How to Save for Round the World Travel

Saving has never been my strong suit, mainly because I have always thought I don’t earn enough to even save and my spare money usually got spent on gifts for other people! So when we made the decision we were going travelling and we plucked the £10,000 each figure out the air… we had something to aim for. This meant serious cut backs and I hope to explain in some kind of organised way how we cut back and made more money in the run up to our Round the World Trip.

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Firstly, I would start with figuring out what big items you can sell. You’re not going to need your car while you are travelling the world. It’s best to work out how much a similar car, with similar mileage and condition is selling for on AutoTrader for a good estimate. Minus this chunk of money off your total and you will know what you have left to find (£7500 in my case).

Minimise your outgoings

What’s your housing situation? If you are in rented accommodation, could you downsize or move back home with your parents? This is what I did and honestly, without my mum and dad hosting me rent free I don’t think this would have been possible. Actually, they deserve a big shout, I love you both to pieces! If you have a mortgage and spare rooms, why not rent out a room for an addition £250-£300 a month that can go into your savings.  This could also be a source of income to top up your funds while you are travelling too.

Take a good look at your bank account. What outgoings do you have? I stopped paying the gym especially as I didn’t go anyway and moved to home workouts – good old Joe Wicks helped me out! I realised I was paying insurance for random items I didn’t own anymore, so cancelled them too.

beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship

The weekly food shop can cost a crazy amount and this is something we really cut back on. We wrote out the food shopping list for the exact meals we wanted to cook (using up whatever was in the cupboards first). We did not deviate from this list and really shopped around for the best buy. Aldi and Lidl are often the cheapest, but Home Bargains fresh food section had even better buys. We even tried going to the Butchers and a Green Grocers and although the quality was better and less plastic packaging, it was still more expensive. We are both meat lovers but it can be expensive, so we have found more veggie and vegan recipes to minimise the cost. Swapping chicken breasts for chicken thighs is also a good saving too.

Socialising! Nights out became nights in. For some this might be a struggle but when you have such a big goal to aim for and you know what amazing adventures lie ahead, missing a piss-up in town your not really too bothered about. We still went to big occasions, like weddings and christenings but I drove and didn’t drink and spent less than usual on gifts. Our friends were more than understanding and we had great nights in with board games and a bottle of wine!

The Maths

So you know you have say £7500 left to find and you have minimised your outgoings. Do some simple maths and divide your total by how many months you have before you leave… say 12 months. You then know what you have to put away each month (in this example £625). Now you have minimised your outgoings, work out each month what your essential payments are (direct debits, fuel, food) and minus that from your income. Be realistic and set aside money for any occasions that month and try to get the £625 covered from your wages. For some people this might not be possible so you can top up the savings with what you sell that month and extra earnings (see below!)

spend what is left after saving

Sell, Sell, Sell

You can’t take everything and the kitchen sink with you. You have a backpack and that’s all so it’s time for a major clear out. I have sold all my house furniture to friends or on Gumtree. I have sold all the clothes I’m not taking with me on eBay (apart from a small box of favourite clothes!). Our families and friends have also given us items they were going to throw away or give to charity shops for us to sell too! Although it is time consuming and some things may sell for a measly 99p, every penny really does count. A month before we go, anything that had struggled to sell online we will put on a car boot!

‘I need a dollar, dollar, dollar is all I need’

Time to get your thinking cap on, and brainstorm ideas about how to make more money! Do you have any hidden talents? Are you really creative? Are you a budding entrepreneur? For me I taught myself how to make Handmade Soy Wax Candles and upcycled any jar I could find. I set up a little Facebook group with all my local friends and sold to them. I was honest about where the funds were going and people were more than happy to support us. I have known people do a ‘charity’ event, sell their artwork, upcycle and sell items… what could you do?

Re-occurring income

As I mentioned with the renting out your home, having a reoccurring income while you’re away will really help if your savings just don’t go as far as you intended. I have begun this blog and I am gradually learning ways to monetise it for additional income (happy to hear any tips!). I’m also fortunate to have a social marketing business that can be built while I travel the world (just need WiFi which may be a struggle at times!). It is important to have multiple income streams set up prior to leaving home. These will give you flexibility, more choices and help sustain you for longer than the year, if you so wish!

For more information on social marketing contact me via my social media platforms 

£10,000 sounds like a lot but by breaking it down, keeping track every month and being super committed to the cause, what may seem impossible can become possible.

Go the Distance,



A Guide to RTW Travel Vaccines

For a person who has a phobia of needles (well a phobia of passing out because of the needles), planning the travel vaccinations we needed for our Round the World trip gave me nightmares! As I knew there was no way of getting out of it, I threw myself into researching everything that we needed to know, what was free, what we needed to pay for and why we actually needed it.

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*All this information is based on information available in February 2018 for South America, Northern America, Australia, New Zealand, South East Asia, India and Europe. Follow the links for the latest information*

We started off by going to our local GP surgery and speaking with a nurse practitioner. They need to know what countries your going to, how long your there for and what you will be doing while your there. So it’s a good idea to take all this information with you. Be sure to go well in advance of your flight day as some jabs are over three courses. My nurse took the time to have a good look through my medical records for all my childhood vaccinations, that could be ticked off the list (MMR for example).


