Finding Alternative Care for Loved Ones

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

So I'd like to talk about something a little sensitive today. I've seen this first hand, and I think it's a topic that a lot of people don't like to talk about, but it's important. Caring for elderly loved ones can really take its toll on your mental health, quality of life and the quality of life for your family. 

Before my Nana was placed in a care home, my dad took a lot of responsibility for her. He would tidy her house, cook for her and make sure she was okay. After she had a space in a care home, my Nana's mental health improved, she found friends, and my dad could see her more as his mum than someone he was caring for. I could really see their relationship improve and it was so lovely, especially in her final days. 

On the flip side of this, when my mum began caring for my grandparents, it gave her a purpose. She grew a lot closer to them and they would go out shopping all the time. I think for everyone the prospect of caring for parents/elderly relatives is unique - but we should always put our mental health first, and there's nothing wrong with that.

A care home is a place where older people are able to go when they grow too frail to look after themselves. It is a place where they can thrive among people their own age and have independence in their life too.

Places like Porthaven Chipping Norton give your elderly relative the space they need to live their lives happily as well as the ability to have care at any time of the day. It is somewhere which can be great for your relatives, and here’s why:


When a relative begins to grow older it can become more and more difficult for them to continue living in their own homes. This is because they need an increasing amount of care and also simple tasks like climbing the stairs or bending to get into the bath can get much harder for them. If you bring your elderly relative into your home you will have to make a lot of changes to your home to help them move around as independently as possible, and even then you will need to be around in case they need you. This just isn’t possible for many families who work full time, which is why a care home is a great option. Your relative will have access to around the clock care whenever they need it, and you won’t need to worry about them falling while you are out at work. 


The cost of caring for your elderly relative at your own home or at theirs is pretty steep when you consider all of the items you need to buy for the home. You will have to install an alarm string for emergencies, a stair lift, a step in bath, rails and other equipment just to start off with. Whereas if you let a care home care for your relative they will pay for everything and you simply need to pay a certain fee every month for their stay. It works out much cheaper than doing it all yourself and you know that they are in good hands. 


For most people, you cannot simply drop everything and care for your family member 24 hours a day. It can be difficult when you are put in a position where you need to care for a relative because you may simply not have the time and capability to do so. Without feeling guilty, if you bring them to a care home, they will be looked after by trained individuals at any time of the day, and they will still be able to live in their own private space. You hear a lot of horror stories about care homes, however you should ensure you research any prospective care home before committing to it. 


Looking after another human being will put a lot of stress on your body and your mind. It can be an incredibly stressful thing to do and this can cause you yourself to become ill with stress related conditions. Remember that there are people who are trained to care for the elderly, and it may be better for your health and theirs to put them in trained hands.


5 Activities That Help Me De-Stress

Monday, 19 March 2018

Stress can come and go, and the reasons we become stressed are present in our day to day life. Although it’s nearly impossible to de-stress when something major is happening in your life, it IS possible to take your mind away from things. Here are 5 ways in which I de-stress:


One of my favourite things to do at the moment is to get under the covers, surround myself with pillows and blankets, and watch Gossip Girl in bed. I’ve seen the show before, but it really is an indulgent watch – and it’s something I could watch over and over again without getting bored. If I’m really stressed, I’ll tidy my room beforehand, making sure to change my bedding, light some candles and close the curtains. It might sound silly, but a tidy room is a tidy mind in my opinion.


One of my most favourite things to do EVER is to buy a bath bomb/bath salts, light tealights and listen to some old school blues in the bath. The water has to be volcano temperature, and I’ll sometimes but on a facemask. I think there’s a lot to be said for taking some time away from everything and just sitting with your own thoughts. You can put the world to right, or make a plan for the future.


Me and Kyle are always at the cinema. We have Cineworld Unlimited, which is boss! And we love sitting down to watch a film (with popcorn and a tango ice blast obvs) before giving a new film our full attention. We recently went to see Lady Bird, and both loved it! Getting into a film is a great way to take your mind away from things – so why not book tickets to the latest film and give it a go.


