By the Kilo: A Vintage Sale in East London

Back to Bethnal Green I went today, when I revisited the York Hall location, which is where the vintage fair I posted about previously, was held. This Sunday’s sale, put on by Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair company, was a great followup event to the last, with the premise this time being that you purchase by the kilo, rather than individual items. At £15 pounds a kilo, that’s an amazing deal. Some of the items on their own should cost that much, so it’s incredibly refreshing to be able to pair a few objects together for the same price!
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I arrived right as the early bird time opened. There were quite a few people there, obviously very excited to fill their purple bags with racks and racks of clothing. I was happy to see that this sale had all sizes of clothing. Sometimes, as a plus size woman interested in fashion, it’s a gamble to go shopping for vintage clothes, as it’s usually hard to find things that fit. But I was definitely not disappointed by the large selection of garments filling the room. It was lovely to see people so happy to find an item, whether it be jewelry or a clothing piece, that made them light up upon pulling it off the rack or picking it up off the table and trying it on.
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After an hour of searching, I ended up only like two items enough to take them home with me. I struggled with some other choices, but ultimately decided on two pieces I know I’d end up wearing a lot. A denim tank, and a lovely green cardigan, to which I changed into in the bathroom at the hall to take advantage of the full-length mirror (which I still need to get one for my own room). My bag only ended up weighing half of a kilo, so I could’ve gotten more, but am very pleased with the two items I got, since I’ll get a lot of use out of them.
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To find out when the next event is, follow the Vintage Clothing Kilo Sale Facebook page. They’re held all over the UK, so if you’re not in London, you don’t have to miss out at all.

Disclosure: I received free entry and a complimentary kilo of clothing for this post, but was intending to attend despite these gifts and loved every minute of the event.

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Liebster Award

Apparently I was nominated like six months ago and never saw it, so I’m doing it now. Thanks so much to Selene for nominating me for a Liebster Award. It’s always nice to have your blog recognized 🙂

About the Award

Liebster is a word with German origins meaning dearest, sweetest, kindest, and beloved. The Liebster Award exists only on the internet, and is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. The award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers. The purpose of the Liebster Award is to recognize and discover upcoming talent in the blogosphere through a Pay it Forward initiative.

The Rules:

  • You must link back to the person who nominated you (but cannot nominate them).
  • You must answer the 10 questions given to the nominee before you.
  • You must select a few blogs with under 200 followers to answer your 10 questions.

Questions from Selene:

1. Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love going to Paris. I’ve been three times now and it’s my favorite place to just go to for a few days and feel the romance and beauty of the city.

2. If time and money was no problem, what would you do right now?
I’d take a round the world trip, stopping in as many countries and cities as possible.

3. If you were to step into the shoes of any person (past, present, future) for a day, who would it be and why?
I would choose to be J.K. Rowling, because she had an idea on a train that led to years of publishers turning her down until she got a book deal that led to her success today. I’d love to be inside her head and understand her thinking process as a writer and see what the world can be like for a successful author.

4. What is your best tip for bloggers out there?
Consistently come up with interesting material that is unique to you. There’s a million study abroad blogs out there, so what makes yours special? Can you draw, take great photos, write poetry? Use that special talent. No one wants to read their 100th story about your trip to London. Make it different than the rest.

5. What did you find most challenging about traveling/living/studying abroad?
Learning to adapt to a new culture can be brutal, especially as an American. We’re taught that we’re the best and how privileged we are, which means going somewhere else makes us feel weird and out of place when our needs aren’t catered to right away. I’m trying to get over this mindset.

6. What did you find most rewarding about traveling/living/studying abroad?
I love that because I live in London, I have such easy access to all of Europe and Northern Africa. I can get somewhere within 3 hours by plane and it’s the best feeling in the world. I love that I have such a world in front of me to explore.

