Are we really half way through the year already?! That is just ridiculous.
June has been as crazy as ever, but I’ve really enjoyed it despite working even more (seriously, I think I had three days off), hosting couchsurfers for over two thirds of the month, and basically not having single day of “me time”! Is anyone else rubbish at that?
I’ve set myself a ton of goals to achieve ASAP because I’m just getting lost in everything. But let’s start with the original challenges…
£50 £100 on side hustles
Well, let’s start on the positive one! It all got a bit ridiculous this month on the work front. I did a few extra hours at the hostel as we’ve been so busy; enough to reach the target alone, but I won’t count that as I’m only thinking of extra jobs and income. I was offered sooo many shifts for the market research job that it got a little difficult to keep up alongside the additional hours at my full-time job. The hostel has been a lot of fun though, if a bit hectic! We also had a girl staying for a couple of weeks who put a bit towards our rent and bills, which was really helpful.
Market research job: £250 (believe it or not, it would have been more but some cruise ships were cancelled and one job was rained off!)
Shop job: £45
Surveys: a whole £1… I really need to get back into those!
Temporary sub-let: £100
TOTAL: err… £396. Think I might have smashed this one again.
I don’t feel like I’m making any progress with this, but I’m still doing a fair amount of walking. The other day, my colleague and I took a 3-hour walk along half of the west coast of South Ronaldsay which was a lot of fun. It’s only around a 4 mile walk, which doesn’t seem so bad compared to the frigging 12 mile walk he took a couple of weeks ago, but there was a bit of battling through long, wet grass on the edge of some cliffs, just to add some adventure! Not to mention taking a shortcut through some fields with cows and bulls in to get to my parents’ house, which involves some fun flexibility getting through electric fences. Good thing I’m a farm girl!
We also discovered the Brough Of Deerness with one of our couchsurfers, which I had barely even heard of, let alone knew anything about. So imagine my surprise when BAM!
I found yet another favourite place in Orkney. We continued on along to Mull Head (in the background) and accidentally completed a 5-mile circuit, and to be honest I didn’t think it was that great a walk. Definitely worth taking a walk as far as the Brough, though – you have this sweet “lagoon” I guess, totally sheltered from the open water, and then you can walk down some steps to the gap between those two cliffs, and up a precarious path along the side of that peninsula (for want of a better word) to the top where there’s the remains of an old church! 10/10, do recommend.
The one glimmer of progress? I bought some trainers! They were my bargain of the month: 3 quid from a charity shop! Now I just need to purchase some other bits of sports clothing and I’m ready to start running. Baby steps. I’m determined to make progress on this one though, just every time I feel like I’m getting motivated, the weather pulls its whole temperamental crap again, and working hours all over the place isn’t helping. Maybe I’ll actually start exercising more at home, too – but sometimes it’s hard to find any energy after working 10 busy shifts in a row.
Read 50 books
Jesus, guys! I’ve been playing catch up with so many things in my spare time (HA! Spare time, that’s hilarious), I haven’t had time to do silly things like READ! (no, seriously, the bookworm buried in me is crying at the moment.)
Learn something new
I’m finally getting back on Duolingo! I’m still hovering just below 40% on the German course, I didn’t use it much in June so my fluency dropped right down but it’s come back to where it was before I took my accidental break. So… progress but not really progress?
What’s really sucked this month is the fact Ash and I both do shift work, and somehow our rotation has been so unlucky that we’ve literally had entire weeks where we haven’t seen each other. This week is shaping up to be the same – he’s doing evening shifts every day apart from the one day I’M doing an evening shift! But of course. I think we had, like, one day off together over the entire month and IT RAINED. But of COURSE! (for the record, we also had today off together. And it rained. Screw you, Orkney.)
The gooooooood news is, we’ve booked most of our trip next month! We’ll be leaving Orkney on, hopefully, the 7th to stay overnight near Inverness, then race down to England to catch a ferry to the Isle Of Man. We’ll spend a few days on the IOM, exploring and meeting friends and attending weddings and all that kind of jazz. I’m excited that we’re taking a car so we can really explore the place! Plus we are staying in an actual HOTEL! We did look up hostels on the Isle Of Man, only to find that there are basically NONE. Someone needs to change that! But I’m looking forward to a little slice of luxury, if I’m honest!
Especially as we’ll then be spending a week camping. After a weekend of wedding shenanigans, we’ll be racing back up to Scotland to meet a good friend in Glasgow before heading up through the west coast of Scotland, back home to show her around Orkney! I am so excited for this trip. It’s going to full of awesome people and incredible places and it’s gonna be so much fuuuuuuunnnn.
We’ve also hosted so many couchsurfers. We actually had to take a break for a week because it got to around the 20th and we realised we’d hosted people every day since May 27th. I’m currently writing a post about couchsurfing as I think it’s fantastic. We’ve hosted people from France, Germany, Wales, Brazil and Hong Kong in the past month, and we currently have some great people from the Netherlands and Canada staying.
This month’s top Instagrams, unsurprisingly, are all from my week of posting Iceland photos from my trip back in 2014. Apart from one of Orkney.
