Advice for First Time Solo Travellers

Dublin 4

On my most recent trip abroad to Dublin I realised how much I’ve improved since my first solo trip abroad to Poland last year. I’ve recognised the parts of solo travel abroad that stress me out, that I love, the things I need to do to make myself feel better. Because of this I decided to write a post with some advice for anyone going abroad by themselves for the first time!

Don’t Judge the Trip by Day One

Dublin 5

When I landed in Poland last February I remember thinking ‘why have I done this? What do I do now?’ and for most of the day I felt quite overwhelmed. I didn’t understand the language, I struggled to know which travel card to buy, I nearly burst into tears as I tried to find my hostel (Google Maps kept telling me I was there but I couldn’t see it and my phone was on like 11% at this point), I was too nervous to order food and I didn’t really know what I was doing.

That night I had dinner at a McDonalds in a shopping centre (the only place I wasn’t too nervous to order food as I knew what I was asking for), went to see a 4DX movie at the cinema then went back to my hostel for a good night’s sleep. And by the next morning I felt a lot better. I set off to do some sightseeing feeling a lot more confident and ended up having an amazing trip.

If you feel completely overwhelmed on day one then don’t stress, I promise the entire trip won’t be like that it’s just you’re somewhere new by yourself and you need time to adjust. It was easier in Dublin as at least everyone spoke English but I’ve realised that I know what I need to do to help myself adjust to a new country more easily and I managed to apply this logic when I visited Romania in January too. And it really helped!

Getting to my accommodation from the airport is always the worst part for me as I worry I won’t find it but of course I always do so I just tell myself to relax and then I calmly follow Google Maps until I find my accommodation. After checking in I go and have my first meal in the country, even if it does end up being at McDonalds. I have a chill first day and then after having my first sleep in the new country I feel a lot better by the next morning and I’m ready to start some proper sight-seeing.

When I travel with my friends we have a running joke that our friend Hirst always decides she hates whatever country we’re staying in on day one due to something small. We landed in Lithuania quite late and on our way to our accommodation we bumped into a couple of weird people and she was like “I’m not a fan of this country!” By the end of our trip she’s usually changed her mind and actually quite likes it.

If you land in a new country and start getting stressed or overwhelmed just keep calm and trust me that after your first night you will feel a lot better. Don’t let the first day stresses define the rest of the trip!

Pick Accommodation That Suits You

Abbey Court Hostel

A lot of people I see that write about solo travel are like ‘get a hostel, you meet new people, it’s the only way to solo travel’ etc. etc. If you like meeting new people and staying in hostels then great, you do you until the cows come home. However I’ve quickly realised that I much prefer hotels.

I’m an introvert and my trips are a great way to recharge my social batteries. My interactions with people selling tickets to attractions or food etc. are enough to keep me going, I don’t feel the need to go out and find a new best friend. And at the end of a day of sight-seeing I like to come back to my room and have some downtime to myself.

In Poland I stayed in a hostel to keep costs low and ended up sharing a room with a talkative girl who was lovely but didn’t understand that once my headphones are on that means I don’t want to talk. Although she was lovely and I was glad to share with her because it was better than sharing with someone who’s miserable it did get a bit irritating when I just wanted some down time whereas she wanted to chat. In Dublin my downtime seemed to come easier as I watched stuff on my Amazon Fire Tablet and everyone pretty much left me alone – they were still nice, we’d smile at each other but none of us were keen to initiate a conversation. I much preferred this.

Find the accommodation that best suits you or your needs. It may be an Airbnb, a hostel, a hotel, whatever takes your fancy but don’t listen to anybody who thinks you should be doing it a certain way.

Public Transport is Good

Bruges

I’ve never understood people who touch down in a foreign country and immediately head outside to find a taxi. How do people afford that? It’s expensive enough getting a taxi from home to our local airport which is why I always catch the train if I can and I’d only get a taxi if I was desperate.

Although I hate the moments between getting from the airport to my accommodation due to the stress and anxiety, I also love it as hopping on the bus to get the city centre is your first glimpse of a new country! I suppose you get that in a taxi but the bus takes detours, allowing you to see things you might not have seen had you gone straight to your accommodation.

Personally I’ve always found public transport gives you a better feel for the country. My favourite form is trams as although we have some in parts of the UK I don’t really use them in this country. There’s nothing I love more than a country with a tram system – Amsterdam’s is probably my favourite so far.

Also public transport is a hell of a lot cheaper. In most countries you can get a card that gives you unlimited transport for a set amount of days in most forms, for example bus, tram and underground. Most of the time they’re not expensive and they’re cheaper than getting taxis everywhere. Equally walking is even better as that’s free but it depends on how big the town is. I probably could’ve walked everywhere in Dublin, and did on the first day, but on the second day when my legs were aching I decided to start making the most of public transport.

Not only is public transport cheaper it’s also a lot better for the environment. We’ll have already contributed enough pollution to the earth by catching a plane (unless you got abroad using a different method in which case good on you!) so why contribute more by getting cars everywhere?

Obviously in some places the choices are limited. In Crete we rented a car because they just didn’t seem to have a public transport system. But in most capital cities they have a perfectly good transport system already in place. Give it a go!

Take Appropriate Safety Precautions

Romania 6

Whenever I go abroad anywhere my Mom always makes me send her the name, address and telephone number of the accommodation I’m staying in. Not to be precious but just so she has someone to call to check up on me if I’m not responding to her texts or an address she can send the police or an ambulance too.

I would personally recommend you allocate someone to send this information to and keep in regular contact with someone. Usually people know I’m okay because I update my Instagram story throughout the day, send out tweets and respond to people relatively quickly if they message me. If you’re in a country where you can’t get data for whatever reason then just be sure to send that person a message when you go out in the morning and when you get back in the evening – assuming where you stay has Wi-Fi.

When booking your accommodation check the reviews. If most of the reviews are positive and the only bad things the negative ones are saying were ‘oh the bathroom was too small’ then go for it. If there are negative reviews of people saying they didn’t feel safe for whatever reason then it’s probably best to avoid this particular place. When booking Poland I panic booked the first hostel I found but once I checked the reviews people were saying all sorts of dodgy things had happened. I immediately cancelled the room, lost my money and booked a new hostel with better reviews. Safety always comes first!

In Romania my room had a safe where I could enter my own code and nobody else could get in so I kept my passport in there whilst I was out and about but if that’s not an option I always keep my passport on me. Make sure you either have a paper copy stored somewhere or an electronic version on your phone, in the unlikely event that you lose it – it’ll make life much easier.

Just basically use a bit of common sense while you’re away, it’s not too difficult to know which security measures to take.

Let your trip be YOUR trip

Bucharest 2

When me and my friends go away we tend to get up early and cram in as much as possible. And that’s fine, for some places where you want to experience everything that’s pretty much the only way you can do it. But sometimes by myself I like to have a lie-in and take the day a bit more easily. A great example of this was in Dublin. Being in a hostel I didn’t sleep great at night and also, Dublin’s not that far away from where I live so anything I didn’t tick off I was bound to go back and do eventually. So I slept in a bit, got ready slowly and made my way out.

