Sunday, March 27, 2016

I'm Moving to Europe!!

The last month has been an absolute whirlwind. 

Right now I am supposed to be a wife. A barefooted housewife pottering around the kitchen preparing dinner for my hubby in a humble log cabin nestled in a tiny town in South Africa.
When I envision this, I am already one month pregnant. Probably a son. 
I'd have called him Maverick (no, not after the strip club which said hubby would more than likely frequent... after a wave. A very big wave to surf in California. There's the surfer girl coming out in me!)
Instead, I am more free than I have ever been.

"Don't ask her why she needs to be so free... she will tell you it is the only way to be."

I have paid off all of my debt, snipped up my account cards, resigned from my job of three years, given notice at my gorgeous flat where I can lie in bed and listen to the ocean roaring at night. I opened up my life savings and instead of doing what I normally do (buying flights to some exotic paradise like Siargao in the Philippines for a little traveling holiday,) I spent the majority of the money on training courses and medical examinations which I have now completed, leaving me fully qualified to go and work on yachts and cruise ships! 
I made some absolutely wonderful friends during the two weeks of training and we all became very close:   

From there, everything happened so fast that I am still trying to catch my breath. 
I landed a job on a drop dead gorgeous yacht with what seems like an amazingly friendly crew and the next thing I knew, my one way flight to Italy was booked. 
I fly out in exactly 21 days (whose counting?) and have to work at the gallery practically every day until the day before I fly. Hard work pays off though. Always remember that. 

Should it stress you out that at 25 your life is starting completely anew? 
Is it stressful that I now have no home, no address and will be living out of my suitcase as I travel the Med all Summer long (probably even indefinitely), working hard as a stewardess along the way?
Maybe it is. 
Maybe it should be stressful... 
But it's not. 
Because this is what I have always wanted. 

I am extremely excited to crack open the spine of my beautifully decorated travel journal and document my experiences both working as a stewardess on a yacht and also to focus my attention back onto the travel section of this blog. 
I adore sharing my travel stories and photos with people who are just as passionate about travel as I am.
I love reading other travellers stories and become so inspired by their words and moments captured through a lens. 

So I guess all I have to say is....
holy SHIT guys! I'm moving to Europe!!!

21 days and counting.

Bye bye South Africa.

post signature

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Baked Salmon and Asparagus Foil Parcel

Last night I made such an incredible, tasty, quick and easy dinner (my usual meal for one saga.....) I just had to share it with you all. 

What you will need:

- Salmon (or your preferred fish)
- Asparagus
- Black Olives
- Lemon (thinly sliced)
- 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Rosemary
- Aluminium Foil

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Holding your asparagus spears in your hands, bend them until they naturally snap at the point separating the tender top part and the tough bottom part.
Tear a generous piece of foil from the aluminium foil roll and fold in half, placing it in the middle of your baking tray. 
Curl the edges of the foil to form a square just large enough to lay your asparagus in.
Drizzle some olive oil over your asparagus spears once they are in the tin foil. 
Mince up a clove of garlic and sprinkle it over the asparagus, seasoning with salt and pepper.
Slice the sides off of some black olives - removing the pips- and scatter them on top and around the asparagus.
Baste your fish in some olive oil and lay on top of the bed of asparagus.
Crush and mince your second garlic clove, scattering it on top of the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice your lemon and layer on top of the fish as a garnishing. Squeeze your desired amount of left over lemon over the fish to add some more flavor. 
Finally, put some sprigs of rosemary of the fish and wrap it all up in the foil to make a parcel.
Place your baking tray with the parcel into the oven for 15 minutes (it won't take long for the fish to cook in the foil). 

Remove and carefully unwrap your parcel to enjoy it! I eat straight out of the foil but you can remove it and put it onto a plate if you want to.

Bon appétit!

post signature

Thursday, March 3, 2016

What I Want To Do In Life

There comes a time in everyones life where everything falls apart. 
It's how you deal with it that defines you. 

When my world was turned upside down I became an absolute train-wreck. I handled everything so wrong. It's funny how it takes a couple of months to realise what we should have been doing all along, rather than wallowing in self-pity and drowning in gin and tonics.

