Quick Guide To The Amalfi Coast

Italy has always been one of my dream destinations. With stunning beaches, vibrant coloured cities, historical sites, lush scenery, and delicious food, it’s no surprise as to why travellers fall in love with this country. 

South of Naples lies the beautiful, Amalfi Coast, with small seaside towns just a small drive from each other. It is a true Italian gem and you’ll be spoilt for choice as there is so many things to do. The Amalfi Coast is easily one of the most beautiful and picturesque, coastal regions in the world. It is by far one of my favourite places and I cannot recommend it enough! The colourful and stunning small towns situated along the winding coastal cliffside is simply breathtaking. 

Plan on spending at least five days here as the Amalfi Coast isn’t just one spot, it’s a coast lined with lots of towns and villages, each unique and different to each other. I spent close to two weeks, and still could have stayed longer. 

WHERE TO STAY

If you’re backpacking and aren’t willing to splurge on accommodation, Sorrento will definitely be your cheapest option. Sorrento is the starting point of the Amalfi Coast, and a lot cheaper compared to other towns as it has hostels. It is a great base, as the other towns are easily accessible day trips to and from. However if you have more money to spend, Positano and Amalfi are beautiful. 

What’s not to love about Sorrento. Home to limoncello, it’s wide range of restaurants, endless shops, incredible cliff views and some of the best gelato in town, you will be left feeling like you’re in a dream. Sorrento is a great base and easy to access the beautiful towns on the Amalfi Coast. 

A hidden gem in Sorrento with not many signs is the Regina Giovanna Bath. It was one of my favourite little adventures in Sorrento, and a pleasant place to stumble across. Just a short yet incredible walk from the main town along the main road along the cliffs, you will find this swimspot off the beaten track. It’s an emerald seawater pool lined with limestone cliffs and a rocky beach. Position yourself on the cliff facing out to the ocean and overlooking the town of Sorrento, as that way you can cliff jump and swim to baths. Be sure to bring a towel, bathers and some snacks as you will want to stay here all day long. 

With a variety of restaurants you won’t be short of choice, however I highly recommend going for an early dinner around 6pm at The Foreigners Club (Circolo dei Forestieri) to watch the sunset as it is incredible, the food is to die for and cocktails are delicious. There are also some great restaurants in Piazza Tasso, the main square of Sorrento, a great spot to relax and people watch. 

Whilst in Sorrento, you will find yourself spending a little more than anticipated with the beautiful shopping in old town Sorrento. Plenty of great souvenirs and gifts to bring home to family and friends, but be sure to treat yourself to some amazing designer brands. 

Planning some day trips to Positano and Amalfi are a must. I promise you Positano will be sure to live up to all the hype and same goes for Amalfi. These towns will take your breath away and leave you speechless. 

Picturesque Positano will make you fall in love at first sight. The colourful and vibrant houses situated on the cliff, with paths leading down to the umbrella dotted beach. Only a 40 minute bus ride from Sorrento, it’s hard to know whats more beautiful, the drive or actual town! Be sure to catch an early bus to beat the crowds and make the most of this stunning town by the water. Spend the day embracing the views, sun baking by the water, and doing some shopping in some of the cutest boutiques. Whats more to love than the simplicity of taking in the view! 

Amalfi is just a 30 minute extra bus ride from Positano and is so worth it. Try to sit on the coastal side of the bus each way, as the views are incredible. Another option is catching the ferry as it’s much quicker, but costs a lot more than the bus which only cost roughly 3 euro for a ticket. Just like Positano, take the time to relax, sun bake and swim at the beach. Explore the town and have some delicious food. 

If you still have some extra days and time to kill, Pompeii is a must see. With the historical evidence of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, leaving the town and it’s people covered in volcanic ash. Preserved by the ash, it shows roman life frozen at the moment it was buried. Truely a very unique experience. 

Another place to go if you still have more time is the stunning island, Capri. Just a short ferry ride from Sorrento, and one of the most popular destinations on the Amalfi Coast, you won’t be disappointed. It is an island for the rich and famous, with luxury hotels, designer boutiques, and stunning natural landscapes.  

