Category: Lifestyle

My Favourite Candle Brands

I love candles!

favourite candle brands

Seriously, I absolutely love them. Ask anyone. Especially my parents, who object to me burning them in the house.

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The atmosphere of candlelight is just so warm and cosy and unique. I’m also a bit of a pyro, so the addition of fire and a flame just makes them even better. I love watching the flames flicker and dance about before my eyes.

Finding the perfect candle is so difficult. It does depend on what I’m buying them for – Primark £1 tealights do the trick if all I’m after is a little mood-lighting. But if I’m looking for high quality, heavily scented candles to light my bath or scent my room, then I am pretty picky.

DW Home

I came across this brand entirely by accident. If you take me a shop which happens to sell home and interior products, and you allow me to stray from your side, you will most likely find me looking at notebooks and stationery, or with my nose stuck in some candles. That is exactly what I was doing when I came across what is quite possibly my favourite candle ever!

Apple Blossom is not a scent I ever thought I would come across, but it is the most divine scent in the world. I don’t even have to light this candle to love it. All I have to do is remove the lid and its scent fills the room.

They do seem to have discontinued the Apple Blossom scent, ad this breaks my heart as my candle is almost burnt down, but I guess this just gives me a chance to fall in love with some other fabulous scent. Their fall scents seem intriguing – pumpkin toffee? Yes, please!

The Skye Candle Company

They’re a candle company. They’re Scottish. Their candles are made from soy wax, which produces a cleaner burn. I’m in love.

This fabulous little company was founded by James Robertson all on his lonesome, just crafting perfect candles tucked away on the beautiful Isle of Skye.

These candles are brilliant: they just burn forever. I bought myself two for my Christmas last year and thought I’d save one until the other burnt down.

It’s still going!

The Scottish Collection has to be my favourite. These 6 scents are inspired by Scotland and the Scottish landscape. I personally have the Highland Gorse and the Raspberry and White Ginger Tumblers and I absolutely love them. The Heather and Wild Berries and the Scots Pine scents seem to be new since I was last in store. I’ll need to take a gander next time I’m free.

Any other candle companies you need to recommend to me guys? I’m a candle connoisseur, always on the lookout. What are your favourite scents?

My Favourite Autumn Self-Care

Autumn truly seems to be the season of self-care. Everyone’s sharing their self-care routines, so I guessed I’d jump on the bandwagon.

Favourite Autumn Self-care

My self-care routine is so important to me, and I am incredibly protective of it and my time. Last year I experienced what it is to be burnt out, and it is a feeling I will never forget. Never again. Self-care, and taking the time to focus on myself and my needs, has truly helped to change me and my view of the world, and I frequently advocate starting a self-care routine to my friends.

1. Sleep

I am an absolute cow if I had not had enough sleep. I really struggle to function, so I strive every night to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. This seems to be the ideal for my body, although it may not be for you.

I’m working improve the quality of those seven hours as well. I meditate before bed, to calm my mind and breathing. I journal, which helps to quieten my overthinking brain long enough for me to actually fall asleep. I recently upgraded my pillows for the first time ever, and it was quite possibly the best thing I ever did! They’re firm, and ideal for a constant side sleeper like me. Don’t get me wrong, they still make me feel like I’m sleeping on a cloud, but a firm, supportive cloud that takes the weight off my shoulders.

2. Journalling

I am a person who overthinks things. I cannot seem to help it. My mind has a really bad habit of racing off at four-hundred miles an hour, and I am helpless to stop it. Journalling takes these loud, shouty, muddled thoughts out of my brain and splurges them out on paper, where I can read and re-read them to my heart’s content. This allows me to sort and make sense of them, rather than trying to catch them as they race around fighting for air-time in my head.

Journalling has helped me think through some really difficult decisions and figure out what’s really in my head and heart on more than one occasion, and I absolutely love it. The written word is a special kind of magic given to humankind, and I think writing it by hand just enhances that magic.

Journalling takes a great many forms, from poetry writing to diaries to braindumps, so work through some different options to see what works for you.

