Street food is an inseparable part of cuisine in Hanoi. So when in Hanoi, do as Hanoians do. This traveling motto sounds very easy to follow, but for those who are newcomers in the ancient capital city, finding the best street food can be a tricky venture.
However, you’re a smart one, and you’re reading this post. So let me divulge the best places to go and what to devour when you discover them.
Having recently gone through major restoration project, Greenwich Market is now a fresh and shiny covered market that plays host to every kind of stall you can imagine.
Within the main hall of the market are the temporary stalls that range from hand crafted watches all the way down to the tastiest Chinese food.
Around the edge of the market, built into its structure, are permanent shops. Some of these range from a dedicated map store to a shop full of antique posters.
The food is towards the north side of the market and literally ranges from all corners of the world. The sushi stalls are my favourite.
Spa Terminus – Bermondsey
If you’re visiting Maltby Market that’s number 1 on this list, then you also have to take a trip to Spa Terminus. Spa Terminus is literally down the road from Maltby!
Spa Terminus is a new addition to the area and is made up of sellers who were previously at Maltby market. The sellers decided to set up another market with a slightly more traditional feel.
Here you will find among others: Ice Cream Union, the London Honey Company, Mons Cheesemongers, and fine wine establishments.
Venn Street Market – Clapham
Open every Saturday on Clapham Common Venn street market is a market that works specifically with local producers and farmers.
You will find vegetable stores, fish mongers, bakeries, cheese stalls, and of course brownie stalls!
There are plenty of areas to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. There are also plenty of places to sit down and enjoy the lovely food and drinks that on offer!
The best food at London Markets?
These 5 markets are each unique in their own way and have slightly different vibes.
All these markets are south of the river and within public transport distance, so you could definitely visit more than one in a day if you like.
The food you find will be different in each market, as will be the establishments in which you sit down and eat in.
Take note of these 5 markets and let your tastes buds have a great day out too!
Written by Michael
Guest posting on sites is an essential weapon in any bloggers arsenal. Writing guest posts for other sites or accepting posts to your own site can get your blogs name out there, increase your rankings on search engines, bring in free content for your site, and create some lucrative income.
If you want to take your blog to the next level, you need to know how guest posting works.
With guest posting, the key is to make each exchange mutually beneficial. Both parties need to benefit in some way in order for guest posts to work.
In its most basic terms, one party will gain content for their site and the party providing the content will include links within this content that will help their website gain exposure.
As your influence increases and your blog grows, you will start to benefit more in different ways from these exchanges.
As your influence increases, companies, individuals, and agencies will offer more to you, for less in return – all for the chance to be exposed on your blog.
It makes sense – the more exposure something will get when it is placed on your blog, the more someone is willing to do to get it there! Let’s get into guest posting and what you need to do ….
Guest Posting on Sites for Free
When first starting out it’s essential to write guest posts on sites free of charge. This can literally be any website that will give exposure to your blog.
For instance, as I run a travel blog, I emailed every travel agency, airline, travel magazine, and product maker out there pitching my guest posts. I’ve included an example email pitch below:
The bigger the following the company you write for, the better. Guest posting on sites such as a big travel company might give you as much exposure and writing posts for 3 smaller travel blogs.
However, every link to your site that you get out there will help overall!
What’s in it for you? Within the piece of content, you’re going to include a link or two to your website and also ask for your author bio to be included at the bottom of the page., this should be about 100 words max.
The other site gets free content and you get a backlink on their site. Win – Win!
Accept peoples/companies prewritten guest posting on your site for free
Once happy you can copy and paste the content onto your site, format it, and publish it. Of course, send an email to the party that supplied the content to let them know its published!
As your site gains more exposure, people will want to start placing links on your site for their own benefit.
Bloggers are going to do what you did in step 1. They’ll get in contact, offer you content, and include links to their site in this content.
You need to review the content, make sure its suitable for your site and make sure you’re happy with the links included. I personally don’t include links to gambling or money lending sites.
Write posts for your own site including links to other sites for a fee.
Marketing companies are soon likely to get into contact asking you to write posts for your own blog and include links to their client’s websites.
