The 12 Day Countdown to 24; What I’ve Learnt, Day 1

So in 12 days I am 24, March 12th. The fact I’m turning 24 is scary in itself. So to honour another year I’ve decided to write small blog posts on what I’ve learnt in my life before turning 24 years young, things that I feel are really important for me, and maybe for you too!

So for Day 1 of 12 I wanted to talk about Self Love and Self Care.

Self love and self care is something that can be really difficult for different people. As someone who is anxious as hell, I found that I spent a lot more time worrying about my friends, family and work than I did myself. I didn’t realise how much this can affect you if you don’t just sit down and take time for you.

I realised I needed to start taking time for myself half way through my final year of uni about 2 years ago. I was so overwhelmed with my dissertation, my girlfriends, living with 12 people, I also lived with my boyfriend and worked throughout, as well my friends from work. It was really full on and I didn’t realise until 7/12 flatmates moved out, this was due to being international students living with us for 3 months, that I hadn’t actually stopped since getting to uni in September. I started getting back from my morning shifts at work and lectures at university and spending the afternoon/some time on my own, watching TV, reading my book, just getting that me time. I felt like after this I enjoyed my time with my friends a whole lot more. I’d had that time to myself, time to relax and re-charge and you forget that you need that time. I also really felt that it helped my productivity in the library, at work and also generally as well.

It made me realise, ‘Hang about, I’m onto something here‘.

Then we moved out of uni and I still wanted to be able to keep this up and do this for myself. I really got into reading again, which I still am now if you’re a follower of my blog! I moved back in with my parents and with my boyfriend (we were only due to be there for a year before we moved to Australia, but COVID happed about halfway through our year. Goodbye flights to Australia). I wanted to make sure I still had my me time especially with a new lifestyle and job. A long shower, a quiet evening with my book, catching up on my favourite TV shows and taking time away from my phone was still an essential. I still to this day ensure that I do these things and it has been SO Beneficial to me.

I feel like it is so SO important to remember to do these things for yourself. Do things that help you switch off and wind down, at the end of the day, You are the biggest love of your life. My motto I say regularly. You NEED to listen to what your body is telling you, rest your mind if its running 100mph. Rest your body if you’re running literally everywhere. Say NO to going out if you aren’t feeling it, get in bed early, stay up late and binge watch your shows. Do what makes you feel happy and comfortable and recharged.

Write yourself a self care checklist and do it all in your own time. When you are enjoying your own time there is no pressure of everything around you, there’s just you. You only have to please yourself. For me my favourite things are to exercise or go for a walk, I love to sit and read my book and in doing so switching off from my phone at the same time. I LOVE a hot and long shower. I also every morning read positive affirmations! Positive affirmations hold a lot of importance for me. I read 4/5 every day and share the ones I feel I can apply in my day but also so others can see them and hopefully think the same!

Take the time for you, look after yourself physically and mentally. Like I said, you are the biggest love of your life and nothing can change that , no person you’re in a relationship with or your friends and family. You’ve only got one body, heart and brain in this life, cherish it and look after you. Be selfish, it’s absolutely fine to do so. You are a God/Goddess, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Get to know me! – 15 Facts.

So I haven’t ever posted anything like this before and I figured I’ve been blogging for a good six years now and recently its really taken off, so why not tell you all more about myself? That way I hope we can be a little more familiar!

  1. I have blue eyes! (A nice easy one to start off with).
  2. I’m a huge memory hoarder. I take far too many pictures, I have 3 scrapbooks, 5 photo albums (and then some), a notepad, bullet journal and adventure book. Including all my writing covered T-shirts from uni, school badges, primary school dresses and uniform. I love looking back at things it just makes me so happy.
  3. I graduated in September 2019 from the University Of Lincoln (UK) with a 2:1 in International’s Tourism Management! Ive always been huge into my travel ever since I was little, massively influenced by my parents and being so luck to be well travelled, I’m very grateful.
  4. My dream job is to work in Crisis and Disaster Management across the southern hemisphere regarding natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunami’s, earthquakes, landslides etc.
  5. I am 23 and will be 24 on March 12th.
  6. I have 5 Tattoo’s, 4 on my legs and 1 on my ribs. My first tattoo is my largest, I sat for 3 and a half hours to get a sea-witch. I also have a lotus flower, a Jigglypuff (I’ve always loved Pokemon) and an elephant on my legs and the Mental Health Semi-Colon on my ribs.
  7. I have 1 pet, wigglebum, official name Digby. He is a beautiful and bouncy 5 year old Sprocker Spaniel, you can follow his instagram here! @theadventuresofdigbydog.
  8. Lockdown really helped me to get back into reading, I have already read 36 books this year, thats a whole 35 more than last year if you don’t count university study books! I used to read quite intensely when I was younger, its been really nice to get back into it.
  9. I have a very intense fascination with Dark Tourism. I wrote my dissertation on the topic and am looking forward to visiting some Dark Tourism sites in the future once Covid restrictions aren’t so heavy.
  10. My all time favourite alcoholic drink is definitely Vodka or Malibu and Fanta Fruit Twist.
  11. I have 1 younger sister by 3 years who is absolutely 100% taller than me by a good foot.
  12. I LOVE the beach. I live for it, I was brought up only 5 minutes away from the beach and I adore the ocean, the sand, beach curls the salt on my skin. I miss the beach a lot now I’ve moved away from it, it will always be my goal and dreams to live next to or close-by to a beach or seaside town.
  13. I was a beach lifeguard for 4 years and that was easily the best job I have ever had so far. So much fun and I was super duper fit as its hardcore fitness, and also fully first aid trained. It was a blessing of a job and great experience helping others in need!
  14. I’ve been driving for 5 years now and in that time I have only crashed once, I had a good chat with a lorry and wrote off my beautiful Kirsten the KA. It was totally my fault and everyone walked away fine, I was just sad my car had to go. Definitely taught me a lesson, don’t think that a lorry can see you over their cab. Chances are if you’re in a small car, they can’t.
  15. My favourite holiday destination I have ever visited is Sri Lanka, it was such an eye opening and informative trip. I absolutely loved it and got to experience the Lagoons, the disaster management centre, Colombo, climbing Adams Peak and SO MUCH MORE with some of my closest girlfriends.

