Travellingbag’s new Newsy Newsletter

Hello there. Wherever you are in the world and whenever you’re reading this I hope you’ve got a brilliant day planned and that you’re out to have some fun, because isn’t that what life’s about really? Speaking of which, in the last 12 months I’ve made my life what I want it to be. I’m living the life I choose and I’ve found ways of losing the stress that once plagued me (creating health issues). I’ve found a way to explore and have adventures and make plans for travel and adventuring around the world. Now I don’t know whether you’re interested in knowing what little ‘ol me is doing or where I’m going or the adventures I’m having but I’m thinking that if you’re reading some of my blog posts then maybe there’s just a smidgeon of interest there. I have plans in the works for the coming months to have some amazing adventures, to do lots of hikes and to explore a part of the world that I’ve never been to before. I’m going to be hiking the length of Hadrian’s Wall in England. If the weather cooperates I’ll be attempting to summit Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK. I’m visiting the Orkney Islands for the first time, checking out the wild and windy coastlines and doing some day walks. I’ll be heading to the Lake District after that to do more day walks and summit Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England. Then to top it off I’ll be spending 10 days in Paris on the way home to recuperate from all that physical activity... read more

Hadrian’s Wall – walking through history

I’m sure by now that you’ve all heard me talking about my trip in May when I’m going to be walking along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. You can do it in 5 or 6 days if you like but we’re taking 10 days, we want to explore a bit, spend time in the ruined forts along the way and breath in the ambience. I’m really excited about this walk through history that I’m taking so I thought I’d share a few details with you about Hadrian’s Wall and see if I can drum up a little enthusiasm from you guys to maybe want to take it on sometime. Even if you don’t want to walk the whole length it’s one of those walks where you can dip in and out of it and just do a day walk here and there when you feel inclined. So if you’re a little bit hazy on your Roman history, Hadrian’s Wall – where is it, what is it and why is it? Where is it? Hadrian’s Wall runs from modern day Wallsend on the east coast of England to Bowness-on-Solway on the west coast. Although it’s often thought, incorrectly, that it separates England from Scotland it actually veers from the border quite significantly and is completely in England. In the west the wall is less than a kilometre from the border but in parts the eastern section is over 100km away. What is it? It’s a stone wall, mainly. When it was constructed it would have measured around 3 metres wide and up to 6 metres high and was made of... read more

I Do Believe it’s Time For Another Adventure …

As the walrus is renowned for saying, The Time has Come, however unlike the walrus I’ve moved on from speaking of many things, I’ve settled on those that are important and taken some action. What am I rabbiting on about? As I mentioned in a blog post at the beginning of the year, I had plans to do a big trip in 2018 and was working towards achieving that goal. The plan has changed slightly because, well, that’s what plans are for but the good news is that the trip is on, the itinerary 80% fixed, flights booked and paid for and much of the accommodation organised. Woohoo! I’m so excited and I really have to share, so here’s what I’ll be doing. The adventure begins when myself and a friend fly out of Perth on 7th May heading for Edinburgh. I’ve never flown into Edinburgh before, it’s always been Heathrow when I’ve visited the UK so that’ll be something different to start with. After three nights meandering around Edinburgh it’s on to my weekend retreat in a wonderful Scottish country house near Kinloch Rannoch which I’ve already told you about while Kim amuses herself in the nearby village. As she put it she’s not into downward dogging on the top of a Scottish hill. From there it’s a train ride to Newcastle upon Tyne where we’ll begin the walk along Hadrian’s Wall, all 135kms of it, after which we’ll be hiring a car in Glasgow for a drive up the west coast. We’ll be stopping near Fort William for a couple of nights and the plan, if the... read more

A Scottish Sojourn

A question for you. How many times have you visited some great spot on your travels and told yourself that you really have to go back there someday? How many times have you seen photos of that place on T.V/social media/magazines and thought to yourself, ‘yes, I really must plan a trip back there’? And how many times have you been speaking to people who’ve been there too and said to them ‘I loved that place, I really need to go back there’? I can see you all nodding and I must admit I am so, so guilty of this. There are so many places in the world that I’ve visited over the last forty years that I would absolutely love to return to but the world’s a big place and there’s always somewhere to find and explore. I’ve mentioned this quandary of mine before – do I go back to somewhere I know and love or do I find somewhere new? I could write a list a mile long of countries, cities, attractions and beautiful spots that I want to revisit but next year I finally get to go back to a place that I last visited aeons ago, I’m thinking around 1987. I’m going back to Pitlochry and the beautiful Scottish countryside around there. What brought this about was my need/want for a bit of self-care. For the last eighteen months I’ve been following the social media of a young woman from the UK who runs Wellbeing Weekend Retreats in Scotland. This was another of those cases of, I’d love to take part in one these weekends... read more

