West Coast Here We Come!!

The next big trip is in the pipeline! We are going for a West Coast USA Roadtrip in October/November.

For now a very brief overview of our itinerary;

  1. Fly to Seattle
  2. Drive to Randle via Mount Beljica
  3. Portland
  4. Newport via Otter Rock (Potential 60 mile detour to see Cannon Beach (is it worth it? if you have been let me know in the comments))
  5. Gold Beach (Via Cape Perpetua and other awesome looking Oregon coast locations!)
  6. Eureka!
  7. Fort Bragg, CA not Fort Bragg, NC (Very important that the Sat-Nav gets this correct)
  8. San Francisco (Via Bodega Bay)
  9. Monterey
  10. Pismo Beach (Via BIG SUR! & Morro Bay)
  11. Los Angeles (Via Malibu)
  12. Disneyland (I realise this isn’t a destination like the rest but… if I don’t included this I will be killed by my girlfriend)
  13. Vegas Baby!
  14. Grand Canyon
  15. Bishop (Via Death Valley – Badwater Basin, Zabrinski Point, etc)
  16. Yosemite and all its awesomness!
  17. Oakland
  18. Fly Home 😦

In total, the trip is 23 days and features a few days in LA, San Francisco and Yosemite, overnight stops in most other places.

Total Mileage approx 2,690 miles.

Will publish some more detailed breakdowns over the next couple of weeks/months but some things we want to do include; some NBA games (LA Lakers, Portland, Golden State Warriors), Disneyland, LA Zoo, Mt Rainier, Hollywood, Griffith Observatory, possibly an NFL game.

We also need to work on our hiking skills (which are pretty much non-existent) as we plan on hiking up Mt Beljica, the Hollywood Hills and Yosemite.

Have you done the West Coast, what are your recommendations? Let us know in the comments.

Having a Life Plan Doesn’t Always Work

When I was 15 I started my work experience at a Quantity Surveying practice (I wont bore you with the details), I completed two weeks, really enjoyed it and decided to continue working with this practice for the summer holidays.

I was given a contract and then started to work as a trainee pretty much every school holiday until I finished school, and then again with college. I always had a 5 year plan, its changed slightly over the years, but I have always been ready for ‘life’. When I was at college the plan was;

  • Finish College
  • Go to Uni and get Degree while working
  • Become a Chartered QS
  • Long run goal – Director.

I finished college with distinction in Construction & the Built Environment, I went to Kingston University to study a 4 year part-time degree (1 day) while continuing with work 4 days per week. I was hitting my goals, but then I got sidetracked by a change in career, I guess I was bored at work, fed-up of what I felt was under-valued and tried to move into Commercial Agency.

This was not fun, nor what I imagined, I had left university and my goals had all changed.

I wanted to return to Quantity Surveying and to get my degree, I got a new job and re-started my degree at the University College of Estate Management, I was back on track with a revised 5-10 year plan;

  • Get Degree
  • Get Chartered
  • Become Director

People have always told me I’m lucky to have the career I want, and to have 5/10 year plans, etc. however nowadays I just feel like a hamster on the wheel, maybe I have been watching too many YouTube videos or reading too many Blogs, maybe I’m just in a bit of a rut at work, but I always wanted the big house and the nice car and even my Bucket List item of Making £1Million by the age of 40.

Fuck that.

What good is making a million by the age of 40 when (in my opinion) I wont get to enjoy it, I want kids by then and we all know that kids put restrictions on what we can do, travelling the world a prime example and something I REALLY want to do, you cant do that with kids.

Maybe losing my dad at 66 has made me think that retirement is severely overrated, granted he smoked 20 a day for the last 50 years but we never know what health situations can happen, people I know have been the healthiest, non-smokers around, yet something bad can happen to anyone.

I want to enjoy life as much as I can, I want to enjoy my remaining 20’s and however much of my 30’s as possible before I settle down and focus on the “real world”.

And by enjoy, I pretty much mean travel – life is enjoyable, but I want it to be Awesome!

Check this video and tell me it doesn’t make you want to travel –

Seriously if that doesn’t make you want to travel, how about this one –

Even before now 80% of my Bucket List was filled with Travel plans but now I’m taking out;

  • Own My Dream Home  –  As a kid my dream home was a mansion in the Tuscan Hills of Italy, now the perfect home is somewhere that just feels like home, somewhere I can live happily, raise my kid’s and just have a great life. This goal may take some time to achieve.
  • Own A Holiday Home  –  I pretty much hate British weather, I think it sucks, maybe a beach house in Italy or a Mountain retreat in Switzerland.
  • Own A Dream Car  –  Something like a Lamborghini, a Ferrari, an Aston Martin, etc.
  • Make £1Million By Age 40.
  • Own a Tailored Suit and an Expensive Watch.