You will likely have to submit a blog post idea for approval then once approved and you’re happy with the links then you can start writing away. Once you’ve finished writing the post you’ll probably have to send them the finished article for approval before you publish it.
Companies will offer to pay you a fee for this. Typically, this starts off at $20-$30 per post. This price will increase the bigger following you have and the more influence you have as an influencer.
When you’ve published the post make sure you email the company the link, this is often a requirement before they will pay you.
Accept prewritten guest posts for your site for a fee
The pinnacle is when companies will pay you to publish their prewritten posts with links to their clients.
So far, I’ve had a few of these, a couple have paid $100 for me to essentially copy and paste a well written blog post onto my blog and publish it.
With a little formatting work that’s essentially $100 for 5 minutes work – not bad! These companies can pay you through PayPal and in order to be paid you will need to send them a link to the post when it is live.
This progression of guest posting on sites will happen at different speeds for different bloggers.
If you provide 10 guest posts in step one this will start you off very well on your guest posting journey! Don’t get disheartened if it takes a while for steps 2 and onwards to occur – it might take 6 months or more, but it’ll be worth it.
It is also important to note that during your guest posting journey you should continue to create original content for your own site! If you become over reliant on guest posts you might become lazy and never write your own content!
Blogging is amazing, but it isn’t a simple and easy journey, keep at this and your little baby will continue to grow and grow ☺
Written by Michael
Everybody loves holidays, that goes without saying. The change in surroundings, the very idea of breaking away from your daily routine and leaving it all behind is often enough to make a holiday good enough without even doing anything on it. That said, why settle for less? If you’re already on holiday, you might as well go the extra mile and actually enjoy your time somewhere in a country which you paid a hefty sum for plane tickets to get to. Holidays are nowhere near as common as we would like, whether it’s because you can’t get time off work, or maybe due to budgeting reasons, not everyone can go on holidays as much as they hoped, meaning we have to make do with the little time we do have. When you do actually finally make it to your holiday destination of choice, you’ve already committed, spent a decent amount of money to get there and probably already paid for a hotel or an Airbnb. For some, it might feel like spending on anything else would be suicide. Don’t let that feeling drag you and your holiday spirits down, people spend money on holiday, that’s just the nature of the beast, and at the end of the day, would you rather dip a little bit into your savings or have a mediocre holiday? Without any further ado, let’s look at things which you could splash some cash on during your vacation to whatever part of the world you decide to explore this time, and know that it will be worth it. Continue reading “When On Holidays, Go The Extra Mile: Make It Count.”
Written by Michael
Let’s be honest, there are no shortage of Sushi restaurants in London.
Like most things in life however, not all sushi restaurants are created equally.
You can pop into some sushi restaurants and leave feeling like a wet fish full of disappointment.
What you’re really looking for are those restaurants that transport you to Japan, where local Japanese people go, and where you will leave feeling like a puffer fish full of delicious sushi and optimism.
Thankfully, if you are in London, you are blessed with some great and varied sushi options, here they are.
Eat Tokyo Sushi Restaurants
Stupidly, i’m going to start this list with my favourite sushi restaurant. I know you should save the best till last, but i’m just so excited about it!
Eat Tokyo is very popular; you’ll usually have a 10-15 minute line outside the restaurants, especially the one in Soho. Once you’re in however, its awesome and bustling.
The selection is so vast that you are literally given a ring binder by your server, who by the way, will likely be dressed in traditional Japanese attire.
The food is great quality and super cheap for London. Salmon Teriyaki nomnomnom.
Soho, Holborn, Notting Hill, and more.
Zaibatsu – Greenwich
I cant write this article without including my local favourite.
The small plastic chairs that surround the few tables remind you of South East Asia, and the food is good quality yet cheap.
You have to book to eat here because its so popular and seating is limited!
All you can eat great sushi? Its not a dream you little munchkin!
Sushi Cafe’ in Battersea has a great fixed menu full of traditional and fusion style sushi, from which you are free to order.
However, it also has a buffet full of great sushi rolls and other dishes!
You have 90 minutes to eat as much as you can before the staff will roll you out like a sushi roll.
