A Travellerspoint blog

A Wee Trip To Scotland

Make It Count

overcast 12 °C

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful

- Joshua J. Marine

Somewhere between place and time, day and night… OK somewhere between Edinburgh and Newcastle, I sit staring out the window of the train with vivid memories of the past week flashing across the emerald horizon.

Scotland… you have delivered once again. 10 days is definitely not enough time to embrace all you have to offer, I’m not sure if a lifetime is enough. From your wee village of Largoward, mysteries of Loch Ness, the pristinely untouched Isle of Skye, ruins in St Andrews and the incredible cobblestone streets of Edinburgh… you are such a gem that will forever have a strong hold over my heart and fiery red hair.

My year abroad is rapidly coming to an end, and with only four weeks until I return home, there is some much needed travel to be done. I decided to revisit Scotland for two reasons; to spend some time with my UK family and to get one last encounter with the beauty of Scotland. At the beginning of the year, Edinburgh was the first destination I journeyed to purely alone. I believe this was a life defining moment for me. To be in another county, alone, no idea where I was going or what I was doing, but knowing that there was something there for me, is a pretty remarkable feeling.

If you can’t be inspired by Scotland, then I genuinely don’t know what can. Everything from the people, the architecture, culture and the breath taking scenery is screaming to be captured in a photo, painting, book or (on a more amateur note) blog. I had such a lovely time relaxing in rural Fife. Sleeping until the afternoon, playing dress ups with ‘the wee pest,’ drinking red wine and Prosecco, and just chilling was such a nice change to the routine, dreariness London offers. I completely understand how so much great literature has come from Scotland, and I hope to be published one day as someone who was ever so inspired by this country.

Returning to Edinburgh, that feeling hit me again. Walking the familiar cobblestone streets, I felt a sense of home. Edinburgh is definitely somewhere I could see myself living, which says a lot. I checked into my hostel (High Street Hostel) and was immediately told about the free pub crawl that night. For any of you looking for accommodation in Edinburgh, look no further. Really cheap, awesome kitchen/lounge area (pool table and all) Thursday nights they have the free pub crawl and Fridays are burger nights which are wicked. Anyway, the people in my room were so cool and friendly. From all over the world, they invited me to join them for dinner and drinks… who could say no right? We got some vodka and lined our stomachs with amazing pasta, to kick off the start of a memorable night.
Before we go any further, vodka redbulls for 1.75… enough said.
The drinks went down, we danced and sang the night away, I think, with some cool and very attractive locals.

Night 2 was very similar to the first, though we were at a slight disadvantage due to our hangovers. Nonetheless… we carried on. The second night I met up with some of the locals we met the previous night and ended up at a house party drinking rum and eating home-made Tiramisu, before heading to a club in the city to dance the night away until 4am. What a night!

The next afternoon as I was walking down to Waverly Station, a strange feeling overcame me. Maybe it was a mega hangover from a big weekend… but it was some sort of closure. That Edinburgh had done its job. Saw me arrive as a young, naïve, girl and leave as a (still young) open-minded, strong, confident, slight alcoholic, young lady who knows I can achieve anything. Cheesy I know, but I guess that’s one thing that will never change.
I know I will return to Edinburgh one day. It is no doubt one of my favourite cities I’ve experienced, each time meeting new friends, having different adventures, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and creating new memories which will last a lifetime.
So to Edinburgh and your beautiful country, thank you.
Peace
Xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 11:01 Archived in Scotland Tagged food rain beer winter scotland home history travel adventure friends life beautiful old uk amazing drinks vodka cold cobblestone Comments (0)

Music Makes The World Go Round

This is the music of the night

overcast 12 °C

==Where Words Fail, Music Speaks== Hans Christian Anderson

Music is a way of life. It shapes your moods and thoughts, opens your mind and lets your imagination run wild.
Since being abroad, my ipod has been my best friend, providing hours of entertainment on many train, plane, bus and car rides. I also have this app, Deezer, which I would highly recommend for those like myself who are restricted technologically to download music. I pay $10 per month for unlimited access to music which you can stream online or make available offline by saving your favourite songs/albums. So, I thought I’d compile a list of my favourite artists I’ve discovered this year.

