For me, India is chaos and colour and having absolutely no idea what is going on a good 85% of the time.
So I love this shot of me caught up in a parade we essentially fell into the middle of in Jaipur, at the centre of a whirlwind of colour and flowers and flags and singing, with absolutely no idea what is going on!
What a week its been on the Maharajas' Express ❤️
I've been so lucky to spend the past week on board a gorgeous luxury train with some of my favourite people. I'm really going to miss my #IndiaBlogTrain family!
Jaipur - Ranthambhore - Agra - Gwalior - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Lucknow. The itinerary has been amazing and the whole trip the perfect combination of luxury and comfort blended with culture and sightseeing.
The brilliant thing about travelling by train like this is that your accommodation travels with you... So no unpacking and repacking, no flights, no moving. It frees up so much time and just makes the whole experience easy 😊 I have honestly loved every second and this is without a doubt one of the best trips I've ever done!
📸 by or starring XameliaX, Good Things Guy, The Midnight Blue Elephant, The Pin the Map Project and Girl Tweets World. Plus huge thank you to our awesome trip photographer Ash from Liquid Soul Dimension 😊
"Oh diary, you're so funny!"
On board the Maharajas' Express loving life (and failing to pose for photos 😂)! I have so many great stories from the past week... I can't wait to sit down and start writing them all. India, I love you ❤️
📸 by XameliaX
Day Six on the Maharajas' Express has been a very orange day ❤️
We've been in beautiful #Varanasi which is easily one of the most fascinating places of the trip so far. This is the oldest living city in the world and a seriously important religious hub, with so much incredible culture seething within its colourful walls.
The highlight was our boat cruise along the Holy Ganges. We sailed passed the cremation ghat (keeping a respectful distance) and it was fascinating to see the "eternal flame" 🔥 which people use to light their cremation fires. Then we watched the incredible aarti ceremony from the river. Its a daily Hindu ritual to say goodbye to the Mother Ganges and thank her and the gods for the day.
Finally, we lit candles as offerings to the Ganges and placed them in the water, making a wish as we did so.
Its been one of the most interesting and beautiful days I've had in a long time and I have absolutely loved Varanasi. Next stop: Lucknow!
Yesterday on our Maharajas' Express tour we headed to the incredible temple complex at Khajuraho ❤️
This place really blew me away! The temples are over 1000 years old but they're still really well preserved and covered in some really beautiful, intricate carvings.
Its also famous for depicting the Kama Sutra and some pretty raunchy scenes!
What. A. Day!
From the Taj Mahal this morning to the stunning Gwalior Fort this afternoon, Day Four on the Maharajas' Express has just been incredible. So full, so long... but just so so so amazing 😍
We rounded off our tour of the Taj Mahal with a champagne breakfast overlooking the complex, before heading back to our train to move on to #Gwalior. Then we headed out to explore the ancient fort and the stunning Jain cave sculptures. All that was rounded off with a tour of the Jai Palace and an amazing outdoor dinner in the grounds.
This trip just keeps getting better and better!
Day three on board the Maharajas' Express exploring one of my favourite countries!
From an early morning safari with monkeys, crocs, deer and more, to a surprisingly interesting afternoon at the abandoned Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri, it has been a very full day. But of course we still found time to enjoy a few G&T's on board our amazing luxury train this evening!
This is easily one of the coolest trips I've ever done and I'm super lucky to be sharing it with a great bunch of people 😍 #IndiaBlogTrain #incredibleindia
Day One on board the Maharajas' Express ❤️
Our first stop on this amazing luxury train journey was Jaipur and I'm honestly in love. We explored the Amber Fort, got caught up in a random parade, and swung by the Water Palace before a fab lunch at the City Palace (and a vip tour of the private rooms). I'm so impressed by everything so far and so happy to be back in this amazing country 🇮🇳😍
My favourite thing about #travel is the food (of course) and I LOVE to try to eat "like a local" when I travel. So these awesome new city breaks from Taste Breaks sound like the perfect way to discover Europe: https://www.tastebreaks.co.uk/
The foodie-themed city breaks include support and knowledge from a passionate food-loving local host. You'll get a welcome on arrival, a food tour of the destination, and plenty of tips to help you avoid the tourist traps and head to the best local restaurants! Sounds like my dream way to explore Europe - who else wants to try this?
