Good morning and happy Monday! I’m kicking off your week with some hate to add to your feed…

Okay, not really. I hope nobody takes any of this personally, it’s just my opinion. I’ve had this in my drafts for ages now and after a Twitter poll on what I should fill this uneventful few weeks with, this post was the winner!

  1. Zoella is boring. My fellow Brightonian and famous YouTuber is adorable, but God, is she boring. She makes half-hour vlogs near daily about… what exactly? Things she has, mediocre make-up looks and clothes she buys. Yawn. Who told her she was interesting?
  2. Pugs are ugly. These poor critters are bred to have smaller and smaller snouts, leading to a hoard of respiratory problems and genetic defects caused by inbreeding. Plus, their bulging eyes scare me.
  3. I can’t fucking stand Alaska. I love Drag Race so much, but I can’t stand Alaska. And the fact that I rarely bring out the f-bomb on here as I do as much in real life hopefully portrays my disdain well. She has such a horrible attitude, the world’s most annoying voice,  can’t dance or deliver looks for shit and fails to stand out in the runway looks on most occasions. She didn’t deserve to win All Stars 2.
  4. The Grand Canyon is overrated. You drive a stupid amount of miles to snap a picture and leave. My advice: do something in the canyon (hiking, water rafting, etc.) to make the journey worth it. It’s beautiful, but take it from a local: it’s not really worth the hassle.
  5. Burgers are gross. Although I’ve been meatless for about six years now, I never cared for beef burgers.
  6. The Office (U.S.) is okay at best. I watched about five seasons and I’ll admit, it had its moments, but it’s grossly overrated. Michael Scott is a straight-up asshole, not ignorant, just a dick, and it gets old after a while.
  7. Hamilton didn’t impress me. I can appreciate the nuance of the music, but it didn’t blow me away. Perhaps I’ll appreciate more when I see it live when tickets become more readily available. Stay tuned for my review in 2025.
  8. Fjallravens are way overpriced. I see these popular backpacks everywhere, especially in Europe, but I don’t find them particularly handsome or functional, especially for the outrageous price. But to each their own.
  9. Disneyland is hell. When I went for the first time when I was 18, I understood why my parents didn’t bring me in my childhood. It was okay… until about 10AM. Then, it’s a nightmare for everyone over the age of 10. Screaming kids, lines hours long, overpriced everything… no, thank you. I like Disney and it was fun for a few hours, but I much prefer thrill rides, which Disneyland lacks.
  10. I am neutral about Harry Potter and Disney. I like them as much as the next person, possibly a bit less, so the idea of theme parks, spending money on merchandise and getting overly excited about the next thing is a bit juvenile to me. It seems to be all about money at this point.
  11. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is overrrated. Despite it’s massive praise, it’s one of the most underwhelming movies I’ve ever seen.
  12. Camping can suck a fat one. This might be a relatively popular opinion overall, but as a conservation major, I’m surrounded by people who love anything outdoors. I do, too; I could go sunrise to sunset outside without a single complaint, but I do not mess with tents or camping. I want to shit in a toilet and sleep in a warm bed and will only not do so under extreme circumstances.
  13. The cracker is better than the stuffing of an Oreo. Someone had to say it.
  14. I have absolutely zero desire to go to Las Vegas. I can get pissed and throw away money a lot closer to home.
  15. “Instagrammable” anything makes me roll my eyes. I’m not spending hundreds of pounds to travel somewhere new just for the likes. I understand the idea behind the posts, but maybe describe such places “photogenic” or here’s an even crazier idea, something like “beautiful.” God forbid you enjoy the landscape for your own pleasure first.

Photo by Nick Karvounis.

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One popular trend in the blogging world is creating time-sensitive bucket lists. With my birthday just past and realizing what awesome things I’ve done in my adult life so far, I thought it would be fun to set some really long-term goals to reach for before the big 3-0.

