The funnest marathon on earth? Marathon du Medoc, France

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A marathon where you are encouraged to get tipsy, and it’s mandatory fancy dress – is it a dream or a nightmare?

For thousands, it seems, it’s a dream – and one that they get to live out in reality once a year near Bordeaux, France.

Marathon du Medoc, held every year in September, includes more than 20 wine stops along the 42km track plus offers specialities such as oysters, steak, and ice-cream too.

This year I got to head to Paulliac, the small village where the race starts and finishes, to experience Medoc for the first time – From the sidelines, of course! I had the cough very important job cough of being cheerleader to my fiance, Dan, that kept me much too busy to run it myself.

That, and the fact that I’m extremely unfit and the idea of a marathon gives me shivers…

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Incredibly grand AirBnB in Bordeaux, France

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Paris France is always a good idea, right?

Definitely!

And the beauty of living in England is that I can pop over whenever I damn well please… Although, it’s more likely whenever my bank balance pleases… I think all of us here know the struggle to live on a ordinary salary with the extraordinary urge to travel.

In fact, last week I got to visit France for the first time since I moved to the UK just over a year ago, which I find astounding, as the land of the French is just so accessible to us here in Great Britain.

I just hadn’t gotten the chance yet.

But anyway, the point is: I FINALLY got around to going there (Again – I visited back in 2013 on my first trip to Europe) last week when my fiance, myself, and a few of our friends headed to the Bordeaux region for a marathon Dan and two others in the group were set to run (More on that next week!).

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Hiking the Korea Friendship Walk – The Cotswolds, England

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One of the things I love most about living in the UK is the closeness to so many different places and experiences.

You can drive for less an hour from Bristol and be in Wales, for example, or just over two hours to London.

There are so many possibilities for day trips, and Dan and I have made it our mission to take advantage of this fact whilst we can.

One activity we’ve decided to do more regularly is to go on day trips to walk different hiking trails nearby Bristol, and – on longer trips – further afield across the United Kingdom.

We both enjoy hiking, and although Dan is more experienced at it than I am, I’m keen to step up to his level.

Hiking is great for many reasons, but two of my favourite are:

  • The exercise factor –  It’s great for both your physical and mental wellbeing
  • The nature factor – I love getting out into nature, and I know it’s probably related to the fact that being outdoors has been proven to enhance mental wellbeing as well.

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Learning how to make gin with Brennen and Brown’s Lab Experience

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I must start this blog post by stating that I don’t really like gin.

Yes, I’m actually beginning a post entirely about gin by remarking that I don’t even enjoy the stuff. Good job, Marnie, good job.

But this point is very important to this story.

Gin, to me, is hugely associated with the English – and with a history surrounding English and Dutch soldiers, then it’s major rise in popularity over the last five years in the UK, plus it being my British fiance’s drink of choice, it’s no wonder I associate the liquor with England.

Being from Australia, where gin is not often a drink of choice (in fact, I only have one friend that I’ve EVER seen drinking it) I’d hardly been exposed to gin before meeting my now-fiance, Dan.

Since then, it’s been Dan’s mission to get me to enjoy the spirit, of which he has served to me with various mixers, a large array of garnishes and a number of different botanicals, but to no avail.

However, Dan and I were lucky enough to recently take part in a Lab Experience at Brennen and Brown Distillery in Cheltenham, England.

Despite my lack of fondness for gin, I know how much Dan loves it, so I organised it as a present for his 30th birthday (What an awesome fiance I am, I know! 😆)

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My Top Five Travel Tips

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France, 2013

If you’re new here: Hi, I’m Marnie, and I LOVE travel.

Over the last five years, I’ve traveled to 36 countries, and I’ve learnt a lot along the way.

I’ve grown from a naive young girl on her first big trip, to a confident female traveler.

Here I wanted to share with you my top five travel tips, which you can find in the video below.

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Surprising my family in Australia

I’ve been living in the UK for eight months now, and it’s safe to say that I’ve been missing my family, friends, and home quite a bit during that time.

So Dan and I decided to have a little bit of fun and arrive in Australia for my Gran’s 80th Birthday a week earlier than we’d told my family we’d be arriving – getting there just in time to celebrate my Mum’s birthday too!

Watch the video above to see how it all went down ❤︎

Exploring the brauhaus’ of Cologne

 

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Germany is a country well known for its beer, so what better what to enjoy a weekend in the nation by spending some time indulging in local beer at brewhouses?

Dan and I spent a weekend in Cologne recently, a city neither of us had travelled to before.

One of the popular features of Cologne, the fourth most populated German city, is the stunning architecture scattered across the Rhine River-split city, so it’s not all just beers and banter!

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Top 5 money saving tips for travelling to Iceland

 

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Iceland is a notoriously expensive country to visit.

Due to the higher wages and therefore higher living costs, the prices of food, activities and accommodation can be quite a shock to travellers arriving in the Scandinavian country.

Recently my boyfriend Dan and I travelled to Iceland (If you haven’t seen all my videos and blog posts about that trip, you can find them here) and luckily we prepared ourselves beforehand for the financial heart attack that Iceland would be to our bank accounts.

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Iceland puts on a stunning show from the air as we say goodbye

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Now I can’t be the only one who feels such an intense, dizzy excitement on the airplane toward a destination, and a deep, sorrowful, pit of despair on the homebound journey.

I’m talking more extreme than just general travel excitement and disappointment when those travels come to an end.

I’m talking a black hole mood that can sometimes show itself despondently, or with a fit of tears.

Post-travel depression is real, people.

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Exploring Iceland’s southern waterfalls and beaches

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With Iceland being a relatively small country in size (40,000 square miles, in fact), many people who visit tend to stay in Reykjavik for the entirety of their stay, only venturing out of the city to visit the Golden Circle.

But if you explore just a little further afield, you’ll find some exceptionally beautiful sights that will take your breath away.

Now, I’m not saying you need to do a month-long intensive roadtrip around the island nation (although that sounds like an incredible time to me!), but I would implore you, even if you stay in accommodation in Reykjavik for your entire travels (as we did, for this trip), take more than just the one day trip outside of Reykjavik for the usual sights of the Blue Lagoon, Gulfoss, Pingvellir, Kerid and Geysir.

We chose to do a day trip to the southern coast to see the stunning waterfalls that can be found there, as well as the popular Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach.

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