Travels chosen by you: Covent Garden

Hello, it’s Sam. The guy that has been pretty AWOL so far in 2020, however I can proudly say that I have finally got my sh*t together and found a flat in the process. That and a lot more stability as I am located close to where I work in Old Street and that is certainly a blessing. No tube or buses to work, a simple five minute walk to blow away the cobwebs. I did try to find a place in close proximity however I didn’t expect to find somewhere this close.

I really don’t like spending time on transport.

So no more of these frustrated faces in Pret as I buy yet another coffee to kill the time and avoid going back to my roomshare.


I do like Pret though.

But anyway, less of my rambling. I have a new adventure to share with you.

The Vote.

In January I put two of London’s most popular market destinations up on Instagram and allowed those that follow me the chance to choose which one I would visit. The votes came in, and it was big victory for Covent Garden. Poor Borough Market didn’t stand a chance, but I will definitely be doing a blog post from there at some point due to it being such a historic market in London. Anything 1000 years old is worth a visit.


Now I have to say, after doing some research on IG stories it seems like I may have made a rookie mistake. I placed the vote box right in the middle of the screen, and some of you may know that to swipe through stories, you press the right hand side of the screen. This means that some of the votes for Covent Garden may have been accidents by those simply wanting to skip through my story, I am not sure. It would explain why CG received way more votes, but it could simply be a more popular choice.

Regardless I had a great day there, soaking up the great sunshine we were blessed with.

Here is my visit, as chosen by you, of Covent Garden.




Admittedly I didn’t know Covent Garden was a district, located between St Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane*. I thought the central square and market within was Covent Garden, however it is much larger than that containing many streets, pretty courtyards and hidden gems. It has had a long and interesting history- being a very popular fruit and veg market and even a red light district at one point- to the entertainment hub it is today full of bars and restaurants with Leicester Square right on its doorstep.

To get there, I took the Northern Line northbound to Kings Cross before switching to the Piccadilly Line westbound. Total journey time of 14 minutes, not bad at all.


Taking a right out of the exit barriers I found myself right in the heart of it all. Immediately I was walking on a cobbled street surrounded by beautiful buildings decorated with plants that bring colour, the White Lion pub on the corner immediately tempting me in before I even start to explore. I do come back to this spot later and take a left, for now I will continue down the street (Covent Garden’s main square can be seen in the background) to see what I can find.

1. IMG_37262. DSC_00423. DSC_0044

What I was not expecting was a restaurant that Mark Wahlberg and his brother opened here in May 2019, the first of the chain to be opened outside of North America. This is the first time I had heard of Wahlburgers and as much as I wanted to go in, I refrained as I was meeting family in Camden Market for lunch later on.


It didn’t look particularly busy, there were many passers by taking a closer look after seeing the Wahlberg cutout outside, but not enough to get them through the doors. I guess it isn’t very well known here yet, I hope it picks up. I would like to pay a visit when I am next around the area, unexpected but a pleasant surprise for sure.


Heading down to the square, the market building is beautiful. I made sure to do a full 360 walk of this before peering inside. A timelapse around the building will be up on my Instagram story soon, so keep an eye out for that!

4. DSC_0037

I am not sure if the tourists above were posing for the camera, there was no one behind me that’s for sure. But soon enough they headed inside and I followed suit through Central Avenue, or ‘Central Ave ue’ as it now appears. Whether the ‘N’ fell on someones head or was stolen for whatever reason I do not know. But this avenue is full of stores selling food, clothing and accessories and for those that spotted it, a famous pub called ‘Punch and Judy’.

