Friday, 21 October 2011

New Direction

No not the cringey x-factor band (or was that One Direction?) I never get to watch TV these days!

I've had a very nice, but brief week off this week which has given me a chance to reassess myself. I was starting to get too sucked into the old CP. No, no, no I need to see the world.

I do have a new dilemma now... should I stay in the hospitality industry? I do enjoy it now... but the crazy 60 hour weeks? Not so much. And can I progress.. that is another question.. I refuse to be stuck being a 40 year old waitress. I spoke with a good friend, L, the other day and she opened my options a bit for me, she suggested TEFL abroad, so I'm considering this now to get some more teaching experience.  There is a programme in France, where you teach children in an au pair style envirmoment so you have mornings to do language classes and things. It's a year long though and I want to get myself to Asia and Oz first.

Anyway I need to save That Boy from the evil skanks lurking around at the minute!

I'm having serious problems with saving now as well, I really need to stop spending. I've given myself a budget of £30 a week to live off after paying my bus pass and bills. That's £4 a day practically... goodbye daily lattes!! But some people live far more frugelly than me.. i CAN do this. I need to focus on the bigger picture.

I wanted to start some yoga classes because I feel still as a board these days, instead I'm going to invest in a Yoga DVD from Amazon, then I can practice at my leisure and it won't cost my a fiver a time.

I'm adding French to my language repetoire as well! Self teaching though, seeing as I keep forgetting when my Spanish classes are (oops). And anyway I'm a little disappointed with them, we are basically just learning out of a BBC book, with BBC materials online... I could of bought just the book and taught myself for 10% of what the course cost me! C'est la vie, we live and learn.

I really want a new tattoo as well.... I think I wil have to save up some tips for that though, seeing as I'm going to have to scrimp and save everything. Uploaded a few more items onto eBay tonight, all though I'm having all sorts of problems with eBay at the minute!

So far, since moving home I seem to have saved a grand total of... NOTHING. I still only have a net £3k in the bank.... but it's pay day next week so some of that will be moving into my ISA.

So the revised plan for travelling is:

Head off mid-April (so I have an extra month and a half ish to save, plus people may give me early birthday presesnts in the form of cash contributions to my travelling hehe)

Fly to Bangkok, and do the Thai Intro package (especially if I''m going solo - it will be way less daunting) for a week.

Head to Phuket and Phi Phi (an add on package from Thai Intro)

Head to Ko Samui (I've heard they have some cool mauy thai shit there too)

Then on May 6th go to Koh Phangan for one of the legendary Full Moon Parties!!

Then head to Trat, which is waaaay down south of Thailand, to teach Thai children English. It costs about £400 for two weeks, but it does include accomodation, and will give me some experience in a teaching envoriment.

Trat borders Cambodia, so I'm thinking of doing a bit of a circle thing anticlockwise around South East Asia, and depending on my budget hit up China too. This is where the plan gets a bit more vague :)

The options are to go from Trat - Cambodia - Vietnam - Laos (gotta try tubing) - Ha Noi - Nanning - Xian - Beijing.

Then from Beijing to either: Singapore/Bali/Sydney
OR Beijing - Singapore - Bali
OR Beijing - Singapore - Malaysia - Bali then to Sydney : ]

Obv I'd like to see as much as possible so i have to save HEAPS.

I was looking into Oz Intro and Ultimate Oz as well, Ultimate Oz seems like a pretty sweet deal for when you start up in Oz to help with things like jobs.
I looked into a hospitality internship in Australia, but I think they are around six months, and I want to travel around more than that (unless something happpens... then maybe I will want to stick on one place who knows!) There are also Language schools in Australia too so...

Basically though, I'm not booking any tickets past Thailand too far in advance, because I don't exactly know where I am heading yet or who I'm gonna meet along the way. Although there is specific start dates for the packages so I am kinda constricted by that.
There is still a lot to think about, but I think this itinery is going to suit me best, especially as I will be with a group of other solo travellers, and I made friends easily so I should have no worries :)

Currently I am feeling excited...

Monday, 5 September 2011

28 days Later.....

Wow how time flys!!

So it's now been a month since I started at the hotel... still enjoying although there are some frustrations, but any job has it's problems it can't all be perfect!

I am slightly worried about the fact the manager may be leaving  as it seems to be pretty chaotic without him around but I'm only gonna be a few months and maybe this will motivate me to get my ass outta this country sooner :D

So far the saving hasn't been so succesful ;( with having my first proper wage ever I got a little overexcited and purchased some new clothes and things.. although I may take some back (I think I was on an adrenaline high/tiredness from being out the night before!)

I could save 10k by the end of March if I literally spent no money whatsoever however this will be impossible as I have phone bills and bus fares to pay. Plus the odd night on the town obviously!

Maybe I will just have to go with less money as my absolute goal is to be away travelling by my Birthday!! I want to spend my birthday lying on some exotic Thai beach absolutley blottoed ;)

Living with the rentals is getting slightly tiresome now.. had a lovely peaceful two weeks while they were on holiday (a holiday I wasn't even invited on pfft)

Had a proper dramalammm yesterday with work transportation. My dad needed the car to go to the airport for a "business trip" (read Golf) as I couldnt drop him off cause I had work at 8am. Problem is there are no busses in country bumpkin land this early sooo.. quelle dommage!! Needed dad to drop me off at work but he was mighty pissed off about this cause he had "so much to catch up on" in between his three weeks of vacation. Well whatever. I shouldn't let things get to me. A very good friend told me to stop focusing on where other people are going and focus on myself. So this is what I am doing..
Operation "GMTFOH" is under way.

