Reflections On My Travels

So this is a long overdue post! I promised it a while ago and as per usual life got in the way and i lost motivation and time. So here it finally is, less of a story of my travels as much as it was planned to be, and more of a reflection on the last year of my life.

So lets flash back to the summer of 2016 when i quit my perfectly reasonable job in IT and decided to travel to the other side of the world, to what i expected would be the sunny, chilled and beautiful New Zealand. In reflection, only really one of those was the case and it certainly wasn’t the weather! I packed up my little life in London, dragged my boyfriend straight from finishing his masters degree and we took the grueling 24 hour trip to paradise.

We had a 2 day stop over in Hong Kong and met some incredible people who would stay with us throughout our trip. Hong Kong beautifully broke up the flights and was a lovely start to the adventure of a lifetime. I wish we had the money and sense to have done a similar stop over on the way home because 31 hours straight travel was ridiculous. Not impossible, obviously, but definitely not something i will be signing myself up for any time soon.

When we arrived in New Zealand, we were faced with a few things we hadn’t really considered. First and forever the most shocking was that it wasn’t always sunny and hot in New Zealand, in fact the weather is basically England on a much more extreme scale. We arrived in Auckland on a gloomy overcast day, to check into a dorm room in a hostel just off the main street. It didn’t occur to us that we would be in a dorm, or that obviously that’s what happens when  you stay in a hostel. So that was a travel shock, the reality of having to share every inch of space and time with strangers. We quickly moved to private rooms in hostels after leaving Auckland, to minimize the awkwardness for us and for everyone else.

So our travels really began when we boarded that bright green tour bus that would be our home away from home. We traveled north to the brighter bay of islands, where we got to see dolphins and sit on the beach and really experience those minutes of holiday and travel. Including the diabolical alcoholism and mischievous activities in the early hours, which made great conversation on the bus the next morning. We made our down the north island to wellington. We sand surfed, caved, luged, spent a night in a Maori village, sat in a natural hot pool on the beach and of course basically drank ourselves out of pocket.

We arrived in Wellington to pouring rain, and yet it felt like we had come home. We spent the night in a hostel before spending two weeks with a distant relative of mine, who became like our mum and took care of us when we needed someone. That will be one of the things i treasure, building that relationship and having that love of family even when you are as far away as you can get from home. Wellington is where we set up our lives, made friends, got jobs, moved into a little flat, really lived like the kiwis do. And it was one of the best experiences of my life. That little flat will forever remain in my heart, as will the people and those gorgeous streets and views as you walk through Wellington and along the harbor. There are some bad memories of there, but they are by far outshone by the joy and beauty of the city and of my time there.

So after several months, it was time to pack my bag and go solo for my adventure down south. So i said goodbye to my jobs, to my friends, to my boyfriend and boarded a ferry to the south island. It was, without a doubt the most amazing and important thing i have ever done. The amount i grew within myself is impossible to describe, the relationships and bonds you can create with people in such a short time is life changing. You will be pushed to truly do what you want, to be responsible for only you and to deal with the consequence of what you do and want. You will push yourself into doing things you would never have imagined you would do, like skydive or learn to surf or crawl into bed with people who you barely know but love.

So New Zealand, you were stunning, absolutely the most beautiful place i have ever been and think will ever go, photos of you don’t look real and i cannot describe your immense totally consuming beauty. You were a challenge for my heart and my head, but most of all my liver. You were completely and utterly the best decision of my life and i cannot thank you and everyone who made you what you were for me enough ❤

My Week & A Half As A Recruiter

So today i made the snap decision to quit my very new and very demanding job in recruitment.

The company, i cannot fault. They were absolutely amazing to me, and supportive and understanding and i feel very privileged to have had the opportunity and experience. But, when it came down to it, it just wasn’t for me, and at the moment i think that’s okay.

So here is what i learnt in my 10 day whirlwind recruitment tour:

  1. I put too much pressure on myself
  2. I am not money motivated
  3. How to write an advert
  4. What recruiters look for on a CV
  5. That targets suck
  6. That i want to help people
  7. A young office is amazing
  8. I can rock office formal
  9. Blazers are expensive
  10. Phone calls just aren’t that bad
  11. How to hide crying in the bathroom
  12. Leads suck
  13. Disappointing yourself is way worse than disappointing someone else
  14. Work hard, Play hard is a lot more work than play
  15. Bus rides are great for winding down

So although it may not have been the career for me, its something that i have tried and can cross off, and take points away for what i am looking for. Its a stepping stone into the dream job.

 

Fitness Journey – Week 2&3

So… week 2 was a complete fail, i didn’t manage a single work out and my diet was all over the place! But, in my defense, that’s life. It’s not always going to be the perfect week and your motivation is not always going to be sky high! Also, things crop up, I quit my horrible job and have spent the last 2 weeks trying to manage the fall out of that, but that will get a whole post to its self, of not only my experience there but also the aftermath of trying to leave! So yes in essence week 2 was sort of a non week. 
Week 3: a much more productive and fulfilling week. I managed to time manage better, which meant I managed 3 workouts and a hike! I also managed to eat relatively well 4 out of the 7 days, I am no angel and food will forever be my downfall! But I am proud of my progress and I have a week to go of the beginners program and I feel like it will be a success…. only to be undone at Easter, but hey, at least I won’t be any worse off than when I started! 

34 Hours

What i learned from working 34 hours in 3 days, a lovely 4 am start to a 6pm finish.