5. DSC_0039

Speaking of Punch and Judy, the show was mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his famous diary on May 9th, 1662. On this date it reads:

Up and to my office, and so to dinner at home, and then to several places to pay my debts, and then to Westminster to Dr. Castle, who discoursed with me about Privy Seal business, which I do not much mind, it being little worth, but by Watkins’s —[clerk of the Privy Seal]— late sudden death we are like to lose money. Thence to Mr. de Cretz, and there saw some good pieces that he hath copyed of the King’s pieces, some of Raphael and Michael Angelo; and I have borrowed an Elizabeth of his copying to hang up in my house, and sent it home by Will. Thence with Mr. Salisbury, who I met there, into Covent Garden to an alehouse, to see a picture that hangs there, which is offered for 20s., and I offered fourteen — but it is worth much more money — but did not buy it, I having no mind to break my oath. Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants. So to the Temple and by water home, and so walk upon the leads, and in the dark there played upon my flageolette, it being a fine still evening, and so to supper and to bed.

Samuel Pepys diary, Friday 9th May 1662

It is referred to as ‘an Italian puppet play‘, and this is the first Punch and Judy play on record in England.

6. DSC_0010 (2)

Covent Garden has a very old worldy feel to it. The architecture, the lighting… I feel frozen in time walking around and it helps me to imagine those like Pepys walking around enjoying the shows that we still see today. There is a basement level in the square, opening to two smaller seating areas for the bars and pie shops and the occasional singer/ musician performing to onlookers.

7. DSC_00408. DSC_00419. IMG_3808

As I arrived a singer was performing a beautiful cover of ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen, casually sitting on the flat bit of the banister at the bottom of the stairs. This was shortly after getting down from a chair of which he climbed onto to sing to the one businessman alone there having lunch. He quickly gained attention not just from his great singing but his entertaining nature, walking up to those passing by and taking photos of the crowds themselves.


DSC_0003 (2)

There were two acts I caught whilst here, and I regret not getting either of their names. Maybe I will find them online, and I am going to put some clips into a story in IG for you to check out, maybe someone knows who they are.

Crossing the road south we have Jubilee Market selling foods and typical tourist gifts.


And just a block behind this is a store with a really cool feature that I needed to share.


Ellis Brigham is a store for those into mountain sports, and inside is an ice climbing wall for those wanting to try out their new gear. It is hidden away at the back of the store and was such a cool find!


The wall stretches two floors, perfect for a little practice without even having to leave London.


But back into the warmth(?), walking north takes us back to the Underground, past the iconic red phone booths that were very popular with tourists taking shots.

11. DSC_0029

I do love these phone boxes and hope they never leave us (not that this is likely), it is interesting to think what they could be turned into now the demand for such telephones has diminished. I once heard they could store defibrillators and other opportunities are endless really. It would certainly make use of a great space whilst allowing London to keep a part of its identity for decades and hopefully centuries to come.


This has got to be one of the prettiest streets in all of London. Located further north of the Underground (taking a left as you come out of the station) you will find this little hidden corner of bright and colourful buildings. On the morning I was pretty much alone to take all the shots I wanted, businesses slowly opening up and waiting for the afternoon rush.


Below, a man reading his newspaper making the most of the calm in a dreamy corner or Covent Garden. I would recommend Neal’s Yard to anyone visiting London and a must for photographers.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Got myself some inspiration on the way out…

blackboard edit

The first selfie of the day!


The guy behind doesn’t look best pleased though, probably has to deal with tourists everyday. But that is what you get for living and working in London.


Now for any of you Harry Potter fans and/or collectors, this store is for you. I found it walking back from Neal’s Yard and the enthusiastic guy at the door won me over.


I am not sure what wand he was using, however you are absolutely spoiled for choice inside. Replica wands from the movies lined the walls and they looked great.


Wait, I’ve just noticed ‘send help’ written on the left hand page… not good.


At first I tried to take pictures when the employees weren’t looking, in case for whatever reason I couldn’t take photos. I don’t know why I thought this, I guess it was because some items were very pricey. However they later told me it was fine to take shots on any type of camera.


I am in love with this Batman mask. Would love to have bought it!


This store was easy to find, take a left out of Covent Garden Station, cross the road and keep heading north past the pub on the corner and you are there. With the variety across two floors there is definitely a gift to take back to wherever you call home, or for that crazed Harry Potter fan we all know.