Don’t get caught up in how other people have done their solo trips and think that you need to perfectly model theirs. For another example, I knew that after Dublin I was going to have a busy few days and there was a movie I wanted to see but I was worried it would go out of cinemas before I had the chance. In the end I realised I could just watch it in Dublin – I was worried as it felt like a waste to watch a movie abroad but at the end of the day I don’t do much in the evenings anyway, I wanted to see the movie and also weirdly I find doing ‘normal’ things in other countries fascinating. I like to see what their cinemas look like, their supermarkets, their theatres, all the normal stuff!

Plan your itinerary around YOU and what YOU’RE interested in doing, not the things you’ve seen everybody else doing. Even if everyone has recommend the Museum of Typewriting until they’re blue in the face, if you’re not interested in type writing then just don’t go! It’s YOUR trip, nobody else’s.

I hate those ridiculous posts that are likely ‘avoid all the big tourist spots, they’re traps!’ If you’re not a big fan of the big tourist spots then fine but I think you need to experience them at least once. Going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower would be bizarre. Tourist spots are popular for a reason but if they’re not for you then feel free to give them a miss.

That’s pretty much all of my advice other than have an amazing time. Also, double check the weather before you go. I never bother and always end up massively failing.

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Top 10 My Chemical Romance Songs

My Chemical Romance Blog Post

I’m long over my ‘My Chemical Romance’ phase which is just as well considering they broke up but when I was thirteen I was My Chemical Romance’s bitch. If MCR were to reunite tomorrow and announce a World Tour I would probably still buy a ticket to at least two of their shows and go and have the best time ever. I decided to have a quick throwback today to my favourite MCR songs so here goes nothing!

10. Planetary (Go!)

MCR Planetary Go gif.gif

This song is so much fun and an absolute bop. I was gutted when I found out the music video had been filmed in London because I was like ‘oh my God I could’ve been in their video’ but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I absolutely loved the whole Danger Days concept like honestly it was one of my favourite albums from them, I had my own Killjoy costume and I walked up town the day the album came out and bought the deluxe edition that came with the bandana (I think I got Party Poison’s). In fact I’m pretty sure shortly after the album was released I actually did a Killjoy roleplay with some online friends because I was just such a big fan. So yeah, this was one of my favourite songs off the album because it’s just a lot of fun!

9. Our Lady of Sorrows

MCR Our Lady of Sorrows gif.gif

This used to be my favourite by them but I listened to it one too many times. My favourite MCR lyric ever used to be ‘oh how wrong we were to think that immortality meant never dying’ like oh my god, thirteen year old me was shook. I think ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’ was probably my least favourite MCR album but to be fair it was their first and there were still some good songs on there. It’s still a good album just not their best.


8. Vampire Money

MCR Vampire Money gif.gif

Another song from Danger Days that I absolutely love. Apparently this song was written because Gerard was offered the part of Edward in Twilight but I don’t know how true that is. The song is definitely in some way about Twilight because I know MCR weren’t into that ‘scene’ or whatever. Anyway, I loved this song and I was really glad to have the opportunity to see it live even though fourteen year old me was foolish and got standing tickets at the Birmingham Genting Arena and stood in the middle of the floor and honestly I nearly died several times.

7. The Only Hope for Me is You

MCR The Only Hope For Me is You gif.gif

Another Danger Days song, apparently it’s one that Gerard wrote for his daughter Bandit and honestly I love this song. If I was feeling down back when I was a teenager I would whack this song on and just have a bit of a weep before feeling better. Even now I just honestly love it, what a song.

6. Dead!

MCR Dead gif

The first album I ever listened to by My Chemical Romance was ‘The Black Parade’ and I remember this song kicking in after ‘The End’ and I was rocking out because even though I’d never listened to it before I already knew I was going to love it. This is another good one for if I’m annoyed or something like I can just whack it on full volume and scream the lyrics.

5. Mama

MCR Mama gif.gif

I remember my friend thinking I was an idiot because at the start of the song there’s a sound effect of bombs going off or something and one night I told my friend I’d always assumed it was Big Foot in the snow. You know like when you keep singing an incorrect song lyric that makes absolutely no sense but you sing it anyway because you’re so certain that that’s what it is? It was like that. I was only like thirteen in my defence and a bit of an idiot. The song is still good though and one of my favourites off the Black Parade album.

4. Famous Last Words

MCR Famous Last Words gif.gif

There was a time when everyone accused My Chemical Romance of having depressing lyrics and I always used this song as a defence. Lyrics like ‘I am not afraid to keep on living, I am not afraid to walk this world alone’ really meant something to me and helped me through dark times. Even now this song means a lot to me and I still whack it on if I’m upset about something. This is a song I’ll never stop loving.

3. Na Na Na

MCR Na Na Na gif.gif

One night I got a message off one of my internet friends, Lauzz, who told me to get online immediately because something was happening on MCR’s website. I borrowed my sister’s laptop and sat up until 4 in the morning talking to my online MCR friends and watching the website like a hawk even though nothing changed for a few days. Eventually a teaser was released for the Danger Days album and eventually the music video was dropped. I didn’t have a laptop at the time and the computer at my Mom’s didn’t have sound but luckily Kerrang or MTV had put in a slot for MCR’s new video so I watched it on the TV and I was blown away. I loved the entire thing and loved the song from first listen. Definitely the best song from the Danger Days album, it’s amazing.

2. Welcome to the Black Parade

MCR Welcome to the Black Parade gif.gif

Everyone knows this song even if they don’t know this song if you know what I mean. I remember Jasmine asking our RE teacher to put it on and at the time I wasn’t a fan of MCR but I realised that actually I did know and love this song. Since then I couldn’t even guess how many times I’ve listened to it, I remember singing it with my friends on the way home from school more than once. It’s one of those that you can just sing your heart out too. This is the best song from the Black Parade album even if it is the most obvious one.

1. I Never Told You What I Do For A Living

MCR gif.gif

I have no idea why this is my favourite song, I just know that it is. I don’t really have any special memories associated with this song and it’s actually a bit dark. There’s just something raw about it that I really love and it’s usually the first MCR song I put on when I’m in that kind of mood. ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ has always been my favourite album because it feels the most real. I don’t know, I probably sound lame but I loved it and this song is definitely my favourite.

Let me know your favourite MCR songs in the comments, how you felt when they disbanded, if you think they’ll ever come back – feel free to leave any kind of comment!

Three Favourite Memories from Dublin

Dublin 3

I finally went away over bank holiday weekend and as flights were cheap I decided to go to Dublin. I quickly realised this wasn’t the best weekend to go as it was full of stag and hen dos, and every tourist attraction was pretty busy. Accommodation prices were also through the roof meaning I had to stay in a hostel. To be fair the hostel was nice and had a great location but due to the great location there was a lot of street noise. That combined with the girl sleeping beneath me who kept snoring meant I didn’t get the best few nights sleep whilst I was away but I still had an amazing time. Here are my three favourite memories from Dublin!

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Ever since me and my friends visited Ghent Castle I’ve realised that I actually love going to castles. Luckily Becca’s also a fan of palaces so I imagine in our future group trips there will be a lot of castle and palace sight-seeing. On my first full day in Dublin I decided to tick off Dublin Castle straightaway so it was the first place I headed to.

