Travelfreaks: The Great Adventure

Well, would you believe it?

Back my book! 

I decided to upload Travelfreaks:The Great Adventure as a manuscript onto Authonomy, the new writers site by publishers HarperCollins. I am as pleased as a puppy wrapped in toilet roll about this!

The manuscript is a little raw with still a few mistakes to rectify but at least it is getting interest and being read. If you would like to visit the site, please follow the link. You will have to register with the Authonomy site if you wish to support the book.

 Uneasy Rider - Confessions of a Reluctant Traveller

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Have you ever had dreams of seeing the world in a campervan? Yearning  for the freedom of  the open road and having the choice of when and where you go? Ohhh... for the freedom and adventure!

Follow Allie Sommerville on her amazing and quite often frustratingly hilarious, campervan road trip  and adventures around Europe.

Please visit


Over the Hill and Far Away: One grown up gap year

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 Marooned on a beach in Australia with the tide rising and nothing but cliffs behind her; negotiating with a gunman who wanted to marry her in Lucknow. Let’s not think about the snakes and leeches in the jungles of Malaysia.

Join Jo Carroll living her teenage dream of travelling around the world...

Please visit


T-Bag Travel Blog Directory


Visit Trail of Ants for inspirational ideas on where to go on your next travels, including itinerary tips, blogging and creative and colourful reviews on the many countries he's visited...

Have your say! 

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5 tips for making your travel food budget go further 

Meals are something that can easily be under budgeted for when you are are in full swing planning for your travels. Eating at local restaraunts, cafes, tavernas and stalls can be the sure-fire way of eating away your budget very quickly. 

Tip 1

Try to avoid buying any food in tourist centres or resorts. The prices are relatively high as they are catering towards the captive tourist that doesn't venture more than 200 yards from their hotel.Quality is generaly low due to the volume of food passed over the counter. It is often reheated from the day before if sales were slow and will have any essential vitamins cooked out that are vital for you maintaining your health. Standards of Hygeine may not be what you would expect!

Tip 2

Find out where the locals eat. Even if you have to follow them! To avoid become a stalker get to know some of the locals. Once they begin to trust you they may offer you the local discounts!

Tip 3

Once you have tracked down where the locals eat, watch what they order and take note how much they are charged. There may be one price for locals and another for tourists, so be observant and always count your change before leaving.

Tip 4

Locally grown and seasonal produce. Markets-You will most definitely find cheaper produce and you will also have the opportunity to barter to save your valuable dosh. Some places may have  one market for tourisits and another for locals. Find out where they are and get there early while it is still fresh.

Tip 5

Do your own cooking. Not always easy to do on some trips but never impossible!

So, what can you do to try and avoid health problems and over spending? Visit Freaks Food and see if you can use any of the handy tips and ideas to help your budget go further and keep you fit and healthy on your adventures...

 5 tips on how to cope

with reverse culture shock

Coping with culture-shock when travelling away in the far out reaches of the world can be quite daunting. It takes a while to get used to the new sights, sounds, smells while trying our best not to look like a tourist. But hopefully after a few days, the jet lag and the paranoid feelings of vunerability subside, you've picked up a few valuable hawker/beggar avoidance tactics and honed your bartering skills at the local market, you are now free to move around relativley unflurried.

When you're back at home, however, when the backpack is emptied and your mouldy clothes are catching the perpetual rain on the washing line, is travelling really over? Sometimes culture shock goes through a reversal process whereby even your own town or even family can feel alien. If the answer is "yes, my travels are over" and you struggle to come to terms with normal hum-drum of daily life, think again, you may have to re-tune your mind-set. By far the most enjoyable way to avoid the reverse culture shock is to treat your return as another destination on your itinery.

Tip 1

Don't be so eager to jump on the bus or in the car to travel locally. If it's within an 5-6 mile round trip, walk!

Tip 2

When you go food shopping, take your day pack and avoid buying more than a couple of days food. Don't be tempted into buying more than you can fit into your pack. Go for knock-down prices on food close to their end date. It makes meal times more creative!

Tip 3

Research your local area for public footpaths and rights of way that you wouldn't normally use. It is surprising how many places will be nearby that you never knew existed!

Tip 4

Use markets and carboot (UK), yard and table top sales for clothes shopping and presents. Polish up those bartering skills ready for your next overseas adventure and grab a bargain.

