Camera Collection – Belfast

Camera Collection – Belfast
Loved my stay at the Vagabonds hostel – good company and hospitality, very artistic with its wall art and loads of things you can do. Check out their website here

Yeah – doubt that was gonna happen xD

Entrance to Botanic Gardens

Used electrical devices being put to better use instead of going to waste and harming the environment

Palm House

So cool these Northern Irish pound notes – smelt nice too ;),

Belfast City Hall

Remnants of the Primark Belfast fire late this summer gone.

Working the poses supremely 😂

My Belfast Camera Collection

Halting the walking tour for a squad photo 👌🏾 Read more about Belfast walking tours here

You’re seeing what I’m seeing right? A leaning tower. Albert Memorial Clock is Belfast’s answer to LeaningTower Of Pisa in Italy

The Big Fish: Kiss it and you’ll have all your questions answered!

Belfast’s Cathedral – the city’s main place of worship

The Peace Walls (Or Peace Lines) is what divides the Catholic and Protestant areas of Belfast

My Vegan meal – wasn’t the biggest fan of how the burger tasted to be honest. Fries were pretty damn good though!

Hostel Buddies!!!

My Belfast Camera Collection
Getting in some good Cuban grub before heading home 😊 More on my Cuban food experience here

Yeah - doubt that was gonna happen xD Entrance to Botanic Gardens Used electrical devices being put to better use instead of going to waste and harming the environment Palm House So cool these Northern Irish pound notes - smelt nice too ;), The Big Fish: Kiss it and you'll have all your questions answered! [...]

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10 Gift Ideas For Travelers For Christmas

10 Gift Ideas For Travelers For Christmas

Christmas is more or less here and it’s a festive time for gathering together with family and close friends and giving and receiving presents to our loved ones.

You may be wondering what to get for a traveller, other than buying them plane tickets. For travellers the current holiday season is a golden opportunity to enrich future travel adventures for the upcoming year.

Some of their ideal gifts are quite small and simple and don’t even require breaking the bank. Here’s 10 gift ideas to invest in for your budding traveller and take their travel experience to the next level:

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

1. Travel Pillow

Resting on a plane or train, particularly who often travel economy-class, can sometimes leave a lot to be desired in terms of comfort.

The travel pillow doesn’t have to be something from Victoria’s Secret or John Lewis. A trip to Primark down the high street can have you finding travel pillows of really decent quality and provides great cushioning for your neck. Obviously those who suffer from neck problems would want to look for better quality travel pillow but unquestionably having a travel pillow in a traveler’s luggage would make journeys more relaxing.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Amazon

2. Diary/Journal

If you know a traveller who’s a bit old-fashioned and like writing down their itinerary with pen and paper then perhaps a special travel diary or journal is just what they need. They can use it as a way of thought-tracking and write stories about what they’ve done on their adventures. Something very subtle and not a hassle in terms of wrapping also.

It can be quite fun for them to read back on their and a future souvenir they can pass on to generations below them that are family.

3. Headphones

One that can be quite a popular present to give to a person is headphones. We all appreciate a pair of headphones that we can plug into our devices to shut out all distractions and disturbance and escape. Whether it’s for listening to music, a podcast or a Netflix show that’s been streamed most of us turn to them in order to maximise our enjoyment and seek some privacy.

I currently possess a pair of Sony MDRZX310 black foldable headphones that I bought from Amazon. They have very good sound quality and ear pads for the price I got it for. As it’s implied in the headphone’s title. A real solid bargain and I’d struggle to relax on my journeys the way I do when I have them on.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

4. New Luggage

Maybe the existing luggage they’ve got has been battered and bruised from all the travelling they were doing for the majority of the year they need an upgrade, whether they notice or not. Going hitchhiking or backpacking for the first time? Maybe an ultra-light, pocket-heavy travel backpack to set them off their way. Is your traveller into short weekend breaks elsewhere in Europe? Perhaps just a small holdall, duffle bag or another type of carry-on bag would do, enough to squeeze under the tree though 😉

USA Today listed their best travel luggages of 2018 and The Broke Backpacker has a really comprehensive guide on this year’s best 15 travel backpacks and how to find the right one for you. Both articles worth a read.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

5. Ear Plugs/Muffs

Drown out those snorers in your hostel and the noise in the airport or keep your ears warm whilst flying at altitude with more ear pieces in the form of pair of ear plugs and ear muffs respectively.

To avoid confusion ear plugs are smaller and lighter and can be put straight into your ear canal. Whilst with ear muffs they fit right over the ears like regular headphones would.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Amazon

6. Travel-sized bodycare kit

Body maintenance going from skin to hair to dental care becomes more essential and in focus when a traveler goes away on holiday, especially when they go abroad.