going to upload some more items to eBay today as I have the day off, and need to turn it into something semi-productive!! Was meant to visit a friend in London but she is sick today :(

At the minute my fitness is quite motivated as well... maybe I will get that bikini body after all! I have cycled (only a couple of times I admit but better than nothing!) to the busway and back which is approx. two miles each way and I also visited the gym at work. We have a free gym and its always empty so really I have no excuses. I couldn't go yesterday as my last bus was at 5.30pm, however I did walk the 2 miles home from the busway so still got some exercise!
I am also trying to eat better, sometimes helped along by work and the disgusting lunches that are dished up ;)

I'm still having a quarter life crisis.. no men in my life and I don't know what I want to do as a career... do I want to go down the hospitality route.. stay in a hotel, work my way up the chain?? I even considered a career as an Air Hostess seeing as this would combine my love of travel... but I'm terrified of travelling!
Other careers I have been musing over are retraining to become a CSI but I really don't know how interesting it would be off-screen. I'd love an acting career, but that's not even worth contemplating!

But, so far so good... and each day is closer to the day I'll be leaving on a jet plane

Sunday, 7 August 2011

One week later.....

So, last (this) Wednesday I began my very first shift at the hotel. I took to it like a duck to water!
Somehow I think the hospitality industry in my blood (something about being subservient, no) but I enjoy it, so far I have done a small amount of bar work and worked mostly breakfast shifts.

I haven't even minded having to get up at 5am so much. Although it was nice at the weekend when my dad needed the car so he dropped me off and I got to lie in til half past :)

Everyone I have met with at work so far is lovely, it's almost a shame that I want to go travelling as I see eye to eye with the manager on a lot of things and maybe if I was there a long time I could look into a promotion! c'est la vie.

One good thing about my job is that most people are foreign and speak another language so hopefully I can improve my French and Spanish, which is one of my 22 before 23 goals. Speaking of which I should practice...

So far I haven't been able to exercise much although being on my feet for 8 hours a day surely counts for something! This week I will be working a good 40+ hours, if I carry on this way I will be right on target for my target travel funds! It's not the most brilliantly paid job... but what is in this country these days?! I'm working hard to get where I want to be and that's all that matters.

It is also good to finally meet some people around my age to talk to! As much as I love my sib's you need someone on your own wave length otherwise you will go crazy!! I have also spied a rather attractive boy around work.... which always makes things more fun :)

I'm contemplating beginning to cycle to work... it's a good 15 miles but at least I would be hitting my exercise targets!!

So less of the mundane; the other day I worked out a route from Japan through to Cambodia. I know when you travel you should just let it pan out and go with the flow, I haven't booked anything just looking into the best options of how to get from place to place. It also makes me even more excited about going! And more prepared in case I am going solo.

I shall be seeing K at the end of the month and we'll discuss the possibility of travelling together, let's see if I can convince her ;) Another friend, N has also expressed some interest in travelling... maybe I am going to have an abundance of travel buddies!


Sunday, 31 July 2011

22 before 23

22 before 23

1. Learn how to swim properly

2. Learn more Spanish and French

3. Start playing guitar

4. Be able to do the splits

5. Drive to visit my grandparents in Huddersfield and Norfolk (not in the same day!)

6. Visit a music festival abroad

7. Save £8k 

8. Lose 1.5 stone

9. Get a new tattoo

10. Drink more green tea

11. Learn how to cook something awesome

12. Write a song/poem/story

13. Watch every Quentin Tarentino and Tim Burton film (Pulp Fiction in particular)

14. Do something for charity

15. Get some work experience

16. Go to the theatre

17. Skinny dip

18. Go horse-riding

19. Swim with dolphins

20. See a clairvoyant

21. Learn to play pool

22. Go running or cycling at least four times a week.

In the beginning...

 I decided to set up a blogger account, I have a live journal but thought I'd try this out...
not sure if I like it so I might go back to live journal!!

Anyway, I decided to set up a blog to document the trails and tribulations of my travelling adventures.
Hence why this is "In the beginning". I'm not writing retrospectivley about travelling, as my belief is that travelling is about the journey, not the destination - as cheesy as that sounds!

I have just finished a Media and Journalism degree at Northumbria (got a 2:1 in case you are wondering hehe) but I am facing a life crisis over what I actually want to do as a career. I have several ideas, but rather than rushing in to some graduate training scheme, or further education I figured it was time to take some time out to get to know myself and find what I want to do with life.

What better way to learn about yourself than taking yourself off to the other side of the world?!

However, first of all I had to take a step back and move down south with my parents, brother and sisters after four years of independent living! Going from the busy city of Newcastle to the sleepy village of Houghton is certaintly a chance of pace but so far pretty pleasant. Definitley nice not having to worry about bills and such!

I have to save up ALOT of money before travelling, a hell of a lot. It's taken longer than I expected to find a job around here, especially living in the middle of NOWHERE.

But, I have managed to land myself a job at The Crowne Plaza hotel in Cambridge which I start on Wednesday. The contract is only 16 hours a week, but hopefully I will wow them with my mad skillz and get more hours.

I'm also hopefully starting a dance teaching job in September which will get me more cash, but still... I am getting worried about my goal of at LEAST £8k by February.....

I'm currently about -£500 in the bank due to my overdraft and my credit card. However I have £3,500 saved in my ISA so I guess I have roughly around £3,000 saved. That isn't actually as bad as I thought it was going to be! However, obviously for travelling the more money I have in reserve the better. I need to save approximatley £600 a month to save up a decent amount of money.

Here goes nothing.....