So Long, Farewell

I can’t believe the day has arrived, the day when Dave and I jump on a plane to the other side of the world and embark on our two month travelling adventure. Some of you may already be sick of me talking about it, some of you may only be coming across my travel posts for the first time; either way, I hope that you’ll come along with me for the ride.

A pipe dream that we never really thought would come true is today becoming reality. We are throwing caution to the wind, letting go of all adult-ing responsibility, and heading off for an awfully big adventure.

We start in Bali where we will spend two weeks touring around soaking up cultural delights, visiting temples, doing some yoga and lying by the beach. Then, we make our way to Australia where we will spend a month driving down the east coast, taking in all the breathtaking wonders that the Great Barrier Reef and other islands have to offer. Finally, we leave Australia and head to Thailand for one last hurrah, where we plan on doing some shopping, diving and lots of boat trips, not to mention a little sunbathing.

Needless to say we are brimming over with excitement, a little bit of nerves and anxiousness, but mostly excitement. It’s going to be one hell of a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to share each step of it with you all.

For now, I’ll say goodbye, only to see you all on the other side… the Bali side!

Sorcha x

Holiday Prep | My Travel Essentials

Now that our big trip is just a few days away, I’ve been busy shopping for, and packing, all the things I’m going to need. For those of you who may have missed my previous travel posts, this Thursday, my hubby and I are off on a big two month travel adventure so there has been a lot of list writing and much to organise.

For me, it’s not the easiest thing to pack for holidays at the best of times, so packing for two months away has definitely been a challenge. I always pack far too much, I think of every possible scenario that may or may not happen, and pack several outfits and accessories for each. I just can’t help it, and I envy those who can just throw a few staple pieces in a suitcase and go!

But this time I’ve had to reign myself in and give myself a good talking to because frankly, one suitcase is all I have and it will be home to all my possessions for the next eight weeks. Through all my meticulous planning and preparation, I’m really hoping that I’ve packed just the right amount of everything (I’ll revisit this statement once I return home to let you know how successful I was!).

I’ve divided this week’s travel posts into two, today’s post is all about my basic travel essentials, while the second post is on all things beauty and toiletries, how I’ve managed to narrow down what makeup to pack, as well as some staple beauty items that I’m bringing.

For me, the below items are things that no trip would be complete without; things I couldn’t live without. So here’s a look at what travel essentials are top of my list to go in my suitcase:

My camera


Anyone who knows me, knows I love photographs. I’m not an amazing photographer, but I couldn’t live without my camera. One of my favourite things to do is sit and look through my photo collection, allowing each image to invoke memories of a time and place. I would have a house full of photo walls if I could!

Anyway, for this trip, and because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I decided to treat myself to a new camera. After a lot of research I opted for the Olympus Pen EPL7 camera which is big in the blogging world, has an abundance of settings, and both photo and video options so I can both blog and (hopefully) vlog my trip. I’ve never done a vlog before, so I’m going to give it a go, and sure if it’s a complete disaster, then a least I’ll still have some pretty pictures.

A good sun hat


This is both a practical and fashionable must-have. It’s going to be pretty damn hot in some of the places we’re visiting and although I’m a complete sun worshiper, I always take a good hat with me to keep my face protected from UV rays. It’s also a good way to keep your face cool when walking and touring around in the heat.

This little one is an oldie I picked up in a Spanish market a few years ago and goes with absolutely everything. It’s seen me through some great trips and now it’s coming along for another.

My Kindle


I’m an old fashioned book kind of girl. I don’t believe reading from a Kindle is anywhere near as enjoyable as sitting down with a real life book, breathing in that book smell as you turn the pages. Reading is probably my most favourite thing in the world to do, and the first time I used a Kindle, I did feel a little like I was cheating on my favourite pastime.

However. I read a new book every couple of days while on holiday, and even I have to admit that it’s not realistic nor practical to pack six or seven books. I simply don’t have the space or the weight allowance in my baggage, so I’ve succumbed and am putting all my current reads into this. I did it for honeymoon last year and survived, so I’m pretty sure I’l survive again now.

There is something quite magical about reading when you’re in a new, strange or different place. When I think of a book I’ve read, I always remember where I was when I read it, and while my book list for this trip isn’t yet complete, I want to read as much as I possibly can while I have the time to do it.

An underwater camera

I have wanted an underwater camera for so long now, when we were on honeymoon in the Maldives last year I was so gutted I didn’t have one for all our snorkelling, so when we confirmed this trip I knew it was one of the first things I had to get.

