I’m sure I’ll soon be writing a post on everything I started baking during the March 2020 lockdown, but I also thought it would be fun to look back at some of the trips I took and the places I lived during the month of March over the years.
Last March I went to Barcelona for the second time. Besides a lot of eating, the stroll from the old city centre to the beach, a night of dancing and a very slow walk through and to the top of Parc Guell, I didn’t get around to doing much else.
The year before that I was wandering around Paris where I crossed off 3 places on my museum list, ate a croissant in a park and had a catch-up wine with a friend. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve been to Paris, but I still have too many places I still haven’t seen or done!
March is not a month I tend to go on trips – that’s usually January and February… so we are going to make a jump all the way back to 2012 where I was in Finland for my exchange programme. I had come back from Australia in January where it was 40 degrees C and then flew to Finland where it was – 20C! It was cold, SAD kicked in and had a hard time adapting. But Finland was beautiful and almost everyone had a form of SAD, so we all shared our seasonal sorrows and spent our money on overpriced drinks.
In 2011 did a little round trip from Wrocław, Poland to Linz, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic. It’s a very random mix of places, but the flights to Wrocław were ridiculously cheap and after a walk through the old town I regret not taking more time to check out the place… but Prague was calling. The main reason for this trip was to visit the PEZ Factory in Linz where my cousin worked and which was about to close and I needed to see it before it moved to Hungary – it was EVERYTHING.
March 2009 was a mix of Austria, Germany and London. The first few days I was still in Austria, where I had spent the season working at a winter holiday park, snowboarding during my lunch breaks and having way too many cheese fondues. I then went back to the holiday park in Germany where I had been at the previous two Summers, working front desks and providing the entertainment for guests.
In 2008 I had my second season in Saarbug, Germany and lived and worked on top of a hill completely surrounded by grapes used for Riesling wine. When not working I was in Trier or taking trips to nearby Luxembourg and France.
In 2007 I was in London for the final month of my internship. And when I say London I really mean Croydon … Long before the Boxpark, where you only had the KFC, Greggs or the Chinese place on George Street. I worked front desk at a hotel and on my days off I took the 468 bus to go north of the river and explore central London bit by bit, or if that was a bit too much, I’d binge movies I rented from good old Blockbuster.
So in retrospect, my Marches have always been a bit random, so this year’s is no different!
New to working from home? The first week is all about establishing boundaries with your flatmates, finding the perfect video conference background, and listening to all the Corona playlists. However, now that’s over, you’ve run out of playlists and are not sure where to turn. There’s so much audio out there on video and streaming services, but which is best for concentrating and keeping productive when you’re trapped inside?
If you miss being in your favourite coffee shop, well Cafe Music BGM Channel has you sorted – relaxing jazz, piano and other genres to give you that perfect accompaniment for your espresso, latte or mocha. The group is part of the larger BGM Channel, with even more genres.
And if you feel like pretending you’re in film with a surreal story, playing bands like Explosions in the Sky, God Is An Astronaut and Mogwai will help you immerse and can act as the soundtrack. Explosions in the Sky’s album All of A Sudden I Miss Everyone is the best one to start with, especially when the notes of It’s Natural to Be Afraid start playing while you dramatically look out of window, waiting for your adventure to beg.
If you don’t want any music to get in the way of your productivity, try ambient background channels like Immerse in Nature, Guild of Ambience and Meditation Forest, which feature cozy libraries, tranquil forests and warm fireplaces indoors with a storm in the backdrop.
Generally it’s rather quiet on my Instagram in terms of adverts, but since January came alone its been non-stop travel/tourism adverts taking over my screen. Here’s the places I really should be going to according to my Instagram ads.
An actual contender for a culture-meets-beach-trip in Spring or Autumn. On my wishlist are: Rotunda of Mostra, the secret passage in St Gregorys, and of course the Pickly Pear Juice.
St Pancras Hotel
I’ve been wanting to go inside but I thought my only way was via Open House or Afternoon Tea. I haven’t made it to their Open House, and they only do raisin scones so that wouldn’t work for me. But the ad I saw was of the famous staircase and made it look like everyone could just walk in and go up the stairs? Is that how everyone does it?.
Meet van Gogh exhibition at the Southbank
The interactive exhibition allows visitors to explore the work of van Gogh works through a multi-sensory experience where you get to see, touch and listen to Van Gogh’s own thoughts. Sounds good on paper, but I’d much rather go look at the Sunflowers in the National Gallery.
