MY Top Beaches of All Time!

Travel Bucket Lists

Throughout life there are just a handful of times where you stop, look around and think “Wow this is amazing I’m so lucky.”

Most of my special moments have been on beaches, so I’d like to share my top 4 of all time! (In no particular order)…

1 – Coral Beach, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

A long stretch of white sand covered in pieces of pretty coral.. hence the name. Genuinely one of the best days of my life – this place is magic!

Come the afternoon and the tide moves out revealing a huge array of sea creatures and plants left behind in the little pools of water, including different kinds of star fish and sea cucumbers!

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2 – Kerasia Beach, Corfu, Greece

One of my old favourites, it may not be covered in white sand but this is a Mediterranean beach at it’s finest with large white stones and beautifully clear, calm waters: perfect for paddle boarding and long summer swims.

Eucalyptus trees line the beach (beware of the wasps) where I used to sit and draw as a child.

I also can’t recommend Taverna Kerasia more, serving unwavering delicious Greek meals, including fresh fish. I love their stuffed Kalamari with Greek salad, or the Kerasia salad – full of fresh, tasty seafood.

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3 – Playa Paraiso, Tulum, Mexico

An Instagram shot just waiting to happen – Tulum was so beautiful! not the calmest waters but the sand was white and clean. Don’t leave without a coconut water or mango smoothie in hand!

To read more about our adventures in Mexico click here

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4 – Papaya Playa, Tulum, Mexico

I wanted to choose a top 3, but couldn’t choose between my two favourite beaches in Tulum!

This beach is quieter than Playa Paraiso, and home to the dreamy Papaya Playa Beach Club, where we had lunch overlooking the blue ocean.

If you walk a bit further away from the beach club you can find cheaper sunbeds.

To read more about our adventures in Mexico click here

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Share your own special beach moments below…
& follow me on @shore_to_surface

Christmas in Mexico – Yes you MexiCAN!

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I’d played with the idea of spending Christmas somewhere sunny for some time, so when a friend suggested we pack up and go away for the holidays I grabbed for my passport faster than you could say MOJITO!

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After doing a search on Google for the best places to spend a sunny Christmas near the UK the usual suspects cropped up … i.e The Canary Islands, Egypt, Morroco and Cape Verde, but we wanted something more special than this – away from the standard package poolside holiday, which is why we decided on Mexico.

We had 2 weeks to explore, so chose the area of Quintana Roo.

Here’s a map of our route:

Cancun > Tulum > Playa Del Carmen > Cozumel > Isla Mujeres > Cancun

mexico route

For this blog I have decided to share my diary from the trip, this way you can see all the little details 😊 (if you find it too wordy don’t forget you can use Ctrl F to search key words in the post)

We flew from Heathrow to Cancun airport via Paris with Air France. The Paris connections lounge, with it’s over priced macaroons and salmon pasta dishes looked just as I remembered it, but this time those comfy orange seats were looking a little worse for wear.

Having previously flown with Air France to Brazil my expectations weren’t high, but these past experiences were quickly overshadowed by the friendly crew on board and the ice cream snacks!

CANCUN 18TH-20TH DECEMBER
Accommodation: Mezcal Hostel

Day 1:

Landing in Cancun was a tired blur. It didn’t feel like Mexico at all, in fact it’s how I imagine it might feel landing somewhere beachy in America, or perhaps Hawaii. Everyone around us were American tourists, and even the taxi drivers outside had the US twang.

Our hostel was pretty nice. In a dorm for 6 people, but it was spacious and clean with our own bathroom. In our room we had 3 boys and 3 girls.

We got a couple of drinks from the local OXXO corner shop and went to bed to recover when our room mates went out.

Day 2:
Main aim = find the beach!

Before coming to Mexico I don’t think we fully understood the scale of the map when booking accommodation (this became apparent in more than one place) so after expecting to be able to walk to the beach, instead we took the R1 bus down to the hotel zone where the best beach was said to be.

It was a windy day but the beach was beautiful with clean white sand stretching for miles along the coast.

