DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK: HOLIDAY REJUVENATION

Get Away and Come Back with an even Greater Will to Succeed

Rejuvenation. Now that’s a bloody good word. It’s one that I’m particularly enjoying throwing around at the moment, but that’s honestly because it’s a word that I’m genuinely feeling right now. 

I got married two weeks ago (*pause for applause*) and we had a couple of days in Portugal to decompress, eat pizza and generally not move, unless it was to eat said pizza or sip from a poolside cocktail. But we both ended up spending most of the time plotting and planning everything we wanted to achieve on our return. This sounds like I’m about to tell you we’ve decided to become ultimate comic book villains, but alas, no. 

beach holiday

After going through the truly agonising choice of rose or raspberry flavoured macaroon favours, then building the wedding playlist to beat all playlists, and top that with designing stationary that perfectly blended tattoo script with a countryside setting – and what you’re left with is a GREAT, BIG, WEDDING shaped HOLE in your life. 

Instead of getting bummed out about it, we realised now we’ve got an EPIC marriage to plan for. And that’s going to take some serious planning. Here’s some questions that feel easier answering while you’re away from the hectic everyday life at home – and “don’t call it a comeback” because this is simply about reaffirming what you probably already know, but making sure you live the life you want.

 

Holiday Rejuvenation – Don’t Call it a Comeback.

pool holiday

1. Where in the world do you still want to visit?

Bucket list time! I’ve already done mine (see 30 Things to do After 30). At the moment we are planning our honeymoon (which is looking like safari in Kenya then on to the Maldives *fist pump air*) and it’s really reminded us how good it is to have adventure holidays and to explore. Already I can’t wait to plan our next trip. Don’t waste your time or money going somewhere you don’t really love and feel desperate to experience (I know I have in the past). There’s a whole world out there and unless you are a permanent traveller, we normal folk need to use our holidays wisely. 

2. Do you have some big life purchases in you? 

Then you need to earn serious money. FACT. Don’t get me wrong, I am more motivated by life experiences that owning fancy things, but at the same time it would be nice to roll around town in a cool car one day and welcome my friends into a beautiful home I’m proud of, plus those lovely life experiences also cost moolar. This should lead you into the next question nicely. 

beach holiday

3. What’s the end goal with the career? 

We’re not talking about a promotion next year or winning a dream client next month, this means: what is your ultimate boss role? Think ‘peak career moment’ and even be totally unrealistic about it – it’s your dream for goodness sakes! Now work backwards – how would you get there? It might not be as unrealistic as you thought. It will however, always take hard work, so be prepared and don’t settle, because you’ll only regret it. 

4. What have you done to promote yourself? (Especially important if you’re freelance, like moi!)

I am currently going through a business rebrand in terms of my service offering, with an entirely new website, sales packages and the all important business cards (need I remind you of American Psycho?) Having gone through my career and life goals I realised working backwards I needed to make it clear what I offer so I can win more clients. Simple really. 

Even if you’re not freelance, we live in a digital society where anyone is able to have their own personal brand. Just think, if you’re known in your industry for being an absolute queen (or king) at one thing in particular, you might just get head-hunted for a job you hadn’t even thought of, but could be perfect for you!

5. If you haven’t already, do you want to start a family?

OK, so this is a big one, and a very personal one, and for that reason alone not that much needs to be said on it – because each individual and circumstances are completely different. However, if you are making some serious career / life / travel plans, and you do want to start a family as well, then it’s worthwhile considering it all together, while you are away and have a clear head. 

 

sand beach

Proper Grown Up – Be Yourself, No One Else Can

Holidays are like therapy; they allow you to break away from the norm and think about the bigger picture. They have always helped me re-evaluate my life and I often come back and make major changes when I get back – just ask any of my old bosses! (See this old Break Away post from 2015). After all is said and done, life is short, so just make sure you’re doing what makes you happiest. 

life quote

Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years. I’m rocking my peers. Puttin’ suckers in fear.

 – LL Cool J, Mama Said Knock You Out

How to earn money while travelling some of the best destinations across the globe.