If you know me, you’ll know that I love food. I can’t help it haha, it’s so good! I also love finding new places to eat. Sometimes I’ll make a big deal out of it (get dressed up etc) or sometimes me and my mates will end up in new places without planning it. I find that planning a nice meal at the weekend is also a great way to stay on track with my healthy eating throughout the week as well!


Sometimes, one of the best ways to take your mind off of something is to read. I have a list of about 15 books I really want to read at the moment, and finding a spare hour in my week to get through a few chapters of a book can really chill me out. When I’m looking for a new book, I’ll browse the Amazon book department and see what’s new/trending that week! I also made a Wishlist for books, which I’ll order from when my list depletes a little…


Mental Health & Coping with Life

Thursday, 15 March 2018

So, I know I’ve been quiet these past few weeks. I still have some amazing posts scheduled, but I’ve been a little busy, to say the least. I mean, when I say “busy” I totally mean that I’ve been busy lying in bed watching Gossip Girl.

The truth is, I’ve been struggling a lot recently with my mental health. So much so that I’ve upped my dosage of anti-depressants and I’ve started speaking to a therapist. I won’t say it came out of nowhere, but in a way it did. A lot of things I had been repressing finally came through and I really didn’t know how to cope with it all.

Thankfully I’m feeling a little better, and I’m ready to get back into blogging. So much so that I might be starting a new blogging adventure with my sister! It’s still very much in the planning stages, but we have a name and an idea, and I’m super excited to get the ball rolling with it.

Having said that though, I will always use this blog as a space to write my opinions, showcase my photography and writing, and offer some posts on travel/mental health. In a way, this blog has been my therapist for a long time, so I doubt I’ll be giving it up anytime soon!

Now, let’s get to the main point of this post…

How to cope with life when mental health gets in the way

When you’re 13, you think that by the time you’re 25, you’ll have your life sorted out. I thought this. I thought I’d have a house, be on my way to marriage and be in a career that I love. So far I have the career down…Apart from that, I’m living at home and I can’t even drive lmao. I do count my blessings daily, I have a loving family, I have good friends, a great partner etc. But I have this unbearable sadness that just swoops in from time to time. When it happens, my life seems to stop. I stop trying to progress. I’ll lie in bed most of the time reading or doing nothing at all, I’ll binge eat (sometimes I’ll purge), and I’ll get myself into this self-loathing spiral. Sometimes I’ll get angry, sometimes I’ll be despondent, but mostly what I feel can only be likened to a really unbearable sadness. I couldn’t tell you what I’m sad about, realistically I have a great life, but that doesn’t stop me crying at 2 pm over nothing.

Now, a lot of the time I’ll try and ride it out, wait for the storm to pass I guess. However, this time I thought differently. I fought myself. I forced myself to go to yoga classes, to exercise, to talk about my problems and to eventually see a therapist. This was a big thing for me, as I really don’t like opening up to people. However, I did it, and I can honestly say that after 4 sessions my whole body feels lighter. It’s like I was loaded confetti gun full of bad thoughts and she just managed to pull the trigger on all of them. I have a long way to go, but I’m finally confronting something within myself that I seem to have abandoned and neglected a long time ago.

If I was to offer anyone in my position some advice, it would include the following:


Force the issue. Explain that something is wrong and you need help. From here, they will be able to help you. If they’re a terrible doctor, they will tell you that you’re fine and shoo you along. You shouldn’t stand for this and seek another doctor immediately who can help you further.


In the UK, you can be waiting up to 9 months in order to speak to a therapist on the NHS. Finding someone local helped me, and I’m sure you’ll find someone who can help you too. Look for group sessions, talks, workshops and more.


This is a total cliché, but I love yoga. It makes you focus on your body, your muscles, and your posture. In a way, it’s an escape from your thoughts, which is what I like about it the most. If you can’t afford classes, practice at home. I made a playlist of interesting yoga videos on Youtube and took it from there. In no time I could move my body in amazing ways.


There are a number of apps out there at the moment dedicated to guided meditation, breathing exercises and more.


The most I spoke to my parents about how I was feeling, a weight was lifted off my shoulders. My boyfriend also really helped me in getting the courage to speak to my doctor.


