Me posing in Venice.

Me posing in Venice.

This is my monthly summary post with high points of the month, not-so-high-points and what’s next for Soul Travel Blog.

August: The first month of being on the road since starting blogging full time!

I’ve spent all of August away from Amsterdam, ‘on-the-road’, but it’s been a different type of on the road.  It started with a long rail trip (rather than road trip), to Italy. There and in London, I’ve spent much of my time staying with family. I feel fortunate to have family in London, my original hometown, and also in Tuscany who allowed me to crash with them while savouring la dolce vita, and life at a slower pace (and far too much pasta and red wine).

From Tuscany I was able to travel to Venice for a long weekend in under two and half hours on the train, and from London I’ve been able to do day trips outside the city and had time to catch up with old friends from when I last lived here, six years ago.

More than anything, this month I’ve been experiencing home away from home.

Where I’ve been in August:

  • Through Switzerland on the sleeper train to Italy – an amazing experience.  I loved waking up to the mountains and Swiss alpine lodges dotted on the hillside as we came into Zurich.
  • Tuscany: Florence and the countryside. I was lucky to get a glimpse into true Italian village life at a summer festival in the village where my family now live, and visited a stunning agriturismo.
  • Venice for a long weekend. Venice had its highs and lows, but I feel more conscious than ever now of the vulnerable state of this wonderful city, and grateful to have had the opportunity to see this special place.
  • London. I had a great time catching up with friends old and new, seeing family, and making some new connections in the Responsible Tourism arena too! I took my camera out for a walk one rainy sunday and it was great to play tourist for a day in my original home town!

And Now for Some News:

It’s a truth universally acknowledged… that as soon as you put something down in writing, plans change. Well, life changes.  In June I wrote about how I’d be staying put in Amsterdam and taking short trips despite leaving my job to blog already in June. Over the last month I have spent many hours soul searching and pondering, and as a result I’m excited to share that I’ll be travelling full time as of September! I’ll be leaving Amsterdam (for now at least) and will be embracing the Nomadic Lifestyle.

I love Amsterdam so this has been a really hard decision to make. It would have been a lot harder, though, if it were not for the inspiration I have got from so many friends and people out there, not least from Leah of The Sweetest Way.  I read her book on how to set yourself up for success with location independence:  ‘Take Back Your Life: Finding Freedom through Location Independence’. I devoured it in an afternoon, and took out a huge amount of inspiration, advice and knowledge.  If this sounds like something for you too, I’d highly recommend reading it.

I still want to travel slow travel style, so that means: staying in countries for longer (visas permitting), plenty more train travel vs flying (wherever I can) and most importantly, my commitment to travel responsibly remains.  On my journey I’ll be seeking to write about travel organisations who are focused on making a difference and bringing positive impact and responsible travel to the world. If you know a travel company, perhaps near you, that is doing just this and think they would make a good partner for Soul Travel Blog – let me know!

Fresh faced after 20 hours on the train to Tuscany... Thank god for sunglasses!

Fresh faced after 20 hours on the train to Tuscany… Thank god for sunglasses!

August Highlight:

I feel incredibly lucky because there are quite a few to choose from! Ultimately, it has to be arriving in Venice at the top of the grand canal and having to pinch myself to check if I was really there!

August not-so-High-Light:

Short changing myself on my Indian Visa.  Silly me.  I didn’t realise that visas start ticking from the date of issue, not when you tell them you want to enter the country.  Or that’s the case for India at least. So my careful planning has backfired in that my 6 month visa will effectively be reduced to 3 months – I’m planning to head there in November.  Rookie error!

August Most Popular Posts:

What & Where Next? 

Since from mid September I’ll be travelling full time, here’s what I’ve got planned!

  • Scotland. I’ll be closing August and beginning September in the Scottish Highlands, spending time in Fort William and then Argyll for a spot of Eco friendly yoga and wild river bathing – I can’t wait!
  • Portugal. Mid september i’ll be heading to Lisbon by train from Amsterdam and then spending a week camping and surfing with DreamSea Surf.
  • Slovenia. I’ll wind up the month in Slovenia, who have been doing some great things in encouraging and offering green tourism recently – I’m excited to see how it measures up!

If you have any tips for me on Portugal or Slovenia please don’t forget to share them with me! Send me a message via my Facebook page, comment below, or use the contact form on this site! 🙂

Beyond September I’ll be heading over to Asia, to the Philippines for October. Probably Manila, and the North, Palawan and Cebu. Again, I’d love your tips please!

Saving the Best for Last:

I want to thank you, my readers, for all the support and encouragement you’ve given me over the last few months as I’ve begun this journey.  It’s safe to say that without you I wouldn’t be here writing this. Every comment, like, share and piece of feedback really matters to me and I appreciate it. Thank you.

Got tips for me on the next stages of my journey? Let me know in the comments below!

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