Category Archives: Travel

Day 7 Of Celebrations – Starling Murmuration

I have celebrated life every day for a week now!  Read how this challenge started here.  It was great to finish the week with something as epic as the famous starling murmuration at Ham Wall nature reserve in Somerset.

It was so dark and gloomy today, but here is a video from earlier in the year to give you an idea of the scale of it.

I got a closer view of the birds today as they fluttered and swooped over my head in gigantic clouds.  Most of my pictures were a blur, or too dark to see anything, but this meant I was free to witness the magic without any distractions.

The sight and sound of them whooshing through the air was utterly mesmerising, and I was so absorbed in the experience that I felt like I could take flight at any moment!  At one point they were only a couple of meters from my head, thousands of birds flying by in perfect synchronisation.  I had the biggest smile on my face, and felt so lucky to be there for this amazing event.

Even without the starlings the nature reserve is beautiful peaceful place, overflowing with abundant life.  After they had settled down I took some time to gaze across the water and soak up the last of the twilight.  You can never guarantee what you’ll see when looking for wildlife, but you can always count on nature to be a source of inspiration.  Life definitely felt like magic today.

I have completed a week of daily acts to celebrate the magic of life, but I don’t intend to stop here.  It is sometimes challenging to think of things to do, or to find time, but I absolutely love the mindset that it creates in me.  Stay tuned to see how I continue to celebrate.

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Day 6 – Celebrating The Magic

I’m on day 6 of my challenge to celebrate the magic of life in some way, big or small, every single day (find out why here).  I’ve had some awesome experiences already which you can read about in my last few posts, but there are obviously days when my enthusiasm wanes and I need a break.  Luckily I compiled a list of ideas of simple ways to celebrate for such an occasion.

The aim of this challenge is to get into a more magical mindset about life, so as long as I am taking some kind of action in alignment with that, I will have succeeded.  As today was rainy and cold, and I was tired from last night’s party, I decided it was the perfect day to stay in and do some adventure planning!

Planning an adventure is an amazing way of embracing life when you don’t actually have the energy or desire to go anywhere at that moment.  I always end up going on spontaneous mini adventures, which are obviously wonderful, but regret not having enough time, or lack of planning means I end up missing out on things or rushing.  Things would go so much more smoothly if I had some pre-planned ideas to follow through with when the timing and weather are right!

I’ve been to the Brecon Beacons many times before, but have always gone along with other people’s plans so have never needed to figure out where to go and what to see.  I spent the afternoon looking at photos of magical waterfalls, dreaming and planning.

Reading about other people’s experiences really sparked that sense of adventure in me again, and day 7 will definitely be a celebration of the magic of nature (even though I don’t have time to go all the way to Wales!).

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Ice Skating And Winter Magic

Day 3 of my challenge to celebrate the magic of life in some way every single day was an evening of ice skating and winter fun in Bristol.  This challenge was inspired by Christmas, but is intended to continue into 2019.  It is easy to find ways to celebrate at this time of year, but I am being constantly reminded that attitude is everything.

As my friend and I walked to the ice rink from the car park we were initially disappointed by the lack of decorations in the city centre.  I remembered my intention to celebrate the magic, and found that when I focused on the beauty it became amplified.  The lights seemed to shine brighter, and I was dazzled at the difference my change of mindset made.

We sang all the way to the winter fair, and I was glad to be with someone as happy as me to be silly in public!  I love people who I can just be my crazy self with like my fellow massage therapist friend Sarah.  We spotted a sign that simply said ‘GET MERRY’, so we were happy to oblige!  I was so excited by the time we reached this Christmas tree which marked our arrival.

Ice skating was predictably busy and treacherous, but after half an hour I was gliding around easily and barely noticed all the people wobbling and colliding, as I was in my own world.  I felt like I was in the winter wonderland described in so many classic Christmas songs!

Our session was over way too soon, but we happily sang all the way home again!  Another fantastic day of celebration.

