To new beginnings…

It’s been a restful few days over here for me, filled with lots of easy mornings, coffee and long walks…oh and cake, because you all know about my addiction to that stuff. I swear cake = crack for me. Anyhow I feel a series of life updates is more than overdue, as things sure have changed a lot for me over here, for the better I hope!

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Firstly, I got my stitches out yesterday!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell i’m excited over here?

The hand itself remains pretty sore, and its still in a dressing, with strict instructions of sticking to rest and not getting it wet, but i’ve got physio appointments booked for next week, so slowly but surely things are hopefully looking up. I still don’t have any sensation back in my left ring finger but they said that could take months, so i’m trying not to get my hopes up, or rush the process too much.

Also, I quit my job. Kind of linked to the first update, but to fill you all in a bit more I basically worked as a Barista for a speciality coffee shop over here. I love coffee, I liked my job too, but in all honesty I think life is too short to stick to doing one thing. The last few months I felt myself getting a little restless, grumpy and well craving a new challenge if i’m being honest. So, my injury came at an opportune time, it gave me the space to think about things and if I wanted to do anything differently. I was also told by many different doctors and nurses that barista-ing just wasn’t going to be a possibility for me anymore, at least not for the next few months. In some ways, it just felt like life was trying to push me in a new direction. Which leads me onto my next update.

We are moving! Talk about an overkill with dramatic life updates, but it really just has been one of those crazy months filled with change.

So, Andy and I like where we live, it’s in a nice enough town right by the Lake District, with good transport links to nearby areas. But truthfully, we were never in love with it here. So, with me quitting my job it led us to look further afield for new job opportunities in more rural locations, which led us to Eskdale. A teeny tiny village in the Western Lakes, near the start of Scafell Pike (UKs highest mountain), where we both found work on a campsite. It’s a pretty neat opportunity where we get to live in a caravan for the summer in a beautiful location, and honestly we couldn’t say no. Especially as it’s not physical work (i’ll be doing a lot of clerical work taking bookings etc), so it’s something I can actually do.

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All these changes have by no means come easily, they involved a whole lot of tears, and hard decisions, but ultimately i’ve found peace in them. I think I got all too caught up in trying to have my life completely figured out, with a stable job, relationship, house etc. When in reality, that’s skipping ahead to the end, without giving myself time to fail, time to discover more what I want to do. I’m learning to realise that where I am right now is okay. That there isn’t a time frame I have to live by. I don’t need to have my whole life mapped out at the age of 21. I don’t need to have a life plan yet. I don’t need to have it all figured out.

 

So here’s to new challenges and adventures

happy easter weekend guys, you’ve made it xx

 

 

 

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

10 things I learned from a year on the move.

Happy Saturday friends!

Usually I hate the weekend, because my Saturday used to be like a Tuesday for me, in the sense that my work week was just beginning again. Weird, I know. But now i’m off work for a while to heal the hand and basically until it stops feeling like it’s being stabbed with a series of tiny knives. Yeah..not fun.

Anyhow it’s April!

How did I not get the memo on this? I genuinely thought we were still in March until Andy surprised me with this fact a couple days back. Time is a-flying i’ll tell you, and it’s almost summer and my bday woop woop! But, i’m getting distracted here.

See, April for me marks exactly one year since I packed my bags and vowed to move out of my home with my parents for good. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my family, i’m pretty sure I have some of the most incredible parents out there, just with how supportive and involved they are in my life. I know I can tell them anything and they’ll be there for me every step along the way. But, I knew that by staying living at home I just wasn’t going to learn anything or even really challenge myself. I was always lusting after a life full of adventure and excitement but didn’t know how to do it. Cue my trip to Australia. If that trip taught me anything, it was that if people can up and move their lives across the world, I could move mine across a country.

So, come April last year I moved down South to the countryside, then before long I found myself moving again, and again…..See once you get the hang of it once, it becomes pretty easy, and I got pretty lucky in finding a job that allowed me to move around so much. Moving wasn’t always easy but it dang sure was worth it just in the way it made me love my little country so much more.

