Anxious to Adventure

The thoughts, travels and tribulations of a recent graduate about to embark on the big bad world.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Woods Hole, Cape Cod

I have been vocal about my love for Cape Cod in previous posts (Cape Cod, Falmouth, Martha's Vineyard etc) so I'd jump at a chance to write more about it.

Woods Hole was probably known to most people as being one of the key places to catch the Ferry to Martha's Vineyard but it is a destination in itself. A self declared 'village on Cape Cod' Woods Hole has a little something for everyone.
The first stop we always make is the Aquarium. It's only small (but free) and can be viewed in under an hour. Ever since we were little there has been a couple of seals in the outdoor pool but sadly, last time I visited they have both died within days of each other (RIP Bumper and LuSeal). There is a 'touch tank' in the aquarium though, which is fun for all ages.

You can wander between the traditional, timber clad, Cape Cod buildings to discover a number of shops from tourist souvenirs to quirky gift shops. There are a number of places where you can get an ice cream (it would be rude not to) plus, I have it on good authority that 'Pie In The Sky' is not to be missed. 

A staple part of a visit to Wood's Hole is watching the drawbridge - or if you're a friend of mine get so engrossed in seeing which boat is coming through that you drop your entire coffee on the ground!

My absolute favourite thing to do in Woods Hole? Sit by the water and eat Clam Chowder. No one makes it quite like they do in New England. I would recommend Shuckers. Get a table out on the deck out the back and enjoy the view. 

Alternatively, you can also go to the market and take a seat on one of their decks. The view is the same - and the chowder is just as good!


Tuesday, 29 January 2019

10 Places to visit in 2019

At the beginning of last year I compiled a list of the places that I wanted to visit during the year. I wasn't planning on doing the same this year but as the inevitable January blues creep in - and the painful wait until pay day - I find myself daydreaming of all the destinations I want to visit (most of them much warmer than England).

I've tried to be 'realistic' with my choices. There is so much more that I want to see that hasn't been included on this list but I can't foresee myself touring South America this year!
(N.B. These photos are not my own.)

  1. Athens

2. Berlin

3. Malta

4. Madeira

5. Istanbul

6. Scandinavia (anywhere!)

7. Morocco

8. Corfu

9. The Scottish Highlands

10. The Cotswolds

Are any of these destinations on your list? Let me know if you've visited them, what did you think?


Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Postcards from France

I've been to France more times than I can remember. I love it - from the historic battlefields of Normandy to the winding streets of Carcassonne there is something for everybody. This summer, we went on a family holiday to the Lot in the Midi-Pyrenees not too far from the Dordogne. All we wanted was ten days to refresh and relax - and that's exactly what we got!

There was something about this region that was extra special - like we had walked onto the set of a film. This is not an exaggeration: there was castles built onto cliffs, flower lined paths and there seemed to be some sort of butterfly and moth infestation so everywhere you walked they would dance behind you. It was like something out of Beauty and the Beast.

Our house was in a small valley, just out of the village. We'd spend afternoons lazing here, reading, drink and most importantly: picnicking.

Other days we would explore towns and villages, such as Lacave:




We visited markets...

...spent time by the river...

...and time on the river.

It was just what we needed!  

Friday, 16 November 2018

How I Cope with a Fear of Flying

The first ever guest post on my blog - and what's more fitting than asking one of my oldest and best friends to be the author. Becky and I have been friends for almost 15 years and have been on our fair share of trips together. She very kindly agreed to answer some questions about a fear of flying. She is about to become a Mum (!!!) for the first time in February - follow her journey here.

1. On average, how many flights do you take each year?
I'd say on average I fly around 8 times a year. I have family in Jersey so it's more often than not to see them. Now that I'm pregnant it's a lot less though!

2. Have you always been afraid of flying?
Interestingly enough, when I was younger I loved flying. I can remember my brother and I used to fight over the window seat (something I HATE now). I used to get so excited about the plane journey as well as the holiday!

Do you remember when it began?
I think as I got older, I became a much more fearful person. I think around the ages of 10-12 I really started to dread flying. When I was much younger, I would often fly with my grandparents as my Mum was scared of flying however, she began to try and tackle her fear. I think seeing her so terrified on airplanes around that age may have triggered it off. Surprisingly enough, my Mum is okay flying now (still doesn't love it though!). I do think even without seeing her so scared I would have developed the fear anyway.

3. What is it that you are afraid of?
Oh, I'm afraid of many, many things. Having watched every episode of Air Crash Investigation I could tell you just about everything that could go wrong with an airplane! I'm scared of heights themselves, crashing, falling out of the sky, the plane stalling, terrorism attack, literally anything! I suppose they would all point to a fear of death though. 

4. What does it feel like for you getting on a flight?
I really hate it. For me, it takes away a serious amount of enjoyment about the actual destination itself. I feel anxious, sick, a bit shaky and like I could burst into tears at any moment. Coming back is always the hardest because you don't have as much to look forward to!