Travel plans: where to, when and how

Well, hello there. Long time, no see. I know, I’ve been missing off here for a while. Life and all that. No excuse. Sorry. But hey – here I am, back with you full of plans, BIG plans. It’s the start of a new year (I know, stating the obvious) and here I am still harbouring that travel bug and still with lots of ideas for travel in the future, and I mean LOTS of ideas. I’m intending to live to at least 100 (in perfect health) to get to all those places on my list. It’s that time of year again when we’re all prone to reflection, reflecting on the year just gone, our achievements, what we’ve done, what we haven’t and where the last year has taken us. And we also look ahead to the next 12 months, to our dreams, our plans and to where we want to be this time next year. But so many of us stop right here, we stop at the dreams and the desires and the airy fairy ideas of what we want out of this year. We go no further – and then we complain. Well, that year didn’t go according to plan, I didn’t get what I wanted out of it, I didn’t move forward to where I wanted to be. I wonder why? Possibly because you just said you wanted it to happen but you didn’t do anything about it, you didn’t set a goal, you didn’t take positive action to make that goal a reality. I’ve been talking a lot lately about planning and goal setting and making shit happen... read more

Holiday accommodation – getting it right.

Finding the right accommodation. When I’m planning a trip, one of the biggest stresses I face (apart from the packing) is finding reasonably priced accommodation to suit my style of travel. Yes, I occasionally love nothing more than the pampering a five star resort can provide but I’m mainly a go, see and do sort of traveller. One who likes to have flexibility and freedom to make or change plans whenever I want to and one who doesn’t want to be dictated to when it comes to what time I can eat or when and where I can sit and have a drink. It’s essential to me, and to most of you I’m sure, to find just the right place when I’m heading off to places distant. Decide what you want. So, first up you need to decide. what sort of accommodation you’re looking for. When my cousin and I decided to spend a month in Europe a couple of years ago our accommodation was something that we put a lot of thought into. We really didn’t want the cost and the restrictions that hotels would impose for the whole month. Hotels can be great but we were after something a bit more relaxed, something that would give us a bit of flexibility, something within our limited budget and somewhere we felt comfortable.                         Taking your shoes off in the lounge and having breakfast in our pyjamas type of comfortable. We talked about it and we both got on to the internet and we finally came up with a good compromise. We would mix self catering in the UK, Paris and Rome with... read more

I want a Turret – Lake District Style.

I want a turret. Not just any old turret, but a turret with a view. Somewhere that I can have a desk, old and preferably with a leather inlay, a chair, comfortable obviously and I want the turret built on to my library, the one I hope to have with walls of bookshelves, floor to ceiling with a ladder to reach the top shelf. I know exactly what my turret should look like because I have a model to work with.                                                 Brantwood, Coniston Water That turret belonged to John Ruskin, 19th century visionary and advocate of free schools and libraries, amongst other things.  He built it onto his bedroom at Brantwood shortly after he bought the house in 1871 and it overlooks Coniston Water in the Lake District. I felt perfectly at home in that turret when I visited but, unfortunately, I don’t think it would quite work on my modest suburban home. It did fit perfectly at Brantwood though where Ruskin, a regular traveller throughout Europe, settled for the last three decades of his life. Set on 250 acres on the banks of  Coniston Water, Brantwood began life as a modest farmhouse. What the visitor sees today is Ruskin’s creation of a grand home where visitors would arrive by coach and enter through a glazed doorway. The dining room that they would have been served in had a magnificent seven arched window providing a magnificent view of the Lake. Coniston Water has a long and varied history. The Fells above the lake were a source of copper for the Romans and, during medieval times, it was owned by... read more

Picture Perfect – Oxford

If you’re anything like me, when you go on holiday you take squillions of photos. This was particularly true of my recent trip when I trekked to Everest Base Camp, but my European trips are not far behind when it comes to the unbelievable number of memories I captured. So …. what I’ve decided is that every so often (I’m not committing to a particular time frame as that never seems to work for me) I’ll be posting a photo or two (or maybe three) from my travels that particularly appeal to me. To start the ball rolling let’s go to Oxford, with such architecture how can you not want to study there? The atmosphere simply inspires greatness.         Like this:Like... read more
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