Please don’t feel bad if all you can do is lie in bed. Sometimes, we need time alone. If all you can do is wait until the sadness subsides, then wait it out. However, if it gets too much, please speak to someone. A loved one will always put your best interests at heart, and if all you need them for is to listen, they will listen.

Life with mental health issues really is a roller coaster, but we can overcome periods of sadness, we really can. Be strong my dudes.


Obesity & Fat Shaming: The World We Live In

Friday, 2 March 2018

I don’t know where to start with this. I’ve been in a really bad place this last week, and I think I need to get this off my chest. What follows may be a jumble of opinion, with no real destination in narrative, but I need to write this down before I go mad.

I’m obese. I’m not okay with that, but I am. I have an eating disorder, and I was on steroids which made me balloon. I won’t apologise for beating a disease, and I won’t apologise for having issues with food.

It’s who I am.

Despite trying to lose weight, I will always struggle with food. I know I’m obese. I know I need to lose weight. Yet I see billboards everyday from Cancer Research UK telling me that being obese will give me cancer. The new campaign has seen billboards, ads, magazine pages and targeted Facebook ads raise awareness for obesity, and it’s making me spiral, in all honesty.

Am I overreacting? Maybe. But try and see it from my perspective. Put yourself in my shoes: you’ve struggled with food from a young age, you’ve been on diets since you were 16, you have been bullied, shamed, called out and laughed at for your weight. You see a therapist. And then one day, you’re walking home from the cinema with your boyfriend and you see a billboard. A giant, white, lit up bill board, telling you that your body will more than likely give you cancer.

Can you imagine how that feels? After struggling with your self image, to be told that?  It's isolating to say the least. It furthers your opinions of yourself that you're not good enough, and it makes things worse.

Do you think we don’t know? Do you think fat people don’t know they’re unhealthy? We know. We’re reminded everyday by people online, in the street, by our family. We know.

When you see models like Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday – they’re not “promoting obesity” like so many absent minded people say. They’re simply existing. When have you seen a fat women who embraces her body openly discuss her diet? Newsflash, they don’t. They don’t promote eating, they don’t promote an unhealthy lifestyle, they’re literally living their lives online. But this isn’t good enough, is it? Everyday I’ll see comments on my favourite Instagrammers latest post calling them hideous names. These women are icons for women like me who have the same body, yet they're made to feel like a lesser human being.

As a society, we have been raised to despise the obese “other”, and these new ads just perpetuate this. Before you talk about billboards and adverts commissioned to stop smoking, let me address something. When you smoke, you’re putting harmful chemicals into your body. You know from day one that what you’re doing is harmful. When you want to quit, you’re given a free quit pack on the NHS, and offered group therapy sessions. When you’re obese, you’re offered surgery. No therapy, no advise on healthy eating. You feel shamed into something drastic.

Smoking is not the same as eating. When have we, as a society, been given a clear view on what constitutes as healthy eating? We’re told different things from one day to the next, we’re lied to, fed food saturated in carcinogens – by our own government – yet this isn’t addressed? You know what is addressed? The obese. Those that suffer at the hands of a society that has been feeding them unhealthy and uneducated views towards food since a young age.

We shouldn’t be punishing the obese, we should be punishing the industry.

I’ve seen so many people on Twitter fat shaming those who are upset over this campaign from Cancer Research UK, and it feels like a perpetual cycle. I’m outraged, I’m disenfranchised, I’m upset, but at this point there’s nothing I can do. We've been conditioned to hate the fat, the obese, to let them know how disgusted we are of them - and those who want to change this are berated by the ignorant.

I wish this post could be more inspirational – or have a meaning, but it doesn’t. This is the world we live in.


Happy Birthday to Me! 25 Things I've Learned

Monday, 26 February 2018

25 is a big milestone to me. I actually thought, when I was younger, that I’d have it all figured out by the time I was 25. How wrong I was haha. I have some things ticked off my list (Graduated, got a good job, found a happy and loving relationship) but I still have a way to go. Having said that, I’ve learnt a lot in my 25 years. Here are 25 of those things. I hope it can be some sort of advice if you’re reading this. If not, at least it’s a little insight into my life so far…


You’ll find over the years that your dreams and passions change. Mine have gone in this order: Mermaid, Astronaut, Painter, Forensic Photographer, Photographer, Singer and now Writer. No doubt this will change again, but my point is that dreams will always change. I always felt bad because changing my passion felt like a step backwards, or made me feel like I wasn’t normal for not having a stable dream. I know some people do, and it’s great, but it’s totally fine to figure it out as you go along.


