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Last weekend was actually insane. I’ve just got back from hosting Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Adventure #4 in Cornwall UK and I am still on the most incredible high from it. WMGT adventures are up there with my absolute favourites and WMGT Cornwall was no exception.

If you’re sat wondering what on earth is Where’s Mollie Global Travellers? You can read more on my blog post here.

Adventure #4 was added to the 2018 calendar to celebrate one whole year since I started the WMGT family on Facebook and once again the atmosphere, interaction and feedback from the weekend has blown me away.

Oh the magic that happens when we come together and put our phones away for a while.

For this adventure I had the pleasure of Robyn by my side for work experience (Instagram @itsthelifeofrobyn). Cornwall was set to be Robyn’s first WMGT experience so I thought it would be lovely to ask her to share with you guys how the weekend unraveled and what being part of WMGT Cornwall meant to her. Alongside that, we’ve also put together a travel guide for you based on the adventures we went on, each of which are worth noting alone.

The credits for photography in this blog post go to Lydia Collins Photography.

Over to you Robyn…

Campfires, sunsets, lighthouse hikes and did someone say coasteering?

Hey guys!

I knew this trip would be life-changing. After finishing four days of work experience with WMGT, my love for adventure and new things has been completely reignited. WMGT allowed me to let down boundaries and connect with people who have the same passion and interests as me. The itineraries, curated by Mollie, are designed to encourage you to to disconnect from social media, embrace the fresh air and spark new friendships. They gives you time to truly get to know the person to your left whether that be on a hike or cuddled up beside a bonfire. We laughed, we danced, we bonded. But mostly, we arrived as strangers and left as a family.

Here’s a little video I made from my time at WMGT Cornwall…

WMGT- What its like to feel connection without wifi - YouTube

So what exactly did we get up to?

Firstly, where even is Cornwall?

Located along the south western tip of Great Britain, Cornwall is encapsulated by beautiful beach’s and surrounded by the vast Atlantic ocean. For nearly 300 miles the magnificent coastline wraps around the UK’s most westerly points. With its captivating fishing harbours, freshly baked Cornish pastries and dynamic surf spots, the plentiful opportunity that Cornwall offers up cannot go a miss!

Cornwall was the perfect place for WMGT adventure #4 and was living proof that beauty really is right on our doorstep (when the suns out) ;-).

Planning your trip to Cornwall:

Travelling to Cornwall by car:

From London: Drive along the M4 motorway from London and arrive in Cornwall in less than 5 hours.

From Manchester: Drive along the M6 motorway and exit onto the M5 to Exeter were you can finish your journey to the heart of Cornwall in under 6 hours on either the A30 or A38.

Travelling to Cornwall by train and coach:

Train services run frequently from London Paddington station. Coach times from London or Birmingham to the city of truro  takes 7-8 hours.

You can also find direct trains that run daily from Bristol to Cornwall.

Prices and times can be found here: nationalrail.co.uk

Travelling to Cornwall by air:

Cornwall airport in Newquay have daily flights from around the UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain. With additional seasonal routes, you can even fly from Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin and Alicante!

Our 4 day itinerary in Cornwall…

There is honestly so much to do in Cornwall. It very quickly becomes overwhelming when you start researching your trip. There are so many gorgeous coves, walks and activities to check out, so if you’re just heading down for a couple of days I would suggest not jam packing your itinerary with the whole of Cornwall. Perhaps stick to one area and leave room for the unexpected.

For WMGT adventure #4 we stayed around Padstow and Newquay but I know Mollie has done a 4 day roadtrip and a travel guide for the lower end of Cornwall (St.Ives and Truro end) took. You can see that blog post here.

Here’s a google map of where our WMGT weekend adventure took us…

Day 1.

Afternoon:

On day one of WMGT adventure #4, we arrived at YHA Treyarnon at 4pm after a 5 hour road trip from London. We parked up, emptied our backpacks and settled into our new home for the weekend.

YHA Treyarnon Hostel is perched right on a cliff top overlooking the rugged coastline of Treyarnon bay. With outdoor picnic bench’s and coastal walks at the door step, you are completely spoilt for location here.

This traditional hostel has over 68 beds including bunk beds and double beds, dining lounges and a self-catering kitchen. It also offers a camping site where you can rent bell tents and land pods.

Even if you don’t choose to stay at the hostel, the beach front cafe and restaurant is worth a visit. They even have live music on fridays from local talent.