HOW TO GET THERE

Getting to the Amalfi Coast is fairly simple. You can either get a train to Naples, then a bus to your final destination which for us was Sorrento. However I researched a lot into Naples, and heard scary stories about the Naples town and station being unsafe. As young girls travelling, we decided against it, and chose to get a bus from Rome, only costing roughly 11 Euro but took 4 hours. The bus ride was cheap and has wifi, so you can download movies on your phone, use the internet or get some much needed sleep. 

So there you have it, a quick guide to planning your next trip to the Amalfi Coast. I hope you enjoy it as much as what I did, and make the most of being in this incredible destination! 

Mollie xo 

Everything You Need To Know About Phuket

Phuket, known as a pearl in the Andaman Sea, you’re sure to find some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the world. It has become the most popular island in Thailand, and is easily accessible to fly to directly form some countries, or a short domestic flight from the capital Bangkok. 

The island is home to luxury resorts and hotels, and busy markets where you can find all your favourite fake brand goods, and plenty of nightclubs and bars with the cheapest beer and cocktails. The island is perfect for everyone from families, couples, friends, and those who are seeking a relaxing trip by the beach.

BEST TIME OF YEAR:

The best time to visit Phuket is in the dry season, from November to February to avoid the monsoon season where there is tropical storms and torrential rainfall. However if you are willing to risk your luck, and don’t care too much about the rainfall and cloudy days, then going between march and October will be a lot cheaper for you, and less crowded.

WHAT TO DO:

From laying by the beach, to visiting local markets, to island hopping and partying, the activities and things to do in Phuket are endless and you’re bound to be entertained all day long.

Soak up the culture and indulge in some of the most amazing Thai food i’ve ever eaten. It’s super cheap, traditional and simply delicious. From green curries, Pad Thai, and green papaya salad, you will definitely not go hungry here.

I highly recommend a day trip to Phi Phi island by speedboat if you don’t have enough time to stay on the island. This was one of my favourite day trips as we got to see some of the most beautiful, untouched landscapes in the world. Phi Phi island consists of two islands, Phi Phi Don, where all the accommodation and restaurants are, and Phi Phi Leh which is the most beautiful out of the two, and home to Maya beach, which became famous after the Leonardo DiCaprio Hollywood movie “The Beach”.

If you have an opportunity to hire a motorbike, definitely do a day trip to see the beaches like kata, Kamala and Karon. These beaches and towns are stunning, and is an amazing motor bike ride to get to. These small towns are slightly less busy from Patong, and is a great escape from all the crowds.

Freedom Beach is an exclusive hidden gem in Phuket. It’s a 300m white sand beach surrounded by hills and jungle. It is a bit of a struggle to get to, but once you’re there, it’s totally worth the trip and money. Spend the entire day here, bring food and snacks, sunscreen and you’re set for a day of sun-baking, snorkelling, beach volleyball and relaxation. The best and easiest way to get there is by longtail boat, leaving from the port in Phuket. If you negotiate with the captain you’ll be able to get a cheap deal like we did, around 1000 baht for 2 people, however they’ll try charge you 1,500 baht.

Bangla Road is a must see. You will be blown out of your mind what goes on in this street. I highly recommend walking down the street at night, as that’s when the street really comes alive. With neon lights, pingpong shows (you can search that one up yourself), bars and one of the most famous clubs in the world Illuzion, this street is insane. Walking down the street was enough for us, but if you’re into all that, then go for it!

Another fun thing to do is to visit some of the local markets for some great deals for souvenirs and local goods. You can get virtually anything from the markets, I bought some beautiful coconut bowls that I use for Açai bowls, buddha bowls and breakfast bowls, and I love them!

If you love sunsets, wait till you see the sunset over patong beach. It is so beautiful and sets directly on the beach! Watch the sunset with some drinks and a picnic one night, and you won’t regret it!

