Tuesday, 31 January 2017


Today's show was about Canada and I have to say I think it may be one of my most favourite places in the world. Apart from having the most amazing Prime Minister ever in the form of Justin Trudeau who, especially after the week from hell the world has just had the courtesy of Mr Trump (thanks for that you big orange oaf), PM Trudeau has opened Canada up to those people who need a place of safety most. And what a place it is!
Canada has something for everyone and is literally one of the most amazing, friendliest and beautiful places I have ever been. I am so in love with Canada that after my Masters degree I plan to move there for a year with the BUNAC program that I will write a blog post about another time.

Anyway back to the point, Canada is so vast that there is no way you could ever visit everything in one trip, I've been 5 times and still not seen everything I want to.

Taste of my Passport

Easiest way to get there:

  • STA Blue Tickets: Flights with Air Canada, West Jet or British Airways to collect air miles. Depending on what time of year you go flights can vary anything from £300-£900 at peak times which are usually the school holidays.
    • Travel Hack - fly to the east coast and travel across the country as it will be cheaper.  
  • Great deals can be found at

Where to go?
  • East Coast:
    • Quebec: a French-speaking area, old world like that of an old French town with cobbled streets built on a hill and home of the Canadian classic, poutine. Poutine is chips (or fries), gravy and cheese curd, it is so common you can buy it in Maccers! It might sound horrible but it tastes amazing.
    • Montreal: built in two sections, above ground and an underground city to deal with the cold weather, home to one of the oldest roller coasters in the world, full of casinos and home to the St Lawrence River and its grade 4 rapids (considering Niagra Falls are a grade 6) which I would highly recommend going on a rib ride through. 
    • Toronto: the largest city on the east coast, English-speaking and full of things to do and see. Home to the Toronto Blue Jays ice hockey team and the Hockey Hall of Fame. Day trips to Niagra falls can be done from Toronto, as well as visits to 1000 islands on the border of USA and Canada. While you are there check out the CN tower to get a full view of Toronto and rest your feet up in the Steam Whistle Brewery opposite to try out a true Canadian classic beer. 

  • West Coast:
    • Vancouver: English-speaking, home to many museums, art galleries and culture hotspots, while from Vancouver you can take day trips whale-watching and trips to Vancouver Island. 
    • Whistler: two hours north of Vancouver and my favourite place in the world, home to, in my opinion, THE ULTIMATE SKI RESORT IN THE WORLD, oh yeah and they hosted 2010 Winter Olympics. It is a pretty cool place in the winter for skiing but doubles as a bike/walking resort in the summer. 

Whistler, British Colombia

For both the East and West coasts, doing it on a budget, Canada has a chain of hostels called Hi Toronto, Hi Vancouver, Hi Montreal etc. which have rooms for about £26 per night. Otherwise, I'd recommend Airbnb as things can be pricey in Canada.

If you need any help planning your trip, give me a shout here, I'd love to help get you started!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Monday, 30 January 2017

Let's Talk about Politics

Even the title of this post already fills me with dread. I know I am no way qualified to talk about politics, but in this day and age with the media storm that surrounds politics all over the world, who really is qualified to talk about politics anymore?

What can I say except sigh and throw my hands up in the air in true exasperation? Everyone knows the situation, it feels like the apocalypse has come, Donald Trump is President, Theresa May is a wet blanket, the opposition in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party is useless, the NHS is going to shit and the only two lights in the darkness are Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London and my favourite politician, Justin Trudeau, but even they can't seem to stop this chaos.

When Trump was elected I was disappointed, but then what was the alternative? Clinton wasn't much of a better candidate, and none of the other options for Republican or Democrat nominee was a good practical choice either. The same could be said over here, both the Tory and Labour leadership races had no real candidate of personality shining through. So when did all our politicians get so boring? And why are we surrounded by more of the same middle/ upper-class white men (and occasionally women) who couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and have the personality of a dirty sponge. Why does it seem that there are simply no other options?

Love Trumps Hate
In a fabulous world where we are progressing by the day towards a future of freedom and equality, why does it suddenly feel so archaic? Trump's ruling on women's abortions and the Muslim ban announced this week are so similar to the Augustan rule over 2000 years ago that the similarities aren't even funny anymore. Women are suppressed and being told how to live their lives by someone unqualified to do so echoing back to Augustus' familial laws introduced to promote family growth and prevent adultery. While the regulation of people entering the country is so similar to the restrictions of those who could live in the eternal city of Rome it is scary. Why are we making less progress in 2017 than citizens of the ancient world in 18BC? It might be the classics student in me, but frankly, I'm not okay with these comparisons, I could go on.