Before university, I never really addressed my mental health. I knew something was wrong, I knew it wasn’t normal to feel anxious about public transport, or to have such a problem with food and dieting, but I just kept ignoring it. After uni I had a really bad time, which led to me being diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. I’m starting to see a therapist, which is 100% a step in the right direction. The main thing is to be open about mental health, both with your own and with others you love – they may need more help than you know. Be there for your friends or family who are struggling, and listen to what they have to say.


I still don’t have this one down, but it’s very important. You don’t have to be thin, pretty, or perfect. It’s okay to have imperfections, bad skin and cellulite – you can be this way forever if you need to be. The main thing is that you feel okay within yourself. If you’re unhappy, by all means change something – eat more veg and try some exercise. But don’t put yourself under stress, and please don’t
conform to what others think of as beautiful. You’re beautiful in your own right.


For those who have found it in themselves to love who they are unconditionally, I have so much respect. I struggle with my self worth and image, and it took me a long time to even recognize my body as something natural and something worthy of respect. You don’t have to love yourself right now, but try and accept yourself, you’ll get there.


It took a lot of courage to go to the doctors and ask for help with my depression. I pretty much broke down in my doctors office. But you’ll find that people are inherently good, and that they want to help you find your way again. Even speaking to a friend or family member can put you in the right direction, you just have to let yourself ask for the help you need.


I love getting a hot bath, filled with bubbles, whilst listening to music. It’s my favourite thing to do, and I imagine it always will be. It lets me get into a head space where I can think about things and lay them out in my head. It’s really amazing what you can put right in your head when you’re alone in a tub of hot water…


The moment I realized that I don’t have to finish a book is the moment I fell back in love with reading. In uni, I was on auto pilot when it came to reading. Sometimes, I had to finish 3 books a week to keep up with my work, and it took a lot of effort to finish all of them. Getting out of that habit took a solid 2 years, but now I like to remind myself that I don’t need to finish a book. If I don’t enjoy it, I put it down and I move onto the next. Life is too short to finish half enjoyed books.


Love is an ever changing thing. The love I felt for one person will never be the same for another, and so on etc. Love changes all the time. From intense love to lasting love, you’ll find that there are a lot of ways to have feelings for someone. Not all of them are good, but you only find this out in time.


If you have a family dinner, but you’ve been asked out by your friends, see your family. Always. You never know how long you have with your family, so cherish every moment you get.


I’ve spoken about this before, but I really think that it’s damaging to label yourself. Why cram yourself into a box when you’re an ever changing human with infinite thoughts and possibilities?


I’ve never really enjoyed rules, or people telling me what to do. Obviously I obey the law, but always seek to find new ways to live, I think this is really important.


Having been brought up as a dog person, I never really thought much of cats. My childhood friend had a cat who HATED me, swiped at me when I walked past and hissed in my general direction. It kind of put me off cats… Until I met Rose. I adopted Rose 2 years ago, and she has legit changed my life. She cuddles me when I’m sad, makes me play with her when I’m lazy or distracted, and makes me laugh everyday.


Despite my last holiday, I still love to travel. It’s good to get away sometimes, with a boyfriend, friend or family member. Explore new cuisine, try new things and embrace it before life gets in the way.


Luckily, I didn’t grow up with the internet that much. I still remember playing outside without worrying about being online. The most I did on the computer was play on The Sims. However, that doesn’t mean that I managed to escape the inevitable. Life online. For a long time I used to put every last detail of my life online. What I was eating, what I was thinking, who I was with etc. This has changed drastically, and I’m the better for it. We all have our highlight reel on social media, which is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others online. 99% of the time, it’s not who they really are.


