Living in 2 cities

My home is in Manchester, with my parents, my sister, my oldest friends, my boyfriend. My other home for 3/4 years is in the heart of Leeds city centre, currently in a 20 floor high tower block of student accommodation. 

Living between two cities is exciting but draining at the same time. As soon as I begin to feel settled in one place I have to remove myself to change back to my other life in another city. I honestly feel like at the moment I am living two lives… my Leeds life and my Manchester life. 

I work still in Manchester also, which makes it harder.. the past three weeks I’ve skipped uni in order to be home for work, in order to pay off my deposit on the house for next year in Leeds. 

Next year I’m hoping to find work in Leeds, and my goal is to integrate the ‘two lives’ into one, making one bigger, more enjoyable and easier life. I feel first year has been an experiment in living away from home, and temptations have brought me back home more times than I anticipated. 

Is anyone in University experiencing the same kind of thing? Or maybe something similar with work?

Pimlico, London

July 2016 I travelled to London for a short 2 night stay before flying from London Stansted to Parma, Italy. During these few days me and my boyfriend hired out the Santander bikes and explored as much as we could. The bikes are free as long as you get them back in at a station every 30 minutes, this was fun however as it set us a challenge to find a station before getting charged. The area of Pimlico is very convenient, with us easily going to the London eye and Buckingham palace on them with no struggle. The only problem we discovered is that after 12am, the bike stations stop working in the centre places such as Leicester Square, so keep this in mind as we had to walk for 40 minutes in order to find a station still working. Here a few pictures from the visit.

I would definitely stay in this area next time I visit if hoping to be close to Victoria Coach Station and the main sites.

My favourite place to visit?

So far I have only travelled within Europe with the exception of Florida. Therefore I cannot fully say where my favourite place is, however I can say from what I have seen so far. 

Growing up I’ve been on various holidays within Spain including the Canary Islands, and this used to be the main place we went to. In 2014 however we went to Kefalonia, Greece and since then I’ve fell in love. Therefore, my current answer has to be the Greek Islands. So far I have been to Zante, Kefalonia, Corfu and Crete. The beaches in Kefalonia were beyond beautiful and I would love to return purely for that reason, Crete however I would say is the best all round with amazing views and beaches. 

My answer: Greece

Below are more pictures from my trip to Crete last year. 

See my Crete Summer ’16 Blog Post for more info and pictures of Elounda, Crete. 

6 Tips for cheap train travel

Living in another city for university and still having a job in my home city means I spend a lot of time on trains. Through this I have picked up some tips and tricks for getting the best deals for cheap travel. My route is normally from Manchester to Leeds however I have been able to use the same tricks with different journeys. 

1. Firstly, book in advance. This seems obvious but it actually does work. I’m planning to visit Norwich from Leeds in March and by booking now I’ve managed to get tickets for a third of the price. 

2. Try from different stations. For example, when I come to Leeds from my home town it costs 16 pounds without a railcard for a month open return. However, if I depart from Manchester Victoria I can get to Leeds for just 3 pounds as a single with just one day booking in advance. 

3. Look at singles instead of returns. Gernerally singles for specified times are a lot cheaper than returns, you have to make that certain train however money wise it is definitely worth it. 

4. ‘Flexi-Travel’. Book singles from station to station along the way. There are websites for this and can save you money rather than a simple A to B ticket. 

5. If you are a student BUY A RAILCARD. The 16-25 railcard is a life saver, each time I travel from my home town to Leeds I save 6 pounds, and when I get the cheaper train from Manchester Victoria it only costs me 2 pounds. 

6. Save money for a longer journey. Direct fast trains almost triple prices to destinations. By adding an extra half an hour on to your journey you can cut prices by vast amounts, with a return from Manchester to Leeds being 21 pounds for an hour train compared to 6 pounds for two singles for an hour and half train. 

I hope these little tricks help, they sure have with me especially being on a student budget. 

Elounda, Crete

In an attempt to visit all of the Greek islands, I visited Crete. I was here for 10 days from the end of July to August with temperatures of around 34 degrees however constant wind makes it seem a lot cooler. I visited the town Elounda, known for its celebrity appearances, as told/shown by a local shop keeper. Here are some of my favorite pictures.

