My Experience With Mental Health

Hello everyone. This topic is something very close to my heart and is hard to open up about but it shouldn’t be. Its 2017 it is time to forget about the stigma around mental health and just talk about these things openly.

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Firstly I want to begin by saying there are many aspects to mental health. Mental health does not just mean depression and anxiety. Mental health is a broad concept where those who are affected by schizophrenia, paranoia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and substance abuse and addiction, all fall under the bracket of mental health.

I personally do struggle with the mental health disorder of anxiety. There have also been times in my life where I have suffered from situational depression and had the other tendencies that tend to come with it. I had self harmed and attempted suicide. Only my parents really knew about it at the time and even at that level I never fully disclosed what was going through my head. I didn’t want to talk about what was going on in my head to anyone, not my family or best friends. I didn’t have the courage to and even thinking about it now brings a lump to my throat. I completely shut myself off from the world and kept telling myself horrible things about myself, filling my head with negative thoughts and they were literally killing me.

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I had become my own worst enemy. I had eventually reached a stage where I needed immediate intervention. I was put on the waiting list for Pieta house in Limerick. The counsellor told my dad that it would be three weeks before I would see anyone. That was not okay. I couldn’t wait three weeks neither could my parents. I knew that my parents would be looking after me closely so I would have a better chance of getting back to normal. But I thought of all the other people in need of Pieta’s services who didn’t have a family like mine or even anyone to support them. They would be waiting that long too or longer and I know that if I didn’t have my parents, I would not have held on for that long.

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I was already on medication for anxiety and I still am. So because of the waiting list I went and saw my GP who increased my dosage to keep me calm. I am not ashamed of being on medication at all because I have tried the alternative of not being on it and I cannot cope it is not a temporary fix, it is a long term way of managing my mental health disorders symptoms. I have also tried natural methods of managing my anxiety and where they may work for most people I really feel like it just didn’t suit me. If they work for you then thats great and well done but it just wasn’t helping me.

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If you’re sick you go to the doctor. The doctor gives you an antibiotic or whatever to make you get better. If you’re seriously ill you go get a few different opinions be it a physiotherapist, oncologist, or any other consultant. But if you’re mentally ill and are prescribed pills by a doctor after being to a psychiatrist, psychologist, and counsellor to get better, people say you’re insane. You’re crazy and they immediately see you differently because they have just realised that there is more going on in your head than what you let on. You wouldn’t tell someone under going radiotherapy as their cancer treatment to stop because “oh thats so bad for you its going to make you really sick” . If they don’t get treatment they will die. This is the same for many people who are prescribed medications to manage their mental health disorders. These medications are prescribed and evaluated by doctors, pharmacists and health care professionals that are trust worthy. Your aunt Nora who watched a compelling Netflix documentary or read an article off of Facebook on how mental health medications are bad and change this and that in your brain, is not trust worthy. In fact your aunt Nora’s unprecedented uneducated advice is intrusive and most unhelpful. Unless you know actual facts and have a degree level of knowledge about medicine and mental health don’t give useless advice, don’t be an aunt Nora. (Disclaimer: sincerest apologies if you are called Nora or have an aunt called Nora 😂)

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Just because you personally might not be affected by mental health issues in any way does not mean you have the right to be ignorant or make jokes about it. You wouldn’t make fun of someone with a terminal illness or disease. (if you do please never speak to me). A girl once said to me laughing and joking that if she were in a certain situation that she would cut her wrists. Don’t be like this girl. To someone who has felt low enough in their life to self harm or try to take their life that way this is a horrendous thing to hear.

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Too many lives have been lost due to mental health disorders so be aware of them, don’t be afraid to talk to people about them. If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health disorder don’t suffer in silence speak out to someone you can trust or a professional there is nothing to be ashamed of. The first step is often the hardest. My advice to you is that as long as you are breathing your life is not worthless keep going better days will come you will not feel the way you do forever. Life is too short to be anything but happy. – Bri xo

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How I Did Paris In A Day

 

Early this year I went to Paris for the day with one of my closest friends Mark. For a Day? Yes you read that correctly. In 24 hours we went from our hometown Limerick to Paris and back.

