The Hungry traveller top 10 places to visit next!

Advice, Planning, Travel, Travel planning

Okay so with a lot of time on my hands I have been thinking about travel. Where I want to go to next and what food do I want to eat. When it comes to travel I am always led by my stomach. With unemployment dooming I know that I may have free time but I don’t have the money so these trips will contain careful planning of time and money.


But I will visit these places.


1 Korea


If Korea has taught us anything during the pandemic it is to show the rest of the world how to cope in a crisis. Just like I am still in love with Japan I feel the same sort of pull to Korea. There is something about the culture, the people and especially the food. We have been binge watching Korean dramas like Kingdom and Magic Pop up Bar, and don’t get me started on Train to Busan. Yes that is two Zombie references but Korean horror is equisite. I will need to do a lot more research but its my number one place to go to at the moment and I can’t wait.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 11+
  • Day allocation: 10-14

2 Japan


Okay I know its only been a few months since we have been back but I loved it. I still have a lot more blogs coming out about it (hope you don’t mind) but it was such an inspiring place and the food was amazing. It will be eye opening to see it when it is busy and buzzing. It will also be nice to see it with all the museums and galleries open. We missed Sumo wrestling, Team lab and the Ghibli museum to name but a few. I would like to visit in the autumn and do a tour of the gardens, we will revisit Yamagata and hopefully explore the more Northern districts.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 11+
  • Day allocation: 14

3 Vietnam & Cambodia


Are you sensing a trend?

Asia is so exciting to me.


When I lived in Australia my favourite thing was the food and they had excellent Vietnamese food. But there is so much more than food when it come to Vietnam and I cant wait to go. Hanoi looks insane but I really want to go into the country side and visit a few cities and towns, then finish on the beach for a few days. We may have our friends there with us.

I put Cambodia on here because if I visit Vietnam that it would be good to sneak a few days maybe even a week exploring.

These are both tropical countries so time of year is crucial.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 14+
  • Day allocation: 14

4 Canada Whistler


So, two of these holidays maybe birthday treats for me and my bestie. Yes they are long haul expensive trips but our partners get along and sometimes its nice to experience things in a group. Snowboarding is always best in a group. One of the nicest things about us as a foursome is that we don’t get offended if we want space from each other or want to explore different things. We just do it. No offence, no issues. We are both easy going and enjoy exploring. This will be a hiking and snowboarding activity trip. When everything was happening with Brexit and we ere considering leaving the UK Canada was one of our first thoughts. Its time to explore!!

  • Time of year: Winter
  • Flight time: 9+
  • Day allocation: 7-10

5 New York


This is Gavin’s Birthday present. We had it booked for September and it will be a Diehard 3, Ghost buster inspired trip. With a few restaurants and ‘Carrie’ moments thrown in for good measure. America is so expensive now but I have two places singled out. I think that New York is a magical place and although it would be amazing at Christmas I think I would prefer to see it in Autumn when the trees are changing colours and you have to wrap up warm and visit cosy cafes and bistros.

  • Time of year: Autumn
  • Flight time: 7+
  • Day allocation: 5-6


6 New Orleans


The Lafayette’s and Payet’s of this world a largely found in New Orleans. As my heritage is French/ African it will be amazing to see how the culture is so different from the Seychelles. In Seychelles they speak Creole and the food is creole in New Orleans cajun cooking is from here. They are very different cultures but it will be interesting to explore my heritage in a different part of the word. It will take a lot of planning to narrow down all the restaurants and bars I want to visit but it will be worth it. I have a vision of New Orleans is in my head I just hope it lives up to it. I also read a lot of Anne Rice when I was a kid and I loved all the big houses, witches and ghosts.

