Reach Your Full Potential - Volunteer Overseas

Do you ever sit back and wonder what ever happened to a lot of your old classmates from high school or college after you all went your own separate ways? I often do, and the stories you hear can be quite fascinating if you are lucky enough to bump into them or someone else who has.

I recently bumped in to an old friend from high school in the pub and we sat down and had a long old chat. It turns out that he had started his own business after he left school, never with any expectations that it would bring in any more than pocket money. Now he has offices in 26 countries and is worth millions. Funnily enough, he hasn’t let it get to his head and still seems like the same down to earth chap he was back then.

Another story I heard from a friend was about another character from high school that used to be a bit of a bully and to say no one really liked him was an understatement. In the end, he went to volunteer overseas for about 5 years in Africa, helping communities make wells for fresh water and to build clay huts. It really is amazing how people can change over the years.

But then I looked at myself. I still live in the same little village. I have a simple job, a simple house and a nuclear family. I wonder if anyone else turned out like me. I guess a handful would have, surely not everyone has got some wild story of change and success like that. Never mind, I don’t let it get me down; I see it as more of a source of inspiration. And that’s how you should see it too.

If you don’t think you’ve reached your full potential, it’s probably time to start taking action and doing something. Now I’m not saying you need to go start a multi-billion dollar multinational enterprise, or go and volunteer overseas in Tanzania for the next decade, but have a look at the opportunities you have around you. What used to interest you back in school? What did you want to be when you grew up? It sounds cheesy, I know. But if you get into that rhythm of thinking, that’s when you can have truly great ideas and really motivate yourself to make a change in the way you’re living.

So if you have had enough of coasting through life in first gear then maybe it’s time to shift it up a gear and start taking some more risks. Have a bit of adventure and make something of yourself. 

Packing for Hemsby Holiday Parks

Holiday getaways are some of the best times of our lives regardless of the season or destination. But travelling can be a frustrating experience for a person who is prone to forgetting essential items. I know, as one who forgets things regularly that we can end up spending some of the holiday budget on items we already own but left at home. One year for example, we went up to one of the Hemsby holiday parks and I forgot the camera; I had to take £100 out of the holiday budget to purchase a replacement.


Exactly what you pack depends on where you're going and the time of year. We like to visit the coast during the summer while heading to the Scottish Highlands for our winter holidays. As you can see, packing for either destination at different times of year requires different strategies. Winter packing, as far as clothing is concerned, tends to be easier for me. I always assume that I will be cold to some extent, so I'm sure to pack plenty of warm clothing and winter gear. It's the summer holidays that prove to be difficult.


I've learned through years of experience that when we go to Hemsby holiday parks for summer holidays, I should plan on the weather not being perfect. While it would be ideal to spend two weeks wearing T-shirts and sandals, it's not uncommon to experience cool temperatures on the North Sea coast. So along with my T-shirts and sandals I take a few heavy shirts, at least one sweater, and some shoes. You never know when the weather might change.


In terms of the process of packing, I like to pack all of my clothes about a week ahead of time. This may seem too early for you, but for me it's a way to make sure that all the laundry gets done and that I have the specific clothing items I want. 2 to 3 days prior to departure I also like to pack everything else I'll need except for food. This causes me to have to live out of my suitcase for two or three days, which is a good way to find out if I forgotten anything. For things I don't need every day, I've have created a checklist on the computer. A week prior to my travel I print the checklist and assemble all the items.


I still forget things from time to time, but my improved packing skills have gone a long way in ensuring that I have everything I need. When the family heads out again in a couple of weeks to our holidays on the norfolk broads I will go with confidence. I'll also take some extra money.

Our Last Year at Summerfield Holiday Park

Every year since our children were born we've taken them to the coast for summer holidays. We've seen Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, and everything in between. Last year, which also marked the final year we would be travelling with our children, we spent our summer holidays at Summerfields Holiday Park. Our kids are all married and with children of their own, and we knew that Summerfield would be a great where all three generations of the family could go together. It was a wonderful experience that we all enjoyed. However, starting next year, it's time for my wife and me to begin spending our summer holidays with just the two of us.


