Sunny Saturday

Making the most of the British sunshine

IMG_1532Taking full advantage of the nice weather (29°C!!!) last weekend Jess and myself had a little afternoon gin party in the garden and caught some rays.

IMG_1529Remember this? A birthday present that I finally got round to drinking!

I must admit I was a little apprehensive when I saw rhubarb and ginger but I was worried for nothing because it is the gin of dreams! It has a slight rose coloured tint to it, and the rhubarb is the most prominent taste but the hint of ginger is a really subtle undertone. 

WOW, am I actually talking about alcohol for it’s taste rather than its ability to get me drunk? Hello adulthood! But in all seriousness it was lovely. We mixed it at first with a good amount of ice, tonic water and a slice of lemon which was so yummy, then after a few, I think it was Jess who suggested we try it with lemonade and what a brilliant idea that was! It just gave it that little extra bit of citrus that really made the drink.

We drank quite a lot of it to be honest but it’s because it was so easy to drink, it didn’t taste like alcohol at all, the perfect thing you want from a summer drink! I love those afternoons that turn into evenings when you can jut sit in the garden, have a drink and chat away as the sun starts to go down. 

IMG_1684 (1)On the Sunday the sun was still beaming so again I spent the afternoon outside and sat listening to music and reading a new book in the garden enjoying the sunshine.

It’s these moments that I take for granted and can’t wait to experience more of them on my travels, in different locations, trying different drinks and experiencing new things.

On the subject of books I’m going to need some suggestions so if you have any you can’t put down let me know! 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 Weeks & Counting…

How will you know it’s the right decision if you never make it?

This week has been a week. I went from telling work about my travel plans, giving them a heads up that in a few weeks I would be handing in my notice to actually handing in my notice yesterday and all of a sudden it got real, real quick.

Definitely not in a bad way, it felt so good to finally share this secret that I’ve been bursting to tell everyone but it also made me feel slightly anxious because I just confirmed the date I leave my job, loosing that security of having a monthly income. I started this job as an innocent graduate, fresh out of university ready to enter the ‘real world’ and what started as a 6 week summer job turned into a permanent position that has 100% had its ups and downs. 

The reaction form my colleagues has been really heartwarming, they have all been so positive about what I’ve decided to do. Although they are gutted to loose me (obviously), they understand why I am going and the majority have said they wish they could do the same or wish they would have done it when they had the chance! I will will be sad to say goodbye as I have made some friends for life but I cannot wait to go for my leaving drinks and have a good old gossip before I leave.

Although scary, I know for sure I wouldn’t be able to get through this stress without my amazing friends and family so shout out to them for keeping me sane! 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

 

Beautiful Planet, Ugly World.

This is Manchester, we do things differently here.

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A few hours after my last post there was a horrific attack on my home town, Manchester.

It hasn’t felt right to post anything since.

Last night there was another attack in the capital on London bridge and I just feel compelled to write my bit. Not because I feel like I have the answers, or because I feel like my opinions on the attacks are important, but because I started writing so I had something to look back on and remember what happened in the lead up to my trip for years to come.

I don’t want to forget what happened on 22nd May and I will forever remember the innocent victims, who lost their lives and were injured in the horrific attack. 22 fatalities, 60 injured, 5.2 miles away from my home. 

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Alex works in St Anne’s Square where all the flowers and gifts for the victims have been lay. She has been sending us updates of her view and it really is so powerful to see the City come together and show our solidarity during these difficult times. 

In the United Kingdom there have been 3 attacks in 3 months. Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge. Innocent people going about their lives. Walking around the city during the day, young children and families at a concert and being out on a Saturday night.

Although these incidents are equally as horrific, it is important to focus on the hero’s in this situation, the emergency services. These people put their lives in danger to save ours and for that I am eternally grateful. 

Keep the victims in your thoughts but it is important to live your life to the fullest and remember to always be kind. 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

It’s The Little Things

Language Barrier?

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Mum gave me this yesterday and I absolutely cracked up! I can tell i’m going to have endless fun with this during the build up and once I get to Aus. 

It took a while for Mum and Dad to come round to the idea that I was disappearing for a year and only recently are they starting to engage in more conversations about me going. They’ve always been supportive but I’ve not long been back from 3 years at uni and I think they secretly love having me around! 

Of course I will miss them like crazy too and this present really made me realise that its going to be the little things that I will miss. 

Apart from the obvious ones like thongs being flip flops, one of my favourites is that household linen in Aus is known as manchester! Not sure how true they are but I will try them out and let you know how I get on!

It works both ways because I can’t wait to test the Aussie’s on their knowledge and introduce them to some Mancunian slang!

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.s Tomorrow marks 14 weeks till the big day!

 

 

Food For Thought

“Just because my path is different, doesn’t mean i’m lost”

Over the weekend I went to a house warming at a family friends and his girlfriends new house. They are 24, have two beautiful children and being in their house got me thinking about just how different our paths are. I am at that age now where a lot of my peers are settling down with their partners and buying houses, renting flats and having babies. Things that send absolute shivers down my spine. I’m not upset about it though and I think the above quote sums it up perfectly, I know my time will come, I just have a little exploring to do first. 

