Exploring the world through the web

Experiencing life in any way you can.

Blessing 101 – Hitting the front cover! April 10, 2012

Today I woke to a tweet saying Disabled woman ‘s virtual holiday to London will bring the Olympics closer to home. It was sent out by the local newspaper Twitter account and I realised with a burst of excitement that my article on the new Holidays From Home virtual London trip must have been in. I was so relieved and pleased. I followed the link and saw the brilliant article. I was really happy with it, it covered everything I wanted to say.

I dispatched Mum to go round to the paper shop, where she got several copies; but I was amazed and slightly horrified to see my face on the front cover! That’s the first time I’ve been on a cover and I was on page 9 – my lucky number!

Front cover of the Evening News

Mum took me round to the shop later in the day because they had a board up outside with a headline about my being in the paper and I had to see it for myself. We even took a picture….

Holidays From Home in the Evening News, the board outside the paper shop.


When you send out a press release, you never know if anything will come from it; but I was so delighted with the coverage and very, very grateful.


Blessing 88 – Life Changing People March 28, 2012

Have you ever met someone and thought this person has changed my life forever? I met someone like that today, a designer I met through my Networking Group. We barely spoke at the meeting; but I’d sent out to the Universe that I needed help with the design of my virtual holidays and then up popped Sara. I just knew I had to give her my card.

She came round for a meeting this evening and not only solved the problem of how to design my holidays, something I have been struggling with for years; but she is also going to help me learn to do it. I feel like I’ve been given the keys to the kingdom and it’s amazing! I’m so grateful that we were destined to meet and feel hugely relieved that I’ve got some answers to my questions. Now I just want to make it all a reality!


Blessing 80 – Lighter Evenings and Singing Birds – Spring is Sprung. March 20, 2012



I’ve been gradually noticing the lighter evenings; but tonight for the first time I really appreciated that spring was here. I’ve even been able to sit out in the garden the past two days which has been wonderful! The spring flowers are out, with lots of brightly coloured daffodils and the fresh green of new leaves is emerging on the plants and shrubs. It feels really hopeful.

I’m making the most of the nice weather while it lasts, since we had a great spring and then a poor summer last year. You feel like you have to be out in the sun as much as possible, I’m doing all I can to up my vitamin D levels. I even took the laptop out and sat writing some of the virtual London trip today. Topically I did the day set in Kensington Gardens and drew on the sounds and senses around me, including some very chatty blackbirds, to help imagine the experience. I did visit the park years ago; but I’m going to be roping in some of my London friends and traveller contacts to help add some more details to the virtual experience. I’m going to create some virtual Olympic games events to do while at the park, that will also be living room /bedroom friendly. That’s tomorrows task – I’m hoping I’ll be able to get outside again, I feel much more creative when I’m in the open air!

Spring is probably my favourite time of year. Everything feels so much more hopeful, anything seems possible and there’s the promise of a beautiful, warm summer ahead. Let’s hope the weather listens and delivers on the promise this year!




Blessing 79 – Do one thing each day that scares you. March 19, 2012

Today has been a magical day! A day when so many different projects, ideas and moments have come together and I literally feel like I’m flying! I’m working hard to stay grounded and not get too carried away. I’m buzzing with ideas and wondering how I’m going to get them all done.

They say you should do one thing every day that scares you and today I signed up to do an online course for making your own videos. It’s something I’ve been wanting to learn more about for Holidays From Home. I think it will really help to be able to do some videos explaining what it is that I do and how people can enjoy the holidays. The thought completely terrifies me though. Not the recording part, I think I can do that; but knowing what to say, finding my voice so to speak.

My finger hovered over the mouse button; but I saw the organiser’s picture today in a group I’m part of and just knew I’d work with her, having no idea who she was, or what she did. My task this week has been to get the courage up to make a video and I’ve been putting it off. Then I got the email which came at the moment I was looking into other people’s videos online. A coach has been telling me I have to connect with my audience more and that she thought video would really work for me, so it all felt like the Universe giving me a major push. I decided I would listen. This is it, if you want to check it out http://videorockstaruniversity.com/

Watch this space for some videos featuring moi in the coming months!


Blessing 57 – Taking the plunge and setting goals. February 26, 2012

I’ve always got ideas of what I want to do, a general view of where I want to be and what I want to be doing; but often the daily to do lists can get in the way of working towards the big goals. Today I went to a meeting of NINny (Norwich Independent Network) and we were focused on goal setting for 2012. We ignored the fact that it was nearly March, writing January and February off as sleepy months.

