Wednesday, 6 December 2017

"I fainted in a burger shop after an overdose": 3 times I ended up in hospital abroad

Warning: Disgusting details and vomit-inducing stories ahead!


So, it turns out I have a habit of getting ill in the least convenient places in the world. Why? Well, read on to find out:


1. Yangon, Burma (2014).
Ah Burma: at the time it was possibly one of the most beautiful and friendly countries I had ever been to. But, with that said, it is not the type of place you want to have to end up taking a trip to the hospital. While the treatment is likely to be cheap, it will not necessarily be the best. 

So what happened? Well, I believe I was bitten by a spider (or spiders) in the Philippines, then every mosquito bite I got after that somehow got severely infected! I had about 10 of them over my body, and every time I accidentally knocked them against anything, the bites exploded and pus just went everywhere. It felt like they were never going to stop spreading and I was in a constant state of agony. 

After some internal debate on what was the best move, I was fortunate enough to track down an international private clinic. Here, I was treated by two doctors and a nurse, and it only cost £40 for the consultation, cleaning, dressing, and two swabs to be sent off and analysed. I was told not to leave Yangon for three days before my results came, but I had only gone to Burma to see Bagan, so I cut my trip there short and made it back in time for the results and medication. 

The worst part is that I had delayed my flight back to the UK for two weeks because I wanted to learn to dive in Koh Tao, but after developing this infection I was told not to go in water for one month - my hopes of diving were over! Thankfully, I ended up in Thailand back in the summer of 2016 and squeezed it in then, but it was very upsetting at the time (first world problems). I also still have the scars on my legs today. (Before and after pictured below).

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Why do I travel?

Greetings fellow traveller!

My name is Scarlett, or at least I pretend it is, and I'm 23 years old. So why Scarlett I hear you ask? Here's a fun story for you - my mum was going to call me Scarlett, but I was born in an ambulance so they called me Amber. My father joked my middle name should be lance... but thankfully mum put her foot down!

Anyway, I digress! My parents always enjoyed taking us travelling as children - instead of stops at resorts in Miami, with four children to cater for, we went on long-distance camping trips all over Europe in a van we dubbed 'the mystery machine' (for its similarities to the one used in Scooby-Doo)! Further, at 11 years old, my parents picked up my life and moved our family over to Canada. After a hard year, we decided to return home. My eldest sister fell in love and stayed out there, she still lives there today with two children and a husband, so I always have an excuse to visit. But on the whole, my parents are a large part of why I love exploring the world so much, and hearing about my mother's stories from her youth inspired me to do the same.

But why did I decide to continue travelling without them? Well,  aged 17, I picked up my best friend Olivia on the morning of our exam results and we stopped at McDonald's to calm our nerves. In our glass half empty approach to life that morning, we discussed what we would do if we failed. We jointly concluded we would just get up and leave, escape the stress, and travel around Southeast Asia. At that moment in time it felt like such an odd concept, we did not have any friends that had been travelling, and it felt like we would be the only people in the world that had gone to Southeast Asia at such a young age. Of course, this was entirely naive in hindsight, but we definitely were the youngest people in every group we met, hence the blog name "Never Too Young To Travel".

But that's skipping ahead... anyway, needless to say, we both passed our AS level exams with flying colours, but the fun thoughts we had of chilling on a Thai beach and riding motorbikes through Vietnam lingered in the back of our minds. That is, until we realised this didn't have to be a pipe dream, with hard work we could do this.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Travel Route in the Middle East (Summer 2017)

Are you thinking of travelling to the Middle East? Are you looking for a safe route to do so? Look no further. I took this route in the summer of 2017 and it provided a wonderful variety of things to see and do! Of course, please be mindful of the political situation as it can be extremely volatile; be sure to check your government's recommendations before you go, not only because it may not be safe, but I have found it can null your travel insurance too.

Note, I travelled via Prague on the way to Israel as I managed to find cheaper flights via this option using WhizzAir. I stopped over for a few days to soak in the sights. 

