168 Hours.. 10080 Minutes.. One Week.

It is so nearly time to begin my adventure, and I am so, so, soso ready for it!

This time next week I’ll of landed in Stockholm. I’ll of hopefully navigated my way successfully to my first ever foreign hostel (because a hostel in Bristol doesn’t count!) & I’ll be exploring a beautiful city enjoying my firstsecond, third beer.

The jitters are heavily present. My knees are weak, my arms are heavy, however no vomit or parental spaghetti.. yet.

So! Stockholm comprises of 14 islands.. A lot of space to attempt to cover in 3 days (challenge accepted). I’m going to enjoy it & take my time with what I do and see, but there are definitely a few must see/do’s on my list!

– Gamla Stan & the beautiful coloured houses at Stortorget
– Grönalund – Sweden’s oldest amusement park
– Skansen – The oldest open-air museum in the world (including a ZOO full of Nordic animals!)
– Kungsträdgården – Popular park & decent scenes
– Drottningholm Palace – ..a palace
– The Royal Palace Of Stockholm – ..yup, another palace
– Kumgholmen Island – Stockholm City Hall is on the island, & the views are meant to be pretty nice
– Monteliusvägen – A promenade running along cliffs, again with alleged stellar views
– Djurgården Island – A central island in Stockholm showcasing history, attractions and good food. Oh, and they have spirit tasting sessions.. sold!
– A canal trip from Strömkajen Pier.

I don’t know what to expect, I don’t know how I’m going to feel about anything in a week. All I know is that I’m bare frickin’ excited & ready to face some new challenges & see what I’m capable of solo.

K,x

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Hometown Glory..

When your itching to get away and see the world and all it’s many wonders, home can feel a bit suffocating. Driving the same road, everyday. Going to the same office, everyday. Sitting at the same table, everyday. Sleeping in the same bed, in the same room, everyday. Doing the same thing, every single day.
Yes, it’s a means to an end. It has to be done to progress forward in the grand scheme of things. But shit, it doesn’t half grind you down when you just want to be somewhere else.

Fact of the day: Devon was voted the most desirable place to live in 2015.

A fact I clearly paid no mind to, until this afternoon.

I went on a little adventure to Bigbury, somewhere that holds a lot of fond family memories for me. I can remember days on the beach playing (viciously fighting) with my brother and sister, hunting for any form of edible sea creature on the rocks, being bundled up in towels and a Devon tradition, eating sandy sandwiches.

I cannot believe I live not even 30 minutes away from this wee peace of heaven. I literally have no idea why I haven’t spent every free sunny day down here (soon to change!).

So much YES.

You get so caught up daydreaming about far away destinations & foreign places, that you forget there are some pretty naughty views right on your doorstep.

It’s simple & pretty straight forward to get there (unless your one of those drivers that insist on breaking at every corner and oncoming car – there’s plenty of room, fucking move it!). It’s a lush drive, you go through miles of what has to be some of Devon’s finest countryside and then BAM – sea.

The tide was in when I got there, so you’d need to get the Sea Tractor from Bigbury across to Burgh Island if you wanted to go over. But there was still plenty of beach to sit on & enjoy the sun, and plenty of time to walk over the rocks either way if you wanted to.

 


If you’ve got a few hours to kill on a sunny day and your in the area, all I can say is GO!

Ps, the drive back has bare views..

P1020739

(I was literally on top of my car taking this photo – as you can see from my shadow.. Excellent photography skills there.)

All in all, what could’ve been a mopey, boring Sunday turned into a day full of sunshine and smiles. The world awaits, but home isn’t all that bad.

I’m going to make it my mission for the next 32 days to see (and post about!) as much of Devon & the cracking views it has on offer – which will definitely keep a smile on my face until I’m flying away to Europe!

K,x 

 

 

Sacks & Snaps

The most expensive bag I will ever, ever buy has finally arrived. Alongside the most expensive camera I will ever, ever permit myself to buy. (My savings are screaming at me right now.)


Okay, so my bag is a Vango Freedom, 80+20 Litre. I did a lot of online research on the bag front – the scrimper within wanted to grab an Amazon bargain, but the sensible half of me knew that when future me was crawling on all fours in tears picking my pants up off the floor due to cheap zippers and burst seams I would resent the few quid initially saved.
It has a detachable rucksack on the front (decent for a day out), an adjustable panel for your height on the back (short gal problems) & a good amount of little storage pockets & straps. The bag all in all was rated pretty well online, but we’ll see how well it does when it’s put into action!