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Celebrating The Magic – Glastonbury Tor At Twilight

My previous post Christmas Inspired Me To Start Blogging Again will explain in more detail what is happening here.  In a nutshell, I have decided to undertake the crazy task, which I shall almost certainly fail at, of doing something to celebrate the magic of life every single day.  It will be very difficult to sustain such a high level of enthusiasm, let alone manage to blog about it, but I believe the process will be rewarding!  Hopefully my posts can provide you with some inspiration and magic too.

Day 1 was a pilgrimage to the top of Glastonbury Tor.  (Conveniently, I was staying with my boyfriend in Glastonbury at the time!)  I decided today was the day to begin my challenge, and despite the weather and lack of light for photos, the Tor was calling me.  What a perfect way to celebrate being in this amazing place, and the start of a new series of adventures.

Going up to the Tor was far less important than celebrating the magic I found along the way, as my whole reason for doing this was to become more present to the beauty that surrounds us all of the time. 

I set off on my journey at a brisk pace, aware of the fading light, but with joy in my heart, ready to absorb the wonders I would come across.  The beautiful lights in these trees showed me that I was on the right track.

It wasn’t long before I reached the White Spring, and I took a quick detour into the temple which is free to enter.  Mysterious is a massive understatement when describing this place.  I don’t know enough to give you historical information, but it felt kind of eerie on this occasion.

I’ve been inside before, but it was my first visit alone.  I loved the few strange moments I spent in there, but needed to continue onwards and upwards.

As I climbed higher, the lights from the town below glittered and faded into the distance.  I stood for a moment to appreciate the scene in front of me, and the warm glow lit up my heart.  A few days before, the simple joy of Christmas had showed me the way forward, and now I was allowing myself to fully receive the magic this moment had to offer.

I passed the last few visitors coming down, and then it was just me and the Tor.  I felt as though I had been transported back in time, and it hit me that I was travelling an ancient path.

As I neared the top the cold really set in, and I didn’t hang around for long.  I had found the magic I had been seeking, and although these poor quality photos don’t do it justice, I hope my words convey the sense of euphoria I got from my first day of celebration.

As I walked back through town, everything seemed a little brighter.  I popped into Earthfare (the local health food supermarket) to buy supplies, and could feel my whole body buzzing with energy.

My next act of celebration would be something completely different, and I already had an exciting idea.  Stay tuned for my post on Day 2 of Celebrating The Magic, coming soon!

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Find Your Wonderland

As I stood on the balcony of the mosque’s minaret with 360° views of the city of Mostar, everything began to fall into place.  The crystal clear emerald green river that flowed through the middle of the old town, beneath the iconic bridge, vividly reflected back to me the peace and freedom I felt within my mind.

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

My joy was so much greater because I saw that I’d created this moment for myself, and there would be countless more to come.  I’ve experienced being in paradise before, but unable to fully connect with my surroundings, feeling heavy in my heart.  At last I felt like I was committed enough to my dreams to overcome many of the difficulties I’d been struggling with recently.

Adventure had been my intention for this trip, and it had come in so many unexpected forms that were exactly what I had needed.  In that moment I felt a sense of soaring freedom so much greater than I had ever expected.  I gazed down at the magnificent view and reflected on the journey that had brought me to this point.

Last year I left the UK for Costa Rica imagining that I may travel indefinitely, working my way around the world.  5 weeks later, after being refused entry to Panama and missing my friends and family at Christmas time, I found myself on a flight back home.  I couldn’t believe I was leaving this tropical haven for cold and gloomy Bristol in the winter!

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

But this was the beginning of a new phase for me of really trusting my heart over what appeared to be logical.  The longing I had to spend Christmas with my friends and family was too strong to ignore.  What was the point in creating a fabulous life for myself full of freedom and adventure, if this freedom excluded returning to the one place I wanted to be most in the entire world?

So I went home.  Since then I have been gradually getting more and more in tune with my intuition.  I have learned to be brave and trust myself, even when I feel like I ‘should’ be doing something different.

After several months of practising the art of living in this way, I could feel the difference it had made.  I was traveling again, but this time everything was in perfect harmony.  I had become much clearer with my intentions, and had developed the courage to follow through with them most of the time.  I understood now that there would be challenges, but I could see the bigger picture and I knew it was always worth it.