The Faroe Islands
Yes, please! Honestly, if there was a boat from Scotland going I’d be packing right now.
Rent a Balkan campervan and drive around sounds like the dream. I actually have a very specific road trip in mind and it does require a campervan, so once I have my driving license and the confidence I’m heading that way.
Been there, done that and would do it again. I would love to see the Tempest or A Midsummer Night’s Dream this summer. Just not sure I’m up for sitting on those rather hard wooden benches again.
I went to Wales and managed to cram in a lot in my day trip, but I would definitely go back and to marvel at Snowdonia National Park, explore Conwy Castle and spot the Whiteford Point Lighthouse.
Eight years ago I spent about six months in Melbourne for an internship. And unfortunate turn of events meant I was stuck living like a local in Melbourne, not being able to explore the country as I had hoped. I ended up doing day trips from Melbourne and spent one weekend in Sydney, but didn’t see much else. One of my dearest friends moved to Australia and is expecting her first child aaaand Auntie Tea will need to make her way there sometimes and maybe see more of the country, because in this time and age I can’t justify flying halfway the world for such a short stay.
Venice is suffering from overtourism, but the Veneto region has so much more to offer. I want to go to Castel Brando, try the local Tiramisù and wander around Lake Misurina. Maybe I can combine it with that Balkan camper trip?
York’s Clifford’s Tower is actually on my list for when I visit the city at the end of the month. Will report back.
I’d love to! It was once on my go-to list and I even planned my own route that included everything from the rainforest to the Quilotoa loop and the Galapogas Islands. Maybe one day I can make it part of a road trip through South America…?
Royal Opera House
I’ve been to the Royal Opera House for the BAFTA Awards, but not for an opera extravaganza where I can wear one of my over the top dresses. I think I might add this to my London wanderlist.
Citizen M New York
Do I want to go back to New York? I do like Citizen M and as they have twolocations in Manhattan, so they actually might be an option if I ever go back, especially as I still need to go to MOMA (it was closed when I went).
20 things I want to see, try and do at home, in London and beyond in the coming year, split between the capital, travel and most importantly, myself.
Go To The Tower of London – The Tower of London is one of the last few big touristy attractions I haven’t visited and I feel the anticipation is building up.
Harry Potter Studios in Winter – I’ve been wanting to experience the Harry Potter Studios winter magic for ages, but when I finally found someone willing to splurge money it, it was sold out on the one date we both could do. 2020 should be the year though.
Living Medicine Workshop – Plants and healing is a big thing in my culture and my great grandmother was really clued up on it. Sadly she passed away before I was old enough to learn enough her secrets. I’ve seen this course at the Chelsea Physic Garden that might fit the bill and would love to attend one or two in.
Go To The Andy Warhold Retrospective @ Tate Modern – There is an Andy Warhold retrospective coming to the Tate Modern and I want to finally see it all in one place: from the Marilyn Monroe screen prints to Campbell’s Soup Cans and the Triple Elvis.
Visit The Alice In Wonderland Exhibition @ V&A – Then there is the Alice in Wonderland exhibition where I would love to learn more about the origins, adaptations and reinventions of the Lewis Carroll’s pinafore-wearing hero. I’m booking on time to avoid getting up too early and having to queue.
Follow A Sewing Workshop – I can mend a few things here and there, but would love to learn more. The Fashion and Textile Museum has some very cool courses and I really want to do the Copy Your Clothes one. The idea is to take an item and learn how you can re-create it. I have this St Michael skirt in different prints and would love to figure out how to make it myself.
Go To A Sports Event – I really enjoyed watching ice-hockey in New York and want to go to a sports events in London as the last one was a West Ham football match way back in 2013 … so definitely time go check out a live sports event. Whether that’s a traditional rugby game or lucha libre wrestling match, doesn’t matter to me, just need to make it happen.
Go To The Moth – I’m a huuuuge fan of the Dutch version of this series, and listen to their podcasts all the time. They have a section where people read from their old diaries and it’s the best 10 – 15 minutes I’ll listen to that day. Tickets are sold out until mid next year, but I might as well check out the London version in the meantime.
Make The Most Of My 2 For 1 Railcard – I have the 2 For 1 card for another 6 months and should really make more use of it. I’m thinking at least York, Margate and Liverpool for a day or short weekend trip. The places for day/weekend trips are sorted, now I need a time and date.