3. Alone Time

I am an introvert, and by nature, introverts need to be alone, at least to recharge. Whenever I’m in need of a little creative boost, or I’m starting to feel what I now know to be social burnout, or I just need a wee recharge, I cart myself off somewhere quiet to live inside my head for a while. It’s one of the reasons I love this blog so much. I’m invested in it, and so have no issues with taking myself off, whacking in my headphones, shutting out the world and just writing. It is so therapeutic, and I just love it. Wandering Scotland does in a way act as a second journal, as it’s another place for me to spill out all my thoughts and inner musings out from my brain and into the written word.

Bonus: candles!!

As I said last week, I love smelly things! Absolutely love them. And I have a real love of the more autumnal, rugged scents like cinnamon and pine. They’re just so cosy and comforting and warm. There’s also something just so delicately romantic about candlelight; how the flame flickers, casting gentle, subtle shadows across the room. I love sitting and relaxing in a room lit by candles. It feels almost magical.These are my

These are my favourite self-care tips and tricks, particularly for Autumn and Winter. But I’m curious – what are yours? How do you guys journal? Is it just a nightly brain dump, or do you take time to structure and perfect the prose?

Bell Bay Beach, Isle of Cumbrae

5 Things That Make Me Feel Feminine

Things that make me feel feminine

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission from any purchase you make!*

I used to be the biggest tomboy out. I know that may sound hard to believe now given my high-maintenance, divaesque, never-seen-without-makeup personality now, but when I was around about the age of just starting high school I was probably closer to a boy than a girl in appearance and personality. I was a fairly early bloomer, and given my current confidence with my (reasonably ample) bosom you may find this a fair stretch of the imagination, but I did everything possible to hide my growing chest. I hated wearing skirts and dresses, and actively avoided wearing them, and protested loudly and frequently when forced to wear them by my mum or that one time I had to wear one on a school trip to The Scotland Street School in Primary 7.

All this behaviour may have been mildly influenced by the fact that I tended to be a lot friendlier with guys than girls in school, and so spent more time around them, but it’s true, I used to be a boy.

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Nowadays, however, I truly, freely and openly enjoy and embrace my womanhood, and encourage all women to do the same. No matter where on the spectrum of girly girl to tomboy to beyond you fall, your womanhood and femininity holds power. Embrace it. Use it. Use that power which they cannot take from you and be all that you want to be. Being a woman is great. Yes, there are some downsides – periods, the gender pay gap etc, but there are so many fabulous things about being a woman, and I drawn strength from my femininty. My womanhood gives me the power to be who I want to be, whether that means today when I want to wear a floaty, floral skirt, or tomorrow when the leather biker jacket comes out to play. These are all the facets of a woman, and they are all the facets of me.

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Sometimes, when I’m needing a little pick-me-up and strength from that Venus within me, I call upon some little tricks I know to make myself feel just that sparkle more feminine and fabulous.

1. Lingerie

In makeup, if your foundation and base is perfect, you feel on point, and that you can’t really go wrong. Well, in my opinion, the same can be said for you rclothing. Lingerie has that fabulous little trick of making you feel special, that you can take on the world and all its pile of shit that it throws at you. I believe that every woman should truly invest and explore the world of lingerie, be it for her someone special, or even better if it’s entirely for herself. Do a little research, find out what fits your body, and then head into town and try on a load of different stuff. Find what works for you and brings out your inner diva. Believe me, she’s in there.

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I do have a real fascination with lingerie. I love how confident and sassy it makes me feel. The variety of styles and fabrics just fills me with wonder, and more often than not, lingerie specific shops make the shopping experience feel so much more wonderful than regular high street shops. I mean, Boux Avenue lets you change the lighting in your changing room to what you believe to be more flattering for yourself. Plus, the changing room’s decor is just lush.

2. Satin and Silk

Speaking of fabrics frequently found in lingerie, I find the textures of silk and satin to be the most elegant, sensual thing on the planet! they just feel so luxurious to feel and touch, and they make me feel like an utter goddess whenever I’m wearing or even just touching them.

