Sunday, 15 November 2015

Fear and Loathing

I’m going to admit it – I’m scared.  I’ve hit a stage in my life where I’m out of my comfort zone.  No longer are the days of simple answers, or solutions.  I have taken big leaps, and in turn set a whole new level of expectation.

 In hindsight, I knew this was coming.  Oh hell, I wanted this.  I begged for this.  But, it still doesn’t distract from the fact that it’s pretty terrifying.
These past couple of weeks have been the scariest time of my life – starting a brand new job, in a field I have never worked in professionally before, adapting to a new company, meeting new people, taking on a horrendous commute to and from work, travelling around the country and navigating around a place I know very little of, has been the toughest challenge of my life.  So why the hell am I doing it?
Because: This is it.
Life is tough, and I’m the girl who doesn’t do things by half – I hate the ordinary, I pursue every mountain, I dream big, I dig deep, I run in the pouring rain, I push myself to the absolute extreme, I love with all of my heart and after a fall I always come back fighting.
We established a little while ago, just how fierce I was.  And, I think ultimately this is what makes me the person that I am.  
I always, always wanted a career, not just a job.
And, as time caught up with me, the hunger, the drive and the determination got the better of me.  Taking on unsatisfying jobs and low profile roles meant my aspirations weakened, I almost if you will, felt defeated.  But, then Thailand opened my heart to possibility, and everything changed…

This is only the beginning, and when attending The Golden Apron Awards last Monday on behalf of my company in conversation with a well-established writer and editor, she politely told me ‘you need to toughen up girl’ – and that struck a chord with me, because you know what, that is precisely what I intend to do.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Paradise in a Nutshell – Day 3 in Koh Lanta

A lot of people deemed us crazy to be travelling to Thailand for just 3 days. But, I’m a dreamer and I know that dreams are worth chasing – even if that requires a lot of dedication, disruption and desire. Trust me – it’s worth it.

On our final evening we decided to make use of the spa, which included a massage – something I have never experienced before in my life. Don’t get me wrong I’ve always wondered what spa days may encounter, but never have I had the opportunity or occasion to try one out. Well, this may just have changed everything and opened my eyes to a whole new world of relaxation.

On our arrival at the spa, we were met with green tea, and given white slippers. We then were escorted to our treatment room, where I found myself doubled over in laughter when we were presented with the tiniest 'panties' – my husband’s face was a picture!

We chose the aromatherapy package, which was an hour long massage, with oils and lotion. I am no expert in spa treatments, but wow did I feel good afterwards. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief, I was awakened.

The treasured part for me was unveiling my elephant tattoo, and the kind masseuse carefully patting Pang, almost feeling a sense of realism – my tattoo had spoken to her.

The next day we had the morning to gather our belongings and thoughts. I felt a deep desire to spend a little time alone – I needed some escapism. So, I found myself solely heading towards the beach, where I sat and admired the setting (once more) and quietly pondered my thoughts. In that moment I realised just how grateful I was to Thailand – if I had never travelled here in May, I certainly wouldn’t be sat here now and more so – I don’t think I would have ever unlocked my dreams.

I then ecstatically joined my husband for a final treat around the pool – a dragon fruit I’d bought the day before at a fruit stall. I carefully sliced it down the middle with a pen knife and devoured one half, then the other. I felt absolutely gluttonous, but in the most tropical way. I’d just eaten an entire dragon fruit in one sitting!


We then left for the airport. Of course, our journey home took almost 24 hours – taking 5 days away from reality (2 travelling and 3 staying in Koh Lanta), was a trip worth taking. I wouldn’t ever decline an opportunity to travel, seek and wander (because sometimes in life, you have to take chances).

I’m not sad that we are home, or that we couldn’t stay longer – I am more enthused, excited and passionate about the next trip, wherever that may be.

Never, ever give up on what you love most.

Day 1 in Koh Lanta

Day 2 in Koh Lanta

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Scream If You Wanna Go Faster - Day 2 in Koh Lanta

We woke to calm – the storm had left and we were certain of another glorious day in Koh Lanta.  I ran a warm bath, flung open the shutters in our bathroom (totally bliss) and once more absorbed the setting – we were situated right in the middle of a spring of palm trees.
Sunday’s have become the day we look forward to most, at home we usually use them to catch up on chores and anything else that hasn’t happened during the week.  I’ve kind of lost touch with the idea that Sunday is a day to be enjoyed.  When we were preparing to get married in 2014, we visited church most Sunday’s – which was an absolute joy for me, I found myself looking forward to our visit each week.  I also became fond of dressing in my Sunday best – I felt a sense of pride in getting dressed smart for church and have kept this little mantra in mind. 
Dress: Primark
So, Sunday called for something lovely – I put on my satin floral dress and headed straight towards breakfast.  I indulged in more fruit and gently savoured my coffee admiring the glorious views.  It was then, my husband posed the question whether to hire a scooter for the day. Of course, it was an almighty: Yes! 

My husband is a great navigator, he also patiently taught me to drive (which was quite the challenge to say the very least), he also had a scooter long before I met him.  He often reminisces about this time in his life, and I always smile and imagine him on his mint green Vespa. The scooters available for hire where a little more modern in age, but of course I knew I was in safe company – he selected us two helmets (flowers for me, naturally), and off we went…
We didn’t have a map; instead we used our instinct to navigate around town.  We headed straight towards the busy streets, stopping off for an iced cold drink and some gasoline.  I adored the old school petrol pumps and couldn’t help but pose next to one...

Next, we hopped back on and headed towards the other side of the island – where we were met with miles of pure open road, we increased our speed and I clasped my arms as tight around Simon as possible, I may have even screamed a little!   
We passed an army of fruit stalls (I stopped to take photographs of the amazing tropical varieties), bars, beach shacks, and …. Monkeys!  I had read that monkeys were often present in Koh Lanta, but I didn’t realise we would suddenly find ourselves surrounded by a small fleet of them.  Of course, I was absolutely mesmerised by these tiny creatures on the road, but felt a deep sense of sadness that they were so close to danger.  We carefully passed them, and made a pit stop for some lunch (Pad Thai obviously). 

Our final stop was a small bit of beach – again unpopulated, a small family run shack was on the edge of the beach – we both ordered banana smoothies.  I then realised that, the most unfortunate incident had occurred.  I had only got my period, unexpected and unannounced – I couldn’t help but laugh, laugh at the ironic scenario I was now in.

Without a graphic detailed account (we’re all women here), the scooter had truly pushed me over the edge!  And my dress, yes that beautiful dress was now all I had to wear until we returned back to our hotel.

Arriving back, we returned our scooter and said goodbye to a brilliantly short-lived fairy tale.  Later that evening, I looked at my husband over dinner and quietly told him that ‘it had been one of the best days of my life, spent with him.'
To be continued...
Day 1 in Koh Lanta.

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