Hey everyone it’s been just over a week and I haven’t been able write up a blog post until now. Although this one is going to be short. Nepal so far is great, if you are thinking to go this country, do it! There is so much to see, the people here are friendly, so many hotels, resturants & gift shops offer well made but cheap products (I bought a Saree for £2!) and the food is amazing (I am pretty sure I have put on a couple of pounds from eating all the Momos!) We spent about 4 days in Kathmandu and it’s surrounding districts such as Bhkatapur & Pashupatinath amongst others, then we took a 4 hour bus journey to Chitwan national park where we bathed elephants and spent some time with the locals of Tharu village and now we are in Lumbini which is a Buddhist Pilgrimage and world heritage site since it has been discovered to be the birth place of the historical Buddha. In a couple of days we head out to Pokhara for some mountainous & lake side views and possibly some paragliding. This country and it’s people is so colourful & has so much to offer you can’t not fall in love with the place!
Soon after our couple of days in Cornwall we ventured to the South of Wales and spent four days in and around Swansea. We stayed with his delightful Aunt & Uncle who are also keen adventurers themselves, telling us stories of their motor bike adventure around Europe and their most recent adventure on a huge sail boat around the Atlantic Ocean on their own! Jon’s Aunt & Uncle have been to so many places around the world and it was just so inspiring hearing their tales. It was just so lovely to be out all day and know we could come back to an environment that was very cozy and welcoming.
Before we arrived in Swansea we spent the first day in Cheddar Gorge and Bath city centre. Cheddar Gorge was awe inspiring, it was a prettier drive up to Wales through the Gorge as oppose to going the usual route on the main motor way. Although it was raining, there was no wind so it was a pleasant stop to take in the scenery and the rain actually added to the magical feel. I love the smell of nature during and after the rain, it’s so earthy and robust don’t you think? In Bath we stopped for lunch and enjoyed a mooch around independent arty boutiques. We had been to Bath a number of times before, it is just such a beautiful city to visit with it’s grand Roman sandstone architecture and Victorian houses, cobbled path ways and quirky shops. The atmosphere in Bath is relaxed, it is clean and Idyllic.
The second day we did a five hour walk around a nature trail within ‘The Vale of the Neath’. It reminded me of Ingleton Falls in Yorkshire and we were surrounded by lush plant life, rivers and streams and breath taking waterfalls. Waterfalls tend to be more my thing than Jon’s, as I just find them soothing & magical, he is more of a mountain man and loves the epic scale of fells, massive hills and mountains watching over the valleys below. It was a lovely walk, it started off blustery but calmed down an hour into the walk. It was sunny and quiet most of the time and it felt like we had the whole nature trail to ourselves as it was off season.
On the third day we went exploring on the Brecon Beacons. This was more Jon’s domain. He has a love of walking up steep hills and fells to see if he can get to the top. I usually decide half way to stay where I am and peacefully enjoy the views. It was nice to see snow on our walk, it added a pretty yet crisp look to the scenery. The day on the Brecon Beacons was a chilly one and very windy. I wore at least 4 layers of clothing and kept my hood up around my head and face. Towards the end of the day and whilst we climbed one hill together, a great thick mist crept in over us and it began to hail and snow. The moment we got back to the house my skin felt amazingly smooth and fresh. The cold air and wind really gets your blood pumping and seems to brush away all the grit and impurities. This is a great beauty tip if you want clean, soft skin, just spend a few hours on the Beacons!
On the fourth and final day we managed to visit two separate destinations. In the morning we spent three hours at Three Cliffs Bay and in the afternoon we stopped at the Worm’s head for two hours. Again the weather was pleasant but changeable with a slight wet mist in the air that you couldn’t see so much but could feel and I noticed my hair slowly getting damp. At the Worm’s Head I was intrigued by the strange cloud formation over one of the hills which was next to the pub we had some chips in, looking out to sea the sun was shining and there were barely any clouds but that odd fog or cloud looked like it had come to a halt on that hill and wasn’t breaking up. Visiting anywhere in Wales, always pack walking shoes or boots, most places outside the cities are muddy and the weather changes constantly, so pack thermals and waterproofs.
