Vacations still need baggage

Hey all,

So I am in the beautiful country of Latvia. It’s so cold and it’s been snowing BUT it is so incredible. I will add a few photos to the post out of the hundreds I have taken! I’ve walked 8 miles today and I have popped back to the hotel to rest before venturing out later to take some night shots tonight. It’s about 4pm in Riga and I feel like it been a long day already. I started early and it was nice to get out and about. The world felt empty and quiet.

Walking 8 miles in a day isn’t for everyone. I know that. I think that’s why I love travelling alone. I am able to amble, mingle amongst the busy and let my own feet guide me. I let the music play and I wonder until I say enough. Travelling alone allows me to be the small, the unimportant, and the unnoticed. I am the shadow and the faceless. It’s gives me space to be unobserved, untested, and unaccompanied. I don’t forgot my feelings or my responsibilities, they just forgot me.

I sat in a coffee shop today (no shock there), and got my map out, spread myself across the table – maps, bullet journal, camera, hat, handwritten notes of things to do, phone, all over the table. It was my space. The waitress must have just thought “oh my god” when she brought the coffee over. On a table for four, there was no room for a coffee. I made room of course but it felt nice to have so much room to myself. Two coffees later and a day planned for about an hour, I finally looked up from my table and saw the empty seats in my booth opposite. I forgot they were empty. I didn’t mind it’s emptiness, I just noticed it. I guess by noticing it, I thought for a second what would it be like to have someone here? Would I enjoy this experience more? I know I would feel easier about going to the toilet, that’s for sure. But I don’t think I want anyone with me. The comfort with the empty booths, me sitting with three empty spaces around me lets me know I am okay with being alone. With the state of the table, there isn’t room for anyone else. Isn’t that ironic? Maybe that where I am at on a larger scale, maybe I am not ready for anyone to join my table. Not just yet.

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For now, I think that in some cases, having the what if’s are better than the have done’s. Imagination may be better than the reality of things, wishes may be better than memories. My dreams keep me feeling alive, where the memories keep me awake at night. Maybe some dreams and wishes are meant not meant to be heard. When the noise stops, would those dreams still be there? The only thing we can take from this world is the emotions we feel and the memories we have. Maybe that’s all I am meant to need in my life. I’m here, alone, in Riga, and feel powerful. I feel alive, wanderlust fuelled, and so able. I let it all go and get to smile without an audience. Nothing feels forced. I feel no pressure from anyone, I am truly single here. I am unattached to any friend, situation, family member, work colleague, even stranger. I have no one depending on me. I am totally detached to my world. Why cannot my daily life feel this liberating? Maybe that’s what this time is all about. It’s to start detaching a little and taking more time for me. It’s giving myself space to be a single entity. It’s being simply Ivy. Simply me before it’s a “we” or an “us” again. I don’t doubt that I won’t be always be alone, crap I think I am the most unlonely woman in the world. I have so much around me, I cannot feel lonely ever. And damn it, I made my world that way and proud of it. I never have been alone, I never walk in fear, I never feel the coldness. I know I have the bits that make me cry, the bits that make the nights long, the bits where darkness can be scary, but I have never stopped dead in my tracks. I always keep going, I always keep moving, one foot in front of the other for a while, but there is always movement and direction. I have the love of a hundred hearts, some unseen to this world now, but felt by few. Travelling still requires baggage, but I just carry mine better now. I hear the noise, see the chaos but feel the love. It’s never too far away. Whatever my destination is meant to be, make it a little further, I’m not ready to see it yet. I like this journey too much.

Trekking on,

Ivy xx

Noise

Grasp

Captivating

Patience

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Va-cating my life

The best thing about vacations is the unreachable feeling 30,000 feet gives me

Cliveden

Another road trip means another opportunity to see the beauty that is England. Its history is incredible and I have been blessed to live here for 15 years now. Every time I go somewhere new, I fall in love with this beautiful country.

Yesterday we went to Cliveden – beautiful hotel and stately manor home in the outskirts of London. Cliveden is an Italianate mansion and estate on the Berkshire/Buckinghamshire border. It crowns an outlying ridge of the Chiltern Hills by the hilltop village of Taplow. It’s about  2 miles from the riverside town of Maidenhead. Clive den is set on the banks about 130  feet above the River Thames with all the grounds slope down to the river. The site has been home to an earl, three countesses, two dukes, a Prince of Wales and the Viscounts Astor.

There we could follow in the footsteps of dukes, earls, and royalty as we explored a series of gardens, each with their own special charming story. From the formality of the Parterre with its vibrant floral displays to the quirky statuary and topiary in the Long Garden, the gardens will delight you in every season. The long garden was incredibly sculptured and organised. It held a sense of wealth and stature.

The formal gardens give way to secluded glades, tree-lined avenues and picturesque riverside with miles of scenic woodland walk to discover.

The house is now a luxury hotel but you can take a peek inside apparently, we didn’t but it was incredible to admire the residents at lunch and drinks in the lounges.

Enjoyed this day, it was breathtakingly beautiful

Good night

Ivy

Xx

Sunday strolling

Hey all,

So another Sunday and another day strolling with my fiancée. Today’s location was Rutland Water. It’s a beautiful reservoir that provides a scenic setting for the fairy-tale splendor of Normanton Church, a structure that appears to float on the lake when the reservoir is full. Normanton Church is the county of Rutland’s most famous landmark.