Writing poetry is one of my favourite things to do. I actually have a tumblr account dedicated to my poetry. It’s a place for me to write, read and find helpful hints. It gets me out of my head for a while, which is only a good thing. My poetry is actually going to be read out at the “Body of My Own” event for International Women’s Day!


Never underestimate the power of a good shower, a face mask, painting your nails and watching your favourite TV show.


If you like the way something looks, then wear it. Don’t follow what you see in magazines, or chase labels. It’s nice to have expensive things, but buy them when you can and for a reason (I plan on buying a designer bag when I hit a weight loss milestone…)


This was an important lesson for me to learn. Love doesn’t mean you should be with someone. You can love someone, and they can still upset & hurt you, and vice versa.


When I was 18 I thought I was so cool for disavowing politics and ignoring what was going on in the world. Yet the world still happened. My lack of input did nothing but give more of a platform to the
ignorant and evil.

Read up on politics, find a view point and keep up to date with modern affairs. When it comes to voting, vote. And be proud, we will change the future of the government one day.


Some things in my life haven’t happened yet. I can’t drive (officially) and I don’t have my own house. I wanted so badly to have these things done at 25, but life didn’t happen that way. What is meant for you will find a way, trust in that and you will be golden.


Little by little, I’m getting my life together. Baby steps is all it takes, and it’s easier to see that now I’m older. The phrase can help with anything in life – a lifestyle change – becoming Vegan – learning a new language. Little changes add up to a big difference, you just have to stick with it.


Without yoga and mindful thinking, I would be half the person I am. Sign up for a class, learn online – DOYOUYOGA is good, or start a playlist on Youtube with videos you like the look of. Practice little and often, you’ll soon see the benefits. You don’t have to believe in the beliefs behind yoga, simply practicing it as an exercise will be good for you.

Me on my birthday last week - Shirt is Boohoo curve!


It has taken me a long time to realise that I have an issue with food. I don’t want to get into that so much, but finally realizing and understanding that you have a problem is one step towards figuring it
all out. You’ll relapse, but when you know something is wrong, you actively want to change it.


Who doesn’t love a good to-do list? I’ll take 5 minutes out of my morning to organize my day, my weekend, my spending. Whatever I feel is a little chaotic in my life, I’ll make a list and figure out how to order it. I find that it helps!


No matter who I’ve been with, or who has seen my stretch marks, no one has ever said anything bad about them. They just happen, and the sooner you realise it the better. I remember when I got my first batch of stretch marks on my belly at 17, I remember it so clearly. I was at my sisters old flat in London, and I called her into the room. I was crying because I had these bright red tiger stripes on my stomach; I felt like my life was over. I felt like a failure for letting myself gain weight. She was really helpful, and pointed out that we matched haha.

Now I know they’re a natural process, and I try not to let it dominate my thoughts.


Why Mexico Should Be Your Summer Getaway in 2018

Friday, 23 February 2018

If you know you want to go on the trip of a lifetime but aren’t sure where you should go, it’s time to consider a trip to Mexico. This overlooked paradise has everything an amazing holiday destination needs, from culture, history and delicious food to friendly locals and perfect weather. Here are five reasons why you should visit Mexico in 2018:


Mexico is home to 34 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This includes famous archaeological sites like Teotihuacán and Chichén Itzá, and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, where butterflies fly over 2800 miles to gather in the forest for winter.

If you stay in or near Mexico City, Museo Nacional de Antropología is a must-visit. It houses a collection of pre-Columbian relics and art and is an ideal way to learn about the history of this often-misunderstood country.

Not sure which area to travel to? Road Affair’s list of the 25 best places in Mexico will help you decide.


You don’t need to choose between an active holiday or a chilled out beach break when you’re in Mexico; you can enjoy both. Old colonial towns, rugged mountains and wild jungles are all yours to explore, but there are also beautiful beaches with clear blue waters and pristine white sand.

The climate varies from dry and desert-like to hot and humid, so make sure you take this into account when choosing a destination. For a complete guide to Mexico’s weather and climate, visit TripSavvy.


Everyone who visits Mexico comes back saying how friendly the locals are. Although most people’s first language in Mexico is Spanish, many speak English and will go out of their way to welcome you and help you if you’re stuck.