Here are a few things I hope to accomplish in the next seven years:

Lifestyle

  1. Have my own place. While I will probably take on roommates for the next few years to save money, I eventually want a place all to myself so I can express myself fully in the entire space.
  2. Change my surname. I’ve never cared much for my surname. I used to look forward to the day when I get married to take my future partner’s name, but why wait? Maybe they’ll end up having something equally, if not more, difficult to pronounce. Not to mention, if I’m going to be a published scientist and author someday, I want it to be my name, not theirs. With that, I hope to change my surname to something I love (don’t worry, it will still be somewhat in the family) and will be happy to carry with me for the rest of my life.
  3. Become totally fluent in Spanish. Although Diego says my Spanish is better than I think it is, I’m not comfortable in my skills quite yet. I can read most anything (or figure out the gist of it with context) and write okay, but my speaking and listening are abysmal. I hope to take proper classes to grow my skills and practice.
  4. Get a car. I will either prioritize living on my own or getting a car first… at current rates with my job the latter is more possible.
  5. Double my tattoos. I have four at the moment and hope to have four more, no matter how small.
  6. Get a dog. While I set the goal of getting some pet this year, it will likely be something small and low-maintenance. However, no pet can ever be as amazing as a dog and I hope to have my own furry friend once I’m settled into my career.
  7. Read 100 more books. That’s a bit more than one book a month, seems easy enough.
  8. Attend a dance class. For the longest time, I’ve wanted to take a dance class. I’m dismal at dancing, but I find it so fun and would love to learn properly!
  9. See 30 musicals in my adult life. 19 down with the most recent one being Chess for my birthday.
  10. Complete the Fellowship Quest… because what’s a bucket list without something alcohol related?

Travel

  1. Visit six continents. Three down.
  2. Visit 35 countries. 18 down.
  3. Do 150 dives. 35 down.
  4. Complete the Camino de Santiago. In September, I walked half of the Porto to Santiago de Compostela route… just the wrong half. I got too tired and injured to make it past Baiona. I hope to return to walk from Baiona to Santiago de Compostela soon.
  5. Go skydiving and/ or bungee jumping.
  6. Visit three more U.S. states.
  7. Take a holiday with one or both my parents.
  8. Go to a music festival. I have never been to a multi-day huge festival and as a big music lover this seems like something that is bound to happen in the near future anyway.
  9. Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square.
  10. Visit five national parks either in the U.K., U.S. or elsewhere for that matter!
  11. Book an impulsive trip. I mean, not too impulsive. I’d take the weekend off from work, but just show up at the airport and ask them for the cheapest return flight.

Career

  1. Be a published scientist.
  2. Become a dive master. This isn’t in my travel because for recreational purposes, I wouldn’t feel the need to go beyond my current qualification. However, if you want to do marine biology, a dive mater qualification is usually required.
  3. Publish a book.
  4. Go to a conference.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to notice that my 30 Before 30 list isn’t actually 30 items long. That’s because as it’s so far away, I would like some flexibility to add and edit the items.

But for now, here’s to the future.

Photo by Tim Johnson.

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If you haven’t been keeping up with me, I spent the better part of April in South Africa on a field course, you can read about my time in the posts below:

South Africa Marine Field Course: Sodwana Bay

South Africa Marine Field Course: Sodwana Bay Incident

South Africa Marine Field Course: St. Lucia Safaris and Umkomaas

South Africa Marine Field Course: Cape Town

South Africa Marine Field Course: My Footage

Once I returned, life came at me fast. Work and university are relentless with approaching deadlines. On the bright side, my last deadline is only a bit over a week away and then I can breathe if only for a minute before buckling down on my dissertation. I’ve started with two new clients at work, so I look forward to expanding my skills and getting to know new people!

Finally, my birthday was a few days ago and it was a busy weekend. First, Diego and I saw the new Avengers film and man, was it good! The next day (Saturday, 28 April, my actual birthday), we headed to London to see one of the limited shows of the musical Chess. My parents treated me to two tickets and dinner as my birthday present to see it, so I took Diego along for the ride. We arrived in London around 4PM and walked around before heading to Dishoom, a critically acclaimed Indian restaurant I’ve been eager to try. Much to our dismay, the queue was unbelievably long, so we headed to a Canadian pub I’ve also been eager to try and got a pint and poutine before dinner at Honest Burger. Chess was fantastic! I’m not sure it’s my favorite of all time, but I’m sure I’ll come to like it even more after listening to the music a few more times. The set was amazing and the cast were memorable… the only downside was our uncomfortable seats and somewhat obstructed view. After the show, we joined Diego’s good friend Max and his girlfriend back at the Canadian pub for more drinks, hockey and catch up.

Now, it’s back again to the real world with university and work.

What I’m watching: Dallas Buyer’s Club, Mrs. Doubtfire, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Django Unchained

What I’m listening to: because the internet by Childish Gambino, Loud Like Love by Placebo, Deep Blue by Parkway Drive, Braille by Palm Reader, In a Tidal Wave of Mystery by Capital Cities, Pedestrian Verse by Frightened Rabbit

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Today is the day: I’m 23!

Last year, I saw Rise Against in Los Angeles, which was not only the best gig I’ve been to, but one of the best days of my life… and I spent half of it on a coach, so that’s saying something!

I went to the cinema last night and am going to a musical and dinner in London tonight, I can’t wait!

Anyway, I thought I would make 23 highlights of my life so far…

  1. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.
  2. Studied abroad for a whole year.
  3. W.W.O.O.F.‘ed in Ontario, Canada for a month.
  4. Got not one, not two, but four tattoos with no plans to stop any time soon.
  5. Became (mostly) financially independent.
  6. Made and met so many online friends.
  7. Had a long distance relationship for over three years (it worked at the time, but never again).
  8. Attended 60+ concerts.
  9. Had a big girl job relevant to my degree.
  10. Discovered my love for cider.
  11. Lived (and still currently living) abroad.
  12. Made a furry friend for life: Bailey. I will never have another pet or friend like him.
  13. Met my favorite band (Rise Against) several times.
  14. Created and maintained this blog. One of the best choices I’ve ever made!
  15. Fulfilled my bucket list item of many years of getting scuba certified (advanced- and open water).
  16. Got to travel with my family (dad, grandparents and grandpa).
  17. I’ve seen 83 of the top 250 global attractions. Pretty damn amazing.
  18. Found my passion: conservation biology.
  19. Splurged on a LiveAboard holiday to Egypt.
  20. Saw 20+ musicals.
  21. Learned how to think for myself about politics and religion.
  22. Travelled all over western Europe. My top five being the Camino de Santiago, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Budapest.
  23. Had plenty of fuck-ups… but learned to truly regret none of them.
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Apologies for the lateness of this post. In case you missed the memo, I’ve been hella busy and will continue to make myself scarce on here until 10 May at 16:01, right after my last deadline.

From 6 April to 22 April, I was in South Africa busting my ass on a field course, which you can read all about in this tag. With that, I unfortunately missed posting my favorite blog posts from the month then.

But, I’m bringing it to you now! Without further ado, here are my top five posts from all categories:

  1. Sea Turtle Conservation: Okay, this is my dream job. Travelling to write about conservation interests? Yes, please.
  2. 30 Travel Lessons I’ve Learnt at 30: Practical tips with some hilarious and relatable anecdotes. #11, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21 and 26 are ones I swear by.
  3. Gorilla Trekking Experience: This is deemed one of the better wildlife tourist options for both animal welfare and conservation and it look incredible.
  4. 5 Things to Write On Your CV as a Blogger: Although I largely consider this a hobby, it has definitely given me skills that can transfer into “the real world” and I shouldn’t be modest about it!
  5. 48 Hours in Brighton: I love seeing Brighton from a tourist’s point of view and these pictures are amazing. I love my town.

Science, sustainability and veganism

General travel and study abroad

Travel: Destinations

Blogging

Lifestyle

Entertainment

Photo by Andrew Knechel.

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