Showing posts from 2017

Music grounds you wherever you go.

More than once have I been asked the question 'would you rather be deaf or blind,' and I always, always answer - blind. Obviously I've never had to genuinely consider this as I'm lucky to have the gift of all of my senses and never would wish the loss of them on anybody, but my main reason for answering this question in such a way is down to music and the importance that it has in my life.

Not a day goes by when I don't listen to music. When I'm driving, while getting ready, while writing, on my walk to work, and many more. It features in my day to day life quite significantly and this is for all kinds of reasons.

Music gets me going. Upbeat tracks give me energy and put me in a happy mindset to begin each new day with. Whatever I might be driving to, whether it's a friends house or an important meeting, I will step out of that car having sang my heart out on the country roads and I will be feeling good about everything. It motivates me to write more, write b…

Every person you meet and each experience you have adds to the disentanglement of life's craziness!

The phrase "life is too short" gets thrown about continuously, even meaninglessly sometimes, but recently I've noticed how much truth it contains. It might be more appropriate to say that all of these phrases are so cliche, but so very real too. It takes some people a lot longer than others to grasp these valuable tokens of wisdom and we are all always learning more about how to live and cope with life's dramas, but we all get closer through everything we experience and learn a lot from the people we encounter.

There comes a time when you become better at distinguishing what matters and what doesn't. Who matters and who doesn't. What's worth wasting time worrying about and what doesn't need to be given the time of day. And there is a time when you realise how good you're getting at it, this weird and wonderful thing we call life. I know I'm still so young but I feel I've gained a better understanding recently, though I'm fully aware th…

Skip the formalities, where's the bar?

Last week I attended my graduation ceremony at York Minster. I naturally tend to do this in everyday life because, after all, I am a writer but throughout the day I found myself thinking about how this could easily make for an entertaining blog post. I was writing the day in my head without actually writing it but I thought I'd share this with you.

As backwards as it sounds, and very fitting to my character, I'd hit the booze far too hard the night before the event resulting in a very hungover me on the day. I awoke in my bed (thankfully) having no recollection as to how I got there, nor how I became so intoxicated, and after a shower to attempt to freshen up, we headed down to breakfast at the hotel. As always, the unlimited supply of continental and cooked choices made my eyes widen, but I forgot about how sick I was feeling when I was piling it onto my plate so when we returned to the room it didn't stay down for too long. Mum left at this point having had enough of the …

Australia Part 2: slumming it in Sydney and a quick luxury and lovely stay in Adelaide

I've realised that it's not until you go back into civilisation for more than three nights that you notice quite how awful backpackers can be. We stayed at Base throughout New Zealand without any problems, but Sydney showed them all. The bathroom was gross, so much so that I didn't want to shower for fear that it'd make me dirtier. Trust me, it was that bad. The place was like a maze, making you feel trapped and it lacked any atmosphere too. This is before I mention the bar attached and my experience there. 
We'd had a lovely afternoon walking around Sydney and the weather was great making this even more pleasant. Another of our Kiwi Experience friends was heading home so after a chill with him and the farewells, we continued more of a mooch before coming back to get ready for my friends birthday night out. While purchasing 'goon' at the local bottlo, the guy working told us a great shop to get cheap cups. We entered and were in our element as it was everyth…

Australia Part 1: Living in Luxury in Brisbane and Sydney

The first bit of entertainment on my next adventure came during the flight from New Zealand to Brisbane with the hilariously dramatic Air New Zealand flight safety video. If you haven't seen it, watch it. It is something else. They discuss "the greatest place ever created" in their "little corner of the world" - so theatrical. My inflight happiness continued as I sat with two lovely ladies and we discussed and compared our time in New Zealand along with them informing me that there was a tremor which was 3.5 on the richter scale in Christchurch at 5:36am that morning. So, as you can imagine and judging by my exaggeration skills, I was pretty happy to leave that place, as lovely as it had been.
I arrived in Brisbane and was met by my first lovely hosts headed back to the house and got stuck into a bottle of white. Lovely. Surprisingly, I wasn't feeling tired despite having gone back in time three hours so I should have begun flagging. Luckily I didn't th…

My Kiwi Experience part 6: the final days

Before I'd left the UK I had high hopes for Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. I was doing none of the adrenaline fuelling activities though; partly for financial reasons, partly because I didn't fancy jumping off a 134 metre platform and getting thrown about whilst dangling upside down. Especially not after I'd seen a girl who'd done it and her bruised eyes - how's that even possible? Everybody had told me how great the place was though, including a random bloke as I entered LAX airport and told him that I was off to New Zealand. These expectations were definitely met when we arrived. 
Surrounded by mountains and the bluest of lakes, Queenstown is a small but buzzing place with the addition of a jazz festival in the centre adding to the atmosphere (we timed that well). The scenery cannot be fully captured on a camera, nor can it be sufficiently described in words so I'm afraid to say that if you wish to witness it, you'll have to make a visi…

My Kiwi Experience Part 5: our first hitchhike, first helicopter ride and first time walking on a glacier.

