Two Months Leave, 1000 G+T’s, Four Countries And Some Exciting News

I have been very quiet recently, blogging has taken a back seat because I decided that I was going to just relax and enjoy my time for a while without having to stress about documenting my current movements- and there has been a lot of movement! Since I left the ship in May I have been literally been non-stop. In two months I have visited four countries, had endless lunches, brunches, coffees, G+T’s, picnics and laughs with all my favourite people and have really made the most of my leave. So I thought I’d make do a little summary of the things I’ve been up too over May and June- and at the end I have some exciting news to tell you! No, I’m not pregnant- that’s just food.

So a few posts back I wrote about my solo trip to Malta which was really awesome, it was so good to just be by myself, do what I wanted to do, read my book on the rooftop over looking the sea and just relax. It really deepened my love for solo travel and reminded me how exhilarating it is to have the freedom to make your own decisions without having to consult someone else. I was never scared to travel alone I just preferred to have a companion but after Malta I am really excited to continue solo travelling and reap in all the benefits that come with it.

After Malta I went straight to Berlin (literally arrived late, slept in the airport and went the next morning) to visit my brother and his girlfriend and we went to Hamburg as my brother and his friends were playing in a rugby 7’s tournament there. The weather was incredible and I had many a’ chuckle on the side lines with new friends.

I then came home for a while, went to another 7’s match at Twickenham with the housewife, explored Hackney and London Fields, watched Top Gun at an outdoor rooftop cinema with my pa (still think it’s a bit extreme that Goose died, could have just broken his legs of something but never mind) and played tour-guide for my friend who came over from Aus to explore a bit of Europe. It was then my Dads birthday and him, my mum and I went to Windsor where we rented a row boat and nipped down a bit of the Thames and back whilst tried not to capsize.

I then made an impromptu decision to take a trip to Barcelona with my gal Jade, booked the flights on a Friday and flew out on the Sunday. We trekked from one side of the city to the other, walking over 24 miles over two days. I enjoy nothing more than eating my way through life and admiring beautiful architecture (Gaudi you rule my world) so Barcelona was the perfect place for me.

Soon after I was back at the airport once again ready to catch my flight to Salzburg with my favourite travel companion papa bear, for his birthday trip to the mountains. I planned this while I was on the ship back in May as I have friends in Salzburg who were kind enough to let us use their Air BnB in the quaint town of Bad Ischl. It rained for the first few days we were there which was a really nice break from the 30+ sauna that was (and currently still is) London. To sit on the balcony overlooking the cloud-covered peaks, listening to the rain and breathing in the familiar damp smell with a cup of tea and my book was pretty much everything I could have asked for. To be away from the noise and the crowds, to walk down the street and not get shoved or smoke blown in my face or deafened by sirens was the respite I had been needing, and after a few days the weather cleared up and we were able to get some good exploring in. We hiked the peak nearest our house and had a drink at the top before taking the cable car down to admire the views. We then went to Hallstatt which is absolutely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, a picture perfect Austrian town with a huge glassy lake (which was definitely the most freezing water I have ever been in in my life but you know, do it for the gram). We shared a banana split and played UNO on the grassy bank, the mountains surrounding us like our great protectors, a perfect day.

So there we have it, four fantastic trips in the space of two months plus lots of quality time with my loved ones, but now my leave has unfortunately come to an end and it’s time to get back to work. You’ll know if you read my blog that my last job was on-board RRS James Clark Ross, a British Antarctic Survey ship that sailed from The Falkland Islands, down into Antarctic waters and back up, then back through the Atlantic stopping at the worlds most remote inhabited island, Tristan Da Cunha and St Helena before heading home back to the UK. 

It was incredible and I had the best time, hanging out with seals and penguins, ice-berg spotting, and meeting the lovely inhabitants of the wonderful islands we visited. Unfortunately there wasn’t a position for me on the next cruise which is scheduled for the Arctic and I was a bit gutted, thinking I’d have to return to adhoc work on passenger ferries (the smart price Ketchup of shipping) but luckily the universe had something a little different planned for me and I’m all packed and ready for my flight this evening, joining a new ship in a new country tomorrow.

*SOUTH AFRICA* I’m coming for ya

C.J.R xox

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