On my second visit to the nurse (because I wasn’t prepared to jump in on the first visit), I got the Diptheria, Polio and Tetanus (Combined Booster) then Typhoid and Hepatitis A in a combined injection. They didn’t particularly hurt but my arm was dead for about 3 days. However, the Mister’s was fine the next day! Hepatitis A and Typhoid are usually spread through contaminated food water and water and would cost approx £90 at a travel clinic. The NHS Travel Vaccinations website explains more about the free vaccines.

Then it was time to part with our cash! We headed to Nomad Travel in Manchester which was recommended by both of our GP’s. Rabies was discussed first as this is a course of 3 injections that have to be one-two weeks apart. The mister was brave and got his first one that day. I on the other hand put it off for another week, with some random excuse that I didn’t have the money (slight lie!). Rabies is spread by bites, licks on open wounds and scratches. The intradermal rabies jab is cheaper than the intramuscular vaccine but this is best to discuss with them whats best for you. Our ID Rabies cost £45 per jab compared to £55 for IM from the NHS or travel clinics. Even with the jab, if you are bite you still need to clean the wound thoroughly and access medical care for 2 post-exposure jabs.

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Onto Yellow Fever… this one is a must for South America and you are required to show certification proving you have had it to enter the country. You need to have this 10 days before travelling but once you have had it you are covered for life. This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes in parts of South America. Currently, there is a break out in Rio and Sao Paulo that are on our travel plans. I was told that this one was really painful and makes you bruise like a peach! That’s not true, but I did have a dull headache for 4 days and had a very mild fever (going hot then cold). This costs £60 from Nomad Travel and included the cost of the yellow fever booklet. Some places charge extra for this so double check your not being ripped off.

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One perk of working for the NHS is that we get Hepatitis B for free! However, we didn’t realise that there is actually a global shortage of Hep B, so the places that still have it in stock are tending to put their prices. Hep B is generally spread through unprotected sex and blood. Now if you are admitted to hospital this could be from a blood transfusion, dirty needles or piercings/tattoos. This is why sterile needle kits are suggested! Nomads Travel didn’t have it in stock so we luckily found that STA travel have it in stock and haven’t increased there prices.


Definitely don’t be afraid to have some of your jabs ‘on the road’ in well developed countries. They have Travel Clinics too. With Japanese Encephalitis, we are getting this jab in Australia before we head to South East Asia. Again, it’s spread through those pesky mosquitoes, but it is common in the farming areas. The two jabs have to be given a month apart, so as we are in Aus for 6 months so this is possible. This jab comes in at £95 from Nomad and I must admit I have seen prices much higher than this.

There the jabs we have had or are planning on getting but it genuinely doesn’t stop there. Malaria in low risk areas can be avoided by using repellents (we have been advised 50%+ DEET), sleeping under mosquito nets and covering up. However, in high risk places, malaria tablets are needed. Depending on which brand you get you either take 2-7 days prior to entering a malarial zone, all the time your there and 7-28 days afterwards. Were yet to buy these but will report back on our findings! As a person who doesn’t put any chemicals on my skin, I’m struggling with the idea of DEET but malaria is much worse I guess!

In summary, vaccinations are expensive but you can shop around. Make the most of the free jabs you get with the NHS, don’t be afraid to get jabs on the road to spread the cost too. Be prepared, stay healthy and enjoy every moment of your travels.

Go the distance on your travels



Hidden Gems: The Isle of Kerrera

On this trip I was well and truly whisked away on a secret escape. All I knew was… Scotland, nothing else! I knew that the Mister knew me well enough to plan the best weekend away in celebration of my birthday. I love surprises so I was excited from the moment we set off. Actually, that’s a lie! The 4am wake up call, on the road for 5am, I wasn’t too impressed with.

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Our companion for the weekend was Billy-dog, who we dog-napped! He handled the journey better than me I think! However, I must admit even the views from the car were beautiful.


So we arrived in Oban and of course the first priority was finding a pub with Sky for the Football! Even on my birthday weekend! We walked into a proper Scottish local pub and was greeted by utter silence. They knew we weren’t from their neck of the woods, so we sat sheepishly in the corner. I asked for Lemonade… I got tonic water… I got the hint!

We weren’t here long before we were on the next adventure. A Ferry! But not the usual kind of ferry… more like a tiny hovercraft. The ramp scrapped up the embankment and on we hopped. We were packed up with one backpack of clothing and another backpack full of alcohol! We had our priorities right. The Mister let me know that we had to take everything we needed with us and that someone would be waiting for us. That someone was Colin, with his son and Jeep, greeting us with a big smile. This was a reassuring smile, until we got in the Jeep… no seatbelts, a child casually sat on Colin’s knee and a few suspension issues. I bounced around in the back, on rocky ground, holding on tight to Billy-dog. Colin was told I knew nothing about where we were staying, so they spoke in code the whole way.


Nevertheless, we arrived a short 15 minutes later so the most beautiful views and quaint accommodation in the side of the hill. Our very own ‘Galley Cabin’! This was essentially a caravan, but it was so much more! The caravan had a built structure around it with full kitchen and shower facilities in the extensions. We had a barbecue area, two areas for outdoor seating, sauna style shower room and a kitchen that had everything we needed. Our pictures don’t even do it justice! I genuinely couldn’t be happier.


