Sunday, 19 January 2014

"Not all those who wander are lost" {Travel}

One morning last week, I was driving to work and passed a tour coach. It's hard to describe the feeling I had. In that moment, I had such an incredible urge to go traveling. Even somewhere near by. I had the urge to hop on a bus, somewhere new and exciting, or ride the rail somewhere. Since that morning, that feeling has stayed with me and I can't seem to shake it.
For everyone who knows me, this probably comes as no surprise but this time it's weird- I don't necessarily want to fly somewhere sunny, to spend time on a beach. I want to pack up a home made packed lunch, a flask, bring a small travel bag and go somewhere nice, to see friends, watch a sport, visit somewhere for the first time (or all of the above) I think it's definitely time to make a plan!

For now though, I am here, but am deciding to go 'traveling' through my pictures.
It’s not going to be a post of beautiful photos, or amazing’s going to be a post about travel....the joys and the memories it creates.

Working in the Four Seasons gives me the opportunity to visit any Four Seasons in the world on a complimentary basis. (Of course, a certain number of days a year) Definitely a great perk of the job.


Traveling has allowed me visit some of the best hotels in the world...

Butlers on every floor at the Burj, Dubai

It's also given me the chance to stay in the less fancy...

This was a college in the center of London that converts into a 'hotel' during the summer. That little white door to the left was the tiny shower/toilet all- in- one combination. You wouldn't want to be carrying any extra weight.

"Let's take a picture in the phone box"....THE SMELL!
No matter where you go, you always run into the same problems...

The Hyatt, Sharm el Sheikh - Jacqueline trying to capture a moth, or a cockroach, or a beetle. There was definitely some unwelcome intrudor.

Sharm el Skeikh - July - burning skin at 9pm

The travel itself is not always comfortable, it requires early starts, late to beds, queues, a lot of people, security, noise, pollution, traffic, rushing...the list goes on. But rarely will you hear somebody say all of that wasn't worth it. Whether you're going to visit friends, go on a beach/ski holiday, take a trip for a sport, for a weekend get away, whatever it is, there are always memories created and friends made.

This was me, having just arrived in my Aerlingus flight, having gotten off that Tunisair flight across the way 15 minutes earlier! Surprisingly, it was the first time I genuinely almost missed a flight.
The Tunisair flight was hours late getting into Madrid and when I finally disembarked, I needed to sprint across the airport to try and check in. I was so lucky there was somebody still around at a check in desk 40 minutes after it had closed! I then had to make it back through security and up to the gate for Dublin. Picture this: hand luggage being dragged behind me, hand bag on my arm, jacket slung over my arm, plastic bag with stuff from the airport, hair down all over my face and sweating! Not a pretty sight!

It allows me visit my second home as often as possible. It allows me see my extended family and emmerse myself in another culture with strong traditions and beliefs. It's good for my soul.

Ramadan Dinner, Tunisia

Morning time at the Palace

Practice dealing with an angry guest!
It allows me be at my brother's wedding...

And to the wedding of one of my closest friends
Buenos Aires

It brings you visitors from all over the world

From Holland/Tunisia

From Poland and Mexico
From New York
The world is such a small place now, there is very little reason to stay in the one place all the time. Why not do some exploring? Sometimes you have to look for the excuses to do it. Sometimes you have to crave new adventures.

Barcelona {Jacqueline's birthday}

The Bahamas {My 21st}

Miami road trip in a limo, the fancier type of road trip



I asked Jacqueline to get me a nail scissors in the shop...


Dearbh doing my ironing :)


Dearbhla's first trip in a louage

The Medina, Sousse

I learned how to ski for the first time and experienced the coldest temperatures I ever have (-21C)

All the journeys for tennis over the years- buses, trains, planes, boats - you name it! Not always pretty, but always fun! We'd be up from 5am to go somewhere for a tournament, pillows and blankets in hand, packets of Gatorade, bottles of water, coolers, tennis bags, headphones, runners for running, runners for tennis, and normal shoes for the ride.

On court

 Hotel games at night (normally ending with a call to front desk from a neighbour asking us to shut up.


It allows me see so many different walks of life...but let's me understand we are all the exact same. We all want to feel loved, safe, be respected, appreciated, and be healthy. That's it. Every country and walk of life is united in those beliefs. I have learned that no matter how different people's backgrounds are, there is always common ground. There will always be something to laugh about or something to cry about. There is always a common feeling.
Traveling has also allowed me see differences in people, and made me learn to respect those differences and to go back and look for that common ground.
It has granted me independence. I learned I am able to cope alone (and sometimes quite enjoy it) - I don't need somebody to eat dinner with me in public, if it doesn't suit other people's plans, I am comfortable enough in my own skin to go and experience whatever it is I want to experience.

Lake Como, Italy



Marco Island, Florida

So many road trip with Taoufik over the years. We always seem to start at 6am, me with my grumpy face on me, always listening to Usher and singing our little hearts out!

Proper Cous Cous
Colonia, Uruguay


The best breakfast I have ever had!! - Soho, London

Key Largo, Florida

Disney World


Checking out the view

The famous bull, NYC

Rockefeller Center

A stormy drive on the way to Miami

Welcome to Miami

These guys come in the looks of our faces, it was summertime, Florida

Key West

Picnic in Hyde Park, London

Lake Como

Todi and Rome...this was a hilarious trip!

History repeats itself...getting ready for the first move

We went to Todi first to visit a friend of mine who was playing a tournament. Where? You may ask. We asked the same. We flew into Rome and needed to get a train to Todi. Which train? We had no idea, and with not a word of Italian, made our way to the train station in the hopes we would understand something. Nobody knew where Todi was, nobody could understand us and there was no clear sign to say which terminal we should be on. Disaster!

We took a chance and happened to hop on the right train. What were the odds!
We made it to Todi, a tiny city in the middle of absolutely nowhere for a 2 night stay.
The hotel we were staying in was 100% completely empty apart from us and the receptionist. (The same one-day and night!) It was like something from a horror movie! But so much fun!!

We escaped with our lives and went to Rome for our first ever visit. We got to see all the sights and had a ball!

~“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." ~
~Ernest Hemingway~

 And for those times that you can't travel...

So grateful for the past 26 years of everything!

Have a great week everyone

~~“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.”~~