San Francisco City Guide

Be a tourist, be a local, it's windy either way.

For me, San Francisco was the home of Mrs Doubtfire, The Rock and a big iron bridge. Having missed the opportunity to visit Azkaban, sorry Alcatraz, due to summertime popularity (note: book 4-6 weeks in advance during peak time), my first visit to the misty city (they’re not kidding) wasn’t going to be the tourist city affair I had foreseen. Or at least two of the three days weren’t (day three I spent in an Irish bar whilst my other half watched 9 hours of football and UFC so I got to sit with a glass of wine and my Macbook Pro, I’m not complaining. Really I’m not!).
Thanks to our Air B’n’B host who gave us some great recommendations and positioned us off the beaten track in Mission District, we got to see another side of San Fran. Saying that, if you were to say Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, it would bring a smile to my face and warm (if not a little windswept) memories back. So on that note, I’ll start with the touristy bits to ensure you tick these off your list when you visit…
The Hearts at Union Square
Their equivalent to Trafalgar Square’s lions, this is the perfect photo opp without the vertigo (and a few less tourists). A beautiful square with art exhibitions and little eateries to catch your breath from the immense shopping scene surrounding it.
Ride the Tram Network
An iconic element of the city thanks to Universal Studios, the queue at Powell Street was somewhat ridiculous. Having shrugged it off in favour of walking to Fisherman’s Wharf, the hills we had to climb then claimed the more ridiculous title (and some expletives). I can see how you get a healthy lifestyle on the West Coast – the hills! Seriously, the trick horizons were just cruel but my legs did look more toned by the end of our stay (indeed the Letley calf got a flexin')! Having said that, the tram network is a great way to see the city; it’s cheap, fast and takes people watching to another level. Not to take it away from the healthier option (walking, guys!).
Lombard Street
Tick it off your list. Though I would honestly recommend a non-pedestrian method as photographs don’t translate and I think attaching a GoPro to your car or opt to GoCar itself will make the drive down far more entertaining! (Hope for power-steering!)
The Painted Ladies
Architecture in San Fran is beautiful. Totally nuts and lacking any type of consistency (no Taylor Whimpey-printed towns here) but these houses are renowned for their picture-perfect-ness. I’m not sure they’re worth the hills (but you now know my opinion on walking uphill). Once we snapped a piccy, there’s not much else to do!
Golden Gate Bridge
Partially engulfed in the low cloud that hung over the city, the Golden Gate Bridge held an air of mystery. Having entered the city driving over it from Sausalito, I wasn’t about to count that type of wheel-transport as the check off my bucket list. So make sure you have at least an afternoon to explore. Fisherman’s Wharf offers an amazing selection of bike hire companies. It’s worth shopping around the competition to get the best price which we found was $7 an hour (cheaper by a few dollars than down the road). Setting off past Fort Mason and into Presidio Park, there were so many beautiful points to stop and take in the view and the looming bridge in the distance gets ever more photogenic. BEWARE cycling over the bridge requires adept gear skills and upward peddling. P.S. Don’t wear a hat, it will blow off (as will a camera lens cap and anyone under 8 stone) – that wind blows some serious gusts!
After a few hours of cycling in the (gale force) wind, it certainly works up an appetite. Time to walk through Fisherman's Wharf in the direction of Pier 39. With one destination in mind, and another tick on my bucket list, this one may seem silly to most but the film fanatic in me had to go the restaurant chain born out of the success of Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump. Highly recommend ordering the Surf'n'Turf dish! Wow. The food was delicious and the experience was fun in a TGI Fridays/Hard Rock Cafe kind of a way.
So, once those big tourist sights are checked off the list (which we managed in a day!) on to being a San Franciscan…

