Book Review: He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo

Self-help books never used to be my thing. In fact, I used to cringe when I thought about people that helped themselves. Like, don’t they have any friends, or family that can help them?! How sad!

And then I got into yoga, and meditation, and mindfulness and I started to realise how important it is for us to be able to recognise areas in our life which might be lacking and do our best to carry ourselves back towards a positive path.

Resultantly, the majority of the books on my shelf are self-help books of some descriptions… most of them use spiritual practices, some are great business guides whilst others are more supportive in terms of specific skills such as communication, time management and channelling creativity. I am not ashamed to admit, I even have a parenting book which has proved invaluable for my yoga work with children! And then there is this.

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Productivity to the Point of Sickness

I write you this, dear reader, from my bed of pain. Well, it was a bed of pain for the past six-and-a-half days… now it is more like a bed of recovery.

*My kitten Tyrian has been keeping me company*

I used to get sick all the time. Seriously, ALL the time. Since I was 17 years old until my 23rd birthday last year, tonsillitis wrought havok on my life. Twice, or three times per year, I would get that horrible just-swallowed-shaven-glass-then-been-run-down-by-a-sander-with-tiny-razors-attached feeling in the back of my throat and would dread looking in the mirror to catch a glimpse of the white spots which would coat my poor tonsils. Additionally, sickness and diarrhoea bugs just loved to take up residence in my poor sensitive belly and make me feel as though I was being punished for a past life of horrendously heinous crimes. As if that wasn’t enough, I would regularly come down with the common cold to a point where I would deliberately choose to sit away from the uni student who was carrying a tissue, or the colleague who smelt ever-so-slightly of Vicks Vaporub in case I would catch their lurgy.

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Revisiting New Year’s Resolutions

The end of September is a strange time to be considering New Year’s Resolutions, right? And yet the past couple of weeks of mine have been spent revisiting the plans I had made for this year back on the 31st of December 2014… wondering whether I was on track to complete them successfully and if not why?

Luckily, I had written this blog post so it was easy for me to go back and explore each of my resolutions and build new plans around those which haven’t quite worked out the way I had hoped just yet. Here is what I found…

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5 Best Table-Service Restaurants in Walt Disney World

When people think of Walt Disney World, they often think of the Cinderella castle, children’s amusements and incredible fireworks shows. However, Disney dining is an unexpected pleasure to behold! Here are five of my favourite places to dine on Disney property.

1) Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House Disney’s Ohana combines Hawiian-style churrascaria grilled-meat cooking with a delicious array of sides, from the most deliciously sticky barbecue chicken wings and lo mein noodles, to soft and juicy pork pot stickers and yummy peanut sauce. Plus, on top of all that you get some stir-fry veg, a refreshing salad and what they call ‘Welcome Bread’ (a sweet blend of pineapple and coconut flavours!) Oh and then there is the meat… How could I forget the meat??? Skewers the size of my torso get carried around the restaurant and you are served all-you-can-eat szechuan sirloin steak, sweet and sour pork loin and spicy peel-and-eat shrimp which is prepared on a huge smokin’ hot grill in the centre of the restaurant. If you still have space for dessert (which you most likely WON’T) you will be provided with an unlimited amount of banana bread pudding with caramel pouring sauce. Wash all of that food down with the neighbouring Tambu Lounge’s alcohol-laden cocktails if you’re feeling naughty! The famous Lapu Lapu contains Bacardi 151 Rum, Myers Dark Rum, tropical fruit juices, is served in a whole pineapple and will blow your head off. One other massive benefit to eating at Ohana is that if you time it right, you can watch the Magic Kindgom fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle from the comfort of your dining table. This is a great restaurant for families with young children as there are all kinds of fun and games going on during dinner to keep them entertained, and equally for more grown-up families (if only for the Lapu Lapu!)

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First Impressions of Los Angeles, USA

“I hopped off a plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan…” Miley Cyrus

Saying goodbye to my parents at the airport was a tearful event… This was the first time I had ever travelled alone and I had never been somewhere so full of glamour and excitement as Los Angeles never mind going all alone! I have always loved vacationing in the USA with my parents but had never been to the West Coast and didn’t really know what to expect.