Roka is rather fancy, and because of that, its rather expensive. However, if you’re willing to push the boat out a bit, its so worth spending the extra money.
The restaurants have an open grill in the middle of the room where you can see the sushi being cooked.
You can sit around this table if you want to get really close to the action!
Charlotte Street, Canary Wharf, Aldwych, and Mayfair.
Sticks ‘N’ Sushi Restaurants London
Sticks ‘N’ Sushi is extremely well established across London. It’s probably the second most expensive option on this list, behind Roka, but its provides great quality sushi in a warm and cosy atmosphere.
With soothing music playing in the background, all you need to do it sit back and let the extremely professional staff serve you beautifully created and scrumptious sushi.
Greenwich, Covent Garden, Wimbledon, and more.
Rock Star Sushi Restaurant
Rock Star Sushi Bar is consistently rated 5 stars by pretty much everyone who visits it.
The establishment itself is tiny so you need to book, once you’re in however, the sushi looks and tastes amazing. The restaurant prides itself on the presentation of the food and it will delight you with its concoctions that are reasonably priced.
After you leave here and you’ll feel like a rock star sushi roll 😉
Written by Michael
There are beautiful places to visit in Morocco everywhere you go in the country. Geographically this country is only about the size of California however, this dainty country has a population of about 34 million, and it is incredibly rich and complex in its history.
Moroccans have stayed one of the friendliest and most hospitable individuals within the world. You can virtually speak to anyone that has ventured through Morocco andthey’ll all say a similar thing, that Moroccan kindness and cordial reception is one of the finest around.
The country is full of colours, It’s beauty sparks from mountain ranges elongating throughout the country, to the glistening azure ocean, and the yellow sand dunes of the desert.
The country is additionally home to uncountable lovely cities, everyone adding to Morocco’s distinctive landscape and culture.
Here are ten of the loveliest places for you to go to.
Your Moroccon Holiday could be the best and most memorable holiday in a long time.
Of course you are, its a stunning city just waiting to be explored!
Istanbul is located in the perfect place to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures and all the attractions that these cultures provide.
Situated right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the country is a melting pot of huge civilisations.
Imagine being on one continent, and then in an instant, you are transported to another one via a short boat or taxi ride. Its location makes Istanbul a very unique place to visit that very few other destinations can rival.
If you are aware of current world events right now, the chances are that Turkey isn’t likely to be on your current ‘must-see’ list. Because of its closeness to the Middle East – in geographical and political terms – a lot of people are thinking twice about visiting.
But while there is an element of risk, the reality is that it is in the same security state as virtually everywhere else in Europe and the western world. And missing out on such a beautiful and welcoming country would be such a shame. With this in mind, here are a few awesome reasons why you should rip up your current travel plans and book a visit to Turkey instead.
There is something about Spain that makes it a country that it’s easy to spend long amounts of time exploring. Home to some incredibly diverse landscapes, the Spanish Pyrenees are a beautiful mountain range, while Sierra Nevada, a gorgeous snow capped mountain range, rises up above the sunshine of Andalucia. Then there are the country’s incredible cliffs in the Northwest, swaddled by Mediterranean coves and white sand beaches. Throughout the country, there are historic villages featuring traditional Spanish architecture, as well as vibrant towns and cities. There is no doubt about it, Spain is somewhere that has a lot to offer every traveller.
Travelling, in all forms, is a journey of discovery. No matter where you go or how you travel, you’ll be discovering new ways of living, even if you’re not fully conscious at the time. When you’re trying to mumble through your broken French, or seeing whole cities pull down the blinds during siesta hours, you’re adding another layer to your education. If you thrive on this type of learning, then the world is your oyster. If you throw yourself into the deep end, at the end of your comfort zone no less, then you’ll be rewarded by awesome experience after awesome experience. Below, we take a look at five ways you can find the adventure you seek.
