Saturday, 12 August 2017

Returning From 5 Months Travelling: Feeling Lost and Starting Over

Returning From 5 Months Travelling: Feeling Lost and Starting Over

I guess another hello is in order! The last I spoke to you was 4 months ago, which in terms of my history of consistency is pretty tragic, but also not surprising. I've been away, you see. But if you stuck around this blog and my social, you would know this already. Instagram has become my happy place of traveling spam and is one place I've really loved using whilst I've been away. It's become a place of showing memories that I will probably never forget for as long as I live. It's also been amazing to speak to fellow travelers and pick up tips and recommendations. But one thing that it did most importantly was to make me feel close to home even though I was sometimes over 11,000 miles away! Home seemed like a strange place to me, I felt I still had my roots buried in the English countryside but I was being pulled away to rainforests and elephants, mountains ranges and deep oceans. 

But after a while, I started to settle into the life of a traveler. I became accustomed to packing up my belongings every 3 days to travel to a new place- on the rare occasions we stayed for longer I spread my stuff out like I was unpacking at home! I got used to getting minimal hours of sleep when traveling overnight on buses and trains and found small glimpses of familiarity in bustling cities and tiny villages. 

It was the scariest thing I've ever done, but it also changed my life.

Dramatic, yet completely and utterly true! If you talk to anyone who has been traveling for a long period of time, they will tell you exactly the same thing. It plants that seed of wanderlust inside of you. If you feel like you have wanderlust from a 2 week holiday, the overwhelming feeling you have when you come back from backpacking for 5 months beats that completely. Since returning, I've nearly broken down in tears because I miss where I've been so much. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge 'home bird', and I couldn't wait to come home to see all my family and friends. The feeling that caught me off guard was a sadness- sadness that I was no longer discovering new, beautiful, awe-inspiring places every day. Sadness that the freedom we had to spend our days how we wished without a care in the world apart from keeping safe was no more. 

I think this is quite a common feeling with fellow backpackers. You know that as soon as you get home, the stresses of your everyday life will slowly creep back. However, I feel that my time away has also given me a new drive for life, and to continue that magic feeling of wanderlust back at home. Sounds strange, right? Well, I live in a beautiful country that I've probably not seen more than 10% of. As well as doing days out, I want to do weekends away in the UK as well as traveling abroad. While I have 0 pennies to my name, I want to try camping (we've got a pretty darn good tent so we might as well make use of it)! I hope these little excursions will keep feeding the wanderlust in me until I can save up enough for another big trip.

So, what can you expect from me from now on? I will still be sharing my love for fashion, beauty, and acting, but alongside that I will talk a lot more about travel (of course) and different lifestyle genres like fitness, cooking and homeware (there are a couple of exciting things happening in my life that are inspiring this, that you will hear more about soon).

I can't wait to tell you more about my trip and share some of the amazing places and events I experienced. Thank you as always for sticking around, and here's to more travels on the horizon!

Gx



Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Two Months Into Travelling New Zealand and South East Asia

Two Months Into Travelling New Zealand and South East Asia

First of all, hello! It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to do some proper writing, mainly because I’ve been making sure I’ve been enjoying every bit of each place we’ve visited that I simply haven’t had the time to do anything! This was especially the case in New Zealand as we were driving around most days, and in the evenings we only had time to eat, plan our next leg of the journey and then sleep…but you will hear a lot more about this in upcoming posts. 

Even now after being in Asia for a just over a month, we’ve found that it’s not been as relaxing as we thought it would be (not yet at least). For instance, the amount of time we’ve actually spent on a beach is not a lot. As we’re travelling through the seasons, we’ve found that the weather has not always been on our side- for instance, one day on the beach in Lombok was completely overcast, while the previous day had been extremely hot. 

We’ve also been struck by the dreaded ‘Bali belly’. Without giving TMI, I spent a week sticking to water, bread and rice to ease me through; not great when there are so many amazing foods to try! When you’re doubled over with stomach cramps, you don’t really feel like doing anything, let alone try and think of what to write. 

While writing this I’m currently on a 3-hour boat ride to Langkawi, Malaysia. Times when I have been travelling has definitely given me time to relax and crack on with some content- for instance, I just put up the vlog of our first week in New Zealand which you can see here. As you can imagine, the WIFI isn’t as fast and reliable as it is at home, so just uploading photos to Facebook as sometimes taken days! 

