Reasons to travel with someone you love

10 Reasons To Travel With Someone You Love

As Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and love is in the air, I thought I would share some reasons why I love travelling with Mr Ayla so much.  I spend so many hours at home just staring at our giant world map on the wall, amazed at all the pins in the places we’ve been, wondering where we’re going to discover next, and I wouldn’t want to fill up my map with anyone else.

I applaud those people who travel solo but it’s just not for me.  I once took a flight from London to Edinburgh – yes, only an hour long – and it just felt so strange.  I had no one to excitedly make my way to the airport with, no one to point to things out of the plane window, and no one to help me lift my heavy hand luggage into the overhead compartment.  Sigh.

After 12 years of exploring the world together, Mr Ayla is my favourite travel companion.  I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without him and here’s 10 reasons why…

Continue reading

Travel blog photos

30 Before 30

It’s no secret that I love a good list.  Whether it’s my bucket list that is constantly being added to, the list of destinations we’ve visited so far, or a meticulously detailed itinerary of our next adventure.  So, in honour of me turning 29 earlier this week (she says as she weeps quietly in the corner), I thought it was about time for another list!

Despite all the celebrating, cocktails and cake that have been involved in trying to forget I’m another year older, I can already feel the big 3-0 lurking just around the corner.  Maybe it’s because I’m soon to be leaving my wild(ish) 20’s behind or maybe it’s because being in your 30’s just seems a whole lot more grown up – even though we’ve been married for 8 years, have a mortgage, full time jobs and all those adult responsibilities already, both Mr Ayla and I still firmly put ourselves in the children’s category and bustle in with younger siblings and cousins at family parties. But I’m not so sure I’ll get that privilege when I’m no longer in my 20’s.

So, to take my woeful mind off my looming 30’s, and of course to make the last year of my 20’s pretty awesome, I’m taking some inspiration from others who have done this by making a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.  What better way is there to forget that I’m another year older than to plan lots of new adventures?!

Continue reading

Hiking in the Cinque Terre

My Favourite Travel Memories from 2015

As 2015 comes to an end and we look back on a year of fabulous adventures, and onto 2016 which will hopefully be filled with many more, I know you’re already thinking “oh no, not another New Year round up post!”.  So okay, I may be doing a total cliche here but I figured that this year has been a pretty awesome one so I simply couldn’t resist.  Plus, Mr Ayla is adamantly refusing to go on as many trips next year (oops my finger must have accidently slipped and hit enter to book those flights!!) so all I can do is look back on some of my favourite memories from this year.

Despite having a full time job I’ve managed to squeeze in plenty of adventures, from long haul relaxing holidays to short city breaks closer to home; trips with both family and friends; sightseeing holidays, hiking trips, beach breaks and everything in between.  While we may not have anything planned for next year (yet) these are some of my favourite travel memories from 2015, and some of these places have very quickly worked their way to the top of my favourite ever destinations.

Continue reading

A weekend in the New Forest

Weekend Adventures in the New Forest

Proving he can be a romantic when he wants to, Mr Ayla surprised me last month with a weekend in the New Forest, a beautiful area of natural woodland and wildlife and a part of the UK that we had not yet explored. An easy 2.5 hour drive from London, the busy roads gradually turned into quiet country lanes with high trees stretching into the distance and wild ponies munching grass by the side of the road.  Every now and then we would pass a quaint little village or country pub – the sort of place where you can imagine everyone knowing each other. It was so peaceful and serene and we knew straight away that we would love it here.

Our first night we stayed at Eastclose Country House Hotel, a beautiful place that is said to have been the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland. Waking up in the pretty white Georgian building and looking outside, I could just imagine the White Rabbit dashing behind the giant tree and down a hole in the grassy garden!

Continue reading

Harry Potter locations

10 of the Best Harry Potter Locations Around the World

It’s safe to say that I’m a little bit of a Harry Potter geek.  Okay, I’m a lot of a Harry Potter geek.  I’ve read the books countless times, I can quote all the films, I have a wardrobe full of HP clothes, I’ve been sorted into my house on Pottermore (I got Hufflepuff.  I wasn’t happy), and I love playing with my wand.  No that isn’t a euphemism, that’s just how much of a geek I am that I actually have a magic wand.  And it’s obviously the Elder Wand because I love you Dumbley-dore.

If I’ve already completely lost you and you’re not a fellow Potterhead then I’m afraid we can’t be friends and I will use said wand against you.  But for you Muggles who do often dream of living in the Harry Potter fantasy world, there are plenty of places you can visit to pretend it’s real (it totally is real – I got my Hogwarts acceptance letter and everything).

