extreme adventure globe 6

The 5 Most Extreme Adventure Destinations Around the Globe

extreme adventure globe 6Fancy a summer holiday with a difference? Why not check out these adrenaline packed destinations to get your extreme adventure fix! With adventures for the faint-hearted to all-out thrill seekers alike, these destinations will offer you a trip you won’t forget…

extreme adventure globe 1

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown is a mecca for thrill seekers from all over the planet. Whether it’s tackling New Zealand’s highest bungee jump, chucking yourself out of a plane or hitting the slopes in winter – you are guaranteed to find adventure in this beautiful town.

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Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Pull on your scuba gear and discover one of the natural wonders of the world.

Swim alongside sharks, manta rays and fish of all sizes and colours. You don’t even have to be PADI qualified, just take a hold of your guide and jump in!

If you fancy keeping dry, why not check out the AJ Hackett bungee jump in Cairns?

Lake District, United Kingdom 

You could say that battling the weather in the Lake District is extreme enough. But you won’t be worrying about the traditional British drizzle as the Lake District offers you plenty of distractions.

Take your pick from Ghyll Scrambling (navigating your way up or down a gorge with plenty of obstacles to overcome on the way), Bog Snorkelling (yup, it’s what it says on the tin), abseiling, rock-climbing, mountain biking… The list goes on!

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The Alps, Europe

Stretching across eight countries, the Alps are bound to offer an extreme adventure perfect for you. You can ski in Austria, glacier walk in France or try out canyoning in Italy to name but a few!

Don’t think that the Alps are just a winter destination, extreme adventures are to be had year-round.

Tara River, Montenegro

Montenegro is still relatively undiscovered as a tourist destination. The area is stunning and the best, and most extreme, way to take in the scenery is to go white water rafting down the Tara River.

Health and safety regulations here are lax to say the least, so just pop on a helmet, grab an oar and a friendly guide and don’t forget to hold on tight!

Have you been on an extreme adventure holiday? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

Festival in Europe 3

Why You Should Go to a Festival in Mainland Europe This Summer

Festival in Europe 3I love festivals and with summer nearly in full swing the time is nigh to be dusting off our tents and shining our wellies as the festival season begins.

It’s true that Britain has some of the best festivals in the world, but have you ever considered looking across the channel for your festival fix?

Here’s why I think you should sack off blustery Britain and go to a festival in mainland Europe this summer. 

It’s cheaper than you think

The prices of UK festivals have begun to get out of hand. Ticket prices have rocketed and the price of getting to and from the venues is crazy. Festival tickets in mainland Europe tend to be cheaper and getting there doesn’t have to break the bank either!

Check out cheap flights on Skyscanner.net or for super-budget travellers (like me!) hunt down dirt cheap seats on Megabus routes across Europe. Food and alcohol inside the venues is often cheaper too, so more beers and burgers all round!

festival in Europe

Psychedelic Tomorrowland Festival in Belgium – Photo Credit

Stunning Settings

Leave the muddy fields of Britain behind and find a festival with some seriously stunning surrounds.

From deserted castles, powder-white beaches and beautiful swimming lakes; European festivals are unrivaled in their locations.festival in Europe 2

Great Music

European festivals don’t scrimp on pulling in the biggest and best acts. From specialist music festivals featuring upcoming bands and DJs to festivals littered with global megastars, Europe has a festival for every music taste.

If you’re lucky you can catch some of the biggest bands in the world at smaller venues where they test out their material before a massive gig. Arctic Monkeys played their Glastonbury set for us at Best Kept Secret Festival, weeks before they took to the Pyramid Stage.

festival in Europe 4Make a trip out of it

Well it is summer after all! Grab your closest friends, book into an Air BnB (or book out an entire hostel dorm) and explore more of the country you’re visiting.

When my friends and I headed to Holland for Best Kept Secret Festival we spent a couple of days in Brussels beforehand and did the obligatory stop in Amsterdam afterwards. It was a great, cheap way to explore the area and hang out with your best buds at the same time!

festival in europe 6

Better Weather

The weather plays a major part in British festivals. We all know that the Glastonbury weekend is going to be a wash out or that the Isle of Wight will be flooded, wellies are on the top of every packing list and waterproof ponchos are a festival fashion staple.

But, wait a second, what if it didn’t have to be this way, what if you were practically guaranteed amazing weather? What if you could emerge from a tent to crystal clear skies and tan-worthy temperatures, what if you didn’t need a backpack stuffed with jumpers and woolly socks but instead packed sunglasses and bikinis? Look no further than Europe my friends.