Now here’s one thing you should know about Cancun and the hotel zone.. the hotels are HUGE and all inclusive. When it came to around lunch time our stomachs started calling for tacos! We did what you would normally do on the beach and decided to head to the nearest restaurant or snack bar… except there wasn’t one..

As we walked along the long stretch of beach past all the all-inclusive hotels it became apparent that unless you’ve paid the all-inclusive price to stay in the hotel you are not welcome. Eventually we found this hotel called Oasis Grand (Oasis loves you) which looked amazing. There was an aerobics class going on next to the pool. We sat down at this restaurant initially as there were prices on a sign, so we thought we could pay here, but apparently that wasn’t the case. We came out honest to the waiter and admitted we didn’t actually stay there.. and after him looking a bit shifty around him agreed that we could eat there if we gave him tips to do so. This worked out quite nicely, as we got to order what we wanted for a good price. I got chicken and salad – average meal but tasted nice. Taking advantage of our new found all-inclusive status Christiana also managed to wangle us some smoothies for the beach.

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Got back to the hostel and decided very last minute to join the group night out. It cost us $50 USD for the night. We didn’t have the chance to lower this by opting out of anything, but soon realised why when the first club Mandala was all you can drink at your table, with no actual bar to buy drinks from. A mix of people from the hostel came along, including an Australian girl called Nicola (a free spirit with bundles of energy, who kind of reminded me of Phoebe from friends) and a few girls who were working as promoters for the hostel. There was a stage at the front, with a funny DJ who reminded me of Radio 1’s Westwood. Spring break vibes really came in to play when it was announced a wet t-shirt competition was about to take place! An hour later, still with no wet t-shirts in sight we moved on to the next place without the group. This was called La Vaquita, and honestly I probably wouldn’t recommend it. We bumped in to the 2 weirdest boys, who put on some kind of bizarre dance routine.. turns out they weren’t joking. We got a taxi home.

TULUM 20TH – 24TH DECEMBER
Accommodation: Amarcito Corazon Hotel Y Hostel

Day 3:
We got an ADO bus from Cancun down to Tulum, and I must say it was probably the comfiest coach I’ve ever been on!

Our new hostel is nicer than the last one, but very quiet socially. They don’t have an alcohol license, so everyone goes out and when we first arrived there were barely any guests staying. There’s a kitchen on the roof with a little pool, but we never actually used it our whole stay.

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The guests in our room are interesting.. there’s an old man (maybe 70 years old) who doesn’t really say a lot, and came down to explore Tulum. There’s also an American guy who loves to dance and has started making YouTube videos.

Days 4-6:

The next night we went to a nearby hostel that had a bar called Che to meet people and go out. They have their own bar and it’s pretty busy. We met some Australians – 2 girls and 2 boys, along with a boy from New York called Ross with dark hair (think f.r.i.e.n.d.s) We went in a taxi to what was advertised as a beach party, but really it was just a bar on the opposite side to the beach in a garden.. so after a couple of very over priced vodka lime sodas it was back to Tulum.. where we found our dancing room mate having decided to put on his own show for the streets (no surprises there).

The beaches in Tulum are literally the BEST, although all the affordable accommodation is in town (along with the nightlife thank goodness) so in the day some people rent bikes and cycle down to the beach. We chose to ride down in a taxi instead. There’s white sand and some really nice beach cafes where I’d recommend mango smoothies! There’s an Instagram photo op at every turn. The main beach was Playa Maya I believe.

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Oh and we visited the Mayan ruins at the end of the beach.. it was nice but I think a bit wasted on me, as I enjoyed the plants and animals around it more than the actual ruins.

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In true Christmas spirit we built 2 sandmen called Olaf and Frederiko.

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On the last day in Tulum we went to a different beach and sat at the Papaya Playa project hotel. This was amazing! I’d love to stay there one day..

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Oh I also forgot to mention that we also visited Grande Cenote – a kind of underground sink hole (lake) where we snorkelled. The water was cold but really nice and clean.

PLAYA DEL CARMEN 24TH-28TH DECEMBER
Accommodation: Iris Studios and apartments

Day 7 –

It took a lot to drag us away from the incredible Tulum, but we jumped on a collectivo bus which took us to Playa Del Carmen. Collectivos are great.. you just jump in these little mini buses and they are super cheap.

