solo travel teachings #3: experience & growth

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My experiences from traveling solo vary. I can have a very chilled out to a very overwhelming experience. Nevertheless, all experiences are welcome and make you all the wiser.
Once I have started traveling on my own I realized the many things I am capable of doing by myself. You are completely dependent on yourself. You learn to follow your instinct more and trust that you can accomplish all the things you set out to do.
I have learned to be OK on my own. And as scary and lonely as that may sound to many people, I enjoy my solitude to the fullest.

used to buy a lot of souvenirs during my travels. I am a collector of junk I like to say about myself. Come Spring cleaning, and all I can think of is what in the hell was I thinking of buying all those trinkets. Some things I end up keeping; but most of it, I bin. Throughout the years I have come to the realization that creating memories and living in the moment is more valuable than tangible objects. Buying useless objects pale in comparison to the feelings you have while doing something for the first time by yourself. It is one of the greatest gifts and most satisfying feeling ever.

So instead of doing that (buying sh*t that will collect dust on my shelves), I decided to document my experiences on paper in a journal and add little mementos I find along the way. Writing stuff down has always been a thing of mine. For as long as I can remember I would always have a notebook of some sort, where I would write a bunch of stuff. Good, bad, silly things, just thoughts, ideas, wishes, and feelings. It is such a cathartic activity. I of course capture moments, and share this on my Instagram account, but the jotting down of your day at the end of it makes it all the more special.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned whilst traveling alone is trusting myself. Trust that I can do things on my own, without panicking over every little thing. I do not need constant validation of what I am doing if I am something good or not. I struggle with this in my daily life, as I can be a very indecisive person (Libra’s what can I say).
You have to push your fears aside and jump into the unknown with two feet. I have come to meet myself again and again in all these moments. And all I can say is how truly proud I am of just trusting myself and pushing through my fears.

Life Quote: If you’re going to trust one person, let it be yourself. - Robert Tew
from: livelifehappy.com

I have become courageous and more independent because all I have is me. I haven’t had much luck meeting a lot of new people during my travels yet, which is fine. That is not really the purpose of me grabbing my sh*t and venturing off on my own. But when I do meet people, I can honestly say, they are the most fun, genuine people I could meet. This for me is the ultimate because you remove the stigma you may have of certain countries, people and cultures. You realize how much alike each of us is. We are all roaming around on this planet with ideas, hopes, and dreams. And when you meet these people, you not only share your knowledge but you learn. We keep on learning every day. Not only about ourselves, but about other people. I mean there is no better souvenir than that!
#knowledgeispower

I always go to places with an open mind. And even though I am not a fan of surprises,(hence my first post; research and planning) I try to let loose as much as possible while still staying alert of my surroundings. I don’t set my expectations too high for fear of disappointments. However, the reality of it is, I have never been disappointed so far! Most of my travels actually exceed my expectations. Maybe because I don’t expect anything? Could be the case! LOL, IDK, but this is my truth.

I encourage you to push yourself to do something you have never done before, try out new things, eat new foods, meet new people (or not) and create memories of your experiences.
Trust yourself, and go out there and learn. About yourself, about other people and your surroundings.
It doesn’t even have to be solo traveling all the way to a different country. I mean let’s be honest, you can have a ball in your city, just by going to do stuff you’ve never done before. For fun. For enjoyment. For laif’s sake! Go!

Thank you for reading dushi’s!
Read you in the next post!
#livelalaif

 

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solo travel teachings #2: tips&tricks

Now that I am all set with my tickets and accommodation booked, have all the information I can gather – I’m ready to go! Or am I?
I want to share some tips and tricks that I have “mastered” so far when it comes to solo traveling and traveling in general, really. Also, I am very much open to suggestions if anyone out there has tips, or can share their experiences on this post. Please feel free to add these in the comments 🙂

First things first and this might be a DUH, OBVI, to everyone, but believe me it can happen that you forget your documentation! Knock on wood, it has never happened to me, but this is one of the first things I pack in my carry-on.

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Must pack carry-on:
One of the first things I pack when I am traveling is my passport. I literally grab it and put it in my bag. For comfort, I usually travel with a small backpack and a small cabin size trolley (of course this all depends on which airline I am flying with).

