Twenty minutes left of my last day at the best job I’ve ever had. It feels strange not to be leaving a job and screaming WOOHOO as I run out the door.

We had a lovely farewell lunch with presents and speeches and margaritas and more kilt and haggis jokes than I ever thought possible. And this comes on top of half a dozen different farewell gatherings this week so I am just on the point of bawling and babbling, I love youse all!

So… how about you tell me all your travel tips. Where to go, what to do, what not to do. Tell me what floats your boat, what butters your muffin, what the weather’s like in Edinburgh. Anything at all. Don’t mention the war.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

34 thoughts on “Margarita!

  1. My best travel tip: Don’t travel with me! I think I’m bad luck. Or perhaps that is the Tony. Who knows. But I will say this, Miss Shauny. Make a list of everything you want to see while you’re there and, come hell or high water, see the must-sees and make time for as many of the rest as possible. Also, I don’t know about Edinburgh, but London is beautiful this time of year…

  2. hey chicky… sorry i can’t make it tonight… a little hard for me to get to the other side of town and back again with out a licence and a car. but i do want to see you before you leave if possible… i will call you either tonight or tomorrow. I got a little present for you (little meaning it can be put in your onboard luggage without any hassels or added weight). But i have a feeling you won’t be in Canberra again as of tomorrow. If so I’ll send it to you when you get to Scotland. gonna miss you!!

  3. “Don’t mention the war! I did, but I think I got away with it!!!”

    Sorry…gratuitious Fawlty Towers reference.

    Hmmm….travel tips…..I’ve only tended to go weird places, mainly for work….

    I’d have to say:
    Don’t stress! Remember you’re doing this for enjoyment, and take each day as it comes. Don’t be afraid to give in to spur of the moment whims. πŸ™‚

    Being whimmy is fun!

  4. for the actual long-haul fligt: wearing compression stockings (i kid you not, these “travellers socks” work wonders), and having a water bottle, toothbrush, toothpaste, moisturiser, fluffy socks (those airplane ones suck), eye mask and ear plugs in your hand luggage.

    apart from that: be adventurous. everyone will miss a train, bus, or loose something important or other while on the road in europe, but well, this is europe, it’s super hard to get lost yourself. also, we have lots less poisonous things than aussie, fewer deserts, no crocs too, so it’s less dangerous, by default.

    also: what are your stop over plans like? πŸ™‚

    don’t stress out too much, ms.shauny, it’ll all be fine and splendid.

  5. Spring has officially sprung on the cold side of the world today (21st) so its a nice time to be coming over! This weekend coming the weather here in Amsterdam, but also in most of the UK is expecetd to be really good, sunny and warm. (well, thats northern-hemisphere ‘warm’!)

    While in Edinburgh you should go to Glasgow as often as possible, brilliant city and lots of great art and architecture si you’re into that.

  6. Edinburgh is lovely warm and sunny today. Well, relatively speaking, I suppose.

    Glasgow is a lovely city, but it doesn’t really have as much good art as Edinburgh. The architecture is better, but there’s not much historic stuff really. And it rains more.

  7. Travel tip: if you have to drug the horrible kid in the seat next to you, use a liquid sedative. They’re harder to detect.

    When you get to Edinburgh? It might turn out to be pants, but Mary King’s Close looks interesting. Or maybe it’s just interesting to read about.

    How about a Rose Street pub crawl? In addition to the drinking, you could try to convince at least one young man at each pub to follow you on the crawl. By the end, you’ll have gained an entourage and lost the ability to say no.

  8. Congratulations. You made it. You’ve done it all and the next big step will be the last one you need to make on your big trip. I’m very happy for you and sad at the same time.

    I don’t know anything about Edinburgh, but I do know that should you ever make it back to this part of Sydney, there’s a lovely gelato, a big hug and a bookshop full of undiscovered treasures that’s just waiting for you. Meet you in the coffee bar.

    Until then? Don’t forget your hot water bottle. You’ll need it.

    I’m gonna miss you, chook. I really, really am. I suspect you’re not the only one on the point of weepiness.

  9. What sort of traveling will you be doing, Shauny? The sensible, safe, thoroughly planned out comfortable kind? Or the make it up as you go along, stand-by fare, last minute decision to take a trip to X because so-and-so is there, dirty and cheap kind?

    I ask because I have some experience with the latter. “Let’s Go” is a great guide for cheap student-style traveling, and have you registered with hostels? And baby wipes. Baby wipes clean anything. Other than that, make sure you have plenty of pick-up lines for those strapping rugby men. That’s about it.

  10. Not to mention that Glasgow has a killer live-music scene. The 13th Note is well worth checking out. Lots of good record shops too.

  11. First buy the A-Z of Edi and start walking. This place is so compact that you can walk everywhere and it’s the best way to get to know any city. Also, pubs make wonderful landmarks!

    Oh, and if you don’t eat vegemite, bring some anyway and the husband will buy it off you as it’s so bloody expensive here. Personally I think it looks like poo.

