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If you haven't already, head over to 6 times I thought I would die while travelling part 1, to read the first 3 of my rather questionable travel tales. If you've already heard all about those feel free to keep reading for the second part of my near miss stories!


Looking out an airplane window down on a city below

Here are 3 more times I thought I would die while travelling...



That time I almost drowned on a boat trip in Bodrum


Boat trips are an absolute favourite pastime of mine. If I'm not chugging along Europe's canals, I'm drifting around various lakes and oceans, I just can't get enough of it. And so when the much younger, bargain-hunting Grace spied a day-long boat trip for £8 in the party city of Bodrum, I snatched the tour operators hand off. 


On the day of the trip, I was beyond excited. Although I didn't expect much for less than a tenner, I was determined to make the most of the tour - it was my last full day in beautiful Turkey after all! Our first stop on the trip was to a small sea side spa. It looked more like an old run-down pool to me, and we didn't stay long. The next stop was much more interesting. We pulled up in a small bay with fairly shallow, crystal clear waters and were encouraged to take a dip. Here we were surrounded by ocean wildlife and I even spotted a tiny speckled octopus! I've never been so glad to have my goggles with me because I would have missed that gem had I not been able to open my eyes once I'd swam down to the seafloor.


The third stop was where we would stay the longest. By now we had moved on to much deeper water where we were unable to see much beyond our own toes. Many of the tourists decided that this was the perfect place to jump off the boat into the sparkling sea below. Scared but willing to give anything a go I plunged into the water. I came up spluttering and mildly shaken as even though I held my nose, water still managed to rush inside. I'd also managed to descend a little further than expected and so surfacing took longer than I had hoped. 


Not content with almost drowning next to our boat I set my eyes on another challenge. I spied a beach not too far away that other guests had already started swimming to. Determined to make the most of my time, and partially to impress the non-swimming partner I was with, I set out to reach the shore. It soon became evident that my eyes had deceived me and the shingle beach was much further away than it seemed. Still as stubborn as ever I pressed on, battling waves much larger than expected and taking on yet more seawater.


By this time it was too far to turn back and my achy limbs needed to rest. I calculated that I was now closer to the beach and I'd likely never make it back to the boat without a short break anyway. And it's not like there were any lifeguards onboard either, not on an £8 boat trip. So I continued to the beach, my legs on the verge of cramping and my lungs filling with gulps of salty water until eventually, my knees grazed the stones below. How I made it back to the boat I'll never quite know, but here I am, silly as ever and ready to make more bad decisions.  


Photo taken from the shore or Bodrum beach. Looking out across the bay at the clear waters and the boats in the distance.


That time we stayed in the scariest apartment in Budapest


On my quest for an affordable place to stay in central Budapest back in 2017, I booked what I thought was a nice little city apartment slap bang in the middle of Pest. The reviews were good, and the photos made the place look clean and modern, everything you could want right? But how wrong I was. 


On arrival, it was clear that this was just one of a string of apartments the company owned across the city. They had obviously been refurbished and furnished as cheaply as humanly possible. Cleanliness was also not a priority here as the pillows smelled less than appealing and on our first night, we were visited by a tiny cockroach. As well as all this we were plagued by a small plaque which hung on the wall stating the house rules which included things like 'no noise after 10 pm' amongst other more ridiculous rules. The apartment itself was within an old run-down pre-war building with minimal lighting and questionable health and safety standards. Looking back I'm unsure why we didn't grab our bags and make a run for it after that first night, maybe part of us thought it was actually quite funny that we'd ended up in such horrendous accommodation after a string of great hotels. It wouldn't have been so funny had we caught the black death mind!


But all this was nothing compared to the facility we had to use to even get to our dirty little room. While I'm sure the stairs were perfectly acceptable, staying on the top floor of a tall building could convince even the most nervous person to hop into a lift. And so that's what we did, or shall I say attempted to do. Once the elevator doors opened it was evident that two people and a suitcase would not fit. The floor space within the lift was barely 4-foot square, I'd never seen anything before in my life. It was clearly a slapped up homemade elevator that would never pass any kind of safety testing in the UK. I'll admit at this point it did look incredibly questionable, but not prepared to walk up several flights of stairs with a full suitcase I grabbed the bags and hopped inside to meet my partner at the top.


