Archives for category: Culture

Yet another change in my life happens and I feel like I’m rolling with the tides and avoiding the punches. I’ve finished my placement year and I’m now onto the next challenge.

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After University it has been my dream to move abroad and experience another way of life. Delve into another culture and learn from the experience. To bring these dreams to a reality I’m hoping to teach English whilst living abroad, giving me a stepping stone when taking the big leap. This journey started today.

Today I started my new job at an English school where I will gain experience and qualifications (TEFL etc)to help support me when I move abroad. It’s very exciting however I still don’t feel like I’m moving forward for some reason.

The idea of moving abroad feels like an amazing life experience however it almost feels a bit wreckless in the sense that it’s putting my career on hold. I know this is ridiculous as living in another country will open several other doors. I guess I can’t help the fear of unknown.

I shout out to all those who have made this leap… How did you find it?

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Last week I took part in The Colour Run in London, have a read of my previous post.

Here is my short video of the day – I hope this inspires you to join in next year. It was such a good day, and all for a good cause!

If The Colour Run hasn’t come to your city – you can sign up to register your city. I’ll be sure to apply to bring it to my city!

Yesterday I took part in The Colour Run a 5k run in Wembley Park, London.

It had been something on my bucket list  and something I’ve wanted to do for a long time!

Running 5K whilst getting absolutely covered in coloured powder, all the while raising money for charity. I’d say that’s pretty good going for a Sunday.
In total, 18,000 people participated in the London Colour Run. Such an amazing turn out.
Me and my sister had been lucky, as they re-opened entrance for the London run, so we were able to get the last few spaces.

We arrived early, around half 12 to try and soak in as much of the atmosphere as possible. We needed to collect our Colour packs, as ours hadn’t arrived in the post. I was very surprised how efficient and easy it was at the info tents where they wer handing out Colour packs and giving info to all the runners. It really was a well organised event!

We managed to get a quick bite to eat at one of the restaurants in Wembley Park, before it started to get manically busy.
In the space of half an hour, the entire population (it seemed) of London had made their way to the Wembley Park and were raring to get started.

We were one of the first groups who made it off the start line, I think it must have been about half 3 when we started running. It was such a good build up! Capital FM had sponsored the run and had been playing music at the start line which added a really enjoyable atmosphere and got everyone excited!

All types of ages and abilities were taking part in the run, which I feel added a sense of togetherness. Everyone was there to enjoy themselves, get messy and to have an amazing experience which was definitely the result.

Each 1k was a different colour, you’d run across the 1k marker and there would be about 20-30 workers ready throwing coloured powder at all the runners.
In the distance you could see the coloured clouds of powder at each check point. A coloured fog that would swallow all the runners. It was so exciting.

It didn’t feel like a proper run, as you were just excited to get to the next check point to have another colour thrown in your face adding to the collection of colour bombs on your t-shirt.

After 5 check points I’d had; pink, blue, yellow, orange and purple powder sufficiently covering my body including my mouth – where I’d got all excited shouting and someone had lobbed a handful of powder in my mouth.

Such a brilliant day! Hopefully they will be bringing the Colour Run to my city soon!

Thats one off the bucket list – Check

 

After my usual mindless scrolling through the internet on a Sunday afternoon through random websites, articles and videos I watched a really interesting video by ‘Ted Talks‘. It’s a video by psychologist Shawn Achor who argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
Admittedly all of the Ted talks are amazingly captivating and engaging leading you to start questioning many areas of your life, the world in which we live in, and agreed this is a result of excellent speakers. I once watched a 20 minute video on ‘How to use one paper towel’. Now let me explain; I did not watch the full length of this video because I’m overly passionate about saving paper, or being efficient with my bathroom duties, however the speaker was so entertaining and was able to keep my attention. This demonstrates the information itself is equally as important as how the information is provided.

Anyway back to the point. I will give you a quick synopsis of the video – if you don’t fancy watching the full 12 minutes.

Shawn Achor identifies there is an underlying problem with how we formulate our happiness.

– If we work hard, we will be more successful; and if we are more successful we will therefore be happier.

However this is never the case, because once we reach success, we move the parameters. Once we hit our sales target, we change them, better grades, better jobs etc. This creates an unobtainable happiness as we will be constantly pushing the success barrier and never registering our own success, and never reaching our own happiness.
I find this such an amazing analogy! It literally identifies the world we live in now. So many people don’t appreciate and acknowledge what they have and are searching for things, that they feel will bring them more happiness.

