7 Things I Learnt From My First Holiday Alone

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Going on holiday for the first time without your parents is always something you look forward to, however it can also be quite daunting. Knowing that you have sort everything out yourself, be responsible, pay for everything and still have a good time, is a lot to take on all at once. So, as back in February me and my boyfriend Ed had our first ever holiday alone together, I thought I would share 10 things that I learnt along the way…

  1. Do Your Research – Research the place or area you’re going to, so you can know about the best places to go and visit. You don’t want to miss on going somewhere that’s really interesting or beautiful, and by doing your research hopefully that won’t happen.
  2. Planning Is Key – Making sure that you know what you’re going to do every day on your holiday, plan meals, arrival times etc. This will make your life so much easier. It makes you feel so much calmer and like you’ve got your sh*t together on your first holiday.
  3. Small Holidays Are A Good Start – If you don’t feel ready for a full week or longer holiday alone, then just go for a short staycation at first. This isn’t so daunting and makes it feel more manageable, especially as you don’t have to worry about airports and any real travel times.
  4. Make The Most Of Everyday – When you go holiday, especially a long weekend, you’ve taken the time off work or uni to go, and so you want to make the most of everyday, even the travelling ones. We went to Bath on the way home from our holiday in Wells, as it was a break in the journey and was also a place we really wanted to visit.
  5. Take Chocolate Snacks and Bubbles – These were two things we loved to tuck into after a day full of exploring, and was a nice holiday treat to have.
  6. Create A Holiday Playlist – This was one of my favourite parts about the holiday, as we had a huge playlist to listen to and sing loudly to in the car as we went on our 3 hour journey. It made the journey so much more fun and was a good start and end to the holiday.
  7. Go With People You Love To Spend Time With – You’re going to spend a lot of time with this person or these people, whilst your on holiday, so make sure you go with people you love to spend time with and that like doing the same things as you do. It makes your holiday so much more enjoyable and easy!

Have you been on your first holiday alone yet?

Rachel x

Learning To Drive | Tips & Advice

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The topic of learning to drive, and all things driving related, is something I’ve been really keen to talk about and share my opinions on. So, for today’s post, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do just that. As I’ve now been driving for 8 months, I feel like I’m in a good position to be able to share my learning to drive experience, so far, and give you a bit of advice on the best way to do it.

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So you all know where I’m at with the learning to drive process, I will give you a quick run down on what I’ve done so far, what exams I’ve passed and the manoeuvre’s I’ve mastered. Like I mentioned before, I’ve been driving for 8 months now and I started around early January. After a hell of a lot of practice, taking over 30 mock tests and panicking about my hazard perception, I passed my theory test in June. Since that point I’ve just been waiting for my driving instructor to tell me to book my test. I’ve currently completed a 3 point turn and reversing round a corner, and I’m just about to start parallel parking. I’ve driven around lot’s of different places, gained lot’s of experience, driven on the dual carriageway and tackled lot’s of roundabout’s.

As there’s so many different elements to learning to drive, I’ll break it down in little sections, so that you can just read one, or all of them, if you choose to.

The Basics

When it comes to learning to drive, there’s quite a few things you need to sort out first. The essential thing you need when learning to drive is your provisional licence and even though it may be a job that you keep putting off, it’s not actually that bad once you get doing it. Just make sure you give yourself a good amount of time to do your application online, and make sure you have your passport, and various other important documents, on hand.

The second thing, that’s key to learning to drive, is actually having an instructor to teach you. I think it’s really important that you get on with your driving instructor, so I would always advise you to try and get a recommendation from someone else, who you know is good and you’re not just taking a jump into the dark. Also, a key element for me was having a women as my instructor, I know this isn’t everyone’s preference but for me this was just something I really wanted to have. I’m all about that girl power. Driving lessons vary from £21 to £25, however they are all quite expensive and it’s really important that you think about how much this equals per month, before you decide how many lessons you will have every week.

The Theory Test

The theory test has to be the easiest part of learning to drive, other than the basics of getting your provisional and finding an instructor. It’s something you can do on your own, whenever you want and to practice it is completely free. I started learning my theory around March time and passed it in the June, however I could of done it sooner if it wasn’t due to my exams. But definitely don’t rush into it, or have a last minute quick learning session, just before your test. There’s over a 1000 questions they could ask you and to feel really confident, the best thing to do is practice it for a while and make sure you’ve got it down to a T.

I recommend that you get the app to practice all the theory questions and get the AA practice hazard perception CD ROM, because these were how I passed and I found them really helpful. If it’s hazard perception you’re worried about, then make sure you always practice when you’re not tired, remember that you won’t have a cursor on screen in the real exam and that you just have press the mouse instead.

