Transcript

[Transcript] Episode: The Secrets to Travelling Often With a 9 to 5 Job – Interview with Helena Bradbury

Here is the transcript from Episode 3 of The Confident Traveller podcast with Helena Bradbury.

(Transcript may be edited slightly for readability)

Affiliate Disclosure

Helena: Thank you so much for having me.

Sarah: I’m excited to have you here. So you have a blog called HelenaBradbury.com which shows people it’s possible to travel solo, on a budget, and most importantly, with a nine to five job. You have a lot of 48-hour itineraries on there plus some longer trips. And I love this, your about me page says: “I hope this blog will help those who think seeing the world is only possible with a huge budget and a big Instagram following,” which is not true! So I’m glad that you pointed that out. And, speaking of which, you have a stunning Instagram feed, it’s so full of color. Definitely inspiring.

Helena: Oh thank you so much.

Sarah: Who takes your pictures?

Helena: It’s my trusty tripod. So I have a very cheap tripod from Amazon basics, which fits into my carry on luggage. So that’s like the number one for me that it packs down small and I just have an app on my phone that’s like a remote control that connects with my camera. Most of my photos are taken that way.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s awesome. And your blog is mostly 48-hour itineraries. And I suppose that’s because you do have a 9 to 5 job and you do most of your travel on the weekend. Is that how that evolved?

Helena: Yeah, I mean it’s strange cause my parents took me traveling a lot when I was younger. I was really fortunate in that respect that they were always trying to take me and my brother to new places. So I think that’s probably where my love of travel came from in the first place but I’ve always loved working. I’ve loved being busy. I went to university and I’ve always kind of thrived in that under pressure lifestyle. So, then trying to find a way to make my career work with my travel. It took me a while to figure it out and get my footing with that. It was something that then ultimately clicked so easily because I realized that there were two things I wanted to prioritize. I had to find a way to make them both fit together well.

Sarah: It seems like you’re doing a good job at it. And, I actually had a bit of a sneak peek on your Instagram and I saw that we were recently in the same place at the same time in Oregon.

Helena: No, no way. Oh my goodness. Oh, that’s so funny.

Sarah: Did you like it?

Helena: Oh, I love Oregon. The reason I go to Oregon is because my partner lives there. So he actually lives in Portland. I’ve been to Portland four times in the last year. So this is the other reason why I’ve also had to make travel fit around my 9 to 5 job because I use most of the annual leave to take these longer trips to go and visit my boyfriend.

Sarah: Where in Portland is he?

Helena: He’s in North Portland.

Sarah: North Portland? I was in Northwest Portland in St. John’s for a little while there.

Helena: Oh, I love St. John’s. That so crazy. Yeah, we visit St. John’s quite a lot as well. Oh wow.

Sarah: Yeah. That’s incredible. So you’re in London now, obviously. I should probably explain that to everyone.

Helena: Yeah, just outside of London. I live in Oxford, which is about an hour outside of London.

Sarah: So can I pry a little bit, how you meet your boyfriend? Was it while you were traveling?

Helena: Yeah, it actually was. We met at a hostel in Japan. It was a little town called Kawaguchiko at the foot of Mount Fuji and we both just happened to be in the same place for one night in a tiny little hostel that, there was like no kind of bars or anything into town, so was a big group of people from loads of different countries and we all just had beers and we all sat around chatting and I met him and we bonded over our love of true crime podcasts.

Sarah: Podcasts, just bringing everyone together.

Helena: Exactly. This is why podcasts are so great.

Sarah: Oh, that’s awesome. That’s great that you can go back and visit. Has he come and visited you in London yet? Has he experienced the English lifestyle?

Helena: Oh yeah. So, I mean, when we first met in Japan, we were both on longer trips and we kind of went off and carried on doing our own thing. And I came back to the UK and got the job that I’m currently doing now. And on his trip around the rest of the world, he came to the UK and was here for about three months and then he’s been back twice since then as well. So we tend to take turns traveling to see each other.

