A Pin to See the Peepshow – F Tennyson Jesse


There is nothing like opening an old book. Dark yellow pages, brittle glue, folded corners. This particular book was bound together with Sellotape and given to me on the premise it was an all-time favourite. A big promise. But it completely lived up to this. After a bit of a slow start, this book has ended up being one of the best books I’ve read of 2021 (and possibly ever). I want to re-read it, re-live it again and again.

I started thinking this was your average 20th century read about a young woman and her coming of age. Little did I know this would hand me the best portrayal of the English justice system I’ve ever read. The twist. The ending. Oh my god. It is brilliantly horrible.

We first meet Julia when she is a schoolgirl in 1910s London. She wants excitement, love, and to move out of her parents’ house. We follow her through her life. Through the First World War, her job as a shop girl, and finally her marriage and affair. We see Julia pine for love and sex, falling victim to the pressures of the First World War.

Julia is bright, imaginative and lives in a somewhat fantasy world, making rash decisions with a naive optimism that they will turn out the way they always do in books, happily for the protagonist. Like many of us, she believes she is special, and does not consider that anything really terrible could ever befall her. Death and murder is something that happens to other people, isn’t it? As the pace picks up, Julia finds herself a victim of society’s expectations for both her sex and her class.

If you are expecting an old-fashioned love story or coming of age about affairs, this is so much more. There is crime, justice, and most importantly, miscarriages of justice. A pin to see a peek show delves into the human soul. I cannot imagine how revolutionary this piece must have been at its time of original publication (1930s).

After reading (and raving about it to everyone I saw), I did a bit of research and found the book is based on the very real murder trial of Edith Thompson in the 1920s. Reading about just how much of Edith’s case is replicated in A Pin to See the Peepshow gave me a shiver down my spine. A desperately sad case that shows once again the death penalty is archaic and atrocious.

A Pin to See the Peepshow is undeniably a fantastic piece of feminist prose and if you find a copy, buy it immediately! It’s not currently in print, but I have seen that British Library Women Writers is publishing a new version which is available to pre-order from Waterstones and Amazon.

Christmas reads


Is there anything better than sitting snug by the Christmas tree with a book? I don’t think so. I enjoyed reading a wide variety of books over the Christmas period, all different but all brilliant!

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

I loved the Midnight Library, it was just what I needed to read over the gloomy days of a lockdown Christmas. I’ve read Matt Haig before but this book really stood out to me. The Midnight Library is a celebration of choices and possibilities. It shows that we are all important, no matter how small we think we are.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club was a Christmas gift alternative to my normal Xmas Agatha Christie read. I devoured this novel alongside plenty of Quality Streets. Set in a retirement village, a group of OAPs sleuths are thrown head first into real life murder. An enjoyable murder mystery that will delight any Agatha Christie fans (like me!).

The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Feret-Fleury

The Girl Who Reads on the Metro was a gift from my mum and very lovely read. An ode to book lovers, this delightful book will make you want to go to Paris and eat croissants overlooking the Seine.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

I love Dolly Alderton’s podcast so I had to buy her new fiction book. A great observation on modern dating, Ghosts isn’t your average rom-com.

The Girls and Daddy by Emma Cline

How have I only just discovered Emma Cline?! An incredible writer. I particularly loved The Girls which is loosely based on the Manson Cult in the 1960s. A brilliant portrayal of teenage friendship and the potential humans have for evil, The Girls has stayed with me ever since.

October 2020 reads


Last week I handed in my final piece of work for my MA in Creative Writing! A 40,000 manuscript, 40,000 words which I had poured my heart and soul into for five months.

I spent most of the last month sat at my desk, but I did manage to read a few books. The novesl I read were all ones along the same themes that I was writing about (relationships, the past and friendship) in order to try and understand how these authors did it!

Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls

I read this on holiday in Cornwall and it is the ideal beach read. Nice and easy, Sweet Sorrow is about the teenage romance between Charlie and Fran set the backdrop of a amateur dramatic performance of Romeo and Juliet. A tragicomedy on first love that we can all relate to, David Nicholl’s draws on nostalgia to bring the point home.

Expectation by Anna Hope

Expectation follows the friendship of three young women. Beginning in their early twenties the novel takes us to ten years later where none of their lives have lived up to their expectations and in reality, each hungers for what the others have.