>Passport (or travel documentation) I also always have a copy (or copies) of my documentation with me.
>Paper confirmations
This is a habit I have that I always take confirmations of my flight itinerary, accommodation reservation, and other confirmations I have for i.e. excursions, airport shuttles, etc.
>Emergency contact cards – this is a relatively new thing I do. I take with me contact cards, made by yours truly, with me. It has basic information about my emergency contacts. I keep this together with my paper confirmations.
>Insurance cards – this is supposed to be a no-brainer. But really, sometimes you just don’t take into account the importance of traveling with your insurance card(s). This I always carry with me in my wallet.
>Notebook – I always take one (of the many) notebooks I have for journaling (I will have a full post on this hobby of mine). I take pictures and film as well when traveling, but there is something about journaling that makes creating these memories all the more special. I save little mementos and add these to my writings. I enjoy writing about the events of that day and write my gratitude’s in here as well.
>Book – I sometimes take a small book with me on trips, because I like to read. It also entertains me and makes the time pass faster while on the plane or when waiting for my flight, or bus, or train. It depends on how much space I have in my backpack, because I also have a Kindle so I take either, or sometimes both LOL! 

Of course, I take my phone with me. I carry that thing around like it’s a human. I do a lot on my phone so therefore I need to have it with me at ALL TIMES! I am sure many of you can relate to this. Which brings me to the next couple of tips.

APPS or Phone Applications:
I have a bunch of apps on my phone that are so useful when traveling. If you have space; download them! Some of them have been my lifesavers!

>Airline apps – whichever airline you are flying with. You can get push notifications of gate changes, delays, and canceled flights and general information. Also, your itinerary will be stored in the app. PLUS you can save miles and points depending on the carrier.

 

Wallet – This is an iPhone app, not sure if other devices have something similar. But it basically keeps all your boarding passes and booking confirmations in one place. Which makes boarding and checking-in super easy. Have yet to see a hotel actually use the QR code for checking in, but you get the point.

>Accommodation apps – Booking.com, Airbnb, Hotels.com, whichever one you booked with. Again, this is not only for searching and booking but it is also a handy tool to prove you have a reservation with said accommodation.

>Foursquare – what a lifesaver this one! Check my post on Copenhagen, you will see what I mean. This app is truly amazing! You can find places to eat, bars to drink at and clubs to dance the night away, according to your budget and taste!

>Google Maps – I can’t imagine my life without Google Maps. Really, I can’t. I get lost more often than not. So, for me having this app at my fingertips is crucial.

>XE Exchange – I like this app a lot, as it is according to the Internet the best one out there. You can use it offline, but first, you will need to download the currencies (so it can convert the rates) that you will be using. This helps me to keep track and save money when dealing with unfamiliar currencies and exchange rates.

>Uber – I’m aware that this service is not available in all countries but, since I use it here in Prague, and have used it before in other European countries I still recommend to have this app. I am all about keeping the costs as low as possible, and if I can walk or use public transportation, I will do that of course. But sometimes you can find yourself in a pinch, and well, Uber can save the day let me tell you.

These are the main apps I use when traveling. But by online recommendation you can always download and use the following:
>Tripadvisor
>Google translate
>Kayak

Other apps that I recommend in case applicable are public transportation apps, translation apps, other taxi apps. Just do your research and download the apps that you like and that will be useful to you and your trip.

International SIM Card
If you are traveling outside of your region, I suggest you get either an international sim-card or buy a sim-card of the local telecom providers in the country you are visiting. Me personally because of my location I did not have to buy an international sim-card. However, I did buy local sim-cards. This is a small investment to make, that will ensure you being online and reachable at all times. Unless of course, you don’t want to be reached … I mean that is cool too 😉 I can dig it.

TREZORwallet
Read more about international sim-cars by clicking below. Source: https://www.finder.com.au/international-sim-cards

Currencies aka dinero aka money

Since I live in the Czech Republic our currency is the Czech Crown, better known as CZK. This means that I always have to exchange money. For me it is a must, to have the currency of the country I am visiting at hand. I might not have a whole lot exchanged, but at least a bit of pocket money to get me going.

I do this because, first, you might need it as soon as you arrive at your destination. You can take money out of the ATM, but sometimes the exchange rates are bananas and the fees you might get charged… it’s a no for me. The exchange offices at the airports might do the same, and don’t even get me started on the long queue of passengers waiting to exchange money as well! Hard pass for me. I want to get my trip started as soon as I land,  and all these administrative things just waste precious time.
UNLESS of course … there is always an exception, lol story of my laif. Unless you can’t get a hold of the foreign currency in question. Which has happened to me in the midst of preparing for my trip to Marrakesh (post will follow), where my lovely and trusted exchange guys did not have any Dirhams to sell me. Such a bummer!

