Category Archives: Uncategorized

2015 – June 2016 Travel Update

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I’ve had the below blog-post sitting in my drafts for 4 months.. I’ve finally decided to unleash to the world with a few tweaks.

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St Thomas, Virgin Islands

I was reading my previous posts and realise how much I miss writing. I miss the process of brainstorming potential blog ideas and seeing one of them come to fruition.  I know that I haven’t posted in over 18 months – I felt I needed a break from the blogging sphere.

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Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

However, I’m back and here to bother you about my main love – travel.  Since October 2014 (yikes!), I have traveled to Turkey (Antalya), Miami, the US virgin islands, Puerto Rico, Dubai, Canary Islands (Fuerteventura & Lanzarote) and visited Rottendam and the Hague in Holland for a wedding. I will be visiting Morocco in a few weeks and Barbados is on the cards for October.

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Vieques, Puerto Rico

Miami, the U.S Virgin islands and Puerto Rico trip was another solo adventure that was pretty similar to my South East Asia trip.

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Marina, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Flights were booked via Skyscanner  and although accommodation was not prebooked, it was sought out on the day I arrived in each city and town.

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Coki Beach, St Thomas, Virgin Islands

It’s funny – whenever I tell people about my solo trip, they think it’s the craziest thing ever!

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Roman Amphitheater, Antalya, Turkey

I do like travelling with family and friends but the sense of freedom I have when I am on my own electrifies me. I loved making last minute decisions without consulting anybody and having sole control over the decisions I make.

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Rotterdam Market, Holland

Many people won’t understand it but then, that’s what makes me, me. 🙂

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Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE

I wish I could tell you more in detail but due to bad memory haha, I’m hoping my  images can describe my travel experiences better than I am right now!

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Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

In the meantime, I pledge to blog more regularly… it’s nice to be back!

 

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Happy two year anniversary!

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I’ve had this blog for two years now which is a pretty long time. It has evolved from what was initially a travel blog to something more general.

I’ve genuinely enjoyed writing a blog and it has improved my writing and research skills greatly, which is a bonus!

So yes, happy anniversary and may continue to be many more! 🙂

Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success

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Ever since I got introduced to Ted Talks earlier this year, I have been hooked.

Although I have found some videos to be utter bull, I have delighted in watching others. One of them happens to be by Alain de Bottom and it centred on his philosophy of success.

Not only did I find him engaging and witty, he also touches on so many points in a short amount of time. What really resonated with me was his idea on snobbery and how the western world perceives those who are considered failures. Centuries past, these “failures” would simply have been deemed unfortunate and people would have sympathised with them. However, nowadays, with the media being the biggest culprits, they are seen as losers with the world laughing at you.

It’s perhaps one of the reasons why there is so much emphasise on getting that great job or having materialistic things.

Anyways, enjoy watching!

At 11, I married my 60 years old husband.

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Take yourself back to when you were 11 years old. Imagine on a warm summer’s morning, your mum beckons for you to come over. She dresses you up in a pretty pink dress, adorns you in jewellery and even adds some makeup. You’re excited because you only get dressed up when it’s a special occasion. Afterwards, your mother lovingly carries you towards a place that is decorated much like a wedding venue. You get even more excited because you love weddings! You’re taken to a man of 60 years and told you you are going to be his wife. You look at your mum to make sure she is joking but sadly, she’s not.

At that revelation, you would probably feel incredibly scared, bewildered and disbelieving. Unfortunately, this is not a horror movie, only a sad reality for many children around the world. The thought of going through that horrifies me and yet, it’s happening. In fact, it is so common that it affects 39,000 children a day or a child every 2 seconds. In India, 47% of girls that are married are under 18 and in Yemen, over 50% of female children under 18 are married.* These girls are regularly married off to a male adult.

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Parents marry off their girls young due to various cultural and religious reasons. They think they are protecting their kids and feel early marriage prevents them from rape. They may also do it because of poverty and it is one less mouth to feed. A lack of education about child marriage also plays a part in it.

When married, the girls are usually pulled out of school, isolated from friends and family, forced to engage in sexual conduct and have children when they are not mentally and physically ready.

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A few reasons for taking the married child out of school is for fear they may partake in sexual activity outside of the marriage. It’s also seen as a reason to allow more time to take part in domestic duties.

More often than not, they are treated like properties – regularly beaten senselessly or maimed or even killed. With no form of education and support, these children have little to no chances of escaping such a situation.

These girls are treated so badly that they resort to self-immolation, the deed of putting themselves on fire. Usually an act of extreme political and religious protest, it’s committed in utter desperation.

To find out more about child, early and forced marriages, I would suggest you visit www.tooyoungtowed.org. They are currently doing a travelling exhibition around the world and happen to be in the London School of Economics until the 1st of August at 2pm. It is open to all and no tickets are required.

 

“All statistics are provided from Too Young To Wed.

Mis-communicator of the week: Beyoncé

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‘Beyoncé has had a rocky few months’ quotes Edward Staite, founder of Staite Communications. In his article for PR Moment, he branded her the mis-communicator of that week. Mind you, this was in April 2013, rendering it slightly irrelevant now as it was almost a year ago. However, as an advocate of Beyoncé’s legacy (a position I’ve placed myself in as a long time fan), I must defend such extreme comments.

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Everything that the author mentioned did take place, however if it had happened to Rihanna or Miley Cyrus, this set of occurrences would have been deemed laughable. Since it was Beyoncé, who is known for her squeaky clean public, it was seen as an outrage.

