Sunday, 12 October 2014

'Fit for Thailand'

We went to Thailand for 10 days, and typically it was the most unorganised trip until about 3 days before. We booked all our accommodation, decided where we were going to go all whilst in Japan, leaving us very stressed out one day when we realised how hard it was going to be travelling around Thailand with all my luggage. However, saying that, we had no problem with hotels, with only one of the four hotels being a complete dump.
If i was to do Thailand again, i would probably cut out one of the places we went to. Going to 4 places in 10 days meant that we were doing a lot of moving around, which could best stressful.
We started in Phuket, which has the famous 'Bangla Road'. I guess its sort of like the Malia of Thailand, just 10X tackier and with many questionable lady boys. all in all its an unforgettable experience.
We stayed there for 4 or so nights, spending most of it sunbathing, eating a lot of thai food and having the funniest nights out.
we also did a boat trip to James Bond Island, which typically it poured down as soon as we reached, so it wasn't quite the scenic views we were expecting to see.
from phuket we moved onto phi phi, which was both mine and alisas favourite island. Its where they filmed the movie 'The Beach', although we thought we visited the beach off the movie, but apparently it was round the other side of the island, oops. Phi Phi is a tiny island with no cars or public transport, its so picturesque and exactly how i expected thailand to be. on a night the beach turns into a massive party, with fire limbo and music.
we were so sad to only stay in phi phi for one night, as our next place didnt meet the standards at all. the hotel was dire, and it rained the whole 2 days we were there, not ideal. most of the two days in Ao Nang were spent recovering from the past 6 days and chilling out, in a way it was needed.
Our final stop was Koh Samui, in order to be close to the full moon party.
The full moon party was a lot of fun, however it is an absolute nightmare to find your friends. me and alisa lost each other so easily amongst the crowds. we both didnt bring phones because we were told the party was prone for pickpocketing, so we were walking around aimlessly trying to find each other amongst 30,000 or so people. we also didnt take bags due to the pickpocketing reason, so all our money was carried in our shoe.. The full moon party was actually a lot tamer than i expected it to be, with most people being 18 or so. i had better nights, but I feel like it's something you have to do whilst there, as its so legendary.
the next day was spent on total recovery, and in the evening we rented scooters with two guys we befriended.
our last day in thailand was spent travelling back from Koh Samui to Phuket, ready to catch our flight.
we left Koh Samui at 8am, arriving in Phuket at 4pm ready for our 11pm flights, longest day ever...
whilst we had a long wait in the airport, i sort of didnt want it to go fast because i knew it would be the last time i saw alisa in a very long time. after having spent every waking second with her for the last 3 weeks, it felt weird knowing that she wouldn't be by my side.  it was scaring me thinking that i wouldn't have her with me in Melbourne, having to start all over again. I realise how incredibly lucky i am to travel to all these places, and literally have the best summer ever.
Below are photos of all my travel adventures in Thailand, including the time we were charged £4 for a photo with a monkey
amazing thai food, all for the equivalent of £1.50

bonding with a cute flea ridden monkey

Muslim fishing town 

cute cannoeing 

the filter is deceivingly good at hiding just how bad the weather was. in the midst of a huge storm at James Bond island

we went on an elephant ride one day. worst idea ever. the guy was so mean to the elephant and our hungover states couldn't handle how upsetting it was. heres a photo of us looking sad and distressed on said elephant.

beautiful Phi Phi

urgh, take me back

walking under fire, the most fun night 

arriving in Ao Nang. Pretty. but rainy
at the full moon party. we bumped into a friend from uni (guy in the centre)

Japan bound

I flew out to Japan on the 22nd June with my best friend (one featured in nearly all photos). she's half japanese and her parents live out there so we stayed with them for most of the trip. She grew up in Nagoya, which is quite a big city. we spent most our time there, but also took a weekend trip to Tokyo which was so much fun, and a few day trips around nearby towns.
going to japan was literally the most eye opening experience. I've never been to a place where english is barely spoken, so it was weird to find that i wasn't understood, and a lot of the time i stood out for being white, which was totally weird for me.
we were there for 12 days in total, it was so good to go with someone who had lived there, so could show me around without just doing the typically touristy stuff. i had so much great food and sushi, and some really fun nights out meeting everyone over there! one of my favourite days was spent visiting an old japanese village, i think called magame, it was so pretty and preserved, looking just like how japan used to look.
the scenery in Japan is so different to the Western world, which is what struck me as crazy when i first got there.
I had well over 1000 photos, so this is an extreme shortened down version of my trip to Japan in pictures
haha this is the weirdest thing ever, i think called purikura and its so popular in Japan. You can dress up and the photo will edit your face, so your skins smoother, your eyes are larger etc. it also slims your legs which is really freaky. It's just so Japanese