So I fully unpacked like I do everywhere I go, before we explored. Colin was so helpful explaining with a printed map where to walk and what to see. Our weekend compromised of walking, eating and drinking. We even took beers on our walk!


The main sights are:

  • Gylen Castle: known as ‘Duncan’s Fort’
  • Kerrera Tea Gardens and Bunk House: Great stop for a brew and homemade cake
  • The Love Seat: made by Colin’s father for all to enjoy
  • Hidden lochs: go and explore!


The Isle of Kerrera has a population of 45 people, no cars (except locals), no shops only a tearoom on the Island. The Galley Cabin is a perfect place to stay for only £48 per night! This is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday working life. We certainly will be returning to see how Colin’s projects develop on his acres of land in the future years to come.

Go the Distance



Planning: Peru on a Shoestring

Something we have talked about for over a year now, is soon to become a reality. Up until Christmas the focus had been on saving, saving and guess what more saving! But then we stepped in STA travel last month to make some decisions. With the help of Jack at STA Travel Manchester and his two hours worth of patience, our flights were booked!


Our Round the World trip covers; South America, North America, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, India and Europe… in just over a year! There will be plenty more blogs breaking all of our plans down into bitesize chunks. It will be interesting to see how much of what is planned… actually happens!

While at STA Travel our talks centred around our South America plans and Jack kindly informed us about the VISA’s needed for Machu Picchu. This is something we were blissfully unaware of. Only 500 VISA’s are granted a day and these are booked well in advance. Our hearts sank, thinking we were too late to book the Inca Trail. But as luck would have it there were about 7 available for 3 months into our travels (if we had left it much longer we would have had to take the Lares Trek instead).

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One of these dates meant we will be hiking the Inca Trail on my Birthday… so that was it! Big decision made and we now know we are definitely seeing one of the seven wonders of the world!

Through G-Adventures we have booked the 14 day ‘Peru on a Shoestring‘ experience. We will meet and stay with local families, visit Colca Canyon, surrounding villages and conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu on a 3 day trek. Our meals, accommodation and transport are arranged. This will be a big change to our self-sufficient 3 months prior to this. It will be all hostel living and navigating the buses, up until this point.


The Checklist that we have been sent literally looks endless. However, at a second glance there wasn’t much on there that we hadn’t thought off. Although were going in ‘dry season’, we have read not to presume it will be dry. Apparently it can feel very damp so cotton clothing and jeans are big no no’s. All of our trekking gear and waterproofs will go with us and the rest will stay behind, hopefully safe and sound!

Having the date booked for this has actually really helped us in planning everything up until Peru. We have been able to allocate time to each country on the journey up to Peru much easier, as we have no choice but to get to Lima in time.

I genuinely cannot wait for these stock photos to become our own pictures with the most incredible memories attached.

Go the Distance to see the world.


Personal Development

Embrace the Lagom Lifestyle: The Basics

I first heard the term Lagom in a focus group on Compassionate Focused Therapy (CFT)  three months after our course. A colleague sat in the room with a completely different presence. She seemed bright, wide-eyed and with an overall feeling of happiness. After a brief conversation she said that following the CFT group she has looked into Hygee and Lagom and had implemented simple self-care tips along the way to support her mindfulness practices. I had heard of Hygee (Danish word used to acknowledge a special feeling or moment) but I hadn’t heard of Lagom.

Following this, the Mister bought me the book Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well by Lola A. Akerstrom. I was hooked and within 10 days the little book was complete. Here I will share my thoughts and simple strategies of how you can implement Lagom into your lifestyle.

embrace the lagom lifestyle

Firstly, how an earth do you say it?! It’s pronounced ‘Law-gum’.

Where Hygee represents a special feeling within a moment, Lagom represents a lifestyle.

It means

  • not too much, not too little
  • balance
  • everything in moderation
  • the happy medium
  • above all… harmony.



Lagom doesn’t make time for showing off, exaggerations or big-headedness, as this would disrupt the equilibrium between you and your friend. So the lesson would be to listen more and speak less. Remembering that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason; this ratio should be used.

The Swedish society tends to avoid small talk and chitter-chatter. Their conversations surround meaningful and enriching topics. They embrace what we would call ‘awkward silences’ and enjoy the presence of others. For our British culture, would we mis-interpret this as rude or ignorant?


Within a Swedish home, you wouldn’t see chaotic scenes of children running around the house, parents shouting to get their breakfast and everyone feeling stressed. You would feel a calm atmosphere and see the family sat around the table having breakfast together before they take on the day.

With regards to the Kitchen, Swedish meals reflect the seasons with the produce used being in-season and appropriate for the climate. They tend to use local producers, grow their own or forage from the land. When serving meals, they put on their plate what they know they can eat; remembering that others need to eat too.

Interior design is a favourite subject of mine. Lagom and Minimalism share very similar concepts. A great place to start is by de-cluttering, if things aren’t practical or don’t have an emotional tie to you then they can go. The Swedish home focuses on brightening up spaces as they have 5 months of the year in mostly darkness. So natural light, neutral walls and lamps are used to lift spirits to avoid negative feelings in wintery months. Fresh plants and flowers clear the air and also promote a sense of wellbeing! Upcycling fits well into Lagom. Give items additional functionality by repurposing them. Remember the other R’s too; recycle and reuses to avoid waste.