Once you’ve eaten authentic Mexican cuisine, it will blow anything you’ve tried back home out of the water; there really is nothing like it. Signature dishes will vary depending on which part of the country you visit, so here’s a rough idea of what to expect: 

  • Northern Mexico: Meats like beef and goat are popular, and are often served in large tortillas, burrito-style, with refried beans and Spanish rice on the side.

  • Central Mexico: Expect a mish-mash of the best dishes from all over the country. 

  • Southern Mexico: The south favours fillings like chicken, vegetables and black beans in their Caribbean-influenced cuisine, which is made with lots of different spices. 

  • Coastal towns and cities: Fresh seafood will feature heavily on the menu. 


Your money will go a long way in Mexico, so take advantage of the exchange rate. Many of the tourist attractions are free or very cheap to visit, such as the Museo Maya de Cancún and Chapultepec Zoo, and the street food, in particular, is exceptionally good value. The Secret Traveller recommends sampling tacos el pastor: tortillas filled with pork which has been marinated in pineapple juice (visit their site to see what other must-try foods made the list).


My 5 Favourite Instagram MUA'S

When I started out with makeup, I was 14 and thought that Dream Matte Mousse from Maybelline was the be all and end all of my life. I also had winged eyeliner that went up to my eyebrows and wore bright red lipstick. I was, for lack of a better term, a mess.

I do like to think that I've evolved though… And it’s all down to the people I follow on Instagram. Back in uni, I would religiously watch make-up tutorials on Youtube and practice them at like 3 am after a night of drinking. Since then, my life has been a lot busier, and finding the time to watch full-length videos is hard. Now, I follow a range of make-up artists on Instagram, who I check up on every now and then to see their techniques or opinions on new and exciting makeup and eyeshadow palettes.

When I get the time, I’ll be looking to take a makeup course – finding new ways to apply make-up and create ~lewks~ is actually really therapeutic for me! In the meantime however, I'll be stalking insta-stars for inspiration, here are my top 5:


Nicola has some amazing looks over on the Pixiwoo Youtube channel. However, I love having a quick check of her insta feed for her views on the latest products such as face masks, lipsticks and more.


Jeffree offers some great tutorials for make-up (his eye makeup is always beautiful) and he samples a lot of his videos on his Instagram. This is also where he previews some of his latest vegan beauty products.


Not only has Huda worked with the stars, but her insta feed is filled with tutorials from influencers found all over Instagram! I’ve found so many tutorials from her feed that I had to include her in this post. She’s an inspiration and you should definitely follow her!


I actually found Thuy Lee from Huda’s feed, and I’m so glad I did! Not only is Thuy Lee funny, she has some of the best and wacky make-up tips going.


Nikkie may look photoshopped, but she isn’t! She’s stunning and talented and has some of the best tutorials out there at the moment. Her feed has glimpses of make-up tips as well as pictures of the finished looks that she creates.

Who are your favourite Instagrammers out there at the moment? 


How To Travel When Your Suffer from Anxiety

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

I haven’t spoken about my trip to Poland for a number of reasons. For one, I only got to see Auswitz before I became extremely unwell, and I don’t know how to approach that subject. Seeing Auswitz was intense, and I believe that everyone should see it at some point in their lives to understand how evil the human race can be, but I don’t think it’s my place to go into too much detail about it.

Having contracted Norovirus over there, I can’t say I feel much for the city. The hotel staff were rude (Hotel Imperial – never go there) and people, in general, were unfriendly and unwelcoming.

I didn’t want to post another travel post without speaking about that, or without posting my favourite photo from the trip (above – taken in Krakow Old Town).

So, on to the real post! Here’s how to travel when you suffer from anxiety. It can be extremely hard to overcome, but you’ll find that it gets easier once you do it.

When you first decide that you want to travel, it’s just an idea. An idea that sits with you for awhile. But before long, unless you start to run with that idea, it will just stay where it is. And life will carry on. You’ll finish school, get a job, and then you’ll feel as if you’ve missed your chance. But you haven’t. You never have. It doesn’t matter whether you want to travel the world as a teen, after college, or much later in life. All that matters is that you actually put the plans in place.