Sarah: That’s a good way to do it.

Helena: And then I go there and I see a bit more of the States. He has family in Florida, so we were there last time and when he comes to Europe, we tend to try and hop to some places.

Sarah: Oh, incredible. Yeah. It’s great to have a fellow traveler as a partner. That always helps!

Helena: Absolutely, yeah.

Sarah: Now before we get into how to travel with a 9 to 5 job, tell us a little more about what you actually do for work.

Helena: So I work for a publishing house. I work in the sales team, so I’m trying to sell niche titles to different kinds of audiences. So anything that’s like sportsbooks and military, history books, there’s a real range of things, which is really exciting. I get to work on a lot of different things and it means I get to work with customers across Europe as well, which is exciting. It’s also the publisher of Harry Potter.

Sarah: Oh, okay. Yup. That’s something to brag about.

Helena: I get excited about that all the time, people as which publishing house? I’m like “The Harry Potter One!” I still get excited about that too.

Sarah: Yeah something to put on your LinkedIn. Like “I wasn’t there at the time, but…”

Helena: They still do everything they can possibly relate to Harry Potter now. Even though all the books are published, they’re still bringing out new additions, lots of different types. So Harry Potter is still very much alive.

Sarah: So it seems like you’re an expert in many things travel. But today we’re going to talk about how you manage to travel with this full-time job. So I guess it makes sense to start with weekends. How do you use them efficiently to make the most out of your time?

Helena: For weekends I do find that I have to plan them very well. When I take longer trips, I tend to be a lot more spontaneous and I kind of go with the flow and see what I feel like doing that day. But if it’s a weekend trip that I’m taking, I do plan it quite down to the T, so I’ll try and see if I can get flights that are laid out on a Friday right after work and then return as late as possible on Sunday evening. And I tend to kind of try and prioritize what I’m really interested in doing in that one day and plan my weekend around those activities. So a lot of the time it does mean that I’m sacrificing maybe museums, which maybe I would usually spend two or three hours in. I wouldn’t do things like that. However, I’ll plan a route around the city and to try and hit as many spots as I can that I’ve planned into my itinerary and I’ll also try and basically make the most of all the daylight hours. So I will get up at sunrise out there for any photos I want to take and be at any attractions or any places that opened up kind of 8 am or at 9 am and just really make the most out of my time that I have there. I wouldn’t say it’s a holiday, it doesn’t feel very relaxing, but I do like keeping busy and being able to see as much as I can with the satisfaction of knowing that I’ve done it on a budget and not have to take the time off work as well.

Sarah: So you go to things that have lines first thing in the morning to try and avoid wasting time waiting to get into somewhere?

Helena: Yeah, absolutely. I’ll always check if there are places that I know are the main tourist area that I want to visit. Barcelona was a prime example of that. I did that on a weekend in July last year. So I knew it was going to be so, so busy. And a lot of the places you have to book tickets for in advance. So I was booking tickets for 8:00 am slots, spending an hour there, jogging across the city, getting somewhere for the 9:30 slot to see something else, and then once I’ve done those main tourist attractions first thing in the morning, then I have more time to kind of wander around areas of the city that are less time-pressured and I can explore the architecture or the shops or the old town areas and cities. And I’ll do that later in the day when there’s less of an issue of crowds and queues.

Sarah: That’s good cause then you’re not constantly watching your clock as well, like watching your watch I should say, to make sure to be somewhere at a certain time. You get all those time restrictions out in the morning and then yeah, it frees up your afternoon. Do you look up everything before you go, including cafes you’re going to eat at or restaurants or like how much do you plan?

Helena: I planned from a photography point of view. That’s such a big part of why I love to travel, to photograph places and people and architecture. So I’ll try and plan the main things I want to photograph and then the main attractions I want to see around that. What I’m really bad at planning is where I’m going to eat. Unless I’ve seen something specifically either online or on someone’s blog or if I’ve had someone personally recommend a place to me, then I will go and check out that place. But otherwise, I tend to just wing it and see where I end up when I’m hungry basically.