GETTING AROUND PHUKET: 

I highly recommend hiring a motorbike or a scooter as it’s the cheapest and best way to travel around from place to place, and allow you to see so much more than if you were in a tuk tuk or taxi. We discovered so many amazing hidden places while riding around on them, and it was so much fun as well! They’re only about 300 – 400 baht for 24 hours, making them cheaper than 1 tuk tuk ride for 15 minutes. However, there are a few things you must be careful of when riding around on the motorbikes. 

First of all, hire them from your resort or hotel, or ask your hotel where it’s safe to hire one from. There are lots of locals on the street, who ask you for your passport (they say copies aren’t allowed) and they hold onto it until you are finished. This is very unsafe and I don’t recommend anyone doing this. 

Ensure you are a competent driver before you ride, as Thailand barely have any road rules and drivers can be unpredictable. I was lucky enough that my boyfriend has experience in riding motorbikes so we were fine, but I’ve heard stories of people having accidents, and their insurance hasn’t covered them with hospital fees. 

ALWAYS wear a helmet, as my boyfriend and I got pulled over by the police (we were wearing helmets) but we looked around us, and all the others who had been pulled over were white foreigners. We were asked for our licence and luckily we had a sheet of paper from the place we hired the bike from. Always ask for a slip of paper of confirmation from the hiring place, as you will need to present to police if they ask. Fortunately, we were off the hook, however many white foreigners who had been pulled over were fined as didn’t have helmets, or not able to show evidence of a licence or paper like we had. 

However, if you aren’t comfortable riding a motorbike, you’re better to be safer than sorry, and use tuk tuks. Tuk tuks are the local way of getting around, and are 3 wheeled vehicles where you pay 200 – 500 baht, depending on where you are going. They are cheaper than taxis, and are easy to find. 

WHERE TO STAY: 

If you love the action, and love a good nightlife, then Patong is for you. Located directly across from the beach, and full of atmosphere, this place really does not stop. Here you will find an array of shops and markets, restaurants and luxury resorts. Patong is most definitely going to keep you busy with all it has to offer, and you are guaranteed to be entertained. It is also home to the famous Bangla road, where all the action takes place after the sun sets in Phuket. 

If you want a slightly less busy and full on experience, Kata, Karon, and Kamala are a lot more relaxing. With beautiful white sand beaches that run for miles, you can be sure to sit back and enjoy the incredible scenery. Despite being less busy than Patong, there is still plenty going on to keep you entertained, with a number of delicious restaurants and fun bars. 

I hope this blog post has helped with planning your trip to Phuket, or inspired you to visit this fun island in Thailand!!

Mollie xo

What’s In My Beach Bag?

Whether you’re planning on spending the entire day at the beach with friends, or just going for a quick dip, you’re most definitely going to want to have these summer beach essentials in arms length. If you’re anything like me, and enjoy spending hours on end relaxing with the warm summer sun on your back, whilst reading your favourite book with the ocean breeze on your face, these items will allow you to spend the entire day by the waters edge until the sun goes down. 

Beach bag: First of all, a beach bag is a huge necessity, as you can throw everything in it without struggling to carry it all by hand from the car, especially if there are crowds and you have to park miles away. 

A cute bikini: Who doesn’t want to feel good at the beach. I’m sure you all have people watched and choose out your favourite bikini from people walking past. With all the surf brands now, you won’t have much trouble finding a cute summer bikini that you love! 

A straw hat: not only gives off the ultimate summer vibe, but it protects your face from the harmful sun rays.

Sunscreen: We all love the perfect summer glow, but it is important to be sun-smart, especially if you’re spending hours down at the beach. Sunscreen with SPF 30 will still give you a nice bronzed tan, and prevent you from the embarrassment of looking as red as a lobster. Make sure you also have SPF lip-balm handy, as no one likes chapped or even worse, burnt lips.

Towel: Choosing the perfect towel can be more difficult than you think, as you want to make  sure you have one big enough so that you aren’t lying half in the sand. I tend to go for the Turkish towels as they’re light weight, can easily fit in your bag, and don’t take half the beach with them when you leave. 

Sunglasses: Are also super important to not only protect your eyes from the harsh UV rays, but also so you can read your book without squinting, and able to watch the surfers.