Sometimes, obstacles get in the way. Money, time, illness. A lot of the time, it has to do with your confidence levels. Because travelling the world is a big deal, and it can scare you. So you put it all on the backburner or try to ignore it. But that feeling never leaves you. So it’s time to tackle your confidence levels and think about those travel plans a little more seriously.


First of all, the thing that you’re going to want to get in place is your travel bucket list. Okay, so you know that you want to travel, and you probably have lots of different ideas going around in your mind, but are you really sure on what you want to do and where you want to go? When you work this out, it’s a really fun and interesting way to get excited about travel and motivate yourself to make that step forward to actually doing it.


You might have a rough idea of what you want to do, and where you want to go, but now it’s time to plan and prepare for what you’re actually going to do. This can really help you to plan your trip, and these tips may also help you with this part of the process.


At this point, because you’re actually taking some steps to make your travel plans come to life, you may be worried. Those fears usually come back when you start to do things. So, a great way to keep that side of you at bay is to speak to other travellers that have been there and done it. There are lots of ways to meet people aboard so that you can hear about their experiences first hand and put your mind at ease. Why not try a Reddit thread or ask a travel Facebook group? Lots of people just want to help and advise you, so this can put your mind at ease.


Your next job is to get your itinerary down. This can be a bit of a big job, but if you follow the right steps like it’s made easy. Plus, as you go through this, you’ll find you get excited about everything you’ll get to do.


Now that you know a little more about what your trip will entail, you can plan financially. Saving money to travel can be hard, but it’s so much easier when you know what you’ll be doing. You can budget better this way. And be sure to oversave - then you’ll know you have a safety net when you’re away (just in case you need a doctor or you see a trip you’d love to take!)


A great way to ease your worries about travelling is to do it with someone that you feel safe with. If you travel with a family member, loved one, or best friend, then you should feel so much more confident about doing it. I don’t know what I would have done if my boyfriend wasn’t with me in Poland to take care of me and get me some tablets from the pharmacy.


Another point will be to stay somewhere that you’ll feel comfortable. So be sure to look online using sites such as to research and find places to stay. The more you research, the more confident you should feel about where you choose to stay.


If you are going alone, and you’re worried about it, then be sure that someone knows where you will be at all times. Although you may not want to be in constant contact with home, it’s handy for them to know. It will also give you the peace of mind that you’re a bit safer, no matter where you are in the world.


When you speak to different travellers as part of your research, you may also want to arrange to catch up with them on your own travels. You may also come across other travellers along the way, or expats.


Finally, you need to just do it. This is something that you’ve been thinking about for a long time. And you will continue to think about it until you make some plans and go. So, just let yourself think about that for a moment. Think about how exciting this is, and everything that you’re going to get to see and do. And that should always give you the confidence you need to finally take the trip!


The Best Destinations for Water Lovers

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Whether it's by the pool or the sea, some people just can't get enough of the water on holiday!


The beach of Tikehau Island is perfect for those that love to see a sea that's crystal clear and lined with pink sands. Or, for those of you that prefer your beaches a bit less relaxing and a bit more adventurous, then why not head to any one of the great surfing spots found here, including the infamous ‘surfer’s paradise’ that is the Superbank on the Gold Coast of Australia.


In recent times, the world’s rivers have gotten quite the name for themselves in regards to being travelling hotspots. They have done so because of the scenic river cruises that, well, cruise down them and offer people the chance to take in everything they see surrounding the river without disruption.

There are host of destinations that make essential viewing and experiencing for river lovers. These destinations include: the cities that make up the Mekong, (including Ho Chi Minh City and Tan Chau),Yanon and Mandalay, Amsterdam, Arnhem and Antwerp.


One of the best waterparks in the world is Siam Park. Regularly rated as being the very best, this water park, that can be found on the island of Tenerife, is infused with a host of different pieces of Thai architecture and plays host to a number of water rides that, quite simply, defy logic when you look at them.


Birthstones and Their Meaning

Monday, 19 February 2018

Ever since I was little I was fascinated by birth stones and their meanings. I like having something that’s dedicated to my birthday, whether it be a star sign or colour or stone. Here is a list of birthstones and their meanings, for anyone else who’s interested!


