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Lifestyle, Lists, My Life

30 before 30

September 10, 2017

Two weeks ago I turned 26 and I’ve started thinking about what I would like to achieve and do before I’m 30. I’ve spoken before about the importance of setting goals but not putting pressure on yourself so I’m hoping giving myself 4 years will be plenty of time. And if I don’t tick everything off the list then I’m sure I’ll allow myself an extension…

1. Gain a qualification.

This is a bit sneaky as I’m actually starting my Post Graduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching this month, but starting is no guarantee of completion! I’ve got 3 years to complete the course so hopefully I’ll be a qualified coach before I’m 30.

2. Run another marathon.

I’ve entered the ballot for the London Marathon again so fingers crossed! If I don’t get in, I’ll look for another race. Potentially one abroad!

3. Visit New Zealand.

New Zealand is the country that got away for me and Stu. We always tell ourselves that we’ll visit one day and I think we need to make it happen.

4. Go skiing again.

As we’re on the subject of travel I should mention this one as well. I went skiing with school years ago and I’d love to try it again.

5. Have a paid coaching client.

At first, I’ll be using my coaching qualification at work but I’d like to explore either consulting to a business or having individual clients. Watch this space!

6.  Volunteer.

I’d like to help out at a charity event or volunteer for a charity in another way.

7. Learn how to do a French plait.

Confession time! I’m awful with my hair and I’d love to be able to do all the pretty braid styles that I see on Pinterest. Time to watch countless YouTube tutorials…

8. Go to an outdoor cinema screening. 

These look so much fun and is one of those things I never get around to booking. Definitely one for the summer though.

9. Get a new kitchen.

Or at least give it a freshen up. New kitchens are expensive but I reeeeeeeally want one!

10. Appear on TV.

Okay, this one is completely random but I’d love to be on a game show. I applied for The Vault a few years ago and got an audition but that’s as close as I’ve got. I’ve just got to keep trying!

11. Treat myself more. 

I’ve always been good at saving and I actually struggle to spend money. Any excuse to take something out of my basket and it’s gone. I’d like to get better at buying things for myself.

12. Visit Italy.

Everything about this country looks gorgeous and it’s really not that far from the UK.

13. Start my family tree.

I love History and this would be a great project to discover more about my family.

14. Complete a triathlon.

I always like to push myself to new challenges and a triathlon would be perfect.

15.  Bake more.

I love baking and definitely don’t do it enough. I’d like to challenge myself more and I’m feeling inspired by the last couple of episodes of Bake Off.

16.  Start Yoga.

I’ve had a little taster of yoga and I’d like to give it a go properly.

17. Upcycle some furniture. 

I like the idea of giving some furniture a new lease of life instead of it going to the bin. I usually start browsing the John Lewis website for new furniture so I think it would be fun to hunt around charity shops and Gumtree instead.

18. Change my hair.

I’ve had the same hairstyle for years and I’m desperate to do something different. Shorter? New colour?

19. Display pictures from our travels.

I’ve started the mammoth task of printing all the photos from our travels but we need to start framing some or making them into a canvas.

20. Try another festival. 

I’ve only ever been to Glastonbury so not sure if other music festivals will live up to my expectations. Maybe a food festival instead?

21. Visit New York. 

Pretty much all of this list is travel related but what’s life without travel? The Big Apple has been on my bucket list for a long time so my 30th would be a perfect excuse to get it ticked off.

22. Blog more. 

I need to make more time for my blog and increase the amount of posts I publish. Even one post a week seems too much to ask at the moment.

23. Add more recipes to our repertoire. 

You know everyone has a handful of go-to meals that they can easily make in the week? I’d like to mix them up a bit more.

24. Host Christmas Day at our house.

This one scares me but I’d like to be the host for Christmas Day. It definitely won’t be this year so that leaves me with three more years to prepare myself (and Stu).

25. Start a podcast. 

I like to listen to them and I’m tempted to start my own…

26. Race more.

I run quite a lot at my local running club but I don’t enter many races. I feel more motivated to run when I have a race in the diary so I’d like to do 4 a year from now on.

27. Visit the Warner Bros studios again.

I visited the Harry Potter studio tour a few years ago and I’m desperate to visit again. There’s so much more to see there now.

28. Read 30 new books.

I tend to read my favourite books over and over again (Harry Potter – I’m looking at you) so I want to challenge myself to read something different and hopefully discover some new authors in the process.