I also heavily advise you to look at getting a visa into Jordan before you depart. The only way you can currently cross is through the Jordan River Border Crossing located on the Israeli side closest to a town called Beit She'an. [Correct as of August 2017]. The other border crossing, while often better located, require you to have a visa in advance. Getting across to Jordan is generally quite a hassle, but you can read about that in another post soon!





Sunday, 30 April 2017

Route through Denmark, the USA and Barbados: Easter 2017

Yet again, I have been fortunate enough to receive a research grant! Through a Santander Scholarship, I travelled to the USA to do research. It was cheapest to fly via Denmark first, and I even got to stay a night. Read how: here


Monday, 27 March 2017

FLIGHT HACKING - How I got a £280 USA return during Easter Holiday

Do you have more time than you do money? Do you want to visit a new city en-route to your next destination? Well, read on! This easter I was determined to get to the USA for less than £500. Mainly because I'd stupidly been looking at flights months earlier and seen them for about £300, and I didn't want to pay the extra just because I was booking later. Warning though, this process can take a while to work out the best flights, it's a lot of trial and error!

Anyway, to start with I went to kayak.com and searched for the location and dates I wanted, trick though is to be as flexible as possible. So I have put +/- 3 days to be as flexible as possible.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

To (airbn)B, or not to Airbnb?

Okay, that pun didn't quite work, sorry. But give me some credit, Airbnb doesn't really rhyme with anything... Anyway, back to the point.

Ryanair has a sale on and you've realised you can bag a return flight to Krakow for £10. There's one problem though, the only hotel you can afford is a million miles out of the city centre. You give up, resigned to the fact it will all be too expensive and there are no other options right? Wrong. Give airbnb a try.

The first time I ever used Airbnb was back in September 2015 in Orlando, Florida. I aid $20 to sleep on somebodies couch... Ouch! But it was a far better alternative than the $200 minimum hotel bill I would have otherwise footed. Since then, I have used in Florence and Rome, as well as on my most recent trip to Poland. Let us get started, the pros, and the cons:

Pros:
  • Price: Not only are Airbnbs cheaper than hotels in general, they have the potential to make your whole experience cheaper. As houses/ flats, most come with a kitchen of some description. I will note though that in Europe this tends to often be limited to a hob and microwave, I have only come across a few with full ovens. This means you can buy food from a nearby supermarket and cook some nights if you want to reduce your costs even more. In addition to this, unlike lots of hotels, all of the airbnbs I have used have free wifi too.
  • Privacy:  Ok, so this one is a bit questionable, but I'll explain that in the con section. On the whole, being able to rent the whole house gives you more privacy than in a hotel because you can come and go without worrying about maids coming in or the front desk watching your every move!
  • Friendly hosts: I have never had a bad experience with a host. The level of contact really varies depending on each host. Some hosts I haven't even had to meet as they have a lock box organised, whereas others have shown me around, how to work the heating and even given me advice on things I can do in the area and the best places to eat/ drink. Most recently my fantastic host in Krakow even gave us a bottle of wine as a present as Harley had mentioned that it was a belated birthday trip! Charming!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Round-up: 2016.

Well, 2016 has been a rollercoaster of emotions hasn't it?! Asides from the catastrophic global political situation (don't get me started on this), on a personal level, much has changed in my life. In one year I went from graduating Warwick University to being accepted at my dream institution - Oxford University - and with this, I picked up my life and moved from Leamington Spa to the grand ol' city of Oxford and had to remember how to ride a bike/ how to avoid dying of frostbite while cycling around late at night. At the same time, it often felt like it was just one bad piece of news after the other - from my nan's constant battle with cancer to my mum's Parkinson's diagnosis, it has often been hard to stay optimistic but I try. 

In terms of travel, 2016 has been a crazy year too. 

To start off the year I spent a week visiting Milan, Florence and Rome for my friends 21st birthday. While I didn't rate Milan much, I absolutely loved Florence and well Rome? That's my favourite city in the 'west', I'd been before and was desperate to take Matt as it's filled with endless beauty.

Top posts: Budget for 6 nights in Italy and Florence!