Thanks Skyscanner!

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I am much better at sky scanning than soul searching. After a few nights mulling over my options on Skyscanner I have come up with an epic itinerary. I’m super excited!

I have accepted a temporary nanny position in Europe & will be beginning in 2 months. In the meantime I am taking a tour of epic proportions! Thailand, Australia (to pick up my luggage & see my friends again), Shanghai (to visit 2 friends), Japan (I can’t wait! My face lights up when I realise I’m going!), South Korea (to visit a friend) then Switzerland for work.

I am really craving western culture & lifestyle after a couple of months in India & Nepal. I want better hygiene standards & ease of life with an ache that moves me. I am begging to walk down a street that’s not covered in litter. I think this is the first time I’ve craved western life. I’m almost ashamed to admit it. I feel like I’m betraying the carefree spirit backpacker I am but my heart wants what it wants! I’m optimistic about going back to Europe again. New Zealand has made me appreciate how fortunate I am to live in Europe – as a curious traveller. The access to numerous countries, cultural differences & stunning beauty is incredible.

It has taken a couple of nights to book everything with a few price increases & hidden charges. Now I have everything booked I want to tell the world – I HAVE A PLAN! I know where I’ll be for the next 4 months! I have direction, multi-directional direction.

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My exit plan from Nepal

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I’m at another crossroads of my life. It’s more of a spaghetti junction. I could go anywhere in this world – within reason…. Myanmar looks hauntingly beautiful & backpackers speak fondly of it. Bhutan would be incredible to visit. Mongolia is high on my list. Japan has been sitting on the forefront of my mind. My cousins can’t recommend Vietnam enough to me. Thailand is a country I adore. Then I have to think of my finances…. I could go back to New Zealand to work. I could nanny again. Working on super yachts is another option. Back to Ireland & spend time with my family in the homeland after all these years? Another country? Another career change? Am I getting too old for this shit??

I’m open to all suggestions. One option is to nanny in Switzerland & Spain for a few weeks for a family I worked with before. It would get me to Europe for the summer, I would be closer to my family, I could replenish my funds.

Sat in my hostel in Nepal with travel options, destinations, prices & dates scribbled on to a notepad I close my eyes & melt into my bed. My mind is a busy chattering of what I could do next. So much research into expenses, visas & possible itinerarys. I just want to choose something & throw myself into planning. I’m worried that I’m running out of money & as time ticks by, my options diminish.

Dear Diary, where are you???

Unknown-1I am an absolute diary enthusiast & dependee. I put all my info in there, it is my North star if I have any inclination to be in the right place at the correct time. I stick to my plans, prepare & I’m super organised. Anything, however trivial, goes into my diary & I do it all. It is my life guide & gives me the super power to do everything I manage to do.

Every Christmas I treat myself to a new diary & every New Years Day I take the time to transfer all my important numbers & dates into my new diary. I find it very refreshing, grounding & satisfying. My life is in order & I am in control.

My friends recognise the significance of my dairy. Any time plans are being made I whip my diary out & they know once I’ve written in pen there is no going back on our activity. I carry it everywhere. It is my wealth of knowledge & I would be lost without it.

2015. April 2015 no less & I am diary free! What the fuck!?

Maybe this is why I’m struggling to forward plan more than one week ahead??

I have a scrappy notebook which has all the hours I’ve worked this year, the 6 nations calendar & the Formula 1 calendar scrawled into it. This is the bones of my 2015 diary. I woe.

I am going to invest in a filofax. Are they worth the fuss? Will it bring centred control into my life again? Will my year suddenly come together when I have a diary in my life to focus my schedule?

I just planned next month!

I have been trying to put some time aside to plan my year, or at least the next few months. When I came to Switzerland for the winter season, my duration was always dependent on whether I was getting enough work. I expected to be here over the busy Christmas holidays at least & maybe stay until the end of February if I got enough work to survive. Mid February & I’m still here. Some weeks have been quiet but I’m generally surviving.

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As my cut off point is approaching I am in need of making plans for March onwards. Lo & behold I swiftly, & without much thought, signed a contract to work in Switzerland until the 5th April. I just hope I get enough hours work to pay the extortionate rent! Maybe I can fit in another trip #take12trips during a quiet week in March? I tend to vaguely plan first, budget afterwards & book if feasible!

According to my new schedule I am now free in April to do some workaways! Time to start browsing!

Forward thinking

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6.15am & I’m stood outside in -7 degree temperatures waiting for my transfer. I’m waiting patiently dressed for my trip to Morocco, not wearing anything remotely ski resort appropriate. 45 minutes later & I have strongly resolved to forward think a little more.

Hindsight. I’ve got plenty of that. It’s the finer details in following things through which I gravely lack. My ‘sure it’ll be grand’ attitude only gets me so far. It doesn’t stop my toes from turning into icicles & snapping off, it doesn’t help the convulsing shiver I have involuntarily developed to survive. Sure, on this occasion, I have saved myself having to carry a winter jacket to sunny Africa – though at some point in life I’m going to have to be more pensive & take better care of myself. Take the jacket bitch!

I’m getting old damnit! I need a bit more comfort in my life. I need to be a bit kinder to this ageing hag. I need my sleep more than ever & I’m convinced I’m developing a lazy eye. What next? My only solace is in my equally aging friends who can relate to the process & are helping me through these traumatic developments!

Now it’s in writing I will endeavour to take a bit better care of myself because I’m getting old.

….To see it in black & white is awakening. On second thoughts I will put it to the back of my mind & continue to live in my carefree manner depending on my resilience to cope with whatever I put myself through. Well done me! You’re a tough cookie!

nuala poppins

How we do changing bags on the slopes

How we do changing bags on the slopes

It’s a wonder what distraction can do to your plans. When I left you I was giving myself a week to organise this nomadic life & sure enough, almost 3 weeks later – I have not. I have not booked flights. I have not made arrangements. I have not even given it a moments thought. It’s amazing what throwing yourself into work can do to your idle daydreaming!

I have been busy day & night nannying. Not exactly what I went to university for…… *frowns at degree*

I am enjoying it & paying my bills so that’s acceptable. Right???

*Cries into my chocolate chaud*

*Tears up Sports Rehabilitation degree & regrets years of wasted time, money, cpd, volunteering, networking & skill honing*

I don’t have any nanny qualifications but being Irish & growing up in a big family with around 50 cousins can do wonders to build up many, many  reluctant hours of undesired childcare experience. I have been very lucky because the children I have been minding have been very easy & manageable. Many parents have told me that my laid back attitude (which I wasn’t aware I possessed) makes the kids content & happy in my company . The parents can relax knowing their babies are being looked after by a competent former childcare slave. I guess this is the part where I thank my family for the enforced hours of childcare labour they encouraged! Basically my confidence & competence is attributed to my cousins’ survival under my youthful care.

If you wish to follow my progress I give updates on my twitter account when I have a moment….  @nulskii #livetweetbabysitting

All plans are on hold while I am busy working. I am as ever awaiting that elusive call to work in Formula 1 or another travel opportunity. Is ‘Waiting for an opportunity’ an actual plan? Can I get away with that? As long as I’m earning while I’m basking in phenomenal views & great company, I don’t feel too bad about staying put.