Garnet is commonly red in colour, however, it can come in a range of other hues such as greens and yellows. This little gem resembles a seed in shape, and symbolizes truth and faith in a handful of cultures. In crystal healing, it’s used to purify and cleanse a space or aura, and can help you gain mental focus when used in meditation. It’s also thought that Garnet can encourage mental growth and wealth.


My birthday month! I love Amethyst in colour, texture and meaning. It’s one of the more uniquie gems throughout the birthstones, and looks beautiful in jewellery, homeware and more. Recently, I was gifted this gemstone candle from Gemporia as a birthday present. It smells like nothing I’ve ever smelt before, and has actual gemstones in the wax, which float when you burn the candle. This is lovely to burn during yoga practice or meditation, especially if you’re a Piscean like myself.


A beautiful pale blue in colour, Aquamarine is said to hold spiritual properties (and was once thought to be the treasure of mermaids). The stone is also connected to both the moon and the sea, making it the perfect birthstone for a dreamy Pisces. If this is your birthstone, it’s a really good idea to wear jewellery with this stone present. It’s said to improve clarity, relationships and peace within yourself.


Diamond has long been associated with love, and this is because of its longevity. The diamond is strong, and is often used as a crown chakra as well as in thoughtful meditation.

In meditation, it’s thought that Diamonds can assist in clearing mental fog when it comes to matters of the heart, and provide help with finding the right person in your life. If you’re thinking of using Diamond during meditation, keep it close to your body (this can include within jewellery) and light white candles in the room. Using a floral smudge stick may also aid in unblocking thoughts and processes in the mind.


Emerald comes in bright green tones, making it common in jewellery. But this stone is anything but common. When it comes to chakras, it represents mercy, compassion and universal love. This usually places the Emerald as a heart stone, and can be placed on your chest during meditation to cultivate your compassion and love for others.

If you’re looking for some insight into yourself, this is a great gemstone to meditate with, as it is said to ease blockages and promote ease within yourself.


Pearls are found in mollusks, and are formed from layers of sand or small parasites. It may sound off putting, but pearls are considered great treasures, which is why they’re found in jewellery. Pearls come in all colours, and their shade is dependent on their environment.

When it comes to meaning, it’s thought Pearls signify wisdom and strength, which is why they’re great to wear on you during your day to day life.


Rubies are considered highly precious, and are one of the most sought after stones in the world. Their associated with life and death as well as passion, which is why they’re perfect to have in meditation if you’re looking for motivation or a way out of mental fog. I find that Rubies help when taking part in mindful meditation. Simply place a Ruby near you, light Lotus incense and settle your mind.


In Egyptian tradition, Peridot was called the gem of the sun. One of the only gems to be defined by its distinct colour, Peridot is bright green and is striking to the eye. It’s said that Peridot helps to aid optimism and positive attitude, as well as mental strength.


Sapphire can come in a range of colours, however it is most noted in history for being a deep hue of blue. Used in protection spells, Sapphire is said to protect the wearer from spiritual attacks and help with confidence.


Opal is a delicate stone, and can be characterized by its dreamy looking exterior. Opal stones can be found in a range of colours, however its most associated colour is white/translucent. This stone, when used in spellcasting or meditation, is said to help with creativity and self confidence. However, it has been said that Opal stones will take your negative thoughts, magnify them, and send them back your way. This isn’t malicious, but it’s intended to teach you not to dwell on bad thoughts – and that the good thoughts you put into the universe will find their way back to you down the line.


Topaz is mostly colourless, however you can find Topaz stones in a range of colours, with Imperial Topaz (orange in colour) being the most sought after Topaz stone today. It has long been thought that Topaz soothes and heals when used in spell casting, and that it can promote clarity in the mind. It’s also common practice to have Topaz present when self reflecting on your self confidence.  


Ancient cultures considered this stone highly valuable and sacred. This was due to its protection properties. In rituals, it’s used to purify the spirit and dispel negative energies that surround the spell caster. It’s also thought that this stone balances negative energies in your chakra.


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