  • Time of year: spring
  • Flight time: 13+
  • Day allocation: 7-10

7 Iceland


This is solely about the northern lights and maybe a sleigh ride. This would be a short trip but it is definitely on my list of places I have always wanted to do. I will be wept away into his dark materials and trying to find Cities in the Sky, I just hope when we go we get to see them, the Northern lights that is. Iceland is a magical place I love the mythology. I am not sure my food obsession will be

  • Time of year: Winter New Year
  • Flight time: 3
  • Day allocation: 5

8 Montenegro


I have written a blog on Montenegro already, but there is something very exciting about this tiny country but it’s the food and the views that have me enraptured.
I think there is something truly amazing about this tiny country that needs exploring! I have a few books that I am reading about it. All the amazing seafood makes me drool.

  • Time of year: Spring
  • Flight time: 4-5
  • Day allocation: 6 days


9 Norway


Okay this may be due to my current obsession with Norse Gods and hiking. I really want to go on a Hiking Holiday preferably taking our little French bull dog with us. I don’t necessarily want to sleep in a tent or hostel but a nice bed and maybe a sauna. Is that too muc to ask. We will practice with the hiking holiday to Yorkshire and see how well the dog likes it. Maybe get a ferry across and and hike throughthe fjords. I need to do a lot more research but that would be a dream trip.


We are currently watching Ragnorok on Prime and loving it.

  • Time of year: Summer
  • Flight time: 3hrs
  • Day allocation: 5 minimun


10 Great Britain


Without getting to political I feel like in my lifetime we will lose Scotland. This will really break my heart as I love Scotland but they are right when they say that the Government ignores there needs, yes they have some privileges over England but being ignored and not heard is not okay. So I took Gavin to Edinburgh for his 3oth and he loved it, we have been back for a wedding, me for a hen do but it would be great to explore more of Scotland.

I am looking at the islands and north of Scotland, this my also coincide with my new love of whiskey and my first love Gin but I think staying closer to home and exploring the countries that you live in is really important.
I mentioned above a hiking trip to Yorkshire which we will take the little dog with us.

  • Time of year: All year time
  • Flight time: 1-2 hours
  • Day allocation: 3-4

Summary

We won’t be stepping on a plan this year, we just don’t think it’s safe right now so this will be a bucket list for the next ten years. I will continue to follow my stomach and plan my trips!

Have you got any trips planned?

Between a Rock and a White Place

Advice


Like lots of you I am a wash with shame right now. Whitewashing over racism on so many levels that I didn’t think I was capable of.


I thought because I was mixed raced that means that I know and understand.


I don’t


I didn’t


My skin is white so I will never understand despite my heritage.


So, like everyone else I am learning.


I am reading, listening and watching.


But more importantly I am asking questions.


I am challenging my family.


My dad was a light skinned black man in the British army where racism is rife and you grow a skin so thick you don’t talk about it.


He doesn’t talk about racism for many reasons.


His nickname in the army was Choco.


I have a lot more to learn about racism.


I have a lot more to challenge.

It starts with me.

My backpack love: buying a backpack a quick review

Advice, Planning, Travel

When we knew we were going to Japan I knew I wanted a back pack. It was an essential for travel and for just meandering around. I really wanted a cute bag but it had to be practical. We were travelling around Japan and had two single night trips planned. This meant all our bits in our back packs.

I also want to use it for work. To use every day.

What I wanted

  • Compartments
  • A water bottle holder
  • A strap for my luggage
  • A place for the passports
  • A charging port

So I did some research and my contenders where

Fjallraven, man , I want one

I love these bags, but there was a shop in London so I thought I would check them out but they felt cheap. Then I did a bit more research and discovered that there are a lot of fakes everywhere. So when you do your research on a bag it is important to see where the retailers actually sell.

When you want to invest in a brand I really wanted an actual bag. Not a fake knock off. This is brand that gets attacked all the time. You see instagram ads for 40% off….. yeah they aren’t real.

I love the colours and the brand but for practical reasons I didn’t want a top loading bag. I know they have other bags but it wasn’t in the style I wanted. It didn’t really have anything I was looking for.

The main reason I didn’t get this bag is that I didnt want a bag that was a fad! I wanted something I could use all the time. I think after all this time I will buy one. They are gorgeous bags and they last.