  12. Scotland? Go to the Orkney Islands and see Skara Brae. And take the Highland Line train trip. Doing Youth Hostels? Sleep with your passport, tickets, money etc by your feet in your sleep sheet. Every week or so leave yourself a day with no specific plans except to laze about and relax. Live in the moment. Now and again say to ourself – out loud – “We are here in this place.” Picture the world globe and think of where Canberra is and think of where you are at that moment. “We are here in this place right now.” Enjoy. You are doing a fabulous thing.

  13. I agree with Maureen. Go to the Orkneys, even though it’s a bit of a production to get there by ferry and all. Edinburgh was nice and Glasgow is very lively. I have to say that I thought the Irish were friendlier and more charming and the English wittier, but then again, I spent most of my time in depressing, dumpy, post-industrial Dundee (THE place to avoid in Scotland).

  14. Here’s another vote for Glasgow. Friendly and fun (and the museum/gallery is nice too).

    Never, ever, make a joke to customs/border police.

    Favourite cities so far: Madrid and Prague.

    Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam are nice too.

    Vienna seemed awfully unfriendly when I was there.

    Don’t expect the British to be nice to you on the street. It’s not like that here. Plenty nice when you get to know them though!

    Scott F πŸ™‚

  15. Here’s another vote for Glasgow. Friendly and fun (and the museum/gallery is nice too).

    Never, ever, make a joke to customs/border police.

    Favourite cities so far: Madrid and Prague.

    Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam are nice too.

    Vienna seemed awfully unfriendly when I was there.

    Don’t expect the British to be nice to you on the street. It’s not like that here. Plenty nice when you get to know them though!

    Scott F πŸ™‚

  16. Here’s another vote for Glasgow. Friendly and fun (and the museum/gallery is nice too).

    Never, ever, make a joke to customs/border police.

    Favourite cities so far: Madrid and Prague.

    Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam are nice too.

    Vienna seemed awfully unfriendly when I was there.

    Don’t expect the British to be nice to you on the street. It’s not like that here. Plenty nice when you get to know them though!

    Scott F πŸ™‚

  17. Bugger. The Post button didn’t work so hit it again (and again).

    Sorry πŸ™

    …although it means we’re 2 (3) posts closer to the the next shauny post πŸ˜‰

  18. Wow! This week’s flown by, like a cruise missile in the streets of Bagdad.

    Now that I’ve got mentioning the war out of the way, I’d just like to say that I hope your flight(s) go well (or are going well, or have gone well, depending on when they actually are), and that you have a brilliant time on this island of ours πŸ˜€

    As for travel tips and places to visit, well … where to begin? Edinburgh, obviously, but once you’re settled in…

    York’s nicely Jabberwockyesque, with its city wall and medieval streets (I think it’s even got the shortest street in England, or something like that). There’s the Jorvik Centre, which I visited years ago, and is all to do with the Vikings. When I was there, it proudly boasted a feature I can’t remember the name of, but it was something like ‘smellorium’. It was a sort of mock-up of what Viking York would’ve been like. They also sold good quality playing cards in their souvenir shop. (It was also the city in which I discovered I liked Pizza – albeit in Pizza Hut or some such chain.)

    Another idea is to spend a week hiring a narrow boat on the canals of England (and invite me along, ’cause I do enjoy those kinds of holidays). Those holidays can be a lot of fun – especially as there are often pubs right next to major mooring places! As a bonus, operating the lock gates is a good opportunity for a little bit of exercise.

    Oh, and go up a mountain, of course (with some planning in advance if it’s a big or remote one, like Ben Nevis). (In Fort William, one of the many tourist informational places provided good information on such stuff. Our mountains might not be Himalayan, but they can still be treacherous!) (Oh, how I’d love to walk up a mountain again…)

    In the Rhondda (pronounced something like ‘Rhontha’ (‘th’ as in ‘this’)), some of the old coal mines have been turned into tourist visitor type places, if you’re into that sort of thing. (Never been in one, though.)

    Talking of going underground, there are some magnificent caves in some parts of England. Can’t really remember where they are, though, but Wooky Hole is a particularly touristised one (which is, perhaps, a bit disappointing, as it’s otherwise a good cave system, from what I remember).

    Going the other way (or at least looking in that direction) there’s the air museum type place at Duxford (somewhere near(ish) Cambridge), and (I think) is part of the Imperial War Museum (in London) (but they also have one of the two, prototype Concordes).

    More locally (as in where I live), there’s the (former) regional government nuclear bunker (three, spacious stories!) just a few miles out of Brentwood. The countryside round here’s quite nice, too. We even have a windmill in Mountnessing! And the Foot’n’Mouth epidemic was first detected just a few miles from here, too. Not that that’s been turned into a tourist attraction, though.

    Oh, and there’s Colchester, up towards the other corner of Essex, which is of great historical interest (Norman castle built on the remains of a never-finished Roman temple; much of the Roman city wall still in place, some other Roman bits’n’bobs; the place where Humpty Dumpty really did fall down during the English Civil War (I think it was that war); and so on). And London’t nearby, of course.

