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About Sam Charles

Sam started her UK lifestyle blog, Strawberry Squeeze in 2013. Often accompanied by her partner in crime, Petal (the mini lop), she is an digital influencer, blog coach and a GAIQ SEO consultant. Sam spends most her time booking spa getaways, sea kayaking or dining out with friends and family.

Common Misconceptions About Healthcare

Healthcare is a peculiar field. It’s probably the most unique combination between deep knowledge requirements and people’s belief that the internet is a good enough source of information on complex subjects. As a result, many people go about their lives with unfortunate misconceptions about the way healthcare as a whole works. And in the end, they often harm themselves significantly without even realising it.

There are some myths going around that one can hear quite often, and you may have already come across some of these statements yourself.

Your Doctor is Never Allowed to Discuss Your Case with Anyone

It’s true that physicians are strictly limited in discussing their patients. Between the Data Protection Act and various legislative frameworks, you have a pretty good reassurance that anything that happens in the doctor’s office, stays there.

However, there are various exceptions to that, and you shouldn’t immediately jump down your doctor’s throat just because you think you’ve been wronged. This is especially true when it comes to family members and other close connections, and you may also have unique circumstances due to an agreement you’ve signed.

Malpractice is Something You Can Handle Yourself

Even though a good doctor will always have the best intentions, accidents can and do happen. It’s human nature, after all. And while the law does offer channels to address these disputes, you should approach those cases with a lot of preparation.

It’s not something you can expect to win by yourself, unless of course you have actual legal expertise. Get in touch with experienced medical negligence solicitors and have them handle your case instead. Even if you think you’ve got everything lined up perfectly, there are likely numerous small details that you don’t even see, and any one of them could potentially destroy your chances in court if it’s not addressed beforehand.

The Industry is Out to Scam You

This one comes up in various forms. Whether it’s your personal physician prescribing you drugs you believe you don’t need, or people spreading propaganda that Big Pharma is hiding the cure for cancer, it’s not rare for people to get the wrong idea about how the system works. That’s a slippery slope though. Lacking trust in the healthcare system can eventually put you in a situation where you will refuse a perfectly viable course of treatment just because of your assumptions.

Don’t take this the wrong way – you should definitely study each new doctor you’re about to go to in detail before trusting them. But your default stance should not be a suspicious one.

It’s important to deal with these misconceptions as soon as they arise, because allowing them to spread through society can have a detrimental effect for everyone in the long run. Healthcare is a critical aspect of civilization, and it’s important that we approach it with the right attitude. You have access to great volumes of information about pretty much anything that concerns you nowadays, so make good use of it and do your research on topics like this one that matter a lot.

2019-08-19T00:01:57+00:00 August 16, 2019|Post|

Bucket List of Places to Visit in Your Lifetime

Last year my husband and I decided to write a bucket list of all the places we want to visit (🌏) in the world when we were trying to choose where to go on our honeymoon. Our list is getting longer and longer, so I thought I’d share it incase you need some inspiration for your wanderlust list.

The aim was to keep my list as specific as possible, so when we’re traveling we can make sure we go to all the best places. If anybody has any recommendations on where I should or shouldn’t go then that would be SO useful. Feel free to message about anywhere, too. Our list is always growing ❤️