Location for sat nav: YHA Treyarnon Bay, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8JR

By 5pm most of the Thursday arrivals had touched down and it was finally time to mingle.

Mollie had bought a WMGT beach volleyball kit and so we set up an epic game of volleyball down on Treyarnon Bay. So easy and so much fun! At 7:30 it was time for a group dinner at the hostel were we got  know everyone, relax and prepare for day 2’s adventures.

Day 2.

Morning:

Our first morning had us hike / meander along the coastal path from our hostel around to Trevose lighthouse via Constantine Bay and Booby’s Bay. We were out for around 2 hours in total and we were even lucky to spot some seals along the way near the lighthouse.

Once we got to the lighthouse hot chocolate was poured and we watched the seals while fuelling up on some custard cream biscuits.

Tip: Don’t forget a thermal flask and snacks for once you get to Trevose lighthouse. The view is epic and a hot chocolate will warm you right up!

Afternoon:

By afternoon we hopped in the car, took the scenic route and drove 20 minutes to explore the small little town of Padstow.

Padstow is a charming village known for its fishing ports and sandy beaches. We jumped right in and experienced the true Cornish countryside by indulging in some epic Cornish pasties and home-made fudge.

Top tip: The main carpark is pay and display so don’t forget some pocket change!

Top tip: Grab lunch at one of Rick Steins world famous fish restaurants. Fish and chips followed by a Cornish ice cream and a Rattler (Cornish cider) = the Padstow dream!

Location for sat nav: Padstow PL28 8AQ, UK

Evening:

We arrived back to the hostel for around 3pm by which point it was finally time to meet the rest of the WMGT family who were joining on package two. After dinner at the hostel we headed down to the beach, built a bonfire and introduced ourselves. We tucked into some s’mores and listened to campfire stories.

Tip: This is a great chance to get to know everyone so bring a pack of cards or have some ice-breaker games ready to go! Heads up is always a winner.

Day 3.

Morning:

Time to go coasteering! What’s coasteering I hear you ask? A unique and exciting adrenaline built experience which includes cliff jumping, coastal scaling and a little bit of swimming (floating). A pretty hands on activity and one that only one or two of the 50+ group has encountered prior to this weekend.

Located on Fistral beach, we met Nick and his fully trained team at Barefeet Coasteering who took us along one of the three optional routes. Just before jumping in, and after we had been kitted out with the appropriate wetsuits and safety gear, were taught all the skills and techniques you need to ensure a safe and memorable climb. Once the boring stuff was over, we explored our way along the coast, swimming through crystal blue water and climbing up coastal cliffs before leaping up to 30 feet into the sea. The sun was shining, the wetsuits were snug and the WMGT family vibes were in full swing.

Tip: Don’t forget your swimsuit, a towel and old trainers. You can also rent wetsuit boots and gloves for £5. When you’re finished grab a token at beach rental and jump into a one of the beach showers! Be ready for a quick one though its only 3 minutes.

What an unforgettable experience!

Location for sat nav: 5 Headland Rd, Newquay TR7 1HW, UK. The best car park is opposite the Atlantic Hotel it 30 seconds walk away.

After coasteering, we grabbed a pizza and beer at Fistral Beach Bar. If pizza isn’t your thing there is plenty of food options to suit everyone and if the sun is shining – you strike gold at this location.

After an adventure packed day, we sat outside on the decking with our drinks and toasted to fears conquered, friendships made and beautiful english weather!

Afternoon:

After a busy morning we headed back to YHA Treyarnon and freshened up for dinner.

Of course we couldn’t resist another bonfire. We were so lucky to experience one of the most beautiful sunsets on this evening. We cuddled around the fire, toasted marshmallows and danced the night away. It was a time were we truly got to embrace and soak up the new life-long friendships that had been made.

Evening:

Time for the WMGT travel quiz! We all grabbed a drink at the bar in the hostel, munched down on some yummy WMGT cupcakes and celebrated an amazing weekend.

Day 4.

Morning :

Waking up on the last morning felt so surreal.  We repacked our bags and got ready to check out. We kicked off the day with a group breakfast and an optional volleyball session on the beach.

Once packed and ready to go, we hit the road and travelled to another beautiful corner of Cornwall- Tintagel. Tintagel is located along the coastline between Padstow and Bude. Here there are plenty of breath taking hikes suitable for all ages.