Thankfully, the Banana Bungalow in West Hollywood sent a taxi driver to collect me from the airport otherwise I’d have had no idea what was going on! I remember thinking that it would be very difficult to walk around Los Angeles… everything seemed so far apart! From the backseat of the taxi I saw the Hollywood sign (from afar!), a cloud of smog and a street called ‘Avenue of Stars’. I had well and truly arrived.

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The Best Thing About Travelling Alone; Making New Friends

People are forever asking me why I enjoy travelling alone so much… Is it that I don’t have any friends that want to go with me? Well, yes and no. Am I a loner at heart? Not really. Do I dislike being around others? Absolutely not! One of the reasons I go travelling is actually because I love meeting new people, making new friends and sharing new experiences with them.

So without further ado, here are some of the best friends I have made on my travels so far…

 

In the summer of 2011 I left my family and friends for the first time to go to the other side of the world where I would meet a bunch of strangers and make dreams come true for a living at Orlando Florida’s Walt Disney World. I had already met Louise at the interviews months earlier, and had befriended Vikki and Karyn online before going. We were all so excited and once we were there we had a blast! Some of my greatest memories were spent shopping at the Prime Outlets, pigging out at Hooters, and exploring the Magic Kingdom with these girls. And although we don’t speak as much anymore, I will never forget the fun we had.

Jayne was one of the first people I met when I travelled the USA in 2012. I had ten days to kill and no written-in-stone schedule to stick too. I remember lying in the hostel bed when I first arrived and thinking, “So, what now.” Then in breezed Jayne carrying the glow of a seasoned traveller and before I knew it, we had planned to go to Venice beach the next day and were heading out for a lunch feast with a hot American at the farmer’s market. Jayne was my first experience of seeing that glow on someone who had pushed herself out of her comfort zone, explored the world and done most of it on her own. Jayne was a real inspiration for me.

When a delicious-looking Australian headed home, leaving me behind ‘heartbroken’ (or Travel Heartbroken…) Alice and Skye were a breath of fresh air for me. I was drowning my sorrows in a pretzel on the Staten Island Ferry, sitting outside even though it was freezing cold and feeling sorry for myself when I heard Skye’s Australian twang, “Oh my God, where did you get that pretzel?” We ended up swapping details and arranging to meet the following day to visit Ground Zero and a couple of other tourist attractions together and just shared a great day. Again, it was so refreshing to meet them and hear all about their glamorous lives back in Oz!

Tess, Lina and Jess were super-supportive when I travelled solo to India just four days after being assaulted in my hometown. They were there for me when I needed to talk but mostly, they helped me to make the most of my adventure when all I wanted to do was stay in dank hotel rooms and cry. We marvelled at the Taj Mahal, shopped the markets in Jaipur and frolicked in the waves in Goa. We made every day count during the month-long trip and although I speak only rarely to them these days I know that I have an awesome friend in Canada, Denmark and Australia (again! Seriously, Australians are like, the best!)

I only spent about one day with Miriam, but she carried such a grace and kindness, a beauty which shone from the inside out, and I knew we would stay in touch after we met at The Yoga Barn in Bali. I offered to walk her to The Monkey Forrest and we stopped for a smoothie on the way. With a gorgeous view of the rice paddies of Ubud, we laughed and thought about how lucky we were to be travelling and free. And ever since we have stayed in touch 🙂

The Samyak Yoga team became my family when I was in India in 2014. There were nearly 20 of us in total studying and five teachers and even though I wasn’t SUPER close with everyone I had a connection to them all. Especially Trupta, Rakesh, Arvind, Lipi, Stephanie, Mariko, Tania, Alan, Liloo, Anne-Laure, Maite and Mirka. During the month of my training I was especially privileged to meet Katrin. The coolest German chick I have ever met, she was like a big sister to me! Whether we were slipping off for a cheeky shrimp dinner, hanging at the beach or spending our rupees on fickle items from local vendors we were always together and when it was my birthday, she made sure that it was special for me. Katrin is probably the best friend I have ever made whilst travelling.

From my ‘big sister’ to my ‘little sisters’, I met Ivy and Elisa in Vietnam and we travelled through Laos and into Thailand together. At just 19 years old, this was their first time away from home and when I met them they were just about to embark on what became an (inevitably, I told you so girls!) incredible few months of travelling around the world. They were apprehensive, as they had never been away from home alone. But while I knew them I watched them transform into confident young women who I am so proud to call my friends. I can’t wait to visit them in Norway in May!

