Our Tour de France – Pre-trip

When you die, can I have your maps? -my brother

My parents gave my brother and I the best childhood we could have dreamt of. We were always out and about on adventures; every weekend and every holiday. As a family, we made particularly special memories in France, taking regular trips by car and ferry to our favourite spots. On a couple of occasions, we went on long road trips, right to the south of France.

My brother and I looked up to our parents in awe as they found their way around the foreign country with ease. I never thought that one day I would be in a position to follow in their footsteps.

However, as luck (and hard work) has it, in August this year I will be doing just that, and I am so excited!

My partner and I have planned a two week trip from Dover, right to the south of France and back again, stopping at nine different locations on our way.

We will be clocking up a total of over 2260 miles over the fortnight which will cost a whopping £300 in fuel!

We mostly just want to explore, enjoy the driving and find our own favourite places, but we have a few things we are definitely looking forward to.

  • Visiting the palace at Fontainebleau
  • Crepes
  • Disney!
  • Renting a boat on Lake Annecy
  • Driving through Switzerland
  • Looking at super cars in Monte Carlo
  • Fresh croissants for breakfast
  • Rivers and castles
  • Having the roof down on the car
  • Lots of hotels

Life is all about adventure, and I can’t wait to go on this big one with my best friend!



The lack of compassion and respect for anyone who is a few degrees too different from us, anything that is foreign or weird or a little bit unfathomable to the human psyche is what separates us all and what causes suffering. – Evanna Lynch

I have a real issue with the idea of my life falling into a regime, so I am constantly looking for new ideas and challenges to keep me excited.

With New Year on the horizon, it seemed like a great time to think of something a little bigger and more challenging. After speaking to a vegetarian and a vegan from work, I had some ideas about what my New Year’s resolution could be. I had also been reading some articles about how starting new things and having something new to focus on is good for your mental health. So it was then that I decided… I am going to do (or try my best at doing) Veganuary!

I have always had thoughts about animal welfare in the back of my mind, but if I’m honest, that’s where they stayed! Although I adore animals and am against violence, I was never really passionate enough to do something major about it. I was also inspired by people living a vegan lifestyle, such as Evanna Lynch, but their lives seemed so far off the one I was living.  I also had the issue of my health. My body struggles to hold onto the vitamins and minerals I need now, without removing vital elements from my diet.

With these doubts in mind, I did some research and, to my surprise, found hundreds of recipes that include all the nutrients I need to stay healthy. Loads of them used ingredients that I already had in my cupboards! Maybe this wasn’t going to be so difficult after all!

My journey started with a slightly dubious trip to Tesco. I had a list of essentials but went with the idea that I would see what took my fancy! I can honestly say that there are a lot more vegan friendly foods out there than I expected, and despite feeling a little bewildered, it was actually really fun hunting for things I can have!

Alpro is a complete saviour, offering substitutes to milk, yoghurt and even chocolate pudding, all three of which went straight into my trolley! I also found vegan friendly granola by Deliciously Ella, Agave Nectar by Groovy Food to use as a substitute for honey, and hot chocolate syrup by Sweet Freedom. Flora also do a fantastic vegan butter made entirely from seeds, which is delicious when melted into a toasted bagel!

It may only be day two of my one month Veganuary mission, but so far I am having a ball! Not only am I full up and feel much healthier than I have done in a while, but I also feel like I am doing my bit for the future of the planet!