Home » About Me

About Me

My Story So Far & Why I Travel

I truly love exploring new countries and cultures, delving into the foodie scene and having fun along the way. This blog offers mixture of weekend city break guides, in addition to longer two and three week travel itineraries in countries farther afield such as the Philippines and Turkey

I love beautiful hotels and always try to stay hotels with interesting design or concepts, where I can so I often write about affordable luxury or unusual experience hotels. My final love is food, and I believe food is the best way to explore a destination. I’m also searching out the best cafes and coffee shops, and often review restaurants in London.

Born and raised in Brighton, England. I feel like the luckiest person that I spent my first 18 years in such a lively, vibrant and fun city where such a cosmopolitan and progressive lifestyle is encouraged and embraced. It’s definitely had a lifelong impact on me.  

I’d always been curious about the world, and my studies at school were geared towards some kind of future involving a global career. I didn’t know what this would be exactly but I started to make early decisions that would offer me the best chance of this. I studied geography, french and spanish all the way to the end of college. I found my interdisciplinary studies had lead me to feel strongly about both certain issues around the world, particularly poverty as well as a complete fascination for the cultures and lives of those living in the Global South. This means Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South America. 

This helped me be more focused in streamlining my future choices and I opted to go to university to study languages, together with international development which is the study of economics, history, culture and socio-politics and how it affect the global south. 

However, before heading to university I took a gap year. Surprisingly it was not 12 months of travel like most people, but instead a mixture of travels and work to earn some funds for university. 

As soon as my A Levels (final school exams) were completed at 18 (June 2010), I spent the first summer backpacking. This was what got me absolutely hooked on travelling. 

The summer started with an eventful road trip to Benicassim Festival in Spain with two friends. We took a battered Ford KA from Brighton all the way to the festival and back. What an adventure. We met friends for life and had truly two of the best weeks of my life.

Benicassim Festival Guide
My group at Benicassim Festival

This was followed by a totally unplanned journey through Thailand, Laos and Burma with one of my best friends Astrid. We had more fun than I knew possible – we saw some amazing cultural sites, did some incredible hikes, got totally off the beaten track in Laos and landed slap bang on it again with some very crazy partying in the Thai islands. I had never experienced freedom or fun like it and this will always go down as one of the most epic couple of months in my life. 

Since this trip, I have returned to South East Asia more times than I can count. Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia – I love the whole region and it just feels like home to me. I could live in Bangkok or Singapore from tomorrow! 

The rest of my gap year was spent working, which was far less fun but I have no regrets as I turned up to university with a healthy pot of savings to be able to participate in anything and everything I wanted. I spent part of the year working in a pubs and bars in my hometown, and a few months working in a shop at Disneyland Paris where I was dressed as Jessie from Toy Story.. Don’t ask – all I will say was that it was a terrible experience!

Anyway, in September 2011 I headed off to study my degree at the University of Leeds, a highly regarded uni in a big northern powerhouse city in the UK.

Not only did I have the time of my life in this incredibly fun and crazy city, I also chose to study a year and a half of my degree abroad. Yes, of course this was one of the deciding factors behind my choice to go to Leeds to study this degree..

graduating university
Graduating university

I spent six months in Ghana, West Africa before one year in Melbourne, Australia. I attended university in both of these destinations, studying socio-economics and cultural studies first-hand in these destinations. These two study abroad periods ended up being 19 months overseas. It was the very best period of my life so far, and has had a huge role shaping me into the person I am today. Cliché but true..

After I graduating, I spent a little time travelling again before working out what to do with the rest of my life. 

During my A Levels, I ended up setting my heart on a career within the United Nations, but after my finishing my degree and spending those 6 months in Ghana, I realised this wasn’t right for me.

I spent a few months being slightly lost and wondering what to do and where to go. It wasn’t an easy period for someone who has seemingly always known what they wanted to do and wanted to be, and my mental health suffered a bit. I wrote a long blog post on this period of time which you can read here. I penned my thoughts , realising this could be of use to others following graduation. Most of all, 

This period of uncertainty ended up being the catalyst for starting this blog in 2017. 

Since beginning to write and develop this site, not only am I following a passion and a dream, but I’ve learnt so much already. 

From technical coding, to networking and meeting so many new people. It’s been a brilliant journey so far and the blogging community is a special one. 

Alongside the blog, as I mentioned I work in London – in a pretty cool role that also gives me the opportunity to travel often. I live near Central London with my boyfriend, and when I’m not travelling, I tend to eat my way around London.

Anyway, now you know more about who is behind this blog, do take a look around! If you still want to know more, check out my travel Q&A page.

You can also follow my adventures on Instagram and Twitter. Feel free to get in touch via email here and you can find out more about working me here. 

Please do also check out my website’s privacy policy and disclaimer here. 

Thank you!

Claire xx

1 Comment

  1. Andrew List
    September 14, 2019 / 7:46 pm

    Hello Claire
    I love your site, please put me on your mailing list,
    All the best,
    Andrew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *