#redmondtraveldiary18 · Europe · Travel · United Kingdom

Travel Diary (Day 2) – London

Is there anything more exciting than waking up in a new destination?! The answer is no. Waking up on a beautiful Autumn day in London, ready to start our adventure (now our 28+ hour transit was out of the way), in our beautiful hotel room was heaven! You miss having the simple pleasure of laying down after international travel!

We only had one full day in London before we chose to choof off to Paris, so we took advantage of the free breakfast and vintage bus tour around London and on the Thames River – which was a lovely little perk included in our booking with The Grange hotel.

We were out the door by 7am and to save any confusion or at risk of missing our bus, we caught an Uber for £9.57 to the Victoria Coach Station, where we met out adorable little Vintage Bus and our excellent tour guide, Steve. The way I see it, anyone who looks down on you for doing kitschy tourism stuff, can get stuffed. There are people and companies out there doing amazing things to pile together so much in only a few hours. This tour came for free with our hotel booking and I am SO glad we decided to take it up!

We saw sights old and new including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, London Bridge, The Shard, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. We also got to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which was really cool. Then we had a cruise on the River Thames which took us passed Shakespeare’s Globe, Cleopatra’s Needle. London Bridge and The Shard.

We managed to see so much and all before lunch time! In a complete fluke, we also were able to see the Changing of the Guard and it was amazing! Though watching the crowds sort of taking over the entire road and jumping the barriers, despite securities best efforts and very clear warnings, really reminds me that Darwinism is really doing it’s best.

We ate some pretty rubbish lunch in a fast-food chain type scenario, though we also had wine and beer, so that significantly improves our lunch star-rating! We were right next to the London Dungeon, and I had a cheap entry for the two of us, so why not?

I went to the London Dungeon around 9 years ago and some parts are the same and some are new altogether – either way it is worth a visit. Sure, it’s touristy and campy and all that, BUT it is phenomenally educational. Hot tip though, if you have a six year old with you, and she is terrified, do not proceed to laugh at her with your entire family for an hour and a half through a pretty scary theme attraction, You are a bad parent, best start saving for some counselling!

For the evening we headed across to the London Eye for our turn around the circle and views out on London. Our booking was for 5.15pm, which was not too bad of a turn-around to get home, get dressed and head back out. It is amazing that by day two in any new place, you have just about got the metro/tube/underground sorted!

The line was massive but it moved pretty quickly! Again, I think being in the presence of any rude/pushy people just gets my blood pumping, I know I would be happier if I could learn to ignore rudeness and stupidity, but just quietly, some of us should be pulling people up on their rubbish behaviour?

After our London Eye experience, it was time to head over to the incredibly beautiful Apollo Theatre Victoria to see Wicked. We saw the Lion King in New York so it was only fitting we saw something in London. The first half was absolutely amazing, the set-design, costumes, the movement and those beautiful voices were simply astonishing – I highly recommend it!

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Now our time in London, particularly at the start of our trip was always going to be a bit pricier than most, but we stayed within our daily budget, which was excellent! I am pretty sure we were both asleep before our heads had even hit our pillows that night!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

 

 

#redmondtraveldiary18 · Europe · United Kingdom

Travel Diary (Day 1)- Brisbane to London (via Hong Kong)

IMG_0723It’s here!!!!! Day one!!!!

As someone who prides themselves on their ability to plan and execute travel arrangements like it was their job, imagine my relief when G asked me back in July, ‘so are we flying out the morning or evening of the 20th?’. ‘Evening’ I replied, without a second thought. ‘Are you sure?’ he said, mid-eye roll I realised he was right. 00:50 Thursday meant Thursday morning and not Thursday night. Oh. My. God. I got something wrong.

We were able to have dinner and drinks with my parents before they dropped us at the airport and then we cooled our heals for three or so hours at the airport, which was fine. Brisbane International has had a total revamp since we last flew out of there!

Being the worry-wart I am, it threw me that I had completely misjudged this one. So, how did our first travel day go? Well. Departure was scheduled for 00:50 on Thursday morning. We were in the air by 1am and on our way to Hong Kong.

img_5170A few things I’m not overly proud of occurred on our flight. First of all I developed a mild strain of Tourette’s and nearly screamed at the woman behind me. The screens were touch screens, but she seemed to have confused this with one of those rooms you go into and break shit. My head jerking forward every time she got her claws into it.

The guy in front of me dropped his seat as soon as he possibly could, the guy across the row from me was licking his fingers (repeatedly) after each morsel of food that made its way to him. Oh and the guy one up, kept staring back wistfully at the women sitting in front of me. They were not together.

Once we were on the flight I started my normal routine of getting ready for sleep. It was after this that it all went terribly wrong. First of all, my restless (or, ‘busy’) legs felt like two electric eels. The pain and buzzing sensation was awful. Secondly I could smell the behind of the man next to me (no, seriously). They served dinner which I wasn’t expecting, given the time of night, but I foolishly decided to eat. It was within half an hour of eating that I started to sweat. Now, to be clear there was nothing wrong with the food, but I felt like with the anxiety I had about the length of the flight and my stupid legs, it just set me right off. I ran to the bathroom and thanks to an exorcist-style power-chuck, the flight was left with one less toilet for the remainder of the flight.

I then spent the next six and a half hours going back and forth to the toilets feeling like I wanted to die. I skipped the breakfast run and nurses my orange juice like it was an oxygen tank.

Our flight was certainly better than the last, there was a delay for take-off, but we had relatively decent seats for economy. I timed my sleep attempts with whenever my eyelids felt heavy. 12 hours and 12 minutes later, we were landing at Heathrow!!

Our travel agent had booked us a transfer to our hotel with City Transfers UK. Normally we would make our own way, but at the end of a long-haul international journey and living Groundhog Day, I am all for someone taking me to our hotel. This would have been great if we then did not need to wait a further 2 hours for our pick-up. I rang the company provably 7 times and they only picked up one of those and said the driver would be with us in 10 minutes. 50 minutes later, still no driver. Then when we were patched through to the driver, he basically lied and said he had been ‘in the car park for a long while waiting on a call’. Except eagle-eyes Grant saw the carpark card he put in and he had literally only just gotten there. Ah well.

Half an hour later, we were checking into our beautiful Grange Strathmore in Queens Gate Gardens, showers were had and heads hit the pillows with extreme force!

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if youclick-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

IMG_0651• High school was 13 years ago. Do NOT freak out. High school is not a period of your life which you should ever let define you. Whether you were the most popular kid there or if you were mostly invisible. It’s been over for nearly half your life. Leave it in the past.

• There is absolutely no obligation to stay friends or in contact with people who make you feel like rubbish. Seriously. Take a good hard look at who you spend your time with. If they aren’t propping you up, supporting you or bringing smiles to your face – then these are not the people for you. Life’s too short. Cut your losses and move on. Just don’t be cruel or a dickhead about it.

• You can say NO! It’s amazing. Seriously. I spent my 20’s saying yes, feeling obligated to do so and basically silently suffering through a host of activities I had zero interest in being at. You do not owe anyone anything. You are obligated to be kind and gracious if you’re invited to something you don’t wish to take part in – BUT you are able to say “No thank you”, without an excuse.

• Work – Life balance. Say it with me. B A L A N C E. I spent my twenties absolutely going hell for leather to get my qualifications, get those promotions and work my arse off to get to where I wanted to be. And then, well. I realised I was exhausted. I realised that it isn’t about money, or titles. It’s about leaving the office and not feeling overwhelmed with dread for your return the next day. I remember completing a safety investigation over the phone at 12:30am on New Years Day. I was meant to be on annual leave. That was my New Years, after having worked through Christmas. Considering I was paid appallingly to live in the middle of nowhere and be on-call at all times, it just was not worth it. Just remember to have “you” time. Switch-off where you can and make sure you have some kind of self-love. Whether it’s music, Netflix, phone-free time, saying “no” or sleeping. You do you, babe.

• Travel, clothes, house stuff, açai bowls, avocado on toast, makeup, bottle-service and the latest iPhone are all great in your 20’s. Do you know what isn’t? Paying that same debt off in your 30’s. Don’t take that automatic pre-approved credit-limit. Don’t put everything on finance and live within your means. Have your fun – spend your money, but try not to spend the next three years of money before you’ve earned it. Also, pay your bills. Whatever you do – do not go into one of those debt agreements, you’re as good as declaring bankruptcy. Don’t ignore those calls if you owe money. Let them know that you need more time. They are legally obligated to assist you.

• Pyramid schemes are a joke. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your friends where you can, it’s amazing trying something new. Just avoid giving up a weeks wage for some start-up pack, selling things not only will your friends think you’re a jerk for contacting them for the first time in three years to sell your tea/face cream/juice/oils, but there’s a massive chance you’re going to lose that money.

• You are entitled to like / love whatever music, tv shows, food, form of travel, clothing, or socialising you freaking like. In your twenties you’re so busy being turned inside-out by what is and what is not ‘cool’ or ‘in’ that’s it is a complete waste of time. You finally become completely at-one with being who you are.