Playa was where we were going to be spending Christmas so we splashed out on a nice apartment for the occasion.. although the purple décor was not something to be desired, but it did make us laugh. Had a quick dip in the pool on the roof while the room was being sorted. We set out our Christmas decorations and presents ready for Christmas day and headed out.

Playa del carmen is super touristy, with a long street of shops, bars and restaurants called Fifth avenue. It kind of reminded me of one of the Canary islands, but it’s a great place to meet people.

Christmas eve we went to Parrot (a club next to the beach) which was super fun, and they had fire dancers and glow in the dark paint etc too.. we met a couple of Americans called Ethan and Jacob from Florida. We also bumped in to Nicola and the French boy from our first hostel whilst in Playa del Carmen.
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Day 8 : Christmas Day:

On Christmas day, feeling very worse for wear from the unlimited drinks the previous night and having come home at 6am, we had to get up early to catch a boat to Cozumel island for a snorkelling trip!! The weather was also looking ropey, and the boat ride wasn’t fun.

Luckily we found refuge in a diving hostel when we arrived, and also got the chance to visit a church, which was nice on Christmas day.

The snorkelling was fun, and I saw lots of nice fish. (Christiana also only remembered the glow in the dark paint once we’d jumped in the water)

Day 9 : Boxing day:

The next day we met more nice Americans – a brother and sister David and Jennifer and their friend Matthew. Their family has a house in Cancun and they come down every year over Christmas. We ended up back at Parrot.

The next day we met back up with them, and went back out. This time we went to a beautiful hotel rooftop bar called Hotel Thompson.

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(This photo was taken from Google)

We heard there was going to be a new years eve party there in a few days, which would have been amazing to go to!!

ISLA MUJERES 28TH-30TH DECEMBER
Accommodation: Hotel Sueno Maya

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Days 10-11
In the morning we set off from Playa Del Carmen to Isla Mujeres. This closely followed Tulum as my second favourite place we visited in Mexico.

We had our own HUGE apartment, with a double bed each. The nicest beach was Playa Norte, which we were lucky enough to be walking distance from. Here we sunbathed every day and enjoyed more Mexican tacos and quesadillas.

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Definitely don’t think we had enough time to explore this island.

We found another busy hostel called Poc-na. It’s actually a shame we weren’t able to stay there as they had lots of benefits, like free Spanish classes, yoga and cheap golf buggy hire. We took advantage of their cheap drinks however.

We did a yoga class overlooking the sea on a wooden platform one morning and it was beautiful. The teacher has the best job in the world – teaching yoga next to the beach and singing in the evenings.

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The next day we set out to hire a golf buggy and explore the island. The weather was overcast, so it turned out to be the best day to do this. Sadly there were no golf carts left on the island to hire! But luckily enough some German girls heard we didn’t have one and said we could join them on theirs.

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We went to a turtle sanctuary, an abandoned house and a beach for lunch.

On the way back I bought myself a beautiful shell from a little girl on the side of the road.

There’s lots of street art and paintings on Isla Mujeres.

CANCUN 30TH-31ST DECEMBER
Accommodation: Kukulcan Hostel and friends

Days 12-13:

Travelled back to Cancun on the boat and made our way to our final hostel before going home…

The hostel was what can only be described as disgusting, and I’d tell everyone to stay well clear of it – super dirty and smelly. We spent as little time there as possible, and I got up at 7am the next day to pack up and head out.

The weather wasn’t great which I think put us both in a bad mood looking for somewhere to spend our last day. This soon perked up, and so did our luck when we managed to find a hotel which would let us buy a day pass (the Cancun all-inclusive problem for people who aren’t all-inclusive) we had their breakfast buffet, used their shower and ate some lunch before heading back to the hostel to wait for our taxi to the airport.

Travelled home via Paris again, but this time actually had to leave the airport and go to another one before catching the long flight to London.

We spent what would have been UK new year in the airport waiting for our flight. We wore red underwear to signify a loving year ahead, and ate 12 grapes at what would have been midnight. This is meant to signify the 12 months of the new year, so luckily all 12 of my grapes were sweet!! And it was 12 sweet months ahead for me!

