How To Beat The Holiday Blues (Or Never Get Them To Start With)

(Muri Beach, Cook Islands)
(Rarotonga, The Cook Islands)

So I recently just returned from what I can only describe as paradise. I spent two weeks in the Cook Islands, an island in the middle of the South Pacific just off New Zealand and then I headed over to New Zealand for a week to see if it lived up to the hype that most millennial travellers these days are rating about… FYI it did.

The holiday was nothing short of amazing ( blog post to come), however towards the end of the holiday, I was surprised that I wasn’t starting to get that Sunday evening kind of glumness.The feeling that makes you realise the weekend is over and Monday is coming around pretty quick.  I think similar to the Monday blues, holiday blues are the realisation that very soon your life will go back to the activities which to some may be mundane, monotonous and essentially just normal day life. Its also one of the most  prominent used hashtags on Instagram when someone has come back from their holiday I.e #holidayblues #takemeback. So the most baffling thing to me was, why am I not sad for this holiday to end? I mean I spent 90% of my time on white sand beaches, snorkelling on coral reefs,  drinking cocktails at 11 am and eating out every single night… who would want that to end?

(Aukland Central Business District, New Zealand)
(Mount Wellington, New Zealand)

So I started thinking why this time was different, why I wasn’t sad to be returning home to the UK to sub zero temperatures,grey skies and drizzle. I mean its not the most thrilling climate to return to after 35 degrees of heat and blue skies however none the less I still had a sense of contentment. After deliberating it for a few days and even after returning back to the UK with no signs of the post holiday blip, it came to me some of the reasons why and from my experience, here are some tips to not only beat the holiday blues but never get them again…


1.Set things to look forward to and not just holidays. I’ve seen it so many times, people do count downs to holidays which yes is great because it gives you that one thing to count down and look forward to. However like Christmas once it’s over there is this sense of “well what now?” The lead up to holidays are almost as much part of the excitement as the holiday itself and once its over #holidayblues sets in and you find your Instagram account filled with ‘TBT’ pictures which almost make you feel worse.

In addition to this holidays are usually huge annual events therefore it’s so so important to have smaller events going on in the year, this will stop you going from hero to zero as soon as you step off the plane on your home soil and not sure when you’re going to get your next fix of vitamin D. Having things to look forward to in the weeks after a holiday is almost like the therapy you need to get out of the post holiday pit.  However unless your one of the fortunate ones, i’m not talking about booking another trip here because if your bank account looks anything like mine after a trip (usually in the 2 digit figures), a holiday is pretty much off the cards for the next few months. So the alternative is to set other less expensive things look forward to. A few things I have planned for the forth coming months are things like meeting up with friends from uni, day trips, nights out, meals and get togethers .   So even if it’s just the one thing, having something positive scheduled down in your diary after a holiday, will keep your mind occupied and your social media filled with new content.

2.Be grateful for the life you’re going back to. I completely get that this isn’t as easy as it may seem, however why not? I’m extremely grateful for what I have in my life,  England may not be where I want to live forever but i’m grateful to live somewhere thats renowned for it’s history and scenery. I’m grateful I have my health, a house, friends and family, things that again we take for granted. In addition to this the most important thing to be grateful for is that you’ve got the opportunity to have the holiday in the first place. Yes you may of had to work and save very hard for it but there are people out there who don’t even have that luxury.

A lot of us after being on holiday wish we were back there, wish we didn’t have to leave and want to stay there forever etc etc. However if you speak to the locals who live anywhere you go on holiday, that is their normal, their ‘take for granted’ environment. Try to remember that if you lived there permanently thats how you would get. This goes hand in hand with the saying “the grass isn’t always greener, you’re grass would be just as green if you spent the time watering it” rather than lusting for whats on the other side of the fence, appreciate your normal.

(The Cotswolds, United Kingdom)
(Avon Canal, Newbury)

3.ALWAYS have goals. I’m starting to see more articles talk about goal setting and the importance of it, especially in terms of keeping your mind stimulated,focused, motivated and even for concentration purposes. Now when people talk about goals it’s commonly related to fitness, yes if your into fitness having goals are essential but they are also alot more straightforward to set than say life goals. Examples of fitness goals… “run a 5km, weight lifting PB, join a sports team etc etc”.

However you might not be into fitness… So then what, what other goals could you be setting? Well firstly writing this blog is a part of one of my goals, I want to keep writing more frequent content and a long term goal for me is to write for Elite daily (a website specialising in articles written by “generation Y” i.e 1980 and 90’s babies). Another goal of mine is to do my Padi diving qualification and lastly a new goal of mine is to feel accomplished and positive in my new job,you kind of get the idea. Sometimes when goals don’t seem obvious to you, you have to start thinking outside the box. For example you could learn a language, learn an instrument, start a blog, re write your CV and apply for that job, do another qualification etc and the internet is filled with free resources, ideas and inspiration. Goals give us a purpose, something to strive for in the future instead of looking back at what we had in the past. As human beings its a necessity that we find purpose in the things we do, otherwise not only do we not progress, we become unmotivated and ultimately we become complacent and I can guarantee thats when you’ll start yearning for that holiday last month. So set goals because as the saying goes “you cant change the past, but you can change where you’re going”. 






UK’s Little Treasures (and a place close to my heart)


Whether your from England or not, there is a time in all of our lives where we wish to explore the rest of the world. Sometimes we feel that the beauty in whats around us suddenly becomes not enough or maybe we just become so accustomed to it that we no longer see it for what others across the world may see it for. So I want to explore my country and so i’ve decided to start exploring some of the UK’s little treasures, with the mindset of appreciating whats right in front of me.

