A Travellerspoint blog

These cuties get my seal of approval

The seals at Donna Nook, England

overcast 8 °C

From Singapore there was an incredibly long plane journey back to England.

And after 501 days of travelling around Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the place where mum was born I was back where it all began - at Manchester Airport.

I have to admit, I was excited to finally be back. Knackered, but excited. There was lots going on - Christmas, seeing family and friends, and of course, the Wright family tradition of seeing the seals.

I hadn't told many people I was coming home, so the following is a little montage of greetings. Some knew I was coming home, some didn't, so that may explain some of the reactions. Keep a particular eye out for my brother at the end, who clearly doesn't give a ****!

Anyway, back to seals. Donna Nook is a stretch of coastline about 10km long. And towards Christmas time, the seals come up the shoreline to give birth to their pups.

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The types of seal staying there are grey seals. But the name is quite deceiving as they vary in colour from dark grey to lighter grey and even white.

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You see the seals sometimes stick themselves right up against the fence. Are they keeping out of the wind, scratching their backs, or know it is the best spot to have their photo taken?

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The viewing area to watch them is open from October to December - this is the best time to see them anyway as for the rest of the year they're out at sea having a great time swimming around.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust have a great website about the seals which can be found here. They have lots of advice about how to behave around the seals - the most notable being, don't touch them and don't take your dogs up there.

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It was great wandering around taking lots of pictures, although I'll be honest, that wind blast reminded me of part of the reason why I was excited to get back to New Zealand - the weather!

Bbbrrrrrrr.

Oh, one final thing. Don't forget the very real danger of explosives. Can't believe I almost forgot that one!

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Posted by emmaabroad 08:48 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged winter christmas tourism seals october grey november december lincolnshire lincolnshire_wildlife_trust grey_seals Comments (0)

10th July 2014

Days until travel- 3

overcast

LOTS of packing of things today. And I've decided to be a bit more ruthless when sorting stuff out at the parents' house.
Bit emotional too as it is starting to sink in even more what is about to happen. Burst into tears on the drive back from the dump with dad. AWKWARD. Mainly because I couldn't really explain why.
Missing lots of people in East Yorkshire today. In particular Lucy and the two little people and slightly bigger person who lives with them. :( Their cards are up on the mantel taking pride of place in the lounge. Must remember to send koala postcard from Oz as promised.
Tonight we're off out for a meal for dad's 65th birthday with parents. My cousin just got engaged so I'm sure we'll all be talking about that and catching up on stuff.
Just a short one tonight as now need to get a shower before the do.
Missing you!

Em xxxx

PS- It has been very warm today. Weather torturing me as it knows I have to stay in and sort things.

Posted by emmaabroad 09:24 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

8th July 2014

Days until travel - 5

rain

So the past two days have been interesting ones.
And by interesting, I mean emotional.
On Monday, I said my goodbyes to MORE people. It was incredibly draining, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Firstly there was James in the morning, then Trudi, Kate and Danny at lunch time.
In the evening, it was the one I was dreading and looking forward to the most. A person who is very special to me, probably more so than they realise.
We went for drinks first of all and it was great to just have a nice time on our own over a few alcoholic beverages. In-jokes, p*ss taking and all the stuff we haven't enjoyed doing together in a while. (And as I type that, I realise we won't be doing it for a least a year now. Sad).
But as we walked towards the car I had this wave of fear hit me smack in the face and I realised it was time to say goodbye. Even now, remembering it, makes tears well in my eyes and my throat get tight.
We clung on in a hug which was probably a lot longer than it felt. But to me it only lasted a few seconds. My arms didn't want to let go and tears poured down my face and I didn't care who saw. I watched the car pull away and I felt like everything happy inside me was being driven away with it.
When I got home, I shut the door and collapsed on the sofa and cried solidly for about 30mins. And I don't just mean a few tears - it was that sort of crying I haven't done since I was a child. Where you just bawl and bawl and you can't breathe and you feel like your face is going to ache forever.
After a VERY long time, the tears subsided, but my head hurt with thinking about everything which is about to happen. It made me question if what I'm doing will be worth it.
Okay, I know this all sounds a bit over dramatic, but I'm just telling it like it was. I'm not the soap opera type, but this week has made me feel like I've been hit by a bus.
And by that, I mean emotionally AND physically.
Because today was moving day.
After a personal training session yesterday (ANOTHER goodbye hug FYI) my limbs were already at breaking point, so running up and downstairs trying not to trip over a depressive and confused pug wasn't exactly the "recovery" you're supposed to have after the gym.
Managed to get it all in two cars and head to Doncaster, (more tears on the car journey) which is where I am currently typing now.
Over my shoulder, out of the corner of my eye, I can see a pile of boxes that need sorting, files that need going through and shoes and handbags my mum wants me to be ruthless with (the charity shop can f**k off - they're mine!)
All the unpacking was made slightly LESS fun (like it was fun in the first place!) by the fact I'd taken my first dose of malaria tablets.
Imagine if you'd swallowed a small alien, who happened to be armed with a set of sharp knives. It literally took 5 minutes for it to get into my system before I was on the floor in agony, face sweating and stomach feeling like a miniature World War Three was being acted out inside me. For a solid hour I couldn't move and I actually considered making myself sick to end the torture.
(Incidentally, Room 101 is on TV. I'd like to put malaria tablets in Room 101 please Frank Skinner).
But eventually I decided I had too much to do, so put on some happy songs on my iPhone and tried to ignore the pain.
When that didn't work, I tried wine.
I can't wait to take my next tablet tomorrow. I fully expect to be dead by this time Wednesday evening if today's agony was anything to go by.
I can't believe in five days time Fay and I will be setting off on our massive adventure. (I'm trying to end on a lighter note).
Hopefully tomorrow I'll post the full itinerary for you to read. Please feel free to tell me how jealous you are in the comments.
On that note, I'm off in the bath to sooth my poor stomach ache and catch up on some Bubble Safari!