🌏 El Nido, Philippines
🌏 Manarola, Italy
🌏 Riomaggiore, Italy
✅ Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
✅ Hopfen Am See, Germany
✅ Hollywood, Los Angeles
🌏 Rock of Gibraltar, Gibraltar
✅ Eifel National Park, Germany
🌏 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
✅ Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
✅ Verona, Italy
🌏 Hong Kong, China
✅ Täsch, Switzerland
✅ Triglav National Park, Slovenia
✅ Mount Agung, Bali
🌏 Mù Cang Chải District, Vietnam
🌏 Ko Samui, Thailand
✅ Whitsundays, Australia
✅ Sirmione, Italy
✅ Plansee, Austria
✅ Nørrebro, Copenhagen
✅ Vahrn, Italy
✅ Hallstatt, Austria
🌏 Thermal Spa, Budapest
🌏 Ayutthaya Historical Park, Thailand
✅ Elephant Safari Park Lodge, Bali
🌏 Jägala waterfall, Estonia
🌏 Jostedalsbreen National Park, Norway
🌏 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
✅ Key West, Florida
🌏 Mamanuca Islands, Fiji
✅ Lake Bled, Slovenia
🌏 Mt Garibaldi, Canada
✅ Dunn’s River Falls and Luminous Lagoon, Jamaica
✅ Dartmoor National Park, United Kingdom
✅ Lake Bled, Slovenia
✅ Alicante, Spain
✅ Chamonix, France
✅ Rundetaarn, Copenhagen
✅ Innsbruck, Austria
✅ The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
✅ Haiti, Caribbean
✅ Celuk village, Bali
🌏 Nuuk, Greenland
✅ Everglades National Park, Miami
🌏 Goa, India
✅ Achen Lake, Austria
✅ Königssee, Germany
🌏 Seville, Spain
🌏 Geirangerfjord, Norway
✅ Kamakura, Japan
✅ Atomium, Brussels
🌏 Porto Katsiki, Greece
🌏 Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
✅ Las Vegas, Nevada
✅ Varenna, Italy
✅ Main Beach, Queensland Australia
✅ Monkey Temple, Bali
🌏 Reine, Norway
🌏 Ko Chang District, Thailand
🌏 Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
✅ Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand
✅ Byron Bay, Australia
🌏 Seven Rila Lakes, Bulgaria
🌏 The Palace Museum, Beijing
🌏 State Hermitage Museum, Russia
🌏 Merzouga, Morocco
✅ Zwölferkopf, Austria
✅ Stratosphere Casino, Las Vegas
🌏 Stockholm, Sweden
🌏 Brač, Croatia
✅ Western Sahara, Morocco
🌏 O‘ahu, Hawaii, United States
✅ Lake Como, Italy
🌏 Havasu Falls, Arizona
🌏 Alberta, Canada
🌏 Washington Monument, United States
✅ Maria Am See, Austria
🌏 Dubrovnik, Croatia
✅ Loch Lomond, Scotland
🌏 Giza Necropolis, Egypt
✅ Glasgow, Scotland
✅ Dunkirk, France
✅ Wadi Musa, Jordan
✅ Hängeseilbrücke, Germany
🌏 Grand Prismatic Spring, United States
✅ Auckland, New Zealand
🌏 Batu Caves, Malaysia
🌏 Moraine Lake, Canada
🌏 Grand Teton National Park, United States
✅ Krabi, Thailand