Tip 5

Treat every day of your life as if it was part of your travels and you will experience it through very different eyes.

A life changing encounter?

Just to start this off so you understand where I am coming from.....

I do not believe in (a) god and neither do I follow religion. Athiest maybe, but isn't that just religion without a god? So therefore I am neither religious or athiest!

Today, I met a man, a man. He metioned going on holiday and I was quite excited as I too am planning an adventure.

The man told me that he wasn't really going on a holiday but embarking on a pilgrimage of enlightenment. It was then that he began telling me about Hajj, the fith pillar of enlightenment and how his spiritual journey would end once he had visited Mecca.

He explained the purpose of his visit and why it is so important to his family and how honoured he was to be told that he could go with their consent and how he had to have the blessing of his wife and the forgiveness of his larger family.

He told me how he was going on this journey to represent his grandmother, as she was too old to travel and how most of his life is about giving and helping others.

He told me how it had taken him over three years of saving to be able to afford to go on this journey and how hard he works in a psychiatric ward to earn that money.

He also told me about the pride his family felt when they became British citizens and that if they were to retun to India, they also had to apply for visas as they were now no longer considered Indian.

He told me how sad he and his family felt about the state of the world and how terrorism is misguidedly linked in name to his religion.

He told me he was proud to be British, no...English. did he change my life?

He is the first person I have ever met that truly convinced me of his beliefs and did not judge me or pass critical judgement or comment about my disbeliefs.

He respected my views and I his.

I am looking forward to hearing tales of his adventure and hope he finds what he is searching for.

Like I said, I don't believe in god, but I do now believe in the faith of mankind.

Good journey...

What is your favourite weapon for capturing those all important travel moments?

I've been searching about for a new camera for the next adventure as the 98% DEET we sprayed ourselves with, during our American travels, has eaten the plastic on my old faithful Fuji Finepix A900! I am now after something with video and just might have found what I've been looking for- Fujifilm Finepix S9500.

The camera looks strong enough and the write ups seem promising. I have had a little play with the camera and found that the video quality is quite impressive- indoors only at the moment though.

It's got me wondering, what do people use when they set out on their adventures? Taking good quality photos can be just as important as getting the cheapest accommodation deal. What camera do you use and what are the highs and lows of your chosen 'shooter'?


Geared for fashion? 

How many of you reading this go to their local outdoor store in the hope of 'tooling up' for your next trip or adventure, only to find that it has been taken over by loyalty card toting, label hungry, fashion victims? Maybe you are one of them?

Making sure we had everything that was on our pre-trip wish list, we dared to venture out to one of our favourite stores, clutching tightly to our shopping list and full of the excitement of chance encounters with like-minded travellers. On arrival at the first shop we had to find a parking spot amongst the sea of people carriers and suburbian 4x4s- not a good sign! Entering the the shop we were bombarded wth sights of families showcasing jumpers and and jackets and asking each other things like' will this go with heels?'

I realise that when times get tough, merchants need to diversify to keep afloat. When you go to a place that has a great reputation for having everything in one place for the adventurer, backpacker etc, but you can't find a tin opener or water pruification tablets and all the staff have turned their attentions to helping 'Rupert and Cornelia' coordinate their latest season ski jackets with little Tabithas baby grow ( fast asleep in the pushchair) are they losing sight of what the service was originally all about?


How many of us have looked at the itinery and thought, 'I need a big bag!'. Why do we think we always need to have everything with us? True, it's ncie to have as many comforts as possible when travelling but do we really use everything we lug around in that cumbersome backpack?

Probably not...

After carrying a 65 litre pack on my back (with a loaded day pack inside) through the mosquito infested heat in Minnesota to the jungles of India I thought it was way time to reconsider why I think I need such a cumbersome item. In reality, I don't.

So, the pack has now been put to rest in the cupboard under the stairs ( I hope little Potter isn't too cramped!) and used some of my air miles up in excahnge for a rather nifty 28 litre High Peak backpack. Small, light and comes with a rather flourecent rain cover. I'm sure I'll moan about it not being big enough when it comes to packing for our next trip, but I just need to get over it! 4 T-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts/trousers and a weeks worth of undies. How big does a bag have to be?

(And it can be carried as hand lugguage- COOL!)