Thursday, 28 January 2016

Mooncup Diary and Review

So I've watched a lot of videos and read a lot of blogs about travelling and what to take etc. All posts aimed at female travelers (oorah) say that a Mooncup is vital. You can pick from 2 sizes (under 30/no kids or kids/over 30). It sounds a little one size fits most but it is made from silicone so quite soft and pliable. 
Now a Mooncup sounds absolutely disgusting, yet, it is so much better for the environment and less toxic for your body than traditional products. Also you'll never be caught without. Sadly this does mean that you can no longer be the girl who hands out tampons in the toilet to distressed strangers.

Day One.
So my period has started again, sigh, yet this time instead of reaching for a box of tampons I force myself to grab the mooncup I bought 2 periods ago. It's a terrifying product but we warriors must crack on.
So I sat on the toilet scrunched up the cup like they say and inserted it. It hurt. More than I think it should have. Maybe I didn't do it right. But I continued. I went to bed that night with a water bottle and hating my body (my first day is always the worst).

Day Two.
I woke up needing another 8 hours. Life takes it out of you man. But I needed to run errands so onward. I removed the cup, which also hurt. I felt stretched and dry and quite awful to be honest. But positive side: I didn't spill anything. Ok so let's try again. This time I used lubricant, which actually helped. It didn't hurt, but whenever I thought about it I felt sick. Yet I soon enough forgot it was there and went on with my day.

4 hours later I needed to wee so I started thinking about it and took it out. I noticed I was spotting, nothing noticeable on dark underwear. This time I felt a little like removing a tampon, once again no spilling, success! I rinsed it with warm water and put it back in again. Pretty easy to forget about.

Day Three.
I woke up pretty much forgetting about the mooncup. Last night I stayed at my boyfriends house (who is very interested with this whole thing).This morning I went for a pee and he was like "ooo you guna go change your Mooncup?" And I had completely forgotten about it, so that must be a good thing. My flow is starting to lighten up now so this will probably be my last day of analysing.

Ok so for the first time putting it in it was weird and I didn't like it, after a couple of goes I feel like a pro. For the first hour or so I knew it was there. It doesn't hurt if it's not high up enough like a tampon, but it does feel odd, like a bubble or something.
Would I recommend it? Yes actually, It's not super different to using a tampon. So far I've only used it in the comfort of my own home but I can see this being easier to use when travelling than pads and definitely less toxic than tampons.

And for the price of £19.99 from the online shop, it seems like a lot, but you will definitely save money in the long run.


Friday, 22 January 2016

Review: Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2016

For Christmas this year my parents gave me money for "Travel Books." As great as that is I had no idea where to start.

Also this Christmas Gethin (the boyfriend) bought me a kindle ereader. It was so sweet and thoughtful. Almost like he and the parents were in cahoots.
Anyway getting to the point! On December 28th I went on a book binge.

I spent £2.99 on the Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2016 by Funky Reads. Now for someone who always looking to get a bargain or spend as little as possible it was quite the leap...even though it was only three quid. 

So the "guide" is broken up into about 10 sections.

Things to do before your trip.
Suggested backpacking routes.
Visa and Border crossings.
Best Festivals 2015-2016 (The chapter title is 14/15 but that's wrong).
Where to party.
10 places to experience local culture.
Destinations for Adventure and nature.
First time FAQ.

According to my kindle the book should only take 1 1/2 hours to read. It's quite an easy read and my favourite parts were visa and first time FAQ. Both sections are obviously great for people who've not backpacked before.

2. Things to do before your trip.
Things to do before your trip is a good section to remind you that it's probably a bad idea to just grab a backpack and cut loose, but I'm not your mother, you can do whatever. It includes ideas on travel insurance, backpacks, vaccinations and more.

3. Suggested backpacking routes.
Now the biggest part of this guide is the routes to take. The author starts in Thailand, which is fair as most people travel from there. It is a good overview of each area. Here they talk about budgeting, routes, best hostels in the area and some great travel advice concerning buses and strips. 

4. Visa and Border crossings.
Visa's are still something I'm trying to get my head around and this helped a tiny amount. Border crossing is not something I immediately thought of when I thought backpacking so this is good to get you thinking. This section is good if you're from the countries it mentions, if not you have to work out visas for yourself. 

5. Budgeting.
The budgeting section is useful but I found it a bit unnecessary. Only because at the beginning of each subsection in routes they said the average spend or whatever. Also as everyone has different comfort levels and price budgets it seems a bit difficult to say "this is how much you should be spending."

6 + 7. Best Festivals 2015-2016 and Where to party.
(The chapter title is 2014/15 but that's wrong).
These sections were more of a calendar and a reminder to book your hostels in advance. As they're giving you a calander of where to party, I feel like it's nothing you couldn't get from a quick google search. Yet if you're planning your trip around the party season it's good to have everything in one place to see.

8 + 9. 10 places to experience local culture.
Destinations for Adventure and nature.
These sections are a nice added extra for people who want something most backpackers don't get. Yet, I think most backpackers who want to experience different things probably won't be reading guides or following. If you want to stick to the Bangkok parties that's all well and good but these sections discuss hiking, village life and lagoons. Nothing is in great detail but if anything here takes your fancy I'd do some more research before setting off into the unknown.