You could either have a guided tour or go self-guided. I went for self-guided which was cheaper and also what I prefer. I don’t mind some guided tours but it can be nice to do things at your own pace. A lot of time I’m not even overly interested in the history as it’s usually all political stuff and I just want to have a good look around.

Dublin Castle 2

The castle had been furnished to show what it may have looked like years ago which I liked. I’d love Ghent Castle but the rooms were all relatively bare, Dublin Castle was like walking around a stately home. My only issue was that it wasn’t a bit bigger as I felt like I saw the whole thing way too quickly but I did enjoy having a look. It’s probably one of my favourite castles I’ve visited and I would definitely recommend going if you’re in Dublin.

War Horse

Dublin War Horse

Whilst looking for things to do on any holiday I tend to have a look to see if there are any shows on or anything. I don’t think I’ve seen a show abroad yet as most of them tend to be in a foreign language which of course puts me off and I’ve just never found anything to my taste yet. When I looked in Dublin though they were showing ‘War Horse’ at a theatre about a twenty minute walk away from my hostel. It wasn’t really a show I’d ever wanted to see badly but I knew Becca had seen it as a teenager and regularly told me how much she’d loved it.

I booked my ticket and when I arrived realised I’d actually been upgraded. I’d originally been in the Upper Circle right at the top of the theatre but I’d been moved down to the Stalls into Row R. I was nervous when I saw this as my experience with London theatres is that if you’re in Row R you’re probably not going to see much. However the theatre was quite modern and the seats were tiered well. I was right in the centre and the view was fantastic.

For the first twenty or so minutes I wasn’t particularly sure but before I knew it I’d been sucked into the story. I’d never seen the film or anything before so I hadn’t known what to expect but I ended up loving it. It did have me on edge with the gun shots and everything ‘cos they made me jump every time but it was a spectacular show. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone that hasn’t seen it.

National Leprechaun Museum

National Leprechaun Museum

Whilst having a look for stuff to do in Dublin I came across the ‘National Leprechaun Museum’ and knew that I had to go. I believe they only accept pre-bookings so about a month before I went I booked myself a place for the night tour. There are two different types, the day tours where they tell all the innocent stories of Irish folklore or the night version with the more dark and twisted versions. The rating was 18+ so I booked on to that one. I quite like anything horror related plus it meant there wouldn’t be any annoying kids there to ruin the visit.

The first thing you do on the tour is go through some ‘tunnels’ into a room with really large furniture. You’re encouraged to climb onto the furniture for pictures and just for generally playing about. I didn’t go on anything as I wouldn’t have been able to pull myself onto the giant chairs and didn’t want to embarrass myself. I could’ve maybe managed the giant sofa but a group of Americans plonked themselves onto it and when someone suggested they get down so other people could take pictures one of them replied “no, I’m comfy” – typical.

We moved from room to room and I was on edge in case they pulled any jump scares or anything but they didn’t, it was just a case of listening to stories in each room and it was really interesting. My favourites probably included the story about the woman who danced with the leprechauns for what seemed like hours but turned out to be years and years, or the woman who was accidentally killed by her husband as he believed she was a fairy imposter and his real wife had been taken. Our tour guide was really enthusiastic and a great story teller which made it even better.

I considered booking a place for the day time tour but didn’t in the end, I may do if I ever return to Dublin though as it was one of my favourite memories from the trip. The evening tour was fun though as our tour guide swore and didn’t hold back from any gory details which obviously I doubt would happen in the day tour.

BONUS: National Wax Museum

National Wax Museum

I had to include this one as I just really enjoyed it. I had time to kill before my Leprechaun Museum booking and as this was literally a two minute walk away from my hostel and I’d wanted to visit I decided to go in.

The only slight thing that ruined it for me was that I went in and caught up to a large family who had quite possibly some of the most annoying kids ever. There was a moving wax dinosaur in one of the rooms and one of the little kids grabbed it’s tongue and tried to pull it out whilst her parents just watched. I tried to go ahead but they caught up so I lagged behind so they could go ahead and then they started going really slowly. Very irritating.

When you go in you’re immediately greeted by Star Wars characters which doesn’t mean an awful lot to me but I took some photos anyway. As I was about to head up the stairs a group of girls came in and one of them screamed when they saw me which was quite funny. When you got up the stairs there was like a science section I want to say. You go through a mirror maze into the next room where there are pop stars. They have wax figures of Jedward so I snapped a picture to send to my friend Jess who’d told me to keep an eye out for them.

National Wax Museum Jedward

My favourite section though was the horror section. The family brushed past this part and I kept looking down wondering whether to go through. It was in the theme of a hotel and at the end of the corridor was a wax figure jerking around manically, it was quite creepy. I kept taking a look and in the end a group of girls went down so I followed them. However they couldn’t decide who should go first so they asked if I wanted to go first so I said I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down. They ran off ahead and I ended up with a Spanish family who I practically stuck to like glue throughout the rest of it. They kept looking at me and pointing at stuff and telling me what it was before I saw it, bless them.

My only complaint was that I’d been hoping it would be bigger and I felt like it was over too quickly. I might’ve killed more time if I’d been there with my friends as we would’ve spent time taking photos of each other with everything but as it was just me I didn’t really do that.

So there we go, there’s my three (four) favourite memories from Dublin! I hope you enjoyed this post, if you visited Dublin let me know which tourist attractions you liked the most!

Asia Haul (Japan and South Korea)

Japan Takeshita

I debated whether to make this most because I got so much stuff from Asia, including little tiny stuff, that it would be impossible for me to remember everything I bought but I thought I’d give it a go and list as much stuff as I can remember. There’s no way I’ll be able to do it in order so this post is going to be a bit of a mess!

1. Gacha Machine Prizes

Gacha Machine Prizes

Although we have gacha machines in the UK I don’t use them because they’re usually full of childish tat. The ones in Japan were a bit cuter and there’s so many to choose from that you just sort of go along with it. I went on quite a few both in Japan and South Korea but mostly in Japan. In South Korea there was a ‘mystery gacha machine’ which I did with great excitement and got a tacky Moana necklace so I don’t recommend the mystery ones but all the others were cute! I also got a squishy bunny, an orange cat pin, a squirrel/raccoon figure, a little white dog, two BTS keyrings and probably a ton of other stuff.

2. Sleeping Snorlax figure

Snorlax

I used to be a massive Pokémon fan as a kid but unfortunately sort of grew out of it so although I watched the show and movies religiously as a tiny kid I don’t remember an awful lot about them. But you have to take a trip to the Pokémon centre whilst in Tokyo don’t you really? I came across this little Snorlax figure and immediately related to him on a personal level so I just had to buy him!

3. Squirtle Plushie

Squirtle Plushie

Everyone raves about the sheer amount of Pokémon you can get at the centre but being the basic bitch that I am Squirtle is my favourite Pokémon. You could get different types of plushies like sleeping ones or furry ones but in the end I went for the basic type because I was worried about money. He’s really cute and I’m glad I got him!

4. Pikachu Plushie

Pikachu Plushie

I didn’t actually get Pikachu at the Pokémon centre; I won him in an arcade at Lotte World in South Korea. Becca and Jess were on the dance machine and my legs were getting sore at this point so to distract myself I had a couple of goes on the Pikachu crane machine and was successful! I probably should’ve toned it down with the crane machines but I did not.