This is the Nagoya Castle, in the town my friends are from. they took me here the first day, and it was honestly so beautiful and traditionally Japanese

with my best friend before our first night out in Nagoya, missing you girl :)

in Tokyo! stood by the famous statue of Hachuko, the dog that waited for its owner every morning in the same spot, until one day the owner didnt turn up


us 4 before going out in TOKYO

getting my fortune


pretty TOKYO pre thunderstorm

us in the maid cafe. weirdest experience ever

taken from the pretty old town, Magame

thanks to the Juni family for having me and showing me round, had the best time 

KYOTO, Japan's old capital

Golden Temple

not sure how to twist this round, urgh missing proper Japanese food so much

last night out in Nagoya

leaving Japan with sushi socks intact

photos are of bad quality as were only taken on iPhone, but hopefully this gives a bit of insight into my trip in Japan. I had the most amazing time, and was lucky enough to be able to travel to such an interesting country whilst visiting a friend. Becoming friends with people from all over the world has ben such an amazing experience, allowing me to visit their home countries and see the country through the eyes of a local, and it's been such an eye opening experience

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Leaving London

My last month in England went scarily fast, filled with goodbyes from both friends from home and also from my University in London.
After my exams finished i had just under a week to embrace london before i went home for the final countdown. That week was incredibly busy, filled with goodbyes to the friends I'd made during my time in London in the past 2 years. I did a lot of the typically touristy stuff, such as exploring central after a long time of avoiding it, whilst also going out for about 3 meals a day, trying to see everybody before i went away. My best friend came down from Essex for my final weekend, so we partied it up in a way that would've challenged my fresher days, going to all our favourite places before admitting defeat on the final day and ending it with a chilled out pub night. Its weird thinking back to that last week, i remember at the time i didnt feel like i was going away, so saying bye to everyone seemed forced and false, asif it was a big pretence and i would see them again the week after. Even now i don't think its properly sunk in, as most of my friends haven't started back at uni, so i feel like this is just my holiday, where unfortunately I'm made to go to class. I was really fortunate with the weather, so spent a few of my last days in my favourite part of London, Camden. I spent so much time on Primrose Hill, which embarrassingly i only discovered towards the end of my time in London. 
I travelled back home to the north of england, and was back for just 1 night before going to Download Festival with a big group of friends from home. We had the most amazing weekend, seeing a lot of bands and drinking a lot of alcohol, i couldn't have asked for a better last weekend with my oldest favourites, cheesefest. 
After that I only had 5 days left in England before flying out, 3 of those spent in my hometown. 
My last few days was spent mostly with my mum, whilst also making sure i had everything packed. on the evenings there was a lot of leaving meals going on. My last day was really sunny and we all went to the pub and drank rekorderlig all day. i miss that a lot. i always thought that stuff was expensive but you would actually have to have a 6 figure job to be able to drink that stuff on the regular in Australia. It was bittersweet saying bye to the people I'd been friends with for so long. We'd already dealt with goodbyes before, when we all left each other 2 years ago to to go to university, so this didnt feel too weird as i spent the majority of the year away from them. 

Tourist shot with Beans

struggling to move my life from London back up North

us 4 gals having a ball through Avenged

half the gang 2nd day

favourite photo with fireman 

drunken photography turned good- Aerosmith

favourite people very messy

actual line up
goodbye meal with my family before me and Alisa flew off to Japan
down by the pub river for my final night

so thats a somewhat brief summarisation of my last few weeks in London, ending on the 22nd June when i flew out to Japan, Thailand and finally Australia. it still feels weird knowing how far away i am from my friends and family, and that even if i wanted to it isn't really possible to go home. its the most challenging thing I've done, but right now I'm 100% glad I did, as its literally been the most amazing experience, so much better than i ever could have imagined :)

Sunday, 7 September 2014

last minute life changing choices

Before I start, I guess I should introduce myself, and my aims for this blog.