One of the main features in this gorgeous cornish town is Tintagel Castle (a national heritage site that costs £9.50 for adults, £8.60 concessions to enter).

Top tip: If you take the coastal path south here you can view the castle from afar for free.

Not sure how much hiking you can take? All along the SW coastal path there are benches where you can enjoy the views while snacking on a pre-packed lunch. We parked up in the main Tintagel car park and then walked for an hour before turning around again. All the views.

Location for sat nav: : Tintagel Visitors Centre, Bossiney Road, Tintagel, PL34 0AA

Afternoon:

Once we finished the Sunday hike (our final group adventure) we cosied up in The Wootons Inn where Mollie had pre-ordered some homemade cakes and had both those and hot drinks waiting for us.

Ic can also highly recommend the tasty Sunday roast. It was the perfect final feast before the long drive home.

Once we refuelled on the Sunday lunch menu it was time for our final “see you later”. I refuse to call it a “goodbye” because in reality I plan on meeting these people again.  We even surprised Mollie with a special thank you card for all the hard work and effort that was put into making the weekend nothing short of amazing!!

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Are you heading out on an adventure and starting to feel the pre-travel nerves kick in as departure day approaches?

First of all – it’s normal!

Take a deep breath.

Travel usually means heading to a destination you haven’t been to before. So, along with the excitement of new experiences and memories right around the corner, travel can mean change and a step out of your comfort zone.

Of course it’s going to feel weird, but with unfamiliarity come tests.

With tests comes learning, and with learning – the development and progression of you as a person.

It’s a positive thing.

I find a lot of {my} nerves can be addressed in the preparation for the trip. A few things that help reduce my nerves / stress and that you should definitely consider are:

  • Getting visas + vaccinations sorted in advance

If you leave visas too late, you simply won’t be able to get them and your trip will… be aborted. Processing times and application requirements vary and so it’s best to organise and apply for these AS SOON as you book your tickets. {Sometimes you can get fast processing done, but it comes with a price tag and… it’s unnecessary stress}. Vaccinations too can require courses to be given over a specific period of time, and if you don’t leave the nurses time to administer them… you won’t be protected.

  • Packing everything you need {and not leaving it ’til last minute… like I do}

This is my biggest downfall by far. I just can’t seem to pack until the pressure is ON. But the earlier you pack, the better, as you have time to get to the shops for anything you notice is missing before you leave. Plus, you can take stuff out you decide to be unnecessary, making you a more efficient packer. Realising the night before that you only have one pair of socks left and no thermal layers for a ski trip, is going to make things a little uneasy.

I have a hand luggage check list that I refer to every time I go away, so that I know I have everything with me to ease the plane journey and make it as comfortable as possible.

  • Planning your arrival

Arriving in a new country to unfamiliar surroundings, and more often than not a new language too, can be overwhelming. Combine that with jet lag and heavy bags… patience can be low. I always make sure I look in advance and take note of how I’m going to get from the airport to my chosen destination. As spontaneous as I like to be when I travel, I pretty much always book my first night in advance so that I can rest in assurance I will have a bed, which completely takes the pressure off.

And then there’s the goodbyes…

I have never been good at goodbyes.

Ever since I was tiny, goodbyes have always been emotional and at 22, having just said goodbye to embark on a 4 month solo travel adventure, I can confirm that I have not changed.

You’d think that after 12 months of travelling {pretty much every other week} with goodbyes flying left right and centre, that I’d be getting good at them!

I’d say that I’ve certainly developed independence when travelling, so I don’t miss home as much as I once did.

But home is what one associates with the location of friends, work and time most spent. And for me that has no specific geographic location, so there’s not so much of an adjustment to make when I leave these days.

Family. That’s the hardest part though, right? And it never gets any easier.

In fact, the older and wiser I’ve become, the worse it gets.

You start to fully realise the value of family and life.

Time with loved ones becomes precious.

There’s no escape route from emotion, and it’s not something you should try to do either.

Emotions make you human and they prove your ability to care, which is an amazing thing.

‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?’

So don’t try overcome emotion, just find ways to deal with it and don’t let it shadow your excitement too much.

Here are my goodbye thoughts and how I counteract them: What if someone I love gets ill whilst I’m away?

This is something that always crosses my mind when I leave.

But there are many things in life that ‘could’ happen, and if you spend your life not doing things because of this potential… you’ll never do anything.

