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Welcome to the blog of SAVINGFORTRAVEL! I now have 2 blogs: my newest-100 COUNTRIES BEFORE I AM 50 and my oldest, the faithful: SFT's LIFE AFTER MORTGAGE-which is in part about funding my travel experiences, the sealed pot challenge and this and that!View my complete profile

SAVING FOR TRAVEL

2014

APRIL: Country 54JAPAN

MAY: Country 55:MALTA

AUGUST: Country 56RUSSIA

OCTOBER:Country 57MOROCCO

DECEMBER:Country 58/59 VIETNAM, LAOS THAILAND

2015

MARCH: Country 60TUNISIA

JULY: Country 61/62 MALAYSIA &SINGAPORE

OCTOBER: Country 63/64 ISRAEL, PALESTINE

2016

FEBRUARY: Country 65 MALDIVES

MARCH: Country 66/67 BRAZIL ARGENTINA

JULY: Country 68/69/70/71 ESTONIA,LATVIA,LITHUANIA,BELARUS RUSSIA

Monday, 16 March 2015

MY OTHER CHALLENGES FOR 2015

Hi Everyone!

As well as my travel challenges I have set myself a few other challenges for 2015. These probably should have been set in January but who wants to be the same as everyone else.

At the moment I have 12 other challenges I am working on:


1. Learn to cook a new simple dish each month.
Mr Sft is a wonderful cook however being married to him (6 years this month :) has made me a lazy cook. I could probably count what I can cook on one hand. So my aim is to learn some simple dishes that I can produce to help him out. I would like to start with soups and casseroles dishes-starting with Veggie Sausage Casserole.





2. Read a book a month.
This has been achieved so far this year. In January I finished a book that a friend had lent me about a chap who walks with his dog Boogie around the beautiful south west coastal path of England.It is called The Five Hundred Mile Walkies and is very humorous. In February I finished off the Long Way Round travel story of Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor-this was bitter sweet as they had such as amazing time in the Ukraine, and I really do regret not visiting this country whilst I had the chance. I bought this book on holiday from a Charity Shop.



My current book is a very light read (lent to me by my mother in law) Voices in Summer by Rosamunde Pilcher. I like that many of her stories are set in Devon or Cornwall. I am also dipping in and out of the Lonely Planet guide to Malaysia and Singapore.

    



3. Visit a historical site each month.
We are very keen to do this as we both enjoy history. As do my parents so this is a nice activity that we can do together. This challenge really started this month. With my class I visited our local museum which is also an old Victorian house. It was fascinating to learn about the family that lived there and visit some of the rooms, including a Victorian kitchen, the objects within it were fascinating. I particularly loved the knife polisher and the sugar cone!
 

Last weekend we visited the beautiful Tudor Kentwell Hall in Suffolk. I will blog about our visit later in the week. 


4. Walk in 2 new areas each month.
We have already walked in a new hamlet near our hamlet this month so one more exploratory walk to go. As I mentioned in a comment to Kevin, we are so lucky living in a country where there are footpaths galore to wander down and explore.


5. Watch a new film each month.
I watched Charlotte Gray on Film 4 in January which I really enjoyed. Kate Blanchett is an amazing actress and I loved learning about the role of female spies in occupied France. 
In February I went with a group of friends to see The Second Exotic Marigold Hotel:

       


6. Go to the theatre each month.
I have been to the theatre each month.
In January I went to listen to an Abba Tribute band and last month I went to a Frank Sinatra Tribute band.
This month I am taking my mum to see a local theatre group perform a play called The Vackees

Set at the outbreak of the Second World War, this is the funny, moving story of the invasion of a Somerset village by child evacuees from London - the Vackees - and their adventures with the (at first) hostile native children. The musical centres around a young London lad, Kip, and follows his first experiences of love and war. 


7. See something new in London each month.

It has been too cold to go to London this year so we will start this challenge in April. No ideas about what we are going to see yet!


8. Spring Clean our little cottage
We are starting in our kitchen. There is nothing like the feeling of Spring Cleaning and a bit of de-cluttering.


