18 February 2012

London's calling!

I find myself procrastinating right now. All day actually. I have baked, done loads of washing and dishes, changed my bedding and cooked two meals from scratch. Hell, I've even shelled a coconut with a hammer and cleaver. It's not like I have been unproductive. But I have one column and two submissions to write. But instead I find myself enjoying the music from the 1960s on Heartbeat, a bit tipsy from one bottle of cider, and flicking through my London Encounter book.

Because, today I booked a flight to London!!

It's all happened very quickly. Two weeks ago I met with Changing Faces and the Centre for Appearance Research - both great meetings and I left feeling very invigorated. They both wanted me to spend time with them to see what they do. Last week I had a chat to one of my biggest mentors in my day job. She wanted to know about my Aim for the Stars grant and how I will use it and how she can help me. I told her about the meetings I'd had a few days before, and my goal to branch out speaking and possibly starting a Changing Faces in Australia,

She suggested I take the opportunity to use some of my grant money to extend my overseas trip and go to London for a conference and work experience at both companies. My parents were also keen for me to go to the United Kingdom. It's my heritage, and I have a British passport and I will be able to learn and travel.

So I confirmed work experience at Changing Faces and the Centre for Appearance Research, booked extra leave (seven weeks off work!!), checked out my working eligibility with the British consulate, asked permission from the Aim for the Stars Foundation (I needed to confirm whether this was appropriate use of the grant) and banked my grant cheque.

And today I booked my flight! (I had to change my flight from Australia to LA which took some time and planning, but much cheaper than I worried about). I have never been this spontaneous! I leave on 30 June, spend three weeks in London and fly to Los Angeles on 22 July. I spend two days there where I'll meet my Mum, and then fly to New York for 17 days, including going to the BlogHer conference! I cannot wait.

Of course I am freaking out too. Worried about luggage allowances, how much vaseline I will take, whether I'll get too tired or sore, the weather, whether I'll have enough money. But for the most part of it, I am so excited!

When I am in the UK I will be basing myself in London (for some of the time I'll be staying with a friend who I had stay when I first moved to Melbourne) and meeting up with my family and friends including some within the ichthyosis community.

I feel so incredibly lucky for these opportunities. And so very proud of making this happen. I've developed confidence to approach people and built up a number of valuable contacts who have already provided so much guidance and encouragement.

Yay! London's calling :)


  1. Hehehe, you should tell each person you're staying with to keep a jar of Vaseline for you, so you never ever run out on your adventures.

    So exciting and so happy for you!!

    1. Thanks for the suggestion L :) Unfortunately I will need to take around 4 kg for each leg of the journey :(

  2. This is all so exciting Carly! I hope all the travel goes smoothly, and that there is always extra vaseline on hand. I'm so glad that you're getting all these amazing opportunities.

  3. That will be such an exciting adventure! I can't wait to hear all about it. :)

  4. Sounds like an incredible experience. Kudos to you for being able to turn your life experiences and your talents into such an exciting opportunity. Looking forward to hearing about it on your blog.

    As for the vaseline, I have no idea how easy it'll be to come by in London, but it's certainly readily available in North America. Hopefully someone in LA and/or New York can get you to either a Walmart or a Costco so that you can buy large amounts without depleting your travel budget too much.

  5. Wow, what a an awesome trip to look forward to! Those 6 weeks will give you 6 months of blog material!

  6. Great news Carly! You'll have a blast no doubt! :)

  7. Wow, super exciting Carly! Spontaneous decisions are often the best ones. I spontaneously decided to go to South America a few years ago and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

    I also learnt that you can get pretty much anything you need, anywhere you go. I'm sure your packing will be fine.

  8. SO great. And I love that you were so spontaneous and that you have a mentor who constantly asks what's next. All great things in my books.

    You'll be great! I can see it now. :)


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