I’ve always wanted to travel and earlier this year, during my first time travelling in Mexico, I knew that that trip wouldn’t be the last one. I fell in love with discovering new cultures, exploring thousands of years of history and travelling different landscapes, from sandy white beaches to plush green jungles. 

During my trip, I travelled with a backpack I’d hastily ordered from Amazon just a week before. I wasn’t sure what type of luggage to go with and although I loved my backpack, I do wish I’d picked something more ideal for travel. It was a good size for my day-to-day activities – as I also brought a suitcase – but wouldn’t have cut it for long term travel. One of the straps also broke within the last few days of my trip too.
So I was delighted when CabinZero got in touch recently and asked me if I’d like to try out one of their specialized travel bags (how ideal would this opportunity have been back in April!). I had a look at the brand before choosing my bag and was overwhelmed with how ideal this company is when it comes to what they’re selling.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

CabinZero are actually avid fans of travelling – just one look at their blog will tell you that. Posts range from their favourite travel instagrammers to guest blogs about America’s best cities for fall travel. Basically, they know exactly what they’re talking about and what exactly a travel bag or backpack needs.
I picked the Classic CabinZero which is ideal for zero-hassle travel – perfect for a new traveller like me! I ordered it in Lipe Blue and the website states that backpack’s colour is inspired by the sea’s reflection of the last rays of a stunning Thai sunset – how inspiring is that?
My first impression of the bag is that the colour is beautiful. It’s bright and eye catching, meaning there’s little chance of it getting lost, but the colour is also slightly subtle too. It’s not too bright or in your face and I think it’ll go with anything.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel
Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

The bag is super spacious inside with smaller zipped compartments for things like toiletries and important documents, and another large elasticated section which fits my laptop nicely. On the front of the bag there’s also a zipped area which works for bits that need to be accessed quickly.

It’s also very sturdy and a good size. It’s more square than anything, which works really well, and as well as a zip to get inside, there’s also four clips you can use to be extra safe if you so choose. My favourite part, however, is that there’s also a handle down the left side of the bag. This means you can wear it as a backpack as normal, or you can carry it as you would a briefcase.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review | CabinZero | Travel

This is such a genius idea and one I haven’t seen before. I’m used to backpacks with one small handle at the top and I always worry the handle will break with how much I’ve overpacked. So with a larger and more sturdy handle on the side, it also means when you pick it up you’re lifting where most of the weight is, rather than the empty area/gap at the top of your luggage/items if you haven’t packed to the brim.
I have yet to ‘travel’ with this bag (but keep an eye out as we’re heading back to Romania after Christmas!), but so far, I use it when travelling between my boyfriend’s flat and home. Normally I shove all my stuff into my day to day bag (which I take to work with me), which means it’s heavy and weighs me down, or just in a plastic bag with my laptop in its separate bag.

Formidable Joy - UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | CabinZero's Classic Travel Bag Review

Lately, I’ve been able to keep everything in CabinZero’s classic travel bag and it’s perfect for that use. Of course it will obviously be perfect for travel – weekend, week or longer – but for the meantime, I’ve been getting plenty of use out of it.
Additionally, the bag is water resistant, designed to be the perfect cabin size, has a ten year warranty and has a lost and found tag built in – how nifty is that?!
Overall, I don’t think I would pick anything else for a travel bag now. It’s light but durable, it has all the compartments you need, it’s got extra safety additions and it’s really bloody stylish too.

What do you think? Would you benefit from a CabinZero Classic Travel Bag on your adventures? Let me know!

P.S Interested in purchasing your own CabinZero bag? You can use promo code CZLOUISEJOY for 10% off your entire order until 7th Jan!

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It seems so long ago that I went on my trip around Mexico with TrekAmerica; my first time travelling, my first proper adventure and my first tour with Trek America. I’d wanted to travel with them for a long time so when I finally got the guts to take my much awaited Mexican trip, there was no doubt I’d go with TrekAmerica.

TrekAmerica offers many other tours though – including road trips – to and around places like the USA, Canada, Central & South America. In fact, there’s almost too many tours to choose from, many more varied then the last.
Since I’m looking ahead to my travels and adventures next year, I thought I’d compile a list of TrekAmerica tours I’d like to try.

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MOUNTIE
I’m not a huge fan of the outdoors but I could definitely wear in my walking boots if it involves a trip like this. This eleven day tour involves exploring British Columbia and Alberta in the Canadian Rockies – can you even imagine the photos and views you’ll end up with?! Highlights include a stay at a rustic guest ranch, relaxing in hot springs and a visit to Lake Louise – well, visiting this lake has always been on my bucket list (a lake named after me, ha!). Let’s not forget the amazing alpine scenery and entry to national parks too.

