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Travel Plans

downloadAfter finishing teaching this term in Thailand, I am going to be travelling around South East Asia. I love planning travelling adventures. The thrill of researching and booking the different places make my heart miss a beat. I only have a month to plan before leaving to the first city.

This will be the longest solo adventure travelling along the road through multiple cities and countries, I have ever done.

Here are my vague destination plans for now:
-Chiang Rai, Thailand
-Slow boat to Laos
– Luang Prabang/ Vang Vieng, Laos
– Hanoi/ Sapa/ Halong Bay, Vietnam
– Travel South through Vietnam stopping at various places
– Ho Chi minh , Vietnam
– Couple of cities in Cambodia
– Bangkok, Thailand
– Koh Phi Phi/ Krabi, Thailand
– Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
– Singapore
– Bali, Indonesia
– Sydney, Australia

FINISHED: Things I want to do before January

These were all the things I wanted to do before starting my adventure abroad. As you can see I’ve completed most of them but not all of them (I will try to complete some more when I’m back for a few days).

1. Go to bingo
2. Go to the dogs
3. Go camping
4. Get a tattoo
5. Get a piercing
6. Go hitch hiking
7. Sleep under the stars
8. Visit 5 museums
9. Visit a castle
10. Go go-karting
11. Be a bridesmaid
12. Donate blood
13. Go to the theatre (Les Miserable)
14. Go on a bike ride
15. Do a car boot sale
16. Bake a rainbow cake
17. Have a movie marathon
18. Skinny dipping
19. Take a photo every hour for one day
20. Make a face mask
21. Do a ready steady cook or come dine with me evening
22. Eat cake without using my hands
23. Do tie-dying
24. Learn a new song on guitar
25. Go to Thorpe park or Alton towers
26. Watch the sun rise/sunset
27. Use a fake name at Starbucks
28. Host afternoon tea
29. Go fruit picking
30. Go roller skating
31. Write a letter and send it to someone random
32. ‘Post it note’ a car
33. Leave flowers on the door of a friend’s house anonymously
34. Go quad biking
35. Go jet skiing
36. Skate in a skate park
37. Make ice tea
38. Eat fresh eggs straight from a chicken
39. Do a puzzle
40. Watch a movie outside
41. Go to Arundel
42. Learn to juggle
43. Learn Spanish
44. Make homemade bread
45. Make homemade pizza
46. Drive a car in another country
47. Stand on the top of a car in public
48. Do a chocolate workshop
49. Go to the casino
50. Make chocolate truffles
51. Rock climbing
52. Escape Brighton challenge
53. Fundraise £800 for Tearfund
54. Watch a whole box set
55. Play volleyball
56. Swim in the sea
57. Climb Mount Fuji
58. Watch a baseball game
59. Go to Japan
60. Experience an onsen naked
61. Go to Bulgaria
62. Go to a zoo
63. Mission trip to Zimbabwe
64. Read a trilogy
65. Try a new sport
66. Write over 100 post on my blog
67. Port and cheese evening
68. Get a massage
69. Go ice-skating
70. Eat with chopsticks
71. Feed a giraffe
72. Teach A level students Maths and Business
73. Umpire a netball match
74. See a baby elephant up close
75. Ride a truck in a game park in Africa
76. bargain in a market
77. Do Red Frogs events
78. Go to Barcelona
79. Go to a gig in London
80. Go to Winter Wonderland
81. Play on inflatables
82. Make a gingerbread house
83. Salsa dancing in Spain
84. Watch a Flamenco show
85. Go to a Mexican restaurant

Challenges of Fundraising

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This is the first real time I’ve had to fundraise and for those who have done it before will understand the challenges.

I am currently fundraising for a charity called Tearfund, which is a Christian organisation that helps fight poverty all around the world. The reason that I am raising money for them is because I am doing voluntary work in South Africa with them in January for 3 months. As part of my commitment to Tearfund, I need to raise a sum of money, which is all part of the experience.

This is one of my first challenges of this experience. If you know me, I love a challenge.

At first, the concept of raising £800 seemed ridiculous to me. How was I going to get this much money? What am I going to do? Do I have enough time?

I decided to start with a sponsored challenged. After debating with different ideas like below the line weeks, running races, I decided to do an Escape and Evade challenge. Next decision: who do I go with? How long for? Where roughly do I go? What not to spend money on?

I decided to do try and get as far away from my hometown on public transport for 3 day with 2 friends, where we were not allowed to spend money on transport, food or accommodation. (I had done a similar thing before so I knew how to be safe – this is important). Through this I managed to get lots of sponsorships from friends and work colleagues.

Next I did two cake sales: one with my class at school, where they made and brought in cakes and them we sold them to parents and teachers. The other one was a Krispy Kreme Sale at my church. If you didn’t know, Krispy Kreme allow you to buy in bulk to sell at your own price to raise money for a charity. The challenge with the latter is that I did not sell all of them, therefore even though I got to eat Krispy Kreme donuts for free, I didn’t raise as much as I wanted. You need to make sure, somehow, that all of them go.

