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21 Summer Ideas That You May Not Have Thought Of Already

25 May 2016

Summer is a time for lying on the beach, eating ice creams and drinking Pimms. Or, if you live in the UK then Summer is a time for daily prayers to Mother Nature to please, please provide us with at least a week of glorious sun, or we'll all move abroad and they'll be no one left to rain on.

And for those of you who are studying and have three whole months for Summer, this is particularly important for you. So you've reached the end of your University year and you think: 'damn, I probably should've found a job or internship or something.' Then you speak to friends who did organise their Summer way, way in advance and you feel even more lost and bitter.

Well have no fear, my 21 unusual (but also not that unusual) Summer ideas are here. 

I'm here not only to create fantastic rhymes like the one above but also to give you a couple of my favourite ideas for making the most of your summer.

If you're one of my readers who has a full-time job and is reading this with a mind full of resentment then just remember, being a student means exams. The exams are gone. So is Summer, but so are the exams. And yes, before you ask, some of these ideas might be a bit 'random' or 'unfeasible' and blah blah blah. Just give them a go, why don't you?

1. Buy a kayak

Or just rent a kayak, or a canoe, or a rowing boat, or a sailing boat. Water is fun, water sports are fun, boats are fun.

2. Take a trip with

This site looks interesting, you basically go and volunteer somewhere for however long, and they give you accomodation and usually food. It's usually somewhere reasonably remote and they want your help with renovations, gardening, housework, DIY etc. Just make sure you check out the reviews for the host first!

3. Volunteer at a local animal shelter

I don't really know how this works, but animals are cute and we all love them, so why not help a nearby shelter out for a week or two? 

4. Become an au-pair

I can't vouch for this myself, but if you're good with children and you fancy moving abroad somewhere for a while, then au-pairing is a fantastic option. I know lots of people who have done it from the age of about 18 and although some said the kids were tricky (young boys in particular), it's a great way to cheaply explore a new city/country.

5. Borrow a doggy

I will not be doing because I'm lucky enough to have my own little angel of delight back home, but I know of people who have signed up and it looks like the ideal situation for someone who can't have their own dog.

6. Go to laser quest

I haven't been for so long but there was a time when laser quest was the thing to do. When I was like, 13. I imagine nowadays I'd probably be at the bottom of the scoreboard but I do distinctly recall rising to the top on my first ever go. Some say beginner's luck, others say she's got skills.

7. Go skydiving

#YOLO #Sorrynotsorry #livealittle

8. Go on a wine tasting course

This would be ideal in a hot country, but the UK have wine tasting courses too! Or you could just host a wine tasting night and stay in the comfort of your own home and get really, really drunk.

9. Set up a load of dates

Dating can be fun, and you can try out all the bars you've been wanting to go to.

10. Learn how to perfect meringue

It's actually not hugely complicated so long as you have a bit of patience, but it is very impressive and people think you're an absolute goddess if you nail it.

11. Learn to fish

I can't say I've ever been fishing, nor have I ever really wanted to go fishing. Some people love it though and I wouldn't say no (well..) if I was invited on a trip!

12. Learn to code

I genuinely did this one Summer when I was 13 and I won't shut up about it ever since because people are very impressed.

13. Start dance classes

This is the second year in a row that I haven't danced at all and I feel kind of sad. Why not try salsa? Or ballroom?

14. Go camping somewhere really random

Like in a (safe) field somewhere in a remote (but also safe) part of the UK.

15. Sign up for a 10k run

I will do this next year. Probably. Maybe.

16. Plan a holiday

Why don't you go on, or, or any of the other sites like that and try to find the absolute best deal possible. Grab a willing friend or family member, if all your friends were more organised than you and booked their summer plans already.

17. Go on a photography course

If you're a blogger then this will be ultra handy. I would do this, but I still don't actually own a DSLR camera. How tragic.

18. Learn to press flowers perfectly

I did this when I was like, five and it was really fun.

19. Get involved in a reading challenge

Last year I turned the guest bedroom into my 'reading room', piled up 20 books and read one throughout the whole of my Summer. That is what you call dedication!

20. Visit University friends from far, far away

Or just the other side of England. Or the same side of England. Whichever, whatever.

21. Learn to knit

So I made half a scarf when I was 17 or something like that, and I really regret not making the other half because even though it was quite ugly, it was cute and I was proud.

What are your big plans for this Summer? Are you thinking of doing anything you having done before? Anything that's a bit out of your comfort zone?


8 Things I'm Looking Forward To When I Finish My Degree

22 May 2016

It's no secret that I'm feeling very ready to finish my degree in less than a week's time...