What’s that, that crazed fan is you?! I knew it.

DSC_0047editI kept heading back to the station to not get lost, and it was a good base as most of the things I wanted to see led back here. Another is Floral Court, on the same street as the White Lion and again very beautiful.


Designer handbags with arms sticking out of them could be found, as well as a nice looking cafe named Arket, although the lack of ‘M’ was throwing me off a little. Same thief that stole the ‘N’ earlier? Possibly.


The Lamb and Flag is a very old pub and was a favourite watering hole of Charles Dickens. It has had a long and fascinating history, the pub was once known for its bare knuckle fights earning the nickname ‘The Bucket of Blood’ and the alleyway you can see below was the location of an attack on John Dryden in 1679 arranged by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.


Floral Court is another lovely courtyard very close to the Lamb and Flag. I visited day and night and again it wasn’t too busy during the morning. I have learned that if I want to beat the tourists, get up for sunrise.


And how welcoming is this tree house, Dominique Ansel is an award winning pastry chef and I have linked the website below as the venue looks great.

t/sdcard/DCIM/100GOPRO/GOPR10282. DSC_0055

Looking past the treehouse sign, a bright tunnel caught my attention. The Infinity Chamber is made up of thousands of LED’s that at the time was decorated for the Dominque Ansel Treehouse. This design and colour scheme is constantly changing so the chances are you will have a different sight to behold on your visit.

Very cool.

4. DSC_00606. DSC_0058

And the sun sets… if anything Covent Garden comes to life even more, the lights come on, people are finishing work and the vibes are good. This was after I went to see my family from the Isle of Wight for lunch in Camden Town, I recharged my camera batteries and started to revisit the places I had been during the day.

DSC_0044 (2)

The courtyards looked great. The slideshow below highlights some of my views as I walked.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


This is one for the foodies. A great place to socialise, Seven Dials Market was once a handful of small food stalls outside, they now take up a large indoor venue that was once a banana warehouse.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was almost 9pm by the time I got done seeing everything I wanted to see, and decided to head back to the main square to soak up the atmosphere around there. This was the time I first noticed the Punch and Judy pub despite mentioning it quite early in this post, it stated on the window that it is ‘World Famous’ so for that reason I had to head down the stairs to the basement level and grab a drink.


It was cosy, built in 1787 and believed to be named after the performances in the area. I decided due to lack of room inside to sit in the oudoor-yet-still-indoor area, a little cold but fine with a jacket on. I am still not used to paying over £5 for a beer though, this one costing me £6.25.

That’s right, £6.25. I drank it quickly to forget the price.


And as I did a group of people came over to me, recognising the now worn Texas flag on my laptop.


It turns out that they were from Dallas and on holiday in London, Kenneth in the group being very kind and offering me a beer if I ever go back to TX and pay his restaurant a visit. Texans have always been friendly and a big reason as to why I would love to go back there someday.


But for now, I will remain in the UK. I am all traveled out and despite maybe taking a weekend break somewhere in the near future, anything longer than that probably won’t be on the cards for a while. I mean I don’t need to rush anywhere as I have so much to do here so I am okay with that.


And this is it! My first of many travel plans in London, chosen by you on Instagram. I will very shortly add this to my story on Insta, as well as my other social media pages with some video clips to go with them.

I had great fun in Covent Garden and like many places I will be visiting, I couldn’t do it all in one day. But I hope that I have given some inspiration for anyone planning a visit to London, Covent Garden is a must.

Thank you for reading, thank you for voting and I will see you in the comments!



Wahlburgers London

Infinity Chamber

sevendialsmarket.comInsta @sevendialsmkt

Punch and Judy Pub




Connect with me

Instagram   Facebook   Twitter   

About me   Introduce yourself


The impossible task of listing everything I want to do in London

Hey everyone, I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend. A much better one than mine as I eagerly await my first paycheck, looking through the window at the London skyline like a dog waiting for walkies.

