I can’t believe my little trip down food memory lane is almost over. What was your best travel meal or treat? Let me know in the comments!
The Isle of Skye is legit an otherworldly realm straight out of a Tolkien novel. One moment, you’re bumping along on a lovely one lane road riddled with potholes, surrounded by strangely-shaped mountains carpeted completely in a soft green and then, you round a bend and you’re somehow in a rough, craggy atmosphere, where a purpley-brown growth is springing out of a mist-covered ground and you are convinced you somehow landed on a planet not in our solar system.
(That was the longest fucking sentence I’ve ever written. It’s probably not even grammatically correct, but we’re just gonna roll with it.)
This is not a homage to Skye. In fact, my favorite part of Skye really had nothing to do with the actual place, as I could have met one of my favorite bloggers (more on that later) in Timbuktu if that was where she lived (and I happened to be traveling to Timbuktu).
This is going to be a post that fully prepares anyone wishing to go to Skye for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
So, let’s just get on with it, eh?
Really, the best way to show the good side of Skye would be with the pictures I took. So, I’m going to show and not tell. Besides, even my amateur photography would better serve to express its raw beauty than any vocabulary I possess.
This was 10 PM on the Isle of Skye.
That water, though…
Every conceivable shade of green can be found on Skye.
The coolest coffee shop that served me the best latte I’ve ever had.
The best latte I’ve ever had and my first time trying oat milk = OBSESSED.
Beauty around every bend
The skies really made that green pop.
An old cemetery by the sea
Too beautiful for words
The sheep. OMG the sheep. I loved them so much. I miss those wooly butts so bad.
A stretch of road with no one on it is how I hoped it’d be.
It was so quiet and peaceful at this spot. Right here. Right here is Scotland to me.
It legit looks fake.
What planet is this even?
Out of this freaking world!
Being introspective af
I really hoped we’d see a hobbit at the Fairy Glen.
This is Skye.
This is the Skye I want to never forget.
A tiny Old Man of Storr
We got to this one before the hordes invaded.
Holy shit, the roads. Probably 90% of the roads on Skye are one lane. I don’t even know if that figure is at all accurate, but numbers don’t matter here. You’re gonna feel those one-laners and that’s all that matters.
Not only are the majority of the roads one lane, they are full of locals who don’t have time for tourists and their inept driving. One thing can be said about those locals: they have a system and they all religiously abide by it (You pull over if the pullout is on your side. If it’s on the other side DO NOT, FOR FUCKS SAKE, PULL OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE OR YOU MESS UP THE WHOLE SYSTEM, JANET.)
So, yeah, the actual Skye residents drive like bats out of hell and literally everyone else has no idea what they’re doing.
As if that ain’t bad enough, after every other sheep in the road (that’s not a figure of speech, btw, they are literally in the road) is a pothole the size of any one of the Kardashians’ massive fake asses, and considering the entire island is only 639 square miles, that’s a lot of freaking potholes.
Our rental car probably needed all new suspension after a week of those roads, and my chiropractor is rolling in the dough (literally and figuratively).
So, yeah, we were tourists, but we weren’t those tourists. We weren’t touristy tourists. We weren’t literally-push-like-we’re-in-Kindergarten-tourists.
Actually, I encountered pushy, rude tourists the most in really crowded touristy places like Edinburgh Castle and the like.
I don’t recall any one tourist from the Isle of Skye, but that is probably because we encountered 8,565,723 of them. To be fucking precise.
I get it, people want to see beautiful places. We all want to see The Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools, the Quiraing. Realizing that doesn’t make it any less annoying that you and literally everyone’s brother are trampling along to see a famous rock structure and not one bit of it feels like it should.
When you look at pictures of Skye, it looks so unspoiled, unpopulated, “unruined”. Unless you’re visiting during the off season, those remote-looking images are straight up false advertisement. It’s hard to take in and truly appreciate the raw natural beauty of the Quiraing when you’re fighting with hordes of tourists with their selfie sticks.
There were quite a few times we drove by beautiful waterfalls or odd-shaped alien formations and didn’t stop because the area would be literally crawling with people.
My favorite waterfall was this one…
…because strangely, we were alone on the road, and there was not a single person for as far as the eye could see. We barely caught a glimpse of the waterfall as we passed, so we stopped so I could run back to take a picture. As I was heading back towards the waterfall, the only sound I could hear was the sound of rushing water and just the wildness that Skye is when it isn’t overrun by people. It was my favorite moment, hands down.
Alone on the road with this made me feel so completely in Scotland.
The Lack of Amenities
The bladder is a sympathetic organ. It feels bad for you when there are no bathrooms anywhere to be found. So, to show how sorry it is, it makes you need to go to the bathroom far more often than is even humanly possible. The bladder is also a stupid asshole.
You know who else is a stupid asshole? The Isle of Skye.
Ya’ll, there are literally no public toilets on the entirety of the whole damn island. Maybe that’s an exaggeration as we didn’t explore every square inch, but where we did go, we didn’t see one. Not a one.
What is the result when a council/area/agency fails to provide public restrooms at popular tourist sites?
Well, let me fucking tell you.
TOILET PAPER EVERYWHERE. EVERYWHERE.
You have no idea the amount of stress I had knowing the bathrooms would be few and far between. And, that wherever I’d find to “wee” behind a bush, there’d already be toilet paper and I DON’T EVEN WANT TO THINK WHAT ELSE.
It was gross. Inexcusable. And, exactly what happens when a place is perfectly happy taking tourists’ money but can’t be bothered to provide sanitary ways to relieve oneself.
I’m just glad that one of my fears- having an attack of the travel trickle in the middle of nowhere- was never realized, because I really didn’t want that to be the highlight of my time on Skye.
The Locals Who Are Jerks
When we arrived in Portree on our first night, it was a really busy Saturday evening. The tiny Co-Op grocery store was a happening place, as everyone was trying to get their provisions for the evening. There is next to no parking in Portree, but we somehow lucked out with a spot directly in front of the store. In case we needed to move the car for some reason, my aunt and uncle stayed in the car and my mom and I went into the store.
As we were looking for a handful of basic groceries, my aunt was approached by a woman who ever so nicely (that’s sarcasm) told her she couldn’t park in the spot we were in all night. My aunt said something like, “We weren’t planning on staying in the grocery store all night, but thanks…”
This woman then proceeded to tell her how annoying tourists are and how she can’t stand them.
She said this to a person who is obviously not a Skye local, but a fucking tourist.
Our first introduction to the Isle of Skye was a woman who told us how much she hated us.
There were a few people who were kind and accommodating, but for the most part, the people we encountered on the Isle of Skye weren’t especially nice.
Even worse, we were told that the general consensus is that tourists suck and that fixing the roads or the lack of amenities is totally not worth it, but the money they get from the hated tourists? They’re cool with that.
Look, I get it. Tourists can suck. Especially the ones who push you out of the way so they can take 18 different selfies in front of whatever isn’t quite as cool as they are. If you live in a touristy town, hordes of tourists invading your area can get old pretty fast, but being rude isn’t going to make them go away.
What took away some of the sting of being treated like an invasive species was getting to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Lorna, from Gin & Lemonade.
Her and her hubby and darling daughter were so accommodating, kind, and an immense treat to spend time with. Because of them, I’ll always love Skye and when I think of my time there, I’ll feel a connection that can’t just be made by merely seeing and visiting, but by experiencing and truly getting to know the good that exists there.
MASSIVE love to these people.
If you’re reading this and you’re a Skye local and you take offense, take it up with the lady who stands outside the Bank Street Co-Op-the one who warmly welcomes your guests.
In case you’re new here or have been on a blogging hiatus like me, you know I went on a pretty epic trip this summer.
I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Yes, bitch, we know. Shut up about it already.”
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ya’ll are gonna be hearing a lot about it in the coming months. Sorry not sorry.
I went to Amsterdam, Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. In that order. It was amazing and I’m still coming down from the cherry Bakewell tart high.
I have a journal *almost* filled to the brink with what we did every day and a page in my Notes with random observations, delicious food I didn’t want to forget I ate (as if) and funny tales of tonight-we-aren’t-gonna-drink-wine-again fails.
I’m not going to post in order of what event happened first. Whatever I’m inspired to write about will be written about first. I’m not a very organized writer at all. So, bear with me.
First up, hopefully arriving in your inbox and/or reader on Tuesday or Thursday, is a post about my experience on the Isle of Skye. Prepare yourselves, this won’t be just another sunshine and unicorn farts Pinterest post on Skye that just skims over what to expect. It’s about to get real up in here (Toilet paper and goats in the road and people everywhere, OH MY).
You thought this would be a real post, didn’t you? I’m such a fucking disappointment. Or, a tease. Sorry.
Before I leave, here’s my favorite picture I took while on Skye. I don’t want you thinking I didn’t like it or anything…
The Quiraing. Impossibly beautiful.
See ya’ll on Tuesday…or Thursday!
OK. So, global warming didn’t really ruin my trip, but it definitely whooped my ass pretty good and hard.
Hiding from the sun at Roche Abbey.
I got back from my five-week-long trip last Friday and my brain is just now starting to function again. I felt pretty discombobulated and spacey for several days after being awake for 24+ hours as I crossed four time zones on my long trip home.
I completely blanked on my dentist appointment the other day that I had rescheduled twice (currently looking for a new dentist, because I can’t show my face there now) and I’ve woken up every morning at 3 AM ready to rock and roll. Jet lag is real.
Or, maybe I had heat stroke and it’s still affecting my brain?
Yes, heat stroke.
You might not be aware, but the U.K. (and Ireland and probably most of Europe) is having a heat wave of epic proportions right now. We touched down right in the middle of this insanity.
I was not fully prepared.
I packed layers. I packed sweaters. A knit hat. Scarves. Long sleeves. A fucking coat.
We had a few glorious days in Scotland where a sweater and a coat was necessary. After that, Mother Nature said a big “Eff you” to my plans of having a lovely, cool, “typical” British summer.
The kind of summer where I get to wear layers to cover my never-ready-for-summer-body is precisely the kind of summer I want to have. (Edinburgh Castle)
There were a couple of days on the Isle of Skye when it was so chilly, I couldn’t get warm and it was everything I hoped it’d be.
(The Skye Museum of Island Life)
Crazily, it never reached higher than 85 degrees, but it felt like it was way hotter. Way.
WANT TO KNOW WHY?
1. It was pretty humid and humidity makes things that much more awesome.
Where I live, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach triple digits in the summer. It blows. I hate the heat. I hate the heat even more than I hate low carb diets. It’s that serious. However, if I had to choose my heat, I’d choose dry heat a million times over humidity. 77 and humid feels like dying a slow death on the surface of the sun.
2. There was no AC in most places. I repeat: NO AIR CONDITIONING (this included no trace of a fan anywhere).
When the weather normally only gets uncomfortable for a couple times a year, it’s not smart to invest in an air conditioning system. I get it. I was prepared for the no AC thing, because it wasn’t my first time in the U.K. I could have handled the odd couple of days of uncomfortable heat, but it was hot LIKE EVERYDAY.
It wouldn’t have been too horrible, but the places we lived in for up to a week had nothing to move the hot air around with. When you only have three pairs of pants that you plan on wearing more than once, it kind of sucks that you have swamp ass from sun up to sun down.
3. HEAVY DUVETS EVERYWHERE
So, it was hot. It wasn’t the end of the world. We were on a dream trip and we enjoyed every sweaty moment of it. I soon got used to feeling damp on every inch of my body, but what I never got used to was the lack of a certain essential element of American bedding- the top sheet (also referred to as a flat sheet).
Had it not been hot and muggy most nights, a heavy duvet wouldn’t have been a problem at all. However, when you’re a freak about your bedding and you have to be covered with something, the lack of a thin, cool flat sheet was really fucking terrible.
I’m sorry to every owner of every bed we slept in. The smell will probably never come out.
The one night my mom and I thought we were smart and took the cover off the duvets and just slept with the covers, it got really cold. Of-fucking-course.
So, that’s how global warming ruined my ideal British summer. Is there somewhere I can send my complaint to?
I am so excited to be back (well, actually, I’m really missing proper scones with clotted cream and jam, British pints, Mr. Kipling Bakewell Tarts, M&S Percy gum, and English mustard and ham crisps, but I’m dealing) and I’m ready to share all about our trip of a lifetime.
Check back each week for another travel satire post!
This is a satirical post, but global warming is real and it’s happening, ya’ll. When we were in Dublin, the server at a pub we went to said Ireland was on a 40-day no rain streak and he had never seen so many days without rain. This broke my heart, because what makes Ireland beautiful is the presence of rain-lots of it.
I know I’ll get some comments about global warming. I’m really not up for a debate on something that has tons of scientific evidence backing it up. If you do want to leave me a comment, please let me know what you think about this warm (hot) weather in Britain and elsewhere (if it applies). Or, tell me about a time you had some surprise weather on a trip.
Look at how fancy pants I am with my super cool post title in, not one language, but two.
Fancy like this
Bonus points if you can tell me what two languages and what it says. I’m really counting on Google Translate for not messing this up and making me look like an idiot.
So, yeah, I’m leaving on a jet plane. It’s possible that while you’re reading this, I’m on a plane, squeezing the armrests as if that will somehow help steer the plane in any direction that will get us to our destination in one piece. I’m not a good flyer (sorry for the nervous farts).
So, yeah, I’ll be out of the country for a little more than five weeks.
This means I will, likely, not have time to read, comment on, or like your blog posts. I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises.
I might also not have much time to post, other than updates here and there.
So hang in there, don’t give up on me, and wish me luck in returning safely, ready to blog about my adventures.
Eight years ago, I took my first trip to the British Isles. It was a graduation gift from my parents (More like a graduation incentive–my mom begged me to finally graduate and going on an-all-expenses-paid trip was my motivation. You can bet your ass I made school my bitch after hearing I’d be sent across the pond after receiving my Bachelor’s).
The fact that my parents literally wrote me a $5000 check (that I had to pry out of my dad’s hands) to have the trip of a lifetime is something I can never adequately thank them enough for. It was a life-altering experience that I relive in my heart time and time again.
Now, forty five years after my mother went to England, herself, for the first time, she gets to go again. We get to go together.
I’m fully expecting a lot of laughs, maybe some tears, and for sure, some annoyances, but I only wish for this trip to be an experience we recall fondly for years to come.
In honor of my last trip, and in excitement and anticipation for the one coming up, I’m sharing some of my favorite pictures from The British Isles 2010.
Be aware that I’m not a photographer in the least, and my photos were taken with a $100 pink Samsung digital camera.
Some will be terrible. A few will be blurry. More than a couple will have random people or strange angles. None have filters. I also took these from my Facebook, so they’ll be terrible quality. But, aren’t semi-terrible photos all part of the fun?
Buckle your seatbelts, baby! Here we go!
Hands down, the coolest plane picture I’ve ever taken. I think this is the southern-most tip of Greenland.
A view of London from the window (that didn’t have a screen) of our hotel room. We stayed in Earl’s Court, which is a gorgeous district in Kensington.
Our hotel in London. It was definitely not a Marriott, but it was perfection.
Our London neighborhood. Those row houses, though.
I still crave Nando’s, and who knew you needed sunscreen in England??
This Maida Vale pub just screamed England to me. It was here we found out what Russel Brand meant when he sang, “Will you come for my bangers, my beans and mash”. Or, maybe he means something else.
I distinctly remember this was the moment I almost pooped my pants. I also recall thinking, “This is how we die.”
We took the train from Birmingham to Coventry, because driving was a big “NOPE” (I eventually got brave and became one of the most proficient American drivers the British Isles has ever had the good fortune to host). This is Coventry Cathedral. It was hauntingly beautiful.
Did ya’ll know Lady Godiva is one of my ancestors? It’s true. I was so excited to visit her statue, but, sadly…
…it’s not quite as grand as Primark.
Wait, y’all have dollar stores too, but everything is a pound (which is like a dollar, but not)? Mind blown.
British motorway rest stops are like freaking palaces!
The Conwy Castle ruins in Wales was my favorite castle. We were there, exploring, for hours.
The flowers growing out of the castle walls were almost too quaint.
I mean, just look at this!
Who knew one could find palm trees in Britain? Llandudno was exquisite.
WTF? I ate one. That’ll show them.
This was our one splurge stay. This is the Radisson Blu in Dublin. The grounds were my favorite part. This is where we discovered that Ireland’s air conditioning is not like “our” air conditioning. Hot.as.balls.
Kilkenny was quaint af. We wanted to stay at this hotel. It was way out of our budget, so the Pembroke Hotel was the lucky winner of hosting us for our barf-tastic wild Irish night.
TOO MUCH PRETTY
Y’all think this person likes Elvis?
It’s almost just as romantic as Italy. Except they were laying on the concrete in a pretty sketchy part of town outside an apartment building. Young love.
But, someone left kegs there. I found this way funnier than it really was.
Blarney Castle was awesome. I didn’t kiss the Blarney Stone, because Rick Steves said I’d get the herp if I did.
Seriously, I felt like I was on another planet while walking the grounds at Blarney Castle. It was otherworldly GORGEOUS.
The drive to Dingle Town, while poop-your-pants-scary was stunningly beautiful at the same time. It was a conflicting feeling.
Dingle Town! I couldn’t even with the adorableness!
I’ve never seen so much green.
Galway was a lively city full of sounds, smells and so many people. The energy was palpable.
Galway also has weird af people who put their gum on a public railing, that is literally right next people playing Scrabble, to eat their chips. She then just left it there.
Kinlay Hostel in Galway was our first dorm-style hostel and the entire night I was literally sweating profusely from the fear that people would come into our room and I’d have to share a room with…STRANGERS. No one came. THANK GOD.
Some ruins and a rainbow effect. No big
Some more ruins and some dark, foreboding clouds. This is like travel picture porn to me.
Ever been to Newgrange? They are prehistoric mounds that are older than the pyramids. Anyone else use the Egyptian pyramids as a gauge for how old something is?
A super narrow alley in Edinburgh we named “Stab Alley”. Not exactly sure why.
Edinburgh was my favorite. I have this one in black and white on my wall. Love.
Edinburgh Castle was too much. Too.much.
The views from the castle are AMAZING AF. Scotland is just the absolute best.
You never know who you’ll find on the streets of Edinburgh.
Loch Ness, my love. TOO BEAUTIFUL. Too.freaking.beautiful.
This path cutting through these delicate wildflowers led to the banks of Loch Ness. It was MAGICAL.
No words needed. Those are words, but, you know what I mean.
I could have stayed on the banks of this river in Inverness FOREVER.
This was taken somewhere between Inverness and Edinburgh. I didn’t realize Scotland was so green.
This was taken from Oxford Castle. Oh, England. You hurt my heart. You’re just too beautiful
Here I am in the haunted Oxford Castle. What haunts me to this day is how I thought I was fat. I wish I were as fat as I was when I thought I was fat, cuz, honey, now I’m fat.
The winding streets of Oxford. I felt studious and smart af in Oxford.
Oh my (said in a George Takei voice).
The River Thames. Le sigh.
The River Hotel was, bar none, the most *interesting* hotels we stayed at. There was the case of the stubborn pube (it was sitting there, on the bathroom floor waiting for us when we checked in and still there after the bathroom was “cleaned”). Then there was the fact every surface in the room had, at least, an inch of dust. Of course, I can’t forget the old lady receptionist who was meaner than a dog shitting tacks. And, of course that we were put in the Annexe, where all of the Americans and other unfavorables get a room. What a trip.
I was speechless the entire time we toured Westminster Abbey. If walls could talk.
When I first saw Big Ben, I knew I was finally in London (This is confusing as my pictures go in order, and I, obviously, was already in London. We started and ended in London. My second set of Big Ben pictures was much better than the ones I took three weeks prior, when I was still a London newbie).
Rick Steves told us not to waste our money on the London Eye, so we didn’t. I’m still not sure if I’m mad at Rick or not.
The only picture I got of the London Bridge.
I think this is Covent Garden. What I do know is we ate at a tiny Italian restaurant in this neighborhood. I had Chicken Carbonara. I never forget food.
One of my London “must dos” was to see a play at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. That was before a full day of walking. Also, before we realized that why our tickets were so cheap was because our “seats” were in the pit and we had to stand for all three hours of the play. Spoiler alert: we didn’t stay for the whole play.
Now I’m so excited for my trip and ya’ll are probably bored after looking through some random’s pictures.
So, tell me, what’s your favorite “take away” from a trip? Is it a souvenir, new knowledge, pictures, or something else? Tell me in the comments!
Want to hear something certifiably insane? It’s less than one month until my big trip this summer and I’m obsessing over every conceivable eventuality. I’m not 100% crazy, so in between night sweats and uncontrollable fingernail biting, I’m daydreaming of the lush English countryside and some Patat Frites with a massive dollop of mayonnaise in Amsterdam.
But, yeah, the majority of my headspace right now is straight up looney tunes. Here, have a little look-see:
What if I made a mistake and I can’t really afford this like at all?
Is five weeks an insane time to be away?
What if the plane crashes?
What if my baggage is lost forever and I forget emergency underwear in my carry on?
What if I forget my leg (mustache) shaver?
What if I can’t bring my leg (mustache) shaver on the plane?
Are we all, including our luggage, going to fit in the Vauxhall we’re renting?
What if the plane crashes?
What if all the clothes I’m planning on bringing look hideous on me?
What if I get diarrhea in the middle of the English countryside?
What if our houseboat in Amsterdam sinks in the night?
What if every one of the 3,492 times I looked at my passport expiration date, I looked at it wrong and it really is expired?
What if I get really bad gas on the plane?
What if I get a migraine or cramps right before going into Anne Frank’s house and I can’t fully appreciate the life-altering experience?
What if I can’t sleep on the plane?
What if one or more of our house-stays have bed bugs?
What if we all just want to kill each other?
What if I contract Ebola on the plane?
What if someone steals my phone and I can’t take pictures of the rest of the trip?
If you really want to enjoy your trip planning just like me, worry about every single inconsequential detail to the point of madness. Here’s how:
Step 1: Second Guess Every Choice
From plane ticket buyer’s remorse to vacation locale, second guessing every single choice you’ve made while planning your trip is a sure fire way to drive yourself to spend all of your saved trip money on drink. It’s not a successful vacation unless every single detail of it has been picked apart and turned inside out. It doesn’t say I’m-having-the-time-of-my-life-planning-my-dream-vacation like obsessively wondering how much you could have saved on your plane tickets had you booked a week later or earlier (or if you had booked on a Tuesday at 2 PM like every travel blog says to do) or compulsively checking for a better hotel after you’ve made non-refundable reservations.
Step 2: Procrastinate All Planning Tasks
When you have a lot to plan, your time would be much better spent binging on The Office (which you’ve watched in entirety 18 different times) or cleaning your oven. It’s not like planning for a trip isn’t fun, but it’s overwhelming af to compare train tickets with Easy Jet tickets or trying to figure out air travel time and time zones. Even worse is figuring out which historic pass covers which historical site you want to see, because, naturally, they don’t cover all of the places you want to see, so to make buying the pass cost effective, you need to figure out entrance fees for all of the 874 sites you want to see (because that’s some tedious shit, you just buy all of the passes and hope for the best). This is why travel agents are still a thing.
Step 3: Worry About Every Single Hypothetical Situation
Travel anxiety almost always stems from one of three major fears (in no particular order)-
- Plane, train or some other transportation freak accident/death
- Becoming ill due to sickness or food poisoning during a really inconvenient time (like in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in standstill traffic, for example)
- Losing or having your luggage, your camera/phone, money and/or an important document, like your passport stolen
These sound like pretty logical things to be concerned about and prepared for. Any savvy traveler would have procedures and plans in place to help minimize any of these things occurring (Well, except planning to avoid a fiery plane death. I don’t think there’s anything you, as a layperson, can do to influence fate like that. It there is, please message me with every single detail).
If you’re losing sleep over worrying if you’ll be suddenly struck with diarrhea on a crowded underground train or in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, so you start hoarding Imodium, you’re worrying about your trip the right way.
If you come across a story about a freak accident on a plane, so you google for more plane accidents that include the same keywords and suddenly it’s 2 AM and you’re in deep in some really serious conspiracy theories you found after digging through the deepest, most clandestine corners of the dark web, you’re basically winning at being the right kind of savvy traveler.
If you’ve Googled “can houseboats easily sink while you’re sleeping and you won’t know it”, you’re a downright pro.
If the majority of the items in your carry on bag are mini bottles of Lysol spray, travel Clorox wipes, a year’s worth of Airborne, and more than one surgical face mask, you’re basically the travel worrier god.
Traveling is exciting and so, so worrisome. Don’t forget the Xanax!
4. Obsess About Every Single Travel Purchase Decision
Do you like how I moved the text up so you could see Karl’s magnificent boots?
Its a big deal picking out something you need/want to use on your travels. One of these crucial purchases you will need to make is travel sandals (well, if you’re traveling somewhere warm, anyway). If you want comfort without Velcro and style without flat soles, prepare yourself to really go unhinged.
In order to properly stress yourself out during sandal shopping:
1. Ask for recommendations from people that you won’t listen to at all, but still waste everyone’s time, because it’s all part of the process.
2. Find one “comfort” pair of sandals that look stylish enough that are insanely expensive, but rationalize that your feet deserve better than $2 Old Navy flip flops.
3. When you receive your order of $800 sandals, go into a deep depression because they are just made of cheap plastic and are not, in fact, gold-plated.
4. Return the sandals by mail, which will include finding/buying a box that will fit the shoebox (because, naturally, you threw the box it was delivered in away), forgetting the return slip that needs to be placed in the box, and taking no less than two trips to UPS.
5. Buy the cheap pair of sandals you were going to get anyway.
6. Repeat above steps with LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE YOU BUY FOR THE TRIP.
The above steps can and will stress out even the most calm, savvy traveler. If the preparations are getting you down and you need an escape from the stress and you’re getting nowhere with your mantra of “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?”, try one of these handy ways to de-stress below:
1. Drink heavily.
2. Take a whole Xanax (halvesies are for wimps)
3. Inhale any available carb (cake is particularly medicinal)
4. Binge trashy reality TV (because basically any show on TLC will make things seem a lot brighter in your own world)
I hope you’re able to be all-consumed by every one of the minuscule details of your trip just like I am. It’s really the only way to “do” travel.
Trip anxiety is a real bitch, ain’t it? Obviously, this is a highly exaggerated account of my own trip worries and concerns, but I’d be lying if I said one or more of these thoughts haven’t raced through my head multiple times over the course of the last few months. If you really are anxious about your upcoming travels, talk it out with someone. Hell, message Fatty. We’ll talk it out. I’ve also found going on walks through my neighborhood, blasting music that gives me feels while I take a drive right after the sun sets, and funny dog videos helps me ease my anxiety. Travel is one of the greatest experiences in life, but only when you’re sane enough to appreciate it. Love and cupcakes.
OK, so it’s not quite a train wreck, per se, it’s just total and utter crappola.
I’ve been working on my latest travel post that’s supposed to be posted today for a couple days now, but it’s just shite. It doesn’t have that oomph, that pizzaz (or pizza, as my phone really wanted me to say).
Between my regular full time gig, my side hustle, trip planning, trying to keep up with the bare minimum in household duties, and a few scheduled naps here and there, tapping into the writing passion that usually makes the magic (or poop, depending on who you ask) happen has been tough.
So, I’m sorry to disappoint you, folks (I know you’ve all been waiting with bated breath), but my Travel Tuesday post is going to be a Travel Wednesday post this week. I know that doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it is what it is, que sera, sera and all that.
Until then, here’s an image that will give you a possible idea of what my travel post will be about (can you guess?):
In the comments, tell me where you’ve always wanted to travel to, because I totally need another reason to be distracted!
I’m using the word ‘fashion’ quite loosely here, because I
don’t think know for certain I’ve never been mistaken for that-girl-in-the-black-Lanvin-felt-hat-and-Burberry-scarf you once saw strolling the Rue de Rosiers in Paris (yes, I had to do a lengthy Google search for any recognizable designer brand names).
Don’t I look positively European here? Just kidding, that’s not me. I have ten more fat rolls on my back.
More likely, I’m the sweaty girl you saw once who tripped getting off the tube at Paddington Station in London with a Golden Nugget Casino baseball cap and a grease stain on her stretched out $10 Old Navy tank top.
It’s not like I don’t try. I don’t set out to pack for a trip with the end goal being “How to Look Like The Biggest American Slob, Hands Down”. It just happens, because:
1. How am I supposed to know what’s going to look good on my (likely bloated from too many foreign beers) untrustworthy body before the fact?
2. After months of deliberation, comfort sometimes wins against the but-that-fitted-dress-might-fit-when-I’m-on-another-continent-kinda-like-how-you-weigh-less-on-the-moon. And, because I’ve let comfort win, I’ve felt really underdressed at high tea in my zip up hoodie and stretched out boyfriend jeans.
3. Just as many times as comfort wins, so does completely idiotic clothing choices. I’ve spent far too many trips feeling like the biggest noob, because I chose the black and white polka dot platform wedges instead of a sensible flat with arch support and then I wonder why I have weak ankles and permanent gouge marks in my knees (heels and cobblestone are for professionals only).
Not a good choice
Is it possible to be comfortable and not look and feel like a slob monster?
Here are some of the tips I’ve learned the hard way. Let Fatty tell you what feels good and looks half alright on a trip.
Leggings Are LIFE
I know there are people who will disagree with my leggings stance. To those people, I say, “Have fun wearing unforgiving jeans on a 9 hour flight, suckas!” I actually love you, leggings haters and all, but for real, there ain’t nothing better than pants that feel like no pants. I mean, come on.
The best part about leggings is they can TOTALLY be dressed up or down (obviously). With the right shirt (long enough to cover your bits, people!), maybe some interesting layering (a nice chambray, perhaps?), a fun scarf, and, dependent on weather – a nice flat, slip on, boot, or sandal, you have a stylish and comfy-even after eating two meals worth of tapas- ensemble.
I mean, HELLO! I’d never be able to do this without leggings.
Here are some other times you’re gonna feel glad you chose leggings:
- After too many ciders or beers. A bloated belly is much happier in stretchy pants
- During the after-travel-diarrhea-ballooning of your belly
- When your damn pants won’t button because you’ve sampled too much of the local flavor
- ANY TIME
If by ‘sometimes’, he means ‘every time’, by ‘man’, he means ERRYBODY and by ‘room’, he means ‘everywhere’, then, YUP.
(THAT WAS WAY TOO MANY COMMAS. HELP.)
As if there needed to be another reason for leggings: JUST IMAGINE HOW MANY WILL FIT IN YOUR SUITCASE.
When you choose leggings, you choose the best of what life has to offer- not having to realize you’ve gained 20 pounds on your trip.
Shoes: Comfort Should Reign Supreme (But That Doesn’t Mean You Gotta Go Full Granny*)
I once walked from Earls Court to the City of Westminster and then walked all over the best parts of touristy London for two hours in Converse. My feet were so pissed at me, they didn’t fully recover for days. Repeat after me: Converse are not good for walking long distances if you have anything but perfect feet. Sure, I looked super cute, but what does that matter when your feet can’t even the next day?
Maybe you’re one of the lucky assholes who can comfortably wear shoes with no arch support and zero cushion, but I’m, for sure, gonna leave my Converse at home on my next trip.
I’m constantly trying to marry comfort with style. And, by style, I mean if I could see my great aunt wearing them, they aren’t my kind of style. No offense, Aunt Mabel, we are just in completely different style eras. I’m sure when I’m your age, I’ll be wearing Velcro Hush Puppies, too.
I’ve just bought some walking shoes that I feel are pretty on par with what I feel will look good with most of my clothing, while at the same time, won’t have my feet screaming in protest. Here are the shoes I just bought for my upcoming trip:
I’m super excited about these. They totally don’t look like Dr. Scholl’s, but I know they’ll have my back (literally).
I also purchased these super lightweight Adidas walking shoes for the days we are going to hardcore walk.
I’m still deciding how best to couple style with comfort in a sandal. This is proving a daunting task.
I can’t tell you how many times a good scarf has saved me from feeling and looking like a total boob. Not only do scarves jazz up a rather neutral, but easy to pack color scheme, they can do so many other things.
- Be used as a blanket on a chilly plane (make sure you have a pashmina-sized scarf. I’m pretty sure a silk neckerchief won’t do the trick)
- Be tied together to form an escape rope out of your hotel window (actually, please don’t do that. You’ll probably die)
- Be used to wrap up and pack delicate had-to-have souvenirs in your suitcase
- Camouflage those pesky chin or lip hairs that can crop up while on a 12 hour flight (you totally won’t look weird with a scarf tied around your face if it’s a Tory Burch)
- Double as a bandana on those really terrible high-humidity-hair-days (but, I can’t guarantee you won’t look like Captain Jack Sparrow)
If you really want, you can buy this here
I know next to nothing about fabrics. I’m the kind of person who completely wrecks delicate fabrics by ironing them on the setting for cotton (hey, at least I was ironing).
So, I’m not the person to really be advising people on what kinds of clothing, in terms of fabrics, to pack for their trip. All I know is what I’ve experienced.
I rarely, which means next to never, travel in the winter, so the only weather I’m familiar with is hot-as-balls weather. If you also travel in the summer and you also are a sweaty sloth like me STAY AWAY FROM SYNTHETIC FABRICS.
I don’t know what it is, but when I sweat in anything but cotton, IT NASTY.
So, if you’re planning on wearing clothing more than once before washing or your shirt needs to last longer than your two hour hop-on-hop-off bus tour, maybe wear cotton or linen. These fabrics don’t dry as quickly, but at least you won’t be the smelly one who Muffy and Farrah talk about the rest of their trip.
So, I hope this has either been helpful, mildly entertaining or it kept you from having to do some really crappy task.
Until next time!
*I am not a granny-style-hater. I love grannies and their adorable linty sweaters.
Fatty McCupcakes has been nominated in the Funniest Blogger category for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. If this gave you a chuckle, I’d really appreciate the love! You can vote HERE! Thank you, and as Leslie Knope would say, “I love you and I like you.”
On the same trip I’ve referenced a million times (because it was the only overseas trip I’ve ever gone on), we took the train only a handful of times. For the majority of our trip, we had a car, but we weren’t crazy enough to drive in London, so we took the train to and from Oxford when we didn’t have our car.
The train trip to Oxford from London was so pleasant. Idyllic even. The train was barely at half capacity, and we were seated across from a friendly couple from Denmark. We had a great time chatting and it made the trip really quick and painless.
The train from Oxford to London was a whole other story.
The train station in Oxford was balls to the walls insanity. It was packed. There wasn’t one seat to sit in and if I’m remembering correctly, you had to pay to use the restrooms. It was not my favorite.
When we finally got onto the train, we saw that, just like the station, it was packed.
I had booked our seats in advance and upon seeing the Mad Max situation that was our train, I was pretty grateful for my forward thinking.
However, when we had finally clawed our way to our seats, dragging our bags with us as there was no more room in the baggage compartment, we saw that an older couple was in our seats.
They were adorable. I mean, gray hair perfectly coiffed, matching linty sweaters, and they totally had Kleenex up their sleeves for later. They were the epitome of what every loving grandparent has ever looked like since the beginning of time. Well, ever since easy wear sweaters came into fashion.
We were in a real conundrum. We had two choices: Kindly ask the couple to move or schlepp ourselves and our bags all over the train looking for two empty seats that didn’t exist.