Sarah: You find that works out or have you had a few disasters?

Helena: There has been a couple of disasters. Sometimes it works out amazingly. And I’ll turn a corner and I’ll see this cute little spot on a street and it works out perfectly. And other times, I’m obviously just kind of, it’s almost like shopping with my eyes. I just see somewhere that has food and then I eat there and it turned out to not be so great. I do always try and find somewhere that is authentic to where I am. I wouldn’t just go and grab McDonald’s or something like that. I’ll always try and keep it authentic to the place I’m visiting.

Sarah: Well, I mean if you went all the way there, you may as well eat something local to that destination.

Helena: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And I’d rather keep busy throughout the day and I rely on my snacks to keep me going and I will not really stop. But then in the evening, if I can find somewhere really nice that’s got really authentic, good food, I’m happy to spend a little bit more on that to sit down and really enjoy a good meal.

Sarah: You reflect on the day and just enjoy the atmosphere.

Flying on weekends though – it’s generally more expensive I found especially if you leaving on a Friday night and coming back on a Sunday. Are there any tools that you use to get better deals?

Helena: Yeah, I mean it is more expensive on a weekend and I mean if I chose to fly on a Wednesday at 2:00 pm I could probably get it cheaper, but I know that that’s a price I’m going to have to pay for the time I have off work. And so there are a few things that I try and do to cut that down as much as possible. And the tool I use the most is Google flights. If you use that tracking tool on Google flights at all,

Sarah: I usually go to Skyscanner, but it’s hasn’t been the most efficient lately I feel.

Helena: I thought the exact same thing. I feel like recently Skyscanner has not been as, I used to use Skyscanner all the time and I feel like probably the last six months to a year, kind of not the same. I don’t know.

Sarah: Okay. So Google flights, how does that work?

Helena: So often I will put in somewhere that I’m really interested in going and I’ll find out what the flight schedules are like for the ones that fit for me on Friday to the Sunday and once you’ve selected your flights is actually a button that you can switch on. A toggle switch to track the flights and it will email you details about that flight whenever the price changes and you can actually track the price over a period of time. I’ll track it for sometimes months. Even I think Barcelona I actually intended to go the summer before and I track the price for an entire year because I knew it when it was going to go down from when I have seen it the year before. A little bit excessive maybe, but getting those alerts as soon as the price has changed is so useful and because you know what it’s been like the day before or the week before, the month before you can see that that’s a good price and that’s probably the one you should go for. Cause if you’re six weeks out and it’s dropped to the lowest it’s been in the last three months, then it’s probably the one.

Sarah: You feel good about buying the flight because it’s so easy to get flight regret. “Oh, I probably could have got it cheaper.” And so that’s a good way to do it. So you have peace of mind.

Helena: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You can just see what the price has been for the last few months and that’s really helpful. And I’ll even track the places that I’m not even planning on going anytime soon. But I think it’s just, I like seeing graphs. It’s very satisfying to see the data. So I’ll be tracking flights for places all over the world just because I think, well one day I might need this tracking information to see when the flights are the cheapest.

What I’ve actually done – I’ve done it three or four times probably in the last six months – is I’ve not actually flown out on a Friday night. I have flown super, super early on a Saturday morning and that’s actually way, way cheaper because who wants to get a flight at 5:00 am on Saturday morning?

Sarah: And I guess you save on the accommodation as well for that Friday night.

Helena: Yeah well, that’s the other thing. By the time I’ve got to the airport, I got a flight and got to wherever I’m going, it’s often after 10:00 pm anyway and there’s not an awful lot I can do in a new place, especially if I’m going to go early in the morning. So I think several times in the last few months I’ve gotten a flight at 5:00 am that landed like 7:00 am or 8:00 am and I just go straight out and I start my day.

Sarah: I’m assuming you have carry-on only usually.

