travel musings

Clazz’s 2017 Challenges: November Update

When I flew out to Portugal, I planned to relax, which meant having time to write, read and stay caught up. Haaahahaha, how wrong was I?! When I travel, I make the most of it, and that means keeping my laptop in its case for the majority of it.

As well as utilising almost every possible day off to explore the Algarve (I even made a day trip to Spain, because of course I did!), I also worked a lot of night shifts in the hostel (which wrote off entire days either side) and offset those with clubbing until 6am with staff and guests… which also wrote off huge chunks of days. Even when I was chilling in the back yard, I was usually drawn into conversations and the laptop would go back in its case. I had a really good time in Portugal, and met some fabulous people, but I managed to see everything I wanted and I was ready to come home.


I then spent the last week or so in Scotland – I flew back into Glasgow and spent a night there, before bussing it over to Edinburgh for a few days to see friends. We’ve done a LOT in those few days!

I’m half way through writing about my short trip to Lisbon, in which I fell in love with the city and have been yearning to return to its cobblestone streets and yellow trams ever since. But I thought I’d get this month’s update out first.


Make £50 £100 on side hustles

So technically I haven’t done any paid work this month, so for the first time this year, this one is a fail. But considering I’ve had months where I’ve tripled the goal, I’d say I’ve earned a month off. It’ll be interesting to see what happens this month… I am virtually jobless for the first time in about ten years!

TOTAL: around £20


Get fitter

Oh dear. I’ve done a ton of walking, especially in the last few days, but I think I’ve actually gained weight despite eating pretty healthily at the hostel – it was all home cooked meals and I even ate breakfast every day (trust me, that’s a big deal). But I guess I’ve also been drinking a fair amount, though probably not as much as you’d think. Anyway, even if I had lost weight, I’d no doubt have put it back on this week because I feel like I’ve eaten half the food in Edinburgh! This month I plan to make a proper routine, and then pile it back on at Christmas!!


Read 50 books / write for another publication

There’s not much new to report on here. I read most of Bill Bryson’s Road To Little Dribbling while I was away, but again struggled to find much time. I think I read most of it on the flights! And I’m setting down this month to work on some articles for the local tourism magazine.

Learn something new

Erm… I can say thank you in Portuguese?? Actually, I’ve learned a lot in the past few days in Edinburgh. We finally visited Edinburgh Castle, where the war memorial is unexpectedly incredible (probably the best war memorial I’ve ever seen, if I’m honest!) and it accidentally sparked a conversation where I learned a lot about one of my friends. We also learned that it gets bloody cold up there.

We also took the tour around Mary King’s Close which was really interesting and something I’d never known about before. It was similar in a lot of ways to the Southbridge Vaults tour, except the closes were residential for all classes, whereas the vaults were essentially disease-ridden hiding places for the poor.

What else did I learn? That Seville’s cathedral is the largest gothic cathedral in the world, and that Faro is actually worth visiting.


Other things?

Honestly, this month has been a rollercoaster. I visited Venice with Mum, spent a couple of days in Nairn, spent one night in Edinburgh before flying out to Lisbon, took the train down to Faro where I spent the next couple of weeks volunteering in a hostel, and managed to get out to Lagoa, Lagos and Seville. My last few days in Edinburgh have honestly been exhausting, but I’ve had the best time!

Here are some of my best Instagrams from November:


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

re-edit my best travel photos to print – I WILL finish this in December!
make 2-3 Pinterest images per week – alright, I think I’m going at a rate of about 2-3 per month… need to up my game this month!
sell all my junk – again, I haven’t been able to do anything while I’ve been away. I’m going to be listing so many things over the next week. (She says, with a busy schedule for the next few days)
don’t buy any new clothes for the rest of the year – underwear doesn’t count, right?
make more of an effort to see friends – I’ve spent the past few days hanging out with 3 of my Sussex friends, and catching up with 3 of my Orkney friends, all in Edinburgh! Plus I had a very brief catch up with a friend in Glasgow, too. Haven’t done badly on this one – I’ve seen almost all of my UK friends in the space of six weeks!!


If I thought I was exhausted before, it has nothing on this month. I’m really glad to be home, which has taken me by surprise. We almost didn’t even get home yesterday because of ice warnings for the whole north of Scotland, and then we missed the bus to pick up our car!

It probably doesn’t help that we were woken up at 4am by someone setting the fire alarms off in our Edinburgh hostel, followed by a full day of travel and getting home at 9pm. That might explain why I’m exhausted!

I’m off to unpack the car. And then I might sleep for a week.

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