5. Boo and Unicorn Plushie

Boo and Unicorn

I’ve put these two together because I won them on the same night along with a massive tube of Pringles. The tube of Pringles never made it home because I gave them to Becca who, as a vegetarian, hadn’t had tons to eat over the past couple of weeks so they disappeared quite quickly. I mentioned in a previous post that Becca won a Giant Winnie the Pooh bear and so my competitive streak was on then and by the end of the night I’d managed to win the Boo and Unicorn plushie. I’m proud of the Boo, I didn’t really want the Unicorn but I have it now. Luckily I managed to squash them both into my suitcase, Becca had to carry her Pooh bear through the airport with her to South Korea and then back to England again.

6. Winnie the Pooh plushie

Pooh Plushie

My favourite day in Tokyo was undoubtedly the day we went to Disneyland Tokyo and the ride I was desperate to go on was ‘Pooh’s Honey Hunt’ – I did get to go on it and thoroughly enjoyed it. It reminded me how much I love Winnie the Pooh so I couldn’t resist buying this fluffy Winnie the Pooh plushie. It’s so cute, I’m so glad I spent the extra for the fluffy one! I would’ve bought more at Disneyland but unfortunately by the time we got to the stores they were overflowing with people and we were all tired and hot so we couldn’t browse for as long as we would’ve liked to.

7. Mt Fuji Plushie

Mt Fuji Plushie

This post is making me realise just how many plushies I bought. Me and my friends were buying souvenirs at Mt Fuji’s fifth station and I must’ve panicked because I picked up a random box of biscuits that I didn’t particularly want and this Mt Fuji plushie. I gave the box of biscuits to my Dad for Christmas but I do quite like the plushie even though it’s a bit random and doesn’t actually say anything about Mt Fuji on it.

8. Lucky Mt Fuji Bell

Mt Fuji Bell

As part of our Mt Fuji day trip we were given a little bell for free that was apparently taken to the top of Mt Fuji and blessed so they should bring you luck. They probably never saw the summit of Mt Fuji but they did at least see the fifth station which is good enough for me. It’s a really cute souvenir either way!

9. Maidreamin Polaroid Photo

Maidreamin

(I dunno why the photo flipped but whatever)

I wrote a long post about the themed cafes we visited in Japan but Maidreamin had to be one of the most awkward café experiences we had but honestly I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Me and Jess bought the set menu which got you a dessert, a photo with the maid and a ‘gift’. For your photo you could either take it on your camera or have a Polaroid taken. Jess opted for a camera version whilst I got a Polaroid which is absolutely adorable because the maid writes on it for you. Becca was invited to also be in the photo but was having such a terrible time that she opted out.

10. Maidreamin Key ring

Maidreamin Keyring

This was the ‘gift’ I mentioned previously, I believe there was a choice between a key ring, animal ears or a file holder. Animal ears were unlikely to get worn by me and didn’t really have anything about Maidreamin on them. I was also unlikely to use a file holder so I went for the key ring. It’s cute and I’ve got it on my key chain at the moment so it can remind me of my trip to Japan!

11. Universal Studios Key Ring

Universal Studios Key Ring

Another key ring that reminds me of my trip is my ‘Universal Studios Osaka’ one. It’s got a little Cookie Monster on it and it’s just really cute. At Disneyland Tokyo I’d tried to find merch that specified I’d got it from Disneyland TOKYO or JAPAN but hadn’t had much success so I was glad this one specified where I was. It’s so cute!

12. Jurassic Park Ride Professional Photo

Jurassic Park Ride

In my Universal Studios post I wrote about how I was tricked onto the Jurassic Park ride by the deceitful Jess. As I’d been stupid enough to go on the ride I thought I might as well get some photo evidence and to be fair the photo is hilarious, and reminds me of the amazing time we had that day.

13. Nara Deer Figure

Nara Deer Figure

I mentioned our day at Nara Deer Park in my ‘Asia Travel Fails’ blog post – although it was an amazing morning and I’d recommend it to anyone it was a bit of a frightening experience considering I got bitten the moment I entered the park and Becca got butted more times than I can count. But I still couldn’t resist buying a cute little deer figurine from the gift shops nearby. It reminds me of the hilarious morning we had!

14. Seoul Tower Snow Globe

Seoul Tower Snowglobe

When I started really getting into travelling I started collecting snow globes from all the different places I went. Unfortunately there weren’t really any tacky gift shops I could find in Japan and I didn’t buy one from there so I’ve ended up ordering one online when I came back – it’s massive compared to the others in my collection but I’ll just say it’s ‘cos I went to three parts of Japan so it needed to be bigger. The only one I’m missing is one from Amsterdam but I have no doubt I’ll go back one day.

Anyway, when we were up Seoul Tower we decided to buy some souvenirs and I spotted this snow globe. We were reaching the end of the trip so I decided I’d best buy it and I’m glad I did as I don’t think I found another snow globe whilst exploring Seoul. It’s cute and reminds me of an amazing trip.

15. Kyoto Tower Professional Photo

Kyoto Tower Photo

I love professional photos and the Kyoto tower one was cute so I decided to buy it. When we reached Kyoto we waited so long to be picked up to be taken to our apartment that we didn’t have much time to do anything in the evening so we only went up Kyoto Tower but it was a good start to our short stay in Kyoto. The views were amazing and they had telescopes that were free to look through that were amazing, you had close-ups of people walking around on the ground.

16. Seoul Tower Professional Photo

Seoul Tower Photo

(This one flipped too for some bloody reason)

Seoul Tower was extremely popular the night we went up, our ticket slot said we could join the queue 50 minutes after our arrival and when we did join the queue it took an awful long time to get up. First we queued for the photo, then we had to queue to get into the elevator, and then when we decided we were done it was another long queue to get back down to ground level. The photo was cool and I love professional photos so decided to keep it ‘cos why not?

17. Totoro plushie

Totoro Plushie

When planning our trip to Japan the Studio Ghibli Museum was always top of my list, as I knew it was Jess’. Becca hadn’t seen any Studio Ghibli movies (although did sit down and watch Spirited Away before we left which she wasn’t a fan of) but was happy to come along too. Buying the tickets was a pain because it was confusing and they went on sale at 2AM in the UK so we all had to set alarms to get up and get them. But it was worth it and I couldn’t leave without a souvenir. Totoro has always been my favourite so I couldn’t resist this cute plushie!

18. Japanese Fan

Fan

Whilst in Akihabara we’d visited most of the main shops and arcades but were still killing time until our Lock-up booking so we ended up going down the backstreets and came across a store that sold a variety of random items. We came across a display of Japanese fans and the three of us couldn’t resist so we each bought a different one. I haven’t found anywhere to display it properly yet but it’s cute and I love it!

19. Oh My Girl Banhana – Banana Allergy Monkey Album

Banana Allergy Monkey Album

It’s no secret that me and my friends are massive K-Pop fans so whilst in Seoul we wanted to stock up on K-Pop merch. In the underground station nearest our hotel that we used regularly there was a small underground shopping area which had a few K-Pop shops including one which was full from ceiling to floor of K-Pop albums. I debated a lot but bought two albums (I’ll mention the other in a second) but one was Oh My Girl’s subunit album, ‘Banana Allergy Monkey’. I loved the look of the album as it’s designed to look like a retro video game and it’s just super cute. I couldn’t resist!

