Become A Digital Nomad And Explore The World!
Hi, I’m Aly and I’m a 30-year-old adventure seeker from a small village in the south of Ireland. Welcome to my virtual home!
Traveler Ahoy is my space online where I talk about all things travel, lifestyle design and going against the grain. My goal with this blog is to inspire my readers to step out of their comfort zones and follow their dreams, whatever they may be.
Do stick around as it would be great to have you aboard for the journey!
Top 3 Reasons Why I LOVE (and you will too!) Being a Digital Nomad
My Message To You…
BREAK the RULES. FIND your FREEDOM.
GRAB every OPPORTUNITY. LIVE your LIFE.
Have NO REGRETS
We are all born free but that changes as we grow older.
Family, work and financial commitments constrict us into living a certain way in order to survive. The world around us tells us that we must graduate college, get a job, find a partner, buy a house, have a family and retire at 65.
That freedom that each of us was born with is lost in all of this and, more often than not, it disappears forever.
I’m doing things my way and making freedom my priority. I hope to inspire you to do the same.
Working Online & The Possibilities Out There
I’m not one to exaggerate BUT becoming your own boss will be one of the best things you’ll ever do. As having the freedom to travel is my priority, supplementing my income by getting some writing gigs online was my goal.
That has been my primary source of income since I left home, but I’ve figured out a few more tricks when it comes to making money online.
Having to earn every cent of my pay cheque does come with its own set of challenges but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are so many opportunities out there when it comes to working online and Traveler Ahoy covers many of them so stay tuned for insider info and tips.
LATEST FROM MY BLOG
So you have decided…You are finally going traveling!
Great, you have made a wise decision to take the journey of your life into the unknown. Don’t worry about leaving your job or giving up a steady pay cheque. Saying goodbye to your family and friends might be a little tough at first but after all, you are only a plane ride away!
Deciding to go traveling is a big decision, especially if you are in your early twenties or thirties when a lot of people are “settling down” and taking out mortgages etc. But you won’t regret your decision and you will find a way to make it work, enjoying the sights and wonderful people and experiences you will encounter along the way.
For many, one big trip or extended gap year is their first time to really travel properly not just like a 3-day break away to Western Europe. Is this like you?
Packing your bags and leaving stuff out is difficult, especially if you are a girl! We need stuff on the road, or at least we think we do. But as you set sail on your voyage you might find yourself getting rid of clothes or stuff that you thought you would need. There are loads of places to buy, sell, trade, or donate your stuff on your adventures.
Before setting out, having done some research into the destinations you wish to visit is important. Information about visas, money, local taxes, transportation links and your accommodation bookings are important to get insight into so you won’t be panicked when you arrive. If you are a newbie traveller, below are some great tips to help you prepare for your trip.
7 great tips for the newbie traveller
- Get travel insurance
There is a wide range of safety and crime rates across the globe. Also, some places are more prone to the spread of disease than others. With that in mind, a solid insurance policy is essential. For example, for taking part in extreme pursuits or water sports, please ensure that your insurance covers you for these, as some insurance companies won’t deal with certain activity.
- Passport check
Make sure that your passport doesn’t expire any time soon. This seems basic but you would be surprised at how many travellers do overlook this before they jet off. It’s actually quite simple to forget your passport’s expiry date because if you haven;t been using it very often, then you wouldn’t have a reason to check it. You don’t want to be shocked on your flight day that you can’t fly due to an expired passport!
As a tip on the road, ensure that you check the expiry date before you intend to book your next flight.
- Communication technology
Some people keep their existing phone plan and smartphone when they go on long term travel. This might not be the best idea, with charges for roaming and issues with data and signal, it might be better to start with a local phone and sim option. Obviously, this would depend on where you go and for how long.
Just use your common sense. Maybe hold off on buying a new high spec smart phone before your trip. Around the world, there are good phone and/or sim plans available. But remember, being on your phone every minute of the day is not what you want when you travel. You will miss out on events, interactions and the experiences of it all.
- Stick to the beaten track
Especially as a solo-traveling female, you should strongly think about going somewhere well known, not too remote and with a lower crime rate against women. Do some research and be smart. Joining a group is a great way to chat to travellers who may have been to the area, they can give you the low down.
With everything going on in the world today, watch the news and local updates on anything that would make the destination a little dangerous. For example, some Arab countries have different laws for women that us in the Western world wouldn’t adhere to at all! Check out guide books, blogs and forums that will help you to understand the destination(s) better.
- The right baggage gear
Get yourself a quality comfortable rucksack and/or small suitcase as hand luggage if you’re going to bring cameras, laptops or similar. Shop around online and visit some of the outdoor-adventure shops too as they often stock solid products. The key is that you want to pack your bags lightly. Try using a rigid “in or out” system when you pack. Also, get yourself some luggage padlocks and maybe some name tags to recognise and protect your luggage on the road.
- Be open minded with your accommodation
For meeting other travellers on the go, staying in a hostel or camping are two great ways that also won’t break the bank. The world is full of great hostels and campsites. Prices can vary from place to place and in the different seasons. Hostels are supposed to be basic, so you may only get a bed in a shared dorm room, with no bathroom but the communal one down the hall. Be prepared ladies! Most hostels are quirky, fun places and usually have decent wifi.