Why? Why not. Why for a day? Thats all we could afford truthfully haha. Were we exhausted after? Most definitely. Was it worth it? 100%.

I definitely recommend doing this if you’re as travel crazy as I am but I cannot stress enough just how exhausted we were for the rest of the week.

Mark and I both live in Limerick, which is in the south west of Ireland. We booked our flights with Ryanair for a ridiculously cheap price. Our flight however was departing from Dublin at 6am so to get there in time we had to get the 2:20am bus from Arthurs Quay in Limerick City, directly to Dublin airport. We landed in Paris Beauvais airport, and to be honest it isn’t a well established airport it looks more like a shed you would have down the back of your garden. It took us a solid hour and a half to get through airport security then we finally got outside at around 9:30am. The airport is also 45 minutes away from the city centre so to get there we had to get a bus.

The bus dropped us off in the city and we were so relieved to have finally gotten there. We went and got hot chocolate at Angelina which is supposedly the best hot chocolate in the world. And believe me it really was. I would gladly bathe in that stuff and I don’t even like hot chocolate.

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Our main reason for wanting to go to Paris was that we wanted to go see Versailles. Both Mark and I had already been to Paris more than once but never went to the Palace of Versailles so that was our goal for this day trip to get it ticked off our bucket lists. We quickly realised that Versailles is not in the centre of Paris but another hour away. To get there we hopped on the RER train which is a train service in Paris. Okay we hopped on a few trains because we got confused and a bit lost but hey we got there eventually haha. We stopped along the way to find a supermarket where we could buy an adapter because we hadn’t any portable chargers or an adapter. And lets face it not many of us can survive in a foreign country with a dead phone. Then we made a quick Starbucks pit stop  in the Versailles area because it was like 1 in the afternoon and we NEEDED coffee.IMG_3652

We then had at long last made our way to and arrived at the palace. My heart was fluttering I was so excited (also deliriously tired and caffeinated) but Versailles was jaw droopingly stunning. Even the exterior was immaculate and elegant, it was just everything I imagined French royalty living in.

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I felt like a Queen even just walking around. Marie Antoinette’s crib was absolute house goals. The interiors were so luxurious and everywhere you looked there was gold or floral intricate details. It was truly stunning I did not want to leave at all. I thought it was just insane and really cool that I was walking in the same room that many Kings and Queens had walked in, it was just incredible.

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We didn’t have enough time to explore the gardens because they are MASSIVE and definitely need to be allocated a whole day to fully appreciate them. I guess were just going to have to go back Mark! (if you’re reading this haha).

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At the palace there is a Laduree store. If I could live on macarons believe me I would. My favourite macaron makers would be Pierre Herme and Laduree both french companies, both delicious. I bought a box of 6 and split them with Mark.

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We were outside admiring the view of the gardens, when suddenly we both looked at each other and realised after our snack that we had not eaten a meal since dinner the night before. You know when you’re so hungry you surpass hunger and start feeling sick? We had surpassed even that we were starving. Doing a big turn around from being all glamorous in Versailles we ran to McDonalds as it was close and stuffed ourselves haha. The panic was over then we got on the right train this time back to the city and went exploring.

We took in the sights and sat down in a park having a long gawk at the Eiffel Tower. My feet were killing me. Note to self: next time do not wear heeled boots, no matter how fab they are.

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After a while we made our way back to the airport. We sat down and had a drink because why not sure treat yo self some more. Our phones were about to die and the  few airport sockets that were there didn’t work. Mark ended up asking a lady working at a car rental desk to charge our phones for us (his French is way better than mine) . We needed our phones because our boarding passes were stored on it. Suddenly our flight was called to start boarding we had yet to go through airport security and we had no phones…worst of all the lady had disappeared on her break. Talk about a disaster! Mark had to run outside to find her so we could get our phones back to board the plane. Thankfully we found her and everything turned out alright in the end. We landed in Dublin around midnight and got straight onto the bus back to Limerick. We got back to Limerick just 24 hours on the dot after we left there. We were so tired we weren’t even able to speak to each other haha.

