Happy Birthday to me! Today, I turn the ripe old age of 27.

And in honour of my first birthday celebrations since launching my blog, I thought I would let you in on a few little secrets about my life.

This is my own list of what makes me happy from A to Z…

Afternoon Tea

As a Brit, I adore afternoon tea. For me, this should involve: the perfect cuppa (English Breakfast tea with milk and one sweetener), cute little finger sandwiches with a variety of fillings, tasty cakes and scones with cream and jam. Oh, and the scones should be cream first, jam second. Apparently this is the Devonshire way to eat scones. What about you: are you cream first or jam first?

Powerscourt Estate Scones

Books

I have been an avid reader since a very young age. As a child, you would have found me hiding at least 15 books underneath my pillow (for when I went to bed reading, and woke up reading). I have no idea how this was even comfortable, but it was just something I did. Since growing up, I have never lost my love for books and reading (but I have lost the habit of hiding books under my pillow, thankfully). In fact, I have even gone as far as embarking on reading challenges for two years running!

Christmas

Christmas for me isn’t about celebrating religious practices (sorry folks!) Instead, it’s one of the only times in the year that my family are all in one place together, and usually for at least a couple of days. I don’t think they realise just how much I miss them throughout the rest of the year! But at Christmas, we eat roast dinner with all the trimmings, play games, eat chocolates, drink Prosecco, open presents and just chill out laughing and talking together. Because of this, Christmas is one of my most favourite times of the year! Oh, and it gives me an excuse to do some special baking! My project for this year will be stained glass cookies.

Christmas

Duvet

If ‘B’ hadn’t already been taken up by books, this could have just simply been ‘Bed’. In the winter, I love curling up in bed early with a good book and often, don’t want to leave it when the morning comes. But duvets themselves also hold memories from my childhood. If I was ever home from school with a poorly tummy or something, my Mum would get out the ‘special duvet’, which had rainbows, stars and unicorns all over it. She’d set me up on the sofa with this duvet, Disney movies and ice-cream whilst she went about the house cleaning and doing her usual “Mum-things”. These are memories I just cannot forget and don’t ever want to forget.

Experiences

A large part of why I travel is to enjoy new and unique experiences. Whether this be husky sledding in Finland, trampolining in caves in Wales or spotting the Milky Way in Hawaii, I love being able to try new things. And when I can now come back here and tell you all about it as well, that is pretty cool!

Husky Sledding in Ruka, Finland

Family

Although I don’t get to see my family quite as much anymore, they are still everything to me. From heart-to-hearts with my Mum, receiving advice from my sister, learning from my brother and laughing at my Dad’s jokes, I love my family to bits. I wish I could see them more often, but at least I know they are always there for me. I hope they know I will always be here for them too.

Gerbera Daisies

Gerbera Daisies are the large daisies you often see in pretty bouquets. They have been my favourite flower for about as long as I can remember (especially bright pink ones) and make me so happy when just looking at them. Scott, my love – are you listening to this? 😉

Hawaii

We visited Hawaii for the first time last September, after it had been on my travel wishlist for about as long as I can remember. Hawaii did not disappoint. It is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever had the pleasure of travelling to, and there was so much about Hawaii that made me fall in love with it. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, I urge you to go!

Hawaii Radio Tower

Inspiring Stories

I’m a huge fan of hearing from others with inspiring stories to tell. Maybe they went on a dream trip? Or launched a growing business? Or found the one thing that brings out their passion for life? Whatever it is, I love hearing stories like this. In fact, one goal I have for this blog is to record more of those stories. Thus, I will shortly be opening up Wanderer of the World for guest articles that are centred around inspiring trips, life learnings and blogging as a business. Watch this space! And if you want to get involved, send me a message!

Japan

Everytime I read, hear or watch something about Japan, I fall in love with the idea of visiting just that little bit more. So much so, that my other half and I now have an aching desire to go there. We’re contemplating visiting during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 as we also think the Opening Ceremony would be incredible given the work ethic of Japanese people. This all depends on whether we can get tickets once they go on sale (fingers crossed!) Either way, we both know we will find ourselves in Japan as soon as we can!

Japan

Keyrings

This is my go-to souvenir from my travels. Wherever I go, I pick up a keyring so that each time I use my keys, I am reminded of how many incredible experiences I’ve been able to have. In the future, I aim to turn them into unique fridge magnets.

Learning

They say curiosity killed the cat. I say curiosity is the root of all happiness and comes with a thirst for knowledge and learning. Without these things, our ancestors would never have discovered new places, new tools or new technologies. And I would never have started this website and I certainly wouldn’t have travelled to so many places. I do all of this with the idea of learning to be a better version of me, a more-rounded version, a more widely travelled version… I could go on. Basically, learning, knowledge and curiosity are super important to me, my life and my future.