3. Freshly Shaved Legs

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The only thing that makes silk and satin feel even more luxurious and sensual is when you wear it immediately after you’ve just shaved your legs. Smooth legs and the smooth feeling of silk – divine! Your hair preference is your hair preference, but I just always feel 100% more feminine just after I’ve shaved or waxed. I just kind of feel a little disgusting and icky when I haven’t shaved in a while. I know we have hair on our bodies for a reason, but I, persoanlly, could do without it.

4. Make Up

If you have seen me without makeup in the past 2-3 years, then you have seen a truly rare sight indeed. Makeup is my daily mask. I just don’t feel put together and on point without it. I love makeup because it helps me hide my acne scars, a thing I am very self consious about. And besides, who doesn’t feel more like a girl when painting their face with lots of pretty colours and products.

5. Perfume

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I hate smelly people! Really hate them. Why haven’t you showered, or bought deodorant, or just not come here today? I joke. I’m not that offended, just really annoyed. I have a really sensitive sense of smell, so any foul scents in the air really affect me. I’m always really conscious of being smelly, and take great care to keep my personal hygiene levels as high as possible. If I smell, it makes me feel really uncomfortable.

I love perfume and nice smelly things. I waste hours wandering around candle shops and places like The Body Shop just sniffing things. There are certain scents that make me feel particularly feminine, such as lavender and violet. Sandalwood, a scent usually considered to be a little more masculine, is a smell that I consider to be quite sensual and seductive. I always feel really confidant and sexy wearing perfumes scented with Sandalwood. My signature scent at the minute is Hugo Boss Nuit Pour Femme, which feature base notes of crystalline moss and creamy sandalwood, which makes me feel so confident and sexy, and I just love it. I also love Ma Vie, the daytime version of the scent when I’m looking for a more delicate scent.

Like I said, there are some days I wake up, and I feel like I need to channel a little of my masculine side. And that’s OK. But on the days I’m needing to feel all girly and feminine and delicate, these are some of the things I turn to.

I’m curious; what are some of the things that make you feel feminine? Or conversely, what do you turn to on the days you feel like channelling your inner guy and need some of your more masculine traits on offer?

 

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Do I Have High Standards in Relationships?

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I’m going to let you in on a well-known secret;

I have never been in a relationship. Never. Not one. If you took a look at my dating history it probably looks a little bit like this…

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Yah. To be honest there’s more action in that GIF than there is in my love life.

But I digress.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time in my teenage years believing there was something very wrong with me because everyone had been in a relationship of some form or another and then there was me.

 

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As an INFP, love, and a strong relationship that builds me up and supports me, is something truly very important to me, and so for years my inability to make that special connection with someone was really, really hard for me, and meant that for years I had some serious issues with my self esteem. Yes, I know its a little cliche to have based my self-worth on men but hey, I was a hormonal, angsty teenager. I’m allowed to be a sad individual!

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Now that I’m a little older and wiser (and grouchier) I understand that a man’s love, and men in general, do not have anything to do with your self worth. I am a strong, independent woman who just really wants someone to cuddle.

I call myself a realistic dreamer (which really isn’t a thing, but I’ve decided it is so…) and although I want the fairy tale, with all the romance and the Prince Charming and the true love, I know that doesn’t really exist. Real relationships take work, but the work is what makes it fun, and I am looking forward to the chance to put in that work with another person. Mind you, if he ain’t putting in the work then he be out on his ass.

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Queen B!!

When I talk to my friends and family about relationships and my lack of, I usually get one of two responses;

“It’ll just happen one day. One day you’ll meet someone and it’ll all make sense”

or

“Maybe your standards are too high.”

Damn right my standards are high! I am fabulous, a queen who can handle any and all shit that life throws at me. Why in the hell should I ‘lower’ my standards to pick up some weak ass I’m gonna have to drag around after me. My high standards have nothing to do with your inability to keep up with me and my dreams and ambitions. Yes, I would quite like to make a genuine connection with someone, but I am not that desperate for any kind of connection that I’ll settle for a crappy, half-arsed relationship just to find it.