Helena: Yeah, I always have a carry-on. Just a rucksack so I can keep it with me the whole time. Cause particularly those trips, if I fly out on a Saturday morning, I then won’t go to the hostel that I booked until later that evening to go to bed. So I will just keep everything in my backpack on my back.

Sarah: Does that get heavy or do you try and keep it? Like what weight do you try and keep it to?

Helena: I try and get, I mean it’s full, but it’s full because my camera’s in it and my tripod is in it. I usually try and keep it super minimal in the winter. One pair of jeans for the whole weekend and change of top, and the jumper or your coat you’re wearing on the plane anyway. And then in the summer, there are not many clothes to pack anyway, so it’s not usually too bad.

Sarah: Yeah, it’s manageable for a weekend on your back.

Helena: Yeah, absolutely. And if you know you’re going to be doing it a lot, then getting a decent rucksack. I think there are so many good ones out there that you can find one that’s really comfortable for you easily.

Sarah: Do you have one that you recommend?

Helena: I have. I’ve one of those FjallRaven Kanken colorful backpacks.

Sarah: Yes. I see those everywhere.

Helena: My goodness. When you look at those, you’re like, they’re just so square and blocky. How can they be comfortable? And someone bought me one for my birthday last year because I quite like bright colors and they brought me a very bright red one and I didn’t realize that there’s a label on the inside and they were actually designed for Swedish school children to stop them getting back problems. Oh my goodness. It is the comfiest backpack rucksack I’ve ever had. It’s, yeah, it’s great.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s really surprising because I look at them like “That can’t be comfortable!” That’s awesome.

Helena: I also have an Osprey backpack for bigger trips, which I love as well. Just so, so comfy.

Sarah: Yeah, I’ve had a lot of good things about them too. My day pack is a Nomatic pack and that’s really good for camera gear and the laptop and everything.

Helena: What’s that called?

Sarah: Nomatic.

Helena: Ooh.

Sarah: This one has lots of little good compartments to put everything in. So it helps me – who can be very messy – to stay organized. So it’s just what I need.

Helena: Oh, that sounds good.

Sarah: Yeah. So when it comes to annual leave then do you usually take it all in one block or do you spread it out?

Helena: It’s interesting because I know that being in the UK, I am really fortunate that I do get a good holiday allowance. So I get 21 days of annual leave plus bank holidays. But I also use most of that to see my boyfriend in America. So that tends to go in about three blocks usually. For when we visited each other for like a week and a half to two weeks at a time. And I plan that out from the start of the year pretty much because we generally know when we’re going to see each other. So I think I need to reserve seven days for there, seven days in the middle of the year and seven days at the end of the year. And that’s my 21 days on. But then I will also try and use the bank holidays to my advantage as much as possible. But because it’s so expensive. I’m assuming you would probably have this as well, it’s more expensive to travel on like the public holiday.

Sarah: Oh yes, for sure.

Helena: Yeah. So what I try and do, because I know it’s going to be more expensive, is I’ll travel at slightly weird times on the holiday. So actually on Easter just gone. We have a four day weekend and I actually left on Thursday right after work and then came back on a Saturday morning. So I still had most, well basically three full days of the weekend left because I was only away for a day. That worked really well and it was super cheap. And then I still had a three day weekend to recover from what was a very quick and exhausting trip. But yeah. So I’ll try and again find those slightly weird travel times which are maybe not as popular, which then, in turn, makes it cheaper.

Sarah: For others would you recommend doing the same, like visiting more places, more times over the year, or taking it in one big block to visit one place?

Helena: I honestly do think it depends on the kind of traveler that you are. Sometimes I visit places and I do think I wish I’d taken some time off because I wish I could stay here longer and explore more. Obviously it doesn’t mean I can’t go back at a future point, but I think it does depend on how you want to use your time off because for some people taking it all off in one big bit for two weeks is exactly how you want to spend your holiday time to have a nice relaxing two weeks off. Whereas because I’m always on the go and I like to pack in as much as possible and I know that I can do that by spreading it out throughout the year and trying to do all these little weekend trips. So yeah, I think it very much depends on the person. I certainly think it’s possible and I certainly think it’s fine to do it either way. Whatever suits you.

Sarah: With all this travel, do you struggle to find a balance between planning and taking these trips and work and all your other projects such as your podcast?

Helena: It gets busy, very busy. Over the last six months especially. It’s really been all about prioritizing for me. And I know that I now have to sacrifice a lot of my, what would be like free time and in the evenings and on weekends, to do things like my blog or my podcast or to take these trips or to go out and shoot somewhere. But I do them because I love doing those things and I know in the long run, yes, I’m going to be exhausted getting up for this sunrise or for getting this flight at 5:00 am or for editing this podcast until whatever time. But, they were all things that I love doing so much that I think just finding a way to prioritize them around the full-time job is almost, it’s become a job in itself, but in a good way.

Sarah: So it doesn’t feel like a chore. It feels great to do.

Helena: Yeah, and I think if it did start to feel like a chore, then I think that’s when I would have to reevaluate things because, not that everything is easy all the time and I feel like if you’re doing something you love, then it’s not going to be easy all the time and you’ve got to work hard for it, but it shouldn’t be unpleasant for you all the time. I think as long as you feel like you’re getting more out of it, that’s good rather than bad, then that’s the right balance to have.

Sarah: It’s great that you’re staying conscious about your priorities and what it is that keeps you happy and you know if that does turn South, it’s really good that you actually think about how these things in your life are affecting you.

Helena: Yeah, I mean again, in these last six months that have been a lot busier, I’ve been consciously deciding to book out a weekend in my diary to just keep free to do nothing to be at home and catch up on laundry and clean – just general life admin because otherwise you do get burnt out. I think everyone should do that regardless of what you’re doing in your life or your job or what your hobbies are. I think putting aside some time to just take it easy and take a breather is really important. Otherwise, you’re just going to be permanently exhausted.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s a good way to do it. I’ve started taking out just one day where I do laundry, paying bills, catch up on finances, all that stuff. And it’s a bit of a sucky day, but it’s great when you get it all done at the end of the day and you don’t have to do something after work every night. If you get it done all in one day and block it out, I think that’s a fantastic way to do it and keep on top of everything.

Helena: Yeah, and then it’s not playing on your mind that, “Oh, I’ve got this to do and I’ve got that to do,” and you can just get it all ticked off the to-do list as well which is a good feeling.

Sarah: Yeah, definitely helps with overwhelm, which is great. You’re very lucky to be in London and you can jet-set anywhere. You know you can be in a new country in about 10 minutes. What advice would you give to those of us, for example, Canadians and Americans and Australians who need to fly much, much longer than 30 minutes to reach a new country? How do you recommend that we get new experiences without paying too much or flying too far?

Helena: I mean, obviously it does very much depend on where you’re based, but I think evaluating what your options are. I’m a really big believer in you don’t have to catch a flight to travel. I really think if you look around you in your own country, there are so many different things on offer that people forget to explore because it’s just on their doorstep, whether it is in their own country or whether it is just a short flight away. It’s so ingrained into people now that you need to get on a flight to have some kind of experience and to have a holiday, but there’s so much to see around you and I think people should definitely explore their backyard a bit more. And it does depend on where you’re located as well. Maybe in places like Australia that would require maybe a longer flight to get somewhere. That’s when reevaluating how annual leave is used. But then equally to me, Australia, I’m like, God, that’s an amazing country. There are so many places to explore that, I would never leave if I could explore all over Australia.

Sarah: Yeah, everyone asks me where should they go in Australia, and you realize how much you haven’t actually explored your own backyard. I only went to Sydney for the first time just before I left Australia. So that’s great advice. I need to get back to Australia and do a few road trips, that’s for sure.