One of the strangest things I’ve discovered while travelling around is the small things I miss about home. Dairy Milk is not the same as back home, especially in New Zealand as it’s made in Dunedin instead of imported. It got to the point where I asked my parents to save some Mini Eggs and Cream Eggs for when I’m back! Also, I’m really craving a good old British cup of tea, as in Asia they use a creamer instead of milk. This has led us to switch completely to black coffee, but I just can’t bring myself to drinking black tea just yet. 

Also to be completely frank, money has played a major factor in what we’ve done. New Zealand ended up costing a lot more than we thought, mainly because petrol was quite expensive (similar prices to the UK). As we were driving sometimes hundreds of miles in one day, we were filling up our tank every few days. Also, losing my two beloved cameras to a freak surge wave on the Ninety Mile Beach (more on that in my new video), I’ve had to spend money shipping them back to the UK and insuring the replacement camera I bought in New Zealand. Luckily I was able to get a loan from home to cover the cost of my new Canon 750D, but I still lost out in the long run. 

Less money has meant fewer places inevitably. We sadly came to the decision that we would be cutting out the Philippines as we discovered it was a lot more expensive than we originally thought, especially the cost of boats to each island. Cutting them out has freed up more money, allowing us to spend a couple of days in Singapore (something we never thought we’d be able to do) and longer in other places. In my eyes, as long as I have enough money for a plane ticket home, I’m happy. 

Living on a budget has been harder than I thought. For a self-confessed shopaholic, walking past spending opportunities has been hard. But one item could cost a night’s accommodation somewhere or a meal. Thinking this practically has been a challenge that I’m slowly accomplishing. I will definitely be doing some more content on budgeting a trip like this and will do an overview of how much our entire trip cost when I’m back home. But for now, I’m counting the pennies. By doing this, we’re able to look ahead at expensive things we really want to do and can budget them into our spending in the present. The less money we spend right now could pay for our ticket to Universal Studios in Singapore!

The main thing is, we’re safe and having fun. It may sound like we’re scrounging, but we have got up to a lot and I can’t wait to show you everything we’ve seen! This is probably one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I’m loving every minute- all the lows as well as the highs. So stay tuned to keep up with how we’re getting on!

I’d love to know if you’ve been travelling/backpacking, or where you’ve visited in the world! And if you’ve been to New Zealand or SE Asia, I would love to know how you got on and what you thought.

Gx

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Year Ahead...

The Year Ahead...

Hey everyone, and hello February! The time this year already seems to be flying, or is that just me? It honestly doesn't feel like I've got a firm grip on 2017 yet, but I think this year is going to be like that all the way through for reasons that I'm going to touch on in this post. Because this year is no ordinary year...

I have already done a video on this, so if you would prefer to see my chat about it just scroll down to the bottom of this post to watch it. I just felt that I needed to cover the subject on here too, as I know that my Youtube channel doesn't always get as much reach as this blog does. If you do want to come over and say hi, you can subscribe to my channel here

As you may have noticed by content has been very erratic lately. This is due to a number of things that have happened and that are going to happen. At the end of January, the theatre school I work at put on their big show, which took a lot of preparation and a tonne of boxes of costumes being stored in our house! Our home essentially became show central, and you had hardly woken up before being asked a show-related question! 

I've also been preparing for something very exciting. I'm going to be travelling around New Zealand and South East Asia for 5 months! As you can imagine this has taken a lot of planning and time, and it will also mean the type of content I'll be posting will be very different. There will be a lot more travel being brought in, something I'm extremely excited to start doing! I'll still keep posting about fashion, beauty and a bit of acting too, but it will all be tailored around travel and will feature some pretty spectacular locations!

This trip is going to be a trip of a lifetime, and even though I'm going to document it as much as possible, I'm also going to be taking the time to appreciate my surroundings. So what will that mean for my content? I will still be uploading, but this will all depend on internet speeds and availability. 

Even though I have ideas for content, I of course would love your input. What sort of things would you like to see? Do you prefer montage or talking vlogs? I'm thinking of doing lots of itineraries of what we did, my feelings on backpacking and fashion & beauty ideas when you're on the road. Drop me a message or comment below!