Water bottle: Staying hydrated whilst in the sun is also super important, so make sure you bring an insulated eco friendly water bottle so that your water stays cool and you stay hydrated. 

Snacks: I always like to take some snacks down just incase I get a bit peckish. Healthy snacks like bliss balls, granola bars, nuts and seeds are easy to take, don’t melt in the sun and are a delicious treat!

Entetainment: Keep yourself entertained by bringing your favourite book to read, some earplugs to listen to music, or if your with friends bring a speaker so you can listen to your favourite songs together! 

Outfit: A cute little loose summer dress is the perfect outfit for your day out to the beach. No one enjoys trying to put on denim shorts or skirt after being sticky from sunscreen and salty from the water. A dress is the easiest and most practical outfit, and super cute too! Style it with some slip on sandals or good ol’ Aussie thongs to achieve the perfect summer look. Don’t forget a scrunchie too, it’s perfect for taming your hair from being in your face, and stops you from overheating while lying in the sun. 

So there you have it! My Summer beach bag essentials that I guarantee will make your time at the beach more relaxing and enjoyable. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post, and look forward to sharing more with you all in the future! 

Mollie xo 

My Travel Experiences Shaping My Online Identity?

Santorini Greece by pedro Szelkely (CC BY SA 2.0)

Last year, I embarked on a five-month trip around the world, leaving me addicted to travelling and surrounding my life around it. When I’m not travelling, I’m planning my next trips by reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos and following travel instagram accounts. I believe that this trip had a huge part in creating my online identity, and has transformed my online persona on Instagram, Facebook, and my blog, to becoming travel-oriented. It was as though I finally found an interest that I was passionate about and wanted to share it with the people around me to inspire them to travel the world and discover these amazing places, just like I did. I feel that by sharing my photos of travel on Instagram, people would be inspired and interested in where these places are. By starting my blog, I have also found a love for writing about my own experiences in different countries and to share with the world.

Already, I have had an unbelievable amount of people message me about certain places I have posted photos at, asking me for advice on what to do and where to go in these countries. It amazes me that from photos I have posted, people are planning trips to these countries and are asking me for advice. Which is what has led me to creating this travel blog to talk about my experiences, and what to do in countries, so that more and more people can get the same advice that I would give them in a message.

MY ONLINE PRESENCE

Screenshot of my instagram

Instagram allows me to share certain images that convey a message, and a theme. For me, it reflects my light-hearted personality, my love for the beach, and travel. I display my social life, through posting photos of myself smiling and having fun, I am only showing a specific part of my life, and therefore creating an online identity that isn’t quite my whole self.

As seen through Professor David Marshall’s article ‘The promotion and presentation of the self’, he states that “Social networking can reveal the private self, but in its design it has the potential of complete revelation to a wider public world” (Marshall, 2010).

Supporting Marshall’s ideas, I believe that even though I am not displaying my whole authentic self through instagram, I’m not being any less real or authentic. If I posted photos that weren’t related to my theme of travel, social life, and fitness, it would be irrelevant to the idea I am trying to convey.

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In heaven 💧🇲🇽

A post shared by Mollie Quinn (@mollie_quinn) on

My photo from 17th August 2018 via my instagram
My photo of India and I at Venice beach 2018

Social media has many incredible benefits that makes it so amazing. Throughout my travels I met so many friends and inspiring people, who I am lucky enough that I can still stay in contact with, even though they live on the other side of the world, through Instagram, Facebook messenger and Snapchat. I met one of my best friends India from England, in Los Angeles and only spent one day together last year, and through staying in contact using Instagram and Facebook, she came over in December and stayed with my family for a month over Christmas. Whereas 15 years ago, it would have been much harder to keep in contact with those living in different states and countries.

Social media plays a significant role in my life and is continuing to grow and develop, as twitter has just become apart of my online presence. My twitter online identity is quite different to that of my instagram identity, as it is a lot more casual, with photos and my everyday thoughts.