Europe offers so many cultures, culinary delights, and climates. No wonder it is such a holiday favourite, no matter where you’re from. There are plenty of choices, and the ease of travel from country to country on the mainland makes it a traveller’s delight too. Best of all, it’s still pretty easy to hop over for a spur-of-the-moment long weekend. Here’s where to head to for each season of the year:
You might think farms are mainly for the kids, and so did we, but as Connor and I found out, apparently farms are just as much fun in your mid 20’s.
We visited the urban oasis and unique site that is Mudchute Park and Farm near Canary Wharf in London.
I remember going to farms as a youngster; the excitement of seeing all the animals, feeding them, and thinking I could actually talk to them.
My favorite were the sheep and goats who nearly took your hand with them when they gobbled up the food you gave them.
Now that i’m older I realize, to my disappointment, that I am no Dr Doolittle. However, the memories of visiting farms as a youngster are still very vivid and i’m sure I learnt a thing or two when I visited them!
Nestled in the shadows of the financial center of London lies Mudchute Park and Farm.
You can get on the DLR and hop off at either Mudchute or Crossharbour, then take the short walk over the road to one of the many entrances, one of which has quite a nice arched walkway.
Entrance to both the park and farm are free of charge. I don’t really know how they do this, I think they rely on charitable donations and the income from the few shops there.
If you come into the same entrance we did then the first animals you will see are the sheep and Llama. It has to be said, they do like their picture being taken.
Llamas are just funny animals who look clueless, and the way Raphael the sheep had been sheered left him a cute little afro which he appreciated being stroked…
There’s a variety of animals at Mudchute to keep you entertained and you can feed them all. I’m sure a few kids over the years have lost fingers to sheep and goats gobbling down the pellets offered to them!
Goats are particularly ballsy and will grab at anything they think is food! Unfortunately they don’t have any baby goats jumping around everywhere like you’ve seen on Facebook recently!
There’s also a few shops near the stables that serve food and drinks. The small fish shop provide good fried shrimp and squid which is advertised as £3 but costs £4.50 so watch out for that.
The other main cafe is open on every day apart from a Monday (we went on a Monday lol) so there’s opportunities for a relaxing meal! There’s also a couple of sweet stalls for you to get tooth decay at 🙂
Slightly to the south of the farm there’s a few little nature trails that look really nice and something you wouldn’t expect to find right next to the financial district! Further on there’s lots of football pitches, seems like Mudchute is a decent place to live for greenery!
All in all Mudchute Farm and Park is a great day out for all ages. I saw families there, couples there, and two strange guys in thee mid 20’s stroking a sheeps afro…
Written by Michael
Service charge In the UK sucks.
“Can you take the service charge off the bill please?”
The idea of asking to take off the service charge in the UK probably fills you with dred.
Don’t worry, it’s very British of you.
Now let me set out from the beginning: I do not have any issue whatsoever with receiving the bill for what I ordered and paying the server a tip for their good work.
What I do have a problem with is restaurants adding on to the bill automatically service charge in the UK. This “optional” service charge is usually 12.5%, which can add up to a decent amount.
Now this isn’t the servers fault, it’s the companies themselves who decide to put it on the bill. The funny thing is, you are perfectly entitled to have it taken off the bill.
You don’t have to pay it as along as it was not made aware to you that it was a ‘compulsory service charge’ somewhere on the menu or verbally.
The 4 main reasons for my utter dislike of this “optional” service charge in the UK are as follows;
1. Servers might assume that their tip is safe.
Now I know many servers work bloody hard in their job.
However, I am sure that if some know that the tip will be included on the bill no matter what, that some may drop back a little on their enthusiasm and effort.
It’s just natural not put in as much effort if there’s no reward. I’ve been to plenty of restaurants where this optional service charge has been included and the service is average at best!
2. It rewards bad servers.
The optional service charge also rewards bad servers just as much as the excellent ones.
Now anyone knows that this isn’t fair. How can a miserable server who doesn’t smile and doesn’t pay you any attention get the same tip as someone who is bubbly, conversational and helps you out whenever you need it?
3. Servers get paid a decent wage in the first place.
In the USA I don’t have a problem with paying the optional service charge which is included with all bills.
The reason I don’t have a problem with this in the US is because the servers literally need it to survive.