Unfortunately things can go wrong, and sometimes they might but you’re only a plane ride away. If someone you care about is ill before you leave and deteriorates whilst you are away, then sometimes insurance won’t cover a flight home and that’s something you’ll have to consider. But if something was to happen unexpectedly, a lot of Travel Insurance will cover your flight home. Failing that, you can always purchase a flight home, or if you book through STA Travel you could consider a Multi Flex Pass.

What if I want to come home?

You know what? I love travel, but it’s not for everyone. It really isn’t.

For some, a couple of short breaks a year is all they need, and for others 6 months on the road only just begins to satisfy their wanderlust. We are all different and until you go travelling for the first time you won’t know how you’ll feel.

If you want to come home – you can. Travel teaches you a million things about yourself and let’s you wander into the unknown to see what you can handle. And if all you learn is that you love being home and extended travel is not for you – well then that’s a very valuable lesson to learn.

‘I’d rather have a life of ‘so whats’ than ‘what ifs.”

What if I get lonely?

Travelling on your own, or even with people, can of course get lonely at times. You have left your comfortable and familiar home surroundings to experience contrasts in culture, weather and people. This comes with unbelievable advantages, and whilst it can be tough, it’s nothing you can’t handle.

Solutions:

  • Check yourself into a hostel where you’re surrounded by other solo travellers in a similar position to you.
  • Take your mind off thinking too much. Indulge in an experience or some pamper time.
  • Source some busy surroundings where you can interact with people, like a local market.
  • Watch your favourite programme or FaceTime home – give yourself a shot of familiarity to soothe yourself.
  • Take a deep breath and listen to a soothing playlist

Don’t be hard on yourself; the best of us get lonely at times. It’s normal. Listen to your body and give yourself what you need.

Read my ‘Tips On Making Friends When Travelling Solo’ here

What if I’m doing the wrong thing?

There is NO wrong thing in life. The only wrong thing would be to not pursue a dream or a desire that is lurking within you. If you’re reading this and you’ve booked your trip, then something within you has been led to travel… right?

‘The only things you’ll regret in life are the chances you did not take.’

Travel for YOU. No one else.

If you want to do it – do it. If you don’t – don’t.

You can always change your mind along the way and you can always come home. I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t want to, but it’s comforting to know that you could.

Embrace your pre-travel nerves…

Go out there and live the life you’ve always imagined.

Remember…

Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there. Thank YOU guys for reading <3
Love as always + happy adventuring,
Mollie x

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me!

I can’t do this without you <3 Pin this for later…

The post Overcoming Pre-Travel Nerves + Goodbyes appeared first on Where's Mollie.

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Kindness has to be one of the most beautiful traits one can chose to adopt.

The smallest, most simple act of kindness can travel so very far.

Be it kindness, laughter or positivity, good vibes are contagious and the more you use them, the more you will see a direct increase of the positivity presence in your life.

So when DoubleTree by Hilton asked me to spread light on their ‘DoubleTree Effect’ campaign I jumped right on the bandwagon. They are pursuing a pay it forward movement; the idea that kindness generates more kindness.

Acts of kindness, love and selflessness are what makes the world go round and this crazy planet a better place.

These acts are so easy to create but also ones we, so often, forget to initiate.

When was the last time you offered the person next to you a chocolate from your bag of Minstrels? Or waited beyond the convenience of two seconds to hold the door open for someone? When was the last time you looked up from your phone, smiled at someone and said how lovely they look today?

We all know how good it feels to receive these acts of kindness and the positive effect it has in our day don’t we?

You know, that warm fuzzy feeling inside, when your faith in humanity and friendly people is restored and you suddenly remember that we’re all in this together.

Yeah that.

What does Kindness do?

According to a recent report, by the School of Life and DoubleTree by Hilton, it has been concluded that acts of kindness can improve relationships, productivity in the workplace, feeling of contentment and general positivity – all of which are easy to see why.

The people surveyed have also said that receiving kindness is more precious than receiving diamond jewellery, presents and cars. Whilst this may not the case for all, it really does show how valuable and powerful such {free} gestures can be.

Ones frequency of kind acts can always be increased, and in doing so will contribute directly to ones positive outlook on life. It’s a no brainer and an action that is both free and instantly rewarding.

Kindness is particularly important to me when I’m travelling.

