New

Seeing as one of my personal goals is to visit at least one new place and try one new activity every year, I thought this week’s photo challenge would be a good opportunity to look back at the new places I’ve visited and the activities I’ve tried since starting this blog.

My trip to Pisa was as amazing cultural experience…

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Pottery is something that I’ve always wanted to try, and I seemed to always just miss out on the opportunity until I enrolled on the one day workshop at the Howardian Centre in Cardiff…

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Sleeping ‘rough’ in St Davids 2 car park in Cardiff as part of the Sleep Easy Challenge helped to raise awareness of the issues surrounding homelessness. We also raised enough money to keep an emergency room open at the YMCA hostel. Click the link to see an updated comment from Mandy Caddy about this year’s event and how you can get involved…

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Taking part in the Cardiff Photo Marathon saw 400 of us running around the city like mad people for 12 hours, desperately trying to find our next shot. I was exhausted by the time I handed in my memory card, but it was a great experience…DSC_0032

I volunteered at an eco-campsite in Anglesey, North Wales for a week. I later found out from my mum that this was possibly not my first time visiting Anglesey, although if I have been before it was when I was a baby and I don’t remember it…DSC_0085

I’ve visited London lots of times, but every time I go there I found another part of the huge city that I haven’t explored before…DSC_0202

I decided to visit Boulogne-sur-mer, France because it is accessible by bus from Cardiff. I love that I live in Wales, yet I can be in a foreign country with a totally different culture within a day…DSC_0108

The high ropes course at Go Ape is not something I would have signed up for before, but I agreed to try it as part of a friend’s hen weekend. Even though I’m petrified of heights, I conquered my fear and completed the whole course…PENTAX DIGITAL CAMERA

Completing my first 5k was a reminder to myself of what I can achieve…IMG_0289

There are some new activities that I’m not very good at, and some that I just plain suck at. Archery is one of those activities…DSC_0325

New places that involve snow I can ski on are always my favourite. In January 2014 I went to Pila, Italy (not to be confused with Pisa, see above) with my parents and their friend…

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My initial reason for visiting Iceland was to see the Northern Lights, but I discovered so much more whilst I was there. I can’t wait to go back some day and explore more of the island…DSC_0236

I love being an aunty, and getting to try new activities with my nephew, nieces and godchildren make them even more special. I hadn’t planned to go mountain carting, my niece and nephew chose the activity and I’m so glad they did…DSC_0680

Learning to scythe was also a skill I never thought I’d acquire, until my volunteer work at the community garden led me to Phil the scythe master…DSC_0925This post is part of the Photo Challenge ‘New’. Click here to see more entries and a photo of a really cute baby.

Photo Challenge: Achievement

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It might not have been the New York City Marathon, but last year I completed my first 5k run. Even though I’m now a personal trainer, I still struggle with running. It’s more psychological than anything else. I have the attention span of a three year old, so getting me to stay on a treadmill or do any endurance training is a challenge. Although running 5k is not so difficult, training for the 5k was an achievement for me. I’m determined to keep going with my running, and I hope to one day be able to tell you all that I’ve completed my first 10k, half-marathon, who knows maybe even a marathon.

Click here to join in with this week’s photo challenge.

Photo Challenge: Descent

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Sorry, I couldn’t resist. There were lots of photos that I could have used for this week’s challenge, Descent (click here to see other entries). However, me being me, of course I chose a skiing shot. It’s obvious, isn’t it?

I took this shot whilst I was skiing down the mountain behind my mum and dad in Pila, Italy in January this year. We’re currently planning our ski trip for January 2015 and I can’t wait!

Signs

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If you’ve read my blog before, you may have noticed that I have a habit of photographing signs. I’m obsessed with them. Every place I travel, I take pictures of signs. There’s something that just draws me to them, I love the bold colours and fonts. I’m fascinated by the fact that so much information and instruction can be boiled down to simple symbols and images that are quite often universally understood.

I took the photo above on a recent trip to Austria. I was walking to a local park with my nephew, nieces and their friends when the bright yellow and orange of the safety sign caught my attention. It stood out amongst the organic greens and browns of the surrounding alpine landscape, which I guess is what a sign is meant to do.