You see, servers are paid differently in the US; in many states they’re allowed to be paid as low as $2.63 per hour. The tips and gratuity are expected to make up this short fall and bring wages up to, or above the minimum wage.
As a result, in America you can blame the sates and the government for paying so little, not the restaurants.
However, in the UK servers have the same minimum wage as every other profession in the whole land.
Now I know this might not be much, but again, let tips that the customer CHOOSES to leave bring this wage up to a higher level.
4. It takes advantage of the fear of embarrassment.
If you’ve never said the sentence at the beginning of this post, you’ve probably wanted to at some point in your life, but you haven’t.
This is absolutely fine and it’s very British of you.
However, restaurants take advantage of this fear of confrontation/embarrassment by knowing that not many people will question the 12.5% optional service charge in the UK, even if the service was poop.
Do you have to pay service charge in the UK?
Now, if you feel like your waiter didn’t deserve the tip, or you just cant fathom the idea of paying someone extra for a job they’re already paid to do, then you can ask for the optional service charge to be taken off.
Because it is just meant to be that – optional! Restaurants cant refuse to take it off unless it was made aware to you before that it would be added and it was compulsory.
I remember one time I went to the rip off that is Busaba Eathai. As soon as we sat down and before we had ordered we were brought food, either the servers were mind readers or it wasn’t our food.
The glass for my drink had lipstick on, the portions were tiny, and we had about 13 different servers during our time there.
At the end I asked for the service charge to be taken off.
They then asked why!? As if I had to give a good enough reason or they wouldn’t take it off. I kindly reminded them that it was optional and they removed it.
I haven’t been back since!
I’ve never really understood service charge in the first place. Waiters are doing the job they’ve been employed to do.
You don’t see a lifeguard rescuing someone then asking for a £10 tip for the pleasure. I don’t know how this “optional” tipping culture has come about. But it needs to stop.
If restaurants took off this optional service charge i’m sure there wouldn’t be much of a dip in tips. Even if there was a dip, it would be a dip for the bad servers who would have to up their game, while the good servers will keep on bringing in the tips.
Restaurants need to remove these “optional” tips from the bill and let the customer chose the tip, they will see an increase in the standard of service and it will reward the good servers.
To the restaurants: We’re not in America, we’re in the UK, so stop taking advantage of the brilliant British shyness.
Written by Michael
Zaibatsu in the borough of Greenwich in South London is a hidden gem of a Sushi Restaurant. The establishment dishes up excellent sushi at a fraction of the cost you would normally expect.
Situated on Trafalgar Road the eatery won’t receive any awards for modern looks, but that’s all part of the charm.
The outside is pretty drab – however, this only adds to its hidden gem allure. You wouldn’t expect anything decent to be beyond the old and faded signage of the facade.
Sushi has seen its popularity sore recently with boutique restaurants opening up all over London.
One of the main reasons for this surge is claims that it’s a great food for your health, as well as tonnes of celebrities eating it.
However, i’m not attracted to the food for the health benefits, the main reason for my love of Sushi is the fact that it just tastes bloody good!
Step inside Zaibatsu Greenwich and you will see that the small restaurant has just enough room for one row of chairs and tables either side of the door.
You’ll be greeted as soon as you enter and then shown to your seats. As it’s so small its best to book in advance – most of the time they’ll probably be fully booked!
The seats are cheap plastic ones and the tables are a mix match of colors – it definitely reminds me of my time eating out in South East Asia.
If you want to drink alcohol with your meal Zaibatsu don’t actually serve it as they don’t have a licence (A reason their food is so cheap). However, they’re happy for you to bring your own alcohol and they’ll even uncork it for you, how nice.
The menu provides a huge selection of Japanese food; you have your standard rolls, Katsu curries, tempura, and sizzling dishes.
If you haven’t used chopsticks before the back of the menu provides pretty clear instructions on how to hold chopsticks and look like a boss.
Now here comes what you want the most – the food!
From where you’re sitting you can see the fridge where they store the fish and take it out for your order. You can order platters at Zaibatsu that are are very generous and good value for money.
The one below was the classic platter which was £14 and filled you up quickly!
