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. Friday, 9 February 2018 .
If you've read any of my previous posts, you might have seen a recent one I made discussing my favourite Beauty Pie products. Just in case you're not familiar with the concept, you pay £10 a month membership fee and that allows you to buy a certain amount of Beauty Pie products for the 'member's price' (which is how much the product costs to make) as opposed to the full price. Over the last few months I have been saving up my membership allowance to place a big order, so I thought I'd share with you guys what I picked up. A lot of these are new releases so I'm really keen to give everything a go!

Sunshine Luxury Candle 

RRP £40, Members Price £13.47 
Beauty Pie have just branched out into candles and you have no idea how happy this makes me. I decided to go for the "sunshine" candle which is described as "exotic, creamy, fruity, dreamy with a transparent floral middle and a splashy sea-spray base." The scent is delicate but still manages the make my whole room smell incredible. I also love the simple and classy design of the candle as I feel like it will fit in with any room. 

PS I accidentally picked up two of these (how could I forget I'd already added it to my basket?!) So if you fancy winning one, check out the giveaway I'm currently running on my Twitter.  

Super Retinol (+ Vitamin C) Night Renewal Moisturizer 

RRP £75, Members Price £9.28
I am in the unfortunate position of having both oily and dehydrated skin. That means my skin gets really oily but also desperately needs moisture otherwise it can be really dry and flaky at the same time. Then it produces even MORE oil to compensate for this - as you can probably tell, it's not an ideal situation. The way I like to combat this is by giving my skin as much moisture as possible over night, then try to keep it matte in the day (to avoid looking like a gross, oily mess), so figured I'd try out this overnight treatment. I've also heard Retinol is meant to be great for your skin, but I'm definitely not an expert so don't ask me why! Basically, when I saw this new release on Beauty Pie's website, it sounded like the answer to all my prayers! So I'm excited to give it a go! 

Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial 

RRP £60, Members Price £8.86 
This is a repurchase that you'll have already heard me talking about if you read my top picks of Beauty Pie or my skincare favourites. So if you hadn't already worked it out, I bloody love this stuff. Thankfully they've re-released it in an even bigger size so I won't run out so quickly this time. It was out of stock for quite a while, so I'm super pleased it was finally back in stock before I'd completely used mine up! It is by far the most incredible exfoliator I've ever used as it is both a chemical and manual exfoliant that leaves my skin feeling and looking radiant. 

Super Fan Wide Eyes Mascara

RRP £20, Members Price £4.22
Moving on to makeup and I've picked up another new release. This stuff claims to do everything; lengthen, thicken, add volume and generally make your lashes look incredible. Those are some pretty bold claims so I'm excited to put it to the test and see if it's really as good as they say it is! I haven't tried it out yet but I love the look of the brush, which is always a promising start. 
RRP £18, Members Price £3.69
Another fairly new release. I've always quite liked crayon lip colours as they tend to look fairly matte on the lips, last well but don't feel over-drying. So I'm hoping this one lives up to my expectations! Of course, I had to pick it up in dark pinky-nude because that's my classic go-to for a lip colour. Plus the perks of crayons like this is that it doubles up as a lip liner, so makes getting ready in the morning just that little bit faster. 
RRP £24, Members Price £4.39 
As I've already mentioned, my skin gets super oily. This is a repurchase because I find it really helps keep my oils at bay and makes my makeup last so much better. I can't really say I notice the pore-minimising element to it, but to be honest I wouldn't really know what that looked like/meant! But for me, the big thing is preventing myself looking like an oily mess, and this definitely helps with that. 
RRP £15, Members Price £2.34
Again, if you read my top picks post, you'll know that my absolute go-to nude lipstick is from Beauty Pie. So when I saw they had a lip liner to match I just had to pick it up. It's my perfect nude so I'm super glad that they've bought it out in lip liner form. I also think it's going to be fab for using with a lot of my other nude lip colours, as I currently don't have a go-to nude lip liner. 

Foundation Buffing Brush

RRP £28, Members Price £3.91 
Beauty Pie launched their makeup brushes quite a while ago now, but I just hadn't got round to trying them so I thought I'd better change that. I always use a beauty blender to apply my foundation but recently I've been wanting to try out using a brush in the hopes it would better cover my pores on my nose. I've always felt like brushes made my foundation look a bit streaky, but maybe that was just my poor makeup skills as a teenager! I'd like to think I've got a little better now though so I thought it was time to try again. I haven't had chance to try the brush out yet, but I can already tell you that the brush feels soft but dense and no there's no sign of shedding - so it's winning so far! 

