MY NEXT TRAVELLING ADVENTURE!

On the 24th July, I will be travelling all around South East Asia with my boyfriend for 7 weeks and I could not be anymore excited!

Considering I leave on Monday, I feel very unprepared. I got my injections a few weeks back; I only received Typhoid as I had my Hepatitis A and B boosters not too long ago. I thought they would cost me a fair amount of money, but they were free which I was chuffed about! I could have had extra ones such as Rabies, but the Sister suggested it’s not necessary as I am going to low-risk areas. It also means i’m going to be extra careful around the stray animals.

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Over the past few weeks I’ve been accumulating various creams, lotions, and medical kits to ensure we are going to be safe and organised for anything that may come at us. I know that there’s a lot of shops and malls across SE Asia and everything is pretty cheap; I still can’t help myself buying any kind of bite cream or various forms of plasters (I’m going crazy).

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I stop-over in Abu Dhabi for a few hours en route. It’s a shame it’s a short stop-over as I would have loved to explore Abu Dhabi and see what it has to offer. But instead we’re just going to chill in the airport and have a browse through duty-free. After my 12 hour flight I will land in Bangkok and spend 5 days there.

I’m unsure what to expect of Bangkok. I’ve heard from various places that it is very busy (as expected), there are very little driving laws, and it smells. However, I cannot wait to immerse myself into the culture and to explore their lifestyles.

One thing I cannot wait to do is the floating markets. Despite having to wake up ludicrously early, I’ve never experienced sailing down a market and for people to sell their stock out of boats. It’s also renowned for its amazing food. They cook to order on a boat. How insane is that???

After Bangkok we are then going to explore the ‘party’ islands; the first stop is Phuket, which is one of the larger party islands in Thailand, which is ideal for spending all night partying, and relaxing on Patong Beach during the day. Secondly is Koh Tao, where I’m also going to learn how to dive! I’ve recently bought a go pro so will hopefully be able to share my amazing experience! I’m also visiting Koh Phangan, which is home to the Full Moon Party. This is a tremendous event in Thailand, and i’ve heard it’s a great night. Also perfect for lively bars, a lot of alcohol, and all kinds of clubs. Koh Samui is renowned for its beautiful array of beaches. They also host similar parties to that of the Full Moon Party, which i’m sure I will experience too.

Amongst all of this I will also be exploring Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore!

I cannot wait to get back and share my experience with you.

Similarly, if you have any advice/tips, please feel free to share them! I’d love to know if you have any suggestions of places to go.

Much Love,

Ellen Grace xo

HOW I TRAVEL ON A BUDGET

This year I am going to be backpacking around south east Asia for 2 months, and also will be visiting Kavos for a week. How can I afford that you may ask? I’m a student, i’m supposed to have zero money and continuously eat cardboard-like food and wallow in my own self-pity about how little money I have. Well this isn’t always the case.

One of the best things about life is travelling. So embrace it while you can. What’s better than being able abandon reality for weeks or months, and have the time of your life?

Here are five tips as to how you can afford to go travelling around to globe on a budget.

 It seems so obvious, but you need to plan ahead. 

Save up enough throughout the year from a part-time job and know how much you need to save prior to booking. This way, you can go on your adventures with enough buck in your pockets to have a really great time and live your adventure to the best, without having financial woes.

Buy your tickets in advance

Following on from the previous point, preparation also includes buying your tickets in advance too. Typically, the best time to buy flight tickets is around 12-13 weeks before travelling. This way you could potentially save 100’s of pounds, which could be spent on other amazing experiences!

Plan your destination wisely

Like I said, i’m backpacking through South East Asia for 2 months, the only way this is possible for me is because this is a cheaper location. For example, on average hostel rooms are around £6 per night, and food for the day will cost a similar price. Whereas some places can be a lot more expensive. So look around before you make any decisions, because there’ll always be somewhere cheaper that may be just as good!

Accommodation – Don’t be afraid of hostels!

Hostels can have a bad reputation. You may think of dirty, grotty, hell holes that will be infested with dirt and smelly people. Well this isn’t always the case. Don’t get me wrong, staying in a luxurious hotel can be the best part of the holiday; however it doesn’t have to be. If you’re travelling around from place-to-place, look into staying in hostels. There are many private hostel rooms so you don’t always have to share with randomers, and they are a hell of a lot cheaper than hotels (and you will meet great people along the way too!)

Be a Traveler, Be a tourist

When you visit new places, you may want to visit all the main, tourist attractions and buy lots of cheesy gifts for friends and family on the way. I get that. However, you don’t always have to be a target where you get charged a hell of a lot more than travellers/citizens because you look like a tourist. Instead, don’t always go for the main attractions, but look a little further and you will find equally exciting things for a lot less. For example, when I visited Rome, in the main market squares restaurants and Gelato parlous would be double, sometimes triple the amount than other restaurants/parlours that are a few back-lanes’ away.

