Thursday, 30 January 2014

Don’t date a girl who travels

This post wasn't written by me, but as someone who loves to travel, I can completely relate to this...

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.

Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.

Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.

Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.

Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.

Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.

She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. She’s busy living in the present. She talks to strangers. She will meet many interesting, like-minded people from around the world who share her passion and dreams. She will be bored with you.

So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.

This article has resonated with so many women around the world and has been translated into 16 different languages including South American Spanish (EU & SA), Portuguese (EU & Brazil), German, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, French-Canadian, Dutch, Greek, Danish, Portuguese European, Swedish, Croatian, Estonian, Russian, Czech, European Spanish and Thai.

Check out my blog for the translated versions.

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

25 years of Ant and Dec

Watching the National Television Awards tonight, I couldn't be more pleased that Ant and Dec won the Landmark Award.

I feel like I have grown up with this amazing double act on TV - with SMTV live truly cementing my love for them as a teenager.  Who remembers Chum's? Challenge Ant? Wonkey Donkey? Splatoon? or Stop. Wow yes, wait a minute Mr Postman.....

This has to be my all time favourite thing they have ever done though...

There's also this too...

What do you love most about Ant and Dec?

Don't forget to follow me here too...

What can I bring on a flight with me?

It's a question everyone has to ask themselves now when they are packing to go on holiday and the answer is never an easy one.

While I completely understand that all of these regulations are in place to keep everyone on the flight safe, it is still the bane of my life when going to an airport and I can completely understand why some people find themselves getting annoyed when going through this part of their trip.

I try and always make sure I am as prepared as possible when going through passport security, however, this is the moment when my blonde hair truly comes into its own, because there will always be something in my bag that I have forgotten about.

Being little miss organised, I have a very 'sexy' transparent bag that came free with some sun cream I bought a few years ago that I transfer liquids to and from while at the airport or just leave in the bag itself - depending on the airport security.

On my last flight home, this bag broke.  However, recently when I was sent this lovely gift from Elizabeth's daughter - I was overjoyed to see it included the perfect little bag to store liquids in at airports and what I love even more is that it's so pretty (and colour co-ordinates with my bag and pillow).

When on flights, long or short, I find that the air conditioning really dries out my skin - so this miniature is great to bring with me along with the cleanser.  As much as I would love to lay back and relax with a face mask on, I think I may get a few funny looks on my flight - so this one will be going in my bigger back pack.

The best part of this pack is the hair band.  My hair is my 'thing', I really hate wearing it up - so to have this in the pack is awesome as it means I don't need to tie my hair up when putting on moisturizer.

Inside my little cosmetics bag, I normally also put in my toothbrush, toothpaste, mascara, bronzer and then any medicines (like sickness tablets and aspirin).

Other things that I also pack into my hand luggage include:

- toiletries
- phone
- ipod/ipad
- camera
- bottle of water
- adapters
- travel diary
- games
- passport
- travel documents
- change of clothes
- spare clothes (in case my backpack is lost)
- pillow

Have I missed anything out guys?

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Monday, 20 January 2014

Win a trip to the Maldives

I need some help please guys, as you know if you read my blog I love to travel.  I have just entered a competition to win a holiday to the Maldives and need you to vote for me to win please.

All you need to do is click this link and vote for me please.  While you are there, why not enter the competition too?

Thanks in advance! 

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The finer things in life

I have always liked the finer things in life, I think I get that from my Nan.  When I say the finer things in life, it's more of an appreciation of the beautiful things I find around me that you can tell someone has taken the time and care to make.

For me this can be anything from an intricately embroidered garment or a picture that my 1 year old nephew painted me at playschool.  Everything has its own sentimental value.

My most favourite thing in the world, in terms of material objects has to be the necklace my Grandad was supposed to give to my Nan on her birthday.  Sadly he was never given the opportunity to do as he intended though, because the day before my Nan's birthday he passed away.

Around ten years after this happened (when I was around 14years old), my Nan gave me the necklace and told me the story.  This particular necklace is a vintage locket, which inside has a picture of my Nan and Grandad on their wedding day - I'm not sure who put the pictures in there, but either way I think it was a lovely thing to do and since then my mum has replaced them for me with a new version of their wedding day.  

Since owning the necklace it has been with me to lots of special occasions, like my graduation, a day which I would have loved to share with them both.

