Back again

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So it's been a while since I last posted on here, but I have managed to gain free time now since finishing university.
Yep I have finally finished university, who knew those 3 years would fly by so quickly. I felt like I needed to update as I kind of left my blog talking about my adventure in America (which was almost a year ago) but fast forward to 2016 and I have had many adventures and experiences that I wouldn't have dreamed of happening.
So a lot of huge things have happened this year:

I went to Amsterdam

In April I took a short trip to Amsterdam with a few friends and I'm still smiling about that experience now. Although the weather was really crappy, we still had a lot of fun and many laughs. We went the Anne Frank house, The Heineken Experience, took a canal cruise, walked along the red light district, ate at a pancake house, celebrated King's day and visited the windmills at Zaanse Schans. Another bonus part of my trip was getting the chance to meet my half-brother who lives near Amsterdam for the first time!! I also found out I'm an aunty to three children :O I've never felt such a mixture of emotions in my whole life, I was nervous and excited but in the end we got on really well and it didn't really feel like I was talking to a stranger. Amsterdam definitely lived up to my expectations and sparked my journey of self-discovery. 

I finished university 

Towards the end of April I handed all my assignments in including my dreaded dissertation. Initially I wasn't really happy about my dissertation topic (as we didn't get much of a choice on topics) and towards the end I decided it was an interesting area but definitely not my kind of thing. Anyway I must have done something right because I got a first in my dissertation (God knows how). After convincing myself that I would probably graduate with a 2:2, I shocked myself by achieving a 2:1 for my degree in Psychology! (Still hasn't sunk in yet) I don't think I ever shed tears of joy during my course but that was definitely the first. In May I attended my university graduation ball with a few friends, which was a nice end to our time at uni. The only downside is that I won't be officially graduating until November :(

I went to Cornwall

Around May I went to Cornwall with my mum and nanan for a week. We've always wanted to visit but just never had the time. We stopped in Bath first and took a stroll around the centre and ate our dinner near the river. Then we had a long drive to Cornwall and we stayed in a beautiful apartment on a farm, it even had a hot tub and sauna, which was beaut. We also celebrated my nanan's birthday, which she wasn't expecting :) Cornwall is a beautiful place full of lovely people and I would love to go back one day but maybe in a different area.

I went to Valencia

To celebrate our graduation, me and Lynette booked a holiday to Valencia in Spain. We had to fly from Gatwick airport, so we spent the day before in my second home (London!). Lynette introduced me to the Japanese Centre, which I immediately fell in love with and was surprised that I had never been before. The following day we headed to the airport for our 6am flight (urgh!) but it was all worth it when we saw how beautiful Valencia really was. Our hotel was lovely and the weather was a nice change from British 'Summer' weather. We had a few shopping centres and a Japanese restaurant pretty close by so that was convenient for us :D We visited the beach and ate seafood, went to the city centre and on our last night we went for a spa treatment in our hotel (just what we needed). This trip was certainly an experience as we came across many language barriers and watched TV in Spanish whilst adding our own English commentary, which made the trip all the more fun.

I went to Singapore

Every year I like to try and take at least one long distance holiday and Singapore was that holiday. This was my first time travelling to Asia ever after wanting to go for so long. My reason for going was to finally visit Lynette's home and meet her family. So I booked my flights 4 weeks before my visit (really last minute I know), packed my stuff and off I went on another very long solo flight. I spent a week in Singapore with Lynette and her family doing lots of shopping, eating lots of food, meeting her friends, visiting universal studios, going to the cinema and somehow she even got me to do karaoke and I actually enjoyed it. I'm currently going through post-holiday depression after recently getting back, I miss everything. Although the humidity I don't miss so much. Hopefully I'll write a post about this trip and show some of the stuff I bought. 

