Friday, 22 January 2016

Time for Reflection

Two months and twenty three days I have been away from home and in that time I have been so busy enjoying and making the most of each day that I haven't really allowed myself enough time to sit back and reflect on each one of those days!

At present I am at a serene Yoga retreat up in the hills of Ko Samui. Surrounded by lucious tress, with the sound of the ocean lapping against the shore, birds singing their daily wake up songs and with not much else around I have been able to allow myself to digest and fully comprehend the last few months and the impact they have had on me.

When I decided upon taking a years sabbatical, it was never with the purpose of going to find myself as I am confident with the 30 year old woman that I am and am at a place in my life whereby I accept who I am and, am happy with it :-) But undoubtedly, embarking on a solo trip around the world is going to effect, influence and impact me in many different ways. Over the last couple of days, while practising yoga and meditation, I have been encouraged to think about and embrace my emotions and although I found it difficult to fully 'let go' at the beginning I now find myself able to elicit my emotions.


I am so very grateful for being able to fill each of my days with new experiences, for being able to see some of the most beautiful places, for being able to immerse myself and be accepted into cultures, traditions and families. I am grateful for new thoughts about the world, and myself, for the journeys I have undertaken, the challenges I have overcome and the experiences I have been able to share with others! 

I have definitely been travelling with my eyes wide open and am so very grateful for all I have seen <3

I am looking forward to sharing my experiences this with you all and to see what the rest of 2016 holds. 

                                                          Until next time... 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Turning 30 in NYC!

It's probably now a known fact that I LOVE New York City... So it comes as no surprise that I decided to head to the big apple to kick start my travels and celebrate my 30th birthday!

It`s fair to say that I had a week of wonderful celebrations, all starting with checking into Grupo Habita`s boutique hotel, Hotel Americano. Upon arrival I was upgraded to a suite and given a bottle of red wine to celebrate- HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! The room itself was modern and simple, with a bed on the floor (believe me it was super comfortable) and quirky fixtures and fittings! Maybe not the hotel room for all tastes, but it certainly suited mine.


On the morning of my birthday I took myself out for a birthday breakfast to Two Hands in Little Italy. An Australian cafe run by Australians ensured that the coffee was damn giood! Tucking into avocado on toast I opened a few cards from home, including a very special one filled with heartwarnng words from my mum and yes, I cried a little.


Being away from home for my birthday was made all that easier by some wonderful family and friends, all of whom overwhelmed me with their genoristy and little surprises! 

Another slightly, albeit happy, tearful moment was when I was surpirsed with Proseco, cakes and a lovely gift from some very special people ❤️ 
The celebrations then continued into the evening on the rooftop of the Conrad Hotel in Battery Park City where we drank ice lolly cocktails (known as Loopy Doopys ha ha), ate Mexican food, drank plenty of red wine all with the wonderful New York skyline as the backdrop!




Once I had indulged in the celebrations of turning 30 and paying for it the next day (it`s definitely downhill hangovers for me) I spent the rest of my time going back to some NYC favourites, exploring new areas and having great experiences with friends! Here`s some of my fav things from this trip:

Fall Colours

Autumn (aka fall) is a time of year that I love back home in London- seeing the leaves change colour and feeling the crunch of the leaves under my feet fills me with such content and thankfully NYC in the Autumn provided just that! Each day I was greeted with gorgeous hues of red, orange and yellow and think I must`ve taken photos of nearly every tree I passed!

                                                            Autumn in Central Park

                                                        A little park by Bleeker Street

                                                 Autumn Colours on The Highline

Walking The Highlne to The Whitney Museum

My friend had told me that the new Whitney Museum had recently opened in the Meatpacking District and with it`s roots firmly in showcasing contemporary American art I knew I would love it! Jumping onto The Highline at 34th Street I walked along it, taking in the views that I love, to Gansevoort Street.


I had pre-booked my ticket which meant a queing time of just five minutes and as I arrived early, the museum was quiet which allowed for more time to explore the exhibitions on display. In fact I spent a good three hours in there as there was just so much to see,


                                                    The view from the outside deck.


American`s love Halloween- fact! And I loved seeing the efforts that people went to in order to make Halloween a focul point for the city. So many houses looked spectacularly spooky and on nearly every street a pumpkin (or a dozen) could be found!



                                                             So atmospheric!

Washington Square Park

Now I must confess, on my previous trips to New York I have only ever walked through Washington Square to get from one side to the other, however with family living nearby and staying in that area for a large part of my trip, I spent quite a bit of time in the park. The park offered great live music in the form of a folk band, work displayed of different local artists, great dog watching (so many gorgeous canines) and my fav, a real-life birdman (Michael Keaton eat your heart out!)