So, if you can exchange money prior to travel, do so. I mean why not? It not only gives you peace of mind but also it helps when it comes to budgeting your trip. You know how much cash you have, therefore you know how much you can spend or can not. It is all about control.  I chuckle each time when I look at my “foreign money” wallet, and I’m like, well, there it is, you’ve spent it all! LOL.

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Technology/Gadgets must-pack:
First things first, always charge your devices prior to closing the door behind you and leave. LOL. I can not stress the importance of having whichever devices you are taking with you fully charged. I always keep my “tech” stuff in a pouch all together so I can reach them easily when needed.

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>Tripod/selfie stick – sick and tired of asking people to take your photo, or not having anyone to take a decent photo of you? Well, the answer is simple: get yourself a 3 in 1 selfie stick! This is a genius invention that I never leave the house without. Not only is this tool a selfie stick, but it converts into a tripod, that you can mount your device to, and sync it with it too! Comes with a Bluetooth remote and it is so lightweight you won’t have trouble carrying it around all day.
>Power-bank (external charger) – read the beginning of this section! Always have your devices charged! And I mean all devices. I own a pretty powerful Power-bank (ahem!) which has 20000 mAh. Which is good right? Well, this is what I have been told. This means that I am not supposed to be out of battery ever! LOL 🙂 I invested in a Power-bank that will last me a while and from a brand I trust. But of course, it doesn’t matter which brand it is, as long as it serves its purpose. Get yourself an external charger and make sure it’s always charged 🙂
>USB charging cables – I mean, what’s the point of having a kick-ass external charger if you don’t bring the cables to actually charge your devices with? A bit self-explanatory I think. 
>International adapter – this a bit of a bulky item, not going to lie. But I take it with me especially on flights outside the region where I know that I will need it. It is by far one of the handiest pieces of tech out there, and if you can, I suggest you get one.
>Kindle – even though I sometimes take a book with me, or buy a book at the airport (it’s a damn obsession I can’t seem to ween myself off!) I take my Kindle with me. I download books in advanced so they can keep me company on the road. Also, Kindle is such a space saver. It is so compact and weighs close to nothing.
>Headphones/AirPods – I always listen to podcasts or music when I am roaming around at the airport. I like to have options with me when it comes to headphones, as the new model phones to not have the regular jack that plugs in the plane to watch the entertainment. I take the old school ones with me just in case, AirPods, as well as noise-canceling headphones. IDK, I just like to be prepared.

I don’t usually travel with these, but these are also pieces of tech that could be crucial to your trip.
>Camera + backup batteries – I don’t own a camera right now. I mean I do, but I don’t use it anymore. It is time to cut corners and start saving! 🙂 I am thinking of investing in a kick-ass camera to soon start even more moments.
>Laptop/Tablet – Either for entertainment or work. For me, it is a bit of a hassle taking my laptop with me. Trying to travel light here!
>External drive (back up) – if you are doing a bunch of work, editing, blogging or whatever it is you do you on your computer, I recommend taking your external drive with you. I always do (when I take my laptop) and save my stuff on there just to be on the safe side.

Ask for tips:

I finally arrive at my destination with all my devices charged and my paper confirmations in tow. And now?
What I always do after I have settled in, is I ask the host where I am staying at, to provide me with some tips. Sometimes I don’t even have to ask, I am offered this instantly; maybe I have this invisible sign on my forehead stating “this one gets lost a lot, help her!” LOL! It is good to ask questions to support your research just because a local always knows the country or city better.
For me, it is important to know which places to avoid or how to act in certain situations. Example: a crowded market or which areas to dodge after the sun sets.
I take the business card of the accommodation or the phone number of said host. And then I am off to exploring.

Act Local

As much as you possibly can, try to act local. There is nothing worse than being a tourist and sticking out like a sore thumb. I mean, at least for me. I would like to be as much as I can, part of the culture, the day to day of the people. I like to feel that I am part of all of it for the time I am there. I have done the research, I have informed myself, now, I should dive into the culture and squeeze the maximum out of the experience.