Fjallraven to research.

Instagram influenced by Nordace

I loved this bag. It seemed to have everything I wanted. But it’s a fairly new brand for me so I did some research. I even messaged someone who I saw on Instagram who was using one and asked her opinion and she loved it.

The main reason I liked this bag is the colour? Not very practical but it looks so nice.

The main reason I was attracted to this bag was the marketing all the Instagram images were packing videos. I love a packing blog. I watch and read them all the time. I loved how much you could fit into this bag. It’s great.

It’s pricey but great.

Again I couldn’t check the quality because they are not in shops also there was some concern on the zips mentioned in the comments. The main reason I didn’t get this bag was the fact it’s took 6 weeks to arrive and even though I had time, I didn’t want to invest in this if it wasn’t going to arrive.

Nordace to research.

What I actually bought , Matein

This was nothing like the style of what I wanted but it had everything right including the price. It did give me Nordace vibes but it wasn’t in any great colours however I love grey. So I thought I couldn’t go wrong. It was similar to the Nordace but without the elegance. I love this bag, I just wish it came in yellow or green!!

I was taking far too long to decide what I wanted and in the end this arrive two weeks before we flew to Japan. So I tried it out was happy with and it was very spacious without being bulky.

It has pretty much everything on the list! I am someone who where’s something until it falls apart and then I generally patch it and wear it for a bit longer.

I am not some one who has a lot of bags. I have a few but because I like tan leather I feel like one bag does everything. I do have some other colours and some dressy bags but I generally only have one everyday bag at a time and then I wear it all the time. Being practical a backpack is the best thing ever. It’s on your back so your hands are free and it has masses of storage!

I love this grey bag. It’s light and strong and lets me fill it to the top. Because the weather was ever changing my backpack generally held my Mac and Gavins hoodie. The rest was my charger, cables, etc. I will do a what’s in my bag in a later blog.

This bag was half the price but it did the job. I still want a fjallraven maybe Gavin will get me one for my birthday!!

Matien to research.

A surprise Hunter back pack

So Gavin bought me a backpack for our honeymoon without talking to me he surprised me with a gorgeous bag.

But it wasn’t practical at all. The side pocket zip broke on the way to the airport so Gavin contacted the brand and when we arrived at Japan the other side zip broke.

I was surprised because hunter is a good brand. We did use it but only when we went back pack only. When the crisis is over I may see if my local Tailor can fix the zip as I love the colour.

I think Gavin was disappointed that I wasn’t more enthusiastic about the bag but a top loading bag isn’t great for travel and this was proved time and time again! We organised for our luggage to be sent on ahead at every destination but it was my grey backpack that was crucial to travelling!

Hunter to research.

In summary

It’s really important to do your research when investing in a back pack. I didn’t go for my dream bag because it wasn’t quite right, but I did go for a sensible one. A someone who doesn’t believe in fast fashion but function over style I know I will have this for years. It is understated and brilliant.

I think when buying luggage you should write what you need it to do and how important access is! To me this bag had lots of pockets and compartments and is so practical. I only had to repack a few items but the majority stayed in my bag. I will write a what’s in my day to day in another blog!

Hope you enjoyed! What backpacks do you use and would recommend?

Staying motivated during isolation- I am not

Advice, Personal Experience

Motivation is still at Zero


I am so impressed by everyones attitudes to this situation. I am not motivated at all. Yes I will be baking banana bread today and yes I have cleared out the garden but I am still working. I am actually busier then I have ever been and I am working super long days. So even though I am currently working at home not a lot has changed for me.

I actually enjoyed working from home. I planned our lunches and and cooked our dinners we walked Frank every day. We are now a zero waste food house hold. I understand stand that we should always should have been. Isolating is teaching us how much to appreciate the food you have. We are using up all the fresh bits first although they seem easier to replace.


I still have minimum motivation.

Zero

Online food shopping


We gutted the kitchen cupboards at the weekend
Ripped everything out and wrote everything down. Like everything in life, me and Gavin are hoarders. Food hoarders if you are really fond of spices, bbq sauce and noodles, we will survive.

