Life’s a beach

So I recently spent ten days on holiday in the USA, 4 nights  for spring break at Myrtle beach, South Carolina….. best holiday I’ve ever had! I then headed to Charleston, South Carolina for the last part of my trip! I am going to tell you all about my experience from flying there to the accommodation to the nightlife! So here goes….

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Airline- Virgin Atlantic/Delta

Virgin Atlantic

My flight was through Delta airlines but the first leg of the journey from Manchester to New York JFK was operated by Virgin Atlantic. I have to say I was extremely pleased with the flight, there was ample leg room and the Air hostess’ were first class! The food was also not too bad as far as airplane food goes! The only complaint I had was that there wasn’t a lot of choice when it came to entertainment, a very limited selection of movies, music etc.! But you can’t be too picky right? Also on my return flight home there was lots of free seats, having spoken to the Air hostess and explaining id not had much sleep the night before ( id been out partying) she kindly reserved a full row for me so I could lay out and sleep all the way home!! So I would highly recommend this airline and will 100% be using them again in the future.

Delta

Once I landed in JFK I then headed to Atlanta on board a Delta airline flight. I have to say I wouldn’t recommend them!! I understand that it is classed as a budget airline but the service as a whole was very poor, from rude staff to inadequate leg room! The main complaint for me was that there wasn’t enough room for every bodies bags in the overhead lockers, meaning that lots of people, myself included had to stow bags under the seat in front….. and without much leg room as it was you can imagine how uncomfortable that was, and thats coming from me who isnt the tallest of people! Least to say I’m glad it was only a two-hour flight!! I also had a flight from Atlanta to Orlando on the way home which again, was very uncomfortable! So choose carefully if you are thinking of flying Delta in the future!

 

Hotel- Sheraton Broadway Plantation Resort, Myrtle beach

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Now I’ve got my little complaint out of the way its time to tell you about our hotel! I can without a doubt say that this is one of the best complexes I’ve stayed at if not the best! This place literally has everything you need for a holiday. First of all the rooms were excellent, very clean and tidy along with large beds and we also had a lovely view from our balcony. The staff were very laid back ,helpful and were very understanding of us guys who were there to party for 4 nights!! They have great facilities such as a hot tub(where we spent most of our time), Indoor swimming pool, Ping Pong and Mini golf, this is just a few of the things they offered. We also made some great friends along the way, including 3 very nice American girls from the room above us! We were only a short walk from all the main nightclubs, bars and shops meaning you can enjoy your time and not worry about having to drive everywhere. So if you are looking for a place to stay at a reasonable price and have a great time this is the resort for you! I have linked in the website in the heading so just give it a click if you want to have a closer look.

 

Nightlife at Myrtle

Close to the complex we stayed at was the main party street called ‘ Broadway at the beach’. Heres a review of the few places we visited.

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Having spent the first night of the trip here I have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with it, We didn’t spend an awful long time in the queue and it was only $10 cover charge. At this point you are feeling pretty optimistic you are in for a great night, however it was fairly expensive drinks which is an off put for any spring breaker as its mainly college students who are tight on cash! It was also very small and packed in not leaving you much room to dance and have a good time… but in saying that we made the best of it and after a few drinks none of it really matters anyway, does it ?!

 

Malibu’s/OZ

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What a nightclub! With OZ and Malibu next door to each you could easily move in-between the two if one room was too busy or you wanted to get served at the bar quicker! Again this place was $10 dollar cover entry but was defiantly worth it, they had great drinks prices(between $3-$6 per drink) and even better music. With more space you could have a good dance without worrying about knocking someone’s drink out their hands or feeling uncomfortable, The door staff/security were also very reasonable considering they were dealing with tons of drunk college kids, so well played! This is the bar to be at in Broadway from my personal experience… we spent nearly every night in here as we couldn’t get enough of it! Again if you want to check out some of the videos/pictures from Spring break the link to the website is in the heading!

Hooters

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I don’t think Hooters needs too much of an introduction? Is a lads holiday to America even a lads holiday if you don’t pay a trip to a Hooters bar?! This was about a 10 minute drive from our apartment, we came here to watch the Champions League football/soccer. It wasn’t on the TV but the staff kindly accommodated us! You literally cannot go wrong with this place if you are with a group of friends, cheap food, Drinks and sports! Amongst other things to look at, but I wont go into much detail about that!!