This is the soundtrack to my life.

1- All This Bad Blood – BASTILLE
Without doubt, the best album I’ve ever listened to. An up and coming indie-synth London band has absolutely nailed how to create an album you can keep on repeat. Dan Smith’s (my future husband by the way) incredibly unique vocals are memorizing, leaving you hanging onto each breath he takes. The clever lyrics are meaningful, quirky and intelligent making them refreshingly beautiful to listen to.
I had the absolute privilege of seeing BASTILLE in Munich where they played in an industrial warehouse. The acoustics were excellent, there’s nothing better than feeling the bass in your chest. Seeing them perform live brought a whole new light to their name. The atmosphere they create is sublime and the feeling is etched into your heart and soul.
My Picks

Overjoyed – Creates a sensitive, evocative emotion with the clean piano and passionate vocals.
Weight of Living, Pt. I – Purely for its lyricism. The reference to famous English poet Samuel Coleridge “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” is prominent and the combination of one of my favourite romantic poets with such honest lyrics and music, it is so enjoyable to listen to.
Flaws – Catchy chorus, simple chord progressions and lyrics, makes it an easy listen whilst giving you a sense of empowerment from the layering and united voices.

2- The 1975 (Self – Titled)
An indie rock band with cool style, haircuts, cheeky lyrics, guitar riffs and slurred words, give this Manchester band an effortlessly sexy, alternative vibe. All of their songs have a similar electronic, synth theme, making it harder to individually identify songs, nevertheless, doesn’t detract from the great compilation of this self-titled album.
After watching numerous of their youtube videos, I feel I’ve come to understand the style of the band. The lead singer doesn’t have technically strong vocals, but definitely has a unique voice with his accent very prominent. He freely slurs his words emphasizing the sex appeal of this band and with an attractive lead singer, they can’t really go wrong.

My Picks
Sex – Edgy guitar riffs, passionate voice, and suggestive lyrics it makes you feel sexy and full of energy.
Robbers – A more theatrical song that takes you on a journey of pain and passion. The effect of his voice is slightly echoed and dull until the chorus where his voice seems desperate and passionate, leading towards a climax at the end of the song where his vocals explode and the song is much fuller.

3- Long Way Down – Tom Odell
This album is technically beautiful, with his almost perfect execution of vocals, guitars and the piano. He has a very unique sound with pretty melodies combined with clashing, not so traditional harmonies, unsettling to hear at first, however, once you begin to understand his style and incredible talent it is strangely beautiful. My favourite aspect of him is the prominent combination of soft, elegant piano chords with his rather husky, full voice.

My Picks
Grow Old With Me – A sweet song with sweet lyrics.
Another Love – More passionate and moving. His almost sad moans are full of emotion accentuating the incredible talent possessed by such a young man.

4- AM – Arctic Monkeys
You really cannot go wrong with these English rockers. The Monkeys new album differs from their previous classic rock albums, the vibe still prominent, however, now complete with sexy bass lines and quirky (sometimes considered thoughtless) lyrics.
This album was the first encounter I had with The Arctic Monkeys and I was thoroughly impressed. You can leave this album on repeat. These guys are definitely on my list of bands to see.
My Picks
Do I Wanna Know? – Edgy, simple, slightly grungy with a strong chorus.
Arabella – Obvious sexy bassline that gets your foot tapping to every beat.

I’ve loved listening to these great English bands, I just can’t get enough. I’m always open for suggestions so please feel free to share.
And just a random fact about my music listening habits, if I’m checking out a new band/album, I pretty much judge it based on their number 5 song. I don’t know why, but track 5 always seems to be a good one, and it’s very rare that this theory doesn’t work out.
Peace and keep on rockin

Xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 13:36 Archived in Scotland Tagged travel adventure dance life music chill drums pleasure bass songs complete lyrics ecstasy vocals Comments (0)

The Devil Wears Prada

Londons Fashion Scene

overcast 3 °C

You can never be overdressed or overeducated - OSCAR WILDE

The world of fashion once seemed a foreign, unobtainable way of life for me.
Where I’m from back home, as long as you’ve got some trust denim shorts, a coloured singlet (cami) and haviannas, then youre set.
The first few months being abroad, I lived in my jeans and tshirt, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this combination, but luck and fate had something in store for me. To learn to become a true London fashionista.