Naturally the day would have to start with an early rise and throwing on some exercise gear (my new love is Lorna Jane Active Wear). Residing in Mission District, we took to the streets and ran in the direction of Dolores Park (my legs complaining about this form of exercise that didn’t involve some aspect of sitting on my arse). Mr A’s former personal trainer days unfortunately not enough of a distant memory for him to get me doing bear walks, burpees and sprint runs like I’m in a Year 10 bleep test all over again! However… I forgave him the pain when by 7.30am we were in the queue for Tartines; a bakery with a reputation and a wait-line as long as The Breakfast Club in Soho. So once the doors were open at 8am there was no holding back and our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies (at that point, at least). Soon our bellies were bursting with double chocolate pain au chocolat, a morning bun (a cinnamon and sugar piece of carb-heaven!), chocolate and salted caramel brownie and a scone (you can take the Brits out of Britain…) plus several cups of tea.
Post carb-loading, stick in the Mission area to take in the amazing (and politically powerful) street art of Clarion. Among the murals which included a homage to Prince, there were strong anti-establishment messages in support of minority groups communicated so visually through abstract design.
Next, head to Haight Street. It's a wonderfully hip part of town, think organic food, shakes and tie-dye t-shirts, and makes for interesting window shopping. Plus once you've walked the distance, you'll arrive at a Whole Foods to make the most of their hot and cold salad counters! Buy a little picnic and head into Golden Gate Park where there's the beautiful Botanical Gardens and Japanese Tea Garden (note: $8 entrance fee for each). So now our eat > explore > eat > explore routine is pretty clearly established, we headed over to the east shoreline for the AT&T Park and home to the San Francisco Giants. Bring on the branded merchandise and foam finger - not to mention, hot dogs, popcorn and beer - and lap up the fun atmosphere as the SF Giants took on New York Mets. Baseball, for those of you that aren't that familiar, is a glorified version of rounders, with the pace of a cricket game and the fans of a rugby game. My conclusion? I'm a fan!
Other places I visited that I would recommend:
The Crazy Fox for craft beer…
Danny O’Coyles for hours of sports watching (even at 7am!), good wifi and making friends…

All in all my first experience of San Francisco was nothing like I expected it to be but I'm so glad I've seen both sides of life there; a tourist and a local.

How to drive (and survive) Death Valley

So you've looked up the route, you've rented a hire car with a big enough engine to sustain the heat, hills and hand luggage (you hope) and you're heading out on the road. For us, A to B was Las Vegas to Lee Vining; a small village on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park with a total of 3 shops, 1 gas stations and 1 motel. After the 10 hour car journey in 40 degree heat, it felt like we'd arrived at the Four Seasons. 

Having driven the 343 mile journey, here are some DO and DON'Ts of driving through Death Valley: 

DO consider the practicality of the vehicle you're driving or hiring. Make sure you know how many miles to the gallon your vehicles does and research fuel stops so you are never caught short. We were paranoid about this and even did an $8 fill up to ensure we had a full tank. There is a long period of no gas stations and the winding roads of DVNP will guzzle it up. 

DO cruise control. It's unnatural to have your foot at a right angle for at least 9 hours and it will get uncomfortable. Even for the passenger. 

DON'T fork out for sat-nav if your hire company offers it. There's one route through so its not easy to get lost - but always do your research first the old fashioned way...that'd be with a map guys.

DO carry some cash on you for the rest stops. There really aren't many but stepping into Stovepipe Wells (air conditioned) General Store will make you want to buy up the entire refrigerated beverage section. In our experience, card machines along the way were a little temperamental (if there at all). 

DO take your bank card though for the Death Valley National Park entrance fee of $20 payable only via card at Ryan Junction. 

DO stock up on water and energy drinks (it is an endurance test after all) but DON'T have all your drinks loose in the car - they will heat up to undrinkable temperates. Warm Coke really is like drinking syrup and not at all pleasant! You could be economic here and take some teabags to drop into your water bottles halfway through the journey. Certainly the August temperatures we endured would have meant we could have enjoyed a cup of tea by then (a theory my parents swear by though I've never quite understood drinking hot drinks when you're hot. I'm an ice and a slice kinda girl!)

DO buy a iPhone plug-in fan. Saw these retrospectively and wished I'd had this with me at the time. Especially when you see the sign saying "Turn off AC for next 20 miles to save engine from over-heating". I had a pink paper fan left over from our wedding which I'm super glad I had tucked into my hand luggage. 

DON'T miss the little detour via Dante's View. Take the first left at Ryan's Junction where you pay your entrance fee and it's about 20 minutes up the (winding) road. The view at the top is breath-taking. 

DO get your Spotify playlist loaded up with absolute belters and ensure you have it downloaded onto your iPhone or iPad so you can access it without wifi (otherwise that would be a rooky!). We had a 'Classics' playlist with the likes of Oasis and Bon Jovi and a 'Chillout' playlist with Plan B and Rudimental.

DON'T leave your hat in the restroom like a certain person I know did. As I was saying there's only one road in and outta that place so I'm just thankful he realised only 10 minutes down the road (and he was driving) otherwise it'd have been 'so long Hat!'