I’d say we would do it all again though because it really was an experience and I’ll never forget it. All of the beautiful sights and going on an adventure with one of my best friends. The 24 hours we spent was a whirlwind. All of our mini panics about phones and hunger and getting on the wrong trains was funny then, but it’s even more funny now to look back on. I think I slept the entire next day, it was so tiring all the walking and travelling involved but it was so worth it. Would I recommend it to other people? If you have the want to go somewhere like Paris that is close enough to Ireland, to only see one particular thing, and if you think you would be able for all of the walking and travelling involved in such a short amount of time, yes. Paris is always a good idea in my opinion. If you want to see more than just one thing book a few days off, get a hotel and take your time getting to know the place.  – Bri xo

 

 

Bri’s Favourite Beauty Products

Hello everyone,

I was recently asked about which beauty products I use regularly, so to answer I’ve decided to make a post out of it. These are products that I actually use nearly every day if not every day and I highly recommend them. To be honest I’m not that wild when it comes to my makeup or beauty products. I like to buy things that I know are good quality and will last long. As I’m always on the go between college, placement for nursing, the salon and going out with my friends and family I need things that are quick and easy to use. I also go for products that don’t wear off after two hours since it was put on my face because I usually don’t have time to retouch my makeup.

  1. MAC Pro longwear foundation. I use the shade NC30 when I have tan on and the shade NC20 when I don’t have tan on. I love this foundation because I have oily skin and it doesn’t budge. It lasts all day which is just perfect for me. This being said its not for everyone, we all have different skin types but if you’re interested definitely pick up a tester and see how you find it. mac prolongwear
  2. Rimmel London ‘Brow This Way’. This is a small eyebrow duo that has a brow gel and a brow powder. Its so tiny and easy to use and bring anywhere. It also lasts so so long like one of them can last up to 3 months and for 4.99 euro it’s a no brainer for me. rimmel brow this way
  3. ‘Bahama Mama’ The Balm Cosmetics. This bronzer I use to contour, its super pigmented and a little goes a long way with this one. bahama mama
  4. SOSU Highlighter Palette. Suzanne Jackson is a girl boss and wether you love her or hate her (all love here) you have to admit her highlighter palette is something magical. The highlighters feel like butter and they just make you feel like a glowing goddess. And there are six shades so you’re spoiled for choice. SOSU-Highlighter-Kit
  5. Sexy Mother Pucker Pillow Plump XXL Lip Gloss by Soap & Glory. Shade: Nude in Town. If you don’t like lip plumper avoid this. It makes your lips super tingly and immediately makes them look bigger. I love this because I don’t have much of an upper lip and it just makes me feel like I’ve got a bit of a pout. soap and glory
  6. Inglot ‘Long For’ Mascara. Ciara my best friend is gonna get a kick out of this one because she knows full well I don’t own this and she does. Every time we go out I’m like “oh no…I seem to have forgotten my mascara…can I borrow yours oh kind hearted friend?”. I’m obsessed with this mascara it’s unreal, I really need to invest in it instead of annoying Ciara. long_for_mascara
  7. Banana Powder from Penneys (Primark). I first heard of banana powder from Kim Kardashians makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic aka Makeup By Mario. I use it over my under eye concealer to set it so it lasts longer. I also have really dark under eye circles so I tend to let it set for a while before dusting off the excess just to make sure I don’t look too like a racoon or zombie. penneys banana powder
  8. MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick. This is my go to lipstick. I love it because its almost the exact same as my own natural lip colour so I don’t feel overdone. It adds a nice finish to a natural look for me. velvet teddy MAC
  9. Inglot Gel Liner 77. I mean…there is no better gel eyeliner. This stuff is amazing it doesn’t budge, it’s such a dark black colour and in a small container that just keeps on giving. If it dries up on you all you have to do is add a drop of the Inglot Duraline and it becomes brand new again. Such a good investment. inglot liner
  10. Rimmel London ‘Stay Matte’ Pressed Powder. I don’t remember what shade I last got but they come in loads of shades so you can find one to match yourself. I always have this in my clutch on nights out or bag during the day in case I do get shiny around my T-zone. I use this more on nights out than anything because its super affordable. I also tend to lose things on nights out or drop things and then they break so if that happens to this its easy to replace. rimmel powder