I've been working on some more posts about my home "town" – the Scottish islands of Orkney! Have you read my post about why you should visit? Hint: it includes lots of nature and LOTS of history, including this, the Ring Of Brodgar! Link is in my bio, it would be awesome if you could read it and find out why Orkney is so underrated! 😊 P.S. The stone in the foreground is split in half where it was struck by lightning! Pretty awesome. #orkney #scotland #scotspirit #visitorkney #uk #travel #travelling #traveling #travelgram #instatravel #explore #adventure #gltLOVE #globetrotter #wanderlust #nature #beautiful #ringofbrodgar #history #neolithic #wild #island #scottishislands #insta_scotland #ig_scotland #visitscotland #lovescotland #scotland_insta
Hellooooo Iceland! 😍😍 Overrated? Pah, it's still one of my absolute favourite countries!! There's a reason it's popular! ❤ #iceland #reykjavik #reykjavikloves #photography #sun #icelandtravel #visiticeland #travel #travelling #traveling #instatravel #travelgram #mountains #epic #view #nature #beautiful #adventure #explore #traveltheworld #wanderlust #globetrotter #backpacker #backpacking #traveladdict #travelblog #travelphotography
Walking behind a waterfall in the rain? Why not? 😀 Iceland has some of the best waterfalls, and this is probably my favourite – Seljalandsfoss! You can walk all the way around the fall and it's stunning, even on a grey, rainy day like this! #iceland #seljalandsfoss #waterfall #icelandtravel #visiticeland #icelandexplored #travel #travelling #traveling #instatravel #travelgram #epic #nature #beautiful #adventure #explore #traveltheworld #wanderlust #globetrotter #backpacker #backpacking #traveladdict #travelblog #gltLOVE #glt
There was something magical about Gullfoss in the snow!! Even better – there had been no snow the day before, so we timed it just right! ❤ #iceland #gullfoss #waterfall #photography #icelandexplored #icelandtravel #visiticeland #travel #travelling #traveling #instatravel #travelgram #snow #epic #view #nature #beautiful #adventure #explore #traveltheworld #wanderlust #globetrotter #traveltheworld #backpacker #backpacking #traveladdict #travelblog #travelphotography #waterfallwednesday
One more Iceland photo – for now! Of course it's another waterfall one. Because who does waterfalls better than Iceland? I plan to go back and catch some more! Where do you really want to return to? (I have loads on my list!) . #iceland #gullfoss #waterfall #photography #icelandexplored #icelandtravel #visiticeland #travel #travelling #traveling #instatravel #travelgram #snow #epic #view #nature #beautiful #adventure #explore #wanderlust #globetrotter #traveltheworld #backpacker #backpacking #traveladdict #travelblogger #travelphotography
So what about those other goals, huh? Well, I’m hoping that by posting them on here, they won’t fall flat – because that’s clearly worked for my other goals, right?!
Well, here they are:
– re-edit my best travel photos to print – back in JANUARY, Ash bought me a Photobox voucher for my birthday, which I’ve been planning to use for lots of travel photos. I’ve been discovering new settings for editing photos and now I want to re-edit before I print (especially large prints for walls around the house) to make them look awesome.
– make 2-3 Pinterest images per week – I have been SERIOUSLY falling behind on the Pinterest game, and I finally identified every blog post that could potentially go on there and it turns out there’s quite a lot (at least 50)! I was quite surprised as I feel like most of my posts are from a personal perspective, but I think they’re definitely “shareable”. Please note I don’t use Canva, I build all of mine from scratch because I love designing – but this is gonna be a lot of work!
– sort out my emails – it’s actually embarrassing how many emails I let build up before I decide I need to spend hours tackling them all. I currently have just shy of 2,500 (plus 187 survey invitations that I’m blatantly not going to do, hahaaaa) – but I remember a time I let it spiral out of control way more than that. Yeah.
– sell all my junk – even after clearing out so much shit years ago before we went backpacking, I still find loads of stuff to get rid of! In fairness, most of the current things have come from my parents’ house in the depths of cupboards no one had opened for years. I just gave about half of the clothes away to Grenfell residents, but there are still loads of things I’ve been meaning to advertise for months. I’ve made bite-size goals to get through this one.
– don’t buy any new clothes for the rest of the year – i.e. if I need to buy something, get it from a charity shop. I’ve actually only bought a couple of new things this year, and they were on sale, but I’m determined to be able to fit all of my clothes into one suitcase. I may have to break this rule to buy some sportswear (which is another mini goal, but it’s part of the “get fit” challenge, so not much point making it separate!).
– make more of an effort to see friends – the main reason I moved back to Orkney was to have much-needed catch ups with friends, particularly those I barely had time to see on my short visits while I was living in England. I thought moving into town would make this an easy goal, but not so. My shift patterns aren’t helping, but actually I’m starting to realise the old adage of it takes two to tango. I’m lucky to have a close core friendship group who are always arranging things both ways, but it’s kind of struck me that I’ve spent the past few months feeling bad that I haven’t seen a few people much – but equally, they haven’t even tried to arrange anything with me.
And I’ve already completed one goal from the list – get a haircut!
It had been at least 3 years since I last visited a hairdresser, so I was a bit nervous. “Hello, please tame this ridiculous backpacker mane of mine and don’t judge me!!”
I really like it! Now to start taking a little more care of it. (and myself, hey?)
Although I don’t have any trips coming up in July, I am planning to finally make it to some of the islands here – that is, if Ash and I ever get a sunny day off together again! First on the list is Hoy, which boasts one of the UK’s most famous sea stacks as well as the highest vertical cliffs in the UK. That’s got to be a coastal walk worth taking!
Have you got any travel plans this month? I’d love to hear them!