Just recently I had a nightmare of a trip back from Nantucket where, due to a delay, my connecting flight from NYC to London was missed and then, due to limited hotel rooms and a broken promise… I was left to sleep {lie} on the airport floor to wait for the next flight to London.

It’s safe to say at this point I wasn’t in the best mood, but with a sore back, sleep deprived face and fed up energy fleeting from me – I continued to take my seat on the first plane out of NYC on the Sunday morning.

It was then, sat on the plane, that myself and the girl next to me (who looked like she’d had as rough a night as me) caught eye contact and with a smile she offered me a chewing gum from her packet.

I didn’t even want chewing gum and I actually had some of my own in my bag, but just the willingness of this girl to share, the thought she had spared for me and the simple human interaction she had instigated was enough to lift my spirits and make me smile back.

Kindness is an essential element in gracious and joyful living. It usually costs nothing to extend and when coupled with a smile, it can change a day or a life.

We shared stories of her adventures in NYC and of mine in Nantucket and the whole situation even made me want to share my salted caramel cookies with her later on in the flight (note: these are my absolute favourite and I don’t share lightly).

Not only was the kindness exactly what I needed, but it led to conversation, laughter and further interaction that now, in a world obsessed with technology, we often forget to engage in.

My nightmare journey suddenly didn’t feel so bad.

Kindness is magic, it’s free and it is ridiculously contagious…

It’s exactly the same for example, when someone insists on letting you go first in the Starbucks coffee queue or let’s you out at a T-junction.

It costs nothing, it deprives you of nothing and it leaves everyone involved with a smile and a warm feeling inside. Right?

Why is kindness so important when travelling?

When one is travelling… away from home comforts and familiar surroundings – kindness can be the missing piece of the adventure puzzle.

You never know who’s feeling homesick and who your kindness may comfort.

You never know who is sad and who the kindness may lift.

And you never know when YOU’RE going to need it.

Take it upon yourselves to hand it out and sprinkle kindness like glitter wherever and whenever possible.

Tell me… Has an act of kindness ever affected your travels and made your day take a U-turn? Thank YOU guys for reading <3
Love as always + happy adventuring,
Mollie x

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me!

I can’t do this without you <3

DoubleTree by Hilton pride themselves on the kindness they offer to guests in their hotels, from the warm chocolate chip cookie welcome, to their genuine staff. They’re there to make your stay as nice as they possibly can. It’s not just a promise, it’s just how they do things.

doubletree3.hilton.com

If this post has caught your attention and you’d love to read a bit more, you can catch the DoubleTree by Hilton Kindness Report here.

*This post was part of a sponsored campaign I have been working on with DoubleTree by Hilton {Sept 2016}. All opinions are 100% mine, and all photos and copy {barre some facts sourced from the Kindness Report} in this post have been curated by myself – Mollie.

The post How Kindness Can Transform Your Life – The DoubleTree Effect appeared first on Where's Mollie.

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Oh wow. Kiwi experience. Where do I even begin?

I have so many ridiculously special memories that stem from my choice to travel around New Zealand in your big green buses.

See all of my New Zealand blog posts and videos here

Sorry guys, got side tracked reminiscing there! Haha, back to business…

I first hopped aboard the famous green bus back in 2015 and went on to spend three weeks cruising and circulating the surreal offerings of the South Island, NZ. I always knew that uncovering just one of the islands on my trip wouldn’t suffice long term, but time had restricted my explorations. After the incredible trip I let my NZ wanderlust continue to grow from images on Pinterest back in the UK, until I was given an incredible opportunity to return to the land of the long white cloud by Tourism NZ in October 2016.

If any of you have been on the Kiwi Experience, I think you’ll agree when I say that it is impossible to deny the fun, adventurous and true grab-life-by-the-balls backpacker experience that the Kiwi Experience offers.

I really wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to backpackers solo, group or coupled that are heading out to New Zealand.

Wait wait… what IS the Kiwi Experience?

The Kiwi Experience is New Zealand’s original backpacker bus company and now boasts over 25 buses that roam continually (7 days a week) in the summer months through both the north and south island. In the winter the frequency of buses is slightly less but goes no lower than 3 times a week on the different routes. Kiwi experience allows you to hop on and hop off of different buses, allowing you to choose how long you spend in each location.

Note: From the day of activation your pass will be valid for 1 year and you will need to complete your route within that time.