29. Say yes more. 

It’s too easy to get into a routine in life. I’d like to say yes to more opportunities and to not be afraid to step outside of my comfort zone.

30. Be happy.

I’m very happy in my life now and I hope that I still feel the same in 4 years time.

My Life

New Beginnings.

October 15, 2016

Welcome to the new look francescaandrews.com!

I’ve been dissatisfied with my blog for months and months which has led to a lack of content and even when I’ve put content out, I haven’t been 100% happy with it so I’ve become even more dissatisfied. It’s a vicious circle people! To get myself out of this rut, I’ve had a long think about where I want this blog to go and how I’ve changed as a person since I started this blog.

I started this blog in 2013 before Stu and I went travelling. I chose the blog title ‘Frankie goes to…’ so each new blog post could start with where I was at that time. I wasn’t that aware of other blogs at the time and considered mine more of a diary than anything else. Towards the end of our trip, I discovered this whole world of bloggers and wanted to take my blog to the next level. The only trouble was, I wasn’t travelling anymore. For over a year I’ve tried to stay in the travel blog niche but when you’re saving for a house deposit, travelling falls way down the list of priorities. Sure, we went on a few trips which I documented but since living permanently in the UK, there was so much more going on in my life which I wanted to talk about but felt that it didn’t fit in with my blog.

When I bought the domain name for this blog, I went for francescaandrews.com instead of frankiegoesto. This was mainly because I was scared some lawyers for Frankie Goes To Hollywood were going to sue me but also because I’ve always been aware that my blog will probably change direction in the future. The change in direction is way overdue but it’s finally here! I hope you enjoy reading about other aspects of my life and fingers crossed this gives me my blogging mojo back and there will be plenty more posts to read!

 

My Life

Turning 25.

August 30, 2016

I’ve never been bothered about turning a year older (before anyone says, I know 25 isn’t old!). I think that comes from being an August baby, I was one of the youngest in my school year so I’ve always watched my friends hit the age milestones before I did. I was the last to be able to learn how to drive and the last to be able to (legally) drink so I’ve always been excited for my birthday and never gave a second thought to what age I was turning.

However, there’s something about turning 25 that feels a bit more… momentous. Does that sound weird? Maybe it’s the whole quarter of a century thing but it feels like a real landmark. I feel like I’m entering a new period of my life. I’ve graduated from uni, been a backpacker, found a job I love and bought a house, all in the last 4 years. I’m immensely proud of all that I’ve achieved but I’ve always been one to think, ‘what next?’. I like having something to aim for. So, what is next?

To be honest, I don’t really know. There’s still plenty I want to achieve at work and there’s a hell of a lot of decorating to be done in my house but you never know what’s around the corner so I’m going to concentrate on enjoying being 25. Happy Birthday to me!

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My Life

Life Lately – We bought a house!

July 19, 2016

I started this blog back in 2013 before Stu and I went on our year of travels. We’ve now been home for over a year and we’re about to embark on our biggest adventure to date because as of last Friday, we are officially home owners! It sounds strange to say that but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come since we’ve returned home.

Coming home from long term travel is hard but having a house deposit as goal to focus on has helped massively. Sure, there were times when we thought about spending our savings on a big trip again but I know we’ve made the best decision for us by buying our home. We can still travel, it will just be a different kind of travel and that’s totally fine with us.

I’m now really excited to making this house our own. We’ve both been going crazy on Pinterest the last couple of months and are full of ideas of how we want to decorate. We’re going to be pretty busy for a long time but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hopefully I can share a few photos on here as things start to take shape.

Here’s to a bright and happy future!


 

My Life

Reflections on 2015. 

December 28, 2015

Last year I posted my reflections on 2014 so I thought it was only right that I did the same this year.

Spending a year at home after a year of seeing the world is hard on any backpacker. It’s the part that no one talks about. For me, 2015 was less about travelling and more about working, saving money and most importantly spending time with loved ones. I think Christmas always makes us appreciate the little things in life and this year it really hit home for me. There isn’t anything more important than your friends  and family. Enjoy every moment you spend in each others company and cherish every memory you make. You might not always get along but we should forgive easily and try and be the first to reach out to those who we have lost contact with. Lots of people make resolutions at this time of year but I don’t usually bother. Next year though, I aim to spend more quality time with my friends and family because no matter how busy life gets, we should always make time for others.

