Archive of ‘Uncategorized’ category

↣ The Mindset of Travelling

Purely by following that too-many-social-media-links path, I stumbled up on ‘Helen in Wonderlust’ at She describes herself as a ‘thirty-something UK based adventurer and travel blogger… with a special place in her heart for Africa’. Helen recently mused on her blog that, when returning home after travelling, she found it increasingly difficult to cope with ‘the norm’ and she struggled to find happiness when not out travelling. She wrote on her blog, that she found that it was the mindset that accompanied travelling that made her happy, not necesarily just the travelling itself. Here are her ’17 Travel lessons for everyday happiness’ :

1) Be nice to, and about people

2) Don’t waste your time on people who don’t deserve it

3) Take a social media Sabbatical

4) Don’t compare yourself to others

5) Don’t look in the mirror too much

6) Exersize (but pick one you really enjoy)

7) Find beauty in the ordinary

8) Do the crappy stuff first

9) Live in the moment

10) Be grateful for what you do have

11) Accept change and face your fears

12) Give yourself a break

13) Do what you love and do it often

14) Be open-minded

15) Go outside

16) Listen

17) Follow your dreams

And I think all of us have to admit that it’s hardly difficult to implement that into your every-day life, and when you try and look at yourself from an outsiders perspective and compare yourself when you’re on holiday and yourself when you’re at home, they are probably different people. And it’s probably the 17 points above that you adhere to when on holiday for a week but forget when you’re back at home doing the school run before work kicking yourself for forgetting to put the bins out, putting off going to the gym and finding youself in the middle of pointless family feuds.

Having said that, it’s all too easy to say that ‘if you just change your outlook, you’ll be much happier’, for example, one of the lessons above is ‘take a social media sabbatical’. Yeah it’s all very well and great but it might mean you miss the planning of a social gathering, you get looked down on becuase you are ‘ignoring people’. Often, there is a very fine line between putting yourself first and being selfish.

So why do people travel? Because they enjoy the ‘me’ that they become when they are travelling, they enjoy that feeling of not checking facebook, feeling a warm sunbeam on their face, breathing in the sea air and forgetting their arrogant boss. We all enjoy escapism, we all enjoy a week where we can be ourselves and have no worries. So that’s why people travel, to have a well-earned break from the norm.

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↣ How often do people travel?

The results of my questionnaire proved varied, but there were predominantly a few things that everyone agreed on. My first question ‘how often do you travel per year?’ was answered mostly with ‘a couple of times a year’. This invokes that interest in travel is high, and people generally want to go as much as possible. But what does this mean? Are people escaping something? Looking for something new? Or just constantly needing a break? This question was then broken down to ‘How often do you travel within your home country?’ to which again the most common answer was ‘every couple of months’. From this I can infer that people are very interested in their home country and are perfectly happy that if they find themselves unable to afford a holiday abroad, are willing to explore their home country. Reasons for both of these answers will be explained and analysed on the next post.

How often do you travel per year? How often do you travel within your home country?
Typically once a year, though not for the last few years Once a year
Couple of times a year Couple of times a year
Once every couple of months Every couple of months
Once a year Every couple of months
Once a year Couple of times a year
Couple of times a year Every couple of months
Couple of times a year Every couple of months
Couple of times a year Couple of times a year
Once a year Couple of times a year
Once a year Every couple of months
Once a Month Every couple of months
Once every couple of months Every couple of months
Couple of times a year Once a year
Couple of times a year Once a month
Couple of times a year Rarely at the moment, but used to be a couple of times a year and I hope to return to that pattern soon.
Once a year Every couple of months
Once every couple of months Couple of times a year
Never Every couple of months
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↣ For now I walk into the wild

My next source of experience surrounding my essay question ‘is travelling running away or running towards something?’ has been to read Jon Krakauer’s autobiographical tale of Chris McCandless’s trek into the wild, originally titled ‘Into the Wild’. It tells the story of McCandless’s young hopes and dreams of the Alaskan wilderness, his naivety cost him his life in 1992 when after travelling America he finally got to Alaska, four months later his emancipated body was found wrapped in his blue sleeping bag in an abandoned bus. Chris’s story was special because of the amount of people’s lives that he touched along the way, Chris himself appeared to develop no particular attachment to any of these people, and was known to keep them at arms length, but when Krakauer begun interviewing those who met McCandless on his travels, they all seem to have been touched by him.


McCandless was scathed after his death by those who read his story as he did in fact have a loving family back in Washington whom he disappeared from without a trace.His loneliness and isolation was self made, his demise self conflicted. “McCandless was thrilled to be on his way north, and he was relieved as well—relieved that he had again evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it. He had fled the claustrophobic confines of his family. He’d successfully kept Jan Burres and Wayne Westerberg at arm’s length, flitting out of their lives before anything was expected of him. And now he’d slipped painlessly out of Ron Franz’s life as well.” McCandless was not just a nomad of literal means, not content with constantly changing jobs and place to stay, he also appears to have been an emotional wanderer, he either didn’t realise or didn’t care for those he left behind, thinking nothing of the effect he had on them. Perhaps I admire this because it meant he never got hurt or worried, but I can’t help but see it as just a little selfish.