Ten Best Smoky Eyeshadows

RRP £35, Members Price £8.76 
Now this is something I already own. No, I don't need two. I decided to buy another one because I'm collecting things for a big giveaway over on my Youtube Channel when I hit 5,000 subscribers. So if you aren't already subscribed, I suggest you head on over there and hit that little red button so you don't miss out! For the purpose of this blog post I'm showing you my palette, so if it looks a little used that's because it is! But I wanted to keep the new one in its box ready for the giveaway. For me this palette is just perfect as it contains a wide variety of shades for whatever kind of smokey eye you're going for. Plus is includes a combination of matte and shimmer shades. What more could you want?

If I had paid full price for all these items it would have cost me a grand total of £355 - who wants to spend that amount?! Instead I only paid £72.41, meaning I saved £282.59. Not bad at all!

What makeup products have you purchased recently?

. Friday, 2 February 2018 .

Back in December I visited Germany for the first time, spending 5 days in the capital of Berlin. It was such a cool city and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't visited before. In case you do decide to head to Berlin, here are the things I'd recommend doing while you're there.

Walking Tour

A walking tour is a great way to get to grips with a new city. I did a FREE walking tour with Sandemans, it lasted 3 hours and I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. The tour starts at 11am from a meeting point by the Brandenburg gate and our guide was unbelievably knowledgable. The groups tend to be a bit larger than a typical paid tour and they do ask you to tip at the end, but it is still better value to leave a decent tip than book onto one of the pricier city tours. You could obviously just walk around the city yourself, but for me, the added information you get from a guided tour is invaluable. You'll also gain a lot of "insider knowledge," such as the best places to visit, the best time to beat the crowds or the cheapest way to do all the things you want to do. 
First stop = Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Cathedral is a sight to behold! The first thing you'll notice as you approach is its incredible size. It is a truly magnificent building with beautiful stone work and architecture.The Cathedral is located on Museum Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admission costs €7 for an adult or €5 for a reduced ticket. Included in the admission price is access to the museum, the crypt and the view from the dome walkway. The cathedral is an operating church so there are religious services held here regularly. When I visited we were lucky enough to catch a choir rehearsing and despite not being religious I still loved listening to their incredible voices. The Hohenzollern Crypt is located beneath the cathedral and contains over 100 sarcophagi and burial monuments from the past four centuries; some are fairly plain with others are lavishly decorated. For me the highlight of the visit though was climbing to the top of the cathedral to the dome walkway which gives you incredible views over the city. I'd definitely recommend you do this at sunset as I did because the views are simply spectacular.
Admiring the view from the top of the Cathedral

East Side Gallery

Artwork at the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the longest continuing section of the Berlin Wall that remains; 1316 meters of open-air gallery along the River Spree. Painting of the wall began almost immediately after the wall was pulled down, with 118 artists from 21 countries contributing their work. The gallery was officially opened in 1990 and a year later was protected with memorial status. The wall itself is free to walk along; there is also a museum for the wall but it is quite pricey to visit (€12.50/€6.50) and most people I spoke to said it wasn't worth it so I personally didn't visit. I was a little disappointed to see some of the artwork defaced by graffiti, but it doesn't take away from the overall impression. A lot of the artwork is very political in nature and conveys messages; some more discreet than others. But I'd definitely recommend walking along the wall with other people, as I loved discussing the potential meaning and messages behind the artwork with someone else. 
Artwork at the East Side Gallery

National History Museum

I am personally a massive history nerd, so I always jump at the chance to visit a history museum when I'm in a new city. As with many history museums, Berlin has numerous dinosaur skeletons which are always a hit with me. The museum is actually home to the World's largest dinosaur skeleton! They also had some very clever machines that when you looked at the skeletons through the eye-piece made them come alive, allowing you to watch the dinosaurs roaming in what would have been their habitat. Plus it houses the most complete specimen ever found of an ancient bird called Archaeopteryx (no, I have no idea how to pronounce that either). Another highlight of the visit for me was their biodiversity room, which houses over 3,000 preserved species; some a pretty small but others are HUGE.

