That irrepressible desire to book more flights *sigh*

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Apparently not content with stopping over in Singapore on my way to NZ I have an overwhelming need to visit another country in Asia while I’m there. I have 1 weeks & I’m looking for travspiration (travel inspiration) of amazing places you have visited.

My top wants on the list are: incredible sights, cheap massages, amazing street food, easy going atmosphere…. I’m sure it won’t be difficult to find in Asia.

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I would like some adventure but absolutely no monkey related ‘fun’. I’m not a fan of monkeys. I tend to actively avoid any living animal show or display. I love animals & I refuse to support the exploitation of them. Even if the companies say the animals are treated well I’m sure they would prefer their freedom in the wild.

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While we’re on the subject of creatures the less mosquitos the better. I’m trying to put off Dengue Fever as long as possible. I’m estimating via probability I am about 50 bites away from being very high risk. That’s around 2 or 3 days worth of bites for me.

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I wouldn’t mind escaping the busy cities, learning Reiki, surfing, reading in a cute cafe & as you know eating. I can’t get enough of street food & grieved unashamadely for it once I left Thailand.

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I’ve been on Skyscanner checking flights & Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam & Thailand are all within my budget. I’m currently leaning towards Bali. All suggestions are welcome. Please comment & put a link to your blog if you have some interesting reading for me. Thanks!

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Planning Singapore

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One of my favourite things about travelling is the research prior to my adventure. When I see the images in books & online I feel a rise of excitement that I’m actually going to be there experiencing it. I am enraptured with this feeling & the seemingly idle meander of time until I get there.

Next up for me is Singapore!

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If you have any recommendations for me, the more random the better, please comment below. Also, if you have blogged about a trip there please send me the link. I would love to read up before I go. Thank you fellow explorers x

Felling low?? Do something about it!!!

I was feeling shit. I was planning to turn to retail therapy to seek solace. I did. Flights to Barcelona booked! What better pick me up than to run from your problems?? Fleeing the country for freedom brings me great inner peace.

It was only a brief trip, 3 nights, but it was all I needed to recharge my mind & soul. I met my dad there which was lovely & we were able to catch up. We wandered around the beautiful city, drank, ate & people watched. Perfection! My ideal trip, not exhausting myself to tick off all the must see tourist sights. I prefer to relax & bask in the culture & atmosphere. Maybe I’m doing travel wrong, but it feels so right this way.

It was a city I enjoyed & would like to go back to. I can see why my dad likes it so much & visits it every year. I can now confirm that my coping mechanism of buying flights when I feel a bit sorry for myself is foolproof, mature & necessary!

New Zealand, I’m looking at you

I’m looking at you & I’m coming to get you!

Since I was 15 & my friends were all talking about how they wanted to go to Australia (none of them have been & they have all spent their lives in our home county), I have always pulled away from the crowd & vowed to go to New Zealand. It seemed less cliche, less saturated with tourists & from my limited knowledge I somehow pictured it as somewhere I could call home. Over 15 years later & I have got my visa, booked my flights & am currently on countdown at 9 weeks till I leave the homeland for my next adventure & my new life!

I don’t seem overly excited if you were to speak to me. I have another 7 weeks left working in Switzerland & 2 weeks at home to go before I can get excited. I don’t exactly worry about the packing but I acknowledge that it will be a pain in the arse packing to leave Switzerland & packing for New Zealand. We all know I’m a packophobe. I know I will be sad to leave Switzerland. I know it will be emotional to get home to my family & friends, tiring to visit everyone & do everything I need to do at home & sad to leave everyone all over again. I know I will cry for my little dog. I know I will question why I am leaving the invaluable group of people I have built great friendships with. I am excited of course, but this is the background noise that plays on a loop in my mind.

I look forward to my stopover in Singapore. To exploring & discovering. I look forward to landing in Auckland, taking my backpack off in the hostel & flopping on to my bed exhausted & exhilarated.

I have nothing planned for New Zealand. I just know that I’m flying into Auckland & I want to go to Melbourne for Formula 1.

Where will I go? People keep telling me of places to visit & to live in. What kind of work will I look for? I have experience in a now comical amount of industrys so I could end up doing anything. Do I travel first then find a job??

I would love a cushy office job where I don’t have to think much & can focus on my life outside of work. I would also love to do something completely different & invigorating. On the other hand I am a sucker for professional development & would love to get back to sports rehabilitation. I am grateful that I have diverse options of paths.