✅ Tirta Empul, Bali
🌏 Meteora, Greece
🌏 Ronda, Spain
🌏 Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
✅ Bangkok’s Grand Palace, Thailand
🌏 Ko Lanta District, Thailand
🌏 Hạ Long Bay, Vietnam
🌏 Sossusvlei, Namibia
✅ Red Light District, Amsterdam
✅ Zermatt, Switzerland
🌏 Great Ocean Rd, Australia
🌏 Sutherland Falls, New Zealand
🌏 Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
✅ Tabanan rice fields, Bali
✅ Angkor Wat, Cambodia
🌏 Kuang Si Waterfall, Laos
✅ Bristol, United Kingdom
🌏 Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China
✅ Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
🌏 Seljalandsfoss, Iceland
✅ Windermere, United Kingdom
✅ Bath, United Kingdom
✅ Cambridge, United Kingdom
✅ Jamacia Beach, Italy
✅ Peak District National Park, United Kingdom
✅ The Bahamas, Caribbean
✅ Nyhavn, Copenhagen
✅ Blue Lagoon, Iceland
🌏 Tianzi Mountain, China
🌏 Monkey Temples of Lopburi, Thailand
🌏 Statue of Liberty, New York
🌏 Vancouver, Canada
✅ Dead Sea, Jordan
✅ Cardiff, Wales
✅ Inverness, Scotland
🌏 Fes, Morocco
🌏 Pamukkale, Turkey
🌏 Kjerag, Norway
✅ Tre Cime Di Lavaredo, Italy
✅ Berchtesgaden, Germany
✅ Surfers Paradise, Australia
✅ Epcot, Floria
✅ Lichtenstein Castle, Germany
✅ Nurburgring, Germany
✅ Miami, United States
🌏 Arashiyama, Japan
✅ Brunico, Italy
🌏 Xcaret Park, Cancún
✅ Zagora, Morocco
🌏 Palawan, Philippines
✅ Maastricht, Netherlands
✅ Tampa, United States
🌏 New York, New York, United States
✅ Grandvalira Canillo, Andorra
✅ Hohenzollern Castle, Germany
✅ Pragser Wildsee, Italy
🌏 Denizli, Turkey
🌏 Shanghai, China
✅ Oslo, Norway
🌏 Keukenhof, Netherlands
🌏 Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
✅ Bournemouth, United Kingdom
🌏 Cappadocia Balloon, Turkey
✅ St Paul’s Cathedral, London
🌏 Pego do Inferno, Portugal
✅ Lassen National Forest, California
🌏 Blue Grotto, Italy
🌏 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
✅ Lake District National Park, United Kingdom
🌏 Tatra Mountains, Slovakia
🌏 Milford Sound, New Zealand
🌏 Faro District, Portugal
✅ New South Wales, Australia
🌏 Nærøyfjord, Norway
🌏 Washington, United States
✅ Brighton, United Kingdom
✅ Tenerife, Spain
✅ Exmoor National Park, United Kingdom
✅ Blindsee Lake, Austria
🌏 Scoresby Sound, Greenland
✅ Hamilton Island, Australia
✅ Milan, Italy
✅ St Lucia, Caribbean
✅ Denpasar, Bali
🌏 Carvoeiro Algarve, Portugal
🌏 Niagara Falls, Canada
✅ Manchester, United Kingdom
✅ West Palm Beach, Florida
✅ Paris, Disneyland Paris, France
🌏 Pantheon, Rome

