Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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A big ramble trying to talk about little things

This time last year I was in New York having the Best Time Ever. This time last year I was posing for a photo outside the New York Public Library (a must for book-worms like me) and still had a whole New York adventure to live out.

Now I am sitting in my parent’s kitchen blogging. The sun is shining, the pup is eating my slipper which is still on my foot and the cats are sleeping in the living room. I am also a reporter on my local newspaper which continues to thrill me with joy even when it’s stressing me out.

It’s funny how things change. The boy and I were planning to go travelling this September but then the opportunity for the job I am in came along and I had to grab it with both hands – the same way I intended to do with travelling. It was a great way of getting on the ladder and learning the ropes the only way you can when you’re in a job. The boy was happy to postpone the travelling and so was I and I still don’t regret my part in that decision after six months. I still plan on going travelling but it won’t be for a little while yet and I’m happy with that.

If you’d told me that last year when I was posing for a photo outside the New York Public Library I would have probably laughed in your face and been a little dismissive. Travelling is something I have always wanted to do, and am determined to do – I would have seen no other way than doing it as soon as possible and that would have been when the boy graduated.

But things change. Opportunities come up that are too good to miss and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t grab onto them with every bit of strength and vigour you had.

I am a planner and it is often difficult to accept that my plans must change. I am also stubborn so this adds to my hesitance of not wanting changes in my plans.

I like change that comes from stepping out of your comfort zone, doing something different and pushing yourself so I plan to do things like that but I don’t appreciate the other type of change that makes you stay right where you are and make the most out of it – milk it until it’s dry and then you can move on. That is the type of change that came in January when a work experience placement turned into a interview for a proper reporting job. I would have been stupid not to take it, even if it wasn’t in my plans and I think that’s why I don’t regret it. It’s an exciting change but a different one to what I was planning. Maybe if it had been a compromise I would think differently, I don’t know.

So right now, I’m not in NY ticking off a dream come true (I have wanted to travel there since I read about it books and realised it wasn’t make-believe) and daydreaming of a travel adventure. Right now I am ticking off a job as a reporter on a local paper – another dream come true.

Just because everything doesn’t happen at once, doesn’t mean it won’t. We leave in an age of immediacy and sometimes we lose sight of the fact that though human life doesn’t last as long as certain other creatures on this planet we have a long while to make the most out of it. We are living longer, healthier lives and we need to make the most out of all of it – not just the first 20 years.

Right now, I feel very, very lucky. I feel like I am milking life and it’s a good feeling. Often in society we’re made to feel narcissistic for bigging ourselves or the lives we lead up but that can’t be good for us emotionally. That means we look for dissatisfaction and unease and stress. So, here I am saying I am happy with life  – though this week has been a little like drowning in mud – it happens. Not every day can be perfect.

This blog post has little meaning, or significance. It is just a person declaring she is happy. A person accepting that change happens and embracing it because it’s another adventure. Not the same one, or a better one, but a different one that’s just as exciting.


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Wanderlust

Wanderlust: noun, a great desire to travel and rove about, a desire for wandering.

I have wanted to explore the world and travel since a time before a steady memory developed for me. It’s been something that I’ve always wanted to do and as I, apparently grow up, the more determined I am to make that dream a reality.

I don’t think I’d be happy, living my whole life in one place without seeing at least a little bit of the world. Planet Earth is a big place and it would be silly to not use the time I have exploring places that most people only see through their TV screens.

I am hoping to travel in roughly a years time. A backpacking trip around South America with the boy. Hopefully, fingers crossed. Rough plans have been decided and the little details are slowly being ironed out. If it goes according to plan – it’ll be my first step towards exploring the world. My mum is afraid I won’t come back. I’m afraid I won’t want to.

I have a massively long list of places I want to go, people I want to meet and things I want to do while I’m out there on a massive adventure, not just in South America but future exploits around the globe. It won’t be easy and it’ll take planning and money and time. But I don’t care. It will be worth it. For me, it would be a terrible waste of my life if I didn’t see the things I read about in books and magazines, the places I dream about and see on television. The roads less travelled and the ones concreted over for their popularity.

Travelling to me is a way to see something different, to grow and to learn. To fully realise, have it thrown in your face type realisation, that the world is a big place full of lots of amazing things. You are just a part of a huge ecosystem, a massive universe. I like that feeling. I think it’s why I love the stars.

To quench my wanderlust at least a tiny bit, I devour travel articles, blogs, videos, TV shows – everything. One day soon it will be my turn. It’ll be my opportunity to take a few steps away from my front door and throw myself out there.

How very exciting.

A beautiful colourful world map. Makes it even more beautiful, in an arty way. Found on Piccsy, link is here: http://piccsy.com/2011/06/lovely-colourful-world-map


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A New York Adventure

New York used to be rumoured to have streets paved of gold. Although this isn’t quite the truth, you do feel like you need to own a couple of bars of gold to be able to do and buy everything you want to while you’re there. I know this firsthand. My entire stay in New York was filled with random stories that could have come out of a comedy sketch show but nothing beats mine and the boy’s first day on our own exploring the city.

