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Looking Back, Looking Forward

14 Jan

2013 flew by so fast I have hardly had time to sit time and sum it up. We are already nearly halfway through January 2014, I have barely had a chance to breath. Where did all those hours, days and weeks go?  What exactly happened and how far has 1 calendar year brought me? Or, as the truth may be, has it brought me anywhere new at all?! In this post I would like to do a quick review of “The Best of 2013″ and finish my setting out some goals for the year ahead.

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“The Best of 2013 – A Review”

 A fun-filled trip to Lanzarote with my buddy Ollie climbing volcanos, singing Karaoke and spying on albino crabs in an underground cave.

Graduating with a Master of Science in Humanitarian Action! (Even though a missed the ceremony, my new boss ensured I didn’t “miss the photo op!”

Competed in the Run-A-Muck Challenge with Toby and Sergei in freezing cold temperatures, over ditches and bogs, through muddy rivers and stacked hay bales!

 Visiting HOPE projects in Kolkata, India and achieving one of my life goals to participate in Holi Festival of Colours with the kids from HOPE’s children’s homes.

Flying to Bali to meet up with a good friend and traveling with her the Gili Islands, by far my favourite islands in Asia so far.

Making great friends and stuffing my face with some of the most delicious food in the world while exploring Mainland Malaysia and the beautiful islands off the East coast.

Moving back to South Korea and somehow making my second year in this confusing but exciting country better than the first, making beautiful and loving friends at every corner (of every bar!).

Spending 5 days on the island of Jeju off the South Coast of Korea in September for Korean Thanksgiving. BEST. DECISION. EVER.

Booking a last minute weekend break to Japan in October and exploring the mystical city of Kyoto.

Spending the Christmas vacation with a group of close friends traveling around Cambodia, a country that now has a  a firm place in my heart. (Blog posts about this eye-opening trip coming soon!)

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“2014 – What Lies Ahead”

I have made made personal goals for 2014, but in order to truly keep these “resolutions”, I know I must write them down and share them with others. That way, when I start slipping up, you can all remind me to get back on track!!

1. I will run a half marathon….before the end of March. 

2. If the first half marathon goes well, I must sign up to a second one.

3. I want to totally revamp this blog, but my own URL and post more regularly.

4. I will  start learning and speaking French again.

5. I will to go to 5 new countries.

6. I will travel home to Ireland….without flying.

7. I will get an article published in a Korean Magazine like Groove.

8. I will get an article published in The Irish Times, ‘Generation Emigration’ blog.

9. I will start getting back in contact with my friends back home and schedule regular skype dates.

10. I will finally reach my “ideal” weight. Not by your standards, or by some stupid magazine standards and certainly not my my dear mother’s standards. MY ideal weight, ideal for ME. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

25 Aug

bug ethiopia

Sometimes you need to stop walking through life at such a fast pace, pause for a moment, and enjoy the little treasures that are right in front of you…treasures that are often only visible when you make the time to take a closer look.

I have many close up shots of beautiful and vibrantly colorful flowers and insects, but this is the only time that I managed to capture and focus both at the same time. A beautiful moment captured forever. 

Below are a few more of my favorite shots with background defocus. Enjoy! :)

focus nature

wild-flower

tea plantation bali

St Patricks Day….in Ireland!

8 Mar

Yes, Yes, I hear ya! An Irish person, living in Ireland, preaching about the awesomeness of St Patricks Day. How cliché!

But hold up a second, I have my reasons for being seriously over excited about St Paddys Day this year. On March 17th 2013, 9 short days from now, I will get to celebrate all thing Irish on my home stomping ground for the first time in FOUR YEARS!! That’s right, I have spent the last 3 years in a row abroad, and have celebrated Guinness, Leprechauns and ‘The Galway Girl’ in not 1, not 2, but 3 different continients.

 There is so much talk at the moment about emigration and how there is nothing left in Ireland for young graduates. It would seem while most of my generation have already emigrated, and many more are debating the move in the near future, I have strangely found myself back in Ireland, back in Cork, living at home and working locally. And dare I say…I’m loving it.

So while I look forward to St Patricks Day at home this year, 2013 – The year of The Gathering, I find myself reminscing about the last 3 Paddys Day spent abroad..spreading my love of all things Irish to the Ozzies, the Koreans and of the Dutch! The only thing that would make this year better would be if all my amazing friends that I made, loved and sadly had to leave whilst abroad could be here with me to join in the celebrations. Here’s to you….Slainte!

 

Paddys Day 2012 in Melbourne Australia with some awesome Couchsurfers!