Stay alert 

Be aware and stay alert of your surroundings. Discovering a new place can be overwhelming sometimes. There is so much going on and you can easily lose your focus. You then can become an easy target for anything malicious; from being pick-pocketed or being “harassed” by sellers and fake tour guides.
Remain calm and find your way to a calm place where there is still traffic and people and collect your thoughts.
When I get overwhelmed or lost (usually both simultaneously) I enter a store or a restaurant and there ask for directions or assistance if needed.

The most important tip from me is to go with your gut instinct. Go explore, get lost, get lost some more and find yourself. There is nothing wrong with getting lost, that is part of the experience. Just know that if you ask for help and trust yourself you will always find your way back to where you need to be.
Above all, soak it all in and have loads of fun!

Thank you for reading dushi’s! Stay tuned for part III on Experience & Growth coming your way soon!
#livelalaif

solo travel teachings #1: research & planning

I’m obsessed with Canva; I use it to create amazing posts

How do you go about planning a solo trip? Any trip for that matter? Are you like me, a very calculated adventurer? For the first part of the 3 part series in my solo travel teachings, I want to deep dive in what for me are one of the most important aspects of traveling: research & planning.
It all starts with an idea, right? Somehow you came about the idea that you want to travel, accompanied or solo. What I am about to get into is mostly for short spontaneous trips that usually take place within a couple of months or so (sometimes) less after planning.

You have this urge to get out of your daily life and routines, perhaps even responsibilities and just grab a bag and go. I feel you! Been there, still there. LOL! I am somehow always secretly planning and plotting, counting, converting in how, what, why, when. Well, the why is almost always clear; you want to get out and explore. (For whichever reason; disconnecting, a break, finding yourself).

These are not really steps on how to plan – it’s just my MO. Let’s get into it!

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Can I afford it?
I always start with checking my bank account, LOL! I mean seriously, the idea is to enjoy laif without going absolutely broke or discard your other financial responsibilities. #adultingishard
The questions to myself are always: do you have the necessary funds to support yourself during and especially after the trip? Once I have pulled out the calculator and crunched the numbers, and the answer is YES, I take a look at where my budget allows me to go, LOL!

Where to girl?
Like I said this is what I do for my spontaneous short trips. If I am planning to go to the Caribbean (aka HOME, that’s a whole nother ball game!).
Skyscanner’s option for travel “everywhere” is by far the best invention of all time, I mean really, try this. I usually check the whole month that I might be interested in traveling and pick out the lowest priced tickets to the country/city that interest me.
Flying during the week is sometimes less expensive than say flying out on a Friday – but this all depends on how flexible you are and how many days you still have of PTO (paid time off) if you’re working, etc.


5* hotel or?
N
ow it’s time to roll up my sleeves and really get into where the hell I am going to stay. Simultaneously while checking flights I check accommodations as well. I have been using Booking for a while now, I like their prices and the user friendliness of their interface. Also, I’m a genius member and I get some percentage off my bookings sometimes. Which is always great! Again, it comes down to the same issue here is well, where does my budget allow me to stay? It’s a matter of choosing a cozy 1* close to the center or choosing a 4* IN the center and blow all your budget on that. Up to you, look in your account and see what you can afford. Me personally, I tend to gravitate towards smaller cozier hotels or B&B’s. If there is a sweet deal on a room in a chain hotel, and by sweet I mean realllllyyyy sweet, I might go for that, but usually, it is a mid-range, mid-size place that includes the amenities I need:
bed, shower, 24hr reception, good location, if breakfast is included even better!

Main drivers when choosing accommodation

Price: $-$$
Location: SO important, as I am traveling alone I need to stay in a place where is central, and safe. I mean I wouldn’t know that for sure until I get there, but that is why for me, it is key to stay as close to the city center as possible
Good reviews: I like reading reviews. Not only are they informative, but some are also very entertaining. I’d like to kinda know what to expect, and some reviewers are really thorough. It gives me like a sense of comfort like “Hey Bart just scored this place a 7, based on everything I want to, I’ll take it. I trust Bart” or reviews like “The bathroom was disgusting – Janice” I will trust Janice on that one and move on to the next property. You know what I mean? Like I really trust that people are reviewing honestly. Am I being naive? LOL! IDK, who cares, this is what I do!

I did try AirBnB once a few years ago though – but I wasn’t super happy with the experience. I might give it another go on my next trip, as I have heard nothing but good things about this service.