A lovely portrayal of female friendships and ageing, Expectation is very moving. As I start to move into my mid-twenties (agh!) and think about my expectations for the future, I felt very connected with this novel.

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

”Ordinary People? Haven’t you already read that?” Despite having quite similar names Ordinary People by Diana Evans is very different to Normal People. A study of friendship, parenthood and affairs, Ordinary People is about two 30-something middle class couples in London.

A study of friendship, parenthood and affairs, Ordinary People is about two 30-something middle class couples in London. Set against the backdrop of Obama’s historic win, the novel quietly tells the story of lives lost and the need re-find yourself.

The Past by Tessa Hadley

My tutor recommend this book over the summer and I can completely see why. A beautifully written novel about a family on holiday explores all the depths and complications of human emotion. Tessa Hadley has a unique talent of showcasing family drama with such psychological surety. I can’t wait to read more Tessa Hadley.

January 2020 reads


January was a pretty busy month; I started a new role at the Bath Magazine (I’m interning there one day a week) and had to learn to balance that with my part-time job and writing a 5000-word deadline. But it has been a brilliant month in terms of books. I read a lot, but it is rare that they stand out as much as A Ladder to the Sky and Girl, Woman, Other did this month – both two of the best books I’ve read in months. Anyway, I really want to keep track of the books I read, and I get asked a lot about what I’ve read and enjoyed recently so I thought I would start doing a monthly post to keep track:

Me in Agatha Christie’s writing room

Five Little Pigs

Agatha Christie is my guilty pleasure and it is always a great day when I find a new book of hers I haven’t read. I picked this one up on a visit to Agatha’s house, Greenway in Devon. I know I am a certified old lady but if you haven’t been already I would definitely recommend it!

I read Five Little Pigs curled on a sofa in Dartmouth very full with Christmas chocolate.  The sea visible from the window and the fire was flickering, I think Agatha would have approved.

A Ladder to the Sky

I couldn’t put this book down. A slow start but once you’re over the first part this book does not let up, I had to finish it. This is one of the only books I have ever sacrificed feeling (very) car sick to read.

A Ladder to the Sky follows Maurice Swift, an aspiring writer who will do anything to get his fame. We follow Maurice in four different chapters of his life, each getting more dark and more unsettling as we watch Maurice leer his next victim, powerless to do anything but shout at the pages. It is dark, powerful and all consuming. I cannot recommend it enough!

Miss Austen, Gill Hornby

I was really lucky to attend a talk by Gill Hornby about her most recent book. The talk itself was incredibly interesting, her writing process and inspiration.

Miss Austen is a book for diehard Austen fans. Hornby has cleverly replicated Jane’s own style of writing, interweaving her letters and also some of her brother’s (awful) poetry so well it is hard to tell when Jane stops and Gill begins.

Although Miss Austen isn’t a book I would usually pick up, I do fully appreciate the care taken make it true to Jane Austen’s writing.end Miss Austen

Girl, Woman, Other

I fell in love with this book. Full on, head over heels in love.  It is the first book I’ve read that follows a more experimental writing style and it has got me craving more. Bernardine’s use of poetry-prose fusion enables this book to flow beautiful and convey the lives of the 12 women. The experimental style of writing helps bring these women alive. Transforming them from characters on a page to real people who’s subconscious flows and mirrors our own..

There have only been a few books that have made me feel the way Girl, Woman, Other did. Only a very few that I have taken much longer than normal to read, because I am savouring every sentence. 

This is a brilliant feminist piece which explores the lives of women (bar one) throughout Britain. Girl, Woman, Other explores so much, race, domestic abuse, sexuality, without ever feeling forced overcrowded. Instead, it truly feels like a look at us all, all the women, girls and others. All the characters and their tales are interconnected, allowing you to truly see every side of the story. ‘Fuck Face’ the dinosaur of a teacher for LaTisha, is actually Shirley, the hardworking daughter of immigrants who dreams of transforming lives – oh and is the best friend of Amma, the playwright we meet in chapter one.

I can’t wait for her next book, and whilst I do I’m going to keep rereading Girl, Woman, Other. 

Mini break in Lisbon

Travel, Uncategorized

I’m all for a spontaneous trip, and last summer my friend Verity and I went to Lisbon for a wholesome week of sun, sangria and definitely no suspicious parents.