When you are in your late twenties or early thirties the idea of taking out a full year for travelling can seem difficult for many. Taking that long a time off can feel like a set back in your career. However, what if you could earn and travel, meaning you get all the juicy life experience, whilst working your professional skills and keeping that CV glowing? There are millions of ways to work abroad, but here’s 9 nifty ways to earn and travel. 

traveller

9 Nifty Ways to Earn and Travel

1. Teach in South Korea

Can you speak a language, any language? And have you got a degree? Then you can most likely travel to a country that doesn’t speak it as their first language and teach it there. A friend of mine went to South Korea and did this in a school and absolutely loved it. She had her own apartment, absorbed herself into Korean culture and made lots of friends for life. If you can play an instrument you could also teach music! Duh!?

2. Work in Tourism in Ibiza

Again, I have friends that do this! They spend their summers abroad in Ibiza when the tourist season is high, the clubs are booming and the sun is OUT. Starting off by selling tickets on the beach is hard graft, but this how my friends began their careers abroad – and if you go for this, don’t forget your factor 50. However, after years of building a life for themselves on the white isle, these ladies now have jobs in accommodation, radio and one even has her own business, Below Zero – which does incredible rolled ice cream if you’re interested (OF COURSE you’re interested!). The job opportunities in tourism abroad are endless and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded party people if it’s somewhere like Ibiza that you’re headed for.

3. Freelance Online whilst European City Hopping

This is what actually gave me the idea of this blog post. A few weeks back I kept getting targeted by Facebook ads for a company called ‘Remote Year‘. This is a crowd funded enterprise that offers around 50-80 people to go on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime each year. The beauty of it is that everyone who is accepted is a freelancer, or ‘remote worker,’ and Remote Year will organise accommodation, flights and activities, as well as stylish spaces for co-working each day.

This is a great set up as it’s all planned for you, but also a little restrictive I would imagine (?). Don’t forget, you could still do all that Remote Year offers, all by yourself. It means putting in a bit more work but also leaves you with a lot of freedom to do what you want. Plus, that way, you’ll get to meet new people every day and be able to change your travel plans at the drop of a hat. Basically, if a lush looking bloke asks you if you want to head to the coast for a few days, you can. And you don’t have to worry about wasting money, or missing out on something else elsewhere.

If you’re wanting to work remotely, online, you better have a very understanding boss that sees the benefit of your personal development, or a great bunch of loyal clients that don’t mind not seeing you face-to-face for a while. If you start to struggle while you’re away, hit up local places to where you are staying that need English translations for menus, or try sites like Upwork and Elance for remote project work. 

paris travel

Henrique Ferreira
 

4. Pick Fruit in Australia

Australia is famed for it’s fruit picking jobs for tourists. The Working Holiday Visa in Australia entitles you to work and live for up to one year, with no longer than six months per employer – it literally encourages you to travel around! But, if you want to stay another year you have to do some sort of farm work. Enter: ‘Fruit Picking’. Picking fruit is tough – Australia is hot, but everyone’s in it together and at the end of the day if you can head to along to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches for a beer and surf after work, it really doesn’t seem so bad after all. 

5. Au Pair in Sweden (for the younger readers)

Why Sweden? It’s got one of the best gigs going for au pairs, especially seeing as it’s otherwise quite and expensive place to visit. As an au pair in Sweden your accommodation and food is included, your host family pay for you to study Swedish, giving you minimum expenses, plus you’ll be paid around Β£400 a month for 25 hours work a week, leaving you loads of free time to get out and about. 

However, if you’re over 30 like me, there’s still hope for being an au pair abroad – just head to Canada – they let you in ’til your 35! Here, you can work on your French and explore some of the most diverse landscape in the world. 

6. Entertain the Masses on a Cruise Ship

Obviously if you are talented at singing or dancing then this is your home from home, the stage is calling darling! Dancers and singers can often earn from around Β£1,150 a week upwards depending on experience. So if you can teach someone how to jive or have a quirky magical talent that would make a great show, you could be a higher earner. It is competitive though as there are only so many cruise ship jobs and there are many people looking to perform and travel. 

cruise ship

Linval Ebanks

7. Photograph the Variety of South America

Travel photography has to be one of the most incredible jobs you could have to earn and travel. Simply heading to places of beautiful untouched landscape or communities unspoilt by tourism and capturing it with your camera seems so simple but so blooming NICE. Obviously you will need to be talented at photography – that is the catch. And have already invested in the best (expensive!) equipment. Being the incredible job that this is means it’s also highly competitive. You need to be able to get unique shots that capture something emotive or tell a story. Not everyone has the talent for this.