We appear to have a soba noodle obsession.


I just wanted to check before I did an order that we have enough food in the house and this has helped me massively. But I don’t blame online shoppers for overstocking their shelves! How can we when you can only get delivery once a month if you are lucky. If we are not allowed out and we are trying to stay away from people then online shopping should be a godsend.


But no one can get a slot.


We will be fine for no, maybe a month, if we just live on noodles!

Lack of motivation


I am still working.


You may know that I work in retail it’s an online company so we are busy. Busier than Christmas and dealing with a lot of impatient people. Who don’t understand that there is a crisis on which means delays. This is leading to zero motivation at the moment. Gav is used to me screaming at the laptop and getting stressed.

Work is really tiring me out. Don’t leave a comment telling me I am lucky to be working. Yes I am lucky to be working but I am not used to dealing with such negativity and lack of understanding. I have to process what is going on in the world as well as people yelling at me because there parcel is delayed.

Peoples perspectives are pissing me off.

Coping during isolation

Working means I have little time to relax. I don’t have any excess time to be creative, to plan the things I want to do. My daily roles haven’t changed that much but everything else has. When I sit down and think about all the deaths and sickness I find it overwhelming.

We are living in scary times.

I deleted Facebook because I don’t want to hear people’s opinions on everything. All my news comes from the BBC. I downloaded the app so I even get notifications which is also scary.

Our government lied to us and downplayed the severity of Covid-19 which is still making me so angry.

We don’t know what is happing or going to happen. So we need to let everyone get along how they must. Am I coping?…. well I am getting everyday but I am so busy or tied I don’t have a lot of time for me.

I read a post on how we are actually privileged to be able to stay home, feed ourselves, clean ourselves. At first I was a bit annoyed at this post. Now I understand the relevance and the privileged position of us. It wasn’t about shaming us it was about putting things in perspective.

It’s time to put things in perspective!

You perspective matters but please be kind to people and patience really is a virtue.

Where’s your head at?

Advice, health

What a crazy week! I am a little overwhelmed by it all, the new just keeps getting worse. More people are getting sick and the deaths keep adding up. This is all getting very scary.

We have arrived back from Japan into chaos.

I am angry at how slow our government has taken to act and how severe it actually becoming. Our PM has been reluctant to react and now he is sick. This blog is my escape so even though I am very political my blog is somewhere I escape to rather than a political ranting space.

My Facebook feed was telling be on one hand that everyone needs to take it seriously, on the other it’s all a joke and then my absolute favourite was to be positive.

Good Vibes only was plastered all over Facebook and it was making me angry. I get it. That’s how people are coping they want to create a positive place. It made me feel like my feelings were invalid and wrong. I shouldn’t be angry I should be focused and grateful.

Well I am not. I am still angry.

I deleted facebook

Facebook was stressing me out so I decided that this divorce needs to happen so off I went. I am still watching the news. I have BBC news app sending me notifications and feel a bit better. It was never about cutting out the world. Just bad social media! I still love Instagram and Twitter. Maybe it’s the comfort of strangers that I find soothing.

I am working from home and the isolation isn’t helping my mental health. I am just frustrated and I think I actually need a break except I can’t go anywhere.

We are all in the same boat so I don’t feel alone even in isolation. I also know I am lucky. I have food in my kitchen. A little house I can disappear into. My little garden that I need to tidy. A loving husband and a cute puppy that need a daily walk. I am not depressed but this whole Covid 19 situation is stressing me out.

It’s all a bit much so I thought I would ask you where your head is at? Let’s start a conversation.

Onsens let’s get naked and talk body confidence

Advice, body confidence, confidence, Travel, weight loss

Firstly if you think I have body confidence you are mistaken. My pale chubby body is not a sight for sore eyes, even mine. I have gained a little weight since the wedding and I am not happy about it.

