Christmas Blogger Gift Swap

Scrolling through twitter the other day I noticed someone I follow post about a Christmas blogger gift swap, I clicked the link to her blog where she explained all about the idea and thought I would join in all the fun!

Available only to people in the UK, this whole idea has been arranged by Viola @violahelen  to try and get more bloggers interacting with each other and to share gifts at Christmas time which is such a lovely idea and sounds like so much fun!

Here are the things you need to do to get involved:

  • Fill out the Google form here and wait for a confirmation email.
  • Write a blog post about this event within five days of receiving confirmation so that we can get as many bloggers involved as possible!
  • Once paired up, get to know your fellow blogger, buy their gifts and send them off!

The key dates will be as follows:

  • 1st November: Deadline for completing the submission form
  • 6th November (or earlier): Find out your blogger partner
  • 17th December: Send off your gifts to your blogger pair

I hope you all get involved as it sounds like such a lovely project and a brilliant way to get to know new and different bloggers, to make it easier you can search the   hashtag on twitter and instagram. Christmas is one of my favourite times of year so what better way to share it than with little gifts, it’s almost like a more exciting version of secret santa!!

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*Due to the nature of this post images are stock images.

You’ll Be Next!

This weekend one of my closest friends is getting married. We have been friends since primary school and although we drifted apart for a couple of years we have been lucky enough to become best friends once again and I can’t imagine my life without her. There’s only one thing… I am now at an age where my friends are getting married and moving on in their lives and I keep getting told I’m next!!

Yes I full intend on getting married and yes I’m exciting for all of those kind of things to come but I do wish people would stop telling me I’m next; As if it’s a disease that is looming over me! I think the problem is mainly the older generation and older family but I’m quite modern with my way of thinking and am not bothered when I get married because I know I will do at some point! I also know that I won’t be having a conventional wedding as I just want it to be one big party with all the people I love around me.

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Me and Rowan have been together for 5 years this November and I think people find it hard to comprehend that we aren’t already planning our wedding and our whole life out. At the end of the day we are only 22 and 23 so it’s not like we are running out of time to settle down but there’s so much to do before we start doing that!

What I think I’m trying to say is that people can do what they want and we’re not any different. We don’t need to get married because society thinks we should or to please anyone and I’m so glad that we are both on the same page when it comes to marriage. It needs to be about the two people, not everyone else which, sadly, I think happens far to much!

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*Due to the nature of this post images in this post are copyright free sourced images

Learning a New Language

If you follow me on twitter you will know that recently I decided to start learning a new language. Language is something that I have always been interested in and I just wish I had taken foreign languages more seriously in school and also been given the opportunity to learn more from a younger age. I have one on one classes and it’s so lovely to be able to get back into learning something and have an extra hobby (although I don’t actually have a lot of spare time with everything else I do!). If you’re thinking about learning a new language or haven’t been interested in it before, keep reading because you may well be afterwards!

The language I am learning is French and this is for two reasons. The first is that my tutor lives a 2 minute walk from my house which is so convenient and she only teaches French and Japanese. So I decided that French would probably be the best one to start with as I don’t have any knowledge of East Asian languages. The second reason is that I lived in Spain for two years and living near the Pyrenees close to the French border they spoke Catalan which is a mixture between French and Spanish so I also have a bit of basic background knowledge to get me going.

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I decided that there are so many pros to learning a new language so even though it’s an expensive hobby it’s one that actually will be well worth it. I have two classes a week that are each an hour long and I revise from my notes in the week as well as listening to songs in French on YouTube. Sometimes if I’m lucky I will be able to persuade Rowan into watching Netflix in French too! I definitely think YouTube is one of the best resources because there is such a variety of videos on their. I have been listening to songs I know well in English by a singer who speaks French so it’s not something I don’t completely know and I really think that’s helped me with the accent and vocab.

I think that by learning another language you can do so many more things, obviously a lot of people all around the world speak English but it’s just not the same when you’re in that country! I will keep you updated on my progress but let me know if you can speak any other languages and how you learnt them!

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Images in this post are copyright free stock images due to the nature of the post.

Travel Planning

If you follow me on twitter you may well already know that I am planning long and multiple trips to Europe. I have always been one for a bit of an adventure so working in an office isn’t quite cutting it right now. Luckily I have a really good job with ‘real people’ in management so I am able to get the concessional block of time off  which has enabled me to be able to plan a months trip around Europe with Rowan.

As someone who craves adventure this also brings with it spontaneous decisions. Rowan has been with me long enough to just know to go with the flow and if it’s going to happen, it will. Europe is somewhere I have always been interested in; I love the history, the landmarks, the food and the lifestyle. I feel like it’s not too far away from home but far enough to be interesting so what better plan than to travel through some of the countries for a month.

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Prague

Deciding Where To Go

It wasn’t actually too hard deciding on the countries I wanted to visit it was more in which order would we visit them and for how long. I get over excited about things like this easily so have actually already started planning a second trip for the places we won’t get to visit next year! I have always been interested in Germany and Eastern Europe the most so we have stuck to those kind of countries but Rowan also wanted to visit Venice so that has found its way into the schedule as well. The plus side about going more east is that it tends to be cheaper than the western Europe so you can stay there longer and it won’t cost an arm and a leg.