Helena: That’s the thing, isn’t it? When it is on your doorstep. You’re like, oh, I can just go and do that whenever. But yeah, it’s definitely worth exploring. And I did that for the first time last summer actually. I did that a lot more and I really made a conscious effort to try and save a bit more money and actually explore my home country a bit more. So when people did say things like, Oh yeah, it’s amazing you live in the UK, where should I go? I could actually like tell them some things.

Sarah: Give them an answer. Yeah.

So even though you’ve got a steady income, you still have bills to pay, you’ve got food to buy. Traveling can get really expensive, especially if you’re flying on the weekends and at peak times. So how do you afford it? How do you afford to travel?

Helena: Again, it’s a lot of planning and prioritizing. I do not earn a big salary by any means. It’s one of the downsides of working in the arts, shall we say. It’s not always a huge salary cause I prioritize the trips that I want to take. I very rarely buy any additional things like clothing, or I’ll be conscious of how many times I’m going out for dinner or how many drinks I’m buying on the weekend. So I try and budget in that respect on the day-to-day. In terms of when I’m actually traveling, I massively cut costs on accommodation and food as much as possible. So I will pretty much always stay in a hostel and if I’m traveling on my own, I’m definitely always in a hostel. They’re just so cheap and always in a good location.

If you can get a bed for eight euros a night I mean, you can’t go wrong with that really. Yeah, and like you said before as well, if I get a flight the next morning, then I’ve cut down on another night of accommodation costs as well. I also take a lot of my own food with me as well. I take so many snacks that it stops me buying things while I’m out during the day, so I’ll take just snacks, biscuits and fruit and things like that just to keep those costs down and then like I said, if I want to treat myself to a meal in the evening, then I feel less guilty about doing that because I’ve not bought any other food throughout the day.

Sarah: Bringing snacks as well would help you a lot with your time so you don’t have to bother – especially in a foreign country where English isn’t the first language – try to work out what everything is and all the brands are different. It can take a very long time, I find, to buy food, so that’s also a good tip.

Helena: Just running around the city eating as I’m going. That’s usually what my lunchtimes look like whenever I’m in a new place.

Sarah: A lot of people feel quite stuck in their 5 to 5 job and they feel like they can’t travel. So what is the most important piece of advice that you can offer? Someone who wants to travel but feels trapped by their job?

Helena: I think, people need to know that it is absolutely possible. And I do totally understand that feeling. I feel like everyone experiences that feeling of being trapped at least once in their life. And that’s probably what pushed me to travel more because I don’t like the feeling that I’m getting comfortable or that I’m getting trapped in one place. And I think to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, whether that is just a trip within your own country or whether it’s a short flight or maybe a coach ride away, I think slowly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to do those different things every weekend and just look at how you’re using your time and if you’re happy with the way that you’re using it. Cause a lot of the time, I know in previous jobs I’d be so tired on a weekend and then I’d sit in front of the TV and just watch TV the whole weekend.

But if you are feeling trapped, then make those changes to your routine, make it exciting and make it different. Because yes, your 9 to 5 job is a routine and you do that for most of your week. So what more reason could there be to mix it up on the weekend and keep it different and look for new experiences. And again, that doesn’t have to be an experience abroad. It could be an activity that you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve not been able to. Maybe it’s like rock climbing or going out hiking or joining some sort of club. I think taking those steps to push yourself outside of your comfort zone is the first step to taking those trips. Whether that is solo or with other people and getting them into your schedule. I don’t think anyone should feel trapped by their job. Yes, you need a job to earn money and to live, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t find other ways to make your life more fulfilling around that.

Sarah: Yeah, that’s really great advice. Would you have any other tools or websites you would want to recommend to help these people get out there and help them easily book a trip or do it on a budget?

