room for each artist that replicates one of their most famous pieces. There is also an outside part with very detailed scupltures on your way out. Again this wasn't very expensive, however we did book tickets ahead of time.
This is more an independent activity, however I'm sure you could find a tour to join, we managed to find our own way around the beautiful canal walk paths. Basically as it gets later in the evening, some canals have lights that go along the bridge or along the actual canal, you can also see some very cool artwork if you look close enough! I really loved doing this walk after dinner, for me it was so surreal seeing so many canals running through this busy city, being from quite a concrete city it was a lovely change, and at times I felt like I was in Venice as some of the canals rises above the houses windows. Defiantly worth seeing as many canals bridges as possible, its not a long walk and you get some great photos! However do look out for bikes, they are everywhere!
Red light District
Now I understand some people aren't okay with prostitution and this is something the city is trying to lower, however I don't see a problem with it, as long as they are being safe, and it all seems very legit. Still with this mindset I was pretty shocked when I first saw the lights, obviously your not allowed to take photos so I had no idea what to expect. After a while is kind of becomes the norm, and the shock factor starts to fade. But no matter what your opinion this is defiantly a tourist part of Amsterdam and something people usually want to check out just to see what its all about. And even if you don't want to see it, you probably will end up walking down a street with some red lights without even realising, their is a main strip but they are also very spread out.
Yes. We had to visit! Fun fact this was actually our first stop, but only because it was the first place we came across as we got of the train, promise :). I must say this museum is EXTREMELY graphic and does not hold back on anything, my inner 13 year old couldn't help but laugh at some of the crazy things that where going on. After a while everything became normal, which was really interesting to me. Being brought up in the UK and going to a UK school sex education was always seen as awkward and a very taboo topic, that everyone tried to avoid talking about for as long as possible. But walking into this museum it was very popular and had people of all ages going in, just showing how different countries deal and act with certain topic's, it was very eye opening for sure. Again I feel like visiting the sex museum is something you just have to do when you go there, just to see what its all about, and trust me even if you think you know what its going to be like, you really don't, its one big surprise for sure.
Of course when in Amsterdam its almost a rule that you have to ride a bike! We actually left this to the last day and I wish we didn't, it was so much fun and easier to get around. I personally am not the biggest fan of cycling but because Amsterdam is very flat and really piorities cyclists it becomes a lot more fun. This being said it can also be scary cycling on the roads as their are both cars, trams and pedestrians so if your not use to cycling in the city then it can become confusing, thats why we mainly cycled around the gorgeous Vondelpark. On a clear blue sky you can really admire the amazing scenes that the park has to offer, it also includes a number of cafe's you can stop by and lots of people all on bikes, or rollerblading, skateboarding, literally anything! We actually saw a group of people on unicycles?!! Even if you don't rent bikes I do recommend just walking though the park as it truly is beautiful.
We all have a Typical 'travel bucket list' of places we would love to visit, and most of these places are your stereotypical locations that everyone wants to visit! For example I bet I can name 3 places that are on your travel bucket list, don't believe me? Okay:
No this is not a pool filled with little red devils swimming around, this is in fact probably the coolest infinity pool in the WOLRD! Found on the Zambezi river or better known as Victoria falls, is a miniature pool right on the edge of the waterfall, scary huh? Now this pool is defiantly very risky if you go during the wrong season, the best time to visit is between August and January, when the current isn't as strong and you can fully enjoy the amazing view the pool has to offer, and you forget all about the sheer drop in-front of you! So you might be thinking how has this pool been formed? Well from years and years of erosion it has naturally created many rock pools at the top, which is pretty cool, and I for one would really love to visit the 'Devil's pool' and just have the best pool party EVER! Just imagine bringing a unicorn float to a pool on top of Victoria falls, bets Instagram photo ever right?