DO pack your sunglasses. An absolute essential not only for the practical sunshine aspect but also to act as a heat shield to your eyes. We both felt our eyes actually drying out from the intense heat and luckily had some rehydrating eye drops to help comfort. DO pick some up and be especially cautious if you're a contact lens wearer. 

DON'T consider a vehicle without a spare tyre. Sounds obvious but there's the odd pot hole to watch out for and we saw a fair few cars on the hard shoulder. 

DON'T leave without snacks...and then maybe also consider what state they'll be in once heated up by the boiling temperatures. We found that our Vegas pick'n'mix from It's Sugar was durable (thank you gelatine) and double-stuffed Oreos make for double the mess but taste even more delicious warmed up (they also solidify back when the temperature drops). Melted Oreos are yum-my!

Despite the heat, DON'T be afraid to stop if you're feeling tired - it's a long old journey with not much stimulating scenery. The clue is in the name; nothing grows there so it's basically barren desert land. 

Oh and DO consider your travel companion. It's going to be a long and somewhat uncomfortable ride so try and be with someone you like, can sing your heart out with and entertain each other along the way! We found laughter helps.

The Ultimate Flying Companions

It's universally known that flying is bad for your skin. From the early starts to the physical demands of body (in my case regretting throwing in the fifth pair of shoes at the last minute when I come to lugging it off the Heathrow Express) to the very apparent air-conditioned cabin and not so nutritious (and rubbery) plane food - this is the anti-recipe for healthy skin! Hydration (and lots of it), good quality sleep, nutritious food and tons of water are the natural skin saviours but when none of these are particularly accessible during a flight (or even in other times of life), here are my top skincare products to help your skin flourish during your time in the air. 

Over the next four months I'm rocking 'frequent flyer status' with around 10-15 flights so I have my backpack fully stocked with the following little beauties. After leaving the commuting city life in favour of fresh air and wanderlust, I'm not prepared to lose my travel glow to a budget airline. To start, this is where you have to be smart and savvy with the 100ml and plastic bag situation so the clue is in the name: "travel-sizes". As an Elemis junky (I love it, work it*, live it, breathe it) here are my ultimate in-flight essentials for hydrated skin:

These transparent under-eye masks surreptitiously work away to hydrate the delicate skin under your eyes to reveal a bright and fresh look that doesn't give away your weariness. In my experience, very comfortable masks to wear for the full 20 minutes recommended (although I have been known to fall asleep wearing them, ride out a hangover in them and even rock them under sunglasses when out and about - ever the multi-tasker!). I find it helps to have a mirror at hand to ensure they are tucked close enough under your eyes to target those crows feet and sleep-deprived bags! 

The most travel-friendly potent shot of antioxidants your skin can get at a time when it needs it the most. Talk about extreme conditions so this really is your best friend. I use the Lavender capsule at the start of my flight to calm my skin (whilst the aroma also calms my mind to encourage sleep) and the Rose capsule just before I emerge from the flight to be fresh-faced and ready for the day. Twist the end of the capsule off and pour the oil into your palm, warm between your hands and then pat over your face before using your fingertips in upward sweeping strokes to ensure an even application. Don't overwork or pull your skin - be gentle, be nice!

This is a hero product, a cult moisturiser and a beauty industry best and, to us jet-setters, a total saviour in a bottle - hydrating, anti-ageing, not too heavy, not too light, smells incredible and feels incredible. Even if you're not on the anti-ageing band wagon full-time, this is such a good boost for your skin (and you'll probably get hooked)! "Prevention is better than cure" was always my mother's motto (and I remember she berated me aged 18 for not yet using a "proper" moisturiser - luckily I've learned the error of my ways and I'm now some way up the other end of the spectrum as my bathroom cabinet suggests!).

As a total sucker for lip balms on a daily basis I find my lips get uber dry when I'm on a flight and it can drive me to distraction. This is a super-luxurious balm with a minty freshness about it (always a bonus) - plus an easy squeeze applicator so no issue of melting or spilling (I've had some travel disasters in the past!). 

Slathering my hands in this luxurious cream is the perfect combat for dry hands, chapped skin and, for the nervous flyer, is a great preventative for picking! It's the perfect chance to actually give your hands some love and attention. When was the last time you actually put hand cream on let alone properly massaged it around the cuticles? If you're anything like me you have the best of intentions and carry it around in your handbag but rarely actually use it! Make up for it with the opportunity here. What else is there to do?! (You can do it WHILST you're watching a film you know!)

