Saturday, 30 July 2016

Mekong Delta | Vietnam Discovery

     The Mekong Delta is formed of dozens of lush, green islands, broken up by a maze of narrow, winding rivulets, branching off from the main delta. Here many of the locals lead simple lifestyles, away from the larger cities, and fishing is a dominant industry. The Mekong River starts over 4000km away, and flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, before reaching the sea in Vietnam. We travelled here from Ho Chi Minh City, just a couple of hours away by bus, to explore the area, and spend the night in a local homestay. After taking the bus down from the city, we boarded a traditional wooden boat on the muddy coloured waters, brown from all the silt picked up along its way, and began our journey through the delta.

Traditional wooden fishing boats on the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ho Chi Minh City | Vietnam Discovery

     And I'm off on another adventure! As I mentioned at the end of my last Hong Kong post, before embarking on a new city and new job for the next year, I'm doing some travelling again this summer, and my first destination, as you probably guessed from the title, is Vietnam. I've opted to go on an Intrepid tour again, the same company I did Central America with last year, as I had such a great experience last time, and it takes all the hassle out of planning and organising everything myself. I will be doing a second trip with them after this one, through north Thailand and Laos. But anyway, I'm in Vietnam for 15 days (the exact amount of time I can be here without a visa, which is super handy), travelling from Ho Chi Minh north to Hanoi, and stopping in places like Nha Trang, Hoi An, and Hue along the way.

Notre Dame Cathedral and Post Office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Monday, 25 July 2016

Outfit - Going On An Adventure

     This is definitely not my usual sort of outfit style, but it does serve a purpose. I bought these trousers for travelling last year, and now that I'm off on another adventure, I'm breaking them out again. They're long and lightweight, which makes them ideal for hotter countries where mosquitoes are prevalent, or where you may need to dress more conservatively (e.g. visiting temples). I think nearly every young, female traveller has something similar, but I don't wear them much in my day to day life. The busy pattern means I pair them with a plain top, and I have lightweight cardigans I can throw on top if required to cover up. And every explorer needs a good hat I think, and this one is ideal for me!

Going On An Adventure | outfit of black strappy tank top, long black and white patterned trousers, flip flops and a floppy hat

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Farewell Hong Kong | Final Thoughts

     Well here we are. My year in Hong Kong is at an end. If we're being technical, I will be back for a few nights in August, between travels, but this is my last day in this apartment, I've finished my job, and I've packed up all my stuff ready to ship forwards. I will probably use every cliché in the book writing this, but it really has been an unforgettable year. I consider myself so lucky that I will always be able to look back on "that year I lived in Hong Kong" and have so many good memories from this time.

Hong Kong skyline across Victoria Harbour at night

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Travel Inspiration - Guatemala

     As I'm preparing to jet off on another holiday soon, I thought I'd take back at another country from my big Central America trip last year. Guatemala was the third country I visited then, and the one I spent the longest in, staying for around a week. I remember it as a place full of so much history, culture and character. Fro historic ruins that have stood for hundreds and hundreds of years, to stunning natural scenery, to beautifully crafted colonial architecture, to colourful, bustling market places and winding alleys of shops. There was so much about the country to explore, and so many different kinds of experiences to have there. Even though it was all the same country, each day had something new to discover. And while I'm glad I have photos to remember it all by, I think some of these images would stay in my mind forever, regardless.

Natural hot springs waterfall near Rio Dulce, Guatemala

Monday, 18 July 2016

Top Ten Sights in Hong Kong

     Hong Kong has such a variety of things to do and and see, and that's one of the big reasons why I love living here so much. Even after nearly a year, there are still parts of it that I haven't been to yet. I have, however, visited most of the major tourist attractions around the city. Narrowing down a top ten was pretty difficult, as I kept remembering other places I like. I decided to stick to specific places, and ones that would appeal to everybody, and are mostly unique to Hong Kong. I skipped things like hikes, as they're not for all, and beaches, as Hong Kong's are fine but not the best I've seen, and you can see these sorts of place in many parts of the world. These are my must-dos on a visit to Hong Kong.

View of Hong Kong from The Peak

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Life as a Kindergarten English Teacher in Hong Kong

     Can you believe it's been 11 months already? Today was one of my last days at work (I still have to do a couple duty days next week, but the kids are finished now) and this year feels like it's gone so quickly. I'll be updating you all soon on my plans for what's next, but I thought I'd share a bit more about my experience this year, specifically my experience with my job (I'll do a more general post about this year soon too), which may be interesting for anyone else considering a similar job. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this year, and am very glad I did it, but of course, not every experience can be perfect. I would never put anyone off coming to do what I've done, but I want to give a realistic idea of what it was like. I will stress also, that everyone's experiences are unique. My school was very different to the schools that some of my friends here worked at, so this is just a taste of what Hong Kong kindergartens are like.

