Staying inspired

Despite being given the opportunity of a lifetime and being the luckiest girl ever, all the planning and paperwork has been a serious pain in the butt. First came the visa paperwork, then the travel insurance (being a student in the UK, I have no idea if I classify as a UK resident or a Malaysian one, if I’m registered with a GP, what my national insurance number is etc.), then the booking of accommodation (as it turns out, Paris is really expensive, so is Provence and Scandinavia) and finally the packing (What do I bring? Should I get a sleeping bag liner? Should I get a microfibre towel? Two pairs of trousers or one???) I’m not complaining at all, or at least I really shouldn’t be, but it can get really frustrating at times. It makes me want to flip a table,

Let’s take a moment to appreciate this in all its table flipping glory.

throw a tantrum,

Oh Liz, you need to calm down.

and burn everything to the ground.

This is more like it.
I might have some issues.

So after allowing myself a few minutes to appreciate self-destruction, here are (three, no four, oh it became five) FIVE magical things I do to pull myself together.

  1. Read up or just look at beautiful hipster photos taken by hipster globe trotters. Although reality will never look like that because I refuse to pay for additional filters on VSCO cam. I found a couple of really well designed blogs like The Travelling Light (amazing photos), Melting Butter (just for general inspiration because my pocket doesn’t go that deep, sadly), Adventurous Kate (I could become a travel blogger, a girl can dream!) and Fathom (where I found all the other awesome sites).
  2. Watch a documentary or a movie or a YouTube video set in the countries you’ll be visiting. I recently watched a documentary on Vienna by BBC and I am not only super excited to visit such an amazing place, but I’ve also got a few more recommendations for things to do in the city and spots I definitely do not want to miss. I’ve mentioned her before but Sonia’s Travels does some really neat short clips that will perk up the wanderluster in you.
  3. Get plugged into a community of travelling, like minded people. For me, this has been the Couch Surfing community (where I’ve been looking for a host in Scandinavia because it’s REALLY expensive) and just generally following blogs and commenting every now and then. It doesn’t hurt to ask a question or two so why not do it?
  4. Go through old photos from your previous travels. Those moments when you found a beautiful building, or an amazing sunset or some graffiti on a wall that made you chuckle have some serious wonderluster-awakening powers. Blogging has forced me to go through old images and it is seriously therapeutic. I recall the the experiences and the great memories and feel inspired to carry on filling out that form or searching for the best place to stay without breaking the bank.
  5. Lastly, talk to people around you about it. I’ve found that older and/or real adults are way more excited about this opportunity than I have been, and their excitement can be infectious. I’ve not met one person who has told me that travelling solo has been a bad idea (except when I insisted on going to Russia, but I’m stubborn like that).
Eastbourne 2015

Eastbourne 2015

In a nutshell, grow a pair and get back to planning because the world is waiting for you. It’s worth it.

Source: Source: Source:

11 thoughts on “Staying inspired

  1. Hey Nicole!
    Not sure if you remember me but I’m Shu-Mei who did a year in INTO Exeter when you were in your 2nd year I believe. Firstly, congrats on your graduation!
    I have just finished my placement year and was so looking forward to traveling to Europe (been here for 3 years now and I’m guilty of not having been to Europe!)! I was hoping to travel with a friend but I seem to be lacking… & most of them have graduated last month. In spite of that, my mind was still pretty set on traveling to Europe, because who knows when I’ll get this chance again! Esp after I dive into the working life! BUT my parents were SO AGAINST me traveling alone for safety reasons (they have heard too many pickpocketing incidents and such bad experiences from their friends) and they kinda forced my hand – I could only go if I joined a proper tour =.= I guess I understand their concerns but I feel that I have proven myself to be capable of taking care of myself having been in this foreign country for the past 3 years (and been moving to 3 different county in that span!)
    So, appreciate the adventure that awaits you! Not many people are blessed with such an opportunity! Good luck and I look forward to hearing all the good and bad experiences you come across! =)
    Shu-Mei xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH MY GOD! How are you? I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last saw each other – I did wonder about where you had disappeared to. Are you done with uni yet or do you have a few years left?


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahaha! I disappeared to University of Surrey! I will be going back into my final year this fall and graduating next year 😉 So when does your big trip begins?


      2. Leaving on the 24th of August, not too long now! I’m terrified and excited at the same time. Ha. Do I have you on Facebook?


      3. Yes you do, that’s how I came across your blog 😉 Wow that’s soon! I’m leaving for my tour on the 22nd. Who knows, we just might find ourselves in bumping into each other in Europe.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. IKR!! I’m doing just fine 🙂 moving to London this Sept to start my postgrad course in education so if anytime you’re in london just drop me a message k?


      2. Wow, that sounds awesome. We really do need to catch up! Hopefully I’ll be able to see you before I head home in November. 🙂 Speak soon hun.


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