Travel-Minded: Hayley Rubery
As we sat nursing hot Americanos and poached eggs in deepest, darkest January, at a King’s Cross restaurant earlier this year, it was difficult to imagine the azure seas and exotic beaches our guest - blogger, Hayley Rubery - had in mind for 2016. The aspiring travel blogger outlined her ambitious #12Countries12Months travel mission, which seemed an intangible concept to our fuzzy winter-laden minds...
Five months later, the Frock Me I’m Famous blogger has kept to her word, having visited 5 different locations already. We were interested in the pros, cons, and experiences to come from 12 months' worth of traveling, so - as she approaches her halfway point - we tapped Hayley for the goss. If you’ve ever considered embarking upon a worldly expedition, this one is for you. From easy-to-forget travel essentials, to tips for maintaining sanity amid jet lag, and holiday snaps to evoke some serious wanderlust, consider this the beginners guide to travelling like a pro.
For anyone who doesn’t know, tell us a little bit about your 2016 travel mission.
This year, my goal was to fulfil my wanderlust by travelling to a different country every month. The only rules I set myself were: the trip had to be at least 3 days - so I could really get a feel for the place - and at least half of my trips would be to countries I’ve never visited before.
Since starting your adventure, have you spent a lot of time traveling alone?
Not yet! My first trip was with my best friend, two were with my boyfriend, and two were press trips. I plan to do some solo travelling this year as I love to travel alone. Europe is great for traveling alone, for me, it feels like a home away from home.
How do you prepare emotionally to travel by yourself?
Don't overthink it - it’s easy to scare yourself out of going. For me, travelling alone for the first time took me out of my comfort zone. But it’s such an exhilarating, refreshing experience that I’d recommend everyone to try at least once. Just be organised, go see the world, and enjoy it!
What are the biggest positives and drawbacks to solo travel?
Working to your own schedule, is a definite positive! It was such a nice feeling to wake up (at my own time) and think: ‘what do I want to do today?’ The biggest setback is no photographer! As a blogger it’s always nice to travel with someone to get that #OOTD or classic blogger shot, it’s much harder when travelling solo.
What are your 3 top tips for people looking to embark upon a year’s worth of travel?
1. Save, save, save! If you’re planning to spend the year travelling, I’d recommend saving seriously, for around 6 months, prior to your trip!
2. Research. I use websites, like Pinterest and Lonely Planet, to help me narrow down where in the world I want to go next. Then I check what time of year is best to travel to each place, and review fare prices to check it’s feasible.
3. Preparation. I went from Iceland in February to The Maldives in March so I had to prepare for each country’s disparate climates. Work out a yearly schedule of destinations and prepare for each place, re-use products and clothing where possible, to save money!
How do you ensure you’re taking good care of your body and mind while you’re away?
It’s all about balance. If you’re out exploring for 8 hours one day, make sure you’re relaxing by the pool, the next. Another tip is to drink plenty of water (especially when flying), it will allow your body to flush out any toxins and help you feel more awake to explore.
Have your travels changed your outlook and future decisions?
Definitely! I’ve always been a go-getter with a ‘live life in the moment’ kind of attitude, but even I’ve surprised myself. I proved to myself that anything is possible, and I really can live out my dream. It’s made me realise that the only person that can truly stop yourself from living, is you!
Finally what’s next on the Frock Me I’m Famous itinerary?
Next up is a trip to Barcelona, hopefully followed by Barbados in July! I also have Croatia, Japan and Canada on my bucket list, but I’m always keeping my mind open to new adventures, so who knows! You can follow my travels by keeping up to date with #12Countries12Months – come along for the ride!