We're not quite sure yet where we will go and what we will do. I've always thought it would be great fun to rent a boat and spend a few weeks boating on the Norfolk Broads. I love the water and I love fishing, and a Broads’s holiday seems the best way to enjoy both. I'm not quite sure my wife would agree so that's something we obviously will have to talk about. I suppose it doesn't really matter where we go as long as we can spend quiet, quality time with one another.


If I know anything about my wife, I'm sure she'd rather tour the English countryside with stops at quaint little bed and breakfast places on quiet, country lanes. She enjoys slow drives through the countryside and picnics in open fields. That's not necessarily my cup of tea, but I would enjoy it nonetheless because I'd be able to spend countless hours with my bride. I can see us strolling down the lane enjoying the warmth of the sun, the gentle summer breezes, and holding one another's hand. I can almost imagine it now.


Holiday vacations with our children were always great, including last year's adventure at Summerfield Holiday Park. But there comes a time when older couples need to get back to spending time with just each other. It's so easy to grow apart while you're raising children because husband and wife simply don't have enough time for one another. But once the children are gone it's important for them to grow back together again, if they want a healthy and happy marriage. That's why my wife and I decided to bring our holidays with the children and grandchildren to an end. Thankfully, they fully understand and support our decision.


As I write this, I'm looking out the window and seeing the winter snow. All the more reason I'm looking forward to next summer's holiday with my wife. Where we go and what we do really doesn't matter, as long as we're together.

Birding on Your Holidays in Norfolk

There are plenty of specialized holiday packages to meet a variety of tastes, including hunting, fishing, art tours, and theatre excursions. But one unusual package you might find rather enjoyable is birding. Birding, also known as bird watching, is the hobby of observing birds in their natural environment for the purposes of identification and study of their habits. Birding is enjoyed extensively around the world by millions of people.


Spending the holidays in Norfolk on a birding tour is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, see new places, and learn a lot about birds and their environment. Guided tours are the most popular method, especially for those new to the hobby, due to the fact that guides are knowledgeable about their feathered subjects, and are usually welcoming to tourists with lots of questions. An enthusiastic tour guide can make a trip a truly exciting experience.


Some tour operators also offer a crash course in bird photography before the trip commences. Or you can take a more in-depth course prior to the date of your holiday. Photography is the best way to remember the birds you see on your tour, but if you don't know the tips and tricks of bird photography it can be difficult go get good shots.


Norfolk's diverse geography means you'll see a wide range of different birds depending on where you go. It also means the region has some of the most scenic spots in all of England for birding tours. September through November, for example, is a wonderful time to take a guided tour focused on migratory birds like seabirds, warblers, and waders. As an added bonus, you'll get to witness the change in landscape as Norfolk transitions toward winter.


Shorter winter tours bring you up close with species like the Bean Goose, Black Brant, Crane, Hawfinch, and Hen Harrier. Though winter holidays are a little more difficult where the weather is concerned, they represent an opportunity to see some of Norfolk's most exciting and rarely seen species.


Experienced birders may want to plan their own birding holidays in Norfolk. You may know of a rare bird or two that's escaped your camera for years, compelling you to go to the field and find it. There's no better way to spend your holidays than in pursuit of your passion. Cottages aplenty will provide your accommodations, and you can walk, cycle, drive, or sail to wherever the birds await.


Holidays in Norfolk offer the best of both worlds; great outdoors adventure and art, theater, and dining indoors. If you've never been to Norfolk there's no better time than now. If you've already been once or twice, it's a safe bet you'll be going back.

Shaping Up With Skechers Shape Ups

When considering your next fitness holiday, you will inevitably consider going to a gym, changing your diet and also think about changing your entire lifestyle after your holiday. Unfortunately all of that may just stay with thinking if your holiday does not concentrate on the fitness aspect enough.