Those are my 10 favourite beauty products which I use the most. I try to keep everything quite affordable incase I lose it which can easily happen when you’re running from one place to another and constantly switching bags. If you’re like me and want to keep your essentials simple but effective definitely try some of these out, and if you do let me know what you think!

 – Bri xo

Honey, I’m Home

Welcome to my house tour,

(well, some of it!)

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Last year around August we moved into a new house. A year on and it still looks like a building site from the outside, which unfortunately happens with building a house, it can be a very slow process. Without going into too much detail of the layout of the house I will say that I do have my own part of the house, which consists of a sitting room, a bedroom and a bathroom. There is space for a small kitchen but I’m in the process of saving to have one I like installed. At the moment that space is used for storage of boxes, Christmas decorations and suitcases etc. so I didn’t bother taking any pictures of it. The house is quite modern and people are generally confused by its layout. I’m living in the part of the house that used to be my great grandaunts cottage so I designed the interior to have an old lady cottage home vibe. It’s very girly and kind of Laura Ashley in an interior design style. Anyways I’ll post some pictures of my house below and let you know where I got some of the stuff. All of the stuff I bought was quite cheap and I had gathered bits of furniture over time and stored a lot of it in our old house. Most pieces came from second hand stores, TK MAXX, and I gave a lot of old furniture we had a bit of a makeover so we didn’t spend loads of money on new furniture.

The stairs are a bit of an unusual colour but I wanted something in the house to remind me of my great grandaunt who lived here. The cottage was originally painted blue and everyone in the family always called it the blue cottage so thats why I decided to put bits of duck egg blue throughout the downstairs. I saw herringbone as a floor pattern ages ago on Pinterest and fell in love with it so when we were picking tiles I insisted that they be put down in that pattern. The main couch was actually a couch we’ve had for 20 years and it was in perfect condition so I got them reupholstered. I did the same with the three other chairs which were all from the original building when we were clearing it out for construction. I love to read (when I have time) so, I thought putting a few shelves under the stairs was a perfect idea. Before they were put in there was a lot of room there and I wanted to fill it. I have a few quotes and pictures going up along the wall next to the stairs because they’re what I see as I’m running out the door so I get to read a nice quote that puts me in a better mood for the day. I have a glass garden table and two chairs that were originally green and used outside but I spray painted the set in gold and put new covers on the seat cushions.

I love my room it’s like my own sanctuary. I decided to have a fully mirrored sliding wardrobe because I always found that when I was getting ready to go out with my friends we would all be fighting over the mirror trying to get all of our heads in. Thankfully this problem has been resolved and we can spend more time getting ready instead of killing each-other. I still have yet to master a #melfie though haha… cringe probs never will. The ‘B’ above my bed stands for Boujee. Obviously.

This is my bathroom. I have a flower shaped shower head, and yes I stacked that toilet paper because I had nothing better to do.

Thats my house anyways, hope you enjoyed that little tour and snoop around.

I’ll leave a list here below of where I got some of the things you can see in the pictures of each room above. – Bri x

 

 

 

Sitting Room:

Ceiling light- Laura Ashley

Floor lamp- The Range Limerick

Woven rug- TK MAXX

Patterned rug- Laura Ashley

Coffee Table- 2nd hand shop (50 euro)

Candles- TK MAXX

Whiskey Decanter- 2nd hand shop (5 euro)

Photo frames- The Range Limerick

Curtains- Laura Ashley

Curtain Rods- Home Focus

Baroque Mirror- Ebay (120 euro)

 

Bedroom:

Chandelier- Ebay (60 euro) *self assemble* SO WORTH IT

Bedside lamps- Dunnes Stores

White rug- TK MAXX

Bed and bedside lockers- McCarthy’s Furniture Limerick

Wall letter and Crown wooden sign- TK MAXX

 

Bathroom:

Shower head- Bought in Brazil and haven’t seen anything like it in Ireland sorry!

