Monday, 29 February 2016

bye bye xo

Right so I'm currently in the bath and it's finally hit me that I'm actually leaving the country in about 16 hours. Goodbye messages (mainly from my friend's parents ngl) have started rolling in, my mum's freak outs are occuring at any hourly rate and yeah. This is it I guess ?? quite emotional knowing i don't get to sleep in my bed until June.

Stopped arguing in order to eat Spanish food
The last couple of weeks have been a blue of saying goodbye to various friends over food or alcohol (is there a better way to do it?) Dunno if this was the best plan though as hungover me eats approx a billion calories so maybs about any photos of me in a bikini. I've also obtained a cold and got my nose pierced. In that order. So quite nice for the piercer lol. 
Went out for breakfast to say bye to morwenna after I passed my driving test

Having a small crisis knowing that all of my possessions for the next few months are in one bag in the floor of my brother's room. While in England I pretty much wear the same 3 outfits over and over again I don't like the fact that I have a very limited choice of clothing, albeit I've made sensible choices (one of my friends judged the fact that i'd specified 'comfy pants' when packing. I'm cool okay). 

Despite this I am aware that I am going to actual functioning countries and not the middle of the desert as my family seem to think. Everyone's freaking out that I won't be able to buy basic things or get wifi for the entire 3 months when I reality im going to capital cities, and one of the directions for our hostel was 'opposite burger king' it's fine. 

Plus I am accidentally painfully organised. I've printed everything and made copies and just generally am freakishly organised. I'd ordered mother's day cards weeks ago because we're away and just generally am a bit of an organisation freak. Unless I've had too much vodka. Like, I'm the friend who'll be checking everyone's got their bum baga, but will also need to be carried home after a night out. The low key risk of death adds a bit of excitement, right??

Packing wise I've taken about 6 tops, 1 pair of classic baggy gap year trousers (gonna buy more), some shorts, a pair of dungarees, underwear, flip flops, running stuff (gonna try not to look like an actual beach ball), several swimming costumes, a micro towel, and a jumper. I think that's pretty much all my clothes. I'm expecting to have over packed which I always do but hey it's fine. Medical wise I've got so the classics as well as 90 anti histamine tablets because I get really bad heat rash. Love being me x but yeah I've got normal stuff like shampoo, shower gel, razors, toothbrush etc and then like antibacterial cream and wipes, enough plasters to open a small shop, all the essential stuff really (read; cba to get out the bath and actually check so just telling you what I remember)
In my hand luggage I've got a folder of documents. Who knew you need to take an ATOL certificate so you can get home if the travel company collapses?? Only found out yesterday.

My parents are also freakishly organised so I've done my student finance (i'd completed it about 30 minutes after it opened lol), signed a form so I can claim back tax and given them all the details for my ucas and accomodation for uni in case they need it while I'm away. Like I said, everyone thinks I'm going to the desert/deep in the ocean. 

Well this was rambly af but next time I post I'll be on the other side of the world. Here are some photos of my final weeks. 
Beth's party where i consumed too much tequila when saying bye to my friends. It's important to maintain your reputation right?
It's definitely weird that I kind of miss work 

Laura x

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

little update

It is now 3 weeks until i go travelling. Legit 21 days. So weird that this crazy thing we started planning when we were 15 is actually happening ah. I have my last shift in 15 days but I've massively reduced my hours until I go as there's still stuff to sort and plan.

This afternoon i have my last doctor's appointment; I'm getting my last hepatitis B vaccination, hepatitis A and typhoid. I'm also getting malaria tablets and having a separate doctor's appointment to discuss why i get such bad heat rash abroad and what i can do to prevent it. Fun times having the most annoying skin ever.

Last week I finally booked my insurance. I did a lot of research into insurance companies and they all had issues because i want to be able to insure my camera without getting the most expensive deal for everything else. In the end I went for STA's premier plus insurance. It was slightly more than i had hoped to pay but covers both my phone and camera and all activities I want to do whilst having cheaper excess than the cheaper policies. They randomly had 10% off insurance policies when I was booking so that was lucky!

We've also been doing research into visas, we were unsure how to obtain them for Laos. After emailing the embassy in London directly and asking around on tumblr we've decided to get them at the border, so I'm getting some dollars today and I've got passport photos.
We're also hiring a campervan to drive between Melbourne and Sydney for around 2 weeks so we've been trying to find the best company to use for this, obviously not wanting to spend too much, but at the same time using a reputable company so we aren't stranded in the desert.

Finally I've done a lot of my packing, which is weirdly organised I know but I don't want to be in a panic. I'll do a separate post on this nearer the time but it's going pretty well so far!

