Do Anything by Counting to 5

1…2…3…4…[Insert anything that you want to do here]

A year or so ago, I learned a life rule that I still use to this very day.  It has helped me out in a variety of situations and has led to getting things done.

I was directed to a post on Reddit that was titled ‘What life rule do you have for yourself that can never be broken?’ and from reading the responses on the page, one stood out called the Rule of 5 and below contains a description of that rule:

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Adventures in Vietnam & Cambodia – Mistaken for a Local

This is an extract of my adventures in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Dalat, Vietnam, as part of a school expedition, back in the summer of 2014.

It was the Day 27 of the expedition and we leave Phnom Penh and head to Siem Reap. I got up reasonably early at the Okay Guesthouse and being the one to get prepared first in my room group, I made my way down to meet the other group of boys for breakfast. I sat down, had a conversation and ordered our breakfast from a menu that consisted of both Western and Cambodian-style dishes. I ordered a Monte Cristo: a French ham and cheese toastie that’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

After taking my order to the Cambodian lady, we continued our conversation until I was politely interrupted by a German man that was also staying that the guesthouse. It was still early in the morning and most people in the seating area were still half-asleep. This is because as I was seated down with my group talking, the German man put his hand on my shoulder and asked: “Excuse me, can I order a cheeseburger?” in his strong German accent. Haven’t been able to interpret what he has said, I asked him to repeat the question and he did. On the other side of the table, the two guys in my group were laughing in the background, as I never figured out what the laughter was about only until I realised…

I was being mistaken for a Cambodian local, working at the guesthouse. 

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50 Days Until Japan!

Hi, everyone! Today marks 50 days until I head over to Japan. Most of the preparation has been done, however, I haven’t really done any preparation at all – and I’m not exaggerating. Since I booked my flights in the beginning of the year, I have figured out my itinerary, reserved my accommodation, bought a phrasebook, joined a travel forum and researched some travel tips and what to do in Japan. That’s pretty much it.

All that’s left to do is buy a 21-day Japan Rail Pass, sort out finances (I’ll make a post on how I will manage this in Japan), and research more as much as I can so I know exactly what to do  and where to go to get to my first destination when I reach Japan.
The first steps when I get into the country is going to be very difficult. This is because for some silly reason in an attempt to save time, I will be landing at Haneda Airport and will need to buy a data SIM card, exchange my JR voucher for the pass, obtain cash from an ATM, buy food, and take a bullet train to Nagoya to my hostel accommodation.

Note: I nearly confused Nagoya with Nagano! Nearly made this mistake when booking accommodation as it would have seriously affected my itinerary route…

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Stuck in the Scottish Highlands!

A few weeks ago I was in Wales climbing mountains in the heart of Snowdonia. This week I am in Scotland climbing mountains in the heart of Cairngorms!

I got to the village of Braemar last night and it has been a struggle travelling by car for nearly 11 hours, though we did have a stop at the English-Scottish border for shopping and another stop at Falkirk for groceries. Within the last hour of reaching Braemar, I entered the narrow and windy roads as I started to ascend the snowy tracks leading to the destination. Problems started to occur from then as the predicted blizzard approaches, blurring the visibility from the windscreen.  A car passing us from the other side, coming down the hill, flashed us with their headlights but we were unsure as to why.

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Preparing for Japan – Have I done enough?

For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t put much thought on my solo travel plans for Japan this April. Perhaps that is a good thing as I can focus on the present moment and worry less about my upcoming plans.

Where will I go and stay?

I have confirmed my 3-week itinerary which I will show you guys below:

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Climbing Welsh Mountains!

I did not know what I signed up for nor did I know what to expect. Back in November, I received a generic email sent to the county organisation that I am a part of about participating in a weekend of mountaineering in the heart of Snowdonia in the cold winter of January. “Who’d want to do that?” I asked myself as I was sat by my laptop in my hotel room during a business trip. And at that very moment, I thought “heck, why not? What do I have to lose?” and signed up for it. It’s a new experience and the weekend will only cost £50 for hostel accommodation and food. I never knew much about where I’ll be going, who else will I  be going with and what exactly I will be doing, but I wanted to be spontaneous and try something new. So I replied to the email, transferred the cost over, and confirmed my place for this trip.

