Travelling the States

Well we have arrived home and after 2 days of insane Jet Lag I am finally back to normal and ready to write this blog.

Where do I even begin!

Lets start with the Highlights of New York City! This was our first destination, getting there however was not the easiest! For a journey that was only meant to take 3 1/2 hours maximum on 2 trains to get to the airport, it ended up 7 hours on 4 trains and 2 taxis just to get to Gatwick. Turns out there was an incident on the tracks so our journey became complicated. We then had an 8 hour flight to the beautiful New York City!

 

Arriving in New York, we had no internet and had no idea how to actually get to our hotel late at night. Luckily I had screen shotted the route so we just had to try and understand it as much as we could. A great thing about America is the usefulness of being able to get Wifi nearly anywhere so we got to the hotel in the end – Econo Lodge Hotel

A quick way to summarise the trip in New York is that we managed to fit everything we wanted to see into the time scale that we were there for. Our first day involved walking around visiting Times Square, Macy’s and the Apple store since my phone decided to play up! I had to take my mum and sister to this incredible crawfish restaurant called ‘Hot N Juicy’ !

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We then surprised my mum with a birthday present to go and watch the New Broadway musical Anastasia! This was by far the most incredible musical that I have ever watched, and to all who get the chance to visit New York. I most definitely recommend going to watch this incredible show!

For the rest of the days in New York we decided to be tourists and visit famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, World Trade Centre, Wall St and many more. The Subway is an easy way of transportation around New York and there is also a Free Staten Island Ferry that you can get to see the statue from a distance!

It was then time to travel to Los Angeles ! It was a 6 hour flight from New York where we travelled with Virgin America this was a great journey and even had complimentary drinks, movies and music on board! (Definitely recommend this company)

Arriving into Los Angeles we got the trusty Uber to get us to our apartment ( Executive Rental Corp ) which was situated in a quiet place where we had a liquor store across the road and cafes to get food and breakfast.

On the first day in LA I decided to take my mum and sister up to go and see the Hollywood sign! We thought we were going for a 20 minute walk up to the sign, little did we know that we would be hiking for 2 hours with only 1 bottle of water between us. (Not a good idea for future reference). After getting dehydrated and Cara nearly passing out on the way, we made it to the sign and luckily for us one of the residents was selling cold drinks nearby. (Thank You to that man!!!!!)

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After rehydrating we decided to take another pathway down the hills through the houses.. Turns out I had no signal so we had no clue where we were walking so we ended up walking over an hour without knowing where we were going. Luckily we found a cafe on the side of the road and got internet and once again Uber saved us aha!

We then headed down to see the Walk Of Fame and decided we wanted to go to a mall. We didn’t realise until we pulled up that we had been taken to one of the richest malls in Los Angeles and we had turned up in shorts and trainers.. very smart..

For the next few days in LA we decided to visit the different beaches around our area, Venice Beach, Santa Monica Beach and Pier and Muscle Beach. Each of the beaches were very different, with different shops and food places. There was also so many different activities on each beach as Muscle Beach was for many athletes to train and Venice Beach had surfing lessons.

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Along with visiting different beaches Cara and I decided we wanted to do some dance training whilst we were out in LA. So we booked a heels class at The Playground LA with Anthony Garza! This was yet another great experience getting to train whilst I was out travelling!

These are the main highlights of the trip, if I was to truly go into the great detail this blog would last a lifetime! I’ve got to say it was a great experience and if you would like to see more about what went on you can check my new VLOG on my Youtube page > Don’t Think Just Blog Youtube Channel !

WATCH VIDEO HERE >> New York & Los Angeles VLOG

We also met some incredible people whilst on our travels who helped us or added to our journey along the way >

@connormaynard

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@AngelMerino

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  • @d_teck
  • @anthonybabygarza
  • @juliobyme
  • @nicklynch
  • @clay_kotwitz
  • @Ahmad

 

Thanks for reading up on our previous journey!

Until Next Time..

-Giovana Braia

 

Beware the barrenness of a busy life..

