The Travel Dilemma

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In a little over a year from now I plan to make my next big trip. As a planner by nature I have been working on where I will be headed next. Last year when I went to Wales I was able to spend a day in London and now all I want to do is go back and stay in London longer. Since moving there at the moment doesn’t seem to be an option at the moment, visiting may be the next best option.

When considering travel there are many things that can create a problem. From finances, to schedules, to finding a travel buddy. However, my biggest issue currently is do I go some place I’ve never been or do I go back to a place that I’ve been but would like to explore more. My heart wants to go to London, but this world is so big, with so many things to see how do I justify returning somewhere?

I have some time before needing to make a decision, but there are so many places to choose from, so where do I go next?

How do you choose where to travel too? What is it based on? The people? The sites? The cheapest ticket?

-Elle

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Tracking my Travel

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I always wanted to have a way to show where I have been. One of the ways I do this is that I always purchase a Christmas ornament (or something I can turn into an ornament) from every place that I have been. However, I still wanted something that I could show year round, without having random souvenirs cluttering the house.

I know there are a bunch of websites and apps and things that you can use to track where you’ve been and where you want to go. I wanted something more tangible that I could show off, a map that I could physically hang and stick a pin in.

I ordered a 24×36 Bulletin Board, a silver and black map of the world from Amazon¬†and because I’m a little particular I ordered map tacks through Etsy. You can easily get them at Amazon and in multi-color packs, but I found a seller on Etsy that I could choose three colors for a set.

I chose my colors based on my favorites and what I wanted each to represent.

Purple: Places I’ve been.

Blue: Places I want to go.

Green: Places I want to return too.

I had to trim down the map to fit the board, and plan to paint the edge of the bulletin board once I commit to the color I want.

I also plan to add a quote to the corner, I just haven’t found the right one. Any suggestions?

Overall though I love this piece and it now hangs over my bed, and I cannot wait to switch out pins to mark the new places I have been!

-Elle

12 Trips in 12 Months

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I have decided to accept the challenge of 12 Trips in 12 months from TRVL 101. Now this may sound crazy and impossible but as I thought about it I realized that traveling didn’t mean I had to leave the country, or even the state. There are tons of places in my own neighborhood I have yet to visit. So whether it is traveling across the country to visit a friend or across the street to trying a new restaurant I’ve committed that each month I will go somewhere new.

Things I’ve considered are restaurants I’ve always wanted to try, local festivals and events, there are some larger trips that will be mixed in but since I am not independently wealthy I decided to find some alternatives to just big trips (However, if you would like to donate a million or two I wouldn’t say no).

Although it is already February, I will make a post from my January trip later this week!

Can’t wait to see where this challenge will take me!

Join me! And let me know what places you are planning to explore!

-Elle

Two Roads Diverged…

I didn’t plan to be writing so much about seasons. It’s not necessarily because of the new year that I’ve been thinking about the future so much, it may be part of it, but looking at this coming year I see deadlines, end dates, contracts up, leases needing renewed or preparations to make to move on. I’ve been in the same state for almost 5 years. It’s not that I am restless, I love where I am, I love Oklahoma but there is still that part of me that wonders if this is where I should be?

Moving on doesn’t scare me, and honestly if it wasn’t so difficult to get a Visa to live in the UK I would probably be making preparations by now.

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I’m always up for a change of pace, to see somewhere new. Staying…that’s another story. Staying means looking at the past 5 years and answering the questions of why I am not where I want to be. Why I haven’t developed deeper friendships, figured out a career, why I’m not as financially stable as I would like to be. Staying means answering those questions. Leaving means a chance to start over, a new beginning, new friendships, new relationships. New adventures to find.

I haven’t decided what I want to do, if I moved I have no idea where it would even be too. I have no idea what to pursue as my next job choice, I would prefer to find something closer to a career, something that I would enjoy and love. Maybe something with social media? Something that would allow me to travel would be ideal.

Right now I have nothing keeping me from staying, but I also have nothing that is keeping me from going either. Nothing is holding me back…well nothing except for making the decision of what to do next.

So now time to start considering where the next 6 months will lead me too…

-Elle

London Calling.

