Weekly Photo Challenge – Reflections

This weeks challenge is reflections. I have chosen to share this particular image with you, because to me, this is one if the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure if living, and working.

To me, it was the most peaceful area I have ever seen. It certainly made me reflect on my own personal goals and ambitions.

I am truly grateful to have witnessed this for myself.

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Time is Running Out

Wow, its been 2 months since my last blog post and I’ve been crazy busy with sorting out my life for the next 4 months.

In 4 days time I leave the comfort of my home town to live basic. Like, really basic. No electric, in the middle of no where with no phone and no one I know. I can’t wait! I can’t wait to be shut off from the world and not have to worry about anyone, or anything. No social media for 4 months will be bliss. To be quite honest, if it wasn’t for going away for so long, I would have never have reactivated my account, but I’ve kept it for my closest friends & family.

My only concern right now, is how do I get my life into a 60L rucksack? The more I look at the mountain of clothes, the more I put it off. But time is running out and I need some serious motivation. ( Not that the thought of travelling around North America isn’t motivation enough)

I’m even unsure of my travel plans after camp. A few rough ideas later and I still can’t decide. If the country wasn’t so big, I think I would have a much easier time deciding. But my decision making skills are questionable and the TrekAmerica brochure just isn’t helping, it’s just making me wish I had an endless pile of money.

So who knows. Will I be packed on time? Where will I end up?

The Countdown is On!


Recently I’ve become a bit lazy (again) when it comes to updating this blog. I’ve been so busy, I’ve even ticked two things off my bucket list!!

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In August of last year, I had a telephone interview for this coming summer when I was asked the question, “how well can you swim?”. Now, I’m a pretty good person, but I may have told a sneaky white lie and said, “really well/I love it/ Its my favourite sport”. Which then backfired on me when they immediately signed me up for a life guarding course for this year.

I somehow managed to convince myself, that I would swim every single day for 30 minutes, gradually building up my time, speed and distance for the next 6 months. Then somehow, I may pass all my prerequisites. How hard could it be right?!?!

Well. Lets just say when I saw the list of prerequisites, I could have just cried. Sad tears of course, not happy ones. But it was something I had thought about gaining previously, and having been hired on the basis of actually being a life guard already, I didn’t have a lot of choice.

Let me just say, that if you ever seriously want to do this qualification, you are crazy. But in a good way. Because it will wreck your body and social life, like no other.

I gave up nights out, afternoon lunch dates with my best friends and ended up being so tired that I was in bed by 8pm every night. For 5 months. In the beginning, it was genuinly a nightmare, and I considered giving up before I had even begun thousands of times. Luckily, I have several amazingly supportive friends, who understood and actually forced me to train/listened to me cry down the phone about how I was about to fail. One of them can’t even swim, and physically got in the pool with me. That’s how much I love them with all my heart.

But you know what time does. It literally creeps up on you and out of no where my course date had arrived. That first day, felt like I was starting school all over again. I had met 3 girls , one in my hotel, one the night before, and one in the pool waiting room, so we all crapped ourselves together. You know when you get that ultimate fear of, ‘ i wish i had actually practiced that more’ going round and round? Well, that was going round in my brain at 60mph.

But somehow I swam my distance in the quickest time I’ve ever swam, picked up a stupidly heavy brick off the floor with no problem & tread water like it was the most natural thing in the world. The one thing that completely threw me, was an underwater swim. The biggest thing for me, was confidence and knowing it was mind over matter. Which luckily, it was. And even though it took me 3 attempts, I did it. The best bit about that whole part? Having the amazing group literally behind me the whole time. Also slightly embarrassing now though. No one wants to be cheered, or clapped at when you look like a dying whale.

Obviously, it was by far the hardest 5 days of my life. I’ve never eaten so many Subways before, or ready made porridge. I came home with a cracked rib from backboarding, covered head to toe in bruises and a massive scar in the middle of my hand. But the one thing I realised that they never actually told me before I went, was that I would meet some amazing people. The best part, is that we’re all still in touch, there are summer plans in the states & we have a massive night out coming up.