As well as all of these people, I must also offer shout-outs to Kristian from England, Sam from Australia, Cara and Caroline from England, Grace and Sandra from the USA, Josep from Spain, Kenzie from Canada, Danielle from New Zealand, Mien from Vietnam, Jenna from Australia and Nanda from England. All incredible travel buddies who I really enjoyed spending time with ❤

Would you ever go travelling on your own? What is your favorite thing about travelling alone? Who is the best friend you have ever met abroad?

Yoga Studios Around the World: Good Vibes in London, UK

During my time living in London, I was a studio-hopper of the worst kind. I was saving for travelling but couldn’t give up my newfound yoga habit, so I made the most of every ‘new member’ offer going in London yoga studios. This led me to the Good Vibes Fitzrovia studio near Goodge Street tube station. They had a pretty epic offer on which is no longer available… but they do offer 14 days of unlimited consecutive classes for just £40 (which was similar to the offer which I took advantage of!)

goodvibes

There are two Good Vibes studios in London, the Fitzrovia one and also one in Covent Garden. One of the cool things about Good Vibes is that they offer spinning classes and power-plates sessions as well as yoga. Their yoga classes pretty much all take place in the heated studio rooms, although they turn the heat off during pregnancy classes. Don’t let the idea of a heated room put you off! It isn’t red hot as in a Bikram class, just warm enough to release some of the toxins from your body and leave feeling refreshed and revitalised.

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Where to Stay in Bali…

Throughout my time on the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia, I slept in five different beds… However, here I am going to only recommend four of them (the third was a bit of a nightmare… but that’s a story for another day!) So here goes…

1) The Yoga Barn, Ubud

The Yoga Barn was the first place I stayed when I arrived in Bali and it was one of the warmest welcomes I have ever had to a new country! Obviously a haven for yoga-freaks such as myself, I found that The Yoga Barn got it right in all areas… The studio rooms were brilliant, the teachers were experienced, the restaurant was laid-back, the food nutritious and delicious, the location is ideal and the rooms? Super-comfy. I opted for a dorm, which was great as I was working with a budget… I soon realised that even their dorm price was kind of high, but for my first few nights of a solo-trip I felt happy to go with it.

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New Year’s Resolutions…

I am a walking, talking, yoga-teaching cliche. I am and I know it. But I also know I don’t care because I love fresh starts!

2013 was a hard year for me. Apart from an awesome trip to India and a few other cool things, the year was mostly full of shocks, stresses and disappointments. And coming from me that is a big deal as I am usually Little Miss Positivity. The only bit of positivity I had left in me found the strength to say, “Next year will be different… Next year will be a good year… MY year.”

2014 was incredible! I travelled six new countries, completed my yoga teacher training in India and started my own business. On top of that, my family have also had a great year. So what more could I ask for? What more could I want?

I want 2015 to be about learning, giving back and living right. My resolutions are as follows:

1) Gain control of my sleep…

Until this year I used to have no problems getting to sleep, staying asleep and waking up feeling refreshed and revitalised. And yet, now, in spite of helping my students with insomnia all the time, my sleep quality has majorly reduced. This resolution expands into little mini resolutions such as turning my phone and laptop off an hour before bed, never using them in bed, keeping them away from me during sleep and so on. Also, I want to gain a proper routine of going to bed at 10pm every night… Partially because at the moment I can vary from that each night by about two hours each way (which isn’t great!) but partially because of resolution number two…

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Why It Is Important to Take Family Vacations

I come from a weirdly close family. That is to say that the four people who live in my house, me, my sister Meewps, my Mom and Dad are very close to one another. Closer than most families. And I love it! That is why at 23 years of age I am writing this from a family vacation in Orlando, Florida.

Is it strange that at my age I still live at home and come to ‘The Place Where Magic Lives’ as my vacation of choice? That I am always going to be about infitity-times more likely to choose this over a boozy week in Magaluf or Cavos? That nothing makes me happier than watching the fireworks over Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World resort? Probably, right? But look how many effs I give…

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