Self Care

With the rise in social media and the world wide web, more than ever we feel constantly connected. As ‘sociable’ as this is, it can have a negative effect when trying to build a balanced life. So you may be due a digital detox (past blog here on this).

The word ‘no’ slips off a Swedes tongue much more easily than a Brit. We find it so difficult to say ‘no’, but if we did we would be able to maintain balance and work much more efficiently, waste less time and increase our valuable time.

Why not join a club and enjoy your hobby with others? Take your singing in the car to a choir, take your dance moves to a salsa class or find out your old paintbrushes and join an art class. Spending time with like-minded people will relight your passion aswell as opening up a new network of friends.

30 Self Care Ideas are featured on my past blog too!

Fashion and Beauty

Who has an overflowing makeup case and a wardrobe that doesn’t close, yet still say ‘I have nothing to wear’? It may be time to simplify your beauty regimes and slim line the closet. No makeup days would give you skin chance to breathe. If you haven’t worn pieces of clothing for 3-6months it would recommend selling on eBay, Gumtree or donating to charity shops.

I have implemented this by putting a small makeup back with my everyday essentials (5 pieces of makeup). Also, I have been selling old clothing for funds for travel. It makes life so much easier when you have less to choose from. When buying new clothes, it is recommended that if you can think of 5 different ways to wear the piece of clothing, you can buy it. If not, put it back on the rack.

Why not visit charity shops or vintage stores? You often can get high quality pieces for a fraction of the price. On recent charity shop trip I found a dungaree skirt for £3! The charity shop was having a 50% sale so I walked out with this skirt, a jumper for work, a work dress and dress for travelling for a total of £10!


Goal Setting

When it comes to goals and Lagom, it can be difficult to get your head round. As Lagom states ‘everything in moderation’ so where does this sit when it comes to pushing towards a goal to achieve success? The tips that are suggested are setting measureable goals that you can break down into smaller achievable steps. Focusing solely on the ultimate goal may yield a sense of failure month by month as you’re not living your ultimate life. But if you focus on the small steps towards that goal, this will reduce the chance of self-punishment while maintaining balance within your life.


Are you a manager of a team? If you are, why not try creating a relaxing atmosphere around your employees, listen to their concerns and ideas and promote work-life balance. Delegate tasks to ensure balance of your work load, but accept when you employees say ‘no’ so they can maintain their own balanced work load.

Take your lunch away from your desk. We deserve time to mindfully tea without multi-tasking. After all, we are entitled to a break and often aren’t paid for 30-60mins of the day for a break. As our work place doesn’t have a staff room, I turn my PC off, turn away from my desk or take my lunch outside in summery months.



When it comes to money, Lagom wants us to take control of our finances so we can occasionally indulge without falling into debt. How many of us put money away for a rainy day? This safety net will also create piece of mind that your okay if your washing machine breaks… you have it under control.

‘Buy Cheap, Buy Twice’ is key here too. It’s much better to save for a quality piece than buy a cheaper item multiple times. Simple small steps on a daily basis, add up over the months and years. For example, a pack up for lunch instead of eating out or writing a shopping list and sticking to it.

Eco Living

Finally here are the Lagom tips for living an eco-friendly life!

  • More showers than baths
  • Bulk wash in dishwasher than hand-washing pots
  • Turn off the lights
  • Recycle
  • Use refillable bottles
  • Use reuseable bags
  • Switch to LED lights
  • Hang clothes out to dry
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Upcycle instead of throwing out
  • Wash clothes at 40 not 60
  • Grow your own
  • Sell or donate clothes

Go the Distance in your Lagom Lifestyle



Drop a Pumpkin in 4 weeks

So me and the mister are celebrating our year anniversary this weekend… and what a year it has been. We have slept in over 20 different beds in over 10 different cities and we have had the best time!

But like in all great relationships, the waistline can begin to grow as you become more and more comfortable with one another. That’s where I was at. I have never been able to put on weight, I have a super metabolism and can literally eat what every I want. But… a year of this meant I gained a muffin top! Nowhere else… just on my stomach, the last place you want it to go!

Regardless of the muffin top, I still had a slim figure but i felt lethargic, sluggish and quite frankly a bit crap. I have had some crazy symptoms that have resembled fibromyalgia with pains going down one side of my face, arm and leg. I had no energy and was tired after a 8 hour working day in the office. My mood had times of being so low and my anxiety sometimes sky high. I knew something wasn’t right but no amount of medication, trips to the doctor, blood tests seemed to figure out what an earth was up with me.

It wasn’t until I was two weeks into Clean Eating that I had a lightblub moment. The rubbish I had been feeding myself was having such an effect on my physical health.


So what have I been doing?

Me and the mister took on a four week clean eating plan that is supported by safe supplements. Eating clean means…

No gluten, no dairy, no caffeine, no sugar, no processed food, no alcohol.

I replaced my non-existent breakfasts with a meal replacement shake, had two healthy meals and supplements that supported digestion, fibre levels, energy and brain function.

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Our bodies knew exactly what to do with all the goodness we gave it. In total we lost 10lbs … the exact weight of this pumpkin! I must admit we did look rather strange in Sainsburys weighing all these pumpkins to find the right one!

I lost 19 cm from my waist and hip measurements and 4lbs. The mister lost 16 cm from his chest, waist and hip measurements too and 6lbs.

