|Rain coat / Sunscreen / Leggings / Cotton shirt|
Sunglasses / Power bank / Water bottle
Mosquito repellent / Scarf / Binoculars / Trainers
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
For the first time in a long time, I didn't go away for the bank holiday weekend. My original plan was to go to Lisbon, which is very much still on my to-visit list, but when my friend found out she had some clashes with work, I decided to do what the majority of people do on a long weekend: nothing.
Well, 'nothing' in a sense. I nabbed some tickets in the Virgin seat sale to go back to my parents' for four days, my sofa-sitting best packed in my suitcase and my boyfriend in tow for his first induction into the clan. I have this bee in my bonnet about 'wasting' free holiday time from work but the reality of booking a trip at that time is that it's expensive and busy. That isn't really the case when visiting Milton Keynes.
I used the weekend to do the things I'm always lamenting that I don't have time to do. I took time for myself to sleep in a little later, although only until around 9ish because I've lost that student-like ability to sleep solidly until midday and beyond. I slept like a log, I got up and ate decent breakfasts, sat at a table and not at a desk, and I wore my pyjamas until an unacceptable hour.
I spent quality time with my family; we played board games and ate dinner together. My parents wrote cryptic clues for us to find in an Easter egg hunt, despite the youngest person in the house being 21 (and obviously we relished it and ran around like lunatics!). On Saturday, we had lunch with my brother and sister-in-law, and then ran around the park with my niece and nephew, finding daisy chains, watching long boats and spotting baby ducklings.
There was one doozy of a hangover from a night of introductions at a local pub which turned into drinking whisky in my friend's parents' den. I fussed over my neighbour's cat and got to visit THREE puppies in total, as well as one lovely old pooch who was recovering from an operation.
My competitive side reared its ugly head when I lost one board game and then won another. But that was all made OK when I managed to get a hole-in-one when we went to a pirate themed mini golf course. I came last out of the five of us, obviously, but I feel I had a moral victory!
I came back to London well-fed, well-rested and full of love. I have an inherent desire to travel at every opportunity, but taking the time to just slow down for four full days felt like such a luxury. I know that taking my time always helps keep my head clear and encourages me to get shit done. I need to do it more often.
I WILL do it more often.
Monday, 24 April 2017
I'd heard on the grapevine before arriving in Tasmania that Hobart is a bit of a unknown foodie gem, but nothing could have prepared me for the unbelievable food I had for almost every meal during my visit. I indulged in brunch, lunch, dinners and desserts that have seared themselves into my memory as some of my favourite meals ever, and if there's one thing that would make me travel back to Tasmania - it's the food. A full post on the incredible Salamanca Market is to come, but for now, here's the other places my stomach fell in love with:
Saturday, 22 April 2017
The first time I visited the Hong Kong, I stayed in Sheung Wan, but on my most recent trip I still gravitated back there. It's a vibrant mix of traditional Chinese culture and modern urban living, with some of Hong Kong's best restaurants and bars propped up there. Here's what you might find a day wandering around Sheung Wan:
Thursday, 20 April 2017
My favourite sorts of people to go out to eat with are those who also want to try everything on the menu, and think it's a good idea to dump everything in the middle of the table so nobody gets food envy. Me and my friends have this down to a tee, and I think our monumental order during our most recent visit to the newly relaunched outpost of The Diner* in Islington may have taken our waitress slightly aback.
Tuesday, 18 April 2017
If it wasn't for the array of cut-price airlines we all have access to these days, there is no way I would've seen as much of the world as I have so far. I've flown to Europe for as little as £20, with most of my flights coming in cheaper than a return train ticket from London to York, but there are compromises to be made.
This is not luxury travel. The airlines themselves identify as 'no frills' which essentially means you get the pleasure of being safely transported from A to B, but not necessarily in a great deal of comfort. I've only ever flown short haul with these sorts of airlines, although many of them are starting to offer trips further afield. So before you book, here's what you need to know: