Exploring Europe: Vienna, Austria

Somehow when I wrote about my Eastern European adventures, Vienna fell off the blog post list. I have no idea why as I was bowled over by the city. We only had about 30 hours in the Austrian capital. It's never really been somewhere that I wanted to tick off so I didn't place it in an important place in our itinerary. Instead, it was just booked as a stopover to help break up Prague and Bratislava. But boy was I wrong to dismiss it. After having a little taste of the city, I'm dying to go back and truly discover the real Vienna.

As time was limited to about 30 hours, we set out to soak up as much of the city as we could. First off we took the guided tram tour to help us gain our bearings. It was great to marvel in the history and see key landmarks that make Vienna so special. Well worth the few euros and I wholly recommend it as the first thing you do when you step in the city.

Then we took to our feet and walked. And walked. Then walked some more. We took in the Parliament, museum quarter, opera house, Hofberg, Mozart memorial and Belvedere Palace. Sadly we didn't get to go in anything but instead looked in awe at the stunning, grand buildings. I've never quite seen architecture like it. At every corner I turned, I was blown away.

Vienna, you have well and truly stolen my heart!


My goals for 2017

A little late but here are a few goals I've set myself to meet in 2017. I might meet them or I might not. Who knows? But it's always nice to have them written down.

1. Read more books
I have a nearly three hour commute to work every day and mostly I just spend it snoozing. But as much as I value those shut eye moments, I really could be doing something a bit more productive and I think this is probably why I'm not sleeping too well at night. My reading is definitely slacking which is ridiculous as there really is nothing more than I love doing than poking my nose in a book. I'm going to make it my mission to read at least 10 new books this year. Working out at less than one a month, there's not reason why I shouldn't achieve this!

2. See the world
Following on from last year, I once again want to continue the momentum. I have a few getaways already planned for this year and couldn't be happier to once again be focusing on Europe. My travel plans are kicking off this weekend in Paris.

3. Look after myself from the inside out
I'm notoriously bad at looking after myself. My diet is absolutely awful. I have too many late nights than I care to remember. Exercise is never at the forefront of my mind. I feel sluggish and tired all the time. So I'm going to start making little changes. Stop wiling away pointless hours on my phone or laptop at night. Grab those much needed early nights during the week. Start eating a proper dinner every night. I get home between 7.30 and 8 each night and slaving away in front of the oven is the last thing on my mind so I quite often just skip dinner and jump into bed. Introduce so much more fruit and veg into my diet. I'm never going to be a gym bunny but I can start talking the stars instead of a lift and go on regular walks to get my heart rate rising.

4. Pay off my credit card
As we count down to moving into our first house, I've suddenly realise that money for a while will be tight as we get used to being homeowners. Say whaaaat?! I'm pretty frivolous with money as you can probably tell by my ASOS addiction and tendency to always leave the country. My credit card bill isn't unmanageable and I'm not really that fussed about it. But it would be nice to be debt free as we move into our new home. If only so we can put a sofa on the credit card. I can't be sitting on fold up camping chairs for the rest of my life...

Why I'm not worried about getting older

Next week I turn 28 and am only two years off 30. As everyone keeps telling me as if with that it brings with it impending doom. But if I'm really honest, I'm actually quite enjoying getting older. Even with the unwanted extra weight I'm carrying that's easy to put on but hard to get off, the dark circles that no concealer is covering up, and the wrinkles that still stay after I finish laughing, I'm more content then I have ever been with my lot in life.

I look back at pictures of myself at 21 green with envy, wishing I could have the willpower and the metabolism to look like that again. That's lasts for all of 30 seconds before I realise I wouldn't go back to that age in a heartbeat. I spent my late teens and early twenties crippled with self doubt. I was self-conscious and constantly worried. Worried about pleasing people. Worried about living in the big bad world. Worried about not achieving what society dictates.

But with every pound gained and every laughter wrinkle, it reminds me of all the fun times I've had. And they're much more important to me than worrying about my appearance. Sure I'd love to look better but I'm enjoying life. As cheesy as it sounds,  I'm enjoying life more as I get older. I almost can't wait to see what the next year brings. My body may be 28 but deep down I'm still that eager 18 year old girl. Just a lot more sassy and wiser. How can I not want that?

I have so much to look forward to as I'm getting older and I can afford to do so much more. The older I'm getting, the more I'm ticking off those dreams that as a youngster, I never really thought I would achieve. I'm so much more settled in my career, working in a job I love and earning a wage that allows me to fulfil some of my greatest passions. I'm genuinely happy and as of this moment, I honestly wouldn't change a thing. It's taken me a long time and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to this point in my life.

I'm able to travel the world and realise my teenage dreams, buy the designer handbags I've always dreamed off, treat those who have always had my back and as of March, buy an actual house. How could I dread getting older when I'm able to do all of this?

Bring. It. On.

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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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