Tag Archives: Bucket list

Before Turning 30.

11th July 2016

dock One of my favourite things to do on this blog is to recap the year on my birthday and see what I’ve been up to. I am 30 now after all and my memory is not what it used to be. I started doing this on my old little blog Doodlezilla when I was turning 27. I find that it is a great way to look back and appreciate the time that has past and kick my buttocks into doing more things.So here are all the adventures I managed to squeeze into my year of being 29*:


Worried about being old? Dye your hair purple!

Worried about being old? Dye your hair purple!

  • My sister got a tattoo and turned 18 (WHAT?!?)
  • My mum joined twitter
  • Lee got a great job in Brisbane
  • Lee’s brother came to visit us in Oz


It’s been an amazing year. But there were sad moments. We lost my Great Aunty Pat this year. She was an incredible lady that raised my mum. I thought of her more as my grandmother than an aunt and it was really hard to be away from home. I wanted to just run home but money wouldn’t allow it. It broke my heart because I had carried her last letter to me all around Asia and I’d sent her a postcard from every location we’d been to .It made me happy to know she’d read them but also …it hurt so much. Life is full of ups and downs. I know these lists make it sound like it’s perfect but it’s far from it. Most of the year is boring days and a lot of bad ones too, but when I look back I only see those happy moments….even losing my Aunty, which hurt so much, makes me think about how beautiful a person she was and all the things I would be telling her now about my year.

Every time I think I’ve met the best the world has to offer, seen the best things, tasted the most delicious foods, I’m struck down once more by all of the awe inspiring things this little blue dot has to offer.   I don’t know how it’s possible, but life always finds a way to be more pretty and the people I know become more spectacular.

Thank you 29 for being filled with beautiful, lovely and delicious moments xxx

*I would like to point out that I wrote ‘my 29th year’ in this post. Lee pointed out that I had just lived my 30th year. What a Bumface he is. Boo!!! He’s lucky he’s cute.


A Great Alternative to Halong Bay – Catba Island

17th May 2015


A trip to Vietnam isn’t complete without a trip to one of the natural wonders of the world… Halong Bay.

We researched Halong bay until my internet told me I had an addiction. The problem seemed to be:

  1. It was really expensive
  2. It was full of tourists

It seemed that even if you paid a hell of a lot you’d still end up on a shit tour unable to see anything through the throngs of tourists. So we tracked down an alternative. We decided to go to Catba .

Catba is an island the other side of Halong bay. Its bay is called Lan Ha bay but is still officially Halong bay. It’s just the other quieter side.

17 20 It was two thirds of the price and seemed just as beautiful. We jumped at the chance to visit.

We dragged out two visiting Irish friends with us and landed in Catba to discover it was the quiet season. The VERY quiet season. This wasn’t a bad thing since it meant really cheap accommodation and whole bars to ourselves.

We spent our first night catching up over gin and juice, trying the mysterious laughing gas (which is just an odd few seconds) and laughing…a lot.

16 catba I really liked the sleepy town of Catba but like all of Vietnam it closes early here with all street lights going off at 10 and bars closing about 12 (although you can track down places that go till the wee hours).

The next day we hit the high seas and went on our boat trip. We did our trip through Asia outdoors and I’d recommend it to anyone. So cheap (at just 25 dollars) and really well organised.

We sailed past the floating fishing communities and saw the bay emerge around us. It was spectacular.

10 11 (2) We then had the opportunity to ride the seas ourselves and hoped in Kayaks. Seeing the mountains from so low down only added to their spender. Photos really don’t to this place justice.

After a delicious lunch and more kayaking we were ready to say goodbye to the bay feeling like we’d all earned the right to draw a big line through a bucket list item. I’d definitely recommend the Catba route.

3 6 19 That night we chatted lots more over beers. We reminisced about Korea, congratulated Ciaran on his fantastic travellers beard and exchanged travel stories (both the good and the disgusting). We weren’t sad to head back to Hanoi when it came to it but I loved every minute of our excursion to the bay.


You’ve got a little something on your face Ciaran

hazel2 If you are interested in this trip then I definitely think you should grab a Hazel and Ciaran for the journey. If that’s not an option then just the bay will do.

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15th May 2015

For the last few years on my old little blog I have made lists of the things I’ve achieved during the year. This is mainly because my birthday hasn’t always been my favourite holiday so I’ve tried to look at the day differently. Instead of putting a lot of expectation into one day, I’ve tried to use it as an excuse to reflect on the year just passed. It’s been a very busy year indeed. I’ve done this for the last two years which you can see here: All the things I did as a sprightly 26 year old, and my achievements as a full blown Korean Alien at 27.