Kotor, Montenegro

I have spent most of this year housesitting back in Bristol, and taking shorter trips in between, instead of the long term travel I had planned.  Everything has turned out so perfectly, despite the fact I have felt like I’m fumbling around in the dark.  This has given me so much more faith in my ability to create anything I truly want.

It would be easy to settle into this lifestyle, but I’ve learned that it is essential to my happiness to take action based on my true desires, even if it doesn’t appear to fit in with my current reality.  Freedom and connection with nature are things that I’ve been craving more and more of lately.  When I’m traveling this seems to come much more naturally to me, and at the end of my recent Europe trip I felt this need more strongly than ever.

The simplicity of dipping into crystal clear water or spending an hour lying in the sun, even in the middle of town in Zadar, was so immensely fulfilling.  Just as at the end of my Costa Rica trip I’d felt my soul pulling me home, in my heart I now felt called towards slow and simple long term travel.

Zadar, Croatia

After returning home early from Costa Rica, I had a lot of short action packed adventures which were exactly what I needed to build up my confidence.  I tried to slow down and get work done on the road, but my desire to explore, along with time limitations, meant that I spent a lot of time rushing around seeing new exciting things.  Working on my blog and Etsy shop inevitably took a back seat.

It was all so exhilarating, but the days I enjoyed the most were always when I stopped trying to do everything and just enjoyed soaking in the moment.  With more time in each place I would be able to relax, work and explore.  So, based on my deep heart felt desire, I am taking some very simple action to prioritize longer term travel in the future.

I am fully booked with housesitting in Bristol until February, but I have decided not to take any more bookings after that, for the time being.  It feels a little scary, as I don’t know where I’ll be staying or how much money I will have by then, but it feels liberating to have made the decision.  I also know that if I follow through with my intention and have faith, everything will work out for the best.

Kotor, Montenegro. This cat knew how to relax and enjoy the simple things in life!

So although I have come full circle, back to my desire to explore the world indefinitely, I feel so much more balanced and at peace with myself.  It honestly doesn’t matter where I am in the world, as long as I am following my heart.

The more I tune in to my deepest desires, set intentions, and take action accordingly, the more connected I feel to this beautiful world.  I am at home right now, and even though I have plans to travel again in February, there is nowhere else I would rather be in this moment.

Finding our wonderland has absolutely nothing to do with our surroundings (although we may find we feel compelled to change these when we get in touch with what we really want), and absolutely everything to do with acting in alignment with what we love.  This will change depending on what we need at the time.  In my experience, the more we can listen to this and follow through with action even when we can’t see how everything fits together, the closer we will be to paradise no matter where we are in the world.

There has been a lot more to my ongoing journey towards inner peace than I have mentioned in this post, which is just a small piece of the puzzle.  I aim to share the parts that I find inspiring in the hope it will touch you in some way.  There are many struggles that are going on beneath the surface, and a lot of things that I have decided to keep private for now.  Whatever battles you are facing, keep heading in the direction of hope.  You are never alone.

What are you inspired by, or what is your heart calling for right now?  What action can you take that is aligned with this?  Leave me a comment below 🙂

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The Beauty Of Letting Go

I recently wrote ‘How To Be An Organised Free Spirit‘, inspired by the peace and serenity a little planning and organisation brings me.  Hopefully sharing it will help me to remember the amazing benefits of having some structure to my days.

It’s easy to get stuck in rigid ways of thinking when we start to plan a little too much though.  Ever since writing that post life has been showing me the beauty of letting go and trusting the universe.

Before my trip to southeastern Europe I was starting to worry about how I would afford it, as well as going to Portugal in October.  I knew I could easily get more work if I put in a little effort, but my heart was yearning for creative expression, rest, and all the things that don’t earn me any immediate money!

I had a choice of whether to follow my mind or heart, so obviously I chose heart!  I spent time singing and playing guitar, drawing pictures of monsters, and taking walks in the woods.  It felt so good that it was impossible to regret it.

Woodland near my home in the UK.