So there you have it! 15 facts about myself!

I hope you feel like you know me a little bit better and know the person behind the blog. Any questions or queries drop me a comment!

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Global Quarantine Diaries – Majelle

The Global Quarantine Diaries

A Traveller’s Struggles in Quarantine

I’m located in a very small, epically boring town in Northern Ontario. When I moved back home from University I told myself I would be escaping my small town as soon as possible. But like it always does, life happens. I got a job in my field. A job I love. The ‘one summer’ window of being back in my town turned into a year. But I had a plan. I was going to escape. I was going to move as far away as possible. But then Queen Rona took reign.

I’ve always been a traveller. When I was 18, my sister and I took our first backpacking trip around Europe. God it’s insane to look at 18-year-olds now and think about how young I really was when I did that. We blew all of our money in our first country, England, by going to Harry Potter attractions. I remember e-mailing my dad something along the lines of “Send money or we starve” one night in Italy after staying in a hostel in the middle of nowhere that gave my sister bedbugs. 

But since that trip I’ve never really stopped travelling. In 2018, I moved to the UK to study abroad at the University of Lincoln. I’d love to say since my first trip to Europe I’d learn to spend my travel budget better, but I’d be lying. While there I booked a week long trip to Greece simply because I was up late with jetlag listening to ABBA songs. Then a girls trip to Norway not long afterwards.

And ever since I lived there I had a burning desire to go back. And so the plan formed in my mind. I’d save enough money with the job I had and move back to the UK the second I felt like it was enough. I was going to escape.

But, like almost everyone’s plans in 2020, that will have to wait.

So here I am, quarantining in a town I despise waiting for the day the borders open up again. 

It’s a hard time for travellers.

But I have to say, this time has given me reason to see the best in my town. Being in Canada during this pandemic is already a thing to be grateful for. Though I’m one of the few lucky ones who has been able to keep her job but work remotely, Canada has been good to its citizens by providing so many subsidies and financial aid to those in need. 

And there’s an even better part about being in this small town in Canada that quarantine has made me understand: just how beautiful it is. I’m able to hike every single day. My small town probably has around 30 known hiking trails in it, and being able to be out in the fresh air has kept me sane. There’s lakes my dog can swim in. Rivers to canoe in. Sun to soak up.

In the end, it may be a hard time in life to be a traveller, but what’s helped is to act like a traveller in my hometown. It’s the time to explore what’s around you and gain a new appreciation for things. I may adore Europe, but I can think of no other place I’d want to be in quarantine than in Canada with my family.

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The Global Quarantine Diaries – Abbie

Quarantine in Canada / Abbie!

If we are to take anything away from all of this chaos, I hope it’s a better understanding of the unpredictability of life. It’s always a good thing to have a plan but, with that said, without flexibility, you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak. 

“Quarantine Where I’m From” 

I live in Southern Ontario, Canada (Toronto/Niagara Falls), where we are currently in “Stage 1” of reopening. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think quarantine in Ontario is too outrageously different from quarantine in the states or the UK. Social distancing rules have been enforced which, of course, include staying at home, not visiting with friends, and avoiding any non-essential outings. Although it looks like some of the rules are letting up and we may be on the road to re-opening, I am bit worried about the ominous second wave that many are predicting. Collectively, universally, we would all love for COVID-19 to be over, to see our friends, and engage in the social activities we miss, but I hope these steps to reopen don’t cost us more casualties than necessary. 

