Friday, 30 September 2016

TOP TIPS: TALENT

DISCLAIMER
I am not, nor have I ever claimed to be an expert in any field. The list below is born from experience, research and the fact that, like most, I am a grafter who has yet to reach her full potential.

KNOW YOURSELF
If you have no idea who you are, why you are who you are, what you're about and why you are about a particular thing, or a number of things, how can you start to plan, or take the necessary steps to achieve your goals? Have a conversation with yourself; spend quality time alone and pick yourself apart to find out exactly who you are and what your intentions are for the future. Start by asking yourself this question: what do I like about myself?



UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE
Once you know yourself, getting ahead in any capacity is all about having a clear understanding of the person you currently are and who you intend to be. Having perspective and being honest about your faults, flaws etc is a definite must for that all important go-forward. From you're sure about why you live, think and behave the way you do {etc} you can then start to reflect on whether or not the choices you have made, or are currently making, are indeed the right ones {for you}.

BE CERTAIN ABOUT WHAT IT IS YOU WANT TO DO AND WHY
If your choices are loosely based on a fragmented idea of your goals you might find that, instead of achieving, you're always pursuing and this is likely to have you feel discouraged, or perhaps quit on your ambitions altogether. Clarity is the next step after you understand who you are and why you are the way you are. Take pen to paper and list your interests, likes, dislikes, struggles, past achievements, the type of people you have in your life, feelings about yourself; your circumstances, the future you hope to have and then pick out all of the positives. You should begin to realise, if you haven't already, what you really want for your life and the reason {s} why.

SOAK UP YOUR CHOSEN PATH - WARTS AND ALL!
Research applies to absolutely everything, or so I believe, real talk... Knowledge and experience often go hand in hand however, if you gain knowledge first you'll leave yourself open to more opportunities to experience things more likely to bring you down the path you've chosen for yourself. Learn about and absorb every aspect of your chosen industry, career, or job etc and embrace all of it. Certain areas will never change and you'll have to accept that. Let your focus always be the end goal so that you can brush off any nonsense you're faced with along the journey, like water off of a ducks back. 

BREAKDOWN ALL REQUIREMENTS AND SEE WHERE YOU FIT
Be realistic about your life as it is right now. Be honest about your expertise, where you need to improve and what it is you have to offer. Sometimes we might think that running in full steam ahead will show a willingness that is off the chart and will therefore be encouraged however, if such determination isn't, or cannot be backed up with the abilities required, it could be a wrap before it has even begun and you could find yourself back to square zero! {See what I did there? Lol}. Go where you fit, if it appeals, as long as it is line with what you want to do and be patient as you leave yourself open to learning so as to acquire what it will take to secure the role / opportunity you desire long term.



ASSESS YOUR PERSONALITY, SKILLS AND CAPABILITIES
Honestly, are you the type of person whom you would employ? Have a long, deep, truthful think about this one. What annoys you? Are you easily led, or distracted? How does your upset manifest itself? Are you working towards a personal change? What characteristics do you display on a bad day in comparison to when you're having a good day? How often are you able to keep yourself in check irrespective of what may be happening around you? Think about all of this and give yourself a real evaluation. How ready are you for the things you want?

DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO LOSE
A lack of sleep, a non existent social life, very few holidays, no friends you feel you have a bond with, being single, a less than satisfactory lifestyle {health, family, fitness etc}... Not every job, or career will take something from you however, that being said, you do need to be sure of what you would be willing to sacrifice at the 'drop of a hat' if that's what your dream opportunity required of you! Meditate on this to {mentally, spiritually and emotionally} prepare yourself for any potential challenges that may come your way...



GET THE APPROPRIATE EXPERIENCE
You will never be too experienced in any field to turn your nose up at starting over, or indeed starting from the bottom. We are blessed with a never ending cycle of education in more ways than one and what better way to both refresh current skills as well as develop new ones than by taking on the relevant work experience? I volunteer whenever I can to gain new skills, share those I have and to boost my credentials. It is always beneficial.

CREATE A RELEVANT PORTFOLIO
One size will never fit everyone. Fact! We're all different shapes, sizes and tones with different passions and talents so, our portfolio's should reflect that 1000%! Nothing about what you include should be generic. Tailor your portfolio to the prospective opportunity you are pursuing and take your time on it. Never be in a rush to have something ready before the rest because, while you're busy doing so, there will always be that one person who planned and prepared carefully - they did their research, they found themselves, decided what they're about and what they want then put that together in a beautifully laid out portfolio which became a winner.