Laundry basket, soap dispensers, marble holders- TK MAXX

Mirror- The Range Limerick

 

 

Italy

Hi there everyone!

For my first blog post I wanted to write about my most recent trip. My last trip abroad was in July, I went to Italy with my mom for a week. I was a bit nervous as me and my mom can easily clash heads at times because our personalities are so different. Thankfully we didn’t end up killing each other, and we had so much fun. I love how I now have these wonderful memories of getting lost in Italy with my mom to look back on. I’m still surprised at how much we covered in such a short amount of time.

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We arrived in Venice Treviso and immediately made our way by bus and train to Verona. We chose to go to Verona first because I have two cousins living there. We arrived in Verona quite late so we met up with my cousin Diana and went for dinner. We had pizza and wine al fresco next to the river in Verona and it was divine. It was even better catching up with my cousin since I hadn’t seen her in so many years. The next day we woke up early and toured the main streets and squares as well as the castle ruins. I had been to Verona before when I was younger but I had no recollection of it whatsoever so I’m glad I went back and got to do things properly.

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We went to Juliet’s House, which is basically a building in Verona that is supposed to be the house of Juliet Capulet from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. A lot of people might know it from the movie “Letters to Juliet”. There was a huge crowd outside and it was around midday when we went, so the heat was beating down on us. There’s a statue of what’s supposed to be Juliet in the courtyard of the house and people are supposed to rub her breast for good luck. The poor statue had only one breast left on her, her breast has been rubbed so much that it’s been eroded away over time! We paid to get inside the house and walked around it which was much less crowded, although there wasn’t much in it other than the fact it gave you access to Juliet’s balcony where you could take pictures.

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After that we went shopping and did more walking and exploring of Verona. Side note: I got the coolest gelato ever. It had a macaron on it and it was rose shaped. Here it is:

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My friends know that I love my wine but I was struggling keeping up with the Italians! The next day we met up with some family friends and went for dinner up in the mountainous area by Verona where it was cooler but still warm, the roads were so windy and I felt like I just got off a rollercoaster when I got out of the car. All of it was lovely my moms friends spoke both Italian and Portuguese but no English, so I had to use whatever Portuguese I could remember in order not to be left out of conversation. We drank loads of wine (surprise surprise) and then ended up chatting for hours and didn’t get home till really late.

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The next two days we spent in Florence and travelled by train, it just seemed the easiest and fastest way to get to where we wanted and we booked it all online just the night before we wanted to go from place to place. Florence was absolutely stunning. Definitely somewhere to go with your partner (not your mom like I did) because it’s so romantic and scenic especially Ponte Vecchio. There’s also really cool stuff to do if you’re interested in art such as the Uffizi art gallery which has paintings like ‘The Birth of Venus” and “Madonna and Child”, you can also go see the Duomo which is honestly a stunning building to look at even if you don’t know (or care) a thing about architecture. We met up with some more family friends for dinner that night which was great because our hostess was a top Italian chef!

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After two days in Florence we left to go to Rome. We decided to say “screw it” and we became such typical tourists by getting an open top double decker tour bus to see all of the main attractions in Rome. We did the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi fountain all in one day. Needless to say we were shattered the next day, so we strolled around and re-visited some stops on the bus tour because we had bought a two-day pass.

