Good morning and happy weekend, everyone! Well, that’s it. I’m officially unemployed (sort of).
And it had nothing to do with my tweet last week about working with a hangover, although that was pretty horrendous. But it’s the end of the season, which means the hostel is closing for the winter and I’m out of a job. I’ve really enjoyed my six months working there, but I feel like it’s time to move on from Orkney soon.
Speaking of which – we are, temporarily at least! We’re heading south this month to see our friends and Ash’s family in Sussex and Kent, including two new additions! We’ll be stopping in York and Leeds on the way down for a wedding, and the Lake District on the way up because I won a competition to stay in a spa hotel!! I cannot wait! After all our speeding around, we’ll be winding down for a few days near Inverness with my parents.
Then I’m heading to Venice for a couple of days with my Mum! Jokes have been made about our romantic break. This is the first time I will EVER have travelled just with Mum, and people are placing bets on who’s going to drive each other mad first. If you have any tips for Venice, let me know!
And then I may be travelling to a new country, finally! Plans are still being finalised, but I’m looking to work in a hostel for a couple of weeks somewhere sunny in Europe! Anyone want to guess where it’s hopefully going to be?! :)
Anyway, on to the challenges… that I really haven’t made much progress on this month.
£50 £100 on side hustles
September was my last month interviewing cruise ship passengers, although I’m still doing occasional work for the normal market research project, too. I also put in quite a few extra hours at the hostel to help out with the deep clean of the whole building, so I’m sure that’ll help my final pay check at the end of this month!
Even without that, I completely blasted this challenge again. It’ll be more of a struggle for the next three months, but I’ve already hit the target for October. :)
I don’t quite have this whole fitness regime down yet, nor have I gone for a proper run unless you count running all the way to work in the rain. But I’ve been exercising, and now that I’m not working much, I’m going to start concentrating on myself. This has never happened in my life!!
Read 50 books / write for another publication
I’m going to start pitching to a few places seriously now that I have the time to commit to it. I have a couple of opportunities locally which I’m hoping will come to fruition very soon.
Books? I’m going to get back into reading this month, I promise! (The bookworm inside me is squirming because I haven’t fed her for a while!)
Learn something new
Ha ha. I just read last month’s post. The only thing I’ve done in the way of “learning German” is successfully reading a load of German Facebook posts and comments. It might not be progress, but at least I’m not completely losing it. Hmmm.
This month, I’m really busy catching up with a lot of things, but I’m hoping to sign up to an online course!
Couchsurfing has really slowed down. We had a couple of amazing Indians and their Scottish friend stay for a few days; they were among my favourite couchsurfers this year. (I feel almost bad having “favourite” couchsurfers!!). They cooked us delicious traditional Indian food and I managed to take them out to my favourite spot in Orkney where we spotted seals and DOLPHINS!! We also had a really awesome British girl who’s been living in Canada, so we had loads to talk about because we’re planning to do the same thing! And finally, we had a really nice French girl, and a guy who we hit it off straight away with who used to live in Orkney.
I’m very slowly catching up on Instagram from our Isle Of Man & Scotland road trip. I still have some of the best ones to post! Here are a couple of my most popular from September:
I had no idea there was neolithic history on the Isle of Man. This is Meayll Hill, a circle of 12 tombs, and look at that view! 😍 #isleofman #iom #manx #visitisleofman #loveiom #visitiom #mann #meayllhill #tomb #porterin #sun #summer #travel #traveling #travelling #explore #adventure #traveller #gltLOVE #girlslovetravel #island #britishisles #roadtrip #wanderlust #travelgram #instatravel #holiday #lovegreatbritain
Before I get on to my Scotland road trip pics, I've had some pretty nice days in Orkney recently! This is my happy place. ❤❤ Watching seals and birds and feeling content! #orkney #visitorkney #windwick #scotland #scottishislands #scotspirit #island #islandlife #coast #cliffs #sea #beach #travel #travelling #traveling #wanderlust #travelgram #instatravel #home #explore #adventure #gltLOVE #nature #beautiful #wild #insta_scotland #ig_scotland #visitscotland #lovescotland #scotland_insta
I'm currently working on a post about Orkney's best coastal walks – I've been enjoying loads of them this year and they've produced some of my most popular Instagram photos too! This is our most iconic one: the Old Man Of Hoy. He's one of the highest sea stacks in the UK, flanked by the highest vertical cliffs in the UK. I finally made it out there and it was sooo windy – probably not ideal for being on the edge of a cliff!!! What a view though! #orkney #visitorkney #hoy #oldmanofhoy #scotland #scottishislands #scotspirit #island #coast #cliffs #walk #hike #sea #travel #travelling #traveling #wanderlust #travelgram #instatravel #explore #adventure #gltLOVE #nature #beautiful #wild #insta_scotland #ig_scotland #visitscotland #lovescotland #scotland_insta
For real, one of my favourite and unexpected things about Loch Lomond was Luss – not only is the scenery beautiful but JUST LOOK AT THE HOUSES! They pretty much all look like this! ❤❤ So adorable! @lomondtrossachs #scotland #visitscotland #scotspirit #travel #roadtrip #passionpassport #gltLOVE #scotlandroadtrip #explore #adventure #beautiful #view #scotland_insta #insta_scotland #instascotland #nationalpark #lochlomond #loch #scottish #uk #lovegreatbritain #bbcbritain #instatravel #wanderlust #luss #cute #cottage #sky #storm #house
Here’s a quick update on my bonus goals, too:
– re-edit my best travel photos to print – I’m getting there. Honest.
– make 2-3 Pinterest images per week – Not sure that I’ve hit the target, but I’ve got quite a few done for my most popular posts. I’m going to be doing lots in the next month! Plus I’m planning to re-vamp my Pinterest page. When did I start putting so much effort into social media?! Damn you, internet!
– sort out my emails – oooh, progress! I’ve HALVED my inbox! As an extension of this, I’ve also dwindled down all my open tabs (yes I’m one of THOSE people!!).
– sell all my junk – nope, nothing, nada. I’ve even added to the selling pile. Will be seeing to some of this in the next week, for sure. I’m also de-cluttering in general; I’ve cleared out our box of toiletries, and compacted a lot of our boxes of “stuff”. It feels better already!
– don’t buy any new clothes for the rest of the year – haven’t bought anything! Woo hoo!
– make more of an effort to see friends – I feel like I’ve been out a reasonable amount this month, even if it’s always with the same friends! There are still people I haven’t caught up with properly since coming home. Life is weird sometimes, isn’t it?
On the whole, this month has been one of my least exciting for travel or exploring, but it’s been another good money-saver and October will set me back on the right track!