Monthly Archives: May 2015

How to save money for travelling.

Tom and I decided to go travelling in January 2015. This left us only nine months of saving before we jet off in September. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, we both work in education and our work tends to dry up over the summer months. Ouch!

Enter my action plan. Here’s a few ways in which we save money for travelling.

DSC_0255(The above is a photo of my purse. If you listen carefully you should be able to hear the gentle flutter of moth’s wings.)

1) Stop spending money

This might sound obvious, but every purchase is now carefully considered. Gone are the days when I would go into town and fritter away my earnings because I was bored and “deserved a treat.”

This also goes for meals out, and drinks out. That’s the difficult part. But we’ve got round this by inviting our friends over for food and drinks instead.

I’ve found that I’ve got used to being on a tight budget, it’s like being a student again. If I’m feeling frustrated, I just have a quick daydream about travelling and I’m fine again!

2) Switch where you do your food shopping

We did the Aldi challenge! 

Tesco is our nearest supermarket and we previously would always shop there for convenience. We reached the point where I would easily spend £40.00 and come out with nothing useful towards making meals.

Now we shop at Aldi or Lidl, which are much cheaper.

3) Change your exercise

I cancelled my gym membership and began running. Running is free, all you need is a decent pair of shoes. It also feels so much better to be outside rather than cooped up in the sweaty gym that I used to drive to, so it’s a win win situation!

Read more about my recent running antics here.


(Searching for inexistent money)

4) Stop any unnecessary monthly payments

Along with the gym membership, I cancelled my Sky Movies subscription (we never watched it) and changed my phone contract to the cheapest possible plan.

5) Sell unwanted items for profit

I use Ebay to flog my unwanted items. Yes it’s a pain to take the photos and get the products packaged and sent off, but the pros outweigh the cons: I make money from the things I don’t want and I begin the process of clearing out the house before we leave for our travels.

6) Have a vice

The one thing I don’t limit myself on is books. Some people buy shoes, or clothes… I’m a book person. I don’t buy full price books.  Charity shop diving is one of my favourite past times and you often find books at a great price, and the money goes to a good cause. Fabulous!


Book review: Michael Palin’s Full Circle

I’ve still got my head stuck in every travel book going. My friend Luke lent me this one. (Luke is also in the throws of quitting his job and going off to see the world. I’m especially jealous of his planned Trans-Siberian express and Route 66 trips)


I grew up watching Monty Python, so I know Michael Palin, but I must admit I haven’t got round to watching his TV shows.

Full Circle is the book Palin wrote to accompany the documentary made when he took a 10-month, 50,000 mile (80,000 km) around the rim of the Pacific Ocean in 1995 and 1996.


On his journey, Palin and the film crew visit Russia, Japan, South Korea (they were not allowed to travel very far in North Korea), China,  Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, AustraliaNew Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

(The above bold countries are the ones that we will definitely visit next year, so were of particular interest.)

It was a slow read, and at points I did find it heavy going. This was mainly due to the fact that I’m not used to non-fiction, and a journal layout.



The book was an interesting insight into the lives of the people living and working on shores of the Pacific. I gave it 3/5 stars on goodreads.

Although there were enjoyable moments that made me giggle, I feel that the trip lends itself better to the visuals of television rather than the written word.

Let the wanderlust feeding ever continue!



New thing 2) Run 10km

In September I noticed I was out of breath when I got to the top of our stairs in our house. Enter running shoes.



I ran and I ran. I ran until I could do 5km without stopping. Then I did 5km twice a week.

I decided to challenge myself to doing 25 new things before my 25th birthday, and a 10km run was one of them.

Bank holiday Monday, I plug myself into Strava. I ran and ran. I had a clicky hip and a blister on the bottom of my toe. I got lost. I ran for an hour and twenty minutes and I accidentally ran 16km. (whoops!) Direction is not my strongest sense!

Luckily, Tom is so good at navigation that I call him Tomtom. He’ll be in charge of map reading next year!


New thing 1) Watch ‘Life is Beautiful’

Well hello there.

There’s been a bit of a blogging break here whilst I got my camera sorted – I needed a new charger, and wanted to start this blog off with decent photographs, as the ones from my phone were a bit fuzzy and pants-looking!

I’ve added a list of twenty five things to do before I turn twenty five – you can see it on the left side of the page. Some of them are mundane, some challenging. The main aims of this to get myself out of my box, try some new stuff, and to keep myself occupied in the lead up to our travels in September.

So here we go: number one! Watch ‘Life is Beautiful.”

DSC_0039 2


This is a film that I’ve had on my shelves for years, yet somehow never got round to watching.. mainly due to it being in Italian, and I was putting if off because I’m usually doing some complex knitting, which makes subtitles a bit hard!

If I gave it a mark out of ten, it’d be a full 10/10 and I’d highly recommend.

It starts out as a daft slapstick comedy, think Basil Fawlty in pre-world war two Italy.



The beautiful main characters then start a family, and World War II breaks out. I won’t spoil it for you. But it was one of the most happy, yet harrowing films I’ve ever seen. I laughed, I cried.



Guido: [pretending to translate] “The game starts now. You have to score one thousand points. If you do that, you take home a tank with a big gun. Each day we will announce the scores from that loudspeaker. The one who has the fewest points will have to wear a sign that says “Jackass” on his back. There are three ways to lose points. One, turning into a big crybaby. Two, telling us you want to see your mommy. Three, saying you’re hungry and want something to eat.”