To explore, to volunteer.

Hello everyone!

I have always been eager to explore the world, change it for the better, and learn about other cultures. The ICS organisation Progressio is making my dream start to turn into reality!

I will hopefully be volunteering for 3 months in Nicaragua, Central America for 3 months alongside national and British volunteers. I will be supporting environmental projects, supporting women and the LGBT+ community and generally improve the livelihood of the citizens. During my stay I will be living with a host family, so I will be experiencing the culture fully including it’s food, language, and many poisonous and venomous creatures…oh and freshwater sharks.

This will not be a holiday for me! I will be working on projects daily, and I am not looking forward to the heat and humidity (I’m a white Brit who’s used to the cold). But the end result will be so rewarding and worth the effort!

I am hoping to post updates to here about my volunteering journey, and also my fundraising. For my fundraising I need to get £800 before I depart, without these donations I cannot go, if anybody has money to spare please donate to my JustGiving page, it will be appreciated dearly! (info below). For my first fundraising torture event, I will be “Living Below the Line” which consists of living on £5 over 5 days, this is in order to show how poverty effects people and also how committed I am to the cause.

I am hoping to take my camera with me and share images of the beautiful country I may get to visit, so look forward to that! Also, if you have had any international volunteering experience/advice I would love to hear it.

ICS – http://www.volunteerics.org/

Progressio – http://www.progressio.org.uk/

JustGiving – https://www.justgiving.com/Bethan-Goodhead

Text Code (UK) – BUFN77 £(amount) to 70070

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Self Defence

*The information which I’m sharing with you is to only be used in case of emergency. If you feel like you are in danger.*

Personally as a woman I find that knowing a bit of self defence is crucial to feeling safe within my surroundings. Even though respect for women seems to be on the increase, fortunately sex abuse/rape and mugging is still a problem. Unfortunately women seem to be the main targets for these acts, seemingly weaker than men and perhaps more vulnerable. Not that men never get targeted, so listen up too boys!

Of course you can take classes learning self defence, but as someone who struggles in a new surrounding with strangers I’ve picked up self defence tips from my parents, boyfriend and general day-to-day life. So I thought it would be helpful to give my readers a few pointers if you unfortunately ever find yourself in a threatening situation.

  1. The neck. Possibly the weakest part of the body, a blow to this area would be extremely uncomfortable and would disrupt normal breathing. A pressure point is located in between the collar bones, if possible apply pressure to that area by any means.
  2. The feet. Only could really be successful if the criminal is wearing flimsy footwear. Stomp down in the middle of the foot (above the bridge) hard, if you’re strong enough you might just break it, if not – it will slow the person down considerably. Now run!
  3. Use your keys.  I think I was taught this by a police woman that used to give talks in my school. If you feel like you have enough time and if you have your keys on you, use them as a knuckleduster, make a fist and slot your keys and keyrings in-between your fingers and make a blow for the side of the head.

I hope these three pointers will make you feel safer during your day-to-day activity and at night. Let me know if you have any tips for self defence too!


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Little things we can do to help the planet.

This day and age seems to be devoted to helping combat climate change, and what with this being a big part of my degree I thought I’d share a few tips. I have loads but I’ll keep it brief. If anyone has any questions I’d be happy to answer them!

Some obvious that you might have heard of, some perhaps not. Here are some little ways how you can make a difference to the planet without straining yourself.

  1. Know your limits. Eating out for food is brilliant, however you will notice (especially my friends in the states) that a lot of food is wasted. I’m not telling you to eat everything on your plate, nobody should stuff themselves with food because that’s just silly. If we all lived like the United States then we would need 6 of our planets in order to support this. If you are used to eating out in a cafe and you know they give you too much food, then ask for less. You know you won’t eat that salad? Ask for your meal without. If people demand for less food on their plate, there will be less of a demand for all this food, as not to overuse our resources.
  2. Eat less meat. I’m particularly referring to cow. Cattle farms contribute massively to Methane emissions (a form of carbon and a greenhouse gas), via their…excrement. There is a misconception that Humans are Carnivores, we are in fact Omnivores, we are able to live off both meat and veggies alone. You can tell this by our teeth, we do not have big pointy teeth like cats or dogs because we do not need them to rip meat from its carcass, therefore we do not need meat. Because we of our diet we in fact find it hard digest red meat (like beef) because the acid in our stomach isn’t like that of a carnivore’s. Therefore these huge cattle farms are unnecessary, this input of methane into our atmosphere is unnecessary. If you are able to cut out meat easily, why not try alternate weeks of eating meat and not eating meat? Try a veggie burger instead of beef? Or go veggie altogether? I’m not a vegetarian because I love chicken and duck too much. But just one meat free day a week can save liters of water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Drink more water, waste less water. Health gurus go on about how much water is good for you, take their advice! You won’t regret it! The best way I found to incorporate more water into my diet is to buy a big water bottle and keep it with me all day, it’s amazing how much water you drink when it’s already with you. I’m not going to go into details about how you shouldn’t waste water because it’s pretty self explanatory. Another water-tip I can give you is to not pour milk down the sink! It takes the water treatment works a long time to remove this, as a result they need to use more chemicals, energy and more of your money!
  4. Learn to love your garden. There is something very rewarding about growing your own food, when you do this you learn what food is in season, which is handy when shopping because in season food is usually cheaper. Countryfile in the UK promoted a lottery funded campaign which involved encouraging people to plant native wildflowers in your garden. Not only because they look really pretty and are declining. But they are helping our bee populations, more bees means more flowers and honey, and who doesn’t like flowers and honey?
  5. Me casa es tu casa. Make your garden a home for various wildlife, a pond is great for fish, invertebrates and frogs. If you have a tree in your garden you can hang bird feeders or install bird boxes (unless you live in a neighborhood with lots of cats). There are many things you can do to allow a species to use a space that you don’t, check this out.