7. What is the best gift/treat/present you ever gave yourself?
I think just applying to grad school and getting in and actually making it happen with scholarships and visa stuff was the best thing I could’ve ever done for myself. It showed me that if I push really hard, I can do anything, and now I’ll have a year of my life I can look back on fondly.

8. What/who are you listening to right now?
The Scottsboro Boys cast recording. I saw the musical on the West End a few weeks ago and became obsessed with this new Kander & Ebb soundtrack (they wrote Chicago and Cabaret too).

9. What is your favorite movie of all time?
It fluctuates between Quills, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Amelie.

10. You win an award (ex: Nobel Prize, Oscar, BAFTA, etc.). What would it be for and how did you win it?
I would kill to win an Oscar, but not necessarily for acting. I feel like someday I could get it for something obscure like Editing or Cinematography.

My Questions:

1. Favorite quote?
2. What film or book genre do you think your life is? What do you want it to be?
3. What’s at the top of your bucketlist?
4. If you were made ruler of a country, would you accept the position? Why or why not?
5. If you had to choose a singular location to live for the rest of your life, where would you choose?
6. What current celebrity or popular figure would you be incredibly torn up over if they were to die right now?
7. What is your favorite mode of transportation? (bus, train, plane, boat, bike, rollerblades, etc…)
8. Do you think your favorite beverage (tea, coffee, wine, whatever) says a lot about you as a person?
9. Who is your role model (real or fictional)?
10. What song would you sing for a reality television show audition, and why?

My Nominees:

1. A Rose By Any Other Name: This is my friend Madelaine from university who just spent her last year studying abroad in London and is now back in America.
2. Across the Hogs Back: An American blogger who’s currently studying for her Phd in the UK.
3. Anthropologist Abroad: Another American expat getting her Museum Studies MA at the University of Leicester.
4. The Anglo-Files: This is my friend Taylor, who is currently studying alongside me at the University of Westminster.
5. Tea and Giggles: This lucky girl is moving across the pond to London very soon and is blogging about her impending move.

Low Carb Dieting and Travel

Since the summer of 2012, I’ve been doing a low carb diet on and off. It’s the only diet that’s actually ever worked for me. My body is weird when it comes to losing weight, and can’t do it in a regular way (working out and eating healthy). I tried for years to do the normal method with no success, and finally found that the low carb lifestyle does wonders for me. Obviously, there’s many problems with it. For those who don’t know what it entails, you can read more about it here, but a basic overview of a keto or low carb diet is that you must keep your carb consumption to under 50 grams a day to allow your body to go into a state of ketosis, which is a fat burning mode.

This makes life a bit hard at times. Almost all the good food in the world is full of carbs. A single piece of bread can sometimes have over 50 grams of carbs in it, meaning you basically can’t have anything with wheat in it. The basic food groups you can eat are vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat and any low carb products you can get your hands on. Creating a meal plan can be easy, but get’s repetitive due to the lack of food choices. When I’m strictly on it (like right now), my day consists of eggs with cheese and meat in the morning, some cheese and veggies for lunch, an Atkins bar as a snack, and some kind of meat and veggies for dinner. It requires a lot of cooking and pre-planning out meals.

Which leads me to the topic of this post; Low carb dieting and travel. It is almost an impossible task. It’s tough to hop around or be out all day sightseeing when you are on a keto diet, because the food options are limited for someone who can’t eat carbs. Most of the food you can buy on-the-go, unfortunately is full of carbs. If you’re lucky, you can find a grocery store, but then you still have to be picky about what you buy. Many restaurants are not big fans of altering your order to make sure it’s low carb, especially in countries outside of America. America knows most of their citizens are on some kind of diet, which is why many menus now have low calorie or low carb options, but outside of the US, most places don’t care to cater to your weird demands about the food.