As if by magic, massage bookings and enquiries came out of nowhere, and I even won £30 on the lottery (my Grandma insists on buying us tickets every week!).  I’d also been slightly concerned at having nowhere of my own to live for a short while during the summer, but luckily a house-sitting opportunity arose for exactly that time.

Things were never that bad.  The worst that could have happened was possibly having to cancel one of my many holidays this year, so choosing to take a step back wasn’t much of a risk.  I would never advocate risking anything that you can’t afford to lose, but when the outcome really doesn’t matter, letting go of our need to control everything can be so rewarding.

Swimming in the river near Bath, UK (edited using PicsArt).

I’d arrived in Zadar, Croatia, determined only to stay a couple of days.  With so many more places further afield to explore, I didn’t want to be stuck in one place.  I hadn’t even intended to go to Zadar, it was just a convenient place to fly in to.

The second I stepped off the bus from the airport though, everything changed.  The pictures and videos I’d seen online failed to capture the spirit of this beautiful place.  As soon as I arrived I knew I needed to stay longer.  It wasn’t something big or striking that called me to stay, it was simply the tranquil feeling that came over me as I strolled along the harbour that night.

Zadar, Croatia

It was early in the season, before the masses of tourists were to arrive for summer.  The weather was warm but not too hot, and the crystal clear water that surrounded the town brought with it a peaceful purity that calmed my soul.  I was eager to explore as much of the area as possible, but my heart wanted to stay, so again I listened to it.

Zadar

As time went on, my expectations and plans were challenged in more direct and harsher ways, and it took me longer to see the beauty.  I have a STRONG emotional attachment to food, and if I miss a meal I actually worry that I may starve to death!  However, this trip had me in situations that seriously confronted this.  I came out the other side of the utter panic to realise that, surprisingly enough, a few days in a row of missing meals and eating only rice crackers, fruit, and whatever other tiny scraps of vegan food I could get my hands on, wasn’t going to kill me!

I feel sooo much stronger for it.  I understand this would not be a big deal for most people, but to confront one of my biggest fears was extremely empowering.  I also deal very badly with not having enough sleep, and when combined with hunger the result for me was not pretty!  However, looking back I am so incredibly grateful for the chance to confront these difficult emotions, because coming out the other side felt amazing!

I let go in so many other ways, made so many new friends, and had adventures that I would never have dreamed of a few weeks ago.  With the help of some fantastic people, I threw myself into social situations which felt uncomfortable at first, but I was able to push through to find happiness and connection on the other side.  Sacrificing my comfort zone lit up my world, bringing so much vibrancy and joy.

This is the lesson I want to remember.  Not the discomfort and anxiety triggered by letting go, but the wonderful aliveness that comes as a result.  So next time I am wondering whether to dive head first into something unknown, I hope I will remember the beauty of letting go, and that every time I’ve done it the benefits have far outweighed any temporary suffering it has caused.

When was the last time you let go?  Was it easy or did you suffer?  Was it worth it??  Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Strange Beauty

Other worldly things remind us that anything is possible.  They temporarily set us free from our limited perspective, and remind us of our infinite potential.  Strangeness is essential if we are to evolve and grow.  Every breakthrough or new invention is the result of doing something differently, or something that has never been done before.

A great way to free up our creativity is to fully embrace all things weird and wonderful.

It’s easy to feel at peace on a sunny day, surrounded by pleasant things, but a whole new world of magic opens up when we can begin to see the beauty in unusual places.

Reflections, Dublin, Ireland

I got very lost recently when I was in Belgrade, Serbia.  I found myself in what I considered to be an ‘ugly’ part of town, miles away from where I was trying to go.  Luckily I get lost a lot, and was ready for the familiar feelings of anger and frustration that arose.  However, when I’m travelling my aim is to enjoy every minute, even when things aren’t going my way.

I suddenly realised how awesome it was to be alone in an area of the city where tourists never go.  My eyes opened to the beauty around me, and I even began to enjoy the feeling of frustration at being lost.  If it was easy there would be no adventure.

Belgrade, Serbia

These strange wonders, that we encounter when we least expect, provide contrast and allow us to fully appreciate the more obvious joyful experiences in life.

