“As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it’s inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are!” – Anonymous
It’s always best to start off with a quote as I am a tad a bit obsessed with finding the best quote or phrase which needs to somewhat connect with the work I produce and especially a blog post. Traveling solo was both exciting and terrifying because it’s something I never thought I would do but I tend to surprise myself a lot. It’s difficult at times to organize a holiday with friends as I have to take in consideration such as scheduling the dates, the budget and booking activities. I do love a good relaxation but I do prefer exploring various locations and capturing those adventurous moments so I can look back and remissness about my travels. Last year I decided to book a roundtrip to Canada as I have heard such wonderful things about the Canadian Rockies and of course always stumbling across the beautiful photos/vlogs online. I wasn’t too sure how I would explore Canada as I don’t know how to drive but a mate of mine suggested that I check out Topdeck travel. As soon as I booked my trip, I was super thrilled but then afterward the anxiety kicked in because I was thinking about the possibility that anything could go wrong. So many thoughts were racing, and I kept questioning whether I am ready to fly halfway around the world. The annoying thing I wish I could change about myself is self-doubt, I am way too hard on myself and tend focus way too much on the negatives. This will always be a challenge for me, but I need to remember that it’s okay to feel like that at times and stop avoiding these things as I will end up missing out.
I really needed some time away from the busy streets of London and try to focus on the new adventures I was about to experience. A few of my friends and family were a little worried about me traveling alone halfway across the world but I do believe it was an eye-opener. As mentioned in my past blog posts, I try to step out of my comfort zone, and growth is a big deal for me. When everything around me gets way too repetitive, I experience the occasional low moods but now I learned that if I ever feel a certain way, I need to do something about it.
The excitement of being able to look through the window during the flight is definitely one of the things I do enjoy as I do love capturing it on film but seeing it from the naked eye is a huge difference. There not much you can do during a 9hr flight other than listening to music, watching films or having a number of key moments to think about life in general. During most of the journey, I watched ‘Love, Simon’ (Great film!) and just reflecting on the year in general. I was definitely in a different mindset at the time because I started to question where I see myself in the next year. A lot can change in a year, especially within yourself…
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. ” – Johann Wolfgang Goethe
I was overwhelmed with joy as I haven’t travelled outside the country for years and my aim this year is to visit at least five countries…now I can scratch Iceland off my bucket list. Travelling to Iceland was such a wonderful experience and I would definitely visit this spectacular country again. I see loads of photos being posted on Instagram especially Instagrammers who travel to these amazing countries and Iceland instantly caught my attention. Booking this trip was expensive but I guess you only live once and you should try to enjoy the finer things in life if you get that opportunity. Amma and I could not decide on which tours to book as they all looked incredible. The first tour we booked was to see the Northern Lights, although it’s not always guaranteed that the aurora borealis would appear but I remained hopeful. We were really indecisive on whether to choose the Golden Circle or South Shore adventure; both were 9-10 hours long so after some research we decided to go for with the South Shore. I really wanted to book the whale watching tour but very much over my budgets and I didn’t want to spend a lot on a tour if it’s not guaranteed that the whales would make an appearance.
My original plan was to book the Blue Lagoon but since we waited till the last minute it was already fully booked during mornings and afternoons. There were slots available for the evenings but I would have preferred to go during the daylight so I could take some photos and pack during the evening for our early flight the next day…Secret Lagoon it is (still awesome and much cheaper). To save money we decided look for a self-catered accommodation which was a good price just for four nights and it was the best the option as booking a hotel would have cost us £600+ per person. Thankfully our accommodation was two minutes away from our bus stop so we didn’t have to stop at the bus terminal and jump into a taxi. I browsed online to watch a few vlogs to get an insight on what it’s like to travel to Iceland and some travel tips. Most vloggers stayed in self-catered accommodations, booked tours, and a few rented cars/caravans for minimum of 2-3 days.
I did my packing at the last minute…what a surprise! Since I was only going for four days I mainly packed turtle necks and black jeans. Before the trip I had to go and purchase jeans as I only wear dresses or skirts so I didn’t know how cold and snowy the weather was going to be. As I wanted to make sure that we arrived early to the Gatwick Airport so we didn’t have to queue for check-in, we had to wait at least an hour (got there way too damn early). I was so excited to finally board the plane and of course booked my seat next to window. I wanted to vlog during this trip so I purchased the Canon M10 and megapixels are pure quality. As I packed way too much equipment in my rucksack I decided to only take the USB charger for the M10 instead but I had no idea that it was faulty. I was disappointed by this as I was so excited to vlog about my journey to Iceland so I had to mainly use my Mark II and Samsung J5 instead.
Overall, I had a splendid time in Iceland and I would highly recommend booking a trip there. I got see the enchanting black sand beach, captivating waterfalls and relax in the steamy secret lagoon. Here are some travels tips if you’re planning to head to Iceland at some point:
- Purchase food at the airport before boarding the plane if you’re booking your flight tickets with WowAir (food on the plane is pricey).
- If your travel buddy has fallen asleep during the flight journey make sure you bring a book or download a bunch of films/episodes using Netflix (music can’t always cure boredom).
- Before booking a self-catered accommodation make sure you email your host to find out what is not included (found out that there was no microwave, kitchen roll, washing up liquid and only one toilet roll left). Don’t always rely on the host to provide this for you.
- To save money head to the supermarket Bonus!
- Bring plastic containers and sandwich bags with you for long tours.
- Save up as much as possible as most of the food markets and souvenir shops are a tad pricey.
- Ask locals for help if you get lost.
- Double check to see if all your camera equipment is working (charge your batteries before the trip).
- Wear boots with grip and the ice is very slippery.