If you have any tips for me about Singapore of New Zealand, or want to link your blog, please comment below. Thanks 🙂

Dear Switzerland, I miss you

I cannot wait to get back to Switzerland. I am super excited about learning to snowboard. I don’t have much time left until the end of the season & I feel like I’ve hardly spend any quality time with my friends. Literally, where has the season gone? It has went even faster this year than the previous 2 seasons & somehow there are less crazy memories.
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What have I been doing for the past 3 months!!?:
  • Had my first snowboard lesson
  • Enjoyed après drinks in the sunshine with the most beautiful views
  • Watched the entire Love/Hate series, that was amazing!
  • Worked my hooves off & have nothing to show for it
  • Moved house 5 times
  • Worked some more
  • Partied very hard about 6 times
  • Nannied the cutest kids
  • Blogged
  • Went to Morocco
  • Listened to London Grammar constantly
  • Caught a virus
  • Starting running
  • Started #take12trips
  • Invested in my skincare
  • Ate pasta
  • Ate cheese
  • Watched dinner date a bit too frequently
  • Read 3 books
  • Broke my celibacy
  • Drank coffee
  • Watched Ireland win 3 6 Nations games so far
  • Basked in many baths
  • Didn’t find a post season job
  • Daydreamed on Skyscanner
  • Anticipated the new Formula 1 season

I’m really going to make the most of it when I get back. Being sick last week & unable to do anything or see anyone has really made me want to get out there & see & do everything.

Switzerland, I hope you are ready for some serious quality time! See you on Sunday x

Feck plans, lets travel!

Following my mild meltdown regarding what I’m doing for the next 6 months, I hopped on my laptop, updated my cvs (Yes, I have several) & started spamming potential employers. I made a list of countries I want to work & live in right now & countries I want to visit. I searched for jobs in the countries I have picked to live in. I have direction. I have focus.

I have a second list of countries to visit. I have access to Skyscanner. I am a maverick procrastinator…..

I came up with a vague plan for April to fly from Geneva to Copenhagen, train to Malmo, Sweden, fly to Budapest, fly to Turkey then maybe go home. All flights for just over £100. I can’t beat that! It would be cheaper than going home where I just seem to haemorrhage money on nothing.

The encouraging devil on my shoulder was whispering into my ear “Feck it, book it”. My ever flailing self restraint kicked in – I went for a run to avoid temptation & physically remove myself from the laptop. Yes, I am a strong independent woman who is a slave to travel plans & adventures. When I returned from my run I had to rush to work, ensuring no last minute adventures were booked. However I have a spare hour now before I go to France….

I know I should plan more before I lock in the dates. I’ll look up workaways I could do during my trip. Also I might drag it out to the end of May, I don’t fancy being in Ireland for my birthday. No offence Ireland, I love you dearly but I suffer severely from birthday blues & NEED a solid distraction to get me through the day. Trust me.

Budgeting for a 2 month break may prove impossible – I will cross this bridge when I come to it. Ideas first then the logistics & feasibility after the dream is alive.

Do other people get overpowering urges to book random trips without much thought or is this a nuala-specific issue?

Have you been to any of the places I’m planning on visiting? Tips & info would be a great help, or link your blogs in the comments for me to check out.

Thanks for reading! Have a great day. Book wildly & travel freely x

I resolve to do better

My New Year Resolutions are not going as perfectly as I predicted….

#take12trips was scuppered in February by my lack of a trip. Yes, in my second month *sigh* I don’t even think I left the ski resort in February. It’s a busy month & I have a never-turn-down-work policy. Plus I moved house twice just to suck up any free time I had. I don’t know why I insist on challenging my peaceful calm nature with constant, unnecessary hassle. Maybe my April resolution should be to take care of my wellbeing? – Please encourage & support this in a bid to salvage my sanity! I’m still optimistically hoping to keep this #take12trips resolution by taking 2 trips in March to make up not going anywhere in February? Is that cool with you guys? This a resolution I REALLY want to keep.

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My February skincare resolution is still in full swing! I invested (heavily) in (atrociously expensive) skin care products & my skin is feeling happy as a result. Washing my face (aka double cleansing, exfoliating acid, serum & maybe a moisturising mask) is now a delight. My skin feels loved, hydrated & healthy. Of course it should do when using a £100 hydroactive cellular face oil every night. This mortgage payment feels worthwhile & I am blissfully convincing myself that these products will last for at least half a year… Self deceit is one of my many self administering coping mechanisms.