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life”

If I didn’t have AUS planned it’s more thank likely that my life would be heading in the direction of moving out from my childhood home and possibly starting a life with someone else. Honestly, I couldn’t be more confident in my decision to travel. I think now is the perfect time for me to get out of my comfort zone and live each day as it comes, it is such a big move and a decision that will change my life but a decision I am so happy I made. It has given me something to work towards in terms of saving money and having a goal (P.S. 15 weeks). 

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it”

This one really resonated with me, because honestly not an hour goes by without me thinking about AUS and what i’m going to get up to there. It is such a motivator and is always pushing me to work hard to make sure I have the best experience there. 

If you are thinking of booking a trip, have any trips coming up or are on a trip now, how do these quotes make you feel? I’m hoping to look back at these in a few months and see how my thoughts have developed and if have any of my opinions changed. Most importantly i’m excited to see what i’m up too!

I’ve been binge watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race recently and I’ve honestly fell in love with it so I will leave you with some words of wisdom from the Queen herself, Mamma Ru:

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else”

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Disneyland Paris

The happiest place on earth. FACT.

My TimeHop this week kindly reminded me that this time last year, I was in Disneyland Paris. It is also where the idea of going to Aus came about.

We stayed in the “Dream Castle” hotel, which although isn’t one of the Disney hotels, it is on the free shuttle bus route which runs every 15 mins. 

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I mean look at it! In all its beauty. You just never get over the first glimpse of the castle as you’re walking down Main Street USA. The smell of popcorn and other Disney treats, excitement fills the air.

There are only two parks in Disneyland and you can easily cover a lot of ground in a short space of time. As always, it’s handy to get to the big rides early and plan your route around the park but in comparison to the wait times at the American parks, you’re rarely waiting more than half an hour. It is important to mention that when we visited it was outside of school holidays so more than likely that will determine the wait times. 

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We did the usual sights in Paris, such as The Eiffel Tower and Le Louvre and I must admit our directional skills were not the best when it came to operating the Paris Metro! But we got the hang of it and it’s a really great means of transport if you don’t feel like walking the whole perimeter of Paris. 

During this trip we decided to make it our mission to visit all the Disney parks around the world. On route to Aus, we have a 14 hour layover in Hong Kong, so what else would we do other than spend it in the Disney park!

I can’t wait to share pictures and stories with you from that trip!

Speak soon,

Hannah x

 

18 Weeks & Counting…

Yep, 18 weeks before I get on that plane and start this crazy adventure. 

Over the weekend I booked my first 7 nights stay in Aus and although I still don’t have a plan per say, it made me feel safer in the knowledge that I would have a bed for at least 7 nights. 

I also went shopping and picked up a travel cushion. This may seem like the dullest thing ever but I can’t explain to you the excitement I get each time I buy something that will be coming to Aus with me. Each time one of us picked something up it was met with the saying; “Yeah, but will you take it to Aus?” and it just sounds so mad to think that any clothes etc that I buy now will more than likely be coming to Aus with me. 

I found myself lay in bed that evening and the following thoughts entered my head: 

Visa... check
Flights… check
A place to stay... check

A squeal of excitement later, I was off to dream land, where I was looking out over the bluest of skies living the absolute dream.

Just call me Sheila 😉

Speak soon,

Hannah x 

 

 

 

 

Scrapbook Fun

Time to get creative?

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One birthday present I left off the list, was this dreamy scrapbook gifted to me by Jess and Alex. 

Every time we meet to discuss things about our trip or we are out shopping I am always wittering on about how much I want to scrapbook the journey and remember all the little things we get up to along the way. In all honesty I think they just got fed up of me not being able to commit to a design, so like the true gems they are they proved that they know me better than I know myself and they picked the perfect book. 

The book is from Paperchase and is 25cm by 26cm. Fab size really because it makes it not too big and not too small. The pages are plain white and you can tell the paper will be able to hold pictures and other bits like tickets without it ripping which is something I was looking for when I had been shopping for these previously. 

There are 5 dividers (bottom right picture) in the book which have a pocket to hold things that might be too bulky for the pages or just too heavy. I think this will also be a really great way of separating different parts of the trip. The last page of the book has some cute stickers that you can use to either label pages or map out what you want to add in later. The stickers say: projects, notes, photos, inspiration, clippings and memories.

When we did big trips when we were younger like Disney World, mum kept everything and tried her damn hardest to get me and brother to piece some pictures together and create a scrapbook of the trip, but teenage Hannah was having none of it. In the end mum did it herself and I do like to look back now and remember things that happened and places we went that I would have forgotten otherwise. So soz mum, if you’re reading this, you were right, and present day Hannah thanks you for keeping the memories for us. 

I’m not making any promises to myself  (so don’t get too excited mum) that i’m going to stick to this and suddenly become all artsy and a Pinterest worthy “scrapbooker” because if I have learnt anything in my 23 years, its that crafts isn’t my thing. More importantly, the book is a place that I can keep pictures and little momentum’s of the trip to look back on and show people in years to come.