✅ Douro River, Spain
🌏 Easter Island, Chile
🌏 Myanmar, Burma
🌏 Acropolis of Athens, Greece
🌏 Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, China
✅ Stonehenge, United Kingdom
✅ Annecy, France
✅ Gornergrat, Switzerland
🌏 Lake Baikal, Russia
✅ Mer de Glace, Chamonix
🌏 Uyuni Salt Flat, Bolivia
🌏 Pompeii, Naples, Italy
🌏 Laguna Verde, Bolivia
🌏 Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
🌏 Antelope Canyon, Arizona
🌏 Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy
🌏 Tigers Nest, Bhutan
🌏 Aphrodite’s Rock, Cyprus
✅ Los Angeles, California
🌏 Patagonia, Argentina
✅ Cocoa Beach, Florida
✅ Mona Lisa Gallery, Paris
🌏 Cape Town, South Africa
✅ Kōtoku-in, Japan
🌏 New Valley Governorate, Egypt
✅ Pattaya, Thailand
✅ Lake Lugano, Switzerland, Italy
🌏 Florence, Italy
🌏 Burj Al Arab, Dubai
✅ Dorset AONB, United Kingdom
✅ Lingenfeld, Germany
🌏 Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka
🌏 Étretat, France
🌏 Farafra, Egypt
✅ Atlas Mountains, Morocco
✅ Shibuya, Tokyo
🌏 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
✅ Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy
🌏 Hawa Mahal, India
✅ Siem Reap, Cambodia
🌏 Sydney Opera House, Australia
✅ Ghent, Belgium
🌏 Amalfi Coast, Italy
🌏 Melbourne, Australia
✅ Berlin, Germany
🌏 Maly Semyachik, Russia
🌏 Alaska, United States (Currently planning!!)
✅ Shinagawa, Tokyo
✅ Alcatraz Island, San Fransico
🌏 Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Thailand
✅ Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen
✅ Sandefjord, Norway
✅ Louvre Museum, Paris
🌏 Mount Rushmore National Memorial, South Dakota
✅ Vatican City, Italy
✅ Koh Sok, Thailand
🌏 Lake Louise, Canada
🌏 Luxor Temple, Egypt
🌏 Charles Bridge, Prague
✅ Ballachulish, Scotland
🌏 Preikestolen, Norway
✅ Bumpass Hell, California
✅ Eiffel Tower, Paris
🌏 Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
✅ Ouarzazate, Morocco
✅ Dolomites, Italy
🌏 Colosseum, Rome
🌏 Fox Glacier, New Zealand
🌏 Yên Bái, Vietnam
🌏 Banff, Canada
🌏 Ontario, Canada
✅ Venice, Italy
🌏 Naqsh-e Rustam, Iran
🌏 Machu Picchu, Peru
✅ Brussels, Belgium
🌏 Siwa Oasis, Egypt
✅ Petra, Jordan
✅ Mermaid Beach, Queensland Australia
✅ Gold Coast, Queensland Australia
🌏 Sydney, Australia
🌏 Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
✅ St. Ives, Cornwall
🌏 Salvation Mountain, California
✅ Broadbeach, Gold Coast
✅ Agadir, Morocco
✅ London, United Kingdom
🌏 Trango Towers, Pakistan
✅ Montserrat, Caribbean
🌏 Lake Hillier, Australia
🌏 El Castillo, Spain
🌏 British Columbia, Canada
🌏 Old Bagan, Myanmar
✅ Moulin Rouge, Paris
✅ Reykjavík, Iceland
✅ Phuket Province, Thailand
🌏 Tasiilaq, Greenland
🌏 Park Güell, Spain
🌏 Mikonos, Greece
✅ Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
✅ Diest, Belgium
🌏 Málaga, Spain
🚐 Hallstatt, Austria
✅ Snowdonia National Park, Wales
🌏 Yosemite Valley, United States
✅ Glencoe, Scotland
🌏 Hai Phong, Vietnam
🌏 Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
✅ Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
🌏 Zion National Park, Utah
🌏 Naples, Italy
🌏 Chiang Rai White Temple, Thailand
✅ Pettnau, Austria
🌏 St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
🌏 Cotswolds AONB, United Kingdom
🌏 Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
✅ San Francisco, United States
🌏 Mt Everest, Nepal
🌏 Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt
✅ Lake Garda, Italy
🌏 Isfahan, Iran
🌏 Great Wall of China, China
🌏 Ik Kil, Mexico
✅ The Rhine, Germany
🌏 Iguazu Falls, Argentina
🌏 Sognefjord, Norway
✅ Lyon, France
✅ Scafell Pike, United Kingdom
🌏 Navagio, Greece
✅ Orlando, Florida
✅ Cape Byron Lighthouse, Queensland
✅ Benidorm, Spain
🌏 Faroe Islands, Denmark
✅ Brisbane, Australia
🌏 Uluru, Australia
✅ The Alps, Switzerland
🌏 Al Farafrah, Egypt
🌏 Danxia National Geopark, China
✅ Biberwier, Austria
🌏 Bora Bora, French Polynesia
✅ White Cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom
🌏 Mount Rinjani, Indonesia
🌏 Maldives
🌏 Tiger Kingdom, Thailand, Thailand
🌏 Kathmandu, Nepal
🌏 Taj Mahal, India
🌏 Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia
🌏 Oia, Greece
🌏 Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar
✅ Badung Regency, Bali
🌏 Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
✅ Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
🌏 Milos, Crete
🌏 Himalayas, Nepal
🌏 Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
✅ Tweed Heads, Australia
✅ Ben Nevis, Scotland
🌏 Krka National Park, Croatia
🌏 Chittorgarh Fort, India
✅ Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
✅ Fort Lauderdale, Miami
✅ Isles of Scilly, United Kingdom
✅ Kuta, Bali
✅ Tintagel, Cornwall
🌏 Agerola, Italy
✅ Eltz Castle, Germany
✅ Arc de Triomphe, Paris
🌏 Istanbul, Turkey
🌏 Mt Elbrus, Russia
🌏 Red Square, Russia
✅ Lac D’Emosson, Switzerland
🌏 Special Nature Reserve Uvac, Serbia
🌏 Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, Mexico
✅ Matterhorn Glacier, Switzerland
🌏 Lapland, Finland
✅ Marrakesh, Morocco
✅ Dublin, Ireland
✅ Coolangatta, Queensland
🌏 Verdon Gorge, France
✅ Burleigh Heads, Australia
🌏 Yellowstone National Park, United States