Roll on the 31st.


But I have tried to remain productive outside of work and compile a list of things I want to do in London. I recently told you that I was planning to do more on Instagram, using the platform’s polling feature to put two London activities in my story every week and see which one people want me to do. Two attractions that follow a similar theme, and with the list I already have, I won’t run out of things to do very soon.

An example of this is below, I have done a bunch of these and have enjoyed putting them together.

trafalgar square vs piccadilly circus

So far I have paired a few things up, and still putting a bunch of things to do in the list. For anyone from London or those that have spent time in the city, I will add the current list here and would love if you could help me think of more cool and interesting places.

The list so far (not in any kind of order) is:

Emirates Air Line cable car

Go up to London’s Sky Garden

Big Ben (warning- under construction until 2021)

See Tower Bridge lift up

Covent Garden

Borough Market

Try an authentic curry in Brick Lane

Have a crispy battered fish and chips in Camden Town.

Changing the Guard ceremony in front of Buckingham Palace

Meet the Beefeaters at the Tower of London

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus

Go sightseeing on an iconic London red bus

Visit Aldwych abandoned tube station (if open)

Soak up spectacular views of London’s skyline at The View from The Shard.

Take a boat trip on the Thames

See the Apollo 10 command capsule at the Science Museum

See Egyptian mummies and the world-famous Rosetta Stone at the British Museum

Tuck in to a pie, mash and liquor at one of London’s pie shops

Try the Chinese cuisine in London’s Chinatown restaurants

Visit Crossbones Graveyard, a graveyard for medieval prostitutes

Drink coffee in a Victorian toilet at the Attendant

Oldest prison in England (Clink Prison Museum)

London dungeons

Tallest bar in London/ Smallest pub in London

North London Derby

Take a tour of Wembley Stadium

See graffiti at Leake Street tunnel

Visit Karl Marx’s grave at Highgate Cemetery

Visit London’s oldest red telephone box

Walk over the famous Abbey Road pedestrian crossing

Take a Harry Potter Walking Tour

See the neon signs at Gods own Junkyard

St Pauls Cathedral

Visit Greenwich and stand on the Longitude 0 line

Brixton Market

Visit Pudding lane (Great Fire of London) and learn more about Samuel Pepys and his diary

Find the pump that cured Cholera in Soho

Have tea in the 300 year old Twinings tea shop

Visit a Roman Temple dedicated to Mithras

The Post Office Railway

Last Tuesday Society (not sure what this is exactly but it sounds strange and intriguing)

See the oldest surviving Surgical Theater in Europe

Stay overnight in London Zoo

Banksy’s ‘Designated Graffiti Area’

Churchill War Rooms

The Traffic Light Tree

Temple Church

Seven noses of Soho

The Embassy of the Republic of Texas

End of current list


A lot of places already!!!

Thank you to those that have already provided suggestions, this list will keep me going for a while. But then I need to take into consideration that I will try to do most of these, and if my posts are ‘this or that’, the ones that aren’t successful will have to be done at some point too! Maybe I will do a new poll for the losing options once I have made my way through.


I am currently living really close to Borough Market and the Shard, both seen in the picture above. I have tried hard not to have too many wanders into the tourist areas before I get myself a new camera on payday and do some proper blog posts on the locations I visit. But I have been working full time anyway which has helped. So far I am happy to just have some casual wanders day and night around the local neighbourhood that is Southwark.


Despite feeling a little anxious to be moving into London’s city centre, I have felt very safe on all my walks and on public transport. One reason for this is because it is just so busy all the time, no matter the time of day. I feel safer in numbers, and despite the higher crime rates inevitable in a city of 10 million, I would much rather be around a high population if it happened and not down some dark back alley in the middle of nowhere. The constant sirens of the emergency services and sight of police everywhere is welcomed too. Not that I want there to be a new emergency every ten minutes, but knowing that they are there protecting the city.