First on the list was Westonbirt Aboretum in Gloucestershire. With 2500 different species of trees from across the world, i’d say it’s pretty much the UK’s real life version of Narnia.



Even if you’re not into walking, you can walk round the park in no more than 30 minutes or if you are a walker then there are various routes which can take up to an hour or longer. For me it was just nice to get out and see some good old english heritage and it was fairly impressive to see some of the largest trees in England.




England’s version of the Newyork Skyline- TreeTop Walkway

Another pretty special reason for visiting here is it was one of my dads favourite places. My dad passed away earlier this year and for me I find comfort in visiting places that he enjoyed because for me its like I can re live out his experiences.

Trees are not a major passion of mine just a FYI but getting out and appreciating whats on your doorstop is and this place was pretty beautiful.






Diving with Great White Sharks

“I went to South Africa for sharks, but i came back with life experience and knowledge that no text book could ever teach” 


31st October 2015,

I embarked on a journey and  life changing experience to Gansbaii,South Africa, the Great White Shark capital of the world. I went to South Africa to volunteer with these majestic yet for some nightmare feeding creatures, in a bid to learn as much as I could about these truly misunderstood creatures.

From an early age, I’ve been fascinated by sharks, whether it was documentaries, films or books i’ve always had my head and nose stuck into one. So at the ripe age of 22 I decided to give up my job as a UX consultant (website researcher and analyst) and go do my so called ‘Shark thing’. I’d visited South Africa in February 2015 and I actually did my first cage dive with a company called Marine Dynamics, so I researched their volunteering programme and signed up to it through an Agency called Oyster Worldwide. In the space of a week my flights were booked and in 6 weeks i’d be off to South Africa for 6 weeks to work as a volunteer on a Great White shark cage diving vessel or so I thought…

I’m not someone to have expectations for things that are to happen in life because I believe that sets you up for a fall. I had zero expectations of how my trip to South Africa would be and i’m so glad I went with the open that I did because it was more than anything I could have expected.

Here are some of things that made it a life changing and unforgettable experience.

Firstly the views…


I’ve never experienced appreciation for how captivating and wonderful nature can really be before South Africa, getting up at 4:30 am to start prepping the boat for the first cage diving trip seemed worth it when you got to see the sun take its first breath above the ocean.


When I got to my volunteering accommodation there was about 15 to 20 other volunteers already there. As three cage diving trips were run each day and 4 volunteers were needed on each boat, I tended to get on at least 2 trips a day which usually meant a 4 am start and 5 pm finish, which for some may seem like hell but for me there was nothing more refreshing and awakening than sea breeze on your face and watching great white sharks all day. My role as a volunteer was mostly helping co-ordinate Shark cage dives on the boat (e.g helping with wetsuits, sea sick clients and giving out food) which to some of the volunteers wasn’t quite the extreme great white shark experience they were expecting but despite this, on most trips volunteers got the opportunity to cage dive.

For someone who had zero expectations of the trip I seized every opportunity I was given and this is why my experience was so great. I feel I put in 100% to every boat I volunteered on, educating guests on the conservation of great white sharks and other shark species, also talking about the conservation of some of the other Marine big 5 ( Whales, Penguins, Seals, Dolphins and Sharks). The more I put in definitely meant the the more I got out, I was lucky enough to go on the research boat and track some of the sharks that had been recently tagged by Alison Towner, one of Gansbaii most renowned  Marine Biologists with an impressive track record of published Shark research.

In summary I got to dive with sharks more than 20 times over the 6 weeks I was there and I made some genuine connections with the crew and staff at Marine Dynamics. We were given presentations on the marine biology of sharks, dolphins and whales and also got to witness and take part in dissections. I came back with such a broad knowledge of the marine ecosystem of South Africa and my passion for the conservation of these ecosystems has grown immensely.


The Sharks…

The pictures really just speak for them selves.


Other beautiful experiences…

Before arriving to my volunteer accommodation I was unaware that there was an  African Penguin and Seabird sanctuary across the way. We were encouraged to get involved with some doing some volunteering there too so I did. This was such an amazing added experience to the trip, because you got to get hands on experience with some of the endangered wildlife, something that you couldn’t really do with the Sharks (well you could but may lose a limb or two). Typical day volunteering with the penguins included cleaning their enclosure for around an hour in the morning and then preparing their frozen fish for feeding and also preparing the medicated fish for some of the sick Penguins. After this it was time to feed those penguins, I got bitten a few times and I know you may think penguins are cute but they have some razor sharp teeth! Once feeding was done, we would help the keepers dress and give medication to some of the penguins who were so severely injured or unwell that they were kept in the hospital part of the sanctuary. One of the most rewarding things about volunteering with the penguins, was being there when one injured penguin who had broken its leg due to a shark or seal bite and was rehabilitated enough by the sanctuary that it was able to be released back into the wild. This really showed the impact and positive effect the sanctuary had on the conservation of these African Penguins.


The bigger picture..

South Africa showed me what it meant to appreciate the little things, to appreciate the beauty in nature and appreciate spending quality time star gazing and laughing with people without technical distractions (because the wifi was too slow or non existent to stream Facebook and Instagram all day long) . I also learnt a lot about gratitude, something that for a long time has taught me is so important in finding happiness. On several occasions we delivered wood to the local communities so that they could ‘Braai’ (think BBQ with wood and fire not gas). Who knew something so easily available to western culture would bring such joy,gratitude and togetherness to these communities. It really hammered home that being grateful for the simple things in life is truly the way to live.


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