Escape mud-up-to-your-armpits Britain and instead head to Croatia or Montenegro or Spain for some much needed fun in the sun.

festival in EuropePeople aren’t dicks

Festivals are historically happy affairs, with people coming together and sharing their love of good music, great company and beer. However, too many British festivals have lost this sense of community and there are increasingly large numbers of drunken idiots who want to ruin it for everyone.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go to festivals where I get doused by flying bottles of piss or started on in the queue for the bar. Not for me thanks. The European crowds seem so much more laid back, so much friendlier and generally a lot less likely to shit outside my tent.

Has this post convinced you to go to a festival in mainland Europe this summer? Check out some of the best as chosen by Wow 24/7 here.

Have you been to a festival in Europe before or are you planning one this summer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via my social media pages.

Know someone who is heading to a music festival this summer? Don’t be afraid to share!

Clouds

Top 5 Summer Holiday Destinations

CloudsThinking about taking a summer holiday but not sure where to go? Fear not! Here’s my Top 5 Summer Holiday Destinations, take your pick and go!

East Coast, Australia

Australia WhitsundaysI had to put my current base of Australia on the list. Sure, we are about to be plunged into winter but hear me out on this one!

The East Coast is a well-trodden trail which is constantly saturated with eager backpackers, less so in summer. The sun is more relenting, the Great Barrier Reef is killer-jellyfish free and you can keep the budget backpacker friendly. What more could you want?

Lefkas, Greece

Lefkas beachI spent a chunk of last summer in Lefkas and I loved every moment of it. This beautiful island is the most authentically Greek island I’ve visited with barely an English breakfast in sight! If that doesn’t convince you then the food should. Oh, the food…

Whet your appetite with these posts.

Hvar, Croatia

Hvar CroatiaAnother destination I visited last summer was Hvar, a stunning Croatian isle floating an hour away from Split. If you want centuries of culture and picture-perfect beaches all washed down with budget friendly nightlife then get to Hvar, fast!

Read more on Hvar here and let the Globe-Trotting Graduate convince you here.

Istanbul, Turkey

IstanbulSource

For some reason I consider Turkey to be like a second home. I just feel so comfortable there.

Obviously Turkey has some incredible beaches but many become unbearably touristy in the summer months. Instead, head to Istanbul- one of my favourite cities in the world.

Haggle in steamy souks, admire the breathtaking Aya Sofia and cross the line where East meets West.

The Alps, Switzerland

Switzerland TrainsEver since visiting the Swiss Alps last year, I have been yearning for the mountains. The fresh air, the hiking, the incredible landscapes.

I can only imagine how lovely it would be to visit in summer with the warm temperatures, wild swimming and long rolling walks punctuated with picnic stops and fondue. Not that I’ve been daydreaming about it at all…

Find out more about my trip here.

What do you have planned for summer? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

Explore Dublin for Free!

10422071_10155114758470696_1015926901053171302_nPlanning on visiting Dublin on a budget? Despite its expensive reputation, there are plenty of things you can do in Dublin for free!

Here are my favorite FREE Dublin activities:

Free Museums and Galleries

10968356_10155243148430121_2711691825690700122_nDublin is packed full of great free museums and art galleries. Housed in fantastic historic buildings, most are worth a visit just to marvel at the architecture!

A few of my favorites are the IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art – pictured above), the National Museum of Ireland and Dublin City Gallery.

Trinity College

1610874_10155114746380696_6178443380766117798_nA wander around Trinity College is completely free. Soak in the buzzing atmosphere of this inspiring campus and be taken back to the days when Oscar Wilde and Jonathan Swift used to drift over the cobbles.

Take a Stroll in the Park

St Stephens Green DublinDublin has lots of gorgeous parks and green spaces. Picnic, take a stroll and admire the local wildlife in these peaceful pockets of calm.

For the best picnic spots visit quaint St Stephen’s Green and get lost in the mammoth Phoenix Park.

 

Check out Dublin’s Literary History

Oscar Wilde Statue DublinDublin in steeped in literary history. From Beckett to Joyce, there’s no escaping the literary legacy which runs through the veins of the city.

Literary buffs are spoiled for choice but start with the quirky Sweny’s Pharmacy (featured in Joyce’s Ulysses) at Lincolns Place. Volunteers at the pharmacy perform free readings of Joyce’s work in a variety of languages. Finnegan’s Wake in French anyone?

 

Listen to Live Music

Tradfest Concert Dublin Temple BarI was lucky enough to accidentally time my visit with TradFest 2015, meaning that live music was in abundance. Regardless of when you visit, you will always be able to stumble across a man with a fiddle.