Remember for most UK airports the liquid and gels rule is that liquds and gels over 100ml and not sealed in one plastic bag cannot be taken through security. Having fully equipped with a 100ml or under toothpaste, deodorant, after shave/perfume etc. can save your travel lover, more so female ones, a lot of trouble.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Amazon

Image Credit: Amazon

7. Portable Charger

This is hands down one of the biggest essentials many travellers. Keep that Android and iPhone powered up without constantly worrying about finding somewhere to charge your phone and potentially breaking the bank to do some!

Like many regular chargers it’s easy to slide it into your coat pocket with your phone connected. I bought mine from Amazon at the end of last year’s summer and haven’t looked back since: it’s been very reliable, long-lasting in terms of battery life and the amount of charges. This is not mentioning the fact that I’ve used two powerful smartphones whilst I’ve had it.

8. Professional Camera

This is probably the most costly item on this list. You can inspire a traveller to get one foot into photography with a professional camera. It gives travellers a chance to capture those amazing, unforgettable travel experiences in high-quality with the luxury of using various features you wouldn’t have with a camera on a smartphone.

For travel creatives particularly, being able to work the camera both in front and behind it can be very handy and rewarding when creating content. Being multi-skilled in areas and niches that tend to cross over can make you more independent.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

Image Credit: Canva

9. A World Map

Help them plan their next journey and visibly visualise their road to culture dominance (Sorry Jess!) with a world map. There’s a wide range in the types of world maps you can get from glow-in-the-dark ones, food-themed maps to scratch off world maps where they can mark off the entire globe country by country once they’ve visited it

Some maps can even be personalised to one’s liking and can make for good wall art in their bedroom too if they feel like doing a bit of redecorating for the new year. To be honest I’m astonished that I don’t see many traveler speak of having a world map, even as a souvenir and with Google Maps being very popular with millenial travellers, but call me old-fashioned.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

10. Wallet/Money Belt

The final kind of gift you can add to your Christmas list is a wallet specifically for travelling and it would help them be more organised for future trips. My mum recently bought me a new wallet, even though I had already had a wallet and wasn’t on the hunt for one, but it turned out to be useful as I realised I could use it as a travel wallet and have a safe place where I can store my credit and debit cards and keep them out of reach from thieves.

Alternatively you may want to go extra on the security department and invest in a money belt for them, enabling them to store moderately bigger possessions such as passports, earphones and keys. Regardless of which you get, like with most of the other gifts, wrapping won’t be a hassle.

Christmas Gifts For Travelers
Image Credit: Canva

Final Word

Many of these travel gift ideas work around being on a budget, especially as Christmas often pushes us to spend a lot, but valuing a traveler’s need to have smooth experiences.

What do you think of these 10 gift ideas? Have you got any other travel gifts you can suggest for a traveller? Leave them in the comments below. Stay updated with more content coming through by following my blog and on socials linked below.

Till next time – Adios!

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

Christmas is more or less here and it's a festive time for gathering together with family and close friends and giving and receiving presents to our loved ones. You may be wondering what to get for a traveller, other than buying them plane tickets. For travellers the current holiday season is a golden opportunity to [...]

Camera Collection – Stockholm

Camera Collection – Stockholm
Plane Selfie to kick off the weekend!

Continental breakfast’s up!

A crisp, sunny Saturday afternoon. Makes the views look more of a thing of beauty 👌🏾

Can’t believe there was a cue for this

This Hot Dog was the reason me and my Mum were waiting up to 30 mins in a cue. Worth the wait – but my Mum was furious with the situation – and me!

She cheered up eventually!

Hittin Up Gamla Stan

More photos for Mum as per request

*cue song* It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

#swedishfoodgoals

Someone being a bit rude

Clearly the stranger we asked to take a pic thought it’d be cool to snap us when we weren’t looking fly 😎

The popular wall art in Stockholm Central Station. Riding trains in the city is a must trust me!

What Inspires Me To Go Travelling

What Inspires Me To Go Travelling

Tomorrow would be exactly a year ago since I wrote the first post on my blog on my first ever solo trip to Paris for a day, making it officially the 1 year anniversary for my blog.

The trip itself was very daunting at first. This was post terrorist attacks in the city in 2015. After the day out I returned to London knowing myself more than I did before. One important fact I acknowledged was that I was capable of travelling to a foreign country without support from anyone close me, find restaurants and food stalls to be kept fed, study the maps and get myself to the attractions and points of interest that allowed me to enjoy my time as a Parisien.

Paris was a daycation of personal fulfillment and growth for me. It established the foundation for future trips personally. Although not all my travel experiences have been pleasant: the negative racial stereotyping and profiling via frequent stares from shop assistants at local shops when shopping in Naples and seeing the use of derogatory, degrading words on concrete walls and shop billboards during my holiday in Majorca woke me up to the reality of being a black person. But again they’re all learning experiences and those experiences are one of the drives behind becoming a serial traveller.