Marshall emphasises the idea that there are 3 different levels of self presentation. The first being the “public self” which I believe that my instagram reflects, where I am only showing a certain amount of content of my identity which is related to what people want to see and a more public persona. The second level of self presentation is “public private self” which I would consider to be my twitter platform. (Marshall, 2010).

My twitter identity is posting my thoughts and what is on my mind in the moment, talking about an issue on the news, a TV show I have just watched, or even that it is a nice day outside. This allows others to see a different side of my online persona, not so focused around the ideas of travel, but more around my everyday life.

Despite the fact that social media plays a huge role in today’s society, there is still a negative stigma surrounding social media, and being online is often frowned upon. Fleur Gabriels article talks about the ideas that social media can negatively affect the development of youth in today’s society, as they are forced to conform to online social norms. Through creating an online identity, Gabriel explains the concerns of “the possibility that social media absorption is creating a generation of ethically degenerate careless zombies” (Gabriel, 2014).

Gabriel also addresses that there is a “popular conception that social media engagement is harmful to young people in the process of self-development.” (Gabriel, 2014).

We live in a world where social media has developed to be a significant part of our everyday lives, and if we continue to disregard this, we simply won’t be able to embrace the benefits and advantages that it adds to our lives. How can we possibly grow as a society if we aren’t willing to accept that social media is a positive platform that we are fortunate enough to have in our lives?

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Just a quick trip to the moon 🌝🌚

A post shared by Mollie Quinn (@mollie_quinn) on

Through my experience with different social media platforms, I have been able to create an online identity that reflects a part of me that I want to share with the world. I am lucky enough to have found a strong passion for travel, allowing me to create an online identity surrounding that idea. Through both Twitter and Instagram, I have two very different online presences, however both of these are my true self and reflect my identity in different ways.

Twitter Profile

instagram profile

REFERENCES

Marshall D 2010, The promotion and presentation of the self: Celebrity as marker of presentation media, retrieved 13 April 2019, Ebook Library database.

Gabriel, F. (2014) ‘Sexting, Selfies and Self-Harm: Young People, Social Media and the Performance of Self-Development’, Media International Australia, 151(1), pp. 104–112. Retrieved 13 April 2019, Ebook Library database.

The Perfect Green Smoothie!

Now I know what you’re probably thinking, why would I want to drink that? Well, your parents were right when they continuously enforced the rule of “Eat your greens!” when you were younger.

We all want glowing, blemish free skin, hair that’s strong and shiny, and by drinking green smoothies, it’ll most definitely help. Some of the benefits of green smoothies are natural weight lost. By replacing a meal every day with a green smoothie, it decreases your overall calories whilst making you fuller for longer as it is packed with fruits and vegetables.

I highly recommend you have a green smoothie in the morning, as if it’s the first meal going into your stomach, your body is able to digest it more smoothly, and allow you to feel energised all day long!

They’re also loaded with natural antioxidants and vitamins, which is a great way to prevent sickness and also will help decrease the consumption of saturated fats and salt in your diet.

Another plus is that they’re incredibly delicious as the natural sweetness of the fruit overpowers the greens.

This recipe is a beginner’s guide to green smoothies, starting off with a small amount of greens, and you can soon introduce kale, cucumber, parley, mint and many other greens.

GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE:

1 ripe spotty banana (spotty bananas are much sweeter )

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup fresh pineapple

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

2 medjool dates (if not accessible, use 6 pitted dates)

1 cup of water

1 cup of ice (the colder the better I reckon!)

Combine all ingredients in a blender (I use a vitamix) and blend until smooth. This recipe serves 1, so if you want more, just double the recipe! Go give it a try and I guarantee you’ll be feeling more energised and healthier in no time!

Mollie xo

Girl’s Cocktail Night!

There is nothing quite like a good ol’ girls’ night, sipping delicious and boozy cocktails on the deck, while listening to your favourite songs and having a laugh together. We all love a night where we can get dolled up, let our hair down and having a few laughs with our besties. So, what are you waiting for, get your girls over and I promise you, they’re not going to want to miss it.

