alicekatex | travel and lifestyle♡

Travel and lifestyle blog. Used to do beauty and throw some in for good measure now and again.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

Finding Myself (Life Update) & A reflection on 2017

I cannot believe the lack of posts this year (a total of 1!) but if you read that post, you may see why. 2017 has been a hard year for me; as well as dealing with the loss of my dad, I also broke up with my boyfriend of almost 4 years. Through all of this darkness, I am retaining hope for the new year as I feel like I am really discovering who I am as a person (I know this sounds so wishy washy but it is true!!)

When people say 'What is your passion in life?', I always feel like I don't know how to respond. I always feel like I don't know what my passion is. However, each time I am some place new, I really embrace my surroundings and appreciate the smallest things, even in places most people would find boring. I always feel a deep urge to document my trip through photographs and to tell those around me about my experiences. I think I get this inspiration from travel vloggers such as Funforlouis (I am loving his world flight series at the moment). There, it becomes clear to me what my true passion is. I would love to be able to document my travels and travel for a living, but I know how competitive that market is and as an accountant, it isn't really feasible. So, for now, I will write this blog as a side project to my job and travel as and when I can.

Here is a round up of my 2017 (all photos taken on iPhone so not the greatest quality; will be sure to get my professional camera out in 2018!):
Earlier in the year, I visited the south coast of England. I had a great time and thought these little beach huts were real authentic!
A day out to Cambridge: it was way more beautiful than I expected.
Despite living in London, its sights never cease to amaze me. I constantly find myself taking pictures of the monumental sights it has to offer.

Working on clients near the sights is always good fun.
Walking to work with a  view of Canary Wharf was always a beauty (until I move house)

Walking home over London Bridge with a  great view of the River Thames and Tower Bridge.

Winter Wonderland is a must during the winter period.

BANKSY's work appeared at the Barbican, super close to my workplace.

The year also consisted of good food. This is Tart in Clapham and they do amazing tarts/quiches. This is the smoked salmon and pea one.

Just after my break up, I got away to Cyprus with my mum and my sister. It was a much needed relaxing break. Nothing makes me happier than the sunshine.

I visited the archaeological park in Paphos which are ancient ruins that form a major part of greek and roman history. Its sites and monuments date from prehistoric times through the Middle Ages.

A holiday wouldn't be a holiday without a bikini snap and a dip in the pool.
Beach times are the best

Who doesn't love a good dip in the pool
There are not many views that get better than the sunset over the ocean.
At the end of October, I visited Edinburgh for work. I honestly did not realise how beautiful this city was, so taking pictures in my free time was a must!!

The view from my hotel room window

Me in the Harry Potter Shop - Search Museum Context UK... Near the Grassmarket.
The castle at nighttime looks like something out of a movie

A rare thing for me... a selfie
November time is my birthday. I went for a lovely night out in London and finished up in the Sky bar. I recommend the sky garden as the 360 degree views of London are epic (and it is free to go up there for those of you on a budget!)

Me at the sky bar (The Shard in the background)
On Christmas Eve, me and my sister went to York which is really near my hometown. I have hardly been to this town despite living so close, which is strange as it is such a tourist hotspot!

Me by York Minster
The bustling streets of York

YORKSHIRE PUDDING WRAP (Not a very professional photo to put on the blog but as you can imagine, I am very excited by this as a Yorkshire girl) 
I obviously did many other things in 2017 but these were some of the moments I managed to document. This year I aim to document more and I hope to see you in the new year for lots of fun, laughter and travels!

Lots of love



Saturday, 24 June 2017

Losing my dad.

I haven't written on this blog in a while. My life has been crazy. I started a new job in September in London, moved to Hertfordshire and lived with my boyfriends parents and I bought a flat in London that I move in to this week. But most of all, I lost my dad. It was the worst experience of my life and it affects me every single day. I wanted to write this post because if anyone can relate to this or if it helps anyone in any way - my experience 8 months later - then that is great. I started to write this post when it was so raw so I will leave this in and end with how I am feeling now.

The 16th of November 2016, the worst day of my life.

It is hard to write this post but I thought I'd write this as a sort of therapy and if it helps just one person going through the same thing, then that is wonderful.

I never thought this would happen to me, well not this young anyway. Losing a parent is something no one can truly understand until it happens to them. Not seeing the person you have grown up with since your very first day on this planet, is frustrating, confusing and upsetting. 

My situation was slightly different in the respect that my dad stopped living at home the day I came back from uni so I spent 3 months at home over Summer without seeing him everyday like I'd always known when at home. Then I moved to London and started a new job. We spoke on the phone around once a week and I planned to see him on the 27th December when I was to come home after christmas. Of course, this never happened. Not being able to say goodbye to someone is the worst...not knowing that the day I move down here was the last time I was going to see him. I'm just glad it was a pleasant goodbye before I left. 