I don’t believe that the city and country you grew up or predominantly live in is an accurate representation of the world’s 7 billion population. What I mean in plain English is that it’s a big wide world out here. There are so many different people with different stories they have lived through and are just as worthy of sharing as daily gossip and banter you get from your friends and family. Different cultures and heritages with colour and flavour are there to be discovered and studied (I cast my mind back to Dublin) I’ve said it before and I’ll forever keep saying this: travellers are capable of bringing the world together and curing many forms of ignorance.

I’ve been fortunate to meet new people and make new friends as a result. Frankly I never saw myself going to networking events and meetups (shoutout to BBTravelMeetup by the way) and connecting with like-minded people face to face. Not because I wasn’t a confident enough or introverted around people but I thought engagement would be limited to social media. With the exception of blogging you’re effectively getting more known around the world – make a good impression your new friends then may talk about how much of a great person you are (you all truly are!)

Avoiding boredom and repetition is one thing I need to touch on. I want to live a life that sees me creating special memories that I’ll be able to recall to a younger generation when I’m old to the point of retirement. Exploring the world and doing things I haven’t done before is one of the things that gives me that. My jetskiing experience whilst out chilling in Majorca this summer is a strong example. It was new to me. I always say my travels help to mix up my routine (not necessarily try to escape it) and inject a bit of excitement and variety to my life.

The different lifestyle I have been living over the last year has caused me to butt heads with my parents – and for me that’s not going to change anytime soon but I no longer going to be putting others and their interests first if it’s going to compromise my chances of doing something that makes me happy and enriches me.

Last but not least on the sources of travel inspiration is you reading this – whether it’s another fellow blogger, traveller, friend or family. You inspire me to look at travelling in a different light. You inspire me to with your own stories and support. You inspire me to go and learn more about the world that I’ve been born into – make the small world bigger and discover another purpose to life. And I honestly cannot thank you all enough 🙂

Travelling over the last 12 months has inspired in so many ways: whether it’s me having deep, touching conversations with people on my trips, me taking up the keyboard again and writing and to attend networking functions and conventions I never associated myself going to years ago. It’s like going to another dimension or a pocket universe sometimes.

This has been more of a reflective piece from me. No subheadings. No tips and tricks. Just an honest account into my backstory that lead to me start travelling, what kept me motivated to seeing the world and the effect it has had on me as a person.

What motivates you to start exploring the world? Do you have any goals or a bucket list when it comes to travelling? Plug them in the comments, give this post a like and follow me on my socials (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest)

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

Tomorrow would be exactly a year ago since I wrote the first post on my blog on my first ever solo trip to Paris for a day, making it officially the 1 year anniversary for my blog. The trip itself was very daunting at first. This was post terrorist attacks in the city in 2015. [...]

In Motion In Majorca – Day 2

In Motion In Majorca – Day 2

Day 2 had arrived with the sun beaming down on Majorca and the struggle to get out of bed was immense.

It wasn’t that i was exhausted to do anything or felt sleepy but it was more to do with me being too glued to my bed watching YouTube vids on my phone, draining my battery life before the day had even started and enjoying the 6+ pillows I had to comfort me.

Once I had cleared that hurdle I bathed, got dressed, whilst battling the sweat forcefully dripping on my forehead then made my way to a local cafe to grab some breakfast. Afterwards I set off to catch the bus for another action-packed day ahead of myself.

Attractions

Parc Sa Feixina

Before visiting the Es Baluard museum my bus en route into town dropped me off near Parc Sa Feixina so decided to pay it a little visit and get into the mood of taking photos.

Located on the edge of the night club and bar-heavy Santa Catalina district, the local park is home to a very tall and pointy monument in the middle terrace to pay tribute to the lives of the crew onboard the doomed Baleres ship during the Spanish civil war in the late 1930s. There are two other terraces that comprise Parc Sa Feixina, both helping give the park its character and contribute to the monument’s significance.

On the brighter side of things, the park’s even got you covered for childhood enjoyment with a mini playground with swings, slides and climbing frames. On the other side there’s also a carousel-style ride and a trampoline park.

Es Baluard (Modern Art Museum)

The main hub for modern-day artistry and culture in Palma is the Baluard museum of modern and contemporary art and was opened in 2004 by the King and Queen of Spain around that time.

The museum, nehind Parc Se Feixina, is renowned for being the place that is helping redefine and shape perception of culture and tourism in the island of Majorca, offering a wide range of galleries, exhbitions and studios to most art enthusiasts’ taste.

