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The Importance of Humdrum August 1, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
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Life is about living, they say. If you aren’t out there each and every day, experiencing everything you can, then you are missing out. Life simply isn’t as good as it could be if you aren’t deep in the middle of it, climbing obscure South American mountains, eating peculiar foods, dancing with your eyes closed whilst everyone watches.

In a way, this is true. Of course it is. If you don’t make the most out of your life, push yourself and mix things up and generally “experience”, then you probably aren’t feeling everything it has to offer. Instead you are staying safe and secure, comfortable in the knowledge of the regular and the everyday. You are limiting yourself, unwilling to embrace the dangerous and the alien just to see what comes of them.

Still, no matter how much this is the case, I feel someone needs to stand up for the humdrum. The safe, the warm, the familiar. Because this is the thing that we come back to. Humdrum is the thing that we call home. It is a hug from someone you love when everything gets too much, the relaxing mind-blank of an evening spend collapsed in front of the television set. It is coming home to security, and familiarity, and the distinct happiness of everything being normal, and alright, and good.

On its own, humdrum is boring and dull. But with people you love, trapped between adventure and mischief, humdrum can be the very thing that keeps you going.


Time to go away January 10, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Life, Chatter & Politics, Travel.
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Today is a day of excitement. And a little bit of terror. As of this morning my application for a sabbatical this summer has been granted, meaning that I now have three months in which to explore the world. Utterly exciting, yet terrifying, because I may well be doing this trip alone!

The aim is to spend a month in Australia, a month in New Zealand, and a month in the US. I have friends in each who I hope to meet up with (and abuse the use of their couch! Free accommodation is the name of the game, hehe), and if anyone wants to accompany me for legs of the trip they are more than welcome. If not, I shall head of alone, aiming to make friend along the way (and, knowing me,on travel dating-style sites before I leave!).

Firstly, Australia.



The symbol of Oz!

If things go according to plan, I will fly into the North of Australia (hopefully Cairns) at the beginning of August. I know this is technically winter, but by the sounds of it the temperatures up this part of the country will be fine, and at least it will be dry! I will then aim to make my way down to the south, with Melbourne and Sydney definite calling places.

Has anyone been to Oz? Where would you recommend as must see places?

Next, New Zealand.


New Zealand Sheep


I don’t quite know the plan of action for this leg of the trip yet, but I think I will be landing on one island and working my way up to the other. This will be in September, which I know isn’t the best time of year but hey, I’m British, I can cope with rain! This whole trip has to fit around my flat contract running out at the end of July, so I don’t have much choice in the matter! Still, I imagine the spectacular scenery, geysers and more will look good even with a bit of drizzle!

Any recommendations for the NZ part of this trip?

Finally, on to the US.


Bald Eagle

Soaring the heights

I hopefully will hit LA at the beginning of October, where the plan is to head across the country to catch my flight back to the UK from New York. There are people (and places) I desperately want to see, so the plan may well be to work my way up the west coast to Oregon, checking out the Rockies, and then somehow getting over to the east coast. I need suggestions for routes and travel arrangements for this section, so any help is appreciated!

If anyone has any secret insider tips, places to go, things to do or (OR!) just wants to meet up whilst I am on the road, all help and friendliness will be much appreciated!