Go Glamping Or Stay In A Tiny House – I’ve been trying to find a tiny house or glamping site that’s reasonably easy to reach via public transport, but it has proven to be difficult. By the time spring or some nicer weather has come through I hope to have found somewhere to rest my head in the wild.
Take A Trip On A Sleeper Train – I’ve been thinking about taking the sleeper train from London to Cornwall (and back) to check out what the south-west corner of the UK has to offer and to visit the Eden Project. This one is for later in the year as I’d like it to be in bloom.
Watch Eurovision In Netherlands – Ideally I want to get tickets during round two of the tickets sale and watch it in the stadium. Eurovision is one of my favourite events of the year and the Netherlands winning it last year was one a dream come true and I need to be in that bubble when the event takes place there.
Go On A Solo City Trip – Last year I took the train to Basque Country, the year before I went to Paris, and 2020 is still a TBC, but should bring me somewhere new where I can test out eating myself and having no one to cry with when I get lost.
Digital Detox One Weekend A Month – I did a few sporadic digital detoxes throughout last year as I find I can be dependant on my phone too much. This year I want to do a digital detox weekend once a month, even if that means getting lost or missing a train.
Brush Up On My French 101 – Re-read the basics and learn some new words, so I can order more than just ice-cream or ask for directions to the closest bar. I found a French schoolbook in a charity shop so I might start with that.
Add New Recipes To My Go-To List – I tend to make the 6 same dishes throughout winter, but the Green Roasting Tin book I got from Santa should give me at least 6 more dishes I can add to my routine.
Re-watch Some Of My Favourite Movies – I’ve seen too many disappointing films in 2019 and in order to re-spark my love for film crafting I need to reacquaint myself with some of my favourites.
Wear All Of My Unworn Clothes – I’m always buying any vintage mini skirts I find in my size, despite the fact I only end up wearing the same 2 reguarly, which is a waste of my space and a bit sad for the items not getting enough love. Throughout the year I want to wear those forgotten ones to see if they are for me and if not I can put them online and find them a new home.
Re-read Some Of The Classics – I realised I haven’t read a lot of the classics or don’t remember the plots, characters or scenes much at all. So, in addition to my reading pile I want to add a few classics. Moonstone, The Sun Also Rises and To The Lighthouse are some of the titles that are on my list.
Keep A Plant Or Vegetable Alive – Ever since I killed a cactus I gave up on this, but seeing everyone’s green babies my hands have started to itch. I have a chive grow-it-yourself pot that looks do-able for me, so I might start with that.
It’s that time of the year when I share everything I’m leaving behind in 2019, so goodbye to:
1. Unnecessary food waste is something I’ve found myself guilty of and I want to change that. In October and November I found the right routine and shopping list for me, but in December it all got messed up. I now know that I need to take those two hours out of my Sunday and use it to prep for the week to avoid having to throw things out.
2. Travelling like it’s a sprint is something I’ve done a lot, even when it comes to a day trip I still try to cram in as much as possible. No matter how much I hate the word slow travel, I think it’s something I need to incorporate more for the coming years.
3. The hope of finding the right skincare routine is going down the drain for me. Over the years I’ve tried everything, but it ended up with messing up my skin even more. So I’m going to keep it water and light face cream and embrace wrinkles.
4. I got sooooo mad at the current biased news coverage and the weird Simpsons cuts one of the channels have been doing that I don’t want access to live TV anymore. I’m sticking to Netflix, Prime and The Simpsons season 1-7 on DVD.
5. I also can’t allow myself to put all my eggs in one basket. Every too good to be true thing coming my way should be second guessed and questioned to avoid disappointment. That should actually be my number one rule for the next decade.
6. At the start of the Superhero movies rise I was all for it and the road to Avengers: Endgame! The Boys was also great. But after a so so Spiderman and the worst X-Men to date I am kind of done with the genre.
7. Small annoyances I can’t do anything about. Think: people who don’t put their phones on silent in public transport, slow people walking in front of me, someone taking forever to pack food shopping…It’s never going to change, so I might as well change how it affects me.
8. Those only-wear-in-the-house T-shirt that has been slowly falling apart but is still kind of wearable. It’s been upgraded to cleaning rag. And all the barely worn bras I’ve now recycled via the Against Breast Cancer scheme. My drawers finally have some breathing space.
9. Letting people’s world views affect me. I’m someone who believes people should research things before sharing their world views and shouldn’t just copy their thoughts based on a Tweet or something they heard someone say. That’s another thing that will never stop and I need to accept that and not let it keep me awake at night.
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