• Kmart. Is. The. Best. It’s actually considered a date amongst friend. You have pleasure unlike any other when you get to roam free in Kmart.

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle

Sweat now, or anytime – in your own home!

Across Australia, Aussies are spending an average of $65 per month on gym memberships, or over $780 a year. That’s two return trips from Brisbane to Auckland. As a passionate travel & lifestyle blogger, that cannot be ignored!

Now I love working out in a group environment, but I have recently made some changes and have swapped my gym membership for a membership to Pilates and I could NOT be any happier with my choice. The gym leaves me feeling lonely, sore, exposed and incredibly isolated. It just is not enjoyable for me anymore.

So it begs the question, can you set-up a home-gym without breaking the bank? Guess what? You absolutely can. It all depends on where you are willing to make changes financially. You don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest gym equipment and for the most part, you can get away with some basic items.

Recently, Voome released a great article succinctly summarising what we have all wanted to read! Written by Danielle Flynn, she summarises:

  • Use what you’ve got – if you cannot afford new dumbbells or steps, that is completely fine, see if you can substitute chairs and bottles etc., I have personally done bicep curls with water bottles and it works pretty well. You have stairs you can run/jump-squat/walk. Use YOU. You can lift 6kg in weights, or you could hold yourself off of the ground. Find a YouTube or free app of Pilates etc., and off you go!
  • Become a bargain hunter – it’s 2018, I know that we are all flogging Facebook Marketplace/eBay/Gumtree like it is our job. You can get some amazing deals. Do not be afraid to bargain. Also – KMART, guys. KMART.
  • Big-Ticket items – a Danielle writes, if you are set on a large piece of equipment, rather than forking out $$$, check to see if there are any machines being sold at a lower cost by gyms themselves.
  • Creating space – if you do not have a dedicated room, or like me you live in an apartment with zero outside space, move your furniture around – set up a space for your dedicated workout time and then put your items away.
  • Be in the zone – be prepared. Get that playlist ready, make sure you have your towel and your water and treat your workout time like an appointment, with your health.
  • How much should you buy? Well, this depends how advanced you are. Truth be told, I am managing with a mat, a couple of dumbbells, a band for my legs and a small ball. Easy does it when it comes to  building up your home-gym. Remember, walking is one of the best fat targeting (and cardio friendly) activities you can do.

Trial Voome for FREE now.
To read more of Danielle’s blog – follow this link: Set Your Home Gym up on the Cheap.

Voome are currently offering a free 7 day trial to all, and with over 1000 delicious and healthy recipes, meal plans designed by experts, and daily inspiration to be your best – what have you got to lose? You can also purchase a four week program which becomes yours to keep for $39.95. Let me know if you do try Voome Nutrition or Voome Workouts. 

Have you set up a home-gym, what are your tips?!

Voome.com.au

Feature pic credit: HoneyBeePrintsShop

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I may however 

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

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Trial Voome for FREE now.

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

Father’s Day – when your Dad is no longer here <3

Today is the eleventh Father’s Day without my Dad and on Thursday it will be the eleventh anniversary since he passed. I almost lock myself into a room the week leading up to Father’s Day. Every t.v ad, social media, shop signs, the radio. It’s everywhere.

Is it Father’s Day for those of us without Dad’s? Guess what? – for all of us out there who don’t have our father’s anymore – its still Father’s Day for our dads too.

Dad. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for being my hero and warrior when I was little. Thank you for giving me your height and confidence, but not so much for the skin and feet.

Thank you for teaching me how to ride a bike on the cricket pitch when I was 5, and how to read a clock/watch when I was 6. Thank you for teaching me the art of telling stories and having a laugh.

Thank you for showing me how important family is, it took us a while but my sister and I are now the very best of friends.

Dad, thank you for instilling in me pride for being Australian, for being tall and for looking different to others. I miss you saying “pacifically” instead of specifically, I miss how cranky you would get when you would bust us cheating at monopoly.

My brother has so many of your traits. As does my sister. But I got your looks. I have your tenacity, Irish-Australian temper, stubbornness and confidence but I also share your fears and concerns for the world. How DO we keep our loved ones safe? WHY is the world such a mess? I too am dwarfed by the same things you were.

I have travelled the world, knowing you didn’t get a chance to. I still go for your footy team, I was sad when they stopped making spearmint leave lollies and I laugh whenever I see the classifieds ads. Every now and then I watch a Clint Eastwood movie and eat a cheese and jam sandwich – just for you.

Dad, I love you and miss you. We all do. You were gone too soon. We are doing our best to make you proud of us. I hope you’re happy and although not in person, in your own way watching over us.

Love, your eldest daughter.

Courtney

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