These two pictures above were took whilst on the island of Spinalonga, boat tours to the island happen ever 15 minutes or so and enable you to stay there for the entirety of the day. The island is full of history and makes a great day out looking at where people were sent to live with leprosy.

Here above I took a 4 hour tour up into the mountains and into surrounding villages, I saw nothing but breathtaking views. To the left you can see the island of Spinalonga.

The town of Elounda.

I would highly recommend Elounda, Crete, it is full of options for all types of holiday goers with banana boats, boat tours, quad bikes, plenty of restaurants and a peaceful atmosphere. You get the heat but with a breeze which makes sunbathing more enjoyable especially for young children. 

This is the third Greek island I have visited so far along with Kefalonia and Corfu, the views here however are unlike any i have seen before. I am keen to return to see more.

Corfu

Summer 2015 I travelled to the island of Corfu for ten days in the sun. We stayed in the Corfu Holiday Palace with its own private beach and a short taxi ride away from Corfu Town. Whilst here the temperature varied from 34-40 degrees, giving me that much wanted tan. Here are some of my favourite pictures from the trip. 


Really wishing I was back here right now. 

I know I haven’t captioned any of the pictures, but feel free to leave a comment asking questions about what’s going on in them 🙂 

P.S. Can you tell from my posts I have a slight obsession with Greece yet?

Studying Abroad

Next year I will be given the opportunity to travel to either Australia, New Zealand or Canada as part of my degree to study internationally. 

So far I’m looking mostly into Australia as it has always been a dream of mine to visit here, however Canada is close up behind and is making the decision harder. 

As I live in the U.K. I feel as though a year on the other side of the world is going to be tough, especially with being in a relationship. 

I’m writing this post to reach out to anyone who has done a similar thing for some advice and tips on what worked best for them and to also share my excitement for the potential upcoming adventure. 

Hopefully this time next year I will be getting ready to jet away. 

Reggio Emilia, Italy 

July 2016 I ventured to the small town of Reggio Emilia close to the city of Bologna. During my week stay I was in the heart of Italian culture with few English speakers about. Here it opened my eyes to the relaxed way of living (far from my hustle and bustle of my home city Manchester) with volley ball games at 11 o’clock at night and ice cream parlours staying open till midnight. Here I stayed at my boyfriends brothers house and we used a local leisure centre for a pool and place to relax. Even though this was far from my usual holidays, it was one of the best I’ve been on. With the little knowledge of English there I was able to quickly pick up many Italian phrases and has now inspired me to learn the language. Here are a few pictures of the small town. 


The Eden Benessere, the leisure centre we used during our stay. It was full of locals taking part in their day to day routines of going to the gym during the week and then full of games and activities on the weekend for fun. 


One day we travelled 2 hours to the beach of Ricconi. Even though it wasn’t the nicest beach I’ve ever been to, again it was full of Italian culture, with no tourists to be seen.


Parma Town late at night. 


The town of Reggio Emilia. 


This trip opened my eyes up to what a holiday should be, the whole point of travelling is to open your mind to different and new experiences and this is what this exactly did. 

I am currently looking into studying for the summer in a town close by and again hope this will open my eyes up and educate me to life in Italy. I strongly recommended travelling to less resorts and instead in the heart of the country’s local culture. 

My favourite thing about travelling?

From the buzz of waking up early to go to the airport, finding your seat on the plane and anxiously waiting for the food menu to appear, to stepping off with the smell of the new air hitting you and you delving into the unknown. Travelling is a wonderful experience. 

Whilst being in a different location I enjoy soaking up as much of the local atmosphere as possible. I am intrigued  by how a few miles away a whole different language is spoken with unique ways of living. Even the concept of accents within England amazes me. 

I like out of the ordinary. And staying in the same place 24/7 is far from that, in order to be happy with life I need to feel stimulated from my surroundings and therefore I feel as though travelling is a sort of therapy for me and probably is for  many more individuals. 

Being able to travel is a luxury and so when done it should be done properly, integrating with the culture you have arrived in. 

So, what is my favourite thing about travelling?… My favourite thing is opening my eyes up to alternate worlds and way of lives, showing me that where I am now is only temporary and to comfort me into knowing that I have many options for change in the future.