For the next week I'll be travelling through India's Golden Triangle on board the Maharajas Express Luxury Train. Looks like its going to be an incredible trip 😍
Arrived in Delhi today and I'm shattered after an overnight flight. Looking forward to a fresh start in the morning. Stay tuned! #incredibleindia
With one week to go until #ValentinesDay - check out my round up of the best unique gifts for travel lovers!
NEW! My Review of My-Picture.co.uk - a fab online service for ordering amazing, cheap photo prints and gifts. #ad
First Time Travel Lessons from 22 Bloggers (including me) - as featured on Coddiwomp :)
I travelled to Hutchinson Island in Discover Martin County Florida to discover a slice of island life. From glorious beaches to super fun water sports - this is everything you need to do in Hutchinson Island.
Featuring Next Level Watersports, Florida Oceanographic Society, The Ohana Bus, Riding The Waves and Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa - HUGE thanks to everyone involved for giving us a really fun week!
Also thanks to VickyFlipFlopTravels for helping out with the filming!
#loveflorida #discovermartin #ad
Just want to say a little public shout-out to my absolute legend of a dad who has done SO MUCH for me ❤️ Especially in the past 12 months - during which time he has:
Moved me and all my stuff to Portsmouth
Moved all my stuff back to Weymouth four months later
Let me live rent-free at his temporarily
Stored everything I owned while I went gallivanting around Latin America
Moved all my stuff back to Portsmouth YET AGAIN!
All while putting up with my lip 😂 Family is important* - never take people you love for granted.
(sappy status over)
Loving this thought-provoking video today - showing us how easy it is to become generic as we try to live out a picture-perfect "performance" for Instagram instead of just celebrating our real lives.
Some of the "generic" shots in this video are of beautiful, popular places and of course there are going to be a lot of pictures of those. That doesn't mean that there aren't people still going to interesting, lesser known places and posting interesting, unique pictures of them - but maybe those interesting cool photos are being lost in the noise?
What I like is the sentiment of the video. When we travel maybe we should spend less time living on and through our smartphones, and more time actually enjoying the moment? It's something I try to do when I travel, which is hard as someone who's supposedly a social media "influencer" (a term a loathe). My best memories and stories are mainly of things I have very few photos of - because I was busy living and enjoying myself. And my favourite photos of me are the rare, un-posed ones where I'm clearly having a great time, as opposed to all the awkward, me-standing-in-front-of-a-landmark ones where I didn't know what to do with my arms and I was too busy worrying about my sweaty forehead to have any appreciation of my surroundings. But at the same time - the photos that perform well and get the most likes tend to be the carefully curated, awkward-pose ones which have nothing to do with the reality of my travels.
But what does everyone else think? Are Instagram shots and poses becoming too generic? How to we combat it? I'd love to know your thoughts...
(ps thanks to Wanderlust Chloe for sending this video my way)
NEW! My latest round-up post, all about the life and travel highlights in January...
NEW! My review of the gorgeous Windsor Court in New Orleans.
AMAZING food, stunning views, gorgeous rooms... do I really need to go on? My friend Pam and I stayed here and had an absolute blast - such a great way to kick off our short trip in the city. #neworleans
Get 15% off a Water-to-Go filter bottle for your travels with my code, ELUX15 😊
I genuinely LOVE working with Water-to-Go and recommending their awesome filter bottles. I use mine on every trip - it saves time and money, AND it helps reduce the unnecessary waste of plastic. Win-win!
FAB video by VickyFlipFlopTravels of our lovely little Florida trip last week. What a speedy worker she is (unlike me).
I did a little interview about my travels for Wanderlust Tips Magazine. Enjoy!
The beach is my happy place 😄 what's yours?
I grew up by the sea and I feel like I need to be by the water as much as possible 🌊 This pic was taken at Blowing Rocks during last week's trip to Discover Martin County in Florida. It was a bit of a blustery grey sky day but that only made the waves seem all the more dramatic!
#ad #discovermartin #loveflorida
5 Winter Sun Getaway Ideas
Voyage Privé shared with me their top five recommendations for winter sun holidays - and I've rounded up some great tips and travel inspiration for all of them!
