Touchdown in Manila

First blog post I will have ever written on my phone so forgive me the typos, tough to edit pretty on this lil thing.

First leg of the journey was not too bad. Overall a pretty positive impression of Philippine Airlines. Plenty of films, regular food and drink and nice warm blankey to keep me toasty. I slept away my hangover for most of the journey however I fear what I may have picked up from the swarming sickly people on board. Coughs and splutters all round. Pretty standard January stuff – yum.

Unfortunately I shan’t be able to enjoy touching down in this new country, boarding begins in a couple of hours and I’m not keen on trying to navigate a new city in such a short time. Don’t think I can stick their flag on my backpack to say I’ve been here, doesn’t really count if you don’t leave the airport does it? Sorta like international territory.

Goodbyes at home were easy, poodling off for eight weeks is no great venture and I’m sure I shan’t be too missed. Nonetheless I’m a little more nervous than last time.

After spending time living in Canada I no longer felt like a solo traveller, but someone who  was part of the small local community in Squamish.

NZ sees me starting from square one. Properly out there on my own again for a bit. Until Georgina appears that is.

Wish me luck chicas 😘

The Ever-loving Abigail



A Little More Than 48 Hours in Dublin

Last time I visited the Emerald Isle it was booked in an attempt to over-come post-break-up blues back in 2015. It was super refreshing to head back to the lovely city of Dublin with a little less baggage and plenty more time.

Four nights is a great amount of time to visit this lovely city. Especially at this time of year when it’s pretty gusty and grey. Visiting a friend meant accommodation was free and flying with Ryanair was dirt cheap as one would expect.

However I did manage to spend plenty of pennies on grub and beer.

My recommendations, and the things that filled my days this time around:

Where to Stay 

Stay in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. There aren’t an hostels that I know of in this area but some affordable Air BnBsThis neighborhood is super close to the Luas tramline, one of the best ways to get into the city fast. I recommend grabbing a Leap travel card from the station or the local Spar to save on fares. Alternatively there are buses on the high street leading in every which direction, and an Air Coach straight to the airport from Upper Leeson St, just a couple of blocks away (7-8.50 euros each way, approx 25 mins Tickets are available on the coach or can be booked in advance).

Neighborhood highlights include:

Lidl, sounds silly but you’re gonna need to cook at home pretty frequently if you’re on a budget and Lidl is as cheap as it comes.

Hobarts Cafe: Low-mid range prices.  Go there breakfast-brunch time on a weekday and you should be able to nab yourself a comfy booth. The menu offers american diner style delights. I’ve had the french toast every time I’ve been there. No regrets. Servers are TOP NOTCH lovely gals.

For Next Time: Kinara Kitchen. A Pakistani kitchen I’ve heard amazing things about.


The Abbey Theatre is a delightful smallish theatre and it just so happens to be The National Theatre of Ireland. I saw Fire Below (A War of Words). 20 Years on from the Belfast Peace Agreement, this play sees a Catholic and Protestant middle class couples side by side putting the world to rights. They’ve lived through conflict at arms length and presented me with an interesting reflection on the state of the nation. Pretty sure this show was presented originally in conjunction with Belfast Theatre Fest and there was plenty of Northern Irish in the audience. Such a great experience. If you visit this city please go see a show like this and learn a little more about the conflict this country has seen.

National Gallery of Ireland, admittedly this wasn’t as much of a learning experience. More of pretty shallow aesthetic pleasure. I didn’t read up on as many of these Irish artists as perhaps I should but nonetheless the building is beautiful and I really like the variety this gallery offers. One of my favourite things about the place was the noise. I hate galleries to feel like libraries. There was a lary-ness to some of the rooms that I really loved. To hear excited people talking about the work around you is great. And it wasn’t all full of art jargon either. Just everyday people having their animated debates – lovely stuff. My favourite was Harry Clarke‘s stained glass windows. There’s some beautiful notecards and books in the shop that would make great gifts. Some of his work can be found across the city I recommend having a search.

Pubs Far and Wide, Obviously if you are a beer drinker you should go and sample some Guinness in various spots across the city. Get yourself a little way away from Temple Bar and you’re on the right tracks. Georges Street has some great old pubs. Kehoe’s, 9 South Anne St was a quaint old spot with tiny table and chairs and winding staircases. It reminded me of a place they might like to have meetings in Peaky Blinders. Mulligan’s on 9 Poolbeg Street was less cute but definitely more local. The prices were about the same and the bartender shared a jaffa cake or two with us girls too. Win win.

The Sugar Club, seemed a pretty trendy well kept secret 😉 So I shan’t give away too much. This night spot on Leeson is an absolute treasure if you enjoy live music. Be wary though, drinks are mad-expensive and queues are long.

