Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Material things vs Experiences

This article reaffirms to me why I am spending quite a sum on my month tour of Central America - and why I chose to do something like this in the first place. 

Take a look at it here:
The Science Of Why You Should Spend Your Money On Experiences, Not Things

I have also just downloaded "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin and I look forward to pursuing this subject matter over the next month or so.

Last minute tweak

Nothing like a last minute decision to cut my trip short from 32 days to 28 days! I'm sure the stress of this will peter into nothingness once I'm on the road and enjoying myself, but right now, ahhhhhhhhhh

Monday, 30 March 2015

The complicated backpack

So yesterday I started packing - a job I dread these days. For some reason, I string it out and annoy myself. I used to love packing and got it all done and dusted well in advance of my departure date. Anyhoo, I decided it was time to get acquainted with my backpack using the above booklet. After walking myself through the multiple compartments, I started to fill them. I think I have it sussed. One of my good friends suggested I draw myself a key so I can remember where everything is. She also said she hoped I wouldn't need a bag search because it would take Security some time to go through the whole pack.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

The Curvy Girls Club by Michele Gorman

I'm enjoying reading on my Kindle so, now that my Goodreads challenge for 2014 has finished, I decided to try some easy going Chick Lit on a subject matter close to my heart. I was also intrigued to see that there was in fact a Curvy Girls Club in real life.

The story is about four women battling with their weight. After one particular meeting at Slimming World, they decide to start a new club - one where you can feel good in your own skin whatever your size and shape. And so The Curvy Girls Club is born, but in business rarely do things go smoothly and the lines become even more tangled and distorted when you start to disagree with your friends - who are also your business partners.

In terms of the writing style, it's lighthearted, enjoyable and gives the story an ebb and flow that kept me turning the pages. I love the fact it's set in London and I understand all of the references to places and people. 

Despite being Chick Lit, the book covers important questions like: Is teasing a woman for being too thin as damaging as teasing a woman who is too fat? Where do you draw the line when trying to lose weight? Are certain employers for certain companies justified in requiring a person to look a certain way before they hire them? And then there's the whole can of worms regarding self esteem...

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Exercising Spanish - 10 days!

With only 10 days until kick off and 5 days until I fly to Toronto for Easter, I've been getting some last minute Spanish practice in with the excellent app Collins Spanish with Paul Noble. I've also been cycling my little legs off on my exercise bike, trying to prepare my limbs for some tough volcano trekking!  

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Adventure kit - 20 days!

Jeez, this trip is creeping up fast. In 20 days time, I'll be flying from Toronto to San Jose, Costa Rica to begin my adventure...!

And I've been getting organised; I went through my adventure travel kit box to see what I had already and realised there were quite a few items I could do with buying. So, after selling a couple of items on eBay and making 35 quid, I thought I'd use that money to purchase some additional kit. I bought everything in the pic above on eBay, sticking to my budget, 7 items in all:

Trepass ruck sack rain cover waterproof for my day back pack (10 to 25 litres)  £7.99
Trepass anti bacterial trekking towel, navy blue, lightweight, 45cm by 90cm  £8.99
12 LED waterproof head torch, also detaches and doubles as a flashlight  £2.17
Insect and mosquito repellant spray, 100% DEET, 60ml bottle  £6.49
2x anti mosquito repellant wrist bands, 100% DEET  £2.39
23 piece travel First Aid kit with scissors  £2.45
Sports head / neck strap sunglasses cord with toggle  £1.98

TOTAL SPENT: £32.46 (no postage and packing costs required)

Now I need to start thinking about actually packing...

Saturday, 14 March 2015

The backpack has landed

Picked up my backpack today... eek! Will be travelling light then, judging by how big (small!) and what I can actually carry, but still incredibly excited!!

I've never actually travelled with a giant backpack as my main luggage before. It's always been a suitcase and / or just hand luggage to Europe, North America, Canada, the Middle East and Asia, and soft holdalls around Africa. But then again, I've never done a trip like this before - YOLO "You Only Live Once" - basic accommodation, public transport, the nitty gritty, travelling light and carefree, getting into the hearts of countries.

6 countries / 32 days !!!!!

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Backroads of Central America in 30 days!!!!!

Map courtesy of G Adventures
So... I'm on the 30 day countdown, before my big trip travelling up through Central America. Just left this review for G Adventures about their booking process:

Really great experience from start to finish. The website is easy to navigate and get to where you want to be when looking at specific trips. Plenty of information available and I like the access to the Departure Lounge forum once you've booked and set up your own account. When emailing and speaking to the guys in Sales, the comms were excellent. I booked pretty late - within 60 days - but everything was dealt with promptly. Generally love the feel of G Adventures website and the vibe I got when dealing with them. Fun loving, adventurous, thorough and efficient. Can't wait for my trip now!

Friday, 6 March 2015

New adventures and challenges

The last 12 months or so have seen me reading like crazy, working hard on my Goodreads challenge, which is finally complete. I've been to some great concerts - Miranda, TGT - Tyrese, Ginuwine and Tank, Drake and The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams and John Legend. I've managed a couple of city breaks to Budapest and Chicago and a trip to see my family in Canada... AND I've been saving hard for my next big adventure!

Now I've finished with posting letters and parcels around the world and it's time for a little globe trotting myself...

Six countries in four weeks - BRING IT ON !!!!!

Here's Pharrell Williams singing "Happy" live at The O2 back in October. Kinda how I feel right now!