Airbnb is a lifesaver for cheap and unique places to stay; we found a really sweet little apartment in the centre of Alfama and it was perfect. What we didn’t know is every June Lisbon holds a festival for St. Antony (also called the Festival of Sardines) in Alfama. As the sun sets, the neighbourhood becomes alive with music, street food and celebration. Pop up restaurants line the streets, all selling the same, but I’m sure delicious, charcoal cooked sardines and homemade sangria, tiny pots of rice pudding and pastel de nata. Obviously, the focus on sardines is not great for veggies as they don’t sell anything savoury apart from fish, so we normally ate elsewhere first and then joined the streets for pudding. The festival continued every night we were in Lisbon, so we never left Alfama in the evenings. We stayed five minutes away from the centre of the fiesta, and so we spent our evenings getting tipsy off sangria and people watching on the steps of a beautiful white chapel. The party continued into the early hours of the morning, so we fell asleep listening to Portuguese pop songs and very full on street food. 

We both developed a strong love for sangria and could easily drink a jug a night, same goes for pastel de nata, the Portuguese egg tart, which is now one of my favourite foods. We found a little café a few minutes’ walk away from our apartment and had breakfast there every day of our stay, so much so the old ladies who ran it soon recognised us and knew our order! 

After our daily breakfast of pata del nata and freshly squeezed orange juice (I can’t think of a more ideal way to start the day), we did a huge amount of exploring. Lisbon is a beautiful and lively city with so much to see. It is also really close to the beaches, so we took the train to the sea and sunbathed a few days, which was a nice break from the busy city.

One day trip we took was to Sintra (there is a train from Lisbon which runs half-hourly and is very cheap). Although touristy, Sintra is a must stop if you’re visiting Lisbon, purely because it is utterly stunning and has lots to see. I would definitely like to return as we did not see enough of the palaces or the castle! Most of our fellow day trippers took the bus straight to Palácio Nacional de Pena, an impressive castle built in the hills. It is pretty spectacular because of its bright colours. However, though we were warned that walking up there took a while and was difficult in the afternoon heat, but of course, we chose to ignore that and start out anyway, determined not to shed out on the expensive coach. If you’ve ever been anywhere with me, you’ll know I’m pretty horrendous (but determined) at directions so, of course, we got quite lost and after an hour ended up getting the bus. We didn’t pay to go inside because had already been to Palacio Nacional de Sintra and also it was so warm we just wanted to explore the gardens. Palacio Nacional de Pena is incredibly gorgeous but very touristy. If you’re short on time, I would recommend going to Palacio Nacional de Sintra instead because it was completely empty when we went there and just as interesting. It has stunning architecture and beautiful, old hand-painted tiles. 

Verity is very interested and knowledgeable about churches, so of course we went to quite a few including the Monastery of São Vicente De Fora. This was actually a brilliant shout because it was almost completely empty and we had the place to ourselves to explore and learn about the Monastery and its history. The Monastery is breathtaking, with architecture from all periods including Renaissance and Baroque, and beautiful tiles of the fables of La Fontaine. If in Lisbon, I would definitely recommend visiting because it has a flat roof which has the most amazing views of the city. I’m not entirely sure if this was allowed, but we ate our picnic on their roof and enjoyed the sun for a good hour, all by ourselves!

Lisbon is such a stunning city and so lively, 5 days was just enough to see everything we wanted and not rush it but I definitely want to return and explore more.

The beginning

lifestyle, Uncategorized

 If I’ve told you I’m going to start a blog on multiple occasions over coffee, cocktails or out of nowhere when you’re eating breakfast, then you’ll be very pleased to see I’ve finally bitten the bullet. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said I’m going to start a blog, and in the depths of the internet there are several failed attempts, but this is not going to be one of them.

I know most people can’t wait to finish with the essays and deadlines but writing is my solace and the idea of not writing weekly is unthinkable to me. So without further ado, I decided to start Letters From A Millennial so I would have motivation and deadlines to keep up writing and explore things that mean the most to me.

 I want to write about the things I love; travel, food, literature. But, also the problems that face our generation like mental health, an uncertain future and increasingly right wing politics that benefit only the few. A collection of letters from a millennial to the wider world on everything and anything. Welcome along for the ride.