You can just make out the locket here on my Graduation day
With my travels around the world, there are many things that I have kept over the years and sometimes take a peak at when I am feeling nostalgic - postcards, pictures, even stamps in my passport.  But there is one thing that I wear every day, which I bought on my trip to India over a year ago.  My thumb ring.  It's nothing fancy, just a small pearl offset in white gold - which I paid all of £2 for, but I love it.

My thumb ring and henna
India is probably one of the only places in the world that I have visited, that takes so much pride in its craftsmanship and the love and attention that goes into everything they do is amazing.  When I was there I literally couldn't stop buying things.

With my impending trip to Thailand coming up, I am now beginning to wonder what treasures I will find there too and if anything will become as engrained in my life as my ring has now.  I also think about how when I am old and wrinkly, what stories I will be telling grandchildren about my adventures and who I will be passing these treasures of mine onto.

There are many things that my Nan taught me and inspired me to do - probably her biggest influence was her stories of Australia, which made me pipe up around the age of 5 saying I was going to go there one day and climb 'the bridge'.

I am definitely going to be one of those old ladies that has a story about everything and hopefully one day I might have a grandaughter or grandson, that thinks my words are wise and takes off on their own adventure... who knows this blog could still be here in 50 years time when I am 76 and a much younger member of my family could be reading this (hello if you are, I hope I haven't sent you to sleep yet).

What stories and treasures do you have from loved ones or your adventures that you are proud of?

Don't forget to follow me here too...

A Year Without Make up

This morning I read an article via bloglovin' titled A Year Without Make up and it really made me think - actually that's a lie, it's something that when travelling I have spoken about with girls in dorms a lot.

When you are travelling you meet lots of different cultures, some that you are in awe of, some that you find peculiar and others that you don't really notice because their routine is pretty much the same as yours.

I grew up with a brother and a sister and as the older of the two, I was the first to experience everything growing up and that included make up (yes we put make up on our brother, who didn't - he has way better eye lashes than me and I am jealous).  We were all brought up in the same house by the same parents and me and my sister experimented with make up together, from the early days of 'drag queen-esque' when the lipstick went all over our mouths and we stole our nan's beautiful blue eyeshadow, to the days of clear mascara and lip gloss at school, so your teachers couldn't see what you were wearing and then along came fake tan.

Going out without fake tan at uni was unheard of
I would like to say that I am more of a minimalist girl these days, wearing only the bear basics and dressing it up a little when I go 'out out' with my friends in the evening.  But my sister doesn't know the meaning of 'less is more'.

Can you spot the tan-tastic difference?
There have even been times, when if me and my sister are out together, people have asked us questions like 'do you have the same dad' or 'are you different races?'.  But we have the same parents - our dad is Irish and our mum's nickname at school was 'milk bottle Milton', so you can't really imagine how we would ever be lucky enough to have sun kissed looking skin.

Anyway the point of this article is, that when you are travelling you notice that culturally, different people have different beauty regimes and the one that has always stood out to me the most was the Chinese beauty regime the women go through every morning.

The girls get up so early, time which I would much rather spend in bed, overall their beauty routine takes them around 2 hours.  This is time that from my own point of view, I just couldn't justify.

The first time I went travelling, I took with me a tiny bit of make up - which consisted of a mascara and some bronzer.  I even left my straighteners at home.  Something which if you had asked my friends then and now - would say I couldn't live without.  I am not one of those people blessed with naturally beautiful hair, in fact going to bed with wet hair means waking up resembling something of a yeti or maybe cousin it.  I am sure you will spot a few differences in the pictures below.

What I have learned from travelling however, is that make-up is impractical and you end up looking like something from a horror film as it melts off of your face anyway.  So going natual for the day, no matter how scary that may seem to some people isn't the end of the world and you are beautiful in your own right anyway - so don't let anyone (even yourself) tell you otherwise.

Some of the best nights out that I have had in my 26 years years, have been the ones I spend with the boys, drinking bear after a day at the beach in my bikini, shorts and t-shirt (yes that's right sometimes not even having a shower).  You don't have to be dressed up to have fun.

When you look back on pictures of yourself in years to come, it won't be the fact that you aren't wearing any make up that you notice - all you will will see is memories.

No make-up me in NZ watching the white water cascade
***I realise that this is a sensitive subject and my intention was not to offend anyone, so I do apologise if I have.