So for all you Potterheads out there, here are some of the best locations around the world that really bring the stories we all know and love to life.

Continue reading

Addicted to blogging

The Crazy Wonderful Things We Do in the Name of Blogging

That feeling of pure excitement when you arrive in a new destination cannot be compared to anything else.  Stepping off the plane into the humidity of a different country; flicking through your passport to find that new stamp; eagerly awaiting your suitcase so you can rush off to your luxurious hotel, where you stare wide-eyed at the panoramic view from your balcony and flop down on top of the ginormous comfy bed, before going out to explore the city.  So exciting.  So thrilling.  So blissful.

Right?  Well, our trips usually go something a little more like this…

Stepping off the plane into the humidity of a different country; posing for a photo in front of the plane once we’ve waited for everyone else to get off and get out of the shot; flicking through our passports to find that new stamp and, if there isn’t one, holding up the line until we get one; eagerly awaiting our suitcases so we can rush off to our hotel, where Mr Ayla is very nicely told to either wait outside or stand behind the door so I can take an appropriate amount of photos of the room before he messes up the bed or the contents of our suitcases start spilling out everywhere; then finally checking what’s on my huge long list of things to do first and heading straight in that direction.

No Alex, you can’t sit down and relax, we have places to go and things to see.  What do you think this is?  A holiday?!  Tut.

Continue reading

Be More Adventurous

Last month I wrote about Things I’d Never Do Again When Travelling and I was genuinely surprised by a lot of the responses I got. Comments like “I would never do that” and “you’re much braver than me” had me thinking…me? Brave? Really?!

Apart from the time I was almost mugged in Namibia, I have never thought of myself as a brave person. I’m just a reserved little lady who likes experiencing new things! Whether it’s visiting somewhere I’ve never been before or an adrenaline-pumping activity, I always jump at the chance to do something I’ve never done before. The name of the blog is, after all, Mrs Ayla’s Adventures, so it’s only right that Mr Ayla and I give you lots of adventures to read about!

Continue reading

Gadventures Inca Trail

The Challenge of a Lifetime: Hiking the Inca Trail

Exactly a year ago today I was sitting in our hotel in Cusco, exhausted and aching all over, never wanting to move another muscle again, except to lie down for the massage I had booked later that day. I had just completed the toughest challenge of my life – an incredible journey along the Inca Trail, one of the world’s most renowned and most awe-inspiring treks. The 4 day hike through Peru’s Andes Mountains took us past ancient Inca ruins, over steep peaks and breathtaking vistas, and finally lead us to the world wonder of Machu Picchu.

I cannot believe that a year has already gone by since the trek; I remember it like it was just a few days ago.  I originally wrote this post shortly after returning from South America but I think the trek, along with getting ill in Brazil afterwards, exhausted me out too much to actually finish it. So even though it’s taken me a whole year to actually tell you of our adventures on the Inca Trail, these are not just vague memories.  This my honest, fresh and slightly gruelling experience at the time!

Continue reading

Hiking in the Cinque Terre

A Hiking Adventure in the Cinque Terre

I awoke with a start on our first day in the Cinque Terre to what sounded like thunder and torrential rain. This could not be happening. We had only arrived the afternoon before to a glorious sunny day, people relaxing on the rocks and eating gelato by the harbour, and we were all prepared to go off on a hike on our first morning to explore the villages. I jumped out of bed, threw open the Italian shutters of our cute little bed and breakfast, and stuck my head out the window to find that, yes, it was indeed raining. The pastel coloured rooftops were being hammered with water and people on the street below were hurriedly rushing by attempting to cover their soaking heads. Perfect. Our day of hiking suddenly looked rather bleak.

But despite the hiking paths being closed thanks to the stormy weather, we didn’t want to spend the day sat inside hiding from the rain, so we hopped on the train to explore instead and discovered that this part of the Italian Riviera is still a little piece of heaven even in the rain.

Continue reading

Bluebells at Emmetts Garden

Adventures in Kent’s Bluebell Woods

Springtime is just too damn pretty for words, and this year I wanted to visit some of the colourful bluebell woods that bloom in abundance around this time.  We live just on the outskirts of London, in Kent, so the “Garden of England” and its National Trust properties and gardens was the perfect place to go exploring.

With the promise of the little tea and cake shop that is always bound to be found at a National Trust property, I managed to persuade Mr Ayla to come along on this flowery outing of mine.  We headed to Emmett’s Garden where a cute little cottage (obviously Snow White’s home) greeted us.

Continue reading