BEST OF THE EAST
This tour offers an in depth look at the East Coast, with travels to New York, Nashville, Chicago and Niagara Falls to name just a few. Each visit to New York is different too, with the tour leader sharing their favourite places – recommendations straight from a local! Highlights include a bike tour of Chicago’s highlights and a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. So though you’ll be visiting a lot of cities, there’s some nature and outdoorsy stuff thrown in too just to keep it varied.

HAWAII BIG ISLAND
For those of you who like your adventures short and sweet, Hawaii Big Island is a big favourite. This tour mixes the right amount of plush scenery and adventure; it offers an island cruise and snorkelling, hiking trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and camping by remote beaches. If you’re new to the idea of travelling – or looking for your first TrekAmerica tour – perhaps this is it. It’s not too long and isn’t too much to take on for the first time.

MEXICO CITY TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN BOLT

I’ve obviously done a Mexican tour with TrekAmerica – and cannot recommend it enough – but when I chose to do that tour, it was actually a close choice between the Mexican BLT and this one. Mexico City to Playa Del Carmen involves seeing more of a range of Mexico and includes a visit to Mexico city of course. The tours are quite similar in content, but this one includes a visit to a Mexican market and San Cristobal de las Casas. If I were to do another Mexican tour, it would be this one to coincide with visiting Mexico city during the famous Day Of The Dead celebrations.
THE GREAT 48
And, of course, I can’t not mention The Great 48. Anyone who is anyone has a full American road trip on their bucket list – myself included – and this tour makes that dream a reality. Visiting 48 of America’s 50 states (you’ll have to look for yourself to see which two are missed off!), this tour offers pretty much everything. The highlights are amazing: a party bus tour of Las Vegas, seeing the famous faces of the presidents at Mount Rushmore, watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon…need I go on?

If you’ve ever felt tempted by the idea of travelling, I can only recommend a tour with TrekAmerica. They’re perfect for first time travellers or adventures wanting to really get a feel of a place – and the tours are so varied too.

Would you ever (or have you ever?!) gone on a tour with TrekAmerica? Let me know!

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If you’re considering booking a tour with TrekAmerica after reading my recommendations, you can visit their website to see the full variety of tours on offer.

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The amount of travelling I’ve done may seem small and insignificant to some, but to me, the few places I have visited have given me memories I’ll never forget. 
I hope to continue adding to these memories by visiting new and exotic places, but one thing I’ve realized is that although I look back and appreciate and reminisce countries and trips as a whole, there’s also a few moments that really stand out for me.
There are experiences that reflect whole trips or really make a place and there are moments that you instantly think of when you hear the name of the place you have visited.