Did you hear that? In less than a week's time! I'm currently three exams and one assignment down, with one exam and one assignment to go. This time next week I will be basking in the glory of no longer being a student and never having to go to the library again. I will be stress-free and I will probably order a whole bottle of Prosecco for myself as soon as my exam finishes which is at midday and therefore a perfectly acceptable time to drink. Rest assured, I am all about the balance and will be posting a '10 Things I'll Miss About University' post next week to even it all out. After all, Leeds has being so fantastic for the most part, I've met some amazing people and I know I'll be an emotional wreck when I leave for good after the Summer Ball in June.

1. Meeting new people

The extrovert in me has been forced into a corner for the past few months because no one has really wanted to go out much with all the deadlines and exams of final year.

2. Weekends actually meaning weekends

I am so fed up of seeing #TGIF everywhere because goddammit I don't want to be revising, I want my working week to finish on Friday and to begin again on Monday. Weekends should be fun and relaxing, spent with friends and on day trips and absolutely not moping about the house and stressing about exams, or moping about the library and stressing about exams.

3. Having a routine

I'll probably learn to hate having a routine but right now I'm really looking forward to having plans and a structure and knowing more or less what I'm doing every day. 

4. Teamwork

I'm cringing so bad and I'm really sorry that this is sounding like a cover letter or a CV, but I actually love working in a team and my degree choice has meant that I haven't been able to do that much. I know group work is the bane of student's existence but I think work is kind of different. Also, classes are great but having to sit on your own in the library is so unbelievably dull and I never want to do that again in my life.

5. Earning money

I love the feeling of spending money that has been earned, rather than spending money that has been loaned to me by Student Finance. I know I don't have to pay it back for a while but still, I don't want to be in debt.

6. Work wardrobe shopping

Yes, I'm materialistic! Yes, I don't care! Seriously though, who doesn't want to shop for a work wardrobe? If you have any outfit posts for this kind of thing then please send them my way, as I will be off to the shops as soon as I get a job.

7. Reading for pleasure

I feel like studying literature took away 90% of my love for reading because it ended up being a chore and that is kind of sad. I don't even know what kind of books I'm going to start on, but I might have a look at a few blogs to see if there are any recommendations. I'm thinking something thought-provoking and gripping. Then again, I also love reading light-hearted, funny, relaxed books, so let me know in the comments if you can think of anything!

8. Civilised drinks

I can't wait to go out for work drinks and drinks with friends without any clubbing afterwards. Of course, when I say civilised I am fully aware that things often escalate and then BAM you're home in the early hours of the morning (which I am all for usually) but yeah, I'm looking forward to checking out some swanky bars and living it up in central London, rather than in a student house in Leeds.

Oh, and for a bonus number nine... I'm also excited about meeting some new, mature (hopefully), men, but we'll see! If you're finishing university this year, what are you most looking forward to?


My 2 Week Summer Travelling (kind of) Itinerary

15 May 2016

So, I finally have some sort of travelling plans and it's not a 'conventional' itinerary.

My original plan was to leave Europe this Summer, join the hordes of young people and head on over to somewhere like Bali or Thailand to party the night away and lounge on the beach/in boats all day. Unfortunately, a change of dates meant that flights went from £400 to £800 (if you're going travelling, don't go in July!) I kid you not, so we had to rethink our options and go for somewhere closer.

Kati has already been Interrailing in Europe and I've already been to the classics like Italy, France and Spain, so that narrowed our selection down quite a lot. Fast forward a two hour-long coffee date, along with a two hour-long skype and we had two countries, four destinations and four different accommodations all booked. Now that, is what you call organisation.

After some careful research, we stumbled upon Slovenia, or rather 'the adventure playground of Europe'. I have actually crossed into the country briefly from Italy, but never properly seen it and I have certainly never had the chance to do any crazy activities there. My friends stopped off in Salzburg, Austria, on their interrailing travels last Summer and said that it was beautiful, so we figured why not combine a trip there as well? To be honest with you, I can't wait to go somewhere new and somewhere where I can walk, be active and enjoy some beautiful scenery!

I say unconventional at the top of this post because usually when I think of travelling, I think of going to a tonne of different countries for a month or two, but hey, two weeks is better than nothing, isn't it? So although my dream to leave Europe still has yet to be fulfilled, I'm one step closer to seeing more of the world. Hooray!

Days 1 - 4 Salzburg, Innsbruck

We fly into Salzburg, Austria and will spend three nights in our Yoho Hostel, which plays The Sound of Music every single night. I am very excited about this but I can't help feeling bad for the poor hostel workers. At the moment, we have plans to visit the lakes surrounding Salzburg, along with Innsbruck which is less than two hours on the train away.

