I'm keeping the focus on fashion with a very exciting post today all about my amazing new Radley bag and one of my fave blogging collaborations yet. I remember worrying that moving to Germany might mean missing out on working with brands due to my location. But, this year has been one of my absolute best yet for special blogging projects and having the opportunity to work with a brand I have always admired will always be such an amazing reward for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of this blog. In the interests of transparency, in this post I will be styling up a beautiful product from Radley London which was gifted to me in exchange for the post. Naturally all opinions remain my own and I will only ever endorse products that I genuinely love and that I think you guys would love as well. And let's be honest, is there anyone out there who couldn't appreciate the beauty of a seriously luxe Radley handbag?
As someone who spends all her money on travel, often I have to sacrifice spending money on expensive clothes or handbags, but it doesn't mean I don't lust after luxury items. Radley London are one of those brands, one that has been an institution with a seriously classic style that I've admired for years. I've always been the kind of girl who gets a handbag and really loves it, instead of changing it up every week, I'll wear a bag all season. I picked out the Hill House Medium Multiway Compartment Grab Bag from the collection, embracing the sports luxe look with this gorgeous leather bag. It was hard to choose but in the end I felt this was the Radley bag that fitted best wth my style, not only was it simple and elegant, but practical with the longer strap and several compartments. I love that it can be smart for work, or also works with more laid back looks for the weekend, and it hasn't left my side since it was delivered. The striped strap makes a bold statement with the white leather, while still remaining chic and elegant with the fine gold detailing and the iconic Radley dog charm.I styled up the bag with this leopard print H&M slip (€19.99) and teal jumper (€24.99), and an old pair of Primark chunky heels. For those who are looking to shop the Radley bag, you're in luck and the Hill House style is actually reduced at the moment, retailing at £229, it has now been reduced to £137, so now is the time to treat yourself! It's the perfect-sized Radley bag for keeping all my essentials in it, my camera, phone, purse and some make-up, the perfect blogger's essential.
This week marks my six month anniversary of living in Hamburg. These last six months have been some of the hardest of my life. After travelling solo for more than three years, I uprooted my whole life, changed my travel plans and moved to Germany! In the last six months, I found a new job in a new industry and was offered a promotion within two months at the company. I traveled for a month around Europe in the van I converted into a camper and drank a hell of a lot of coffee.
Do you love luxe handbags as much as I do? What style would you choose? What's the biggest risk you've ever taken?
Whether it is because we are trying to look after the pennies or simply because you love exploring the land on your doorstep, exploring our own shores can truly open our eyes just how lucky we are to live in a land with such rich culture.
Although you won’t find the same weather as the Caribbean, nor will you come across mountain ranges such as those in the Alps, but what you will find is a lot packed into what is, in the grand scheme of things, a relatively small country. With this in mind, below is a list of five of our favourite places to visit in the UK and Ireland.
What a glorious city this is, oozing of Irish heritage mixed in with modern culture, Dublin arguably the greatest city on planet Earth. If you don’t agree with me you obviously have never been and, if not, why not?
The Temple Bar, located a stone’s throw away from the famous Ha’penny Bridge that sits over the River Liffey, is a social hotbed. At all hours of the day there is something going on, whether it is live music or stand-up comedy, this is the bar you want to drink in.
When the sun goes down and night looms over the Irish capital, this is when you see Dublin in all its glory. Paint the town red and get to know the locals, who are some of the friendliest you can hope to meet.
If it is ease of travel mixed in with a plethora of tourist attractions you are looking for, then London is your destination of choice. The Underground system is unrivalled by anywhere else in the world, and takes you to the doorstep of London’s favourite hotspots without the need for driving.
Trafalgar Square is the place to go for a night out in London, with restaurants and bars along the streets, and even a casino and cinema for additional entertainment (and it is also here that you will find M&M World!).
If British culture and pop fiction are two of your favourite things to experience, then head to the home of Robin Hood. In Nottingham, you will find lots of historic landmarks, such as Nottingham Castle and the cathedral mixed in with a very modern city.
Located in the Midlands, Nottingham is one of the best-connected cities in England and is easily reachable by train or car. Neighbouring Derby, nearby hotels can be found in equal distance to the two cities’ city centres in case you want to broaden your horizons.
The Scottish capital is just as vibrant during the day as it is at night, and is the scene for one of the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration in the world, Hogmanay. In Edinburgh, you will find the perfect mixture of the gorgeous Scottish countryside and a modern city, packed with places to visit.
Fantastic seasonal markets line the streets of Edinburgh in the winter, making the city the perfect place to visit over the festive period going into the New Year. You have to be quick, though, as hotel rooms are booked fast at this time of year.
