It’s a wrap folks.

Where has time gone???

One second i’m moving my life up north, suitcases all packed, endless cozy blankets and fairy lights in tow. And the next, I’m packing everything up again, wondering if somehow, overnight, my belongings have multiplied.

I’m no stranger to goodbyes. I’ve been through the process all too many times now, but it doesn’t ever seem to get any easier. I always find myself turning into a blubbering mess around this time. Honestly. I even cried watching ‘how I met your mother’ last night, for real. 

But, it’s funny, because I think back to this time last year, and how similar it was. A year ago today I was about to embark on a new life on the coast, moving out of my family home (for good this time), trying out a new job, creating new friends. It was all just beginning. One year later and here I am doing exactly the same..preparing for something new.

It’s an adventure.

The last 6 months have been so good to me, and that’s not to say it all went swimmingly, because it for sure didn’t. I definitely had my fair share of dramas, from difficult housemates, switching jobs, getting lyme’s and ending up needing surgery. But, as a firm believer that nothing in life is random, every hardship here led me to something greater, or a lesson learned. Moving has definitely made me more accepting of the idea of change, that’s for sure! And, ultimately, i’ve had some of the best moments of my life here, from my first multi pitch climb, to ticking off more mountains and sampling all the local coffee from the area.

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But, i’m ready to move on. I’m ready to try my hand at a different sort of lifestyle, and job too. It just feels like it’s time.

As for the blog, I really hope I can keep writing. There’s no wifi, downside to #caravanlife, but i’m hoping we will find a nearby pub that doesn’t mind my regular wifi usage.

So for now, wishing you guys a beautiful, restful summer, and I hope to write to you all soon! (P.s if you find yourself in the lakes, hit me up!)

 

Over to you:

Any exciting summer plans?

Best thing you ate today? Had THE BEST flapjack from this cute independent bakery/deli in Kendal

 

 

 

Weekend recap + getting back into running

It’s been about a week since my last blog post here, but weirdly it seems like forever?? Back when my hand was at its worst I was pretty much blogging everyday as a form of distraction, and I guess just a way to keep me sane amidst the boredom and long days spent alone. Since things are going better on my end, my days have just been a lot busier, and that means a little less time spent on the blog, which for now is okay, but I definitely want to keep up more of a routine over here, may goals n’ that.

Anyhow, a catchup is definitely overdue!

The last weekend was spent driving down to London to visit my parents, mostly for my Dad’s birthday but also because with Andy and I moving over to caravan life, we really needed to downsize on our stuff, so we brought along a bunch of suitcases to drop off too. Honestly, we didn’t do much on the weekend, mostly a lot of cat cuddles, because you can’t say no to this face….

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And, a few road runs too. I’m trying to get back into running more, as it was one of my goals back in January. Running used to be a huge part of my life, and I competed in track and field through most of my teenage years, and I definitely felt a loss when I had to stop.

This weekend though, I actually even managed to go for a run with my dad, aka the marathon king, who was just fresh off finishing the London a week ago. Honestly, that man is a huge inspiration to me, not only is he crazy fast and fit, but he was the one practically coaching me through every one of my races when I was younger. Safe to say I only just about kept up with him on what he would call a short and very slow 4 miles to loosen up his legs post-marathon. Seriously. 

Amongst the runs and cat cuddles, I also had the chance to have a lot of life chats with my mum. I am definitely incredibly lucky to have the parents I do, who support me on all my endeavours, with every confidence that i’ll be okay. Whilst, I hate being so far from them, I know they’re proud of me and everything i’m doing, and they’ll always be there for me when things get rough.

After our relaxing weekend, we decided to leave on Tuesday just to avoid any lingering bank holiday Monday traffic, and then spent much of Wednesday in a post-long drive sleepy like state, barely able to get out of bed before 9 (super unusual for us). Today though we finally mustered the energy to get up and enjoy the extremely nice weather we’ve got in the lakes at the moment. Whilst it’s super duper windy, it’s also absolutely gorgeous, with highs of 15 celsius, dreamy…..