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Rome’s Gelato that we bought in a back-street

Have you got any other money saving tips?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

A Brisk Sunday Ramble

To me, Sunday is the perfect day to spend time with your loved ones. I love spending Sundays with my family and enjoy quality time with one another and eat home-made roasts or go out for lunch in a local pub. This weekend I was home from halls, so we decided to make the most of it and eat out, as it meant my mum didn’t have to slave away cooking a roast dinners for hours. Instead she could just relax. After we had finished our lovely meals, we decided to go on a spontaneous family walk to a destination that my parents haven’t been in a long time.

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It was such a beautiful day. This is when I truly knew that Spring was among us, which is confusing considering it was snowing about 10 days ago, which I think sums up British weather perfectly. However, it was cold, but sunny. The trees looked exquisite whilst the sun rested behind them.

We trudged through mud and climbed hills which I was loving as it meant I could burn off the Eton Mess Sundae I had just demolished half an hour before.

Whilst in the midst of my work, I noticed it’s not until you actually look around, that you notice how beautiful the Earth is. Everything looked so perfect, yet so messy, with the different colours and shapes of the trees, the dry and wet mud that was sticking to our shoes, the beautiful sky shining above us, with the sun looming down hitting us every time we moved.

After walking (and stumbling) over many different sticks and clumps of mud, we finally reached our main destination; Dead Mans Plack. I had been here when I was younger but had no recollection. It was sentimental to my Mum as she used to visit here as a child. It’s such an amazing monument that should be more widely recognised. I will certainly be visiting here more often during the Spring/Summer months.

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What am I doing with my feet?

It was then that I noted to myself that I should go on more walks. Explore some more lovely places and embrace the country side whilst being in the beautiful country that is, England.

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What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday? Do you know of any amazing walks?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

 

The Most Underrated Drugstore Foundation?

It wasn’t until the other day when myself and my flatmate were flicking through the aisles of Superdrug, swatching all the many beautiful colours on the backs of our hands and swooning over all the new, shiny products, that I discovered the most underrated drugstore foundation – ever. The Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in ‘100 Ivory’. My flat mate had tried it before and said how good it was, whereas I hadn’t even heard or seen of the product before. So I hastily picked one up since it was on a bargain 2 for £10 offer, plus I thought I had better join the deal with my flatmate (I’m just trying to justify myself spending money) and give this tucked away treasure a try.

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When you think of Rimmel London, to me, it’s all about Wake Me Up and Match Perfection foundation, among others that every single amateur makeup fan would have heard of. However, this one… not so much. Perhaps it’s just me that hasn’t really seen it before in drug stores, maybe I focus on the more liquid foundations in the glass bottles. Or maybe, I just don’t pay enough attention.

I have now been using this product for about a month, and I can tell you, I have been pleasantly surprised. Admittedly, the packaging looks a bit more cheap, as the Rimmel foundations are normally in a Glass bottle with a pump, however this one is in a little plastic tube which needs to be squeezed out. However, the formula is a thick liquid mousse which means that a little goes a long way, (trust me, I only use a small amount and I normally go a bit OTT on foundation), which ultimately means the product itself will last a long time which is great. The foundation itself is also very thin feeling due to its mousse consistency which is great as I hate them foundations that feel really cloggy and thick on my pores. Plus, this foundation is oil free which means it would be great for people with oily skin as it won’t make it worse. Also due to the promising shine control which it guarantees too.

Another amazing added bonus is that this product blends in like a dream. Honestly, I simply apply it with my real techniques buffing brush and it takes seconds for it to have properly blended in which means it’s a great foundation to use if you’re in a rush, as it doesn’t take long at all for it to completely blend in and ready to move on to the next product, which I love. Particularly because most times i’m running late.

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The only downside to this foundation is that I do feel like sometimes it highlights my pores, which is a real shame as it states that it tries to minimise pores. However, in comparison to other drug store foundations its not that bad, as others have been worse.

All in all I love this drug store foundation and is now one of my favourites. Mainly due to its staying power which means I don’t have to worry about touching it up throughout the day, and its lovely matte finish which doesn’t make my skin look dull at all, and its great coverage which can be built upon if necessary.

What foundations do you love that perhaps aren’t that well known?

Much Love,

Ellen Grace X

*Where to buy – http://www.boots.com/en/Rimmel-London-Stay-Matte-Foundation_1378522/ (Be quick! It’s still on the 2 for £10 offer!)*