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me – about to start my research

What is this place about?
Now, it is time for me to frantically search the Internet and find out as possible and as much information my brain can contain about this place I am going to. This is my favorite part! I am a pretty visual person, so I like to watch YouTube videos or any videos that are informative about that specific place. This is also where I “meet” fascinating people traveling around, and I become an instant subscriber or I go follow them on Instagram. Stalker alert! haha!
From here on I also start drafting the many to-do, to-eat, and to-see lists. I have a weird habit of creating lists for almost anything. Preferably on sticky notes.

What I search for:
> Local food
> Must-see historical places
> What to avoid (like eating in touristy overpriced restaurants rather than at the local cafeteria)
> Where definitely you should not go (neighborhoods, and areas)
> Local events that are happening while there

What I need to know prior:
> Public transportation
> Currency (more on this in the next series)
> And the top things or basic things if you will, I need to know about the culture (language, customs, religion, etc) I need to know these things, because the one thing I’m NOT about to do, is to be unprepared or offend anyone in their own country.

Like I said, I like to watch video’s, while doing my research, because it’s so entertaining. However, I do visit famous sites like Tripadvisor, and many blogs I come in touch with while Google-ing. I spent a decent amount of time on this. Also, if I know someone who has been to this particular place, I might shoot them with some questions as well. The more I know, the better. Knowledge is and will always remain power!

Thank you for reading dushi’s! Stay tuned for part II on Tips &Tricks coming your way soon!
#livelalaif

solo travel teachings: a series

2 years ago my travel mantra was “travel by any means”. I chuckle when I re-read my old posts, or look at my older Instagram photos from just 2 years ago. I often read my journals and notes, and I think to myself who is this person? Of course in the sweetest way possible. I am very careful with my wording nowadays with how I speak to myself. Thank you, Rachel Hollis! ❤


It’s so crazy to me how much I have changed and grown in the past 24 months. And that’s the thing I don’t even realize this until I look back an reflect on the past months or weeks or so of my life. Mind blowing really!
By the way – I still strongly believe in travel by any means, getting there is half the fun!

the only expectation we should live up to, is our own.

One of the main drivers for me growing into this amazing person I am today, is travelling. Especially solo travelling. And yes, I just said it: I am an amazing person, because I really am! I practice self love so hard, I honestly love myself more and more each day. You should try it! 🙂 But I regress.
When I mentioned before (2 years ago) that solo traveling was the best gift you can give yourself, I wasn’t lying. The thing however is, I didn’t expect ALL that I would get out of it. It is legit a gift that keeps on giving.

The Internet and the amazing people that roam around in it have given me so much insight and information as well.

I don’t want this post to be too long for you to lose interest; so I will be posting parts of my whole thoughts, tips and tricks, and experiences about solo traveling. A series if you will. I will cover my ideas and this is solely based on my own personal experiences. Although I am not going to be greedy and take all the credit for myself. The Internet and the amazing people that roam around in it have given me so much insight and information as well.

So, be on the lookout the coming days to read all about my solo traveling!

Thank you dushi’s!

 

 

just be consistent

Totally struggling with being consistent in my work, daily routines, and hobbies.

Consistency is key! That’s what I keep telling myself day in day out. I provide this advice to my friends seeking clarity on how I get shit done on the daily, however, I myself do not consistently act consistently. I am the type of person that can give awesome advice and really motivate people, but I myself struggle to follow through with my own advice for myself. Ain’t that a b*tch?

I struggle with keeping my word to myself. “Today I will post something. I will write that post on whatever! I will take an awesome picture for my Instagram, I will do it!” Rolling my eyes at myself. Hours and days pass, weeks go by and I am so embarrassed to admit that even years have passed since I actively posted something, anything.

Feeling uninspired is one thing, but for me, it’s more like, no one will read this sh*t anyway so why bother. I’m not even sure anymore of why I even wanted to start a blog in the first place. Or that Instagram page that is collecting cobwebs. I think it’s because I think that whatever I have to say, or show doesn’t have meaning. So then why do it right?

And then I am being told by my peers that (some) of the things I say do matter. And then I get so pumped up and start doing some research or tell myself I will get on it tonight, straight after work, I will sit my butt down and actually do something. Then, I get either lazy, distracted or discouraged. Or maybe a combination of all of those things. I’m a creature of habit, somewhere I think I might have mentioned this before. However, the one thing I can’t seem to make a habit of is being consistent. Honestly, it really pisses me off.