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We don’t have to grin and bare it.

We all have those times in our lives that we fail to acknowledge. Hidden from social media like a dirty little secret. Repressed in that chest within our heads covered in locks and chains with a “Keep Out” sign scrawled across the lid in red paint… probably next to the filing cabinet entitled “General Knowledge” that everyone’s lost they key for; apart from those who are bloody brilliant at pub quizzes.

Yes my darlings I am talking about those gloomy, heartbreaking, want-to-hide-under-the-duvet-cover-in-bed-and-never-come-out sort of days.

I’m currently going through one of those periods, unlike many people associated with being able to express thoughts and ideas over the internet, I’ve decided to say something about it. Because you know what? It really pisses me off, tell someone your problems if you want to get it off your chest! You may think that they don’t give a rat’s arse about what you’re going through, but I can assure you that they will! Or if you don’t want to tell anybody that is also ok. It’s perfectly normal to not be tickety-boo 24/7!

We all have perks and losses in our lives, intertwined with those odd little anomalies of increased motivation and duvet days. It wouldn’t be life without them, but somehow that dreaded human-created monster named “society” has brainwashed the population (for women as an example) into thinking that it’s “normal” to have a thigh gap, hip length thick hair, a toned body, big boobs that can somehow fit into Topshop clothes that do not seem to be designed to accommodate boobs, a big bum that can fit into size 4 jeans, all the while you do your job that earns you £100000000000 p/m because of that first honours degree you got from a red-brick university. STOP. It’s ridiculous isn’t it?

Don’t dwell on that you have no boobs or you have fine hair, it’s genetics. We all feel like we could be improved in one way or another – I know I do, I want 20/20 vision and thick hair – and it’s ok to feel down about it. Just don’t let something that unimportant like that take over your life. Because when something worse happens, you’ll be wondering why on earth you paid such attention to such a small aspect of your life.

I hope you all are having a nice week, because I sure as hell am not.

What the hell am I doing?

There comes a part in most people’s lives when they think, “what the hell am I doing?”.

It mostly comes after school, where you get spoon fed unnecessary information until you passed your GCSEs, and perhaps A Levels (no idea what they’re called in other countries)., then you have no idea where you want to go in life because you’ve never actually thought for yourself…you probably didn’t even decide what you were going to eat.

But mine come at such random moments… like when I’m scooping peanut butter/ Nutella out of the jar with my finger a spoon by the half tub. Or when I spend hours playing The Sims. Including making a family, building a house and won’t rest until I’ve gone through 3 generations to build a foundation for the family (the addiction is real). When I should be doing university work (reading about soil).

I mean… when I was 12 I would have thought I’d have my life together at 18 never mind 19. This got me thinking. Do we ever know what we’re doing? Or do we all follow our noses and hope for the best? At 12 I had no idea how to spell or how to use grammar…heck I didn’t even know what grammar meant; I would never have imagined writing for fun and owning a blog. At 12 I was short and chubby (nobody fancied me wahhh) I’d never have thought that I would have an amazing boyfriend who loves me, me? That chubby, unpopular kid with glasses who used to pretend to be a dog .

If that’s a 7 year space, what am I going to be doing in the next 7 years? When I’ll be 26, will I be married? Have a job? Have children? Own a house or apartment?… Will I even be alive?…Will the Earth still exist? I hope so any way. 

Down it fresher – University 101

I mentioned that I’ve started university (again) in a previous post. But I think it’d be helpful to share my experiences and a few do(es)/don’t(s) with the internet.

I moved into my halls on Thursday the 18th and was instantly shocked with how different everyone in my flat was. Same with people on my course.

I’m a bit of a weirdo so I’ve been trying not to bombard people with my personality too quickly, I think easing people in is a good plan. But on the flip side, you’re not going to make many pals if all you do is constantly judge people.

Loads of people (including me) get really put down if they don’t meet their best friends in fresher’s week. Getting to know people takes time, and it’ll be so worth it when you make close friends.

5 tips for freshers:

  1. Those canvas bags you keep getting from club/fast food promo? Don’t throw them away, do keep them and use them for when you’re doing a food shop. Otherwise you’ll get bombarded with millions of plastic bags and be forced to throw them away.
  2. Do bring a printer with you! Especially is you have a fair distance to walk to the uni library. Printers are useful for printing off tickets for a club as well as essays and handouts.
  3. Don’t overwhelm yourself. University is going to come as a big change in lifestyle for you, especially if you’re moving city/country. So don’t think you can go to 18 hours worth of lectures, 7 clubs, 4 society meetings a week. All whilst getting 9 hours of shut eye each night. It’s not going to work.
  4. Do realise that not everyone at university will have the same experiences/come from the same cultures and you. Take advantage of this and ask questions, get to know people. You don’t have to have things in common with people to become friends.
  5. Do try and go out as much as possible during freshers to get to know people. If clubbing isn’t your thing, join people for pre-drinks or go to the pub. Don’t sit on your own in your room all the time..

At uni? Graduated from uni? Put forth some tips too, make a discussion out of it!