Monday, 28 September 2015

This time last year....

I must confess that on one hand I am finding it so hard to believe that it's been 12 months since my trip to Vietnam, and on the other hand it feels like a lifetime ago.

For my, spending my two week September school holidays in Vietnam was kind of like a test run. Up until this point all my travels had been to first world countries where the primary language was English so this was a step outside my comfort zone to see if I could handle a much longer holiday in a developing Asian country.

I was pleasantly surprised, and a little shocked, by all that Vietnam had to offer and had a wonderful time. One that I still think of often with fond memories. 

Since my trip there I have blogged about may of the things I saw and did, and there probably are a few more blog posts in that trip that have yet to be written... Just add that up there on my list of things to do along with find a job and somewhere to live.

I started off my sharing my 5 must have packing items for my trip, for any overseas trip I take really. I will confess that the awesome DSLR handbag didn't really live up to my expectations and the long handle broke whilst overseas which meant I've had to replace it but am yet to find something that I love and meets my travelling needs. 

And what's a trip overseas without a post on what to wear on your long haul flight! For me I am all about comfort when I fly, and I try and do it with a little bit of style, but sometimes a 'stuff it' attitude sneaks in. 

Zita Hooke Travel blog

One of my favourite days in Vietnam was when we were in Hue. We took a cyclo tour through the city to a local families home who showed us some traditional Vietnamese hospitality and food. It was such a great night and made me smile so much!

Vietnam Travel Blog

One of the things that I was looking forward to in Hoi An was getting some clothes tailor made. Having the body shape that I do means I find it extremely difficult to find clothes that fit me well, especially on the bottom, so I was just a tad excited by this. I had done my research and chosen some designs but it's not something that should be entered into lightly as there are some horror stories out there, so I shared my tips on getting clothes made in Hoi An.

Zita Hooke travel blog

I also partly confessed to eating some meat in Vietnam that might make some people's stomach turn. I wouldn't say that I am a fussy eater in that I eat lots of different types of food, but I am not a very brave eater when it comes to exotic or out there foods so this was pretty big for me, but I took the When in Rome approach and gave it a go (albeit a very very small go!).

It's Time Travel Blog

Vietnam was an amazing country and I do not regret my decision to make it my first South East Asian destination. There were a few things that surprised me and I learnt a few things about travelling in Vietnam that may help you to if you have this destination on your bucket list.

Finally when the trip was all said and done I scrolled back through the hundreds of photos taken and did the almost impossible task of choosing my 10 favourite photos from my trip, including the one below.

Zita Hooke Travel Blog

So that was it.... that's where I was this time last year and since this trip I have visited another 5 countries, 3 of which were also in Asia.

If there was something here that caught your eye or you want to save for later, click the little Pin it button in the top left hand corner of the photo below to save and share this article on Pinterest!

**Linking up with My Home Truths for I Must Confess and One Mother Hen for Open Slather**

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Instagram photos

Of all the social media formats out there at the moment probably the one that I am visiting and engaging in the most at the moment is Instagram. I think it's because I find it quick and easy and less stressful and annoying as some of the others. And I find it easier to manage with who I follow and who I unfollow so that my Instagram feed is exactly how I want it to look. Sure there is the occasional sponsored ad on there now but they seem to be meaningful and appropriate to my interests so it doesn't bother me at all.

Finding other awesome Instagrammers to follow also feeds my wanderlust with my feed filled with amazing travel photos from around the world.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Monument Valley

Travel Blog

For me, visiting Monument Valley is up there with Uluru in Australia and Niagara Falls in Canada, you have to see it to believe it. I knew it was going to be a highlight of my trip and I was not disappointed.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Coming home with unwanted luggage

I heaved my wheelie backpack onto the scales at the request of the airline hostess... 47.2 blinked on the screen! 'Holy shit' was my first reaction until I remembered I was in North America and that was pounds. Not smart enough to do the calculations in my head I waited until I passed through several forms of security before asking Google to do the conversion on my behalf... 21.4kg.. My bag had put on around 8 kilograms in the 86 days I travelled through the United States and Canada and as my tummy jiggled a little more than usual as we bounced down the runway on the first leg of my trip home, I must confess I knew it wasn't the only thing that was coming home a little heavier. 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Five things to do in Toronto

It's Time Travel Blog

Toronto is often mistaken for being the capital of Canada, when in fact that is Ottawa. Toronto is the capital of the province of Ontario and is sprawled across the massive Lake Ontario it is often underrated with what it has to offer visitors.

So if you do happen to find yourself in Toronto, here's 5 things that should be on your must do list: