Category Archives: Home Life

Bags are packed

‘It is wise never to travel unprovided with a small flask of brandy and water,’ wrote Lillias Campbell Davidson in her 1889 guide Hints to Lady Travellers at Home and Abroad. Similar essentials, advised Davidson, include ‘a tiny case of court plaster, a tiny case of needles, a map and road book, some lighter literature, air cushions, suitably covered with chintz or satin, for putting under the feet, and for nervous invalids, the addition of another cushion to sit upon is a still further prevention of headache and that shattering of the nerves which make the mere thought of a journey by rail or carriage a nightmare to the imagination.’

No satin cushions for this lady traveller.

Items currently stuffed in my backpack include sleeping bag liner, mozzie net and spray, torch, padlocks, spork, pack of cards, flip flops… The only toiletries I’m bringing are a pack of wet wipes, suncream and multi-purpose soap – and no make up whatsoever. In fact my current face of foundation, bronzer, blusher, eyeshadow, liquid eyeliner and mascara is the last makeup I’ll be wearing for a fair few months. Liberation!

Have rounded off a great summer at home with one of Mum’s Sunday lunches, something which I always miss when I’m away from home. Now of to the pub to say bye to friends before we jet off tomorrow evening. My next post will be from Hong Kong!

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One month to go

When I tell people that I’m going travelling with my brother, I expect one of two reactions: either encouraging head-nods and general enthusiasm, usually accompanied by sighs of “isn’t that nice that you two get along so well!”; or, more commonly, the person I’m talking to will look as if they are about to vomit. “I can’t think of anything worse.”

In just under a month’s time we’ll be heading to Southeast Asia. Matt’s just got into his uni of choice for 2013, and I graduated with a First having been chained to a library computer for the better part of a year. We’ve both wanted to take gap years for a while, so why not together? We’ll save money, visit the parts of the world we both want to see, and have a laugh- fortunately we get on quite well.

Having said that, the reactions are understandable- the thought of spending seven-odd months in the company of a sibling is enough to make anyone nauseous. Will those things that I find hilarious about my brother turn out to be headache-inducingly irritating? Will I inevitably lapse into the role of older sister, organising everything and enjoying nothing?

I have no idea how it’ll pan out. The gap year guidebooks don’t generally include a section on ‘travelling with siblings’…


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