As soon as the machinery started going the tiny room was filled with clunks and crashes and the floor below me shook. At that moment I was convinced that this little wooden box would simply crash to the floor below with me inside it and no one would even hear me scream over the noise. Luckily I made it to the top floor and lived to tell the tale of the crazy little lift. I also used it every single time I left the apartment after that because although it was terrifying, I thought it would also be a really funny way to die. 


A close up shot of the shoes on the Danube memorial in Budapest


That time I almost froze to death while camping in Wales


When camping you really are at the mercy of the elements, I think that's part of the fun of it. Setting up your little tent, making it as comfortable as possible, and praying as hard as you can that your shelter won't be blown away in the night. There's just something so alluring about roughing it for a few nights and let's be honest, we all love getting pissed next to a roaring campfire!


I'm fairly new to camping myself, and my tiny tent isn't exactly the kind of accommodation I'd like to spend a week in, but my parents on the other hand have all the gear. Staying in their massive tent is like living it up in a 5-star resort compared to my two-man £20 festival tent. And so when they booked a few nights in Europe's biggest campsite I tagged along. It was May and it was warm. Regardless of the fairly mild temperate I still filled my section of the tent with blankets on top of blankets on top of blankets, to make sure I was extra toasty once the fire went out. I suffer from the cold at the best of times so it doesn't hurt to be a bit extra in that department. 


Fast forward a few nights and the temperate took a plummet. On this night sky was clear and the wind was howling all around us. The campsite being on the coast didn't help as we also had the freezing wind blowing in across the sea - we really had nowhere to hide. Even with my layers of blankets and my extra thick pyjamas, I felt it all. Before long I was dithering and my face was stone cold. My nose was streaming and I could not get warm no matter how hard I tried. I spent the first few hours in and out of consciousness just hoping I could stay asleep long enough to see the sun the morning. At one point I considered taking my sleeping bag up to the toilet blocks to try to survive the night in there but I was so cold I could barely move. That's when I finally got the courage to check the temperature. 4 degrees. Not cold enough to be freezing, but colder than a human should have to suffer. I decided then and there that I would die in this place, but by some miracle, myself and my family made it through the night. My sister told me she was also convinced her time was up as we thawed out over breakfast the following morning. 


Looking across the Danube at Liberty Bridge in Budapest

So those were 6 times I was sure I was going to die while travelling. And you want to know the worst bit? Those are just the few I thought were worth telling! Unfortunatly for me I'm rather clumsy and so these stories really are endless!


Please feel free to leave your own near death travel experiences in the comments below or over on Twitter!


Thanks for reading!



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Birmingham, UK

6 TIMES I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE WHILE TRAVELLING (PART 2)

I've always said I would die while travelling. Maybe I'd go down in a dramatic fireball of a plane crash, or perhaps I'd slip off a cliff in some beautiful exotic location, the possibilities really are endless. And let's be honest with my track record no one would be shocked if the worst were to happen while I'm off on my holibobs. 


If I'm not tripping down a flight of stairs and breaking bones, I'm out and about making bad decisions, so between my own clumsiness and the sheer amount of wild things that happen to me on regular basis, it's really no surprise that I've already had a few close calls. 


Looking out an airplane window on to the clouds below


So here are 6 times I thought I was going to die while travelling...



That time I was hit by a car in Amalfi


Amalfi is without a doubt one of the most beautiful seaside towns I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. The views across the town are spectacular, and the waters that lap the shore are calm and warm, it really is the perfect place for a short break. But if you've ever been to Italy I'm sure you'll know all too well that the roads are anything but paradise. Never in my life have I seen such dangerous driving on such tiny winding roads. 


