Sunday, 6 March 2016

An adventurous year!

Once again i have been missing in action!  2016 has gotten off to a great start though after a wonderful Christmas in India which became a life changing experience!  After a fantastic Christmas in India i came back to the UK to celebrate New Year in Eastbourne with my best friend.  We had a brilliant time and despite an allergic reaction to henna which upset my face, not a good look on New Years eve!  We headed out to a pub in Eastbourne to see in the New Year and ended up staying out until it must have been a good night!  We got talking to some people and the hours just slipped away, it was a wonderful way to end a mixed year.

Seeing in 2016 was a very marked occassion for me after the stresses of 2015 and despite not getting to bed until 3am I was awake again by 7am and decided that it would be lovely to enjoy the first day of the year with a walk along the beach.  I hadn't realised that the sun rose above the ocean and after enjoying watching the changing sky i sat and watched the sun rise on such a special day, feeling like it really was going to be the beginning of a brilliant year!

It's hard to believe that that was two months ago and so much has happened in the mean time.  I have left my old house and moved in with my best friend and we are enjoying the quality time together and hanging out, doing things i wouldn't normally be doing, such as nights out at the pub and meals out with new friends. Shortly after coming back from India i made another hude decision and decided to listen to my heart which meant that I have decided to take nine weeks off from work and go travelling!!

I leave on the 5th April and will spend a week in Nepal, a week in Tibet and then seven weeks in India.  I just felt like i had to go really, the desire and pull to go back was too strong and now that i have no particular commitments other than my business, i felt like there was no reason not to.  It's hard to believe that in just over four weeks time i will be jetting off and having a complete break from everything.

I plan to spend a few days at a Budhist monastery in Kathmandu, where i will be meditating and really embracing an opportunity to stop and to chill out.  Other elements of the trip involve visiting palaces, numerous temples, hopefully the tigers will put in an appearance, I want to explore the ganges and get to see what the real Indian experience is like!  When i watched the sun rise on New Years day, this was not what i was expecting the year to turn out like.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Neuschwanstein castle and dancing on the benches at Oktoberfest!


What was not fun was waking up the next morning with rather a big hangover and this was the day that we had a long train journey to make!  We headed to Neuschwanstein castle, the inspiration for Disney's fairytale castles in their wonderful movies!  It took around 2.5hours to get there in total, including getting the train from Munich central station to Fussen and then the awaiting bus to the near by town at the foot of the hill up to the castle.

We picked our tickets up at the bottom of the hill and then took the bus ride up the hill and i tried hard not to throw up as it went winding round and round!  Fortunately we took the horse and cart back down which made for a more pleasant experience!

We had a bit of time to wander round and enjoyed a pleasant meal before our tour of this fantastic castle.  The tour was around 30mins.  It was ok and good to see inside at all the intricate detail, but it is a whistle stop tour and you are constantly on the move with no real time to take it in.  I think it's a case of, if your there then it's worth doing and great to say you've done it, but not really as impressive as you would think.  The outside views are more than spectacular and it's wonderful simply to mooch around there and enjoy the sights and even some walking.  However, if your there then it's a shame not to go in.



That day really was long and i had a hangover for the whole day!  So much so, that we got back around 7.30pm to the main station and couldn't face going out for the evening, so we just chilled in our hotel room, as we probably didn't get back to there till 8.30pm.  We had a nice kebab and some chocolate we bought from one of the nearby shops and just chilled out!

The next day was a different story!  After exploring some of central Munich including seeing the glokenspeil clock, we had a wander around the festival during the day, both on that afternoon and the following day which was our last day.  This gave us an opportunity to take it all in and see what it is like during the day.  Oktoberfest is a whole family experience and on the Tuesday there seemed to many children there after school too. 
There are lots of rides, old carnival games, food stalls and fun house type amusements, where you can go in and you work your way around the place, going through big swirling punch bags, climbing moving stairs etc!!  We went on quite a few of these....