Even worse, there were people behind us trying to get by and there was nowhere to sidle over to as we discussed our game plan. It was act or be eaten by the angry, over-it people lining up behind us.
“OMG. What do we do?” I asked with a deer-in-headlights look on my face.
“I don’t know! What do we do?” Answered Friend, looking pretty freaked himself.
“I don’t know. What should we do?” I repeated with more desperation in my voice.
From somewhere nearby came a voice that said, “If there are people in your seats, bloody well tell them to get out of them!”
We both looked at each other like, “OH GAWD”.
“OK. Go tell them. It’s your turn to do something embarrassing, ” I asserted (It was me who had to ask the cop in Blackpool for directions).
“No way. You’re closer and I don’t want to be an asshole. Look at them. They are Mr. and, the less well known, Mrs. Rogers!” He exclaimed.
“But, I was the one who had to go out of my way to reserve seats so that we would be sure to have seats. It’s your turn.” I proclaimed.
Another phantom voice rang out, “OMG. Sit or MOVE!”
“I’ll just go sit on my luggage by the door,” decided Friend.
Out of nowhere, a voice again, “You can’t do that. You’ll get caught and told to find a seat.”
The people behind us were, at this point, ready to murder us.
It looked like we really had no other viable option as we were blocking the aisle and the man to my left had had enough of having the side of his face smashed into the ten-days-not-washed ass of my jeans.
Just like always I had to be the adult in the situation.
I sheepishly cleared my throat and tapped the woman, who looked just like my grandmother, on her shoulder, prepared to be forever cursed by karma.
They ended up being really sweet, which only made things TEN MILLION TIMES WORSE.
I still, to this day, think of them and hope they found a seat or someone who wasn’t as big of a cunt as my friend and I offered their seats to them.
DON’T HATE ME. I WAS A TRAIN VIRGIN UNDER PRESSURE.
While I was majorly feeling the effects of being a terrible person, my friend seemed pretty lost in his thoughts, too.
Once we were situated, the only place left to put our bags was right next to the exit as this was as close to the baggage compartment as physically possible.
Instead of worrying about what an asshole he was for making me kick grandma and grandpa out of their seats, he was more concerned for our luggage.
“Look at our luggage. The next time the door opens, they’ll all go tumbling out. Just watch.” He ruminated.
“Mmmhmm,” I was too wrapped up in silently chastising myself.
“OK. I’m going to go stand by our luggage. I can’t take the stress anymore,” Friend said, throughly wrought with worry.
I didn’t even care about my luggage, because kicks-old-people-out-of-train-seats people don’t deserve luggage.
“I’m gonna do it,” he said again.
“You’ll get in trouble by the train police, but have at it, dude,” I said totally not caring.
For the first time in my life EVER, I was not the one who was worrying and obsessing.
It felt amazing.
I didn’t give two shits if my luggage full of dirty underwear got kicked out of the train or stolen by someone who would be very, very disappointed by my Target-special clothing.
My friend piled up our luggage, biggest to smallest and leaned on them the whole way to London. If someone walked by, he’d hug his body closer to the tower of American Tourister like he was guarding the secret to the afterlife in between his barf-stained jeans (hang tight for that post) and his questionably clean socks.
When we were nearing Paddington Station, he sidled up to me as I was peacefully resting my eyes (I’d finally accepted my dishonorable deed as a necessary evil of train travel, because the mean train people made me), and whispered in my ear, “I have an idea.”
I almost jumped clean out of my stretched-from-too-many-Magnum-bars-and-cheese-and-tomato-sandwiches skin.
“WTF is wrong with you? Only creeps whisper in people’s ears while they’re resting on trains minding their own business,” I hissed.
My comment didn’t faze him.
“I know how we can both get ourselves and our luggage off the train in one piece.”
“Kinda like how we got on?” I didn’t understand why he thought this needed a game plan. We’d trip over our luggage and our feet like we had getting on like total tourists. Duh.
“No. It’s genius. First, I’ll take my big bag-that’s the size of your small bag, by the way, and your big bag-the one I vehemently swore I’d never help you carry, because you just keep cramming new stuff into it and it already weighs more than a standard-sized car. Then, you’ll grab my small bag and your small-not really small, though, bag and we will all get off this god-forsaken train together,” he said resolutely, but with a noticeably twitching eye.
The rest of the ten or so minutes of the train ride, he kept pantomiming, with overly expressive eyes and wild arm movements, how this “genius” plan of his was going to look. He legit looked like that crazy person every train has.
Someone even asked, “Who the fuck is that idiot gesturing to? Do you think he’s dangerous? Should we be worried?”
I just sat back and reveled in not being the worried, crazy one for once.
We did get ourselves and our luggage off the train, but I almost didn’t “mind the gap” and our attempt to not look too much like tourists, was wrecked by yours truly.
Looking a lot less psycho-on-a-train
Looking like someone who is happy to not be on a train with a psycho
*I’m not some asshole who posts embarrassing photos of others for my own selfish gain. I was given express permission** to share any photo and/or embarrassing story, because friend-in-story would “probably find it funny too”. That’s a pretty solid assurance if I ever heard one.
**For real, I really have permission!