    Oh, and there’s the legendary seaside resort (well, Thames Estuary) of Southend-on-Sea. But, um, it’s culturally a bit of a dive (unless it’s the stereotypical Essex culture you’re interested in). But it does have the longest pleasure pier in the world (dunno what state it’s in these days, its prone to fires and being severed by wayward barges).

    Tilbury is another place of historical interest. It was a sort of naval fort and/or garrison type place in the past. Can’t remember there being much to see there, though.

    Um, I’ll leave it at that, for now πŸ™‚

    Hope you arrive safely!

  19. Well, I’ve never been out of the country, (being born in the UK doesn’t count) but my one travelling tip would be to take it easy on book-buying. Those buggers get *heavy*.

    Having said that, I do recommend going into as many second hand bookshops as possible. Maybe you can ship them to your mum. Hehe.

    And walk in lots of parks.

  20. It just stikes me that not only are these all great trips for traveling, but they are the best tips for living.

    I just try to be in a place that when somebody asks me “If you could be anyplace on earth where would you like to be?” I can answer truthfully, “If I could be anyware on earth right now, why would I be anyware else?”

    If you can say that, then you have found happiness.

    Bonvoyagee darlin. Write soon.

  21. I’ve heard that if you eat haggis, the best way is to pour a shot of single malt over it first.

    I have never actually tried this.

    Good luck. I want to go to Scotland next year so shall be reading your every post with the closest attention.

  22. i would have to agree with cara, miss shauny – layers are the way to go.

    when you get there, stay up for as long as possible and go to bed at your normal bedtime – if it’s 10pm there, go to bed at 10pm. It’s the best way to avoid jetlag.

    for the plane, take your toiletries and a clean pair of undies – when you’re about a half hour or so out, go to the loo and have a bit of a freshen up (and change your undies). you wouldn’t believe how much better you’ll feel. honest! and i wanted to post the word undies!!!!

    good luck, my red-haired beauty. have a great time – i did and stayed 7 years!!

    much love. xxxxx

  23. I pass on to you two pieces of advice given to me by Scotsmen:

    1. “There’s no’ a Scotsman alive who’s no’ flashed his arse or his willy – many a time.” (If you are into that sort of thing.)

    2. “Choosing a whisky is like choosing a woman. No one can tell ye what the best whisky in the world is. Ye have to try many whiskys, until you find the whisky that is right for you. The difference between whisky and a woman, is that once ye find that whisky, it’ll stay with ye fer the rest of yer life.”

    Edinburgh is beautiful. I recommend spending some time travelling in the Highlands. I also had a great time on the Isle of Skye.

  24. Drink plenty of water on the flight. I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but it staves off the jetlag somewhat, and forces you to get up every 10 minutes to avoid thrombosis.

    oh yeah, and DON’T LEAVE MEEEEE!!!!!!!

  25. Don’t be afraid to hit the countryside in Europe. So many people stick to the big cities, but the villages are amazing. If you are going to stick to big cities, Bruge is amazing, altho I’m sure that spelling is wrong.

    As far as packing goes, 2 pairs of jeans/other casual pants, 4 tops of varying warmth, a ‘smart’ outfit in case you need to look good, and a dress. As far as my experience goes, that should last you three months travelling around Europe- after that, hit the op shops πŸ™‚ Definitely no more than 2 pairs of shoes, and definitely layers and a jacket rather than a huuuuge coat. Have fun, kiddo!

  26. Travel well, I’ll be following your progress with interest.

    There’s presently a better than outside chance I’ll be in the Edi’ myself by mid-October … it could be the new Melbourne of blogging. *grins*

    (OK OK, the ‘Berra is clearly overpopulated with good blog, too.)

  27. Two more things: whenever your changeovers allow, find a shower (the miraculous business/executive lounge places are great) and have one. Change the undies and stuff, and you’ll feel new – and you’ll need it at the end of a long-haul flight! Also, remember us poor concrete-footed people: AIM Express runs on javascript, and most places I’ve been to netcafes in have computers that’ll let you run it. Or its more prehistoric predecessor. G’wan! You know you want to.

    Aw, hell, just have a good time. Be careful, have fun, and send lots of postcards.

  28. Glasgow’s music scene is wonderful, but the 13th Note isn’t as good as it used to be, before its original owners went bankrupt. There are lots of good clubs, though, some of which have live bands too.

    In Edinburgh, I don’t like the Rose Street pubs that much really. The nicest pub in the city is probably the Holyrood Tavern, on Holyrood Road.

  29. Yay, Shauny!

    No travel tips comparing to those above, except remember and photograph everything! These are moments you’ll relay to your grandchildren (not to mention all of us), so make them worth hearing about. Good luck and good riddens!

    Also, if you see any of theose damn Dixie Chicks, don’t listen to anything they have to say. πŸ˜‰

  30. this site has all you need to know about Scottish culture, and a lot of stuff the tartan shops in the Royal Mile won’t tell you.
    Check out their Scottish vernacular dictionary, for example.

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