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With regards to the former piece of sage advice – I do agree. I do wish that it would perhaps happen a little sooner, but unlike my younger, more desperate self, I am now content to be a badass career woman with ‘ridiculously high standards’ and carry on being a Queen and building up my kingdom until someone comes along with King potential. Well, maybe consort potential. Ain’t nobody getting my throne.

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Tell me ladies, have any of you been told you have high standards? Anyone any other input, or sassy retorts to those mere mortals in awe of our high standards of greatness?

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My Goals for 2017

Hi guys,

New year, new me, right? That’s how the saying goes, isn’t it? I think it works better as Old year, Old problems. I see the New Year as more of a time to reset and leave the bad things behind,  than as a time to add more new “better” things to the pile of things going on in my life, without dealing with and getting rid of any issues accrued over the past year. Focussing on improving things, without reviewing or refreshing, seems a little counter-intuitive to me, because all you’re really doing is leaving the bad things to fester and sour, and come up and bite you in the arse at some point throughout your new year, meaning that all those “improvements” you’ve made will all go to waste. You’ve brought your old problems into the new year, so that new you is pretty much the same as old you, right?

That being said, you do need some good things to add in and look forward to, otherwise we’d all just be sitting complaining that we’re getting nowhere and life is shit, and who in their right mind wants that? Not me anyway.

Goal setting does have its benefits, and it’s fun, so I do enjoy setting a few wee goals here and there. It’s a nice little guide that gives you an idea of how you’d like your year to go and the path you’d like to follow. For me, though, goal setting does tend to just be a five-minute exercise that I forget about like an hour later and so spend the rest of the year just wandering about aimlessly, feeling lost, confused and like I’m not really getting anywhere.

But no more!

This year,  this 2017, I am making plans I intend to stick to. I’m telling you guys about them, so hopefully you guys can guilt trip me into keeping to them. I have a feeling that it’s something I really can do this year.

Career

1. Do my vocal warm up exercises every day.

2. Have music off copy after the second week learning it.

I sometimes find myself to be a bit of a contradiction; I want to be the best and to work hard and do well,  but never ever seem to find the motivation to put in the work required to achieve these things. I spend little time in the practice room, and then wonder why I get no better, then spend every day in a practice room, get better, have an epiphany, and then just slip back into old habit?! Not this time. This time I will stick to my practice routine

Blog

1. Stick to a schedule of a minimum two posts a week.

2. Take a social media marketing course.

I have a really bad habit of blogging in fits and starts, being “fairly” reliable with my posting, and then dropping off the radar for weeks on end. If I want to take this blog further, I really need to crack down and be better at disciplining myself. I have plans for this blog, and I intend to knuckle down and get them done this year.

Finances

1. Have £500 in my savings account.

2. Have a safety buffer of an additional £150.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am shit with money. As in God awful, probably going to have to change my name and move to Panama to avoid the banks kind of awful. Budgets do not exist in my eyes. I make one, then see something in a sale, and boom! Entire budget up in smoke. My finances have been improving over the last few months out of extreme necessity. It got seriously close to Panama time just before Christmas. However, I am now employed, with steady(ish) income, so hopefully things can only be looking up for my not so thrifty self.

Health

1. Attend the gym at least once a week.

2. Drink at least 1 litre of water a day.

I am not a healthy person. In any way, shape or form. I eat what I want (usually McDonald’s or something similar) whenever I want,  I really struggle to grasp the concept that exercise needs to be done more than once to be beneficial, and to be honest I get out of breath walking from the train station to uni. It’s a 6/7 minute walk. It’s pathetic.

My new health kick, however, is born out of necessity. My voice is growing and becoming stronger,  and I’m beginning to lack the stamina to keep up with it. An entire lesson spent singing full voice knackers me for the rest of the day, and that is not the greatest way to start a sustainable career.  So, I have given my fate over to Katie, the maddest gym rat I know. She may torture me, break me and run me into walls, just so long as she helps me improve my fitness and stamina. Without killing me, I hope.

