First of all, I want to thank you all for your incredible responses to this post. As many of you will know by this stage, Scribble, Snap, Travel is now a solo female travel blog. Ankit and I have gone our separate ways, and I’ve decided to continue scribbling and snapping my travel experiences solo. I received endless messages of support on the site’s Facebook page as well as through private messages, and it’s made me so excited for the future of this blog. You all rock!
Now, speaking of the future, let’s get down to business. You may have noticed the lack of blog posts since I posted the update on the new direction the site will be taking. This is because I’ve been busy trying to catch up with freelance work but also planning my travel itinerary for the next month or so. I have a couple of blog posts on my hometown of Lincoln coming up before I leave later this month, too. So, in short, it’s quiet for now, but that’s because there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
Now, onto the fun stuff! Where I’m heading for the next two months!
Those of you who stay updated through the Facebook page will know that I’m off to Barcelona from the 17th of August. I’m ridiculously excited about this trip for a number of reasons. First of all, I’m going with a university friend of mine and I’m looking forward to catching up! A girlie holiday is exactly what I need – sun, sea and sangria! Secondly, well, it’s Barcelona!
People who know me well say I’ll absolutely love the place, and I can see why. It seems to be such a hotspot for culture, architecture, and art. Also, the food! Also, the weather! The British ‘summer’ has been driving me nuts, so I’m looking forward to finally seeing more than ten minutes of daily sunshine.
I cannot believe this trip is happening in just under two weeks, as I still have so much to do before then – work, plan an itinerary, buy new clothes and a new bikini (very important!), and brush up on some Spanish! Oh, and book tickets and transfers to the next destination, which is…
When the Barcelona plan first fell into place, I didn’t think it was possible for something else to come along that would excite me even more, but alas, I was wrong! I can finally share with you that from the 25th of August until the 5th of September I will be on the Greek island of Skyros attending a writers retreat. And not just any writers retreat, but this one, which has been attended by Pulitzer and Booker prize winning authors. Ridiculously exciting stuff.
For the two weeks that I’ll be there, I’ll be attending daily morning yoga classes, which will be followed by the writing courses. Then the afternoons and evenings are free for exploring, sunbathing, late night dinners at tavernas, and whatever else takes my fancy. The reviews I’ve read from other writers who have attended are absolutely fantastic – everyone seems to say it was a transformative experience, that it made them even more confident as a writer, and that they also met people who they became lifelong friends with.
I’ve never attended a retreat before, so I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences with you. Plus, I have been commissioned by a magazine to write about my time there!
Once the retreat is over on the 5th, I want to take some time out to see a few more of the Greek islands. I mean, who wouldn’t take the opportunity to hop from island to island on a sun-drenched boat? I don’t have an itinerary in mind right now; I just want to get there, ask around, and see where my mood takes me. I do want to try and hit Santorini, Delos (for its Hellenistic ruins) and Kefalonia if I can, though.
Germany or Italy
I plan to stay in Greece until the third week of September, then my next step really depends on what transpires over the next few weeks. I’m hoping to do a cooking retreat in Italy; somewhere rustic where I’ll learn how to make gnocchi from Italian grandmas. If this comes together, that’s where I’ll be heading. If not, I have a close friend in Germany who has been begging for me to visit for, well, years, so that’s a smashing alternative plan. I’ve been dying to go back since I went to Hamburg in 2008, so this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.
I won’t lie – I’m slightly nervous about travelling solo from Barcelona onwards, but that’s only natural considering I’ve been travelling as part of a couple for so long. However, I came across this fabulous blog post by Flora the Explorer, which made me realise it’s entirely normal to feel nervous about travelling alone as a woman – feel the fear and do it anyway, though!
The few times I did travel solo in the past were exhilarating – there’s something empowering about being in a completely new place on your own and setting out to explore it, especially as a woman. It opens you up to all kinds of exciting opportunities and experiences, and I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you over the coming months. This is a totally new chapter for me, and I’m embracing it with both hands. I don’t really know what I’ll be doing post-September, but instead of the idea of the unknown scaring me it excites me – that’s how I know I must be on the right path for now!
What do you think of my plans? And do you have any final words of advice/wisdom for me before I set off? 🙂