I did however see him in hospital, before and on the day he passed away. I got to say goodbye then but he was not conscious so it wasn't a 2 way conversation. I'm unsure of the level of detail I should put on here but the thing that actually killed him was a hospital contracted infection. Now, this makes me angry. When he went in hospital, I was worried because I knew that there was a good chance that when someone goes in to the ICU (Intensive care unit), it is unlikely people make it out, particularly because of hospital infections. I don't even know how this can be allowed but anyway...

Being there when someone passes away is a traumatising thing, seeing their breath fight and their face go a sort of purple colour, knowing that they just took their last breath and there is definitely no way you will speak to them again in this life.... Argh I still can't get over that. 

If anyone else has been through something similar, please let me know. Knowing others that have lost their loved ones so young can really help. I have had a lot of support which has been great but truly, its hard to take when you know they still have their parents and can't actually comprehend how I feel.



I have learnt to live again and no longer feel bad for laughing, joking and having fun. Working in the buzz of London has really helped me and meeting new people at work has really really helped me see the excitement in life. I always thought I would need counselling for this but now I am not so sure that I will need it. I think about my dad every day and wish with every breath that he could be here. I miss him so much. I am devastated he will not be here to see me grow up, see me succeed in my career, be at my wedding and be a grandparent if and when I have children.

But what it has taught me is that life is a gift and it is precious. We need to live life to the full and enjoy every second. Step out of your comfort zone, move to a new place and experience new things. Live, laugh, love and cherish those close to you.

Lots of love




Wednesday, 28 December 2016

What I've learnt about living in London

Hey blogging world, long time no speak! Due to personal circumstances (which I will discuss in later posts), I haven't really been posting on here but I'm back! I do miss blogging so I am going to try and get back on it as best I can.

I have been living and working in and around London since summertime now and I can finally say that the culture is rather different. For those of you that don't know, I grew up in Leeds and went to university in Sheffield so I never really left Yorkshire. I love living and working down there but there are some considerable differences between the north and south so I thought it would be fun to talk about them.

Here are some funny things I have realised whilst living down here:

The drinking water down south is gross - I have been spoilt growing up with Yorkshire water - we basically get Harrogate Spa water for free! For some reason southern water takes like chemicals and it comes out of the tap a bit cloudy to start with... worrying. I definitely need to get a water filter.

The weather IS actually a lot warmer and sunnier: Obviously this isn't concrete and isn't the case everyday but in general the south is much warmer. I always thought this was a myth but it isn't. Whilst I was getting texts saying Leeds had a layer of snow, it wasn't even close to freezing temperature down here. Don't get me wrong, it does get cold but most of the cold days recently have still been blue skies as opposed to Leeds which is often cloudy. Whenever I drive up to Leeds, it seems that when you get to Watford Gap, the clouds just thicken! This is an aspect I definitely love about been down here.

It IS expensive - I mean London is sort of ridiculous... You will pay £5+ for a beer and nobody will think anything of it. People slate the south for its prices but I still think it is worth it - you get used to the prices in the end and in general people do get paid much more.

House prices are on another level - Obviously the house prices are obscene in London but house prices are pretty high even on the outskirts. What would cost you £300,000 in a nice part of Leeds would cost about £800,000 in Hertfordshire.

Northern accents are a focal point of conversation - As I am from Leeds, my accent stands out like a sore thumb. Everyone guesses I am from Manchester and the usual 'I can't tell the difference between the two' comes afterwards... I can definitely tell the difference!

The nightlife is rather different - No disrespect to the north, but going out down south and in London is usually a lot classier. Of course there are some real grungy places in London but on average, the mainstream going out places are much nicer. You can go for drinks and have a dance without getting stood on and without a thousand drinks been spilt on you. The range of options in London are also great too, you can go to a proper club or for a casual drink and everything in between.

Don't get me started on public transport...

Morning commuting is much longer - Commuting 1 hour to work is a normal commute and is something I am very used to. When I mention that to people in the north, they think that is crazy. My mum drives 15 minutes to work!

All manners go out of the way on public transport - In general, people only think about themselves when on public transport; I'm talking elbowing out of the way to get on the tubes and trains, especially when it is busy.

There is SO many more people - The population density is so much larger in the south - there are so many more people! You can tell when on the roads and on the trains - the M1 is always a nightmare until you reach leicester and it clears up. Once you go north of Sheffield, you end up flying! Commuting home from work means that many people end up standing up face to face.

