Friday, 12 June 2015

A Fear of Travelling.

New York
I have always wanted to travel and I have been lucky enough to see a chunk of what the world has to offer... From New York to Australia, Budapest to Paris, I love exploring new places and experiencing the ways of life in different cultures. As I started college and university, I figured at some point I'd get the chance I loved the idea of backpacking across an unknown country, alone or with companions, exploring new cultures and environments making memories that would live with me in the future and potentially shaping the person I am.

But things are changing.

I've become a woman who is more apprehensive about travelling, especially alone, which is silly because I like to think that I am a strong independent woman who is perfectly capable of taking on the world.  I'd always imagined that I'd take hop on a flight  with a little bit of money and see where the world takes me. But what if something happens? I get lost? Attacked? Find myself in a situation beyond my control?

It's silly, I know, but its almost as thought I have become a victim of potential future circumstance. The world is a rapidly changing place where diversity is both  something to be to be celebrated and can be a cause for concern. I love that nations have joined together and we get the chance to see celebrations and religions that in the past were impossible due to geography. For me, it feels that almost every week there is a horror story about people travelling abroad appears in the news and I think this is where my nerves have begun appearing from.

It's just sad, because at 21, I shouldn't have to worry about whether if I backpack through a rainforest, I'm going to make it back alive. I shouldn't have to worry about cultural clashes that I could get stuck in between. I shouldn't have to worry whether I am at risk because I am a young white woman.I should have the chance to see every far flung corner of the world and its people and take those memories with me forever.

But I sense it will never change and has the potential to get worse. Which makes me wonder whether the art of the gap year will have to change entirely? or will it just be certain 'high risk' countries that people avoid?

I will see the world in my lifetime. I just won't do it alone.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

What is the appeal of gambling online?

It used to be that if you wanted to play casino classics such as roulette and poker, craps or baccarat, the only way to do so would be to book a weekend at a casino. Sometimes even that would necessitate more than a weekend, depending on how far you lived from a casino.
However, that’s all changed now that you can play at online casinos such as bgo, Sky Vegas and Gala casino. Now, casino games come to you, wherever you may be, as long as you have an internet connection.
For millions of people, the very existence of online casinos has opened up previously-closed avenues of entertainment. They might never have made a trip to a land-based casino, but now within a couple of clicks you can be playing any game that enters your head online.

As there are so many different online casinos in operation, there’s a lot of competition for new customers. And competition between the operators is good news for us consumers. All the sites offer a welcome bonus when you first sign up, and this is usually in the form of free playing credit, which is handed out in relation to the amount you first put into your account. If you choose to play at, there’s a 200% bonus when you make an initial deposit and also 180 free spins.
Obviously, the free credit is a draw to someone who’s considering joining an online site, but what else makes playing casino games online so appealing? For many people, it’s the sheer convenience of being able to login and have a few games whenever the mood takes you. It doesn’t matter if you only have five minutes to play, you can flit in and out of a site for as little or as long as you like.
Then there’s the sheer variety of games that each site has on offer. Different games are available, depending on what kind of mood you’re in. If you’re looking for simple entertainment – with the possibility of a cash win – then playing slots is a great choice. There are hundreds of different games to choose from, many themed around movie or comic book characters, or TV quiz shows. All you need to do when playing slots is decide how many lines to play, and how much to bet per line. Whether you win or lose is down to chance. This is dictated by the random number generator sequences in the gaming software. The games are fun because you can’t affect the outcome in any way, so it makes them more relaxing to play.

When you’re in the mood to strategize, though, you could play a game such as blackjack instead. Although the object of the game is fairly simple, to get your hand as near to a total of 21 without going over, while beating the dealer’s hand, it’s not that easy. There’s a level of chance in what cards you are dealt, but you need to decide how to make the hand you are dealt work best for you. And the more you play, the more creative you’ll become with each hand that you have, just remember to stay safe...

For many people, the most challenging online casino game to play is poker. That’s partly because of the difficulty of the game itself, but also the fact that you have to anticipate what other players at the virtual poker table are thinking. For some, poker is a step too far, and seems more like hard work than a game. But that’s the beauty of playing online games. If you try something and don’t like it, there’s no need to carry on with it.

Aside from the obvious appeal of leading to big cash prizes, there’s a lot of fun to be had with online casino games, and the variety of games on offer means that you can always find one to suit the mood you’re in.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Our Night at The Langstone, Hayling Island

 With both mine and the BF's 21st Birthdays falling pretty much within a week of each other it was obvious that we had to do something to celebrate. That coupled with the fact we were smack bang in the middle of our house move made it obvious to me that a night away was the best option. So when my family gave me a voucher for The Langstone on Hayling Island for my birthday, I took the chance and booked.