Keeping a float in January


Originally published on my old blog ruby-rubes.blogspot.com

Since leaving home to attend university I’ve suffered the January blues. Straight after a month of celebrating, the dark gloomy days of January are known to cause people to feel very low. If you let it, this feeling can leave you lain in bed for the first two months of the year – binging on left over Christmas treats and drowning in despair. But it doesn’t have to be this way! The familiar feeling crept up on me last week and I found myself declining invites, neglecting my work and confining myself to a corner of my bed. This isn’t a great start to the year and certainly not how I wanted my 2018 to carry on, so this year instead of drowning completely I decided to take action.

Firstly, I went home. I’m really lucky to live only a few hours away from where I grew up and to have a wonderful family waiting for me and ready to spring into action if ever I need it.
For me, going home is the ultimate saviour and guaranteed to bring me back up to normal. But its a cure rather than a prevention and prevention is what I really needed to learn to I started to think of way to stop myself falling into these habits.

One of the main things I’ve done is decide to start exercising more. I’ve never really liked exercising, due to my only experience really being freezing cold P.E lessons where the ‘star’ athletes were chosen in the first week of year seven and everyone else was ignored from then onwards. P.E at my all girls school consisted of being shouted at endlessly by tea drinking teachers whilst we ran around in shorts trying not to get our teeth knocked out by frequent flying hockey balls. It was fair to say this was in no way fun. However, I have been getting more into fitness and decided to join my university gym at the start of this year. I really love it, it not only puts me in a great mood (hello endorphins) but also I find I’m too busy concentrating on what I’m doing to think about anything that’s bothering me.

Due to housing issues this year I also make sure I meet up with someone at least once a day. My flatmates spend most of their time back at home or in the library so if I’m not careful I can go a whole day without really seeing anyone (albeit lectures and seminars) and as I’m a people person this can make me feel very low. I try an meet a friend for coffee or lunch everyday and go round to others houses for film nights or out for drinks so I don’t spend much of my time alone in the flat. When you do feel low it can be hard to motivate yourself to get out but this just creates a negative circle which won’t go away unless you break it.

If no one is around though I try and make time for myself to do something nice. Instead of just wallowing and falling into a pit of just scrolling through social media, I created a small jar full of little things I can do which will perk me up. Most of them are just small gestures such as watching my favourite TV show or film, baking brownies or picking up the phone to call a friend. Luckily I have a really great family and friends who have stayed with me throughout my ups and downs and who know how to cheer me up hugely so just chatting to them is a great help.

Obviously, these are a few things you can do and everyone else has there own personal ways of coping but I think the most important thing if you’re feeling low is to force yourself out of the house, whether that be to the gym, to see friends or just for a little walk. Honestly, a simple change of scene is a great help.

Silver Linings


Picture this, January 2016. It’s dark, it’s drizzling and everyone I know has scuttled back to their “absolutely amazing” universities to continue having the “best time” of their life. However, I have not taken my place on the London Paddington train and nor joined the annual migration of half of Surrey to the depths of Southern England.  

Instead, I’m nestled in the corner of my bed. Laptop perched dangerous on my knees I press play on yet another ‘Sex and the City’ episode whilst failing miserably to save my sheets from a slow dribble of coffee. After the title screen flies into view and I have few wistful moments dreaming of being able to pull off a pink tutu and persuade my hair to look as wonderfully wild as Carrie’s, my eyes drift to Facebook. And there it is; tucked away between the endless fresher’s or ‘Asia 2015’ photo albums sat a slightly different set of photos. This album showed a friend surrounded by school children, living with a Ghanan family, presenting to the local community and most importantly looking ecstatic. Almost immediately I got in contact, asking her who and what and where – a stream of all the usual questions. After listening to my babble she patiently sat me down and described how she had done a scheme called International Citizen Service (ICS) where she had worked with VSO in Ghana. International Citizen Service, she explained, is an overseas volunteering opportunity for 18 – 25 years. Funded by the Department for International Development it is completely free and works to create sustainable development. This means you’re not flown out to build a quick orphanage or help in a tiger sanctuary, instead you live and work in a community for three months helping carry out and continue international development strategies. 

Stuck at home with a lack of any definite plans for the next nine months (long enough to have a baby I teased my mother, who gave me such a horrified look I don’t think I’ll be bringing that up again until I’m 30) this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I wouldn’t have to completely ruin my savings (hello living off baked beans for the next three years at uni) or have to embark on some solo exploration. Instead, I would be working in a team and doing something that actually helps people. This was ideal. Before my friend had even finished her explanation I’d already set my heart on it. 

