All I ever wanted was the world.

Patience is a virtue, or so we’ve been told. I am not, by nature, a patient person. I want everything done yesterday and I want to be where I want to be now not tomorrow, or the next day, or this time next year. I can be very short-sighted when I’m looking at things; I don’t always see the little steps that lead to the big picture. I then end up frustrated and annoyed at myself that I haven’t turned my goal into reality within 2.5 seconds. There is a reason that my old work team (MC Massive, big up yourselves) called me Veruca Salt.

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In my defence though, it’s not something that many of us practice – life moves so quickly for so many of us that time to be practice patience is a luxury most of us feel that we don’t have. We are so switched on, all of the time. Running from A to B, working towards that next deadline. Time to plan and slow down, time to reflect on what we have accomplished is pretty much non-existent. We’re too busy looking at what we HAVEN’T done in the time frame we’ve allocated we look past what we have – I’m sure it can’t just be me that does that, or is it?

 

Luckily for me I have people around me that are willing to inject me with a shot of reality at just the right time. When I get excited about something, I want it as soon as possible so I come up with crazy plans and time frames in which these things are going to happen – I guess you could say I get carried away. This past week I finally got down to Eastbourne to see my most favouritest people in the world (yes, favouritest is a word) and whilst we were sitting in The Art House eating, drinking and catching up I was talking Rachel through my recent decision to click my ruby slippers home instead of following the yellow brick road to Oz (sorry, having musical conversations on Facebook whilst trying to write) and discussing what is next for me, what I’ve decided I want now I have taken the time to actually think about it and start being a real grown up. (I feel like I’m betraying Peter Pan just typing that)

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PETER, I’M SORRY, DON’T HATE ME

 

So there I was spouting all these things off that I want to achieve by tomorrow and Rachel was there, as she always is, to be the one to talk me down with a “you can do it all, just not as quickly as you want”. Michaela’s the name, high expectations is my game. I have been told my expectations are too high frequently and that I expect too much of both myself and others. This is just an example of that – having someone kick me a bit and help me be a bit more realistic on what I can achieve in a set time frame is a gift. It also means I am less likely to hate myself and call myself a complete failure this time next month when I haven’t done it all. As Rach said, nearly everyone has things they want to do, things they would change about their life but you have to be realistic about what you can do and when. Just because it isn’t happening now doesn’t mean it won’t ever. (MY BEST FRIEND IS SO WISE, Y’ALL)

 

So tomorrow I am going to sit down and re-write my 2017 goals (we all know January is just a trial month anyway, it doesn’t really count) with time frames to achieve it in and y’all, for once in my life I’ll make them realistic, I’ll exercise patience. Well, I’ll try… I mean I am new at this patience thing, cut me some slack!

 

XOXO

 

Micks

 

 

p.s I realise I am not from Texas and the like where it is acceptable to say y’all, but I just enjoy that amalgamation of words so don’t hate!

 

p.p.s Rachel, thank you for being awesome

 

p.p.p.s Thanks y’all for reading #sorrynotsorry : )

 

Feck it, it’s 2017

Date: 14/12/16

Time: 8:27am

Where I am : On a train somewhere between Southampton and Weymouth

What I’m listening to: The Overtones ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ and anything else that Lachie sings lead on because THAT VOICE (insert heart eye emoji)

 

 

 

Hullo to you my lovely reader. It’s been a while hasn’t it. I hope this finds you all well and full of festive cheer. Christmas time, as a lot of you know, is one of my favourite times of the year – or at least the build up to it. Christmas day is normally a bit of a let down – everyone eats and drinks until they hate themselves and then there is an argument over who cheated at Monopoly. This year though, I am not as in to it as normal and that may be because I have something bigger to focus on.

 

January 1st.

 

No no, not that ‘new year, new me’ tosh.

January 1st I’m leaving the homeland for adventures with no return date.

Solo.

Alone.

All by myself. (you have to sing that one)

 

 

Am I excited? Yes.

Am I crazy? Most definitely.

Am I scared? Hell yes, but as someone once told me – if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.