It was interesting hearing how vague everyone was, how hard they (like me) found it to pin themselves down to a specific goal within a time frame. It’s scary making a statement that this is what you are going to achieve by this date, the fear of failure is enormous, which I guess is why it’s so much easier to stay vague, so you don’t get disappointed; but you also don’t have the ability to measure your success and appreciate your achievements.

Somebody pointed out that it’s okay to change your goals, just because you write it down doesn’t mean you have to do it, if things change or you’ve been over ambitious you can alter it as you learn. It seems obvious; but I had never thought of it that way, it just seemed like a failure if you didn’t do it and who wants to set themselves up for failure?

I think setting a goal pushes you to reach a bit higher, aim for slightly more and maybe go bigger than you would otherwise, because whatever the outcome you will achieve something, learn and grow just by following your dream.

Apparently just by writing a goal down, you are more likely to achieve it. Your subconscious automatically starts working on the problem and looking for solutions – sounds good to me. So here goes – my goal is to produce and sell 500 of the virtual London holidays by 27th July (the first day of the Olympics). It’s scary to write it down; but I just think of each of those 500 sales as people who can’t travel; but who could really benefit from the virtual holidays. People like me, who are stuck at home and frustrated about that. Fed up of watching the rest of the world living the life that they are meant to have. They, like me, want to do something, anything, to have fun, despite being at home.

The goal is set, now to make it happen!


Blessing 51 – Finding a place where you belong February 20, 2012

Tonight I went to my first meeting at a new Norwich Network – it’s a new version of the Wonderful Women group I was looking forward to joining earlier in the year. I was nervous; but excited too. I had high hopes, something about the group just felt right. I was not disappointed!

I was greeted by a group of lovely people, who were all warm, friendly and welcoming. I instantly felt relaxed and at home. The first meet up was just a social with an introduction; but I got so much just from that. People were so kind and enthusiastic about Holidays From Home, it was really encouraging. They had ideas of things I could do and suggestions on how I could use Twitter more. I was caught up in their excitement and it was lovely to hear about other people’s businesses too.

The next meet up will be on goal setting for 2012, which I think is going to be brilliant. I love the fact that everybody has a unique business; but they all have similarities and the different experiences and backgrounds of people works well together. I enjoy being in contact with people who are motivated, have passion and big ideas. I believe that you can achieve so much more with the support, encouragement and enthusiasm of others, than you can on your own.

The group is exactly what I’ve been looking for, with people I can see becoming good friends, not just contacts. I’m exhausted now; but so grateful that I found them!


Blessing 26 – Generosity of Spirit January 26, 2012

People in general get a bad reputation, there’s a very cynical sense that everybody is out for themselves, not interested in anybody else. When you have a bad day, with difficult people, it’s easy to feel disillusioned; but there are so many great people in the world. I’m reminded of this all the time; but especially when I work with volunteers, who help to produce virtual day trips for places they have visited.

They get in touch because they like the idea of Holidays From Home and normally they are travellers who love to share their adventures. They often have one country that they are particularly passionate about and you can tell because their whole face lights up when they talk about it. It pulls you into the place and you started to get excited to. I’ve added so many places to my list of “one day holidays” because of the volunteers.

Friends and family can get bored hearing all about your holidays; but with Holidays From Home, the travellers have a captive audience who want to hear about the different places, what they’re like to visit. The trick is to capture their enthusiasm and experience, and then get them to write the holiday describing the places as if it’s the reader who is actually there. It’s all about their experience, bringing them as close to the atmosphere of the destination as possible.

Today I met up with Derek who produced the virtual trip to Switzerland. It’s fantastic, I had so much fun reading it and then finding web cameras and other related sites to add to it. The singing marmots were one of my favorites! Derek was so pleased with the final result and so excited to share the day trip with everyone he knew, even publicising it to some different magazine’s he reads. Doing the publicity for me!

I get so much from Holidays From Home, it’s lovely to see other people benefit in the same way and that’s not even thinking about the people who read the virtual holidays, they are normally ill or disabled and can’t physically get to the places, so this is the next best thing. I’m so grateful to the volunteers who give up their time to help others, I’ve met some lovely people because of Holidays From Home, people I would never have met otherwise.

If you have been somewhere that you would love to share with people who are house bound and unable to travel then please get in touch. If Derek and the other volunteers are anything to go by you’ll have as much fun writing it as people will reading it.