Shawn Achor explains that if we change the way we formulate our own happiness by being positive and being content with the now this can lead to being more; successful, creative and happy etc.
He outlines that by doing some daily tasks (for 21 days) that will focus on retaining the positives from your day it will force you to look for the positives rather than the negatives. By:
3 Gratitude’s – stating three things that your grateful for
Journaling – documenting one positive thing from your day and writing it down
Exercise
Meditation
Random acts of kindness

All of these things will train your brain to seek out the positives in your life and change the way you categorise your happiness.

I love this idea so much so, that for the next 21 days (as stated in the video) I will write one blog posts a day, of one positive experience I had over the past 24 hours.
I will document if/when I see a change in the way I start to view my day and the effects it has.

Take the test yourself – do one of the listed items each day to see if helps you project your happiness in each day.

This weekend (slightly late post) whilst perusing the streets of sunny Bournemouth we came across a gathering in the square of the city center. On further inspection it was a demonstration of a group called Zil’oKA. A French Caribbean group promoting the diversity of traditional rhythms, singing, and dances. 

French Caribbean

 

After standing and watching the group for only a few minutes you couldn’t help but be mesmerized by their connection with the music and to each other. They gathered quite a large crowd. It seems only fitting on the rare occasions the sun comes out to have a beautiful sound track of African percussion in the background. Many people were dotted around the square lounging on the grass, readying, soaking up the sun whilst listening to the groups catchy rhythms.

French Caribbean

Many people who were watching started to join in and dance with the group. Small kids would reluctantly let go of their parents hands and be draw into the circle of dancing.
It was really nice seeing a group of people joining together to share their passion with complete strangers. Although they were taking donations it felt as though the group were just humble to have the opportunity to share their music.

The group was made up of women and men of all ages playing tradition percussion. The women of the group were mainly dancers who would interact with the crowd.

Was lovely to be a part of their music and  helped me to get excited that summer is on it’s way!

 

We ventured into the depths of Wales, for a family wedding in Laugharne. (West Wales). This remote location is where the famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas lived with his family. The famous ‘Boat House’ that is romantically perched on the side of the estuary is where the poet wrote some of his many famous works including ‘Under Milk Wood’.

Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family
I had never been to this part of Wales before and it was a beauty to discover. So quiet that it is almost deafening. The small town is host to a few hotels and cottages with small corner shops. I would have trouble living there as there isn’t much to do on a daily basis, and I guess the beautiful view would only surpass so many days of not doing anything. That said it was lovely to go somewhere and feel completely isolated from the rest of the world. (Phone signal was none existent).

Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family

I always love weddings as it is a chance for everyone to get dressed up, eat nice food and see family that you haven’t necessarily seen in a while. As it was a winter wedding in Wales, you can image we didn’t go without a bit of rain.

What made the wedding special were all the small details that had been thought about. The wedding had a red theme as it was on Valentines Day. This transcended from the bridesmaid dresses to the table settings.
The bride and groom got engaged in New York on Valentines Day hence the place cards were personalised wooden apples representing ‘The Big Apple’.
Welsh cakes on arrival was just perfect!

Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family

In terms of outfit choices for a winter wedding, I was quite unsure what would be most suitable. I chose to wear a long dress which turned out to be a wise decision! The weather wasn’t the nicest.
A lot of people at the wedding had opted for lace overlay. Which I found quite interesting as it’s been a while (few seasons) since lace was THE fashion trend.
That said – I was wearing a lace dress. It seemed very in keeping with the rest of the wedding. 

Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family

Wales, Laugharne, Wedding, Family

I love going back home to Wales – it will always be a special place for me. 

Bucket list, Travel, Dreams,

Travel to Thailand
Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand
Watch all of ‘The Lord of the Rings’
Ride an elephant
Speak another language
Sky dive
Live abroad for a year
Swim with sharks
Complete the colour run
Dive in The Great Barrier reef
Visit the great wall of China
Volunteer abroad
Complete the Mongol Rally
See the Northern lights
Sledging with husky dogs
Fly in a hot air balloon
Stand on the equator
Go skinny dipping on holiday
Visit Japan
See the Grand Canyon
Be an extra in a movie
Ride in a gondola in Venice
Go white water rafting
Travel to Australia
See a show in London
Go paintballing
Run a marathon
Visit Alcatraz
Road trip in America
Visit Milan
See the Taj Mahal
Fly in a helicopter
Ride a camel
Go whale watching
Go to the airport take next available flight
Start my own business
Become more patient
Attend a cooking class
Have flying lessons
Have kids
Throw dart at a map – go where it lands
Play ‘Moonlight Sonata’ by heart on the piano
Live/work with family in the out back in Australia
Do an African Safari
Stay in a beach shack
Donate blood
Buy a house

Have you done of the things on my bucket list? Let me know what it was like.  I’d love to hear your stories!

:)

Last year I was fortunate enough to go to the beautiful island of Tobago. Through a work college, we were able to find accommodation in a private house in the secluded area of Speyside.

I would like to point out that this house was the epitome of basic. It was a house granted, as it did have four walls and a ceiling. Nevertheless it made the experience that little bit more interesting – for example, finding ways of getting running water, was an adventure.

I had not heard very much of the Island of Tobago before going. So the weeks leading up to the trip I was reading every travel journal, recommendations and reviews site going.  One thing I was very concerned about was the fact we were going in the month of September, which as many people had told me, is their rainy season in the Caribbean.
I needn’t have worried. The weather was perfect!

So if you would like to make the most of the off peak airline prices (we flew with Monarch which were very reasonable). I would definitely recommend going.
As the people of Tobago said themselves, ‘It’s always hot!
I think during the whole two weeks we were there, it rained twice for an hour, tops. And to be honest, it was a blessing when it did rain as it was very hot.

I can’t express how much I loved Tobago – from the beautiful beach, to the friendliest people.

The first half of the holiday we spent at Speyside: A very small village along the northern cost of Tobago, just across from the island of Little Tobago. Speyside is a local village with a few small hotels. One of their most popular and luxurious hotel was Blue waters Inn. It is paradise. The beach that the hotel is situated on is a public beach. So many days we went down to the beach, and enjoyed the idyllic views.

The one thing I was dying to do was scuba dive. I had never been before and Speyside is known for it’s incredible scuba diving – as they have the largest brain coral reefs just off the coast.
We had been recommended to visit the Manta Lodge Hotel who had a diving school. The staff were amazing! Made us feel so welcome, and were very helpful.
The diving lessons were taken by Sean, who is very a experienced diver and made us feel safe and calm the whole way! (As I did have my panic moments).
From time to time we would pop in to the hotel and have some drinks. We had dinner there one night – where I tried breadfruit, a local starchy fruit of a tropical tree, which is used as a vegetable. Definitely worth a try if you have the chance!

During our time at Speyside we also went into the rain forest. We went early in the morning, for the best chances to see all the birds. It was a really amazing experience and we got to see another side of the Island.

One of the best things about Speyside is the people! Everyone you walk past would wish you a good day and offer a smile. It was so refreshing. Strangers would ask how your day is going and ‘how are you finding Tobago’. I loved it. It seemed they were relishing in the idea that other people were able to see the beauty in their Country. They were proud and honoured that other people were enjoying their home. It was an unforgettable experience.

The second half of the two weeks we ventured to the other side of the Island where we had been recommended to stay at a place called The Grange Inn. It was on the Western side of the Island. It was very convenient as it was only 5 minutes walk from Grange beach and 10 minutes to Mt Irvine Bay. The Western side of the Island, as it was closer to the city was busier and more tourist attractions. As it was the Caribbean side and was the most common place for tourists to stay.

Making the most of the Caribbean side of the Island we went to Pigeon Point for the day. (Pigeon Point Heritage Park). You had to pay a small fee to enter the heritage park, around $2. I had heard a lot about Pigeon Point and that it was the most beautiful beach in Tobago. And I wasn’t disappointed! It was breathtaking.
White sands and clear blue sea. Tobago was an amazing experience and we met some truly wonderful people along the way!

This is a little preview of the best bits from our trip! 

And some photos…

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Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise, Tobago-Photos-101 Tobago-Photos-102 Tobago-Photos-104 Tobago, Blue Waters Inn, Paradise,

As I sit here drinking my afternoon coffee – I glance out of the window and see a horrible grey sky, wishing I could be somewhere else. In hope of transporting myself somewhere else – flicking through old photographs seems to be the best way.