However i digress, back to dancing on benches!  We had managed to secure tickets for our last full evening at Oktoberfest via someone on facebook.  The idea being that they had booked a table for eight people and had six spaces going spare and were selling them off at face value.  We managed to secure two of these tickets but had absolutely no idea about our fellow festival goers!

This is my friend and i dressed up for the night!

After getting ready and heading to the festival we met Bob and Sue who had helped organise all this!  They were a lovely American couple and such great fun.  There were four other people on our table who were all American, they were a couple and their two adult children.  They were all such fun to be with and we had a great time!

When we first sat down and the staff came to ask us what drinks we wanted, my friend and i both said in uniso 'beer!' and here is us with our beers.  We had our food and then the band began to play and that's when the real fun began!  Within minutes everyone was up on the benches dancing and singing away.  I have vague recollection of us all going around the room in one long chain of people dancing around the room!  There are many things i have forgotten about that night, but some things come back every so often and they always make me smile.

Once my friend and i were up on the benches we never got down and we loved each and every moment of it.  No doubt the pictures convey that well.  Our only regret on this trip??  Not being able to stay longer and see and experience more of the tents.  We are already in talks about going back next year!  If you were considering going to Oktoberfest, my advice is to do it.  It's not just for the young or for people who seriously like alcohol, we partied with people older than us and we didn't drink loads.  If you like to have fun and enjoying being silly or letting your hair down, then this is the place for you! 'Brost!'

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Oktoberfest 2015, the place to be!

My friend and i booked to go to Oktoberfest back in January and i have to say it couldn't have come at a better time!  So five weeks after my husband 'ran away' and ten days after my friend's new boyfriend also finished with her, we set off to Munich to see what the Oktoberfest was all about!  What can i say, it was a great girly weekend away, a chance to empower ourselves and have some fun after the drama of the past several weeks.

It did not get off to the smoothest of starts after we set off to the airport at 3am only to find that they had closed the motorway and we had to take a 40minute detour of which no one including all the other cars had a clue where they were going!  Que for cars swerving all over the place!  We just made it to the airport with enough time to pop to the toilet, grab a take out MccyD and then head to our gate which was now boarding!  A very stressful start to our holiday and stress we could have done without.  However fortunately that was the only disaster for the whole trip which is rather good going for my friend and I!

We had an amazing time!  The plane landed around 10am and we sorted out our train ticket and took the journey from the airport and got to our hotel around 11.30am.  My friend wanted a little chill out before we headed to the festival, so we relaxed in our hotel room for a few hours just catching up, before we popped to the nearby supermarkets to stop on some much needed alcohol.  Two hours later a bottle of sparkling wine consumed by me(!)  and we were ready to head out for the afternoon/evening.

We got to the festival around 4/30pm and after walking 100yards we spotted a little beer garden and decided to pop in there to see what was going on.  Just as we entered, security came up behind us and stopped further people from entering, so we figured that seeing as we were already in there we may as well get our first pint of the festival!

Then somehow we lost track of time and before we knew it we had spent hours chatting away with these three German guys who knew a bit of English!  There was plenty of laughing, joking and good fun!  We all had a great time and it was sad to say goodbye to them when they had to catch their coach back home.  It was lovely to have great company for the evening.


By this stage we were rather merry and decided to go on the conveyor belt ride, which is where you go on a fast conveyor belt which takes you up and then you go up some more steps and then helter skelter down!  Very good fun and for some one who does not like rides, we proceeded to spend the rest of the night on the rides including a roller coaster which left me black and blue!  It was such a fun evening!

Our first taste of Oktoberfest was fantastic, from the amazing atmosphere, to the many people we seemed to get talking to, the fun and crazy rides and definitely the beer.  We were definitely enjoying Oktoberfest!

If you want more ideas for your life list or want to chat about your bucket list and find furthe information and support, then why not like my facebook page.

Monday, 14 September 2015

When life takes an unexpected turn.....

I've been a little quiet on the blogging front recently, life took a very dramatic turn for me and all i once knew and had been accustomed to changed in the blink of an eye.  I won't dwell too much, other than to say that sadly Steve took the decision to end our relationship, a big bolt out of the blue and one i was most definitely not expecting.