All in all it was a bloody good mini break and I noticed we managed to spend time in four awesome but very different types of natural hot spots. The first day a breath-taking Gorge and pretty Cityscape, the second day a woodland like nature reserve, the third day the mountainous plains of the Brecon Beacons and lastly two destinations around a beach and cove. We managed to make sure our mini break had variety and I think that is important if you want to keep things fun and fresh. Many people who go on any type of break tend to stay in one place for too long and that is when things become stagnant and boring. It is good to keep things moving. Where ever we plan to go we think about how to break up the holiday into sections, we plan to stay in one location for a few days and then move on to the next location. This is what happened in Morocco, Croatia and when we venture up North to see my family-we plan day trips to other areas around Lancashire to really make use of our time. Now we are off to Nepal so I won’t be blogging as much as I usually do for about two weeks. I will try (as always) to do mini updates. We plan to spend time in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bandipur, Bhaktipur and Chitwan as our main destinations. See you guys in two weeks, wish us a safe (long) journey and I hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.
Towards the end of February I entered and won a competition by Om Yoga Magazine. I won some delicious YogiQ chocolate. I didn’t expect to win because I am one of those people who never wins anything and just isn’t very lucky, I usually have to work hard for a long period of time to even notice the benefits are being reaped. The day I found out I had won the chocolate I actually sighed with relief because I had had a really bad day at work and just wanted to snuggle into my woolen blanket and read Om Yoga Magazine. The moment I discovered I had won I felt uplifted and it made me feel like things will get better, it truly was a great way to end such an awful day. The lesson learned here is that no matter how bad things become, you know something positive is waiting for you around the corner, life isn’t always bad and certain things are presented to us in the nick of time to remind us, in my case it was chocolate, yum!
When it arrived in the post I didn’t expect YogiQ to be so generous, the package was reasonably big & heavy. I thought a few sample bars would have been sent to me and I would have been happy with that but they sent me a whole box! Wow thank you!
The chocolate itself is yummy. If you like dark chocolate then you’ll love the taste and texture of YogiQ chocolates because not only does it have a rich flavour it is also very good for you. Their chocolate is antioxidant rich and packed with essential minerals plus it is 72% Peruvian Cocoa and not full of toxins or overloaded with sugars. On top of that it is also Gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soya free, has no GMO and is Vegan/Vegetarian friendly!
I have been enjoying my YogiQ chocolate bars with a cup of Chai Tea in the evenings as the spices in the Chai really compliment the dynamic yet soothing pungency of the Peruvian Cocoa.
YogiQ’s product design is detailed, thoughtful and adorable, so much so I was upset when I accidentally ripped one of the cardboard wrapping when trying to get to the chocolate. The IQ chocolate team have really gone to great lengths to care about their brand and their customer’s wants and needs. A whole lot of love has gone into this creation and I must say it has been a success, everything about the chocolate from the taste to the design is just exquisite.
Because the IQ chocolate team sent me such a huge box I had to share it with friends and I have been giving bars away to those who appreciate healthy living, nutrition and enjoying something without the guilt. Being able to eat chocolate again and have it as part of a nutritious diet is wonderful and so important and I thoroughly support and want to promote YogiQ’s message that chocolate can be healthy and yummy!
Want to buy some chocolate and check out other products IQ super foods stock? Click here.
For a while now my soul has been stirring, it’s not been pretty, it’s been rather messy. Within me is a turbulent storm that has been giving me nightmares, anxiety, physical shaking, social awkwardness & panic attacks. I know what this is and I do not fear it and there is nothing wrong with me. My body & spirit want change and will not tolerate certain aspects of this present life anymore. Things need to change. Yet before the absolute change an individual can go through what seems like a break down. On the surface such individuals may appear confused, lost, disorientated, moody and looking for something but deep within they have found themselves or on that path towards knowing their being. In traumatic times a person can find clarity, their world needed to be shaken up in order to make them seek out change and this is what is happening to me. For too long I have settled into a subservient role I guess and shied away from my potential greatness. I had myself settled in a secure part time job, settled into a life of ‘normalcy’, settled for love as a doting & supportive girlfriend, settled for nosy people’s remarks about how they think I should live my life and forgot about everything that I am. I also allowed others make me believe that everything I am and everything I am passionate about is not important because ‘it doesn’t pay the bills’ and instead of asking me about my dancing, yoga,art or future plans they’d only want to know “How many hours are you working this week?”, “How much do you earn” and “Have you thought about working your way up to management?” No I F*cking haven’t, why ask me about something that has nothing to do with me and my passions?