My camera. My baby. And by baby I mean I’m viewing it how I actually view babies – I don’t have a clue what I’m doing with it & I’m scared to hold it just in case I drop it.
But all new mumma’s gotta learn, right?
It’s a Panasonic Lumix G2, and from what I’ve figured out so far with it, it’s pretty fucking sa’weeet.

The amount of thought (and money) you need to put into going away is insane. Yes, I’m aware you can’t just quit the 9-5 grind and hop on a plane with a months wages and everything will swing in your favour and fall into your lap. But the amount you burn into your savings just buying stuff to go away with, jeezo

My inital thought was – buy bag, put clothes in bag, passport in hand, go! Right? Wrong!
Hahahahaha let’s all point & laugh at clueless wee Kharris.

Packing cubes. First Aid kits. Padlocks. Portable chargers. Converter plugs. Mini sewing kit. Emergency contacts. Microfibre towels (because a real towel just won’t cut the mustard apparently!). Chargers. Spare chargers. Collapsible bottles. Travel alarm clock. Spare batteries for every single thing you own.
This is just a tiny sample of the endless lists you find online, & indeed end up writing yourself to attempt to prepare. A friend of mine strongly recommended cable ties. Cable ties. I have no idea what I’m ever going to need cable ties for, but I’m a little interested to end up in a situation where I’m thinking “thank fucking God I packed those cable ties”!

Pessimism aside, I’m beyond excited. It’s edging nearer and nearer and although I feel the urge to spew with terror sweep over me when someone starts asking me about the mini adventure, it’s soon replaced with a sense of “ohmyfuckinggodthisishappening” excitement & I just word vomit my plans everywhere to anyone that is within listening range.

My only packing ban is hair based. Am I hell carting around a bulky hairdryer and a set of bashed up GHD’s.
Mismatch plaits & bedhead it is, forgive me Europe.

33 days. 

K,x

An introduction..

Hello!

My name is Kharris Eley, I’m 25 years old and from Devon.. And I haven’t got a clue what I am going to do once I come to terms with the fact I am now an adult.

I went through a few “life adjustments” last year, and after a lot of bad decisions & a lot of cheap wine, I decided to take a bit of a blind leap of faith in myself and throw myself into the world to do some travelling. (Which coincidentally ties in brilliantly with the fact that I am massively in denial & definitely not ready to be a proper adult yet!)
It’s something that has been in the back of my mind on and off for the last few years, but a lack of self belief, confidence and plain just being in opposing situations have always put it on the back burner of my mind.

After my “life adjustments”, a good friend spent a weekend with me excessively drinking, playing Monopoly, eating shite and telling me grand stories of adventures and travels. I laughed and smiled listening to it all, my mind starting to tick. I even got the odd pang of jealousy; shit, what a life for one person to of already had.
That weekend was a game changer for me, I knew the future was lookin’ brighter.
To this friend, this grand story teller – thank you. Your a little prick, but one of my favourite little pricks no less.

So after hour of researching online, posting on forums, reading through travellers blogs and spending a little too long browsing the Travel Section in WHSmith.. The plan is…
– Europe
– Thailand
– Bali
– Australia

However, I’m starting off small with my initial adventuring. I struggle to read a bloody bus timetable, so lord only knows what awaits me in a foreign country. (And I’m a massive chicken. I talk a good game, but my walk isn’t as often or as impressive as I’d like.)
The first on the hit list is Europe. I’m taking 3 weeks out in September to go country hoppin’, to give myself an introduction to what could potentially be the next couple years of my life..
– Stockholm
– Amsterdam
– Berlin
– Budapest
– Prague
– Milan
– Paris

I’m pretty stoked if I’m honest. The idea of being solo and independent is enticing and appealing.. but at the same time terrifying. Utterly fucking terrifying. What happens if I can’t hack a hostel? What happens if I miss a flight/train? What if I have a few too many jars and loose my stuff?
But then again, what happens if I have the most wicked, kick-ass time of my life & enjoy every second?

Time will tell. In 37 days to be precise.

I’m going to write as much as I can (which will also assure my family I haven’t fallen into a black hole), and hopefully be of some use to fellow clueless travel newbies, or at the least provide a laugh and a good story or two!

K,x