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So we headed over to Longsleddale area for a short, mountainous walk/run. Typically we fast walk the uphills because #steep, and run the undulating/downhill parts. My kind of day. Longsleddale is probably going to become one of my favourite areas this summer, it’s basically where a lot of locals are known to go when the touristy side of the lakes becomes too much. I’m starting to see why, there’s only so many queues on a mountain you can take before you start to crave being alone on the hills.

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We’ve since spent the rest of the day drinking tea, enjoying the sunshine and planning tomorrow’s adventure. Walk or run? The endless conundrum…

Over to you:

How was your weekend?

Tell me one fun thing you did/ate? Andy made marble cake and I can’t stop munching on it! So good.

Mountain day: striding edge

Man oh man, I am pooped. As I type this I am currently sat in my comfiest clothes, nursing sunstroke and a slightly burned complexion #superpalepeopleproblems.

Yesterday sure was an amazing day.

Ever since we moved to the Lake District everyone has been telling us to go and do a route known as ‘striding edge’. And, most people, finding out that we’ve lived here for 6 months and hadn’t done it yet seemed completely baffled at our apparently unacceptable mountain behaviour. Sorry guys…..

In fairness, they had a point.

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Striding edge is a ridge walk that leads you to the summit known as ‘Helvellyn’, you can then descend back via another shorter grade 1 scramble known as ‘Swirral edge’. The route is seen as a classic, and really popular with tourists, as even though it’s a grade 1 scramble, it’s very very easy, and requires no previous climbing experience whatsoever. Another appeal is just how exposed it is, as you are pretty much just walking on a thin, rocky path with gobsmacking drops to either side.

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So, having heard pretty good things we decided to head out on a super sunny Sunday (the weather here recently has been nothing but glorious), bringing our housemate along for some extra company. We had an early start, leaving the house at around 8am, where we then drove to Glenridding, the start of our walk.

We definitely got lucky with the weather as there was barely a cloud in the sky, and it got so warm that we were all walking in just a base layer (!!!!!!!!). I have been waiting for the day I didn’t need a jacket for so long now.

Despite our early start it seemed a lot of people had had a similar idea as it was pretty busy out on the trail already, so the first part of our walk was spent dodging groups left right and centre. Once, we finally made it to the start of striding edge we had successfully avoided the bulk of the crowd and were free to start the scramble.

Honestly, the views were breathtaking, thats for sure! And there is some sense of thrill being on a fairly narrow edge with severe drops either side. But, it wasn’t my favourite scramble of the lakes, not at all. It isn’t by any means technical, as there was no climbing like movement involved, which was probably a good thing seeing as my left hand still isn’t totally functional, but I did miss having the chance to really think about where I put my feet and hands, and all the motion and movement in climbing. Our descent via swirral edge too was pretty anti climactic, it’s very short, and I found myself longing for Blencathra’s sharpe edge scramble instead.

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shoutout to our housemate for being our personal photographer for the day!

 

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Whilst the scrambling may not have been top notch I can say I had an awesome day, goofing around with these two idiots, running around in the mountains and having some great conversations with equally great people.

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Once we made it back down to the car we ate at a nearby cafe, and when I say ate I mean more like scarfed down our food in 0.000001 secs, before heading off into Ambleside for a BBQ (yay first one of the summer!!) that a friend of Andy’s had organised.

 

Another great weekend done and dusted.

 

Tell me:

How was your weekend?

 

 

Kentmere Horseshoe + getting ready to move on

Hi, hey, hello,

It’s been a little while since my last post, but easter weekend for me was pretty chilled, with nothing new to report. I did however get an easter egg from Andy’s dad and it was oh so beautiful, pretty much been munching on it nightly since Friday, and my life will definitely be a little lost once it’s all gone.

Anyhow, yesterday Andy was off so we headed off with a friend in tow to complete one of the most iconic mountain routes here, the Kentmere Horseshoe. It’s the longest horseshoe here in the Lake District, taking in 8 peaks and supposedly the most scenic, so it’s something we’ve been wanting to do for quite some time now. We got an early start, arriving in Kentmere at around 8:30ish, and headed up the path to our first peak, Yoke.

