Sunday, 30 November 2008


Back in summer I had a seasonal job as a dragon boat instructor and lifeguard in the South of France for Acorn Adventure.

I lived in a tent for more than 3 months in the seaside town of Narbonne Plage and as much as I loved the place, the weather and the people, I could not go back there.

Working with kids for 24 hours is a hard task and I found myself stressed by the silliest of things.

Our days were filled with sessions on the water. talent shows, cleaning bathrooms, pitching tents, serving dinner with minimal time for sleep or sangria!

Did I mention the pay? It was shocking and really only pocket money so my plans to save in my gap year were ruined.

Mind you, the staff did manage to have fun, with whatever was lying around...

Recently, a few of my former work mates have suggested we all go back and work there in summer 2009 but I'm not a fan of doing things twice. I feel to repeat a season in the same place with the same people cold be a bit tedious and not live up to the fun I had this year.

It's tempting, because I know what to expect and already have a secure job, but I'd rather find somewhere new with a better wage.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


I'm a wannabe surfer.

I've done a little was I was a teen; West Wales, Scotland and Croyde but I still crave the lifestle and vibe real surfers have.

So I applied to work in a surf shop.

Today I had a 'recruitment evening' at Quiksilver, my favorite surf clothing store.

It started at 7.30pm at the Regent Street store and promised to be an interesting evening.

First thing I realised was...I was the only Brit there! Nuts! My competition were Venezuelan, Russian, South African, Kiwi, Australian, French, the list goes on.

The staff took a Polaroid of us and then introduced themselves to us.

I loved being there, upstairs among the clothes hangers in the rustic surroundings, surf boards peeping from behind the displays

But I felt out of my league. I mean, it was only a part time retail assistant job I wanted and all of a sudden they wanted to know 10 things about each of us, our hates, likes and 'something random'.

My something random was "I'm a lifeguard" quite interesting and I hoped it would impress them because of the water sports aspect.

Then we were thrown into teams and asked to play charades with our favorite film. Ours was, well my team chose mine, so mine was Lion King.....

So, we depicted the scene where Simba's father is killed by the stampede in the gorge and Scar just watches. Crazy stuff but it went well, if a bit static.

After that the team's challenge was to dress one of the male staff for a night out in London.
So we ran around the store and picked out the best clothes, I loved it!

Overall, after question time, I had a great night even if it was not surfing Hawaii it was the London version, just to be in the presence of surfers was bliss.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


OK, so I may have mentioned my top 10 list. 10 places I'd love to visit in the world...maybe when I'm an earning travel journalist!

New Zealand is at the top of the list.

News today of a feature, specific to the Kiwis is a free video and photo diary set up by the tourist board.

The travel planner enables travellers to collect virtual memorabilia from their trip. All you do is upload photos, videos, travel route and other aspects you want to share.

The special features include;
  • Scenic highlights
  • Activities
  • Accommodation options
  • i-SITE visitor centres
  • Transport options
Cool idea, but I do prefer the old-school way of keeping a diary. Paperchase, the stationary store do amazing travel journals that are good for keeping a note of your adventures.

In all honesty, you can record your memories anywhere, but I love the bright designs they have.

Does facebook count as a photo diary?

I also love scrap-booking, and have made a few from my time in America and South of France. I just love collecting napkins and ticket stubs from eventful days.

When I was young, my mother encouraged me to be creative on holidays so I made holiday diaries of camping trips and holidays away. I used to add crab claws from the beach and feathers I had put in sand could not find that much detail in an online travel planner!

Monday, 10 November 2008


So 300,000 islanders are set to move from their home land because of stormy weather.

Madness! The Maldive president told the Guardian today that the islands are likely to disappear under the waves is the sea levels change due to the fast pace of climate change.

I've always thought of the Maldives as a honeymoon destination. Now I'm thinking twice about this fragile utopia.

Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives' newly elected president said "We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades".

The dramatic decision to leave the traveller's paradise comes as 80% of its 1,200 islands are no more than 1m above sea level, thus making it inhabitable by the next 100 years.

It's a shame really. Know for it's long stretching beaches and never-ending sun, a holiday in the Maldives could be the best cure for the financial crisis because I've found trips for just over £100!

Quick Getaway have a deal from £115 a room in Port Louis. But who knows what you get for that price.

I think I'd prefer to volunteer. Education is poor in the Indian Ocean region and it would be a lot more fulfilling to help the under privileged.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Strawberry (Jam)

Christmas Travel?

Recently I've been getting spam mail from travel sites, including all amazing and helpful tips for places I've never thought to even read about.

Trek America were in touch today inviting me to book a Christmas holiday in Las Vegas....imagine?!

I have been to the 'city in the desert' but to spend my valuable three weeks off in amongst the glitz and glam, no. It could dry up my turkey!

I mean, it's not that Britain ussually gets the typical winter weather (snow) over the holiday, but I'd much prefer the cold evenings of home than the dry, scorching days of West Coast America.

Anyway, I'm a student, who struggles to pay for my Oyster Card, so there's no chance I can book a trans-atlantic ticket at the moment!

I did go to Egypt Sharm El-Sheik in 2006 the week before Christmas which was a surreal experience. I did take my best friend's boyfriend's place but it was worth the swap. We quad biked in the desert, swam in the red sea and got corn-rows!

I actually gained a stalker that holiday too! Only being there for a week, it cam as a suprise when a hotel entertainer 'fell in love' with me.

He offered 20 camels for me....I wasn't that keen really. I prefered relaxin in a bedouin tent with a shisha pipe!

In fairness, Egypt was a fantastic escape even if they don't sell beer!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008


Today the BBC covered the story of a man refused on a flight because his passport had be thumbed to much.

Fair enough, it was a Ryanair flight, so obviously you'd expect issues from the notorious low-cost airline.

But, I feel for the family.

They were due to fly from Bournemouth to Barcelona for a half-term holiday, probably in search of some sun but got stopped because his passport was 'worn'!

I'm sure Barcelona is a stunning city but maybe the family would've been better having a break in Bournemouth!

Monday, 27 October 2008


I know a fair bit about Iceland.

The recent economic hurdles many of our North European neighbours have come across highlight the extent of 'the crisis'.

I mean, who would have thought that the most affluent island in the North Atlantic Ocean would suffer in this epic recession?

Back to my knowledge of Iceland. Again, I have not been but from what my mother has described, when she represented Wales in an exchange programme in the 1970s, it's "beautiful and untouched".

She stayed in Reykjavik with host families and claims that it's not as 'icy' as one would think. That's a bit disappointing but when my brothers reported back after school geography trips all that they revealed in pictures were the natural hot springs and bikini shots of class mates!

Recently a good friend of mine has spent the last two summers working for an Icelandic conservation team, building paths and creating plantation areas in national parks. Adventurous stuff! She was paid pittance but as a geography graduate fancied a season in the barren wilds of Skaftafell.

Apparently, a weekend in Iceland is cheaper than ever since the crash of the markets. There's more Icelandic kronur to the pound so Christmas shopping could be creative this year, in Reykjavik!

Although, I have heard so much about the geographical side of the place from all the school and university trips my friends and family have taken, may be now is the time to take advantage of a Last Minute holiday?!