After landing a job at Oasis, a UK female clothing store selling feminine, classy and beautiful clothes (I could only try to compare it to the likes of Forever New or Dotti in Australia). With a nice little staff discount, I had room to explore the many chains of the store and immerse myself in the latest trends.

Don’t get me wrong, I will admit there were some rather questionable items I mixed and matched, but hey, you have to make mistakes right?

I know it just seems like ‘oh, she got a job in a clothes shop,’ but it really is so much more than that. Discovering your own body type and working with colours, fabrics and styles that will flatter your body shape is a skill that many people don’t acknowledge. Or even how customers open up to you in the fitting rooms, asking for your genuine opinion as well as a fashionable one. I’ve seen ladies nearly burst into tears because a dress won’t fit them and to be honest, it’s at these moment they’re most vulnerable. You not only have to do your job, but kind of be a friend.

One of the most helpful people in our team was our helpful stylist. She is so good at looking at someone’s skin tone, hair colour, body shape, personality, and finding the perfect outfit that will compliment them. I’m no expert in styling, but I’ve definitely progressed significantly. A memorable moment was when a lady was looking for an occasionwear dress and I picked some that she initially turned her nose up at, however, once she tried them on, she was thrilled with how her breasts looked bigger, her hips looked smaller and her legs looked longer. There’s something very satisfying about recommending an outfit and they love it. Because afterall, style is a very personal thing which represents your personality and lifestyle. And that’s what I love about it.

I absolutely love English fashion. It’s so classy, elegant, a bit preppy or alternative but overall its ‘gorgeous darling.’ The great thing about living in such a big city is the diversity and with that comes incredible trends and fashion. You can never be overdressed because all in one common area, the tube, because people are going everywhere, job interviews, the races, work, weddings, concerts, dates and travelling. It takes something quite absurd to make you look twice.

With London becoming very cold over December, the most important fashion item is the all important winter coat. People are faced with the dilemma of choosing between colour, warmth, fashion, length, practicality or price. To be honest, I’m happy for my (minimal) savings that I won’t be staying in London for years on end because I would be too tempted to buy all the beautiful coats that we received in stock. Although I did purchase a lovely tan, short, military coat and gorgeous leather jacket. Despite the thought that it’s ‘boring, drab or dull’ you really cannot go wrong with a nice black or navy coat. The colours of winter this season, burgundy and a deep green, look lovely with these block colours.
Although I’ve immersed myself in the London fashion scene, I still like to think that I’ve got that bit of Ozzy beach babe style. I’m looking forward to bringing a bit of an English class into my wardrobe with all the beautiful clothes I now own.
After now finishing up with my job, I can reminisce on all the great times I’ve had at work with the amazing team I worked with. I couldn’t have asked for a more supporting, accepting and friendly environment and I’ve made friendships that I’m sure will persevere the Pacific Ocean.

Xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 14:24 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged london winter beach australia fashion love colours style expensive hair boots fabrics expression dresses coats trends babe Comments (0)

All These Little Things

semi-overcast 9 °C

Somehow, it's all the little things that can influence your life in the greatest way.
They may not be ground breaking or completely radical... but this beautiful little moment I experienced this week, is definitely blog worthy, warmed my heart and in a way, you could almost say mind opening.