I have been contained in this discouraging freak show for too long my soul feels like it’s on fire but my body feels like it’s wading through thick murky water and my feet have been bound in concrete. I know what it is like to fall apart whilst people around you are disinterested in what makes you happy, to feel a thousand splinters pierce your heart every time a negative word is uttered and to feel so voiceless & invisible you wish for a mountain to corrode and crumble, to engulf & crush you so that you don’t have to feel that pain anymore, so that you don’t have to exist in the madness of criticism & remarks that remind you are not good enough. I have truly been there and still fighting through it but I can see the sun and it’s beautiful and that gives me faith. I have come this far and I won’t give up.
I came across ‘when things fall apart’ only recently. You know those times when you really feel like the universe is literally plastering something to your face to make you aware of it. well this book was just that. I noticed one Yogini Meghan Currie had mentioned it in passing and I didn’t think anything of it but then over the last few months when doing things unrelated, that book would crop up, people would mention they had read it or I’d see it elsewhere on blogs, book reviews and magazines and I knew I had to read it. One google review states “This guide aims to appeal to everyone. It argues that there is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it – ironically, while we are caught up in attempt to escape pain and suffering. The author shows: ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion and courage; ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others; practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns; methods for working with chaotic situations; and ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action.” This is interesting because I am learning to let go and to surrender, to allow things to fall apart and to have courage to find wisdom during those messy times. To evoke change through my surrender, to take risks knowing everything will be OK. I am also learning to have compassion for the naysayers because in their own way their hearts are in the right place. I am also learning to not listen to these people, I am aware it is their criticism and negative remarks that get my back up and I begin to howl & hiss like an aggressive tortoiseshell cat. Overall this falling apart business is a journey, I am rediscovering myself again and finding strength within me to forge my path, like the lotus growing out of the mud, I have new ideas for my life and new (daunting) challenges I want to face but I know I can do it and nobody, not even myself will stop me from creating the life that I want.
This book is good food for the soul. Yum.
About two weeks ago in late February Jon & I had a three day mini break in Cornwall. We just wanted to get out of the house and out of Plymouth. Plymouth is a big city surrounded by nature and is pretty much next door to Cornwall so we hopped in the car and based ourselves in his parent’s caravan for a short stay. Above show photos of our time at Carnglaze Caverns and a quaint fairy garden owned by the owner of the caves. The caves were magical as was the garden. The weather was fresh yet calm and the sun shined happily. It was just such a relief to be outside in the fresh air!
Soon after we ventured to a Cornish town called Helston and mooched about their sweet little museum. It was a rather blustery day and we were thankful to be able to enjoy something indoors for free! I am a huge Museum and Art Gallery geek, I really enjoy learning about history, literature, art, culture, languages and so on. I am an information nerd, I enjoy gaining knowledge and discovering new things so this was something I found rather fun.
To end our time in Cornwall we visited one of our favourite places and that’s Kynance Cove, it really is such an awe inspiring place. The weather, although had a chill in the air was a lot calmer and I felt so rejuvenated I decided to run about, draw in the sand and do some Yoga. I felt my heart surge with vibrancy and warmth which made me feel powerful and connected to my breath, the sea air, the waves, that moment, the rocks and my entire being. I felt alive.
It was a wonderfully sweet little Cornish Mini Break! Up Next: Our four days in South Wales!
Apologies for disappearing this past week, I have been finishing off my Yoga Philosophy course and I am almost half way through my Business & Administration short course plus Jon & I are planning a last minute adventure holiday that I hope will be happening very soon. We are still hoping to go to Nepal and I have been rushing around with a list trying to cross off important things that need doing such as: Vaccinations, Photos for Visas, topping up mini first aid kit and mosquito repellant. It is Jon’s 31st birthday this Tuesday so I will make sure some new blog posts go live from Wednesday. Have a lovely week everyone!