Not suprisingly, life is as you would imagine it to be, walking a bit of a rocky path and trying to find my way to the light, i'm not going to pretend that it's been easy.  Just like anyone else who has been through a break up, there are bad moments, tough moments, moving moments and in between there can be some happy moments too!

It has been four weeks now since he dropped the bombshell and three weeks since he moved out, where the month has gone i do not know!  Somehow i have managed to stumble through those four weeks, still managing to keep the business going and putting on a brave face for work.

If this experience has taught me anything, it is how very supported i am and how much love and help there has been out there for me.  My friends have been amazing beyond belief, checking up on me each and every day since it happened, making sure they take me out and organise lovely things so that i am occupied.  They have been an amazing supportive ear, not judging and supporting me through each and every emotional step i have taken.  They have offered me places to stay, given up various plans just so that they can be there for me.  I am so forutnate to have wonderful people in my life and it has made me realise how fantastic people really can be.

They are not the only ones, my clients have been amazing beyond belief, from buying me bunches of flowers, taking me out for coffee and cake, listening to me and offering to do whatever they can to help.  They have offered many elements of practical support too.  One client this evening over paid me by £15 as she wanted me to either get a bottle of wine or put it towards a treat for myself.  I have been moved by how supportive my clients have been and how much they have wanted to help me.  It's lovely to know the support that is out there.

However, as a result of life taking this very unexpected turn, all my original plans for the rest of the year have gone out the window.  We were originally heading off to Wales a few weeks ago but that was cancelled, i had planned for us to stay in a Windmill in November and that has also changed.  Basically everything i once knew has changed and so i am having to make new plans and look at a new way forward.  However it is times like this where my life list plays a crucial role, as doing my life list goal helps me cope with the situaiton and keeps me on some level of happiness.

I'm not happy that life has given me these lemons and originally i jumped up and down and smashed them into tiny pieces.  The image below is how i originally felt!  I demanded to see life's manager to have a proper explanation and to put thing's right!

but now i am picking up the many fragments and pieces of my heart and trying to rebuild it all again and am trying to make lemon bars with those lemons i was given.

Image result for when life gives you lemons

So, i'm here, i'm still trying to live my life to the full despite the need to step back a litle and make my heart feel a bit better.  In time i will post about all the things i have been up to including knife throwing in Yorkshire and the inflatable assault course on the river in the New Forest.  Life goes on even when you feel it is falling apart;-)

Sunday, 9 August 2015

July 2014: Giant causeway trip

Last July i decided to take an impromptu trip to Belfast to visit the Giant Causeway.  I found i had a two and a half day window and so decided to take the opportunity to visit somewhere i had been wanting to go to for some time.  I booked myself on an evening flight and so straight after work at 6pm i drove up to Heathrow to catch my flight.   I arrived around 10pmish and had booked a room at the airport hotel for convenience and seeing as i was a solo traveler i didn't fancy trying to find my hotel on my own late at night.  The airport hotel was actually really nice and once there i was able to take a nice soak in the bath and unwind after work.

I took an early airport bus the next morning into the city centre so that i could catch my tour bus to the Giant Causeway which i had booked online before hand.  The trip into the city centre was nice and easy and i had a little wander around before meeting my tour at the scheduled place.

we were in a small mini bus and there were around fourteen other people on the trip so it was a nice small number.  Our driver and guide Lindsay was great fun, he had a wonderful sense of humour and was very informative.  We learnt a lot about Belfast on our way to the Giant Causeway, as he was always full of interesting facts.

In order to avoid the masses of other tour buses and people, this company did it the other way round to most of the others, by taking us to the Giant Causeway first.  We parked up and then could either takee the bus down  or walk for around ten minutes.  I chose the walk as it would keep me active and the views down were stunning anyway.  My first sight of the Giant Causeway was spectacular and it was wonderful to finally see the sights i had only seen online or in magazines.  I was fortunate that the day was somewhat pleasant and we were managing to avoid the rain and the sun even came out in places.