Thankfully my lovely hubby bought me this Vivitar one for my birthday along with an array of accessories for touring, swimming, taking selfies – you name it, I’ve got the accessory. This camera is very similar in spec to the GoPro but was a lot cheaper, so is a great option for anyone new to these cameras like me.

I’m so nervous of the sea, but now I’ve no excuses. I’m going to brave the open water and hopefully get some amazing shots in the Great Barrier Reef with this baby. Eeek!

A backpack

I don’t know how many backpacks I tried and tested out for this trip, I just couldn’t decided on whether I wanted big or small, satchel or strap. But finally I decided on this midi size option from Zara. I previously had bought a mini-backpack from River Island, but it was too small and not practical for everything I need to fit in it on the plane etc.

This one is nice and soft, has gold zip detailing and fits a decent amount. And while it’s not technically going in my suitcase, but on my back, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be my best friend over the next few months.

iPhone back up charger


If like me, you constantly use your phone for social media updates, you’ll know that the battery doesn’t last long when flitting between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Snapchat in particular completely drains battery life so the one thing I had to have for this trip was a power bank / back up charger for my phone when on the go.

I came across this one from good old Penney’s last week for the absolute bargain price of €9! So far it seems to work pretty well so fingers crossed it’ll keep me charged up. After all, I plan on sharing lots on my social media while away.

A comfy pair of sandals

We’re going to be doing a lot of walking around, and while a pair of trainers is the more practical option, I can never resist a cute pair of sandals for wandering around and discovering new things.

I picked these ones up in the Aldo sale earlier this year and they are very comfy. The tan colour means they will go with everything too.

A multi socket plug adaptor


Yes, it’s boring I know. But, as we’re going to three different countries on two different continents, an multi-socket plug adaptor is most definitely a must-have. Each of the countries we’re going to have different plug sockets, and let’s be honest, I couldn’t live without my phone or camera being charged, so this is one of the first things I ticked off my list.

Sunglasses

Many of you may have read about my new Tom Ford sunglasses in a post I shared a few months back (if not you can catch it here). Long story short, I had been lusting after them for so long and after them being out of stock for what felt like an eternity, I finally got my hands on them at the end of August.

The fact that we’re going to be in a lot of sunny places means we will be wearing sunglasses pretty much everyday, and therefore I wanted a good sturdy pair that could withstand a lot of use. This pair while gorgeous, are not too delicate, so I’m hoping they will see me through the entire trip and beyond. They’d want to for the price of them!

Music

Okay while this isn’t really an item, no trip would be complete without a great playlist. Over the Summer I’ve been writing lists of some of my favourite songs, old and new, many have a Summer vibe to them, so that I can combine the ultimate travel playlist before we go. I haven’t got around to doing this yet, but trust me, it’s next on the list.

So there you go, my ultimate travel accessories. It feels so surreal writing this post, I still can’t believe this trip is happening. Someone pinch me, seriously!

Watch out for my beauty travel essentials post which will be live tomorrow, and in the meantime if you think I’m missing anything important off my list then please let me know.

Sorcha x

 

Travel Thursday | One Week To Go

You may have noticed my blogging hasn’t been quite as frequent over the past few weeks as it usually is, you’ll have to forgive me but with my sister getting married last weekend and planning for travelling, time has quite literally, been slipping away from me.

I’ve been working on lots of posts which will be live over the coming days, but for now I just want to take some time out to digest that fact that today marks just one week before I embark on my big trip around the world.

This day next week, my hubby and I will jump on a plane to Indonesia, and from there we will visit Bali, Australia and Thailand. Eight weeks, three countries, two continents. Wow. Every time I say it out loud, I can’t believe it’s happening. Is this my life? It appears that yes, it is…

This is the kind of trip that happens once in a lifetime, I always dreamed of doing it. I’m lucky enough that I have travelled before, but there were still places left on my list that I hoped one day I would get to see. And that day has almost arrived.

There are so many things I want from this trip – I want experiences, fun, adventure, laughter, discovery, but most of all I want memories. New memories for Dave and I; we’ve never done anything like this together.

So as I begin all my packing, list making and preparations, I’ll leave you with some of my favourite travel pictures for this, my last Travel Thursday before I go.

 







Sorcha x

*Images taken from my Pinterest board.

Travel Thursday | Beauty Around the World

Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but today marks just three weeks until Dave and I head off on our big adventure to see the world. Many of you will already know this if you’ve been reading my blog posts of late, but if not, then let me fill you in.

In three weeks time, Dave and I are embarking on a two month trip around the world. Yes, I really just said that. I can’t believe it myself. Eeek! When I say around the world, I really mean the other side of the world namely, Bali, Australia and Thailand. We’re just packing up, heading off, cameras and suncream in tow, and going to see where the adventure takes us. Somewhere good I hope…

As amazing as my trip is going to be, I don’t want to let my blogging fall by the way side while I’m gone, so I’ve decided to set a few blogging challenges for myself. Hence the purpose of today’s blog post.