2015 also taught me to do more of what makes me happy. I thought this blog would fizzle out once I was home but I’ve kept it up and amazingly, I’ve now had travel companies ask to work with me. That’s not something I ever thought would happen when I started this before Stu and I went away. I want to keep writing, not because of the opportunities it can bring, but because I enjoy it and I know I’ll love looking back at this blog in years to come. I also started a new job because my previous one was making me unhappy. I was worried that it was too soon to leave but I knew that I shouldn’t force myself to do something that I hated. I definitely made the right decision and now I’m much happier.

I don’t know what 2016 will bring but I’m going in to it feeling positive about life and I can’t ask for much more than that!

Reflecting on 2015

 

My Life

Sunday Musings

July 12, 2015


Saw this quote today and thought I would share it with everyone. I quite often compare myself to others when I know I shouldn’t. Everyone’s life is different and we all want different things. Life is not a competition. You don’t have to go to university at 18 or have kids by 30. You don’t have to do any of those things at all! Live your life at whatever pace you decide and don’t worry if you don’t hit certain milestones when you first imagined you would. It’s an old cliche but live every day like it was your last and don’t worry about what tomorrow will bring.

Happy Sunday!

This post Sunday Musings appeared first on Frankie Goes To…

Travel, Travel Advice

Why the biggest challenge of travelling is the return home.

February 16, 2015

Before you leave home the idea of travelling for an extended period of time can seem petrifying to some. Leaving your friends and family behind and exploring a whole new country with a completely different culture is a huge step for anyone. Yet for most people, a few days into your trip, you wonder what you were ever worrying about. You realise that travelling is amazing and something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetimes. Your Instagram is suddenly full of incredible photos. You meet new people all the time who you form such close bonds with that you find it hard to believe that you have known them only weeks, not years. Before you know it, you’ve been away from home far longer than you ever imagined and seen more than you ever believed possible. Then by choice or not, it’s time to return home. Return to the life you left behind. But for some reason, adjusting to life at home is even more difficult than everything you went through whilst you were away. This is the part of travelling no one told you about.

At first life at home is a whirlwind of emotions, hugs and catching up. Your friends and family have so much to tell you and you have so much to share with them. You hear about what has changed for them but when it comes to the time to share your travel stories, you find the words don’t come. How do you put your experiences into words? It soon becomes clear that it’s hard to share what has happened with people who haven’t been travelling themselves. You have been surrounded by like-minded people for so long that your home life seems alien to the life you have been leading.

The life you left behind has changed. There’s been promotions, babies, engagements and new houses. It can be hard to see where you fit back in. Your sweaty trek across South East Asia is unimaginable for those who have concentrated on careers or family. They have changed from when you left and it has taken until now for you to realise just how much you have changed as well. You’ve grown in so many ways and feel you can handle just about anything life throws at you now you have negotiated travelling the world. Home life can seem almost dull in comparison and you easily feel detached from everyone.

Essentially, travelling is like living in a bubble and reality hurts. For months you have been living ‘without rules’. Time has no concept and nor do days of the week. The contrast between your travel life and your home life is hard to comprehend. It’s good to see your loved ones again but you crave to go back to your life on the road. The feeling of being in a new country is so magical that you struggle to think of a reason to stay at home. For some, they put this feeling to the back of their minds, settle into new jobs and before they know it years have passed since their adventures. For others, their feet start to itch and they realise that their heart belongs elsewhere. So they give in to that wanderlust feeling and leave home again. Deciding which path to follow when you’re at home is tough. My advice would be to make sure that whatever you decide to do, don’t regret it. So even if only a small part of you wants to go travelling again, go. It doesn’t have to be this year or the next, just make sure you go. Don’t be that person sat at home in 30 years time wondering what would have happened if they had gone.

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Lifestyle, My Life

Back to the Rat Race!

February 8, 2015

It’s been over a year since I left my job to go travelling but tomorrow I take my first big step back into reality. I haven’t gone back to my old job and I’ve embarked on a completely new career. Starting a new job is always nerve wracking but I feel even more scared because I do see this as a long term job which means no long term travelling in the near future.

Once you have experienced the joy of travelling, making the conscious decision not to go again is extremely hard. It is definitely not the case that I don’t want to go back to Australia or travel around another country but there are things I want to save up for at home now. You could argue that I should make the most of being young and travel as much as I can and that I have the rest of my life to buy a house and work. I do understand this point of view but I want to be around my friends and family more now I’m home and not go another year without seeing them.

There are still a number of countries that Stu and I want to visit so we will be saving up for some amazing holidays from now on. So here’s to experiencing the world of work and being a ‘grown up’!