We spent around forty five mins down at the stones, although to be honest i could have happily spent much longer.  That's sometimes the downside of doing it with a tour company, you are always held to their times.  However i was still pleased with the time that we did get down there and although they are just basalt columns, they are spectacular to look at and it is very majestic listening to the sounds of the roaring sea.

After the wonderful sights of the causway we headed to Carriack rope bridge to walk across the bridge.  I'm glad it was part of the package, however i didn't find this particularly spectacular and as there were so many other people waiting to go across either side it was over and done with in moments.  On the way back we took in various side on the Belfast coast and stopped in a small village to have some lunch.  The food was pleasant and it was nice to have a meal with others, especially as a solo traveller it's quite nice sometimes to have the option of eating with others.

We got back to Belfast city centre around 5pm and i decided to end my first wonderful day in Belfast with a pint in The Crown pub.  This is an iconic oldy worldy pub from the Victorian period and is one of the most famous pubs in Belfast.

It has lovely little booths that you can sit in.  I was fortunate that when i got there a booth was free and so i snapped it up and enjoyed my pint in this cute and quirky booth.  I enjoyed my pint of Irish cider and it was a wonderful way to end the day.  I made for my premier inn which i had got a good last minute deal on and the evening passed quickly away!

The next day i was up early to head to the Cremlin road jail, which is as it says, a former jail where they also used to hang people.  I realised that this is not for everyone but i was interested in seeing something a little different and many Irish political leaders had spent time in there including members of either side.  It was bizzare to hear about the prison and the fact that they did not have cells with toilets and that some prisoners has died there and had no graves apart from being burried in outdoor areas of the prison in unmarked spaces.  After a sobering experience here i headed back in to town on the bus, chatting to some lovely Irish folk and then caught a city sight seeing tour bus to take me to the Titanic museum.  I had already booked on line to avoid any queues which was great as i could pick up my ticket from the self service machine when i got there and despite being 30mins early, it was fine for me to go through.

This was another sobering and moving experience and i cried quite a few times whilst walking around this amazing museum.  If you are planning a trip to Belfast,i urge you to go to this museum to learn more about this tragedy and the ship that could have been amazing.  I learnt so much about the set up of the Titanic, those who designed and created it and the poeple on board, including the types of classes.  I marvelled at the braveness of the musicians on board who kept on playing even as they and the boat went down, i'm positive i could not be that brave.  I learnt about the fate of other people on that boat inclduing the choices people made.  On a psychological level it was very interesting to learn about and hear about the actions that people made.  It is a spetacular museum because it pays repsects to all those who lost their lives and helps to tell their stories.

After my visit to the Titanic museum, i headed back on the open top bus and enjoyed seeing the rest of the sight of Belfast, icnluding learning more about it's political history and about the huge bonfires they light around Orangemans day. We saw the famous murals, saw parliment buildings and just took in all the sights in the area.

I enjoyed my short break to Belfast, it was great to learn more about the history of Northern Ireland and i just find it a fairly relaxing and friendly place to go to.  In fact i enjoyed it so much i have added a goal to my life list, which is to go on a road trip around Ireland, i'm not sure which parts yet, but i liked Ireland a lot!  This trip was definitely more about seeing the Giant Causeway though and it trully was spectacular and a beautiful sight to behold.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Why we do what we do.....

A few nights ago i went to an old work place reunion.  With exception to a couple of people, most people i hadn't seen since leaving seven years earlier.  The usual thing happened, people were surprised to see me there, or trying to rack their brains as to who i was (i tend to be quite shy so can easily go unnoticed!).  Then comes the 'So what have you been up to since leaving?'  What was really strange was that i said to most people that i hadn't been up to much, just busy building up my business and enjoying life.  At one point i had to stop myself and i chipped in, that i had also been doing lots of travelling since leaving and just keeping generally busy.

The reason that i mention this, is because i akin it to being similar to attending a school reunion, where you haven't seen anyone for years and you all want to know who has or hasn't 'made it'  This was my perfect opportunity to let people know how much i had been up to in the last seven years and how much i had changed and how much success i had had, but i just didn't feel the need....  For some reason all my great work and personal acheivements and experiences didn't seem necessery to share with others.  It was a sense of not really caring what other people thought as to whether i had done well over the last seven years or not, because i suppose i didn't feel it necessery to have their opinion.