Anywhoo, here’s a few things that looking back I wish I could’ve told myself before I upped and left…

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 I have too much stuff. 

No Amy you do not need a full winter, autumn, spring and summer wardrobe with you at all times. Nor do you need your entire collection of trainers and all your favourite books. Let’s just stick to a few key items here okay?

Writing down all your past addresses on forms becomes super tiring

Doesn’t it just matter where i’m living right now?

Having a normal exercise routine pretty much goes out of the window

Let’s face it my gym stuff is probably at the bottom of my still unpacked suitcase

No, you will not stay in touch with all of the people you meet

This is definitely just a polite saying, we use as a goodbye rather than an actual pledge to say friends forever

But…you will meet some amazing people along the way

You know who you are!

You’ll get to see and do things you only dreamed about

Like going up mountains, swimming in secret coves, running along empty waterfall lined trails…it’s all there waiting for you

You will have days you miss home

This is more than normal, embrace the feelings Amy, they will pass.

It’s okay to lose yourself along the way

Sometimes you need to go down the wrong road for a bit to make you figure out even more what you do want. Trial and error, there are no wrong decisions here.

Boardgames, card games, scrabble..they all become essential

Wifi is not always a guarantee when you’re living on a budget, and/or in rural areas.

You’ll appreciate the little things more

That text from your sister, the sunset in the evening, when your roommate wakes you up when your alarm fails to go off. Moving so much means you don’t get time to be so complacent, take it all in, appreciate it whilst you have it.

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That’s it for now, happy happy Saturday everyone

xxx

 

 

 

Life Lately: rest, eat, repeat.

The last few days have been a mix of resting, doctors appointments and trying to have some form of a social life.

Sitting on your butt all day, everyday is hard. It’s genuinely hard to do nothing, and i’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t been full of stress and tears. Right now i’m facing the very real prospect of losing my job as my injury will leave me unable to work for several more weeks or potentially months. There’s nothing I can do to speed up my recovery or get any definitive answers, it’s truly one of those situations where time will tell if i’ll recover fully.

And, i’ve found myself struggling a lot with this fact. It’s hard to not be able to plan for the future. It’s even harder when you find yourself worrying about whether or not you’ll be able to support yourself financially. But, I need to keep reminding myself how lucky I am to have the friends I do, the family I do and the Andy I do too.

Sorry for the slightly depressing intro here, but writing it all out helps me remember, that in amongst the really bad, crap stuff, this week has been filled with some good things too. And instead of constantly reflecting on the negative, I want to shed some light on some of the really wonderful things i’ve done over the last week or so.

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I got to meet Andy’s mum for the first time, which was awesome! It was lovely to meet such a kind hearted and wonderful mother of a man I am truly beyond in love with, and share some wonderful memories with her in a place I love dearly. She came up on Monday and over the course of a few days we showed her around the Lake District and all of our favourite spots, including a short walk up Orrest Head, because those views are so worth it

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I’ve finally got back into reading again. At last! Last year I read a lot. Like a lot a lot. And I have missed it dearly this year. Books are a really good way to just escape for a bit, plus i’m pretty certain i’ve watched all of the series on Netflix right now. wooopss…

Anyway, my current favourite book right now is by Helen Russell, all about when her and her husband uprooted their life to Denmark, supposedly the world’s happiest nation and all that she discovered whilst there. Its a good read, plus it talks all about the danish term ‘hygge’, which everyone seems to be raving about right now.

 

Cake. I’ve eaten a lot of cake. I’m pretty certain cake is my favourite food group. It doesn’t help that there is THE BEST bakery a short drive from where we live, called “More?”. It’s based in Staveley, and they make all sorts of interesting, cute little takeaway cakes. Our favourite is this green matcha, orange and pistachio slice. Looks super weird but tastes out of this world!