You can find our before and after pictures here, on our Healthy and Happy support group. Whoever said that the last place it comes off is your stomach was wrong. That’s where all of our weight came off. I was rather pleased that none came off my boobs I must admit!

But it was a challenge… I had the funniest cravings for the strangest of things for a good two weeks. Anything I wasn’t allowed I craved for and the tuck shop at work was a reminder every day! I was grumpy for the first week and felt hungry even though I was eating more than ever.


However, everyday I looked forward to my herbal tea instead of a cuppa with two sugars and I even looked forward to my breakfast shake.

Being accountable to the Mister definitely helped. I genuinely don’t think i would have stuck to it without him. He has amazing determination and sticks to things by the letter and I do love him for that.

The social support I feel is the most important part of taking on a clean eating challenge. If you, your partner and family are doing it together it will integrate into your lifestyle much easier. It will become a way of living and will be sustainable for the future, as you live by the 80/20 rule. This is why we have created a support group for all those people wanting to create healthy habits.

We welcome people from all over the world who have a desire to become Healthy and Happy (click the banner to find our group).


Go the Distance for your Health



Personal Development

Unplugging from the world with a Digital Detox

Recently I have had an increased awareness of the reliance I have on the Internet, in so many parts of my life. Now… as an online entrepreneur I recognise the huge benefit’s of the information era. Without it this blog wouldn’t reach a global audience, nor could I run a part-time online business around my full-time job, and I wouldn’t be able to connect with my international friends … the list can continue on and on.

However, I have a feeling that the technology revolution is being abused by using it for literally everything! Let’s think… how many times have you said or done the following in the last two weeks.

  • ‘Oh I don’t know… I’ll just Google it’
  • Scrolling mindlessly through Facebook
  • Watching cat videos for a quick giggle
  • ‘I wonder how many likes I’ve got’
  • Spying on celebrities lives
  • Pinning every home DIY idea on Pinterest
  • The list of unhealthy habits can continue

So the first step is awareness, the second is doing something about it! As we had a holiday to Fuerteventura booked I thought this would be the perfect time to do a digital detox, escape from being constantly connected in order to break the habit and create a healthy relationship to WiFi.

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As I arrived at Manchester airport, the aeroplane mode was switched on and stayed on for a whole 7 days. I guess I best tell you what I found.

The time. How many of us go to look at our phone purely for the time? But then get distracted by the numerous notifications on our home screen, which you just ‘have’ to read. To then 10 minutes later forget you only actually meant to check the time. The old school invention of the watch… literally is timeless. Putting my beautiful Olivia Burton watch on this holiday (a gift from my best friend Hannah) helped me not reach for my smart phone when all I needed was the time.

Often there are times on holiday when you simply are doing nothing. This is a rarity in our hectic corporate lives where there is a need to be doing something every second of every day in order to get everything done, in the limited 24 hours a day we have. So I found the time I was most likely to pick up my phone was in times of nothing-ness (I don’t want to use the word boredom as that word has negative connotations which are holiday was not). My replacement for surfing the internet was reading. I took away with me two books The Compassionate Mind and Personality Plus which I thoroughly enjoyed. Sometimes I chose not to read and instead engaged in simple deep breathing mindfulness exercises to appreciate my surroundings.


With tired eyes on the plane journeys the mister leant me his Beatz headphones to listen to the audio books I had downloaded on my iPod (and to drown out the sound of screaming children). In 8 hours of travelling I listened to ‘How to stop worrying and start living‘ by Dale Carnegie and an inspiration talk by Nick Vujicic named ‘No arms no legs’ all without opening my eyes. Great time leverage there!

I was listening to a Ted Talk by Tania Mulry named ‘Need a digital detox?‘ who said it’s been discovered that the feeling you get when you feel your phone vibrating in your pocket and it’s not even there is the same feeling amputee’s get when they lose a limb. The Phantom Limb Syndrome we experience shows how we see our phones as an extension to our body!

Since returning the UK and plugging back into the world, I have questioned myself much more and noticed the technology addiction all around me. There is genuinely nothing worse than looking around in a restaurant to see a family of four at the table with children being kept quiet with over stimulating iPad apps and the parents sat staring mindlessly at the phone probably posting about the ‘incredible time’ there having not talking to one another.


I have always been known as the ‘difficult to get hold of’ person with phrases such as ‘what’s the point in having a phone if you don’t answer it’ being thrown at me. But I like it that way… I tend not to drop everything in that instant moment to pick up a call as I value the task I’m doing more. If it’s an emergency a text will follow to say ‘ring me asap’ to which I can prioritise that over my task. Often people are offended if you don’t reply instantly when you are ‘Online’ or ‘Active’ however, these streams are used for my business and I’m technically working.

I worry about people behind closed doors. Your own lives and your 800 Facebook ‘friends’ lives look so perfect only highlighting the best bits. However, this gives a distorted view of what life is like, after all without the occasional low you wouldn’t notice the highs. Although I definitely do not want to be exposed to negative moaning status’ I just worry about those who are having a rainy day when everyone else is enjoying the sunshine. We can often feel so alone, like digital hermits, holding out for so many ‘Likes’ to increase your confidence and self-esteem – it can be so dangerous to our mental health. I find it interesting that even Steve Jobs set strict limits on his children’s gadget time. The creator himself obviously see’s the hidden dangers too.