I blog mostly about beauty and lifestyle, with a little bit of travel thrown in here and there when I visit different places, but because I’m going to be gone so long, I was concerned that travel posts may take over and not all of you will be interested in reading those posts. So, to make sure I cover topics everyone will be interested in, there will be a beauty challenge, a lifestyle challenge and of course, a travel challenge (the last of which let’s be honest, should be a doddle).

While I haven’t decided on all the challenges just yet, I have decided on one and that is, the beauty challenge. The first challenge is for me to discover, trial, test and blog about at least two beauty products or rituals native to each place I visit. So whether it be buying makeup from a local cosmetics company, having an amazing facial or massage experience, or giving a weird and wonderful local old wives tale a try, I’m going to challenge myself to embrace, blog and put them all to the test.

I’ve started researching beauty and skincare in each of the countries I’m visiting and already I’ve come up with a few gems. Here’s a look what awaits me:

Bali

Image: Tripadvisor

From what I’ve read so far about Bali, inner beauty is deemed just as important as outer beauty, in other words, healing and looking after ourselves from the inside out. Apart from regular massages, yoga and mediation, many Balinese use herbal heeling recipes, or Jamu it is known, to keep them healthy and glowing.

Image: Pinterest

Jamu is said to be full of anti-oxidants with amazing age-defying properties so needless to say I’m intrigued. I plan on routing out some Jamu filled products during my stay to see what all the fuss is about. I think there are Jamu teas and drinks too.

Image: Pinterest

There are also several Indonesian cosmetics brands, one in particular I keep coming across is called, Caring Colours. Now, I’ve no idea what the products are like, I’ve tried using google translate to learn more, but unfortunately I think I’ll just have to wait until we get there to suss it out.

Australia

Image: Pinterest

Australia is way ahead of the curve when it comes to certain beauty products and rituals. They do beach waves (and I mean the hair kind) better than anywhere else, they embrace natural beauty both in their look and in the products they use, and there are just so many Aussie brands I am dying to try out.

I’ve been in Australia before, I spent three months there about six years ago. But, it was my last stop on a ten month trip around the world and I was pretty broke. So beauty and makeup sadly didn’t get much of a look in back then, but I’m going to make up for that this time around.

Image: Pinterest

Perhaps the most famous products to come out of Australia is cult favourite, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, which is said to be a miracle ointment made from 100% natural ingredients. It is good for chapped and cracked lips, minor burns, sunburn, insect bites – you name it. And it was even voted ‘Most Popular Lip Balm’ in Tripadvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards – who even knew there was such an award? It sounds very similar to my trusty Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream, so this is first on my list of products to try when I arrive.

Apart from Lucas’ Papaw, there are so many other Australian cosmetic and skincare brands I’m sure I’ll discover during the trip, but what intrigues me even more are some of the natural beauty remedies or old wives tales that are still used to this day. From applying almond oil all over your body after a cold shower; to putting apple cider vinegar in your hair for extra shine; to using basil to get rid of spots and blemishes, the Australian’s definitely know how to embrace the alternative. And although a bit apprehensive, I think I’m going to have to give some of these a try to see if they really do work.

Thailand

Image: Tripadvisor

Well, we all know that in terms of beauty, Thailand is probably most famous for its massage. I cannot wait to get a real, authentic Thai massage. I’ve heard they are sore, uncomfortable and a bit awkward, but I’ve also heard that you feel feckin’ fantastic afterwards.

Image: Pinterest

Spa culture is big in Thailand, and it’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to about our trip there. Because of this, several high quality holistic, natural skincare brands have shot to fame over the past number of years and by all accounts, they are amazing. Two of the most recognised and seemingly popular brands I’ve come across through my research so far are Siam Botanicals and another brand called Thann.

Image: Siam Botanicals

Aside from the fabulous spa culture, the Thai women also have some secret beauty rituals of their own. They believe mango is the cure for, well, pretty much everything from spots to cuts; Tamarind pulp is apparently a great skin exfoliator; while seaweed is reportedly their secret to shiny, bouncy hair. I’m not feeling very brave right now, but I’ll just have to man up – all in the name of beauty as they say!

Who knows if I’ll come across any of these brands whilst on my travels, I may discover many other weird and wonderful rituals and products instead, or I may discover none. But that’s my challenge, and I choose to accept it.