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As always if you have any questions about my trip or would like to stay in touch for further travel posts, you can find me on Instagram @shore_to_surface

 

 

 

Kampong Phluk Floating Village

Cambodia

My second visit to Siem Reap, Cambodia was at the end of October, which meant rainy season!

My Asia trip was booked mainly on impulse and a strong curiosity at the time to see more of the world that simply couldn’t wait, but maybe if I’d known it was going to be rainy season I wouldn’t have chosen to visit at this time. However now I’m glad I did… It’s less busy off peak, and the rain wasn’t so bad that it ruined my experience, but the main reason I’m glad I went around this time was I got the chance to visit the floating village of Kampong Phluk just outside of Siem Reap!

This was an incredible experience, which I would highly recommend to anyone travelling to the area around the rainy season!

I booked on a day trip with a lovely girl I met in my hostel (Lubd) room. Because only 2 of us wanted to go on that day we paid quiet a lot, but the price was for the boat, and could of been split across as many as around 8 people I believe.

After a tuk tuk ride, we boarded a larger boat to the village, then moved on to little rowing boats to look around the village.

The rowing boats were peaceful, and the colours on the houses and in the trees beautiful.

Rowing through the trees reminded me of that scene from Pocahontas when they’re travelling through Grandmother Willow’s branches!

I think the photos say it all:

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Five Reasons Why You Must Stay at Lubd Siem Reap Hostel

Cambodia

Hostels in general don’t have a good rep. This is understandable having come across a few of the nastier ones on my travels, but overall I’d say that I’ve been lucky and hostels are almost always nice (and sometimes even nicer than a hotel for half the price!)

The Lubd in Siem Reap is one of these hidden gems. I called this home for 14 days and here is why you must stay if you’re passing through:

1 – The amazing staff
Travelling on my own might of felt daunting, but I felt safe and welcome throughout my stay. Everyone’s happy at work and seem to enjoy their jobs. អរគុណ 🙂 xx

2- The Superb swimming pool

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This image is taken from their website (because apparently I forgot to take any!)

Not the usual grotty hostel watering hole that leaves you feeling like you need to shower off the weird coloured water… this pool is beautifully clean and inviting, surrounded by sunbeds for sunny days and even has a poolside bar!

3- The clean, innovative dorm rooms

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Here was my little bunk, decorated with cards from the school children

I chose a girls only 10 bed dorm for my stay.
-The bedding and towels are changed almost every day, and the whole place is super clean! – extremely important in shared rooms.
-You each get your own large locker with a small rail to hang your clothes above, so no more ‘crease effect’ clothing.
-There are steps instead of ladders up to the top bunk, and because the beds are so spacious up there it felt like a little room.

4 – The lovely clean bathrooms

– The showers were so much better than my one at home! With large waterfall heads and plenty of room in the cubicles to dry and dress without getting all your things soaking wet in the process.
– There’s also large lit mirrors over each sink in the island in the middle, so you can do your make-up and get ready if people are sleeping in your dorm and you don’t want to disturb them.
– The toilets are very clean – always good to know when booking a hostel on a whim.
– There’s washing machines and dryers so you can do your own washing.
TOP TIP: If you’re a little cheeky like me and need to be careful with your budget, save the tokens meant for drying and instead use the hangers from above your locker and hang your clothes in the warm bathroom overnight to dry. You can then save the drying tokens for an extra wash later on! (Obviously be mindful not to go overboard with too much clothing!)

5 – The delicious food


Not the cheapest food, but it’s convenient and very tasty. My favourite was the stuffed aubergine, and because I was always in such a rush in the morning before going to teach I’d order the cereal, which comes with fruit and a drink.

Here’s an extract from my diary on the day I arrived at the hostel:
Got a tuk tuk to the hostel called Lubd Siem Reap. It’s probably the best hostel I’ve ever stayed in! (Kosta in Bali is a close second) It’s super new and spotlessly clean! Other benefits include:
-They change the bedding and towels every day
-Free drinking water
-Free games
-Great pool with pool bar
-Washing machine
-Nicest showers ever!!
The workers are all really super friendly too. My bed is at the top, but instead of a ladder they have steps up to your bed and I love it because it feels like my own little room! Ironically it’s opposite the other hostel I went to last time I was in Siem Reap, so it’s a shame I didn’t move here then!