Now I'm fairly used to being hit by things, I have a habit of stepping out into roads without looking after all, but this incident was far from my fault for once. As I was making my way up one of the twisting roads leading out of Amalfi I was all too aware of the cars zipping up and down, getting ever closer to myself. Ensuring I was strolling as close to the barrier as humanly possible I was fairly certain I would be safe from the speeding vehicles even though my bare legs would be sprayed with a fine layer of dust and warm air with every passing car. This imaginary safety bubble I had wrapped around myself was soon burst when I felt a hard hot chunk of plastic smash into my left arm. I'd been hit by the wing mirror of a car. Luckily I wasn't too hurt, and the only damage I came away with was a sore shoulder, nothing a little Aperol Spritz couldn't fix eh?


Looking out across the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast.
Amalfi, Italy


That time I accidentally ate raw meat in Warsaw


Languages, I've always been fascinated by them but I've never been able to get my head around anything other than English. And it's not like I didn't try, I spent 5 good years of my life trying to learn German and all I've got to show for it is a GCSE certificate and the ability to order a very limited amount of food items with a very questionable accent. So when I travel, apart from using a basic translate app, I often have to rely on old fashioned good luck to survive, which brings me to my next story.


On my second day in Warsaw, I found myself walking down a huge boulevard lined with tall grey communist-era buildings. With my destination still a little while away and my stomach begging for lunch, I decided it was time to grab a snack. Being further out from the city that I would have liked, and also not wanting to lose too much time I nipped into a convenience store for a quick bite to eat.


Most food items are pretty self-explanatory, so regardless of my inability to read anything other than English I was fairly confident I had just bought a banging pack of Polish Peperami. Happy with my snack, and keen to continue on my way I soon started munching away and that's when it hit me. As soon as I bit down on my new meaty treat my mouth was filled with a spicy liquid. Unsure of what I had just chomped on I quickly I swallowed it all down. Panic ensued. Myself and my partner at the time began trying to frantically translate the packet to decipher if I had just consumed raw meat. Convinced it was too late for me, I put the porky snack away and began wondering just how severe my food poisoning would before returning to the hotel. Once back at the reception area I hysterically begged the concierge to translate what was left of the wrapper so that I could be sure just what I would be vomiting up later that evening. "Cured meat" he quickly replied. And so I did not die, this time. 



Looking across canal in Amsterdam towards tall thin wonky dutch houses.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands


That time I burst a blood vessel in my eye in Amsterdam


My ability to injure myself generally knows no bounds, but apart from the occasional bruises I get while intoxicated, I usually know how I've done it. Well, when I awoke one morning in misty Amsterdam I'd done some damage I couldn't account for. While I was likely drinking fairly heavily the night before I'd not gone too wild, and so as I started to do my makeup in the hotel room mirror I was shocked to see blood within my eyeball. The small drop of blood, which had pooled on the white of my left eye, was alarming but as it was so tiny I didn't panic. That was until I was eating breakfast and my partner at the time noticed that the blood had spread, and quite quickly too.


Sure that I was bleeding out through my eyeball I desperately scanned google for an English speaking doctor in central Amsterdam. By this time the majority of my eye was now covered in a deep shade of red and I could feel the liquid oozing underneath the surface. Having no luck with my search I approached the hotel receptionist who looked just as concerned as I. He quickly discovered a private doctor a few streets away and so off we went, into the cold of the morning to find out if I would live to see another day.


It wasn't long before we found ourselves in the home of a friendly Dutch Doctor who was all too casual about my terminal condition. He quickly checked me over and assured me I wasn't going to die, though the bleed would likely get worse before it got better, fantastic. And so I left the Doctors house reassured and slightly proud that he initially thought I was Norwegian, so I must have looked hot that day. My holiday photos were ruined, but at least I didn't have internal bleeding.


Pizza and beer on a table in front of the blue mediterranean sea.

Lunch with a view in Amalfi


So what have I learned from this? 1. I panic VERY easily 2. I bother hotel receptionists way too much with my medical concerns. And 3. One day I will probably die while travelling...