Hong Kong skyline; view of Hong Kong island, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, taken from The Peak

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Ocean Park: Round 3

     It's been way too long since our last Ocean Park trip, so we decided to go again last weekend. It was coincidentally one of the hottest days of the year, which is actually more reason to stay indoors than go out, but we battled on through the heat and humidity anyway, and just had to accept being a bit sweaty. My first two visits to Ocean Park covered a lot of ground, especially when you remove the big rides that I won't go on, so we did revisit a few favourites this time. The park actually starts before entering the gates, as there is an otter exhibit by the entrance, and we spent a good while watching them play with their toys under the water there before actually going inside. However, there were still plenty of other things we had yet to see or do. The time flies while you're there too, so our five and a half-ish hours from when we arrived after work, until the park shuts, disappeared very quickly!

Ocean Wonders dolphin show at the Ocean Theatre, Ocean Park

Monday, 11 July 2016

Outfit - Hit Shuffle

     I basically live in various versions of this outfit these days. Summer in Hong Kong is stupidly humid, which I struggle with more than the actual heat, so I can't even remember the last time I wore anything long, let alone jeans. As I've mentioned before, my wardrobe here is smaller than back home, so I'm continuously playing shuffle with all my tops and skirts or shorts. I paired these particular items together because I think the colours go well together, and normally I wear this top out to show off the laced up sides, but thought I'd try something different by tucking it in, which is kind of necessary with the waistband of this skirt. And apart from when I'm going to be doing lots of walking, in which case the Converse come out, I basically live in these flip flops now, being so easy to just slip on.

Hit Shuffle | outfit of grey and purple pattern print top, burgundy high waisted short skirt and turquoise flip flops

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Top Five Fantasy Book Series

     While I read novels of many genres, my first and favourite has always been fantasy. The magical adventures and brand new worlds of these stories have had me captivated since I could read (or even before then, when they were read to me). And while many will deem fantasy the realm of children, most of these novels have darker undertones, and complex details and allegories that children will skip over. Re-reading childhood favourites as an adult unlocks layers and layers of new meanings and explores fascinating themes and ideas. There are many fantasy novels out there now which are written solely for adults, too dark and explicit for little ones. Fantasy is a place I continue to return to, in part for sheer escapism to magic and adventures, and in part to explore the multitude of meanings a novel may contain. So, here are my top five fantasy book series, highlighting those I enjoyed both as a child, and now as a (sort of) adult.

Harry Potter series original UK book covers

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Harry Potter Tag

     A quick tag post today, since I want to keep up with my writing schedule, but life is quite busy at the moment. As some readers may know, largely if you read this post, my current job in Hong Kong is coming to an end soon, and therefore I'm having to figure out and organise what I'm doing next. There will be plenty of lengthy posts coming soon to explain everything, so for now I thought something light and easy was in order, both for me to write and you to read. This tag is all things Harry Potter, which was a formative part of my childhood, as I was obsessed with it for years (and still am to an extent). I read and re-read the books time and time again, and honestly believe that this sparked my love of reading, which led to me completing an English Lit degree. So without further ado...

Harry Potter Tag text on Hogwarts castle image background

Monday, 4 July 2016

Outfit - Thundercloud

      Battling the humidity again with another lightweight outfit - this is definitely one of the biggest differences between dressing for UK weather versus dressing for HK weather, no more tights and layering over here (this is actually a similar UK version)! This is one of the comfiest outfits I can throw together. The top is loose and simple, but with a nice blocked colour design for interest, and these shorts may be denim, but they are that really soft, stretchy version of it, so I can slouch about in them very comfortably. The colours are simple too, and match what the sky looks like much of the time here lately! The black shorts paired with Converse high tops gives this a tiny bit of a sporty feel, in my opinion, and very practical in many ways, but that's about as close as my wardrobe ever goes towards sport territory. I've dressed it up with a few small pieces of jewellery, but only for if I were wearing this out; I wouldn't bother if I were just throwing it on for an evening at home.

Thundercloud | casual outfit of grey and black loose t-shirt, black denim shorts and blue high top Converse

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Musically Inspired - Purpose

     What is our purpose? What are we all supposed to be doing with our lives? How do we figure this out? Do we even have a purpose or do we merely exist for the blink of an eye in the lifespan of the universe? What is the point to all of it?

Purpose quote - "I know I'm good for something I just haven't found it yet" on ocean picture background
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