Watch the buskers at Temple Bar or find a cosy corner in a local pub to watch some traditional performers. Head to the Cobblestone Pub for cheap pints and guaranteed Irish music every night.

Walk!

Explore Dublin For FreeDublin is a great city for amblers like myself. I managed to avoid taking any public transport during my 3 days in the city as everything is easily reachable on foot.

Stroll along the Liffey by night to see the lights dance on the water, and explore Dublin’s cobbled back streets during the day. Dublin also runs a fantastic free walking tour, which I’m always a big fan of. Find out more here.

Have you visited Dublin? What were your favorite free activities? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages. 

Want to know more about my time in Dublin? Follow the links here, here and here.

Finally, don’t forget to keep me company on Bloglovin’ and give me a follow!

Ha'penny Bridge Dublin

The Dublin Highlights

Ha'penny Bridge DublinMy time in Dublin whizzed past. A long weekend is never enough for the adventurer in me.

Just as I scratch the surface, I’m dragged back to reality – kicking and screaming all the way.

Even after a short 72 hours in Dublin, I came away with quite a list of highlights and plenty of things to go back for.

My Dublin Highlights

St Stephens Green

St Stephens Green Dublin

As much as I love the buzz of the city, it’s always nice to have somewhere to escape to.

Dublin’s answer is St Stephens Green, the quaintest of parks with perfectly manicured gardens, trickling fountains and the cutest pond frequented by brawling ducks and the occasional heron.

If only it didn’t feel as nippy as it did on our trip. There’s major picnic-potential here.

Coffee at Bewley’s

Bewleys Coffee Dublin

Bewley’s is a Dublin institution. Established on Grafton Street in 1927, the decadent cafe has served steaming cups of coffee to the likes of James Joyce and Bob Geldof.

Bewleys Dublin

Although Bewley’s looks too posh to be attainable on my meagre budget, the price of a cuppa is reasonable and they are really good too!

Cake at Queen of Tarts

Queen of Tarts DublinIt would be very easy to dedicate a whole blog post to places to indulge in foamy cappuccinos and tasty cakes in Dublin. But the highlight of them all has to be Queen of Tarts.

With two locations close to vibrant Temple Bar, Queen of Tarts is a perfect place to rest your weary feet and devour a gorgeous cupcake or three…

Meeting my Literary Icons

Oscar Wilde Statue DublinDublin makes the Literature graduate inside of me giddy. It is the one time that all those weeks slaving away over Ulysses finally pays off.

I can nod knowingly in conversations about Joyce, hang out with my pal Oscar whilst quoting The Importance of Being Earnest and pour over moody portraits of Beckett.

Oscar Wilde Quote

The Oscar Wilde statue in Merrion Square was my favorite literary sojourn. He’s an all time favorite of mine and a Dublin legend.

Hunting out Street Art

Street Art DublinDublin is rapidly becoming home to some fantastic street art. The highlight of it all must be Tivoli Car Park, hidden down a back street in a nondescript part of town.

I’ve written about its decorative walls here. Since I first discovered this hidden gem, it has morphed and changed, becoming unrecognizable from my first visit. Street Art Dublin

It’s still just as impressive and a must visit if you’re in this part of Dublin.

Drinking

Guinness in Dublin

Well, it is Ireland after all! A trip to Dublin wouldn’t be the same without a creamy pint of Guinness in your hand. On my first trip as a WKD drinking 18-year old, I had turned my nose up at this unique pint.

This time was a very different story. Guinness is surprisingly moreish and doesn’t leave you feeling too worse for wear the next morning. If it wasn’t for the catastrophic number of calories and 5 euro price tag I’d have it on tap!

For more on my Dublin trip check out my previous post here.

Have you been to Dublin? What were your Dublin highlights? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media links.

 

Temple Bar Dublin

Dublin TradFest 2015

This weekend I got lucky.

I was in Dublin and had somehow managed to time my trip perfectly with the annual TradFest.

TradFest is celebrating its tenth year entertaining Guinness-fuelled crowds across venues in Dublin’s iconic Temple Bar.

The festival brings the best of live traditional and folk music to the heart of Dublin’s city centre, celebrating the talents of Irish and international musicians alike.

Tradfest DublinRealising this happy coincidence hours before I was due to jet off to the city (despite incessantly googling ‘Dublin’ all week-long), we had missed out on securing tickets to many of the free and paid events.