I know that the hotel isn't far from our base in Portsmouth, and I did wonder whether or not it would be worth the break, but this worry was solved when we arrives and was met with the most amazing view of the water...

We checked in and went up to the room. Which was clean and pleasant enough... The BF was fascinated by the trouser press which had blatentely walked out of the seventies and I was just content with the idea of being waited on hand and foot (which included room service - something I hadn't ever had.)

Would we ever go back? I hope so... The views from the dining room were phenomenal. Plus, who doesn't like to be treated like royalty for a night?
My Carbonara Dinner...

The perfect Roomservice.

Friday, 5 June 2015

The thing I wish I'd known of when moving into my first proper house...

Things change after university and as much as you try to avoid it, stepping into the real world is inevitable. I can think of two paths you can go down when you reach this point; the first being that you move back home to your parents and attempt to find work, the second is that you move out into a new place with a job. I've opted for the second option but know so many people that would rather move home to mum and dad...

Moving into a new house has meant that I've had to work out a whole host of new things which today I'm sharing....

The first thing you should do is check the meter - I'm sure that this is common sense, but the first thing you should do is note down the meter readings are for the gas, electric and water. When you go to register with the gas, electric and water companies they want to know what the meter said so they can bill you from this point. So just remember to jot it down, rather than getting distracted with the thrill of a new place because it will make life ten times easier and you won't get overcharged.

Electric Hobs are a complete pain - I've always had a gas hob up until this point and have always been told that electric hobs are a bit more volatile and a whole lot more of a pain in the arse. I moved in well over a week ago and am still trying to get to use to the new hob (and oven!) and I just can't seem to work it out. Next time, I want a gas hob!

Moving takes an age - and everyone will be stressing - As I sit here now, there is still half a ton of stuff that needs to be boxed and then moved from the old house and even more stuff that needs to be unpacked. That coupled with the fact that I don't know where anything is, is stressing me out, which stresses Jake out, which stresses me out even more.

Me and the Freezer that took up most of my car.
Finding the right flat is all about compromising - I had this vision of where I would be living this year and it certainly wasn't where I am now, on a busy road above a shop, but I would not change my flat for the world. The location may not have been what I'd hoped for, but I'm left living in a bright spacious 1-bed flat that doesn't quite cost the earth. In fact, after comparing it to other flats in the area for the same price, I'd hazard a guess that this one is an absolute steal!

When you go to buy a freezer, the sales people may not take you seriously - We somehow managed to move into a flat that didn't contain a freezer (rookie mistake, I know.) and so have had to go out and buy one which is something we didn't budget for. Anywho, I did my research and worked out which freezer I wanted. After waiting 20 minutes to be served by the sales assistant to get round to serving us (I'm thinking two 21 year olds aren't particularly high on the list of priorities...) we were pretty much laughed. Having said that, we managed to get the freezer, and drive it across town in the back of my KA with no problems at all. I just wish sometimes people wouldn't treat us differently or make assumptions because of our age...

I have learnt a fair bit and am beginning to get the hang of being an adult but I guess at least it should get easier every time I move...

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

5 ways to leave university for summer with 'free' money!

Us students have a reputation for scrimping and saving anywhere humanly possibly (think cheap vodka and ready meals) so it seems logical that at this point in the year, as exams are finished and we begin to pack up our things and head home, that we begin to plan the best summer ever on a budget. Today I paired up with the people at Walton Robinson and together we have found five ways in which you'll manage to 'find' money you wouldn't otherwise have which can go towards whatever it is you fancy... 

1. Check that you don't have any money left in the gas & electric account. - when you close both accounts (which you should do when you leave rented  accommodation) you may find that you've paid ahead of the date that you move out which means they owe you the money back. That money, you can either use for your next energy bill in the new house or get them to send you a check. Ta-da! Money you hadn't thought to count is there for you. 

2. Get a rebate on your TV Licence - Although I didn't have have a TV licence the whole time I was at university, I know that some people did. If you paid the full fee upfront, then you'll be entitled to another rebate seeing as it is unlikely that you will need the licence when you get back home... 

3. Sell old textbooks - Textbooks for university aren't cheap, with most starting from £50 new. You can buy them second hand and/or at the end of the year sell them on to a local bookstore or student who may need them the following year. Although you may not get an awful lot of money, it is better than nothing! 

4. Trade unwanted clothes in - Although this idea will probably give you the smallest return, there are many places that will buy clothes, bedding and other fabrics by the kilo for a small fee. If you were to clear through all the fabrics you own as you pack up to leave, you may find you have enough to make the weight and you'll have less clutter to move home and back again. 

5. Claim tax back - More often than not students find themselves being well overtaxed by employers as they've been put on an emergency tax code - which is never fun. The only good thing is that you can claim the tax back. Just contact HRMC, and hope for the best! 

What do you think? What would you do with this money?