Relationships

1. Set aside an hour a week for self-care.

2. Journal 3 times a week at minimum.
I know these goals may seem a little odd and self-centred, but I do have a reason for putting my very selfish goals into the relationship category. My relationship history is, well, non-existent, and, after much thinking and confusion and discussion with friends, I have come to a conclusion. There’s clearly a common denominator in any and all interactions I have with the opposite gender, and that denominator is me. And so I have decided to take some time away from my search for my better half, and spend some more time soul searching instead; spend some more time getting to know myself and improve myself before I thrust the hot mess that is myself upon some poor, unsuspecting young gentleman.

Although, if he comes along whilst I’m soul searching… well, I wouldn’t say no.

Is Trump Really the Problem?

Hi guys,
So after waking up today to find that 2016 still had at least one more ridiculously stupid political result left hiding in her skirts, it got me thinking.

I completely, utterly and wholeheartedly believe that Donald Trump is worse than the mysogonistic, arrogant, racist pig that he has been revealed to be on this campaign trail. He just happens to have a spectacularly good campaign team who have managed to mask and hide much of the true evil that hides in that man’s heart.

America, believe me, there is more to come. I wish you luck with your new ‘role model’.

Hillary Clinton is, and always was, the better candidate. Fact. She is experienced, level-headed, and has had the skill, determination and strength of character to pull herself up to these high heights of politics through the muddy marsh of mysogyny and sexism that is this planet. That is a strong woman. That is someone I admire.

So to wake up and find that this incredible strong woman has been beaten by a man with a level of maturity equal to that of a three year old (and let’s face it,  that’s being mean to the three year old) then I’m left wracking my brain for the answer to the question “what’s wrong with this planet?”. Why are we fucking up  spectacularly?

And I think I have the answer.

It’s  me.

It’s me and people my age. The millennials.

We are marked as the generation of change, far more liberal than our predecessors,  ready to vote to save the world.

But we don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, there are of course exceptions to this rule, as with just about any rule, but we don’t vote. We shout and discuss our views in private and in public, praising our beliefs and our aspirations and dreams for the future as far as we can, but when it comes down to the actual act, far too often we are the people who refuse to vote.

Sometimes, we do it in protest; I don’t like either option so I refuse to vote. I, personally, believe this to be a rather stupid idea, but each to his own.

Most times however, Millennials don’t vote because we believe that it won’t  matter, that we can’t make a difference.

And that is where you are wrong.

We are touted as the generation for change for a reason. We are a strong, proud political force, a force to be reckoned with, but if we keep holding ourselves back, in “protest” or not, then we let them win. Those people who say that Millennials are the lazy generation, the wastes of space. Those who talk down to us because we don’t see things the same way they do. They value physical purchases, we value experience. They strain and struggle against our wants and needs for a more liberal, open society, so they tell us that we are useless, stupid, and will amount to nothing; and we start to believe them.

Don’t. You. Dare.

They tell us that we are stupid and know nothing because they can see that we are powerful, we hold the power. And they’re scared. Let them be. They should be. We hold the power, we hold the sway, and if you would just use it…

I have seen charts released by several news outlets of what would happen if just Millennials voted. Clinton won. In almost every single state.

Does this not tell you something?

This is our planet, we are the one’s destined to now grow up in the wake of these political fuck ups. How will you ride the wave? I’ll be championing the power that I hold, using my vote in an attempt to fix what they have damaged. Will you?

America, I wish you luck. To the rest of the world, God help us!

Rant over.

My Favourite Things About October!

Hi guys,

When did it get to October?! It was June like two days ago! I was getting really excited about America and Summer and sunshine and…and now it’s October,  and it’s back to hard work and uni and singing and fresher’s flu…

Don’t get me started on fresher’s flu. I’ve been ill for over a week. It was in my throat,  then my nose, then all over, and it’s now having a last-ditch assault in my chest before heading on out the door.

As you can tell,  flu is one of my least favourite things about October.