20. G-Friend – Time For The Moon Night Album

Time For The Moon Night

I’m a massive G-Friend fan and although ‘Time for the Moon Night’ isn’t my favourite song the album just looked so pretty that I couldn’t resist. I got SinB and Eunha’s photo cards – I was hoping for either Umji or Yuju but I love SinB and Eunha as well so it’s okay. It’s such a cute album and I’m glad I got it.

21. TWICE bag tag

TWICE bag tag

I wasn’t sure what K-Pop merch to buy, in the UK we normally just get a t-shirt or a mug or something but in Asia there was all sorts of different merch. By the end of the trip me and Jess had both started putting little things on our bags to hang down ‘cos it looked cute so we both bought a K-Pop themed bag tag. Mine was TWICE and she chose a Black Pink one. I wish I’d bought more ‘cos I can’t find them on the internet and I think they look so cute. If I ever go back to Seoul I know what I’m buying.

22. MOMOLAND file holder

On my birthday in Tokyo we went to a K-Pop area and I knew I had to buy something. I came across what I thought was a small MOMOLAND poster. When Jess saw I was interested she bought it for me as a birthday present. It was only when I arrived back in the UK and took it out the cellophane I realised it was a file holder. I don’t really use them at home but I did have a plain file holder at work that I used regularly so I decided to replace it and use the MOMOLAND one at work. This quickly turned embarrassing when a colleague was covering my work and I told her the referrals she needed were in ‘the MOMOLAND file holder in my drawers’. Never mind, it’s still a cute file holder. I couldn’t get a photo as it’s currently still at work but trust me, it is cute!

23. Lucky Cat Figure

Lucky Cat Figure

At Osaka airport we all decided to snap up some last minute souvenirs. I came across this cat and figured ‘sure why not’. It wasn’t until I got home that it also had a little fortune inside. I can’t remember where I put it but I’m pretty sure it was positive. It’s a cute figurine, I’m thinking of taking it to work to display on my desk but we’ll see.

24. Squirtle Head Band

Squirtle Head Band

At Lotte World me and Jess both decided that we needed something to wear – I’m not sure why, it was quite late in the day at this point but she chose an Eevee one and I chose a Squirtle one. They looked cute and I kept saying we needed a picture together but unfortunately time ran away from us and we didn’t get one but the headband was still cute. I don’t really have anywhere to wear it in the UK but I am considering wearing it in Hong Kong when I visit Ocean Park. We’ll have to see!

25. Pokémon Ball

Pokemon Ball

I’m not sure how to describe this but at Lotte World there were boxes where you could get a surprise figurine inside if that makes sense? So I picked a Pokémon themed one where a figure would come inside a ball but it was up in the air which one it would be. I got this one and although it’s cute it’s pretty much impossible to get Pikachu to stay stood up. I did manage to get him up at one point but when I dusted the shelf he fell over and I never got him back up. Never mind, the ball still looks cute!

26. Girls’ Generation Photo

Girls Generation Photo

When visiting SM Town I was ready to stock up on tons of merch from my favourite artists but unfortunately I wasn’t a fan of much of the merchandise. They had K-Pop albums that I would’ve happily bought but none of them had the price on and I wasn’t willing to take one up to the till only for it to be about £100 – the one I wanted was Girls’ Generation’s debut album which I’m pretty sure I hadn’t been able to find online for a reasonable price so I let it go. However on the top floor there was a photo booth where you could pick your favourite K-Pop artists and get a picture with them. As a massive Girls’ Generation fan I chose them but you could only have two members in the picture and they were already in pairs. As Sunny’s my bias I chose her, and Tiffany was also in the picture which is cool ‘cos I love Tiffany too.

On the other floors they had more areas where you could take a photo with the whole group which was fun as they’d designed it so two members saunter onto the screen and act like they’re preparing to take a photo with you and then the other members just appear on the screen as photos. You could also purchase a video version of it and I begged Becca to get her Super Junior photo because it was ‘Mamacita’ themed and she’d made me laugh so much with the two fake guns but she didn’t. None of us got our photos from the other rooms ‘cos we already had ours from the top floor but it was still a lot of fun doing the different rooms – upon reflection Jess may have got another one but I can’t remember. Either way the photo booths were a lot of fun and definitely the best part of SM Town!

27. Chocolate Frog

Chocolate Frog

When we visited Universal Studios our first stop was Harry Potter World – the three of us are massive Harry Potter fans and we’d heard that area just gets busier and busier as the day goes on so we decided to go there first. When we visited Honey Dukes one of us had the idea that we should each get a chocolate frog and see whose card we get – we got one to bring back to the UK for Hirst as well. Hirst got Rowena Ravenclaw which was awesome as that’s which house she’s in, Jess got ‘Bertie Bott’ and Becca got ‘Godric Gryffindor’. When I opened mine I’d got ‘Albus Dumbledore’ which is pretty sick, that’s the one Harry gets when he has his first chocolate frog. The chocolate frog itself was massive and well worth the money, I love chocolate but even I didn’t finish it in one sitting.

That’s pretty much all I can remember at the moment although I’m sure there was a lot of little extra stuff that I bought and this doesn’t even include the presents I bought for other people. Basically, Asia was an amazing trip and I got some sick souvenirs!

41 Random Favourite Things Tag

Madame Tussauds 2

Ah writer’s block, thou art a heartless bitch. On the bright side I love doing pointless tags so I’ve decided to do the 44 Random Favourite Things Tag. Please enjoy!

1. Colour

Pink! I used to repress my love for it in Secondary School and in general ‘cos ‘ugh pink is for girls and I’m not like other girls’ but once I grew the hell up I realised that pink is an awesome colour and one of my favourites. I don’t really show it because I don’t really wear pink clothes or own many pink things but it is my favourite colour!

2. Fruit

Strawberries

Strawberries, I don’t care what anyone says strawberries are the God tier fruit. Grapes are good too but nowhere near strawberries.

3. Candy

I’m not really a massive candy fan, they can make me feel a bit sick so I prefer chocolate. I’m hoping Haribo’s count because I do love them but too many can make me feel a bit sick. The hearts and the eggs are my favourites, the cola bottles are my least favourites.

4. Chocolate

It changes all the time but at the moment it’s Dairy Milk Whole Nut. Most places only sell Dairy Milk Chopped Nuts now and it’s nowhere near the same, it doesn’t taste as good as Whole Nut.

5. Cold Drink

Chocolate milk but specifically ‘Yazoo’. It took me a while but I realised I don’t like really ‘Frijj’ and the stores own brands aren’t that great. I don’t like the ones that are made out of powder because they almost never completely stir into the milk. Yazoo has that perfect balance, I won’t stand for anything less.

6. Hot Drink

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate. I’m not a massive fan of hot drinks, I feel like a failure of a British person because I don’t like tea and coffee is too bitter for me. A hot chocolate is always welcomed on a cold day though. I think the best one I ever had was on holiday in Blackpool with my Mum, Nan and Little Nan it was a smarties hot chocolate. They all felt sick watching me but it was so tasty!