WELCOME KNOCK BACKS
Would you believe me if I told you that you have never failed at anything in your life? I didn't think so... Well, you haven't. You may have ignored a lesson but, you have not failed once. The only time you could ever fail is if you choose to quit and you're not going to do that because, we both know you cannot give up on something you spend 99.9% of your time hoping and praying for. Every knock back is a push to do and be better. It is that simple. #YouGotThis and God has got you!


Thanks for reading!
Images: Google

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

KEY TIPS: SANTORINI GETAWAY!

Howdy folks! So, most of these will seem like a no-brainer however, all too often, we can forget the important bits and bobs to consider when booking a vacation.

Some collage images have been created for this post because, there are too many pictures to include. You can see a few more clearly on my instagram page.

1. HOTEL TYPE and LOCATION
Stay away from the hustle and bustle unless you want to be caught up in all things busy and noisy. Book a hotel where luxury and comfort are key factors to the hotel owners! Also, ensure you quadruple check what you are entitled to as per your board package {half board, all inclusive etc} and READ THE REVIEWS.


Blue Sea Hotel: walkway, pool, outside our room, balcony, outdoor seating, hotel room

We stayed at the Blue Sea Hotel in Santorini, Kamari which, although {having done the relevant research} looked really nice, is more like a poor student's University digs! Make sure you triple check what the hotel booking includes {facilities, BREAKFAST menu, room layout, number of beds, compliments, TV satellite, shower etc, etc, etc} before you book!!!

2. SPENDING MONEY
Remember to carry home currency just in case you decide / need to buy something to eat on route to / at the airport and to also take upto 80-100 more than the amount you think you might need for your spends. You will not be able to anticipate how much you may actually want to do while you're out there.


Fira / Thera
Although happy to, we each had to withdraw more money because, there was so much more that appealed to us than we expected. When on holiday, it's nice to give everything a go {within reason} including a donkey ride which was the most thrilling yet tense and worrying experience one could have in such a lush country!! That said, it was worth every cent!! LOL...

3. BRACE YOURSELF FOR HARASSMENT

The Kamari Beach strip is lined with restaurants as well as bars and the owners / staff will try all the lines they can think of to get you to book a seat / table! We had a few get in our face, come up close and deliver the most insanely put together chat up lines in an effort to have us dine at their establishment. We felt that they meant well and so laughed it off each time however, in hindsight, their behaviour was quite intimidating. {I've included the lines below that were the least offensive}

"Hello... Are you looking for me? Later.....?"

"For you, everything free. Everything!"
"Why are you so beautiful?"


I wish I had sound bites for those lines because, to write them gives you no indication of just how sleazy and full on they were delivered...

4. MAKE SURE YOU ARE FRIENDLY TO EVERYONE
{Not over friendly; in a way that would suggest you welcome point 3}
So, this is applicable worldwide however, us being polite, respectful and approachable to everyone {simply because, that's just how we are} brought us A LOT of unexpected freebies! We received complimentary food, drinks and other treats from our first night there up to our last evening, real talk, simply because we were well received!!!



We give special thanks to God for the new friends we made while in Greece and pray we can see them again one day, especially Theo, Papa Smurf, Seb and Adonis {Anthony}.

5. EAT BEFORE YOU VISIT OIA
The stunning, scenic, mesmerising and enchanting array of blue and white buildings you often see in photo's of Santorini are situated in OIA which everyone should defo visit. It's about a 40 minute bus ride from Kamari and is worth every second of that ride however, OIA is the UK's Chelsea and Kensington + West End + Mayfair + wherever else in the world is overly priced - things are SUPER expensive!



A wonderful place, lots of walking and climbing so, comfortable trainers / sturdy shoes are a must. Every step provides a gorgeous backdrop for those  selfies, or group pics. It really is one of the most lush places in the world I have been blessed to visit so far. 

6. IF YOU MUST, EXERCISE BEFORE 7am!
The sun is up very early and the heat is quite full on {it was 32+ degrees during our stay} so, trying to do a workout post 7am, which is when it gets intensely hot, can be very tricky and also dangerous if you're not properly hydrated.

In the UK, I workout every morning for a solid hour and it's such a breeze compared to trying to achieve the same in Santorini where I was able to do about 25-35 minutes due to the beating I would take from the sun... I'd be sweating from 20 seconds in!

7. CARRY YOUR SUNCREAM EVERYWHERE
An obvious one but, again, we can sometimes forget to apply before we leave the hotel and to also re-apply the longer we stay out in the sun. While the joy of tanning is fun and makes you look great, sunburn doesn't have the same effect. Be safe not burnt to a crisp!

It's a good idea to keep your suncream / sunblock in the fridge the night before.