So there is a couple of things to do if you are thinking of hitting Myrtle beach for Spring break or even just break away!

 

Charleston

IMG_0513.JPGAfter a hectic few days in Myrtle Beach we decided to take the drive to Charleston SC. After hearing many good things it didn’t disappoint. The main highlights of the trip was hiring some bikes from Holy Spokes which are bikes which are in racks all around the city. It only costs $12 dollars for 24 hours, and you can re park them at any station around the city! All’s you have to do is book them online, go up to a bike and enter the code you’ve been given and away you go! we biked approximately 10 miles taking In all the sights of Charleston and stopping for the odd beverage on the way. My bar of choice for the day time/afternoon would be the Fleet landing Restaurant&Bar.

Although this place is very pricey normally as its right by the water front with stunning views, we were fortunate enough to land there on happy hour! Which included $2 dollar beers which as you can imagine, very dangerous!

 

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Not so hostel

So with Charleston being on the pricey side we decided to hostel it! The ‘Not so hostel’ was a short 10 minute walk from King street which is where all the main Bars/Restaurants are based. For $30 dollars a night we really couldn’t complain, the first night we had our own room, we then shared in a dorm for the second two nights! Overall not bad accommodation if you are just passing through for a night or two.

 

Bar/Nightclub of choice

The main place id suggest in Charleston for the night-time would be a club called ‘Mynt’ which is located along king street, although not the biggest of places we had an absolute ball in there! The drinks were of a reasonable price considering it was a Saturday night in Charleston, the music was also pumping! Although If you are looking for something slightly more reserved or fancy there are a heap of bars along King street which would suit you, you wont have much difficulty finding them trust me!

 

I could have gone on all day writing about every single attraction and bars in both of these places, but i would have written about 10 pages, i hope if you are heading over to these destinations you can take some of my advice! Once again thank you so much for taking the time to read, any comments or feedback are greatly appreciated!

Matt

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How easy it is to slip back into bad habits!

So today I want to talk about how very easy it is to slip back into bad habits when you are training for an event or trying to be healthier. At the moment I am currently in training for my first ever triathlon sprint in Kendal on the 22nd of April, for anyone who doesn’t know a triathlon consists of a Swim, Bike ride and then a Run(not long to go). Sometimes when you are training for such events  it can be very easy to go off track as you think ‘ill be ok I have plenty of time’ as you are doing this for enjoyment rather than competing, the truth is it soon creeps up on you! Now I understand it can’t all be just flat-out training, you need to spend time with friends, family and enjoy doing things you like. But as the old saying goes ‘everything in moderation’. This past weekend  I returned home to see all my mates and family and to have a bit of a blow out…….

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Don’t let things spiral

So as mentioned above I went for a good old-fashioned blow out, sadly for me this didn’t really go to plan! I spent Saturday night getting carried out of the nightclub and put in a taxi home…. pretty embarrassing? Now there is no problem with letting your hair down from time to time and going a bit crazy, but the key thing is not to let it get out of control, don’t let a cheat weekend turn into a cheat week. One thing that really stood out for me over the weekend was how bad I have felt for days after, Sunday I obviously felt absolutely shite and then that carried on even into Monday and Tuesday! If your body isn’t used to a big night on the town try to be careful how much you put down your neck. My weekend consisted of alcohol, terrible food, waking up late and no training….. this has no doubt put me back a few weeks with my training.

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Forget about it

Although I know myself that I’m now not where I want to be, it’s no good to sit there and feel sorry for yourself or make excuses. At the end of the day its been and gone and there isn’t anything you can change or do about it! So just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and just work your arse off to get back into the position you want to be at. Because when you are training up for an event its you vs you, no one else can get you up out of bed and drag you out for a run or to the gym. So find it within yourself to forget about the weekend just gone and learn some valuable lessons moving forward, and make sure you don’t end up getting smashed every single weekend! otherwise you will see your personal results disappear in the blink of an eye. I’m obviously not telling anyone to never drink or eat something bad again because it  happens from time to time. But if you are really serious about wanting to get into shape or do an event to the best of your ability you need to consider the choices you are making…..

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post everyone! Let me know any feedback or leave me a comment!!