The Driving

This is the most difficult part, the actual learning to drive and having the confidence to get on the road. I’ve got to admit that it’s not something that comes to everyone straight away and it can take a lot of practice to master and get all the skills right. I hate not being able to do something, and driving has definitely tackled this hate head on. I’ve had to really perserve with it at times and it can be super frustrating. You will have lessons that go absolutely awfully, but then also ones which are really good, and you just have to not beat yourself up, learn from it and try better next time. It also takes a lot of time to learn, and it’s not a quick process, so just be patient. Trust me I realise how frustrating it is when everyone is able to drive and learning to drive, and you can’t yet.

I hope that my driving experience so far, and my few bits of tips and advice have helped you in some way with your own driving journey. Good luck to you all of you who are becoming old enough to drive and are embarking on this journey.

Rachel x

The Struggles Of Becoming An Adult

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As I now have just under 5 months of childhood left, until I become a legal 18 year old adult, I thought it was about time that I talked about a few of the struggle’s, which I’ve faced, on the road to adulthood. All of sudden, as you hit 16/17, you go from having almost no adult responsibilities or struggles, to having a more than your fair share. So, I thought I would share a few of mine with you all today.

Education

Education has to be one of the biggest struggles, for any 16/17 year old, due to the fact that it’s such a massive part of your life and something that you’re coming to the end of. Personally, I decided that at the end of my GCSE’s I was going to continue on in education and do A-Levels; and this was potentially the best and also the worst choice I’ve made in my life so far. The main struggles I’ve faced with education have been multiplied a lot since I actually started A-Levels, due to the fact that they’re a lot harder than GCSE’s and I also had to get used to a brand new Sixth Form environment, at a new school. However, one of the main struggles is actually deciding what you want to do after GCSE’s, where you want to go and which route is the best for you. I personally found this one of the hardest elements, as you’re still young and have to make a massive decision, which affects your career for the rest of your life.

So, if you’re currently having any of these struggles then the number one thing I suggest is to give it time, no decision in life or adjustment to change, can happen quickly and all at once. It will take your body time to adjust and get to a place, where you feel comfortable with a situation. If A-levels are the biggest stress in your life right now, then I can give you some comfort by reassuring you that every one else feels the same too, you’re not the only one. Even though they are really hard work, try to stay really organised and on top of your work, work hard and stay positive, always ask for help if you need it, and it will all be worth it in the end. If you’re struggling about which path to take, look around at different options and get proper advice, about the industry you want to go into,  from a careers advisor.

Work

If you’ve been a reader of rachelspick for a while, then you will all know that I have a small part time retail job, along with also doing my A-levels. Although there is sometimes a serious struggle trying to manage both of those things, having a job still has to be an amazing thing. It gives you an amazing amount of freedom, your own money, and loads of experience; however when it’s Christmas and we all have to work a huge amount of hours, and mocks are coming up in January, the struggle is truly real. But, even though I do have struggles, I know i’m one of the lucky ones who has been able to get a good part time job, as a few of my friends have really struggled to find jobs and be asked for an interview. It’s just so hard nowadays, as there is so many young people looking for a job, along side being able to study, and competition is so fierce for sought after jobs.

So, if your struggling with having to juggle work, study and having a social life, then I suggest you plan and organise your time really well; making sure that you have time to do everything you need to do. I personally don’t like either thing, work and especially not school, to have to suffer, and therefore I need to make sure that I plan out and have everything done. Use your free’s and even lunch breaks, at work, to revise or finish off a bit of homework. If you’re struggling to get a job, then first make sure you’ve got a great CV, that has all your achievements on. Also, if you’re handing a CV in, to apply for a job, try to speak to the manager themselves, and be confident, as this will make a lasing impression on them.

Adult Things

I think the true struggles lie in having to start doing ‘adult things’. These include having to look at your bank statements and making sure that everything which has been written down, is what you’ve actually spent, planning out your money and counting down until the next pay cheque, so you can buy that new dress or go out with your friends for a meal. Another huge ‘adult thing’, is learning to drive, and not only how scary it is to literally have a whole car in your hands, but also how much lessons cost each. I feel like I shouldn’t even be allowed on the road, let alone pass and be able to drive alone. The struggle of having to start doing ‘adult things’ really is real, and especially when you’re having to wing it a bit, because you’re not a proper adult yet and are doing these things for the first time.

One thing that really get’s me confused, and something which we don’t get taught at school, is all about credit, opening a bank account and really anything to do with money. However, when I was introduced to Credit Card Insider and saw their Youtube channel, which is full of tips and tricks on how to get you through those difficult ‘adult things’, some of my questions started to get answered. Obviously, I’m not at the point of being able to get a credit card or gain credit, however I will have to one day, and I think it’s important to kind of understand it. I suggest you go and have a watch of their channel HERE, because there’s some brilliant videos to help you along your journey, of becoming an adult.

Rachel x