So the summer has come to an end and what an amazing summer it was. When I decided to come to Canada to work in a summer camp I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I did all the research on camp but its is not really something that you can explain until you are there. There is a magic surrounding camp that makes friendships grow faster and memories become heightened like no where else. I learnt so many new skills this summer and discovered new loves such as rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding which who knows if I would ever have if not for camp. It is amazing what you can learn when you are just thrown in and people have confidence in you. I also learned how to make a proper fire that can be used to cook on for 12 hungry kids. I learnt how to connect with my campers on an individual level and form bonds with them all as individuals no matter how hard it was at the start I got there eventually.
It was not all roses, there were some days where tears would come to my eyes and I just wanted to crawl up and hibernate for a few days but I learnt to find things to keep me going and the team around me helped. You are on the go for the whole day so it can hard to find time to yourself at all but it is amazing what the odd five minutes lying on your bed or a smile from someone passing by can do. The summer was filled with so many happy and wonderful moments that the hard days were few and far between.
On thing that camp has given me that I will cherish forever is the friendships that I made. There is something about living and working together in a confined environment that just makes friendship form so much quicker and makes the bonds last longer. If we can survive summer camp we can survive anything. These girls have seen the highs and lows of my summer and have been an integral part of getting me through those rough times. I know that no matter the distance we will be friends for life and that there is a bond between us that will be hard to break.
I took a risk heading to Canada, a country I had never been to before to a summer camp, Camp Ouareau where I knew nobody to spent my whole summer. It could have been a disaster but thanks to the people and environment of camp it was one of the most amazing summers that I will never forget.
It is hard to explain but all I can say is ‘It’s a camp thing, you had to be there’.
I am sitting in the airport at my gate waiting to board as I write this. After re-packing my suitcase and getting to expert level in suitcase Tetris I finally made my way to the airport, passed through all the security measures and I am waiting to board. It still only feels like yesterday that I was thinking of applying to head to Canada this summer to work in a summer camp but now that it is actually here the excitement levels are on a high. I have one flight to JFK New York and then a connecting flight to Montreal where I am staying for 3 nights before heading to camp. I can’t wait to get to Montreal to explore for a day or two and sort out everything out with the help of NYQUEST , the organisation who have helped my make this idea a reality. Then Saturday will come and I will be off to camp to spend about 10 weeks in the middle of a forest which will be interesting. I am going to be the head of dance at Camp Ouareau which will be amazing, I will be spending my summer doing something I really love. I can’t wait to get to camp to meet all of the other staff who I will be working with and get this summer underway. Then after camp I can’t wait to travel Canada a little more , a place I have always wanted to visit.
I will try to keep you guys updated with my adventures and stories but that might be a little hard in the middle of a forest so we will see but I can’t wait. So all there is to say now is Goodbye Ireland and Hello Canada.
As the saying goes all good things come to an end and that was what happened to our road-trip.We spent Thursday (day 7) in the car driving back up to my house and relaxing.I had tag that night which Charley came to watch but then we relaxed , sad but happy that all the travelling was over. With just Friday before Charley headed home on Saturday we decided to head into Dublin to have a look around. The last time Charley was over we went into Dublin but the weather was not the best and we didn’t really stay very long. I also really wanted to head to the Magnum experience and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
Friday was nice and sunny so we headed in on the bus. After wandering around for a little bit we made our way to the Magnum experience in Arnotts. I have wanted to do this for ages and couldn’t wait. You get to design your own magnum . They coat it in chocolate before your eyes and then you can have three toppings sprinkled over the top. I went for milk chocolate coating and then topped it with cookie crisp, toffee crunch and sprinkles. Then it was drizzled with some white chocolate. As the ice cream comes straight out of the freezer the chocolate begins to harden straight away and makes for the most amazing indulgent ice cream. I have to say it does get a little messy when it comes to eating it and I certainly got half of it around my face but that’s just all part of the fun and it was just too good to think about the mess. That’s what tissues and wipes are for. When we finished our Magnums we headed for Aungier Danger Doughnut shop. I started following them on Instagram when they first opened and have been lusting over their doughnuts every time I scroll through my feed so I knew I had to give them a visit. We were on a little bit of a sugar rush after the magnum so we decided to get one each and bring them home with us. I got a Oreo marshmallow and Charley got a simple jam.