After I contacted local community group, where I asked if I could do a talk on what I was going to be doing for a donation. Through several emails going back and forth with the Lions Community Group, they donated a large sum of money. I am extremely grateful to them. I also realised that the people I don’t know are more generous than people I do know.

Lastly, I organised and put on a quiz night. The best thing to do is find a free venue and an audience, and the rest is pretty simple. All I had to do was prepare a quiz, buy/ make some snacks and drinks and get others involved. I did get some friends to agree to do some music in the break but in the end it didn’t happen due to equipment issues.

Throughout the whole process, I have constantly been pestering my friends on Facebook and other social medias to support me by giving to Tearfund, which they have done. I appreciate all the donations and generosity from my friends, no matter how small.

I had one experience in particular which I found slightly disheartening. I contacted a group, where I had worked for them for a year, gave a lot of time to them, done voluntary work with them in other countries recently as well as a few years ago, always did extra things for them. I asked if I could do a presentation as well as a cake sale and basically got rejected. I was given every excuse why I couldn’t do this. I found this hard but I moved on.

Even though there were challenges and worries through out the process, it has been an amazing experience and I have learnt a lot from it. I want to encourage anyone doing fundraising that you can do it.

Tips for fundraising

1. Breakdown your fundraising into smaller, achievable chunks (plan a number of activities or events, each raising £100 or £200).

2. In each event, get as many people involved – selling refreshments, doing sponsored challenges with you, playing music in a break, making cakes. There will always be someone willing to help.

3. Contact your local community group – Find your local Rotary, Lions group, Soroptimist group and WI and write to ask if you can speak at one of their group meetings in return for a donation.

4. Do different types of fundraising and them aim at different friends, family, work colleagues, people – one sponsorship event, cake sales to different audiences, quiz night.

5. Do oddjobs – For family, friends or neighbours. Try anything from gardening to car washing, nail painting, ironing, dog walking, lawn mowing, piano/music lessons, window washing, tutoring or babysitting!

6. Do primary and secondary school talks and fundraising – as well as raising awareness of your charity, try to gather some sponsorship from old school teachers or by doing a cake sale/Krispy Kreme donut sale at break/lunch and do a non-school uniform day.

7. Bag packing in your local supermarket – Go along to your local supermarkets armed with charm and your letter of authority and ask for a bag packing date for you and friends

8. Selling your stuff! Have a clearout and see if friends and neighbours have stuff they don’t want too:
• eBay, ASOS Marketplace or Gumtree
• Music Magpie, We Buy Books, Zapper, Ziffit – easy websites that will pay you for your old DVDs, CDs, books and games!
• Car boot sales – check out the website Your Booty for your local car boots.

9. Do a flagpole fundraising event like a BBQ, Quiz Night, or Karaoke extravaganza…
-Secure a free venue and sell tickets beforehand…
-Stuff the event with smaller fundraising activities like a raffle or sweepstake…

10. Do a sponsored fundraising event…
-It could be a run, it could be something as simple as a sponsored silence or a food challenge.
-Put it up on your JustGiving page and Facebook… the more committed you are to your cause, the more donors are going to donate!

JustGiving - Donate now!
Please donate!

UPDATE: things I want to do before January

A few months ago I set myself several challenges before I move abroad. I think I’m doing well on crossing them off:

1. Go to bingo
2. Go to the dogs
3. Go camping
4. Get a tattoo
5. Get a piercing
6. Go hitch hiking
7. Sleep under the stars
8. Visit 5 museums
9. Visit a castle
10. Go go-karting
11. Be a bridesmaid
12. Donate blood
13. Go to the theatre
14. Go on a bike ride
15. Do a car boot sale
16. Bake a rainbow cake
17. Have a movie marathon
18. Swim in the sea/ skinny dipping
19. Take a photo every hour for one day
20. Make a face mask
21. Do a ready steady cook or come dine with me evening
22. Eat cake without using my hands
23. Do tie-dying
24. Learn a new song on guitar
25. Go to Thorpe park or Alton towers
26. Watch the sun rise/sunset
27. Use a fake name at Starbucks
28. Host afternoon tea
29. Go fruit picking
30. Go roller skating
31. Write a letter and send it to someone random
32. ‘Post it note’ a car
33. Leave flowers on the door of a friend’s house anonymously
34. Go quad biking
35. Go jet skiing
36. Skate in a skate park
37. Make ice tea
38. Eat fresh eggs straight from a chicken
39. Do a puzzle
40. Watch a movie outside
41. Go to Arundel
42. Learn to juggle
43. Learn Spanish
44. Make homemade bread
45. Make homemade pizza
46. Drive a car in another country
47. Stand on the top of a car in public
48. Do a chocolate workshop
49. Go to the casino
50. Make chocolate truffles
51. Rock climbing
52. Escape Brighton challenge
53. Fundraise £800 for Tearfund
54. Watch a whole box set
55. Play volleyball
56. Swim in the sea
57. Climb Mount Fuji
58. Watch a baseball game
59. Go to Japan

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