Just to confirm… the Kiwi Experience is a HOP-ON-HOP-OFF bus service that will transport you to all the best places in New Zealand.

How does it work? How do you book on?

You simply buy a pass (see the different passes and routes available here), book your flight to where you’d like to join the bus, activate your pass for the day you arrive and eagerly await the meeting of your new adventure squad and bus driver.

Together you will cover the most popular destinations on the Kiwi map and you will complete them together. Each destination will bring you a choice of activities which you can then pay for and book on to, to enhance your experience. This is where your money goes… there are SO many insane activities and things to experience in NZ.

I have to note that some of the bus drivers actually MAKE the trips. They aren’t just bus drivers. They all under go pretty extensive training and double up as epic tour guides that inform you on all the history and knowledge of your surroundings, as you drive. Most of them have actually travelled a lot themselves and know exactly how to get the party started too… BONUS.

Important: You must be 18+ to climb aboard Kiwi Experience but there is no maximum age! (Most people are 18-30!)

Tip: Most people start their pass from Auckland or Christchurch, so if you can – do the same! Starting the journey together at the popular points will maximise the time you have with your crew! Trust me, you will be making bonds like no other and will not want to go your separate ways!

Read my tips on ‘How to budget for backpacking New Zealand’ here

WANT 10% DISCOUNT ON NZ CARS / CAMPERVANS / BUS PASSES?

Drop Sam an email on info@ratpacktravel.com quoting ‘MOLLIE10’ to receive the discount and begin your personalised travel service in New Zealand. View more details on the tours available on ratpacktravel.com.

Some of my location highlights from Kiwi experience in New Zealand…

Note: I’ve completed the whole of New Zealand with Kiwi Experience barre: Northland (because i did a self drive roadtrip see here), River Valley and Wellington!

Hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

See my guide to completing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing here

See my Tongariro photo diary here

Watch the full experience and come with my on the adventure here

The legend that is Queenstown

Black abyss caving adventure with the glow worms

See the tour details here

The $10 pizza and sunset cruise for Kiwi squad members in Taupo and the Skydive over the lake!

Click here to read my backpackers guide to Taupo

Is Kiwi Experience the transport for you?

To help you decide I’ve popped together the pros and cons from my two experiences…

PROS
  • The drives are incredible

As you’ll be a passenger you can snap snap snap away and truly lose yourself in your surroundings.

  • Group discounts on tours and activities

Because the Kiwi Experience are effectively making group bookings at every hostel and activity, you will benefit from the discount of them doing so and will often pay less than if you booked alone.

See an example of the activities on offer and the prices on my blog post here

  • You don’t have to do the driving

Distances between locations in New Zealand can be pretty length with some drives being 2-3 hours. Instead of arguing about who’s taking the wheel and who’s sleeping off last nights hangover, you have someone to do the driving for you!

  • You are guaranteed accommodation for the first night in each location (with some locations guaranteed 2/3 nights)

During peak season, popular hostels can get fully booked out and for a trip with a spontaneous nature, if you were travelling alone, this may leave you without a bed. With Kiwi Experience you know that if you’re on the bus you have a guaranteed bed available for you upon arrival.

  • You’ll never be alone

Whilst there are many spots within New Zealand that are filled with people, a lot of it is pretty rural and I for one would definitely prefer to travel New Zealand with friends if I was going for longer than a week. Kiwi Experience ensures you’re always with people which is certainly reassuring. Some of my favourite Kiwi memories were more about the people I was with, not where we were.

  • Everything is pretty much organised for you

For those of you heading out on your first adventure or for those you who’s strength don’t lie in organisation… Kiwi Experience have you covered. You’ll be driven to the correct places, advised on the best things to do and be given a million insider tips from the most knowledgeable people out there.

  • Great for solo travellers

So many people travel solo on the Kiwi Experience so you most certainly won’t be alone and you will immediately become part of one big family!

  • Groups can change and you can change groups

This can be seen as both a positive and a negative. Basically a lot of people will do the minimum route because they are restricted for time but some people will choose to stay in one of the locations longer. If that person is you, obviously your bus driver and your friends will move on to the next location and you will join a new bus passing through when you’re ready to leave. This can be good if you fancy meeting new people or didn’t quite gel with your initial crew.

  • You get the best advice and it’s free

Not only do you have the bus guides sharing their wealth of New Zealand knowledge with you but you will also have 30+ other travellers on hand to pass your their recommendations for New Zealand and beyond. Quite often people have come from Australia or are heading their after – as i’m sure you plan to. You will either have awesome advice or new travel buddies!