So how do you do a low carb diet while traveling? It’s all about pre-planning. It kind of sucks to have to worry about food when you’re trying to enjoy yourself on the road, but if you’re stuck to any food restrictions, whatever your diet consists of, you have to plan in advance so you’re not going off with nothing. If you’re staying in a hostel or Airbnb location with a kitchen, you can cook your own breakfast in the morning. Most breakfast or brunch places with have low carb options like eggs and meat, so that shouldn’t be hard to find. Lunch, dinner and snack time gets a bit harder. Before you leave, purchase some Atkins bars or other low carb snacks you like, and then pack them in your bag. It’ll be almost impossible to find these items in a local grocery store in a foreign country, especially when you don’t speak the language. If you are starving and find a store, buying a package of meat and cheese usually does the trick for me. Most places also have pre-packaged salads now too, which are good for on-the-go. For dinner, if you do want to splurge for a nice meal, finding a steak option is usually the best way to go, because often it will come with vegetables, which are safe items.

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A salad and a cup of tea or coffee are good on-the-go items for low carb travelers.

Do I wish it was easier to travel and diet at the same time? Yes, obviously. I wish I didn’t have to worry about my weight like so many people do, but I was put into the body I ended up in, and have to deal with that accordingly. For me, low carb is the only thing that works with my system, which means I’ll always have a harder time than those who can eat whatever they like and then work out for a bit to negate the calories. I’ll always struggle, and it’s not ideal, but I can cope. I know food is one of the great delicacies of traveling, and I hate to punish myself while abroad and not eat the wonderful and tasty foods of a new country, but for now, I figure this is for the best, and I hope other low carb or keto travelers can find this helpful for their own journeys.

Anyone have any dieting tips for travel? Let me know in the comments!

Adjusting to the London Expat Lifestyle

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As I sit here in my dorm room, sipping on my favorite drink, Rekorderlig Cider (definitely try it out if you’re in Europe), I am finally settling into my new home. I’ve finally accepted that London is where I live. It’s no longer a dream. Every day, seeing Big Ben or walking past thousands of tourists, is finally becoming just a common occurrence in my life. And this is what I wanted. Imagining myself living in London is what I spent most of my time thinking about.

Actually living here is another story. I’ve romanticized a lot about the United Kingdom, and upon arrival a few years ago, the little things that aren’t necessarily so perfect about this country definitely became apparent. I could start to understand why so many of the English people I spoke to wanted to move away and to America. I told them that America has its problems too. But that’s what everyone wants; the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But even seeing some imperfections in my imagined England, I didn’t get enough time to get scared away completely. And now I’m back (possibly permanently), and I’m starting to figure out my expatriate life here in London.

All the, “Hiyah’s,” “Cheers,” “You alright’s,” and “%@*~ off’s” I’ve heard constantly, paired with accents everywhere, shopping at Tesco and taking the Tube, I know that I’m starting to be fully immersed in what makes London, London. I’m settled into my home for the next 8 months, finally registered with a local doctor, wandered around my neighborhood, enjoyed some local entertainment, and got my student Oyster card. I’m feeling more and more like a real Londoner every day. I think the only thing that would make me feel even more like true resident would be living in an actual flat, rather than something owned by my university, as well as having a full-time job.

I’m starting to memorize which bus I take to get where, if it’s faster to walk or take the Underground, realizing that going out for a drink will be a rare occasion (due to the expense), and how I need to stop converting pounds to dollars in my head (or else start to freak out about how much money I’m spending). It’s strange to think that in less than a month, I’m starting to feel at home in this gigantic city. Homesickness has not kicked in yet, so I haven’t had to deal with that yet, so in the meantime, I am going to enjoy myself.

As a bonus to this post, I’ve decided to post three (plus 1) apps every American expat in London needs:

1. Hola

Hola is an extension for the Google Chrome browser, and is a lifesaver for when you just have to watch your American shows on Netflix or Hulu. While Netflix does work abroad, the selections are different, and sometimes you just want to watch something familiar. Download this lifesaving app, and you’ll be watching everything you love again, and you can easily switch back to UK websites if you want to watch the BBC iPlayer again.