This is why the new Skechers Shape Ups are a useful, alternative method of exercising without actually having to think about it. These shoes have been designed to work very much like a walk on the beach. They throw you slightly off balance so that your core muscles have to work on keeping you upright without making walking an unpleasant experience. At the same time your calve muscles, buttocks and lower back also get a good workout helping you walk and maintain that essential balance – just like that reassured walk on a golden beach in the Bahamas.

While you’re walking along among the various sights and tourist attractions of your holiday destination, you can marvel at how well your body is being strengthened and toned while you enjoy a relaxing time away from the stress of daily life:

  • Firstly Skechers Shape Ups strengthens your back, calf and buttock muscles. After wearing the shoes for 20 – 25 minutes on the first day, you may feel like you’ve been in the gym for more than an hour.

  • In walking with the shoes and experiencing the effect that they have on your muscles, you will also feel the effect on your cardiovascular system. This means that your heart and lungs are also getting a workout which will serve to strengthen them.

  • Trying to find your natural balance while wearing the shoes will automatically lead to helping you find your natural posture. This is a better posture than the one that we usually adopt when walking thus strengthening your spine and lower back.

  • The smooth walking and rolling motion that the shoes provide takes pressure of the knees and ankles and therefore alleviates painful joints and tendons.

Although the Skechers Shape Ups are not the latest fashion statement, they are comfortable to wear and the health benefits outweigh any fashion problems by far. They are a little more expensive than a normal pair of shoes, but are still very affordable compared to other exercise shoes. Skechers Shape Ups is the ideal holiday walking shoe for those long walks through museums, shopping centers, flea markets etc. No fitness holiday can be complete without a pair of Skechers Shape Ups to complement the fitness work that you do at the spa or the fitness destination of your choice

Billabong: A Trusted Name in Wetsuits

Surfers and water sports enthusiasts the world over know the best names for clothing and gear; one of those names is Billabong. With updated product lines in the wetsuit category, Australian-based Billabong is ready to take on the surf in both hemispheres.

SGX Series

The SGX series is Billabong's top of the line, but quite a few reviews seem to suggest it’s more of a performance suit than one to keep warm. It is designed to be lightweight, extremely flexible, and give the user a "naked" feeling in the water. The AGX is ideal for surfers who will be travelling to warmer waters this winter in search of the perfect wave.

SG5 Series

Next in Line is the SG5 series with five steamers and two short sleeve offerings. The SG5 tends to be noticeably warmer than the SGX while still remaining fairly flexible. Glued and blind stitched seams provide a water-tight seal and keep the suit from being flushed, and tight but non-restricting ankles, cuffs, and collar keep your appendages dry.

B9 Eco Series

This fairly new series consists of just a single long sleeve steamer, but we can expect it to expand as word gets out about Billabong's approach to these "green" wetsuits. As a world leader in neoprene wetsuit manufacturing, Billabong has embarked on an ambitious program to drastically reduce the use of harmful chemicals in the production of neoprene. The B9 Eco line features 90% recycled polyester in both the inside and outside jerseys along with environmentally friendly inks. As for performance, the B9 is lightweight, fairly flexible, and rated for waters between 57-62°F (14-17 °C).

Revolution Series

Billabong's Revolution series is the mainstay of its mid-priced wetsuits, offering excellent quality and wear at an affordable price. Flushing is prevented in the Revolution through a system of sealed and liquid taped seams. A poly-fleece lining helps keep the skin dry while moisture resistant cuffs and collar help keep excess water out.

Foil Series

The Foil series is Billabong's entry level line with seven steamers and two shorties. The Foil series also offers three vests in long sleeve, short sleeve, and no sleeve models. The Foil is made with Airlite Superflex neoprene and features a silk touch internal jersey, Lycra collar, and heavy-duty steel zipper.

Whether you're heading south to the winter waters of Australia and New Zealand, or north to the summer waves of Florida and Southern California, Billabong clothing has a wetsuit that's just right for.