Check out their website and Instagram @lubdsiemreap for more photos and reviews!

 

My Art Gallery Trail in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia

Siem Reap is steeped in ancient history, famous for its beautiful temples.

Angkor Wat is covered in incredibly intricate detail, and inspires hundreds of people each day. The locals love this temple and even after visiting many times, they still see the beauty in the structure and decoration. Khmer people seem to really appreciate the power and beauty of all visual arts, which is something I loved about their country.

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I come from an artistic background (although sadly life and work has slowly squashed the hours I used to spend drawing and painting) so when I found myself with a day off teaching I decided to use Google maps and create my own art gallery tour.

Here’s a list (taken from my diary of the day) of where I ended up:

1 – Khmer Kids Art Gallery – This is where they teach children art and then sell their work. I met one of the artists, who has this really distinct style of using multiple blending of colours to show form and depth through natural forms.

2 – One Eleven Gallery – This was quite a small international gallery with work from this artist called Christian Develter who takes inspiration from the face tattoos of Myanmar tribes women. The curator working in that gallery was an Australian called Danny.

3 – McDermott Gallery – Lastly after hitting a few wrong turns, and a few gallery duds I ended up here. This was purely photography work from the artist John McDermott, who’s work focuses heavily on Angkor Watt, a lot of which was depicted in black and white.

At the end of my stay in Siem Reap I found the most amazing art shop and school called Colours of Cambodia. Here I bought a beautiful watercolour painting, and was lucky enough to meet the young artist.

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Art is a therapy for the heart and mind, and it seemed like a stronger possibility you could make a living purely as an artist in Asia than in England, where most artists have another job to support their income. Everywhere you turn in Cambodia there’s colour and life and hope. Even the mud on the ground is so rich it looks like it could be used to paint with.

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I’d love to find somewhere to do an art holiday (maybe in Asia) some time soon! So if anyone has any ideas of places to visit, or any organised trips or retreats that include art and/or yoga let me know, as I haven’t found any that inspire me yet!

Also don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for updates on new blog posts and photos from trips! x

My top 5 places to eat in Siem Reap

Cambodia

First of all can I just say how much I LOVE Siem Reap – there’s SO much to do and see, and the people are beautiful and welcoming.

The first time I visited was part of a group tour, where we were only given a couple of days to go round Angkor Wat and see a couple of things. I quickly decided I wanted to come back and explore further, so a month on and I was back as a solo traveller ready to teach English in a village Primary school (& of course try and eat my way through as much Khmer food as possible!)

There’s tons of places to eat and drink in Siem Reap, but here I have looked back through my diary and have picked out my personal top 5 from my visit (+ some fun extras):

1 – SPOONS

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WOW WOW WOW
I went with a couple of the girls from my hostel as a treat dinner, as I’d wanted to go for ages, and it did not disappoint.

Before we ordered, they gave us each a large spoon of chicken curry, and it was literally amazing! Unfortunately it wasn’t actually on the menu to order as a main, which is probably a bit of a missed opportunity, but I guess it’s a gimmick to go alongside the name of ‘Spoons’.

I had the chicken with coconut sauce and it was so delicious! The décor of the restaurant was really nice too.

Spoons is run by a company called EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna Be OK), the company train young adults in the community in hospitality and catering, opening up more opportunities for employment in the future, so it’s a delicious mouthful that also makes a difference. Check out their website for more information.

I should also probably mention Haven at this point – a restaurant with a similar motive of empowering those less fortunate to train and find employment for life. I did visit Haven and it was really nice, but didn’t blow me away for taste like Spoons.

2 – ARTILLERY

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This one’s for the health bunnies out there. A little on the expensive side, but if you want to be nourished then this is the place to go. Artillery is a nice quite place with friendly staff, so I can imagine it would be a great spot to hang out if you needed to get some work done, or just read your book in peace.

I went twice, and would highly recommend their Courgetty with a mushroom and cashew nut sauce, which was delicious.