All OUT.

Now I completely understand that travel costs money, but I want to make sure I maximise money as much as possible over the next couple years so that I can really shift my focus from living to work into working to live!

Time to replace those old dreams with new dreams because its better to fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.

My Top 10 Travel Moments (So Far)

Today’s posts is a quick, simple and severely lacking-of-photos look back at the top 10 travel moments I can remember from my life so far.

10. Playing Basketball in the Meadowlands Arena – At the age of 14 I was lucky enough to go on a basketball trip to New York City, on the trip we got to play on the actual NBA Court of the then New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), it was a great experience and one I will never forget.

9. The Gambia – Feeding monkeys, a boat trip down the the River Gambie, street markets (I think) in Serrekunda, eating Barracuda caught by the local fisher-men, the entire trip to the Gambia was definitely a different experience considering at the time (age 15) 99% of my holidays had been to France.

Exceptionally hot and humid, but for the young me a great experience to see some massively different culture that the world is home to.

8. Road Trip to Lake Garda – Driving from Southampton to Lake Garda and back was quite the experience, we of course stayed in Lake Garda for about 10 days, the San Bernardino Pass on the way home was breathtaking just a shame that back then I wasn’t really into Photography nor was Instagram a thing but here is a photo I stole from my sister.

Also we got to visit Venice… which despite being absolutely baking (mid-summer, thousands of people) was pretty stunning no matter where you looked.

7. Disneyland – Disneyland as an adult while it’s fairly empty due to all the kids being at school if far improved from when I was 9, very of little of which I remember. 2017 on the other hand I do remember and it was a great trip especially the Illuminations at the end of the day. Well worth the trip.

6. The Eiffel Tower – When you’re a kid and you’re scared of heights and you start going up in the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower and you start crying when you realise how high it is… when you get half way and your mum (the center of your universe at that age) says she will put you in the down lift you should believe her, I did!

However I was tricked! Up we went all the way to the top, I vaguely remember some fairly nice views while I crawled around on the floor trying to stay away from the edge and contain myself. Note to self: don’t always trust your parents.

5. Barcelona Basketball Trip – I was lucky at the age of 15 to go on yet another basketball trip, this time I went solo! Yes 15 year old me managed to get the correct flight, land in Barcelona Airport, find the camp organisers and then get home again all by myself at the age of 15! I class that as a fairly solid achievement for a child.

The actual trip was fairly awesome, again & unfortunately, it was before I really knew how to use a camera or Instagram was invented so sorry no photos.

I did however get to see the La Segrada Familia, Park Güell, La Rambla, etc. now I just need to go back so that I can photograph the shit out of it.

4. Blue Lagoon & Iceland – Iceland was a pretty unforgettable experience, a school trip where we managed to fit in quite a lot, including some of the amazing waterfalls such as Skógafoss and Gullfoss, standing where the North American Plate and Eurasian Plate meet, going to the small Island of Heimaey and climbing, what used to be the volcano which erupted in 1973.

That’s a small list considering how much we did but I would definitely recommend going, or going back if you have already been.

3. NYC 1st time – I still remember stepping out of the station into the middle of NYC and seeing the sky-risers tower over me. We were taking part in a basketball trip over to the Minuteman Invitational Tournament and we were staying in New Jersey (see moment number 10) so our first trip into the city was by train so we got to see a little of the city from a distance before we headed underground through tunnels, etc. then we arrived.

I wont ever forget my first trip into NYC and what is my favourite city in the entire world.

2. Bratislava – Bratislava from what I can remember was awesome, lots of drinking, looks of cool Insta-perfect buildings if you love a mixture of architect, old city buildings and at the time snow. Me and a few friends visited Bratislava for one of their birthdays and I am fairly sure its a trip which I will always remember.

I would highly recommend Bratislava if you are into a mixture of historic buildings and the occasional binge drinking 😉

1. Bar 65 in NYC – My third trip to NYC featured a bite to eat and a few cocktails in the Bar 65 at the Rainbow Room on level 65 of the Rockefeller Center, I am scared of heights but I am fairly sure that this was the best thing I have ever experienced, we didn’t get the picturesque sunset I had wished for but we got a perfect view out across NYC and if you take one thing from this post, its that you need to go and have a drink here!