Visit Christmas Markets

Drinking mulled wine at Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt 
This one is of course seasonal, but if you're in Berlin anywhere near Christmas you cannot miss out on visiting a Christmas market (or six). There are over 60 different markets throughout the city, each with its own appeal. If you do a google search you'll find so many different articles telling you which markets are the best to visit but my advice would be to visit a few; more famous ones, lesser known ones, huge ones and smaller ones. Each has their own charm and you'll have very different experiences. My personal favourite was Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt which is located just off Bebelplatz. It's quite a small market but has a little bit of everything and a quaint, traditional feel to it. 

Have you ever been to Berlin? If so, what would you recommend to do there?

. Tuesday, 23 January 2018 .
If you follow me over on my YouTube channel, you'll probably know that I went out to Tanzania in the summer of 2017 to volunteer as a nurse. By that point I had completed two years of my nursing training and was looking for an opportunity to both experience health services in a completely different environment and use the skills I had developed to help others. Tanzania is an incredible country and even if you don't want to volunteer, there are so many reasons to visit Tanzania. I get a lot of questions about my time out there, so I thought I'd try and sum everything up in a blog post.

View over the Serengeti, Tanzania
I don't really know what I expected before I went out to Tanzania, but what I found when I got there was pretty mind-blowing. I was very fortunate and got to spend time in two different hospitals, one was private and one was public. However, in Tanzania, a public hospital is not the same as a public hospital in the U.K. Generally public hospitals are state-funded and private ones you need to pay for out of your own pocket. But in Tanzania you need to pay no matter where you receive your treatment; there is no National Health Service. The only difference is that private hospitals are generally a bit nicer, better staffed and cost more. Whereas public hospitals are a lot more crowded, have less staff and resources but are cheaper. The reason I was so fortunate to spend time in both is that I gained very different types of experience; in the private hospital I took more of an observational role, following nurses and doctors around while they explained to me what they were doing. Whereas in the public hospital I was utilised as a member of staff, I was able to assist in surgery and work alongside other volunteers running the wound clinic. The wound clinic involved assessing and treating patients with a wide variety of conditions; from infected leg ulcers as a result of unmanaged diabetes to machete wounds. If you are wanting to volunteer abroad in a medical field, be aware that what you are allowed to do will depend on your level of training. You usually meet with someone senior on your first day who will find out what you are capable of doing and put you in the best area. So as someone with two-years nursing training I was allowed to actually do a lot more than medical students and people who had not yet started any formal training. Personally I would not recommend on volunteering abroad before you have started any kind of training, even though most companies will allow you to do this, as ultimately you will not get anywhere near as much from it at this point.

Operating Theatre in Tanzania
The most noticeable difference between U.K. and Tanzanian hospitals was definitely the hygiene and cleanliness. On my first morning in the hospital I was waiting outside the Doctor's office to introduce myself before I got stuck in. During this time I got to observe the workings of the ward. I was immediately struck by their use of gloves. Nursing staff were wearing gloves but they'd put on a pair, wipe down a surface, attend to a patient, write something in a patient's chart, use their phone and clear away some equipment... all while wearing the same pair of gloves. Now I'm not sure what the reason for this was, but my two guesses would be either they are trying to preserve what few resources they have or they just aren't fully aware of the principles behind changing gloves between tasks.

The hygiene in the operating theatre had to be the most surprising though. As a mental health nurse I'd never had any contact with an operating theatre before this trip, but I still had a basic understanding of hygiene during surgery. Possibly the most shocking thing I saw was operations being carried out WITH THE WINDOW OPEN. Operating theatres are usually sterile environments but in this case literally any bugs could have flown in the window and contaminated the theatre. The only cleaning that took place between surgeries was a quick wipe with a visibly dirty cloth from a bucket of bleach solution over the plastic sheet that covered the operating bed. The electricity was also pretty sketchy, so we quite often had to do surgeries with volunteers (or even family members of the person being operating on) holding flashlights or mobile phones so the surgeon could see what he was doing. They also don't use general anaesthetic for any operations, no matter how major. So it was a pretty unpleasant experience to see people being operating on with just a lidocaine (a local anaesthetic). You could clearly see they were in pain and I just shocked me that people would agree to an operation knowing how painful it would be!
Outside Lovolosi Hospital 
4 different nationalities, 4 different coloured scrubs
Another truly amazing element to the experience was seeing a whole range of conditions that I would be very unlikely to come across, if at all, in the U.K. I spent some time on the paediatric ward where the most common illness was Malaria, closely followed by accidental burns/poisoning from the fuel people store in their homes. A lot of people cannot afford to buy fuel in larger quantities, so shops will sell them in coke bottles. This means children often pick them up and drink the fuel if it is not stored properly. It is also common for the cooking apparatus that people use to catch on fire due to the use of the highly flammable fuel, so burns on children were also very common. I saw tumours the size of footballs where people had avoided seeking medical attention for so long, sometimes due to financial reasons and sometimes due to cultural/religious reasons, that their conditions were so much more serious than would ever be seen in the U.K. I also learnt they literally just treat everyone and everything with antibiotics, even when it seems like a really inappropriate treatment. Often people cannot afford the tests to determine the cause of an illness, so doctors will just prescribe a concoction of various antibiotics in the hope that one will help. It was quite baffling to see the way they do things, but at the same time it kind of made sense. They were just doing the best with the resources available to them.