As routes go this one is pretty accessible, there is a defined path much of the way, with no real crazy steep descents and really easy navigation. Once you’ve made the initial push to the top of Yoke its pretty much just following an undulating ridge which is really cool!

As for the scenic element, well we were a tad unlucky. Whilst the rain held off, we were in cloud the whole way round, meaning the limited views we did get were sparse, we got a decent glimpse at what was around us at a couple points when the wind picked up, and it was stunning. If it was a clear day I definitely can see why it’s such an iconic route.

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Another great thing about this particular horseshoe, is that it’s out the way a little, so less popular with tourists. It’s still the easter holidays  over here, but we literally only saw two other walkers way in the distance – my kind of mountain!

In the end, because of the fog, we cut the route short a little by dropping into a valley that skirts around a reservoir to pick up the pace and run for a while, especially as none of us felt like staying in the cloud layer. There’s only so much grey you can take before you start to want to be able to see again.

Once back at a lower elevation the views were once again breathtaking! We even saw what we presume are wild horses?? (Note: I may be wrong, but there was literally not a single sign of humans owning them….)

And as always, the day ended with cake and coffee at our favourite coffee spot – Mr Duffins.

It actually felt really good to be back out adventuring again (finally!!??), and just be with nature for a while. I’m not sure what it is, but the mountains always have such a way of helping me figure everything out, and realise what’s important.

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If only the weather had been like it was back when we did belles knot a few months ago

At the moment, i’m looking forward to an exciting few weeks as Andy finishes work this weekend, and we prepare to make the move to start our new jobs in April. In the meantime, we’ve planned almost everyday (we love a good calendar planning sesh), and right now it looks like we’ve got the Banff film festival to look forward to, a couple of mountain days in the Keswick area, a trip back to London to hang out with my rents for the bank holiday weekend, and a potential low key trip to Scotland. I miss Scotland, Andy and I actually used to live there for a bit and it’s by far one of my favourite places.

Hope you all had a wonderful easter, please tell me something fun you did!

xxx

Weekend ventures and life update.

As i’ve explained all too many times on this little blog, I rarely get weekends off. ever. But, with my life being a little out of whack, having just undergone surgery, and not being able to work, i’ve been having all of the time off lately.

Luckily, this weekend Andy was off work too, and so we could have a little explore together. Having a bum arm is pretty limiting, and so our usual options of a long hike, climbing or run are all out of the question for the next couple months, so we’ve got a little more creative in the types of places we are going to visit, venturing a little further than our go to mountain towns.

Recently i’ve been craving the sea. I’ve always been kinda weird this way, but I find my body just wanting to be in certain landscapes. Sometimes i’m desperate to be in forests, other times I find myself longing for a mountainscape. Does anyone else ever get this, or am I just beyond weird?

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Anyhow, my body wanted to be by the sea. I’ve always been a bit of a beach baby. I spent the summer working by the coast in Devon, where trips to little, deserted coves and off the beaten track beaches were pretty much the norm. I know when I settle down for good it’s going to have to be by the sea. That’s something I won’t compromise on.

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Living where we currently do, we are still pretty lucky, with the nearest beach based towns around 30/40 minutes drive away, which all in all is not bad at all. So, with a little googling we settled on the town of Silverdale, on the basis that it’s pretty residential, so it’d be quiet, it’s got an unspoilt, natural coastline feel to it, and a really awesome cafe just outside the village. Perfect.

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Silverdale you didn’t disappoint. 

We were blessed with amazing weather, and heat!! It has been a long time since i’ve actually ben able to step outside in just a t-shirt and shirt.

We wandered around the neighbourhood, admiring all the really pretty houses, cute cobbled streets and near empty coves, before heading off to The Wolfhouse for lunch. Several friends had recommended it to me based on the fact they know I love good coffee, and it’s one of the few places around that really focuses on delivering speciality coffee, done right, while not being too in your face about it like other coffee shops. You know those ones you walk into where it feels all laboratory like and uncomfy? Yeah well the Wolfhouse is the total opposite to that, super relaxed feel, and a great outside area too, oh and it’s attached to an art gallery. Can it get anymore perfect?