 

5 Instagram accounts you should be following!

If you are anything like me, Instagram is your go to for near enough everything these days! You can get pretty much anything from the best clothes to wear to helping with your gym workouts and so on…. here are some of my personal favourite accounts that I follow which I find useful based on things I enjoy (Health, Fitness, Travel and Motivation)

 

1. @oneforthegram

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So first up I want to introduce my good friend Praz who runs this account! If you want to see some stunning images of beautiful landscape and iconic landmarks, this is the account to follow! His photos are from all around the world, Most of the photos are taken with his drone giving him some of the most breath-taking pictures you will see on the gram, get around him guys!

2. @james_smudge

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Another guy I have fortunately had the pleasure of meeting is James Smith. James is a soccer coach in the USA as well as an international health coach helping people all over the globe with achieving their goals via his Instagram account and his website. His account is full of motivation and sound nutrition tips. Well worth a follow!

3.@get.through.hell

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Feeling down on yourself or just had a bad day? This account is literally just for inspirational/motivational pictures with great phrases on which I am sure you can relate to your everyday life and I can guarantee will make you feel better about yourself . I personally read these on the regular to keep myself going!

4. @gildeafitness

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Want some new and interesting ideas to burn fat? This is the guy to be following, his account is packed with hundreds of different HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) videos meaning that working out will never become repetitive or boring again! He has his own unique style which for me stands out compared to a lot of other personal trainers on Instagram! Also has some pretty funny Instagram stories as well.

5. @jacks.flight.club

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Looking for a cheap flight to anywhere in the world…. jacks flight club is ridiculous! It is completely free to join up, you then get email alerts on some seriously cheap flights to pretty much every destination you could think of. They also have a premium membership which you’ve got to pay a monthly fee to access even better deals! Certainly worth the value if you are a regular jet setter!

 

Once again guys thank you so much for reading my posts! I hope these accounts will help you moving forward. Feel free to leave me any advice, comments or feedback!!

Top tips on working in Australia for backpackers!

Thinking of moving to Australia to work? Here are a few quick tips for you guys travelling out there. After all who wants headaches when you have just moved to a new country?! I hope you find these tips easy to follow and they were helpful too you!

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1.Visa- 417 working holiday visa

I think it’s clearly obvious that you can’t just move to another country to work without obtaining a visa. In Australia you will need a ‘working holiday visa’ in order to be able to work! The work visas in Australia allow you to work for one employer for a maximum of 6 months, then you must move along and find another job! As the main purpose of your visit is a ” working holiday” meaning it’s pleasure first,work second!! To obtain a second year visa you must complete 88 days regional work which varies from working on grape vineyards to helping farmers with their cattle! The maximum stay on a WHV is 2 years from the date you land.  To apply for a visa you can go on the aus.gov website. Agencies and travel agents tend to charge much more!

2.Australian mobile number

Having and Aussie number is essential when applying for jobs so employers/recruiting agencies can contact you easily,Using an English phone number can be pretty pricey as you would imagine! My advice would be to take an unlocked phone then look for the best prices on what the Australians call a “pre-paid” sim-card, this is a pay as you use sim card which you choose how much if any amount of money/credit you’d like to put on every month. The major providers are Vodafone,Optus and Telstra, All doing reasonable priced plans, some even include free international calls.

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3.Tax file number (TFN)

So you are probably thinking what is a Tax File number? An Australian tax file number is a unique number issued by the ATO (Australian tax office), very similar to a National Insurance number in the UK. Getting a TFN straight away is pretty important, if you fail to do so you will risk getting  taxed at a much higher rate when you do start working. Applying for your TFN is pretty straight forward and can take up to 28 days to be delivered. Head over to the ATO website or alternatively head into an Australia Post building when you arrive where you can apply for one.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Apply-for-a-TFN/

4.CV/Resume

Having a current and up to date resume is vitally important when applying for jobs, so before heading over make sure you have tied up all the loose ends on there! From a personal experience I found the best job site to use whilst in Australia was 100% Seek.com.au. You will recieve plenty of calls from keen recruitment agents trying to get you into work! The main hotspots for work are Sydney and Melbourne so finding a job shouldn’t be an issue,so don’t worry!

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So there are some handy tips for working in Australia- I hope these were helpful and the best of luck to anyone who is making the trip over to this amazing country, Make the most of it and stay safe! Any comments or feedback is appreciated.