Tag Archives: Travel

Turning 25: Lessons I have learnt along the way

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A few days ago, as I regularly do, I went through my “Diary of Doom”.

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A journal I started in my early teens, it is so called because it is full of teenage angst and depressing anecdotes of the bad times. I giggle every time I read it because I still can’t believe how over-dramatic I was. Anyways, at the end of writing a journal post, I would note down what I had learned from the situation. Like everybody else, I have faced some challenges and through it, I have learned some powerful lessons. Having just turned 25 myself, I thought it would be appropriate to share 25 of the poignant lessons I’ve learnt over my time on earth.

1) Rejection: Never see it as that but as a result. A certainty in life, it can be incredibly hard to accept. Don’t beat yourself up about it and move on as there are usually equal or even better options out there.

2) Nobody is perfect even if they seem to be through their Instagram and Facebook posts. Everybody bleeds and cries.

3) We all make mistakes. Life is about trial and error. Some people get it right the first time and for others, it takes a few tries. When a mistake is made, acknowledge it and try not to make it again. If you try to blame it on others or ignore it, it may lead to your downfall. I have made many mistakes in my professional life but because I have been able to acknowledge them early on, I have given myself the chance to improve and grow.

4) In life, you go through many failures and disappointments, especially when chasing your dream. It’s how you handle these that will determine your success.

5) Keeping a list of your goals, whether short term or long term helps you clarify and work through them much more easily.

6) Strive to keep learning about anything and everything. It doesn’t matter how or what you learn as long as you continue to do so. I’ve always enjoyed reading. When I was younger, it gave me a glimpse into a world that my parents were fiercely trying to protect and cushion me from. It helped satisfy a curiosity I’ve always had. As I grow older, travelling and keeping current via the media also contribute to quenching my natural curiosity.

7) No matter how nice you are to people, not everybody will show you the same courtesy. Despite this, continue being the nice, friendly individual you are and you will be more respected among your peers.

8) Invest in yourself. I class my internships as a great investment as they have improved my chances of acquiring that coveted role in PR. Although, it’s been difficult and sacrifices have had to be made, it has put me in a much better position that I was a year ago.

9) Don’t let anybody take advantage of you.

10) Cultivate your professional relationships. Networking is widely known as one of the key ways to gain that dream role.

11) Always make time for your family and friends. They will be that cushion to fall back on when times get rough.

12) Don’t bury your head in the sand. Face your problems head on no matter how difficult that is. The problem isn’t going to go away by ignoring it so might as well sort it out sooner rather than later.

13) Attention to detail is incredibly important. The company report that you have slaved over for a week may be discredited because you spelt the name of the company wrong. If in doubt, triple check everything and ask a colleague to check for you.

14) Always stand up for yourself.

15) Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. It would be harder to evolve without doing so.

16) Start a hobby. It is a great way to help gain confidence that will be beneficial in other areas in your life.

17) One of the simplest ways to brighten someone’s day is by giving a compliment. Don’t be afraid to dish it out, it’s free!

18) Always say thank you. At the end of an internship, after an interview or even after being rejected, those two magic words go a long way. It’s also just common courtesy.

19) Eat well, exercise and take personal pride in your appearance.

20) It’s smarter to admit that you don’t know than to try to pretend you do.

21) Nothing comes easily so work hard, persevere, be determined and motivated when striving for your goals.

22) Times goes by whatever you do so make the most of it.

23) Putting others down will not bring good to anybody so avoid it.

24) There is no harm in trying. Do not limit yourself because it seems impossible.

25) Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. At best, it could positively change your life. At worst, they could say is “No”or ignore you. It’s not the end of the world if they do.

So there you have it! In my next post, I will write about a trip to Ireland I took a couple of weeks ago.

 What lessons have you learned that is bound to help you in the future?

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Oh yea, I’m going to Africa tomorrow.

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I have finally taken some measures to sooth this travel bug that has been disturbing me for some time. Tomorrow, I’ll be leaving for the beautiful country of Cape Verde for a week.

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I truly welcome this break and I cannot wait to immerse myself in another culture. There is not much information online about visits to Cape Verde so I plan to write a detailed feature on my trip and hopefully, provide tips that may benefit others. Most people have asked me where Cape Verde is and it is in Africa – west of the Gambia (Not Spain or Portugal). It comprises of 10 volcanic islands in the Atlantic ocean and I will be staying in Sal. One of my main goals during this trip is to visit Santiago, another island where the capital, Praia, is situated. I also plan to try as many local cuisines as humanly possible.