They also serve a bunch of delicious cakes and a full food menu too! Andy and I settled on the pistachio and rose water cake and a peanut butter cookie to try, as well as the waffles with bacon for him and eggs with toast and butter beans for me. All of it was delicious and served quickly!The only drawback? It is a tad pricey, but i’ve come to expect nothing less in such a touristy area, especially when it’s literally the only cafe in the town!

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Conclusion?

We will be back Silverdale! It even had rocks for Andy to play on, I was just bummed I couldn’t join in too 😦

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Overall we had a really lovely weekend, but with that there came some stressors too, we love living in such an awesome area, I feel blessed when I wake up and see just how beautiful it is all around me. But, it has its drawbacks, and I think being out of action at work for a while has made me realise even more what I want to do and where i’d like to be. So, that leads me onto the next bit of the post, there are going to be some big changes coming mine and Andy’s way, i’m not sure i’m totally ready to talk about them yet, just until everything is finalised, but it involves moving…again. So watch this space, more good things coming this way.

 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend my loves, tell me something great you did in the comments!

 

xxxx

Solo travel: my thoughts

Growing up I was definitely the last kid ever, on this earth, the next and the one after, that you would think of in connection with a solo travel trip. Seriously.

I was always shy, geeky, awkward and a big worrier. I loved having a friend to cling onto, someone to hide behind, who could keep the world at bay.

So, when I declared to my mum that I planned to go to the literal other side of the world, alone, without a single friend in sight, i’m pretty certain she thought I had been abducted by aliens and brainwashed.

In reality, I had just got off a long phone call with my sister, aka the solo travel queen, and the one single person who probably should be writing this blog post today, but hey ho sorry guys you’ve got me instead. Anyhow, my sister managed in the space of approximately 1 hour and 33 minutes to inform me that a)solo travel is not as terrifying as you think it is and b) loads of people do it.

Another hour later, and I found myself booking a ticket to Sydney, Australia, whilst simultaneously trying to convince myself not to throw up.

Now this post isn’t here for me to talk about Australia or all the best spots to hit, thought do comment below if you’d be interested in that, i’m always open to suggestions. More this is a post to talk about what it’s really like to travel alone, as a young woman in complete unknown territory. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself as a guru or expert on the topic and I am fully aware that there are some serious badass women out there doing way more exciting things than I did. Instead, I simply want to shed a little more light onto a topic that people still seem weary of, because trust me if I can do it, anyone can

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It can get lonely, sometimes.

This is the main issue that I think seems to stop a lot of people from trying solo travel, and i’d be lying if I said that a trip alone never had lonely moments. Sure, there are times when it would have been nice to grab dinner with a friend, other than sit at a table and order a veggie burger for one with a waitress who looks at you like literal billy no mates. It can suck.

But, I actually think knowing that I can handle the loneliness, and even sit with the feeling without feeling like the world is going to end, is a super important skill to have. It made me proactive, it made me want to go sit with those Canadian girls at dinner who I didn’t know and then proceed to ask if I can tag along with them to the Koala sanctuary (yes this did actually happen, and you know what? They said yes).

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You will make friends

Similar to the first point, but nonetheless important in its own way. Being alone is great, it can be so empowering and freeing knowing you can handle yourself in a new place. But, at the same time sometimes you want people around to share stuff with.

The truth is, you will meet a bunch of travellers just like yourself. People looking to reach out and hang out with someone else. Pretty much every hostel I stayed at I managed to make a new friend, whether it be my roommate, someone cooking in the kitchen or that guy that you kind of remember from the bus you took from Brisbane to Noosa.

Strike up a conversation, the worst that can happen is they walk away. Their loss not yours.

Actually, I got lucky enough to meet a bunch of awesome girls who I later changed my travel plans for just to hang out with them more.

