2013 has been one heck of a year. I learnt new skills at work and took on new responsibilities, I gained incredible experience working for a wonderful organisation within the field I would eventually like to take a career up in, and I set off on the trip of a lifetime!
Here is how the past year went for me!
A quiet month for most, there was no exception for me! Where I worked was season (in a castle owned and operated by English Heritage) which mean from the months of November – March I was re-living my 16 year old self waitressing in a busy country pub on the little isle. The highlight of this month, though, was winning tickets to see Frank Turner at THE JOINERS!!! in Southampton (for those not in the know, it’s really, really tiny). I took my Dad and we bloody loved life.
Another fairly quiet month, full of work, work and more work. The castle re-opened for the half term so 9 solid days of pure saving commenced here alongside slogging away at the pub!
The one thing that makes February different… is that we booked our Eurostar! Which meant we HAD A DEPARTURE DATE! WOOHOO! Throw in trip to visit Ed in Kent made February an all-round not too shabby month!
The month of birthdays and an anniversary for Ed and I! We both took a couple of days of work and went to London for a little break. After that, back to work and more saving!
Wedding fever! One of oldest and most special, beautiful, wonderful friends ties the knot! I am a bridesmaid and it was terribly exciting! A perfect day full of homemade cake, glorious sunshine and the best bunch of people I know was had!
Aside from the top notch marriage, April made for another rather quiet month! Back to work 40 hours a week at the castle. Work hard, save hard, travel harder, right?!
The same as April but minus a wedding…. zzzzzZzzZZZzzz!
The highlight of this month is without a doubt, my favourite weekend of the year.. Glastonbury Festival! We went with some wonderful friends and had a ruddy good time! Too much was drunk and eaten, and it was absolutely worth it! It made for a great few days off work and holiday spirit was on top form!
I worked for A Greener Festival at Truck Festival and learnt so much! Truck is a cute festival in Oxfordshire and it was wonderful to have this opportunity.
Ed and I went to my other favourite (apart from Glastonbury) festival… 2000 trees. They describe themselves as a ‘new and underground British music festival’ and it is such a good weekend of music!
Summer! What comes with summer is the busiest month of the year at the castle… full of events and screaming children. It was challenging but fun! Plenty of BBQs and summer drinks were consumed, and my friend Saz and I went to Amsterdam to work for A Greener Festival at a house music festival (not my usual sort..!) and had an absolute ball of a time checking out the mighty ‘Dam!
Our journey took us from Munich to Salzburg and Austria in Vienna, to one of my personal favourites, Budapest, to Bratislava, Prague and Berlin. And finally, to Poland where we continued to head east for Russia! In Moscow, late September, we finally boarded the Trans-Siberian railway! One to tick off the list for sure, we met so many walks of life and had an experience I won’t ever forget. I also won’t be forgetting the bloody nightmare we had with bed bugs anytime soon, either. Thanks Russia!
Brr… it’s bloody chilly by now. October saw us reach Mongolia, explore the national park and sleep in a yurt. We continued our journey on the Trans-Siberian, and reached our final destination… Beijing! We finally saw the Great Wall of China, and had a great time with friends old (ish – from the trans… 2 weeks is old when travelling?!) and new. We went to Hong Kong and met our now vintage friends from Australia, and finally killed any trace of beddy buggy grimness – probably the highlight of the year for me! We began our journey travelling south through Vietnam, and met up with, again (basically life-long now) our favourite Aussies! We had illness and interesting journeys, hassles and robberies in Vietnam, but we still had a wonderful time drinking cheap beer and eating way too much (as blimmin’ per).
Cambodia! Finally, we reached Cambodia! We found paradise on a near-deserted island and relaxed in the south, before heading to Siem Reap where we settled (which is where we are still settled, and where I am writing this from) and we began volunteering at a wonderful, wonderful place. We met Braddy! Our new found best friend, travelling companion and musketeer. Another adventurer in crime!
I have learnt soooo much more than I ever thought I could, by stopping and being in one place in Cambodia, and I am so glad to have been able to be a part of the place we volunteer at. They are pioneers with the work they are doing to better this country and I am so proud of them and all they achieve. Life changing.
The month of festivities! We threw ourselves into work in the build up to Christmas. We drank too much, ate too much (recurring theme) and we had alot of fun! We partied lots with our Cambodian friends and we saw the New Year in, in the best way. With people you love and a feeling of all round jollyness.
2013…You’ve been ruddy unbelivable! Terrific in so many ways and I am one grateful being for you! Most importantly, though, are the family and friends, old and new, that made is so damn good…