And with that I haven’t met too many miserable people either. The common belief (particularly being from a much smaller city up north) is that everyone looks down and that London isn’t a particularly friendly city. But I have found that most people I have engaged with have been pleasant, even in the most chaotic of crowds. I am hoping this isn’t just beginners luck and it stays like this whilst I live here, I can only imagine how many people I could possibly meet on my adventures and I am really, really looking forward to getting out there and exploring properly.

The beginning of November will be when I am back in the zone.

Thank you for bearing with me over the last month or so, I haven’t blogged much since moving back to the UK but it will all be changing in a week or so. It is all about finding routine and I am settling in well and cannot wait to do some more solid full time blogging in London.

Let me know what you would like me to do, have a great weekend and see you all soon!



The websites I used for these activities are linked below.



Connect with me

@onechancetoseetheworld– Instagram

@octstw– Twitter

Introduce yourself– a place to share your blog and find new ones


Berlin Part Three: Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall

Checkpoint Charlie is the closest tourist spot to where I was staying. It is largely a reconstruction of the east/west border crossing in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie (or Checkpoint C) was the name used by the Western Allies at this particular site between 1947-91. It was also the location for the stand-off between Soviet and US tanks in 1961, the dispute over a US diplomat crossing the border. It ended peacefully almost a week later after both armies agreed to slowly move their tanks back.


This banner was up at Checkpoint Charlie when I visited, asking Putin to abandon his geopolitical ambitions.



As you can see above, a replica of the guardhouse sits before a picture of a soldier. A sign to the right of it informs you that ‘You are leaving the American sector’.


After the Berlin Wall was taken down, some sections of wall remained standing. These sections are a reminder of what life would have been like with the wall dividing the country, and many parts of the wall are decorated with paintings, messages, padlocks and at this section, chewing gum.


Some information about the nearby Checkpoint Charlie.

What I didn’t know which I found pretty fascinating was that there is a line that runs through the city to show where the Berlin Wall once stood. You can see the brickwork below leaving the actual wall and heading into the distance.


Larger sections of wall were found close to the German finance building talked about in Part One. From here I learned that the wall wasn’t just one wall but two, separated by a ‘death strip’ filled with trenches, barbed wire fencing, landmines and armed guards. Sand was used in the strip to detect footprints that would lead to those looking to cross the border illegally. This is why despite the wall being pretty small, the chances of crossing it were very low and incredibly dangerous.


The wall was incredibly long, over 140km in length.


What it looked like between the walls.
Pictures from both sides of the Brandenburg Gate. What is now Pariser Platz (picture on the right) was a no-go area at the time. 

The left hand picture above is the location of President Ronald Reagan’s famous speech, declaring “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall!”

The brick trail showing where the Berlin Wall once stood can be seen here.


Before and after restorations of the Brandenburg Gate following bombings.


This is the section of wall that I talked about in Part One, full of artwork and the longest stretch of wall I had found. I am glad I found this before I left Berlin, I love how such an oppressive structure can be used to display messages of love, as well as a reminder for us to not repeat history.


This is all from my Berlin trip, it was only a few days and one of them involved a gig, so time was limited. But I would certainly visit again to see what I have missed, and would love to see more of Germany.

Where else would people recommend I visit in this great country? Let me know, and thank you for reading.



Part One: Wandering around Berlin

Part Two: A powerful memorial, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building


Connect with me

@onechancetoseetheworld– Instagram

@octstw– Twitter

Introduce yourself– a place to share your blog and find new ones


A different perspective 

Flinders Street Station is probably one of the best looking buildings in Melbourne, day or night. As I was walking by I had to take a snap of it looking a lot more lonesome without the crazy amount of people that use it every day.


Night gives a new perspective on a lot of things. As the light fades so does the sounds of civilization, in place the sounds of nocturnal wildlife and empty trams. I enjoy my walks from work as I see two different sides to Melbourne, or any city for that matter. I feel we all need to have differing perspectives on things to gain a better perspective altogether.

I felt like an Australian yesterday

Yesterday was a very fun day. With each and every day that passes down under I feel more and more like a local. I went to my first AFL game here in Melbourne and it was a great experience. This was the view from the impressive MCG stadium at sunset. 

I will blog about this experience more in depth tomorrow as its my day off and I have a few photos to share. But the team I went to see won and I’m pleased I got to enjoy the experience, which is a must when in Melbourne. 

I’ll see you all soon with an update!


I think these days are over…

A few readers from Melbourne will know that today was a fairly decent day in the sense it didn’t pour down. It’s still cold enough for a thick jacket but being dry made today actually pleasant enough to walk outside. However the days of gazing up and seeing the blazing sun surrounded by a blue sky are seemingly long gone.


I cannot actually remember the last time I saw such a blue sky. Probably not too long after I took this shot, riding along the coast in South Melbourne shortly after arriving in March. It doesn’t seem like I will be able to take my typical bright and colourful photos as much as I have been which is a damn shame, however it just means I will have to find other ways to keep my blog bright and upbeat.

More street art perhaps? I haven’t uploaded many of these posts recently. I guess more pictures from the inside of buildings too as I am usually looking from the outside. My phone has enough water damage already and the rain has been forcing me indoors more than I would like. Goddammit.

Or simply more posts without pictures, or without my own pictures. I enjoy using Unsplash for some of my posts as there are some amazing photographers out there and this site allows you to use their images. You don’t have to credit the photographer, but I like to. They help me out so I want to return the favour. Some of the posts I thought wouldn’t be particularly popular without my own photographs are the most popular, which is a pleasant surprise. It shows it isn’t always about the images, although they can certainly help. A post can survive without photos, but a blog can’t really survive if there isn’t anything worth reading.

Maybe winter will help me to improve my writing skills with this in mind. I have always tried to see the benefits in any bad situation and if winter can help me improve on certain skills, then I have no complaints.

That, and I can try more hot chocolate variations. Have you tried hazelnut hot chocolate? A taste sensation.


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.



Berlin, I am coming for you September 10th!

So, I have made my first actual plan after my Working Holiday Visa expires in September. I will only be in the UK for a short while before catching a flight to Berlin to see Muse live at the Mercedes-Benz Arena. This will be the 6th time I’ve see them perform and I am just as excited as ever.


I have seen fan footage of the gigs whilst they are in the States and it looks incredible. They always seem to put on an amazing show with new surprises each and every time. For this reason getting a ticket was a no brainer for me. I don’t want to regret not seeing this tour at all.

I have posted before about my obsession with them. You can read about my last Muse gigs here, they span from 2006- 2017, and soon to be 2019. 13 years of Muse gigs!!! Time can be a very scary thing. And I would have went to a hell of a lot more if I could, they are a band I cannot get bored of and I am really grateful for them being such an inspiration in my life.

If any readers from Germany are reading this, hello to you! Any advice as to what to do whilst I am there would be greatly appreciated. I have to limit myself to Berlin though as I am unsure how long I will be there, probably a weekend. I cannot wait though as it is a country and city I have wanted to visit for a long time, hence why I chose this destination on the European tour.

Have you ever been to Berlin? What were your thoughts? I would love to hear from anyone about your experience and just posting about it is getting me hyped up.

I’m ready to rock!!




Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.



Travel Diary: Arriving in Melbourne

And it was almost a disastrous start. My flight was delayed, although I am fine with that. These things happen. However instead of getting into Melbourne at around 7.30pm Victoria time, it was closer to midnight. Melbourne looked good though and a little green in places for St Paddy’s.


What I did not take into account was the Formula One that was taking place in Melbourne as I was arriving, and with this overnight accommodation was almost impossible to find. I arrived, stupidly without a room booked (like I did so much down the east coast as I found rates weren’t really affected) without considering the demand at all. Ironically this is the lack of planning I was talking about in my most recent post and almost went without a place to stay. The first place I looked was a hostel and I shit you not, they asked for $250 for the night. A hostel. But I found somewhere after a little searching and the team here are good fun.

