I visited a friend in Cyprus during the height of summer: July
Given that I could have gone anytime I’m not quite sure what went through my mind when I booked during the school holidays! Having said that I’m lucky to have a friend that lives there and knows the Island pretty well, so for the most part we avoided the over touristy places.
Aside from the Turkish and Greek divide (North and South respectively), before I visited, my knowledge of Cyprus was pretty sketchy. I learned a lot about the history and culture from just the 10 days of my trip. The Island really is bursting with culture and history, the food is amazing and the coastlines are simply stunning. The North and South offered two sides to the Island that had obvious parallels, yet felt distinct in their respective culture, food and people. Naturally I wanted to visit as much of both North/South to see the contrast. We took a few road trips and over the 10 days managed to go from the most Eastern point of the Island, Dipkarpaz, to the most Western tip, Latchi and Polis, stopping at places such as Pan Handle, Famagusta, Aphrodite’s rock and Larnaca, as well as smaller towns and beaches.
Dipkarpaz and Pan Handle
(1-5) The coastline on the drive up was stunning and completely untouched
(6-10) A little region called Taslica. This place had the most beautiful beaches and the most crystal clear waters
(11-14) Naturally we whipped out the underwater camera!
(15-21) Pan Handle is the most western tip of the Island, and in my opinion, probably one of the most beautiful parts of Cyprus. If I was to recommend one place to see it would be a drive along this coastline – totally untouched, secluded and charming.
(22-25) More Pan Handle
Famagusta: Varosha region and Ghost Town
(1/2/3) Famagusta City Walls and little bazaars and Tavernas lining the street. This place had a Middle Eastern and Turkish charm with those bold, bright and brash colours!
(4/5/6) The mezzes were amazing, totally recommend! Rouge 21 and Aspava were both great
Wish I got to explore more of this part of the Island!
First things first, where did the summer go!? Or rather more accurately, why did it never arrive here in the UK?
I’m having a hard time getting my head around the fact that we’re descending into the colder months… especially because traditionally, or rather in the last few years, September has been quite nice. Not this year.
Whilst I love summer and will forever be a sunshine worshipping, bikini loving, beach bum. I actually really like Autumn. Doesn’t the turn of September feel like a new year to anyone else? To me it feels like a second January.
AND I am most definitely that person that starts planning for Halloween on the first of September!
Anyway, here are three things that I’m looking forward to this month:
Pumpkin spiced lattes
They just scream Autumn. For me as soon as September hits I get excited about my Pumpkin spice ❤ On a general food note I’m a big fan of eating in season and with September we get fresh figs… enough said.
New TV programmes
Darker nights mean more curling up with a duvet and hot chocolate. A new series of Stranger things, Suits, Bake off… and OH! Man in the High Castle later in the year (!) More reason to drink hot chocolate and slump on the sofa after work.
There’s something quite comforting about hiding underneath oversized scarfs and knits. Because who needs abs in the winter?! Ok don’t quote me on that, I want them year round….
This year I’m really looking forward to embracing the turn of Autumn
What are you looking forward to? Are there any new TV programmes you recommend?
For the last few years it feels like my life has been running at 100mph. Whilst if I’m honest this actually works well for me because I’m definitely fast paced person, I think it’s finally time to stop. Reflect. And take stock.
2017 has literally flown by. What have I done?
It’s funny really because on the face of it I’ve done loads. I moved house, trained for a 10k, been on a few holidays as well as achieved a lot in my work/personal life. But it feels like I’ve not achieved anything. Or feels like something isn’t quite right.
It might be my impending 30th birthday next year that is seriously making me ….anxious/excited/nervous/unfulfilled and question life right now. When I was 18 I really thought that by 25 i’d be married with kids (WOW) but since that hasn’t happened I’m thinking time for a new plan. Since I’m going to be 30 next year and, well, single, I’m thinking that it’s the perfect time to create a new life plan.
I feel like I’m hitting one of those pivotal points in life where you question things and wonder about what the future holds. I definitely hit that point after I finished uni at 21, and again at 25 when I sort of embarked on a career change. I’m at that point again. I think turning 30 must evoke these feelings in people.
On the face of things life is great. I have a great job which is both interesting and offers me a unique flexibility to work on things I really enjoy. I live in a great city, in the middle of that city too, offering me abundant opportunities for my social, work and *cough* love life. I have amazing friends and family (moving away makes you have to put yourself out there when you meet people who sort of already have their friendship groups… but great as you get to meet lots of new fun and interesting people).
So what is missing? I can’t quite put my finger on it. I feel like I’ve running around like a headless chicken for the last few years and have barely taken time out to just stop and think. Sometimes the problem is that when I do stop for more than a few hours I get seriously bored?! I’m out the house Mon-Fri from early until pretty late. I go to the gym a few times a week, fill my other *free* evenings with dinners, catching up with friends, pub quizzes, etc… then the weekends are non-stop too. Not to mention trying to go home to see my family a few weekends here and there, travelling for work and exhausting myself trying to keep up with everyone!
What am I going to change?
Stopping to reflect, regularly
One thing is starting to blog. I have been saying I want to blog for the longest time. It’s productive, cathartic and well, really helps to understand what my thoughts are. Sometimes just getting it down on paper helps to understand what I’m feeling. I’m also thinking that I can use it as an outlet. I have SO many interests that I like to talk about… travel, fitness, nutrition, health, psychology, fashion, photography… the list is endless. I also love sharing my little tid bits of knowledge with everyone – I sometimes can talk people to death about things.
Pledging to spend more quality time with those closest to me
Instead of trying to keep up with everyone, i’m going to start saying no more. This is actually something I pledged to myself at the beginning of the year. I’ve been somewhat good at it but I could do with working it a little more! Whilst it may seem selfish, it really is more about taking time for yourself. Instead of seeing about 25 different friends once a month (and even less in some cases!) I’m going to spend more time with those I love the most.
This is a tough one for me, because ultimately I hate letting people down. And I get FOMO. But I’ve realised I can’t please everyone, and the person I have not been paying attention to is myself. Doing things I want to do. For me.
I’ve also realised that since I’ve moved around that much I’ve built up a collection of friends from different places… school, college, uni, different jobs from when I was at uni, different cities I’ve lived in, people within those different cities, work places, and the list goes on. This is both fab and detrimental. There was one point of my life where I was out for coffee, lunch, brunches, dinners, nights out about 5 days a week just to keep up, and the problem would lie in the fact that for some of those people, that *dinner/coffee/cake/cocktail night* would be their treat, but it was becoming my norm. So when people would say, ‘oh why aren’t you getting dessert?’ I’d be thinking, erm, I had one every night this week!
Over the year I’ve said no to things I would usually just squeeze into my jam packed diary, and well, I have felt GREAT. So definitely implementing this one a lot more. But beyond that, I’m going to start regularly putting time in with those that I actually want to see more ❤
This sounds like I’m jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon. In reality I have tried implementing mindfulness into my life for a while now. Instead of going through phases where I’m great at it and do it everyday then ultimately get sick of it and stop altogether, I’m going to start slow by taking 5 minutes a day to think of what I’m grateful for and why.
This applies more to career options because I think i’m fairly inquisitive as a person. I’m going to take a day every few weeks to look into career options and possibly a year out/sabbatical. This one needs more work.
Did you suffer from a *OH GOD I’M ALMOST 30* crisis and if so, what did you do?