Author: Kayla Joleen

Successful people read differently

I received a lot of self-help books for Christmas. I’m not sure what that means the people in my life are trying to tell me, but after hearing about the reading habits of successful people I’m all for it. Here’s what I found while researching. Successful people: read for education and self-improvement rather than entertainment.  they choose autobiographies of highly successful people over celebrity gossip. make reading a part of their daily lifestyle. Most of my research found the person finishing 1-2 books a week – many of the highly successful people were averaging 1 a day! they are selective in their online reading, only choosing to read something if it is helping them or their goal.  they make notes on what they’re reading, jotting down advice and tips that will help them on their way.  If you’re looking for some motivational reads of your own, I’ve shared some of my favourites that I’ve found so far. I don’t quite have it down to 1 a day yet – how does anyone have time? If …

India Part 2: Varkala,Kerala

The car didn’t have locks – in hindsight this could have been reassuring if I wanted to escape, however at the time I was more concerned of people getting in. I had just arrived in India and was halfway through the car journey to my accommodation. The driver had stopped on a roadside somewhere and got out. Where he had gone, I wasn’t sure, but my mind didn’t hesitate to imagine the worst-case scenario. Believing he would return with a gang of men, I eyed the non-locking doors, sent a series of frantic texts to my boyfriend and prayed that I was just being my usual paranoid, dramatic self. Prayers answered – I was in ‘God’s Own Country’ after all – he returned alone, smiling and passed me a cup of warm chai. I guiltily berated myself for assuming the worst about him, yet it didn’t stop me from taking tiny sips from the tea – he still could have drugged it. My mother’s voice had officially taken over my brain. I tried to push …

Finding positives in Trump-induced anxiety

When researching Millennials for a university essay, I read that we are the first generation to have been raised in an age of terrorism, internet culture, and job and financial uncertainty. The combination of them all has made us the most anxious generation to date. Brexit and now Trump have become another addition to the growing list of anxiety agitators – for me at least. I spent last Tuesday in turmoil as I stressed and fretted (read: ate junk food and cried over the climate change that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in) as to what the future may hold. Call me dramatic, but thinking of all that our generation is facing – higher debts, lower incomes, home prices, financial crashes, rising racial tensions, Instagram likes (only half kidding), plus all those mentioned above – drove me into a state of panic. However what the internet doesn’t need right now is another opinion piece on how screwed we all are. What we do need is some thought as to how our own passions or skills can be …

Soul and Surf India

India Part 1: Soul and Surf

Just after ten o clock in the morning on the edge of a clifftop in Varkala, India, there’s a small group of people enjoying breakfast, swapping stories and coffee, sharing anecdotes and monkey jam, full of food and free of worries. Look quickly and you’d think this was a group of close friends, family even. Look closer and you’ll see it’s a mixed group; guests and staff, Europeans and Indians, surfers and yogis. Strangers yes, but Soul and Surf’s specialty lies in making strangers feel like friends and their resort like a home where everyone is welcome. It’s a rare thing with accommodation. In the balancing scale of atmosphere vs luxury, you can usually peg hostels weighing down the atmosphere side and hotels tipping the luxury side. Soul and Surf sits perfectly in the middle, balancing both with ease and a confidence that comes from 5 years of extremely happy guests and 5-star reviews (check out their Facebook and Tripadvisor). It’s this welcoming atmosphere that makes it a perfect place for solo travellers, especially first-time …

Reset travel organiser

The Business: Reset – Therapeutic Travel Organiser

I’ve always found a certain type of travel appealing. As a teen, it was the unrooted wandering and haphazard experiences associated with the Beat generation. Gradually, it evolved into an engrossment with solo female travel – not a luxurious, 5-star, sight-seeing type of trip, but again, the type of travel that involves disorderly, riveting incidents and encounters. I used to think it was aimless wandering that I found so appealing, but it occurred to me recently that there isn’t such a thing: this type of travelling is the opposite of aimless. It’s undertaken by those who are in search of something, even if they’re unaware themselves of what exactly that is. The common factor that I’m attracted to, is that this type of travel is life-altering: the experiences shape the person that you become and ultimately change your outlook on life. This factor is the main value behind Reset, the travel organisers that I am trying to launch after successfully pitching the idea to a panel at my old university. At its very basic level, …