2019-08-03T22:51:36+00:00 August 12, 2019|Travel|

Why We Came Home Early From Our 2 Month European Road-Trip

If you’re a reader here, you’ll know that towards the end of last year we went on an epic 2 month trip around Europe with our dog in our converted van, Boris. It was an incredible adventure, undoubtedly one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. If you’re thinking of doing it, I can’t recommend it more!

I’ve written a couple of blog posts on here when I’ve had the time, and I’ve spoken briefly about the ups and downs. Some of you will know that we anticipated going for 3 months but we ended up coming home after 2 months, so here’s the reality… Here’s why we came home early from our road-trip around Europe.

Why We Came Home Early From Our 2 Month European Road-Trip | UK Lifestyle Blog

Working abroad is harder than it looks

There was a divide of opinions when I told people that we were going travelling and working from our laptops abroad. Most people said it was a great idea because we can work from anywhere in the world. Some people expressed their concern and said it wouldn’t be easy, and we’d never work. I’ve got a strong work ethic, I have 0% problems motivating myself and love working on my business. I figured it would be easy to balance travelling and working because I have a genuine passion for what I do.

Turns out working from a laptop in another country is difficult. Mostly because you wake up every morning somewhere new and you’re desperate to go exploring. The days fly by when you’re travelling and before you know it the week is over. Prospective clients often wanted to meet up and I wouldn’t know when we’d be back in the country, it made phone calls slightly tricky, too. We got by for the most part but then it got to the point that I needed and wanted to just focus on my business and our clients.

We ended up barely working and coming home sooner instead of working and travelling longer – this worked for us. BUT it is possible to work abroad, and I’m writing a post with some tips on how you can do it.

There’s a small window where the weather is tolerable

When we first went out to Europe it was the beginning of September. I was a little gutted that we were going so late in the year for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I was upset that our trip would be restricted to 3 months because I had another holiday booked to Jordan #firstworldproblem. Secondly, because I thought we’d missed all the sunshine and we’d be travelling when it’s cold. Don’t get me wrong, I love cold countries, in a matter of fact I prefer them but I figured we’d need some warmth when travelling in a van.

Boy, was I wrong! The weather in Europe was BEAUTIFUL and we just missed the school holiday crowds. Despite the van being insulated with blackout curtains, we’d wake up in the morning baking hot. Most mornings we’d rip open the curtains and pour ourselves our the side window. Any hotter and it would have been too uncomfortable for us and our dog, Alfie. Towards the end of our trip, the nights were dropping below freezing and feeling comfortable was getting increasingly difficult.

Why We Came Home Early From Our 2 Month European Road-Trip | UK Lifestyle Blog

Missing home comforts

Our van was small and cute. It had a double bed, a tiny kitchen for whipping up meals and a bit of storage. We had an emergency toilet tucked away in case we needed it, but we weren’t kitted out with a shower or a waste tank, so we had to use public facilities almost exclusively. This made travelling a little tricky but we had an app on our phone that told us where the closest toilet was and we used swimming pools and gyms when we wanted to have a shower. We got used to it pretty quickly but it’s exhausting having to plan when to use the toilet and have a shower, as opposed to just rolling out of bed and having everything you need.

We also didn’t realise how uncomfortable our bed in the van was until we decided to have a cheat night and booked a hotel in the last week of our travels. We decided to opt for a bit of luxury when we returned Chamonix, the place that S proposed in 2016. I had a bath and we slept in a king-size bed – we remembered what we’d been missing and promptly began driving back to England. It’s these little things that you end up sacrificing which is fine in the short-term but then after a while, all you want is a hot shower and a comfy bed.

Drawing a line on spending money

We went away with a rough budget on how much we thought we’d spend whilst travelling. After Boris broke down on the first couple of days and we were left with a €2,000~ bill, our budget went out the window. We tried to keep costs down but it’s hard to do when you’re travelling. We ended up justifying spending money by saying “Well, we’ll probably never come back here, so let’s just do it!”. We ended up cooking less and less and enjoyed eating out at restaurants and in coffee shops.

Why We Came Home Early From Our 2 Month European Road-Trip | UK Lifestyle Blog

It was great and I’m glad we did it because travelling should be enjoyable. What good is it going to all these beautiful countries if you can’t eat their cuisine, visit museums and go up cable cars? We had so much fun, but every time we topped up our travel card with another thousand pounds, we were reminded of how quickly we were spending money. We didn’t total it up but our wallets were feeling a lot lighter and we started to question where do we draw the line and low do we let our bank accounts go before we turn around and return home.

Our return date was never set in stone

Yes, we absolutely wanted to go for the full 3 months, but it was never set in stone. We crossed the channel on a ferry to France without a plan of where we’ll go, we just wanted to go with the flow. I had a work event in Milan at the end of November, so we figured if we finished our trip there we could work that into our itinerary before returning home before Christmas. Whilst the idea was great, we always left with the idea that “if we don’t like it, we can always come home before Milan”.

It wasn’t a case of not enjoying it but it goes back to point #1. Weeks before I was scheduled to present in front of hundreds of people at a conference in Milan, I still hadn’t prepped and I wasn’t in the headspace to do it. I needed to be at home to pull myself together professionally before the talk. I take my job seriously, and I wasn’t about to mess up my reputation for a couple more weeks of travelling. This coupled with everything else, we decided to go home and get a couple of cheap flights to Milan after arriving home.

2019-08-03T22:47:57+00:00 August 5, 2019|Van Life|
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