travel

My Travel Story

travel

•This post is going to be very, very picture heavy!!

You know me by now and you will all know that I am a massive history nerd, I just love anything and everything that has any historical relevance, so it’ll be no surprise for you to hear that I am in love with travelling. When I say travelling I don’t mean holidaying, which I think is completely different, I mean actual, real tourist travelling.

I am the kind of person that has a camera around their neck at all times, who takes pictures of animals because hey it’s an America pigeon and I love to immerse myself in the culture. I enjoy seeing the sights of importance, trying the local delicacies and learning more about the culture. So I wanted to share a snippet of my travel story with you.

This isn’t a complete list, there other places that I have not listed because there were just holidays and of course they are still special in their own way!!

If you are interested in seeing some more of my travel pictures, take a look at my Pinterest board!

Malia, Crete

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When – Between leaving high school and going to university, so the summer of 2008.

What we did – We went to Malia in Crete for our first holiday without the parents, something that has become a rite of passage for thousands of British teenager. A large group of us went from school, 14 I think, and we spent the holiday bonding, drinking and making memories to prepare us for university. We spent most of the time drinking but we did also do a banana boat and parasailing.

What I thought – It changed me in a lot of ways and it definitely made me more independent and for the first time I felt carefree and young. I guess I was quite a serious person in school and Malia gave me a chance to have fun. My confidence grew and the holiday changed me for the better. It was one of the best experiences and I would recommend it to anyone.

What I learnt – I am more capable than I think I am.

 Krakow and Auschwitz, Poland

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Synagogue

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Auchwit

When – I have been twice. The first time I went it was between my second and third years of university so the summer of 2010. The second time was April last year.

What we did – I decided to organise this trip because I was sick of the university historical trips only visiting Welsh locations of interest and the summer of 2010 seemed like the perfect time to do so. It was the time at which we were all starting to decide upon our dissertation subjects and I knew that mine would be focussed around the Holocaust and I assumed there would be other people with similar subject areas. I sent out an email and without society backing decided to organise it on my own accord, I was unbelievably surprised by how many people wanted to go and I was even more shocked by how cheap the trip was looking likely to be. I booked with a company called Escape 2 Poland, who are amazing and whom did all the handwork for me (I also used this company when I want the second time and cannot recommend them enough). We flew from Birmingham airport because it was the easiest and most accessible one for us all to get to and flew with cheap and cheerful company Ryan Air. While there we did a walking tour of Krakow, one of the prettiest cities in the world and then spent a day in Auschwitz-Birkenau. A few people visited the Schindler factory but I chose not to, it turned out to be a good thing because I did this the second time I visited.

What I thought – I thought Poland was beautiful, Krakow is romantic and stunning, I love the cafe culture that the continent do so well. It was the first European city I had ever been to and it is the trip that gave me the travelling bug. Auschwitz is a powerful and life-changing experience and I learnt more than I can ever write in one blog post. It changed my life because it made me want to change the world. I thought Krakow was a city that deserved more credit than it seems to get because it is so dreamy and cultured. I thought Auschwitz was everything that you hear and so much more. It was the size that really shocked me because I never could have imagined just how big it really is. It’s the size you imagine, times ten.

What I learnt – That Auschwitz was the cruelest place on the plant and we should never underestimate the power of hatred and the danger of letting it breath.

Guernsey, Channel Islands

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When – It was the summer of 2011, just before my graduation and I actually got my results while I was out there.

What we did I actually went on my own for this trip because I had initially gone in a flawed attempt to save my relationship with my ex. Bad, bad idea. Never ever again. I had paid for the bed and breakfast and flights so I decided that I would make the most of it! I can honestly say that I fell a little bit in love with the Channel Islands, they are just so pretty and picturesque. The historical factor played a huge role in my love for the islands and I found that history so fascinating. I can’t remember when I thought of the idea for my novel whether it was while I was there or before (which is set in the Islands during their German occupation) but being there inspired me to write the story.

What I thought – I thought that the Guernsey was beautiful. Very very pretty.

What I learnt – I learnt a lot about the history of the islands and what life was like underneath a Nazi occupation.

Amsterdam, Holland

•Totes a blogger fail but I cannot find ANY pictures from Amsterdam!!

When – The summer of 2011 and it was for my 21st birthday.

What we did – My family took me for my 21s birthday because I wanted to see the Anne Frank house. It’s something that I have wanted to do since reading her diary when I was a young girl. I am naturally interested in the Holocaust and Anne Franks story has always saddened me to the core. We also walked around Amsterdam, another gorgeous city and did a cheese and wine boat trip along the canals.

What I thought – I thought Amsterdam was stunning, literally gorgeous and I loved every second of it. The culture is so different to ours but there is something about the spirit of Holland that is fascinating. The Anne Frank house was beautifully presented, powerful and emotional, it’s an amazing experience and it makes everything she writes in her diary even more poignant. While Auschwitz is huge and hard to comprehend it’s a lot easier to think about one life, Anne’s life.

What I learnt – That Amsterdam is not as sleazy as everyone thinks and that if you want to avoid the red light district then you easily can.

New York, United States

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When – In April 2015.

What we did – So much! We did a bus trip, a helicopter trip, Madam Tussaud’s, the 911 memorial, lots of looking for Gossip Girl locations, times square, a baseball game and Liberty Island.

What I thought – I never thought that I would like New York, I had a negative view of the Americans and assumed it would be too busy for my liking. I was so wrong. The streets are perfectly wide meaning that people can walk without being on top of each other, London could learn a lot. The American people are amazing!! They are so friendly, so full of life and are beautiful people.

What I learnt – I learnt that everyone has a 911 story, that everyone was affected and that some people are still living in the nightmare that followed the tragedy. I learnt that their spirit is unbreakable. I learnt that the Americans are amazing people!

Where next??

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1. Paris – summer 2015

2. Washington

3. Berlin

4. Hiroshima

5. Oradour-sur-Glane

6. Lidice

7. New York…again….

8. Brussels

Where do you want to go next?

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  • Tom

    It’s a nice trip! Especially to Amsterdam and also to Poland. I am so interested about sightseeing Poland. The biggest problem is that not everyone speaks good English, so book as much as you can by the Internet. I did it here when I traveled to Poland and it was good decision! http://visitbus.com/auschwitz-birkenau-tours/