travel musings

Clazz’s 2017 Challenges: August Update

Seems like only yesterday that I wrote last month’s update! But here we are; autumn is already starting to set in, and today I even had to succumb to the new air source heaters we’ve had installed.

Ughhhh. Can you feel that? That’s the feeling of needing a holiday in the sun.

I have had a holiday, though! I’m really excited to share with you all of my highlights from the Isle Of Man (you can read my first post about it here!) and Scotland. In case you hadn’t heard, Scotland has just been named the most beautiful country in the world by Rough Guides, and I feel pretty confident that I have some photos to prove them completely right! (not that I’m biased or anything)

Like this one.

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Anyway, it’s back to the daily grind and I have just finished a 15-day stint at the hostel, which I celebrated finishing by FINALLY making it out to Hoy to do Orkney’s most famous coastal walk of all: The Old Man Of Hoy! You might have seen my photos on my Facebook page – I’m still catching up on Instagram from my trip!

On to the challenges…

Make £50 £100 on side hustles

Even though I took two weeks off in August, I still got a ton of market research shifts. In fact, after my holiday I worked almost every day for them, as well as literally every day in the hostel. I’m not gonna lie: I am exhausted. But as two of my jobs are seasonal, I’m happy to make the most of it while I can. And the truth is, I’ve saved a hell of a lot of money for travelling, so there’s that.

I can’t believe I’ve only got a month left working at the hostel!

TOTAL: £260

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Get fitter

Hey guys, remember when I bought fitness clothes in a bid to motivate myself to actually start running?

Ha! Yeah, right. Well between being away and working the entire rest of the month without a day off, no, you’re damn right I haven’t gone for a run. Unfortunately, I had a big plan to both a) run in the mornings when we were camping through Scotland, and b) go for lots of hikes in Scotland. The weather dictated that hiking was off the menu, which was seriously frustrating because as we all know, Scotland is beautiful and I wanted to see as much of that beauty as possible. I had hikes in Loch Lomond planned (thunderstorms and torrential rain), a hike in Glen Affric had crossed my mind (misty and torrential rain), and I even wanted to try to climb Ben Nevis (so cloudy that we couldn’t even see Ben Nevis, and – you’ve guessed it – torrential rain).

So my holiday fitness regime went spectacularly well.

But it’s okay because soon I’ll be virtually unemployed and then I’ll have all the time in the world to exercise.

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Read 50 books / write for another publication

Not a lot has happened on this front just because I’ve been so busy. I wrote my first ever sponsored post in July, which I don’t think I mentioned! To be quite honest, I don’t want to make sponsored posts a thing, but this one caught my eye because I was tasked with creating my own summer travel playlist. And if there’s one thing I love more than (or as much as) travel, it’s music. So I was pretty happy to come up with a list!

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Learn something new

September is going to be the month I get back into learning German. Really.

Next month I might do something totally crazy and start doing an online course or something.

But at least I learned that nothing happened in the above spot in Laxey on the Isle Of Man. That’s educational, right? Okay, in all seriousness I did learn a hell of a lot of history on the IOM.

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Other things?

We’ve slowed down a bit on couchsurfing – we hosted a couple of great people in August, including an awesome American girl who has firmly become a friend, and a hilarious, crazy French girl who made us the most amazing pesto while also spilling it all over herself. My neighbour would make crap jokes and she would say “thank you for your participation”… it’s probably one of those “you had to be there” moments but it cracked everyone up every time!! She was brilliant. We also had people from Latvia, the Netherlands, the UK and New Zealand (magic trick guy!). Yep, this is what I call slowing down!!

I’ve managed to tick off a couple more things on the Orkney list, too. I’ll leave the Old Man Of Hoy for next month’s update, but that has of course been the big one.

Oh okay, I’ll give you one photo.

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I also treated my Dad to an upstairs tour of the cathedral for his birthday, which was really, really good! He managed to have his birthday on a beautiful day, which made for a fantastic viewing from the top. Well done, old chap! ;)

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After our road trip away, we brought our friend back up to Orkney with us, and hopefully she had a good time! I know we did. Although we didn’t do anything new for us, we managed to do all the main tourist trail – Skara Brae, Ring Of Brodgar, the Italian Chapel etc – plus we got out to the Brough Of Birsay (no more puffins, sadly!), climbed into some tombs, and I got her to drive a horse at my parents’ house!

I am so excited to share our Scotland shenanigans with you – we found the most incredible camping spot in Glencoe, we went to see the Harry Potter train at Fort William even though it was full, and although we subsequently missed it crossing the bridge, we got one of the most epic views in the entire world (and it’s used as the lake by Hogwarts!). And because everyone was walking back down from seeing the train, we had the viewpoint all to ourselves!

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SERIOUSLY, guys!!! We actually freaking camped HERE. Like whaaat?!

We also found one of the most awesome pubs EVER.

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More on that when I write my Loch Lomond post. ;) Just wait until you see the inside!!

The ultimate highlight, though, was drinking hot chocolate at TIM HORTON’S in Glasgow!!! I discovered my love for Tim Horton’s within 10 minutes of landing in Vancouver last year.

Honestly guys, their hot chocolate is so good that the recurring joke for the rest of the trip was whether we had time to nip back down to Glasgow to get a Tim Horton’s. Or WAS it a joke?

I’ve been super slow on Instagram. I’ve only just started editing my photos from the trip, so I only posted a handful in August. Here’s my most popular: surprisingly, this got more likes than Stirling Castle itself!

Here’s a quick update on my bonus goals, too:

re-edit my best travel photos to print – I haven’t had a lot of time but I am making progress, and progress is progress.
make 2-3 Pinterest images per week – this is a sore subject right now because I spent 20 minutes making one earlier before discovering that it wouldn’t save due to a “program error”. So I’ve lost the whole damn thing. This is something I definitely want to get on top of and completely be up-to-date on by the end of 2017.
sort out my emails – I’ve cleared out all my folders bar one, but the inbox is still at the same level as last month AND the month before. What is wrong with me?!
sell all my junk – guess what I did this month? I GAVE AWAY some stuff! And by stuff, I mean empty cardboard boxes. Which were still taking up space, so that counts, right?
don’t buy any new clothes for the rest of the year – I had to cheat slightly on this one, because I couldn’t find a bolero for my dress for the wedding. So I spent a whole £12 on a black cardigan, which is something I could do with anyway.
make more of an effort to see friends – well I road tripped with one! But I just haven’t had time or energy to socialise as much as I’d like to. Unless you count a couple of movie nights.

Oh, and apparently I added something to the list called giving myself some “me” time. Yeah, I have no idea what that is, sorry. I had two hours to myself earlier. That was pleasant.

Now, when do I get to go back to Tim Horton’s?!

Do you agree with Scotland being voted the most beautiful country in the world? Where would YOU nominate?! My top 3, other than Scotland, would be New Zealand and Canada! Which, funnily enough, is Rough Guides’ top 3, too!

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