Welcome to our monthly series we are running on Flat Earth Magazine! Our weekly blogs only touch the surface of what we’ve been up to, so we’ve decided to dive in a little deeper every month so you can see what travelling and living abroad is really like.
Places Visited: London (UK), Birmingham (UK), Bristol (UK), Brighton (UK).
Visiting our siblings in Birmingham and Bristol. Luckily, both of our siblings chose to go to university in two incredible towns. Birmingham, with its industrial modern edge and Bristol with its colourful buildings and beautiful classic architecture. Our first visits to their new pads offered us a glimpse of what these fascinating cities have to offer and we can’t wait to explore them both more.
An extended visit to London. Showing our two favourite travel buddies around our capital city definitely tops the list of highs this month. We loved catching up and showing them around our favourite sites and it was great for us to finally reconnect with London after nearly two years away. Despite the horrendous weather and ill-timed tube strike, we still stuffed 4 days full of exploration, food and drink! Posts to follow soon…
Celebrating Ryan’s 25th birthday. Ryan turned the big 2-5 this month! As ever, he was reluctant to make a fuss so we had a low-key day visiting the ancient town of Lewes for lunch and heading out to a Brighton pub in the evening. Here’s to another fabulous year!
Catching up with friends. Although we were back in summer, it’s always great to meet-up with mates. We miss out on so much when we are away so lengthy catch-ups are always overdue.
Mucking up our tax return forms. A simple error on our Australian tax forms have meant that our grand plans of moving to Canada this month have come to a grinding halt. We were relying on the money to fund our first few months in the Great White North so without it we were screwed. After much faffing and a few calls to the Australian Tax Office, we were back to square one and our tax forms were submitted from scratch. Hopefully within the next 50 working days we will finally get our money!
Being in limbo. The aforementioned tax rebate debacle has meant a reluctant few months of life and work back home in the UK. It’s a really strange experience after practically living in each others pockets for the last 2 years and constantly being on the move to living separate lives at home again. For the time being we have both picked up menial temporary positions and are desperately trying to cram our lives into the weekends. We’re hoping our stay in limbo won’t be for too long and expect to be back on our way within the next 2 or 3 months!
Blogging Block. The unexpected halt to our life of travel and exploration has, quite predictably, stifled the inspiration for writing and photography. Being confined to offices and the humdrum existence of our small hometowns has meant a distinct lack of posts on here and on our Instagram feed. Hopefully now we are both a little more settled and secure we can focus on finding that inspiration once again!
Most Popular Blog Post
Unfortunately the blogs were few and far between as we scrambled to recover from Christmas and a hectic (but brilliant) end to 2016. The best of my festive trip to Africa came out on top this month, if you missed it you can read it here: My South African Best Bits.
We also published The Great Barrier Reef & Responsible Tourism about our incredible trip blowing bubbles an hour offshore of Port Douglas and 8 Spots in Cape Town You Can’t Afford to Miss rounding up the best of colourful Cape Town.
Most Liked Instagram Photo
This shot of the beautiful Tsitsikamma suspension bridges received the most double taps in January. Tsitsikamma National Park was one of the most stunning places I visited in South Africa and this picture only scratches the surface at how beautiful this park is. A must see if you find yourself in SA!
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Best in Culture
Book of the Month – Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
I’ve been meaning to finish this book ever since reading snippets of it during my degree. The book is a harrowing yet hilarious autobiography told through a veil of books, tragedy and an unrelenting persistence to survive and escape the confines of a small northern town and an oppressively religious, mentally unstable, adoptive mother.
TV Series of the Month – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I had zero expectations of this show. I thought it was going to be a gaudy American rom-com but instead I was surprised by a clever, feminist and incredibly funny comedy show filled with hysterical songs, which for a musical-addict like myself were instant winners. Sometimes the episodes can require you to suspend your disbelief but the witty numbers, amazing cast and unbeatable one-liners more than make up for some gaping plot holes (trust me).
TV Series of the Month – Restoration Man
A lacklustre month in posts, photographs, films and books for me this month but I’ve made up for it in part with an overindulgence in the plethora of architectural design shows. I think there is a big part of me that has always wanted to be an architect, however a distinct lack of drawing skills and mathematical knowledge nipped that in the bud pretty early. Instead I live viscerally through the shows of Kevin Macleod and George Clarke. I was borderline obsessed with the latter’s Small Space’s series but Restoration Man is better yet. The premise of the show demands an amalgamation of the old and the new and highlights the creativity of some of the best architects in the world, who are able to breathe new life into dilapidated structures, moving buildings forward whilst paying homage to its history and purpose.
After two years of relative modernity in Australian cityscapes, it’s a nice reminder of the vast architectural history that we possess in the UK and the endeavour of the few who are able to keep it alive.
Coming up Next Month
The next month is going to be packed with work, seeing friends and fingers crossed a lot more blog posts. We will be praying to the Gods at the Australian Tax Office to give us back our money and hopefully start cracking on with some Canada prep.