Oh and happy pancake day! Here's a stack I made earlier today

Laura x

Monday, 8 February 2016


Made a little video summarising my gap year pre travelling 
Laura x

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Adventures around south england

Soz; I'd been getting pretty good at the regular posting thing but i kinda got shit again (lol). i think this may partly be due to the fact that i'm gonna make this like my public travel log p soon (may even post it on my facebook- cray) and so subconsiously i'm starting to panic at the propsect of people i know seeing my shitty writings. oh and my fam. soz for the language.

anyway, last weekend me and lauren set off on a lil road trip. as our pals returned to uni for their second term it dawned on us that we wouldn't see them until june. this isn't in fact true; people are coming back for weekends or reading weeks, but anyway, we panicked and planned a trip.

first up we went to Richmond where lauren's grandma lives. it's on the outside of london, technically Surrey i think, but it's a really nice area and the last tube stop on one of the lines so it's well convenient. we arrived there late on thursday and went out for dinner at a french restaurant with lauren's grandma and some family friends. classic me got drunk on wine, had to pretend not to be for the duration of the meal. goals. anyway, the food was super yummy and we then walked home via david attenborough's house (we didn't pop in; she just pointed it out, but i got very excited regardless).

the next day the plan was charity shop shopping and ikea. we ended up getting stuck in traffic on the way to ikea for approx ever but it was so worth it!!
I started getting some stuff for uni bc i've been putting it off for ages and ikea seemed like the perfect opportunity. it was mainly boring essentials; i'll spare you a photo of the chopping board and pen holder, but here are a couple of things i got (photos taken from the ikea website)
 I got some saucepans with detachable handles- food always being a priority. £6.50
I also got a set of 3 cacti which i love, sadly not as many as pictured here. £4.50

 I also got yet another duvet cover, it was either £10 or £15
I got these baskets in 3 sizes, one as a bin and the others for storage.

We also had veggie meatballs in the restaurant aka dream come true bc they're amazing!!

Next we went charity shop shopping in Richmond to maybe the best charity shop ever?! Still not over it. Lauren got the coolest converse in amazing condition for like £6, whaaaat.

I got these bad boys in perfect condition for a solid £9. They're from topshop and it was a small miracle, i started to question an existence in a higher being when i saw they were my size. can't find how much they were originally which is a shame as it reduces my ability to truly gloat, but I'm pretty sure they were in the region of £50
I also bought a black velvet shirt which I intend to wear over stuff instead of a cardigan to avoid looking truly middle aged on nights out, though that has become my style. It was £2.25 and in all honesty I can't be bothered to move to take a photo, hence the website photos in this post (lol) but imagine a black velvet shirt and you're there.

I also got a super pretty dress for £6! Idk i just thought it was very sweet, looked slightly weird wearing it to day-drink for 8 hours with reuben's flat mates in brighton as i looked like i'd stepped out of an enid blighton novel lol. yolo

 Here it resembles a sack- much like my body, but i promise it's pretty.

That night we went to see Wicked which was so fuckin good man why was i not gifted with acting or singing?! Breaks my tiny heart. Afterwards we ate loadsa snacks aka my fav activity then read Aly's World books. If you didn't love those as a preteen you were missing out i'm afraid.

The next day we went for a walk around richmond park with lauren's grandma. it's so pretty and there are parrots and deer so it doesn't really feel like england. it's one of my favourite places to visit and my parents used to drive round it on our way home from london.

Afterwards we went to visit Holly. She is one of my favourite humans and is at uni in london. We went to borough market which was so crowded i thought death was inevitable but luckily it wasn't. then we bought wine (so middle aged lol) and went back to holly's. within a couple of hours i was hungry again so we ventured to five guys and then around covent garden. i didn't take any photos but i just love covent garden a lot. and the fries i had were truly excellent.

That evening we drank said wine whilst watching The Conjuring with one of holly's flat mates. it was terrifying and i have never jumped more at a film. then we slept/ rolled around as me and lauren shared a single air bed and had the worst night sleep maybe ever. in the morn we went for brekkie at slug and lettuce which was very yum

We had lunch with lauren's grandma and then got our stuff ready and drove down to brighton that afternoon to see reuben and molly, as molly got there on the saturday. i can't really remember sunday evening which is weird as we didn't drink (lol) but we chatted to the housemates i think and ate a lot of food. the next day we popped into brighton and i had a burger at gourmet burger kitchen. again, i've let myself down on the photo front, but me and beth went to brighton so here are some photos from that as it was better documented.

We did a classic stroll along the pier but didn't go shopping which was sad bc the shops there are amaaaaaazing and i need to go again asap! I also tried to go to boho gelato which does amazing vegan ice cream and i was so excited but it was closed :( but there were so many vegan takeaways so if i go again i'd try those out!

That evening we drank wine and cider, watched tv and played never have i ever- my favourite way of getting to know new people.

The next morning me and lauren got up around 9.30, aka 4 or 5 hours before everyone else, and cleaned the kitchen. it was a mammoth task and i'm still scarred by how dirty it was when we started but it felt like a significant achievement when we finished. afterwards we drove home, stopping at a toby carvery to eat the biggest roast dinner known to man before completing the journey.

It was a nice break from work though probably sounds very uneventful?? Ah well, hope this wasn't too boring to read!

Laura x