 

Doing the Australia work/travel thing is something that I have been talking/ dreaming about for 7 years now. Yep. SEVEN years. Almost a decade. It’s been 5 years since my old boss Mrs T (who currently resides there) told me to get my butt over there. “Give me a few years” I said… 5 years later…oops. There was always something in the way – there was the epic summer of ’13 in the States, then there was my sister’s wedding. Then I was petrified something would happen to my Grandad and I wouldn’t be here – October 2014 saw that horror realised. Then my sister got pregnant, my friend Amy got engaged and wanted me to write for the wedding and be in the wedding party… after that I ran out of excuses. They were all excuses too – the things I listed there (all bar the American Summer) would have happened regardless of me being in England or not. I could have gone and come back for those things but the truth is, I wasn’t brave enough to go. I was so used to relying on other people to keep me company, to take care of me and guide me that I would never have survived travelling alone. The loneliness would have killed me.

 

Now I figure, feck it. You can be lonely no matter where you are, so where better to be lonely than on a beach in Aus whilst topping up your vitamin D levels? Of course there is the possibility that I will not like it, I may find that the grass isn’t greener and home really is where the heart is. I’ve said for the last few years now, the more I travel the more I realise that London is the best city in the world – and it is right on my doorstep. Maybe I am silly for jumping ship across the world and leaving that behind. However, the beauty of the year 2017 is that I can come back whenever I want.

 

My visa is currently 6 months, with the option to stay on a work/travel visa in Aus for up to 2 years. The majority of my friends seem to think that I won’t come back – as my friend Amy put it “You’ll either hate it and be back within a week, or you’ll love it and we’ll never see you again”. It’s true, there rarely is grey area with me in anything I do. The idea that I may not come back probably goes someway to explaining why, when I talk to people, it feels like I’m dying “Oh I need to see you before you go!” “I can’t believe you’re not going to be here” and so on and so forth. I’m not dying people, I’m just going to see what the land down under has to offer for a wee while. Calm yourselves. Of course it’s nice people want to see me (I like being liked) but I don’t like a fuss and I feel that there is massive ‘fuss’ potential in this move, if that makes any sense? Probably not, I’ve had about 90 mins sleep in the last 24 hours so I apologise if it doesn’t make sense.

 

Truth be told I don’t know what is going to happen when I am away. I don’t know if I will love or hate it. I don’t have a plan on how long I will be there because of this. Maybe I’ll end up somewhere else. Who knows what could happen? So long as I am happy and healthy I’ll go wherever the wind takes me. The uncertainty is part of the adventure and, I may as well do it now because, why not? To quote the great philosopher Drake “YOLO”.

 

YOLO, that’s the motto.

 

xoxo

 

Micks

 

P.S if y’all have any recommendations for me of what to do/see in Aus then by all means let me know! I’d love to hear them.

 

 

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Travelling with pals? Give this a read.

Heyyyyyyyyyyy you guys!!!!

Anyone who knows me well will know I love to travel; my passport is most definitely my most prized possession. It has taken me lots of places and is taking me even more this year. From Barcelona to Boston, Cork to California, New York to Naples, Paris to Postonja… I’ve done my fair share of travelling.

The majority of my trips I have gone on are with friends and I can tell you now there is nothing better than exploring a new place with your pals to cement a relationship. The good memories (like taking photos with Peter Pan at Disney) to the not so good (getting lost in Postojna) become fun memories and great stories that will make you laugh for years. Travelling with friends means you get to know them better than you ever have done, spending time with people 24/7 is a sure-fire way to ensure that. However, if you are not careful it can also be a sure-fire way to arguments and silly disagreements. In worse case scenarios there can be friendships lost forever. We all know those friends who went away together and came back barely speaking, right?

Over my travels I have learnt quite a lot, not just about the cities and cultures of the places I’ve visited, but also about how to travel with companions. I realised in Paris how much I had actually learnt about travelling with friends over the years. How to avoid arguments and how to ensure that you all, no matter how big or small the group, get the most out of your trip!

Here are my Top 5 tips for an argument free va-cay…

  1. Make sure you both/all understand what it is you want from the trip

Do you wanting to spend all your time on the beach with a cocktail in hand? Is your companion a person who is all go-go-go, sightsee-sightsee-sightsee?