Joke for today - What do you call a woman in the distance? Dot.

Posted by emmaabroad 12:50 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

6th July 2014

Days until travel - 7

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Saying goodbye is hard.
No, it's really hard.
I've done several now and it doesn't get any easier each time.
On Friday I had my last day at work. Sounds weird to say that I am no longer a reporter. Packing up my desk didn't feel real and even now, in my head, I'm just off for a week and will be back soon, moaning about downpage and deadlines.
But that won't be happening, because on Friday night I had my leaving do and said goodbye to so many people I'm going to miss. Friends who have become much more than just colleagues over the last four years.
Was very touched to receive a special gift of an underwater camera from the work lot and a special journal full of inspiring quotes from Grace. Two things I know will be well used and much cherished.
It got worse on Saturday - saying goodbye to two people I've become very close to recently, Ash and Jess. They barely knew me but took me under their wings when I was having a horrible time. Since then, I like to think I've cheered up a bit. And we've been friends who share happy times too.
Saying goodbye to them was horrible. There were a few drinks, a few words of goodbye, promises to stay in touch on Facebook etc and then lots of hugs and tears.
The horrible thing is knowing that I still have more goodbyes to do. This week is going to be emotional!!!!
But the one thing worse that saying goodbye?
NOT saying goodbye.
A friend really disappointed me on Friday when they sent a text. It said "hate goodbyes" and that was pretty much it. It came just before my leaving do for work.
Having survived the leaving speech from my boss (just) and put my make-up on ready to paint the town red one last time, with those two words I felt like I'd been shot.
Walking down Spring Bank to go to the pub, I was in floods of tears and sobbing uncontrollably. God knows that people thought as I was walked past.
I couldn't believe that someone I considered a great friend had done that.
I was so hurt and miserable, it really pulled me down for the whole night. And people remarked on it too. I was upset and angry and confused.
I've been reassured by friends that this person won't have realised they hurt me. But to be honest, I don't know if that is true. How could they not?
I am still around for a few more days, so I guess they might change their mind and decide to meet me, but I won't get my hopes up. Because if I do that, I'll be disappointed all over again.
Leaving behind the friends and family I love for a whole year is the most daunting thing I've ever done. But now it feels 100 times worse.
I hope this week gets better.
Fingers crossed.

Posted by emmaabroad 04:13 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

28th June 2014

Days until I travel = 15

overcast 14 °C

The way I've been counting down to the big trek abroad is an actual countdown and the one in my little brain.
The actual countdown says I've got 15 days until I'm off to Manchester airport. In two weeks Fay and I will be saying goodbye to tearful mums and lip-biting dads.
But the countdown in my brain is more about milestones.
"It's ages away yet, I've got XXXXXX before then."
First it was my 30th birthday in April and yesterday another one passed me by - my friend Ingrid's wedding.
I also did my first few goodbyes in the last week - to someone I work with who is off this week and to two special little people.
They asked me why I had to go away so long and if I could come back if I started to miss them. CRY? I bawled my face off (literally - it was all red and puffy and horrible afterwards).
The handing over of the goodbye cards was hard enough, and now they were using genuine emotions as torture! Thing with kids is, they don't sugarcoat anything, they just say exactly what they think. They didn't think "oooh, best not say that in case Emma gets upset about leaving", they just said. Which is nice, because you know exactly what they mean, unlike adults. But it was also hard because looking into their eyes and seeing on their face that they would really miss me was upsetting too.
But I guess I've got a few more goodbyes to go yet.
On Friday it is my last day of work. I'll be wearing waterproof mascara that day. Mainly because it's the only one in my make-up bag, but also because I'll be saying goodbye to some amazing friends.
It will be very weird giving up work. It's been my life for the past nine (almost) years. Four years in Hull.
What do I say to people when they ask me about myself? Can't say I'm a journalist anymore. What do I say? I'm a sister? I'm a daughter? I USED to be a reporter?
Well, I guess it will be "I'm a traveller". Or as some friends have pointed out "a jobless bum". (I use the term "friends" loosely).
I'll probably emphasise that I'm a POOR traveller. Just in case they try to rob me.
Any other label suggestions welcome.

Today's joke = I hate Russian dolls, so full of themselves.

Posted by emmaabroad 12:41 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged people travel hull fay Comments (0)

18th June 2014

Location - Hull Days until travel begins - 25

sunny 20 °C

THIS IS A TEST FOR SALLY

Posted by emmaabroad 11:48 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged hull Comments (0)

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