Hey everyone!

I haven’t been very active on my blog recently so I thought now that I have time I would update you all on all that is happening recently!

I completed my assessment term and decided to do the optional Summer Show Term, which means stay in London for an extra 6/7 weeks to prepare for a showcase. This term has been quite a busy one for me as I decided that I would travel home to work on weekends, therefore somedays I would get an early 5am train to London to get to rehearsals for 9 and the other way round for work. It finally got exhausting as somedays I’d only be home for one day or in London for a few hours and then would get the train home.. So, it was a very busy and confusing process but completely worth it! I got to earn money and I got to watch my sister perform since every time she has recently performed I haven’t been there.

Not only have I been travelling around, working and rehearsing but I was also having to pack my flat up as I was moving out. For my next year in London I am moving in with my two friends into a flat across the road from my college which is great! Yesterday I moved in, using Sainsbury’s trolleys to walk my stuff to my new flat.. Seemed like a good idea until we realised there were stairs and busy roads.. So.. Clearly there was a lot going on so it was very hard to get a chance to write blog posts. However, I am sitting in my new flat all unpacked and settled in and honestly feel very calm and relaxed for the first time in a while, sometimes you need to take a step back from a hectic life to appreciate it all!

BIG NEWS!

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Next week I will be travelling the USA! I have been sorting and planning and I will be travelling to New York and Los Angeles with my mum and sister! EXCITED ISN’T THE WORD! I recently travelled 5 states in America in February with Jake, I haven’t wrote a blog post about it yet but will be writing up posts about all the different places that I have visited, so keep posted!!

Will be keeping you updated on my travels! So make sure to follow the blog on Instagram, Twitter and like on Facebook!

Until next time…

#DontThinkJustBlog

-Giovana x

TO THE MAN ON THE BUS

I haven’t wrote a blog post for a while but I’m back with once again another life lesson blog for you all ahah!

a04b191768b642af953d7ed7fd0a3655So this is how the whole idea of the blog came around..

Each day I walk around London witnessing homeless people begging on streets as that £1 or sandwich could make such a difference for them. Street entertainers working so hard just to get a tip for all their training and efforts. Many things revolve around the slightest helpfulness that will make someone’s day.

Regularly I see people rushing to get to their work places or to get home, they focus so much on getting the next tube or getting a seat on the bus that they forget there are others that may need the help. Late for work, See an elderly woman fall, what do you do? Yes, most of you think you would help but I’ve seen so many walk passed, so focused on their own lives instead of helping.

I was recently on a full bus, we all know London in the sunny weather can be sweaaaty! I realised many of the Priority Seats” were taken, not by elderly, disabled or women with children, but by the younger generation. I decided to get up and let an elderly man sit down, luckily another seat opened up and I was able to sit next to him.

Long story short, we had a lovely chat and I found out that he used to travel to my hometown every year. He asked for a postcard, sometimes when somebody says something like that you automatically say Yes not thinking you’ll ever do it. He gave me his address and I tried to remember it (I have no idea how I remembered what he said, but it somehow stuck in my head). That was the end of the journey for me, I made a promise to him, for him to see his past memories flash back.

Well I’m on the way back to London and so are the two postcards that I’ve sent 1st class.

To the man on the bus… Enjoy 🙂

The most easiest and cheapest request that he could of asked for, will make his day.

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Always try to do something selfless, make someone’s day, you never know how bad it might be until you change it for them. Remember not everyone is in the same situation as you, that woman who is sitting across the tube from you could just have lost her job, that man that’s sweating so much on the bus may have just heard news that his wife is in labour and ran to get a bus.

Truth is, none of us will know what anyone else is going through. But we can always find a way to help each other.

We need to be kinder to one another, one act of kindness can create a circle. We need to stick together and create a safe and peaceful world. Please, starting from now.. Be the best YOU, that you can be.

Even by doing a small gesture, start to make a difference!

Until next time..