Two years ago I visited a friend who had moved to Paris after dropping out of Uni. She had been studying French and thought it best to further her learning by moving to the capital of France.
Naturally I jumped at the chance of seeing my darling friend with the added bonus of seeing the beautiful capital that is Paris! I had never been before and was so excited to finally see what all the fuss was about. When I can honestly say I truly fell in love with the city.

I felt like I got to see the true Paris, finding the hidden gems of the city amongst the usual tourist attractions. I visited during July at which point the ‘Paris Plages’ had been set up, transforming the city into one huge resort. If you are thinking about going, I would definitely recommend waiting around for this! It usually starts the end of July and lasts for four weeks.

During my week in Paris, I tried to cram in as many day trips and attractions as I could.

I went to see Sacre-Coeur. (The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris) is a Roman Catholic Church and the highest point in Paris on the hill of Montmartre. It was quite easy to get to by Metro then either walk up the hill (a million steps) or take the tram. I was feeling brave that day – so we walked.
But it was worth it. From the top, you have an amazing view of the whole of Paris. We were lucky, as it was a very sunny day and the views were breathtaking.

Whilst at the top of Montmartre, we walked to ‘the old artists corner’. A cubby place full of talented artists selling their work in a secluded market. I was in heaven. All types of art were being displayed, from contemporary oil on canvas to – water colours. It felt like the heart of Paris, full of culture and bursting with talent.

One of my favourite days was when we took a short metro ride to The Marais which has also long been the focus of the Jewish community. The Marais in recent years is known for being one of the ‘hippest’ areas of the city; packed full of hotels, vintage boutiques, restaurants and bars. It’s also prime territory for art lovers, with a vast concentration of art galleries and museums.
For me I ventured to The Marais in search for the vintage boutiques and thrift shops! The small cobbled, alley streets were the perfect location to find some hidden bargains. Even though it felt like we were at the back and beyond of Paris as the street were off main roads. I wrongly assumed it would have been very quiet! The small streets were packed. It was a bustling neighbourhood of culture, bargain hunters and art lovers.

As we wondered through all the shops, having a nose in each one, naturally we needed a lunch time pit stop. Being the Jewish area it was, there were falafel stands on as many corner streets as you could see (which were perfect for a quick bit to eat). All of which had a queue of about 20 people in each. I loved this hustling bustling atmosphere that you don’t see on the main roads. If you want to see some really quirky vintage shops, take a trip to The Marais!

Amongst other things I visited on my trip to Paris, some of the best moments were the simpler things.
Have a coffee in a small, quiet café on the terrace, underneath an umbrella, catching up with one of my friends.

Some photos of the best bits…

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I cannot wait to go back!

Have you been to Paris – what were your favourite parts?

This weekend I went to an event in Bournemouth called ‘secret walls’ held at the Winchester.

I’ve only been to the Winchester a handful of times and I’ve not been disappointed yet.  It’s a hidden gem! A place that is full of heart in every sense of the word. People are there to share, experience, and appreciate all types of art whether that being dance, spoken word, theatre, art or live music.

If you are ever in the area of Bournemouth, be sure to check it out. You’ll find a pure eclectic mix of underground music and people from all walks of life!

Last night was secret walls ‘Round 1′ – in simple terms an art off. An event where two artists battled against each other to turn a blank wall into a work of art in 90 minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As the rules state ’90 minutes, black and white, no sketches or pencils, GO BIG, OR GO HOME!!’

Round 1 : HULA HERBERT vs GEO DENCH

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

Secret Walls | Bournemouth nightlife

The event started at half 9 at which point it wasn’t too busy, but as the 90 minutes progressed the venue certainly picked up! It was such a good atmosphere! With music from DJ Roast Beatz, Extra medium, Selby and a Countryman Sound System UK afterparty.

The winner was Hula Herbert. Or ‘Tank girl’ as we were referring to her the whole night. (Wall on the left).
I did think she deserved to win, her piece was a lot more detailed and I especially loved the little mouse that is perched in the tank! Such a cute little touch!

As the winner of that round, Hula Herbert will go on to compete in round 2. I will definitely be there! I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What do you think – who’s your favourite?