With our blood sugar levels successfully heightened we strolled around the city in the sun before heading to the bus to head home. After a great day we settled on the couch and started a Harry Potter marathon because why not, what better way to spend our last night. Saturday brought our trip to an end as I dropped Charley to the airport and we said our goodbyes.We are already planning our next trips and meet ups for the three of us to be together again as Courtney was not able to come on the road trip.It really is hard when your best friends live in another country but that just means when we are together we make the most of it and keep in constant contact when we aren’t.
Today was another day to relax and it was the first day that we actually had no plans to do anything for the first time on the road-trip. We spent the morning reading and I also got started on editing my vlogs from the trip. The day was a little overcast but being beside the beach we couldn’t not go and have a walk on the sand and listen to the sea, so after lunch we did just that. Of course this being Ireland there were people in the sea swimming as we walked along in our jeans and jackets. We don’t get much sun or nice weather so we have to make the most of our summers whatever the weather. I love being beside the sea and walking along the beach is one of my absolute favourite things to do. I also took the opportunity to catch some Pokemon as I have completely given in to the hype and love it. We strolled back through the town before heading back to the house to get ready for dinner.
Seeing as it was our last official night on the road-trip we decided to treat ourselves and head out for a nice dinner before we headed back to my house. We decided to try the gastro pub in the town called Tides which was only new and we were looking forward to seeing what it was like. Of course being by the sea we thought it would be the perfect time to order fish and chips. What came out was two massive fillets of cod with chunky chips all served on some newspaper which I thought was a very nice touch. It was lovely even if there was way too much. We sat for three hours over dessert , tea and hot chocolates while we put the world to rights waiting for the sun to set. There is nothing I like better than a good sunset and even though it was little cloudy it was still amazing. I set up the camera for a time lapse and we took in the wonderful beauty that was before us. Nature really does make me stop and think sometimes at how amazing the simple things really are. Sitting watching a sunset with one of my best friends is one of those little memories that will stay with me forever.
When the sun had set and the air got a little cooler we headed back to the house to relax on our final night before we made the trip back to my house the next day and the trip was over.
Sorry about the large gap between this post and the last but I have just been caught up with life and also procrastinating by watching the Olympics, which I am loving by the way, but here is Day 5 of the road-trip.
With the bulk of the driving for the road-trip done we took the next few days really handy and just relaxed. For the first time on the trip we didn’t have to leave at any time or do anything so we had a lie-in and just took it handy. We decided to head into Wexford town for a look around and to have some lunch. The weather was gorgeous and one of the hottest days of the year so it was nice to just stroll around the town and take it all in. I spent most of my summers in Rosslare and so heading into Wexford town was always something that we loved to do and a treat for us as kids. It had been a while since I had been there so it was nice to see how it had changed and bring back memories from my childhood.
After lunch we decided to head out to Hook Head Lighthouse to have a look as again it was somewhere that I used to love to go to when I was younger and it really is beautiful. There is just something about lighthouses that are just amazing. The weather was spectacular , with the blue sky as a back drop to the lighthouse it was breathtaking. While we were in town we bought some brownies and so while I took a little time lapse of the lighthoue we sat in the sun and ate them. I don’t think the day could have gotten any better, just relaxing in the sun with wonderful view. We headed back and stopped in to visit my aunt and cousins who were also down for a summer holiday and then we headed back to the house.
A simple dinner of pasta was just what we needed and then we settled in for the night to relax on the couch. We still had some brownies left and so enjoyed them with some ice-cream while watching Legally Blond 2. It was great to rest up after the long miles we had done over the last few days.
