Close encounters of the herd kind.

When I discovered that my girlfriend Sophie had never had the experience of visiting the New Forest before, the plan for our day off was immediately realised. Sophie was staying at mine for a few days and since I had to work Monday, we really wanted to make the most of our time off on Tuesday. The week after week heatwave the UK had been experiencing showed no intentions of having a rest. It had been a while since my last visit to the New Forest (my last blog post actually, oops) and I was raring to go, to hear the silence, breathe the fresh air and seemingly endlessly explore. More importantly however, to share with Sophie the wonder of wandering these peaceful forests…

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International day of happiness.

A free day is full of possibility. Last Tuesday in particular, I woke with no plans. I had the day off work, the sun was shining, as much as it can be for March, and I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to get away, to experience some freedom and a mind as fresh as the air that surrounded me. It’s easier to feel that away from the city, I find that more often than not. Leaving your minuscule troubles or petty worries at your front door, and refusing them the ability to follow you where it is serene and quiet. This is how I wanted to spend my Tuesday.

I embrace solitude, and when set on heading out for a countryside retreat, solo didn’t seem a bad idea. However, I came to realise that this may not be the case for some, and I felt a desire to provide someone with a chance to share the timely tranquility with me. My friend Laura could sadly not make it, but fortunately my friend Chloe was free, so we headed out for some forestry exploration.

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I fell in love with elephants.

I think it’s fair to say that one of the greatest and most magical parts of visiting different continents is in the chance of being able to observe and experience the diversity of nature and animals that we’re not so used to at home. Having never been on a safari, when planning my trip to South-east Asia, one of the main things I hoped I had the chance to do was to spend some time one on one with elephants. Admittedly, elephants had never enthralled me. Whilst I appreciate them and detest the pressures of survival they’re currently exposed to via poaching and loss of habitat in many areas of the world, elephants were never top of my list of animals that I was super-excited to hopefully have the pleasure of being around someday. However, this changed dramatically when I had the chance to spend the day with several during my time in Chiang Mai, Thailand…

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