Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unexpected Adventures

So, as I'm writing this I've been on hold with Qantas for an hour. Why have I chosen to spend my Sunday doing something so exciting? Well, as most of you know I've spent the last 3.5 weeks here in London have a good ol' time with my sisters and having a bit of a holiday.

While I'm having a lot of fun and enjoying being a Londoner for a month (I am now a tube expert), I'm also missing The Man and the little love of our lives (who has reportedly put on 2kg) Zander Bander the puppy.

So when I found out that Qantas had grounded its fleet indefinitely in retaliation to the striking groups that are effecting them, I was of two minds. 'Yay!' that I may spend a couple days longer than expected here and 'Boo!' that it would be a longer time away from my other loved ones.

Now that has turned into a bit of frustration that I've spent so long trying to get hold of Qantas to see what my options are, ran out of credit after an hour on hold in the middle of the night and now spending my Sunday morning glued to my laptop while Skype is on hold with me.

I'd just like to know what is going on so I can rearrange myself as required. I've just seen that they've booked me on a flight on the 13th of NOVEMBER! Another two weeks away. Which is why I'm on hold (yes, it has now been 1 hour and 15 minutes!).

I'm grateful that I am luckier than most as I've got my sister here and I don't have one of those pesky things called jobs that most people have to go back to (another benefit of being an entrepreneur!). But I didn't plan on being away for 6 weeks and I do have some meetings and deadlines and a workshop I'm running on the 13th November and some other responsibilities!

Whichever way it works out will be okay. I'm glad I'm not panicking and every occurrence has an opportunity that comes out of it. There is no use getting overly stressed over something you don't have much control over. See the potential that can come out of it (on a side note, I just read a fantastic book called Flipside - about finding the opportunities in life amidst trauma or bad things happening - I highly recommend it)

For me that is spending more time with my sister, catching up with a few other London based people, perhaps still getting over to Ireland, having more time for inspiration in a new place and working on a few projects without the distractions of working from home. I'd really like to be home in a few days though.

Now, Qantas, I'd really appreciate if you would prioritise people that are in the midst of their trip and away from home. And I would be super grateful if you could answer my call. It has now been 1.5 hours and you're eating up my Skype credit...

Wish me luck lovelies. I'm going to make it as I wish.
Arienne xo

Update: After being on hold for two hours the lovely Victoria from Qantas managed to get me the last seat on a Thai Airways flight tonight and I'll arrive home on Tuesday only one hour later than originally scheduled!

Travel in Your Own Style

I have been having an absolutely marvellous time in London. A month is a great amount of time to see things and to immerse yourself in the culture at a slower pace than a 4-day tourist rush around town. It totally suits me better because I'm not a great tourist: You mean I have to wait for an hour or more in that queue to see x??!! Well, I'd rather sit in a cafe and watch the locals go by...

When you go on holiday, work out an itinerary that suits you and your traveling style. I prefer to have a few things scheduled in and then allow for spontaneity to fill in the rest of the time. You never know when you will stumble over a gem of a suggestion from someone you've just met or find a hidden treasure that you've found at the end of a pretty alley way. And it just feels so wrong for me to rush from monument to statue to other attraction, spend 10 minutes there then, tick them off the checklist.

I think organised tours have their place - especially when you don't have the luxury of much time - but I prefer to go at my own pace. I also like to sleep in accommodation that has less than 6-12 strangers in close proximity. I prefer having a place booked before I arrive somewhere. I'm not spontaneous or brave enough to find somewhere on arrival! But that is just me...

It is really important to understand what you want and need out of your travels. Set your intentions for your trip and organise yourself in a way that will make your travels as comfortable and as authentic to you as possible. Consider who you're traveling with and make sure your expectations are similar.

Make it as you wish SSSs!
Arienne xo

Friday, October 14, 2011

The London Experience So Far...

