Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Dear Diary #1

Hi all! It's been a while since I last posted, which I'm putting mainly down to a lack of tools. My trusty Dell PC, which I've had for around 7 years and has spent three months in dusty Mali, has finally given up the ghost, so I just have my computer at work at the moment.

I've also been having issues with pictures disappearing from old blog posts, which is annoying, but entirely my fault (taking shortcuts only creates more work in the future!) It's time-consuming to fix, and annoys me because it's messy, so please bear with me while I get chance to go through and fix all the old posts.

January is a crazy busy month at work, so any extra time I spent here was for work rather than blogging, and I've only just caught up with myself really. I have a lot of plans for the next few months, so I've decided to keep a semi-regular diary post on here, as it will all be travel-related one way or another!

A few months ago at work, I was lucky enough to win a trip to Thailand, to visit some of our projects! We were deciding on dates for a while, so flights were booked not long ago, and I'm actually heading off on Sunday! How exciting! Thailand has never been particularly high up my radar (not that I don't want to go of course!) but I talk about it everyday at work, and my itinerary is already sorted so I have nothing to worry about there. As my flights were already included, I thought it would be a shame not to see more of South East Asia while I was there, so I decided on a week in Cambodia.

My colleague Chris lived in Cambodia for seven months, and talks about it all the time at work, so he lured me in. I'm also a history geek, so the fact that Cambodia has so much recent history, that most people don't know about, sealed the deal! I'm spending 8 days in Thailand (Bangkok, Surin, Bangkok, Sangkhlaburi, Bangkok, Koh Phangan), then flying with Air Asia over to Phnom Penh. I'll then spend a couple of days there seeing the Killing Fields and S21, before getting the overnight bus to Siem Reap for Angkor Wat. I'll then fly from Siem Reap to Bangkok for my flight home.

My main worry for this trip is that I'm absolutely terrified of flying, yet somehow I seem to have ended up with an itinerary that includes 5 flights (I'll be flying from Bangkok to Koh Samui as well). Well at least it'll prepare me for Nepal in May I guess! I'm also a little apprehensive about doing Cambodia completely alone, not for the safety aspect (I've done enough travelling to be relatively streetwise), but just for the enjoyment aspect. Hopefully there'll be others in my situation that I can tag along with.

As well as getting ready for that, my trip to Nepal in May is coming round incredibly quickly, and I'm by no means fit enough to trek to Everest Base Camp at the moment! With that in mind, I gritted my teeth and forked out for 8 personal training sessions at my local gym. I just don't know enough to get fit on my own; I stick to the treadmill until I get shin splints, and get so bored staring at the numbers I just give up. I've only had two sessions so far, but they've been amazing! Amy, my trainer, is absolutely lovely, and has already incorporated weight and strength exercises into my training that would never have occurred to me. I'm going to have to work hard once I get back from Thailand, but it's definitely doable.

Way to Everest Base Camp

Since Christmas, I've also had some lovely nights with my friends, and am missing my friends and family back up north a little. One highlight of this week was spending Valentines Day with my friends Danielle and Holly. We went to the cinema, then for dinner at Pizza Express which I love!



Danielle and Holly went to see 50 Shades of Grey, but I refused out of principle. I'm not squeamish about the genre, but the book is so dreadfully written and anti-feminist that I can't bring myself to have anything to do with it. Instead, I went to see the Theory of Everything, which I absolutely loved, and now has to be up there with my favourite films (alongside others such as the Imitation Game and the King's Speech). Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are amazing, and David Thewlis was thoroughly underrated, as he's not mentioned in any of the reviews I've read.

This is short and sweet, as I have to head off to a personal training session now, but keep your eyes peeled in a couple of weeks for my updates on Thailand and Cambodia - I'm sure it'll be worth the wait!

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