Nerd Tours: Hay-on-Wye The Town of Books Part 2

I’ve been organizing my pictures lately and found more from my trip to Hay-on-Wye so decided to share them. See the first post Here.

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Nerd Tours Tuesday: Hay-On-Wye the Town of Books

Hay-on-Wye: The Town of Books.

We’ve all seen the pictures on pinterest. A town full of books, shelves indoors and outdoors, rows and rows of books in one small quaint town. This is the place only book-nerds dream of! And than the impossible happens! You discover that it exists! This is how your average book addict/travel blogger would respond.

giphyOnce more, once you discover this town and learn it is within 2 hours of where you are staying in Wales it is time to plan your visit. Hay-On-Wye is in Wales and literally translates as “The town of books.” The town is literally full of book stores, many of which are themed, mostly second hand and antique books but so much phone to get lost in. My only regret was that I was not there during Hay Fest in May, it’s a HUGE book festival that has hosted J.K Rowling, Steven Moffat and so many more! Some day I will be there for the festival!

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Murder and Mayhem!DSCF019910665213_808996846973_9022506969154487250_nDSCF0205One of the cool things you see all throughout Hay are honesty boxes, where you pay for the books you purchase in the little box attached to the shelf.

Also if you have time stop by one of the local restaurants for a meal, we were there on a Sunday and had there Sunday dinner special! It felt like a home-cooked meal and the restaurant felt like we were just hanging out at a friends house and enjoying a meal together.

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I loved my time and Hay and cannot wait to go back sometime to experience Hay Fest! The town is literally on the England/Wales border and although out of the way is a beautiful drive and so worth it!

-Elle

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

Travel 101: Where do I go?

Planning your first trip is always exciting, planning any trip for that matter is, but there is something about planning that first trip and realizing that this is actually happening is like no other trip you will plan. If you are like me your list of where to travel is constantly growing. And with the help (and detriment) of sites such as Pinterest have introduced you to things and places you never knew existed.

Here are a few tips to choosing your first destination on that solo trip you’ve been dreaming of. These are in no particular order, but I hope they will help you on your way.

1. Where do you want to go?

When I chose where to travel internationally first, I thought of the places I’ve always dreamed of going. For this trip I thought of the United Kingdom and Australia, both of which I have dreamed of seeing since I was a kid.

I find that sometimes creating Pinterest boards for each location helped me to determine what type of things I wanted to do and helped me to see which place I tended to come back to more.

2. How much time do you have?

How much time you have for your trip when traveling internationally is a huge factor. I knew I only had a week for this trip, which meant Australia was out because the flying time comes close to a total of 4 days as well as losing time because of the international date line. So I aimed for a place that would only take a day each too and from that way I had 5 solid days in the city.

I also knew that although London has been at the top of my list 5 days just would not be enough to do everything I wanted, and I wasn’t willing to go for 5 days and be bummed about missing some things.

3. What is your budget?

Budget is a huge consideration, especially when you look at airfare. Also consider what types of tours and attractions you plan to see, if you are traveling to the other side of the world you want to be able to enjoy it, getting there and being stuck at your hotel because you can’t afford to do anything is never an option; it takes planning but you can find a trip to fit any budget.

Travel packages come in very handy for this.

4. How comfortable are you jumping into a new place and culture?

Nervous about your first trip and experiencing a whole new world? You may want to focus on somewhere that is a little more comfortable the first time out. Look for places that speak the same language or have a high ratio of English speakers so you don’t feel as lost.

Personally, I am not a city girl and the idea of London my first overseas trip was a bit overwhelming. The UK was still on the top of my list so I did a little research, with the help of the internet (and the Doctor (Doctor Who)) I found the city of Cardiff, Wales. One of the younger capitals of Europe it is a smaller city that is still full of history, many BBC shows have been filmed there (I love British television). Roald Dahl, one of my favorite authors from my childhood, grew up there, and there was a castle.

The more I researched the more I realized Cardiff was somewhere I would love to see and would be a great option for the first trip. It was also only a 2 hour train ride from London, which meant I could take a day trip without having to budget the higher prices of London or dealing with such a big city.

When you are planning your trip, you want to be try new things and leave your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean you can have to jump in with your eyes closed. No matter where you travel it will be a great adventure!

5. When are you traveling?

Depending on when you are traveling, be aware of local holidays where attractions may be closed, festivals that cause hotel prices to rise. Pay attention to the weather and the seasons, if you don’t like winter going to Australia during North American summer is not a good plan since the seasons are opposite.

If you are going to a location because of a festival or event remember to budget it in, you will also have to book earlier as places tend to sell out quicker when something is going on in town.

 

You don’t have to over-think and meticulously your trip to enjoy yourselves, but being aware of things that will affect your travels will allow you to get the most for your money. Doing research ahead of time will also help your trip to run smoother so you are not overwhelmed when you show up at your hotel and find the whole place is full of a bunch of people attending the yearly beer festival.

6. Have Fun

The most important thing to remember when planning your trip is to have fun. Looking at all the places that you can travel to and learning about new cultures is amazing, bookmark places that you want to visit on another trip and use the resources available. Talk to friends, you would be amazed to find the people you know that have been somewhere you are planning to visit.

Enjoy your trip Flying Solo (or with friends)

-Elle