With a good nights sleep under our belts and a nice hot cooked breakfast we set about the day. We took a little walk around the town in the morning, making friends with some donkeys, while I caught some Pokemon (so good) before we started the day. Our first stop was the Ailwee caves which were amazing. Walking under ground with rock all around was quite something. Our tour took around 30minutes and we got the history of how the cave was discovered, which really was fascinating. After the caves we headed for the Burren or what we thought was a Burren centre as we were already in the vast landscape of the Burren which is 1500 hectares in size. Google maps didn’t really take us where we wanted but there were other cars parked up so we just parked and got out to explore. Although there was not centre or anything it was lovely to just walk with such beauty around us and a great silence in the air. Of course we took some photos and generally just took it all in.
After a quick drive by Father Ted’s House (just so we could say we were there) we headed to Lisdonvarna for a spot of lunch. Re-energised we headed for the Cliffs of Moher via a stop off in Doolin. The weather was not the best as it was quite windy and cloudy but we were making the most of it. As we drove towards the cliffs we were engulfed in clouds and our visibility was very bad but we thought we would give the cliffs a go anyway. Let’s just say that you would not have known there was a sea below other than you could hear the waves but for us it was just a sea of white. It made for some cool pictures and we made the most of it but you couldn’t really see anything.
We then headed for our final stop of the day and our home for the night Miltown Malbay and the Central Hostel. We were surround by clouds the whole way which made for an interesting drive. The hostel was your typical hostel and we had a shared bathroom but it was clean and cheap and a place for us to lay our heads. After going out to get some dinner we headed back to our room and watched Tangled on my laptop as we had no WiFi in our room and wanted to chill out after the long day. Then it was off to bed to get some rest before day 4 of the adventures.
Day 2 started in with a light breakfast in our hostel before we headed to the beach in Bundoran to have a little look see before we started our travels. First stop on day 2 was Glencar Waterfall which was a suggestion from Charley’s friend and was also on the suggestion board in the hostel. Driving through the mountains with the sun shinning and blue skies for miles couldn’t have been a better start to the day. Walking up to the waterfall you could hear the rushing water as it crashed into the river below. It was such a loud sound but at the same time there was something very calming about it. We took a moment to take in the sheer greatness of the waterfall because lets be honest they are pretty amazing. We sat and basked in the sunshine and took in the amazing view while having a 99 ice-cream, what a great way to spend a day.
After the waterfall we went on a mission to find some petrol as we were getting to the stage where it was getting a little too low for my liking. After circling Sligo about 3 times we finally found a station and filled up the tank so that we could continue on the adventures. Next we headed to Westport to get some lunch , there was a cycle race on in Westport town and there was no parking to be found so we headed for Westport Harbour. With a lovely toasted sandwich as fuel we began the journey to our next destination for the night Ballyvaughan. We decided to stop in Clifden on the way so the I could get a break from driving. I have to say the road between Westport and Clifden was one of the most amazing I have ever driven on. Although it was quite twisty and passing buses caused my blood pressure to spike the views were just amazing. You could have been anywhere in the world, I would suggest for anyone just to drive the road and see great wonder of nature.
A short break in Clifden to do some stretches and have a snack and it was on to Ballvaughan to our hotel for the night. A little 3 star hotel called the Hylands Burren Hotel was our home for the night and we felt very fancy in our hotel. We had a nice light dinner in the bar and then headed up to our room to watch some TV and relax after a long day of sightseeing and to prepare for day 3 which was going to be just as action packed.
I have always wanted to dye my hair but had this fear that something drastic would go wrong and my hair would be ruined, silly I know. Looking through Instagram and Pinterest there are so many amazing hairstyles and colours that just had me lusting after trying a new colour and switching my hair up.I was not brave enough to change my whole head but still wanted to do something so I thought a nice ombre balayage would be perfect. It would mean that I would get a nice new ‘do’ for summer and would be dipping my toes into dying my hair. Also I feel that this look is quite low maintenance as my roots are still my original colour and as it grows out it will still look good. I am in love with the brighter colour. especially for summer and can’t believe it took me so long to do as I have been talking about it for ages. It may only look like a small change but for me it was quite big and I am so happy with the way it turned out. I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks in different hairstyles.
