Lucie Loves... Life // The great escape - Lucie and Roz's ultimate road trip
This probably isn’t the blog post that you were expecting.
My life right now couldn’t be any more different from what I imagined it would be like this time 6 months ago, when I was about to get married to my partner of 7 years.
Right now, I’m scraping through each day, each moment, each emotion that surfaces. I’m trying to figure out what went wrong. How did I get to this point?
The truth of the matter is this: I’m going through a separation from my ‘new’ husband. JMG and I are no more. After years and years of growing up together, our marriage lasted just 5 months. It’s been difficult trying to come to terms with this latest life blow, and I’m doing all that I can to keep my head above water.
For the past 7 years I have poured everything that I am into my blog. I’ve shared so many highlights, many of them very special, treasured, and personal moments. And most of them have included JMG. Until now.
Right now I’m starting anew. A new chapter. A new page. A new future. A new independence. A new everything. A new me. And I wanted to do it with as much honesty and integrity as I can. I wasn’t sure how or even if this is the sort of post that I should be sharing on my blog. But then I realised that you just can’t sugarcoat things to make them look/sound or taste nicer on social media.
I care so much about the work that I do. The experiences that I’m fortunate to be able to experience and share on my blog. I have no idea how to measure the impact that my content has had on my readers over its lifetime. My only hope is that by doing what I do, and sharing as I go, that some of you may have been inspired to try new things, visit new places, feel more confident, take up a sport or a hobby that you didn’t realise you would be so good at or enjoy so much.
As anyone who has been through a breakup from a long-term partner – or perhaps has gone or is going through a separation or divorce will know – it’s a pretty cruddy time.
I have wanted to bury my head in the sand. To stay in bed. To block out everything. But denial gets you nowhere. I made a decision at the very beginning of the breakdown of the marriage (end of September/early October), that I would not be hateful and would not become bitter, like so many divorcees often are. I cannot afford to waste the energy on negative emotions. I need to keep on living. I need to be strong.
However, the irony is that even when you are feeling at your lowest ebb, normal life carries on. The world will not stop turning because your’s is falling apart. Fact.
I’m incredibly lucky to have had round-the-clock support from my family and friends during this turbulent time. Through everything they have dug deep and remained true to me. Despite feeling angry and betrayed themselves by the situation, they have kept me (and themselves) composed, and respected my wishes for no drama.
There are no words quite succinct enough to describe how much the people closest to me really mean. A thousand thank yous wouldn’t cover it. You guys are my lifeblood. Through tears and laughter. I love you to pieces.
As days, weeks and months pass I have slowly gained perspective. At first I felt like my whole being was weighted down. I was questioning everything. Doubting myself and my abilities.
It’s been a very yin and yang few months. I’ve felt the highest of highs, professionally after being crowned YDLA’s Social Media Consultant of the Year and named as one of The Drum’s 50 under 30 women in digital in the UK, and the lowest of lows, personally. But then again, you can’t have everything. Chin up.
And so, with the aim of getting my life back on the rails, I accepted my friend Roz’s offer of a spa break in Cornwall. Roz is the funniest woman I have ever met. Laughter therapy guaranteed. The dates for the trip happened to coincide with two very interesting blog opportunities, which would not only challenge me emotionally, but also physically and creatively. It was just what I needed.
The first bit of blog good fortune to be bestowed on me was the chance to test drive a new Peugeot 108 for a week (blog post here!) My characterful getaway car safely secured, I agreed to drive myself and Roz to Cornwall. The only problem… I hadn’t driven in over 3 years and so was petrified! But then I thought to myself, if I don’t get back behind the wheel now, I’ll never do it.
The second bit of blog good fortune to offer me a chance to escape London was from the guys at popchips. popchips believe that everyday should be filled with fun and uplifting activities. So when they contacted me recently, inviting me to get involved in their latest blogger competition, to celebrate the launch of their sea salt and bbq multipacks, I was intrigued.
The challenge: enjoy six days of uplifting moments with a £500 budget to cover the costs. No great hardship, you’d think?
Uplifting moment #1
Date your friends. A fabulous bit of advice from a fellow heartbroken mate of mine. When all else fails and you’re feeling lost. Spend quality time with your best mates (pub location optional). It’s the perfect pick-me-up.
Uplifting moment #2
Pretend to be Thelma & Louise*. Head out on a road trip with one of your girlfriends. Revive your senses. Scare yourself silly with tiny country lanes and (unintentional) off-road driving, and experience the kindness of strangers as they try to navigate you home to safety – without the pesky sat nav.
*But without the guns or violence.
Uplifting moment #3
Go explore. When staying in a new town or village, find a pub with a roaring open fire, make friends with the staff and listen (wide-eyed) to the local gossip. Fill your belly with over-sized pub grub and laugh your socks off, but be sure to indulge the resident cat.
Uplifting moment #4
Be a mermaid. Explore smugglers caves, listen to the waves crashing against the shore and find a good rock to perch on to take in the view and free your mind. Polperro is a very magical place.
Uplifting moment #5
ExperienceMother Nature at Eden Project. We were astounded by her beauty and had our minds blown with science. If we’d had it our way, we would’ve been whizzing down the zipwire at 60mph, but unfortunately it’s only open at weekends. :-(
Uplifting moment #6
Indulge. Indulge. Indulge. After a long country drive, a night of tear-filled heart-to-heart talks and bottles of wine, pamper yourself.
Full body massage: tick.
Rose facial: tick.
My break in Cornwall was just what the doctor ordered. It pushed me to move forwards and was peppered with wonderful little moments that I will treasure forever. The people Roz and I met on our trip were some of the kindest ever.
One of my ultimate highlights was when we finally made it to Polperro. After driving for 45 minutes down some of the tiniest lanes you’ve ever seen. Through thick fog and disappearing daylight, around blind bend after blind bend, up steep hills and down narrow streets. It was quite a challenge. We realised having finally made it to the harbour, that we hadn’t actually eaten anything but light and crunchy popchips since our fry up that morning at breakfast.
We found the cutest little bakery, which was just about to close and bought two freshly baked scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream. A complete bargain at £2.94 for two! Perfection.
You sometimes forget how different things are outside of London. I guess it made me realise that life won’t always feel like doom and gloom. We’ve got so much more to live for and look forward to. It was definitely a very uplifting week.
Photography © Lucie Kerley
**Disclaimer: This post was made possible because of the very generous offer of a free test drive of the new Peugeot 108 and a £500 budget from popchips to spend on a week’s worth of uplifting activities. If my post is chosen (out of five other bloggers) as being the most uplifting and fun week, Roz and I will win two free flights to California, home of popchips. Now, if a free trip to California doesn’t help mend a broken heart, I don’t know what will! ;-) Share the love please peeps**
About new multipack popchips…
Tasty snack brand, popchips, has launched multi-packs of two of their much loved flavours, sea salt and barbeque, so you can enjoy the same great taste every day with only one trip to the supermarket.
Delivering a naturally delicious, lighter snacking alternative, both flavours are available in multi-packs of six packets of 23g for daily enjoyment.
Never fried, never baked and containing half the fat of any other crisp, both flavours contain tasty natural seasoning, packing a punch without sacrificing on taste.
Perfect for people on the go, these new multi-packs will be sure to give your taste buds a spanking!
Both multi-pack flavours are available at all nation retailers, with an RRP of £1.99