2. Citymapper

London is a complicated city to get around when you’re a newbie (and even if you’ve lived here for awhile). Citymapper will get you out of a tight jam, especially when you’re too nervous to ask for directions. Just plug in where you want to go, and it will give you the quickest routes, how much it costs, how many calories you’ll burn if you walk there, and transfers you need to take. I currently owe my life to this app.

3. BBC News

London is a major capitol of the world, and it’s really good to know whats going on, especially in such an international city. The BBC news app not only covers national news, but news from all over the world. If you turn on notifications, it will let you know when huge events take place, and that way you’ll always be in the know when something big occurs.

4. Couple (bonus)

I am currently in a long-distance relationship, and this app has been wonderful. You connect with your partner, and only you and them can chat. It shows you what time it is where they are, you can send photos in a Snapchat-like fashion, thumbkiss, draw with each other and send messages. It’s a really great one to use, especially if you’re in different countries and don’t want to use Facebook messenger to keep in touch.

Planning a Romantic Getaway to Paris (from London)

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While I wait patiently for my amazing boyfriend to arrive in London on October 2nd (only 10 days away!), I am in the planning stages of our weekend away in Paris, so I thought I’d write a guide for anyone who has ever wanted to take some time to go on an adventure to the city of romance and lights. Your journey doesn’t have to be romantic, of course, so you can use this information for a trip with friends or a solo tour.

Getting There

There are a few different ways to get from London to Paris. For a fast train ride, you can take the Eurostar from St. Pancras station, which only takes 2 and a half hours, and can range from $68-180 for a one way journey. If you’re lucky, you can get the cheap fare, but they usually sell out fast. If you want to fly, it’s only about an hour and 15 minutes in the air, but you have to take into account getting to the airport early and then going though customs and immigration on the other end. These fares usually range from $120 being the cheapest if you go through Easy Jet. The cheapest way to get to Paris is to take a bus. With MegaBus or iDBus, you can get to Paris for about $40 one way. This takes longer (between 7 and 10 hours), but if you get an overnight bus, you can sleep during the ride and arrive in Paris in the morning.

Sleeping Arrangements

The 3 major hostel websites are HostelWorld, Hostels.com, or HostelBookers. I like to check all 3 of them before purchasing, because occasionally, even though they have the same choices on each site, sometimes it will be cheaper through one website than another. I have no idea why, but it’s worth the extra ten minutes to check before clicking the purchase button. For example, a double bedroom with a shared bathroom for 3 nights at the Le Regent Montmartre is $357 on HostelWorld, $350 on Hostels.com, and $334 on HostelBookers. While the payment difference is only about $20 between the highest and lowest, if you’re trying to budget, obviously the smaller amount is better to go for. This makes me glad I checked multiple sites. Another tip is to check the hostel’s website and see what they charge. Le Regent Montmartre charges even less if you go directly through their website, making the amount $314 for the three nights. The only pro to going through one of the hostel booking websites is that you only have to put down a deposit on the room instead of the full amount, which is usually the case when you purchase through the hostel’s website directly.

Don’t forget to check out Airbnb as well. It can actually be even cheaper than a hostel, especially when it comes to booking a room to share. Since writing this post, I’ve come back to revise this section, because I found a deal for about $100 cheaper by staying at a room in an apartment, rather than going for the hostel. Hostels are better for solo travel or when adventuring with friends. Airbnb works better for couples I’d say.

City Transportation

Like London, Paris has a really great underground train system, as well as buses that go all over the city. The Paris Metro system is fairly cheap to ride on. You can buy individual ride tickets for $2.50, or 10 rides for $18. You can also purchase day passes, with the 3 day pass for only $34, which is a really good deal for unlimited travel around the city. Paris is a fairly walkable city, but you will definitely get tired if you’re on your feet all day, so catching a bus or train is simple and can end up being very cheap, depending on how many times you want to use the transportation system. Taxis can get expensive, and you’ll usually find a bus going somewhere familiar.