10. First time FAQ.
This chapter was great for me because I am a first time traveler. They bring up questions I've actually been asking myself, about accommodation, other travelers and safety issues. This section is probably the only one which goes into further detail. If the entire book was just answering questions by experienced backpackers I'd be over the moon.

This is the first travel guide I've completed but also the first book I've finished in 2016 (2 very special titles).

Worth the price?
As it's only £2.99 I'm not going to be having loads of sleepless nights. I'm happy I bought the book because it's given me a greater scope in the field, but I don't think I'll be purchasing another copy. 

This is a good book as a simple overview on backpacking, however, in my honest opinion I think it's nothing special, the content is things I've read on plenty of blogs and seen in enough videos. 

Essentially it didn't grip me as a major page turner but I'll go back to it for tips again.


Sunday, 10 January 2016

5 Things to do in South Wales in 2016

They always say to see your own back garden before you see the world, so that's what I'm going to do. 

I'm from a small village in South Wales (UK). Wales is a beautiful place but there are some things I've never done and some great things I want to do again. This year, before I leave to see the world I want to see and do these things:

1. Watch the sunrise from atop Pen y Fan mountain.

Pen y Fan is the highest mountain in the south of Britain. The picture above is from this time last year, always beautiful when covered in snow. Waking up early enough to watch the sunrise is always magical, being on top of a mountain in a beautiful country just adds a little something else. 
As this is completely free I vote everyone do it!

2. The Doctor Who experience in Cardiff Bay.

It is no secret that Doctor Who is filmed in Cardiff. Like all Welsh people I can watch the show and be like "ooo my nana lives on that street" and lets not to forget the obligatory Torchwood photo down the Bay. There has been an exhibition in Cardiff since 2005 and I still have yet to visit! 
'Props on display include an Ood Elder from The End of Time, a fly-headed Tritovore and Lady Christina De Souza's costume from "Planet of the Dead",' (Wikipedia).
At £16 a ticket it's definitely an experience, but one I need to save up for.

3. Spend the day at Oakwood Theme Park.

(photo: instagram @themeparkworldwide)

In 1996 Oakwood opened the Megaphobia ride, what I knew as a child to be the largest wooden roller-coaster in Europe. I regularly went to Oakwood as a child,  and since then they've developed many rides and roller coasters that I'm dying to experience! 
For adults one ticket costs £24. This is a definite day trip I need to put in the calendar. 

4. Walk behind Sgwd yr Eira waterfall in the Brecon Beacons.

(photo: instagram @daniellaaargh)

The Brecon Beacons is a national park in Wales, a title that is well deserved. 
There are different paths and picnic areas to just sit and soak up the beauty. As children we swam in the blue pool (water from under the rock that was so cold you'd turn blue!), hike along the the mountains and see the waterfalls. Sgwd yr Eira (falls of snow) is the a waterfall along the Afon Hepste. It's so picturesque and by all means, you can walk behind it! (as long as you're careful of course).

5. Cycle the Taff Trail.

(Photo: instagram @rhyssavory)

Ok so putting this on the list did result is a small argument from my better (and sadly more sensible) other half. 
I suggested us doing the Taff Trail and he instantly said we weren't fit enough. 
The Taff Trail is a cycle route (also for walking, horse riding and the like) that spreads 55 miles from Brecon down to Cardiff Bay. In flatter countries that is completely cool and I could do that tomorrow. However in Wales, where it is impossible to go anywhere without encountering a mountain, it might be a tad difficult. 
Yet it is something I've wanted to do for a while, so this year I will get it done! The path is mostly off road and suitable for road bikes. Of course it's completely free to do but plenty of food is advised. 

So those are my top 5 things to do in South Wales, for me, in 2016. 
I'm always excited to make a bucket list for the year, and although I may not do all of them, I will definitely do some. I feel so accomplished when I check something off the list.

Do you guys have anything to add to my list? or any ideas?


Friday, 8 January 2016

Let me introduce myself!

(Photo from National Geographic)

Hello anyone who is interested.

As my first post on this blog I wanted to explain a little about myself.

My name is Rhiannon Emily, I also have a youtube channel and any other social media you may care about.

I've always found writing quite difficult, reading easy. But getting my head down and trying to get all my thoughts and ideas on to paper (or in the modern world, a computer screen) is something that I've always struggled with.

In 2016 I plan on backpacking around Europe and Asia with my dearest partner and ally. My idea was to document not only our travels but also all the prep that I'm putting into the trip. While we're away I will be writing a journal but also updating here with photos and updating my youtube with videos. So everyone can see and hear about my every move. Let's call it a stalkers dream.

Weirdly enough, manatees aren't even my favourite animals, not even my favourite sea animal. For any who wish to know: Elephant, Turtle, Stingray. Yet I didn't think they really summed up what I wanted this blog to be about.
Manatees are very large cows of the sea. They're very complex animals. Not only this but the manatee memes are quite supportive and nice and that is my aim.

Any questions please, let's have a chat in the comments!