Would I ever have a post that didn't mention food in some way?! Of course not! For me a large part of travel is all about the food and it's no secret that New York offers some of the best food in the world! Now I probably committed a huge blogging sin and didn't photograph many of my meals.. In all honesty I got carried away by the eating of it! 😉 But I did make sure to make a note of the delicious places I visited:

Breakfast/ Brunch
- Cookshop in Chelsea
- Murrays Bagels (a busy place but so worth the queue)
- Two Hands Cafe
- The Penrose, Upper East Side

Lunch/ Dinner
- Cookshop (again)
- El Vez, Mexican, Battery Park City
- Gansevoort Food Market
- Barbuto (amazing Italian food in the West Village)
- Fresh produce from Eataly
                       Here's a couple I did take- Cookshop, The Penrose and Murray's Bagels


No, not the sitcom.. 😉 Getting to be in the company of good friends and family is definitely a contributing factor to why I am so fond of this city and thanks to them all I had a great birthday and a wonderful 8 days in New York! 

                                             Me and my Godfather- we`re so cool 😎
                                    With my godmother and her gorgeous grand daughter
                                                       Being spooked with Nancy! 
              Ciara and Jon from back home who came over to celebrate with me for a few days!
                               Me and my friend Alicia enjoying the delights of red wine in 
                                                                   New Jersey!

                                   New York, you were amazing! Next stop New Zealand!


                                                               Until next time


Saturday, 31 October 2015

Goodbye London... Hello New Adventures

I'm currently thousands of feet up in the air and have opened my blog for the first time in months. It's not that I had no material to my fill pages, it's that I had 3 months to enjoy spending time with my family and my friends and to lap up the last of London (for a while anyway). The last few months have filled me with special memories that shall be kept in my heart and taken with me as I begin a new chapter of travel and adventure. 
Celebrating my 30th birthday with friends and family.

Last shot of London! ❤️

So here I am on my way to NYC to celebrate my 30th birthday and begin my journey in a city that I love. From here I shall take the tremendous journey (thank goodness I love flying ha ha) to New Zealand where I will spend 5 weeks exploring both the North and South islands- can't wait to finally see this beautifully picturesque country for myself. 

A map of the G Adventures tour I will be doing!

After New Zealand, I'll be flying to Cairns, Australia to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Although I'm not a diver I'm looking forward to snorkelling and seeing the vastness, beauty and the creatures of the ocean. I shall then continue my journey of Australia on the grey hound bus. As of yet I am not decided on the places I will stop off at, so if anyone has any "must sees" on the east coast- let me know!! 
I will be travelling down the east coast for three weeks arriving in Melbourne in time for the festive period, and fortunately I have dear friends that I shall be sharing Christmas with. I'm intrigued to see what a Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is thing's for sure, I'll be loving the sunshine!

The final stop on the first part of my 9 month journey is Thailand. One of my best friends from back home is meeting me and we'll be heading to Ko Phangan for New Years (yes, it will be a full moon first time experience!). After Phangan we're heading over to Ko Tao and even though I have been before, I think it's just one of the most beautiful islands. My friend is staying with me for two weeks and then I'm hoping to do a yoga retreat for a few days. I will have another two weeks to island hop before flying back to London via Mumbai. 

At this present moment I'm excited for what lays ahead, for new experiences and for finally making one of my dreams actually come true :-) 

If you have any recommendations for any of the places I'm visiting, would love some tips!! 

Until New York, 


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

East is East: Broadway Market

Now, I must confess that North London is a place I don't frequent out of enough.. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do leave my comforts of North London and explore my fabulous home city but definitely not as much as I should.
Broadway Market is a place I first went to about 5 years ago, but have only returned to twice in that time. Not that I didn't love it the first (or second) time around, just that more often than not brunch on Upper Street or strolls over Hampstead Heath are thrown into the mix and well I'll admit it- I can be lazy! ;-)
So a while back a friend of mine suggested that we break the habit of a lifetime and go over to Broadway Market for brunch and general wandering. My friend Sara had told me about a place that does a fab brunch and she wasn't wrong. After a lovely stroll along the Regents Canal, I met my friend in Stories on Broadway and it's safe to say, I wanted everything on the menu!!! After a lot of deliberating I decided on the avocado on toast with a poached egg and crispy bacon (topped off with a side of hash brown) and I was not disappointed.

As you can see from the photos the portions were really generous and ashamedly I struggled to eat it all! For the bargain price of £7.50 and for it's buzzing atmosphere, I would highly recommend this brunch spot.
With our tummies full we had a walk through the market, which has such a wide selection of delish food- fish, cheese, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, homemade cakes- something for every taste, as well as racks of vintage clothing, stalls full of fabulous art and florists selling beautiful flowers.
I love Tulips

After picking up a gorgeous bunch of pink and white tulips (a little gift for my mum) we wandered around the corner to Netil Market and stopped for a hot drink at Terrone & co. My friend had his go to flat-white coffee and I opted to have my very first Matcha Latte, something of an acquired taste and one that I don't think I'll be having again (although I do love it's colour...)
Such a lovely colour.. Not sure about the taste1
We then had a little wander around the cute vintage shops in the market where my friend very nearly bought a biker's leather jacket- he just needed the motorbike to go with it! As well as vintage shops and stalls, again there more food stalls- I'm definitely saving Bao's steamed pork buns for my next visit.
Before we knew it, we had spent a good three hours brunching and wandering- a sign of a successful Saturday.
So, what did I learn from my visit East? To get off my ass and enter a non 'N' postcode more often! ;-)
Until next time...