A New Chapter: feeling 22

I read somewhere the other day that 22 is the age you start to feel as though you’re actually in your twenties. Or rather, when you first start to feel like an adult. For me, I would say it’s when you first start feeling like yourself; the beginnings of the person you’re going to be for the rest of your life. Maybe it’s when you start figuring out what you want – or don’t want – in life. It could be something small like starting to form your own personal style or noticing the differences between your friend’s life paths and your own. But I think the biggest part is your growth of self-awareness, as well as your awareness of the world around you. You pay more attention to what’s going on worldwide, but you also develop a greater understanding of people as well. This feeling can come at different ages for everyone, but 22 is a defining year for many of us as it’s usually around this time that we are naively shoved out of …

Let’s capture the moment – or not?

The belief that we take too many pictures may be an odd one to be held by a blogger – particularly one whose posts have a picture to text ratio of about 9:1. But then again, I also believe it unacceptable to eat beef (due to my love of cows) despite eating all of its farmyard friends, so let’s presume from now on that my thoughts are a mixture of oddness/hypocrisy. My trail of thought began on an innocent summers evening, where I had just purchased my new ‘Cooler’ magazine. As I turned to the Editors letter, I was hit with an array of questions. “How many selfies do you have on your phone? Or Instagram? Are they really only there because you were desperate to take a picture when there was nobody else around? Was it not just vanity?” Before I knew it I was seeing words such as ‘narcissism’ and phrases such as ‘drowning in a pool of self-love’ and our personalities disappearing ‘in a quest for Instagram likes, Facebook comments and tumblr …

Bangkok – Khao San Road

Khao San Road: ‘the centre of the backpacking universe.’ – Alex Garland (Author of The Beach). Before leaving for Thailand, I had read much about Khao San Road, the backpackers sanctuary ‘where east meets west.’ Whilst pre-travel reading, I found that bloggers tended to have a strong reaction to Khao San, either loathing or loving it. We decided to head there as our first stop in Bangkok, believing the crowds of backpackers and western comforts (i.e McDonalds) would be a good way of easing us in – a toe in the water before throwing in our bodies. It turned out that the water we were testing was murky. If Thailand were to be a lake, then I imagine Khao San Road to be the cloudy bottom, overcrowded with inhabitants and grime left from passers-by. The hostel we were staying in was a 10 minute walk away, a route decorated with one-legged homeless men, a few dodgy-looking locals and several pungent smells – an introduction that tarnished our idea of Bangkok. Don’t get me wrong; I …

A Different Side to Koh Phangan

Party Island. When asking one backpacker what it was like, he stated he had seen things there that no man should ever have to see. Other answers we received were ‘crazy’, ‘messy’ and terrified looks that asked if we were ready for what was in store. Slightly nervous for what we were getting ourselves into, we left Koh Tao  where I found myself being sprayed with sick within seconds of reaching Koh Phangan. Extremely rocky boat x seasick boy x heavy wind = my splattered self. Hoping this wasn’t a forewarning of what to expect from my stay, we headed off to the Nomad House, a hostel known for being very social and ‘fun-loving.’ With 18 bed dorms and a warning on the site of not to stay if you don’t want to get involved with the partying, we showed up expecting lively lunacy. The hostel was empty. Having work done to the hostel meant that they were no longer taking bookings, and not only that but the entire part of that island was completely …

Street Feast Round 2

And so we meet again Street Feast. Round 2. Part II. The return of the bap (Smokestak’s). Ah yes, this time I visited Smokestak not just once, but twice. In one sitting. That’s not all I had either, visiting my other old pal Mother Clucker and making a few new acquaintances on the way. I think it’s fair to say that this time I won. I came, I gnawed, I conquered. If you haven’t heard of Street Feast (check out my first visit here), it is a foodies playground, except toys are replaced by London’s finest food stalls, hop scotch becomes hopping from vendor to vendor and secret dens come in the form of hidden bars. And did I mention that there’s free beer? I walked in and took one look at it all. “Challenge accepted,” I smirked to myself, in a way just as creepy as it sounds. As any child would do unleashed in a playground, I firstly had to do a hasty lap of the area to check out all my options, literally bouncing with excitement …