Taking My Top Number #1 Bucket List Trip: Top 10 Travel Tips for Women Traveling Alone!

“Where you go, go with all your heart.” — Confucius

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St. Andrews Cathedral Ruins, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK.                            copyright.-tch-9-2016

 Taking My Top Number #1 Bucket List Trip:  Top 10 Travel Tips for Women Traveling Alone!                   

Do you have a top trip on your bucket list? Have you gone yet? If not, why not?
This month (September), I am celebrating my first Anniversary of having done my Number #1 Bucket trip —I did it — and alone! Everyone that shared my passion for Ireland and Scotland had already been or was planning on going with their families. But like everyone else, each of us only get one life to live. Besides I wanted to not end up saying I always wanted to but… you get the picture.

So I made up my mind, that I was just going to go for it! I found a tour company that I trusted and booked my trip to Ireland and Scotland. The tour I signed up for also had the bonus of also getting to go to Northern Ireland, which I didn’t realize had such rich history and also a few off the beaten road places that I was surprised ended up as some of my favorite parts of the trip. Our tour director was a local to all three countries, though he claimed United Kingdom citizenship, and he threw in such great surprises that made our trip even more memorable! The major tourist destinations were all included of course, even though I wasn’t really sure what the big deal was about going to the Irish Stud Farm. However, it was very interesting and had a really nice Japanese garden. Who knew? Of course, I absolutely found the scenery amazing and the local people (and those I was with) open for music and a party anytime, even if starting at 10:30 in the morning in the middle of nowhere. More off beat tourist attractions that were surprises were the bridge at Brigadoon (yes, it is a real place), drinking Guinness with black current juice (suggested by the taxi driver for this non-beer drinker), the Titanic Museum in Belfast, and an unexpected stop at one of the locations of the standing stones used in Outlander*. Yes, I did the Outlander dance through all of the standing stones and tried to cross through to the other side to meet Jaime, my other husband in 1743! Well, maybe someday I’ll get another try. Anyway, my new found travel companions were very amused and also very encouraging!

I was amazed that in the Castle of Edinburgh that I could actually stand inside the bedchamber and birthing room of Queen Mary. Not everything is roped off as expected! I was sure to add additional days to my tour both before meeting my tour group beginning in Dublin and at the end in Edinburgh after the tour group departed. This can usually be done with the only major additional cost being lodging. It was on these days, that I truly was on my own alone, but I was able to see other attractions that I felt I needed to see to make my trip complete. The taxi driver that I had met one day, actually ended taking me on another day to the Boyne Valley, where Newgrange is a world UNESCO Heritage site and he even ended up walking the Hill of Tara with me. I was thrilled since these were two of my top destinations!

It was on my additional days in Edinburgh that I got to see Rosslyn Chapel and the other end of the Rose Line, another have to goal! You may remember these from The Da Vinci Code*.  If you like to travel, don’t give up on plotting and planning for how you will finally get to do “your” Top Bucket List trip! I have listed some tips for traveling alone that you may find beneficial. Please share with me — where is your top trip? Have you already done your trip or are planning on doing it? I look forward to hearing from you— Happy Traveling!

Top 10 Tips for Women Traveling (Alone)

