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Friday, 22 August 2014

A new perspective on London and life

My favourite moment of the trip!  WOW!

This blog is all about living with a spirit of adventure and daring to try new things.  It's about finding ways to feel happier in day-to-day life and achieving my personal goals - one of which is to have more fun!  And so it was with this in mind that I recently tried two awesome new things. The first of these was going 'house hunting'.

Last weekend Chris and I spent hours and hours driving all around South East and South West London to get a feel for new areas of the city we aren’t familiar with.  Areas where we might, fingers-crossed, be able to afford to buy our first home together.  It was a completely eye opening experience.

One of the big things I took away from it was just how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful, safe and well located part of London already.  I’ve always loved the area where we live but seeing some less salubrious parts of my home city really highlighted how incredibly privileged we are to live in, what I now realise, is one of the best residential areas in this world class city of ours.  

Rather annoyingly we almost definitely can’t afford to actually buy a home in our much loved corner of London and I reckon it’s going to be difficult to try and fall in love with a more affordable area.  

But try we must.  I'm sure I will be completely consumed by this topic over the next few months, so prepare for lots more posts on the crazy experience of house buying in London.


On Tuesday I had another, very different, opportunity to get a totally new perspective on London and appreciate the beauty and diversity of the city I call home.  I was lucky to be given a last minute place on a kayaking trip on the River Thames.  It’s not every Tuesday night you get to have an exciting adventure straight after work!

The trip was run by a really cool organisation which is totally up my street.  Secret Adventures arrange “special adventures in wild places” in and around the London area with the aim of “getting muddy, cold, wet and enjoying the sun, the stars and getting lost”.  Love it!  

My friend Madoc started Secret Adventures using the vast online networking tool Meetup.com and now the group have rising 1,600 members all keen to escape the occasional mundanity of everyday life and try something fun and refreshingly different right here on their doorstep.  It’s a great way to meet people and challenge yourself a bit without too much hassle all whilst enjoying beautiful hard to access places.


This awesome trip saw us kayak roughly 3 miles through central London starting from Docklands (Canary Wharf) and finishing up at Bankside Pier and the Millennium Bridge.  Our floating adventure on London’s most famous stretch of water gave us a unique way to experience some of the capital’s incredible riverside landmarks, including; Tower Bridge, London Bridge, HMS Belfast and the Millennium Bridge.  

Despite the fact that I’m incredibly unfit (something I must get around to changing one of these days!), and have never kayaked before, I absolutely loved it!  I joined the excursion alone but found it brilliant to hang out with a welcoming group of like-minded people and get outside of my comfort zone a little by removing the usual safety net of a friend to ‘hide behind’.


There were some lovely moments along the way where tourists strolling along the river bank, as well as people watching us from their amazing riverside apartments, all stopped to pause and wave at us.  I definitely managed to get back in touch with my inner child and access that sense of wonder you have when you’re young and everything feels new and exciting. 

The highlight for me was seeing a huge cruise liner sail past literally right next to us on the water then watching Tower Bridge lift to allow the ship to pass through (see pic at top of this post). Incredible!  The sun was setting as we made our way along the river and the unique view of London and the river underneath a pink and orange sky is something I won’t forget.


We finished the night with a well deserved hot meal and a few drinks at the lovely Swan pub next to Shakespeare's Globe theatre.  It was a truly memorable night and a brilliant ‘micro-adventure’.

Here are a few of my favourite pictures from the trip:

Canary Wharf, where our excursion began
Our little kayaking group preparing to set off
Exciting first glimpse of Tower Bridge and the Shard
Beautiful sunset
We made it!
The end of a perfect evening...

I'm so excited to try another Secret Adventures trip!  If you live in the London area why not sign up for one yourself?  


I'm planning to join another one soon so watch this space for updates or leave a comment below if you'd like to join me on one!  Next time it would be fun to go with a friend :)


8 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks so much Suki! I had a great time although it was so hard to take pics whilst kayaking. I almost dropped my iPhone in the Thames several times :)

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  2. Hello, it was so lovely to meet you last night Celia! Here's that link I told you about that I think you will find to be an inspiring read…
    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/05/18/how-to-quit-your-job-move-to-paradise-and-get-paid-to-change-the-world/ There's lots of good blogger stuff on Problogger too, although I think it's quite SEO focussed and although I know we're all keen to get our writing out there, sometimes authenticity gets lost if you're trying to hard to SEO everything and adding in endless lists, etc. - but then that's just my opinion! Also, there's a big conference next year run by an organisation called Blogtacular http://blogtacular.com which I missed this year because I didn't feel 'ready' (silly!) but I just booked my ticket for next June. It's £100 for the early bird ticket and goes up to £145 in October - it looks really fantastic. Just thought I might mention it! Great blog! Esther xx

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    1. Hi Esther, thanks SO much for all these fantastic suggestions. I have heard about Blogtacular before - a blogger I love called Oh Joy (http://ohjoy.blogs.com/) was a panellist this year. Thanks for alerting me to the Early Bird offer - I think I will get a ticket for 2015! Loved meeting you last night and really hope to see you again at Esc soon...

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    2. Hey Esther - wanted to let you know I have booked my Blogtacular ticket for next year - woo!! Maybe we could go together? Also, I am going to the Mumsnet blogging conference on 8th November which looks like a very similar sort of thing to Blogtacular. Do you want to come with me? Tickets here: http://www.mumsnet.com/events/blogfest/2014 Let me know! x

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  3. Oops, that should have been 'too' hard - I lost an 'o' somehow and I get really cross about bad spelling! :-) Yes, you'll see me at Esc again soon - let me know if you book that ticket! Esther xx

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  4. LOVE kayaking - never thought to do it on the Thames. Your blog is so inspiring - I loved reading it. Keep going - see you Tuesday :)

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    1. Thanks so much Jane! Thrilled to know you're reading and enjoying my blog.

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