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Krakow

Deciding How To Travel

By this I mean what transport we are going to take. I’m hoping to go the whole month without needing a plane. It’s restricting and takes up so much time and you don’t get to see half as much as you do by train. Luckily Europe is really well connected and you can get trains pretty much anywhere at any time so this makes the journey a lot easier. Although we are hoping to mostly travel by train we have researched interail and it doesn’t actually work out better for us and most of the trains we will be using are German run train lines so the majority will be from https://www.bahn.de/p_en/view/ .

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Potsdam

Budget

Me and Rowan have actually been house hunting so have saved up a decent sized deposit for that as well as our monthly savings accounts that we both have (you never know when your car might break down or your sister is begging for money or alcohol for a night out at uni). However, because we have a nice amount already saved we thought what’s the point in always saying we’re saving for when we’re older… why not do it now?! So we are dipping into that fund but have limited ourselves to take only a third from that money pot which is such a decent amount we will probably be able to to 3-4 monthly trips with it. Despite this, we are still obviously aiming to keep costs down and staying in cheaper places and shopping around for the cheapest but easiest ways of travel.

Where’s your favourite place in Europe? Let me know of any places I need to visit!

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*Due to the nature of this post I have used stock photos. I hope that in the next few travel posts there will be photos taken by me!

 

A New Summer Series!

Since I’ve been blogging I’ve made a lot of lovely friends some of who I talk to everyday. A few weeks ago me and Zoe decided it would be really fun if we did a Summer Series for the whole of July and publish all Summer based posts!

We will be doing it for 4 weeks and each week there will be a topic to cover everything we want to do! I’m so excited to be working with Zoe and coming up with ideas together has been so fun!

Zoe will be posting on Wednesdays, Fridays and every other Sunday starting on Wednesday 6th July so make sure you don’t miss any of her posts!

I will be posting on Tuesdays, Thursdays as well as every other Sunday too.

I hope you enjoy reading our posts and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

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Braving the Outdoors

At the weekend me and a group of friends decided it would be a good idea to go camping! We stayed at a site in Norfolk; I used to go camping there as a kid and I loved it and I couldn’t wait to do it for myself with my friends. I feel like camping is one of those things that if you haven’t done it and you hate the thought of it you should try it because I would put money on it that you will have the best time!.

This was the first time I ever had to put a tent up by myself, luckily Rowan was there with me but it still took us an hour and a half to work out!! I’m pretty sure there were people on the camp site laughing at us because we took a break half way through… It was hilarious.

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Weather was my main concern and rightly so because I couldn’t have picked a rainier weekend but that’s all part of it so I didn’t mind too much and we were still able to make the most of it. For me camping is about late nights spent relaxing outside and bbq for breakfast and that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t have phone signal where we were staying and we had limited electricity so we ran out of battery quickly so it was really nice for none of us to worry constantly about being on our phones.

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We went to a local forest and on Saturday when we eventually decided to do something and it was so beautiful. It was so busy with lots of people having picnics like us and with kids playing in the park. We also did one of the walking routes there which was really nice because although the weather wasn’t brilliant it was nice and cool and we were protected by all the trees.

By the time we got back it was pouring down again and we had to literally camp out in our tents after we made sure we had a food and drink supply to survive on. I loved it so much because we were all joking about the rain and the whole situation and worrying if the rain would be too hard and start coming through the tent.

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If you’re thinking about going camping but haven’t been without parents or even at all I would definitely recommend taking full waterproofs even in the height of Summer and just letting yourself enjoy it because at the end of the day you’re with friends and family having and it’s something where memories will be made!

Have you ever been camping? Let me know your experiences!

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Living Abroad – Working

If you didn’t see last weeks post you can find it here where I outline my decision to move abroad. In this post I will be talking about how I made a living in Spain so I could travel.

The first thing you should know if you’re planning on moving abroad whether it’s for the short term or long term. Either way you are going to need to earn money somewhere (if you live in the real world) and if you don’t you aren’t going to be able to visit the places you want to or make the most of your time there. I’m not talking millions I’m talking enough money to buy a train ticket and get some lunch or enough for the entry fee of where you’re visiting or whatever it may be!

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I did 2 weeks in a summer school in Seville which is pretty south in Spain but as I was only there a short amount of time I won’t talk too much about it other than that it was HOT. That job was in July and I then got accepted to a 9 month contract with a school that started in September. The school was just outside of Barcelona which is a lot more north than Seville.

I was on a full timetable in my school 9-5 Monday to Friday teaching ages 2-20 so I was pretty much always busy and it was really hard going from being on my summer holidays after college to working as a full time teacher/teaching assistant (depending on what class it was my job role varied). I really enjoyed it and all the kids were amazing and the teachers were lovely and I still keep in contact with a lot of people from the school which is amazing.

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As well as this I did private classes with some of the teachers, parents and students which was one of my favourite parts of the day because I could just have fun with it. However, this meant that some days I wouldn’t finish my day until 11pm or I would have to spend the weekend planning classes which obviously isn’t the reason you move to another country!

For most of the time though I was able to see a lot of the things I wanted to. My job enabled me to save up for a lot of special trips and I even got to go to Milan, travel around all of Barcelona, surrounding towns and Andorra in my two years there.

Without these jobs I don’t think I would ever have been able to move abroad and do anything I did whilst I was there and I’m really thankful for all the people I met along the way – many of whom I consider as my family now, what I call my ‘Spanish family’.

Next time I will be writing in more detail about what I got up to whilst I was there. Let me know if you have any questions!

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