– Giovana Braia

Exploring Volcanic Islands

Fuerteventura 

Since I’ve only just arrived back from Fuerteventura, I thought I might as well share this journey before our other travels!

Fuerteventura was a last minute idea as a way to get away from the assessment stress and all other things that build up! I hadn’t even thought about it until the night before when I had to quickly pack! Very unlike me to not be ready at least a week in advance (joke.. but I am weirdly organised). So the thought of this trip was a nice way to remind me that I could relax and travel after all my hard work had paid off!


View of Liverpool from Ryanair plane after take off!

Arrival:

When we landed, as usual, we got the holiday feeling where the warm breeze of the wind hits you as you walk off the plane.  Everyone’s got to know that feeling! Luckily we ran on schedule, even earlier at one point so all was good! Unfortunately, we got dropped off at the wrong hotel BUT luckily we weren’t too far away and just had to have a nice walk to the next street.img_7840

Bristol Sunset Beach Appartements. We chose this accommodation purely based on location and usefulness with travelling. Turns out we ended up in a beautiful place with helpful reception if needed, (Jake did end up burning on the first day and they joked about it with me, perks of olive skin hey!).

The first night we ended up exploring the streets around our apartment and ended up in a square full of restaurants and street performers. Bearing in mind we had just arrived after a long day of travelling we were starving so the first thing on our minds was food. The first night was probably one of the most chilled as we sat and eating at El Pescador whilst watching the street performers.

Day 1:

First day of exploring different locations around the island. We ended up walking 7km (roughly 1 1/2 – fast walkers as you will found later) across the beach towards the iconic sand dunes. During the walk, we stopped off at a beach and managed to set our stuff in one of their Rock windbreaks.

Plus, you can’t just sunbathe when the sea is that beautiful. So we ended up going free diving and snorkelling to see what animals we could find as we had heard about there being many different types of Rays around the area. Luckily enough, we did end up coming across a Sting Ray and swimming next to it which was a great experience. However, the GoPro decided to give up on us at this particular moment (just our luck) and resulted in us not being able to fully recorded us swimming with the ray. Oh well… (I say, slightly dying inside aha).

We travelled to the Dunes afterwards and although the heat and lack of water were killing me, the Dunes were truly incredible to see. The pure golden white Sand Dunes went on for miles varying in height. If you want to feel like you’re in the desert but with the safety of a hotel within a few miles, this is definitely a place to visit.

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Day 2:

Thought this first half of the day could be given over to Jake as he had a diving trip to explore the deeper parts of the water surrounding the island. (I was currently available at this time as this girl needed a break after the long hard term I had). I explored the roof top chill bar in our apartment and it was definitely a place of peace and relaxation.

The Dive: (Jake)

I decided to have a single dive with Abyss Fuerteventura which was based in Corralejo. I was picked up and taken to the dive shop to get the kit ready, where Martin and Hannah the owners were very welcoming. We then headed to the dive site El Jablito. I specifically chose this location as I was looking for a unique shark species known as the Angelshark. Martin mentioned that there was a low chance of observing an Angelshark as there hadn’t been a very recent sighting. But, I was determined we would find one. After a couple of minutes of searching Martin stopped and shifted the sand away, there it was lying motionless in the sand a small Angelshark (and they do look Angel-like). We then continued the dive where we observed a few other ray species swimming around.

After Jake arrived back from the dive we decided to go down to the harbour to see what restaurants and shops were around. Once again, Jake decided to go swimming as I explored the different cultural shops which were primarily sea-based. Around our location, there were many surfers of all styles, wind, kite, wave etc. This is due to Fuerteventura being located in a windy region, therefore it is ideal for people who enjoy the more windier sports (If that is a word). We ended eating in a beach restaurant/bar called Waikiki, definitely one to recommend as it was a relaxing atmosphere as we went a little earlier so that it wasn’t too busy.

The sunset that night was incredible and there was no way we were going to miss it. We ended up running out of our apartment (me with no shoes on whatsoever) and finding a prime location to capture the beautiful colours of the sunset.

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Day 3: LOBOS ISLAND

First thing in the morning it was time to travel to another island called, Lobos (Isle de Lobos). Lobos is a very volcanic rock-based island, however, we managed to find a Lagoon to rest up at before we decided to trek up the islands volcanic mountain. The average person takes up to 38 minutes to walk up it, however, we only manage to take 15 minutes. Which explains why I was so dead by the time we got to the top (The relief was taking over until I realised I had to walk back down..).

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From that location we could see the rest of the island and decided to walk to a small fishing village (El Puertito). Which is not the most famous as there are very few images until you search the correct name specifically. The beauty of this location took me by surprise, it was truly breathtaking. I recommend all those who travel to Fuerteventura to travel to Lobos Island to this beautiful destination. Along with the beautiful sea and the picturesque pontoon, there was also a restaurant and local fishermen catching fresh fish ready for your meals. Most definitely a memorable location that I will happily travel to again.

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As the rules for certain things are different in Fuerteventura we had to change the way we did things, for example, the bins were only allowed to be taken out during 9pm – 2am. Our apartment also wanted us to have emptied the bins and cleaned by check out which meant that we had to empty most of our things the night before. As we decided to buy 8L bottle of water to refill our water bottles we didn’t think we’d have to throw it away so soon. Long story short, we ended up not wanting to waste water and decided to try and drink the last 3L of water… I also put the rest of what we couldn’t drink into small glasses so we could drink them in the morning… I do not recommend drinking that much… Never again…

End of the journey…

It was time to travel home, we quickly visited El Campanario shopping centre which gave us a great inside to their traditions. Local markets were also set up within the centre and live performances were taking place. This was a great way to end the journey as it was a nice walk that allowed us to explore the more westernised side of the Island (e.g, clothing shops, bars, restaurants). The rest is as you can imagine, a wait in the airport and a long flight home from an incredible journey.

Fuerteventura was definitely the break that I needed and although I may not have sat around all day doing nothing, travelling and exploring was my way of relaxation. Many details in the blog are vague and can be confusing. However, a Video Blog will be up on Youtube for you to see the full journey!

Check it out here: Dont Think Just Blog Youtube

And don’t forget to check out our Twitter and Instagram for more updates and information!

Until Next Time…

-Giovana Braia

-Jake Davies

Believe in yourself!

 

So.. Today I decided to write about something which is completely off the topic of my blog however needed to be said. As some of you may know I’m currently training in a Musical Theatre college so there are always going to be injuries, illnesses, tears and tiredness but along with all of that are the most incredible adrenaline rushes you get whilst actually putting all of that training into the final performance. Some say the ‘training’ years are the best years of your life (career wise) and so far I cannot disagree.

However, Assessment term is here again! The time when every performer reaches their maximum stress level and is in constant need of confidence boosters otherwise the assessment term can truly break you. This term we have had over 16 assessments which are a variety from performing to written examinations. So the pressure has really been on..

I noticed this term that a lot of my fellow performers (me included) were getting upset or angry a lot more than they usually do, over the smallest mistakes. Thing is we aim for perfection at all times so when things go wrong it tends to take it’s toll.

When it comes to these weeks of assessments everyone tries as much as they can. Even when they come out of an assessment the first thing they say are the mistakes that happened, ‘I messed up on that turning sequence’ ‘My voice cracked completely!’ And so many more.. All of these negatives when in reality we need to think about the positive things that happened and the improvement that has happened during training. After all, when someone asks how well an assessment went, then surely the attitude or view to have is that it went as well as it could of under assessment conditions. Everything changes once your nerves and adrenaline kick in. Even though you’ve done a perfect triple pirouette in class, you may fall out of one in an assessment. Things happen. The assessment is done and there is no other way that it could of gone. So.. there is no need to focus on it. Move onto the next and focus on how to better your performance for the next one.