This is such a treasured product of mine - one that is kept in my travel bag and bedside drawer at all times. Perfect last step in your inflight facial to promote a feeling of calm and relaxation. Pump 1-2 drops of the clear gel onto your ring finger and apply in circular motions to your temples and also sweeping across your forehead from the middle outwards. A light tingling is really soothing and the beautiful aromatic combined with some deep breaths is delightfully soporific. Perfect for Mr A as the anxious flyer and part-time insomniac. 

And another thing you need...
A vitamin boost. 
How many times have you emerged from a plane with a cold or sore throat? Being cooped up in an air conditioned environment is not in the least bit healthy for you so ensure you buy a litre of water (at least, I'm such a fish so I buy two) in the airport lounge to keep you going. No amount of annoying the stewardess to fill up that tiny cup is going to compensate your body for the moisture being zapped from it. Plus, pick up a Berocca sachet to get some extra vitamins in your body to buffer your defences. This will work behind the scenes to ensure you are feeling and looking healthy! If you can't get your hands on that or find yourself bored of water, I've can recommend the Glaceau mineral waters. Loving the orange 'Rise' drink at the moment but also available in fruit punch 'Revive', dragonfruit 'Power-C', tropical citrus 'Energy', acai-blueberry-pomegranate 'XXX', kiwi-strawberry 'Focus' and tropical mango 'Refresh'. 

Safe travels peeps. 

Mrs A.

*when I say "work it" I don't mean in a Jenny from the Block kinda way. I genuinely have worked for the brand for the last four years. However the products I talk about I personally buy and advocate and haven't been told to promote them or been gifted free product to do so. This is legitimately me talking from the heart ...or from the results in the mirror. I see it so I believe it.

5 things to do in Las Vegas (aside from clubbing and gambling)

The consequence of any long haul flight is not knowing what time of day it is, but luckily we arrived in a city where time simply doesn't matter. Las Vegas, ladies and gentlemen. Its reputation precedes itself; whether through first hand experience, stories you've heard or watching a bit of Bradley Cooper and co., I was certainly not prepared for how bonkers this place is - and I love it!  

Don't be fooled that Sin City is all betting, partying and the little white chapel. It is if you want it to be. As a Vegas Virgin travelling with a Vegas Veteran (well Mr A has been once before but V is a difficult word with which to achieve alliteration!!), I was so excited to 'pop my Vegas cherry' and experience all the cliche moments you see and hear on film, as well as giving the other half new memories. So, after four days in this adult Disneyland, here are my top 5 tips to maximise your time! 

1. The Welcome Sign
The one advantage of jet-lag is waking up early to explore and beat the heat. Or so we thought. It's August after all and we're in the middle of the friggin' desert. Leaving our hotel at the North end of the Las Vegas Boulevard and walking South past the iconic hotels is a ''must' in itself - The Venetian with its canals and gondolas, The Bellagio with its fountain show, Paris and the scaled Eiffel Tower and beyond to Lady Liberty at the New York New York, the MGM Grand, and the Luxor pyramid - it is the most incredible walk to take in the sights and sounds. You feel like you've walked through at least three countries and as we found out, it's well over 10,000 steps!
Only at 7am will you find The Venetian this quiet

Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge

New York New York

The Luxor: Walk like the Egyptians

In hindsight, probably should have taken a cab to the designated parking opposite the sign to avoid the flip flop burn (and heatstroke!). Quite a queue to wait out but us Brits are used to that(!) and had a lovely photographer who had pitched up to take everyone's pictures in exchange for tips. A welcome find to avoid the curse of the selfie double-chin! Time to strike a pose! 

2. Hit the shopping malls
If there's one thing (aside from gambling) Vegas does well, it's shopping. Countless number of malls line the strip and feature in the big hotels acting like a warp of both time and money. Ranging from your Chanel, Tom Ford and Pradas to your Kate Spade, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret, there is everything you could possibly need or want. With our mindset being geared up to a daily budget and restricted to a backpack, it wasn't quite the environment for a luxury shopping sesh but that didn't stop us from looking and already planning a trip back with more disposable income (and hopefully a more favourable exchange rate!). A new brand I discovered, which has a Lulu Lemon or Sweaty Betty vibe, based out in California and Nevada called Lorna Jane Active Living. Seriously cool brand and lovely feminine sportswear. Check them out. Going to be stocking up when I'm back home!