On another visit I had 4 Salmon Nigiri (£5) as well as a huge Chicken Katsu Curry (£6.50) which I could hardly finish.
People are amazed at how much I eat sometimes and these two plates very nearly defeated me but tasted great!
The Katsu Curry was very filling! Within the curry there are potatoes in addition to the rice you already have, and the chicken is a very decent size.
The restaurant take great care in decorating each dish with a variety of vegetables, leaves, and cones.
My absolute favorite dish (out of the ones I’ve tried) is the Sizzling Salmon Teryaki (£8.50).
The plate comes out steaming hot to your table and the serving of salmon is always generous and slightly crispy on the outside. The vegetables taste great as well as the rice.
There are plenty of other dishes on the menu at Zaibatsu Greenwich and you’ll struggle to decide what to have.
After you’ve eaten you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the total price of the meal.
You’ll probably also leave realising not all hidden gems appear shiny at first 😉
Written by Michael
I’ve really fallen in love with the USA over the last couple of years.
Spending two summers working at a summer camp in Maine and subsequently meeting my girlfriend there have made it a home from home and given the country a special place in my heart.
I now hop across the pond whenever I can to see Annie, and today I am lucky enough to be doing just that!
There’s a general rule when it comes places to go and things to do in destinations:
If the locals like it then its bloody good and you’re going to have a unique experience.
Greenwich in South East London is no different and contains hidden gems that you wont find through your tour operators. This list contains a Sushi restaurant, a pub, a wine bar, a jazz cub an a planetarium! Variety is the spice of life 😉
The Tucson food scene has been rapidly expanding in recent years. An array of new top restaurants in Tucson have popped up to satisfy every taste.
Tucson is very lucky because it has Fox Restaurant Concepts; this guy just makes up great restaurant concepts then builds them – so much so that 4 out of the 7 restaurants on this list are a Fox Concept Restaurant.
Being in Arizona and on the border with Mexico there’s of course tacos included. Tucson food is sure not to disappoint!
Prep & Pastry.
“Brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast”
This is Preps motto – You want to go already don’t you?
Absolutely amazing food from these brunch specialists! The food looks like art and is so scrumptious.
I had a steak and egg sandwich which I devoured happily. You’l also be happy to know all their food is sourced locally – they’re nice like that.
This place served me the biggest breakfast burrito I’ve ever had (see video). It’s also the only breakfast burrito I’ve ever had, but it was still huge!
This place serves great omelettes with a southern taste so expect brown rice, beans, potatoes and tortillas!
They also like to make some things slightly healthy so you’ll find lots of healthy extras like avocados 😉
HUB Restaurant and Ice Creamery.
This restaurant in downtown Tucson has a hipster vibe with lots of ropes and cool lights hanging from the ceiling.
The food is gorgeous with my two favourites being the chicken pot pie and the bacon mac n cheese.
After you’ve finished your main ask for some ice cream which can be made with coconut milk, almond milk or regular milk and come in so many flavors.
If you want an even bigger selection of ice cream head across the road the the Hub Ice Creamery!
Wildflower American Cuisine
The first of Fox Concepts Restaurants provides artsy Food, splendid cocktails and great customer service. The classy interior is the perfect back drop for a few glasses of wine with your meal and you can get half price bottles on Tuesdays!
The restaurant also has a patio area with scenic mountain views! Tucson Lifestyle lists it in its top 5 restaurants and says it has the best deserts in the whole of Tucson.
This place serves modern Italian food in a buzzing atmosphere. Situated at La Encantada Mall, the restaurant has a heated patio with fires you can sit around and drink wine at.
The decor of the interior has lots of Italian quirks such a pasta maker and an open fronted kitchen where you can see the pizzas being cooked! Happy hour is Monday to Friday 3pm -6pm and all day Sunday.
Blanco – Tacos & Tequila.
Blanco specializes in Mexican and southwestern food and serves award winning BBQ Pork Tacos! The food is great but the drinks on offer are just as good with a host of margaritas, sangria, tequila and Mexican beers!
The Restaurant has a great patio and is one of the top restaurants in Tucson for Mexican Food!