Sunday, 5 July 2015

My Travel Personality

It's travel link up time and I'm so pleased to be back blogging about all things travel with KellyRebecca and Emma (I've missed having the opportunity to join in). This month's topic comes form Catherine over at Luxlife and it's a great one!

Those of us who love to travel probably have some similarities and I'm sure some differences in our travel personalities. I've already learnt so much through the posts I've already read, oh what a fabulously eclectic bunch we are! ;-)

When I think of myself and travel I've most definitely been on a journey (excuse the pun). The more travel experiences I have had, the more I have figured out what sort of traveller I am...

1. Intrepid Traveller 

Trekking in Chang Rai

I don't know what it is about being away in a new country, with new experiences but it always inspires me to have a more 'give it a go' attitude to the activities and trips on offer, certainly more than I do when back home in London. Form trekking in northern Thailand, to visiting the rather claustrophobic underground Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, I find myself to be a lot more open to challenging myself and pushing myself that bit more to the limit. Who knows, when I visit Queenstown in November I may find myself jumping out of a plane!

2. Relaxed Traveller

I am without a doubt a very relaxed traveller and have quite a laid back attitude towards travel.. That's not to say I don't like to organise and research (see the below) but once I've arrived at a new destination, I tend to let then stresses of reality fade and more often than not, with a drink in hand, sit back, relax and take it all in!

Champagne in Barcelona
Cocktails in Prague
Cocktails in Ibiza

3. Organised Traveller... To a certain extent! 

Yes, I do love a travel guide book! I have built up quite an extensive collection over the years and am always looking for the opportunity to buy second hand travel books; I love it when one arrives and people have made their own notes, chosen their own favourite spots. 

Admittedly I like to spend a good amount time riffling through travel books, reading through travel blog posts, finding recommended activities, 'must sees' and of course building a long list of restaurants! I take great pleasure in recording all of this in my very own travel journey which is fast becoming my most cherished possession...

With my travel journal in hand, I arrive somewhere new and tend to go with the flow. I always make an effort to visit the main sights, but I also love going off the beaten track and stumbling upon little independent galleries , museums, coffee shops and whatever else may catch my eye. I always endeavor to try the recommended restaurants and 'must sees' suggested by other bloggers and as of yet I am never disappointed! 

Soon I shall be embarking on my big solo trip and I'm sure that with new adventures will come new  travel traits...  Bring it on!

Thursday, 28 May 2015

A Change is Coming

Forgive me readers, for it has been, 6 weeks and 4 days since my last blog post! I must apologise to my little blog for neglecting her.. Life (or more predominantly, work) became extremely busy that my days ended up becoming a routine of...

However, as the school year is approaching it's last half term and the pressures of work are slowly subsiding, I solemnly declare that I will make more of a conscious effort to make DEElightful Doings more of a priority as, between me and you, I've missed her! ;-)

As this post is my first in sometime I have decided that it is an apt time to get a little bit personal and share with you all a change that, soon, will be coming my way. But first, time for a little reflection...

To move forwards, sometimes we must look back...
2014 was a year that bought a number of personal challenges my way, a year that I was, quite frankly, pleased to see the back of! Nonetheless it was also a year that made me a stronger person and bought me even closer to the people I love. It made me realise that although life will throw a number of curve balls your way, you really do only get one shot at it and it should be lived with no regrets and, to it's absolute fullest! So.. as we entered 2015 I decided that it was going to be the year of change and with new years resolutions I vowed to make this my number #1 motto...

And my number one motto it has become! :-)
If 2014 taught me anything, it is that there are times in life when you really have to put yourself first and as of October I shall be doing just that- putting myself first and beginning a new adventure, one that will see a life-long dream of mine become a reality...
Yes, little me is going to spend a whole 9 nine months (I can't quite believe it) travelling around this big world! Just the thought of meeting new people, experiencing new places and cultures fills me with utter excitement. There is so much to be explored, so much to learn and I truly cannot wait to embark on this journey!
Let the travel planning commence...
  • New Zealand- North and South Islands
  • Australia- Cairns to Melbourne
  • Thailand
  • South America- Brazil, Argentina...
  • North America- the south, East Coast
  • Canada
And who knows where else...

But what I do know is that 2015 really is going to the year of change.
In the words of a wise person from Contiki...
"One life. One shot. Make it count. #noregrets"