7. Ice Cream

Aldi do what I call ‘ice cream sandwiches’ and whenever I told Hirst I was eating one she was like “why the hell would you have ice cream with bread?” Hirst, honey, its ice cream with two cookies that form the ‘sandwich’. They’re lush but unfortunately they’re only seasonal so I can only enjoy them in the summer. I’m also a massive fan of Ben and Jerry’s ‘Phish Food’ ice cream but to be fair, who isn’t?

8. Chips

I assume this is an American tag and they mean ‘crisps’. I actually don’t like crisps, especially anything cheese flavoured or salt and vinegar flavoured, just the smell of them horrifies me. I try to keep quiet when people eat them near me but it really grosses me out. I do occasionally eat ready salted crisps or some nachos or something but like they do creep me out. I’m not sure what it is!

9. Soup

I’ll eat vegetable soup as like a starter or something but I’m not a fan of soup as it doesn’t fill me up in the slightest. I don’t understand people at work who eat no snacks all morning, have soup for lunch and then are fine until tea time. I’d be dying of hunger! I like the idea of soup but yeah, it wouldn’t fill me up.

10. Car

I don’t know pretty much any car types, I’m glad Go Carz tell you your driver’s registration ‘cos if they just sent the car type I’d never bloody find it. So I don’t really have a favourite for this one.

11. Television Show

Hello My Twenties

The only show in the past couple of years that’s managed to absorb me is ‘Hello My Twenties’. I’ve watched and enjoyed other shows but sitting down to watch them feels like a chore until I’m actually mid-episode and into them, and even then I occasionally check how much longer of the show I’ve got left. I could’ve happily sat and watched ‘Hello My Twenties’ all day though, it really sucked me in. I was happy when they released season two but I finished it so quick, and I don’t think they’re gonna return with a season three even though I need to know what happens! Gah!

12. Movie

Room - Movie hub web news entertainment trailers reviews - Movieholic Hub

At the moment it’s ‘Room’. It’s an amazing film and I’m so glad Brie Larson won an Oscar for it. I love the book too but it was sadder and a bit more realistic – I know that’s probably better but I don’t know, I just loved the way the movie was told. I could watch it again and again without getting bored, and it would probably make me cry every time.

13. Sport

Although I’ve started going to the gym I don’t really take part in any sports. I quite like Netball at school and in Year 7 I nearly joined the Netball team because my PE teacher told me I was good and that I should but she didn’t show up to the training session so I wasted a whole lunch break waiting for her and I didn’t bother again. It’s a shame as I think I would’ve enjoyed it.

14. Perfume

I don’t have a favourite because I don’t tend to wear it. Sure, I will if someone buys me a bottle but I’d never go out of my way to buy one for myself. I mean, why are they so expensive?

15. Meat

I mostly eat chicken because it’s easiest to cook and comes in different forms – chicken nuggets, chicken stir-fry, roast chicken, chicken burger etc. But I think my actual favourite is beef. I just don’t make it as often ‘cos I’m not a confident cook and I’m used to cooking chicken, not beef. Probably sounds stupid but there you go.

16. Vegetable

Broccoli. I’m quite bad and don’t like that many vegetables, the only ones I can think of off the top of my head are broccoli and sweet corn but I LOVE both of them. I like making my own broccoli ‘cos my Mom doesn’t cook it for long enough and it’s too hard, whereas I cook it for ages so it’s nice and soft. I could eat broccoli with pretty much anything.

17. Genre of Music

K-Pop but I’ll listen to most things to be honest. My taste is quite broad.

18. City to Visit

Japan Takeshita

Tokyo in Japan, I don’t care that I’ve only been once in my entire life, it’s my absolute favourite place ever.

19. Celebrity Crush

I have so many and narrowing it down to one would be near impossible so I’ll go with the obvious and say J-Hope from BTS.

J-Hope.jpg

20. Book

It’s either ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill or ‘The Loneliest Girl in the Universe’ by Lauren James. Both are amazing for different reasons. I’ve reread ‘Only Ever Yours’ tons of times but only read ‘The Loneliest Girl in the Universe’ earlier this year but I did love it.

21. Sports Team

I used to pick my favourite football team based on who I had a crush on at the time. If they supported Liverpool then you can bet your ass I supported Liverpool too. I’ve been to one football game in my entire life as I treated my Dad to tickets and it was a Wolves match as he supports them. During the match I supported them too but I’m not an active fan or anything.

22. Pet

Unfortunately I don’t have any pets anymore – I did love Bruno, Fred, Toffee and Tina whilst they were alive but I don’t have any anymore. I’m not in a rush to get any as I travel often and it’d be an inconvenience trying to find someone to look after them whilst I’m gone. I just love my friends pets instead.

23. Flower

Roses I think. Nice and traditional.

24. Dessert

My latest dessert obsession are the strawberry tarts from ASDA. I love them, they’re so tasty, I can’t get enough of them.

25. Smell

Freshly mown grass, warm cookies, coffee (even though I can’t stand the taste), just to name a few.

26. Game

Mario Party 8

I LOVE Mario Party 8! I watched Achievement Hunter play it all the time and I was always so jealous ‘cos I had no one to play it with. On my birthday I bought the game and forced my friends Becca, Jess and Hirst to play it with me. Jess liked it but Becca and Hirst weren’t fans so now I don’t really have anyone to play it with and it’s no fun playing with the AI’s, it’s too easy to win.

27. Piece of jewellery

Me and my friends each have a bracelet that Hirst gave us all for Christmas one year that has each of our initials on it. It’s the only piece of jewellery I wear all the time and I love it to pieces. We all wear ours all the time and it’s really cute!

28. Jeans

I’ve gone off jeans but when I did wear them I just bought a cheap pair from Primark or ASDA. Due to my size the jeans always wore away and got holes in them anyway so I didn’t see the point in splashing out money for an expensive pair.

29. Electronics

I’m not really sure what this means but I love my iPod. Unfortunately my iPod Nano recently broke (how it survived this long though is beyond me, I ripped the buttons off the side and it was not in good shape) and for some reason a new Nano was more expensive than an iPod Touch so I bought one of them instead. I don’t trust Apple products as they’re definitely not built to last but since I’ve been using iTunes for so long I don’t want to buy a non-brand MP3 player and have none of my songs transfer onto it.

30. Hair Product

I don’t really use hair products other than hair dye and I go for Live XXL just because they do bright colours whereas most of the other brands don’t. I used to dye my hair different colours when I was a teenager but now I’m older I can’t be bothered with the bleaching to get a decent colour so I’ve stuck with purple hair. I don’t go to the hairdressers anymore as last time she was like “there’s still red in your hair so we’re probably best dying it that colour again” and although I didn’t want red hair at all I was too awkward to say anything. I think the red still being in my hair was bull anyway, it would’ve grown out ages ago.

31. Sandwich

Bacon and egg! When I lived at Jess’ for a couple of months we used to have a bacon and egg sandwich after walking Benji which was always lush.