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Last week, I discovered my passport was damaged so had to rush off to Durham the next day to sort that out. It was frustrating to have made such a long journey for a procedure that only took less than 30 minutes but it had to be done! I definitely learnt a valuable lesson that day – check your passport before you leave the country! If I had checked it any later, I may have not gotten my documents in time as it was a 7 day process. In all honesty, if I had checked it even earlier, I would have saved so much more time, hassle and money. So guys, learn from my mistakes please 🙂

As for the holiday, many pictures will be taken and I will update you  when I get back.

 

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 :).

Flights booked!

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Happy new year!

Hope the forthcoming year brings happiness to you guys!

A few days ago, I took the plunge and finally booked my return flight ticket for my backpacking trip! I was putting it off for a while  because I was having second thoughts..

Every single excuse that I could think off kept propping up in my head especially the fact that I’ll be a solo traveller but reading back through this blog gave me the confidence and encouragement  to carry on and overcome that particular fear.

So in Mid-May, straight after my last exam EVER at university,  I’ll be jetting off half way round the world to south east Asia (Bangkok specifically) for two months! The flights include  4 day stopovers in Dubai and Hong-Kong at the end of my trip which I got at a reasonable price. I do wish it was longer like originally planned but I’d rather be back for my graduation…

I don’t know what to do next though, I’m not the most organised person when it comes to travelling. People keep asking me what my plans are and I just reply “I’ll see how it goes“. I’ll probably pre-book the first two days of accommodation to get me settled in then wing it afterwards.

What do you guys think? What should be my next course of action?

Life is unpredictable…

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This past month has been so turbulent! Not only did I meet Mario* and the half burnt guy from Batman, unfortunate circumstances has been encasing my life like an.. iphone case suffocating an iphone (Don’t ask, I know that makes no sense.)

I broke my laptop and moved house due to my previous one being completely inhabitable (It was like living in a sewer, it was horrid) so had to go into my travel savings to fund those which caused more unnecessary added stress! I also have my dissertation and other university work  looming over me like a dark cloud.. EEK!!

BUT – what is helping with this stress is the fact that I am getting ever closer to my graduation and in turn my travel date!! I have not chosen a date yet.. I am waiting to find out when my last exam is so I can book a ticket to Bangkok. Since I have unfortunately almost drained all my travel savings, I won’t be able to spend as much time there as I would like to and go to as many places as I planned..

I’ll probably have to go for 2 months which sucks but there is going to be other times. BUT I WANT TO GO NEXT YEAR 😦  (Sorry, minor tantrum). Positively, I’m also considering volunteering abroad for 10 weeks in Latin America – it would be sick (described as “cool” and “wonderful” by UrbanDictionary) to experience that part of the world and help where the need is greater.

Anyway, now I have a new laptop, I’ll definitely be updating this more regularly.

YOU HAVE MY WORD.

Over the next few days, I’ll post some pictures of my trip to Poland as I’ve actually been meaning to. In fact, here’s a dessert I had in Wroclaw.

Yummy.

*That is my friend with Mario, not me.

Have you had any setbacks when it came to planning your travels? What were they? How did you overcome them?

Auswisch camps

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I refuse to neglect this blog!

It’s been a hectic few weeks due to my move back to uni, getting acquainted with my surroundings, new place and new job that I’ve barely had time for anything! I have been meaning to report about my trip to the Auswisch camps for a while but I honestly cannot find the words to convey what I saw, how I felt etc (I’m not exactly a budding journalist… My English is so bad that people question if its actually my mother language)

So..! I’m just going to paste some pictures I took in here and insert commentary where necessary

Anyhoo, over 2 weeks ago, I had the opportuniity to visit the Auswisch concentration camps museum in Poland.  We Took a local tour from Wroclaw which took about an hour and a half drive to get there. The concentration and extermination camps was built and operated by the Third Reich in Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was the largest of the German concentration camps, consisting of Auschwitz I (the Stammlager or base camp); Auschwitz II–Birkenau (the Vernichtungslager or extermination camp); Auschwitz III–Monowitz, also known as Buna–Monowitz (a labor camp); and 45 satellite camps. The Nazi’s were estimated to have killed around 1.3 million people between 1940 to 1945 with 90% being jewish. (Some of the information was copied from Wiki 🙂 ). It is an extremely popular attraction so expect large crowds and I would also suggest bringing your own headphones.. trust me the headphones they provided for the tour was not sufficient.