The ICS pre-departure journey is actually a very lengthy process. Much more so than I had naively realised, somehow I’d idolised sending off my form in early January and jetting off midway through February.  Instead, all applicants go through a series of interviews, application forms and an incredibly intense selection day before being approved. Whilst I whipped myself up in a typical Ruby-esque ‘there’s no way they’ll choose me’ panic, just a few weeks after my selection day I received a call. I was off to Uganda! 

So, in precisely a month’s time I’ll be bombing up the M4, family in tow, ready for a typical rom-com airport farewell, before I travel six thousand miles to Kampala, Uganda. 
I might not be quite where I pictured myself this time last year; aka not smashing a degree whilst dancing to dawn every night, but for the first time in a pretty long while I’m excited, inspired and, of course, terrified, and let me just tell you it feels amazing. 

If you have any spare change check out my JustGiving page where all money goes direct to Restless Development, the charity I’ll be volunteering with in Uganda. 

Florence, Italy

Travel, Uncategorized

Originally published on my old blog ruby-rubes.blogspot.com

A few years ago I decided to research symbolism in Elizabethan court art for my EPQ (a monster of an essay for all you non UK sixth formers out there). Although this rather ambitious project was pretty swiftly dropped in favour of spontaneous summer bike rides and the chance to sip lukewarm cider in friends of friends back gardens (as you do in those coming of age summer holidays), my interest for art history remained. So, when I found myself with time to kill after my impulsive decision to interrupt university nothing called to me more than the chance to finally study the elusive history of art.

Found by my mother (because, hey, what are mothers for if not to air lift you out of times of crisis), it was a month long course at the British Institute in Florence. Florence, Italy; aka land of sun, ice-cream, art and ‘Italian stallions’ (as my friends wistfully noted). In those short moments I quickly imagined myself drifting around this world renowned centre for art, easel in tow, sipping cappuccinos and watching the world go by. I booked it immediately.
Of course, quite a lot needed sorting out before I jumped on a plane and nipped across the channel. Primarily, I needed a place to stay. It was promptly decided that a month was slightly too long considering that I would be departing the UK again for three months in the middle of April (hello, Uganda!) so we settled on a week and a small, friendly looking hostel nestled in the back streets behind the station. Once this was decided and small, insignificant things like renewing my passport (oops) and sorting out travel insurance – which I forgot and left until 10pm the day before I flew to have a freak out about and desperately call the saviour that is my banks 24/7 help line (thank you Nationwide!) – were done, there was barely a moment left before I’d packed my bags and was nervously waiting in Gatwick’s departure lounge.
My course consisted of one and a half hour lectures each afternoon so this allowed me plenty of time to explore. As the typical tourist I am, I ploughed through most of main galleries and attractions available in the city but these are the ones that really stood out:
1.       Giardina di Boboli I was exhausted. My plan to lounge around cafes, book in hand and let the city sink in whilst looking truly metropolitan had been rather derailed. Instead, I seemed to be spending my days getting so horrendously lost the only choice was to either laugh or cry (I did both, on several occasions), being hassled either for directions from tourists who thought I was Italian, or from Italian shopkeepers who rightly sensed my confusion and pinpointed me as a tourist. Thus, when I discovered the serene oasis of the Boboli perched overlooking the city I jumped at the chance to spend a few hours sunning myself as I finally leafed through my book.The gardens themselves are stunning and if you are slightly less lazy than myself I’d definitely recommend looking around them thoroughly, but equally if you’re also in need of some peace and quiet I can’t advocate it highly enough.

2.       Uffizi.I don’t think you can go to Florence without exploring the Uffizi. Europe’s centre for Renaissance Art and crammed full of Leonardo’s and Botticelli’s it’s a must see. Even if you aren’t particularly partial to galleries, the building itself is beautiful and offers stunning views over the city.
Cattedrale di Santa Maria del FioreVisits to the Cathedral itself cost nothing so take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit somewhere in Florence for free – the Duomo is excluded from this rarity and you do have to pay, unfortunately. Its stunning exterior and interior are awe-inspiring; true works of art themselves, and inside the Cathedral holds work of Giorgio Vasari.  When I visited, being me, I accidently stumbled into Catholic mass and had to sit through the whole hour as I was too embarrassed to leave. This ended with me being blessed by the priest and having a conversation with him about where I was from in front of the entire congregation. It was an experience to say the least!
4.       Gusta PizzaOther students from the Institute took me to this sight of wonder (aka the best pizzeria in all of Italy). We ate our on our knees overlooking the river Arno passing round a bottle of vino. It felt terribly romantic and one of those rare novel-esque moments in life.Ridiculously cheap (five Euros for a margarita) I can hand on heart describe it as one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten.
The Bargello MuseumFlorence’s sculpture museum is perhaps not as well known as it should be. Held in a beautiful gothic palazzo, the museum itself is as much a work of art as its collection. Enjoy its stunning assortment of mosaics and sculptures alike – and if you’re anything like me prance up and down the steps pretending to be in Italian Downton Abbey.
6.       The Shake CaféIf you’re craving something slightly different to the never ending stream of (undeniably delicious) pizzas and pasta Florence has to offer, the Shake Café may be your saviour. Small and compact but a hipster haven these bohemian bars offer enough  wraps, salads and freshly squeezed juices to create a fully detox effect before your back at the pizza for dinner. 