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My March running resolution started quite well. I was super keen to begin this resolution early but heavy snow, moving house & that 31 hour straight that I worked kind of hindered me time wise. Finally I went running on the 28th February to kick start my resolution. I should have packed a defibrillator. Only I can self harm in a manner that seems outwardly healthy & positive. Running for the first time in nearly a year, I went for hill sprints in the alps in minus temperatures after a 13 hour work day. Fuck my life. I coped & mentally it wasn’t as bad as I physically expected it to be. I can’t begin to explain how clear the sky was or how amazing the stars looked. As if I needed anything else to take my breath away. I really feel blessed in the alps. Blessed & out of breath.

As much as I enjoyed my run(ish) I am not confident running will continue as routinely as I hoped. I am currently completing a 16hour working day & the rest of the week is looking quite similar. As enthusiastic & motivated I am about running, I really need my sleep to get through the long days. I have to keep misery to an absolute minimum! & I’m not going to beat myself up about this or call it a fail (see possible April resolution in the first paragraph).

Here’s to trying harder, being better & continuing to smile.

Have passport, will travel

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Another great travel enabler in my life is Sky Scanner. The hours I have fantasised over that website…. Well, I don’t care to count them! It is literally my travel porn, cajoling all these alluring destinations & possibilities. My feet itch just thinking about it!!!

I work to a tight budget & I’m very flexible so Sky Scanner is perfect for me. I can price flights over a month period & see the cheapest option. I can price over a whole year to see when will be cheapest to travel. I can select to fly out of the country as opposed to one airport which broadens the options again. So many tools to find the cheapest flight solution.

My favourite function is the ‘Everywhere’ destination option. This shows the cost of flying from your selected country/airport to everywhere in the world & it is arranged in price order. This is when I’m inspired to travel to places I’ve never been or for one reason or another just overlooked. It is great for my last minute itchy feet breaks & my country hopping expeditions. It also encourages the enthusiast in me – as if I need any encouraging to travel! I can self manipulate & convince myself that because the flights are cheap my trip is completely feasible & before I know it I’ve booked something. Again. I may have a problem.

If you aren’t flexible & have specific dates & know your destination (rarely me) it is also a great tool. Sky Scanner checks flights on the web & brings you options & prices. I must admit the prices aren’t always 100% correct sometimes when I click through to view them – but I love SkyScanner so much that I forgive them. This is true love guys!

Check it out folks, put in your dates, select everywhere & book somewhere different. Explore the world, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Not having enough money is NOT a reason not to travel. Look at me, I can manage on a shoestring. Just make sacrifices on luxury & make it work.

Please let me know in the comments if you have been inspired to visit somewhere different, what you think of Sky Scanner, & are there similar sites you prefer?

Many thanks & happy travels everyone x

http://www.skyscanner.com @skyscanner #skyscanner

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!

Morocco – The Aftermath

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I am fully settled back into my Alpine life. Morocco feels like a life time ago *sigh* I walk the streets of Verbier, trudging in the snow, basking in the beautiful snow kissed mountains & no one heckles at me. My personal space is not invaded. I am not interesting or unique to people. I blur into the resort. It certainly has its perks but I do miss the vibrancy of Marrakech. I miss how every night in the square felt like a peak season Saturday night. I miss the food, exploring, the people, the sweet comforting tea & the hammams (as if I wasn’t going to mention the hammams!)

Before I left I brought some goodies, of course. I purchased a gorgeous tea pot which cost 50 dirham/5euros (apologies, I can’t bloody find the euro sign on my thai macbook!) & some mint tea to take my taste buds back to Morocco. I got some chilli’s although they haven’t quite met my spice heat approval. I bought a lot of delicious dates which got ate mainly at the airport & within 2 days of getting back to Switzerland. Safe to say I sickened myself & won’t be seeking out dates for a while! I also got some spices which my tight budget won’t allow me to properly investigate. I might take these back to Ireland to try with more bountiful ingredients & tools! My mum has a tagine pot back at home just waiting to be used! And I got argon oil to make my skin glow.

Morocco, you have made it to the much coveted ‘Visit again’ list! I shall see you again & explore you in more depth x