EXPLORING THE HELL OUT OF SUMMER

“I don’t want to play up to being a ‘typical brit’ here talking about the weather just because we’ve had the first sighting of sun in 596 days..but, seriously. How nice has it been?!”

The sunshine making a rather glorious appearance the past few days has well and truly boosted my mood, given me a slight boost in my vitamin D levels and an “oh-my-god-I-can’t-wait-for-summer” spring in my step too. 

I don’t want to play up to being a ‘typical brit’ here talking about the weather just because we’ve had the first sighting of sun in 596 days..but, seriously. How nice has it been?!

I know I’m being a little OTT in feeling like I could be on holiday (the view definitely lacked a little in that department), but I honestly did – minus that small issue of work still being a thing… It’s been so nice to leave the house without a jacket, take an evening stroll in the park and whack our pasty legs out to feel actual sunshine on them once and for all.

I can practically feel every other part of the world sighing right about…now. Yes, us brits get excited when we have some sunshine. Let us have our moment, please. After all, the forecast already tells us that the sun will be gone by tomorrow and reality will return once more in the form of a mere 12 degrees and rain.

But, this change in weather has got me feeling very excited for the summer months ahead and my plans that are in the diary so far. Which, may I add, are written in solid ink, not even in pencil. Just saying…

So, let’s talk about my summer plans…

You’ll know if you follow me on Instagram that my designated word for this year is “explore”. Each year that’s gone by, I’m becoming less bothered about buying material items, and instead want to fill my time with more experiences. Hell, we all know nothing’s cheap in this world, so if I have to pick between a new set of clothes or a holiday? A holiday is always going to win.

Hence, Harry and I have made a bid to have monthly date nights or date days, I’ve set my own challenges for the year, and I’ve nominated “explore” to be ‘my word’. Yes, summer 2018. I’m ready to explore the hell out of you.

So, I thought I’d have a little chat about my plans for the summer that involve “exploring” more. Whether that’s going on holiday, visiting somewhere new in the UK or simply having a wander around a new town or village – camera in tow, I’m ready.

Relaxing in Rhodes

In May – or more specifically, in just 3 and a half weeks (yes!) Harry and I are off to Rhodes. I’ll be completely honest. After our trip to Dubai (part 1 and part 2) in January, I didn’t think we’d be going on another holiday this year – or at least not until the end of the year anyway.

Of course, the constant grey weather eventually wore us down, despite managing to avoid the January blues, and we were online looking at getaways sooner than you could say “save me”. 

Our search began with us looking at a night away in a spa in the UK. We’d narrowed down a spa of our choice – £200 for 1 overnight stay. Pricey. So, before booking anything, we had another look at potential holiday destinations, and bingo! The holiday won. Rhodes – a 4 night stay in an adult only hotel with a sea view room, breakfast included and flights for £250 each. £50 extra for a hell of a lot more?! We’d be silly for saying no.

And my God am I glad it’s booked. I’m so ready to jet off, relax, enjoy some sunshine and just c h i l l . Not like I’m counting down the days or anything…

Leaving for Lacanau-Ocean

Harrys’ dad has just celebrated a big birthday, so as part of his present, we’re off to Lacanau-Ocean in July. Harry and I travelled around the South of France last year and I loved it, so I’m excited to see what this new area is like too! I’m thinking day trips to Bordeaux, visiting the world’s largest man-made forest, and of course, throwing in a beach day here and there too.

We have no other real plans for this one yet, but as we’re going for a week I’m sure we’ll have lots on the agenda nearer to the time. And if breakfast pastries are involved, I’m in!

Feeling fancy at Artist Residence

In July, Harry and I will be celebrating our 3 year anniversary. You know what they say – time flies when you’re having fun!

As part of his Christmas present, Harry’s sister kindly got us a voucher to use at a Mr and Mrs Smith hotel. After staring at endless beautiful boutique hotels to choose from, we decided on Artist Residence in Oxford. We’ll be staying over for one night, and exploring Oxford and the surrounding areas the next day. The hotel and our room are insanely beautiful. This place is all about the interior envy, so the camera will be out in full force! It’s still to be seen as to whether I’ll actually want to leave the room to explore elsewhere, but hey. Who says we can’t go back again?! 

And then…?

Well, other than these solid plans in the diary, the remainder of my summer weekends are still to be filled with exciting day trips, long summer walks and even more dining out experiences. A long weekend away to Wales, Cornwall or Devon in August is still to be confirmed for my Gran’s birthday (all recommendations welcome) and I have Budapest booked for my mum’s big birthday in October, but I suppose that one doesn’t count in my summer plans…

Whether you have extravagant plans in the diary, or you’re simply taking it as it comes, as far as I’m concerned? It doesn’t matter. I love summer. I love a good beer garden. And I love how much happier I feel.

So, whether I end up filling up the remainder of my weekends with plans, or I just end up stumbling across hidden gems on a random day out, I’m ready for it.

What plans do you have in the diary? Are there any places I need to add to my ‘must-visit’ list this summer? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter or on Instagram!

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