8. WANT A SOPHISTICATED EVENING OUT?
Prince Restaurant on the Kamari Beach strip is so, so lovely with its stylish, inviting, unique wooden design plus the staff are welcoming, attentive and courteous. The food is too good {all of the food we tried in Greece was to live for} and the drinks  are fab too! Us girls were even impressed with the toilets at this particular restaurant!!! Haha... Prince is a high-end establishment without high-end prices.


Prince Restaurant
If you meet the Manager {whose name we have forgotten} and employees Seb and Adonis {Anthony - pictured above with my girl Caroline}, please say "hi, from Rhiannon, Caroline and Charley". 

9. INTERESTED IN COCKTAILS & A BOOGIE TO SOME GREEK RnB?
Albatross is THE spot for a night out! Whether you're a two-step partygoer, or a big time raver, someone who likes to sit as you sip on your drink and rock to the music, or you'd like to catch the sea breeze while you soak up the vibe of other partygoers, this bar / club is for you!


Prince Restaurant interior and food + Albatross drinks
We went to Albatross after my birthday meal at Prince Restaurant to continue celebrating {it's a 2 minute walk away} and had an awesome time! I drank and danced the night away, literally. Loved it!

10. LOOKING TO CHILL ALL DAY?
Described as a stunning black, sandy beach, Kamari Beach is more pebbles and rocks than sand however, we were very kindly given a beach pod and so, we laid / chilled on this as we listened to the sea and watched others on the beach... It was just sublime and I recommend getting yourself a pod instead of a deck chair if you visit this beach. Overall, I do agree that it's rather stunning and you can't go wrong being on any beach under such gorgeous sunny skies.



Thanks ever so much to the gent who gave us the free beach pod - pictured above- whose name we didn't get. We met him the night before as we stumbled back to our hotel from Albatross... I randomly began talking to him thinking he was homeless {he is in fact the owner of one of the restaurants we visited the day after Albatross, crazy!}. Apparently I wanted to 'help' this man and a stray dog... What am I like? The beach pod gent told my girls that he gave us the free pod because of my kindness. Go figure! Too lovely...

11. IS HISTORY YOUR THING?
Akrotiri {pronounced Aqua-teary} is certainly not my thing but, my girls were all about it! This cave like gallery / museum invites you to learn about ancient Greece. I think you have to be a real history geek to actually enjoy it.



Albeit fascinating to hear about, I personally found walking around and looking at rocks etc quite boring.

12. USE THE BUSES TO GET AROUND
I do not recommend hiring a car, or bike and driving yourself around because, in Santorini, they drive quite fast and most of the roads are narrow... Coaches are used as buses and the bus attendants will pack everyone on if they can {which is less than ideal with it being so hot} but, from Kamari in Santorini, everything is fairly close which means your bus rides are fairly short, plus the buses have really good air conditioning. With no automated bus announcements, the attendants {as well as being the ones to issue you with a bus ticket} have the responsibility of shouting out every stop at least 3 times which can easily give you a headache! You pay each time you get onto a bus and the fares vary depending on where you're travelling to - between 1 euro, 80 cents and 3 euro's {September 2016}.



We found the buses to be quite frequent, we were very blessed to always get a seat and also to be sat comfortably each time. 

13. WILL SHOPPING BE ON YOUR 'To Do' LIST?
The majority of shops in Santorini, Kamari close around midnight. Yes, MIDNIGHT!! From newsagents to clothes stores and boutiques, you can leave your shopping until the sun goes down and you'll find the cost of things here very affordable.

It was really useful to us especially if we ran out of bottled water etc. We had a shop which pretty much sold everything and a restaurant which did such yummy food across from our hotel and next door.


Tavern Restaurant - light, filling, tasty, fairly priced, fab staff
14. HELP AND ASSISTANCE REQUIRED?
I recommend checking in with the local tour guide which we did. It was free and the lady assigned to us {who greeted us when we landed} was such a gem. So incredibly helpful and informative. We were able to either speak with her on the phone, via the hotel reception, or in person at her office which was a short walk from our hotel.

Didn't get a photo of / with her but, owing to how lovely she was, I know we'll always remember Ellie. We're so grateful to her for her warmth, patience and generosity.

Kamari Beach
There is SO much to do in Santorini and if I listed all this post would be far too long! It's a wonderful, relaxing, exciting and refreshing experience. I honestly believe, this is a part of the world everybody should visit at least once and for a minimum of 7 nights!!


REMEMBER to research any health facilities, hospitals and that sort of thing well in advance just in case you have an accident and need medical attention. We didn't require these services however, to be on the safe side, I was well informed before we travelled.


Our Santorini holiday was booked via www.onthebeach.co.uk - return flights + luggage etc, hotel + transfer - and cost under £1,500 in total divided by 3! Absolute bargain!!


Thanks for reading!
Images: Charley Jai. Caroline Odogwu and Rhiannon Davies


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