Overall my experience was an unforgettable one. So if you are a nursing student or medical student I would highly recommend looking into the possibility of volunteering abroad. You will not regret it!

Have you ever volunteered abroad? Or is it something you would like to do? Let me know in the comments!

. Saturday, 13 January 2018 .
I have been a member of Beauty Pie for about a year now, I signed up shortly after they launched in December 2016. If you're not familiar with Beauty Pie it's kind of like a members buying club for makeup. Essentially, you pay £10 a month for membership and that allows you to buy high-end quality makeup for factory-cost prices. They are constantly launching new products and have now branched out into skincare and candles too. I have never used a Beauty Pie product that I didn't love, but there are definitely a few standouts for me. So I thought I'd share them with you!

Great Skin Foundation

RRP £30, Members Price £5.33
This is one of the first Beauty Pie products I tried and was definitely not disappointed. I was a little bit nervous to pick my shade online but the shade pictures on the website are fab; I went with 200 Buttermilky and it suits my skin perfectly! I'd say it gives a medium coverage when applied with a brush and a light-medium when applied with a sponge. It is super light weight but improves the overall look of my skin. It doesn't come with a lid but the top twists to lock which means I can throw it in my makeup bag on the go without worrying about a mess. The foundation is oil-free and leaves a matte finish which is perfect for an oily gal like me!

Matte Retouch Pore-Minimizing Primer 

RRP £24, Members Price £3.79
As I've already mentioned, my skin is super oily. So I'm always on the hunt for a fab mattifying primer, and I'm going to have to say this is one of the best I've found. It has a slightly tacky texture when applied to your face which really helps the longevity of any products you pop over the top. I also have pretty visible pores on my nose and forehead which this really helps to address. I'd say its a fab dupe for the Benefit Porefessional in that sense. Unfortunately I have completely run out of this product but I'll definitely be repurchasing as soon as possible! I also quite like using this on good skin days without foundation; i'll just wear the primer with a a touch of concealer and a setting powder and I'm good to go with a wonderfully natural but matte look.

Futurelipstick Matte in "Cowboy Nude" 

RRP £20, Members Price £2.82
If you've ever watched a YouTube video of mine and I'm wearing lipstick in it, there's a 90% chance it's this one! Matte lipsticks are always hard to get right but the Beauty Pie ones just hit the nail on the head. I own a few of their lipsticks but CowBoy Nude is definitely my favourite. The lipsticks are matte but not drying whatsoever. Plus their staying power is on point! I always receive compliments on this when I'm wearing it. I've also purchased several more to give to friends as gifts because I just love it so much and want everyone to know how great it is.

Smart Powder Blush in "Peachy Dreams"

RRP £18, Members Price £3.15
As you can probably see from the photo, I love this blush A LOT! I've hit pan and I don't think I've ever done that with a blush before. Again I own a couple of these but "Peachy Dreams" is definitely my favourite. It is, as you would expect, a peachy-pink colour. It has a beautifully creamy texture that blends into the skin flawlessly to leave you with a natural looking flush. Although, it is super pigmented, so if you wanted more of a stand-out pop of blush that's definitely achievable with this too.

Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial 

RRP £60, Members Price £7.59
I've mentioned this product before on my blog, but this is by far my holy grail skincare product, so I thought it deserved another mention. I have quite textured skin that typical exfoliators have just never really managed to tackle. Mine is in the old packaging because you only need a small amount so it has lasted forever, but I am now in need of a repurchase! It is a combination of both chemical and physical exfoliants that leaves my skin feeling incredible. This might not work for super sensitive skin as it contains glycol acids, salicylic acid and enzymes from pomegranate fruits.  Plus there are quartz and bamboo scrub grains to really scrub away at any imperfections. So how it works is you pop it all over your face, leave it for 5-10 minutes, wet your hands with some warm water and work the product in circular motions before washing it away. I usually use this twice a week. Admittedly the first time I used it my skin was a little bit worse immediately after in terms of breakouts, but with regular use my skin feels incredible and my breakouts have reduced. I think the reason my skin was worse after my first use is because it brought out all the spots that were just waiting to happen, so maybe don't try it for the first time before a big event.