  1.  You are more capable than you think
  2. You can survive on a lot less sleep
  3. The lack of sleep will catch up with for a solid 8pm bedtime
  4. Your patience will be tested
  5. You will eat less
  6. You will miss out on seeing loved ones
  7. Time will fly by
  8. You will have moments of doubt that its worth it
  9. You will have moments where you are finding it easy
  10. You will realise that things you dreamed of are a possibility but will require compromises you are unsure you are willing to make now faced with them
  11. You will make difficult choices
  12. You are terrible at saying no
  13. You did not pack appropriate clothing
  14. Or snacks
  15. Maybe you are not as unfit as you first thought
  16. It will end
  17. You will feel a tad lost when no longer at work
  18. You will create bonds
  19. You will gain confidence and reassurance and renewed sense of motivation
  20. You will let things like hygiene slide, because quite simply wearing the same top two days in a row isnt that bad and you are in no position to do laundry or care very much

FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO used to be, and still on occasion is my own personal torture.

In a world that is telling you to say yes to more, to go and explore, to just leave the house. Sometimes you just want to say no. Sometimes you just want your duvet, not leave the house for a couple of days and live in total bliss that the rest of the world doesn’t exist and isn’t going on without you.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, that little luxury is very quickly killed by snapchats, tweets, instagram and the ease of communication. Because, of course, the one time you don’t go out will be the day they all take photos and put them up everywhere for the world to see how you aren’t there, how ‘lame’ and ‘not fun’ you are in comparison.

So, inevitably, you drag yourself out of bed, have the long over due shower and force some kind of clothing on to make yourself look photo ready. Because, god forbid, you miss out if you don’t.

The reasons to drag yourself out when you just aren’t feeling it are countless… more than likely you will enjoy yourself when you get there, you rarely have the chance to see everyone in one go, you haven’t been out in ages. Unfortunately, we all know the real reason we are putting ourselves through this torture is because we don’t want our friends to think we are boring.

And we need to get over that. Our friends are our friends for a reason, and that won’t change just because we don’t want to go to the club this Friday night. They won’t think you are boring if you take the occasional night to yourself, although they may tease you are getting old, or some other rubbish in a last ditch attempt to drag you out.

We have created a culture that doesn’t allow you to just fancy some time at home, but instead guilt trips us into not allowing it for the literal fear of the social ramifications. Those social ramifications meaning you can’t join in that story, that something big might happen and you’ll be the last to know and worst of all you won’t be in the group shot that everyone has as their cover photo. Maybe i am getting old and boring, but, i am just sort of sick of the ridiculous amount of pressure i put on myself to go to things i just don’t want to do. I know i can just message my friends another day for dinner or to come round for a movie night, or something that just feels better for me. And that’s how i want my friendships to be, on a mutual happy little level where i don’t feel like i have to do anything or go anywhere to avoid judgement and loneliness.

So screw the FOMO, if i miss out, i miss out. At least i will wake up to hear plenty of gossip, of which none will be about me, I still have the killer group shot from last time to have as my cover photo and i know i will hear the story enough times that i will basically feel like i was there anyways. So yes, life might be about making memories and the big moments, but its mostly made up of small ones and boring mundane nights in, and you know what, that makes a pretty cracking life all on its own.

 

Success For A Woman

Many people have spoken about success and what it means to be successful, and most of them have been men, because for a long time, only men had the opportunity to achieve it. If you will, they had a monopoly on success, not only as an idea, but also in practice.

The door is opening for women to come forth and be more present in not only this discussion but also in this practice of achieving success.

But again, how do we measure it, what does it look like, how do we achieve it?

“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” – Colin Powell

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come” – Dwayne Johnson

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” – Mark Twain

But what is it that makes you successful, that lines you up for success? Is it ignorance, consistency, perfection, enthusiasm? Or is it something else?

I don’t believe there is one way to measure success, one recipe for making it, one way to celebrate it. It is a personal struggle and a personal achievement that to me equates success. Only you can measure yourself and how far you’ve come and how far you have to go, if anywhere. That’s why i believe you can find no simple answer for what success looks like or what it is the measure of.

So i can’t give you something to work on, or look at, or ponder, or in fact any answers at all. But i can let some very important women give you some wisdom, that you never know, might just inspire you to find what will make you the most successful you that you never knew you already were.

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney

“Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sara Blakely

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” – Michelle Obama

“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

This is my take on success, and one womans voice in this great debate.

New Years Resolutions

I am not a big believer in resolutions on the whole, i think we always make them too vague and unachievable that they end up being abandoned a few weeks in because we cant actually track our achievements.

So this year i decided instead to make goals, slightly more specific, slightly more achievable and hopefully will give my year a purpose and forward momentum.

  1. Start to learn Spanish – just a small commitment of 10 minutes a days worth, something i can track and see progress and gain that sense of achievement from
  2. Lose 1 stone, since i started uni and travelling i managed to gain an extra stone, i am by no means overweight or unhappy or going out of my way to achieve this. I am aware its the cliche ‘get healthy’ goal everyone makes, but mine has a lot less pressure and a lot more flexibility to enjoy life. You wont be seeing me in a gym and you wont see me abandoning my tubs of ice cream! But i want to feel stronger, fit back into my old clothes and get my body back on track, so a bit of light exercise, lots of water and a couple of veggie days a week is the plan
  3. And finally, to stay motivated. Seems a weird one, and definitely goes against my specific goal making rules, but i see this as more of my word of the year, motivation, in any form that takes. The unspoken theme to my year, i might do a post just on what that means to me and how i want to put it into practice.