Making Things

My creativity has often come out of making things. Whether it be designing and launching Wanderer of the World, baking cakes, making cross-stitch pictures, making polaroid coasters or gold leaf pictures, I love making things. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. When they do, there’s the added bonus of accomplishment. And when they don’t… well it was fun up until that point!

National Trust

I’ve been a National Trust member for nearly 4 years now and I will continue being a member for as long as I can afford it. From learning the stories behind ancient buildings, to exploring stunning gardens and seeing dramatic landscapes, the National Trust has been able to offer me a lot of happiness over the years. So far I’ve listed 21 very special National Trust places worth visiting, and I have another list of 10+ ready to write about soon!

Montacute House, Devon, England

Orange Chocolate

Mmm… orange flavoured chocolate. By far, the best of all the chocolate combinations. Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Lindor Chocolate Orange Truffles will always be two firm favourites! It also helps that McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes are also of a chocolate orange combination! *Starts aimlessly searching cupboards for orange chocolate!*

Pudding

Growing up, my Dad’s nickname for me was Pudding. This came from the fact that even just halfway through my dinner, I would ask: “What’s for pudding?” I did this everyday for a long time. Fast forward many years into adulthood, and I still look ahead to pudding. You might call it an obsession with puddings and sweet things, but I call it a mission to find my own kind of heaven… wherever it is in the world!

Mango Cheesecake, Hawaii

Quizzes

This one has two prongs of happiness for me. First, I love quizzes. From general knowledge, to finding out which Harry Potter character you should be, I find them a great way to learn new things about both the world and yourself. Second, this was the highest scoring word I’ve ever had in a Scrabble game. It was the first go of the game, and out came 7 letters spelling QUIZZES. Not only did I score 70 points for the word itself, but I also received a 50 point bonus for using all 7 letters on the first turn. I think it’s safe to say I won Scrabble by a mile that day!

Rainbow Topaz

I adore sparkly things, but one particular favourite is the Rainbow Topaz originating from many countries, including Brazil and Australia. This topaz has purples, pinks, greens, blues and yellows all through it, and it’s absolutely stunning!

Scott

Yes, yes, apologies for the soppyness here. An A to Z list of my happiness couldn’t possibly not include Scott: my other half, my fiancee, my best friend. Scott makes me happy everyday, and I know he will continue to do so for the rest of my life. Okay, soppyness over…

Travel

How could I possibly be a travel blogger without loving travel? Enough said.

Underwater

Ever since learning how to snorkel, underwater marine life has fascinated me. There are so many bright colours beneath the surface and so many incredible creatures that we never get to see unless breathing underwater. In the future, I plan on learning to scuba dive, simply so that I can explore further and deeper and see more.

Snorkelling for Beginners

Violins

When I was 7, I asked my Mum if I could learn to play the violin. She sadly said “No” because she didn’t want to hear “cats wailing indoors” if I was learning to play. Despite not being able to play, this was the beginning of a fascination with violins and incredible musicians. In fact, my wedding march song will be: Pachelbel in Canon D played by several violins. This song makes me so happy, and thankfully, Scott also likes it!

Writing

I’ve always been passionate about writing. In the early years, my chosen genre was fiction. I then moved on to journalism to write for newspapers as part of my GCSE work experience. I’ve now launched a travel blog. And since that, I’ve joined a Marketing team to write business and retail related blogs and guides. In all of these ventures, I’ve had an absolute blast!

XOXO

Also known as hugs and kisses, this has to be the right kind. I love them from Scott (of course). I love them from my family (of course). But I also love them from dogs. Growing up, I had the most beautiful Golden Retriever named Biggles. He had a knack of knowing when I was upset, and would come over to lick my face and cuddle up to me, instantly making me feel happy. Someday soon, Scott and I plan to own a dog together. Personally, I’m after another Golden Retriever. But he wants a brown Border Collie. Can we have both?

Yoga

Yoga is a wonderful stress reliever for me as well as a good form of exercise. When done right, you can really work up a sweat and send endorphins coursing through your body! If you haven’t yet experienced the wonders of Yoga, do it. Do it now!

Zen Moments

I’m forever seeking peace and zen moments in my life. Woodlands and forests give me zen moments by the bucketload. Yoga gives me zen moments with every stretch. Writing gives me zen moments with every word I write. Maybe this is another reason why I wish to visit Japan so badly? The ultimate home of zen.

Over to you now – what would be included in your A to Z list of happiness? Please feel free to jot down a few notes in the comments below…

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