I do appreciate my body, don’t get me wrong, it is fairly healthy and fairly strong but it does look way better by candle light. I do believe in women loving themselves but I also understand that having body confidence is all in your head. And confidence grows from confidence so you can judge me all you want but my insecurities are not going away with a talk about how I should be proud of my body.

I was

Now I am not.

So let’s get back to Onsens. Onsens are like hot tubs but more like a the kids bathing pool. They are hot, they have to be a minimum of 37 degrees and have a minimum of 19 different minerals. Two of the Onsens we visited were 51 degrees

and were so hot we felt like we were cooking!

Getting naked

Most places will supply you with a kimono dressing gown cover called a yukata,belt, socks and the most uncomfortable flip flops ever. They are heinous but slow you down. This whole outfit forces you to take your time and relax. I loved it so much and you can sleep in them too if you want to. The yukata not the flip flops.

The men and women are divided so you only get naked infront of other women, few.

You go to a room full of baskets. Turn your basket the right way up and fill it with your bits. I left everything in the room so I just had what I was wearing.

When dressing women tie at the front and men tie at the back. Also the left lapel goes over the top. The right only goes over the top when you are dead!

It’s not out of focus it’s just that steamy in Here

Modesty

There is a modesty towel. It’s fricken tiny it barely reaches from boob to boob but it does cover your vagina so you don’t need to worry about your front. The whole rest of your body is on display. Oh boy…. I am not sure exactly what I was so afraid of until an American goddess with a perfect body entered the room. She was leaving and I was getting in so I hid in the loo till she left.

Because I had no confidence!

A few rules

The first Onsen I went to the lighting was nice and low so it helped me build my confidence. No it didn’t it just meant I didn’t run as fast to the Onsen like I did in the second one. After my fourth Onsen I was a bit less caring about what only her people thought of me and more concerned with how long I had been outside for!

It’s a hot bath which you share, this means you have to be clean going in. They have these tiny stalls with tiny stools you sit on and wash yourself. There is soap shampoo and conditioner but you don’t have to get your hair wet at all. You must clean yourself to keep the experience as hygienic as possible.

There are also shower heads, taps and a cute wooden bucket that you fill and splash over yourself. When I was alone I really enjoyed this process as the room is heated by the Onsens so you stay nice and warm. It’s a strange but pleasant way to wash and if I could get an Onsen in my garden in London I would, not a hot tub an actual onsen.

So far I have been in a Onsen alone, with a goddess ( she joined me the next night) and with a Japanese family and then a room full of Japanese beauty’s.

It was all fine no one cared.

I will go in again and again and get the most of the Onsens. We are in Japan at a quiet time of the year so I have been lucky that none of the Onsens have been full. I need to work on my confidence. I also need to work on my body. It’s not bad but it could be better!

Tattoos and Onsens

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but tattoos are generally not accepted in Onsens. I found one out of the five I visit were accepted and that was because it was a private Onsen.

I bought some tattoo covers with me and these are exceptable but if you have larger tattoos then you might face some issues.

From what I have read the reason Japan hates tattoos is because years ago prisoners used to be tattooed as a punishment. Then the yakuza decided to decorate the tattoos even more making this punishment a rite of passage instead. Yakuza had a lot of control in Japan so Japan decided to ban all tattoos from Onsens this making a huge statement to Japanese gangsters that they are not welcome.

Flash forward to modern times and things are changing but it is important to respect the traditions. You are not going to change anything by kicking up a fuss.

How did I feel about my tattoo

Well, honestly I felt like it was a hindrance. I had the stickers and I had to buy more but I was more worried about being kicked out for having a tattoo which came with a certain amount of shame that I had never felt before. I felt better when I had a cover up or I snuck in when there was no one around! But I did feel like I was sneaking.

I am sure if you search for them there are plenty of places that have no care for tattoos but like I said, 4/5 did. And we traveled a nice amount.