So in attempt at being consistent and also keeping my word to myself, I will post this as a reminder that I need to remain consistent and that what I have to say, and the experiences I want to share matter. It may not reach many people, but that’s okay too. The bottom line for me is that I am creating for myself. I want to do this because at a certain point in time I found joy in writing and sharing. I may not be the best writer, creator, or photographer, but hey, but practice and consistency make perfect. In the same breath, I do not wish to be perfect either, because that is one of the things that I am certainly not. No one is really. I just have to do whatever it is that makes me happy and that brings me joy. And if it happens to make other people happy as well, well, that’s a win-win.

With that being said, here I post the first post in many posts yet to come. Living by one of my life motto’s: If not now then cuando? Pressing the publish button in 3, 2,1 …..

the whats and the whys: Copenhagen

I normally want to have a structure while posting on my blog. But as always me being my chaotic self, I forget or I just start typing and let the words take over.

In my previous post just go on a road trip, Budapest, I had a pretty okay structure on the hows, the whats, and the whys behind that trip. The intention is to have it like so for each post

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Nyhavn’s famous colorful buildings

as it makes it clearer and more pleasant to read.  More so for me, but also for any readers out there. I already wrote about the how and basically wrote about one of the whats (what I have learned) so now I can write about the other what and the other why.

Why I did it: 

First of all, traveling solo was an item on my bucket list. I have never done it before. I mean, I have traveled to places alone, but I am always meeting people at the destination, like friends and or family.
I did it to prove a point, mostly to myself, that I can do things I want to do, alone. There is

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mastering the mirror selfie

absolutely nothing wrong with that: being alone. I am a bit of a loner anyways, but to go on a trip all by myself scared the shit out of me, to be honest. It was a kick in my own ass to realize how independent, confident and strong I can be. After this trip, I realized how unstoppable I can really be.  I need to push myself more!

What I did:

Copenhagen is gorgeous! I like the order and the cleanliness of the city. The friendly people and the dogs. They are a very dog-friendly city.

IMG_6048I visited most common points of interest: the Little Mermaid, Nyhavn, Papirøen indoor street food market, Christiana Freetown, and the hip Nørrebro area. I walked around the river and made sure I would stop or take a turn when I saw something interesting, like the colorful houses.
The weather permitted some great shots, and endless walking in the sunshine. I wasn’t used to the heavy winds of Copenhagen,

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street art in Nørrebro

being at the sea-side and all.  Except for my hair not really standing it, it was absolutely fine!

I endured 40 minutes of the Change of Guard, I have a thing for changing of the guards, I really don’t know why.  It fascinates me.  Also, they have really cute furry hats.

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the guards

What I learned:

First of all, I can do anything.  I learned that I need to trust myself more, my instinct, my gut. I learned to enjoy the most simple things, like a quiet walk in the park on a Saturday morning. I should do more of that!
I again learned to be even more patient with myself, and trust the process. I had so much time to be with myself, that I enjoyed my own company more than I have in years. I surprised myself on how I can go at it alone. And I learned to laugh at myself and take things with a grain of salt. I would tell myself “relaaaaxxxxxx girllll”. I feel like I am repeating myself a bit, but that’s okay, it’s worth repeating.
But one of the most important things I took out of this trip was, that I should invest more in myself, in experiences rather than things!

Follow me on Instagram LIVELAIF for more pictures of this trip! ❤
#livelalaif
#copenhagen

Copenhagen grid
Nyhavn, the Little Mermaid, Christiania Freetown

how I did Copenhagen on a budget

Again my posts are not about reviewing the places I go to. I simply write my experiences on here, if anyone can take something from it, cool, if not, that is cool too!
I find my reviews and tips on apps and sites just like (I assume) everyone else does, prior to planning a trip or visiting someplace (restaurant, museum, etc.).

I planned a 4 day trip to Copenhagen, without blowing my budget I had set, which was €200. Now you must think HOW IN THE HELL? Well, here is how I did it:

Tickets: €55
Accommodation: €77
Public Transport: €10 (2 one-way tickets from and to the airport)
The leftover money was spent on food, drinks and souvenirs, impressive ha? Mind you I ate proper food and had proper drinks.