Oh God, if you love burgers then you will love this place, even if you don’t love burgers you’re going to love it.
They have healthy burgers, gourmet burgers and the blue cheese burger which I chose and was scrumptious.
For a burger joint its very nice but don’t worry, no dress code; you’ll have business men wearing suits then sports fans wearing tank tops.
Written by Michael
Written by Michael
So you know when you think of American colleges (university’s) you think of beer pong, red cups, the different social groups, pristine campuses and high level sports? It looks like so much fun and you wish it was real life right? Well before we visited our friend Katie at a college in Rhode Island I was sceptical whether it was true or not, but alas, the visit proved that the movies weren’t actually lying and it is actually reality!
After a 2 and a half hour drive from Boston where we sped past a cop car and were lucky not to get pulled over, we crossed over from the state of Massachusetts into the State of Rhode Island. The GPS was taking us straight to the campus and to get there we had to cross several bridges over the coastal and bay area of Rhode Island which were beautiful themselves and had breath-taking views.
We arrived at the college and parked up on a street just off campus. We had no means of communicating with her so just started wandering around her campus kind of just hoping to bump into her. The campus itself was gorgeous; perfectly cut lawns, fountains in the middle of lakes, blue and white wooden cladded blocks of flats and plenty of statues. After a while we eventually accepted that we weren’t going to bump into her wandering around so we asked a couple of groups of students if they knew her (another long shot I know). Unsurprisingly at a campus with 5000 students the answer was no. We needed to contact her. We walked to the college library wanting to the use the computers to message Katie. We were expecting to be turned away as we weren’t students, but somehow we just strolled in, said hi to the receptionists, walked through the barriers with no questions asked and found a computer that somebody had forgotten to log out of. I logged onto Facebook, told her where we were and she said she’d come get us. After a few minutes we saw her walk across the lawn and into the library and we were reunited with one of our closest friends from over the summer!
Once reunited we headed to Katie’s accommodation where we were going to spend two nights. The accommodation was great, although we’d be sleeping on the floor, the rooms were like apartments and were really spacious whereas in England you’re stuck with your little cupboard to live in like Harry Potter.
We then headed to the college canteen as we hadn’t eaten all day. This was where we first really had a taste of American college life. The canteen was full of students and It was so interesting to people watch; the groups you see in the films kind of existed to. The food was good as well with lots of choice and some of it was actually pretty healthy! That night we attended a dorm party off campus where we played many games of beer pong, talked to lots of American students and were asked to ‘say something!’ in our accents about 1462 times. It turned out to be a great night and we woke up the next morning all piled into Katie’s dorm feeling a little worse for the wear.
The day was now Sunday and Katie had Work due on Monday so we decided to leave her be for the day and visit the local coastal town of Newport. Although quite touristy, Newport is a nice place to visit as it has tons of bars, restaurants and shops available at your leisure. Whilst you’re not ogling the Maserati’s driving past or the massive yachts in the harbours there are also a series of cliff walks available as well as multiple beaches that are all worth a visit. Rejects beach, named as there is a beach nearby which you have to pay for and anyone who doesn’t want to pay goes to Rejects, is the best beach to visit in the area.
Once finished at the beach we headed back to meet Katie who suggested we go to Colt State Park to chill out and relax. If you have the time, this place is well worth a visit; there’s a great little jetty where you can find fisherman all day and it has amazing views over the bay and of Patience Island. It’s also a great place to watch the sunset. We stayed there for about an hour and on our way out in the car we nearly bumped into a Doe and her baby who were running across the road. That night we chilled with Katie and some of her friends on campus then hit the hay as Katie had class the next morning. We Woke up the next morning to Katie returning from her 9am class and realised we had to leave ASAP as we had to return our rental car to New York by 1pm that day. We showered, brushed our teeth and packed ready to go. We then said our goodbyes to Katie wo was great to us over the couple of days we were there. I’m sure I will see her again whether in the USA or across the pond in the UK.
