London: South Bank and the O2

Hello folks!
This week's adventure also happens to be a musical extravaganza - this time a trip out to the capital city to see the one and only Jason Mraz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, let us begin:
twinkle twinkle little...London eye...
Walking round the big city, drinking in some of the sites before the gig. The trees along South Bank were all strung with twinkly lights - very festive.
hazy book stall - a place that breeds dreams

In the "Winter Wonderland" market, as we nibbled toasted chestnuts and took in the wonderful smells of cinnamon, mulled wine and German sausages, we stumbled across this extensive and magical book stall. I could have honestly spent forever there, which of course was not possible.

majestic; St Paul's

Just before we submerged ourselves into the hectic underground, I turned round to face this magnificent sight and just had to take a quick snap.

The concert itself was absolutely incredible. He even played some of his old stuff for us true fans! His music has this wonderfully chilled quality yet lively and playful; the kind of stuff you just can't but help to smile to. The staging was simple, yet very effective. Then again, when you have a stage presence as large as Mr Mraz, you don't really need any fancy gimmicks to sell tickets; just good tunes, an infectious smile and a lovable personality. I would write more about how totally-super-duper-amazing this was, but words literally cannot describe it. All I will say is I definitely recommend you check out this incredible man's music and if you ever get the opportunity, go and see him!
Oh yeah, and I couldn't leave without showing you my best new purchase of my very own Jason Mraz t-shirt...I know what I'll be wearing next week to college...


Lights, camera, action! [Travel tips]

Right here goes my first attempt at sharing with all you lovely people some of my ultimate tips for travel and adventure!
To start with, I would like to advise you on the joys of taking a video-recorder with you on your travels. Now I don't just mean a multi-functional-digital-fantasmagorical-double-fast-snaptastic-what-za-majic, but a: Real. Actual. Camcorder.
Don't let new-fangled technology cull old traditions! In our family, it was always common practice to make a home-video tour of wherever we visited and some of our exciting excursions: a practice I would like to stick to through-out my exploring years. Below you can see me with our very old - possibly even vintage now!? - family camcorder. We went nowhere without that beloved contraption.
A few holiday snaps stored away on the computer or uploaded to facebook can never ever compete with the sheer bliss associated with rediscovering old holiday videos and reliving cherished memories.

Whats your opinion on camcorders? Any other top-tips for remembering holiday memories? Let me know!


Adventure of the Week - South Hampton, Ben Howard

Well hello there. Firstly, happy belated beginning of advent! November has flown by leaving us with frosty, sparkly December - Christmas here we come!? Whose excited yet? I still can't believe it is coming quite so soon...
Anyway, getting back to the point of today's post; my "adventure of the week". This is to be a weekly post, to ensure regular blogging and to have an excuse to ramble on about the minor excitements in my life as well as larger ones. After all, every explorer needs some form of adventure to get her through each week.
So here we go - adventure of the week #1: My (long awaited) trip to see Ben Howard, Southampton.

hues of gold

Waiting in anticipation!!!

For this wonderful outing I was accompanied by mon pere as we set off to Southampton Guild Hall. On arrival (after a little difficulty in entering the car park) we fell out of the van and straight into a que - and a rather lengthy one at that. Despite being at the tail end of those entering, we still managed to wheedle our way into the front third of the crowd.
The support act was the stupendous Willy Mason. Admittedly I had not heard of him before entering the building however I shall definitely be investing in a song or two of his beautiful bluesy riffs and husky voice. This one is called 'we can be stong' and is one of my current favourites. To the left are a few snaps I managed to grab frantically waving the camera above my head (it's not easy being a short girl in a seemingly extraordinarily tall crowd).

Here you can see you're very own "small girl" in comparison to some of the loftier members of this audience. A lot of tip-toeing and jumping was done on this fine evening it must be said. It was however, most definitely worth it as Devonshire Ben delivered a cracking performance displaying incredible skill, especially for someone so new to the music scene - he has just one album!

Around the stage hung individual spot lights, framing Ben like little stars.
One of my favourite songs of the evening was Black Flies, the dynamics were just incredible. Ben has this awesome ability not only to project his music, but to fill every inch of the room with it. I love live music and it's safe to say from a skills level, Ben Howard is definitely one of the best performers I have seen along with his brilliant band (I particularly like the crazy female bassist). Even the lighting and graphics were superb, with images of waves and Devonshire roads projected onto a large moon-like shape hung at the back of the shape as the lights switched between shades of blue, amber and gold.

To conclude, I have placed my favourite photo of the evening above. You can't see the band very clearly, but you can see a little of the effect of the lighting as Ben broke into one of his heavier instrumental sections. Overall, the evening was a delicious blend of delicate acoustic guitar, all the way to full blown prog-rock explosions. A unique and incredible style of music and definitely an artist I would love to see again.


Blog revamp.

Autumn is the season for change as the leaves turn, the weather gets chillier and the food gets stodgier. So as the days get shorter and the nights get longer, I though it would be an ideal time to add one more change into the mix, and that is the appearance of 'Big World Small Girl'. Everyone needs a change of scenery from time to time; people take holidays and travel and so on. With the blog it's just the same - time for something new and fresh. Please do tell me what you think and be as honest as you like! Any comments at all are welcome, would love any feedback you have.


Rainbows and hailstorms.