CONS
  • It can be a bit like a school trip structure wise

This is the biggest drawback for me but to be honest I think the advantages outweighs the cons overall. Sometimes you just want to have a lie in or explore at your own pace but with the Kiwi Experience you have to bear in mind that you are one of a big group and there isn’t the flexibility to tailor to everyones needs. The buses run on a schedule and you have to stick to it.

  • Sometimes it IS cheaper to book on your own

Even though you benefit from the group discount on accommodation, if you’re trying to save money wherever possible have a cheeky check online at the prices and of hostels nearby to see if you can get it cheaper. Saying that, you’ll probably want to stay with your new friends so the extra $2/3 dollar bill, i think, is worth it.

  • Sometimes you cannot get on a bus

This only really applies if you’re a last minute kinda guy. You’ll usually be fine but in peak seasons if you try and jump onto a bus leaving in the morning, in the morning, it might not be possible. This is when having some flexibility in your schedule is really valuable.

  • Little freedom to roam

If you stick to the minimum time on your route, the itinerary is wonderfully jam packed. This is a real good thing for those that need some assistance in planning and ensures you make the most out of your time, but for those of us more experienced travellers that want to go off and explore the hidden roads and paths – doing a roadtrip of your own may be more suited.

See all of my New Zealand blog posts and videos here

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What on earth IS Where’s Mollie Global Travellers? What is this group that I keep going on about? 

Though apparently there are thousands of people reading my blog and thousands more peering into my social media, I entered 2017 wanting to bring to life the connection we have made online, take it off of the screen and turn it into something tangible. Using all the knowledge I have gained and absorbed in my 3 years of near constant travel, I decided that this year I wanted to explore a less virtual approach to my influence and engage in more real life adventure. 

Cue… Where’s Mollie Global Travellers

Where’s Mollie Global Travellers is the latest arm to the Where’s Mollie brand. It’s a concept ignited by a random midnight thought I had on Easter Weekend 2016 and launched via a Facebook group minutes later.

Where’s Mollie Global Travellers is a platform accessible to anyone with a passion for travel and is a community based around a Facebook group.

Come and join the Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Facebook group here.

You can use this group to draw upon the expertise of other experienced travellers to give you first hand knowledge, helping to fill in the gaps within your travel research. Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Facebook group is a place to connect, to inspire, to get inspired and above all to get excited about the world that is out there waiting for you.

Note: I am also an active member of the Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Facebook group, overseeing the posts, conversations and providing guidance and advice wherever it is needed.

Though technology may be advancing by the minute, I feel that human connection and interaction is getting left behind and we are losing sight of some of the easiest, most simple and essential components of life. It is these components that are essential to good mental health and I am so passionate about bringing them back to the forefront of our living.

I want Where’s Mollie Global Travellers to be a breath of fresh air in a cloud of confusion, and I want it to re-ignite the fire between all of us.

I want to focus on building connections stronger than any WiFi signal out there.

By no means will I stop blogging, documenting or sharing my adventures with you all, but I feel moving additionally into events is now the most natural progression for me and is something I am very, very excited about.

Where’s Mollie Global Travellers began to grow…

After just one week there were 1,000 travellers in the Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Facebook group, sharing tips, tricks, spaces in cars, opportunities to travel and top recommendations for countries all over the world.

The enthusiasm of everyone in the group and the interaction levels went through the roof from the word go and it wasn’t long before WMGT meet ups were mentioned.

Never one to wait around, I started brainstorming adventure ideas straight away whilst people were keen.

Where’s Mollie adventures were always on the horizon, but I was kind of intimidated by the prospect of them and whether I could pull it off.

But last week on 7th and 8th July I did exactly that, and the very first Where’s Mollie tailored adventure took place in Snowdonia, Wales.

Only intending for Snowdonia to be a glorified meet up, I was absolutely taken aback when all 60 available beds at the hostel were requested and sold out within two days of announcing the adventure.

Though turning around a 60-person 2-day event, 8 weeks before it took place was pretty hectic, I am literally buzzing for the future of Where’s Mollie adventures after the feedback from this one.

What happened at the first WMGT adventure in Snowdonia, Wales?