First of all, I got a really sweet deal with the tickets. I use Skyscanner to find tickets, going everywhere, or somewhere specific. I wrote about that in my previous post “just plan solo travel”. Norwegian airlines is the Scandinavian low-cost airline and they offer a direct flight from PRG to CPH.
Next, I wasn’t too particular about the accommodation. I knew that if I wanted to stay in IMG_6202the city center (which I did), I would be paying a massive amount of cash. I did not want that. I got myself a well-situated hostel named Hotel Jørgensen which

Hostel Jorgensen
hostel Jørgensen

seemed too good to be true on the photos, and it was. LOL! Hey, you get what you pay for! And I was, to be honest very unbothered, I just needed a place to lay my head at night and for that, it served its purpose, fully.

 

Transportation in Denmark costs an eye, literally. Compared to what I pay in Prague a month, you can pay for a 72-hour ticket. My answer to that was: HELL TO THE NO! I am glad I did not waste money on metro tickets, because Copenhagen is best enjoyed by walking or biking. And by walking I mean you can easily walk 15 KM a day, like me. The money I saved (€27 to be exact) on transportation, I used to buy some cute souvenirs and beer!

Food & Beverages is technically what you spend the most on when you are on holidays. However, thanks to Foursquare I was able to visit really nice places that didn’t break my wallet. My 2 favorites of the trip were Grisen, where I had a typical Danish hot dog, and Next Door Cafe where they make pancakes that will blow your mind!

CPH Food
looking back at the pictures makes my mouth water

The hostel was close to a budget supermarket (yay for me!) where I would get water, snacks and of course beers. I always carried a bottle of water with me and some snacks on the way. This is handy because after all that walking you need to stay hydrated and fuel yourself. Here is where I think, next to public transportation, I saved the most. Because it avoided me going to expensive places for a quick bite.

Sincerely, I think that if you follow your set budget, you can easily travel anywhere. I treated myself to (supermarket bought) beer every evening, and when I went to dinner I would have a beer as well. I enjoy beers a lot as you can tell.

Here are my go-to apps for everything:

  • Foursquare: here I find all the restaurants and bars that are in my vicinity. I always filter based on price as I like to keep a close eye on my budget.
  • Google: self-explanatory really.
  • Google maps: I ended up removing the Apple Maps on my phone, as Google maps is way more effective.
  • Tripadvisor: now, I don’t use this one as regularly, but it is always one of the first hits once you Google something.
  • Google translate: good to have, in general
  • Currency Converter: it’s always good to cross-check how much you are paying for something abroad to compare with prices at home.

Solo travel on a budget is possible, people!

#budgetravel
#livelalaif

Follow me on my Instagram LIVELALAIF for more photos on this trip! ❤

solo trip: the best gift you can give yourself

Finally, I checked an item off the long bucket list! A solo trip planned (carefully) and executed by yours truly.
As mentioned before, in my previous post just plan a solo trip, I finally did it!

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waiting at an empty airport

I went to Copenhagen the capital of Denmark for a 4-day stay. I don’t think I can explain in ONE word how I have experienced this trip because I was overwhelmed with emotions (positive ones). But if I really had to, I would say in one word it was SURREAL.

It was a pre-birthday gift to myself, and I wish I had done it sooner, really, like 10 years ago. I don’t remember how long ago I was genuinely this happy. I am not saying it was surreal, because of the city, I mean Copenhagen is absolutely beautiful. But I mean it more in the sense that for me being there was surreal.

Given the fact that I am an island girl, coming from 10.000 KM away, all the way to Europe, I never in my life thought I would be traveling alone at this age. I know that A LOT of people have done it, and are still doing it, but for me, it was not something that was usual, where I am from you either travel in a group (family, friends, school mates) or you don’t. Everything and everywhere is “dangerous”, and you should never go abroad alone, especially as a young woman. Oh, how limited I was.

I really was on my own and had no obligations nor did I have to take others into consideration. Selfishly moving around and doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. How FREEING is that?
I mastered half-face selfie-taking, finally let my hair down and used my selfie-stick shamelessly, and dining alone has become so normal, that I really enjoy chow time by myself (more than I already did).

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#windowselfie #noshame

 

I smiled each time I would see my reflection in windows, and I would pat myself on the back in my head. “You are doing this girl, you really are”, I would say to myself.
Traveling solo is the best gift you can give yourself, and now, I am more encouraged than ever to continue the solo movement.

 

While falling in love with the beautiful city of Copenhagen, I realized how I was falling in love with myself. How I should be proud of my achievements regardless of how big or small. I realized that I should take more time for myself, to keep my sanity. Take a break from people, work, friends, life in general. Enjoy the quiet moments with myself, whether it is by walking, eating dinner, or just sitting on a bench and enjoying my surroundings.