Alas, half term has already drawn to a close for us college students and its time for us to go back to work feeling rested and refreshed (supposedly...) Though what a lovely week half term has been - finally having an opportunity to do some travelling, even if it was only in country, to visit the lovely beaches of Devon and some brilliant friends who have settled down there. And oh boy can I see why! Leaving the beach to go back home and to work on Friday evening was a hard task, even with the atrocious weather! Better a rainy day at the beach than a rainy day at home I say.

I also got a chance to get in for a few much needed surfs - the first of the winter season! Little bit chilly to say the least, being November, but as an avid surfer I could not resist getting in. We surfed Putsborough beach which is one of my favourites with its long stretch of golden sand and rugged rocks to scramble over. Our second surf brought much excitement due to the sighting of a rainbow and a furious hail storm whilst we were in the water - we felt pretty hardcore it must be said, especially I, wearing only my summer thickness wetsuit. Many hot beverages were required after that experience in attempt to warm us up and restore our body temperature to somewhere vaguely around normal.

We also got exploring in some of Devon's stunning countryside with Jess the lovely Labrador, sighting some impressive wind turbines causing some heated arguments about green energy vs. nuclear power...just your standard conversation for a family walk.

All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable and much needed break to relax and feed my insatiable desire to travel...well for a little while at least.


A Piece of the World.

One of my favourite ways to accessorise is to use interesting pieces of jewellery to spice up an outfit. Now you may be reading this initial sentence in confusement and anguish...this is not a fashion blog after all! But have no fear, because this is a post on accessorising in true explorer style. I like to collect my jewellery from markets and local shops from all across the globe which means I get the chance to pick up all sorts of odds and bobs you would not typically find in a high street store...and most certainly not see on anyone else! I like to think if it as "taking a piece of the world with me" and a way to remind myself throughout the day of some epic adventure that has been and gone but will  never be forgotten. It's my way of making a fashion statement be...well much more than just that!

Above is one of my absolute favourites. It is a particularly special piece given to me by my Mum when she returned from an expedition across the Sahara Desert that she completed in aid of Macmillan cancer support and in memory of my wonderful Nanny, whom we sadly lost to cancer.

She actually bought this during her trek when some Nomads came across their group and a little girl sold her this. I find the green colour really refreshing and the way it hangs perfection however I have not managed to find a single thing similar since! Thus this one is being treasured reverently.


This heart of mine...

This photo was found and sent to be by my lovely friend and it really made my day (it's always nice to know someone thought of you) so this is why I decided to share it with you all! Not only was the globe beautiful (just a slight obsession...) but the message really made me smile because I know exactly how whoever created this feels. It was just a nice reminder in this dreary work-filled October that as a travel-bugged-blogger, exploring the world will forever be in my heart, even when it is not at the forefront of my mind.


Boo Enterprise Review

And so it has come - the day my boo enterprise throw has arrived! Now you're probably thinking what on earth am I talking about so naturally, I will explain this wonder to you. Boo Enterprise are a a fairly new company on the fair trade scene founded by Becky Barber in 2010. The company sells products ethically made in Madagascar to help local communities. Its a great place to order unique, colourful and charming bags, trinkets and home ware that are perfect for gifts or just to brighten up your home. What more could you want, beautiful products benefiting a great cause! 

Each rug comes with a label telling
you who has made yours! Cute or what!?
Thus I could not resist ordering one of the delightful hand-woven throws to see what it was all about. I am pleased to report back to you all that it is definitely worth every penny! It is a good quality throw that is perfect to add a splash of vibrance to any room. I've used mine as a bed throw but you could use it as anything from a rug to even hanging it on the wall as a piece of feature art work.
See for yourself at  http://www.booenterprise.com/...


Something for a Rainy Day

September has come and brought with it rain, college work and...well just more work and to further worsen matters the only travelling I’m getting to do is the train journey into college each day...not exactly thrilling eh? I am suffering from serious nostalgia and really craving some of that summer sun from this year’s trip to Sorrento, Italy with my mum. (Pictures of one of our favourite spots we discovered, Marine Grande).
However it’s not all doom and gloom, it was my birthday a week or so ago (woo!) and have acquired a rather gorgeous collection of maps to mark on places I’ve visited and dream up future travel plans. I also received a great book on planning a gap year from the lonely planet which I will write a review on when I am less busy...
I shall leave this post on a positive note with one to add to my bucket list; trekking in Nepal, inspired by the whopping, weather appropriate, mass-load of woolly jumpers that have just turned up on my door step.


The Very Beginning.

So I thought a good place for me to start this blog would be at the beginning of my life as a travel-maniac and it seems from a bit of digging and photo searching, I have been a victim of the travel bug from an extremely young age. In fact, my first time abroad was before I was even born as you can see from this picture of my beautiful mum pregnant with me in Portugal.

Ok, I know that doesn’t really count so the next travel experience that family Smith with baby me in tow embarked on, was again to Portugal, with I a mere 9 months old! And no prizes for guessing here; I absolutely loved it (or so my parents report) even if my cousin did nearly drown me in the swimming pool, but that’s a story for another day... 
Left; me and mum. Middle; Grandparents, mum and me. Right; Me wearing Pop-pop's explorer hat.

The gang enjoyed a lot more holidays in Portugal and it has become one of my favourite destinations to visit with its stunning beaches, buzzing markets, and lush gardens. Various forms of family Smith made up from grandparents, Aunt and Uncle, Cousins and brother, could often be found whiling away the days sampling Peri-Peri chicken in our favourite beach-side cafe (or to us “the shack”), taking long walks admiring the gorgeous pink flowers (which we so often had to stop for photos in front of) and spending sandy days splashing in the sea and strolling along the beach.