1) What I've Been Up To...1a) A special friend from the US came to visit! One of my childhood friends moved to New Orleans when we were kids and since then, we've sporadically seen each other every few years when she has come to visit her family and on one occasion, my family went to visit hers in New Orleans. Her arrival in the UK was tinted with a little bit of sadness given she was visiting her sick granddad, but on our one day together, I tried to make the most of it! We took a trip to London and I forgot how much I loved being a tourist in that big old city that I commute to every day. We strolled through the posh houses in West London (taking a particular fancy to Bywater Street) and shopped on the King's Road catching up on our lives for the past few years before turning into full on tourists and taking the Sandeman's New Europe free walking tour to hit the main sights! 1b) I started my vow to visit more of the UK with a trip to Portsmouth/Southampton! If being a tourist in London wasn't enough for one month, myself and my friend Alex hopped into the car one weekend to visit our friend Grace who is at uni in Portsmouth. I've visited Portsmouth before on occasions but normally with a mission to be somewhere and have never fully got to explore the city. This time, we hit ALL the tourist destinations (most of which Grace hadn't even done in her 2 years of living there - bad Grace) and had the BEST day! Even the sun was shining over the seaside city for us - IN FEBRUARY?! I'll be writing more about that weekend soon! 1c) I had a huge life de-cluttering This might seem super boring, but after working stupid hours for the past few months, I can safely say that I was VERY far behind in my general life admin! Over the past few months, I've realised how very little material goods mean to me and in Februrary, I bit the bullet and chucked away A LOT of my "stuff". This is a huge revelation as for the previous 22 years of my life, I have been a worthy candidate for Channel 4's TV show "The Hoarder Next Door". Let me tell you... it feels SO good. 1d) Travel planning! I feel like I am lacking majorly with travel planning this year. Timehop keeps reminding me that by this time last year, I had 4 exciting trips booked, but so far, I still only have one trip to Marrakech planned for early March (eeeek so excited)! I am well and truly in the middle of planning an epic South African road trip however which will hopefully take place in September. This is my absolute dream holiday and I am really struggling to just book it - I want to make sure it's perfect. If anyone has any South Africa (Cape Town & Garden Route specifically) related blog posts, please send them my way!
2) Where You Might Have Seen Me...2a) Icelolly.com - Ask the Experts Icelolly.com's social media game is on fire. If there's one travel brand that's doing things right, it's them! Recently I was featured alongside some amazing bloggers for their "Ask the Expert" article - I chose to focus on Slovenia and you should definitely check it out if you're looking for some holiday inspiration! 2b) April Everyday - A Few of My Favourite Travel Bloggers If you haven't read April's blog yet, you definitely should. She's one of the kindest souls and her photography skills are lust-worthy!She was one of the first people that welcomed me into this crazy travel blogging community and I couldn't be more grateful *big hug emoji*. Recently April wrote about me in her "favourite travel bloggers" post and I couldn't be more happy with her words". Not only were there some big names on this list (I religiously read Hand Luggage Only and watch Flying the Nest's vlogs), but April really summed up the direction that I want this blog to take, even though I hadn't realised it yet!
April: "The thing I love most about Danielle’s blog is the in depth travel information she gives about the places she’s visited like budgeting for specific places and the best way to get from one place to another which I find are always the things that are usually left out in travel posts".Those words have resonated and I realised that's exactly what I want to be - the blog that HELPS you! There are hundreds of blogs that provide travel-inspiring photos and wanderlust (I always walk too fast and try to snap photos as I move - it's a recipe for disaster and I'm probably not going to change my habits any time soon) but I'm a meticulous planner, I google EVERYTHING about my trips and sometimes the internet can't give me the answers. I want to fill those voids for other people and hopefully provide information that will aid another person's trip!
3) What I've Been Loving...Now I'm quite aware that this blog post is getting pretty lengthy now, so here's a quick summary of what I've been loving recently:
- January being over and having free time to relax and chill!
- This post by Lloyd and Yaya of Hand Luggage Only on their crazy winter adventure in Edmonton
- This post by Vicky of VickyFlipFlop on how to visit the Grand Mosque in a layover - now I'm a bit upset my likely layover when I fly to Cape Town will be in Dubai rather than Abu Dhabi!
- This post (and all the other posts on Mozambique) by Lauren of Never Ending Footsteps - a destination I'd never really thought of but now can't stop dreaming about!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own. Follow my blog with Bloglovin