What are your top 10 travel memories? Let me know below 🙂

Thank F*ck Its 2018

Aside from New York, becoming an Uncle, Disneyland and finally getting my degree the year 2017 was absolutely fucking shit, so I’m pretty damn happy that it is a new year and I can get a fresh start!


I’m trying to save the doom and gloom but I don’t think 2017 could have been much worse, losing my Dad, Grandpa and Dog all in the space of 10 months was a bit crap so I want to start 2018 with a fresh mind-set.

I have been pretty awful at sticking to goals in the past, so bad that in 2017 I didn’t even bother, however despite not blogging about it I did have some goals in 2017.

  • Making this a .com website
  • Creating a new logo

Are just a couple of examples, I also managed to grow my measly social media following (across Twitter, Instagram, etc) from around 950 up to 1,250 a struggle considering the follow-un-follow bots on bloody Instagram!

I did a little mini-post looking at 2017 from a blogging perspective here and it was fairly good, almost 1,000 page views, so a good goal for this year is to double that to 2,000.

I also posted 25 articles so target for 2018 is 45, with the things I have planned this year that shouldn’t be a problem. Now that’s enough for the blog.

Personal goals this year I will keep short and sweet;

  1. Road trip to West Coast USA.
  2. Improve fitness enough so I don’t die during the Southampton Half-Marathon (April!).
  3. Improve my morning routine.
  4. Sort finances (pay off debt, credit cards, etc.).
  5. Start the process of becoming a Chartered Quantity Surveyor.
  6. Read more books and blogs.
  7. Post loads more on Instagram (Yes the follow-un-follow people piss me off but Instagram is still a pretty awesome place).
  8. Write more, not just on this blog but on BallinEurope & Hoopsrank.

Lastly I want to set-up a new website, very different to this blog and I wont post about it just yet, might not even happen but its just an idea for something I want to do away from work in my spare time, so we will see what happens with that.

Do you have any goals for this year? Blogging and personally? Let me know in the comments below… or if you have an article about it that I can read, maybe add to my own also let me know!

2017 – Slightly Better

What an underwhelming title. I mentioned my inconsistencies in my first post of 2017 and how I have actually had this blog for a few years (originally set up as a WordPress blog in 2009!!), its interesting to go back through my page views over the last couple, 2014 and 15 had 21 and 23 views!.. in 2016, I tried and failed to blog more often and my page views reached the lofty heights of 85 page views for 9 posts.

2017 has actually pretty much smashed all of my years combined, despite the fact that I didn’t post as much as I wanted to back in January 2017. I posted 24 new blog posts and hit 605 views!

I realise 605 views isn’t anything massive but for me to think that people are actually reading my posts without posting as much as I wanted is a massive personal boost for me.

Considering I posted 20 of those posts between January & July if I had kept post regular and possibly used Social Media more efficiently I probably could have topped 1,000 views.

During my most consistent months (April, May & June) I was averaging 126 views per month, dropping down to just 36 from July to Dec (as of writing).

While my blog runs on my homepage its pretty difficult to get accurate numbers for individual posts but my Mental Heath post back in August was really well received and the feedback I got was great so thanks to those who read it and as an update things have been pretty good since finishing exams and passing my degree!

Another popular post was my run of NYC Photo posts which you can see here, here and here if you missed them.

Again, as always, I hope to post more in 2018, I have a big road trip planned so keep an eye out for that, plus Southampton Half-Marathon which will require some fundraising for charity so expect to see some stuff on that, and then whatever else 2018 brings.

I hope you have all had a great 2017 and have an even better 2018.

I’m a Big Kid

So my next holiday is booked! Boom!

And I am going to Disneyland Paris! Damn I’m such a grown-up.

Trying to find a holiday 2 weeks before you plan on going is fricken hard, we booked time off like 3 months ago with the plan of booking and paying for something in the near future… financial restrictions and lack of free time resulted in me and my girlfriend trying to book a week long all-inclusive trip to the Canary Islands 2 weeks before our departure date. Continue reading “I’m a Big Kid”

My Bad

Hey All,

Wow its almost mid-way through September and I realised I haven’t posted anything on the site for almost a month! My bad.

August/September has been a crazy busy month, I do a distance learning degree so my academic year runs from Dec – September..weird huh? This means that July/August is revision time and exam are the first proper week of September.

That hasn’t left much time for blogging, or much else, a severe reduction in Netflix, a lack of exercise and a major lapse in my relatively good diet I had made into a habit.. I went from eating chicken & rice to getting KFC delivered.. bad I know. Continue reading “My Bad”