An Onsen life for me

We squeezed in as much Onsen action as we could and I swear it helped with the jetlag as we never suffered any!! These baths are open air relaxation and I enjoyed them immensely. In Zao Onsen they hawks closed off the open site but bit you could see the piles snow, it was beautiful but we weren’t allowed outside.

Hotels we stayed in Japan

Advice, Honeymoon, Travel

If your planning a trip to Japan then you may be interested in hotels we stayed it. I won’t put the prices up as it will change when you get there.

Before we left I popped all our hotels in my Google maps so that I could find them quickly on my phone.

They were easy for us to find our way back to even if we had had one two many cocktails!

Ryokan Onsen Tokyo

5 Chome-3-18 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

This was probably my second favourite hotel of the whole trip. Walking in from an 11 hour flight to find the most peaceful interior. Filled with soothing music, calming staff. The location was perfect. 10 minutes from the station and from all we needed. We loved it so much we chose to stay here when we were returning to Tokyo two weeks later.

Even though it was our honeymoon we decided to opt for twin beds rather than doubles. We had been warned that the beds in Japan were small so we wanted comfort. We moved the beds so they were next to each other but on the first night we were so tired we didn’t care.

The Hotels

Entrance to hotel

The Onsen was the best thing after a long flight and we took advantage of it when ever we were at the hotel even using it in the morning as you have to clean yourself before you get in! If you want to know more about Onsens I wrote about my experience here.

The room was small and functional we just slept and relaxed here. We never really suffered from jetlag so we were out from morning till evening then we would have an Onsen as it was open late and go to bed.

Considering how hectic Tokyo can seem this hotel was a breath of fresh air. We didn’t eat there but we loved staying there we only had one negative. On our last night there we organised for our luggage to go straight to the airport. The guy who was serving seemed like he couldn’t be bothered. He basically said we had to organise it all ourselves. When we first stayed we asked them to send our suitcases on to another hotel so we didn’t have to carry them. The women who helped us couldn’t do more, the guy couldn’t be bothered and kept making up excuses.

But that was a 20 minute experience from a 4 night stay so I would. Stay there again!

Overview

Location 4

  • Location 4
  • Price ££
  • Extras Onsen
  • Size of room Compact but perfect
  • 3 words modern peaceful compact

Shinaokoi annex Hakone

This place was wonderful. It was a traditional Ryokan where we wore robes to our meals and to the Onsen. It was surrounded by trees and was beautiful.

It was halfway between the town and the attractions so it was a good location however there was little to do there. We ate at the hotel so we didn’t have to go far and it was only one night I wish we had stayed for two minimum. The hotel was not modern but that is not what we wanted. We wanted a more traditional experience and although we didn’t have rice paper wall it still felt authentic.

The bathroom was just a toilet and sink as you were encouraged to use the Onsens and as we were only there for 1 night we didn’t miss it. Our floor table had a heater under it and kept us warm and we enjoyed having our tea and relaxing.

  • Location 3
  • Price ££
  • Extras Onsen the food was outstanding
  • Size of room Large and traditional
  • 3 words: traditional peaceful remote

Hiroshima Kokusai Hotel ひろしま国際ホテル

Hiroshima was a magical place and this hotel was pretty basic but it was fine. We didn’t spend long enough in Hiroshima it as most things were closed we didn’t mind too much.

The room was traditional with two futons on the floor it comfy clean and warm. The best thing this hotel had for it was it’s location. It was great. Right in the middle of things. It also had rice paper wall and lots of different spaces we didn’t really use because we were too busy exploring that we didn’t spend much time there.

We did eat here but to food wasn’t great. It was breakfast so we wouldn’t recommend the food but the hotel was fine. There were a few nice bars close by.

  • Location 4
  • Price ££
  • Size of room Large and traditional
  • 3 words: traditional clean and tidy

Hotel Wing International-Select Osaka Umeda ホテルウィングインターナショナルセレクト大阪梅田

Time for a bit of a change we headed to Osaka. To modern hectic Osaka.

This was a super modern, clean tidy hotel. It had a strange Art Deco theme but beds were heavenly with thick mattresses. The bathroom was small but had a bath and missing the Onsens we took full advantage.