This is going to be an exciting time, and I can't wait to share it with you all :)



Gx

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Friday, 27 January 2017

Could This Micellar Water Trump Bioderma?

Could This Micellar Water Trump Bioderma?

I know, yes. A bold statement. But what's wrong with feeling a little bold once in a while. It's a new year so time to start things off with a bang! I am yet to do a proper reflective 'start of the year' post- I have done a video and will be writing it's blog counterpart very soon. In the meantime, let's get cracking with my first beauty post of the year...

It's fair to say I'm pretty in love with Bioderma. After it cleared up a serious attack of eczema around my eyes, it has never failed in cleaning my skin without scraping it raw. My ideal cleanser, you might say. I have tried a few more micellar waters since then, and to be perfectly honest none have truly lived up to it. Then, this little bottle of Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Micellar Water came through the post. 

I was at first, skeptical. Vichy products have broken me out in the past, and I didn't want it to happen again. But after a good month of using the Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Micellar Wate, I am pleasantly surprised! Not only does this remove my makeup quickly, you can also see any grease that has come off your face. I like to see that a product has actually visibly done something to my face, and this shows up the tiniest amount of makeup or dirt on your cotton pad. 

A problem that I found with some micellar waters in the past was even though they effectively removed my makeup, I would start to break out a little. Now I have very good skin, but do get the occasional tiny blemish and Bioderma keeps these problems at bay. And so did this! This really impressed me, and since then it's become part of my skincare routine. 

If I had to be really picky, then I have only two negatives about this product. Actually, they're not even negatives, but more things I've noticed. One- I can tell this isn't Bioderma. I'm being serious! This is a tad more strong, and after a good year or two of using it, I can weirdly tell the difference between the two products especially if my skin is a little dry or fragile. Two- the bottle annoys me slightly. It may be because it is top heavy, or the fact the top is more of a flat service than a tapered spout. It certainly looks great, but probably isn't as user-friendly as I'd have hoped. 

But with the Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Micellar Wate coming in a couple of pounds cheaper than the 250ml Bioderma, it is certainly a great alternative.

Could This Micellar Water Trump Bioderma?

Could This Micellar Water Trump Bioderma?

So does the Vichy Purete Thermale One Step Micellar Wate trump Bioderma? For some people, I think it could. It's cheaper, does everything it says on the tin and reflects the results of Bioderma. For me, though, Bioderma is still my one and only. This will certainly make a reappearance in my skincare cupboard, and when I can't get hold of my little pink bottle this will be my number two. 

Have you tried any Vichy products? I'd love to know whether you've tried any more micellar waters and what your favourites are. 

Gx

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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

Have you eaten alcohol? A strange thing to say, I know, but recently I've been discovering different recipes that include alcohol as one of the main components, not just as a splash for flavour. This is mainly thanks to my mum, who loves trying out new recipes (especially ones including drink). At this time of year, we're normally left with a bit more drink in the house due to Christmas and New Year, and believe me when I say we have a lot of bubbly at the moment! We've been trying to find ways to get through it (besides drinking it and becoming alcoholics), and one of these ways is in desserts!

If you're looking for a quick dessert or are looking for a new way to serve Prosecco, then look no further than the classic Float! This is essentially a fancy Coke Float, with a grown-up twist. 

Now this is not a strict recipe - I don't seem to be a fan of those lately - as you can pretty much use any fruit you want. You can also make it non-alcoholic by using soda water, or for an extra kick add 100ml gin. Just play around with it and come up with a mixture of your choice! Here's what I used to make 4 floats:

- INGREDIENTS -

100g hulled strawberries
80g sugar
200g vanilla ice cream

- METHOD -

Halve the strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. 
Toss together and set aside at room temperature for 30 mins.
Divide the ice cream between 4 martini glasses, spoon over the strawberries and top up with Prosecco. 
Serve with long spoons.

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

What To Do With Leftover Bottles of Prosecco, Besides Drink It!

This is great for any season and any situation; dinner party, date night, girly night in...Let me know how your break has been, and whether there are any simple recipes that you always go to for special occasions.

Gx

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