Turns out that you don’t need tickets to enjoy TradFest. It had well and truly taken over the city, Temple Bar especially.

Following the TradFest Music Trail, we hit the bars along the main street, topping up on Guinness as we went.

Guinness DublinThe pubs and bars of Temple Bar were offering top-notch traditional and folk performances.

We were treated to tin whistle recitals and hearty Irish sing-a-longs which became increasingly raucous as the crowds became more acquainted with Dublin’s famous tipple.

Guinness in Dublin

Prices of the famous pint vary ridiculously. The cheapest pint we found in Temple Bar was €5.50 at The Old Storehouse off the main street, but the price crept up to over €6.50 just down the road.

Stocking up on the cheaper pints, we sat back and stretched our vocal chords to versions of ‘Old Rover’ and ‘Belle of Belfast City’.

Tradfest Concert Dublin

The next night was a real treat.

Hidden down a cobbled side street by the waterside is the back entrance of The Merchants Arch. After climbing a winding stone staircase you are greeted by a hidden Beer Hall with high vaulted ceilings and a bar crowded with locals and tourists alike.

Tradfest Concert Dublin Temple BarWe had managed to find ourselves in the audience of a concert hosting an array of the countries brightest musical talents from across the Emerald Isle.

We tapped our feet to harpists, flutists and even Breton vocalists.

Not your standard night out on the town.

Temple Bar Dublin

The festival made our nights out so perfectly Irish! The only downside being that I have now been humming ‘Old Rover’ for 3 days solid…

I came away with a new-found appreciation of Gaelic music and a taste for delicious creamy Guinness.

I love when cities run events like this and let us budget-defined folk in for a mosey.

It made our trip and I would recommend a visit next year!

Check out more information on the festival here.

Have you been to TradFest or are you a fan of traditional music? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

Temple Bar Dublin

Coming up on The Student Travels…

Temple Bar DublinExciting new plans and travel adventures have been keeping me busy lately – hence the sporadic blog posts (soz!).

I have some ridiculously exciting ‘gap life’ news in the pipeline and it has been keeping me – and my dwindling bank balance – very busy!

I will be letting you in on my latest plan for my ‘gap life’ soon, so make sure you stick around so I can share my excitement with you.

Otherwise I may explode…

But for now I’ve been distracted by my upcoming trip to Dublin for the last weekend of January.

I have some very fond memories of this place (I’ve blogged about it here) and can’t wait to dig a little deeper (or just camp out in a pub for 3 days).

My Google search history consists of every variation of ‘free things to do in Dublin’ and an itinerary is slowly beginning to spring to life.

But please, please, please let me know if you have any suggestions! The cheaper the better of course!

 Keep an eye on my social media pages (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) for updates about my new and improved ‘gap life’ plans and Dublin shenanigans!

Guinness dublin

Corfu Town

The Budget Girls Weekend Destination Guide

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a weekend with the girls. Whether you’re exploring somewhere new, downing the local wine or hunting down the best cheese boards in town, girls weekends are the best time to wind down and relax.

These precious moments with your gal pals don’t need to cost the earth either. Make the most of your mates and check out these budget-busting destinations to get the most weekend for your money!

Berlin, Germany

Berlin ReichstaggIf you’re a culture-vulture by day and a hardcore raver by night, Berlin is for you. Check into an apartment with your friends (Airbnb has lots of choice), take to the streets and explore this vibrant and eccentric city.

Perfect for the budget conscious, Berlin has plenty of free museums and the free walking tour is a must!

Hvar, Croatia

Hvar CroatiaThis small slice of island paradise is easily accessible for a weekend getaway. Party hard in Hvar’s budget bars and wash away your sins in the crystal clear Adriatic sea.

 

Switzerland

Switzerland GrindelwaldGet out into the great outdoors and lose yourself in Switzerland’s rugged scenery. Head to the slopes in Winter or visit in Spring to see the mountains in bloom.

Keep an eye on EasyJet for cheap flights to Switzerland’s cities.

Brussels, Belgium

Belgian Waffles BrusselsFoodie heaven. Wash down your sweet treats with local Jupiler beer, admire the architecture at Grand Place and have a laugh at the Manneken Pis.

It’s worth parting with 4 euros for entry into the Museum of the City at Grand Place. The Manneken Pis exhibition is probably the most hilarious thing I have seen.

 

Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral I have made my love for this Kentish city (and my University town) quite clear on this blog!

Just because I’ve graduated doesn’t mean I’ll be letting my Canterbury addiction go any time soon…

Canterbury is a great place for a girly break, catch-up in one of the city’s many bars, coffee shops or restaurants (here are my faves) and soak up the history of this quaint medieval town.