The Forty Foot. Finally, one of Irelands most famous swimming spots just outside the city. I wasn’t bold enough to brave the icy waters this time but loads of locals do it every day of the year. This seaside spot is just outside the city and has a great food market on Sundays to warm your bellies after that freezing cold plunge

Eh-volia. Dublin Take 2 was pretty sweet. Nice to be back on the move after a couple of months back on the grind.


The Ever-loving


One Month Home

Got quality fam time, got the car, the old job back for the time being and the prospects. I knew I couldn’t stay in Canada, and these last few weeks have bought a welcome change.

But I can’t help but think about that post all those months ago. About falling in love and about the far away waves of Whakatāne.

Not sure where my heart is but its certainly not caught up with me yet. Reckon it got taken away first class on an Air New Zealand flight, sent across oceans to the other side of the world, linked by some invisible string. The string keeps on tugging but I’m scared. Scared of what I have here or what I might lose there.

I want to be present but I feel like I’m slipping away a bit.

Ever-loving Abigail



Ten Days Home

Jet lag hit me like a ton of bricks. Ten days passed and I’m still living in another time zone. Not PST it seems but some other alien zone somewhere in-between Vancouver and here (Essex, England).

No regretting the big move back just yet. Sure, it’s super hard. Remembering all those goodbye parties I had with friends and all those thoughts about where I might be right now. But the right thing isn’t always the easiest. If I think about what about what Canada has to offer me at this point in my life, then I don’t miss it.

These coming weeks I’ve gotta get myself a car, a job and hopefully I place to stay will follow shortly. Some big asks. All very grown up things. But I’ll get that kitchen space I’m so yearnin’ after, and those theatre trips and learning opportunities. All the things I’ve been craving.

Although not a travel blog (for the time being) Rushing Forwards (or Brit on the Move), still holds true. Very much aiming for that forwards trajectory, I don’t care too much about the productivity related to my movements, so long as there’s some momentum.

Just need to keep that travel mentality. See new things, meet new people… taste new beer, on a slightly less regular basis than previously. We can all keep hold of this lifestyle to an extent.

I read the other day:

Sometimes exploration is not about seeing new places but seeing with new eyes.


The Ever-loving Abigail


Be A Steven

I’ve lost my head a little these past few days. Booked things too late, lost reservation emails, forgot about needing a place to sleep etc.

The nice lady at the Greyhound counter said it was the heat. But I’ve been living with this heat for months with my sanity perfectly in tact. I think it’s the knowledge that I’m going home, the tough goodbyes, the diving into the unknown.

It was quite a lot easier diving in to the unknown over here because there was lots of other people doing the same thing and it’s something I’d been anticipating for six months or so.

But heading home, I’m going to be surrounded by ‘settled’ people, or people who appear to have their shit, relatively, together.

Getting me through these last few days there has been some super amazing people. People who’ve I’ve known for months now and been solid friends with. But until now I hadn’t really needed them to step up for me.

Yesterday I lost my purse full of money from selling the car and my passport and general all important things. I also didn’t have somewhere booked to stay or a way of getting back to Vancouver today.

My hostel friends helped me through all of this. Driving me places, smiling and talking me through things. Giving me a bit of a torch when I felt I was just fumbling around blindly in the dark. It was easy for them to do it too. No umming and aahing. There has been a sense of urgency, not in an unsettling panicked way. But just that lovely way that makes me feel like people are prioritizing my needs for a moment.

Travellers have their own shit to deal with. Their own budgets and plans and goals. But for these last few days, when I found it hard to prioritise myself in an orderly fashion, I had others to hold my hand.

These last five months on the move I’ve tried not to have anyone hold my hand or spoonfeed me. It’s been about independence and self-reliance. But it was such a relief that my family and friends have been so present and dependable.

The dedication on this blog is not to Stevie J (AKA Dad), as wonderful as you and mother have been. It’s to Steven Turner, the boy whose been there for me when others could only do so much from afar.

It’s not just lifts in the van or sandwiches, you’ve done so much more.

The Ever-loving Abigail


Vashon to Vancouver, Back to Squamish

A few days walking, cycling and kayaking later and I’m headed back on the Amtrak up to Vancouver – coach this time. Today I’m taking ferry, coach, taxi and Pop-a-ride.

Can’t say I was particularly happy to be headed back to Van. The city is starting to leave a little bit of a sour taste in my mouth. Vancouver has been a gateway city for me. A gateway to my friends, my family most recently, and to the mountains. Despite my great first impressions and some lovely day trips in great company, TORONTO IS STILL MA FAVe. city-wise at least, west is not best! ❤


I just saw the reunion I’ve been wanting. A girl passed me in the station and leaped on to her partners lap. Legs-a-kickin to and fro. They hugged super tight and she nuzzled him with glee. I feel like my previous ice queen self might have been pretty grossed out by such a display of public affection, but my heart ached a litte.