Written by Michael
This is Vlog #2 of our first full day of travelling were we drove up Mount Washington, went zip lining and drove to Boston! Enjoy x
Written by Michael
So the camp likes to do different things for dinner during the orientation period to help councilors bond. So one day we made our sandwiches in the main lodge then piled into vans and traveled to ‘The ridge’. The Ridge is about 20 minutes drive from camp and is on top of a large hill which has great views across the endless forests of the state of Maine. The ridge had large open spaces of grass and the weather was sunny. The vans parked up and we chilled out while listening to music and eating our lunches. After this we played Ultimate Frisbee, football and birdie on a perch. Birdie on a perch is a game where you get in pairs, one as a birdie and one as a perch. Perches walk around in a circle one direction and birdies walk outside the perches in another circle but in the opposite direction. When ‘birdie on a perch’ is shouted, the birdie must find their perch and jump on their back. Last pair to do this goes out. It’s simple and addictive. Football got pretty intense, tackles were flying in high and fast but everyone was enjoying it and I have to say some decent play was made. We stayed there for a couple of hours having a really chilled time, we then got back in the vans and returned to camp about 8.
The same day as the ridge was also Emma’s, who I met in the airport, birthday. As she was turning 21 the girls organised for us to leave camp and travel into the nearest local town to have drinks and an eat to bite. We all got changed out of our now very over used uniforms and after some trouble getting enough cars to take all 15 of us, we travelled out of camp to the nearest large town of Windham. We went to this little restaurant called Applebee’s which was perfect as it accepted under 21’s as some of our group weren’t legal. At the bar the girls recommended the Blue Moon beer but it was out of stock so I had a similar one which was alright but no ciders were available which was disappointing. I feel like there might be a lack of ciders in the US, which is worrying as it’s my staple back home! The conversation was good as it was all our first real night out and we were still getting to know each other. At camp we’re all so busy we don’t really get too much chance to have a good chat and when we do we just want to go to bed! Us non lodge males all know each other pretty well but as the girls are in their cabins with the kids at night so this was a good opportunity to get to know them better.
Applebee’s was the site of my first food order in America. I have a few friends who had been to the states before and all pretty much said everything is supersized compared to the UK. Excited for this I ordered a steak from the menu expecting a massive piece of cow. What I actually got was 3 pieces of meat and some rice! I was pretty miffed but let it go, knowing not to buy food from the establishment again! This was also my first tipping experience in the States. Don’t get me started on that – just pay your staff a decent wage.
The journey home was fun as Audrey who was driving had a Mumford & Sons CD and all 6 of us in the car absolutely belted it out the whole way home. Once back at camp we once again collapsed onto our beds ready to get back to work the next day.
Written by Michael
Well first of all, Hello and thank you for following my adventures. Secondly if you’re reading this, I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Michael and I’m a 23 year old Londoner who has recently graduated from Queen Mary, University of London studying geography BSc. As you have probably guessed by the title of this blog, I like to travel. I like it a lot.
I’ve been lucky enough over the last few years to travel to some amazing places and I’ve decided to set up this blog in order to document them. One reason for this is for personal recollection and another is to share the adventure with others and hopefully encourage people to explore the world and travel.
I guess my love affair with travel started when I was 20. One weekend during my first year of Uni me and two mates got the ‘itch’ and decided to drive to Paris and stay in a great little hostel for 3 nights. It was my first time in a hostel and it felt right from the beginning. Everyone had the same mind-set of meeting new people and just wanted to have a good time. My two mates and I got talking to these 4 Kenya’s and an Israeli chick who we basically spent the weekend with. We went around Paris day and night visiting all the sites, drinking, eating and basically just had a great time. After the weekend was over we said our goodbyes and drove back to London. I left Paris with the decision made that I wanted to travel more and as often as possible.
That summer, funded by working as a lifeguard every day I had off Uni, I Inter-railed around Europe. The next summer I traveled around South East Asia for 2 months (video Below). Now I’m sitting on a coach after flight from London to Boston on my way to start my next adventure; working at a summer camp in the USA. The camp is in the US state of Maine and I’ll be staying there for 11 weeks working as a swim teacher and lifeguard. After this my visa allows me to travel the country for 30 days until I have to return home at the end of September.
Welcome to the adventure.