So take this as a cry for help, any pro crafters out there if you have any advice or ideas, hit me up, i’ll take any help I can get!

Speak soon,

Hannah x

 

Birthday Bliss

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME !!

Last week was my Birthday and in true Birthday Princess style I celebrated all week long!

Anyone who knows me will know how much I love my birthday and my beautiful friends and family pulled out all the stops to make sure turning 23 was as special as ever.

IMG_1128 There was a reoccurring theme with my presents.. Gin.

I have a strong love affair with Gin and it is my drink of choice regardless of the place or occasion. My friend Jared came up to visit and greeted me at the station with a “homemade” princess crown (it was a burger king crown with “Gin Prin” written on it) and he had brought with him the small Hendricks Gin and I love the bottle and i’m gonna keep it forever! But.. have you seen the delight of a rose tinted  bottle Sam and Jess got me! It’s Rhubarb and Ginger Flavour and I can just picture myself now sitting outside on a summer evening, sipping on an ice cold glass of this deliciousness! Sam and Jess are my Ambrose Angels (girl group pending), who I lived with at uni and even though we have graduated now and don’t live with each other anymore we still make the effort to get presents for birthdays which I think is just so lovely to find friends that are there for you like that! They also got me some beautiful pj’s and the pretty Flamingo personalised phone case!

The passport holder is from my my friend Jenn who never fails to pick the perfect presents she is so thoughtful and I love the print of it and it got me SO excited to think that I am only 5 months away from my big trip!

IMG_1130 As you can see the Gin theme also makes an appearance in my cards!

These are just some of my favourites but can we please take special note of the “you looked taller on Tinder” card from Alex and Jess (my Aus gals) I lol’ed at this for a while after opening and still makes me laugh when I look at it.

My Volleyball team also got me a cake and a Disney Princess Balloon which is just the sweetest thing for them to do and it was such a surprise when  I turned up to training and it was there!  

IMG_1042 LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY OF A CHEESECAKE!

Okay, so, context…

Jess and I have always been a fan of the page “Drake on Cake” which is a page on Instagram that makes gorgeous cakes and puts Drake lyrics on them so of course, Jess being the superstar she is ordered me a goddamn cheesecake with a Drake lyric on it! The lyric is from my favourite song “Childs Play” and the full lyric is:

“Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake? You know I love to go there”

Guys, this came all the way from Scotland! From the “Handmade Cheesecake Company” it was delivered in a massive polystyrene box filled with ice packs to keep it cool and honestly it tasted insanely good. It was Forrero Rocher flavoured and every time I took a bite it was like I was Rachel and Chandler in the episode of friends when they are eating the cheesecake that they found outside of a neighbours apartment. Anyone with me on that? Or is it just me..

The whole week in the back of my mind, I was thinking and getting so excited to think that my next Birthday will be in Australia! Also excitingly, as i’m writing this, I don’t even know where I will be this time next year!!

Anyway, enough of me rambling about how brilliant my birthday week was (i’ll spare you the details of the drunken antics), I just wanted to document and let it be known that I have the best friends and the best family who are so kind and my heart is very full of love right now. 

It’s Easter Sunday this weekend so I hope you have a lovely long weekend and lets hope for some good weather! 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.S I emotionally sang Taylor Swifts’, 22 for the last time the night before my birthday. Unfortunately the theme tune to being 23 is, “nobody likes you when your 23”, thanks Blink 182.

The Suitcase

Well this is it, the case that I will be packing my life into and moving around the world with!IMG_1031.JPG

It’s called “Long Haul Luggage” (which is as fitting as you can get considering I have an 18 hour flight coming up!) made by the brand Roxy and I have always loved Roxy as a brand owning things such as swimming costumes, flip flops and backbacks in the past but never a case. I came across the case when chatting with Jess and Alex about if they had thought what case they were planning on taking/getting. Jess being the super organised shopper she is, said she had spotted the Roxy cases whilst looking herself. 

I bought the case off Surfdome for £103.99. It was 20% off in the sale but the different patterns are priced differently, i’m guessing because they’re from different collections. I was slightly apprehensive about ordering a case online as I only had measurements to go from rather than actually holding it, checking out the weight etc. Thankfully though, I LOVE it! The pattern I chose is called “In The Breeze True Black” its just as fab as it is on pictures and the coral zip is the perfect shade. I chose this pattern because I love black but I didn’t want plain so the white detail and the coral shade give it that pop of colour that it needs. There are so many ways to lift and carry it and the inside has two separate compartments that i’m hoping will help me pack with slightly more organisation!

The websites boasts:

Extra-large, wheeled suitcase, double deck zipped compartment, front zipped accessory and shoe pockets with a telescopic handle and side padded handles.

Dimensions: 30.7″ height x 14.5″ width x 16.5″ depth / 78cm height x 37cm width x 42cm depth
Volume: 125Ltrs
Weight: 4.2Kg
Material: 100% Polyester

I haven’t yet used the case and wont be until I go so I cannot give more of a review than this at the moment but I will update as I am packing/taking it on journeys with me. 

Hope you love it as much as I do!

Speak Soon,

Hannah x