Friends

Forgotten memories and a mini winding torch.

So many old photos, videos and journals to go through I sometimes don’t know where to start…but I always remind myself that you just need to start at the beginning. When we have so much going on in our lives it can be really tricky to try and deal with one thing at a time, but take a breath, write things down and start working you way through it. I write about this in a previous blog: ‘Dream Big Start Small Act Now’.

We last looked at some of our journeys through China so after our exploration of the Great Wall, cramped train journeys to the Teracotta Army, endless trips to the Jade factories, weird and wonderful games in the street, and meeting random people for dinner, we made our way to HK. One of the best things about travel is the people you meet and some of those people have become very close friends and always will be. Others we’ll never see or speak to again but imbedded memories in our mind that will never be forgotten…so here is a thank you to all of those people that made these trips what they were and produced the memories that we still have today.

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Hong Kong was a nice break for a few days as we found China to be quite difficult in some areas due to the language barrier, but it may have been because it was our first destination and we were still trying to find our travelling feet. As I previously mentioned in ‘By investing in your travels your travels will invest in you’ we were very fortunate to have a friend in Beijing, as after leaving Shanghai I wasn’t ecstatic about China. There seemed to be such a huge segregation between locals, expats and tourists and I prefer to get in the mix and amongst it, which we certainly did in Beijing.

In HK we only had a few nights to play with so caught up with a good friend, Greg, and checked out the night markets and Victoria Peak, which I highly recommend is a must do when visiting. It’s over 550m above sea level and the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, attracting over 7million visitors each year. We timed it perfectly as despite the queue for the tram managed to hit the top at sunset and watched the night sky unfold, the clouds sweep over the peak and the city skyline light up. It all happened so quick but was truly remarkable. We’d only been away a few weeks but was great to see a familiar face as he also bought us the best gift and a necessity for any traveller….a mini winding torch. I cant tell you how useful this was and no need for batteries, so a definite to include in in your backpack: http://www.gapyeartravelstore.com/mini-winding-torch.html (remember to quote FLOOGLE10GAP  for an extra 10% off).

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I find that some of blogs are more purposeful with regards to our look on life and how we go about doing things we do, but others are simple stories of what we got up and what made me who I am today.

Travel Safe ;]

Sunday lunch

Last week we took a little adventure out of London…just 25 mins from Marylebone took us to a beautiful little village accompanied with an awesome Sunday roast. You always know it’s going to be good when they ask you how you like your roast beef cooked #rare

We seem to take our own location for granted, as being on our door step, we always put it off and look further afield. However, travel plans over the last few years have changed as a result of people being more careful with their spending, and you’ll be surprised at how many ‘attractions’ are close-by with a little research. Check out local sites, see what’s happening in your area and get involved. It’s always nice to feel part of a community which you can sometimes lose living in a big city like London. It’s full of tiny little hubs, which you can become part of quite quickly but nothing like getting out in the sticks. Denham was a beautiful little village but another one that you have to visit is Arundel on the South coast, about 20mins west of Brighton. I’m there in a few weeks so will be sure to share some pics and videos of a beautiful little town and, if not to hungover, a lovely little run through the South Downs.

So get involved with your local community and be part of something!

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From Russia with love!

I’m quite a simple character so if anyone asks what I enjoy, it usually comes down to a few simple things; good health, good food, good wine and good company!

I didn’t really know what to expect from St.Petersburg and unfortunately hardly had at moment beforehand to sit back and think about it. It’s interesting how you can picture something in your head from conversations but be so off track, I wonder what creates these images? Experiences, imagination, creativity??? Anyway, sometimes it’s quite nice to have no perception and go in with an open canvas…We quite often tarnish things with our own experiences or brand things based on our knowledge, yet you only have to look at the ever evolving marketing industries to see how successful new ideas and campaigns can be, and quite often have no comparison to previous examples. If we were to implement the same to our thoughts and not judge or brand anything or anyone, I believe our experiences will be a lot more fulfilling and we would benefit from them entirely. Let me compare it to football- when you play teams you know, you can go in with the wrong attitude as either expect to win or lose, but when you don’t know your opponents, you can’t create any kind of perception, and go in with an open and more positive mind.

Quite often I sit here and start these blogs not really knowing where they are going but just write and see where it takes me, with the hope of bringing some form of optimistic approach to work, love, life, family and friends. So as a final thought it’s quite easy really- enjoy the simple things in life and go into every situation with an open mind, as our attitude can have an astonishing effect on the way we think and cloud our judgement.

The experience as a whole was an mind opener and finding out about Russia’s deep yet recent history was probably the most surprising, as in school we were only informed about the negative effects of the Soviet Union but I found out about a whole new side. It was a fantastic weekend spent with all the things and people I love, with some art, culture, snow boarding and massages so covered most of my ‘things’ – good health, good food, good wine and good company!

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New adventure…St.Petersburg

I must admit Russia was never really high up on my travel list but due to a friend moving there last year we planned a trip and on our way to the airport as we speak. I’ve written about change quite a lot previously as think it’s good to change things from time to time, whether it’s a daily routine, weekly activities, jobs, lifestyle and the list goes on, but why?

Experiences make us who we are and whilst we are born with specific characteristics we develop most of our traits as we develop. Good memories, bad memories, trivial times, exciting moments, all of these ‘experiences’ allow us to develop as people from basic learning such as, cry and you’ll be fed, to work and study hard and you’ll succeed in what you set your mind too. As we get older we begin to settle as ‘societal pressure’ enforces us to do so and the change becomes a lot harder. We have commitments, responsibility but most of the time are so set in our ways that just that word ‘change’ can haunt most of us. So whether it’s using your left hand to draw, trying a new class at the gym, eating a new dish, travelling to places you never imagined or changing your job….do it! As experiences make us richer as people.

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The weekend arrives…

After a week at work and that long aspiration for the weekend what is it that we do with our time? I quite often find that the weekends with no plans are the best, but maybe that’s because they are so rare, as I can’t complain about the great weekends shared with good family and friends. I usually run around like a nutcase trying to fit everything in and then before I know it Sunday has arrived and it’s time to set the alarm for a Monday morning. Fill your time with things that mean something, things that make a difference to who you are and don’t forget what is right in front of you as quite often we let that pass us by. Enjoy your free time, you work hard for it!

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