Apologies for the lack of pictures, links and formatting in this post! I'm typing off my iPad...I'll see if I can update when I get back to the laptop

Well my dears, I am typing this from a very non-british Starbucks in Earls Court where we are temporarily staying while mum has jetted into town for a few days. Yes, watch out London as the Sissies and their mum (or The Three Musketeers and D'Artagnan as The Man has termed us) is hitting town.

So far we have done A LOT of walking. The Tube is fantastic and busy (the lil' sis Tatiane keeps comparing it to how busy it would be on Perth public transport at various times of the day...for those of you who know Perth, there is no comparison - it would be like comparing a bit of the Gobi desert with Times Square on New Years Eve...).

The activities to date:

We have done a lot of markets. Borough (where we went all fancy and bought whole fish to bake with artichokes and gorgeous olives - which I don't even like, but I went with it). Camden Markets where I has a nutella and banana crepe and the four of us shared an ice cream frozen in front of our eyes with liquid nitrogen. Portobello where there was sooooo much vintage that I was not in the mood for, but topped of with a delish red velvet cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery. Nooks and crannies around the funky Brick Lane, tacky souvenir stalls around Covent Garden (together with a crepes).

I have to say the food hasn't been great (besides that whole fish lil' sis baked for us! And an amazing roast the other sister's new boyfriend impressed us with!). There are a lot of chain restaurants and pubs and food stalls. I guess we've also not really been on the search for gastronomy - rather opting for what was convenient around us at the time. I am craving some fresh fruit and veggies. Something I've noticed is that all the juice places really only do fruit juice, not vegetable...much to my 'Crazy Sexy' (amazing movement and book by the inspiring Kris Carr) disappointment.

The two outfits I alluded to in an earlier post have now (thankfully) been added to. We hit a MASSIVE Westfields in Sheperds Bush and shopped all those fab large stores - H&M, Zara, Topshop and even went for a walk and found the cheapy gem Primark. I have a slew of skinny jeans that actually fit, some colorful tops and a couple of awesome jackets. I can't say I'm a big fan of the current slouchy fashion, but I'm finding some great basics and block colour items.

We went and saw The Kooks at the famous Brixton Academy which was a lot of fun except for the aching legs and back after a day of walking. It was a real experience winding our way through all the ticket scalpers that were around. What a tough gig that would be.

We spent a couple of hours doing one of my favorite inspiring things today - meandering around a few bookshops. It really gets by mental juices running with creativity and ideas.

There is still a lot on the menu. Tonight we're seeing the West End show Stomp (looking forward to seeing hot men jumping around - I am missing The Man ;). We're off to Bath this weekend to soak up some Austen era countryside. Tate Modern and all those big tourist attractions are still beckoning too. And a bunch of friends to catch up with since they've all started to come back from holidays. Oooooh and high tea at some stage too.

Time is flying by, but we are making the most of it (besides lingering over breakfast watching things like Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and 90210 on the TV!) and having wonderful family time.

I'm also going to find some time next week to sit down and do SSS things that I'm really looking forward to.

I hope you're all well and soaking up whatever experiences you're having.

Make it as you wish SSSs and I'll see if I can find another Starbucks in a few days to connect with the world again.
Cheerio and a cup of tea!
Arienne xoxo

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Movies galore and jetlag

We've arrived safe and happy in London Town and this is what jet lag looks like at 4.30am.

Flights were good and easy and I did watch a lot of movies. Was great to meet the little sis at Singapore airport and continue together on the last leg.

Plus it's so much easier to sleep when you can comfortably drape yourself over the person sitting next to you!

So far we've had fun finding our way around tube stations with luggage, been warmly welcomed by Liane's flatmates (she's only arriving back from the states today - the slacker absentee from the welcoming committee), had breakfast at a local cafe, shopped for food at Tescos and Marks & Spencer food, and went to a local pub for a pint. And sleep, lots of it!

Today may see us visiting the Borough Markets, doing a bit of clothes shopping (which is quite urgent as I only brought two outfits with me with the intention of getting a new wardrobe) and being the welcoming committee for Liane (before presenting her with the mountain of australian branded peanut butter, maple syrup and toothpaste we brought along).