Lesson learned. Get a room booked. Don’t be like me.

After a few trips outside of Brisbane whilst I was based there, it feels weird to step off the plane and not be going back. Six months is an interesting length of time to be based somewhere. As soon as you really get used to the place and a good circle of friends, you’re on the road again. Brisbane was amazing, and I am already really missing the city and the people I met there. It was a great size with just enough to do without the long and chaotic commuting times to get where I need to be. I will see how Melbourne is with this in mind.

The last days I was in Brisbane were pretty glorious. Looking at camera roll these are the last shots I have from there.

The first thought I had getting off the plane in Victoria was how cold it was. I can actually wear a jacket again and I am pretty excited about that. Bring on Autumn, the t-shirt/shorts/flip flop combo gets boring pretty fast although I am sure I will miss the Brisbane heat before too long. Not the humidity though. Days here are still hot but mornings and evening are cool and I am more than okay with that.

I have a lot of ‘doing’ to do. The past six months have flown by and there were things I didn’t manage to do in Brisbane that I regret. I don’t want to leave too much untouched in Melbourne as it is a much larger city with a lot to experience. But cutting my blogging down a little will free quite a bit of time with this in mind. And apologies for the delay in posting whilst I have been relocating.

And thank you to everyone that recommended me things to do in my last post. I have taken them on board and will look at each and every one again to try and find ways and times to fit them in. If I do them I will ensure to give you a shout out as a thanks and a reminder as to who recommended me what. I really appreciate it.

I have so far had two interviews for jobs within the same brand as I have been working in and hope to hear back later in the week. Another thing I have had to prioritise as I need an income, but my blog will go back to operating normally now I am here and settling in. I am for now just wandering around and soaking up the vibe and there is a good buzz around this city. Plenty of food and drink places to try, street art to stare at and trams to get knocked over by. And you will see it all here until September.

But for now thanks for being patient with me, see you in the comments!



Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.



People of Melbourne, what should I do?

Things for me don’t often hit home until they are right there in front of me. I don’t get the urgency until I have no choice but to act. It used to be revising for an exam, one of my earliest examples of this… That pastime is pretty much non existent. Then just organising my life in general and ensuring things went to plan, such as not agreeing to two events on the same day. I have often realised only the day such a mistake before and well, shit. I usually don’t find the motivation to address something ahead of time, this only really occurs when it is right there in front of me. I can visualise it much better when I see the end of the track, and too often it’s too late I go right through it.


It’s just who I am. Not that I necessarily want it to be this way, I struggle with the planning phase and this has made me into the person that I am today. The kind of traveller I am too. But I like to take each day as it comes on the road, plan little but make the day productive. I don’t know if any of you can relate but I am very stuck in the ‘now’ in life…  And this has good and bad aspects.

This is part laziness, part mental health and low mood. In the past when I have had free time I just liked to do nothing. But the ‘nothing’ was often something unseen, like waiting for certain feelings to pass or get stuck in a never ending abyss of deep thinking. But other times I have tried to escape certain demons holding me back and kept busy, blogging for example. But again, it is rarely scheduled posts and more posts I just type up there and then. These days are behind me thankfully however my day to day living stays somewhat the same. It has moulded my behaviours I guess.

Thank goodness I am on a two year visa, I have plenty of time to find out what I need to do. Six months in Melbourne gives me ample time to see what needs to be seen in Victoria’s Capital. If it was a two week holiday I would probably have a bigger ‘What I Should Have Done Better’ speech in old age. And despite it seeming like I don’t like the way I do things, I find it much easier and more enjoyable to just travel with very little plans. Speak to locals and fellow backpackers and go from there than wonder the web and the seemingly infinite websites aiming to guide me.