I’m a planner. I’ve always been a planner. I’ve always planned about the next trip I would take. The next place I would visit. That was until Wales, after I returned from my trip from Wales I lost my desire to travel. I loved my trip to Wales, but afterwards I realized maybe I wasn’t the type to be able to travel by themselves. I had this vision of being the type of person who could go someplace new and have this amazing, life changing adventure. What can I say, I’m a dreamer.

I thought I would be taking a break from my next international trips and than Friday night I saw the newest Night at the Museum. And in case you weren’t aware, it takes place in London. Watching the movie as they flew over London and passed the streets and places I could name because I had seen them made me realize that I wanted to go back. That I need to go back.

Over the next 6 months my lease and job contract end, and if I could find a way I would make the jump and move to London, or any other part of Great Britain (a cottage in the English country side would be ideal).

Who knows where I will be in 6 months, it may be London or Florida or Antarctica or it may still be Oklahoma, but I am ready to travel again, ready to see the world. Now where to first?

-Elle

Ending of a Season.

The ending of 2014 is just around the corner. Usually the end of the year prompts people to evaluate the last year and consider what to work on in the next. Although it is the time of year where everyone is posting about reflections and New Years Resolutions, this post has been a long time coming. I started this blog with the intent of posting regularly, I was excited about travel and life and experiences.

Recently, my Pastor was speaking about the year and how if we are not progressing we are regressing, but in the last couple of months I felt like neither was the case. Everything had seemed to plateau, the dreams I once had non-existent, future plans uncertain and unsure what will come next.

There is a funny thing about dreams, sometimes they are better in your head, things don’t always turn out how you wanted. For years I believed I was the type of person that could go to Europe, that could have an amazing adventure. I believed I was the type of person that would travel, maybe it was the fact I was always a dreamer and I believed in big things, but although I enjoyed my trip to Wales, it wasn’t what I expected, and maybe solo travel isn’t cut out for everyone. I don’t mind traveling alone, I don’t mind exploring places by myself, but in Wales, although I was in another country, I was still just me. I don’t know if I was expecting to learn something new about myself, or if I was expecting to find a part of me that could be adventurous or free-spirited.

This year I’ve realized that I’ve lost who I am. I’ve lost the personality and spirit, I’ve lost that part of me that makes me who I am. I’ve lived in Oklahoma for almost 5 years and have realized that no one here knows who I am, but no one actually knows me. I want 2015 to be different. I’m not sure yet how that will happen, or what it will involve.

This next year will be full of decisions. This year I have a job thats ending will most likely coincide with my lease ending. The perfect opportunity to move if I wanted to. Out of city. Out of state. Out of country. I could go anywhere (as long as I can get a Visa that is), but where to go? Do I stay? There’s nothing in Oklahoma holding me here, but there’s also nothing anywhere else that is leading me there. The world is just waiting for me to take a step. To make a decision. Do I move forward? Move back? Stand still? Which way do I go?

Where do I start? Where do I continue? Do I stick it out and try to change who I am? Reach out more? Continue to accept this is how it will always be?

At the moment I am making a list of 30 things I plan to do this year. 30 things, not necessarily goals, or changes but things I would like to accomplish. If you made that same list for the year, what would you add to the list? What types of attainable things would you commit too?

2015 is right around the corner. A new season. A new beginning. A new outlook. A change.

-Elle

NerdTours: Doctor Who and Torchwood Edition

 

 

Cardiff. Most have probably never heard of this small capital city of Wales. However, if you are a fan of certain television shows, when you hear Cardiff the first things you think of are Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Time Rifts.

For all Doctor Who and Torchwood fans searching for a trip, the first place to choose to travel to would be Cardiff. Not only is Cardiff filled with many things fandom related, but it is also a beautiful city full of castles, parliament building, shopping, and tons of friendly people to meet up with.

One of the best things about Cardiff is that the city is very walkable, you don’t have to worry about figuring out public transportation, I stayed in the downtown area at The Angel Hotel and walked everywhere. All of Cardiff felt very safe, no matter what time of day/night and there are a few pedestrian streets where you don’t need to worry about traffic and are full of shops and restaurants.