In other words.. there is a way to look at specific things in life. You can upset yourself because not everything went as planned or you can think to yourself.. There was no other way that could of gone because it’s already happened and it’s now in the past and cannot be changed. I truly believe so many people are harder than they should be on themselves, everyone’s their own worst critique but there comes a time when even your own critiques are putting you down. Many of us do it, repeat everything that goes wrong in our heads rather than the rest of the things that went correctly, or watch videos and critique them personally even though they may not be anything wrong with them. We get into the zone of finding the negatives in each performance and although this is good to analyse and to know what we have done wrong in order to perfect it sometimes there is a need to appreciate what good things have been done.. Sometimes it’s good to ignore the devil on your shoulder and just enjoy doing what you’re doing even though you might have made a few mistakes here and there..

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There are days that get harder for everyone, one day you could of had the best day and the next you could be crying and wanting to eat as much junk food as possible. Things happen and change daily. Surround yourself with people who aren’t just going to pity you but pull you back up and tell you to get on with it (in the nicest of ways)… sometimes you need that kick to remind yourself that there is no need to feel sorry for yourself because although you’re having a bad day or week.. it will change. After all, most of the time the things that happen now, you probably won’t remember them in a few years.

I know this can be seen as one big rant.. but not all people understand what performers go through on a daily basis. When people ask what we’re studying, some may think of it as just dancing around like a ballerina and singing some songs. But there are so many more elements to training to be the best in the industry and there are never any ‘easy’ days. But before I start a new topic to blog about I’ll leave with this one! Maybe next time you may be able to see the inside to what training in one of the Uk’s leading performing arts colleges can really be like..

Until next time..

– Giovana Braia!

Welcome to Canada!

After my previous blog I thought I would give a slight insight to previous travels before creating this blog. One of my favourite places that I have travelled to so far has to be Canada ! We had family friends living in Canada at the time so we had a chance to spend time with them. We visited Canada during February so the snow was incredible, well it was in comparison to the snow that we get in United Kingdom.

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We stayed in Toronto, Ontario. Every part of it I loved, even the little housing estates reminded me of what I had seen on the TV. This was my first time in an international country due to us normally travelling around Europe. It was everything that I had expected it would be like, I woke up at 5am due to time zone changes but always appreciated the view of waking up looking out of the windows.

Not being used to weather conditions like this we bought very unsuitable clothing so the first day we had to drive to the closest clothing shop that had winter boots and coats. Thank God! Even though I was still freezing in my new clothes!

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We managed to visit many places during our stay in Canada and most mornings we would go for walks in the forests. The above pictures show one of the beautiful places that we walked to and even though in one of the photos it looks like a morphed bear… it was a dog..

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We also wanted a chance to try out Skiing on the beautiful Canadian snowy mountains! So we went searching and found a ski slope.. it was an incredible experience and I actually wasn’t that bad compared to the people who I saw that were steering themselves into the fences.. (those people who included my mother, bless her!) I did make it up and down the slopes in one piece and hopefully next time I get a chance to go back I will try Snowboarding.. (A new thing added to my Bucket List!)

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As I go to a performing arts college, we often have to do a thing called memory recall. This includes remembering happy or sad memories in great details. When i am asked to recall one of the happiest moments of my life, I have many, however visiting Niagara Falls is one of those memories I keep recalling. It was truly an incredible experience that I could never forget and I can recommend it to anyone! Go and visit it! The time of year that we visited was a great time even though my hair was icing up due to cold and my dads beard froze up, his beard went from black to white. He had literally aged within a few minutes due to the snow changing his hair colour.

Canada is truly an amazing country and could definitely recommend it to anyone! Although this was a brief description of our trip, I wanted to start introducing many amazing countries that deserve to be mentioned in the blog.

COMING SOON..

I will be travelling to Fuerteventura in a few weeks so I will be able to document my trip and update you on the whole experience. As I have now got 3 weeks of assessments I decided travelling would be a great break from all the stress before I go into my last term in college before Summer break. Until then, I will be keeping you updated weekly on all the great countries that you could travel to. With other different blogs coming your way too!

Until then..

– Giovana Braia!