As well as these unexpected discoveries of hidden treasure, we can purposefully choose to admire the captivating weirdness of the world around us.  Take a long slow walk seeking out the magic in unusual places.  Discover the beauty in the brambles and the dirt, and admire the strangeness of all of existence.

When we view weird, eerie and even ugly things as reminders of our creative potential, fear and disgust are instantly transformed into pleasure and awe.  Our natural tendency is to avoid unpleasant things, and for good reason, but by releasing resistance to what we fear we may learn something new about the world and ourselves.

Inspiration often hides in strange places!

Graffiti in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

If you tried my suggestion above of taking a walk with the intention of appreciating the strange beauty all around us, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.  What did you discover?

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The Magic Is In You – Hidden Places

I’m so excited to be travelling to southeastern Europe this week.  People keep asking me where I’m going, and I still have no idea!  Even though I’ve embraced planning more recently (see my post ‘How To Be An Organised Free Spirit‘), I’m going back to my old adventurous ways on this trip!

I’m sure I’ll check off some famous tourist sites, such as Plitvice Lakes in Croatia, and Kotor Bay, Montenegro, but what I’m most looking forward to are those precious moments alone in hidden places.

You don’t have to venture far off the beaten track to find them, you just need an explorer’s attitude!  If you give yourself time to get lost, you can appreciate your surroundings even if you aren’t where you intended to be.

I remember being amazed at the dramatic scenery of Cappadocia, Turkey, along with many other tourists.  The hot air balloon ride was out of this world, and the fairy chimney rock formations were incredible.  However, the best part was getting lost in this arid landscape.  I vividly remember quiet moments alone, away from the main sights, scrambling up sandy slopes, through bushes, with thorns in my shoes!

Rose Valley, Cappadocia

You don’t have to travel far to discover secret treasures though.  I’m still finding new hidden spots within walking distance of home, and often have to remind myself of where I am, as I feel like I could be hundreds of miles away.

That’s the beauty of going somewhere new, even if it’s just a quiet park you’ve never been to before.  For a moment you feel as though you have been transported to another world.

Meditation

Explore a hidden place, near or far, or just somewhere quiet that you’ve never been before.  As you take in your surroundings, contemplate how many hidden places there must be in the world.  Even if you spent your whole life trying, you couldn’t begin to see them all.

As you explore this new place, let it be a reminder of the endless adventures that are possible.  Adventure doesn’t need to be about location, it is a feeling that comes from within (see my post ‘The Benefit Of An Adventurous Mindset‘).  If you keep your eyes and mind open there are opportunities everywhere to make new discoveries.

Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol, UK

Notice the tingles of excitement you get when discovering a new corner of this beautiful planet.  Your senses become heightened as you experience this place for the first time.  Spend as long as you wish soaking in this feeling.  Try to capture it in a few words or photos, so that you can return to it later.

There are so many amazing miracles happening all around us.  Let this experience of exploring a hidden place be a reminder to stay tuned in to the spirit of discovery, so that we can witness more of this magic every day.

Exploring hidden places is such a great way to find a bit of peace and reset our busy minds.  Is it something you already do regularly, or something you want to do more of?  Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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Fairytale Magic In Killarney, Ireland

My time in Dublin had been nice.  I’d spent hours getting lost in the museum absorbing all the history.  I’d walked for miles, stopping to admire amazing architecture and eat at yummy vegetarian restaurants.  But it wasn’t until I was on the bus out of there that I really started to relax into the trip.

I don’t know if it was just my imagination, but the cows in the fields looked happier than they do in the UK.  Everything seemed just that little bit softer.  There was hardly any traffic, and I imagined how awesome it would be to come back on an epic road trip.  For now though, I was very happy not to be driving, and drifted in and out of sleep, listened to music and day dreamed about what was to come.

We passed through some gorgeous towns that I would love to visit one day, and then we began the approach into Killarney National Park.  The scenery became more rugged, and I finally felt like I was on an adventure again.  I’d felt excited at the airport, as I always do, but Dublin was so much like home that it didn’t really give me that holiday feeling.