So what have I been lucky enough to experience in my 28th year?

.Won a charity scavenger hunt by being as embarrassing as possible on the Korean Streets (Go team ‘gin on my face’) collageofhunt

.Danced the night away in Busan on an epic girl’s night with about 25 ladies. The hen do to end all hen dos, but without a hen.

.Met three of the best girls around.

.Walked the Great Wall of China.

.Listened to the world’s oldest jazz band in Shanghai.

.Played the same piano as Cole Porter and Charlie Chaplin.

.Fell in love with Taiwan.

.Saw Taroka Gorge (Hualien, Taiwan) in all its splendour.

.Learned to like gin.

.Rode a bike for the first time…on Vietnamese roads no less.

.Went swimming in the sea (deeper that my knees terrifies me)

.Taught an art class to cute kiddies

.Ate Peking duck in the old capital of Peking/Beijing

.Noreabanged with Lee’s family.

.Became debt free (kind of..well close enough)

.Was interviewed for a Korean newspaper

.Travelled to Namhae Island in a 9 hour car ride and still loved every person in the car at the end of it.

.Learnt to Kayak

.Beat Lee at pool

.Left our jobs and house …and Korea.

.Lee and I had our first Christmas together

.Learnt to pole dance and danced in a show (I front of people, no less)

.Planned and started traveling on the trip we had always talked about around Asia.

. Got an Australian working Visa

. Met snow monkey’s in Japan

.Saw a geisha

.Ate Okonomyaki

.Went to a Japanese Photobooth with Lee

.Went to a wedding dress café (?) wedding27

. Started this blog

. Made a new animation Showreel

. Got offered a job in a large animation company (couldn’t take it but it’s still an honour to have been offered)

. Sold my first photo and article to a professional newspaper

.Visited the Philippines

.Met a Tarsier

.Went to the mountains of Guilin.

.Fell in love with Hong Kong

.Learnt the importance of Skype

. Learnt the importance of cheese.

.Spent three weeks exploring Vietnam

. Saw Lee turn 30

. Discovered Cambodia

. Went to my first Opera

.Celebrated 10 years with the tall one.

Watched my fantastic friend run a marathon.

Got a new tattoo

.Heard my sister’s first piece of music played live that she had composed…See’s now a mini musical genius.

.Became addicted to Instagram

. Ate far too many noodles

. Read 10 books

.Filled 3 sketch books.

.Bought our first laptop together

.Got a lot of wrinkles/laughter lines


Favorite film this year: Guardians of the Galaxy or Big Hero 6

Favorite song: Uptown Funk

Favorite drink: Gin and Tonic or Red Wine

Favorite food: Lee’s Pad Thai Curry and Bahn Mi

Saddest moment: Saying goodbye to our home and friend in Korea and not seeing my family while i was 28 🙁

Happiest moment: too many to count but sitting in our own private paradise in Cambodia was one and singing at the top of  our lungs while dancing to Michael Jackson at a friends house in Korea also is a winner.

Main thing I’ve learnt: Hard times make the good times better, hard work pays in the end and food poisoning is the devil

All in all it’s been a fantastic year and I can’t wait to see what my 29th has in store. I know it will have lots more travel . I have now currently seen 24 countries and I’m hoping by the time I turn 30 it will be 30 (quite a tall order but I think we can just about do it). I also hope it includes a lot of catch ups with all my favourite people, especially my family and friends back home. Thank you again to everyone that helped me achieve this crazy list. 29 and feeling fine (I’m old enough to understand how lame that sentence was and still say it proudly without irony).


29th birthday dinner

29th birthday dinner


When the beach is so deserted you set a self timer , but accidentally leave the camera in manual

When the beach is so deserted you set a self timer , but accidentally leave the camera in manual

7 15 us4 craig and meg

My family sending my pics to feel close to home

My family sending my pics to feel close to home

paper interview lee's family visit Korea leaving do friends


A night at the Opera

A night at the Opera




Tokyo Arcade

2015 Travel Plans

19th February 2015

So I think I owe you all an apology. For the last few weeks i’ve become a little bit obsessed with my up coming plans to the point that I have kept mentioning it without giving any details.

So I thought that I’d share with you some of the things we’re hoping to achieve over the next year.