5. How do you cope?
I've tried a few things over the years. I did try medication to calm my nerves but found that it just made me really tired. No I try to make sure I have music for the take off and landing, something that I start listening to straight away on the plane. If it's a bit of a longer flight they I might download a few TV shows but I do find it really hard to concentrate on anything other than the plane itself so have found music to be my absolute saviour! I also find if you have a friend or family member to distract you that can massively help as well. 

Do you have any rituals or coping mechanisms?
I have a silly one of touching the plane before I get on! And then when I'm actually up in the air I try to think of all the things I'm looking forward to in my life and how in a few hours I'll be back on the ground again. Also, like I mentioned before, music is probably my biggest way of coping as I find if I can't hear the plane it's a bit easier to pretend everything is okay!
(*One thing I have noticed when flying with Becky is that she sets a timer of how long left on the flight. This way you can think to yourself, I only have 45 minutes left of worrying, etc and think it can be quite helpful!) 

6. Does it make a difference to you if it's long haul or short haul?
My Mum once said to me that you can't stay scared for 12 hours straight when we went to Mauritius - and she was right! I think long haul is obviously much more daunting as just being on the plane for longer is increasing the chances of something to go wrong in my eyes. My rational self knows that that is not how it works. So, I would say yes, I do worry more about long haul but in the long run I probably end up relaxing more on those flights than I do on a 50 minute flight to Jersey.

7. What extents have you gone to avoid flying?
I would like to think I haven't actually ever let my fear stop me from going anywhere. Even if that's meant there have been many meltdowns on a plane!! I feel like I've done my fair share of travelling to different countries, both for holidays and working abroad. However, thinking about it now, I said when I got pregnant I wouldn't be doing any flying at all during this time so in that respect I've probably sadly missed out on a babymoon.

8. What advice would you give to somebody that is travelling with a person that's afraid of flying?
I would say to follow their lead. Some people don't like being asked if they're alright or having any fuss but checking up on them when they are on the plane is completely fine. If you think distraction will help them then go for it, otherwise just offer a hand from them and give it a reassuring squeeze! If it is someone that is really worried maybe let the air stewards, as they can be a real reassurance if there's turbulence or anything like that.

9. What's your favourite thing about flying?
My favourite thing about flying is the excitement of going anywhere! It's normally a happy occasion if you're hopping on a plane so I would say thinking about the holiday or occasion ahead.

10. What's the best piece of advice anybody has given you about flying?
Probably two things: I've been told by many people that travelling by air is actually the safest form of transport - something I like to keep in the back of my mind! Or on the other side of the spectrum, my boyfriend reassuringly said 'Well, if you die you die and we can't do anything to change it!' - surprisingly it did help to hear this!!!


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Sami and Magical Melissani

We left Fiscardo... and arrived in Sami thankful to be alive! Within 10 minutes of getting on the bus the driver had smoked two cigarettes, taken a few phone calls and almost run over some sort of ferret. The journey had beautiful views of the sparkling sea and hills of Kefalonia - however these views were somewhat tarnished when the driver was enjoying looking at them as much as we were! 
We arrived, white-knuckled and slightly carsick, in Sami about an hour later.

Where is Sami?
Sami is on the east coast of Kefalonia and looks across the water to Ithaca.

How long for?
2 nights

Where did we stay?
We booked a 'waterfron't room - I don't think there was much of a price difference to do so but it was definitely worth it to have a balcony with a view of the harbour. The hotel was possibly in the best location in Sami. (Top tip: don't try and find it on Google Earth because it is still a building site online!) It was cheap and cheerful with friendly staff.

What did you do?
We had lots of plans for our few days in Sami: visit Melissani, Ithaca, sightseeing. Unfortunately on our first evening I had sunstroke so we took things a little easier.

On our first day we woke to find it a little overcast with very choppy seas so decided against getting the boat over to Ithaca. We knew that we wanted to go to Melissani Cave - firstly because everybody recommended that we visited but also because the friend I was travelling was called Melissa.

Everybody we spoke to said that the best views of Melissani are at midday but if you arrive at midday you will be queuing forever. We walked from Sami rather than taking the bus in hope to avoid the queues. We arrived at about 10.30am and waited no longer than 10 minutes before we were in a boat.

The cave is beautiful. The water is so clear, the photos just don't do it justice.

Our guide was very informative - and spoke 4 languages.

It costs €7 per person and we were only in the boat/cave for about 20 minutes. If I paid anymore than that I would have perhaps questioned whether it was worth it.

By the time we left the cave the queue was building so definitely take heed the advice and get there early!

We decided to go sightseeing in the afternoon and walk to the nearby Acropolis...big mistake. The scorching midday heat was too much and we favoured an afternoon on our balcony, sipping drinks and watching the world go by. It's true what they say: 'only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.'

We did make some news friends though - so maybe it was worth it!

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