But on the other hand, I am thinking damn… I’m going to live in another city in just three days. What have I planned, or worse, what haven’t I planned?!

In three days time, I will be in Melbourne. I cannot wait to get there, meet some people and take in some of these recommendations. And potentially working in hospitality will benefit me greatly here. I have been to Melbourne previously, for two days, and can be seen in my post about the train journey from Sydney here and my brief time in the city here.

I saw a few things whilst I was there. The street art…


The cool little streets with cafes and restaurants…


This building…


St. Kilder…


And a day tour of the Great Ocean Road…


However this was an unexpectedly rushed trip for the reasons I mention in the posts linked, and will make sure to give Melbourne the time it deserves this time around.

I know I have been speaking to a few of you that are either from Melbourne or have visited, thank you for the suggestions and I would love to have more recommendations you and others have for the city. Again, I would much rather speak to those that have seen it for themselves instead of find an article online that could have been written by someone that has never stepped foot here. I have taken on board some of the places you guys have mentioned before, however if I have some of these in one designated post for me to refer back to every now and then (with a shoutout to you if I do it!), this would be greatly appreciated and something I will make sure I do if it is within my ability. I will try my hardest to make it possible, and asking for your advice is me planning more than I have done prior to many trips, so I guess I am improving on this pre-planning thing ever so slightly.

Hello to you in Melbourne if you are there (and to everyone that isn’t of course) and if you have something you feel is a must then I would love to hear it. Who knows, I may even see you there!



Have a great Wednesday,



Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section and Travel Diary

Follow me @samest89 on Instagram and @octstw on Twitter

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.



Growth is more important than the view count

Yesterday I mentioned in my post Accidental Anniversaries that I was very close to my record view number for any day I have had in the four years I have been blogging. I also mentioned that as I only had 15 minutes until midnight, posting about it probably wouldn’t help achieve a record view count as most views would spill into today’s statistics. However funnily enough I had a quick surge in views, more than usual for the first 15 minutes and I did in fact achieve this, so thank you to everyone that viewed the post. Seeing a record broken every now and then shows progress and growth and it is great to build momentum and motivation to keep pushing. I am very grateful.

As a result I received some lovely comments from followers in support, with some stating the view count and how they are a little way off this number. For me, the number isn’t the main focus, it is the continued growth.

I remember having less that ten views a day on my blog, I had it for a long time in the first couple years whilst I was blogging much less. I only blogged a couple of times a week and wasn’t consistent with it. Only blogging once or twice a week is fine if you are consistent with it. That is the key to growth. I then remember when I started devoting more time to the site and these numbers grew to the 50’s. This only occurred when I devoted an equal amount of time to my blog each week and if I fail to post for a couple of days my views will easily reduce to that number again. I mean look at my views in the last few days… my views went from 126 two days ago as I didn’t post to 563 the next day!


If I don’t post for a week my numbers will drop down to 10-15 views, from previous experience. Readers enjoy consistency as much as content which is understandable as if I am following someone, I need to know that they will deliver consistently and on time. Our lives are way too busy to tolerate inconsistency and we get bored easily. That and there are too many bloggers out there being consistent for people to choose from.

So for me, the statistics aren’t that important, that isn’t the key to success. It is staying and being consistent with the blog and ensuring that delivering no matter how frequently that it is consistently. You will notice that the daily stats will rise like a set of stairs on the chart which is very fitting because it is a great visual to observe, showing that the blog is on the rise. Stop with that routine and it’s like a game of snakes and ladders… Before you know it you are at the bottom again.

This shows me how hard people have to work to get to where they are and for the most successful bloggers, I salute you. Our success depends on how much we want it and as long as today’s stats are higher than yesterdays, the number isn’t important.


I also have two posts that you may want to read here, not too in depth but they were popular regarding this topic. Feel free to have a look!

The Waves of Motivation and the Reason I can Blog Daily

Daily Blogging and Why Consistency is Key


Featured Photo by Mikito Tateisi on Unsplash


Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,