Don't forget to come back to read part two of the times I thought I would die while travelling! Yes, there are MORE stories!!


And please feel free to leave your own little travel mishaps in the comments below! I love hearing about your stories too!


Thanks for reading!



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Birmingham, UK

6 TIMES I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE WHILE TRAVELLING (PART 1)

With the end of lockdown fast approaching, many of us will be looking to book last minute trips. While the likes of Spain or Turkey might usually be high on our lists, this year more of us are hoping to holiday right here in the UK. But make no mistake, holidays at home are no runner up prize, from beautiful beaches to incredible mountain ranges, and big bustling cities, the UK breaks have it all. Us Brits are absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to potential staycation locations, but where is the best place to visit?


Well, I asked a tonne of UK bloggers for their favourite UK staycation spots and my god did they deliver...


A shingle beach leading into beautiful blue sea on the english channel


... Here are the top 10 places to staycation in the UK according to the bloggers!



10. The Peak District


The Peak District, which can be found in the heart of England, is home to the first the of UK's national parks. The area features 1,600 miles of public rights of way so it's no surprise that the majority of tourists flocking to the Peak District intend to do some form of walking. Of those rights of way mentioned, 64 miles are accessible to disabled people, making it a good choice for anyone looking for a more easy-going staycation. Along with incredible scenery, The Peak District also offers some great historic houses such as Chatsworth, and even Caves which are open to the public!


Molly (Girl About Derbyshire) has written a great itinerary of things to do in The Peak District in just 48 hours, which will be an ideal read if you're looking to visit the area for a weekend staycation. She has also popped together a list of 8 great places to visit in the Peak District on her new blog!


Looking down at cable cars crossing the rolls hills of the Peak District in the UK
The Heights Of Abraham, Matlock Bath


9. Bath


Bath is famous for its beautiful golden architecture and ancient Roman Baths, of which it takes its name. It is the largest city in Somerset which is ideal as it welcomes nearly 4 million visitors each year. The city which became a world heritage site in 1987, was home to Jane Austin and at least two of her novels were set here, which is why you'll find several tourist attractions based on her life and works in the area.


Tracy (Enjoy England For Less) has a fantastic blog post which covers all aspects of visiting beautiful Bath, including a whole list of free things to do in the city!



8. Norfolk


Norfolk is a county in the East of England which holds the record for the highest concentration of medieval churches in the world. Dripping with history, and full to the brim with listed buildings, Norfolk really is a treat for history nerds, but if that's not your thing the beach surely is! The Norfolk coastline runs for almost 100 miles. Here you will find golden beaches, plenty of piers, and even the UK's largest Seal colony! 


Looking for luxury accommodation in Norfolk? Why not check out Sophie's (Soph Hearts) review of Congham Hall Hotel & Spa.



7. Yorkshire


Yorkshire, the UK's largest county and one absolutely jam packed with things to do. Famed for its natural beauty, rich history, and of course everyone's favourite pudding, a staycation in Yorkshire really has it all. Alongside being home to many historic towns such as York and Harrogate, 3 of the UK's national parks also fall within Yorkshire's boundaries making it a great area for walking holidays. 


If chasing waterfalls is your kinda thing Danny (Danny Explores) has put together a cracking guide on the Ingleton Waterfall trail which he claims are the best waterfalls in Yorkshire. And if you're looking for an accessible break, Pippa (Life Of Pippa) has it covered with her post on Yorks wheelchair accessible indie coffee shops and cafes.



6. Brighton


Brighton often finds itself rated amongst some of the best seaside towns across the world, and for a good reason. The town, often fondly referred to as 'London by the sea', is home to both Britain's oldest cinema and the world's oldest aquarium, among other attractions. You'll also find plenty of beautiful listed buildings, a crazy amount of pubs, and even a nudist beach within walking distance of the Brighton City Centre - I guess it has something for everyone!


Looking for a seafront hotel? Look no further, Chloe (Wanderlust Chloe) has rounded up some of the best seaside hotels in Brighton!