So if you haven’t noticed I have been a little absent for the past while. I have been dealing with my final year in college with assignments, presentations and exams so there was little time for the blog or my Youtube channel for that matter, it was heads in the books time. I think it’s important to have time to relax especially when life was so hectic with college work but I didn’t want to be staring at a computer screen as I was already doing that every minute of the day. I opted for work outs and runs to keep me healthy and it was also a great stress reliever,there is something great about pounding the pavements, heart pumping after a stressful day (I got a PB time on one of the routes I run on one of my most stressful days). It’s important to find the balance.
I still can’t quite believe that I have finished college forever, well fingers crossed the exams went as well as I think and I can graduate in September. It’s crazy to think that you are in education for basically the first quarter of your life and now its just over. I have made so many friends for life not only from Ireland but also around the world due to being able to go on Erasmus last year and have had so many new adventures and made so many memories. No matter how much I complained about all the assignments and work I had to do, a part of me will miss it. You get into such a routine of seeing the same people everyday that it does make me a little sad to think it’s over but now it’s onto the next adventure and the next step in my life, out into the big bad world.
Now that I am officially finished college (still can’t believe it) and all my exams I am excited to get back into the blog writing and video making as I have missed it. I have always been quite a creative person whether it’s crafts or colouring and this blog and my Youtube channel give me an outlet to be creative and it’s a fun hobby so I am looking forward to getting back into it. I may not be the best writer or make the best videos but I just love doing them as something for me and if one person enjoys it that’s a bonus.
That’s all for now, I’m off to think of some blog post ideas and video ideas for the summer.
I have always had quite an active lifestyle from dance classes to hockey to rugby I like to keep active and enjoy it. Over the last year during my Erasmus I kind of stopped a little and was doing less exercise. I tried to go to some dance classes but they were a little boring and then it was hard to get up the energy to go out for a run or something. Along with this my diet wasn’t the best as we had limited space and cooking facilities so it was a lot of pasta for dinner. I decided that this summer I wanted to get fit and toned so that I could feel my very best. There are always parts of your body that you want to change so I thought that this summer I am going to get more active and eat a little healthier so I can wear that cute dress or nice trousers without feeling like a look like a lump.
I decided to join my local gym for the summer months to get this kick-started. The thing I love about the gym is that they do classes daily from kettle-bells to spinning to TRX there is something for everyone and I find that they are perfect for me. I workout best when someone is pushing me so I can’t just give up and the instructors are great in these class pushing you to just the right limits. The classes have also helped introduce me to new exercises. I am guilty of just heading to the gym going on the treadmill and bike and maybe doing some rowing but that was it. I always want to get into the weights machines but am nervous as I don’t know what exercises to do and because of this I shy away from them. With the classes I get to do some weights work and know exactly what I am doing and it makes me confident that I could use the machines in the gym someday by myself, baby steps people. The class atmosphere is great and everyone is there for the same reasons to become their best selves.Another great thing about the gym I go to is that it has a swimming pool. I used to go to swimming classes every week when I was younger and would love it but as I got older I didn’t have time . Now I can get back into swimming which is great. There is something amazing about gilding through the water and feeling weightless.
Of course with joining the gym meant I had to but some new gym clothes. I have become the person who looks up buying new runners and gym clothes everyday, but you know I gotta look and feel great to workout out. I have really been loving heading to the gym in the evening and getting my sweat on and seeing the ‘guns’ grow. I am also starting to feel stronger and fitter which was my goal and I am getting better each day. I am also trying to incorporate some yoga into my life for some relaxation time and also because I love stretching, that’s the dancer in me. I like to watch some videos on Youtube or just make up my own flow and it’s great.
It’s amazing what some motivation and the right setting can give you. I’m feeling stronger mentally and physically and it’s amazing.Let me know what some of your go to workouts are as I’m always looking to try new things.