• Life Skills Unlocked,  travel

    Life Skills Unlocked: Surviving the Strip Club

      What immediately springs to mind when you think of strip clubs? I’m not asking those of you who have frequented these places. I’m asking those of you who have always wondered about what goes on behind the black door. Before I’d ever gone to a strip club, here’s what I pictured: Sticky floors. Girls with blank faces and bad posture. Terrible music and worse clientele. Large groups of men gee-eyed with drink, laughing and roaring unfunny jokes at each over the music. Which is all to say that I wasn’t expecting a whole lot. A few years ago, one Monday after work, I sat having a drink with colleagues…

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    Going Off The Grid on Gili Air

    If Ubud is the place you go to join an ashram for five months to find yourself, then the Gili islands are where you go to leave the real world behind and step into an alternate reality where time is but a human construct of no importance. There are three Gili islands: Gili Trewangan (also known as Gili T), Gili Air, and Gili Meno. Gili T is the most popular island, known for full moon parties full of backpacking bros in highlighter yellow sunglasses and sleeveless vests. Gili Meno is ‘The Honeymoon Island,’ where people go to lie on the sand and read their beach lit… partly because there is…

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    Being Thankful in Bali, Indonesia

    In the early hours of the morning, if you walk the streets of Ubud, you will find people sitting on the stoops of their houses or stores, nimbly weaving dried palm leaves together into little containers. ┬áThe first day I saw this, I watched them do it and wondered about their silent, skilled work. These containers were then set in front of their places of work, in front of their shrines, in front of their houses, and filled with different items. I asked a local about these and she smiled, nodding. “Yes. Canang sari.” “Are they for a festival?” I asked, eyeing the brightly coloured little baskets. “No, no. Daily…

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    BRB From Bali

    Thanks to the distractions of sun, sea, sand and patchy internet, I have been on an impromptu blog pause while I’ve been traipsing in and around Bali. I photographed monkeys and ate nasi goreng and read books and swam with sea turtles and watched sun sets and pet stray cats and drank banana lassis and spent a lot of time with my toes dug deep into the sand, feeling extremely lucky. There are awful things happening back home in Europe. I can feel the ripple of fear from half a world away, however hard we try to mask it. When will it stop? How can we put an end to…

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    Joining in in Jaipur, India

    After the maelstrom of Delhi, Scrubs and I were glad to escape to the relative serenity of Jaipur. The famously pink buildings seemed to glow a warm welcome in the sun as we dragged our battered and dusty bags through the streets of the city. We had finally arrived after a long train journey and, despite feeling a little rough around the edges, I was unspeakably relieved to be out of the capital. From the moment we set foot inside its walls, Jaipur felt utterly different. My shoulders lowered themselves from their protective position up around my ears and I relaxed for the first time in days. If Delhi had felt…

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    Chasing UFOs at Chichibu National Park, Japan

    I had been in Japan only a few days when my brother suggested visiting Chichibu. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “You’ll love it!” I was happy to go along with his suggestion, seeing as he 1.) is my brother and b.) was living in Japan at the time, so I cheerfully agreed, and the following morning I found myself on a little bus destined for Chichibu National Park. This post isn’t really about the national park, however. As we wandered up the hill from the entrance, I munched on my matcha-flavoured pocky sticks and looked around me. It was a sunny day and my brother was right, the park was beautiful.…

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    Barely Surviving Bansko, Bulgaria

    Well. As I stood thigh-high in snow, looking around me for any sign of civilisation, I patted my pockets for my phone and marveled at my own stupidity. Let me backtrack for a moment and explain that this happened in 2007, and that I want to tell this story because I wouldn’t want you to expect my travel stories to be in any way aspirational. In fact, many of my stories are of situations to be avoided, whether that’s due to the holy mortifying shame of them, or just a general lack of critical thinking skills displayed at the time. With that said, this is definitely one of the latter.…

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    Sporadically Nomadic

    I love to travel. I have been traveling since I was born. My mother is Spanish and my father is Irish, so in order to meet half of my extended family I had to be put on a plane as early as possible*. Since then, I’ve been busy trying to visit as many new places as I can. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those golden-haired, anklet-wearing, hostel-loving free spirits who go traveling barefoot for months on end and post pictures on instagram that make you want to claw your eyes out with jealousy. I’m more of a Dora the Explorer type. Not the new stylised version with the pearl earrings…