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Podcasts! Honestly they’ve been my saviour the last week. At the moment i’m really into Georgie’s ‘Chasing Joy’ over at init4thelongrun, I just like how honest and real she is when she talks about various issues such as body image, veganism, fitness and self care. It’s relatable, and for me that’s exactly the type of thing I want to listen to.

 

That’s it for now, as I have an afternoon of reading planned ahead of me. Happy Thursday xxx

 

 

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

xxxx

as always all thoughts are welcome:)

6 months on: Lessons learned in the Lakes

Do you ever just take a minute to stop, breathe, and then proceed to get really overwhelmed that this is your life, and it does just seem to fly by?

I have had far too much time to do that lately, if you read my last post you’ll understand exactly why. Anyhow, a dud arm combined with a bout of cabin fever and too much free time, led me on a walk around my neighbourhood today when I got thinking.

It’s been nearly six months since I moved to the Lake District.

6 months.

What initially started out as a a simple vacation, a chance to see somewhere beautiful, ended up culminating in a new home and one of the biggest adventures of my life this far. And so, I thought i’d share some of the things i’ve learned from my little life in the lakes ranging from the big to the ever so small.

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Living in a tourist destination can be tough.

Okay this is something I genuinely never really considered would be an issue. In many ways I still feel like a tourist myself, being a typical southerner i’m still getting used to the fact that strangers up north tend to say hi to each other on the street, and that no it doesn’t mean they’re trying to mug you.

But when you’re late for work because of the influx of cars from day-trippers, you can’t even get a parking spot, you’re favourite cafe has zero free tables and there’s a literal queue of people walking up a mountain when all you crave is some alone time, then trust me it can get pretty tiresome.

It’s a double edged sword though, as with no tourists there would be literally no work here, for anyone, especially little old me. Tourism is what runs the lakes. So whilst I would ideally love to live alone in a remote little mountain town, i’ve come to realise that it’s a necessary drawback of living here.

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Not everyday is about adventure, but that shouldn’t stop you from appreciating the small things

When Andy and I first moved here, I definitely had an idealised version of how our lives would be. That everyday would be filled with exploring, running up mountains and taking it all in. In reality, we both have to work, and work does take up a lot more time than I think we would both like it too, but right now it’s where we need to be.

But, i’ve come to realise that is shouldn’t  stop me, or even us from appreciating the beauty around us, even if it’s just seeing a sunrise over the mountaintops on our way to work or a quick pre work run up to a viewpoint. It’s about finding a little time each day to stop, pause and remember just how lucky I am to call this beautiful place home.

Living with a significant other can be challenging, but trust your gut.

I remember when I first told my parents and friends that Andy and I had decide to move in together, and the amount of negative responses I received. Having only known each other for a couple months after we made the decision I think people thought we were both nuts, probably still do.

And i’d be lying if I said it were easy all the time, but I had a gut feeling right from the start that it would work. And so far, it has. Sure Andy occasionally forgets to wash up his mugs, do the laundry or tidy up our room, but I can honestly say he’s the best roommate (and friend) i’ve ever had, and we don’t tire of each other’s company…yet;)

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Everyone knows everyone, and this can both help and hinder you

Coming from living in London most of my life, where employers, friends and family are most likely never connected, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t totally overwhelming going from a total nobody to suddenly entering a very real community.

It can be unnerving then when as someone new, people become very interested in every little detail about you, and before you know it you feel a little like the town’s biggest gossip (especially when I decided to switch jobs..), but ultimately I would say I haven’t totally disliked this experience. Sure, I have no desire to hear or pay attention to town gossip, but it can be nice when you feel like you recognise more than a few familiar faces on the street.

People drink tea here. A lot.

Again I think this is definitely more of a northern thing, but tea time is taken pretty seriously. And, as  non tea enthusiast, and strictly of the coffee only genre, I have been branded as more than a little weird.

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That’s it for now folks, although i’m sure I could probably sit here and write for days about all the things i’ve realised since moving here, but i’ll save some things for a later post!

for now sending love and wishing you all a restful weekend

xxx