So today I’m going to share with you some of my favourite travel experiences; each of which I’m forever grateful for.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | My favourite travel experiences | Mexico | Romania | Ibiza | Paris | Egypt | York | Amsterdam
WATCHING THE PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER IN ROMANIA
What better place to stargaze/check out a meteor shower then at a remote cabin on a mountain; miles away from civilisation? My boyfriend and I picked the perfect spot to watch our first meteor shower together and even though we only got to see a few shooting stars – and an amazing storm – it really was one of the most unique experiences.
TREKKING THE JUNGLE IN MEXICO
Before my trip to Mexico, all I could imagine was plush green jungles and stunning waterfalls. Luckily my trip included visits to both and one of my favourite experiences from my time in Mexico was going off the beaten track to explore a jungle at Palenque. And, speaking of Palenque, the ruins were out of this world too. There are actually so many experiences I can talk about from Mexico, so I’m going to just stick with the one!
CELEBRATING NYE AT CHAMPS-ELYSEE
My sister took me to Paris a few years back for my birthday and we had the pleasure of seeing in the new year at Champs-Élysée. I loved every minute of that trip, but NYE was particularly special. We went for a seven course meal before legging it to the subway to get to Champs-Élysée, where it was PACKED at the other end and I was honestly scared about getting crushed. We made it out and onto the famous street with about sixty seconds to spare, and then popped some champagne to celebrate. It was without a doubt the best new years eve of my life.
EXPLORING THE SHAMBLES IN THE RAIN IN YORK
This might sound like an odd one, but one of my favourite moments in York was simply not doing anything touristy but taking a slow walk around the shambles with my ex boyfriend/boyfriend at the time. My ex boyfriend was never terribly romantic and although the idea of having a weekend away was romantic overall, it was that evening that I really felt the romance. We were walking along slowly, eating some chips from a chippie when it started to spit and a few streets away a busker began to play music. It was simple, but really bloody lovely.
WATCHING THE FAMOUS IBIZA SUNSET
Although the sunset in Mexico was arguably better, the feeling of seeing the Ibiza sunset was an amazing one. So many people gathered on the beach to watch it and there was a real nice sense of community; especially when the sun finally disappeared behind the scene to a heartfelt applause.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | My favourite travel experiences | Mexico | Romania | Ibiza | Paris | Egypt | York | Amsterdam
GOING COCO LOCO IN AMSTERDAM
This is another odd one, but during my time in Amsterdam, my friend and I got up to so much. But I’ll always look back and smile/laugh about our first time trying space cakes (soz all family & potential employers but you can’t go to Amsterdam and not try space cakes!). We scoffed them whilst exploring the red light district, headed into a museum and not long afterwards fell out almost wetting ourselves with laughter. I don’t know what was so funny but all I know it that the next few hours were a whirlwind of emotions; from my friend getting scared and refusing to go in a pub because she thought the bartender was a waxwork to me being too scared to check the time because I thought everyone would laugh at how slowly I was being trying to get my phone. Oh and then we got stuck in a room because someone was standing in the doorway and we couldn’t comprehend how to ask him to move out the way. After half an hour of sitting at a table being too scared to do anything, we then realized there was another door…oh Amsterdam, you so crazy.
P.S I am not glamourizing or recommending drugs here!
RIDING A CAMEL & STARGAZING IN EGYPT
Riding a camel was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, ha, but when I look back at the photo, I can’t help but think how lucky I was to do so. My sister and I travelled on camels into the Egyptian dessert to learn about Egyptian history, visit a traditional tent to eat some traditional Egyptian food, and, again, do some stargazing. The fact that I got to stand in an Egyptian dessert and watch the stars is a memory I’ll always treasure.
DRIVING TRANSFAGARASAN
Although it was terrifying at times, driving transfagarasan was one of my proudest experiences. It was really scary but the view at the top of that famous Romanian road was more than worth it; plus though it was a tough challenge, a lot of the drive was enjoyable too.
This is just a small list compared to so many experiences; it’s so hard to pick just one experience from each trip. I’m very much the type of person who wants to go out and do stuff on holiday rather than just sunbathing or relaxing by the pool, so I suppose I really throw myself into these things.
Still, I’m so grateful for these opportunities and can’t wait to see this list grow with time.
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Last week my boyfriend and I took a mini trip down to Brighton.
The main reason was to go and see my fave band, The Maine, as Vincent had never really been to a proper rock gig before (only a festival), and obviously going to gig’s is one of my favourite things in the world so I thought it would be nice to go.
I usually see them in London but we figured why not go to the Brighton date instead and make a trip out of it? Well, I did, anyway. Vincent did get rather annoyed when I informed him that train tickets and a hotel were more expensive than originally planned and he admitted he thought we were only going for the day (as in coming back after the gig). Apparently it didn’t occur to him that when I asked him to book two days off work, it would involve staying overnight and he thought it was just incase we were hungover..!
Anyway. We headed off from Luton station on Monday morning and arrived to somewhat warm weather just a couple of hours later.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | (Just under) 48 hours in Brighton | Travel | Brighton | Brighton Pier