It started off pretty well, very normally, or as normal as you can get when you’re walking down streets that you’ve read about for most of your life. It was beautiful, glass and cement buildings mixed in with astounding architecture that would’t look out of place in Venice or London. Although New York is always busy with pulsating crowds; the streets are so wide and there is so much to look at, that you never feel like you’re overcrowded or that you can’t stop and just stare.

I did a lot of staring whilst in New York. You can’t help it and what I loved most was that New York forces you to look up. People forget to look up. They forget that there is actually a world around them and instead just stare at their feet making their steps to the destination and avoid making eye contact with anything. Looking up is an instant way of making me feel happy and I loved that New York forced you to do that.

The boy and I went to the Empire State Building and paid a little extra to skip the queues. Time was limited and we didn’t want to wait in a two hour queue especially when my patience is limited at the best of times. I am defintely a child of the new generation. We passed the little museum after riding an awesome stimulator (which was narrated by Kevin Bacon – surreal is not the word), I feel they could have done more with the museum, it was a beautiful space and I guess to compensate for the number of people that could potentially be queuing there has to be such large spaces but there were parts that made it feel almost empty. A word I never thought I’d associate with anything in New York. I came across a huge King Kong character as we were leaving the hall/museum and obviously decided to pose with the thing. After all, I’m a tourist and I can make an awesome angry gorilla face, the moment was perfection. Until, that is King Kong moved, I noticed, screamed and my echoes were heard for the next three minutes. Great acoustics in that museum, it was like singing in the shower. King Kong was in fact a man dressed as a gorilla who was able to scare this British tourist so well that I actually ran – and I don’t exercise.

The boy and I with King Kong himself. Notice he isn’t actually touching me due to my awful, awful fear. I am traumatised.

The view from the Empire State Building is absolutely outstanding and definitely worth all the dollars you pay for it. You can see the whole city and because New York moves at such a fast pace, there’s always something to stare at. Feeling so small when you’re walking down streets lined with 100 floor buildings, you feel even smaller when you’re above them. People are dots, smaller than the typical ant description and cars are about the same size as a big handed man’s thumbnail. It’s crazy and the sun was shining while the boy and I were up there making the view all the more gorgeous.

I will never be able to justify the views and since I’m a secret fan of awful cliches and they do say a picture paints a thousand words, here are a few photos. We’re on the 86th floor, just a little FYI which is the main observation deck. There is another on the 102nd floor which we chose not to visit. It’s an additional fee to visit the 102nd floor and by all accounts it is just a room with lots of windows and you’re so high up that the detail is somewhat lost. Like a watercolour painting that has run.

After we left the Empire State Building we had a HUGE slice of pizza each which I definitely recommend trying for anyone visiting New York anytime soon. Food aplenty in New York and it would be a shame if you didn’t try as much as you could. With all the walking you’ll do as a tourist, it’s even hard to put on weight – crazy I know.

The weather was really hot and humid for most of our stay in NY. However this day, it rained. New York rain is crazy, the drops are as big and heavy as hamsters and we ran into the first store we could find and bought an umbrella for $10. I handed over the $10 bill as the man handed the boy the umbrella, with the promise that it was a big umbrella that would fit both of us in comfortably. It didn’t. We both got drenched. I have never in my life got so badly caught in the rain whilst having an umbrella over my head. It didn’t help either that I then realised after paying for a small sized umbrella that I only had $1 left. The boy, upon checking his own wallet, also had only $1 left. That was a total of $2 and we needed $5 to buy our subway tickets to get home. I became hysterical and the boy became panicky, to soothe both of us we visited the Strand Bookstore (18 miles of books, I was in total heaven. They had EVERYTHING), and whilst in this glorious little NY haven, the umbrella broke. In the boy’s hand. Whilst he was holding it through the middle. Just. Like. That.

So no umbrella and no money. We only had £20 to our name which is useless when you’re in America. So we began our huge marathon walk zigzagging across the city to find a place that would exchange our British pounds into some much needed American dollars. Banks rejected us because we didn’t have an account with them. Western Union’s exchange systems had gone down a little while before we walking into the store. A policeman instructed us to an exchange place after we explained our situation, as we ran to it to beat the closing times. It wasn’t closed. It wasn’t even there, it was actually a GUESS shop. A huge, massive, expensive GUESS shop. Pretty clothes: yes but not the possibility to change any currency.

It was at this point that I started shouting down the street, insisting with the boy that we needed to start begging. I could dance while he held his hands out. All we needed was $3. A man heard my desperate pleas and turned out to be our hero; he told us exactly where to go, wished us luck in his epic New York accent and we were off. I felt like I was in a film as we ran down NY for what felt like the 50th time, dodging all the humans, dogs, and food stalls as we did.

We got to the exchange place in an impressively quick time, a lovely girl by the name of Aida had actually closed down the tills to cash up. We explained our story and I was already preparing to get down on bended knee and beg for her mercy when she agreed. We exchanged £20 for $26 and felt like the richest people in the world. We danced outside the exchange place and I honestly felt like a queen. We went to Grand Central Station after and used our hard earned $26 on giant pretzels and the subway home. The rest was for another NY adventure.

It was a baptism of fire to be welcomed to New York in such a way. Luckily it makes a good story and I don’t hold grudges.