We had a bit of a mishap with the language barrier and ended up getting our clothes dry cleaned rather than laundered and although it cost us £100 for tee shirts we put it down to a foolish mistake! A costly one but a mistake.

The location was great just a ten minute walk from the station but if I could go back I would stay closer to Namba as we ended up going out there a lot.

  • Location 4
  • Price ££
  • Size of room Small and compact
  • 3 words: modern, fresh, comfy

In summary

Even though I have about 4 hotels left I am going to leave it there for now. I will pop the information up in a blog later on.

I hope that wasn’t too boring we never stayed in a bad hotel and I do feel bad for any negative feedback as we were looked after pretty well. Any mistakes were generally ours. We had decent nights sleep every night, all in comfortable beds. It didn’t matter if we were in the heart of a city or out in the country the rooms were all peaceful and tidy.

Honeymoon with coronavirus! Japan here we come

Advice, health, Honeymoon, Planning, Travel

So firstly, are we worried? Yes a little

Are we going? Yes unless the government tells us not to!

It’s a flu, a bad flu that mainly effects the old and vulnerable. So we are not in the danger bracket yet. We still may get sick but likely that we will be fine. It’s flu, nasty flu.

This isn’t the dream honeymoon we have been planning for two years I can tell you. Generally I am fine and level headed about the hole thing but I still get moments of panic. I went out and tried to buy hand sanitizer but Tesco had sold out. Went to another shop but it wasn’t good sanitizer so I went to Boots and bought 6 baby ones and a big one to restock it.

I went in Boots today and they had sold out !! Sainsburies had nothing. So I bought what they had. I know Gav will say it’s too much but I would rather be safe then sorry… or dead.

This isn’t all of it!!

A lady I know who works at the local GP said Dettol. It kills all bacteria so I bought a decanter to take with us on the plane. I bought the antiseptic dettol for humans and antiseptic dettol for objects. This means I can clean the plane and our trays and just make it a bit more hygienic where ever we are.

Okay I sound crazy! It takes up minimal room in my suitcase and I don’t care.

Gav is far more sure about the decision.

He mocks my fear a little but I just want to be practical. We have bought extra hand sanitizer andantibacterial wipes to clean things. We even have proper masks but apparently they don’t do anything.

We are going to be sensible.

Hopefully that will be enough.

Stay away from crowds but enjoy ourselves! Have fun eat drink and stay clean.

What else can we do.

We are also taking half a pharmacy with us as well. In case we get sick out there we are making sure that we have some medication with us. Does this sound like fun honeymoon planning to you? I have two first aid kits! A mini one and a bigger one for when we are travelling around.

Safety first for the crazy lady!

My parents are both worried. My dad is worried we will get stuck out there. He calls me every other day now. And we get it, we really do but what can we do it about it.

My mum is coming to look after the dog.. so I am thinking of moving her out before we get home. In case we are not sick but pass on the virus to her. I would hate to be responsible for getting my mum and aunt sick! This really does worry me.

So let’s have a chat in the comments! Are you going to Japan? Would you go? Are you there now?

January blues 1 me 0

Advice, health, self care

Last month was hard

So hard

I have never felt so low for so long, January blues 1, me 0.

I still functioned, still went to work, but my energetic levels were so low. I felt in the edge of tears all the time. I just want to be held and left alone at the same time. The sofa became my best friend again, offering me support and keeping me sedated.

I bored myself.

I can’t quite believe how low I felt. I let things slide, my house dissolved into a complete mess. I paid little attention to myself and I just didn’t care. Not finding the route of the problem was pissing me off.

I pissed myself off.

I think it was a combination of two things. I think I was suffering from S.A.D seasonal affective Disorder which means that the grey sky’s and lack of sunlight where making me unhappy but also my diet didn’t help. SAD is about a lack of melatonin that you normally.