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Large crowds gather for the tour

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This is not the original sign as it was stolen

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The train tracks where the poor prisoners would arrive

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Image ImageImageImageImage                                                                           The Barbed wires were electrified to stop the prisoners from escaping

Image                                                                           Building were administration duties were done by the Nazis

ImageImageImageImageImage                                             The above two pictures showed where the orchestra stood.. They were also there for propaganda purposes.

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One of the many baracks were prisoners of up to 1000 would stay in the first auswiscch camp. Men and women were put in two opposing sides separated by                                                                                                                              a giant wall.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Above showed the many cities that Jews were taken from. They were told that they will be relocated so most brought their valuables. Some even paid for the train to the camps which is atrocious. They basically paid to die. The conditions on the trains were awful as well.ImageImage                                                                                           This is an array of ashes found after the liberations which was put in an urn to serve as a memorial.

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After the prisoners arrived, they were seperated into two groups by an SS guard and doctor simply by appearance. Men who looked healthy to one side – the rest that would be deemed no use to the other side (women, children, babies, the handicapped, elderly etc). These were sent straight to the gas chambers.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

This picture shows the separationImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

That empty cans of the gas (Cyclone B) used to kill.ImageImage

After they died, anything that were deemed usful was taken off them including their hair which was shaven off, gold tooth extracted, jewellery taken etc.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Belongings of the prisoners.ImageImageImageBaby clothes

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Thousands of shoesImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Uniform worn by the prisonersImageImageImage

After the camp was liberated, the condition the prisoners were in.ImageImage

The daily meal of the prisoners. Half a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast, Soup with rotten vegetables for dinner and a block of yucky bread for supper. This was all they had to sustin them during 12 hours  of hard work with no breaksImageImageImageImageImageImageImage ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Inside one of the gas chambers.. this freaked me out!!Image

At the Auswich Birkanau camp – it was an ironically beautiful place.
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One of the carriages the prisoners would arrive in. They would fit 70-80 people in there with their luggages.
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One of the four gas chambers built in the camp. The Nazis bombed them when  they realised they going to get found out.

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A memorial was built a few years after its liberation in commiseration of the dead.

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21 of these plagues were made in 21 different languages to symbolise the languages spoken by the prisoners.ImageImage

The other bombed gas chamber.ImageImage

Whenever ashes were found, 4 plagues are put up in commiseration.ImageImage

One of the many buildings the surviving prisoners were kept.ImageImage

Means “BE QUIET!”

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6 people were kept in each of this shelves. They are simply wooden – no comfort to them whatsoever. It can be up to -25 degrees in Poland during the winter so imagine what they went through. There were rats as well

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A stove that was only there for propaganda purposes.. it was rarely on.ImageImage

Prisoners toilets. Many of them suffered from starvation diarrhoea so imagine the state it would have been in. All were required to clean up after themselves and carry their own defecations when they were done (YUCK YUCK YUCK!!!!). they were rarely allowed showers either. Toilet break was twice a day, morning and night. They had to walk naked in all weather conditions to the toilets. Guards did not go in so some used this to exchange information.

The wash basins next  to the toilets.  There was no clean running water… just dirty diseased water already in the basin that prisoners used to wash their hands. Terrible.

I can definitely say it was a harrowing but interesting and informative experience.. I mean what those prisoners went through was unimaginable- the tour guide we got contributed positively to the experience as she explained concisely with the right degree of apathy the horrors that occurred there.. It reluctantly opened my eyes to the dark side of humanity I blissfully try and ignore.. I would definitely recommend the trip to the museum but don’t expect a “fun” day out.

Have you been to the Auswisch camps before? How did you feel whilst you were there? Would you recommend it to anybody?

Saving is going to be torture…

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Travelling is something I enjoy doing and after deciding to take the plunge into extended travel, I realise that I would have to save, budget and cut out some things that I deem important in my life…

It is not as easy as it sounds.

I was doing so well over the past two months since I started saving (Taking more overtime at work to reduce socialising was a huge contributor as well as giving my cards to my mum lol) but over the past week, I have been making BIG unnecessary splurges that may have caused a minor setback. Before I made this huge commitment, (Well, I see it that way anyways) I never thought I would be one of those people who would be able to travel the world extensively as I only thought it was something “rich people do” but after much research I found that it is all about EXTENSIVE planning, saving and major sacrifices!