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Nothing will go to plan, but you’ll figure it out

In many ways, my trip was a disaster. I pre booked too many activities, spent way too much money, sprained my ankle at surf camp, hated the hostel I got stuck in in Surfers Paradise and had to rebook my flights countless times.

Traveling is messy. Bad things will happen. But the good thing? It makes you realise how capable you are of sorting all these messes out.

Before I left I had this dream image of what my trip would look like, the people I would meet and where I would go. In all honesty, parts of the trip really sucked, and I can’t say it made me fall in love with Australia, because it didn’t. But, it did make me resourceful. It allowed me to come back knowing I could handle anything, and that I didn’t need to call mum sobbing (well not always anyhow).

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It can help you figure out what you want

For me this turned out to be a big benefit of solo travel. Having the freedom to choose what I wanted to do each day helped me figure out what I actually enjoy, what makes my heart sing.Having that alone time, in a place where no one knows you,is possibly one of the most freeing feelings, and perhaps it’s because of this that we can start to be our truest selves. And for me it turned out to be pretty transformative, as I found myself coming back to the UK in the works of starting a new adventure and life down in Devon.

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I’m not sure if my days of solo travel are over, now i’ve got an Andy in tow. I’d like to think that they aren’t, I love having travel companions I do, but even if its just for a weekend away or week long holiday, there isn’t anything quite like finding yourself alone someplace new.

Thoughts always welcome, have a happy happy day people

 

xxxx

 

 

 

Why I choose travel.

Do you guys believe in fate? Or the idea that everything happens for a reason? I think i’m pretty conflicted on this subject. On the one hand I don’t believe that we are powerless, that we just walk through a life that has already been planned out for us. However, I do feel like certain things happen to us so that we can learn from them.

Take my current situation. After being diagnosed with lyme’s disease, I continued to work, exercise and remain pretty darn busy despite feeling like poop. Approximately a week later I injured my hand, got surgery and strict advice to lay off work and all forms of exercise until my stitches are removed.

Life is funny eh? It’s almost as if my body just shut down, curled up and refused to continue. A bit like when Andy forgets to feed me on a long walk 😉

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I’ll be the first to admit that I like to keep busy, to make my plate a little too full at times, but here I think the real reason I was forced to stop for a moment was just to take a breather and figure out what next.

Deep down I think i’ve been a little bit too caught up in the big stressors in life: jobs, houses, taxes, social obligations….I could go on for days. To put it bluntly, I became too focused on finishing up the story of my life and tying up any loose ends, as if there were some sort of time constraint on the whole thing. As if I had to get everything sorted, right now.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love being settled in a place. I love having a house I call home. I love knowing where to grab my morning coffee and the best place to eat some cake.

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plus the mountains. I do really love the mountains here!

But, at the same time I know deep down that I have a sense of restlessness kicking in. A part of me burning to pack all my things up and take off on a new adventure. See back when I quit school, I made a promise myself to say yes more. To listen to my gut and take off on any new adventure my heart desires (within reason, calm down mum).

So where does that leave me now?

Well I love the lake district, its become home for me in a way I never could have imagined. But, I know i’m not ready to give up traveling altogether. Ultimately I just really like being a nomad, knowing that I can pack all my things up into one tiny bag and see where the road takes me, who i’ll meet and the places i’ll see. Traveling has always helped me figure things out for myself, and right now there is still so much left for me to get into.

I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up, where I want to live or even what type of person I want to be.

It’s all wide open.

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But, I know the road can help me with that. Because as I tick each destination off my list I grow closer to my passions, to my ideals, to the exact kind of life I want to lead.

For now though I think i’ll plan to stay here till September or October. Missing summer in the lakes would definitely be a huge regret of mine, plus your girl really needs to save a lot more dollar before she can think of taking a new trip.

I’m not really sure what my exact point to this post was (sorry i’m probably not supposed to admit that whoops!). But, I guess it’s that i’m not done. The me you get here isn’t the finished article or the end product. My journey is still very much ongoing, and i’m most definitely figuring it all out!

sending love and hugs

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as always all thoughts are welcome:)