- Backup your documents
Making copies of your drivers license, trip route, flight itinerary, boarding passes, insurance policies and obviously, your passport is a wise move.
Remember too that some countries will require a certain visa to enter and stay, so making digital copies of any visas that you may require will give you some reassurance if your real documents did happen to go missing or get stolen. Before departure, back up whatever you can and save them to a USB key and also create a folder on Google Drive or a password protected folder on Dropbox with to save the digital copies to. You will then have access to your important documents from anywhere with internet or through the USB key in the hostel!
All set? Just to recap
- Travel as lightly as possible and keep an eye on your baggage
- Hostels and campsites are great fun at a low budget
- Make a copy of your documents (USB key and on the cloud)
- Check your passport well in advance of booking a flight
- Do some due diligence on your destination and try to stick to the beaten track
- Consider a local phone/sim plan
- Get insurance for your persona and valuables
London is great but where to go beyond that?
A cosmopolitan city to the core, London boats tonnes of stuff to do and places to go. If shopping malls, museums or just plain old sightseeing tours are your thing, you won’t be let down.
But many people would consider London as just another European city. So if that bursts your bubble, then consider this; there’s lots of great little spots outside of London that you can visit. I’ve outlined just a few of them below:
Steeped in medieval architecture and home of the Cathedral and St. Augustine’s Abbey, the great Canterbury boasts a fascinating history. For a long time, it was a popular pilgrimage location. Regardless of your love or hate for tour guides, this place is surely to be explored without a tour guide or you will miss out!
In summer time, Edinburgh is great! Art festivals, super comedy acts to keep you laughing and stunning scenery are all standard in the lovely Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city, steeped in culture and tradition. If it’s a museum you are after, then the National Museum of Scotland is sure to provide you with the answers to this great country’s rich history. Take a trip up to the castle and watch he cannon being fired, this is a daily thing!
Scottish Kilts, medieval swords and Scotch whiskey are also on the cards if that’s what you’re into.
Journeying away from Edinburgh is Glasgow. The art fans among you will really enjoy the Kelvingrove gallery and museum.
In the Northwest of Scotland, little towns are scattered around. One such example is Torridon, offering visitors surprises. For whale watching tours, taking a yacht trip or camping, Torrid has all of these covered for you.
If you are a gardener and love your flowers, then visit Hull this summer. You’ll be in for a treat. Imagine you could experience flowers that never die!
Well, now you can do that, in Hull. In a celebration of being a City of Culture for 2017 (an event held yearly around the world to celebrate city’s culture, people and arts) — Hull has got a field full of yellow flowers, but no ordinary ones! King Edward Square is home to over 1,700 flowers constructed from nearly 147,000 Lego bricks! Crazy, I know.
Southwest of the Cotswolds, don’t miss the charming Gloucestershire. Being further away from London, it’s not as over crowded as other places.
Stroud is a small town lined with streets of cobblestone, artisan breweries and vintage-style shops amidst the market stalls. It offers charming historical significance in addition to all of the modern needs of the new age traveler.
A historic little town, Rye is like other market based towns spread throughout the United Kingdom. What makes this place unique however, is its location. Found on the Romney marshes, along the sand line of one of the South coast’s longest beaches, you can expect to spend some time going through goods in antique shops and wandering through the alley ways.
Do castles do it for you? Windsor, Inverness, Skye and Cardiff sport some of the nicest castles where the grandeur of the United Kingdom’s complex past is visible. For the famous Stirling Castle, Scotland is where you need to go. But if you don’t intend on going that far north, then go somewhere closer to London, like the Leeds Castle in southeast London. Chartered buses do run, to haul you between the castles, so do some research prior to the trip to find the most appropriate deal for you.
For a more knowledge seeking, historical insight, then visit York, Southampton, Liverpool and Manchester. Any city with something unique in its history is worth a shot. Take Southampton for example. This was a port town from where the tragic Titanic once departed in the year 1912. Also, the SeaCity Museum is a great spot. Manchester is a great location for the sports fans among you, with the National Football Museum, where you big footy fans can hang out all day! For the train lovers among you, then go to York as it has a museum dedicated to railroads and trains and entry is free!
Are you a fan of the Beatles? Liverpool is for you. Take the long and winding road to the dedicated Beatles museum and look into The Beatles Story too.
Does glamping tickle your fancy?
If you like being at one with nature but in a more glamorous way, then glamping is ideal for you, providing you with a camping experience with some added luxuries.
Roulotte Retreat in Melrose
Here you can escape the cold by staying in one of the traditional Gypsy’s caravans in the Roulotte Retreat, Melrose. This is just on the Scottish border. The Eildon Hills overlook and each of the caravans has their own style influenced by Celtic, Indian and even Moroccan cultures.
Maybe return to London before you go?
If you like London, then maybe returning here after a few days in the countryside is a good idea. Cambridge is pretty easy to get to, where you will wander into the Fitzwilliam Museum or the Botanical Gardens at Cambridge University.