I am the most disorganised person in the world as well as a constant consumerist and with these negative traits combined, I have no clue as to how I’m going to handle this! However I do understand the need to save so… 😦

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Tortured sad face

This coming week, I will be going back into university for my final year and I am ready to make some major cuts in my life including:

  • Clubbing – I won’t stop completely but I will make it a mission to pre-drink before I embark into partying oblivion to cut costs drastically (or stop drinking,.. which I won’t do because I like my Rose too much sorry) *I’m not an alcoholic
  • Eating out and getting takeaways– I miss you already The Double Whopper 😥

What a Whopper!  MmmmmHmmm

  • Clothing and shoes – Tell me why I have American Apparel Disco Pants in almost every single colour?!
  • Hair care and weaves  😦 – This was the most painful sacrifice believe it or not, I spend 100’s on my hair per year so this will be a huge contribution.
  • Independence – I’ll be moving in with my dear aunty… We will see how this goes lol (Wait does this count as independence?)
  • Freedom – I’ll be trying to use my remaining time to work as many hours as my education can allow.
  • Sell unwanted items – Not now though, nearer to the date I set off.
  • Taxi’s – I have a habit of taking these everywhere and it eventually adds up..

I’ll have this and thousands more at my disposal when I’m done 😀 (hopefully)

I still plan to have some fun, I’m definitely not going to become a total hermit however FRIENDS AND FAMILY after reading this post,  I hope you understand why I have been saying NO to your offers of socialising than is deemed normal (That and maybe I was catching up on the latest Bleach manga/One Piece anime lol).

It will be hard and sometimes I know I will slip up but I will put a picture of Halong Bay as my screensaver so it would serve as a gentle reminder as to why I am torturing myself.

P.S My book (South-east Asia on a shoestring) arrived in the post a few days ago and it’s almost thicker than my bible! I don’t know where to start.. I feel so overwhelmed!! Any suggestions?

P.P.S As I was writing this I ordered some Dominoes pizza.. It will be the last time for a while I promise!

What other things would you suggest to help me save? What would you cut from your life if you were in my shoes?

One night in Paris

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Paris left a lasting impression on me…

 It is an absolutely beautiful city!!! (Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures, it was taken on my BlackBerry)

Eiffel Tower

Standing in front of the Eiffel tower

In July 2011, my friend Rochelle and I visited our friend who was staying there for the year and she guaranteed that we saw some of the major sights! She got us a weekend pass on the subway which turned out to be cost effective and was used to travel around the city.

Double decker train!

Usain Bolt advert in the subway

We visited the very pretty Galeries Lafayette,  a local shopping mall.

  We also went up to the rooftop to take in the scenery

      We visited the Lourve twice in both days but the queues were SOOOOO long that we just took pictures of its architecture and surroundings then left. 

During our stay we visited many cafés and restaurants including an american diner. I tried the coke float there for the first time and fell in love with it. All the cuisine in Paris was nice apart from one which made me almost throw up… I wish I had taken a picture of it  – It cost me 10 euros as well 😦

Yummy lasagne

       

A cocktail restaurant we visited that was featured in the film “Amelie”

We graced the Sacre-Coeur Basilica with our presence.

Waiting for tram lifts to the church

Waiting for tram lifts to the church

Views from inside

Nearly keeled over climbing up the stairs in the arc d’triumphe , however the end result was worth it. The scenery was on point and it turned out to be the highlight of my trip.

Random places we saw on our travels

We managed to fit in a lot over those 2days. We honestly wouldn’t have done it if my friend was not there… I suspect we would still be trying to find where the arc’d triumphe is by the end of the trip lol. We travelled  overnight return on the Eurolines coach which saved us about 100pounds (as we were travelling in peak times) but cost us an additional 7 hours each way compared to flight times and was at times really uncomfortable. 

Gazing out of a French window feeling almost Parisian haha

Poses before our torturous journey back to England.

Anyways, I definitely plan to go again soon for a much longer period and further explore its surrounding. Maybe go to the top of the Eiffel tower and see the bridge by the river Seine.. If I’m brave enough, try frog legs .

There’s so much more to see!

Have you visited Paris before? What sites did you see? Did you end up eating snails?