So, I was at work, when my favourite customer in the world, a 10 year old boy along with his mum, walk through the door.
His mother smiles and walks to the racks of clothes whilst Buddy, waves and comes straight towards me.
He's dressed in his school blazer with his violin slung across his shoulder.
I say the usual, 'Hey Buddy, how's it going? How's school/football/violin? Are you looking forward to Christmas?
We talk as he walks around in circles feeling the textures of different clothes.
Today, he just didn't seem himself.
I asked him what was up.
He responded with a typical child's answer, 'I HATE MY MOTHER.'
He told me his story (he was misbehaving so she took his gameboy off of him) and I listened intently.
Being the polite young man he is, he changed the topic and asked me how I was.
I broke him the news that I would soon be leaving work and heading back to Australia.
And his reaction captured the pure essence of being a child that I absolutely love.
'Ah, but Australia is so far away! Why do you need to go home?'
I told Buddy that like him, I had family and friends that care about me very much at home, and that it was time for me to go back.
'But that's.... a million miles away!'
I smiled at the thought.
I told him that my family makes me upset sometimes, but they're always just trying to do what's right for me because they love me.
His mother was finished shopping and returned, announcing it was time to go home.
Buddy then suddenly wrapped his arms around my waist and began crying.
I was overcome by emotion.
I couldn't believe how much trust and compassion this boy had towards me, someone he barely knows.
I hugged him back fighting tears.
His darling mother then said, 'baby, I'll bring you back in next week so we can say goodbye, ok?' He reluctantly agreed, took his mothers hand and together they left, both of them smiling at me.
I turned to my colleagues who had seen the whole thing and I went out the back to compose myself.

This beautiful little moment touched my heart and made me think about the pure beauty, innocence and compassion that children possess, something we could all learn from the little ones in our lives.
Children live with such honesty which I think if we adapted just slightly, we'd all be much happier people.
This little boy will probably never know of the gift he has given me, a genuine insight to a child's mind and love from a child, but I hope to carry his legacy with me.
I hope I see them this week so I can say, au revoir, and wish him the very best of luck for his future and to remind him to treasure all the little things, because that's what makes life so beautiful.

xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 03:59 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged children london home australia beautiful love uk amazing retail respect compassion going_home Comments (0)

This Is The Rhythm Of The Night

Brilliant Bavaria

overcast 3 °C

=="Rhythm is a dancer, it's the souls companion"==

Sometimes, all you need is a breath of fresh air to re-ignite that passion, motivate your actions and clear your mind, and what better way to escape than jet setting across Europe to the traditional and beautiful city of Munich.

I tend not to write about my travels, however, the past 96 hours have been so revolutionary, mind blowing and incredible that there's no way I couldn't... and now I am back home, exhausted from a very full on weekend eating pretzels, bratwurst, drinking steins and diving into the culture of Munich, I realise just how lucky I am.

So, Thursday morning, my travel buddy and best friend, Jess, and I embarked on our journey. Tube, bus, plane and we were in Munich, Germany!
Thankfully Jess speaks and understands German, whereas I on the other hand know, [i]hallo, ja, nein, danke,[i]... and that's about it, but I was ready to take it all on.
Our hostel was right near the main train station, The Euro Youth Hostel, which I would highly recommend to anyone travelling to Munich. They have comfortable beds, large rooms, hot showers and an awesome bar which we got much too friendly with.
After a quick unpack and gaining our orientation we burst out onto the cold street in search of food and adventure.
Only a quick stroll to the Marienplatz, we were in the centre of the city where Christmas was lingering in the air. Beautiful lights flooded the street and we wondered down the cobblestone path to the Rathaus, a spectacular building with a glockenspiel and clock tower. I bet the Germans play a game called spot the tourist infront of the Rathaus, as we eagerly anticipated the chiming of the bells and movement of the figures in the tower as the clock struck 6... little did we know it only goes off once at mid day, so after a few minutes we awkwardly put our cameras away and kept walking. I swear some guys behind us shared a giggle amongst themselves.
We walked up and down the Marienplatz in search of reasonably priced food. As we were almost about to give up hope, we found what seemed a hidden restaurant. Behind a heavy iron door and down some stairs was the bustle of a cute restaurant/drinking hall which our stomach's couldn't ignore. Sharing a table with a cute elderly German couple and old sleazy Austrian men, we had beer, pretzels, bratwurst and saurkraut. Oh, and believe it or not, the Austrian men pulled the classic German joke, "ah, you are hungry for German sausage?" We awkwardly laughed, finished our drinks, said Auf Wiedersehen and left.
The icy air chased us back to our hostel and we took refuge at the bar. We were both extremely tired so we ordered two soft drinks before two
Australian's (seriously I swear we're everywhere) questioned our choice of beverage and before we knew it, we had downed 2 cocktails and 2 bottles of prosecco between us. Whoops!
We stumbled to bed and knew that this weekend was going to be amazing!