These bar worthy cocktails that I have picked out, are the perfect addition to any girl’s night. They don’t cost you a fortune, and you can have them in the comfort of your own home!

Firstly, you want to ensure you have the equipment and ingredients for these cocktails, which you can easily buy from local supermarkets or homeware stores.

Recipes:

These simple and easy cocktail recipes are sure to have you dancing on the tables and having a laugh. Ice cubes are the key to making any drink taste amazing, as everyone loves a refreshing cool drink!

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, and i’ll be sure to post more soon!

Mollie xo

Ultimate Guide To Planning A Trip To Greece

What is not to love about Greece? The sky is always blue, the water is crystal clear, the volcanic cliffs are lined with beautiful white buildings, the famous historical sites and food that is to die for.

I’m sure most of you growing up have dreamt of going to the Greek islands after watching the well known film Mamma Mia. I know that Greece was on the top of my list after watching that movie, but deciding where to go to out of the 227 inhabited islands is quite difficult and stressful, especially if you only have a short amount of time.

In my opinion, the best time to travel to Greece is anywhere between April and September. During this period it’s their summer months, and most of the islands are completely deserted and closed down during the winter months due to the wind and crazy weather.

If you want the islands to yourself and want to avoid the summer crowds, definitely go in April or September, where the weather is still hot and sunny, but it’s no longer peak season. Hotels and flights are much cheaper during April and September so if you’re on a budget, this is the perfect time for you!

Choosing where to go and what to do is the most difficult part about planning your dream visit to this beautiful country. Here are 5 of my most favourite islands, and what they’re best for.

Santorini: Home to one of the most famous sunsets in the entire world, with breathtaking cliffs, and a very romantic place for your perfect honeymoon. Santorini is one of the most well known islands in Greece, you may feel like you have already been their due to it’s iconic shots and sunsets.

Mykonos: Known for it’s parties till all hours in the morning, it’s a popular stop for all backpackers. With it’s popular designer brands in the centre of the town, you’re bound to spend a little more than you intended! You’re sure to have some cocktails and a boogie at some fantastic nightclubs here.

Milos: Despite the fact that it’s not as well known compared to some of the other islands, this island would have to be my favourite. It’s a little hidden gem, that’s beginning to become more and more known to tourists. It’s incredible lunar landscape and turquoise water is bound to amaze you and make you fall in love.

Paros: This island is perfect for anyone and everyone. It can be anything you want it to be from having a good nightlife, fabulous architecture and picturesque beaches. It is perfect for families, young backpackers and couples. Paros also has some delicious restaurants and cute little villages for you to visit. You will not be disappointed by this island.

Ios: The ultimate party islands where you will be relaxing on the beach all day, and partying all night. You’re guaranteed to not get much sleep while on this island.  It has incredible beaches and you almost feel at home with the amount of Australian workers who manage the bars, clubs and restaurants.

 WHAT TO EXPECT

Language: Greek is the official language spoken in Greece, however most Greek people can speak very good English, so don’t worry too much about that.  

Currency: The currency in Greece is Euro. 1 AUD is equal to 0.63 Euro as if March 2019.  

Plugs: The plugs in Greece are type C and F, and the standard voltage is 230V and standard frequency is 50Hz.

Credit Cards and ATMs: Ensure you have a travel card so you don’t loose money in international fees, but you can use your travel card all over Greece as there are plenty of ATMS. Shops and hotels often allow you to pay by card as well.

Safety: I believe that Greece is a very safe country for solo travelling and for females. Just be sensible and you will be fine, don’t walk home late at night in the dark by yourself in dark streets, just use common sense.

Getting around from island to island in Greece is fairly simple. I highly recommend using the Ferry system, and mapping out your route for islands first before you leave. Ferries are the most economical and very easy to get around. But don’t assume that it is going to be an quick ferry, as some ferrys can take up to 10 hours depending on where you want to go. Just remember there are lots of Greek islands, and some are harder to get to and further away than others!

Thanks for reading my first blog post, and stay tuned as I will be making more posts about Greece and islands in the future with more detail.

Until then – Mollie xx

NOTE – all photos are my own.