If you’re visiting in the Uni holidays, bag some cheap accommodation in the University halls. Find out how here.

 

Corfu Town, Greece

Corfu Town Beautifully undiscovered, as far as girls-only weekends go, Corfu Town is a hidden gem. Hit the shops, relax on the beach and eat as much Tzatziki as is humanly possible!

Come back home bronzed and refreshed.

 

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin PubOne of the ultimate girly escapes and the first one I took. Dublin is conveniently close to home and cheap to get to with airlines such as Ryan Air.

When you’re there, avoid the expensive pubs in touristy Temple Bar and instead follow the locals into one of the hundreds of other drinking holes. Grab and Guinness and prepare yourself for a sing-along!

Have you been on a girly weekend? What is your favourite destination? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages!

 

Greek Cat

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words: Kitten Rescue in Corfu

Greek Cats Corfu

One of my very first posts published on this blog was about my trip to the Grecian party-resort of Kavos in Corfu. (If you haven’t read it, check it out here).

In the aforementioned post, I recommended heading off the beaten track in order to see the best of the island.

And that is exactly what Ryan and I did.

Plodding through a beautiful olive grove, minding our own business, we heard a loud waling sound unlike anything I’ve heard before.

We scanned the trees for warbling birds and then the ground for strange Greek creatures but saw nothing.

We rambled on.

Then the sound got louder and louder until we couldn’t ignore it any longer.

Something was in pain.

Still unable to see the animal/creature/mutant-bird, we took a closer look at the trees themselves.

And low and behold, we found this little mite staring back at us!

Greek Cat

He had somehow become trapped inside the tree, wedged between two pieces of bark. After trying to pull him out, and failing (gaining a couple of nasty scratches in the process), we ended up having to hack away at the bark until he was eventually prised free.

Shaken and dazed, our new BFF (now named Tomas), shook himself off and purred in appreciation.

I was so sad to leave him but thankfully we found a lovely English family who took him under their wing and fed him their last can of tuna.

Tomas, wherever you are, you are furry fur-tunate to have clawed your way out of this one! Paw-don me for the puns… I couldn’t resist!

Have you got a special story behind your favourite picture? Let me know, I’d love to hear it!

Basel Gate

5 Hours in Basel

With only 5 hours to spend in Basel before catching my flight home, I had a lot to squeeze in. It was lucky that it was a Sunday, when pretty much everything is closed, meaning that I didn’t get distracted by shopping and could focus on Basel’s quaint, winding streets.

So, here’s my list of what to do with your 5 hours in Basel:

Take a self-guided walking tour

Basel Tourist Office have very helpfully created a leaflet packed full of self-guided walking tours. The tours vary in time and ease and are all named after Basel’s former famous residents. We chose the 90 minute tour which led you across the mighty Rhine and ambled along its banks. With a little extra time on our hands we merged a couple of the other routes together and explored Basel’s medieval streets.

Start the tour in Marktplatz and follow the signposted trails.

Basel Medieval Street Basel Rhine

Have a McDonalds

Ok, weird I know but hear me out. Swiss Mcdonalds is the best! Instead of french fries you can choose rosti-fries which are like little hash browns, what’s not to love?! Their gourmet burgers are very nice as well and although the final bill can come to over £10 per person it’s worth it I promise!

Explore Basel University’s Botanic Gardens

A real hidden gem. We stumbled across this tropical oasis by accident and it came as quite a surprise! The gardens and greenhouses are free to explore and will let you stave off that winter chill for a while!

Basel Botanical Gardens Basel Greenhouses

Take the token photos of the Town Hall and Gate of Spalen

These are truly spectacular buildings and well worth a visit. Take your photos in the mornings before large groups of visitors begin to get in your way. I love their patterned roofs!

Basel Rathaus Basel Gate

Pick out your dream house

Followers of my Instagram account may have noticed that I found my dream house during my trip to Grindelwald. In Basel, I began the search for my dream city residence- and competition was high. The homes in Basel are gorgeous and I could just imagine myself watching the world go by outside my shutter-framed windows.

Basel Home Basel Architecture

Grab a coffee

Basel is full of cutesy coffee shops which are a great place to rest your tired feet. My favorite was the main coffee shop inside the converted Schweizerische Volksbank. Find a place beside the roaring fire and treat yourself to a lovely cuppa.

Basel Coffee

Basel is a charming city and one which I would love to explore more. Have you been to Basel, what do you think I missed?