Juju Overnight Moisture Superinfusion

RRP £70, Members Price £9.84
Now I am in the very weird position where my skin is both oily and dry - there's just no winning! While I obviously want to look matte in the day time, I use the night time to give my skin as much moisture as possible! I also find that when my skin is thoroughly moisturised it actually produces less oil. This definitely wouldn't work for the day time as it is very heavy, but it is absolutely perfect as an overnight treatment to hydrate and moisturise! I like to slather it on before bed, wash off the remnants in the morning and my skin feels incredibly soft. It has a beautiful fragrance that I can't quite put my finger on, but that just adds to the enjoyable experience of putting it on for me. It's made in Korea which I think says a lot, as Korea is famous for its incredible skincare. The texture of the cream is very thick so I was initially a little worried that it would clog up my pores, but I haven't had any issue with that at all - it just melts into your skin!

I recently picked up a few new things from Beauty Pie, so if you're curious you can check out my haul here.

Have you tried anything from Beauty Pie? Or are you now considering signing up? Let me know in the comments!

. Tuesday, 9 January 2018 .
If you follow my YouTube channel, you'll likely know that I do a fair bit of travelling. I went on some incredible trips in 2017 (if you want to read all about them, you can do so here), all of which were solo! When I tell people I travel solo most say they couldn't do it! But today I want to tell you 10 reasons why you SHOULD travel solo. It's something I think everyone should do at least once in their life - although in reality, once you've done it, you'll probably want to do it time and time again!

Me in Budapest (p.s. I took this photo using a mini tripod and the self-timer setting!)

1.  You'll develop new skills

Normally if there's something you're not good at, you'd leave it to someone else who's better at it. Or if there's something you don't know, you'd google it. But when you're travelling solo, often without consistent internet access, you can't just pass the buck to someone else. For me this is map reading and directions. Normally I'd run a mile from that kind of thing and leave it to someone else to work out, but since travelling alone my ability to direct myself around unfamiliar environments has greatly improved! I mean, discovering that you can use Google maps offline has definitely helped... haha! But I can also now use a physical map to find my way around places.

2. You'll get better at putting yourself out there

This is the kind of skill that will help you untold amounts throughout your life, and its definitely a skill I developed while solo travelling. Realistically, opportunities in life are highly unlikely to just fall at your feet. There will be times when you need to seek them out or put yourself forward. This is something you often have to do as a solo traveller if you want to have the best possible trip. For example, you might hear a few people in common room of your hostel discussing the really awesome day trip they're going on tomorrow, or the highly recommended restaurant they're heading to later for some great local food. It's always a little intimidating but asking if you can join people is a great example of putting yourself out there, and while it may seem scary, I've never been rejected so far! 

3. You'll be pushed out of your comfort zone

If you haven't travelled solo before it will definitely be a challenge, but one I imagine most people will love and flourish with. Solo travel removes the comfort blanket of knowing that at least if something goes wrong there will be other people around you that will be in the same situation. In my experience stepping out of your comfort zone can be the most exhilarating thing you'll ever do. It's only when outside your comfort zone that we can truly grow and develop as a person. It also makes it more likely that we'll be brave enough to step out of our comfort zones again, leading to more and more incredible experiences.

4. You'll learn to be selfish

Now, generally, being selfish is thought of a negative thing. Considering others and acting in selfless ways is seen to make you a great person, and don't get me wrong, I'm not proposing we never think of others. But sometimes we need to be selfish for the sake of our own wellbeing or dreams. It's not like I travel solo because I refuse to travel with other people, but often no one around me wants to do the things I want to do or go to the places I want to go to. So rather than miss out I just have to be a little selfish and go off to do it on my own. My worst nightmare is reaching an old age and regretting all the opportunities I missed out. 
There are so many times in life where we need to compromise and consider other people's thoughts and feeling. But travelling solo will give the opportunity to be selfish, without impacting upon anyone else, and trust me - that's a very liberating feeling. Selfishness often comes with a sense of guilt but not when you're going solo!