So what can we do? It might feel futile for an ordinary, everyday person like you and me who are so overwhelmed by what is happening that all you want to do is curl up and hide in a corner until it is all over. We've gotta stay strong and it is really the little things that will make the world of difference. Go to that protest march, sign that petition, make your voice heard, retweet that hashtag on Twitter, tell your friends about that article you saw on Facebook, keep talking and tell everyone who will listen to spread the word. Yes, these people may have been voted for, but I didn't vote for them and I don't agree with them, He is not my President, She is not my Prime Minister, They do not represent me. If we can call this democracy, and we have a right to it, then surely we have a right to protest and be heard.

He is not my President, She is not my Prime Minister, They do not represent me
However, the most important thing in this is to love each other. Love each other as we have been doing all our lives. Don't judge people on their views and opinions, everyone has a reason for why they think and act the way they do, love them anyway, it's the only way we can hope to repair our countries and relations with the rest of the world. Hold hope that love can mend us piece by piece, for it is all we can do right now. But like I said, how am I qualified to talk about politics anyway?

Lots of love to you all my dear readers, from the bottom of my heart.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Planning Ahead

Sometimes it's hard for me to keep a constant stream of content running on here, but then again there are sometimes when I feel like I have so many different ideas for posts and so many things to talk about that I don't know where to begin. I have spent this evening writing a couple of different posts that I will publish over the coming week, so keep an eye out for more of my ramblings and attempts at travel advice!

Everyone who knows me knows I love to plan. My diary is my bible and my life, and if it is not in my diary it is not happening. End of. Which is what makes it so much harder when I actually have no idea what I'm going to be doing after my last exam sometime in May. My diary is literally blank. There will be the end of term frivolities in the form of RHUL Summer Ball - which I am actually looking forward to as I've never been. Hopefully, I'll be able to squeeze a holiday in before graduation, but then what. The rest of my life is ahead of me and I don't know what to do with it.

Diary and back up calendar...

Naively I thought coming to university may actually help me find out what I wanted to do with my life, but the only thing it has done is confirm that I actually have no clue. Me, like thousands of other nearly-graduates up and down the country, will be thrown out of university this summer, some will have graduate programmes, some will have jobs lined up, some may be taking a gap year or simply going home for a bit of a break from education, and some, like me, are toying with the idea of doing a masters degree. I've sent applications here, there and everywhere, and I'm fairly confident in most of them as I've got places everywhere I've applied, and waiting to hear back from one. What makes this so much harder is the next decision, where to go? What to do?
The downside for applying to so many different places and different courses is that now I want to do all of them, at the same time I've got my eye on a work placement year in Canada with BUNAC, because who wouldn't want to be able to ski to work? And a six-week trip through southern Africa which would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but would totally wipe out my savings.

The world is our oyster, kids, the question is, what to do with it now?

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Tuesday, 24 January 2017


Hello lovely people,

Sorry, it's been a little while since I last wrote, I've been very very busy over here. Some of my biggest news recently is that I've now got my own radio show on my university's radio station, Insanity 103.2FM. You can tune in online and listen to me at 12-1pm on Tuesdays where I will be talking about travelling in different countries, each week somewhere different - so listen to 'Around the World in 80 Shows'!

Listen Here

Therefore I'm going to attempt to write a blog post each week to tie in with each show, just to sum up everything I've talked about in each show, so if anyone is really listening they can find all the information I have here in one place, choosing to use it if they want!

This week I visited Paris, in reality, and on the show, therefore, apart from going on and on about the utter romance of Paris here are the few practicalities I talked about earlier on today.

Me in Paris - so misty you can't see the Eiffel Tower!