Famous for more than a song title and a reality television show, in Newcastle you will find a brimming city packed with events, culture and landmarks. See the Angel of the North in all its glory, visit St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United, and take in the sight of Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the world’s first and only tilting bridge.
Of course, the city is also well known for its nightlife, and is something that simply should be sampled if you ever have the fortune to visit the northern city.
If you have visited any of the above cities, or if you have been lucky to visit all five, then you will already know just how fantastic our shores are.
Wild camping can be a scary prospect for those who are not used to the great outdoors. But as someone who has always chased adventures – I'm here to tell you the truth about wild camping and why you should try it. I've created this first-timers' guide to getting out under the stars and into the heart of nature. Everything you need to know – from where to go and what to pack, to personal hygiene and those infamous bush poos. Throughout my 5+ years of travelling solo, I've wild camped across the world, from the UK and Europe, right over to Australia.
The truth is I've always loved a bit of luxury as much as the next girl. But when it comes down to it, I would always much rather be walking barefoot around a national park and bathing in waterfalls. Although I had tried wild camping before I ever went travelling – it was only when I tried it in Asia and Australia that it really stole my heart. There's nothing quite like the simple life, of sleeping under the stars in the outback, of cooking dinner on the beach and waking up to the ocean. It's a freedom you just can't beat.
People are often shocked by how much I love camping and getting outside. But it's got to be the Norfolk lass in me – I'm just made for that outdoor life. Before I ever tried going wild, I had been camping a lot through volunteering programmes, challenges and of course, lots of festivals. I was a pro at putting up a tent and things like cooking dinner outside or the chilly run to the toilets never fazed me. But over the last few years, my whole perspective of camping really changed thanks to my travels.
For me it was the moments when I was road tripping across Western Australia that really sealed the deal. I spent over a month driving, sleeping in a car and camping wild in beautiful spots without ever seeing a soul. It was everything I had ever dreamed of in Australia and showed me how much is possible, and how happy you can be with so little. My squad spent our nights watching the stars above cattle ranches, smoke spiralling into the sky from our camp fire. Each day we woke up to the sounds of the ocean lapping against the shore and the excitement of exploring a new place.
The questions I get asked the most when it comes to camping – so let's answer these ones first. My best tip for first-timers who aren't sure about camping whether wild or not. Get over the grime. The quicker you do this, the more you will enjoy your experience. Yes the toilets are not always that nice, and sometimes there won't be any at all. You might have to have a few bush wees and maybe even a bush poo if you're in the middle of nowhere. But if you just accept the wet wipe baths and stop thinking about it, you'll soon adjust to a simpler life.
I spent six weeks living off wet wipe baths, shaving my legs with baby oil and pooing on the side of the road in the dustiest place on earth. Trust me, if I can do that and still have an epic time – you can certainly handle a weekend. If it's your first time trying out wild camping – the main thing is be prepared. Ladies, I would recommend not planning a trip for when you are on your period. It's definitely doable but just not very nice to not be able to have a shower. If you do decide to go anyway, I recommend a moon cup instead of tampons – then you don't have to worry about disposing of products.
The main thing to remember if you're camping wild is that you need to be entirely self-reliant. That means planning ahead, having everything you need and emergency kit in case anything goes wrong. The more you plan and have ready, the more you will enjoy your trip.
I've been a very lucky girl to have experiences camping wild all over the globe – but my favourite stand-out experiences have to be in these top 3 locations:
While it's nice to tell you about how amazing wild camping can be, I also want to be honest about the less fun experiences. Camping is super weather dependent and a trip can quickly go downhill if you're not prepared for bad weather. My worst camping experiences have always been due to extreme rain. In the Yorkshire Dales, UK, on my Duke of Edinburgh final expedition, we were hit by severe storms and flooded out of any potential campsites before our van broke down. Over in Melbourne, Australia, a trip to Wilson's Prom was cut short by heavy rain that flooded the campsite and all the tents.
The key to enjoying your trip no matter what the weather is preparation. Do your research before each trip and check the temperatures for day and night, predicted weather, and anything else that could affect you. If you're going to a very exposed place or somewhere at higher altitudes, you'll need to prepare for wind and cooler temperatures. Remember to take into account warmer temps in the day and cooler temps at night, and to be prepared for all extremes.
I love the freedom that comes with it. It's a simple life, where all you need is a shelter, food, a campfire and the stars. You can disappear into the outback, or to some deserted beach and not a soul will know where you are. You can turn your phone off and really switch off. Something that is so important when you work a lot and desperately need some downtime. There's something really romantic about the idea of traveling the world by van and being entirely self-reliant. You have everything you need and can escape into the world for a little while.
What kind of camper are you - luxury, festival or wild? What advice would you give to first-time wild campers?