3. Grand Canyon Helicopter Tour
Total bucket list material here. A pre-planned trip with Papillon Tours spanning 7 hours; a 4.45am pick-up, three helicopter flights, one riverboat cruise and a breath-taking skywalk tour. We booked the first flight of the day (6.30am) which given temperatures reaching in excess of 40 degrees was wise as it's totally uncovered and BOILING!!! Had an awesome female pilot (girl power) and we decided to pay an extra $100 to sit up front with her to get the most of the experience (although it sounds steep, particularly after forking out for the tour, I'd certainly say its value for money!). It was incredible having my first helicopter experience hovering over the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead before reaching the great expanse of the truly wonderful Grand Canyon. After soaring up to 5,000ft to enter the Canyon, there we descended below the rim to the Canyon floor to journey along the Colorado River by boat. From air and by sea, from above and beneath, the landscape is so breathtaking it's hard for the brain to compute. And if that's not enough to blow your mind, add into the equation the Skywalk - a U-shaped suspended bridge 4,000ft above the base - where you can stride out and feel your stomach drop as you peer through the glass floor!

As for this place and experience, the photos do better justice than I could with words...although I'll try with one: INCREDIBLE!! 

4. Pool Party
In mid-August temperatures, cooling down in the pool is much needed. But a quiet dip in the pool is not the Vegas way. Add a litre of frozen margarita, a DJ blaring out old school anthems and waitresses in (tiny) red bikinis and this, my friends, is the 'Vegas way' of chilling by the pool! Our hotel pool had a great atmosphere every day, although I hear some hotels have specific days for extra big and splashy parties, we were happy enough not to pay extra when we had all the entertainment on our doorstep. Even if you aren't in the party spirit (which is difficult when visiting Vegas), it's an amazing opportunity for people-watching and laughing at their drunken antics... Bikini clad slut drops at 2pm in the afternoon should come with parental advisory!!!

5. Take in a show
Forget Broadway, the sheer volume of shows available would probably require a stay longer than your 90 day ESTA allows. From Britney, J-Lo and Rod Stewart who were all headlining their own shows to five variations of Cirque de Soleil, the choice is endless. Had my companion not have been a twenty-something male I reckon 'Menopause The Musical' would have been hilarious. Also there's a host of magic acts (Penn & Teller etc) which offer something a bit different. However, I managed to twist Mr A's arm into seeing the 'original' Cirque de Soleil 'Mystere' which was conveniently showing at our hotel. A hypnotic beat of the drums combined with light humour and amazing acrobatics made for very entertaining viewing. 

And whilst I've missed the two most notorious pastimes of Vegas - gambling and clubbing - don't be fooled that's all there is to do. This is an adult's version of Disneyland with so many experiences on every corner (or every hotel in one long row). For me, the Vegas Virgin, I had always been keen to play the slots (Sex And The City game of course) and hit the roulette and blackjack tables. Once each that was. And that wasn't without Mr A having to explain the rules of the game first (and subsequently telling me when to hit and stick) but the 10 seconds it took for me to lose my money was really fun... Luckily I know my limit!

Teens vs Twenties Part II

As I’m now embarking on my second trip almost 10 years later, it’s funny to see how the goal posts have shifted somewhat. Oh what a difference a decade makes…

Of course inflation is one thing (and Brexit is, unfortunately, another); costs inevitably have risen but so have my expectations! I'm not talking 5 star hotels or 3 course dinners but the way we have approached planning this trip is luckily not hanging from a shoe-string. There is a comprehensive budget spreadsheet to keep track of our outgoings plus hours of research over average hostel / hotel room costs, car hires and daily allowances. Needless to stay, for four and half months away, I'm spending almost 50% more this time around! Luckily advancements in technology mean I can capture literally every moment in HD and relive it for the rest of my life whilst I pay off the credit card!

Sleeping arrangements. 
Regardless of the fact it's effectively our honeymoon, I cannot fathom negotiating dorm rooms for all the snorers, insomniacs and other antics that occur in bunk beds around the globe. Gone are the days of tolerating the hanging sheet. I'm all about the double bed, air-con and, preferably, a private bathroom! Luckily referring back to Point 1 means this is somewhat feasible.

