The travel blog is looking pretty deserted! Far from expatriate, I’m actually now a repatriate.. currently enjoying a month of Sunday’s back in the family home. Things didn’t work out in Sicily and to cut a long story short, I left for England where my heart lies (for now at least!).
Buuuut, just because I’m back to zero degree temperatures, fluffy long socks on chilly nights and rain-drenched streets, travel is never far from my mind. I looked around my room and saw so many travel inspirations which enable me to explore, reminisce or feel inspired, without even leaving the house.. and thought damn, I wanna share them with you!
1. Maps, Maps, Maps!!!
As a former scout, what can I say? I just love maps. Whether it’s a map of the world, a map of a country you really want to travel to or a cute map watch, waking up to it is sure to get you feeling inspired. Mine is actually a sheet of wrapping paper from Urban Outfitters and cost £3.
2. Funky travel-themed yoga pants/leggings!
Amazing!! I found these USA flag leggings on some random website years ago and put them away in a cupboard, only now years later finding them and wearing them for the first time! Ahhh I love them! There’s no such thing as too many leggings, and these are great travel inspirations!
3. Getting creative!!
I’m not the best artist by no means but I can’t help love drawing and colouring, especially if it has a travel theme! My drawing is of the bay in Naples, somewhere I lived for almost 6 months with Mr Italy. I’d love to have drawings of all different places I’ve been and moments I’ve experienced, especially those moments which haven’t been photographed and exist only in my memory. I’ve seen travel-themed colouring books for adults and even a beautiful 2 years of Travel in Paintings.. eeee where’s my pencil case?!
4. Better Than Fiction
I was super impressed with Lonely Planet’s origional Better Than Fiction, a collection of true travel tales from fantastic fictional writers. Just the other day I was potterng about in a bookshop (my favourite pasttime) when I saw Better than Fiction 2 on the shelves. I truly recommend both for easy transportation to the bustling streets of a new country, seeking out tigers in the jungle or meeting locals in far away islands.
5. Two feet, four paws: Walking the Coastline of Britain
I absolutely adore long walks (when I’m in the right mood). I recently bought this wonderful novel by Spud Talbot-Ponsonby which tells of her incredible 10 month trip walking the around the British coast with her lovely dog, Tess, which they did together to raise money for charity. I couldn’t help start dreaming of renting out a campervan and following in her footsteps! Only problem is I don’t drive, don’t have any money and don’t have 10 months free… but I love reading true tales of people who have done something so amazing. Wanting more? Check out Britains 25 best walks for winter, and look out for my old friend Ben on Instagram as he walks all around Yorkshire capturing the heart of England.
6. The Bookseller of Kabul – Asne Seierstad
I’m having such a fantastic time reading Asne’s account of Aghan life. This novel has been compiled with such care and attention to detail, it’s been somewhat of a learning curve for me. I really love learning about cultures and family life, if you do too and are even thinking of visiting this beautiful country… get this book for some bedtime reading before you’re off!
7. A Daily Phrase and Culture Calendar
I love my Italian calendar for 2 reasons: 1- I can never remember the date, and 2- the phrases are easy to remember. This was a Christmas present and it’s such a handy little thing to have. I’ll be back in Italy this summer teaching at English camp so I’m excited to brush up on some Italian for when I meet my host families! Are you off anywhere this year or always dreamed of going somewhere? Get yourself one of these babies to start you off!
Mine is from Living Language.
8. Taking the language learning up a notch with TALK
Learning a language can be really tough, and while Duolingo really helps with learning the basics, I often turn the microphone off so lack speaking practice. That’s why I love my BBC Talk Italian Complete course as it’s almost entirely based around getting us to TALK! They have loads of languages, definitly take a look. I was always put off by course books because it just went completely over my head. These are just perfect though and you can even go online and get loads of free materials, too! Are ya feeling inspired to travel yet?!
This little blue book is my Diver’s Log and Training Record. It’s really important I don’t lose it as it’s kept track of all the dives I’ve ever done, which will be handy if in the future I want to train for Divemaster’s or Instructor! I like keeping the book around where I can see it as I’ve got so many happy memories of diving. Always wanted to dive? Take a look at my post which gives a rundown of what to expect on a typical 4-5 day Open Water Dive training course.
10. Reader’s Digest books and travel section
I came across this delightful guide book for about 99p while browsing on Amazon one evening. “The Most Amazing Places in Britain’s Countryside” – it’s just incredible! The photos are glorious and the descriptions are enough for me to ditch everything and really get to know my roots, the nation I was once so desperate to escape. Check out their website here for great posts and tips.
11. Travel guides!
There are toooooo many guide books out there. My Discover Britain was another 99p Amazon bargain and it was a 99p well spent! While this hardback is way too big to carry around like a regular travel guide, it’s fully packed with wonderful walks and photographs and details about hundreds of towns and villages, things to do, places to see, etc. Now if only I could drive I really would be renting out that campervan and off exploring… Looks like something to plan for the future. 🙂
12. Catching the Sun by Tony Parsons
While this novel is fictional, I loved reading about a family who decided to leave it all behind and move to Thailand, kids n’ all. Everyone knows Pasons is a great author, so need I say more?!
13. Journey Through Every Country in The World
This has to be the heaviest book I own. While I’m not a huge fan of Lonely Planet guide books, this is just my go-to when I need to look at the world. It has 836 images of 230 countries. Incredible. It also has some info and fact about each country such as the best time to visit, top things to do, trademarks and more. With my copy, I’ve put little ticks next to the countries I’ve been. I love opening up the book and finding myself looking at a place I didn’t even know existed. A great gift for someone who wants to travel but isn’t sure where to go.
Guess it’s pretty obvious by now that I love to read.. well we need our bookmarks. Why not create some travel inspiration bookmarks of your own? You could cut up a fabric you like that makes you think of a certain place, an old map, anything really! Remember that when you’re abroad to look out for bookmarks, I often forget about them. But when I’m home it’s a lovely subtle reminder of my travels. This bookmark I bought in Kenya and is handmade, reading “He who learns, teaches” with a piece of fabric stuck on it. Probably only cost me £1 and now is so precious to me!
Well folks that’s all for now, my butt is starting to get really sore- I’m writing this on the floor for some reason. Seemed like a good idea at the time- hey ho! I hope you enjoyed this post and are feeling all warm and fuzzy and travel inspired!! Share with friends and spread the travel buuug, whether you’re at home like me or somewhere new.