My fiance had disappeared. My wedding was booked and paid for. My wedding dress was dangling in my cupboard, the diamante's sparkle hidden beneath its bag. I had framed photographs that seemed to pop up left, right and centre. Cards and letters, memories of my life and the life I should have had that floated around my life in a bubble of confusion and regret.
For months I wondered what I had done so wrong. How could this have happened? I blamed myself completely for not being good enough; for not being able to make him happy. I went through a colossal amount of self-doubt and I let it take over for so many months.

I don't know when it all changed.

Somewhere along the way, I got over it. Through all of those gin and tonics, the late nights dancing on tabletops and early mornings crying on friends' shoulders. Through all of those award-winning break-up mix-tapes I put together and ice cream tubs, chocolate cake and copious amounts of any kind of wine imaginable - I healed.
Not only that, I found a joy I had never known before.
A joy that is me.
Over the last couple of months since returning from South East Asia, I have become more me than ever before.

My entire life up until this point had revolved around men. I gave up so much for these long relationships that do not exist in my life anymore. I cancelled my plans to move back home to the UK when my ex told me he still loved me and didn't want me to go. I stayed in this tiny little town in South Africa for 18 years, chasing after someone else's dream and never my own.
I can't believe it took me so long to see that.

I have been in this oblivious comfort bubble, sugar-coated with fake love from men who at one stage or another go on to pursue their dreams without a second thought of me and my plans when I had given everything up for them.

It feels so incredibly refreshing and liberating to finally be able to focus on myself... to put myself first. It is such unfamiliar territory for me. Here I sit, in this beautiful little flat I rent by myself with the money I earn, sipping on a cup of rooibos tea sweetened with raw honey and listening to the sounds of my fridge gargling away in the kitchen.
I never thought I'd live alone.
I never thought I'd be alone.
But I am.... and you know what? I love it. I love it so much and I cannot understand why I had been so scared to be alone for all these years.

I have been working so hard, keeping my head down and gathering up some savings to do something just for me - without having to include or consider anyone else in my ambitions... and just recently I discovered what it is that I want to do with my life. I think I've known for years. Anyone who is a regular on this blog will know that what I want to do will of course involve traveling. "Travel is life..." that is my life motto and it always will be.

Even before I left school all those years ago, my mother kept trying to persuade me to go and work on the yachts / cruise ships. It had always appealed to me - but I'd been so caught up in romances and settling down at the horrifying age of 17 or possibly even younger that I passed it off as something I would never do.
So for the past eight years of my life, which is an extremely long time if you ask me, I have been plodding along, driving the same streets every day to get to my 9-5 desk jobs. Every day. What kind of a life is that!?

So many people consider that to be a normal life - and that's fine. It's completely your choice to think whatever you want - but for me, now, I have woken up. I want MORE.

I'm not just thinking about it anymore. I'm doing. I'm acting. I'm living.

I'm taking chances and taking my life back!

To work on the yachts you need to do your STCW '95 and have an ENG1 medical examination. There are plenty of other courses that you can do as well, but they are the basic mandatory ones for positions like a Stewardess etc.

I booked and paid for my course and medical exam last week.
Next week I will be packing a suitcase and heading to Cape Town to train. The course sounds so exciting, with fire-fighting and first-aid among other things included in it.
I am so ready for this change. I am ready to embrace the future and get away from working behind a desk... to see the world and meet new people. I KNOW life as a stewardess isn't as glamorous as it seems - people tell me you are basically an upper-class maid... and you know what? I'm fine with that. In fact, I want that.

If you'd asked me a year ago where my life would be today - my answer would be the furthest thing from this. Today, I should be married. In fact, I'd probably be on my honeymoon right now, making babies with a man that would have ended up hurting me somewhere down the line. But instead, I have found the most incredible friendships and support systems, I have spent my life savings on getting a qualification to work on the yachts and see the world. I am creating an entire new life for myself.

My life is changing and I am changing with it.

Last night I started packing up my life. I am simplifying everything, being ruthless and chucking away all that no longer serves me. And soon, I will be gone. Traveling to a foreign country and living the life I know I am meant to.
The life that is calling for me.

post signature