However this could have been erased like the rest of the area, but fortunately, we are lucky enough that it was saved. Yet it could all have turned out very differently. Due to the public outcry of 1970 that saved Normanton Church from destruction when plans to flood the area around it were being set in motion. When the demands of a growing population had to be met, consultation took place to decide on a suitable site for a much-needed new reservoir and the Gwash valley in Rutland was chosen.

The valley had to be cleared and so Normanton Church was deconsecrated and scheduled for demolition, but the general public felt this was unjust and had other ideas. They protested and were successful in their efforts. However, the war was not over. When it came time to flood the area, it became obvious that the church would be partially submerged once the high-water level was reached. This would mean the gradual erosion of its lower walls and foundations. So after discussions and plans, it was decided that the lower level of the church should be filled with rubble and topped with concrete to create a new floor. This would make it approximately 60cm above the water level. The church would become a small island once the reservoir was filled, and so a causeway was built connecting it to the nearby shore of the lake and an embankment was constructed around the building. A layer of boulders was then put in place as a defensive breakwater. There is something between the harshness of its rock defensives and the grandeur and elegance of a petite church that makes its uniqueness even more unusual. It’s truly a treasure to be discovered.

It’s incredibly picturesque and beautiful. When you walk around the church you can feel the love that have been united inside and the memories stain the walls. You can hear echoes of laughter and imagine the smiles that have graced the faces of all who set their eyes upon this special place. It’s definitely on our potential wedding venue list.

Liv was being a silly giraffe and taking picture of me. Here are some “action shots”…

Happy Sunday all,

Ivy xx

Another one off the list

Hey everyone,

So it’s been a busy old week this end which means I haven’t been here (obviously) but I did get to go to Norwich and tick off another item on my 30 before 30 lost. Well, actually two things off it.

First off, I got to see the northern lights ( in a LED form) but it was incredible. It’s called the tunnel of light (more information here) and it’s truly an experience. I got to witness will a wonderland display that reflected the patterns and colors of the Northern Lights. A few stats for you – this is 45-meters long, 4 meters high and 6 meters wide made from 50,000 pulsating LEDs – and as the website has said, it’s “a display of mesmeric dancing beams, the likes of which the city has never seen before”. All I can describe it as is magical. I have previously been to Iceland and due to bad weather was not able to see the lights. But this was a surprise pre-anniversary trip from my fiancée.. yes you heard right… I am getting married. Like I said in a previous post. A LOT has changed. I will introduce her in a different post but for now, just know that she is incredible.

Secondly, on my list of this to do, I got to do an act of kindness. We decided to get business cards made. These ones:

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We left them all around the city of Norwich for people to find – on the train there and back, in coffee shops, restaurants, book shops (especially in self-help books and books about overcoming anxiety and depression) and in card shops. We want to let others know that someone thought they were lovely. And I caught one guy on the train look at it, smile and put it in his pocket. That feeling for worth it. His smile for genuine and he didn’t even know it was us. It felt good.

 

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Sorry it’s blurry!

 

Also, we ate dinner at a Chinese restaurant and as we left it was raining and since I had a few drinks of wine – I cleverly decided that I wanted ice cream. So we went to Tesco’s (other brands are available) and got a box of almond Magnums. As we were leaving, I heard. A girl say do you sell umbrellas. I turned to my backpack, pulled out my umbrella and gave it to her. She looked at me and was shocked that I would give her mine. I said “I don’t need it! I have a water proof jacket and I am about to eat ice cream in the rain. Take it.” She thanked me and left. Now that felt good. It was like a sense of freedom to my need to acquire things. It wasn’t an expensive umbrella but it was mine. It was mine and I gave it to a better cause. And as we walked to the station in the rain, I was dancing to myself and laughing with my fiancée. I just realized that another one off the list!! She laughed at me and gave me that look that I fell for six months ago. She saw me and smiled and called me a silly sausage for eating ice cream in the rain. It was so easy to see the brighter side to life. I treasured the moment of gratitude received over the thing I had.

It’s funny because of years ago, I lived for the moments where I gave my heart and everything I had away without the worry of it returning. But over the years, the heart breaks and bitter souls that I have crossed, I have found myself hard to the world and selfish. Selfish with my time, patience, and love. And I guess I saw this without realizing it until now because I put it on my list of 30 things before 30 and didn’t know why. But my heart knew before my head could work it out. Since I have made this list, I have realized the world is a cold place, but you don’t have to be a haven for that. You can let it wash over you and change your day. We are all one decision away for radically changing our lives. If you don’t like who you are, change it. We are not trees. We have not chained down, however, heavy weighted and complex the locks are. You are in control of this life, your life, and you can be anyone you want to be. You just have to find the courage.

Until next time,

Ivy xx

Todays theme: Wanderlust

Busy day in the office today: sunday story editing, email checking, blog posting, dog sleeping and coffee drinking.

ireland

Going through old photos today and found this one – taken in Dublin and I realised I want to travel more. See the world and explore every corner. Sometimes it’s easy for us to get bogged down with work, drama and small things. And being there all the time, well it makes it hard to see the forest through the trees. When you travel, you gain a new perspective because you don’t think about the small things back home, the not importants and the not urgents. You see what matters, the little things that bring you joy and the world that is happening outside of your existence. The world meant for exploring, capturing and remembering. Without travelling, you cannot truly know that in 20 years, you will not remember the arguments you had or the work that was too much at the time. Instead you will remember the adventures you partook on. So travel, smile and take photos – for those are the return tickets to moments otherwise lost. 

Happy Friday all.

Ivy xx