I am someone who loves to walk around wherever it is I am and see loads of things but even I can only take so many museums. However, the idea of spending more than 1 or 2 days being a beach bum is the least appealing thing to me, ever. I could never enjoy spending a whole week lying on a beach, I’d be too bored so having a chat about what you all want is a sensible thing to do… and this brings me to my next point quite nicely.

  1. COMPROMISE

 

Compromise is key in all relationships, possibly more so when you are travelling. You’re in a foreign place where you either don’t understand/ have a basic understanding of the language. This confusion and unfamiliarity is a breeding ground for anxiety and short tempers (trust me, I’ve been there). Even if you do consider yourself fluent in the language of the place you’re visiting chances are you still don’t know the local customs and slang.

Compromising will help you get the best out of the experience. You really want to go and see that statue? Basilica? P.O.I? Your friend wants to go shopping? Well why don’t you do one today and the next tomorrow? It seems like a pretty basic tip but you’d be surprised how quickly it can go out the window when you have your heart set on something or somewhere.

  1. BUDGET

Money. This can sometimes be a sticky subject, even between the best of friends. However, in order to know what you can all do and get without making someone have to re-mortgage their home or sell their car, you must have this discussion. Both before you book and before you plan excursions.

One thing I am extremely lucky to have is friends that are honest about this and what they are will to scrimp on and what they are not. A lot of my friends share the same thought as me, so long as where I sleep is safe, has a bed and a shower it can be a $35 a night hostel. I am not a princess and, being on holiday, I don’t plan on spending much time in the room anyway. I’d rather spend less on accommodation and have more money to upgrade a long haul flight, or go and eat at that Michelin starred restaurant (foodie4lyf) than have a fancy hotel room.

Decide before you go how meals are going to work. Are you going to pay for what you ate or split it down the middle? Where do alcoholic drinks come in to that equation? If you have 5 beers that cost $5 a pop but your friend that is paying is drinking tap water all night is it really fair that your friend is footing that bill?

Talking about it and understanding what the other person can afford stops any embarrassment or anyone feeling left out-of-pocket.

  1. Divide and Conquer/ Make sure you get some alone time.

Don’t be afraid to split up! If there is something you want to do but your bud doesn’t and visa versa why not go off and do your own thing for a bit? You will, more than likely, have your phones with you. Agree to stay in touch and meet at a certain time and place and you’re good to go. Not only does it mean that no one begins to resent the other, it gives you much-needed alone time to soothe any frustrations. You’ll also enjoy sharing those escapades over a cocktail or two at dinner that night!

Be sure you don’t hold those differing interests against each other too. If you would rather stay up till the wee hours talking with a bunch of randoms she just met, or with the receptionist in your hostel then that’s fine! Go for it. Just don’t get shitty with the rest of the group that would rather get a relatively early night before a long day of travelling.

Spending time along on a trip is healthy for you; some people (me) need it more than others. Don’t think this is weird, don’t take it personally if it is your companion that wants or needs more alone time than you. Very often they just need some time to process everything – holidays are very often sensory overload and we all need a moment of calm.

  1. Be considerate of other people’s feelings.

 

Be conscious of your travel buds mood and fatigue. Are they ratty when they are hungry? (Sophie) Or when they get to an airport? (Sophie). When they are tired? (Me). Don’t take this too personally. We all get crabby from time to time, just ignore them, I do. They come around eventually. Don’t hog the bathroom, respect that they need 10 minutes to be silent in the morning (me) before you; the incredibly energetic morning person (Leanne/ Jade’s mom) jumps on them.

More than anything though… Have fun! Take too many photos, make a fool of yourself, leave part of your heart in another city (Valencia), live like the locals… make the most of your trip – after all, it may be the only time you visit that place!

Wishing you stress-free, happy travels,

Xoxo

Micks

 

 

 

 

My bucket list

This blog originally appeared on my old blog site micksmusings.tumblr.com

Sitting at dinner with Dennis and little bean on Friday, Dennis and I were talking about our plans for the next while and I mentioned that I’m hoping my next adventure will be Peru and trekking the Inca Trail. I mentioned it was on my bucket list, to which Den replied “I’d like to read your bucket list, write it and put it on one of those ‘musing things’ you write. So here it it, and remember, if this is boring to you, you’ve only got Dennis to blame ; )