Helena: Doing it on a budget? I think really getting to know what apps are out there, whether it is Google Flights or Skyscanner or Kayak. For people who are maybe starting out taking trips, one of my favorite websites is Weekend.com and I actually used them recently to book a trip that I’m taking in June and it’s basically a website that pairs a hotel or some sort of accommodation with a flight just for a weekend. So literally is made for people who are looking into only travel on a weekend and you can expand it further. I think you can expand it Thursday to Monday, but that’s the most that they ever give you is you can’t book on any other day of the week. So it is designed for people wanting to get out there on the weekend and because it makes this package for you with the flights and the hotel, it makes people who are maybe a bit daunted by that first kind of big busy weekend trip that you might want to squeeze in from work.

It makes it a lot easier because it’s all wrapped up in one package. You put it through as one payment, you’ve got the comfort of a hotel or an apartment and they are really reasonably priced. Their price per person and they usually base it on two people sharing, which is why I used it cause it’s a trip that I’m actually taking it with a friend. But, they are, they’re absolutely fantastic in getting people in the mindset of finding weekend trips. I don’t know if it’s international or not actually. It’s owned by Travelzoo. They’re the company that owns it. So I don’t know if it is just European based or not.

Sarah: All right, well I’ll put that link in the show notes anyway and we can check it out and see – if not, it’s great for everyone who’s in the UK and Europe.

Helena: The other thing as well I would actually say, cause I’ve done this a couple of times recently is look at coaches cause I’ve taken a couple of trips recently taking a coach. Obviously taking a coach is a long time sitting on a bus but it is insanely cheap and if you take an overnight bus then you’re saving a night of accommodation. I’ve done that twice recently. Once to Amsterdam and once to Paris. So again maybe it works better for countries in Europe that are close together. But equally I’ve taken greyhounds in the US and it works in a similar sort of way, just long haul coach journeys. They are far cheaper than flights most of the time.

Sarah: And they normally have WiFi and power points in them now too, don’t they?

Helena: WiFi, PowerPoint’s, TV screens. You’ve got a toilet on board – like it’s, it’s fully kitted out. I mean I was on one for 12 hours, which was an interesting experience.

Sarah: So do they stop so you can walk around if they’ve got a toilet on board already?

Helena: Some of them have stops on the way as if it’s a bus stop, which is quite odd. Stopping in Belgium at 3:00 am its an odd experience. But, no the only time we stopped was at border crossings from the UK and France. But otherwise, just go straight through.

Sarah: Really just like a flight, just a cheaper flight. That’s fun, that’s really cool.

Helena: Yeah, pretty much.

Sarah: Where are you off to next then?

Helena: So I’m going to New York in two weeks’ time.

Sarah: Oh, fantastic. Oh, cause there are direct flights from London to New York. Yeah, that’s just across the pond. That’s easy.

Helena: It’s actually the middle for me and my boyfriend, which is why I’m going.

Sarah: Oh yeah. Have you been there before?

Helena: I’ve been twice. I was quite young both times. I think I was 11 the first time and 14 the second time. So it’s my first time going with a camera and appreciating it as a city. I think I was a grumpy teenager before and probably didn’t fully appreciate that. But my boyfriend’s never been to New York even though he’s from the US so it’ll be interesting for both of us.

Sarah: Well I’ve heard only good things from travelers that have been there, so I’m sure you have an amazing time and I’ll have to follow you along on Instagram to see how it goes.

Helena: I’m going to be so snap happy there. It’s really ridiculous.

Sarah: So can you tell everyone where we can find you to follow you on your journey and access all of your tips?

Helena: Yeah, absolutely so you can find all of my articles and blog posts on my website, which is helenabradbury.com and I’m also over on Instagram as well, which is at @HelenaBradbury.

Sarah: And I’ll put all that in the show notes as well so everyone can find you easily. I need to thank you so much for joining me today, Helena. I think you’ve definitely inspired a few people to use their weekends in a new way, and I’ve learned a couple of things and it’s been fantastic talking to you.

Helena: Oh, thank you so much. It’s been brilliant. Thank you very much for having me on.

Sarah: Have a great time in New York and I’ll hopefully catch up with you soon.

Helena: Thank you so much.