9. Declutter the house-At least 20 objects per month.
We have started but I will be recording what we get 'rid of' on the blog.


10. Grow our own vegetables.
Mr Sft bought leek and parsnip seeds this weekend. I am looking forward to helping him in the garden this year.




11. Begin a Nature Diary.



We live in such a lovely area. I would love to start recording the wild flowers, birds and other wildlife we see nearby.


12.Make a photo book of a trip each 2 months.

I have lots of trips to choose from and I think this would be a good use of time. I want to have lots of photos to look through when I am sitting in my rocking chair in old age.



All images from Google Images


Do you share any of these challenges?

What are the challenges on your list?

Sft x

Sunday, 15 March 2015

SEALED POT SUNDAY-WEEK 14-A LITTLE PROGRESS TOWARDS OUR TARGET! ALSO MALDIVES UPDATE!

HOW IS OUR NEW SEALED POT CHALLENGE GOING?

EM_2015_MAP
Our New Challenge: I am particularly looking forward to the islands of Penang and Tioman. Also the Petronas Towers and of course Singapore!

TOTAL=£560

WEEK 14 has been a good  WEEK for the challenge.

FOOD AND DRINK BUDGET: £366
Progress so far: £126.40/£366  £240.60 to go
FROM:
£5 from school lunches this week.
We seem to be spending our monthly food budget quickly so will have to put the breaks on now.
Hope to get the rest from:
Money to raised from: March, April, May, June, July FOOD Budgets (£40 per month)-£200.
School Lunches (£5 per week-term time) 11x5=£55



TIPPING: £40 /£80-
MY LOVELY SISTER PAID FOR OUR PUB MEALS SO I'VE ADDED £10 TO THIS TOTAL
Hope to get the rest FROM:
Any money raised from Mr Sft's computer jobs

Any gifted money
Any found money

EXCURSIONS TO PAY FOR:
Petronas Tower-£42.20/46=£3.80 to go.
FROM 
Heptagonals: 70p added
1 x 50p =50p
2 x 20p =20p
Rest from Heptagonal Challenge

Penang Furnicular Railway-£2/£14.00-NO PROGRESS THIS WEEK
Hope to get rest from : SAVED NOT SPENT MONEY

Jungle Boat Trip-£2/£24-NO PROGRESS MADE
Hope to get rest from SAVED NOT SPENT MONEY

Kuala Lumpur Dance Show-£2/£4-NO PROGRESS MADE
Hope to get rest from SAVED NOT SPENT MONEY

Singapore Night Safari-£2/£24-NO PROGRESS MADE
Hope to get rest from: any SAVED NOT SPENT MONEY


PAID FOR:
ALL PAID FOR!Teman National Park-Canopy Walk-£2/£2-
FROM: ticket sales





Current Total: £218.70/£560

At the end of Week 14 we have £3418.30 LEFT to save to reach our goal (we are38there).

MALDIVES UPDATE

I have paid the deposit for this trip=£171-I now have to pay that money back! 

STEP ONE-Give up Chocolate-i still have not touched chocolate. I have been sponsored by a few people at school and family members for the de-chox challenge so that has spurred me on.

STEP TWO:Exercise more regularly. The walking started well last week then I ran out of puff. So I have added extra for those days.

NEW-STEP THREE: Avoid Refined Sugar-I have swapped my 'LOW FAT' flavoured breakfast yoghurt for Natural Yoghurt and have been flavouring it with honey.

Current Deposit total is £41 so that is 23% of the deposit paid for

Or 2.65% of the total needed for the trip.

I will be adopting more healthy lifestyle STEPS to help with this challenge.



All photos from Google Images

HOW HAS YOUR SEALED POT WEEK GONE?

Sft x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

WALKING THIS WEEEK


WALKING THIS WEEK HAS BEEN EVENTFUL SO FAR:

Monday: We tried so hard to meet up as early as we could after work. We ended up starting our walk at a small hamlet near where we live at 5.41pm. This was not good as the sun was setting 14 minutes later. It was a nice walk which took through a farm and I could just make out a lovely horse in its stable. We decided to walk back the walk we came and just made it back before it got dark. 