Days 4 - 8 Lake Bled

We'll be sampling the Austrian railway system to get from Salzburg to Lake Bled, which will no doubt be more efficient, cheaper and just all round better than the UK railway system. Our journey is less than four hours which seems pretty good for a trip from one country to another. We'll then spend four nights and three full days in Lake Bled, where we will no doubt be pretending to be each others significant other while we go on romantic row boat trips across the lake, dine in restaurants and visit the castle.

Days 8 - 12 Bovec

Now comes the crazy part. We will be spending three full days in Bovec and we will be White Water Rafting, Canyoning, Hiking, finding Waterfalls and Ziplining. I am SO excited I can't even express it. It's going to cost us an arm and a leg and I think we'll have to pass on Paragliding because we really don't have 145 euros to spend, but I am finally going to be going on a sort of adventure holiday and I can't wait. 

Days 12 - 14 Lljubana

Our last stop for two nights will be the capital of Slovenia. This is where our flight home departs from, and we've heard good things about the city. It'll be nice to be somewhere that's actually reasonably vibrant (ha) for the last stretch of our stay.

If any of you have ever been to these areas in Austria or Slovenia then please let me know what you got up to and if you have any tips!


Life Update: End of Uni, Bongo Bingo, Holiday Plans & Breakfasting

9 May 2016

Hi, hello, sorry I've been off the radar/not completely into my blogging recently. Welcome to all my new followers though, thank you for being here with me today and let's hope you don't get bored (only boring people get bored, remember.) I've written a chatty post for you all today because, well, I have an exam tomorrow and why revise when you can not revise, am I right?

All in all, I guess I'm feeling pretty happy. In fact, I think I'm the happiest I've been in a long time which is really weird considering I have a ton of exams and assignments due that I'm probably seriously underprepared for. The main thing is that I'm busy and that's exactly what I want to be. I also don't see the point in ruining my last weeks at University by being in a really grumpy mood and luckily, all my housemates seem to be the same so on a whole, we're feeling pretty chilled.

1. My final classes at University are OVER

I have now officially finished all my University classes!!! I know I should probably be sad and yeah, I kind of am but boy am I glad that I'm one step closer to being out of University forever. The past four years really have been a 'rollercoaster' (cringe) and as is always the case, I feel like I've made a ton of new friends on my course in the very last few months, just as I'm about to leave. I swear, it always happens like that.

2. Bongo Bingo was an absolute hoot

On the first week that I was back in Leeds I was forced to celebrate two birthdays. It was really difficult because I don't like celebrations, or people, or going out. Ha. Ha. Ha. I fricking love birthdays and any excuse to have a fun night out so I was in my element. We went to this thing called Bongo Bingo which is basically Bingo for young'uns, located in a club with ridiculous prizes (a garden gnome, Buzz and Woody dolls) and not so ridiculous prizes (money, alcohol) and it was just great. We may have bought a few too many bottles of Prosecco and the night may have escalated rather rapidly, but I have absolutely no regrets.

3. Currently working towards the title of Breakfast Queen

Last week, someone told me to 'keep up the great work on Instagram' and that really went to my head and did wonderful things for my already inflated ego. Ever since I've been waking up at 7am I've been struggling to fill myself up at breakfast and usually end up starving in the library by 9am. By making myself a big fancy meal I can successfully waste time, while filling my stomach with lots of carbs, ready to start the day.

4. Headed back home for the weekend

Unfortunately, we had a bit of sad news over the Easter Holidays which, although expected, was still upsetting for my family and my Mum in particular. My Gran had been ill for a while and she was on her last legs, but she was also 96 and I think that's a blooming fantastic age and I sincerely hope I have her genes. So I hopped on a train and headed home for the weekend to attend her funeral and wake. It was actually a lovely day, emotional of course but also quite eye-opening. I found out how much she loved travel (like me), how much she loved eating out (like me) and how many languages she spoke (too many to count). She was independent throughout her whole life, never marrying and instead, living on her own. I've always seen myself as being with someone but when I realise that there are a lot of people who live their whole life being independent, it makes me think.

5. Made then un-made some holiday plans

After spending the past year complaining about how no one will go travelling with me, along with toying with the idea of solo travel, my friend Kati finally told me she wanted to come along. Then, one minute I was emailing Imii for Bali ideas and tips, and the next minute the dates had all gone wrong and we couldn't go anywhere remotely far away because it would be high season and peak times. I am a bit gutted as I still feel like a little ant in this big old world, but we're considering other options now so I should still get my holiday. We want somewhere in Europe, or at least somewhere that's not too expensive in July/August time, and we're not considering an 'adventure' type holiday. I'm talking White Water Rafting, Paragliding, Hiking, Kayaking.