Paddys Day 2010 in Melbourne Australia with some awesome Couchsurfers!

Teaching 'all things Irish' t my students in South Korea. Paddys Day 2011.

Teaching ‘all things Irish’ to my students in South Korea. Paddys Day 2011.

My students in Korea enjoying St Patrickd Day decorations!

My students in Korea enjoying St Patrickd Day decorations!

Cycling to the pub...only in Holland!!

Cycling to the pub…only in Holland!!

Spending Paddys day with my classmates from Brazil ans Sweden in an Irish pub in Holland!

Spending Paddys day with my classmates from Brazil ans Sweden in an Irish pub in Holland!

 

 

 

 

 

ONE FIT MUCKER!!

5 Mar

Guess what? I have set up a new blog by the brilliant name of ONE FIT MUCKER. Don’t worry…I’ll still be posting about my travels here, but posts about my new mission to get fit and have fun doing it will be posted on my new blog with lots of great photographs from each event.

The challenge : To participate in as many wild and wacky adventures before the end of 2013, with the goal of having as much fun as possible while increasing levels of fitness at the same time.

This will not be your average fitness blog.

This is not about running. Not about marathons. Not simpply about getting fit. It’s about getting down and dirty on crazy adventure courses, spending more time outdoors rather than in the pub (although there might be a bit of that too!) and strengthening friendships through day time excursions rather than night time sessions!

By the end of the year I’m going to be… ONE FIT MUCKER!! Check it out now.

one fit mucker banner

Money for Mud

21 Feb

RUNAMUCK CHALLENEGE
I’m delighted to say that I shall be putting my travelling shoes on again in March, on a journey of a lifetime to Kolkata, India.

India will be country number 36 for me…a tiny bit closer to my goal of traveling to 50 countries before I’m 30.

However before I go, I am determined to raise €1,500 for The Hope Foundation, a charity which does amazing work in Kolkata with street and slum children, giving them a brighter future. HOPE has so far helped over 30,000 children through education alone, and I want to be part of their amazing story.

SHOCKING FACT: There are currently over 250,000 street children living in Kolkata, living on the streets with no shelter from the elements, no one to care care for them or to protect them. HOPE works tirelessly to help these children through education programmes, healthcare, skills training and their 8 protection homes for young boys and girls.

To raise money for HOPE, I have signed up for the ‘RUNAMUCK CHALLENGE 2013′ which considering by shocking levls of fitness, is sure to be quite the challenge! If you would like to donate to this very worthy cause, and like to see me get absolutley battered and bruised and covered in mud from head to toe..then PLEASE DONATE HERE!

I will post photos here of both this event and my experiences in India, so you will be able to see exactly where your money is going and all the good it is doing!

Thanks for your support!
Janet xxx aka Journalist On The Run

Family Portraits

13 Feb

My sister celebrated her 30th birthday recently, and to celebrate my parents hosted an amazing party in our house…something we have not done in about 10 years. In fact the last time my sister had a birthday party at home, she was still in primary school and I believe I was scarily obsessed with barbie dolls that could ‘have babies’ with the push of a button! Safe to say it was quite some time ago!

One thing that really made the party special, was that we had a professional photographer on hand who took some really amazing photos of the party, capturing the smiles, the laughs and the overall mood perfectly. It was also the ideal opportunity for us as a family to have some family portraits shot, something we have never done before.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the night, with special thanks to Christian Haubold. Enjoy!

 

Family Portrait: Dad, Pam, Me and Mum.

Family Portrait: Dad, Pam, Me and Mum.

Sister Sister: Two generations of sisters.

Sister Sister: Two generations of sisters.

Sisters: Pam and I

Sisters: Pam and I

Recreating the past: Pam in a pose similar to her great, great (maybe another great I'm not sure..) grandmother!

Recreating the past: Pam in a pose similar to her great, great (maybe another great I’m not sure..) grandmother!

My TV Debut….in Georgia!

2 May

Just back from the most amazing trip of my life. Truly an eye opening experience. I met so many lovely people, learned more about Georgia than I know about my home country, tasted delicious Georgian wine, enough cheese bread to last me a life-time, had dinner with the Dutch Ambassador, walked along the border between Georgia and the breakaway state of Abkhazia, saw snow-capped mountains, swam in the Black Sea, and even featured on National News!

Trip report to follow, but first here’s a taster of my TV Debut on the Georgian News, following an interesting discussion in the Government buildings with the Minister of IDPs, Refugees and Accommodation about the IDP situation and durable housing solutions.


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