Finland (Saariselkä Lapland)
Last year I visited Lapland and stayed there for the whole of December and it was the most magical and amazing trip! To me Finland was never a place I was to fussed to visit but now I can't wait to be back. The fresh, crisp air is so clean and pure, along with its lakes and roads, they is no rubbish to be seen anywhere, which is a nice change to the UK. The log cabins are also the cutest! Very spacious and cosy at the same time, with the majority of cabins having sauna's which is great for jumping into after a full day of skiing. Also sledging is basically and olympic sport in Finland, in the fact the area I visited had the longest sledging run in Europe! I believe it was 2 miles long and the most fun I have ever had in the snow, and you don't even have to bring your own sledge as they can be found all around the resort and hotels offer them out for free. I don't even know where to start with the scenery, it is like no other, and I don't even know how to put it into words so I'm going to post some pictures instead, have you booked your flight to Lapland yet?
Amsterdam (House of Bols)
I have recently just got back from Amsterdam! And I can now say it definalty puts the DAM in Amsterdam. I think I'm going to do a whole separate blog post about my trip to Amsterdam as a whole so if thats something you would be interested in reading comment below! However this place was soooo cool and I had never heard of it before, it defiantly gets overlooked but all the other cool things to do in Amsterdam. So the House of Bols is the ultimate cocktail experience, so if you love a cocktail like myself then this is perfect for you, and if you don't like cocktails then I still recommend you going as you can get some really cool photo's form it! I don't want to give to much away, but its very interactive, colourful and there is a free cocktail that you design at the end so its very much worth the visit! Enjoy these photos :)
Now New York is defiantly not an underrated place but I feel like Brooklyn certainly is, I have never visited but it comes across very cool, urban and a good amount of edginess. The pictures remind me of Soho in London, filled with live music and vintage shops. However it also has the beautiful Brooklyn bridge which is actually my laptop screen saver (fun fact). If your big on photography then you might also be interested in the pretty parks to explore, it really does seem like a dream day out, if you have ever visited please feel free to make me incrediably jealous by commenting your experience!
You might be confused by what this might be, let me explain 4DX is a 4D luxury cinema found in Seoul, Japan. I never even knew 4D movies where a thing?! I checkout out there website and it looks like the most luxurious cinema experience possible, it beautifully mimic's first class seating in planes, with lounger independent chairs and space for your popcorn and drink, when can I move in? Besides all that the special effects are what really make it 4D, it makes you feel like your actually in the movie with water effects, feeling blows of wind, smelling certain scents and vibrations coming from the floor, imagine watching the Hunger games in that cinema? Pretty insane!!
Patagonia (Marble Caves)
Again Patagonia is not a underrated place at all, and is for sure top of my 'travel bucket list'. But to you know about the secret marble caves that are hidden there? Well let me tell you a bit about them. Most commonly found on 'Carrera lake' you can take a small boat out to these caves, floating on top of the most eye pleasing turquoise water inside these Marble caves, with colours of white, grey, blue and even pink surrounding the cave. Which has all been naturally formed by water and weather erosion over a span of thousands of years! These insane caves are most commonly viewed between December and February. So are you sold yet?
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post, if you did or you learned smelting different please let me know in the comment section, and if I have left any of your favourite most underrated places then let me know!!! And remember to never stop exploring :)
Travel tattoo's wow! Something that that I feel can either be very instructing or very basic, like some have a cool story or message behind it or like a basic gal/guy with a tattoo about that time they travelled round Thailand and 'found themselves' which if you do have that kind of travel tattoo please don't feel like I'm attacking you, I have one too but we shall get into that in a bit (ooh the anticipation haha). So travel tattoo's can have lots or different meanings and stories behind them, which is what I think a tattoo is all about, I believe tattoo's are an expression of something that you want yourself to remember forever, like having a journal but on your body, if that makes sense. But just because that's my interputation of what a tattoo can mean doesn't mean its RIGHT! I have friends that have tattoo's for all different reasons, some are because they look pretty, some are little reminders, and some are a lot more personal. Leave a comment what you think about tattoo's and why do you think 40% of the worlds population have tattoo's.