So what can you do to get the most out of technology without it taking over your life:

  • Use social media to organise seeing your friends and family in person – embrace face to face, belly to belly connections
  • Take the time to appreciate the small moments around you
  • Turn off your notifications so you’re not constantly interrupted – Multi-tasking is a myth!
  • Have a purpose for your phone visit – get in and get out!
  • Set limits for checking in with your social media streams so you don’t get trapped scrolling for hours.
  • Leave your phone in your handbag, another room or leave it behind – give it a go!
  • Wear your watch so you don’t have extra temptations when looking at your phone purely for the time.
  • Try a filter free one shot only instagram picture
  • Unplug an hour before bedtime to help you get a better nights sleep
  • Use aeroplane mode when you need time to focus
  • Create a self-care ideas list to work your way through when your bored
  • When you are posting and commenting add value to people’s lives

‘Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you’ – Anne Lamott

Go the Distance



Escape to the Country: Brecon Beacons

In the wake of the atrocity in Manchester last week, it seemed like the best thing to do was to escape to the countryside. As the mister lives in the vicinity of the terrorist attacks, it all of a sudden felt so close to home. Before I continue I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims and to the emergency services for sheer bravery in the face of danger. Sadly, I’m writing this blog as the news of yet another attack on our country has arose, this time at the London Bridge.  There are no words that anyone can say to take the sadness away or turn back time but I hope the stories of kindness, bravery and humanity from the majority of the United Kingdom will shed some light in the darkness we are currently faced with.

escape to the country brecon beacons.png

So we escaped to the country, another country in fact, South Wales in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Seen as the mister, is currently working on a placement in Caerleon (near Newport) I thought I would ‘go the distance’ four and a half hours to visit him on the bank holiday weekend. Of course I don’t travel light with a car full of camping gear for a 3 night stay at the Cwmdu campsite. Note: This campsite had great facilities, remarkable views and was a reasonable price! I was proud of our set up featuring the Outwell Carolina Tent, matching carpet, electric hook up, table, deck chairs, gas stove, and a George Foreman grill for good measure. We had glorious sunshine and unbearable heat on our first evening while we made Chicken Kebabs overlooking the incredible views.



We had planned to tackle Pen-y-fan Mountain which has the highest peak in South Wales. We parked up at Pont-ar-daf car park and set off in the bleak weather with the knowledge that it would ‘brighten up’ as 3 weather forecasts promised. Unfortunately this was not the case, the rain did not stop and the winds picked up. We saw people under-dressed for hiking turn round and head back as they realised it was not going to be a leisurely stroll – but we ploughed on. We intended to do the circular route or Corn Du then Pen-y-fan. We reached the peak of Corn-du then scrambled up  a rock face to the top of Pen-y-fan. I would love to say it was incredible views from the top but we couldn’t see a thing – just grey clouds.


We headed off the side of the mountain after a brief photoshoot to prove we got there! We just wanted to get back and eat our pack up in dryness. It was slippy all the way down but we were just happy we were getting down until we hit a very steep UP! This wasn’t what we anticipated but we went with it and headed UP thinking it will be a little UP and down then we will be back. The moral of the story is never trust women (or just a Chloe) with directions. I was so wrong it was unbelievable. We ended up on the top of what we think was Craig Cwm Sere, with little to no path, following some kind of foot prints while the wind literally was sweeping us off our feet. For a good hour we didn’t see one person up there and we both began to panic in silence. We both were having crazy thoughts. The mister later told me he was thinking about what he would say to my Mother to explain why I hadn’t made it off the mountain, I was worrying about either or us getting injured and having to call out the air ambulance. We held each others hands, communicating by hand squeezes, helping each other across the terrain until we found a cross roads of walkers!

Walkers, hikers, ramblers – whatever you want to call them are honestly great people to chat too. The morale was great even though these people were in the same position as us. They went out with the hope that it would ‘brighten up’ and were soaked through to the core. They were happy to help and try and figure out where we were in relation to where we needed to be… we headed further down with the promise of civilisation. Finally off the mountain side we found ourselves on a farm track with a small shelter – this was the first time we had stopped on our walk and we demolished our emergency Jamaica Ginger Cake (a must have in any rucksack!). At this point, I realised how much I was aching, my knees felt swollen, we were wet through and beginning to get colder and colder as the adrenaline dissipated. The mister sparked up a conversation with a small group nearby – who like us were hoping to enjoy the bank holiday sun. While looking at their map, there advice was to head-back over the mountains as the only way back to our car park – I won’t repeat what the mister said but we decided against that. We told them we were going to head towards the village and get a taxi as they told us we were on the complete wrong side of the mountain.

We set off for the next part of the journey and thought someone in the town will get us back. It was if the group had heard my thoughts when the young lad ran after us and said ‘Can we offer you a lift back to your car?’ Usually people, in particular Brits are too polite/proud to accept help from a stranger but our immediate response was ‘Yes Please!’ We couldn’t have been more grateful for these walkers coming to our rescue and saving us that afternoon. Chris, his father and friend gave us and our dirty boots a lift well out of their way in their awesome VW van because in their words they would ‘hope someone else would do the same for them’. To go back to what I mentioned at the beginning, these kinds of stories genuinely restore your faith in humanity. The mass majority of people on this earth are here to do good, to care and to give-back. Unfortunately, the minority gets the lime light but I believe the light should be shining on these kind souls to drive out their darkness.

