Friday, 25 January 2013

Guess where's next?!

                                  Source: via Pinterest also found on everlook photography.

                           Source: via Helen on Pinterest


                    Source: via Helen on Pinterest

                    Source: via Helen on Pinterest

            Source: Uploaded by user via Helen on Pinterest

               Source: via Helen on Pinterest

That's right, sunny Folkestone!!!!!!! What?... my ticket says New Zealand? oh...well...I suppose I'll make do, although I was looking forward to playing bowls in the rain...

In less than a month I'll be getting on a big old plane to the southern hemisphere and after two weeks in Sydney, me and my lovely other half will be moving to NZ.  With my 12 month work and holiday visa in hand, we will be on the search for work, shelter and adventure.

As you can imagine I'm really excited. Our week in the bay of islands last year left me wanting more.  I'm also very nervous. I mean I've done all this before and I know how tough it can be, I remember the constant search for work, the unhygienic dorm rooms and living off pasta.  I've also never travelled in a couple. Granted, we did sail the South Pacific together, but it wasn't just us. This time its me and him, ready for a make or break experience.

 Expect a lot of 'blah blah New Zealand blah blah' from now on.

Monday, 21 January 2013

A weekend of snow

"....and I never loved England more than when covered in snow" - Laura Marling, Goodbye England.

My weekend plans may have been cancelled due to the weather, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate its beauty.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Fighting the January blues

January is always a tough time for England.  Its cold, its dark, no one has money and there's little to look forward to.  Next to her bubbly and slightly tarty sister December, January is a bit of a plain Jane.  Add in some dealings with the national health service, a long distance relationship and living in visa limbo, you've got yourself a pretty crappy month.  After wallowing in self pity for a few days, I then got thinking about what I could do to keep the blues at bay.

My first port of call was you tube. The laughing baby and sneezing panda got me through some tough times, perhaps it could help now. It didn't disappoint.  As I'm a big fan of Eddie Izzard, this animation, bringing his stand-up 'dressed to kill' and Lego together, had me in stitches.

For a while I was stuck on you tube watching other funny videos. It was when I found myself watching the laughing baby that I called it a day.

Then, I reached for the kettle.  No matter how nice it would be to unwind with a glass of red, hot beverages are comforting and will keep my head clear.  It's true that tea does taste better in England.

Next, I listened to a song that was neither depressing, too mushy or too wish washy.  Quite simply, a song with a kick.

Also, I looked around me and picked up my camera.  There may not be volcanoes and dolphins to point a lens at, but there's a lot of beauty in every day life.  Feeling down really affects my productivity and drive. Therefore, by focusing on little observations, I maybe able to burst back with some creative ideas.  

And finally, I tried to accept that its O.K to feel this way. As a very impatient person, I often forget that feeling sad, frustrated and anxious is all part of the human experience. If it was good all the time, we wouldn't appreciate it.  There is nothing wrong with feeling this way, I've just got to try and roll with it.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Favourite snorkelling spots in the South Pacific

One of the perks of working on a sailing ship was having access to incredible reefs.  While a few spots were disappointing, having major damage from storms or human inference, others blew my fragile mind to pieces. Here's a countdown of my four favourite destinations.

In 4th place is Aitutaki, Cook islands.  A honeymooner's haven, Aitutaki had great coral and sea life close to shore. The clear water meant we had great visibility for snorkelling.  Much better than what I saw in Rarotonga.

In 3rd place we have Hide away resort in Efate, Vanuatu.  This resort has plenty of marine life (one of my friend's saw an octopus).  However the underwater post office was the kicker!  There are a lot of people about, but this is compensated with having a bar right there after your snorkel (or before, I won't judge...).

In 2nd we have The Coral Gardens, Vavau, Tonga.  This place is so incredibly awesome that in my mind, it should be under international protection.  The coral was so beautiful that during our first visit, I don't think I paid much attention to the fish.  Which there are also there. Lots.

But in 1st place I've crowned Anchorage Island, Suwarrow atoll, Cook Islands.  As one of the most secluded spots on the planet, Suwarrow has had the luxury of little human interference.  When swimming to the coral's shelf, that's when things got interesting. The abundance of Sharks really puts this place on the map.
And here is an important disclaimer: There are not only reef sharks (the harmless guys) but aggressive bigger boys.  At one point me and Zim sighted a pack of sharks, including a brown big'un and moved quick sharp. Snorkelling at this spot is not recommended and only done by silly people like me. But wow, what a place!

Where are your favourite places to snorkel?

* First picture courtesy of Mr J. Biddlecombe.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

New Year's Resolutions: 2013

I don't think I've ever made a new year’s resolution. Except for declaring 'I'll never drink again' when New Year’s day comes around, resolutions haven't been my thing.  There have been times when I've turned a corner in my life and I need to change my ways, but this is usually after certain events and not when the date ticks over.

However, this year it’s different.  With the distraction called Christmas out the way, I can think clearly about my future. 2013 will bring some very big changes.  If all goes to plan, exciting times are ahead.  I don't want to jump the gun too much, so I'll talk more on this later.  For the moment I want to focus on what changes I could make to get the things I want.  This took a lot of effort staring out of windows and looking pensive. It explains why it's now mid-January and this post is going up.

The end result is three New Year's resolutions to stick with; one for the head, one for the body and one for the heart.

The Head
Doing a lot of long term travel, you'd think I'd be good with money.  I'm not. I can save money for a few months, not go out, live off coupons and work towards a travel goal.  However, I then splurge and I wonder where the money went.  My first resolution is to organise my finances.  By knowing where my money is going hopefully I'll be able to learn from my mistakes.

The Body
To quote the Aussie hair care brand "there's more to life than hair, but it’s a great place to start."  Sea, Sun and lifestyle have taken their toll.  As a curly lady, the elements have not helped brittle dry hair.  In the UK winter, central heating causes a frizz epidemic.  When I came back from four months in India and Nepal, my hair was so battered I had to go for a drastic chop.  I'm hoping this time I can avoid this by taking some steps.
1. Get a trim every few months. This is hard for me due to my phobia of hairdressers.
2.  Keep using sulphate and silicone free hair products. I'll only use a sulphate shampoo when it really needs a clean.
3. Using heat stylers to a minimum.  I've learnt the hard way where routine use can lead, but it’s a slippery slope and I'm always scared of a relapse.

My second resolution therefore, is to look after my hair.

The Heart
Over the years, I've not been the best at keeping in contact with my loved ones and letting them know I'm thinking of them.  My final resolution is to send more postcards, letters, and emails to the people I think are pretty awesome. 

So that's my resolutions for 2013.  What’s yours?

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...