32. Condiment

I don’t like any condiments. I still remember sharing a tray of chips with Jess and she insisted she ‘had to’ squeeze ketchup all over her half, and when I pulled ones out from the bottom they had sauce on and I had to leave them for her. I can just about tolerate mayonnaise at an absolute push but I don’t actually enjoy any condiments.

33. Thing to collect

Snow globes! I’ve started collecting them from the countries I visit and I have a pretty decent collection now. The only one I’m currently missing is Amsterdam but I’m hoping I’ll have time to look for one on my stopover on the way to Hong Kong later this year.

34. Time of Day

On a weekday 5PM because that’s when work finishes and although I love my job it’s still good to know that now my time is my own. If we’re not talking about a specific time I like evenings both in and out of work.

35. Day of the week

Either Friday or Saturday. Sunday’s aren’t fun because of bloody trading standards and the buses are less frequent (as someone that doesn’t drive it’s very annoying). Friday’s good ‘cos although I have work I know afterwards I’ll have a full two days off (unless I’m doing care work). Saturday’s are good because that’s the day to go out and do something.

36. Actor

I love so many actors that it’s hard to narrow it down to one. At the moment I’m going to say Tom Holland. Fun fact, last time me and Becca got drunk together we thought it’d be a great idea to record a video of us talking about how much we love Tom Holland and then tweet it to him. I sincerely hope he never saw it.

Cooking with "The Avengers", Los Angeles, USA - 12 Nov 2018

37. Actress

Probably Brie Larson, I think she’s amazing as both an actress and a person. I’m so glad she’s joined the MCU, she’s just perfect.

Women In Film 2018 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented By Max Mara And Lancôme - Arrivals

38. Season

Autumn! It’s starting to cool down but it’s not too cold yet. Also my birthdays in Autumn which is a definite bonus.

39. Designer

Ah, I don’t actually have one. Sorry!

40. Comfort Food

I’m not sure what counts as comfort food but whenever I’m abroad for too long I get cravings for British food. When I was in America it was a full English breakfast I kept fancying whereas when I was in Asia all I wanted was a roast dinner. If I’ve had a crap day at work I love going to Wetherspoons after work, you can’t beat a good Wetherspoons meal. If I was at home I think I’d go looking for hash browns.

41. Piece of Clothing

I bought myself a big nightie from ASDA which is nice and baggy, and really cosy. It’s everything I’d ask for in pyjamas.

There you have it, 41 random favourites of mine! Feel free to leave a comment with yours or a link to yours. Or just whatever you wanna comment.

5 Favourite Marvel Characters

Marvel Characters

It’s not long until ‘Avengers: End Game’ comes out and I am SO excited. It took a lot of stress and panic but I managed to book tickets to the 4DX double bill at my local Cineworld – I’ll rewatch ‘Infinity War’ at 8:30PM and then at midnight ‘End Game’ will play. I love going to the midnight screening because then absolutely no one can spoil it for me.

As I’m so excited I wanted to write a Marvel themed post so I figured I’d write a list of my five favourite characters from the MCU. Hope you enjoy!

There will be Infinity War spoilers in this post but I assume by now most people who care have already seen it.

Peter Parker

Peter Parker gif.gif

I’m gonna start with the obvious because who doesn’t love Peter, let’s be real? I never watched the original Spider-Man movies but I did watch the versions with Andrew Garfield and was initially disappointed he wasn’t joining the Avengers movies and he had to be replaced. But I actually now prefer Tom Holland’s version and wouldn’t have it any other way. At least he relatively looks the age he’s meant to be portraying and I just don’t think the way Spider-Man is shown in these movies would have suited Andrew Garfield.

I loved ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and am really looking forward to ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, and the end of ‘Infinity War’ KILLS ME WHY DID MARVEL HAVE TO DO US DIRTY LIKE THAT? I’m looking forward to seeing him come back in ‘End Game’ ‘cos like he must do if he has another movie coming out. There’s nothing I don’t love about Peter and I doubt there are many people that dislike him.

Wanda Maximoff

Wanda Maximoff gif.gif

I wasn’t particularly sure about Wanda when she was first introduced in ‘Age of Ultron’ but by the end of the movie I loved her. I really wish they hadn’t killed off Pietro that was actually heart-breaking since I was starting to love him as well. I mean, who doesn’t love Aaron Taylor-Johnson?

The only thing I’m not a fan of is her romance with Vision like… Was that necessary? Was that in anyway shape or form necessary? It’s like having a relationship with a bloody calculator. Couldn’t get attached to Vision at all, in ‘Infinity War’ when they were like “no we can’t kill Vision we must find a way to ease the stone off” it was like? Nah, just kill him mate. I do feel awful for Wanda though that she had to kill Vision only for it to be reversed and watch him die again, knowing they’d failed. Can’t have been easy.

Overall I love Wanda and I don’t care what anyone says, I think she’s an amazing character and I can’t wait to see what Marvel have got in store for her in the future.

Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers gif.gif

Although I was looking forward to the ‘Captain Marvel’ movie I wasn’t like counting down the days or anything. A female-centred super hero movie is always a plus and also I loved Brie Larson in ‘Room’ so I was looking forward to seeing her as a super hero and honestly the movie did not disappoint. I think it’s definitely one of my favourite solo Marvel movies. I knew it would be good but it still blew my expectations out of the water. “I have nothing to prove to you” – THAT’S RIGHT SIS YOU DON’T! How iconic.

I can’t wait to see Carol with all the other super heroes in ‘End Game’, I’m already loving the memes that are coming out of that five second clip between Carol and Thor so I can’t wait to see more memes when the movie is actually released. I have no doubt that Carol will be just as awesome in this movie as she was in her movie AND I AM EXCITED!

Bucky Barnes

Bucky Barnes gif.gif

I don’t care what Becca says, Bucky is one of my favourite characters. Becca was a fan first and kept telling me I should watch the Captain America films but my other friend Jess and plenty of other people told me they were boring so I didn’t bother – until ‘Civil War’ came out and the four of us went to a triple bill of all the Captain America films. I actually really enjoyed them and ended up loving Bucky as a result, and switching from Team Iron Man to Team Captain America. I also used to trash Captain America a lot ‘cos he annoyed me in the original Avengers movie – all these things lead to Becca calling me a traitor.

Becca LOVED Bucky whilst we were in college, I’m telling you the girl accidentally called me ‘Bucky’ instead of ‘Buddy’ more than once so she’d get a bit defensive about him. But I don’t care what she says, I finally saw the movies and now I love Bucky. Definitely one of my favourite characters. I’m definitely not alone in this as the majority of MCU fans seem to love him too but you can see why!

Mantis

Mantis gif.gif

I’m so glad that after Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Mantis just stayed with the guardians. She’s one of my favourite characters because she’s so caring and so bloody funny. In ‘Infinity War’ when she’s just bouncing around and when she’s like “Kick names, take ass” – absolutely hilarious. I just love everything about her. I think she’s quite possibly my favourite character in the MCU and I’m hoping she comes back in ‘End Game’ because if not I will be massively disappointed.

BONUS: Loki

Loki gif 2.gif

I was originally going to make this list with ten characters but I felt like I’d just be naming all the obvious characters so I went with five – but I just had to add Loki. I feel like I went through my Loki peak as a teenager and then sort of grew out of it and disliked the Thor movies. The first two, especially the first one, are actually quite boring. Ragnarok however – iconic. That’s what all the Thor movies should’ve been like.