We ended our time in the Brecon Beacons exploring the four waterfalls near Ystradfellte on a 5.5 mile energetic walk. Good footwear is a must especially when walking across slippy rocks for the perfect picture – you might go with a thud! The last waterfall was definitely worth the wait as you can actually walk behind the waterfall. This place definitely deserves the ‘hidden gems’ title.


I have often said there are so many beautiful places on our door steps to take advantage of and the Brecon Beacons is a place of true natural beauty. Another eventful and adventurous weekend away with the mister – making the most of every last second of the Bank Holiday weekend.

Go the distance in the Country!


The Basics of Yoga

Getting to this time of year, I do wonder how many people are still using there gym membership they bought in January. A new years resolution that stuck until February… March? Well I was one of them… I even had a personal trainer but without accountability I didn’t continue to use the gym after my 10 sessions.

So I have been a loyal investor of £10 a month to Exercise4Less until now… when I quit officially. I find home exercise much more appealing, especially in the winter months. In my opinion its too cold and dark to venture out. Sometimes even a home HIIT session is too much for me but Yoga… I always have time for yoga.

I wonder if anyone else has a favourite fitness… for some its running, gym, HIIT but for me it’s definitely yoga!

the basics of yoga

So what is Yoga?

Yoga is a mind and body practice that combines poses, controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation. It was developed in India over 5000 years ago!

  • The poses or postures are a series of movements that increase strength and flexibility
  • Controlling your breathing helps control your body and quietens your mind
  • Meditation is where you learn to be more mindful and be present in the moment

A number of studies have found that Yoga…

  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • enhances your mood
  • creates a sense of well-being
  • improves your balance, flexibility and strength
  • reduces risk factors for chronic disease like heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Helps alleviate conditions such as depression, pain and insomnia.

Plus…it’s an exercise that almost anyone can do too!

In my Healthy and Happy with Chloe group we took a yoga pose each day to master and I invite you to take a look too.

Foundations of Yoga

The foundation to yoga is simply breathing. This connects your mind and body

Let’s say your at work and your boss critics your work, your not meeting deadline or don’t have the right equipment to do your job. You tense up, you feel your head pounding, your jaw tighten… this is a perfect moment to practice by just breathing.

  • Take a few moments
  • Sit in your chair, feet flat on the floor and observe your breathing.
  • Don’t change it just observe it. Your heart might be racing or you may be holding your breath.
  • Then try to gently lengthen each breathe on each inhale and exhale.
  • Count silently to three… then four… then five.
  • Your heart rate will slow
  • Your neck, shoulder and jaw will loosen
  • You may even say your relaxed

This frame of mind will be able to handle the situation much better. May be worth a try the next time life pushes your buttons.



Let’s start with Childs Pose…

  1. Kneel on the floor… touch your big toes together and sit on your heels
  2. Separate your knees about as wide as your hips
  3. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs
  4. Lay your hand on the floor alongside your torso, palms up

This is a resting pose that you can stay in from 30 seconds to a few minutes

Why do Childs Pose?

  • It stretches the hips and thighs
  • It calms the brain and relives stress and fatigue
  • Relieves back and neck pain
  • Stimulates your digestion

Step further?

  1. T o increase the length in your torso, stretch your arms forward
  2. Lift your bum slightly away from your heels
  3. Reach the arms longer while you draw your shoulders back
  4. Without moving your hand, sit your bum back on the heels

Cat Cow


Cat-Cow Pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists in line with your shoulders and knees in line with your hips
  2. Point your finger tips forward
  3. Centre your head and look downwards
  4. Cow Pose – Inhale as you drop your belly, lift your chin and chest and gaze upwards
  5. Cat Pose – Exhale as you draw your belly up and round your back towards the ceiling (like a stretching cat)
  6. Release your head looking towards the floor but don’t put your chin yo your chest
  7. Repeat 5-20 times and then rest by sitting back on your heels and moving into Child pose for a few minutes


  • If your wrists hurt, place your forearms on the floor
  • If your knees hurt double over your mat or put a blanket under your knees

Benefits of acting like a cow?

  • Strengthens your abdominal muscles
  • Stimulates the kidneys
  • Calms the mind
  • Develops postural awareness and can reduce back pain when practised regularly


Are you a fierce warrior?

  1. Begin in a tall strong posture (Mountain Pose)
  2. Step or lightly jump your feet apart
  3. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and out to the sides
  4. Turn your right foot to the right slightly and left foot the left 90 degrees
  5. Turn your left thigh outward
  6. Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle
  7. Stretch your arms
  8. Pull your tailbone in
  9. Turn your head to the left and look over your fingers
  10. Stay for 30 seconds to a minute
  11. Reverse the feet and repeat on the right side

Apart from feeling super powerful the warrior pose is great for

  • Strengthening your legs
  • Increases stamina
  • Relieves backache
  • Improves circulation



Want to improve your sense of balance… tree pose is for you!

  1. Start in your mountain pose and focus on your breathe
  2. Once settled, shift your weight slightly onto the left foot and bend your right knee
  3. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle
  4. Draw your right foot up onto your inner left thigh
  5. If you can press the right heel into your inner left groin with toes pointing down
  6. Rest your hands on your hips
  7. Then slowly press your hands together and faze at a fixed point in front of you
  8. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute
  9. Step back into mountain pose and do the same on the other leg


  • If you feel really unsteady and wobbly, stand with your back against a wall

This pose it great for improving your balance!