Early bird catches the worm. 
... or catches the sunrise in this instance. Having spent many a night in the underground bar-slash-club in my Sydney hostel back in 2008, the picture has changed slightly. Still a girl to enjoy a night out here and there, my stamina is not what is was and hangovers are a whole lot uglier these days. So luckily the husband and I are more likely to opt for an early night in favour of early morning explorations and soaking up the culture a bit more... rather than soaking up the bar! 

Oh snap. 
Talking of capturing the trip, when I set off at 18 I had delved into my savings for a new Canon IXIS camera which was my pride and joy. Of course keeping up with technology’s advancements is like trying to keep up with Mo Farah at Park Run – impossible. Luckily my other half is more au fait with that kind of stuff – so packed in our technology pack is a DSLR, 2 Go Pros and our smartphone cameras too of course which leads me onto…

The rise of social sharing. 
Snapchat. Instagram. FaceTime. All things that weren't around the first time. In 2008, Facebook, in its early form, provided me with a platform for #sorrynotsorry posts to get all my pals at home green with envy whilst they grappled with first year University life. But this time I'll be wired up to all the social media platforms at my fingertips – cheers iPhone – to ensure an active reporting of this adventure. Luckily for my parents, they can literally see my face thanks to the Apple whizz kids who brought along FaceTime along with a constant flow of pics thanks to the rise of the #selfie. 

Would now be the right time to tell you to subscribe? (If you actually do want to be notified every time I post, visit the here from a desktop and enter your email address.) 

Teens vs Twenties: Part I

The last time I donned a backpack and took off to explore the big wide world, I was 18 years old. Fresh from the cotton wool cocoon my parents had raised me in, I explored the Indochina loop (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia), the east coast of Australia, New Zealand's north and south islands and Fiji, not to miss pit stops in Singapore and LA along the way. Heralding the era of the “Gap Yah”, I left with simple aims of getting a tan, mastering the art of chopsticks and not dying along the way. As you probably guessed, the trip exceeded my (simple) expectations and I’ve collated my most memorable moments 9 years on...

1. Experiencing the pain of a Thai foot massages near Bangkok’s Koh San Road (note a possible method of torture for your enemies). 

2. Mastering the art of squatting in South East Asia (the less said here the better).

3. Eating a tarantula’s legs in Cambodia - a delicacy, don't you know.   

4. Learning how to cross a road in Vietnam without being flattened by motorcycles. Harder than you can imagine. 

5. Developing a phobia of geckos aka. World’s Deadliest Creatures at 2 inches long. One incident relates back to Point 2...
6. Watching the sunrise over the Mekong River and Angkor Wat…   

7. …where a monkey attacked me. (Thank goodness for the rabies jab!)
8. Knowing why Goon costs $5 AUS for a 4l box of wine after the first sip but forgetting after the third (I should really say "wine" as it can be a concoction of the dregs with any number of ingredients added including dairy and fish products!!). A solid foundation for the 3 years of drinking at Uni that was to follow.
9. The hole in the o-zone layer does mean 5 minutes atop a catamaran in the Whitsunday Islands will result in the most excruciating sunburn!   

10. Snorkelling doesn’t always have to equal panic attack = hello Great Barrier Reef!   

11. Skydiving from a plane at 15,000 ft and genuinely not being able to breath…
12. …plummeting 12,000 ft in a 60 second free-fall causes projectile vomiting.   
📸 CNN news
13.   Fergburger in Queenstown is the best (and biggest) burger I will ever eat. Genuinely worth a flight back. I hear now there is an ice-cream parlour next door too. When shall we go back?
14. Attending my first ever rugby match with black and white face paint for the All Blacks vs. South Africa. 

15. Three weeks to lay on a beach in Fiji is a bit too long without the right chicklits (thank goodness for Kindle this time round!) but that was one way to make me read a Dan Brown novel. 

16. ‘Fork’ is a universal term. Chopsticks are still not my thang. 

From meeting some amazing people along the way to doing some crazy out of the norm experiences and learning the value of independence to keeping myself safe (the rape alarm was a comforting bum-bag item), communicating back with the folks at home was my first-hand experience of enjoying writing. Up until that point, essays had been my nemesis thanks to an unfriendly Economics teacher, but here I am super excited to waffle on to you guys for the next few months as I journey from A to B.  

Talking of which leg #1 is complete: 
(A) London Stansted > (B) Las Vegas. 

© Rose Tinted Spectacles

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