Romantic Excursions

For me, who has been to Paris twice now, I’ve already done all of the traditional tourist activities, but never with a loved one, so it will be very different. He’s never been to Paris, so I figure it’ll be worth it to do everything again, especially if it’s with someone I care about. The Eiffel Tower is a must-do. For $18, a youth ticket to ride the lift to the top may seem like a lot, but it is so worth it. It’s not like the London Eye (something I think you can definitely skip). The Eiffel Tower is magical. The view from the top is staggering and unforgettable. I’ve been up twice now and can’t wait for my third time. At night, the tower lights up with a sparkling light show. It’s delightful.

The Louvre is one of the most amazing museums of the world that you really need a whole day to explore. I can say that the $16 you spend will be an adequate amount to be able to view the great art of the world. Obviously the Mona Lisa is in there, but the crowd to see it is usually wild. It’s still nice to see in person. It’s understandable how one could get lost in there. The building used to be a palace, and it now houses a great amount of history.

Right behind the Louvre is the Pont des Arts Bridge, which is famous for its love locks. According to this recent article, the bridge may be getting a makeover soon, to ensure locks cannot be put on it. I’m hoping when I get there in a couple weeks, that won’t be in effect yet, because one of my bucket list items was to put a lock on this very bridge. Either way, it’s a very romantic bridge to cross, with a nice view of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine.

There are plenty more things that can be done in Paris. It is a city full of beautiful things to see and do, so I know my boyfriend and I wont be bored. I am sure that this list from Time Out of 101 Things to do in Paris will definitely be used in our deciding of pursuits for our weekend in this beautiful city.

Any romantic spots to suggest? Please let me know 🙂

Starbucks US vs UK

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I hate to start any of my writing with a disclosure (funnily enough, I’m writing this while listening to the music group Disclosure), but I know this topic will be seen as totally dumb and such a #firstworldproblem to write about, but I also figured for how ever many people think it’s irrelevant, there will be a bunch of people who would like to know the difference. With that being said, here are the US/UK differences I’ve found out about my beloved Starbucks.

On my last study abroad adventure, I hadn’t really become a Starbucks fan, so I can’t remember going there enough to have noticed any differences. The only thing I do remember is the fact that, while most of the UK doesn’t drink egg nog, and you can’t find it anywhere, Starbucks is the one place that will have it. But since 3 years ago, I’ve grown a very large affection for this corporate chain, and have spent many hours there blogging, as well as drinking their coffee. I was assuming since it’s a global company, the coffee would be the same quality in the UK as the US… I was wrong to assume that.

Half & Half vs Skim Milk

In the United States, it is common to put half & half or cream in our coffee. We are also used to having many options of milk-like products to put in our drinks. It’s definitely not a burden to the barista to put soy milk, almond milk, or even non-fat milk in our coffee. But in the UK, the only options out for pouring are skim milk and semi-skimmed milk. When I asked for cream (or pouring cream as they call it), it’s rarely available. They do have full-fat milk, but I’ve gotten the sense that it’s a task to ask them to put it in my drip coffee.

Quick Heat Oven vs Panini Press

I am so used to asking for a breakfast sandwich or a scone and having them throw it into their oven to warm up in 30 seconds. It’s so wonderful to get a quick meal that way. Not only are the food choices at the UK Starbucks completely different (lots of toasties, croissants and cookies), they don’t use the ovens, and instead use panini presses, which can only warm up the sandwiches and take a lot longer to get a meal from. If I order a muffin, it means I have to eat it at room temperature, which having an option of making it warm would’ve been nice.

Strength vs Weak

I order drip coffee (or brewed in the UK), because it’s cheap and is normally a strong taste that I enjoy drinking. I can not get on board with this weak flavored water they like to brew over here. I guess coffee really is an American thing, or maybe I’m spoiled being from the coffee capitol of the world, Seattle, but I expect my coffee to taste better. So far, it’s been bitter and rarely savable with sweeteners and milk. It’s almost undrinkable to the point that I’m thinking I might have to force myself to give up coffee unless I make it myself.