Looking across the shingle beach over to Brighton Pier.
Brighton Pier

5. London


London town, the busiest of the UK's cities, and in my experience also the dustiest. England's capital city is home to a whole host of tourist attractions which is why it's so popular with both our own population and that of the world. From the first-ever Hard Rock Cafe to the Queen's house, London has a tonne of famous places to visit and thanks to the Tube it's easy enough to see them all! If you do use the underground, however, beware of the mosquitos! A special breed of mosquito has specifically evolved to live in the dark of the London underground, though I don't think I've ever personally come across one!


Thinking of having a little beverage or two on your London staycation? Della (Della Loves Nutella) has handpicked the best cocktail bars around Covent Garden so you'll never be short of options!


Taken from the top of the Tate Modern gallery in London. The London skyline is in full view with noticeable buildings such as St Pauls down below.
The London skyline



4. The Cotswolds


The Cotswolds cover a large area of west England and are most famous for their numerous picturesque towns and villages. The area, which actually lies within 6 counties (Wiltshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset) is home to historic houses, wildlife parks, and miles of glorious countryside. In the winter months, you will see Christmas markets and celebrations in most Cotswold towns and in the summer months, you'll find flower and lavender fields in bloom.


Don't forget to check out Kitti's (Kitti Around The World) list of 8 Cotswold towns you must visit, and if you're in need of a dog-friendly hotel, Danielle (It's A Danielle Life) has you covered with her review of The Fish Hotel in Broadway.


Grace is wearing a short white dress. She is standing in a field full of cotswold lavender
Cotswold Lavender, Broadway


3. Devon


Devon is home to a number of pretty seaside towns along two coastlines. These charming social centres are the main reason for the flock of tourists which flood the county each year and for a good reason. Not only do visitors have the choice of two separate coasts to choose from (something no other English county has) they also have a range of activities to do once they arrive. From surfing to sightseeing and even fossil hunting on the Jurassic coast, you'll never have a dull staycation here.


If you're looking for inspiration, why not check out Charlotte's (A Fashion Oddity) post on the top places to visit in South Devon!



2. Cornwall


When thinking of Cornwall it's likely that your mind wanders to memories of childhood holidays and warm pasties on the beach - Cornwall is the home of the traditional Cornish pasty we all know and love after all. But this British county has so much more to offer than savoury treats. Museums, beaches, theme parks, and even giant greenhouses, Cornwall has something for absolutely everyone which is why it's no surprise that 4 million people visit the area each year.


For a pretty complete guide to Falmouth check out Samantha's (Cocobutter Blog) post which gives a detailed run down of what she got up to in the Cornish town. If seafood is your thing, Charlotte (Charlotte Rick) has reviewed her favourite restaurant in Cornwall - The Fish House.



1. The Lake District


Over 15 million people visit the Lake District year each and it's clear to see why. The area holds vast forests, a number of waterfalls, and of course multiple picturesque lakes. The scenery is the main reason tourists swarm the Lake District, however visitors to the area don't have to simply admire the views, they can get up close and personal by hiking the mountains and sailing the lakes.


Why not check out my guide to the most beautiful locations in the Lake District before you head up there? Believe me, you won't want to miss out! And if you fancy trying your hand at hiking but your skills are lacking Emmalene (A Brummie Home And Abroad) has a great post on hiking for non-hikers which you might find handy!


Looking across Derwentwater lake in the Lake District
Looking out over Derwentwater in the Lake District


Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who voted for their favourite place to staycation in the UK! Almost 100 of you lovely bunch contributed to this post which wouldn't have been possible without your votes and knowledge! 


So now you know which locations the bloggers love, where are your top places to staycation in the UK?



Thanks for reading!


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The top image shows Derwent water in the Lake District UK. The bottom image shows Brighton beach sloping into the sea. Text between the images reads "The top 10 places to staycation in the UK according to bloggers"


Birmingham, UK

TOP 10 PLACES TO STAYCATION IN THE UK ACCORDING TO BLOGGERS

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