Bound for Cuba

A new destination brings with it all sorts of promise. The anticipation of what you’ll discover, the characters you’ll meet and the experiences you’ll have – half the pleasure of a trip is in the planning!

In just under 5 weeks, I’ll be heading off to Cuba and I’m ridiculously excited! I’ve spent some time planning and I’m really looking forward to exploring the country – it sounds beautiful and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

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Healthy — The Daily Post

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started. (Prompt idea by agnel20.)

via Healthy — The Daily Post

It seems very appropriate that I should log onto WordPress today and the writing prompt be ‘Healthy’ – on the very day that I’ve run a 10km race. Running, like health, is a journey. Not just from the start to the finish line, but a journey that begins at some indeterminable point in time and doesn’t really have an end in sight. Well, that’s how it goes for me.

Like most people, I strive to be ‘healthy’. I try to eat well, I don’t smoke, don’t drink a great deal, I move my limbs as often as I can. It strikes me that being healthy is an undertaking to make the most out of all the journeys one experiences, not just for the sake of performing on the race track. That’s just a rather pleasant side effect that suggests you’re doing something right.

And that’s a good enough reason to keep running for me.

Dear Dreamers…where are you headed?

The Blogging 101 assignment today got me thinking…who exactly is it that I write for? Who is my ‘dream reader’? I’d always thought it was myself! As a travel blog it was a place I could record my experiences for posterity, and muse on what I’d seen and done.

Thinking about it, this isn’t true. Well, not entirely. Traveling, much like blogging, is a communal experience. Traveling can take you to a new place in your own state, region, country, or to the other side of the planet. It’s always the people that stick with you though. The characters that you meet along the way. Those that you share stories of past travels with, and exchange wish lists for future destinations.

In answer to my own question then, I write to connect with those of a similar mindset. My dream reader is someone who loves to plan the adventure, imagine the feel of the sand between their toes, who weirdly enjoys the windchill that goes with riding the ski lift. Someone who gets butterflies when they book the flight, and who is already dreaming about the next adventure before this one is completed.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep on saving up my pennies, keep reading all about your fabulous adventures, and let the inspiration for 2015 take hold! Where will 2015 be taking you dreamers and readers!?

Laura's 'Pot of Dreams'!
Laura’s ‘Pot of Dreams’!

A Little Afternoon Jaunt

In response to The

Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Warmth.”

On the coldest day of the year, it seemed like a great idea to get outside and go for a long, brisk walk around the outskirts of Bristol. You’d think it would be a lot more appealing to snuggle up indoors with a good book and a cup of tea. Thankfully some good company, including a very excitable four legged friend, made it more than enjoyable.

All that running around meant a certain someone was keeping warm!
All that running around meant a certain someone was keeping warm!

I thought this fitted in nicely with the ‘Warmth’ theme: the sun, just setting in the sky, is throwing out its last few warming rays, and highlights the dog’s warm golden coat. Of course the dog’s breath on the left of the image is warm and clashes against the cold afternoon air creating the wisp of breath before her. And last but not least there’s the warm, expectant gaze of the dog towards its master, just out of the shot, and the yummy treat that awaits!

Hope you’ve all had a lovely Monday, enjoy your dog walking today, and may it be sunny (if cold!) with you as well!

Newfoundland: Canada’s Unsung Hero

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Unsung Heroes.”

I was pleased to see The Daily Post’s theme centred around the idea of ‘unsung heroes’, as it’s a category that is a great conversation piece. I guess it’s the kind of thing that would usually prompt thoughts of criminally underrated albums, works of art or literature. For me, I think there are also  a great many ‘unsung heroes’ when it comes to travel destinations. Perhaps the most spectacularly underrated destination I’ve ever visited is Newfoundland, Canada’s (nay, North America’s) Eastern most province.

Sunset at Rocky Harbour, on the Western shore of Canada's most Easterly province.
Sunset at Rocky Harbour, on the Western shore of Canada’s most Easterly province.

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Seagulls taking a bath

A Whirlwind Tour of Dublin

Dublin, Dublin, Dublin. What a wonderful city you are. I had been looking forward to my little trip to the Emerald Isle for months, and it most certainly did not disappoint.

Arriving bleary eyed and yawning early in the morning, I was delighted to be greeted by blue skies and bright sun. The weekend was off to an excellent start! The journey from the airport to the city centre was really easy, the Airlink 747 bus can be picked up right outside Terminal 1. It costs €6 for a single to the centre, or €10 for a return which is valid for three months.

First stop was the hostel we were staying at. Being too early to check in we wanted some place to drop our bags before heading off to get something to fill our hungry bellies. Isaac’s Hostel was our abode of choice and luckily enough it was located just around the corner from the bus station. So far, so easy.

The hostel staff were friendly and greeted us with warm smiles and open arms. They say Irish hospitality is good, and our welcome did not disappoint. Emerging from the warm hostel into the chilly November air we took a walk along Talbot Street. The hostel is conveniently located next to a pub, the Robert Reade bar and cafe, although we fancied taking a little wander and stretching out our travel-weary limbs.

It wasn’t long before we came across a decent looking place called O’Shea’s Hotel. Needless to say, being the first drinking establishment of the weekend that we’d set foot in, my travel partner and I indulged ourselves in an obligatory pint of Guinness. Ahhhhhh. The food here was good and the portion sizes pretty enormous! I ordered bangers and mash and was presented with a steaming mound of creamy mashed potatoes, three fat, sizzling pork and leek sausages, all smothered in a rich onion gravy. Ireland is not a ‘cheap’ country to travel by any means, and Dublin is no exception. Over the course of the weekend we found that a decent-sized pub meal such as this would set you back anywhere between €10-€13. Not dirt cheap at all, but for food this tasty and portions this generous it certainly wouldn’t do the bank balance too much harm.

As it was a gorgeous sunny, crisp afternoon we decided to take a little walk around the city and see what it had to offer. Dublin is Ireland’s capital city and is bursting with life and hustle and bustle. If, like me, you enjoy wandering around a new place and taking in all the sights and sounds on offer, Dublin is for you. It’s a city made up of charming little back streets, cosy corners, quaint houses and of course, that vein of life that runs through the heart of the city, the River Liffey.

Seagulls taking a bath
The River Liffey and the quaint multi-coloured buildings that over look it.

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Giving this blogging thing a bash

Well, the day has come! I’ve finally decided to set myself up a blog. It seemed like a good idea; I like reading, I especially like reading about travel, and I enjoy writing. What I really love though, is to travel. So I’ve started this blog. The only thing I’ve got to do now is (hopefully!) fill it with interesting content. Wish me luck!

I’m hoping to fill the blog with mainly travel based items, whether that be bigger trips or short little jaunts. I love to go adventuring and exploring the world around me and would love to share it with others who are interested in the same things. Stay tuned for a post on my recent trip to Dublin, Ireland. Which, by the way, was fantastic!

I’ll keep it short and sweet for now, and leave you wanting more!