Showing posts from September, 2017

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…

An afternoon in Los Angeles

Sadly my flight to LA wasn't a connecting flight and when I asked the lady at information where I can store my luggage, she looked at me as if I'd asked her to solve the world's problems. I took the massive hint along with my life for two months and tried to explore LA in the seven hours that I had. 

The complete saviour that is Google Maps got me to Griffiths observatory from which I could see the Hollywood sign and a lovely view of downtown LA in the distance. It was surrounded by rocky mountains so it was very peaceful sitting and watching the world go by in the thirty degree heat (I'm not even going to attempt to convert that to Fahrenheit). It was even nicer to take my luggage off before my back broke.
As always, I chatted to some lovely people along the way which gave me a great impression of California despite being somewhat terrified on the Metro initially. A guy kicked off big time as everybody looked at the ground, attempting not to make eye contact for fear t…

Florida: where I freaked out about giant cockroaches but thankfullynever saw one

The line at security in JFK airport, was huge and when I saw the first sniffer dog in my life walking up and down, I almost wanted someone to have something on them, just for a bit of entertainment. The dog was so cute though and the urge to pet it was high, but I didn't want to mess with the serious cop on the other end of the lead, so I avoided that.

The drama didn't end there as we boarded the plane and waited to depart to find the first traffic jam of planes I'd ever seen. There must have been around ten waiting in line before us so we knew that we'd be delayed. Eventually, we began to move...for around thirty seconds before coming to a sudden halt with a thump. "That didn't sound good, that didn't sound good at all", said the lady sitting next to me as we mildly panicked. I was freaked out until we touched down in Orlando. The turbulence didn't help and in my tired and ever so slightly dramatic state, I was convinced that was the last flight …

A Dog's Purpose

If you're reading this post and are yet to see the film, stop reading immediately and watch it. I won't give too much away but A Dog's Purpose is the perfect summary of the happiness and comfort that dogs bring to so many lives.

We've only ever had one dog in my lifetime at home, we've always been 'cat people'. They say you're either one or the other but I completely disagree. I have loved all the pets we've ever had and love the one and a half cats that are still with us, dearly. I say one and a half which kind of has two meanings. Lily was the runt of the litter so her growth is somewhat stunted and Frankie only decides to live with us for six months of the year, prancing around our village like he owns the place for the rest. Which one is the half can be up to you. Of course I love them, however I do understand why some people prefer dogs. When I come home, if I'm in a bad mood and need cheering up, though Lil will snuggle on my lap (or look …

Stress: can we ever shake it?

I've just got in from a morning by the pool in Florida while my friend is at uni (college in translation) and I've been thinking about the notion of stress. Now, I know that I have a tendency to irrationally freak out a lot compared to so many people in my life who's chilled out ways are something that I aspire to, but I've actually come to the conclusion that we humans, we'll always find something to worry about.

I guess you are now thinking how on earth I of all people has anything bothering me, living the dream and traveling the world, huh? Well, I'm not going to irritate everyone back home slogging away at work, but there certainly have been moments. These usually end in me laughing at my stupidity and looking at my surroundings, reminding myself of the amazing things I'm experiencing, but they've been there.

Some are practical. I mean, mostly this is laughable. The practicalities of sunbathing - when to turn, when to go in the shade, have I remembere…

Niagara Falls: we gotta find a bar, if we don't then we're opening one

Edging out of my hotel at half past five in the morning then edging straight back in as soon as I saw people, presuming they were going to kill me because it was dark, I took my extremely country bumpkin self to the subway. Thankfully, I survived and made it to central New York to catch my bus to Niagara. 

I've gathered on this trip so far that I have an approachable face and instantly made friends in the line with an American man. Fifteen minutes into our journey, I realised that when he said 'do you have that over there' he actually meant Europe rather than England. He aligned my roots in the U.K to brilliant coffee (that would be Italy), stunning mountains full of snow (that's the alps) and delicious chocolate (that's in Belgium). He sat swearing the whole time, bitching about being on a coach and claiming all the guide was telling us about American history was wrong, while constantly pining for his next cigar. He also decided that the guide was stalking us becau…

New York: the largest and safest feeling city I've ever been to

Having bossed the cheapest route from JFK into Manhattan, my mood was lifted even higher when I found that my accommodation which claimed it was a hotel was actually a hotel with a proper reception and people who knew what they were doing. I mean, we even had a cleaner who changed the towels each day and emptied the bin! My happiness escalated to one hundred when I also found out that the £190 that I thought I owed had already been paid - buzzing. 

All the excitement however, and the weird feeling that changing time zones gives you, hit me hard come 8pm. I'd been up since 3 am UK time and 8pm here would have been past midnight there so I figured sleep was needed so that I wouldn't be a total zombie for my first day exploring New York. Waking at 2 am which would be the usual time I got up back home, I forced myself to sleep more until a sociable hour to start my day.
I figured the only way to explore this city in the time I had was the trusty hop on hop off bus tour so I headed t…

I'm not alone, you are not alone

I thought about the idea of being alone a lot this morning as I sat in Heathrow terminal 3 waiting for my flight to America. Though I'm meeting friends along the way, much of my trip is 'alone'. I'm probably the biggest wimp going so I was wondering why I wasn't scared. 

As I found myself smiling to myself (partly because I was eating pizza for breakfast and food generally makes me happy, but partly out of appreciation) I realised that actually I am never alone. I was continually receiving texts from friends and family sharing love and wishing me a fabulous trip which helps to get rid of any loneliness, but I soon realised that this isn't needed to know how far from alone I always am.
I always have the wonderful memories, both recent and more distant, to think about and cherish. I'm surrounded by so many people and we share so much love for one another, so much that it doesn't need to be expressed. I'm both supported and a support by and to so many pe…

Writing & Me

This post is largely inspired by my recent visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which as any of you who have been reading my Travel posts will know, really impressed me. Not only was the museum well set out, taking you on a journey through the story of the Jews in the Second World War and this particular family, but the quotes dotted around the place from Anne herself about her writing were also very stimulating.

"The nicest part is being able to write down all my thoughts and feelings, otherwise I'd absolutely suffocate"- Anne Frank
Writing, for Anne, was an escape from her horrific situation into a safer world of her thoughts and feelings. It was a saviour that today provides an insightful glimpse into her experience for the whole world to read. She left her imprint through her writing and, whether this is deemed right or wrong, this is the main thing that I took from my visit.

Writing isn't for everyone, I get that. Not all people enjoy discussing thoughts an…

Wales was a bit of a "I don't even have balls and they ache" kind of ballache, but we also loved it!

I didn't intend on including much about Wales because our time here was meant to be relaxing, which is pretty dull to write about, filled with a few adrenaline jerking activities at Zip World, a Christmas present from Dad. However, our perfect navigation around Europe took a turn for the worse, ironically, as soon as we entered the U.K and I found that there was a lot more to say about our activities than originally thought, so here goes.

The drama started during dinner on our first evening in Llanberis when I received an email informing us of planned strikes on Mersey rail trains on our intended day of travel, great. To cut a long story short, this essentially meant that our entire trip home was ruined. After trawling through various options and getting nowhere near a solution, we asked at reception if they could tell us where the closest station is so we could speak to a human. Bangor. An hour bus ride up the road that our skint selves couldn't afford. Yes, apparently trains…