Navigating Winter Wonderland.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! To me, the build-up to Christmas is more magical than the day itself. Let’s be honest it takes a lot to reject the Christmas spirit when it’s practically slapping you in the face everywhere you go. Don’t take me for a Scrooge, though, I love it. I love the fairy lights, I love the smell of mulled wine, I love the Christmas music being played everywhere. London is especially dynamic with the holiday spirit, particularly with the iconic Winter Wonderland which sets itself up in Hyde Park every year. Market stalls, food and drink booths, ice skating, rides and entertainment occupy the space and attract tourists and locals alike. With so much to see and try, can be a little overwhelming, though, so see how I navigated below.IMG_3166.JPGDon’t go hungover. See this is where I went wrong. If you’re the kind of hungover person who can’t stand the smell of food,  the company of other people, or the motion of rides then you’re absolutely at the wrong place. If you want to get the most out of the experience, it’s probably best that you’re not threatening to be sick or cry every 15 minutes.

Don’t get intimidated by the queue at the entrance. it thins out once you get inside. A good sense of being able to weave and dodge will come in handy, though. Also don’t get intimidated at the queues for food – they move surprisingly quickly.

Bring pocket money – Entrance is free, so you can spend as much or as little as you like when you get there. Cash machines are hard to find, though, and it’s a pain to limit yourself. This one is more for your own convenience.

Wear something warm. Winter Wonderland – it’s all in the name! It gets cold. It gets especially cold at 4o’clock when the sun disappears. You won’t be having any fun when you can’t feel your fingers and toes. Also this will really affect  your mobility and agility if you’re one of those people who enjoy playing fairground games.

Wear comfortable shoes. Expect a lot of walking and standing around – this is no place for the ‘stand-up-sit-down’ beauties that you’re wanting to show off.

Go on an empty stomach – 75% of the importance of Wonderland is the many food stalls. I mean that’s my opinion, but I think many if not most would agree with me. Everyone will be satisfied because there is SO MUCH to choose from; you’ve got your sweets, meats and alcoholic treats (as well as everything in-between). My top tip? Get churros. The trip is incomplete without churros.
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Don’t overdo it. You’ll ruin the wonder of Wonderland if you force yourself to stay too long. It’s free – you can come and go as often as you please.

Keep in mind I did three of the above wrong, so I speak from experience! I think arguably the most important part of your Winter Wonderland experience is the people you bring with you (and trust me, I know the best people).
Bring good company.
Make good choices.
You’ll be fine.

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Yes. Oui. Ja. Aye. Si.

I like to believe that saying yes is good for you. Not only is this little word an affirmative exclamation, but it renders positivity to both those who give and receive it. It’s an especially useful and conductive word for graduates in a position such as mine. This is why I’ve made a resolution (who needs to wait until 2015?!) to dole out more of these little gems.

This limbo is a prime time to do some of the best exploring, if you just open yourself up to the opportunity. Go to that interview/party/workshop/gathering – you might just end up having a great time. That aside, you may network and make some great connections. Or you could end up stumbling upon the best G&T that London has to offer. Or you could find the love of your life and live happily ever after. The point is, there are a million different opportunities that you’re completely unaware of, just waiting for you. Worst thing that could happen is that whatever you signed up for is not that great… so you just go back home. At least you tried.

Think about the alternative; the job-hunt leaves you spending way too much time at home (probably in your p.j.’s, I won’t lie) staring at a screen. On your own. It’s easy to get sucked into that little bubble, completely unaware of what’s going on just outside your window. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself making all kinds of excuses as to why you can’t possibly go anywhere or do anything. Believe me – the lure of your bed can wait. It will be there when you get back!

Since I’ve started ignoring my inner sloth I’ve been subject to some amazing experiences ranging from fabulous (and boozy) catch-ups, mouth-watering meals, a sexy magazine launch and even an impressive 3 course Michelin starred lunch dangling 100ft up in the air.

Who knows what could be awaiting you if you use that magical three-lettered word a little bit more often.
Just say yes.
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Have a little wander.

Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is take a break. Remove yourself from the commotion. This is why I find myself at home with a cup of tea lovingly made by Moo after an afternoon hike with Daddy Vee.

My best advice for when everything is just getting a little bit much?
Turn off your computer, put your phone on silent, get up and leave the house.
(After reading this, that is).

One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when you don’t actually have a source of income though, is finding what you can do in your free time that costs very little, if not anything at all.

This is where I’m lucky. No – this is where I’m fortunate to say I have two homes. One of which being the breathtakingly beautiful Zürich, Switzerland. There is a mountain quite conveniently right outside our doorstep; the Uetliberg. We live on it and it would be nothing if not wasteful not to have a little wander up it once in a while.

Make the time to go on your own mini adventure. Clear your head with a leisurely walk. Distract yourself with striking and fresh scenery.
I promise you that all the worries that now seem so big shrink with every step you take.

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