So the countdown is on!! 59 days and I’ll be 100% life guarding in the states.

 

Planning is Part of the Fun!

Now, who was delusional enough to think of that statement? Honestly.

So I would say, I’m about half way through the ‘planning’ phase of my travels for the States. If half way was more like being near the beginning. Sigh. So far, there is 4 of us that has decided renting a car and driving the southern route of america to LA is a fantastic idea. Which it is. On paper. Or in this case, a Facebook message.Because you see, I’ve never actually met any of the people I’m travelling with. Which has personally added to the excitement of the whole trip.

Everyone is buzzing with the thought of driving somewhere after we’ve worked our little socks off for the last 11 weeks. And to share the same passions and likes as someone you’ve never met is a big deal, and a massive step towards what could potentially lead to some amazing friendships. (I can’t wait!)

Our starting point is camp, in Washington. That’s pretty much the only solid thing we have right now! But we are driving through to New Orleans, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and finally ending up in California. There are no words to describe how amazing this journey will be. We have 3 nights in Las Vegas already booked in a sweet hotel which cost £60. EXACTLY. And did I mention we’re camping out under the stars at the Grand Canyon? Yeah we are!

But once we’ve seen the Hollywood sign, and walked down some famous avenues, we’re hopping on a 15 hour overnight train to Chicago for 3 nights, before heading up north towards New York, as this is where I’m flying home from, and is an easy base for the other guys flying from good ol’ DC.

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The only thing I have to worry about is a couple of days on my own in New York, and that isn’t a bad thing at all! And maybe the whole driving thing. Can you  honestly imagine me driving on the other side of the road just screaming lyrics to songs i barely know just to stay awake? No neither can I. And I don’t think they know what they’re letting themselves in for!

Any recommendations of hotels, or good places to stay in New York are welcomed with open arms.

So that’s my summer plans. Jealous? Thought so. 😉

How to make a Camp Leaders video

I’ve been meaning to post this for a loooooong time, so here it is!

After being fortunate enough to be placed at a camp at the beginning of November, I still find myself checking the Camp Leaders facebook page at least 10 times a day. I’m not 100% sure as to why yet! But I read all the comments in hope that I can write something here that will help future applicants out. One thing that has really stood out to me, is people asking about the compulsory video.

So after filling in what feels like the longest application form in the world, and got to the next stage – Woohoo! –  you then receive the email about making ‘that’ video. Yup. And let me guess, you have absolutely no idea where to even begin? Exactly. So lets start with the basics.

The only scary thing about making a video, is how you’re going to be perceived by others. And yes, I understand that you can look like an absolute nutter and it is cemented on the internet for everyone to see, but just think of the end result. You’ll be doing something you love and getting paid for it.

Start with a solid intro. Tell everyone who you are and your reason behind what they’re about to witness.

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The key to the video is to have fun. It only needs to be a minute and a half long, so look at your list of top skills and get brainstorming. Think about how you can show these off as quickly as possible, whilst looking so energetic at the same time. Try and make it as unique as possible. Don’t just chuck a load of old photos of you in different places, with a group of children, you at a bake sale etc and turn it into a slideshow. Get ultra creative. Show that you’re willing to put all the work in because after all, you’re about to put a hell of a lot more work in when you get to camp.

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And don’t forget to film a closing line! Thank everyone for watching and tell them how much you can’t wait for the summer working with them. And don’t forget to reallllly think about that all important song for your video!

Remember, you’ll be working with children and your future employer is potentially about to see absolutely everything you put into it. Not only that, check your YouTube channel. Clear that up! Set your videos to private if they’re a little inappropriate. You wouldn’t want your boss to see you or your mates getting wild in a club on a Saturday night now would they? Nahhhh.

After watching my video back a stupid number of times, there are hundreds of changes I would make, but if I looked at it and thought it was perfect, it wouldn’t have reflected my personality and style. I’m just glad my best friend was there holding that camera  because she’s probably the only other person in the world that understands how crazy it can be.

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Thanks Clo 🙂