This run literally sums me up to a T…I love being active…but then I also love to pig out! Run 5K (3 miles) and be rewarded with chocolate…what more could you want?! I signed up to Hot Chocolate 15K/5K, which as the name suggests has both a 15K (9 miles) and a 5K hot chocolate run. At the moment they have races in 17 cities across the USA (5 being in the Midwest) which are spread out over the ‘winter’ season. I took part in the 5K in Minneapolis, Minnesota!
Every expat’s dream right, when a low cost airline introduces a cheap route home!? At the end of March, Norwegian Airlines started flying between Chicago O’Hare and London Gatwick. I flew over Easter weekend for $500/£350 RETURN, if I wasn’t flying over a peak weekend, it could have potentially been even cheaper. I had booked the Norwegian LowFare, my first time flying long haul with a budget airline and believe it or not, it wasn’t horrendous!
Even on a typical gloomy English bank holiday, Flatford Mill in Suffolk still has a charm about it. This little corner of England is know as ‘Constable Country’ after the famous painter, John Constable found inspiration in the area for some of his artwork, after his parents bought Flatford Mill back in the 1700s. But there are records of a mill being at Flatford written in the Domesday book which dates back nearly 1000 years ago! (William The Conquerer ‘surveyed’ the whole of England and Wales in 1087 to determine land taxes across the country and the findings were recorded in the Domesday Book).
I don’t know about you, but I find going to the toilet a bit of a chore. Especially when you travel! I’m sure you can all relate, wandering around a city bursting for a pee and attempting to find a public bathroom (Venice, I’m looking at you with your ‘follow’ the WC graffiti for miles just to pay 1.50Euro just to relieve yourself…or Mostar when I paid to use the toilet to discover there was NO toilet, just a hole in the ground, that felt like the biggest rip off ever!). Or having to hold on for hours on a long bus journey. However, sometimes the toilet stops can surprise you, they appear in the most beautiful locations and offer you amazing views from the loo and suddenly it turns a mundane task into a memorable experience!
One of my favourite souvenirs that I always pick up on my trips, is what I like to call my ‘travel bracelets’! They are often cheap, come in a whole range of different colours and you don’t need to worry about needing to have space in your luggage because you just chuck them on your arm. Problem solved! Once they make ‘the arm’, I rarely take them off, they have to withstand the sea, swimming pools, baths etc and to be honest, a lot of them don’t stand the test of time. They end up snapping or just look manky. Apart from two. My El Camino bracelet and my Pura Vida bracelets! At the bottom of the post I share my Pura Vida coupon code to receive 20% off their travel bracelets, so keep reading!
I honestly can’t believe that Tibidabo Amusement Park doesn’t appear on more Barcelona itineraries. Ok so you’re not a fan of amusement parks? Well what if I told you that the Tibidabo Skywalk is completely free to enter, offers panoramic views across the city of Barcelona (it is on the top of Mount Tibidabo after all!) and has fairground rides that are almost 100 years old? The Tibidabo Skywalk is where some of my all time favourite travel photos have been taken. It should definitely be visited during a trip to Barcelona!
When it comes to travel packing lists and ‘must have travel gadgets’, I can’t believe I’ve always overlooked the item I’d feel most naked without and there’s a good reason for it…literally because I NEVER take it off. Ever. It’s like a permanent part of me! I am a huge fan of Baby G (G Shock) watches by Casio. In my opinion they are the best waterproof dual timezone watch out there and an important part of my travel routines!
I’m sure I’m not the only British person to have been excited by the American superstore Walmart…I remember when I was preparing for Camp America one of the pieces of advice from returning camp counsellors was “don’t worry about packing too much, the camp director takes everyone on a Walmart run in the first few days”. So Walmart was built up as being the best place ever because if they don’t sell it…then you probably don’t need it, whatever you need, you can get it! When planning our Route 66 itinerary, we even factored in a Walmart stop ‘supermarket sweep’ style…grab a trolley/cart, you have 45 minutes to grab everything in sight!