  1. Keep all travel documents, itinerary, valuables, and currency secure.
    Make copies of travel documents. If paper, keep in separate, secure area.
    Keeping photos on your cell phone also works. Be sure to password your phone. This can help expedite the process if you need assistance from the embassy incase of lost passport. Program important phone numbers such as hotels, tour director cell phone, and embassy in your phone prior to leaving. Leave itinerary with family or close friend.
  2. Booking your trip through a trusted travel agency is a great way to travel. It is
    true, there is safety in numbers. Plus it is a good way to meet other people.
  3. Stay at lodgings with indoor corridor entry into your room.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when walking. Plan for transportation, especially after dark.
  5. Dress appropriately for the culture you are visiting. Dress down and blend in. Don’t make yourself a target by wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, or carrying standout expensive items such as purses or cameras. Covering camera brand names with same color tape can help.
  6. Be flexible and allow time in your day for unexpected journey treats or finds that you might find out from locals.
  7. If outside of your home country, changing out the subscriber identification module card (is called a SIM card for short) in your cell phone can be very helpful.  A SIM card is fairly inexpensive and enables you to be able to make and receive local calls within a particular country. Good numbers to have are tour director, airport, taxi, hotels, or emergency. Be sure to keep your original SIM card so you can make calls when you return. (I bought a SIM card for about $20.00 U.S dollars and they even installed it for me for free at a neighborhood grocery-deli shop).
  8. It is a good idea to notify your charge card company if you will be overseas and
    this is not a country they would be expecting to see charges from. They may also have some other helpful information for you such as transaction charges and currency rates. If you buy something large or fragile, shipping may be a very good option to getting it home and keep you from having to carry it or worry about breaking it.
  9. If traveling with a tour group, be flexible, and arrive early for group departures. This is only good travel etiquette and shows you are considerate. (10 minutes early works well). Plus, you do not want to be left behind.
  10. Most of all, have fun! Be willing to try new things (even the Haggis), see places you have been dreaming of become part of your reality, and make new friends!
Sep 16 2016_7466
Near Londonderry/Derry, Northern Ireland                                                  copyright.-tch-9-2016

Don’t forget to share in the “Comments” where your top bucket trip is going to be!  Thank you for visiting with me today at Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons ~

*References:
Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code. Doubleday, New York, NY. USA.
Gabaldon, Diana (1991). Outlander. Random House, New York, NY. USA.

© 2017. Terre’s Blog – Women of All Seasons. terresblogwomenforallseasons.wordpress.com

“7 Simple Questions to Help De-clutter Your Space”

“Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful.”    — William Morris

While it is good to be blessed, some of those blessings that come in forms of “stuff” can become overwhelming! Sometimes a life event such as a birth of a child that you need to make room for, downsizing, or moving to a new house or even office; especially a long distance move, can force you to make some hard decisions about what to keep and what to take. Often this motivation is fueled by the cost to ship, move, or will it fit in the car or trailer. The point is, it may be easier to simplify and de-clutter along your life journey than later when someone accumulating has been in the same house for a long time, say 30 or more years.

A lesson on how to do this efficiently and within budget can probably be learned from our military families who often move frequently. Recently I learned about an intriguing idea that I personally have found useful, especially in letting go of sentimental items that I really do not need to keep any longer. This idea is from the work of Marie Kondo*, author and organizing consultant, who suggests asking yourself does the item bring you joy? If it does not, can you give it “gratitude” for serving you in the past and then let it go?

Yes, I thought “thanking” inanimate objects might seem kind of silly, but I have found it useful for those harder items that I felt I needed to hold onto throughout the years. I have also found that it is better to save sorting through the sentimental items, pictures, and paper files for another day all its own when you are especially ready, time-wise and emotionally to do this. Saving the harder items for another day will not impede your progress “today” when you are really wanting to get some noticeable de-cluttering done. Remember, the goal is to bring you happiness and peace to your space! De-clutter and simplify until you reach your comfort zone.

Comfort zones are individual and may change depending on where we are in life.
Below is a check list to help you in your own goal of simplifying and de-cluttering.

“7 Simple Questions to Help You to De-clutter Your Space”

1. What is it’s purpose in your life?
2. Do you use it? (When was the last time?)
3. Do you need it?
4. Do you really enjoy and appreciate it?
5. Does it have sentimental value?
6. Can you live without it?
7. Can you “Thank” it for serving its purpose and then re-home it? (Pass it on to an admirer of the object, sell, donate, throw it away)

Of course, I am not advocating that you go bare bones. Remember it depends on “your” comfort level. And let’s face it, there are some things that each of us have that we will probably never get rid of as they remind us of another time too precious to forget in our lives. I know for me two items that bring me joy are two tiny pottery treasures made by my sons little hands that continue to hold their place of honor on the mantle.

*Resource: (Gratitude and thanking the item)
Kondo, Marie (2014). The life-changing magic of tidying up: the Japanese art of
de-cluttering and organizing. Ten Speed Press, Random House LLC., United States.

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