First, there are to-do lists…EVERYWHERE. My flat looks like a bombs dropped because there are about ten jobs going on at once but I’m hoping that it will all fall into place really soon and we will be ready to roll.

First I suppose it’s important to share with you what our plans actually are so here is our 2015 travel plans:

Tokyo Arcade Japan

Japan is somewhere magical to me. It’s a place mentioned in movies not a place that exists. When we went to Tokyo last year I was in my element and I fell in love with the place. Last night I was chatting to a friend who’s going to Tokyo soon and I couldn’t stop gushing about how much fun they were going to have. This time around we aren’t going to the bright lights of Tokyo, instead we are heading to Kyoto and Osaka. Kyoto has been high on my list for a long time and I feel guilty that one of the places i’m most looking forward to going over the next few months is our first stop but I just can’t wait to be surrounded by the history and beauty of this place….and the sushi!


El Nido Palawan Island, Phillippines Been here, truly magnificent and glorious!  http://www.lifebeyondthehorizon.com/philippinesparadise/The Philippines

Lee and I had never considered a trip to the Philippines but after seeing all of our friends fantastic pictures we quickly added it to the itinerary so we will be stopping in on Bohol, Boracay and El Nido. Here’s to sandy beaches and drinks with the locals.


Guilin, China. Globe Travel in Bristol, CT is standing by to make your vacation dreams come true!  Reach us at 860-584-0517 or by email at info@globetvl.com!


We went to China a few months ago but we can’t wait to go back. We wanted to see some impressive landscapes and the countryside of China is definitely the place to do this. We are heading to Guangzhou and Guilin …all the G’s. I’m not going to lie, I’m in it for the dumplings.


Hong Kong, China | 21 Most Colorful And Vibrant Places In The WorldHong Kong

I know listing Hong Kong as a separate country is debatable but I have a very good friend from Hong Kong who thinks of it as a different place and the British Visa application was different for Hong Kong compared to China so I think it’s fair to list them side by side. We are looking forward to climbing Victoria Peak and meeting up with my friend who happens to be visiting at the same time as us. Woohoo

Hoi An, Vietnam - Visit http://asiaexpatguides.com to make the most of your experience in Vietnam!


Vietnam is another place that’s been high on the list for a long time. We are starting in Hanoi  then going to Hue, Hoi an, Mui  Ne and Ho Chi Minh. We are looking forward to cooking classes, pho, and 12p beer… as well as all the culture/people/sights of course. We are going to the home of PHO!

Angkor Wat Cambodia / Watched the sunset here while drinking a horrid local wine and eating a crispy fried frog. A beautiful place & a wonderful adventure.


Next stop is a bus trip across the boarder into Phnom Penh. We don’t have long there before we are off to Sihanoukville. Before you all rush to tell us its not great we are only there for the night before we head to Koh Rong Samloem. A small island with about 5 hours of electricity a day. I’ll be celebrating my birthday here and I can’t wait. Sunsets and cocktails..woohoo. Lastly it wouldn’t be a trip to Cambodia without a sunrise trip to Angkor Wat in Seim Reap.

skyline2 Thailand

We are having a ‘do over’ in Bangkok since last time we had such a disaster (which you can read about here). People always think because of this we didn’t like Bangkok but I loved the place. I can’t wait to go back and see the place properly this time. Then it’s up north to the bloggers paradise that is Chiang Mai. Unfortunately , It’s rainy season when we go to this part of Asia . Our original plan didn’t have Thailand on it at all , instead we wanted to see Laos and Myanmar but the rain means we have to skip them this time, as well as the beaches of Thailand but I’m really excited to see Chang Mai after hearing so many great things. See you soon Pad Thai. You will be in our bellies.

Singapore's Supertrees at the "Gardens by the Bay". I see I'll have to go back to Singapore to see these by night.Singapore

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this country. Is it for the history? slightly. Is it for the culture? marginally. Is it because one of my best friends is moving there a week before we arrive? HELL YES! This is a selfish stop for Lee and I to see one of our favourite humans…and maybe go to Sesame Street in Universal Studios, which for a Muppet fanatic is the holy grail.

Rice terraces close to Ubud. Bali, Indonesia To book go to www.notjusttravel.com/anglia


When we came to Asia this was high on my list of places to see. We are spending a lot of time here and seeing Yogyakarta, Ubud, Nusa Lembongan, Gili Air and Kuta Lombok. We can’t wait. Yoga, monkeys and beaches. We also may be dragging one of Lee’s best friends to meet us for a weekend so I can’t help but jump around a little bit when I think about journeying to this magic country.