I got accepted onto my Masters course

So next year I will be adding another milestone to my life as I have been accepted to study MSc mental health nursing at the University of Nottingham! I'm excited and calm at the moment but when the time comes I know I will probably be an emotional wreck as I will be moving out to study in Derby, which is only a half an hour train ride from where I live now, but still. This was my main uni choice after being realistic and putting aside my dream of studying in London due to expenses, however this course seemed the best option as I not only receive a nursing qualification but a masters on top of that. Luckily I get a longer break from studying as my course starts in January 2017, so until then I will be working, saving money and fitting in a few trips away if I can :)

So there is my update! Sorry for the lack of photos but I just wanted to start writing again and hopefully I will continue to write now that I have time.

Hope you are all doing well :)


New Orleans

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After checking into our hostel, dumping our bags, making up our beds and taking a shower we headed out to Bourbon Street. Our hostel was conveniently close to a streetcar stop and it didn't take us long to get to the central area. 

Bourbon Street was exactly how I imagined New Orleans and I loved the fact that you could buy drinks and walk around the street with your drink in hand. My favourite was definitely the hand grenade which got me drunk pretty easily because it tasted so good. The atmosphere is amazing and we even made friends with some Australians and fellow Brits. It was certainly an eye-opening and fun experience, however jet lag was starting to take a toll on me so we decided to head back to our hostel.

Day two in NOLA  consisted of wandering down the French market in downtown New Orleans, listening to a traditional street music being performed in the French quarter, taking in the beautiful scenery of the Mississippi river and stuffing our faces with beignets from the famous Cafe Du Monde (which I'm actually craving now). I've wanted to try these ever since I watched my favourite Disney film, The Princess and The Frog and they certainly did not disappoint. Beignets are delicious doughnut-like treats covered in powdered/icing sugar, basically it's like eating a piece of heaven but be prepared with some water to drink as it can get sickly.

We ended the night dining in IHOP and the waitresses were going crazy over Megan's UP tattoo (Yep! We both love Disney). We spent our last night back in Bourbon Street but if you ever visit New Orleans and fancy a change of scenery go to Frenchmen Street which was recommended by some friends, apparently it's the place to be for live music and amazing nightlife, less touristy and more local.

The next day we we're both ready to move on from New Orleans and go onto our next destination LAS VEGAS!
We headed to the Greyhound Station and got totally lost on the way by heading in the wrong direction on the streetcar, luckily we had the best driver and she helped us get there.

I really enjoyed New Orleans but I think 3 days was just enough time to spend there. My only regrets were not visiting Frenchmen Street to have a more authentic night out and not trying out the Creole cuisine.

Look out for the next post where I tell you all about my adventures in Vegas!
x x x


I flew out to America alone

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I've taken a three month break from this blog without even realising it. Time has gone way too fast and life has just been non-stop.
In the past few months I took my second driving test...and failed! Spent a week in Ireland with my Mum, went to Matlock for the day with my Dad, dip-dyed my hair blue, celebrated my Mum's birthday, went interrailing through Berlin, Prague and Budapest and went to V festival.

I tried a lot of new things this year, but one thing I didn't think I'd ever manage was getting on a plane and flying out to America alone.
On the 25th August I flew out from Manchester airport towards New Orleans to be reunited with my best friend, Megan after 3 months of being apart. After having an emotional goodbye with my mum it was time to start my adventure. I don't know why, but the only part that majorly stresses me out in airports is going through security but everything went fine. 
After lots of phone calls and stressing out for about 2 hours I got on my plane towards my first destination Atlanta, where I had to make my connection.

My flight was great! I flew with Virgin Atlantic equipped with my travel pillow and there was no one in the seat next to me! I watched about 4 films, well I say watched more like fell asleep through all of them but that made the 9 hours go by so much quicker (must have been the wine I had).

When I got off to make my connection flight, I could just feel the anxiety returning again because I'd never made a connection before. Turns out I was only overreacting again and it was a really simple process of going through passport control, go through security again, reclaim your bag and give it to the person who puts it on another carousel to be transferred. Easy as that! If you're really worried, don't because there should be signs everywhere and plenty of people to ask.
Next flight was with Delta airlines and I had to wait less than 2 hours before boarding, so I decided to listen to some music. It was a short but sweet flight and no body was sat on my row again, I even got another nap in and woke up to a bag of pretzels they had given out. That 1 hour and 40 minutes flew by and after 13 hours I had finally made it into New Orleans. Yaaaaaay!
I couldn't wait to get off the plane and finally see Megan's face and have a lie down.

