Travels with Tay

by Amy Taylor on March 27, 2020

So! We're all currently sitting indoors due to the Coronavirus, or as my pals like to say ‘the Miley Cyrus’   and it's pretty boring. Let's be honest, we’re all wondering if that trip we have booked will still go ahead. Dreaming of long nights with an Aperol spritz in one hand and the sun shining on our faces. And to make matters worse, when we all need to bloody self-isolate the sun decides to make an appearance...typical! Of course, our health is our top priority and we should never take for granted that we are the lucky ones who are safe and well. 

Everyone has so many different reasons as to why they book that flight. Whether that be heading to Ibiza for a sesh, or to tick off that bucket list adventure you have been desperate to complete. 

Mine personally, is that I get away from home and I can reflect on my life. It gives me absolute freedom to live in the moment and it allows me to be anyone - to go anywhere and to do anything. Travelling reminds me that my life isn't the only one I could live and that in the grand scheme of things, my home is tiny to this world we live in. People get so caught up in their daily lives and forget that they can be somewhere or someone else tomorrow if they really wanted to (of course it’s not that easy, we all have bills to pay). But I think this is a perfect time for anyone sitting at home, dwelling or reminiscing on sunnier days, all is not lost. Why not plan for that trip you have always wanted to go on? Go take a selfie with the Christ Redeemer, visit the monks in Angkor Wat, read till your heart's content in Minca or go be boujee in the South of France for a weekend - whatever floats your boat, go and do it. Life is too short. Yes money comes and goes, but maybe you could budget more so you can finally fit in the travel plans you have always thought about. Could you lay off the eating out every weekend? Or spunking your money yet again on another ASOS order? Perhaps you could forget that Starbucks coffee every morning. (tbh I need to take my own advice) but yeah you get my drift - if you wanna go you'll make it happen. 

Below you will find some of my favourite places I have visited:

Lopes Mendes Beach, Brazil

Hands down the best beach I have ever been lucky enough to see, it 100% lives up to its reputation as being one of the best 10 beaches of Brazil. As you stepped out into the jungle, it was truly unbelievable, pure white sand which felt like snow as long as you can see all the way into the ocean, amazing landscapes everywhere you looked, not a restaurant, jet ski or boat in sight, I remember stepping into the sea looking around at all of the green and thinking how is this even real.

It is not the easiest to get to but if you were to go you need to go to Ilha Grande Island (approx 2 hours from Rio) and then a taxi boat from Abroaa to Pousa (if you want to do the 20-minute hike) which I did :)  Alternatively you can do a 3-hour hike from Abroaa. 

The Cliff, Barbados 

Omg where do I start, this restaurant is so beautiful, literally perched on ‘Paynes’ Bay cliff overlooking the sea. We arrived just before sunset and were seated in the lounge area before our meal. There's something magical about sitting outside, sipping rum and watching the sunset over the Caribbean as well as seeing the sharks beneath you whilst you eat. There aren't enough words to describe how special this place is, you just need to see it for yourself - It is defo not the cheapest place on the island to eat, but if you are looking for a luxury dining experience to end your holiday then it is worth every penny!  

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Oh Cambodia, you have a piece of my heart I tell ya! It was 5 years ago now, my friend came to me with the idea of volunteering English at a school in Phnom Penh, one of Cambodia’s poorest cities, she said Amy let's give it a go, I first thought I can hardly talk the queen's English myself, they don't need me coming in and giving them my version of common English (lol) but I am so glad I agreed to do it. Cambodia was a game-changer for me, it was a massive eye-opener as to how other people live and when I came back I looked at the world a little differently. 

When it was my first day teaching I was so nervous, getting up and speaking in front of people is a big no from me but straight away the kids I was teaching made me feel so welcome and comfortable, and honestly, after that first day, it got a lot easier. When we first arrived at our hostel we were briefed on what the children had been through and the conditions they have lived in and it was a lot to take in but I was just amazed at how happy they were but really happy at school, of course, we don’t know what happens behind closed doors but I felt so privileged at that moment that I could give something back and if they were happy in my presence then I done something right - they were always dancing, playing football, asking me to join in with all their games, honestly I was in awe of them. 

It wasn't just the kids I taught who were so happy, but it was the people of Cambodia too, I am not sure if you have heard of the Khmer Rouge but it was the brutal regime in power from 1975-1979 - which really wasn't too long ago! It claimed the lives of up to two million of their population. Everyone we spoke to on our trip someway or another was affected by the events that happened and still, they were all the loveliest people I have ever met. 

To note - if you do ever visit Cambodia, be prepared to eat rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Let’s just say I was in my element :)  

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

There are so many places in Colombia I could have mentioned, Medellin, Cartagena or Salento all amazing places in their own rights and should be seen if you have the chance to. I could talk for ages about those individual places so let's keep it short and sweet with Tayrona Park - it was an adventure, to say the least, We did a day trip, with the aim of getting to Cabo San Juan beach.

The hike isn't for the faint-hearted and I did find it really tough and pretty much moaned the whole way through (oooops) - so much Will then promised we would get horseback!  So make sure you arrive early so you don't catch the sun at its hottest and bring a water bottle! All the beaches you pass are amazing but most of them are too dangerous to swim in, don't try to either -  you will die.  

Despite the hike, the scenery was stunning and it made it all worthwhile. After a 3 hour hike, we finally made it to Cabo San Juan and we were not disappointed, the beach was unreal. So Will and I put our shiz in the lockers and enjoyed a full day lounging around and sunbathing until we noticed the coconut trees behind us… We saw someone giving it their best shot of opening the ones that fell - It was pretty entertaining tbh, so I got onto Will and betted that he couldn't open one..after a few rounds of banging it on the rocks, it cracked - castaway shit right there. 

Then night came and we were shown to our hammocks where we would be sleeping for the night - I’m not gonna lie, they were horrific, I could not sleep at all and if you need a toilet in the night good luck with that one :) but with the sound of the sea I remembered where I was and it was absolutely fine also waking up early to no crowds on the beach was also worth it x

What are your next travel goals? My next travel experience is to go somewhere solo, I have always wanted to do it but haven’t had the ‘bottle’ to do so. Imagine, no pre-planning, no arguments, no compromises, no worrying about whether your mate will have another hypochondriac episode. I wouldn't go anywhere too far to start off with, maybe somewhere in Europe. Me, myself, a book and somewhere by the beach - dreamy!!

So whatever your next travel plans are, remember to go for it and worry about the rest later. 


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