The weekend was centred around the challenge of climbing to the summit of Snowdon (the tallest mountain in Wales) and was extended to a weekend composed of group accommodation overlooking Llyn Gwynant, marshmallow toasting over the campfire, sunset lake dipping and group dinners.

We laughed, we danced, we got cold in the lakes, we sweated, we hiked (we also got bitten by a load of midgies) but above all… we bonded and for 2 days, we came alive together.

For the time we were at YHA Bryn Gwynant hostel there was ZERO signal or WiFi which was the BIGGEST silver lining and totally complimented everything I want these adventures to be about…

Human connection.

I will leave you with these pictures from our weekend in Wales and I hope to see you on an adventure very soon…

THE NEXT ADVENTURE WILL BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY…

Stay up to date on the Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Facebook group and Instagram @wmglobaltravellers @wheresmollie

PhotographyLydia Collins

Lydia is available as a professional photographer and together we are available for content creation.


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Before I arrived in Austria I knew very little about this German-speaking country which shares borders with eight other European countries.

I had spent a brief couple of days in Ötztal Bahnhof, Tyrol with GoPro when they launched the Hero Session two years ago, but aside from that, all I knew was that a few of my friends had done ski seasons in St. Anton and that the winters here in the mountains were amazing.

I am absolutely over the moon that Austria Tourism gave me the chance to uncover more of this gorgeous country as part of the Uncover Austria campaign. And I’m even more delighted that I can show you, first hand, that Austria really is an incredible destination all year round.

For this adventure I explored Austria solo. Well, that’s if you exclude the company of the baby blue Fiat 500 I rented from the airport in Zurich, which was pretty epic.

See my Solo Travel blog post and advice here

My itinerary was to take me through four villages in the region of Vorarlberg, west Austria, which lie close to the borders of both Germany and Switzerland. It’s often mistaken for being part of Switzerland, but it most definitely is not.

To arrive in Vorarlberg I flew from London to Zurich, and then drove the remaining 164km into Sonntag Austria, crossing the border near Lake Constance.

Another nearby option would have been to fly into Munich (277km drive) or Innsbruck (159km drive).

My time in each region was planned by the local tourist boards, which meant I truly got the local knowledge and gained exposure to the most outstanding selections of beauty. Great news: I now have the most epic itinerary to share with you.

The roadtrip I’m about to share with you is hands down one of my favourite ever adventures.

Each region totally had its own unique magic and there was not one day that I loved significantly over another. The incredible cheese and mountain views were pretty consistent throughout!

Roadtrip facts:

Mileage covered: 630km (I only filled up the car once for €35!)

Car rented: Fiat 500

Regions visited: Vorarlberg (Grosses Walsertal, Bregenzerwald, Lech Zeurs, Bodensee)

Hikes completed: 4

Cheese devoured: A LOT

Here’s a little overview of my itinerary, hotel to hotel, with all of my favourite finds and tips marked too:

Let’s break it down… Zurich – Grosses Walsertal

(Distance: 165km – Time taken: 2 hours – Pronounciation: grosses val-zer-tal)

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the feeling I had opening my curtains as I explored the offerings of my first hotel room at Hotel Krone, Sonntag. Having come from the city, I was overdue a rush of mountain air, and this view quite literally took my breath away. As I stared out to the sensational combination of greens in the valley before me, it brought an unimaginable smile to my face and I had euphoria rushing through every vein in my body.

Check it out for yourself…

As of November 2010, Grosses Walsertal became one of the 529 Biosphere parks worldwide, exercising true sustainability. Here you’ll find nothing short of incredible forests, meadows, ravines, springs, streams, hills, cliffs, mountain tops, alps and karst formations. You’ll wake to the lush greens and array of florals gracing the window ledges of the traditional Austrian housing, and you’ll fall asleep to the sound of the river running below and the last flares of sun smiling through the mountains. It’s pure magic.


And that’s without mentioning the cheese. I tasted my favourite ever cheese here in Grosses Walsertal – Walserstolz. Take note!

My recommendations:
  • The best experience I had here (which is actually a common activity throughout Vorarlberg) was the culinary hike we took through the Sonntag Stein. We hiked through a selection of challenging paths and stopped at different ‘Alpes’ (huts) in the mountains on the way for a different course of Traditional Austrian food. The food certainly gave you incentive to continue and broke up what was actually an epic 5-hour workout.

You can hike this route alone or book onto the official culinary hike tour for €30 – see more information here.

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