“Seven weeks after the body of his son turned up in Alaska wrapped in a blue sleeping bag that Billie had sewn for Chris from a kit, Walt studies a sailboat scudding beneath the window of his waterfront townhouse. ‘How is it,’ he wonders aloud as he gazes blankly across Chesapeake Bay, ‘that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?’” Walt and Billie were Chris’s parents, speaking to Krakauer after their sons death. I think perhaps they did not understand his mind at all, resulting in the end sad relationship where McCandless felt unable to speak to his parents about travelling, and so he had to just up and go. Perhaps his frivolity was only achievable because of the spontaneity of his departure, if it had been more planned, from what I have learnt about McCandless from reading this book, he would have felt the trip ruined.


So far I’m two weeks into reading this and I’m half way through, usually I would be a little disappointed at this slow pace but so much has been happening recently, the time has just slipped away. I’ve got a stall at a huge christmas market in two weeks which I am going crazy making for,and the orders I’m getting are coming in thick and fast.

So I will leave with a quote I have just got to in the book which I really like : “A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence—the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes—all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand.”.

I think what Krakauer and McCandless are trying to get across here is the idea that wherever you are, you have to be ‘all there’, ‘participate’ if you will, you have to immerse yourself in where you are and what you are doing and not think about anything else for you to truly enjoy it.




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↣ … A little bit about The House of Bean

Hello! My  name is Clarissa Ward and The House of Bean is my creation, I am a 16 year old from Leicester who started this blog after many years of designing and developing my own handmade textile product brand. The name of my brand has changed many times, the last being ‘The Crafty Critter’, this stuck for around 2 years before realising I needed something more professional sounding. ‘The House of Bean’ comes from a name my brother used to call me as a baby ‘human bean’ as opposed to ‘human being’, and the nickname ‘Bean’ and many derivatives of it have stuck ever since. I started my creative journey from a young age, being taught by my Spanish Mother and Granny how to sew, stitch and knit. I quickly became engaged with sewing and a spot of jewellery making and began to sell my products to school friends. This became an online shop which has then been renewed and changed over the years. I try my hand at most things, I do home furnishings, clothes, wall hangings, embroidery, bags, polymer clay jewellery ,and typography prints. And so the creativity  bug had bitten and I soon found that there was a genuine interest in the market for my products, I sell on a large base of places, Etsy, Folksy, eBay and a couple of local shops in my area. (you can find my Etsy shop by clicking on the ‘shop’ link in the banner)

My next love is travel. Nothing specific or particularly planned, just in general – travel, wanderlusting, exploration, adventure. My ultimate dream is to travel the world in a renovated camper van, maybe settling for long enough to get my selling under way before moving on to see another part of the world. I love the idea of spontaneous travel, of having the freedom and ability to get up and go one morning, because the world is your oyster. One of my favorite quotes relating to this is ‘the world is a book and those who do not travel stay only on one page’, and this I think is a very prevalent statement. I love quotes and saying like this (I’ll refer back all the time – you’ll get used to that!) and I use them as inspiration in my typography artwork and hand embroidery pieces.

Being now in my first year of A-Levels, I am fine-tuning my subject choices and school work to coincide with my own passions and interests. One opportunity I got to do this was by doing another AS Level called EPQ, standing for Extended Project Qualification, it comprises of a 5000 min. word essay written over the year on a subject question of your choice, and you must provide a diary of your efforts to complete this along the year. Part of this blog will serve as my diary. The question I am tackling is quite close to home, ‘Is traveling running away from something or running towards it?’. This question aims mainly at the nomads, adventurers, free spirits and travellers of this world, but also the opposing argument of why maybe travel isn’t the best thing, and I hope to get lots of feedback from you guys on this blog! My diary for this EPQ will be tracked on the ‘Travel’ section of the blog and will feature what books I’m reading that are related (currently it’s Walking Home by Lynn Schooler), snippets of other peoples blogs who I find thought provoking, inspirational articles, anecdotes from friends and family and anything else I find travel-related which will get me to think.

A few other things about me before you get too bored, is that I’m very heavily involved in the scouting movement, one adventure is that I’m going on The World Scout Jamboree next year to Japan, which I have to raise a  lot of money for! With scouting, I also am training to be a young leader and hope to one day achieve my Young Leader and Queens Scout Awards.

I also REALLY love baking and cooking, I’ll keep sharing the recipes that have worked for me (sometimes they don’t because I’m a devil at adapting the recipe to the way I think it should be done) and keep taking those instagram-esque filter photos of them! OH… mentioning that, I also do love photography and am absolutely in love with my new instagram account (thehouseofbean_official) I’m just starting out with about 250 followers at the minute but I absolutely LOVE posting on it and really appreciate the lovely comments and interactions I get from people all over the world! Feel free to drop me a follow!

Right well I think that’s enough about me for now! I’ll start posting proper pictures and blog posts from now on, I just thought I might introduce myself first ☮

Thanks for dropping by and reading my first blog post!

Keep doing what you love, Clarissa x


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