#solotraveler
#missionaccomplished

Follow my Instagram LIVELALAIF to see more pictures on this trip! ❤

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Norwegian airlines made sure the ride was bump-less 🙂

online dating

I decided to “put myself out there” and try dating.com to see what the market has to offer. I was a Tinder user (no shame everyone does it, stop judging). After realizing I was way over the whole online dating scene, I deleted Tinder (creates more space on my phone).

I don’t know what inspired me to go on this site, really. Maybe the fact that I had a few glasses of wine, a few too many honestly; I decided to go for it.  It was legit the worst 20 minutes of my life. The time I will never get back. It is worst than Tinder and the men on there, send the most ridiculous messages ever. Examples:

“Do you think about your childhood when you look at the stars”
“I hope you dream about me because I do”
“I will cook you an unforgettable dinner”
“I think about kissing your lips all the time”

EH Q YOU! I have legit created this account like 5 minutes ago, I have a half-faced picture on there, where you can’t even see my lips, let alone think about kissing them! I wondered perhaps they were like generic messages sent out, but to be honest I really think these users use these atrocious icebreakers. Ugh, boy bye!

Needless to say, I have sent a request to cancel my subscription asap. I don’t have time for this, like seriously. I have seen advertisements on the internet and on TV, about how people actually find “love” on these platforms. Is this all a lie, or am I just unlucky? I mean I am not looking for love (right now), I just wanted to look around, but I should know better.

I am not missing out on anything, and like one of my best friends says, meeting people in real life creates a bigger chance of things actually clicking between two people.
Also, I have realized that I would never settle for anything less than what I feel I deserve. Therefore, here is to another year of being single! Hooray!

 

just plan a solo trip

Sitting behind the computer all day reading travel articles and looking at beautiful pictures of destinations, I decided it was time I did something about my own traveling. It was time I stopped dreaming about it, and actually did something about it.

But how? I am on a different (to not say devalued) currency, always by “accident” run into H&M and buy all these items I can only wear once a year and have an obsession with buying cosmetics and hair products.

I realized how much money is being spent on all these “things” I actually don’t really need (I mean having 4 bottles of shampoo is going a bit overboard, yeah?). So, okay no more buying shampoo for a while, saving some bucks here, right?

Cool, got that sorted, no more spending on “things”. Now, where the hell am I gonna go? Where can this budget-conscious girl travel to, without breaking her wallet and regretting not buying more shampoo instead? I decided to let the Internet choose for me, as what I really wanted was (and still is) going to some far island in the Pacific, but my Visa said, think again!

Don’t know where you can go, according to your budget? Let SkyScanner do the job for you!

Chose the dates, added my departing airport and arriving at: everywhere! Had some typical hits, The Netherlands (meh, lived there), Belgium (Nah, done that) and then BOOM! Denmark showed up at a price which made me literally swipe my card in 3 minutes. (No, it was more like 30 minutes, but you get the point, I was like daayuuummm!). Got my self a round-trip ticket to the capital of Denmark for just €55! #sweetdeal

Now here comes the part where I didn’t think things through properly (as per usual). Denmark, being one of the most expensive of the Scandinavian countries (technically all of the Scandinavian countries are expensive, *sigh*)I was in for a challenge to find a nice accommodation, well located, that is “affordable” (for Danish standards). I said to myself, whatever is the cheapest, you take it. And so I did find. the. cheapest. at €75 for a 3 nights stay, I get to share a room with 11 strangers. And oh boy, am I excited! No, not really, but since I have little to zero experience in hostels, I will take the risk in sleeping in a noisy room, with people I don’t know and whom I probably will never see again. I have no shame in staying at a hostel (as a 30+), as I am sure I will most likely use that bed for the minimum amount of hours. #challengeaccepted

The goal is to experience new things, not to go completely broke, just to show you can travel and stay at a “fancy” accomodation. I live and travel according to what I can afford. Laif continues after you come back from holidays, and at home I have a nice, comfy bed! 🙂

So after careful calculation, planning, doubting, over-thinking, at one point deciding to cancel the whole trip, I am packing my bags and leaving for my first solo trip ever to Copenhagen, Denmark! #packandgo #letthecountdownbegin

MapsDenm
you either love my art or you hate it

Follow my Instagram “livelalaif” for the stories and pictures of this trip!