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

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Adventures in Vietnam – A Night to Remember

This is an extract of my adventures in Dalat, Vietnam, as part of a school expedition, back in the summer of 2014.

It was Day 9 of the expedition and we sourced transport from Buon Ma Thuot to Dalat and Nom, our guide from our previous trek, recommended and helped us book accommodation at a hotel in Dalat. When we arrived there, we saw a huge lake filled with swan pedalos and we asked our expedition guide if we could ride on them during our 2 nights in Dalat. Our expedition guide, being the ‘fun police’ of the expedition declined our suggestion due to the risks and hazards and said: “you can only watch the fun”. He was very fun indeed.

We then reached the M Hotel (not its real name), we were welcomed by the owners there and made it to our rooms. At the entrance, I noticed a sign that specified that a price for a room was 100,000 Vietnamese Dong ($5 USD) and a price for a ‘VIP Massage’ was 200,000 Vietnamese dong ($10 USD). This was weird to see that a ‘VIP Massage’ was twice as much for a room, but we get to see the reason on why later.

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Solo Travel Japan – To Plan or be Spontaneous

After a week of booking my flights for a 3-week first-time solo travel trip to Japan this April (that was a mouthful!), I spent at least 30 minutes each night planning my budget and itinerary. I made a long list of tasks to do in my last post, which can be found here, and I will update you on my progress!

Itinerary Planning

The main topic of this post is to talk about the planning and spontaneous side to planning my trip to Japan. I must admit, as a first-time solo traveller, I am quite anxious when I think about going halfway around the world and planning what to see and do on my own. Contrary, I’m very excited and I’m all in for getting out of my comfort zone, meeting new people and finding adventure. The question is whether I plan the whole of my trip and stick to a structured itinerary by the day, be spontaneous on what I go and where I go and stay, or use a combination of both to ease my way and gain more experience in this sort of travel. I’ve decided that I’ll pick option 3 and add a touch of spontaneity in the middle of the trip.

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Flights booked, Japan here I come!

Happy New Year, everyone! The first post of the year and this first week has been great for progress on my travel plans.  There wasn’t too much to do at work and after confirming that I want to travel to Japan this year, I spent the whole week searching on Google Flights and Skyscanner for cheap flights from London to Tokyo.

Firstly I had to decide on a time frame and I knew I wanted to take advantage of using the bank holidays in England which are Good Friday, Easter Monday and the Early May Bank Holiday, so I narrowed it down to leave on or before the 14th April (Good Friday) and arrive back in England on or after the 1st May (Early May Bank Holiday). Both Google Flights and Skyscanner have been really useful tools because I can work out which date has the cheapest deals and I managed to find return flights on suitable dates for around £400! On Google Flights, I have also used a feature to track prices of flights I wish to save and also get alerted on any price increases and decreases.

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Discover Your Life Purpose and Write it Down!

Some time ago, I watched a video, read a blog post, or scrolled down my Facebook feed and encountered some sort of guide to discovering your life purpose. I can vaguely remember what’s been said, but I did find an old text file hidden away in a folder on my laptop. Reading the text file jogged my memory a little bit. I remember jotting down about the hobbies I enjoy, the people I love and the goals and ambitions I want to pursue.

As a result, this is what is contained in the text file:

22/10/2016 21:25

“What is my true purpose in life?

To do what makes for a good story – living a life of adventures and without regrets. Seeing what there is of the world – the cultures, environment, and experiences that forms into the sphere we call Earth. To discover our potential, limitations and possibilities and grow and develop into someone with wisdom, stories and lessons to pass on to the future generations. By travel, sometimes into the unknown, carrying risk and responsibilities in the hope of reward and experiences.”

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