We woke on Friday, slightly hungover, extremely hungry and even more adventurous... so we downed some water and manned up to face the day. Now where else do you go in search of hearty German food in Munich but the Hoftbrau Haus, and boy did that deliver. I had some Ox Goulash which was absolutely amazing and we tried to have a stein but our stomach's were still slightly unsettled from the previous night, so we settled for 1/2L Radler (beer with lemonade) which I still couldn't finish! =( At least I tried haha
Extremely satisfied we retreated to the hostel for a nanna nap = pure bliss
After our much needed sleep, we got pumped up for BASTILLE!
[Quick side note* For those of you who don't know Bastille, go and download their album right now. It will be the best thing you've ever done for your ears. Oh and the lead singer, Dan, we're engaged, he just doesn't know it yet]
We headed out to the venue where we befriended a cute German couple, Tom and Christine who helped us with directions and we hung out with during the show.
Words honestly do not do it justice. They were AMAZINGINGLY INCREDIBLE!!!! His voice is literally hyptnotising.
As soon as he played the opening chords to Overjoyed, my favourite song, I literally broke down crying. It was so moving to experience such musicality and passion coming from one person's mouth/heart. By far they are a million times better in concert than on their CD.
Also, the fact that we made friends with people around us, really does determine how music brings people together, where language isn't a barrier and together we are unified through incredible music.
On a massive adrenaline/emotional high, we headed back to the city, contemplating life as one does after experiencing something so moving, before crashing into bed.

Saturday was an absolutely miserable day, cold, windy and raining, which was fit for our destination, Dachau.
All throughout school I have studied WWII and the Holocaust but no amount of notes, facts, stories or videos could ever prepare me for the pure sickness I felt walking through the gates thousands of Jews walked through 70 odd years ago.
Even as I write this, I feel sick, reminded of the complete emptiness I felt. Tears flooded from my eyes as a pure emotional response to being there, unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I won't continue, you know what's there and what happened, but even still I just cannot possibly imagine what it would have been like.
The strangest thing was the contrasting beauty of the surrounding area. The trees were beautiful oranges, reds and golds and leaves smothered the earth and alongside the perimeter is a beautiful stream. I guess that's Mother Nature's way of reminding us that there is still beauty in the earth despite all the horrendous acts mankind inflicts on one another.
I feel like I will never forget my time there, I never could.

Upon our return to the city, to lighten our spirits, Jess and I did the most joyful, childish, happy thing one can do in winter in Munich, we went ice skating! Ah! We had an absolute ball! Although I somewhat resembled a baby giraffe taking its first steps, I managed not to fall over and actually make it around the rink whilst children zoomed past. After the biggest work out we've had in a long time, we skated until our legs shook and our cheeks ached from laughing, we engaged in some apres ski tradition.
We met up with a friend of mine who took us to a local pub where I finally did it... drank 1L of beer!!! Ta DAAAAA
And devoured an amazing dinner. We drank, ate and chatted for hours before we were given a first class guided tour of the back streets of Munich before getting lost and saturated by the icy rain.
After a lovely meal and drinking sesh we called it a night.
Emotionally and physically drained we slept like logs.

Which brings me to now. Back in London. Same old house, same old room, but definitely a different me.
Munich really is an incredible city which has so much to offer. The thing I love most about it is the vibe. It's not like other big cities, London, Paris or Rome, still bustling but in its unique way, maintaining a strong Bavarian traditional flavour making you feel as though you are experiencing the true Germany. The combination of incredible food and beer, music, history, culture, friendships and adventure was perfect and really made me open my eyes and heart, changing something within me.
I had one of the best weekends of my life and with only 2 weeks left of work before my next adventure, I am hungry for more.

xxx
A

Posted by missadelaide 09:17 Archived in Germany Tagged beer winter history germany music love europe adventures amazing ice_skating cold munich bavaria bastille dachau pretzels steins euros understanding weekends best_friends life_changing Comments (0)

(Entries 11 - 15 of 23) « Page 1 2 [3] 4 5 »