I’m hoping I might learn a thing or two, and maybe come home with incredibly gorgeous glowing skin just in time for Christmas? Or maybe I’ll have a few disaster stories that will do nothing more than give us all a great laugh! Either way, it’ll be an experience.

The countdown is well and truly on now, so be prepared for plenty more travel posts coming your way soon. And if you’re not into the travel posts, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with lots of beauty and lifestyle too.

Sorcha x

Friday Feeling in Kerry

It’s Friday, the best day of the week and also my favourite day. But this week it’s made even better by the fact that we are in beautiful Kerry for the weekend.

It was my birthday yesterday and I had such a lovely day, and today I’m very excited to be continuing the celebrations over the weekend.

Image: The Europe Hotel

We’re staying in the stunning Europe Hotel & Resort which overlooks the lakes of Killarney, but more importantly we are going there to celebrate my amazing friend Jess’s 30th birthday.

If you read my travel post yesterday, you’ll know that us and all our friends packed up for few days and made our way to Kerry for one big party, and we can’t wait!

Image: Wikipedia

I’ll report back next week on how we got on as well as sharing all the hotel details. I’ve stayed there many times before and absolutely love it, so I’m pretty sure this time will be as good as it always is.
In the meantime if you want a sneak peak, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (@imsimplysorcha).

Happy Friday!

Sorcha x

A Different Kind of Travel Thursday

Over the past few weeks Dave and I been away on a few little mini breaks, but this time rather than us heading off on our own, these trips have been spent with good friends and family. As someone who loves going away, and loves seeing new places, I’m always excited to head off on an adventure whether it be near or far, for a night, or a week, but trips I get particularly excited about are those spent with friends and family.

You may have heard me mention last week that we spent a couple of days in Spain over the August bank holiday weekend with some of our closest friends. There were ten of us in total, plus their babas, and it was one of those holidays where you really sit back and take stock on how important friends are. I love my friends very dearly, we have all been friends for an incredibly long time, we’re in similar stages of our lives and it’s wonderful to be able to share these stages together.

Long breakfasts in the sun, kids playing in the pool, lunches al fresco, BBQs and wine, endless amount of chatting, laughing, joking… What more could you want from a holiday? Nothing in my view. It was the perfect few days away, and made me very grateful for the amazing friends I have in my life, those who were on holiday, as well those who weren’t.


After only being home from Spain a few days we set off on our next adventure which was a weekend away with Dave’s family. His two brothers, their wives, their kids and his Mum. It’s a little tradition that they began a few years ago and it’s one of the things I look forward to most each year. As someone who’s siblings all live away, I have really learned to relish and value the time you have together with family, and this weekend was one of those times.

We were staying in apartments which were part of a hotel and they were lovely. There were great facilities for the kids, the boys had golf, and us girls had chats. Lots of chats, a little bit of wine, but mostly chats!

With all our lives being so busy, it’s so rare that we get to spend quality time together catching up, reminiscing, telling stories of old, talking, laughing, doing all the things that make being part of a family so wonderful. It’s one of those moments when you think to yourself, why don’t we do this more often? Because you have such a great time, and you realise how great being with your family is.

Tomorrow, for our third weekend away in a row, we are off to Kerry to celebrate one of our dear friend’s birthdays. It’s a big birthday, so our entire group are packing up and heading down there for a weekend of celebrations and quality time. Knowing my friends, it’s going to be a weekend to remember, as our time away so often is.

There will be laughing, there will be drinking, there will be singing, there will be dancing, there will be joking, there will be gossiping, there may even be a bit of crying! But one thing I know for sure is, it will be special, it will be brilliant, it will be memories in the making.

Because isn’t that what it’s all about really? Sharing your life with family and friends, making memories, celebrating life, enjoying the good things, being grateful for each other, and most of all, being happy?

I’m sure you all know by now how much I love travelling, I’ve spent much of this year visiting new places, and my travels don’t end here. But nothing can compare to the travelling that you do with those you love most.

Sorcha x

 

 

Tuesday Thoughts

This blog post could be called Tuesday Thoughts, or it could also be called Travel Tuesday, I’m not really sure how to decide because really it’s about my favourite thoughts on travel. My favourite thoughts, words and quotes.

I’m obviously in a travelling state of mind today, the sun is shining, I’m relaxed, I’m happy, but mostly, I’m thinking about of all the adventures that await us on our travels later this year.

I’m a dreamer and I always have been. Here’s what I’m dreaming about today…

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Don’t you ever just wonder what’s out there; what the world has to offer, what great places there are to discover, and people there are to meet? I do. I always wonder. But I don’t have to wonder anymore. Three months and counting…

Ps. In case you missed it, you can read my Hello World post with all my latest travel news here.

Sorcha x