Everything about our hostel at Franz Josef was great at a first glance. Another hostel dog greeted us (as did the friendly owner bearing alcoholic beverages), the wifi was free, the hot tub was the biggest in the country and the showers were something else complete with hair straighteners in front of each mirror! We were all sleep deprived and mildly hanging from our night before so were looking forward to chilling and having a fairly early night ready for our Helihike the following morning. 
My friend and I thought we'd test the hot tub before we tried out the luscious looking showers. However, this hot tub was far from hot and the jets weren't working. This, added to the fact that an inappropriate couple decided to start getting it on beside us, led to a swift exit out of the tub and into the showers. These also didn't live up to our high expectations. They were luke warm at the highest temperature and quite frankly a bit of a let down. Despite this, we did manage to have…

My Kiwi Experience Part 4: the beautiful south

Our ferry ride to the south island summed up our time in the north weather-wise - so much rain. Thankfully, when we arrived in the south the clouds lifted and we were welcomed by clear blue skies along our journey to Kaiteriteri. This meant that we instantly HAD to get changed into shorts and vest tops to make the most of this rarity and head to the beautiful beach just outside of our hostel. Despite shivering the entire time, it was nice to look at a sunny view but after half an hour we began moaning to the boys so they'd end their ball game and we could all go in for tea.

I already liked this part of New Zealand and I'm not ashamed to say that this initial love was solely because of the amount of vineyards I saw on the journey. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is one of my favourites so being surrounded by it made me very happy. Vineyard after vineyard. Lush.
While we're on the topic of alcohol I'll discuss a problem we've been having during the trip.…

My Kiwi Experience part 3: the last of the north island

We set off from Rotorua for a short drive to Te Puia, a geothermal valley home to the southern hemisphere's largest geyser. Apart from the eggy smell which got right into your nostrils and nobody knowing how to pronounce the word 'geyser', it was so cool to see all the mud pools, hot springs and water explosions erupting up to 30 ft above ground. Here, we should also have seen Kiwi birds which I'm desperate to see but they were too busy sleeping so I'm still waiting for that.
We then drove about an hour to Taupo and due to the rubbish weather, everything we intended on doing here (including the crossing) was cancelled so we spent the afternoon playing mini golf. Though you can play this at any tacky coastal resort in England, I had lots of fun and got a hole in one too which was a bonus. 
Next stop was Pac'n'save to load up on beverages for the evening, then back to the hostel for dinner and a few pre drinks before heading out. Another fun, boozy night was ha…

My Kiwi Experience: part 2

Hungover. Yes, leg two of the kiwi experience began with the world's biggest hangover. I never usually include my poorly states in posts as they're pretty frequent and dull to write about, but this one was something else so I couldn't leave it out. We intended on going for the classic 'couple of drinks' during our night in Auckland knowing full well that we had another early start the next day heading south to hot water beach. However, as always, this escalated rapidly and eleven jugs later, we were smashed and having a very fun time.
When my alarm went off at half 7 the following morning, I hoped and prayed that I was dreaming as I was in no state to be starting my day. Still feeling a little drunk, I had a shower and attempted to get myself together before waking my friend who may or may not have got concussion from her drunken fall. Luckily she woke and, though bruised and cut, was ok and thankfully feeling as awful as me so we could suffer together. In fact, al…

My Kiwi Experience: part 1

Frozen. I shivered my way from the airport to the city to find my hostel. I was, as predicted, entirely delirious due to skipping a day and on-off sleeping roughly 2 hours on the flight. I always plan it to work perfectly. To sleep when it's night time in my destination country, hoping to arrive slotting nicely into the next time zone. However, this never works which is mostly the airplanes fault. I was sound asleep and then the tannoy blasted out and the lights switched on announcing breakfast. It was 2am New Zealand time. I wasn't best impressed.
My incoherence was instantly noticeable when I thought I'd successfully completed customs; a self serve machine where I answered two questions, scanned my passport and was granted a visa. I grabbed my bag then noticed the long lines and realised that even in New Zealand, they don't let you in that easily. If any of you remember my Australian experience of customs three years ago, you'll know that I declared everything. T…

Memories: thankfully we only remember the good

I've wanted to write this post for a while now, pretty much ever since I set out on my travels. Perhaps even before that while I was reflecting on my time at university because though I had the best time and created the fondest memories, it wasn't all sugar coated without any problems. 
From Uni, I've taken the brilliant friends, the hilariously drunken nights out, the fun days exploring around the Yorkshire countryside, visits from people from home and all the other brilliant things we got up to. When I think of Uni I don't think about the essay stress, the constant pressure of doing more than just your degree, the scary moments when we didn't feel so safe, the days spent in bed feeling ill and the times I cried when it all got too much.
From travels, I remember the hot sunny days, the beautiful scenes, times when all went to plan, the constant happy buzz filling me inside and the friendly people I met along the way. I swerve to think of the overnight trains and f…