boy and busker on Grafton Street Dublin

on 2012 and things to come

i don’t often get sentimental about new year’s eve. i rarely, if ever, make resolutions. in our house, this night is more about hunkering down, having a nice glass of champagne and going to bed early, resting in the knowledge that tomorrow is just another day.

the louvre, paris, july 2012
the louvre, paris, july 2012

this year, however, things are a little different. yes, we are hunkering down for a homemade dinner and the compulsory glass (or three) of champers and an all-night movie fest.

Sexy Sea Lion - New Zealand
Sexy Sea Lion – New Zealand

but this year, i am in a reflective mood. i have been thinking a lot about the past 12 months and a lot about the 12 months to come. in january, i will be starting a new job with what is perhaps my dream company. the MOTHER SHIP, as it were, and since this change is also marking a new year, it’s easy to reflect on the past and future.

Homage to Ansel Adams - Queenstown, NZ
Homage to Ansel Adams – Queenstown, NZ

2012 was, in many ways, a year of financial health, for me. it was a year in which i transitioned from freelancing to full-time work and it was the first year in too many to count that i’ve actually not had to worry about money.

Shadow of a cat - pub in Reading, England, 2012.
Shadow of a cat – pub in Reading, England, 2012.

with it, though, came a creeping realisation that i was, in some ways, sacrificing my physical health (2011 was my year of kick-ass health) for my financial health. long hours, lack of a proper place to eat lunch (hence eating crap for lunch) and zero exercise have not been good to my body. it was a sacrifice i made very willingly, knowing that 2012 was my year of financial health.

London Eye and the Thames.
London Eye and the Thames.

i want 2013 to be my year of freedom. a year where i can have both financial and physical health. a year where i have the time to do things i love in addition to my work. things like updating this blog (the single post from 2012 can attest to how dry my writing life has been) and writing irishjaunt. a year to regain connections and rediscover my creativity, but this time, without sacrificing financial health.

Snow falling on London - February.
Snow falling on London – February.

2013 is going to be a year of travel. bill and i have already begun planning and dreaming the many city breaks we hope to take, which may or may not include galicia in northern spain, croatia, mexico and boston. we’ll see.

The drawing room at the Wallace Collection.
The drawing room at the Wallace Collection.

also, we are so happy in london, we’re staying. can you believe it? 18 months and counting in the same place. i think that’s a record.

Hasidic Jews - London crap.
Hasidic Jews – London crap.

finally, friends, i will leave you with this photo i snapped on grafton street in dublin over christmas. i want to be as inspired and in awe of the world and life as this little boy.

boy and busker on Grafton Street Dublin

the photos in this post are a selection of my favourites that i snapped in 2012. you can see them all at my flickr photostream.

cat shadow

welcome back

for so long and so many reasons, i have been away from this blog. largely, professional writing can strip your creative juices for producing anything personal. i was sharing all of my best and most interesting anecdotes in paid work, leaving little left for this humble space.

then, apple went and deleted mobileme, and so my beloved former website went down with it, leaving me to completely redesign this space. i decided (rightly) to go with wordpress and transform what was formerly my basic gypsytracks blog into a full fledged portfolio and website. and i love it.

a lot has happened since our move to london last year. i got my UK residency. we’ve been on several international trips. i was invited on a weeklong blog adventure to wales last autumn, and fell completely in love with that country. and, i suppose most importantly, i gave up my freelance life and took a position a few months ago as editor of the rather fantastic travel guide hg2 | a hedonist’s guide to. it was a huge transition but i am really loving it. although unfortunately, between my commute (commute!) and many daily tasks, it leaves little time for personal blogging. i hope to change that.

so, for now, please enjoy the photo of the cat shadow, which i snapped at a cozy little pub in reading several months ago.

cat shadow

some funny things about prague

it’s a few weeks on and things are normalizing here. well, normalizing as they do when you are in a strange, new and foreign land. which is more to say “becoming more familiar” than actually normalizing.

i am beginning to make peace with prague, but the city still completely mystifies me. as bill’s friend who visited last weekend put it: “prague is an enigma.”

Continue reading “some funny things about prague”

praha, day 1

Photo by Megan Eavesevery building in prague is beautiful. i am not kidding. even the ones that are junked out and covered in graffiti are, like, amazingly beautiful. they all seem to be various shades of gold, yellow and rose pink and walking around here is like the best, most magical day at disneyland. only it’s real. even they way the paint is perfectly faded and chipping off in places seems planned – like they designed it that way to make it seem older and better. i keep walking under these huge stone archways that are like about a gazillion years old and believing that, around every bend, i’m going to stumble upon the ‘pirates of the caribbean’ ride. Continue reading “praha, day 1”

creating the world we want

it’s monday and what could a girl want more than some great travel reads and a cute clutch to throw into the luggage for a night out when travelling? to that end, i give you irish jaunt and kattybabylove purses.

i am a big believer in self-employment, handmade items and personal attention in this world that is so corporate, global and unattentive. that’s why i absolutely adore the handmade purses, clutches and wallets that my good friend kathleen has started making and selling through her etsy shop, kattybabylove. the clutch above is a sampling of the items that will become available in her shop over the coming weeks – items that are handmade by kathleen and sold straight from her. i love this concept and i admire anyone like kat that has a knack for sewing. Continue reading “creating the world we want”

traveltuesday photoblog: hooters in china

this most awesome of photos was snapped in hooters (yes, the very same) in hangzhou, china before it, sadly, went the way of the dodo bird. there are, in fact, 4 hooters locations in china which make great spots for happy hour specials and hot wings cravings. stacy (left) and i just couldn’t resist getting this photo with the hangzhou hooters girls – a surreal sight indeed.
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