This photo series was captured in Egypt’s beautiful South 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 ♡
One of the very first adventures 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.
SOUTH SINAI – EGYPT (AUGUST, 2016)
Assuming that I have not yet been forgotten by previous readers, I would like to greet you warmly once again, as well as bid further newcomers who have stumbled upon this humble website a sincere & heartfelt welcome. For what appears to be a horrendously long time to refrain from my previous, much appreciated hobby of tapping away at my keyboard as you may remember, of writing what ones heart pleases and displeases; I had long forgotten the pure joy of running this blog and giving readers insight into my personal universe. In fact, in just over two weeks, I will have reached one, non-surprisingly and stupidly short year upon publishing my last WordPress post – which had marked the closing to my writings and ending to my previous gap year.
Unfortunately, one had stopped writing for a variety of reasons throughout the previous period. I chose to let the ending of my gap year dictate my lack of continuing, for it was what had originally inspired me to begin with. The second it had ended, I felt like my motivation was long gone and forced from then onwards in this particular field. I am not implying that having a year off meant being at my peak level of creativity, but it had proved that spare time allowed myself to explore further my surroundings without the pressure of deadlines. Considering I had just started university, I felt like it was necessary to end that chapter as well as focus on my studies – which suggests that I had no spare time whatsoever when of course in reality, I did have plenty. Sometimes however, I often felt that simply, there was not really much to write about at all.
Previously, I let the non-practicing of my talents cause me anxiety. I often felt like I was a slug or some relative creature – extremely lazy and that my existence on planet earth was completely pointless. However, instead of pressuring myself, I chose to embrace it in return for peace of mind. I chose to allow my writing, or any particular talent in fact, come to me in waves, like those of an ocean. I chose to either peak at the highest tide, being my most exciting periods of inspiration, or instead, embrace the sea at its calmest measure. Rather than forcing a non-existing current, I chose to bask in the glorious, clear waters until the waves feel to crash again. For when they do, I am positive that what is to come is better than it ever was before.
Having strongly missed the support and love I had gained previously for my writings upon this blog, I believe that now is the most perfect time to return. I see a slow rise in the ocean’s tide and I long to make the most of it and to exploit it of the goods it chooses to bring. I am slowly and steadily taking on the current so I do not drown. I hope that both old and new readers gain a pleasant reading experience here and I wish that my return proves to be as glorious and as inspiring as I intend it to be. All in good time.