For nice beaches, then visit Southend-on-Sea. It’s a stunning location.
For a nice shopping experience in the countryside, then High Wycombe will delight and it also has some great architecture that will keep you gazed and dazed with the lovely buildings.
Budgets and more information
As the UK economy starts to recover and find its way through this whole Brexit thing, the travel industry there may take longer to reach max capacity again. But for the traveler, this is a good thing as it makes it more competitive for tourism and travel companies, giving you many options catering for all budgets.
Coming from outside of Europe? Then make sure you have your correct visa. Also check the expiry date of your passport!
Do research based on your chosen destinations, find out the level of expenses you’ll need and the look for the better times to book in your accommodation and you’ll be right on your merry little way to a great British adventure!
A lot of things have happened in the last ten years since I decided to embrace this lifestyle. Some of them were sad, some of the exciting and some made run for my life. But, when I sum everything up, I wouldn’t change a thing. The memories make our life and help us remember why we actually lived. I am going to tell you some of my favorite ones and try to describe in a few words why this type of life is worth living.
On my way to India, I have rented a motorbike, yes, I can ride a bike, at that time I thought it would be much easier to explore the places. But, something was wrong with it from the start. After it broke down for the 100th time, on a very crowded street, I had to pull over, filing frustrated and upset. Cars and pedestrians were passing by, I thought everyone would be honking and yelling at me, but almost each car stopped, and people rushed to help me out. Finally, some man took me to a mechanic shop, while I waited, people were smiling at me, shaking hands and saying hello. Their cheerful spirit managed to repair something more than one broken bike.
While staying in Mongolia, back in 2011, I’ve rented an old Russian van to take me from Ulan Bator. Along the way, Ive noticed an unusual set of rocks sitting on huge wasteland, at that moment I thought it was a good place to “visit the facilities.” After I’ve done the deed, a strange man appeared in front of my van, telling me in a very bad English those stones are sacred and they have a special meaning to Mongolian culture. He started talking about karma and bad luck; I personally don’t believe in such things. But on my way to next destination, I got a very unpleasant chance to experience the meaning of his word. I got lost, my van broke down two times, and someone stole some of my possessions while I was shopping.
This place was the home of the first Premier of Alberta, and it is rich in history and cultural heritage. Back in 1911, Alexander Cameron Rutherford together with his wife and kids moved into this beautiful mansion, near the university campus. Today, this structure is the symbol of hospitality and kindness. Through years Rutherford family hosted the gatherings in this palace and entertained friends and relatives. When you visit, this building, you will notice it’s fully restored and furnished in Edwardian style. It will set you back to some lost time, and you get to experience the traditional way of life.
Events you can visit
There are many other ways to experience Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site. Each of these events focuses on some special activity and depending on your preferences; you can choose which one to attend. Some of the most interesting ones are:
Family Day Open House – starting at February 20, from noon to 4 p.m. All visits on that day are free, and you have a unique opportunity to visit the home of the first Premier of Alberta. This tour will take you through history; you will get to know different personalities of the Rutherford family and know their interests and hobbies. Explore all parts of the house and enjoy simple treats which are made in a traditional kitchen.
Each year, from 1912 to 1939, Rutherford family hosted a Founder’s Day. Alexander Rutherford and graduating students from the University of Alberta will plant a tree on campus. After that, they would return to his home to enjoy the gathering and to have lunch. On Founder’s Day, you will explore the gardens of his home, have refreshments and receive your own graduation certificate.
Hours and admission
The house is opened from May 15 to first Monday in September, from 10 a.m. to 5 p. Winter hours are from 12 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Labour Day to May 15. Fees are really affordable; one ticket will cost you $7, you can get discounts deepening on you age, of you can but an annual pass.
If you are a fan of an open-air museum, then Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is the right place to visit. I remember my first trip here, and how excited I was to travel to Canada. The beauty of this place had blown my mind. It set you back in the 18th century; you get to see the primitive way of life and peace and quiet of this place has are a very positive effect on your mental health. It helps you remember the life before technology and gadgets.
The structure of the museum
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village has more than 35 buildings/houses which are relocated and restored. Their traditional name is Burdei, also known as sod house. Different styles are combined here, one room and two room school, several churches and blacksmith shop and grain elevator. Visitors of all ages are welcomed here, and you will see Alberta’s cultural and agricultural roots. The traditional Ukraine food will complete this experience. The location of the museum if very approachable, 25 minutes east of Edmonton, driving along the Highway 16, just on the east side of Elk Island National Park.
Visit special events
This museum hosts a lot of interesting events and exhibits. Workshops are a very attractive place for gatherings; here you can hear the stories about the Ukraine cultural heritage and their pioneers who have come to this part of the world. If you have never visited this place before and you are a fan of history, this is a perfect opportunity to find about Ukraine culture and their settling in Alberta. During the spring, many events take place here, like the exhibit “Where we came from,” it celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, emphasizing the stories of Albertian families.
Visiting hours and fees
Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is open from May 20 to September 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. very days. Considering the prices, the costs aren’t that high, the price of the ticket is $15, but you get to have some discounts regarding the age and number of people, of you can get an annual pass, which is $50.