This photo series was captured in Egypt’s beautiful Sinai peninsula; an unreal location by the Red Sea. It is governed by breathtakingly clear, turquoise sea water with a glorious mountain backdrop. The Milky Way is not only visible at night; but amazingly enchanting to look at. The peace found here can not be explained, but only experienced. Sinai; I love you dearly.
// September 2018 ♡
A recent adventure I embarked on upon coming to New Zealand last December; was a visit to a stunning lodge based in Apiti, Manawatu in the North Island. Makoura Lodge hosted a spectacular day in which myself alongside a large group of friends attended, filled with an array of activities overlooking the stunning valleys and rich greenery of the countryside.
The family owned business provides a variety of services and functions such as wedding events, family and friendly holidays and retreats as well as a wide range of recreational and sporting activities. The area is located just outside of Palmerston North and overlooks a magnificent landscape; filled with exotic trees and of course, New Zealand’s scenic mountain views.
Having had the entire area booked specifically for us; we were met with a tremendous welcome and the staff’s incredible hosting. We kicked off the day with a photo scavenger hunt as we split into 2 large teams in competition against one another; which bought me back to basics as I haven’t really participated in family driven activities like that for so long! With the seemingly mild weather suddenly turning into torrential rain; it was rather amusing attempting to run outside without getting too soaking wet in order to capture the photos required.
Other activities in which we participated in included horseback riding through the gorgeous forests and valleys. It truly left me in awe; I had never seen hillsides and gorges so magnificent up close which honestly felt like magic. Alongside this, we played golf on the hills which I certainly failed at; missing the golf ball every time I attempted to hit it, as well as archery; which instead surprisingly, I was rather good at. Whilst normally I prefer to relax, I found these activities recharged me and reminded me of how fun it is to play!
I certainly encourage those in New Zealand to consider a fun retreat and to check out Makoura Lodge or other venues similar to this; and those not, to attempt to gather with loved ones somewhere where bonding through exploration and play is available.
(All photographs taken by myself.)
Home will always be a feeling; instead of a physical place.
Returning home after a long time away indeed feels wonderful. I feel a mixture of excitement, contentment, nostalgia and slight confusion due to my forever existing sense of separation anxiety; which often reveals itself when I move between places and am faced with fresh transitions in my life. Although I’m a traveller at heart; I make home a place in everywhere I go and find endless comfort in my surroundings, which often meant that I would get attached to where I was before moving onto somewhere new – despite how excited I may have felt without it. When I was younger; I recall coming back to the UK after a few months away in the summer in Egypt every year to be met with severe post-travel blues; that was indeed too overwhelming for a child of my age at the time. The feeling did always however, pass within a few days & I always resumed to being my normal self. I always found the sensation strange; of how one can one day be somewhere and the next not be. I certainly believe that my overly sensitive nature and my being as a deep empath means that all situations in life almost always affected me way more than a perhaps they would your average, normal person. The feeling of settling down in new places every time we moved often overwhelmed me as we relocated from city to town, nesting in a variety of homes around the UK before settling down in Norfolk due to my fathers profession. And although I appreciate the excitement of turning a new leaf, just like anybody; I really do dislike the uncertainty of the unknown. Which is why I more than ever cherished the importance of learning to detach from these negative, residual feelings of endings and embrace that my transition to higher things in life can only be a good thing – that holding onto the past only causes myself nothing but further suffering.
To those who are unaware; a few days ago I gathered all my belongings and moved back to my childhood home in Norfolk’s countryside after three years of living in my university halls. Based on my previous fears in life regarding transitions; I honestly thought that it would be harder to bid farewell to a place that became home, despite it’s limitations in comparison to the real comfort of a real home that one may have once been used to. What I realised however following a stressful few and rather hectic weeks of packing and adjusting to the upcoming changes, I believe a sort of epiphany occurred deep within me. I understood that all those years of suffering in regards to transitions were not necessarily needed and that this change in perception has allowed me to understand that this is not a goodbye to London; but in fact a stepping stone to a new future ahead of me. I also thoroughly believe that home will always be a feeling; instead of a physical place. And I will move on with and cherish the memories that I have made in mind and heart, alongside holding a hope for all the bigger things to come.
If you ever find yourself also feeling similar to what I used to feel; just remember that an ending is not always that; but is instead a beginning. If we spend all our time contemplating time lost or past happenings, we are only starving ourselves of experiencing what really matters, which is nothing more or less than simply the absolute, present moment.