Take it a step further…

  • Practice with your eyes closed
  • Stretch your arms straight up
  • or form a V with your arms

Within the Healthy and Happy with Chloe group we shared our poses to build up a sense of accountability to practising daily! I hope these poses have given you a taster into the world of yoga. A rug is all you need to do yoga from home.

I personally love Yoga with Adriene’s you tube channel, I regularly see her in my morning’s and I have continued to increase my flexibility, core strength and balance as well as peace of mind throughout her sessions.

Go the Distance for your Health and Wellbeing



My gnarly surf experience

Years ago I wrote a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30! Seen as I have just turned 25 it hit me that I best start making my way through the 17 things left on the list. With an upcoming family holiday to Newgale approaching, with three surfers I knew I had to literally jump in the deep end and learn to surf.

Newgale beach is on the Pembrokeshire Coast and is one of the Welsh ‘Blue Flag’ beaches meaning is is extremely clean. The beach has a bank of pebbles that form a kind of sea defence, before you meet the sand then sea.  It’s a very popular place for windsurfers, canoeists and surfers (like us).  We stayed up at the top of a hill in the wonderful ‘Curlew Cottage’ that had stunning views over the bay. The highlight was definitely the hot hub that we retreated to most nights with a glass of wine… or two!

For the first weekend we were joined by the misters good friend who was very keen to learn to surf.  As the first day was ‘flat’ we were keen to get out no matter what the following day, so it wasn’t a waste for his friend. White Sands was the place to be that day so I rented a ‘foamy’ board and a 5mm thick wetsuit. I was convinced I was going to be cold but the surfer dude at ‘Ma Simes Surf Hut‘ in St David’s reassured me that this was thick and as long as my core was warm I would be fine – needless to say he was right! I was very toasty! A big concern was getting in the actual wetsuit. This has been traumatic in the past and the mister was determined to get me in it as quickly and painlessly as possible so I wouldn’t have my first tantrum before even getting in the water. By the side of the car, he forced me into it, nipping my skin and lifting me into air multiple times until I was zipped in. Tantrum averted!
I must admit I had been torturing myself with all the possible things that could go wrong! I may nose dive, the waves might sweep me away, I might get concussion, drown or even get my hair wet! The latter definitely happened haha! Although, my fellow surfer family thought it was ‘flat’ I thought I was walking into a tsunami. Luckily, my adrenaline kicked in and I unexpectedly just went for it. However, I then realised I didn’t actually know what I was meant to do. The waves were hitting me and with a surf board in hand I had no idea how to tackle the waves. The mister began to explain how you need to tilt the board and jump over in a seamless fashion so you don’t just keep going back to square one on the beach. This required some strength but I got the hang of it.

My goal of the day was to essentially body board and ride wave that way. However, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and managed to ride it on my knees. I would wait until the wave had crashed and turned white and foamy before jumping on and paddling (I realised my paddling is pretty weak) and wait to be lifted by the wave and ride it in. Its fascinating how something as small as having your feet off the board at the end, being too far forward, your legs not staying closed together can literally end up with you nose diving, surf board flying in the air and tumbling through the water. It happened a fair few times but it was enjoyable and a great rush! I was so pleased that the mister had the patience to talk me through every step, laugh at me when I fell off and inform me where I may have gone wrong! Two hours in unfortunately, pro surfer girl had mild concussion after pro surfer boyfriends board hit her on the head… This was a few hours in and felt like the right time to go back to the cottage and enjoy a cuppa and cake. It cures everything, apart from aching muscles!

how toget more

I was hooked and ready to give surfing another go, despite how much I ached. After a very early dog walk to check out the surf we went for it. This time just me and the mister. Day 2 actually had more fear for me. I knew what it felt like to swallow half of the sea water, tumble and fall and I knew it could happen again. This time we stayed on Newgale beach and it was very foamy which was good for me. However, there wasn’t much time in between waves so I did feel like I was getting a little bit battered. Nevertheless, I persisted with the goal of standing up. It was ambitious but I was so proud when I managed to get one leg in position and was half stood half knelt. Progress! However, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t ‘pop up’!

My final day of ‘learning to surf’ we took to Newgale Beach where it was rather choppy and not ideal for surfing. However, we were keen to get our hair wet seen as it was the last day of my board rental. I think I had built up a bit too much confidence and wasn’t paying as much attention as I had in previous days. I genuinely have no idea what I did to send my board flying in the air and me under the water. But I soon knew about it when the finns clipped my ear! In true Chloe Style, I thought my ear had been cut off! Luckily it hadn’t and I just felt a tad dizzy. I took some time out on the sand but it definitely knocked my confidence so I just ‘played’ in the shallow end till the mister came in.


I realised that learning to surf doesn’t come naturally to me. However, I have had a good taster experience and I’m keen to give it another go! So although I didn’t successfully stand up, it was definitely a success for me.

We had the most relaxing week away in Newgale with the mister’s family, exploring nearby quaint towns like St Davids, Solva and Broad Haven, many games of Monopoly, retreats in the Hot Tub and beautiful meals. Well deserved break in beautiful Wales.

Go the Distance in your Country