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Our last destination was Venice we spent our last full day here. I absolutely loved Venice thinking about it makes me so emotional, haha how sad am I. I had the best time there even though its definitely another honeymooney, coupley, type of destination and yes I was there with my mom to make it even more sad hahaha. We unfortunately didn’t get to go on a gondola because it started POURING rain, everyone ran out of the main square so fast I seriously thought something had gone wrong, but it was only fecking rain!!!! The way people were running my god they wouldn’t cope with the Irish weather at all at all. As for mom and myself we purchased some super sexy over priced rain gear from a stand and just motored on through Venice while everyone stared at us as if we were mad. The rain made everything look lovely like something out of a movie and because the rain had scared off the weak we had the streets to ourselves.

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I highly highly recommend going to Florence and Venice if you’re planning a trip to Italy. We spent a week in Italy and got so many places ticked off and I know some people might think oh what a poor misfortune going on holiday with her mom, but feck it we had a marvelous time and it’s something I’ll never forget. This being said I’m defo going back but next time with a boyfriend because its idzeal as Doireann Garrihy would put it. Also, anyone going to Italy in general should be aware that the language barrier is real!!! So have a few Italian phrases on hand going over because the amount of times I ended up playing charades with waiters was ridiculous hahaha. Anyways that’s all I have to say about my trip to Italia. Just kidding. Aperol Spritz’s are life. Look at this beauty.

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Now I’m done. Ciao Bella (watch me off speaking Italian and all) – Bri xo

My Airplane Essentials

Hello people of the internet,

I decided to make a list of my travel must haves things that I absolutely cannot get on a plane without. These items can be brought on both long haul and short haul flights which I find super handy. I usually pick up the travel sized items in any Boots stores. Of course I usually have my makeup bag too sorted into those wretched plastic bags to get through airport security but these are just some other items that I find essential on a flight.

1. Dry Shampoo.

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I always need dry shampoo because I feel that when I get up early and am running through an airport and getting onto a plane my hair just feels greasy, even though I may have just washed it that morning. I bring a travel sized dry shampoo to restore a bit of volume to my hair and make it feel less oily.

2. Makeup wipes

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I always carry makeup wipes because if I am wearing makeup and I just feel like its been on for too long or I want to give my skin a breather I can take it off with a makeup wipe.

3. Deodorant

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4. Travel sized toothbrush and tooth paste

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5.  Concealer

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In case I have any spots or dark under eye bags I want to cover up before getting off the plane. The main concealer I use when travelling is the Makeup Forever concealer. I bring this because its so high coverage and literally doesn’t budge after its on your face. It’s incredible and again super handy to have and its waterproof so if it is raining when you get off the plane or if its hot and you get sweaty, it stays on.

6. Lip balm

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I usually bring my EOS one because its so small and handy to have in your bag.

7. An adapter

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Theres nothing worse than forgetting your 10 euro adapter at home and then having to fork out 29 euro for a new adapter at an airport. Been there done that, never again please haha.

8. A good book to read

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Some times it’s nice to just take a break from your phone and social media, and just get your nose stuck into a good book to take your mind somewhere else for a while.

9. Water

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I know you can’t bring water through airport security but as soon as I get through I always go buy water. I do this because I hate being dehydrated and I feel like the air conditioning on airplanes just completely dehydrates me.

10. Evian Spray Mist

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I love this because it helps my skin feel nice and hydrated when I’m up in the air.

11. A portable charger

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Wether the flight is long haul or short haul, if you’re on a plane or bus that doesn’t have a usb outlet for you to charge your phone, this is a life saver. One time a friend and I went to Paris and forgot our portable chargers and we were in the airport and our phones were both dying and our boarding passes were stored in our Apple Wallets. We had to beg a lady at a car rental desk to charge our phones, then she went on her break and we nearly didn’t get our phones back in time and almost missed our flight. Moral of the story either bring a portable charger or don’t be reliant on technology. Also you can pick them up in Penneys I got one there in rose gold for I think it was either 6 or 9 euro there about, and it got me through all of Longitude Festival.

12. Headphones

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Essential for when you’re looking out of the plane window listening to music pretending you’re in a movie.

Hope this helps you when deciding what to bring on your next flight!

– Bri xo