I liked this fact because it made me aware that i actually do do my life and life list for me.  I don't do it so i can tell people later that i went here, there and everywhere, after all, that evening was the perfect opportunity for that and i failed to do it then!  I don't carry out my life list just so i can tick something off and say i have been to the must see places, i do it because i'm unhappy if i don't do it.  One of the sure fire ways to cheer me up is to let me plan an adventure!  I don't work hard on my career so that i can turn round and say how far i have come, i do it because i want to keep growing, learning, developing and building on the strength of my business.  I do it because i want to achieve success in my career for me and no one else (perhaps my nearest and dearest?)  I do it because i want to keep challenging myself and to make something of myself for me.

So, after leaving this work reunion i couldn't help but smile to myself and question why i hadn't told them about working in a pre school as the Senco for several years, that i had written a self help massage book for new therapists, that i have several facebook pages which i regularly dedicate time to and through these i hopefully help and inspire others in those particular areas.  I forgot to mention how i am a trained hypnotherapist, or about the voluntary work i have done over the years, all the crazy adventurous stuff like abseiling off table mountain or walking over hot coals, the amazing trips to places like the Amazon jungle or walking the Great wall of China.  It was more fun to know all this in my heart and have the amazing memories that went with it instead. 

Sometimes in life we have to do a reality check to see if we are living the life we want to because we want to or to please others.  Equally are we carrying out our adventures so that we can tick it off a list and tell others 'i've been there', even if it was only for two minutes so they could take a picture and stick it on facebook!

Something to think about....  Whilst your contemplating life, My ultimate life list now has a facebook page so that i can keep you informed on fun, crazy, interesting bizarre ideas you can put on your life list, along with inspirational quotes to keep you going on your life list journey and anything else life list related.  You can find it via this link

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Honeymoon trip: See Blue ice caves

One of my favourite experiences from my honeymoon trip was going to the blue ice caves.  Whilst doing my research for my Icelandic trip i stumbled across websites and info on tripadvisor about these amazing blue ice caves and knew that i had to see them for myself.  I was curious as to how blue they actually would be.  Often when you see things in the flesh they are not as vivid as the photos make them look, however that was not the case on this occassion.

I found a good company that did this at a more affordable price, however Iceland being Iceland, it was still expensive, but most definitely worth it.  I used 'Local guide'!icecaveexperience/c7w  they came highly recommended on tripadvisor.   The guy running it was really nice and we turned up at our meeting time and were soon kitted out with our hard core ice grippers and helmet. 

We got in to a very cool and awesome monster truck which took us off road up the side of icey strips and up some glaciers and over snowy sections and through rivers.  The journey took around 45minutes and was good fun just being in the monster truck. 

Once there we headed in to the ice cave and were amazed and blown away, it was so blue, really really blue!  It was hard to listen to him because we were all mesmerised!  He told us that the ice was blue due to the fact that it was hundreds of years old and there was no longer oxygen in the ice and it had become dense, hence the ice now being this blue colour.

After a brief chat about the ice, he was happy for us to go off and explore and enjoy our time there.  At that point we were the only group there and so had about 45mins without any other group and so we wandered down a few tunnels, crouching down on our hands and feet to get down some smaller tunnels which were quite dark but at the same time shone even more so with the beautiful blue from the ice.

We enjoyed just admiring the beautiful blue ice caves, amazed at this wonderful sight we were fortunate to see and the fact that in between some of the layers of ice were layers of ash from previous voclanic eruptions. 

After exploring the caves for some time, we wandered outside after days of pretty rubbish weather, i was greeted by some beautiful sunshine at last!

It is now July and the memories of the blue ice caves still make me smile and i feel so lucky to have been able to see them and they still make me smile, not to mention i still love looking at the pictures.  After all, that has always what my life list has been about, enjoying spectacular experiences and creating life long memories!