I know I haven’t got any reunions as romantic as this awaiting me when I return home, but I’ve got some great ones coming up. The fact that I could only last five months out here is a testament to my friends and family I have back home. I couldn’t go longer without their warmth, their stories, their advice.

A paranoid little part of me was really worried people might be disappointed for me upon my return. Not with me, but for me. Thinking perhaps that I hadn’t ‘stuck at it’.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. All my friends have been SO MAGICAL.

Mate, I’m lucky

The Ever-loving Abigail

Travelling the World in Search of What I Need – Returning Home to Find It

My family travelled almost 5000 miles to be with me half way across the world. It’s been a week of walking, talking and eating mostly.

Lots of talking and reassessing. Reassessing my place here in Canada. This country was never particularly accessible for me on a budget. It’s a high cost of living and the best way to see some of this big ole place is by getting a job here and working while you explore. That was always the plan.

Well, I did that… and I saw ma things, ma pretty Canada things. I ate some poutine, saw some bears… all the jazz. It’s been super great and I’ve really appreciated the time away from everything and everyone I know. I’ve met some amazing people along the way too, I don’t think they’ll ever know how wonderful they are.

But I don’t think I’m quitting when I say my time here is almost done – already.

Sorry for all the goodbye parties, all them farewells. Cos I think I’m coming back, perhaps not to the same ole place to do the same ole thing. But to England, to theatreland, (to the gym).

I miss a lot and I want a lot. I did some exercises, personal development ones from The Happiness Planner. (You can buy em at ).  I’ll be ordering myself one for when I’m back home.

Thinking about goals and things…

I want art and learning and relationship building and participation and I want my physical health back.  I’d also really really like to drink tea with Nanny Pauline (and/or maybe cocktails).

I’d sorta like to see the world too, but I’m gonna pace myself. I think I’ll keep the blog up too, it’s about moving forwards – no matter where that takes me. In my first post I said what awaits me back home will truly be my biggest adventure, so I think I’ll continue to write about just that.


The Ever-loving Abigail


Romanticism – The Traditional Kind

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my aversion to the ugly towns of Northern BC. My hopes of rugged weatherboarding and quaint fishing communities were not quite met.

Prince Rupert, sorry, but besides the thin strip along the bay that lasts all of about 200 ft, is super hideous and run down. And the provincial parks… left me wanting. But I am just being SUPER shallow? I mean what do I bloody expect, I’ve been travelling across a country where real people live in real poverty, like most other places in the world. Imagine visiting Harlow and thinking god Essex is hideous or Milton Keynes and thinking Buckinghamshire is shitty. (There are great aspects to both these places, pls don’t shoot me, your towns are great).

But whilst I can accept that not everything and everywhere is gonna meet my standards of pretty… I’m allowed to not want to stay there right? Y’know, indefinitely? Not for me.

Romanticism, in the traditional sense of the word, is described by google as:

A movement in the arts and literature that originated in the late 18th century, emphasizing inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual.

That’s not really the easiest concept to understand. I like how Rosalind Buckton-Tucker describes Romanticism and it’s link to travel (she talks specifically about travel writing). She writes about it in her piece Romanticism and the Philosophy of Travel published in International Journal of Arts and Sciences. 


When I read about peoples travels, or not even read… when I just look at Insta posts or Facebook images… lots of the romantic themes crop up: aestheticism and a sense of awe and wonder is massive. Obviously, romanticism being from the 18th Century, it’s outdated as a movement, there aren’t many people proclaiming themselves romantics anymore. But I can’t help but feel many of our aspirations towards travel are built upon these romantic ideals.

Maybe I’m lacking the gumption, to expect less and absorb more?

I chose Canada… The Great White North of all places. Of course I came here due to some sort of affinity with nature and desire for awe n wonder. I’ve had my fair share for now. I’ve spent months looking to the mountains, lakes and waterfalls.

According to Colin Wilson in Introduction to the New Existentialism,  Romanticism began as a tremendous surge of optimism about the stature of humankind. Its aim — like that of science — was to raise us above the muddled feelings and impulses of his everyday humanity.

This certainly seems like a more pleasant way of looking at it. Through creating a dialogue with nature we may learn more about ourselves and our place…

Circling back, I couldn’t achieve a dialogue with nature in a place like Prince Rupert, Terrace or Prince George, as nestled as you are in the mountains, the grey  man-made structures are overbearing and fog my poor little mind. In Squamish, as unattractive as I found downtown, it wasn’t overbearing, it wasn’t pushing down heavily on my chest.

Is it cliché that this is all so bloody reflective? Maybe I’m spending too much time in my own head.

Someone lend me a helping hand and help me figure out where it’s all going?

The mountains aren’t calling me any longer. Something else is.


The Ever-loving Abigail