 

For the Doctor Who fan, one of the first places to stop is the Doctor Who Experience on Cardiff Bay. Check out props and costumes and replicas from fifty years of Doctor Who, the exhibit also recently went through refurbishing for the latest Doctor.

 

 

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Unfortunately, I booked this trip last May, and it was announced mid-August that they would be closing for the remodel, and my trip wasn’t able to be moved, I missed being able to actually visit. (However, that just means I will have to go back!)

While in Cardiff be sure to keep your eyes open as you will come across the TARDIS or even a Dalek.

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Just down the way from the Doctor Who Experience you will find Roath Lock, home of BBC Wales.

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The building is beautiful and has really amazing architecture so be sure to walk around and check it out.

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While you are wandering around join one of the walking tours to explore locations where Doctor Who and Torchwood were filmed, as you wander the city you will recognize many of the locations. As you continue around the bay you will recognize the area where Torchwood is located.

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You will even find the headquarters of Torchwood.

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Be aware though that no matter how much you try, your sonic screwdriver will not break you into Torchwood.

 

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You will also run into Iantos Shrine near the docks, be sure to stop by and leave something behind in rememberance of Ianto.

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Every Doctor Who fan will enjoy their trip to Cardiff, and if there is time you can take the train into London to see more sights, see the Shard, Canary Wharf or run into the TARDIS.


-Elle

 

NerdTours Edition

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I have a confession. I am a nerd. Most of my friends are aware of this fact and I am never offended by being called a nerd. I have learned to embrace my nerdiness. So I’ve decided to add a regular post specifically aimed at nerd travel. Each post will focus on a trip or place that may be defined by some as nerdy. Hence the name NerdTours.

First, what defines a nerd?

Rather than defining a nerd by stereotypes and what the world defines as a nerd. One of my favorie podcasts is Nerdist (if you haven’t listened to it, go check it out now nerdist.com) The host, Chris Hardwick defines a nerd as “what makes someone a nerd is how passionate they are about something and how they will try to understand that thing on a granular level, like, more than anyone else in the world…So I think it’s the level of which someone has a passion and focus about something that they care about, I think that’s what it is.”

Taking this to the next level, NerdTours would be taking those passions you already have and visiting the places they take place, the places that create them, the places that help to define where that focus came from. A few of the places I am going to look at come from my recent trip. Here’s a sneak peak into the future NerdTours posts.

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Doctor Who

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Torchwood

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Hay on Wye

Town of Books

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Platform 9 3/4

Stay tuned for the first NerdTour posts starting next week! If you have suggestions for places to see or places you’ve been leave them in the comments!

Back to the States.

I’ve officially returned from my first trip to Europe. The United Kingdom to be exact. I spent 5 days in Cardiff, Wales with a quick trip into London. Although this trip was planned completely solo, about a week before leaving, a friend who lives in Spain and that I hadn’t seen in 5 years decided to join me for the weekend.

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As you prepare to leave for your trip across the world, the people around you will unintentionally project their fears and worries onto you. The world news and media will make you nervous, second guess you and discourage you from travel. Don’t listen to them! Take the trip! You won’t regret it. With everything going on in the world today it’s easy to make excuses on why you shouldn’t travel. Ignore it. Go have an adventure!

While abroad I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable. Overwhelmed, yes (Note: Don’t take the early train to London full of all the business paper. When you get off the train you will get caught up with all of the people rushing to work!) This trip was amazing, I’m sad that it has ended. The memories are worth the trip. Taking the time to see exactly what you want, when you want, on no one’s schedule but your own is worth every second of the adventure, and getting past the indecision and opinions of others.

Over the coming week I will share about my experiences, the tours I took, pictures, and things I learned. In the meantime, continue planning your trip, while I search for the next destination for mine.

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Back from Wales!

I’ve been AWOL for the last week exploring Wales and England! I am back and am working on posting about my adventures. In the meantime, feel free to head over to my Facebook page and check out some of the pictures from the journey! (And like the page while you are there!)

https://www.facebook.com/FlyingSoloBlog