After getting off the plane, I went downstairs to reclaim my baggage and I could see Megan holding a sign with my name on it. We ran so fast to finally hug each other and we even had a little cry :') I missed her so much and we sat and chatted at the airport for so long that we ended up missing our bus to get us to our hostel (Oops!)
I'll be writing separate posts about my 2 weeks of travelling in America, so look out for my New Orleans post next!

x x x

I survived Second Year

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The title of this post says it all really. I got through my second year of!?
Well I finished quite a few months ago but only just found out what I got, a lovely 2:1! Although my exams did bring it down, I worked my socks off in second semester and achieved the grade I wanted.

In comparison to first year, I have enjoyed second year A LOT more. I got out my comfort zone and met some great people through taking part in activities and events, I took on a work placement, I quit my job because it was making me feel miserable and stressed, having an affect my uni work. And the best thing is that it has helped me to decide on my next path after graduating, which is a relief because I feel like I can enjoy my course a bit more now.

At the beginning of this year I wasn't too hopeful about the future, but my views have definitely changed. I have some amazing plans for this year and next year, money is certainly going to be needed which is why I've taken on bank shifts at a residential care home & a nursery to help me gain experience and earn money for all the adventures I have planned.

So that means I only have one year left!!! Yes! I'm absolutely dreading third year but hopefully things will work out if I work just as hard. But for now I'm going to enjoy my Summer!
x x x

Counselling and comfort zones

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Not too long ago I had my last counselling session and I realised how much it has helped me over the year.
Going to my university health and wellbeing services was the best decision I've ever made, I was at a point in my life where I was really lost,  scared of everything and just consumed by anxiety. I'm so glad my GP encouraged me to go for it as I was really reluctant and thought propranolol alone would help me.

Counselling was new to me as it allowed me just to talk which I don't usually do, I'm pretty good at bottling up my thoughts and putting a mask over my feelings which can be tiresome and can cause you to snap at any moment. 
It was nice to get things off my chest and work on different areas of my life. Since starting my session I have dealt with so many issues and taken on things I never thought I could.
I've started visiting my Dad, taken on new opportunities, left opportunities that were stressing me out, took a driving test (even though I failed), decided what I want to do in the future and I'm taking a solo flight to america this year to travel with my friend. 

It made me realise that:
1. Life is to be enjoyed 
2. If you really want something only you can go out and make it happen
3. Stepping outside your comfort zone can actually reduce your anxiety a bit at a time
4. Your mental illness does not control you, it's up to you to control it to take back your life
5. Having a panic attack or just a bad day is not the end of the world! Be proud you got through it and start again tomorrow
6. Your illness doesn't define you

I've been going through a lack of self-belief and doubt lately, but I've got so much to look forward to that I shouldn't be feeling low. Anyway I will continue to tackle whatever life throws at me and I aim to try lots of new things this summer!

x x x

A few updates!

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So a lot has gone on in the past few weeks and I'm so glad everything is out of the way now...well most things.

Booked my driving test
I finally bit the bullet and booked my driving test because if I don't do it now then I never will. I am absolutely terrified but since I am an anxious person I am constantly worrying that I am not ready yet. I can only help this by doing extra practice and hoping for the best. I haven't told anyone when it's booked for but it is next month.

Visited my Dad
This was another thing that was on my bucket list for this year and it was also recommended by my counsellor and my mum, so I went to see my Dad. This is a long story but basically my mum and dad separated when I was young and I just never formed that bond with him as I grew up. Now that I am 21 years old, it's time to build that bond.
I spent a few hours on a Friday night with him and it was actually alright, it wasn't awkward because he had so much to tell me and he was happy to see me. I found out a lot about the past which was interesting and I plan to see him again soon.