One downer = the chocolate slice was just a TAD too healthy for me.. not recommended if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

3 – BANLLE

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This sweet vegetarian restaurant is set within a garden. I went for lunch and ordered the brown rice burger and pistachio ice cream – which were both really good.

4 – DAM NAK NEAS

 

A busy local’s restaurant near the river, I went here on my own for dinner and didn’t feel out of place at all. Meat is cooked on a BBQ to give extra flavour and the menu is pretty extensive with something for everyone, including frog intestines and eel. I decided to stay within my comfort zone that evening and ordered the chicken BBQ skewers and rice.

5 – FOOTPRINTS

If you’re missing your Sunday morning home comforts, this one’s perfect for brunch. A cute little café set off from the main town on the other side of the river. I ordered the Eggs Florentine.

The café is filled with books from UK donors (including Cambridge University), which give a warm cosy atmosphere. You are very welcome to read or even buy these books, with all sales helping to generate grants for local communities.

& if you’re still not full…

For desert: try Project Y, a pay by weight frozen yoghurt place. I got a tub of coconut, Nutella and chocolate flavours with Maltesers, honeycomb and chocolate sauce for $5.50. It’s expensive but at least it’s for charity!

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For drinks: visit the G Green Sky Dining. The rooftop makes this place feel special, but it won’t break the bank, and if you’re a girl they’ll even give you a free cocktail during happy hour!
I also had frogs legs tempura and spring rolls here, but would probably only recommend this place for drinks no dinner.

For the experience: You can’t leave Siem Reap without trying at least one insect from the market. I noticed there’s a few insect eating tours around, but there’s literally no need to pay for something that’s already free and accessible to everyone! I had a mini snake, and it was actually pretty good! Just keep a bottle of water to hand, to wash down those cricket legs!

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The Ocean Film Festival World Tour 2018, Brighton Dome

England

The Ocean covers more than 70% of our world’s surface, and yet we know so little about it.

This year’s Ocean Film Festival brings together a handful of the best emotive short films, inviting us to better understand, respect and explore the hidden depths of our beautiful yet mysterious ocean.

I was lucky enough to catch the tour as it went through Brighton…

Here’s my quick summary of the films:

One Breath: A Life Without Gravity
Freediving couple Christina and Eusebio compare their relationship on land vs underwater, as they work together as trainer and student to break the 100m tandem freedive record.

Freedivers use breathing and relaxation techniques to dive for great depths without the need for oxygen tanks. Inspiring, but I must admit the final dive got me feeling a bit claustrophobic waiting for them to take that first breath on the way up!
Filmmaker: Sebastian Solberg (length 6mins)

The Big Wave Project
Shot over 5 years, this short film follows the lives of the very bravest big wave surfers, chasing the highest waves in the world for a few moments of adrenaline fuelled action.

I loved that many of these men weren’t sponsored, so it was the love of riding the waves and not the money which fuelled their crazy trips.
Filmmaker: Tim Bonython (length 20mins)

Scarlet’s tale
Achmat Hassiem from South Africa had a dream of representing his country in the Olympics, but during training for his job as a life guard, he was attacked by a shark which saw him lose his leg!

The plot twist is this seemingly devastating accident wasn’t the breaking, but in fact the making of his career, as he went on to win bronze in the Paralympics! and even got to meet and make peace with his attacker Scarlet.
Filmmakers: Faine Loubser, Trygve Heide, Khiraad Mathura & Achmat Hassiem (length 15mins)

Touched by the Ocean
The comedy of the evening, 2 Latvian friends Gints and karlis have a (not so well thought out) plan to row all the way to Brazil in time for the Olympics. Do you know what happens when you don’t keep your seat dry then try and row for days on end? Watch this to find out! Both hilarious and shocking all at the same time – be prepared to hide behind your hands.
Film directors: Laura Rozkalne-Ozola & Sandijs Semjonovs (length 30mins)

Kiwi Breeze

For me this was the most inspiring film of the evening. Steve from New Zealand, married an English girl and the pair settled down in Forest Hill to start a family. But Steve had bigger plans, and spent 9 years building a 44ft yacht in his back garden.