Click here to see more entries from this week’s challenge.

Photo Challenge: Nighttime

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This photo brings back great memories for me. Memories of sitting around a campfire at Grand Canyon National Park, singing along to a guitar and sharing stories with fellow travellers.

Click here to see other entries from this week’s photo challenge.

Humanity

This week’s Photo Challenge is chosen by Nicole from thirdeyemom (click here to see more entries). Nicole’s blog is one of my favourites that I love to catch up with every day. She travels the world, helping good causes and educating us about social issues. Her photos are beautiful, and she has an amazing talent for capturing the extraordinary in images of regular people going about their day.

Unlike Nicole, I very rarely take photos of people. I’m not sure what it says about me, but unless they are the subject of the photo I try to keep humans out wherever possible. I guess I just prefer to photograph our imprint upon the Earth rather than our actual species. One group of people I do choose to keep photos of, however, is the people I travel with. I have been incredibly lucky in my life to have lived, worked and travelled in many countries around the world. On most of those journeys I have set out alone, but I always meet interesting people along the way. I have met and worked with people from various countries, cultures and walks of life. They have all taught me about the differences as well as the similarities between us, and I believe they have allowed me to return to the UK more educated and open-minded. I hope these experiences have encouraged me to show more humanity.

My first ever big trip overseas on my own was when I went to work in Brant Lake, NY for the summer. I was young, naive and I didn’t have a clue where I was going or what I was doing. I travelled around North East America and through Canada for a month with Kate, a seasoned traveller from New Zealand who had grown up in the UK. I will forever be indebted to Kate for everything she taught me about surviving on the road when you’re on a budget…

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Gabriella, a Hungarian, helped me to understand what it’s like to grow up under communism. She taught me to live life for the moment and never take my freedom for granted. She also introduced me to some fun activities in Seefeld, like feeding the local wildlife…

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In 2010 I took the trip of a lifetime from Los Angeles to San Francisco via Joshua Tree, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Yosemite. 13 women from all over the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand plus our guide Casey (the only male!). We started the week as complete strangers, but by the end of the trip we had shared an experience and made a connection that some lifelong friendships don’t have…

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I certainly met some interesting characters when I lived in Greece…

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I can’t talk about travelling companions without mentioning Malcolm the Monkey. He’s been everywhere with me since I was 12 years old and, although he’s not really able to teach me anything, he’s certainly a talking point and leads me to meet lots of new people…

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Adventure!

This has to be the ultimate photo challenge. Adventure is what we’re all about. Whatever the focus of your blog, you’re blogging about your adventures in life. I’m lucky to have had many adventures, and I’ve got a whole lot more planned to share with you all. As I always say – ‘Aim to achieve your dreams’.

Click here to share other adventures.

Fray

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Even if you’ve never visited San Francisco, you’re probably familiar with the sight of the Golden Gate bridge. However, you way not have seen it like this before. I really hope this never happens, and I doubt it ever will, but if the cables on the bridge were to fray this is how they would look. The ‘cables’ are actually made up of thousands of smaller cables bound together, and they allow the bridge to move (within reason) so that it doesn’t just break as soon as there’s a strong wind. We have a suspension bridge in Newport, South Wales that is built on a similar design and there are times that I have seen the whole bridge literally bouncing. I remember one night, when I was living in Newport, the winds were so strong that you could hear the cables whipping in the wind. I was almost too scared to cross!

Click here to see other entries from this week’s challenge.

Silhouette

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A slight cheat for this week’s challenge I know, but I couldn’t resist using this shot of some street art I saw on a shop’s shutters in London last summer. Besides, I’m no good at taking photos of actual silhouettes.

Click here to see more entries.

Texture

No way! This week’s photo challenge is all about texture. I love taking photos of textures. I think it’s a habit that I picked up from my cousin. We used to go on holiday together a lot when we were children, and whilst the rest of us were taking photos of the local tourist attractions Hannah would be facing the other way shooting close-ups of rock faces and walls.

Here are a few I dug out from my collection:

Click here to see lots more textures.