I had an apple today and realised that unless there was fruit in my dessert I hadn’t had fresh fruit since November! The Pink Lady I had today was joyful and refreshing. I also ate too much take out and processed food. This isn’t good, it didn’t help my mental state.

What did I learn

That next year I am going eat better.

Give up Diet Coke except if I am on holiday or socialising.

Exercise more but also I won’t be so hard on myself.

S.A.D is a real thing and I am allowed to be blue.

I had a few really shit days. And that’s okay because I am getting through this. I got through it. Next year I will be better prepared!

Any tips for getting through the winter months will be greatly appreciated!

Over packing is a waste, the key to successful packing

Advice, Travel

Overpacking is definitely a pet peeve of mine. I hate it, it’s wasteful and unnecessary and generally it’s down to not organising my list properly.

This holiday to Les Deuce Alps I only over packed slightly but it still rankles me. I could have just packed one jumper instead of 3, I could have just worn it a few times instead of 3 different jumpers that I wore once.

Perfect packing list

They key to perfect packing is a list and also packing cubes. They really are. When I write my list I like to think in out fits. What goes with what. But also I love a packing cubes Gavin mocks me for them but I find them essential.

Making a list is easy, you just need to know what you are doing and if you are going out out! Because we were going snowboarding I knew that my main priority was layers and keeping warm. This is my ninth year in the slopes so believe me when I tell you that hotels, bars and restaurants all have the heating on. You will always be warm when you are out but it’s getting from a-b that you need to focus on.

Oh baby it’s cold outside

Layers, you need layers and you also need to think practically. A pair of gloves is essential on the mountain but also off. You need a pair to keep your hands warm but also to protect them if you slip on the ice or snow. Cutting up your hands on a slip or trip is not a great idea!

Hats and scarves! So they have proven that it not true that majority of your heat comes out of your head however if you are completely wrapped up except for your head then it’s going to cold so pack a hat any will do! Scarves aren’t a must but you can use them as an accessory and keep warm. Win win for everyone.

The coat

Me and Gav generally don’t take extra coats with us. We use our snowboarding coat for day and night and it was only a mistake this year when the weather was cold and wet. We only had one night of issues but it was enough to make us think that next year we may take a thin waterproof that we can layer up with a hoodie underneath.

Again you will need to coat to protect you if you slip but also because it’s bloody freezing! We had snow, rain and hail! We needed our warm coats.

Safety first people

I have already written a blog on safety stuff so I won’t repeat myself! If you don’t look after yourself then you are a danger to everyone else!

But beginners need:

Sunscreen: no matter the weather it’s an extra barrier for your skin

A helmet: you head is a watermelon you hit it hard you die or brain damage. Be smart and protect your skull.

Goggles: visibility is key safety for you and fellow mountain buddies. Sunglasses are no substitute, fallon our face and tell me what a great idea they were. You can get cheap goggles online so no excuses.

Knee pads: cushioning for the part of your body you will rely on the most when boarding. As an extra you can do back armour etc if you want!

Gloves: you can’t board or ski without gloves. You can’t, cotton or wool ones will freeze your hands even in warmer climates. Invest in these. They need to be snow proof waterproof you name it. Mine have armour built in so I don’t break my wrist again.

Insurance, don’t be a dunce. No matter how smart you are and how safe there are always idiots on the mountain. This holiday we witnessed a fair few helicopters lifting people to safety and a lot of them were small trips that resulted in breaks and sprains. Often caused by others on the mountain. I knew a guy who slipped broke his back but didn’t know anything was wrong until he went and complained of a twinge. Get insurance it’s cheap compared to a helicopter flight.

Summary

Be smart. When it comes to safety then layer up. Know your limits and obey the rules.

You don’t need to overpack you can think in layers but it’s cold. So you can layer up and reuse items again and again.

You need an outfit for every night especially as all the photos of you will be out in the snow with you hat gloves and coat on. No one is impressed with heels in the snow.

Be practical and you will be fine. Plus you are in France so you will have great food and booze to keep you happy. You don’t need to overpack you just need to pack smart.