South America is an ideal destination for travel photography. It’s full of culture, colour, vibrancy, heritage, wildlife and varied communities. There is so much to see, learn and do you could never get through it all. But I bet you could take an incredible photo that would tell a thousand words. 

travel photographer

Jakub Gorajek

8. Make & Sell from Bangkok

For someone with a knack for fashion or arts and crafts, a thriving marketplace of fabrics, trinkets and accessories is heaven. Bangkok’s outdoor Chatuchak market has over 15,000 stalls to browse along. If you are an artist or jewellery designer then being able to source some local supplies will give your items a real unique selling point and back story that sells itself. Plus, there are plenty of workshops for you to learn from the locals and hone your crafting skills to perfection – check out The Loom for silk yarn and weaving classes run by a family that has been working with silk for over 40 years. Sell alongside the locals in the marketplace or whack it on Etsy for the world to see whilst you continue to travel, learn and explore all that Thailand has to offer. 

bangkok travel

Ryan Tang

9. Blog your Travels all over the WORLD

Finally, here comes ‘the dream’. Heading to different places every month all over the globe to write about hotels, activities, architecture, food, drink, bleugh, blahh, blerr – it would all be wonderful, wouldn’t it? If you have a passion for culture, a talent for writing or photography and a strong work ethic then could be the work-life balance for you. Again, it is so competitive. So seek out the untapped destinations and write about the unusual angles in order to stand out from the crowd. 

travel blogger
rawpixel.com
 

Where in the world would you love to explore if you had endless time and funds? 

 

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Career Crush: Travel, Work and Friendship

The summer time for many people means that the holiday you booked and planned months in advance is finally near. You get to go out and purchase new swimwear, research the best beaches and finalise your travel itinerary. 

We do this because let’s face it; work sucks. Holidays are when you switch off the work email and have fun with friends. But what if your holiday was your job, and your work colleague was your best mate? And you basically got paid to travel? Whaaaaaat?

Well that’s what Natasha Oakley and Devin Brugman, or Tash and Dev as they call themselves, have achieved with absolute perfection, with their blog and brand, A Bikini A Day

A Bikini A Day Back Story 

It doesn’t sound like it was much of a rough starting point to the average girl living in the North East England as such, but it’s definitely a small-time to big-time success story. So, Tash and Dev were living and working in Hawaii shooting look books and videos for local swimwear brands. Sounds like a pretty good job so far, right?

Then they went travelling but kept their connections with the swimwear brands and started sharing pictures wearing said bikinis on the relatively new social network, Instagram. They took this simple idea and turned it into a fully fledged blog with travel and swimwear related content and named it, A Bikini A Day. Amassing a huge following this hobby quickly became a full-time job for both women.

A Day in the Bikini Life

OK so a comparison here would be helpful…

My social media: A snap of my lunch, quick video of my dogs and possibly a picture of my trip to the gym for good measure. 

Their social media: exclusive fashion party in the Hamptons, photoshoot on a beach in Turks and Caicos and definitely boat trips off the Amalfi coast. (I would love to share tons of their pictures but can’t because they aren’t my pics to share! – So head to their Instagram here or I have embedded a few Tweets of theirs throughout). 

This might make some people envious or slightly irritated. But these women are always working. The difference is they have managed to carve a career out of doing something they love and other people want too. In Tash’s own words:

“It’s a full-time, all-consuming job to be constantly creating content.” – Harpers Bazaar, 2016

Moral of the story is: find something you love and turn it into something that’s useful to other people too. 

A Blog that Works

With an endless stream of the type of share-worthy content everyone loves; from bikini reviews and healthy recipes, to the best suncreams and stylish beach bags, A Bikini A Day is a blog designed to fuel the ultimate traveller day dream. 