The perfect example of never giving up on your dreams, this short film is made up of home footage showing the progress, as their son grows up watching his dad in the garden.

Finally, the vessel is lifted over the house by a crane and taken to the river Thames to start the journey all the way back to New Zealand! It’s a tense few moments as the crane goes over the neighbours’ homes… just imagine if after 9 years the whole thing had collapsed!

It takes Steve 18 months (from what I remember) to sail back to his home country, where the family relocate.
Filmmaker: Ruari Muir (length 11mins)

Blue – With so much focus on plastic waste and protecting our oceans in the media lately it can easily wash over our heads, but this film was a real eye opener to the dangers of plastic (beyond the plastic vs metal straw debate).

The scene which struck me the most was when scientist Dr Jennifer Lavers takes the viewers away from the sea and up on to the hillsides, where we see the effects that plastic is having on our sea birds.

Sticking a tube in to each baby bird’s throat, she starts pumping water in, and soon a whole array of multicoloured plastic shards gush out in to a bowl. This isn’t just the odd piece – this is piles and piles of plastic from bottle tops, old printers, flip flops etc etc. Sometimes things need to be seen to be believed! And this is not something which can be ignored.
Filmmaker: Karina Holden (length 33mins)

FACT = BY 2050 THERE WILL BE MORE PLASTIC IN OUR OCEANS THAN FISH

Comment below ideas on how we can cut down on plastic every day! Recycling is a great idea, but perhaps the obvious solution would be instead to cut our plastic usage to a minimum to begin with.

Click here for more information on the Blue film and project.

The Ocean film festival was an eye opener, and I’d really recommend you try and catch it! & check out Youtube for more clips of the incredible short films mentioned.

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30 BEFORE 30

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If you know me chances are I’ve made you do THE LIST

One of my friends introduced me to the 30 before 30 idea a few of years ago. That’s 30 countries before you turn 30 years old. I sat there in the pool in Corfu recalling all the countries I’d been to in my lifetime, and came to the grand total of 15.

15 may sound like a lot, but her list was MUCH more impressive and I was keen to boost my numbers!

My biggest problem was that I’d repeated the same countries several times.

I’ve been to Greece every year of my life! That’s 8 years of living in Corfu, and 20 holidays to follow this. I’ve also been to Spain 4 times (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Catalonia and Barcelona) so that could also only count as ONE country.

Forward wind to October 2018 and my tally has jumped to 25/30 countries! That’s 5 more countries to go, and just 1 year and 7 months to reach the target! (my friend is now on 42)

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Here’s my list to date – the pencil italics are where I’ve been to a country more than once.

(One country which I’m still questioning is the Vatican. I’ve been but it just didn’t feel anything like another country!)

Want to do your own list? Here’s the rules:

  • You can’t repeat countries!
  • England & Wales count!
  • Stop overs do NOT count (so that cheeky 2 hour layover in Dubai can’t be added to your total sorry)
  • Islands don’t count as a new country (sounds silly but I’ve heard more than one person ask, for example if Spain and Tenerife can count as 2 countries)

Once you’re done send me over your lists! I’m genuinely curious to see them and find out all the exciting places you’ve been!

 

Every Journey Begins With The First Step

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Not to be underestimated. Travel gives you the courage to try new things, make new friends, gain the wisdom of others around the world, and put your own life in to perspective. It’ll send you home with an open ♥️ and an open mind, and will change you in ways you never thought possible

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Snorkelling in Koh Tao, Thailand

This travel blog has been a long time coming!! I wanted to start one around 3 years ago, but didn’t think I travelled enough to warrant my own page.. ironic considering I’ve travelled more in those past 3 years than I have my entire life!
& because of this I will admit that some of my posts will be brought out from the archives, dusted off and shared, in the hope you’ll find inspiration for your own adventures, or at the very least enjoy scrolling through some travel photos!

If you have any questions about the places I’ve been or want to tell me about your own travels just click on the contact button to get in touch 🙂 I love hearing about unusual destinations and exciting activities!

If you’d like to follow me on Instagram my pages are:
@shore_to_surface
@katiewalt11

♥️♥️♥️