Even while I was still on the bus it felt easier to breathe in these wild surroundings.  As we emerged from the forest into the small town I saw some serious walkers with all their outdoor gear, obviously about to tackle some of the surrounding peaks.  There were horse drawn carriages to take tourists wanting a less physically demanding holiday around the park.  I was somewhere in the middle.  I intended to do lots of walking, but no mountains this time!

My hostel was an idyllic haven, truly a home away from home.  The people were lovely and welcoming, and all the rooms were named after animals!  Everything inside was made out of wood, which combined with the fresh country air to create the feeling of being on some kind of retreat.

I met the most wonderful guy from Canada, whose eyes lit up when he talked about his time in Ireland.  He had an almost Irish sounding accent, as he was from a very isolated part of Newfoundland where there were a lot of Irish immigrants.  Maybe that’s why he felt such a strong connection to this country.

I love meeting people from all over the world, especially when they have such different lifestyles to mine.  There is something really special about people who live away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.  They radiate such a gentle calm presence.  I don’t think I could live in a rural area (I need good vegan pizza and all my friends near me!) but I feel such a strong pull towards that simpler way of life.

From what I had gathered from my conversations with other travellers, everywhere in the national park was extremely beautiful, and I could easily spend many days walking and exploring here.  I was excited but tired, so took a nap and just spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the town, preparing for an adventure the following day.  I felt like I was already settling into the slower pace of life that Killarney invited.

On my first full day there I took a walk along the shores of the vast lake to Ross Castle.  A German girl I’d met in Dublin had recommended the route, so I followed in her footsteps.  I was not disappointed.  Almost immediately I spotted a grey heron as I walked along the river that led to the lake.

When I reached the lake I basked in the stillness, taking in the shimmering water and majestic hills that surrounded it.  I imagined people hundreds of years ago experiencing that same feeling of wonder as they stood on these very shores, gazing at the beautiful landscape.  I continued my walk, sometimes next to the water, sometimes deeper into the forest, surrounded by wild flowers and lush green leaves.

Just as my feet were beginning to ache, I caught a glimpse of Ross Castle between the trees.  Seconds before I took this photo, a ray of sunlight shone through the parting clouds, illuminating the castle.  Obviously, as soon as I got my camera out the sun disappeared, but it was a magical moment!

The castle perfectly reflected the drama of the landscape, creating an otherworldly fairytale scene.  It was a strange feeling to reach the castle and be surrounded by people again, who had come by car or horse and carriage.  There was something extremely satisfying about arriving on foot, as I drive almost everywhere at home!

I decided to walk back along the road, which was long and boring, because my legs couldn’t handle going all the way back around the lake!  When I reached the hostel, I immediately collapsed on my bed for a snooze, cooked a huge bowl of pasta, and psyched myself up to do it all again the next day!

I had a vague plan to explore the area around Muckross Abbey as I set off on my next adventure in the national park.  The sun was shining, and the lake looked stunning.  The soothing sound of the lapping water made me want to lie down on the pebbles and take a nap, but I had a lot of ground to cover so I kept walking.

Eventually I reached the abbey ruins, and took my time exploring every nook and cranny.  Suddenly the clouds came over, and it looked like it was about to rain, creating an eerie atmosphere.  The sun soon came back out, and I avoided getting wet, but thought I should probably get a move on in case the weather changed again.

Muckross Abbey

The path got more and more scenic, luring me further along until I reached Muckross House and gardens.  Arriving in the gardens was like stepping into some kind of paradise after the long walk.  The beautifully designed gardens were so soothing, and completely distracted me from the blisters on my feet, hunger and general exhaustion!  I was only at the half way point of my walk, but felt totally revived by the heavenly surroundings.

The return journey was a lot easier than I’d imagined, but I still fell asleep again as soon as I got back!  I felt very content when I woke up, which was lucky because my tranquil retreat had transformed into a noisy hub of activity.  It was a bank holiday weekend, and there was a huge car rally happening in the tiny town.

I could understand why, with such amazing roads around the lake and surrounding hills, but it was a bit of a shock to be woken up that night by revving engines and car horns!  I can sleep through almost anything though, so although a little confused, I still got plenty of rest.