Starting out as photographers and bloggers themselves, Tash and Dev have continued to shoot and edit their own blog content, even with an audience well into the millions, located all across the globe. 

Making Waves

Tash and Dev now have their own bikini brand; Monday Swimwear. The reason for the name..?

“Because when you’re in a bikini on a Monday, you’re having a good day.” – Monday Swimwear

Fair play. As bikini experts they have managed to source the best fabrics in mix and match shapes and sizing to suit a variety of body shapes (only up to size 16 though I would mention as a downfall). But I really want one. They price at around Β£120 though, so this is unlikely for me. They also launched an activewear range; Monday Active and have multiple design collaborations with brands including Guess, Revolve and over in the UK, Missguided

Travel and Life Inspiration

If you’re looking for travel inspiration, or even if you have just booked a holiday, don’t forget to check in with A Bikini A Day blog as they have lots of tips for the best products for skin and hair protection in the sun as well as unique places to visit. Plus, if you have started working on a project with a friend that you love, just look at how it’s turned out for Tash and Dev – anything is possible. Dream big, work hard and have fun.

30 Things To Do After 30 – A Bucket List for Grown Ups

For most people, the bucket list is reserved for before you turn thirty. Everyone seems to want to cram everything in before this milestone birthday to feel that renowned sense of achievement. But why? What happens when you turn thirty?  

30 things to do after 30

When the hotel tries to romance you on your birthday. 

I turned thirty on 4th June and I spent the first few hours hungover in Palma airport with a cut knee, waiting for a second flight having missed my first (in my defence it was also my hen do). In this moment I realised I am not quite the person I expected to be at age thirty. However, having got over my hangover and made it safely back to the UK I have since realised I’m totally fine with that – and not just in a Ross from Friends kind of way – genuinely content. 

30 things to do after 30

View from my balcony in Palma (my hen / 30th holiday)

I never made an official bucket list before I turned thirty – so I’m doing one now and it doesn’t have a time limit, so feel free to pinch some ideas if you are looking to also create a no-pressure-bucket-list. So here it is  – my bucket list, after 30 – including travel experiences, goals for personal improvement and plenty of life ideas that are just plain sensible. 

30 Things To Do After 30

  1. Write a book. 
  2. Write a blog for Huffington Post.
  3. Learn to surf in a surfers paradise e.g. Hawaii, Gold Coast, Malibu… etc
  4. Win a bet in Las Vegas. 
  5. See the pyramids in Egypt.
  6. Learn another language.
  7. Quit smoking.
  8. Be a success in my own right (i.e. actually consider myself successful career-wise).
  9. Have a child or two. And raise them well. (Note to mum: remember this has no time limits). 
  10. Raise money for charity and / or give time to charity. 
  11. Eat sushi in Tokyo.
  12. Fly something better than economy class. I’m realistic: it might not be ultra first class, but a step up would be great. 
  13. Get really fit. Stay fit. 
  14. Save some money. Spend it on something worthwhile. 
  15. Read lots of the classics (in addition to all the other crap I read). 
  16. Swim with sharks in the Maldives. (This was a childhood one and I am already regretting adding it). 
  17. Go white water rafting in Canada. (Another one from childhood but I would do this tomorrow. Can you say: ‘The River Wild?’)
  18. Salsa dance in Havana. 
  19. Spoil my partner with an expensive gift or lavish holiday. 
  20. Learn to play guitar. (I own a guitar but don’t know how to play it. Got the first step down, just need the main step covered now).  
  21. Buy a piece of art that makes me feel happy.
  22. Print and frame lots of family and friend photos.
  23. Ruthlessly clear out entire wardrobe. And general possessions. If you haven’t used it in the last year – bin it (or charity shop of course). 
  24. Say ‘yes’ more. Events, gigs, holidays, a night out – whatever it is just saying yes could lead to so much more. 
  25. Call friends and family more. 
  26. Be an absolutely awesomely badass auntie (nephew coming soon…).
  27. Make fresh pasta. Ohhh yeahh.
  28. Deep clean the house more regularly. Not just when guests come. 
  29. Be more knowledgable about politics and world news. 
  30. Take my make up off every night. 