My name is Sian Gers. I was born and raised in England, spending most of my childhood in London. My teen years were spent in an idyllic village in the northern part of England, surrounded by fields, pubs and a delicious chicken dish called 'the parmo'. When I reached 18 i bounced back off to London, to study Business Studies at Cass Business School (also known as City). Having spent the past 2 years living in London, I decided to take a year of my studying abroad, to Melbourne, Australia. In typical me style, i left it to past the deadline to apply, thinking nothing of the opportunity to explore a new country and shake up my life. it was only mid february when i was cold and sick of England i thought about the possibility of experiencing university life in a different country. my first choice for this was Canada, with the options being Vancouver, or British Columbia. My real dream was to go to New York and study there, but sadly my university only offered places in rural suburbs in America, so that option was crossed off. it was only after i spoke to the advisors that i really thought about Australia as an option. for me, the chance to live in Australia has never appealed to me. I'm far too high maintenance, having lived in London the past few years I'm used to everything being on my doorstep, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of a fast paced city. therefore, the chilled out perception of Australia didn't appeal for anything more than a holiday. However, when i really thought about it, Australia seemed perfect for a semester abroad, whilst also being a huge challenge i was scared to partake in.
once I'd been told by the advisors that, although i was applying three weeks past the deadline, i could still be considered, i spent more time researching into my future. slowly i became to realise how perfect Melbourne would be, with it being voted the most liveable city in the world multiple times, it features the multiculturalism that London also has to offer, whilst having a great student vibe towards it. My next step was to talk to my parents about it. for me, this was really hard. I'm really close to my parents, but I'm often known for jumping to decisions irrationally, so i didn't think they'd take me seriously on this idea. surprisingly, they were really supportive and all for me going, saying that it would be an experience of a lifetime, and if i were to do it they'd support me in every way. with this, i had encouragement to carry on with my application. i had to go to an interview with the study abroad office, declaring why i wished to study abroad. and although its a known fact that you pretty much get accepted at my uni from them, i was still nervous, thinking that my scattyness and late application would hold me back, with them thinking that i wasn't 100% serious about applying, and that it was just an irrational thought of the moment. luckily, i was convincing enough for them to accept me, and put me forward to my chosen university, RMIT University in Melbourne. For me, the choice was perfect. I had a lot of relatives in Melbourne, and whilst they are distant, you come to realise whilst travelling the importance of relatives, no matter how close you were to them before. its always nice to know that you have a comforting surround to go towards if you're ever feeling homesick, or just someone who's going to be interested in everything you say regarding school and your subjects, and check you're doing okay. To fast forward the boring part, my application got accepted on both ends, and whilst there was a moment on holiday where i thought i wouldn't get the whole thing submitted on time due to a dodgy connection, i managed to make the deadline and choose my options within the time permitted. once all this had been done it was on to applying for visas, booking flights and sorting accommodation. the only thing was, id booked a return flight from England-->japan-->Thailand-->England. the return date was the day before i was supposed to be arriving into Melbourne. after much consideration and debate with my mum and the study abroad office, we decided that opposed to arriving late, i should just go straight from Thailand to Melbourne after my travels, as they're closer, meaning i would have to be carrying everything i needed with me for the next year around my backpacking trip of Thailand... fun.

once id told everyone and got over the initial excitement, i started to feel regret and fear towards the massive decision id made. before, it had just seemed like a fun idea to play with, studying abroad in Australia and living in a hot climate. however, when i thought about uprooting my life in London, and leaving all my friends and family for such a long time, i had a massive freakout, and pushed the whole thing to the back of my head, refusing to talk about it with anyone. looking back now, i can't believe i was so scared, as now that I'm here its literally been the best decision of my life, its opened my mind so much, and allowed me to experience things that wouldn't have been possible before. all I'm saying is, whilst its nice to have a comfortable life, and be happy where you are, don't be afraid to mix things up and move abroad. the first few weeks are hard, and saying bye to your friends is even harder, but theres so much more of the world to see and be experienced, it seems pointless to just live your life in just one small part of it, missing out on so much.
whilst over in Australia, i plan to travel around, visiting both places in the country, and other countries in the southern hemisphere. so far, i have travelled to Japan and Thailand prior to flying out. i also have just been on spring break, and went to Indonesia, which was absolutely amazing.
i'll continue to blog directly about these places and my experiences in these places, and i hope to inspire people to take the leap and jump out of their comfort zone, as for me it was completely worth it.