The first thing we did was check into our room at Ei8ht apartments, a cute townhouse that offers serviced apartments and rooms pretty much a stone’s throw from the seafront. We were really pleased with our room; it was small but really quaint and cosy and great for the price too!
We threw our stuff into the room and then took a short walk towards the beach before descending onto the pier. We mooched around for a bit, enjoying the view and having a few games in the arcade where Vincent shamelessly beat me at Dance Revolution. I used to be obsessed with the game as a kid, so it’s kind of our tradition to play one whenever we see it. We also walked to the end of the pier to admire the view and had a go on a couple of rides too.
After, we headed into central Brighton via the Lanes. We popped into Choccywoccydoodah to marvel at the displays and browsed a couple of other shops before exploring Snoopers Paradise. We didn’t buy anything, but enjoyed rummaging around nonetheless.
By the time we were done, we were starving so we headed off to this amazing vegan restaurant called Purezza. We’d heard great things about it – and it didn’t disappoint. I’d love to write all about it but I’ll instead be doing a separate review post on this!
After we stuffed our faces with delicious food, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the gig. Doors weren’t until seven though and we were exhausted so managed to sneak in a quick nap before getting ready! It had been a while since I’d been a gig, so I took my time perfecting my ‘rocker’ look, with smokey eyeshadow, a deep purple lipstick and cute space buns.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | (Just under) 48 hours in Brighton | Travel | Brighton | Food | Pizza | Vegan | Vegan Pizza | Purezza
The gig was held at The Haunt, which is the same place where I saw The Maine a few years back. We arrived to hear the last couple of songs of The Technicolours set, and then checked out Night Riots. I was ecstatic when they played a song I actually knew and liked – I hadn’t realized it was by them so it was nice that I knew a song!
Next The Maine boys came on and they did not disappoint. They put on a good show as usual, but I was sad that they didn’t play some of my all time favourites. Still, it was still an amazing show, even if I did feel old when at least four different girls came up to me to say hello and note that they recognised me from past tours!
Oh how times have changed. Though younger than me, nearly all of them are still doing tour after tour, whereas in this case I was actually at the gig during a mini break with my boyfriend. Remembering the old days, I quickly downed a beer in cheers of my old groupie self, knowing that now that I’m on the wrong side of 25, my groupie days are long over.
The following morning we headed to the seafront for some classic seaside chips. Whilst Vincent practiced his skating (he recently purchased a longboard), I relaxed with the peace around me and read a book. This was probably one of my favourite parts of the mini break; just kicking back and enjoying the atmosphere and peace!
Shortly afterwards, Vincent beat me yet again with a game of crazy golf, we met up with a friend for lunch at another sweet vegan cafe, Wai Kika Moo Kau, had another final mooch around the shops and then headed back to the station to catch our train.

Also, oddly enough, we had GREAT weather. Apart from tons of rain on the Monday night (when we were inside anyway), it was actually kinda warm. I’d bought myself a new parka jacket, expecting to get a lot of use out of it during our time in Brighton but on the Tuesday I barely even worn it! So we were really lucky with the weather too.

At the time, I didn’t realized we packed so much in but writing about it now made me realize we got up to a fair bit, even though we didn’t have time to do all the stuff we wanted like visit the Penny Arcade and such.
Still, we had a lot of fun and I enjoyed taking my boyfriend to Brighton for the first time and to his first rock gig. I love Brighton because it’s so close by that even just a day visit is viable, so there’s no doubt we’ll be heading back soon.
Have you been to Brighton lately? Let me know with a comment!
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When it comes to travel, sometimes there are so many beautiful countries and places to stay that I can’t help blogging about – even if I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit!
One (or two!) of these places are the luxurious B&B’s of  La Dimora dei Cherubini in Florence, a timeless and classy classic travel location no matter what time of year or type of break you’re looking for. Like Berlin, or Amsterdam, Florence is the kind of place that is always popular and never grows old.

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When I imagine a B&B, I usually think of a small but quaint family run kind of place with breakfast on offer – but  La Dimora dei Cherubini breaks all of these misconceptions. Although it has a homely atmosphere, a stay at  La Dimora dei Cherubini also offers modern and charming rooms with a welcoming atmosphere and classy and luxurious decor.
Both B&B’s are close by to the station Santa Maria Novella in the center of Florence, with only a short walk between each. Whereas #DimoraDegliAngeli and  La Dimora del Centro offer charming and intimate rooms, both also offer some unique points too.

La Dimora degli Angeli Florence is set on the third and fourth floors of a historic palace, Via De’ Brunelleschi, and La Dimora del Centro Florence is located in the 19th century palace of  Piazza della Repubblica. This palace was proved to be an inspiration for the poet Eugenio Montale.

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | La Dimora Degli Angel | Florence | France | B&B

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Travel | La Dimora Degli Angel | Florence | France | B&B

Each B&B also offers rooms overlooking Duomo of Florence and feature en-suite bathrooms, free wi-fi, air conditioning, safes, satellite TV and more. 
If you can drag yourself away from the room, guests will find Galleria degli Uffizi nearby and shops in Via de’ Tornabuoni. 
If you’ve got your eye on a visit to Florence anytime soon, then a stay at La Dimora dei Cherubini is certainly worth visiting. 
What do you think? Would you stay at either of these luxury B&B’s? Would you like me to do more blog posts focused on specific hotels and places? Let me know!

Buzzoole

*Please note, this is a sponsored posts but all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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