30 things to do after 30

Buy more flowers for the home? Nearly made the list, but that’s a job for other people. Like when it’s your birthday. 

The point is, turning thirty has not been a big deal, but it has made me realise how much more important it is to collect memories instead of things. So having a bucket list might just help me on my way to pursuing a fulfilling life – or at least, one without regret. 

What’s on your bucket list?

Garden Life: Outdoor Styling to put a Spring in your Step

Outdoor Accessories for a Stylish Spring

As Brits we are renowned for premature BBQs, flip flops and even public displays of shirtless torsos on a sunny day. But so what? We don’t have the best weather in the world, so when the sun does shine we make sure we max out the outdoor lifestyle. 

The sun has already shown it’s big bright face a few times this spring, and so far I have:

  • Sunbathed milk bottle legs in denim shorts once.
  • Had two BBQs.
  • Worked outdoors with squinty eyes and a laptop on a few occasions.

AND I AM LOVING IT. One thing we don’t do as well as other cultures is styling our outdoor spaces. In Scandinavia they live and style by the concept of hygge, Asian living has given us the balanced zen styling and in the UK we are just starting to catch on. With all these popular styling trends, an idealistic way of living is the driving force behind it. It’s not about tshirt tans and burnt sausages, but a much more holistic lifestyle that sees the outdoors as another space in the home that should be used regularly.

Here I’ve picked out a few outdoor accessories that will make the outdoor lifestyle even more appealing, come rain or shine. Because whatever the British weather we should all be reaping the benefits of a bit of fresh air and nature from time to time. 

Dial up the Decor with Garden Accessories

Edward and Erica the Elephant Planters – Next – Β£70 (Erica) and Β£40 (Edward)

Planting flowers in elephant shaped pots just seems a lot more fun than regular plant pots. Plus, Next have named theirs, which somehow makes them even more desirable. I now have the urge to create a miniature herd at the end of the garden…

outdoor accessories

Light it Up with Outdoor Lanterns

Orb Hurricane Lantern – London Garden Trading Co. – Β£59.95

With the right lighting you can party all night long outside. Just don’t disturb the neighbours, unless of course it’s a block party! This lava-like lantern looks a burning ball of fire, which is both awesome and practical. 

outdoor accessories

Heaters, because, you know, England.

La Hacienda Moda Lime Firepit – Homebase – Β£79.99

Being realistic it only stays warm outside in British springtime whilst the sun is out, and even then it’s hit or miss. This stylish firepit looks great, keeps you warm and gives you purpose – you can make a fire, gather round it and heat up marshmallows on sticks. Best. Day. Ever.

outdoor accessories

 

Grow your Own with Herb Planters

Multi Herb Wall Planter – Urban Outfitters – Β£50

If you don’t have much space outdoors you can make the most of wall space with a wall mounted herb planter. If you have no outdoor space at all (then this post is probably a tad annoying) then you can even use this herb planter indoors – bring a touch of the plant life inside. It’s not just a feature either – get cooking with your freshly grown produce.

outdoor accessories

Outdoor Comfies with a Giant Waterproof Bean Bag

Leda Tribal Transform – BeanBagBazaar – Β£149.99

Bean bags are not just for kids. This unique bean bag floor cushion can be used indoors and outdoors making it great for lounging away on for perfect lazy, sunny sunday. Caution: you may forget to get up again and lose hours of time. 

outdoor accessories

 

Three Benefits to Being Outdoors

Don’t wait until summer to get outside, it’s too good for your health to pass up the chance of some time spent in the Great Outdoors. 

  1. Vitamin D: it’s essential for a healthy immune system with serious supplies coming directly from the sun. Just keep it safe with factor 30 or higher.
  2. Fresh air: indoor pollutants are far worse than outdoor pollutants. Plus, if you are living in the countryside you are already winning by avoiding the inner city smog. 
  3. Eye sight: artificial light from electronic devices and staring at screens all day is bad for your eye sight and health. Get outdoors and look around occasionally, feed your eyes some natural light.