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Friday, 17 January 2014

New Years Resolutions

This year I have decided to make a resolution that I will be able to keep - get as many stamps in my passport as possible.  I currently have 20 in total, so I wonder how many I will have by the end of the year?

What are your new years resolutions?

Don't forget to follow me here too...

St Kilda, Melbourne

So I finally made it to Melbourne, one of few places in Australia that I hadn't already seen.  We made the decision to go and see Melbourne, as the prices in Sydney over Christmas were so high that it was cheaper to pay for a flight and a hostel here, than it was to pay for just a hostel in Sydney.

We stayed in St Kilda, which is right on top of the beach in our first hostel of the trip - Base backpackers.  We knew that hostel life was going to be a bit of a shock after a few years away from them, but we were excited to meet everyone in our room and get back into the hostel way of life which we loved before.

Our flight was an evening one, so by the time we had landed, found a cab and checked into our hostel - we were walking into our room at around 10pm.  Early in the life of a backpacker right? Wrong - everyone in our room seemed to be a bit of a Gran or Grandad, so we dumped our backpacks and did what anyone just getting off of a flight would do... headed for the nearest bar and got two schooners of Gold.

The next morning everyone but two people in our room checked out, including the noisy Scottish bloke, who managed to rebound off all the walls and beds in the room when he came home drunk at 6am.  But hey... this is hostel life and its part and parcel of what you expect in an 8 bed dorm.

Our first day in Melbourne, was 40 degrees, which is very unusual for there - so we headed down to the beach early for breakfast in the Stokehouse (which my CEO had recommended before leaving) and watched the sun come up over the beach.

After breakfast, we went for a wonder along the rest of the sea front and found ourselves in a Paddle Boarding Lesson (SUP).  This is something I have been obsessed with trying for ages now, so I was very excited to get started and see what it was all about.

I absolutely loved ever second of the paddle boarding and wished that I could keep it up at home, however, the chill in London means that at the moment I am going out with two coats on at the moment.

After a rather busy morning, we made our way back to the main part of the beach, where we spent the day topping up our tans.

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Coogee Beach

Coogee beach has to be one of, if not my favourite place in the world (I will reserve judgement until I have seen all of the world, but for now...).

We stayed in the Coogee Bay Hotel, the only hotel that we picked for the whole trip, just so that we could get over our jet lag a few steps away from the beach.  It is a great hotel, but can be a bit noisy if you like an early night, which is the only bad thing I can say about it - as who can fault a hotel that's right on the beach with an Ice cream shop just over the road?

We had a slight glitch a few days in, when our door wouldn't lock, however, after a quick call down to reception they upgraded our room straight away and gave us free internet for the duration of our stay for the inconvenience. Our upgraded room as beautiful too - so we were very very happy customers.

While we were in Coogee, we were mostly trying to get over our jet lag, but we also did the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk (and back again), which I highly recommend.  There are some beautiful beaches and views to be seen along the way - so make sure you bring your camera with you and a bottle of water, as it gets pretty hot and you will be walking for around 2 hours one way.

Here are one of the photographs that we snapped along our way...

We also walked the other way along the coast and found a little rock climbing challenge which was fun and then made our way back to Coogee again for a spot of sunbathing.

As it was Christmas, we were there for Carols on the beach, which was ok - but really set up for kids.  The fireworks at the end were brilliant though, so it is definitely worth sticking around for those at the end around midnight.

If you aren't a confidant swimmer, but want to dip more than your toes in the sea, then there is a nice little rock pool around to the left of Coogee, which if you take a little detour on the Coastal walk you will be able to find very easily just past the memorial.

Other tips:
  • Catch a bus to Coogee from Central Station in Sydney - you can jump on a 373 or a 372
  • If you are back packing and want to stay in Coogee on a budget, I have heard good things about Surfside Backpackers and it's right on top of the beach too.  
  • Woolworths is just up the road too, so avoid the 7/11 on the corner opposite the beach and go buy 5 bottles of water for the price of one!

Don't forget to follow me here too...

Monday, 13 January 2014

Thailand is finally booked

It has been a long time coming, as I have wanted to go to Thailand ever sine I heard stories about it my first time travelling - and on the weekend I booked my flights, ready for two weeks with Holly travelling around Thailand.

Don't forget to follow me here too...