But I want to know - where would you add to this list?
Happy Saturday 🐢😍 Just going through my photos of Discover Martin County - possibly one of the most colourful places in Florida!
This amazing new mural in Stuart was one of my faves! Its being painted by the Visionary School of Arts for the charity Catch the Wave of Hope 💙 which is trying to stop human trafficking, and you can make a donation by sponsoring one of the fish 🐠 Great idea!
#ad #discovermartin #loveflorida
NEW! 10 Unique Valentine's Gifts for Travel Lovers
Looking for the perfect #travel gift this Valentine's Day? Or just want to buy me a present (hint - I like numbers 1 and 10 best 😉)! Check out my round up of the best personalised gift ideas for Valentine's Day...
Featuring Etsy, Bob Books, El Camino Bracelets, and more!
All I really need in life is a beach, some sunshine, and a few fun people to share it with!
Heading home after a fab week in Florida with VickyFlipFlopTravels ☀🌴🚘 We've packed so much in exploring Stuart and Hutchinson Island with Discover Martin County - absolutely exhausted now 😂 But it's been such a fun week!
#ad #discovermartin #loveflorida
"We don't like white walls here" as our tour guide told us this morning 😍
Lots of the towns in Discover Martin County are full of brightly coloured murals in the most unlikely places, like this one on the side of a little grocery store in Hobe Sound 🌴
#ad #discovermartin #loveflorida
📸 by VickyFlipFlopTravels
Last year - I flew over 51,000 miles, visited 7 new countries, and travelled on at least 20 different kinds of transport.
Come find out everything else I got up to in my 2017 round up in stats, numbers, and general highlights. #travelblogger
Hello sunshine ☀️ I'm exploring Martin County in Florida 🇺🇸 this week with Discover Martin County and I'm so excited to see a less touristy side of the sunshine state - starting with Hobe Sound this morning 😄
These fab murals are dotted all over the town and they're so colourful. Great way to start our week 💜🌴 #discovermartin #loveflorida #ad
📸 by VickyFlipFlopTravels
7 alternative beach destinations I think you should consider for 2018. Where would you add to this list?
NEW: Cocoon Browser Review
Why the free browser from GetCocoon is PERFECT for travellers. Safe browsing on even the most dodgy WiFi networks, protected privacy, no ad tracking.... and you can watch US Netflix from anywhere in the world for free without downloading a VPN.
Also perfect if you live in the UK and you want to watch US Netflix 😊
Tomorrow I'm headed back to Florida for the second time in a few months 😄☀🇺🇸 This time it's off to Martin County, Florida to check out a very different side of the state. Hoping it's as sunny and colourful as Miami was last November...
📸 by Wanderlust Chloe
BIG NEWS! I moved house yesterday 😄💖
Yesterday I moved in with VickyFlipFlopTravels 🧜♀️ in sunny Southsea and I'm VERY excited to be back. Come find out why I made the big move and what I'm up to over the next few months...
Check out my latest freelance post for Avanti's blog - all about beautiful Costa Rica 😍 #puravida
Just found out I was named one of the top 10 Travel Bloggers of 2017 by Trips 100. Thank you so much Fleamail - this means a lot 😄
Also thrilled that two of my all time favourite blogs made the list - Wanderlust Chloe and along dusty roads. Congratulations you guys! Go check them out if you haven't already!
This was one of my most popular posts last year - and I'm so proud to have been able to create something about my home that's done so well!
If you're looking for a UK getaway this year consider #Dorset - it's the best part of England!
Another shot I love from #Havana - posing with our gorgeous red convertible on the Malecon.
📸 by Every Steph - Green & Glamourous Travel Blog
NEW! 7 Things to do in #Havana
I spent three awesome days exploring Havana with cubaneden.com and uncovered some of the coolest things to do in the city. These are the seven highlights I think no visitor should miss. Anything missing from this list?
When you're attempting a #Havana photo shoot with Every Steph - Green & Glamourous Travel Blog but you're wearing trainers, there's a zillion cars getting in the way, and the entire construction site across the road has stopped working to watch 😂
NEW! My review of the gorgeous Roger Smith Hotel in New York City #NYC