The dolphins coming to shore at Monkey Mia, Western AustraliaAustralia

Lastly, but definitely not least is our new home for the year, Australia. This isn’t a country I ever wanted to live in , that was until Lee sold me on it because he is in love with the place. I am now fully on board and can’t wait to experience every inch of the place. We are starting in Perth but who knows where the year will take us.

Extra stops in 2015

Obviously we don’t know what will happen with the rest of the year but there are definitely some places we’d love to pop into:

Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


When we are in Singapore we are very tempted to just run over the border and have some food there to say we did it. We are a little bit addicted to adding countries to our list but we will definitely be back to spend some proper time there soon.

Wow, just wow! Bridestowe Lavender Farm, Tasmania - by Tim Clark


I realise this is still Australia but I really want to pop over to this lavender filled paradise.

Fiji IslandsFiji, Tonga and Samoa

It would be rude to not visit these places while we are in Australia surely….let alone the Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu…ect

New ZealandNew Zealand

Once again this country is so close to us when we are in Australia that we would love to go and see the place but maybe we will do it at the end of year in Oz.

Here’s to an exciting year ahead.


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Our Christmas Weekend

15th December 2014

snow It’s CHRISTMAS!

I remember sitting in the cinema many moons ago with my lovely tall man and watching ‘Elf’ for the first time. After the first ten minutes of the film he turned to me and whispered ‘oh my god, it’s you’.

It is true, if I had a spirit animal it would be ‘Buddy the Elf’. I get excited by everything and have been known to talk about a good dog I saw that day for far too long. This is me all through the year so you can only imagine what I’m like at Christmas. Luckily for me Lee is just as bad.

We have put off celebrating for as long as possible but this weekend we went into full on Christmas mode.

The tree went up. The first red cup was drunk. The smells of homemade Baileys, eggnog, fudge and ginger biscuits filled our small flat and Nat King Cole was played constantly.

We checked off quite a few items from our  Christmas bucket list.

I even watched Die Hard and Lethal Weapon for the first time. At 28 I realise that is shocking but I have righted the wrong.

We hope you all had a fantastic Christmassy weekend. Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, we hope you had a warm snuggly few days


IMG_0148 IMG_0152 redcup IMG_0178 IMG_0158 IMG_0150



A Christmas Bucket List

8th December 2014



Last year was our first Christmas away from home. We grouped together to spread as much Christmas cheer as possible and this year will be no different. Although we have a much smaller group we are already planning Christmas themed shenanigans. I love this time of year and I love lists so it seems to good an opportunity to make one. So here is our Christmas bucket list:

.Have Korea red velvet lattes with friends.

.Watch a Christmas movie in a big group.

.See some decorations.

. Cook a stew

. Make eggnog

.Make fudge

.Sing carols some where.

. Force our Canadian friend Carly (my lovely misguided friend who use to live in Korea) to watch ‘The Muppet’s Christmas Carol’. We failed this mission last year so we shall make this happen.

.Make decorations with my class.

.Show my class Christmas films.

.Watch as many Christmas films as possible (there is a whole other list for this)

.See Die Hard for the first time.

.Watch my favourite movie (It’s not just for Christmas, it’s for life) and have ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ night….my favourite tradition with Lee. 63528377d5cbe9baf586862553afc1a9

.Decorate our Christmas tree.

. Make Christmas dinner.

.Make Christmas cards.

.Put up fairy lights.

.Skype my family while they decorate their tree.

.Send a Korean Christmas parcel home.

. Make and advent calendar for Lee.

.Make Baileys

.Drink Baileys

.Make Christmas hats

. Buy Christmas hat.

.Leave cookies and milk for Santa.

My family have been leaving things for Santa for years

My family have been leaving things for Santa for years

.Dance around the flat to Christmas music

.Make ginger cookies

.Make chocolate chip cookies

.Make stuffing.

.Play a Christmas game over Skype.

.Skype Wales, Ireland, Canada , U.S.A and Saudi Arabia on Christmas Day (busy day!)


Lee and I celebrating ‘it’s a Wonderful night’ last year

.Drink some Asti

.Make a mini chocolate table (family tradition)

My families Christmas table

My families Christmas table

. DRINK A RED CUPPED EGGNOG LATTE (This one was a sore point since Korea has Starbucks, they have red cups but no eggnog lattes so Lee has helped me brew our own)


There are thousands of others too but for now these are the ones that we will be occupying our weekends with.

Merry Christmas everyone! signature