At the end of each month I am going to send out a summary of the highlights of the month and update you on our plans for upcoming trips and activities. Here is the summary for May 2018. Follow me on social media or by email to see the full posts coming up soon.
My First Month at Home
Well, I don’t have much travel news for you this month. We landed back here in Adelaide on the morning of May 1st, and I haven’t left the city since.
But let me tell you a little about that flight (and the previous one!). We flew into Adelaide from Singapore with Singapore Airlines, who we also did our Paris to Singapore leg with a few days earlier. Both flights were in business class thanks to my Virgin Australia frequent flyer points. I’m still a bit of a business class newbie, I’ve only done a handful of flights (see my first one here) and I try to reserve all those points for our long haul flights. It doesn’t always come off – I wanted to fly business class from Kuala Lumpur to Copenhagen in March, but there were no rewards seats available anywhere when I went to book about two months before the flights. That twelve hour flight in economy again helped cement my resolve to work hard at the points game to ensure I can avoid it in the future.
While any business class is far better than economy, there are vast differences between the products provided by the various airlines, and even between aircraft type. On the A380 from Copenhagen to Singapore we had much more comfortable seats than we had on the A330 doing the leg into Adelaide. Not surprising really that many passengers prefer the A380 over the other planes, but unfortunately they can’t fly into Adelaide – our runway is too short!
The thing I value most about business class is the ability to lay flat (or flat-ish). I’m not a great sleeper at the best of times, but on planes I really have no hope. I don’t sleep a lot in business class either, but if I can get an hour or two, it really does make a big difference. I can get off a 12+ hour flight and not feel like a complete zombie. Sure the lounge access, priority boarding, extra luggage and food is nice, not to mention the copious amounts of alcohol is a drawcard too (maybe that’s why I sleep??), but for me it’s all about the seat.
So the point of all this rambling – I wanted to share my number one tip about how we can afford to travel, and this is it! Travel hacking! It’s a complicated game, but one that can really pay off if mastered. It’s also really personal. What works for someone may not work for the next person. That makes it really hard for me to give specific tips. If you are really keen to learn – and it will take some time – then here are two websites I recommend. Get onto the forums and start reading the stories of others, some of them are amazing. For Australians, https://www.australianfrequentflyer.com.au and worldwide https://www.flyertalk.com
To see the rest of my top ten favourite travel tips, sign up to my newsletter here, and as a thank you, you will receive access to the list. (If you are already a subscriber, send me a message here and I will send you the link)
So what have I been doing this month? Lots of work on my blog (see below) and in between that, planning a few trips for the up coming months. Mostly this is in a vague sense, and I am enjoying having the time and space to plan and read rather than turning up in a town and doing a quick Google search to find what there is to do. I am a planner at heart, and that was one of the hardest parts about long term travel for me. I like to have time to read all I can about a place, and even if I don’t decide what we are doing, at least knowing what my options are.
I did book one flight, to Hobart in November. I came across a super cheap Jetstar flight right when we need to travel there. Jetstar are the only airline doing direct flights between Adelaide and Hobart, and only on certain days, so I was pretty happy to come across this great deal. Currently we are only going one way, since the return flight was not so much of a bargain, but I have a few months yet to sort that out.
I’ve been out and about around the city a couple of times, and one of the things I am really enjoying is the street art popping up all over the place. Melbourne may be a well known street art city, but Adelaide is definitely catching up, with so many great pieces around the city centre and Port Adelaide.
One thing I have been asked a lot this month is how I am settling back in. I was a little worried about this because I had read that others had issues, feeling like everyone else around them had moved on but they had missed everything. I haven’t had any issues. Maybe because I have been really busy. I don’t have the extra stress at the moment to get a job either, which probably helps. I am also not trying to fit back into the life I had before, but rather create a new version of life going forward.
I have one quick getaway planned for June. We will be doing a road trip about six hours away to Mount Gambier, down in the south east of our state. The main purpose of this trip will be to find ghost mushrooms. Haven’t heard of them? I hadn’t either until I came across a local news article, which lead me to the Forestry SA website. The mushrooms are only found in May and June so I’m pretty excited to hopefully see them.
While in Mount Gambier I will be checking out a couple of other local things to do, and staying at one of the coolest accommodation places ever – but you will have to wait for my post to find out where!
On a personal note, just as I get home, we will be farewelling my eldest daughter Bailey as she moves to Vancouver, Canada to take up a job that is the perfect career move for her. Of course that means I also need to start looking at plans for a Canada trip soon, yay!
In case you missed them, here are my May blog posts:
April 2018 Summary
Travel Diaries – Copenhagen
Travel Diaries – Tromsø
Travel Diaries – Stockholm
Travel Diaries – Helsinki
Travel Diaries – Tallinn
Travel Diaries – Riga
Travel Diaries – Vilnius
Don’t forget to follow along on social media where you will see some content that does not make it onto my blog.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/josiewanders
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/josiewanders
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/josiewanders
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/josiewanders
This month I have achieved so much on my blog. Most of it is stuff I have been thinking about for months and just haven’t had the time and mental space to implement it. I am still new to much of what having a website entails, and everything seems to take me forever to work out. But slowly, slowly I am learning!
The most obvious thing you might have noticed this month is a new front page on my blog. I also updated my About Me page. I have refreshed a handful of old posts too (check out my local Adelaide, Victor Harbor and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary posts now), with still plenty more work to go on this. Hardest of all was doing my best to make my blog GDPR compliant. Although these new data protection rules are for EU citizens, everyone needs to be aware of them and act accordingly. That’s why you will see a new cookie notice pop up and some extra tick boxes on things like comment forms. It has been a bit of a headache really.
I will be spending June mostly finishing off my Travel Diary series from our gap year, then I will have a whole pile of new content. I have so many ideas for what I can write next and I am excited to start on it. Some will be tips to travel cheaper, some more specific posts on places we visited throughout the last year and some posts showing off this amazing part of the world I live in.
I’m still not getting rich from this blogging gig but because I have been working at it consistently this month I have had my best month yet in terms of both page views and earnings. I have partnered with a few more companies and will be bringing you more deals and recommendations in the coming months.
Until next month, take care.
Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.