Tuesday: We tried to meet up as early as we could after work. I was really looking forward to our walk since it had been a beautiful Spring day. We drove straight to our nearest park. By then it was 5.25pm. A bit earlier than Monday but the sun was soon setting. At least we were on paved paths, unlike the previous night.

Today: I knew that there wouldn't be any sunlight left by the time I left school as I was on late duty. So I got up at 6am this morning and went for a walk down the lane, down a track and through fields. This was the best walk so far as the sunrise was gorgeous and I could take some lovely photos to share. 








On reflection the walk today was the best so far but it does mean an earlier start. Tomorrow I hope we can meet up after school earlier and try a walk in another local park.

What about you? 

When do you most enjoy walking? 

Earlier or later or doesn't it matter?

Sft x

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

SOUTH EAST ASIA DAY 3-HALONG BAY TO HANOI-LOTS OF PHOTOS!

Hi Everyone!

Here is the next part of our wonderful trip to South East Asia at Christmas:

SOUTH EAST ASIA DAY 3-HALONG BAY TO HANOI, VIETNAM

I'm not sure that I have adjusted to the time difference. I woke up at 2 am and just couldn't get back to sleep. At 5.45am I went up to the sun deck of the boat. Halong Bay was so peaceful. At 6.30am Mr Sft joined me to watch the sunrise which was lovely. A Tai Chi class took place and we enjoyed watching.






We were due to have a light breakfast before we went out for our boat ride. However, a huge amount was served!

We then sailed off. I have to say I am NOT a big fan of caves, so I gave the visit a miss. Instead I hung around the harbour side people watching. My favourite views were of a mother feeding her children sweetcorn and of a fisherman.









Upon our return brunch was served-stir fired veggies, noodles and potato chips! Then sadly it was time to pack and leave the boat. We clapped and said goodbye to the captain.

On our return to Hanoi, we stopped to admire these very neat cabbage fields. In the corner was a shrine to the ancestors of the farmer.





We stopped at the Disabled Arts Centre again. I admired this lady. Sculpting a Giant Buddha is something I have never seen before.

I then decided to do some scooter watching. I had seen people carrying suitcases on scooters, trays and trays of eggs and huge plants. Whole families too-often with a tiny child at the front. That morning I couldn't believe what I saw-a live buffalo, tied up to the back of the scooter. I had to ask the others for verification. Shame I didn't have my camera ready for that.





By now we just stepped into the traffic without thinking about it. What a difference a few days make.We enjoyed dinner at the City View Cafe again. Then we went to watch the famous Water Puppet Theatre show-I loved the puppets, traditional singing and music! We applauded the puppeteers at the end.






We crossed a traditional red bridge to an island in the middle of a lake and found a concert going on. Another chance to listen to traditional music and we loved the traditional dancing.





We took a hilarious tut-tut ride through the streets back to our hotel. Our driver was an elderly man and we decided to give him a huge tip! He was over the moon!


The end of a brilliant day!


Sft x

Monday, 9 March 2015

MY STEPS TO HEALTH-REWARDING MYSELF AND EARNING MY TRIP TO THE MALDIVES


Hi Everyone!


As you know I am 'rewarding' myself for healthy choices

to get to the Maldives and...



 gradually trying to change my life for the better!

STEP 2-EXERCISE MORE REGULARLY

I am attempting to go for a walk each day this week. 


Each walk will be after my school day and last from 30 mins to 45mins long. 

They will be in local parks, a village and our local area. 

I will be walking at a pace, with Mr Sft as much as possible.

I will be enjoying the benefits of more fresh air and enjoying the Spring.

So my aim is 6 walks this week. I will let you know how I get on.

STEP 3-EAT MORE ORGANIC FOOD

I want to be more aware of where the food I am eating comes from. 

This week I am buying organic ingredients for the soup I am eating for my supper.




We have been lucky enough to have saved some Nectar points from S**nsburys so they covered the cost.

I will let you know whether I feel better from switching over.

Over to you:

Have you been on any great walks recently?

What do you think about organic food?

Sft x