This is taken from my weekly newsletter which hits inboxes every Monday morning. At the beginning of each month, I add in an Editor’s letter which you can read below and check out the other elements you can find in my weekly newsletters.
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Tuesday 2nd May 2023
Hello, and welcome to the May edition of the OC Newsletter. I feel like we have quite a bit to catch up on as April was a jam-packed month and I’m still trying to recover.
I just got back from a long weekend in Bergen, Norway yesterday which felt like a movie the entire time, spent four days in Marrakech, Morocco which was like nowhere I’ve ever been to before and also spent a weekend in Magaluf, Spain which was very different from the other travel trips I took in April.
It’s been a lot of travel in a short amount of time and it’s not quitting any time soon as I’m off again at the end of this week for the long bank holiday (you can find out where further down in this email).
I think it’s safe to say that I’ve well and truly caught the travel bug. I enjoyed travelling previously and experiencing new food, cultures and ways of life, but as I’ve travelled to more ‘niche’ places recently let’s say, and been doing some excursions to even further places while on these trips, I’ve become so hungry for more travel.
Sailing through the fjords of Norway, hiking in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, riding a camel in the middle of the North African dessert and seeing the Grand Canyon up close have been a few bucket list items that I’ve been able to tick off in the last few weeks.
Coming back to London and facing the reality of my email inbox really forced the holiday blues to kick in. Experiencing other ways of life, other people and what they do for work, how happy they are and their cultures really makes you think about the things that do matter and the things that don’t.
It’s especially got me thinking about the rat race of life, working for a big corporation and living in London paying tonnes of rent to get nothing in return.
I’m 26 now and I want to see the world before I get settled onto the career ladder or get settled in life and start to think about owning a home and having a family.
There’s a whole world out there I want to see and explore. Yes, my company gives me 25 days of annual leave to help do this, but we’re in a world of remote working now where I can work from anywhere, from my laptop.
My values and priorities are constantly changing (as you will know if you’ve been a follower of mine for a while) and it’s time I have a sit down with myself and think about what I want my life to look like before it runs away from me.
Obviously there are other important factors to consider (boyfriend) as it’s not just me in this rat race and paying rent in London trying to achieve goals and aspirations.
It’s a tricky situation, but consider the travel bug well and truly caught.
As always, you can follow along over on Instagram @orlaghclaire and I will be back next month to report on my trip to Krakow and if I’m any clearer on my travel/life conundrum.
Orlagh Claire x
What I’ve Been Watching
Race Across the World (BBC & iPlayer)
It took some persuading from my boyfriend to watch the new series of Race Across the World which is aired on BBC every Wednesday, but I am obsessed.
This year’s contestants are racing across Canada, and for someone that is travel obsessed, I’ve been loving watching them explore the different areas of Canada – from rural countryside, the arctic to the major cities. If anything, I’m already planning my own Canadian road trip off the back of it, but I also love the relationship side of the pairs and seeing who works well together and who doesn’t.
What I’ve Been Listening To
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton
Although Fearne already has the voice for radio, it is a delight to listen to her interviews on her Happy Place podcast. I found it after reading her book and learning that she had interviewed Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret), so rushed to listen to it. And then I discovered interviews with James Arthur, Steven Bartlett and even Taylor Jenkins Reid.
What I’ve Been Reading
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
As the same author of The Silent Patient, I have had Alex Michaelides’ newest release on my list for a long time and was thrilled to find it in my local library. I will admit, this wasn’t as good as The Silent Patient but there was a little Easter egg thrown in to this book to link The Silent Patient which I enjoyed. A lot of twists and turns throughout, and I didn’t expect the ending at all. However, I reduced a star as I didn’t really understand the purpose/motivation behind the murders and the reasoning for them just didn’t click for me. A little far-fetched for me.
What I’ve Been Eating
Farm Girl, Notting Hill
It’s been quite a while since I brunched in London, but my most recent spot of breakfast was from Farm Girl in Notting Hill. Very popular on Instagram and TikTok, we did end up waiting around 45 minutes before being seated. However, the food was great and the atmosphere and interiors were very Instagram. It’s a little on the pricey-side, and I wouldn’t recommend if you’re not going for the Instagram picture, but I’m glad I can now say I’ve been and had it.
The pancakes are a must!
Where I’m Going Next
I’m headed to Krakow, Poland this weekend for the King’s Coronation bank holiday – thanks Charles! I’ve never been before and I’ve always heard great things, so I’m excited to venture to a new city and country.
We’ll also be going to Auschwitz while we’re there which I’m sure is going to be incredibly harrowing and moving, but something I’ve always wanted to visit and learn about.
April Podcast Episodes
47. Chasing a Time and a Place & Why Liverpool Will Never Be the Same
Is it time to leave places and memories in the past and no longer revisit? I’m talking Liverpool, Ireland, London and New York and how things change over time.
46. Turning Twenty-Six and Leaving My Mid-Twenties Behind
This podcast episode looks back at the year of 25 – what I experienced, what it taught me, what I’m bringing into 26 and what I’m most looking forward to.
April Blog Posts
Checking In: Riad Shemsi, Marrakech, Morocco
Welcome to a new series on Orlagh Claire where I review hotel stays around the world. Next in this series is Riad Shemsi, Marrakech, Morocco where I spent the Easter weekend in April and stayed during my time visiting the North African city of Marrakech.
The 7 Books I Read in
The end of March didn’t go too well for me as I spent a few days in Las Vegas, but I’m well on my way to reading 50 books this year, just nowhere near the 100 that I got to in 2022. Here are the ratings and reviews of the seven books I read in March!