Splenda vs Sweet & Low

I hate Sweet & Low. I’ll say it. It doesn’t taste good. It’s horrible. Spenda actually is a good sugar substitute that enhances a drink when you’re trying to stay away from real sugar. I have not found Splenda anywhere here yet. I may have to have my mom mail me some. It’s a bit frustrating to be stuck using Sweet & Low, especially when I know there are better sucralose products out there. It’s a tiny problem, and I know we have Sweet & Low in America too, but I never use it… Because it’s gross!

So now, you probably think I am a complainer. I feel like I get to complain at least about one thing. That’s fair, right? I’ve really liked everything else about the UK so far, so unfortunately my comfort drink of coffee has disappointed me greatly, which is sad, because when you’re so far away from home, it’s nice to have something to depend on, but oh well. I’ve tried the coffee at Costa and Pret a Manger, but they don’t aid my tastebuds either. I’ll have to suck it up and find an alternative, or else give up coffee, I guess. Wish me luck through this coffee transition. It probably doesn’t help that I am a former barista/coffee snob, but I can change!

Why Do We Need an Excuse to Travel?

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I was having a lovely farewell coffee and chat with one of my good friends the other day, and we were talking about traveling, and she said she doesn’t think she’ll be going anywhere soon, because she needs an excuse to. That triggered me to wonder why we feel the need to have an excuse to leave our comfort zone and travel. We can’t go to London unless we’re visiting a friend there. We can’t go to New York City unless we’re on a business trip. We can’t go to Paris unless we’re on a honeymoon. Why is there this need to say that we can’t go somewhere unless we have an excuse?

I fit into this category too. After never taking any family trips as a kid, the only way I could finally get to Europe was when I studied abroad, which was an excuse my parents finally went along with. I only ended up going back the next two times because I won a contest. Since then, I haven’t gone anywhere. There’s been no excuse to until now; grad school pulled me back over to London, which I wasn’t able to do without it. And why is that, I wonder… Money. Money is what stops many of us from traveling without an excuse.

If we could all be trust fund babies or be given free trips all the time, we wouldn’t have to find an excuse to travel. We’d have unlimited resources to be able to explore the world. Money stops us from bypassing the excuse and making a trip happen. Not everyone can afford to buy plane tickets or stay in resorts. It’s easier to use the fact that you have a friend or family member living in another country to give you the drive to go visit them. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of us poorer souls.

So, how do we overcome this? We have to start putting ourselves into a mindset that we don’t need to have a reason to travel. The reason is that you want to explore a part of the world and you should go do that. Yes, money sucks and we don’t all have enough of it to go make travel a part of our realities. But people do it anyways, and that’s what’s amazing to me. There are people who bought a one-way plane ticket and hitchhiked their way across Europe or Asia, doing odd jobs and not caring that they were broke. It’s possible, and I hope to put aside my fear on the issue and travel this way as well. So I challenge you to get rid of the excuses and reasons you need to be able to go, and to just go!

Fall Fashion Trends I’m Loving

My closest friends know that I wait all year until it’s fall fashion season once again. Who doesn’t love the comfy, stylish look that the autumn brings? This year, there are some very sexy trends coming up that I am so excited to wear. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you.

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I can’t wait until it is cold enough outside to wear my thigh-high socks. I think wearing these over tights, paired with boots, is super sexy and shows off the leg in a gorgeous way.

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Large cardigans and kimonos are making their way in at the end of the summer, and right in time for the chiller weather to pair them with. They’re cute and actually keep you warm.

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I think I got on the smoking slipper bandwagon before a lot of people, and I’m glad, because they are adorable shoes, and look great paired with a rolled up skinny jean.

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Burnt orange, mustard, purple and oxblood are beautiful colors, and usually only appropriate in the fall, which is lucky for me, because I get to wear them again!

