A Massive Travel Blogging Challenge
It isn't often that I post about 'me' or even something vaguely personal beyond my feelings about a location. However, for the second time this year I am completing a massive blog challenge with an online group of travel bloggers (more about that in a bit).
The challenge is to blog every day for the whole of September. I usually post every day, but sometimes it is just a brief summary about a photograph I have taken with no significance or use.
This challenge will ensure that all my posts are useful and take my little corner of the internet to a better place (well there is hope!).
Challenge one was to answer some questions about my travelling! Now, some of you think that I am 'always' away or off doing exciting things. In reality, I spend a lot of time at home and hopefully these answers will show that!
A Bit About Me
So, what do you want to know? I am a forty something widowed mum to two teenage boys. My home is a muddy mess of sweaty socks, swim gear and rugby boots. My travels, photography and blog are my 'me' times and a chance for me and my boys to be in each others company doing something that we all enjoy. We all thrive on open spaces and beaches. Busy places really aren't for us unless we have a reason to be there (Harry Potter World is one of those exceptions). We scuba dive together and get out with our jumbled collection of cameras and phones whenever we can.
Once they are old enough to fend for themselves I will be travelling more, but for now I am limited to school holidays and random nights away with my travel buddy (when we can get our act together), my camera bestie (when we can co-ordinate childcare) and sometimes all on my own (when I need head space!). Any child-free travel is all thanks to my mum who acts as house keeper when I am away. Without her I wouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon and appreciate the two or three nights dotted through the year that I get for indulgent travel!
Why I love travelling
Travel has always been a part of my life. I grew up knowing that my dad had spent his younger years living over seas and from going through my family history, travel, even in the 1800's was a big part of our family. Not many Englishmen in the 1830's had seen blue footed boobies, but my great, great, great grandfather was one of them and my step-great, great grandfather was part of the medical team for the Carter expedition to Egypt at the turn of the century.
Beyond the obvious genes for travelling it has been my escape from reality. When my world fell apart it would have been very easy to run away and travel, never to be seen again. But, with two small boys just starting school I had to fit my travel around them. Just enough to give me the boost I needed, but not enough that I was world schooling and travelling full time. I needed to keep home life as normal as possible for them however difficult it was to be there without my soul mate and best friend.
My favourite place to travel
If you haven't already worked it out, Scotland is my escape. The high mountains and open spaces combined with wild weather and raging seas feed my soul. I am so lucky that Scotland is just a few hours drive away and I can run away fairly regularly.
My #1 travel tip for saving money
I am not very good at this! But I think my biggest tip is to look at where tours go, what they offer and then price out doing it yourself. You will be surprised how much of a mark-up is involved. I do use organised tours, especially when I have the kids with me, but always look at the prices of a DIY trip to see if the hassle is worth the saving. I love rooting around in the depths of the internet trying to find the cheapest way to go somewhere, discount codes or alternatives to a really expensive attraction. I usually plan my travels around free attractions so my only costs are minimal entry fees and food that I would have to consume wherever I was.
How I plan my travels
I plan in a very random way. It usually starts with an idea - a clip on Facebook or a blog post. From this I start to daydream and google. Looking at options and alternatives before starting to formulate my ideas on a Pinterest board is usually next. From here I start to get a list of 'essential places to visit', 'maybe's' and then 'if I have times'. I will use guide books and online places like tripadvisor, trover and even instagram to get ideas before pulling a final plan together.
My favourite continent to visit
Rather than a continent I think it has to be a region. I love the arctic regions, mountains and oceans. I don't really do warm regions unless I can dive but snow and crisp days get me excited.
The moment I realised I needed to travel
Shortly after I lost my husband I began to feel that I needed to travel. We had always travelled and had had some amazing adventures to Japan, China, Jordan and Vietnam. However it was not enough. I had this strong sense that I needed to see the world for both of us. To travel to all the places we had dreamt of going and never managed.
Travel Bloggers Club
So, this Travel Bloggers Club! I need to tell you about it. Over the last few months I have been exploring the options on facebook for travel blogging. Looking for friends to help me with some of the little technical questions I have and also help share my work. This is where the Travel Bloggers Club has been so good. Loads of different blogs but all with travel as a focus. It has opened my eyes to the possibilities and also just how far I have to go with my little corner of the internet.
Travel Blog Challenge Participants September 2018
Finally - a little list of all those taking part in the September of madness!!! Have a look a their blogs, all a bit different with some amazing travels and adventures.
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