If you’re longing for a beach holiday perhaps Florence is not your next destination, but if the opportunity to leave feeling more culturally and carb filled is calling you, I can’t recommend it enough. 

Top Five Tips for Solo Travelling

Travel, Uncategorized

Originally published on my old blog ruby-rubes.blogspot.com

As may have gathered from my instagram I have spent the last few weeks in Berlin and Amsterdam. It was a first, travelling on my own, but I loved it. Solo travelling allows you to explore at your own pace whilst also meeting an array of new people, who whilst you might not stay best friends for life with, will shape your stay and might even make your day. Before I left it felt a little like jumping into the great unknown and so for all those embarking on a similar adventure I thought I’d compose my top tips to help it run as smoothly as mine did.

1.       Separate out money

Although most cities are safe, they are large places after all and not everyone there is looking out for a tourist’s best interest. Thus it’s a great idea not to carry all your money on your person when you’re out and about; we learnt this the hard way when my friend’s bag got stolen on our night in Amsterdam. 

 I always carry enough for the day in my purse and store the rest in my bags at our hostel – smaller amounts hidden in separate pieces of luggage and purses. Another tip, from my safety conscious father, is to hide a minor amount (ideally enough to get a taxi and use a pay phone) somewhere on your body at all times – I call this my ‘bra money’ for obvious reasons!

2.       Be approachable and friendly

Yes scowling and constantly attached to your phone, might, surprise surprise, not make you many friends.  This may be rather obvious advice, as of course as a solo traveller once at your youth hostel it’s nice to meet and get to know others doing similar trips to you. However, I’m talking generally, not just for the youth hostel breakfast hall. Travelling via train from Berlin to Amsterdam it was amazing how many people came up and started speaking to me when I put my phone down and looked slightly less like a sullen thirteen year old at a family gathering. A lovely old woman shared her grandchildren’s photographs with me whilst piling me with cake. A Father Christmas come fisherman type figure proudly introduced his dog to me and we chatted away never really understanding the other’s language(!). A fellow, and impeccably dressed, solo traveller told me her anxieties about making the trip whilst sharing a few secrets. These are just of the colourful characters I met on the train alone, all who further advised me on places to visit whilst making my journey much more enjoyable.

3.       Guidebooks

Yes, they are incredibly helpful and a saint a giving you manageable directions, but the ‘hidden gem’ of a supposed local filled cafe will also have now been sought by your fellow readers and like me, you may end up having to queue almost two hours (I know, what was I thinking?!) to get into said cafe. What I’m saying is, take their advice on places to eat and shops with a pinch of salt, every city is bursting with a multitude of cafes and restaurants that you can easily discover on your own. 

Another tip for solo travellers is don’t wave these tourist beacons around when you are exploring the city. Nothing says ‘I’m a gullible tourist with a passport, lots of money and massive camera ready’ than someone looking slightly lost furrowed deep in a brightly coloured guidebook. 

4.       Arrive with time to spare

It just makes the whole experience so much easier and less stressful if you don’t have to run, arms full of luggage, to get a train/plane/bus. It also allows you to get a much needed coffee. 

5.       Explore

Although of course everyone wants to visit all the ‘must sees’, my favourite moments were just walking around the streets in the early morning. Most tourists don’t particularly want to be up at 9am so you are mainly surrounded by locals, allowing you to get a real feel for the place and, the ultimate goal, be mistaken for local yourself!

My final advice about solo travelling is do it. Just bit the bullet and go.