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I didn’t used to be a fan of this type of shoe, but now I can’t get enough of them! They are very versatile and can be used for everyday wear, as well as for going out at night.

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Backpacks were never my thing, and over the years, my taste in messenger bag has evolved to this lovely brown, leather-look that the recent bags have. They look good with every outfit.

What are your favorite fashion trends for this fall?

Tips for Starting a Travel Blog

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Blogging is a beautiful form of communication. It allows you to write, post photos and links, as well as tell stories in a short format that people like to read. There are news, lifestyle, food, fashion and political blogs, but a type of blog that seems to be popping up even faster than the others is the wide-covering travel blog, that is an umbrella term for anything one wishes to blog about, while traveling. Many study abroad students create a blog to write about their adventures and let their friends and family know what’s going on while they are away. Some are started as a way to inspire themselves to travel more, and some people just have so many tips already that they just want to share them with the world. Any type you are, starting a travel blog isn’t hard, and here are a few tips to create a eye-catching blog that people will really be excited to read.

Research a blogging platform

I used all the major blogging platforms before I finally decided to stick with WordPress. Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress are all great sites to upload your writing and photos to. Test out each of them, and see which has the features you need to create your content. Make sure you like the one you choose though, because transferring posts to a different is a task that is a bit more advanced, but is doable if you decide you’d rather use something else.

Invest time or money in a good design

If you have Photoshop or any sort of design talent, taking time to create a logo and layout will make you stand out from the crowd of generic blogs. If you don’t know how to do design, googling tutorials is a good place to start. Or, if you have some extra cash and want to have someone else do it for you, there are many designers you can find through Etsy and other freelancer websites who will help you make the best blog you can imagine. The prettier your blog looks, the more likely people will want to keep coming back to read your content.

Stay consistent with posts

No one likes to read an inactive blog. It’s much nicer for subscribers to get continuous content, which will also lead to loyal readers who come back for more. Posting once a month is not enough nowadays. If you want to stay up to date, you truly have to be posting at least a few times a week. It might seem like there isn’t enough going on in your life or your travels to create new content that often, but brainstorming new posts, posting about things happening in your local area or giving helpful tips will keep your blog fresh.

Switch it up

In keeping with the last tip, keeping your blog fresh is important. A travel blog can be an online diary of your day-to-day life abroad, but the formula of “Today I went to a castle, and then I did this, and then I did this and here is a picture of this…” will get very old, very fast. The people who care about you who read your blog might be interested, but if you want a wider audience of readers, you’ll want to be posting something a little different in-between the journaling and give some life to your content. Instead of a “Here’s what I did today,” post, something like, “Things I Learned About Greece,” are more fun to read.

Reach out to other bloggers

A lot of us travel bloggers are very happy to help out newbies in this realm (since we all started at some point). Email a blogger you’ve been following and ask for advice or a possible shout out to drive some traffic over to your site. We really do want to help, and are usually fine with giving out some tips. The blogging community is wonderful, friendly and always ready to meet new travelers who we can collaborate with.

Find a writing space

My go to place to write is Starbucks. The internet is free, and it takes me out of my comfort zone of my own house, which means I can’t just lay there and watch Netflix, I have to look productive! Maybe a good place for you is your room, but sometimes getting out of the norm can help with inspiration, and ambiance noise can be good for keeping your mind on your work. A coffee shop, a library, a train ride or a park are all nice locations to put your mind on your writing and creating.

Do what feels right

Your blog is really all about you, so post whatever you want and will make you happy. If you are a creative writer, make your posts all fiction. If you are a journalist, write in a news-like style. If you are a photographer and don’t like to write, just post photos. Your blog is your place to put the content you feel proud of sharing. Find a niche that works for you and go with it! And good luck new travel blogger. It’s a big world of adventurous websites, but with fun, unique content, you can definitely stand out from the crowd!