Some of the exhibitions were quite eerie, which I found annoying and reminded me of the contemporary art museum I visited in Naples, because that’s not my depiction of art and creative works. I’m sure there’s a reason and meaning behind those creepy displays but I think

On the terraces, some of which you need to access the museum before getting to them, are lovely, picturesque scenery of the coast of the city where the beaches, palm trees hills and yachts are. For a brief moment I thought I was teleported to Monaco with all the yachts and boats I was just seeing. There’s also a small restaurant and bar with seats under umbrelllas for shade at the back of the museum’s compound in case you want to cool off after a long day walking in the heat or maybe you’re just hungry after walking around the museum.

Plaza Mayor

Known to tival Plaza Espana for being the busiest and biggest shooping district in Palma, the rectangular-squared Plaza Mayor is shaped into what it is by its vibrant shops, cafes, restaurants and craft and food market stalls that you can go and grab a bite or drink in, therefore being the heart and lifeblood of the city itself.

The big, bright yellow and green buildings you see surrounding you as you step into the main shopping square were previously the formal offices of the Spanish Inquisition. These were established towards the tail end of the 15th century in response to the growing hosility towards the Muslims, Jews and other non-christians.

Careful not to lose yourself in the bustle though. I almost got lost twice being distracted by street performers and the shops whilst in this area as part of my walking tour.

Special recommendations to the Parque del Mar and Paseo Maritimo.

Rating out of 10: 7 out of 10

Food

Cafes i dolÇos A&M

I found this cafe near my Airbnb called Cafes i dolcos A&M and it’d be where I would have a small breakfast to start off each day.

It was here where I got the chance to try a well-known Majorcan breakfast option called Ensaimada. Ensaimada is a swirl, sweet pastry that has its origins in Latin America and the Phillpines and then saw its popularity make its way to Spain. Think of it as what crepes or crossiants is to Belgians ever though they originate from France.

The cafe did each one for €1. A SINGLE EURO. I’m not joking, and the portion sizes were quite sizeable as you can see in the picture below. Absolutely delicious, and they had WiFi to sweeten everything too (excuse the pun). The way they sprinkled the icing was very creative, maybe a bit too much as some of it fell on my backpack.

Would recommend without hesitation, wherever you stay in Palma, to look for a local cafe and try one. No regrets!

Rating out of 10: 8 out of 10

People Watch

Looking back, I had many positive interactions. Mainly because I went out to the bars on Friday and Saturday evenings to do some socialising and mingling as well as the walking tour. Surprisingly with people from different countries and backgrounds.

I was constantly moving from one person to another like a pinball. A lot of the conversations I had were outgoing and interesting, even though alcohol may have played a decent part on it but oh well you’ve got to live in the moment.

One English-speaking woman and man, both Palmerians, I met at the airport upon arrival at night stood out for me. Bless them! They were happy to show me how to get to my accommodation, without them I don’t know if I would’ve made it the way in which I did.

Also bless the four women who took me under their wing when they realised I was alone in one bar. The time with them was really good fun with them and took me back to flat socials during my Uni days.

I exchanged socials with some of the people to keep in touch so hopefully it all goes well on that front.

I did have my struggles when it came to asking locals about directions, food in cafes, bumped into the odd rude, impolite individual here and there. But in all fairness thats mainly down to language barriers and possibility of miscommunication. It’s normal for me now as a solo traveller to have to try and overcome a language barrier.

Rating out of 10: 7.5 out of 10.

Final Word

Personally this was more of a holiday for me to enjoy and be laid-back rather than the learning explorations you guys have come accustomed to with my trip reviews. Palma was a nice place for a break. The Ensaimada are a must if you ever go there. However if I was going back to Majorca I’d like to explore other regions (a la Menocar or Magaluf – funny how there’s a lot of Ms associated with Majorca). Public transport also needs to be made easier and more varied.

What do you think of the whole review? Are you going to Majorca or Spain any time soon? Let me know in the comments section below and would love feedback on my posts for the blog going forward. I’m also open to taking on guest posts or doing one myself.

You can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. Also take some time to share on socials or pin this on your Pinterest boards etc. Got some exciting content coming up so stay updated!

But for now – Adios 😉

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

Day 2 had arrived with the sun beaming down on Majorca and the struggle to get out of bed was immense. It wasn't that i was exhausted to do anything or felt sleepy but it was more to do with me being too glued to my bed watching YouTube vids on my phone, draining my [...]

Camera Collection – Brussels

Camera Collection – Brussels

 

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Entrance to the Belgian Chocolate Village,  a museum dedicated to the the origins behind chocolate and its different forms as well as history
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Replicas of the Manneken Pis me and my Mum found in a souvenir shop near the original attraction
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As a big fan of the comic book genre I couldn’t resist glaring at a chocolate-themed comic strip. There’s actually a comic strip museum in Brussels known as the Belgian Comic Strip Center.

 

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Map of the Belgian underground train system.: Stared at it for a good 10 mins till I figured out how to get to the Grand Place.

 

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*In Homer Simpson’s voice* Mmmmmmm Chocolate

 

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And Waffles!

 

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Vintage BMW