My love for Loki returned and I’m really hoping what happened in ‘Infinity War’ was some kind of trick or something and that he’s not genuinely gone although I doubt it. I’ll wait to see the movie though and hold out hope until then.

Well there we have it, my five favourite characters from the MCU. Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites!

Five Favourite Places I’ve Visited (So Far!)

Umbrellas

It’s no secret that travelling is my favourite thing to do. At any given time I normally have a trip coming up to forward to. It’s become a bit of a running joke at work that the moment I’m back from a trip everyone starts asking “Go on then, when’s the next one?” It’s a reputation that I quite enjoy having.

I decided to write a list of the five top places I’ve visited so far. I have no doubt within the next few years this will change as I tick off more places on my travel bucket list but as of right now, in April 2019, these are my five favourite places I’ve visited.

5. Crete, Greece

Crete 2

It’s rare for me and my three best friends to hit lucky with the weather when we travel. On our first trip abroad to Paris I don’t think it stopped raining all week. We booked Greece for the end of April 2018 and everyone warned us it wouldn’t be as warm as we thought and we should just pack our normal clothes. Turns out they were wrong, it was boiling in Crete for the entirety of our visit which definitely helped the overall experience of the holiday.

I’ve written a bit about Crete in other posts but for this holiday we realised there was no public transport so we hired a car and once Jess got the hang of driving on the other side of the car and road we were cruising through Crete without a care in the world. Everything was perfect – the weather, the scenery, and the absolute bangers we were listening to.

Crete 3

The country itself was just beautiful and the people were so lovely. Every time we went out for dinner we were given something for free at the end of it which although was a bit hit and miss was still an added bonus. My favourite was when we had dinner at the place overlooking the lake because we got a plate of fruit afterwards which was lush.

I wish we’d had a bit longer to spend there exploring the island but we had to face reality and come home after three nights but overall, I wouldn’t have changed anything about our trip to Crete. It was pretty much perfect, even the little squabbles with my friends and the plain bizarre moments – even when the car started rolling backwards down that steep hill! I had an amazing trip and would love to return to either Crete or any part of Greece one day.

4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam 12

The first time me and my friends ever caught a flight together was for Amsterdam. It’s crazy now ‘cos we’ve caught so many flights together that I don’t even think twice now, I’m like ‘yep we’re back at the airport again’ but at the time it was crazy! I mentioned Paris was our first trip but due to money we’d had to catch a coach. Now we’d all sort of settled into full-time work we could finally afford to fly and it was so much better than a 12 hour bus journey.

The trip itself wasn’t perfect although it did have a lot of fun moments, what I loved was just the city. It had such a calm vibe, you always seemed to be near water and it definitely helped that for once the sun was shining during our trip. Amsterdam was beautiful and I’ve love to explore more parts of the Netherlands.

Amsterdam 13

There were some things we didn’t get to see like ‘Anne Frank’s House’ and other stuff which make me want to return. Even revisiting parts we already saw would be interesting. I do need to go back to Amsterdam one day because I’ve started collecting snow globes for every country I visit and Amsterdam is currently the only one I’m missing. Obviously that’s not the only reason I’d go back, I just loved the place so much!

3. Seoul, South Korea

SM Town

When I was about seventeen or eighteen I started listening to more K-Pop which admittedly is what got me interested in South Korea. I remember when I was nineteen I received a message off Becca saying ‘Hollie if you ever go to South Korea I want to go too’. At the time I thought it was impossible and assumed we never would. Last year we went.

We were going to Japan and spending the majority of our time there but decided to slot in a few nights in South Korea before we came home. I’m so glad we did because it was such an amazing experience and we packed in a lot for the few days we were there.

I’ve said this for everywhere so far but I’d love to go back and explore more of South Korea, especially Busan but I don’t think I’d have the confidence to go on my own. As I mentioned in my ‘Asia Travel Fails’ post, Google Maps doesn’t work properly in South Korea – instead of giving you precise directions it will show the distance in a straight line ignoring things like roads and buildings. This meant South Korea was difficult to navigate but Jess managed it and we got to see a lot of amazing things.

I’d love to go back and do a ton more stuff so we’ll see if that ever happens!

2. New York, USA

Grand Central

For my 21st birthday I had originally asked my Mom to fund my flights to Japan but then realised I could probably do that myself with my tax return money so I decided to ask for something else instead. My Mom had previously visited New York with her uni friend Sue and had loved it. When I asked her she initially said it would be wasted on me since I’m scared of lifts so suggested we went somewhere else instead. I was so desperate to go that I finally worked up the nerve to get in the lift at my work and overcame my fear – in the long run it has really helped and made life 1000 times more convenient.

Anyway, about ten days after my birthday the two of us jetted off to New York together. It was my first time in America and also my first time going on holiday outside of Europe. I was excited but to be honest when I first arrived I felt very overwhelmed and wasn’t sure if I liked it. We left our hotel to find somewhere for dinner at about 5:30PM so of course the streets were packed with people as it was the rush hour and I was exhausted from the flight so I wasn’t sure. However the next day, after an early night, was a lot better.

New York 4

The only downside I can think of is that I ended up getting really bad blisters so by the last day of the trip I was limping everywhere but other than that it was amazing. We did all the typical tourist things like going up the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Centre, our hotel was literally right round the corner from Times Square. When my Mom had been she hadn’t found time to see a Broadway show but as a massive theatre fan I insisted we had to. I chose Anastasia as that’s not performing in the UK at the moment and I couldn’t have asked for a better first Broadway show experience. We had our own box and the show itself was amazing.

It’s on my bucket list to visit America with my friends one day and it’d be cool for us to go to New York but it was very expensive! I think I only had the amazing experience I had because my Mom was with me. Our hotel was literally perfect, there was a view of the empire state building from our window. One of my favourite places I’ve visited!

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo

I could’ve also put Osaka and Kyoto on this list as I loved them as well but decided to stick with Tokyo so that the list wasn’t just full of my one trip to Asia! To be honest I don’t think I’ll ever love somewhere as much as I loved Tokyo, it was the perfect city for me as it had a bit of everything – the traditional side with museums, shrines and temples whilst also having the fun side with Disneyland, arcades and whacky themed cafes.

I can’t remember when I first realised I wanted to visit Japan but it had been several years. I remember talking about it with Jess in college, watching Dan and Phil’s vlog with such jealousy and thinking about how I’d most likely never be able to afford to go. Thankfully due to tax returns and two other friends who wanted to go/could afford to, the flights were booked and before we knew it we were off!

If I could return to any trip I’ve ever been on it would definitely be Japan, any moment would be fine with me but my favourite to return to would definitely be watching the electric parade at Disneyland at the end of a fun day. I think that’s probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.

Tokyo 2

I’ve made up my mind that I want to return to Japan in 2022 but we’ll have to see as there are lots of places in the world I want to tick off but I did really love Japan. I’d like to return to Tokyo, see a new part of Japan and then maybe catch a plane to somewhere nearby? I’m not sure, we’ll have to see!

So there we go, that’s my list of my five favourite places I’ve visited so far. Feel free to leave a comment with your favourites!