  • STA Paris Pass - £159 includes:
    • 2 nights in a hostel next to Gare du Nord
    • 2 day Paris Pass giving you free entry to over 60 places, free metro travel, guidebook, one day hop on/off bus pass, fast track to all places and a wine tasting experience (in English), and a 3.5-hour bike tour of some of the most famous attractions.
  • Personal Recommendations for places to stay:
    •  La Demeure  - a boutique hotel in the Latin Quater - approx £100pp
    • St Christopher's Hostel - Gare du Nord - £20 pp
  • Easiest way to get there: 
    • Eurostar - take advantages of their £26 sales
    • Flying into Charles de Gaulle or Paris Orly is sometimes cheaper and you can collect the air miles
  • Top Sights:
    • Notre Dame
    • Louvre
    • Sacre-Coeur
    • Musee d'Orsay
    • Centre Pompidou
    • Montmartre
    • Eiffel Tower
    • Jardin du Luxembourg
    • The Seine
    • Pont d'Arc
      • Check out Student Prices and 1st Sunday of each month many of these attractions are free.
      • Most museums aren't open on Mondays 
  • Where to Party:
    • La Fleche d'Or - a club in an abandoned railway station
    • Moulin Rouge dans Montmartre
  • What to watch to get you in the mood:
    • Chocolat (in English)
    • The Intouchables (in French)
If you need any help planning your trip to Paris give me a shout here!

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Top Tips in 2017: Collecting Air Miles

Welcome to 2017!

Instead of doing the generic post about what resolutions I've made and my general ramblings about the fact I am sure to break it in two weeks time. I thought I would combine and create a post about collecting air miles and my top tips about how to do this as I've had lots of people asking me recently how I've done all my travelling over the past few years, and part of it was due to the wondrous world of air miles, and in particular, I collect Avios points. There are many ways to collect points, the biggest one being by booking flights with airlines that are part of the one world alliance such as British Airways and Iberia to name a few. Therefore I thought I would share some of my top tips for collecting air miles so everyone can get themselves free flights (although you do have to pay the taxes), upgrades, or even holidays! When we are all strapped for cash in the new year, what better way than getting a discounted holiday from your everyday spends.


1. Is the ticket free with air miles? 

Ultimately, no, as when you purchase flights with air miles you still have to pay the tax on the flight. However, this can be as little as £50 for short-haul flights and £200-£400 for long-haul flights, but it certainly varies depending on airline and flight.

2. Do I have to pay for my own ticket to collect air miles?

No, you can collect them from anyone you are travelling within the same booking or if you are booking flights through work!


3. So how can I collect air miles?

- Flying: pretty self-explanatory, whenever I fly I always try to book my flights with an airline that allows me to collect Avios points. The first thing I did was to sign up for a BA executive club card, as although I don't fly enough just on BA for all the rewards, it is the easiest place to combine all your points on. Click here to sign up.

- Credit Card: The next step was to sign up for a BA Amex Card. I use this card as much as possible as it earns me 1 point for every £1 I spend and bonus points for spending with British Airways. Also, within the first 3 months, there are an extra 10,000 points to be awarded for spending £1000. The 22.9% APR is high but I just pay the balance before the end of the month or as soon as I can to avoid any interest. This card is then linked to by BA exec account where the points are transferred to each month. If you decide to apply for this, use my referral link here to be awarded more bonus points. 

The downside is that Amex is not excepted in every shop, however, I have found a way around this with another credit card I have which I will explain later.

- Clubcard: As much as possible, I shop at Tesco and have changed my preferences in my account online so instead of receiving Clubcard vouchers to spend in Tesco I have it linked to my BA exec account again to earn Avios points. Click the link here to sign up for a Clubcard. 

To go hand in hand with this, I also have a Tesco Bank credit card which is a Mastercard which is accepted in all shops. With a Tesco credit card, I collect 1 Clubcard point for every £8 spent not in Tesco and 1 point for every £4 spent in Tesco. Although this is not a huge amount, as this credit card is linked to my Clubcard which is already collecting Avios points for me, it works well too. The BA card earns me more points so I use that where I can, but having the Tesco Mastercard as a back up where Amex is not accepted. With a Tesco Mastercard, there are plenty of options, I have the card with 5.9% APR but there is one with a 0% charge on balance transfers for 40 months which may be a better option for those who might use it to pay rent or bills. Click here to apply for one!  

- Shell Petrol Loyalty Card: Just pick up one of these cards from your nearest Shell garage, register it online and choose the option to collect BA Avios points which will be then linked to your exec account and every time you fuel up at a Shell garage, just have them swipe your card and you'll start collecting points. Here is the link to the website to register your card.

 - Shopping: If I'm shopping online, the first place I'll go is to where I have signed up for a free account, and I periodically move my points to my BA exec account or to my account if I want to spend points. features hundreds of well-known retailers such as ASOS which often has bonus point collections earning up to 8 points per £1 spent!

All of this might sound a bit much, but trust me, once it is all done and set up, every time you spend money you will be collecting air miles, and soon you will be jet-setting across the world in high-class style for budget prices! If you need any help with it just email me here.

Good Luck and Happy Collecting!


Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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