People are much less polite and don't really speak to strangers - Its funny because as soon as I get back on the train at Leeds, I get random people speaking to me. This would never happen on public transport.

Despite all this, I love living here and I wouldn't change my experience for the world! Seeing the gherkin from my office or walking over the Thames to college with the most spectacular views, makes me realise how luck I am to live in such a stunning city.

Do I have any northern readers living in London? Let me know!

Lots of love,

Alice xxx


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Finding beauty on your doorstep | Brighton

Every British person will admit that going to the beach in UK is nowhere near as good as going to the beach abroad. However, when the sun does decide to rear its head, some of the seaside resorts can be super nice. Cornwall is supposed to have the best beaches but there is something about Brighton that everyone seems to love. It was the last few days before the freedom of unemployment came to an end so me and my boyfriend took a trip down there for a day out. We were very lucky with warm weather, baking sunshine and blue skies.

First of all, we went for a wander down the Lanes, looking into the cute little shops and searching for some lunch.

We found a nice restaurant called the Olive Grove and we enjoyed some tapas. I love tapas; picking and choosing between dishes is sometimes what you need rather than a great pile of food in front of you.

I'm not a big fan of the pebbled beach in Brighton as it is quite hard to walk on and not exactly comfortable sunbathing, but the pier is a great landmark.

We finished the day off with some sorbet. I had raspberry and mango whereas James had Gin and Tonic sorbet. The place is called Boho Gelato - the amount of flavours of icecream they have are amazing!

As the sun was setting over the sea, we headed for our train home. It was such a lovely sunny day - now it is late October and cold outside; I am missing it!

Where is your favourite place to go in Brighton?

Lots of love

Alice xxxx

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Finding beauty on your doorstep | Knaresborough, North Yorkshire

Welcome back to the finding beauty on your doorstep series. I have been super busy with my new job in London and studying for my professional exams on top of working means I haven't been blogging. I haven't even had time to watch my TV programmes, it has been crazy! I am on a backlog with my blog posts so I thought I would try catch up and show you about some more trips I went on throughout Summer. Winter is creeping in now and I am actually quite excited about it for a change. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to next summer: it's my favourite time of year and I love going on fun trips, not just abroad but also in the UK. 

Anyway getting on with the post! When I was at my family home in Leeds with my boyfriend, we went on a day out to Knaresborough. If you are from the Yorkshire area, you have probably been here. Close to Harrogate, Knaresborough is a really beautiful underrated town. The history of the place is what makes it so interesting and Mother Shiptons cave is very intriguing attraction. Many of Mother Shiptons prophecies foretells many modern events and phenomena; a quick google search about her will tell you all about her.

Objects in the waterfall turn to stone due to the minerals in the water. Round the corner was a little well where it is said that you can make a wish whilst placing your hands in the pool of water, and your wish will come true. 

The cave itself

The walk through to Mother Shiptons Cave

I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you ever been to Knaresborough?

Lots of love

Alice xxxx


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Finding beauty on your doorstep | Ingleborough Caves

This is the third post about my day trips around the UK and my last one was at the gorgeous Lake Windermere of the Lake District. The day after this trip, we returned to Leeds via the Ingleborough Caves. I thought I would post about them just in case anyone wanted to visit. It would be a unique day out as opposed to your typical shopping or cinema day.

After parking in Clapham (note: not the one in London) and hiking about one and a half miles up a hill of woods followng a waterfall and river, we arrived at the Ingleborough caves: the biggest showcaves in Britain. As no one was there for the last tour, we got a private tour of the caves. I was a bit worried as I can get claustrophobic but there was only a few bits where you had to crouch. 

It was really surreal seeing the stalagmites that were created thousands of years ago. Seeing such history through rocks is a lot more fascinating than you think.

Have you ever visited any sort of caves? I really want to go swimming through caves abroad!

Lots Of Love

Alice xxx

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Finding beauty on your doorstep | The Lake District

So this is the second post in the series. My previous post was about vising Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales and our stay in Cumbria. Today my post is about the beauty of the Lake District.

After a lovely pub lunch in Cumbria, we headed to Windermere. Windermere lake is a pretty famous in the Lakes and is about 10 miles long! The trees and hills surrounding the lake are truly STUNNING that even my camera couldn't catch it as we saw it. I couldn't believe this existed in England! We took a boat out which was £25 for 1 hour: pretty pricey but it was a motorboat and we were in the lakes after all.

We went back to the cottage for a lovely chilled night by the fire and a good game of balderdash (hilarious game!) I'd really like to return to the lakes in the future, perhaps a different part of the national park, for example Keswick.

Have you ever been to the Lake District? If so, which part and what did you do?

Lots of love, Alice xxx

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