The next day I had a lazy start, and took a gentler walk along a circuit where I could see herds of red deer, and more magnificent views.  I had planned on taking a day trip to the Dingle peninsula, having heard amazing things about it.  However, I decided to prioritize relaxation over trying to do absolutely everything in a short space of time.

On my trip to Costa Rica last year I got sick twice (I rarely get ill at home) because I pushed myself to do more than I genuinely wanted to.  I met some great people who were packing in all of the sights, and although I enjoyed days out with them, I much prefer to go at my own pace.  So I learned my lesson, and passed on the fabulous sounding tour.  It felt really good to honor my own feelings though, instead of thinking that I ‘should’ be doing more.

So Dingle is another place to add to the list for a future Ireland road trip!  It’s exciting to have a country so nearby that I have barely begun to explore.  I’m not sure when I’ll go back, there are so many more adventures to be had in new countries before then, but with my tent, a car and some friends, it will be a completely different experience!

I headed back to Dublin feeling relaxed and invigorated, ready to enjoy some more good food and tourist attractions before heading home.  Even with the crazy boy racers, Killarney had been the perfect relaxing break in the countryside that I’d been hoping for!

Have you been to Ireland?  So many people I met recommended Killarney to me, and now I see why!  Where in Ireland would you recommend going?

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A Letter To My Fellow Solo Adventurers

This post was inspired by a good friend of mine who is moving back to Bristol soon after spending many months living alone in Cornwall, one of the most wild and beautiful parts of our country.  I recently went to visit her, and she showed me some awesome places, but also told me how she’d been struggling with loneliness.

Beach near Porthtowan, Cornwall, UK

This is an all too familiar story to me, having recently cut short my travels in Costa Rica to be with friends and family for Christmas.  Obviously I’m delighted my friend is coming home, as having loved ones around you is one of the most precious things in the world.  But I know that people like us will always crave new experiences and adventures, and sometimes this means having no one to share them with.

This letter is to myself, my friend, and the thousands of other brave souls out there living unconventional lives.

Dear Adventurer,

I know you feel like you are alone right now, but you are wrong.  I am thinking of you when you feel sad because you think the difficult path you have chosen was a mistake.  I am with you when you are admiring a breathtaking view with a feeling of melancholy because there is nobody to share the special moment.

Even when your adventures don’t feel as enjoyable as they should, know that you are still inspiring me.  I can see you with the wind in your hair out there living life, when I am wrapped up in my blanket at home planning my next escape.

When you’re worrying about your next move or trip, know that I’m here doing the same.  Planning, scheming, getting excited, and thinking ‘what the hell am I doing with my life?!’.  There are so many of us, we shouldn’t feel alone.

Monteverde, Costa Rica

I’m with you when you are gazing longingly at photos of faraway places, wondering if it is worth leaving the supportive embrace of home to take on a new challenge.  There will be struggles whether you stay or go, and know that you are not alone in this.

We are separated by time and space, but we are always together.  Next time you are at the top of a mountain, swimming in a river, or walking on a deserted beach with sand between your toes, say a quiet hello to me.

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Sometimes we will get to experience adventures together, and these will be all the more amazing.  Our brave solo adventures have strengthened our adventurous spirits, and when we are together it is magical.

Thank you for choosing the road less travelled.  Soak up every unique detail because I want to hear about it all.  The world through your eyes is such a beautiful place, and although I will never be able to fully share your experience, the glimpses I get bring me so much joy.

Next time you are out exploring alone, remember you’re not just doing it for yourself.  Your courage helps keep the spirit of adventure alive in all of us.  Whether you’re travelling the world, or simply out surfing for the afternoon, your actions have an inspiring ripple effect, spreading an empowering message to so many others.

Baldi Hot Springs, Costa Rica

When you’re lost in the wilderness, or lost in a maze of confusion in your own mind, know that you are never ever alone.  We share the same dreams, and every step you take towards yours brings me closer to my own.  Let’s create a world where we celebrate our individual paths, enjoying the moments where we intersect, and giving each other the strength to walk sections alone.

All my love,

Tess ❤

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