5. You'll learn not to take other people's opinions too seriously

While people will often say "I don't care what people think about me," in practice, that is often a lot harder to do than we think. But when you're off having the time of your life that is definitely much easier than you'd think! When you are truly enjoying yourself, doing the things you want to do at the pace you want to do them at, who cares what anyone else thinks?! 

6. You'll never actually be alone if you don't want to be

Despite travelling solo throughout this year, I've never REALLY been alone! The main reason I think a lot of people don't want to travel alone is because they don't actually want to do things like eat dinner or visit attractions alone. My most recent trip to Berlin for example, I explored alone my first evening in the city, but that's mainly because I was exhausted and just wanted to go for a bit of a walk, eat some food and go to bed! But the next morning I met an awesome group of people on a free walking tour from our hostel, then spent the rest of the trip hanging out and exploring things with them. This works perfectly for me because it means if I want to do things alone I can, but if I want to do something and someone else wants to do it too then we can do it together! Whereas if you travel with people, you're highly unlikely to want to just go off and leave them. Plus I now have friends all over the world, a lot of whom I've actually met up with again in different locations since originally meeting!
Exploring the Christmas Markets in Berlin

7. You'll end up with a LOT of funny stories

Like that time I travelled on the metro in Athens and didn't realise you had to validate your ticket. So when approached by a guard I showed him my ticket thinking I'd have no problems, only for him to start SCREAMING at me in Greek! I obviously had no idea I'd done anything wrong so was totally baffled and just stood there looking very perplexed until he finally just gave up and walked away. I only found out what I'd done wrong when I explained to the receptionist back at my hostel! 
Or the time I was sat in the shade cooling down in Cambodia only to have a monkey steal my GoPro (which it turns out I definitely shouldn't have left just sat next to me on the bench) and ran off with it. Needless to say my immediate reaction was to chase after it (leaving my bag with all my valuables still on the bench, thankfully no one took it!) much to the amusement of the locals. Thankfully the monkey dropped the camera and I managed to swipe it off the ground before any of the others lurking around could beat me to it! I did then end up getting it actually stolen a little while later, but that's a whole different story and not quite as funny!

8. You'll become a lot more confident

Making new friends, finding your own way around a new place and bossing it at this whole travel thing - they're all going to help boost your confidence! Particularly if before you left you, or other people, thought you wouldn't be able to do it. There's something incredibly empowering about travelling alone. Even if things go wrong (and chances are, things definitely will go wrong!), you'll figure it out and that will also give you a big boost! 

9. You'll get creative with your photo taking

Having pictures of the places you've been to is nice, but I personally like to have pictures with me actually in them too! Generally I get quite nervous about handing my camera to a complete stranger to take a photo for me (after getting my GoPro back from the naughty monkey in Cambodia I ended up having it stolen out of my bag on a bus journey - it was my first trip, A LOT of mistakes were made haha), as I'm always afraid my camera will be stolen and I'll lose all the incredible memories on it! 
I've now developed two ways to get pictures of myself while travelling solo. The first is more for touristy areas or attractions. I usually look for another solo traveller, or better yet a couple, struggling to take a selfie of themselves with whatever the tourist site is in the background. I'll offer to take a picture of them using their camera and then ask if they'll return the favour and take a picture of me. I'd hope by doing this, someone is less likely to run off with my camera as I've just done something nice for them (and it's been successful so far!). Another method I enlist is better for places where it isn't as busy. I'll set my camera up on a tripod, put it on a self timer and run to get myself into position. It sometimes takes a few attempts but I've got some really great pictures this way. I wouldn't recommend doing this where its busy though as someone could easily swipe your camera while you're a few feet away posing!
This photo was taken with the tripod and self timer method - it took me about 5 tries to get it right!

10. You'll get to know yourself a lot better

I personally think that it's only when we're truly left to our own devices that we work out who we are and what we like. It's through my travels that I've discovered a love for museums and history that I never knew I had previously! I've also discovered a love for bike rides from taking bike tours around new cities. I also love active things like kayaking and hiking. These are definitely things that I probably would have never tried if I'd been travelling with someone else and they hadn't fancied doing it. It's only because I was on my own that I decided to give it a try and no one was there to suggest otherwise. I've discovered who I am without the pressures of my parents, friends or a partner. Who I am without the context of having someone else to bounce off. It's quite a liberating feeling. 

Have you been on any solo trips? Or is it something you'd like to do in the future? Let me know in the comments!