“How I Keep Busy” 

Personally, Netflix has consumed my life, Grey’s Anatomy more specifically. Apart from that I’ve been doing a lot of baking, and art, or whatever comes to me really. I make lots of plans to be productive and take this time to work on my future, but that all just seems unnecessary considering the end of quarantine is not yet in sight. Stress management was something I needed to focus on before we even knew about COVID-19, so I think taking this time to focus on different management strategies would be the most useful way to spend my time and improve life after quarantine. 

“What I Miss” 

Around this time I would usually be getting together with my friends from my hometown, welcoming summer and celebrating our survival of the previous school year. This year I graduated from university so naturally I had some plans for celebrating. I did have plans to travel so I am missing the airport and my travel buddies. Turns out the travel bug never goes away. There’s plenty to be missed but most of all, it’s not being able to see my friends and family that gets me down. I love my alone time but it is a difficult change not being able to visit and chat in person with those I care about. 

“First Thing I’ll Do When Lockdown is Over” 

Look into plane tickets. I hate to say it because I know there’s lots of other important things I should be thinking about in regards to my future, my career, and life as a university graduate, but I am just so excited to travel again. I think once life goes back to the way it was I will be more than eager to plan a trip and see more of the world. 

This situation is not ideal, our lives have been uprooted and it feels like the solid ground we all stand on has been ripped from under us. However, we are healing. This is a hard reset, it is time to rebuild, start thinking about the life you are living/want to live, and focus on healing.

You can find Abbie on her socials below!

Twitter: @AbbsLemay

Instagram: AbbieLemay

Youtube: Abbie Lemay

Cambridge – A very Jess day out exploring Cambridge!

Jess and I did a full walking tour of Cambridge on our own when Jess came down from Barnsley and had never been to Cambridge before! We didn’t have to pay for one which is always helpful! We definitely walked a couple thousand steps on this day! The weather was lovely as well, we definitely got lucky on our day out!

(Disclaimer: This is all pre-pandemic).

So we started off going through Downing College! Downing college was founded in 1800 and the architecture is hugely impressive and whilst we were there they had trees covered in notes. You could add to them if you wanted too and they were so pretty, just like Downing College ground. So gorgeous and picturesque.

Next up we headed to Christs College! The grounds had beautiful flowers all over the buildings, each flower box was fulled with different colour flowers and there was greenery up all the cobbled walls. More beautiful architecture and was founded in 1437! Another extension of Cambridge University.

Next on our walk was the Holy Trinity Church as this is based right in the centre of Cambridge. You can’t ignore this one as it is between all the shops! Then from there we headed to the market square. Here we saw the Cambridge Market and also the Cambridge City Hall as it is all in the same area.

Directly next to The Market and City Hall was the Great St Marys Church! Here was where Steven Hawkins had his funeral and is right beside Kings College Chapel! So we then headed round to kings college, but we walked all the way around to the front of the college and on the way there passed the Mathematical Bridge. The Mathematical bridge was originally made to stand without any nuts and bolts, only the wood! Unfortunately the students didn’t believe it so they took it all apart only to find out it was true. Then couldn’t reasemble the bridge, so its now back together with the nuts and bolts.

By the Mathematical bridge is the Punting space where you can head down the River Cam punting! We did think about it and decided to go next time we can get all the girlies together in Cambridge for punting and Prosecco on the River Cam. We saw the front and back of Kings College and as ever it was beautiful. I really loved touring Jess around Cambridge.

Finally on our little loop was the gorgeous Fitzwilliam museum. Without a doubt the most beautiful building in the whole of Cambridge personally! A beautiful white building with even more impressive exhibition inside. Me and Jess had a proper gander at the exhibitions before calling it a day and heading back home!

We had such a great day and we saw SO MUCH in one day, I was very impressed with us. Not to mention all the Pokemon we played on our walks. All in all an awesome experience and I can’t wait to see more!

Sri Lanka – Experiencing the Train from Kandy back to Colombo!

When we were ready to leave Kandy and head back to Colombo we were getting the train!

This was something we had all been really looking forward too as for starters it wasn’t the coach! And it was a long old coach ride back, so to get the train was a nice refresher.

The journey was about 3/4 hours long and was one long journey straight into Colombo, although we got off at a station before and got on the coach from there which made sense as that train was BUSY.

It was definitely an awesome experience.

Being 20+ students we did our best to not be seated together, although 12 of us girls decided to sit together in once space. As we were getting on at Kandy we all managed to get a seat, it was bliss, books out, eating our food.

Mel and myself even brought chocolate milk of one of the vendors walking down the isles of the train pushing through the masses of people that eventually got on the train.

Being comfortable and spacious went from being crowded, hot and cramped very, very quickly. I practically had a woman’s child sat on my knees at one point. Although it was a great experience, people hanging out of the doors whilst the train was moving. The seats were comfy and I wasn’t in any discomfort minus the heat the entire trip! Definitely worth it!

Just to get off the train I had to push myself through the masses and masses of people, clinging on to my stuff for dear life. El lost her shoe down the side of the train at the station so we had to wait for the train to leave and someone retrieved her shoe for her!

It was a really fun experience and you can see all the footage here!