Away for Christmas!

Cape Town bound.

Today I’m off to the beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa.

I can’t wait to experience the cultured and historical city I’ve yearned to visit for years. Having been to Johannesburg, I’m already giddy with excitement at the thought of returning to SA.

I look forward to recounting my experience with you in another travel blog post when I return.

But until then, Merry Christmas – may it bring peace and happiness to you all.

nloggg

Jetsetter, go-getter and 21 going on 30

It’s been a vivacious month to say the least but in the middle of this clustered library so adequately named ‘Bedford Library’, my bed is something I’d love to be snuggled up in right now.

You see, in this short period of absence I’ve managed to: start my final year at Royal Holloway, turn 21, dance all night at numerous Freshers events, organise multiple rhubarbTV meetings, start thinking about my Masters application, get bogged under with essay woes, oh, and nip over to New York for the weekend.

It sounds absurd to me even as I type it, and truthfully rather than writing this post I reeeeally should be focusing on my Advanced Shakespeare seminar presentation on All’s Well that Ends Well. But hey ho, as the title of the play verifies – All’s Well that Ends Well (eventually).

Champagne at the Upper Class cabin bar

Champagne at the Upper Class cabin bar

So onto what has been an adventurous weekend – on Friday I flew out to Newark with my mum and close auntie, we were lavished and dined in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse over at Heathrow Airport (LHR) before boarding our afternoon flight. The Clubhouse itself reeks of posh totties and high flying businessman but needless to say, the staff and crew are always a delight. Their caring disposition makes you admire the classiness of the place and respect the people that work there. The cocktails were my favourite in the Lounge – Mojito, ‘Red Lady’ and ‘Pearfect Day’ were my favourites by far. The latter being a chilled glass of Proscecco bubbling refreshingly with diced pear cubes infusing the drink from the bottom of the glass, perfection!

After making the most of the delicious accompanying food , with stuffed bellies we boarded our flight to Newark. Upper Class and all – this truly was the best 21st birthday present I could’ve wished for. The cabin crew were effortless as ever (as Virgin staff always have been in my opinion) and I was treated to some glorious champagne on arrival. We also made sure to take lots of pictures in the cabin, why not!

The flight was quick and relaxing, but I was instantaneously buzzing to reach the city. NYC has the instant excitement factor so I was uber keen to make this trip amazing. With it being my third time to the city, we were predominantly heading there to shop in the outlets and to see the city by night. And that’s exactly what we did.

Jersey Gardens Mall in Newark was where we spent ALL of Saturday, and I mean ALL. We arrived at 10am with some serious jetlag but with diehard fierce attitudes ready to take the shops by storm. We left the mall at 10pm after exhausting ourselves with the sheer delights of shopping, every shop was in our sights – Hollister, Abercrombie, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani, Gucci, Gilly Hicks and MORE. All with the biggest and hugest reductions in prices I had ever seen. Designer bags that had gone down from £180 to £20 and Gilly Hicks pants from £10 to $1! How could I say no?! Every excuse for buying something was used, “But it’s my 21st…But I’m treating myself…Oh just this one will be really good for uni…” The list of excuses was endless and at the time, so were our bank balances.

My suitcase went up by a whopping 15 kilos with the sheer amount of stuff I bought, it was too hard to resist such great savings, but ultimately I saw them as investments and statement pieces I’d never get another chance to buy. So I sure spent my money’s worth!

The Birthday Girls!

The Birthday Girls!

Sunday, despite our exhausted selves, was our sightseeing day. We covered all the main city sights Manhattan offered us including, The Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, The Empire State , Grand Central and Times Square. However of all the places I visited I found the serene Bryant Park my favourite.

It’s beautiful. We stumbled upon it at 10 o’clock at night and I’m so please we did. Slap bang in the middle of Manhattan it’s lit up just like it’s daytime with natural coloured floodlights, it spans across a large area of grass in front of a grand white building that stands modestly in the square surrounded by towering office skyscrapers. Fairy lights adorn the trees and small picnic table and chairs line the park giving a Parisian feel to the place. The lighting and beautiful fountain at the entrance of the park gives it an I incredibly romantic aura, it’s no wonder the place was flooded with couples.

nyc

Byrant Park, Manhattan Town Square

But everyone there was calm, still and tranquil – almost as if they were just taking in the peaceful area. It was so hard to believe this idyllic quaint place was in the middle of the ‘city that never sleeps’, it looked both out of place and as if it belonged there at the same time. I’ll never forget it, and vouch I’ll go back one day just to breathe in its serenity once again.

For now I’ll leave you with this blissful memory, but I’ll return soon, promise.

A x

Frequent Flyer

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel and visit various countries throughout my life courtesy of my parents. This meant that I’ve become accustomed to flying in aeroplanes since I was a baby. I’m so used to flying that sleeping, eating and spending time in the air has become second nature to me.

I always find it pretty incredible how the giant ton Boeings and Airbuses manage to fly so streamlined through the air. And it’s increasingly impressive how quickly you can travel to a country and be in a different environment within hours. My expeditions have taken me across the globe from the glorious sands of St. Lucia, to the far reaching fascinating city of Tokyo and of course the party destination of Las Vegas.

From the long haul flights to the mini round trips, travelling is an education and an invaluable experience. Observing different cultures and ways of living shapes you as a person and allows you to become for grateful and modest about your quality of life – especially making you realise how lucky you are compared to others.

Taking pictures on vacation is a no brainer, even if it seems pointless taking a picture of something so menial at the time, in months to come when looking back on your holidays snaps, you realise that photographs are invaluable personal momentos. Expanding on from pictures and souvenirs though, I find my scrapbook to be my most prized possession. My holidays scrapbook contains a variant of plane tickets, tour brochures, hotel wristbands, pebbles and currency that I’ve collected whilst on vacation. Compiled together, the finished product is a rustic and beautiful souvenir of my time away – I thoroughly recommend starting one, its never too late!