But October is still one of my favourite times of year. Here’s why…

1. Autumn

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Autumn/Winter is my favourite time of year! For many, many reasons. Although the Autumn technically begins in September, it doesn’t really feel like it’s here until October. That wee interim period between Summer and Autumn is an awkward one, but it opens out into  a spectacular season of change, revealing a colour palette Mother Nature reserves just for this time of year.

2. Layers

Fashion is a weakness of mine. Paired with make up, it’s probably the main reason I’m a spectacularly skint student. Maybe food is in contention for that title, I’m an absolute fat git. Summer in Scotland is a funny one. It’s warm, but not warm enough to not have something to cover your shoulders,  but too warm for you not to be boiled alive the second you do cover your shoulders. Pain in the bum.

But Autumn is the time of year for layers. Winter you just wear massive jackets and you’re done,  but in autumn you can play with cardigans and scarves and shawls and wraps. The list is endless. I really love the wrap above from Amazon, you could coorie doon away from the cold and not reappear until Spring.

3. Knitwear

Leading in from the previous point, Autumn is the time for Knitwear. It’s so comfy and cosy and soft and…need I say more people? Get the Knitwear out the cupboard!

4. Hallowe’en

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Would October be October without Hallowe’en?  Answer…no. Absolutely not! I really struggle to decide between Christmas and Hallowe’en as my favourite holiday of the year (it’s probably Christmas, but just because it lasts longer and I’m a greedy git!). I do love all the dressing up and sweets and partying around Hallowe’en, and revel in the mystic of Samhain, when the veil between this world and the next is at its weakest, and spirits can come and wander as they please.

5. Hocus Pocus

One of my favourite movies of all time, I save Hocus Pocus for this time of year, just to keep the excitement built up all year, and add another touch of fabulousness to the Hallowe’en period. Winifred Sanderson is just wonderfully wicked, and is sass goals. Who doesn’t love to just sass the bejeezus out of people?

And are you honestly trying to tell me this isn’t the best version of “I Put A Spell On You” you’ve ever heard?

So there’s my favourite things about October. What are yours? Do you love Hallowe’en as much as I do?

My Favourite Travel Blogs

Hi guys,

I absolutely love reading travel blogs. It’s one of my favourite things to do. My standard daily commute into uni involves a good read of a few travel blog posts, a quick Facebook check, and an update to Wandering Scotland if the inspiration strikes.

I do follow several travel blogs, because it’s always worth keeping up with the travel blogging community, but I do have to say I do still have my favourites.

A Dangerous Business

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Amanda over at A Dangerous Business is probably one of my favourite bloggers. Her writing makes her seem so genuine and friendly, and she was really generous with her help when I emailed her with a blogging related question. A Dangerous Business was one of the first travel blogs I ever read, and a read of at least one article is pretty standard commute reading. I also absolutely love her take on travel blogging, and the fact that she doesn’t travel full time, yet still manages to run a frequently updated blog.

Young Adventuress

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Young Adventuress was the first ever travel blog I came across, and was that sparked my interest in travel blogging and all its wonders. Liz just seems like such a strong woman, something I truly aspire to be. I also love that two of her favourite countries are Spain and New Zealand, just like me!

Hand Luggage Only

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I love Yaya and Lloyd, they are absolutely hilarious. There’s always at least one line in each post that makes me giggle. The images they share in their posts are spectacular, and are sure to inpire wanderlust in all who lay eyes on them. How they manage to travel to so many fabulous foreign destinations so frequently will always baffle me, they just always seem to be somewhere new and exciting.

The Travel Hack

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This blog is a godsend. There are so many tips and tricks to achieve cheaper travel, it’s fab! They also always seem to do their research, and so their destination posts are always educational, and I always seem to learn something.

Travelletes

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I was drawn to the Travelletes blog by a guest post I came across on Bloglovin’, but after a little exploring I was hooked! Although I am a reasonably new reader of the blog, I’ve found that the seem to think on a way very similarly to myself.

So there you have it, my current list of favourite travel blogs. I am always on the hunt for some new reads, so if there are any blogs out there that you think I’d like, let me know!

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