holiday

#5in5

So recently I overheard a conversation that basically went, if you could achieve 5 things in the next 5 years what would they be? I thought it would be a great topic for a blog post.

So I thought about it… and thought about it and thought about it. I’m the sort of person that is always looking forwards. I want to do and see so much, and whilst I am happy and grateful for my life I can’t help but think about the other things that I haven’t done yet.

Since I had my kids though, the majority of the things that I want to see and do involve the small but oh so important people in my life. I want them to have as many opportunities and experiences as possible. Which leads me nicely onto the first thing on my #5in5 list.

 

1. Take my kids to Florida

Easily at the top spot for me is a trip to see Mickey and friends in the Florida sunshine. I am lucky enough to have been to Disneyland Paris already. I went as a teenager and single adult, we took the kids back in 2014 and we have booked a surprise trip for them this year too. But there is SO much more at Florida that goes alongside Disney – Epcot, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, Wet n Wild…. the list is extensive, and it would be a .. well I don’t want to say once in a lifetime as I’ve heard you need to go at least twice to really do EVERYTHING.. but an incredible experience that I would love to have with my kids whilst they are still young enough to appreciate the magic. If I had to pick one holiday to have with my kids, that would be it!

 

2. Grow my business

It is still less than a year since I started freelance writing and my business has already taken off quicker than I could have imagined. I am lucky enough to have a regular network of great clients, fantastic referral rates and have worked on some really interesting projects. I have also had the opportunity to diversify into other areas. However I would love to be able to continue to grow and develop my business in the next 5 years and perhaps get into the realms of expanding? Who knows!

 

3. Learn to swim

You may or may not know that I still can’t swim and I am absolutely petrified of the water. Countless people have offered to teach me and countless people have failed. Part of me thinks, you know what, I’ve got to 33 without being able to swim I’ll just not bother, but part of me would really like to learn. I think this is a pipeline dream though, I honestly don’t think I will get over my fear enough to achieve it!

 

4. Move house

It would definitely have to be right at the end of the 5 years, but I would like to think about moving to a nicer area and get a house with a proper study – which may be vital is my business does grow! I do love a lot of things about my house now, and I absolutely hate moving, but it would be nice to be in a safer area so I’m less worried about when the time comes for the kids to get the bus to secondary school and go out with their mates and stuff!

 

5. Have another baby

I really want to expand my family again…. Kidding! Sorry had to put that in case my mother-in-law or hubby reads this… love to keep them on their toes! No that ship has well and truly sailed! My real number 5 however…

5. I would like to do more for charity

We put our hands in our pockets quite regularly when it comes to supporting various charities, but I would definitely like to start making a more hands-on effort, starting this year.  In July I plan to run the Race for Life: Pretty Muddy  as part of a team of girls who want to raise money for Cancer Research – a cause particularly close to my heart since once of my best friends was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the end of 2015.

The R4L:PM is going to be the first in what I intend to become regular fundraising efforts that I make over the coming years.

 

 

So that about sums it up, my #5in5. I’m interested to hear yours?!

Dee xoxox

From above – Skydiving in Fiji 2004

I am currently participating in a “photo a day” challenge on facebook with some friends of mine. Basically we are given a different category every day and have to upload a picture around that theme. The other day the category was “from above” and I shared a picture of a skydive I had undertaken in Fiji in 2004. Reminding me of the experience has led me to this blog piece.

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 pic from 12000 feet                                                  the plane we went up in

In November 2004 myself and one of my best friends, Lisa, went on an extended holiday to meet other friends of ours that were on a year out travelling the world. They were on the last leg of their experience and we had opted to meet them in Fiji – somewhere I had always wanted to visit. Fiji was amazing and we were all very much caught up in the whole “once in a lifetime” type thing, knowing that it was highly unlikely we would ever return.

Whilst we were in Nadi, the capital of Fiji, we were having lunch when our friends were talking about the amazing skydive that they had done in New Zealand. Lisa mentioned that she liked the idea of doing a skydive and I thought it sounded incredible – the only thing that was standing in my way was the fact that I suffer badly with vertigo and I am absolutely petrified of heights. So surely I wouldn’t actually go through with jumping out of a plane thousands of feet up would I?

I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but the next thing was that we were in one of several “shops” that booked excursions and experiences and I was handing over several hundred pounds to a stranger for the highest jump they offered – then 12000 feet and 45 seconds of freefall. We knew nothing about the company that were going to provide the skydive, and I doubt we bothered with any insurance. We were 22 and I think we thought we were pretty much invincible.

I remember sitting in the lobby the next day, waiting to be picked up by the skydive firm. My belly was churning and my hands were clammy. I was beyond nervous. Our friends who had already done a skydive were coming with us for moral support.  Once we reached the airfield we were told basic safety instructions and paired with an experienced skydive instructor. When we discovered that the instructor that was paired with Lisa only had one leg it was hysterical – luckily for us he didn’t lose it in a skydiving accident!!!

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            The realisation hits!                                           Preparing to jump @ 12000 feet

The plane was tiny – there was literally only space for the 4 of us to sit cramped on the floor. In the front was the pilot and a camerawoman that would be jumping with us to film the experience (for me), whilst Lisa’s instructor had a videocamera on his wrist. Lisa went first and I watched her disappear from view. Then it was my turn and I couldn’t focus on anything. I crossed my arms over my chest like we were told and in the next breath we were flying!

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       11000 feet up                                                              on top of the world!

Throwing your arms out to create drag, you really do feel like you are flying. You are looking straight out at the horizon rather than straight down. The land mass below me in the pictures is Fiji, but the round lens makes it look like we are soaring above the earth.

At the same time it is both loud and eerily quiet. It is peaceful and yet utterly enthralling. I can easily see why people get addicted to both the adrenaline rush it brings, and the beauty of seeing the world from this way.

I’m not sure how high we were when my instructor pulled the chute, but sailing down towards the earth was amazing, landing well on a sandy area on Denarau Island. It was incredible that we were able to jump in just a vest and shorts with no need for special equipment.

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 holding hands with the camera woman 

The adrenaline rush stayed with us for several days afterwards – particularly when the company dropped off our dvds of the experience. I decided not to tell my mum and dad about it. Instead, when I got home several weeks later I opted to show them a “dvd of Fiji”. Their reaction was priceless!

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Oh my god I did it!

Aside from having my family, I maintain that the skydive is one of the best things I have ever done and if you get the opportunity to do one then grab it with both hands, you will not regret it!

Skydive Fiji still operate. You can find more information on their website: http://www.skydivefiji.com.fj/tandem-skydiving