The term ‘Bucket List’ comes from the phrase ‘kicked the bucket’ so in normal words it means ‘the-things-I-wanna-do-before-I-die list’. They are normally associated with people who don’t have long left on earth, we hear through family, friends and the media of those who have been diagnosed with (very often) a terminal illness who decide to do all those things they always said they would do, these things become their bucket list. It becomes a race against the clock for those people to complete as much of their list as possible. The most recent example I can think of it Stephen Sutton, the lad was diagnosed with cancer aged 15 and then wrote a bucket list of 46 things he wanted to do before he lost his fight with the disease. One of the things he aimed to do was raise £1million for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Unfortunately, Stephen lost his fight in May, but not before he had raised over £3 million for the Teenage Cancer Trust (you can read more about the incredible Stephen here: www.stephensstory.co.uk )
I always wonder why does it take something like death and illness for us to sit and really think about those things that we want to do with our time?
We all know our time on earth is limited but we often take our tomorrows for granted. The average life expectancy in the UK according to the UN is 80 years old if you’re male, 83 if you’re female. When we are young, naive and impressionable becoming old and grey is the last thing on our minds (as it should be), we get caught up in day-to-day activities, lost in the rat race and before you know it you’re 75 and you never got any of those things you always wanted to do done. You never wrote that book, swam in that ocean, saw that band live, climbed that mountain. You were so caught up in making money for the machine, creating the life that you THOUGHT you should have, that everyone EXPECTED you to have, that you never got to live the life you always wanted, filled with adventure, silliness, creativity and imagination.
So, thanks to Dennis prompting me, I’ve got a list of 50 things I always wanted to do (some of them I’ve already done). I think you should do the same, I’d love to hear yours.

Xoxo Micks
Mick’s Bucket list: 2014

  1. Trek the Inca Trail
    2. Go on an African Safari
    3. Swim with Sharks
    4. Learn a new language
    5. Sky dive
    6. Road trip the USA (DONE: summer 2013)
    7. Sleep under the stars
    8. Complete a half marathon
    9. Meet a real, live penguin
    10. Attend a music festival (DONE: Glastonbury 2010, Wireless 2012 – I wanna do Benicassim next)
    11. Volunteer on a project close to my heart
    12. Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s (DONE 2013)
    13. Celebrate Holi festival in India
    14. Visit the birthplace of The Beatles (DONE 2011/2013)
    15. Sleigh ride through the snow with huskies
    16. Toboggan down the Great Wall of China
    17. Visit the Tiger Temple in Thailand
    18. Ride an Elephant
    19. Go to an airport and get on the next plane outta there, no matter where it’s going
    20. Go on a ‘girls’ holiday. ‘Beeeeefa! Get in. Let’s get fuckin’ mortal!
    21. Donate blood
    22. Fly in a helicopter
    23. Take a gondola ride in Venice (DONE: July 2009)
    24: Visit Auschwitz
    25. See a show on Broadway – preferably West Side Story which is my fave
    26. See Ringo Starr and/or Paul McCartney in concert
    27. Learn to surf
    28. Find a career that makes me happy
    29. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
    30. Fly a kite on a beach
    31. Spend Christmas abroad – preferably somewhere like NYC
    32. Travel abroad alone – at least once
    33. Visit NASA! – I’m not actually sure if that’s allowed
    34. Throw a drink in someone’s face – just because!
    35. Get a tattoo for my bro (DONE 2013) RIP Martin ❤️
    36. Learn to fly a plane : ) be afraid, people!
    37. Go to an outdoor cinema (DONE, thanks to Rachpal. 2014)
    38. Toast marshmallows on a campfire (DONE, Cape Cod 2013. We weren’t camping but it was a campfire, so it does count. It does!)
    39. Genuinely surprise someone. Genuinely. Like a proper “OH MY GOD” surprise
    40. Get my palms read
    41. Chase a tornado/experience a tornado – no I don’t have a death wish, they just fascinate me. I blame my mother.
    42. Attend a ‘Murder Mystery’ party – such fun!
    43. Visit Old Trafford
    44. Complete a colour run
    45. Own my own home, complete with vegetable garden : )
    46. Visit Paris at Christmas (DONE, 2012 I think it was…)
    47. Go to the Opera
    48. Go to the Ballet
    49. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
    50. Find my forever person