Yes, Beyonce may have mimed through President Obama’s second inauguration ceremony (although claims have been made she was singing along to the pre-recorded track). To be given such a once in a lifetime opportunity, she should have positively taken advantage of it but as noted in Stalte’s article, she more than made up for it in her Superbowl performance in January 2013. The public praised her especially through social media and everything was well with the media’s portrayal of Beyoncé. This was until she banned press photographers from her ‘Mrs Carter’ world tour after unflattering images from the Superbowl event surfaced. She also asked for these images to be taken down from websites and blogs through her publicist.

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From keeping her personal life private to the revelation of her pregnancy, Beyoncé’s brand has always been carefully constructed and to some extent, built on superficiality so this shouldn’t surprise people, whether they are fans or not. Based on this, I really don’t think that Beyonce was mis-communicating anything at all. Also her star power is so big that those moments would be described more as ‘minor mishaps’.

In regards to the image scandal, as a fan, I would have advised her to leave the unappealing pictures alone as she is only human and it is nice to see that side of her especially since she always comes across as ‘perfect’. However, as her publicist, although the wrong action may have been taken, it may have been wise to act upon the release of those negative images as it was not in line with her delicately assembled public image.

Starting 2014 with TBF

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In my opinion, I have had a successful 2013.

Not only did I travel to Asia on my own, graduate with a great degree and pass my driving test but I had the opportunity to intern at BBC Eastenders (which I will talk about in an upcoming post).

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Exploring Albert Square

An amazing year indeed.

2014 is going to be even better. Although I do have plans to interail around Eastern Europe, my main goal is to focus on my career. As many of you may know, I have a major interest in PR and that is what I am currently pursuing. During my university studies and sometime after, I have been partaking in internships to further my skills and get my foot into the PR industry.

Just a few days into the new year, I was lucky enough to have been selected as a PR Trainee for the Taylor Bennett Foundation in association with Red Consultancy.

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At the TBF offices.

Taylor Bennett Foundation is an independent registered charity that delivers a 10 week communications and personal development training programme for minority ethnic graduates, made to strengthen their skills and provide them with industry relevant work experience.

I am only finishing my first week of the traineeship and already I have learnt a vast amount. I’m confident the next coming weeks are going to be very interesting!

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The 6 lucky trainees

Travel plans..

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In all honesty, I have no immediate travel plans. Which leaves me the question of what I should do with my blog?

Originally, the purpose of DamiWanders was to allow me to plan and successfully execute my dream to travel around South East Asia. I also used it as a way to help others who may need some tips regarding their travels. Now that I’m back in England and I have another goal (career-related), travel is currently the last thing on my mind. Mind you, I find myself longing to explore more of the world when I look through my pictures and videos. Sometimes, I realise that I’m either going through information about backpacking through South America, looking for internships in China or applying for AuPair positions in New Jersey. Actually, I do miss the spontaneity, freedom and interesting people that travel brings…

So, ok, its not the last thing on my mind. It’s at the forefront especially when applying for graduate positions. My interest is peaked when I find a role that may include some travel. In some cases, its all I need to read before I enthusiastically apply for the position.

So what’s next? I don’t know, we will see. One thing I am definitely sure about is I will continue with this blog and that travelling is the only cure available in keeping the travel bug I’ve caught at bay :).

From Bangkok to Ko Tao

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Over the past couple of weeks, I have been doing something I never thought I would have done whilst planning for the trip – exploring the Thai islands in the south. The original plan was to go to Chiang Mai in the north but as predicted, plans change.

In my accommodation, a few people I had met said they were going to the full moon party which was on the 25th and I ended up tagging along. Through a travel agent in Bangkok, I booked a bus and ferry to Ko Tao, costing 1150 baht. After two nights in Bangkok, myself and a lovely girl I met at my accommodation set off to the island at 5:30pm. The journey took approximately 15 hours as there was so much waiting around in-between the buses and ferry and we didn’t arrive till about 9:30 am.

Once I arrived in Ko Tao, I took a taxi costing 100Baht (which was extortionate) to my pre booked accommodation where I met a mixture of strange and lovely people. I found the islands are a lot more expensive than the mainland however, I justified the price due to how much fun I had. Ended up staying in Ko Tao for four nights where we climbed steep hills, laid on lovely white beaches and partied a lot. It was definitely an island I enjoyed as it caters for everybody and a place I would  love to go back to in the future.

 

Whilst in Ko Tao, we pre-booked our accommodation for Ko Phangan, a nearby island where the full moon party is celebrated monthly. This is where I would be headed to next with the new friends I made.

Arrival in Bangkok

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Its been a week since I’ve arrived in Thailand now and I’m having the time of my life!! So much have gone on in so little time…

On the day I arrived, I took public transport from the airport in Bangkok (City line train) and when I got to the last stop, a taxi needed to be taken to my accommodation. Even though there were many around, it took me nearly 45 minutes to take one as I was requesting they turn on the meter because they were trying to charge me upfront triple the normal price. Finally caught one with the help of a nice Thai guy and arrived at my destination (the place was at Khao San road). Immediately, I got in I had no time to rest. I met some cool people and got invited to a ‘ping pong’ show which I thought was actually a table tennis competition. Turned out to be a sex show with women taking blades out of their vagina and using it to turn water into coke… it was surprising to say the least. On the way there, we took tuk tuks which we ended up racing each other with and afterwards, we went to a bar and spent the rest of the night there getting to know each other. It set the precedence for what was to come. I have been having such an amazing time since.
I’m currently in Ko Tao right now, one of the gulf islands in thailand, on my way to the full moon party which is on the 25th of May. I had absolutely no intention to come here let alone spend a total of 4 nights but everybody in my accommodation seemed to be going so I followed, something I certainly don’t regret.
Ill definitely keep updating more regularly and keep you posted..
There’s so much to say..!!
ps uploading from my phone so expect a few mistakes