Make it as you wish SSS!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Elliott Rd,Hounslow,United Kingdom

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Carry-On Calm Travel Packing List

Long-haul international travel can be taxing on the body and the mind. I'm off to London next week and that means a lot of hours on the go, on the plane and in transit. Probably about 30 hours door to door with very little sleep!

But there is an upside. I have to say that, for some reasons, I like travel. I always find it exciting. Everyone going somewhere with some sort of purpose. The arrivals hall of airports is one of my favourite places. Seeing families and lovers reuniting, I always wonder what their story is. Plus it is my opportunity to catch up on movies that I never get around to seeing at the cinema (and then forget about when I'm at the video store)!

I thought I'd share with you my clothing suggestions, carry on luggage list and what the necessities are to bring with you when posing as an international jet-setter. I sometimes wish I could be that guy that you often see that just carries on his book, boarding pass and passport (but I'm not). It may be overkill but when I'm in a different place I like to have things on hand (and just in case my checked-in luggage ends up at a different location than I do) - add and subtract to suit you :)

Clothing Suggestions To Wear Aboard
  • Wear something that is absolutely comfortable. Now is not the time for that tight pair of jeans.
  • Bring layers - the temperatures vary so much so you want to control what you can. Scarf, cardigan, jacket.
  • Wear closed shoes that are easy to slip on and off (remember, feet often swell at altitude).
  • Not very sexy but I wear compression socks because I had sore elephant feet once and I don't want to scare myself like that again
  • Think about the weather at your destination too and bring it with you or pack it at the top of your suitcase to take out and change at the airport
  • A watch - I don't normally wear a watch as I use my phone for the time, but if I have to switch my phone off to conserve battery, I still want to know how much longer I have left on the flight!

Check-In Luggage

Make sure it has wheels or something that makes it easy to move around (have you ever had to walk from one terminal to another at Heathrow?! Lesson learned!)

Carry On Luggage

Roller Bag - if you have a lot of heavy stuff it's easier to wheel than carry!
Handbag with sections so things don't get jumbled up.
Travel Document Wallet - to keep all the important docs together (tip - keep a copy of important docs in carry on and in checked in luggage)

Important Things

  • Passport
  • Ticket/Itinerary/Boarding Pass
  • Wallet (don't forget to take out all the loyalty cards you won't be using overseas to lighten the load)
  • Some foreign currency (you don't want to take the chance that your cards don't work and you haven't got any cash while you sort it out!)
  • Hard copy version of important phone numbers, addresses and travel confirmations


  • Book
  • Magazine
  • Crossword/Sudoku
  • iPod - for my audio books, podcasts and music
  • iPad/Kindle - to read books/play games
  • iPhone - I don't suggest reading or using your phone for too much while travelling. You want to save your battery for phone calls/text messages
  • Headphones
  • Apple USB charger (some planes enable you to recharge at your seat)
  • Laptop
  • Laptop Charger
  • Camera
  • Journal/Notebook - for musings and idea scribbles
  • Pens
  • Organiser

 Photo Credit


  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deoderant
  • Perfume
  • Hand Sanitiser
  • Face/Body Wipes
  • Moisturiser
  • Lip Balm
  • Eyedrops
  • Hairbrush, pins, hairband
  • Mints
  • Panadol
  • Vitamins, medicine
  • Melatonin or other sleep/jetlag remedies
  • Rescue Remedy
  • Blow up neck pillow - it takes less space than the other ones
  • Change of underwear and top to stay fresh :)
  • Snacks - because I hate being hungry!!!


Eye mask - I'm not a big fan but some people swear by using them
Personal hair and makeup artist to arrive in style (I wish...)

Happy Travels SSSs! Print out your own list and tick it off as you put things in. Don't forget to charge all your electronics before you board and double check the important things (passport, wallet, ticket) before you leave. You can buy everything else if you forget them.

Make it as comfortable as you wish!
Jetsetter Arienne xo
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...