Quit both of my jobs
I sound like I had a nervous breakdown but don't worry I thought about this choice very carefully and for a long time. I left my job at Waitrose and my STA travel ambassador job (both on good terms) last week for many reasons. Even though I'm probably going to be broke as I am relying on my student loan for financial aid but it's not all bad news.
I'm young and I've been working since I was 16, I needed a break! I live with my parents so I don't use money towards bills, just my phone bill so I'm grateful for that. I get my weekends back and can enjoy my life again and also I can start to focus more on my uni work as my final year is creeping up.
Right now I am searching for support worker and carer jobs with bank shifts to help me develop my career in mental health nursing.

Got through uni work and a presentation
After my work placement I had a lot of writing up to do and I've just about finished it after forcing myself to complete them. Just need to spend the next week tweaking a few things and then I can finally submit them and get rid of it all haha! I also had to do a compulsory presentation in front of 10 people which I hated as I was a nervous wreck but it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that it's done with.

Chose my dissertation projects
Choosing my final year projects at 12am when I was exhausted was probably not the best choice but the deadline was coming up so kind of had to hurry up and choose. I had to select 5 that I wanted (although I probably want 2 out of 5 of them) and then I will be assigned with one by next year. Scary stuff!

Booked a flight to America
I've got an exciting summer to look forward to this year but this one is a little different to the rest. As my bestie is doing Camp America this year, I'm flying out to America to travel with her. We still have to sort out a lot of other stuff like accommodation and transportation but we went ahead and booked our first destination to get the ball rolling.
Oh yeah did I mention this will be my first flight alone AND I have to get a connecting flight!! Naturally I'm nervous but so many of my friends have been through this experience and I can't let it hold me back.

Life has been a bit crazy but sort of calm at the same time and I've already planned my next few weekends starting with the Otley Run this weekend :)

Have you got any exciting or nerve-wracking plans coming up soon?
Leave me a comment below!
x x x


Muse in Brighton

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So last week me and Megan headed off onto another adventure in Brighton to see our favourite band, MUSE!

Brighton has been on my list of places to visit for a long time because of the quirky and beautiful scenery and obviously the seaside.
We hopped on an early megabus to London and then a train to beautiful Brighton.

We took a small tour of Brighton on the way to our hotel, we explore some of the shops in the North Laine which we loved and strolled past the Brighton Dome where people were already queuing for the show and walked past the beautiful Royal Pavilion.
Not long afterwards we found our hotel, we were lucky to have an amazing view of the seaside and the pier from our room.

After settling in we got ready for the show and got through a bottle of rosé very quickly, we were absolutely starving and went on the search for food.  Our obvious choice was Yo Sushi 1.We love Japanese food 2. It was close to the Brighton Dome and 3. We really wanted a Big Hero 6 Bento since we are collecting the wristbands (definitely not two 21 years olds). My chicken katsu bento was delicious and the excitement for Muse was rising.

Yes! The gig was amazing and my love for Muse just got bigger and they even played my favourite song :') I didn't want it to end and I felt that feeling of euphoria I had the last time I saw them in 2013.
The atmosphere in such as small building was just electric and their new songs sounded even better live.

Okay I'll stop gushing over the show. After having mixed feelings of joy and sadness that it had ended we got to see the band after waiting for them to come out. I can't believe this actually happened but I met Dom Howard (the drummer), I was actually lost for words when I met him but I managed to ask for a photo!!

After gushing over having our photos taken we had a few drinks in the Mash Tun and then went to the Market Diner for late night noms!

The next day we had the best English breakfast with a nice view of the seaside, I really wasn't ready to return home just yet but unfortunately we had too :( after the quick train to London and then a train back to Sheffield we were home.
It's been over a week and post gig depression is still there. Wah!

Anyway back to reality, this week is a little more calmer as my work placement has ended, my second job has finished for the term and my Japanese and aerial hoop classes have finished.
So I can actually start working on uni work now. (I'll probably do a post on over-commitment soon!)

x x x
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