Why are you choosing to write about travel tattoo's? Excellent question! So out of all the types of tattoo's I am most intrigued by the travel ones, I think the best tattoo's I have seen are travel ones, mainly because the message behind them are usually very cool or a dope memory that is very close to someone's heart, also the designs and colours used in travel tattoo's are so diverse and bright, that you can't help but admire them, weather your a fan of tattoo's or not. STORYTIME: I met this guy that was literally COVERED in tattoo's, but I one's I loved the most where the tattoo's he had on his knuckles on his left hand, so he had 5 tattoo's (incase you didn't know how many knuckles you have on my hand haha) So these tattoo's weren't overly big but they defiantly stood out: 1) A Turtle; so he just came back from Australia were he found a turtle egg on the beach and at night time he watched the egg hatched and saw all the baby turtles crawl towards the sea, he described it as one of the most innocent and purest moments, something that he always wanted to remember, that the most beautiful moments are innocent and pure. 2) A camera; a very simple old school style camera, he loved photography but also understood how important it was to put the camera down from time to time and really be in the moment, so that tattoo symbolised being in the moment not just capturing it. 3) Airplane; again very simple and one that I thought was SOOOO basic but he explained it was more of a reminder to never stop travelling, and to explore more, I guess you could say it was a tattoo that there is MORETOEXPLORE! Lol sorry but I had too!! 4) A palm tree; fun fact about palm tree's which I defiantly didn't know is that they are mentioned many times in the Bible and are a symbol of peace, which I guess makes sense, I can say that I have never felt stressed out whilst looking at a palm tree, so thats one of the reasons he has it and because the natural beauty they give out, like coconuts and palm tree oil. 5) A compass; this was to remind him to always have a sense of direction, not just in travelling but in every day life situations, most teens these days are always rushing into things without taking a moment to really think about where they going it reminds me of a quote I saw somewhere 'Direction is much more important than speed. Many are going nowhere fast.' Which I think is very true.
My Travel Tattoo
In total I only have 2 tattoo's, however I'm defiantly open to getting more, but I'm not the type to just a go and get a tattoo randomly, it has to be planned and well thought out,, after all it is on your body FOREVER! Unless you want to go through the pain of laser removal which I don't plan on ever going though. Both my tattoo's are sort of travel related, however in this post I'am only going to be talking about one of them, the first tattoo I got. From this photo you can see that the tattoo is on my left ankle on the inside (already a really basic position), now I should start by saying that I NEVER planned on ever getting a tattoo, mainly because my parents don't really like them, but I was 18 so I was old enough to decide weather I wanted one or not. Back to the tattoo! At first glance it looks like a diamond or a badly drawn out square, but is actually a rhombus. So why a rhombus? As you probably know a rhombus has 4 sides and each side represents me and my 3 very close that I met on my winter ski season (btw I had a blog post all about my ski season, including stories about these 3 friends, which you should definately read after this ;) And yes my other friends also have the same rhombus tattoo. But why a not a square? Great question! One night we had all come back from the local bar, and we were all just a tiny bit tipsy, we were lying in our beds, and as drunk girls do we just started talking complete CRAP! Until one of my friends said that if we were a shape we would be a square, another friend then said 'NO! A square can also mean like a nerd, we're like an edgy square' and what shape is an edgy square? That's right a RHOMBUS! Sp we also call our tattoo's an 'edgy square' and a little private joke but in reality its a rhombus that 4 best friends got because of a comment made on a drunk night during our ski season. Now if that isn't the most BASIC travel tattoo then I don't know what is :))).
Thank you for reading this post! I'm starting to post a new blog every week so keep an eye out for the next one! And if you have any suggestions for something I should talk about in my next post do leave a comment :) BYEE!
Are you thinking of doing a winter season? Well I like to think I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to seasons, even though I've only done two lol, but I do think I did and saw everything you can when on a winter season. So let me brief you about some things that you may need to take with you and what really happens on season, obviously not everything though, because I must stand by the rule of 'what happens on season, stays on season'!!
My first time in Pairs! Paris has always been somewhere that I've wanted to properly explore, I've always imagined it to be such a magical yet soulful city. So why Paris? and why only 24 hours? Well a good friend of mine works about 30 minutes away from central Paris so I decided to make a quick trip to see her, however it could only be a quick trip as I had work on the weekend :(. But I saw it as more of a challenge to see if I could really explore all of the biggest tourist spots in 24 hours! Follow me on my Paris adventure, Let's explore!