Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Denver was a complete and total surprise to me.

I had tried to do the most research I could before I left for the U.S. but for some reason, I couldn’t quite figure Denver out. There didn’t appear to be a central hub (like San Francisco had with Union Sq or most cities have with their main shopping streets and squares). To be perfectly honest, I thought I was going to be bored. I remember reassuring myself as I got off the plane that if I didn’t like it, I could just watch Netflix for five days.

I was so wrong.

I was so incredibly wrong.

I take it all back.

Denver was just a treasure trove of surprises. I walked around on the first evening with my jaw on the ground, I couldn’t believe this city; the cleanliness, the friendliness, the pure atmosphere of excitement, of something always going on. It was busy but not in a large bustling city kind of way. I walked around the heart of Denver on that first night and felt more relaxed than I had on my entire trip.

I had been there three hours and was already planning a return trip.

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Helicopter Trip, San Francisco

Helicopter Trip, San Francisco

Another thing on my 101 in 1001 list was to take a helicopter trip.

I was a little nervous before going. Aeroplanes I was used to (even more so on this trip!) but helicopters seemed a little more lightweight and prone to… problems. There had been extremely dense fog and visibility wasn’t looking too good. That didn’t help with the nerves.

But once we were belting down the freeway to the airport, I started to feel a bit better. The sun came out and burned any remaining mist that was looming.

I took the tour with San Francisco Helicopters who were nothing but very friendly and informative. Because I was a solo traveller, I got to sit in the front of the helicopter (the dream) and get all the front row action. There’s nothing like taking off in a helicopter. There’s no big run up to lift off, you simply “levitate”, I guess. It feels scary and wonderful at the same time!

I popped some fab shots I got on Instagram but here are few more:

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Urban Staircase Tour, San Francisco

Urban Staircase Tour, San Francisco

If you’ve seen my Instagram, you’ll see I went on a mega trip by myself (that’s another one off the 101 in 1001 days list!). I had the pleasure of exploring some familiar cities and some new ones with friends and by myself. To say I learned a good bit would be underestimating my experience greatly. I got so much more from it than I imagined.

My first stop was, of course, San Francisco.

San Francisco has always been a deeply personal place for me. It was the backdrop of many films and books that I grew up with, it was the first stop on my first ever American tour, it’s where I lived and worked for three months, it’s where I laughed, cried, grieved, stressed and made many fantastic friends.

I think Herb Caen put it best:

If I do go to heaven, I’m going to do what every San Franciscan does who goes to heaven. He looks around and says, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.‘”

–  (USA Today, February 16, 2001)

I’ll be doing a few posts on different parts of not just San Francisco but my full two week trip across the U.S. and Canada. Disclaimer (!!): these posts will be photo heavy but worth it.

SO, let’s get started.

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What’s Been Going On

What’s Been Going On

It’s been a mental three weeks and I’m nowhere near done yet. I’m finding myself over tired a lot, meaning my emotions are jumping to extremes, I’m a little lightheaded and I’m struggling to fall asleep at night. It’s nothing I haven’t come across before but it seems that when I need time off the most, the stuff keeps piling on.

I’m excited though. I have another few big weeks ahead of me which I’m so looking forward to sharing.

Vienna

It was the little things in Vienna that made this trip so worthwhile. The cruising down the Danube in an electric boat, dog sitting the quietest and most placid but lovely puppy I have ever met, sitting in the garden til late with new friends, a cacophony of languages rising above our heads, sitting in Rathausplatz watching people dance, watching the world from the coffeehouses, even just watching old movies and quoting word for word all we knew by heart. It was just what I needed right then and I’m so fortunate to have had the chance.

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Vienna

Vienna

Today’s post is more of a photo diary (with photos in no particular order to reflect my life). I spent the last five days visiting friends in Austria, taking a much needed break.

Vienna was ten times better this time around – probably because I had a friend to show me around rather than just scrambling about for myself. We had a lot of good coffee, good Aperol and plenty of indescribably great experiences (such as one time on The Danube, struggling to steer our electric boat whilst treating to the shores of the river to Beyonce). It was good. I feel rejuvinated. And most importantly, it was soul-healing.

(thank you so much, Fi and Hannes for a really incredible trip and letting me invade your home, you guys are truly the most welcoming hosts)

Ps, Fi took some of the photos on this post – I think someone should get her a camera stat. Also, a puppy.

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101 Things in 1001 Days

101 Things in 1001 Days

Mackenzie Horan’s Design Darling has come back onto my radar lately. If any of you saw my tweets about wanting to raise a labrador in Nantucket, this is the site where I got the idea (except she has a Cockapoo!).

I had heard of Mackenzie a few times before from other blogs. Lots of big names tend to crop up on what I call ‘The Big Three’ (carlytheprepster.com, thelondoner.me and nursefancypants.blogspot.com – ie, the blogs that I religiously refresh). But Mackenzie’s is like looking into a portal of what perfection would be. Not necessarily all clean and colourful Nantucket vibes with the beautiful furniture and needlepoints (which are incredible ngl) but the idea of doing your own thing with someone you love and having fun whilst doing it.

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Being

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It’s eight minutes past three in the afternoon and I’m in a local coffee shop with high hopes of “getting my life together”.

In fact, I’m sitting here, with this humongous weight on my chest. I’ve been struggling for a while about what to write, to bring to life the ideas in my head either for this blog or otherwise. I had great plans of figuring everything out but once I sit down, my mind falls blank.

There’s this catch in my throat. I’m feeling guilty about my life at the minute – it’s not something I’ve really experienced before. I rehash events in my head where I was the direct cause of something negative. I go through old ex’s profiles, their new girlfriends seem nice, I try to remind myself that their beauty isn’t an absence of my own but it doesn’t work.

I sort of get now what Britney meant by “my loneliness is killing me”. I wouldn’t really put it so far but there’s definitely been a sense of isolation I have been feeling lately that could be as a result of my location, my job, my all-consuming hobbies, and maybe my lack of desire to do anything in between due to sheer tiredness. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was depressed.

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