An AOW Holiday With A Twist!

I defy you not to finish this post and be smiling yourself silly.  Bex’s enthusiasm spills all over this post.  Based on the success of past meet-ups, and inspired by your love of her life lists, and of her unparalleled love of life, Bex wants to organise a meet-up with a difference.  I’ll let her tell you about it.  Anyone is welcome, anyone at all. 

Over to you, Lady Bex of Olive-Dragonfly.  Who’s in?!?:   

I got all excited about my life list again after my post on AOW last week nearly four months ago (when I started writing this post!) on International Women’s Day so went back to edit my list and add in links of things on the list that I’ve written about or shared pictures of.  I also added a couple more ideas and made it a bit neater.  You can see it here if you’re interested but I’m more excited about your lists!  Do any of you have one already?  If it’s on-line, please share the link below (I love a nosey at other people’s lists for inspiration and more ideas)!

 Me swimming with a baby humpback whale in Tonga (Stills taken from DVD)

I first made a life list after I did my round the world trip for my elective as a student where I did most of my fun/crazy/adventurous things and thought I’d record them all along with the other ideas of things I wanted to try.  I was on a roll and bought a couple of books on the matter too, such as 1000 things to do before you die and places to see and so on… 

Source: via Bex @OliveDragonfly on Pinterest

I was completely on a high after travelling half way round the world on my own (I met up with friends after the first 7 weeks so had company for the other half back home via New Zealand, Tonga and LA!) and meeting so many people and discovering my adventurous spirit.  I’d planned on learning to dive while in Australia but ended up doing so much more once there.  I’ll never forget that trip of a lifetime!  I sent emails home detailing my trip as I went and printed them all out when I got back.  When I read them or the diary I kept of the trip, I cringe at my naivety and cheesy writing, but also remember the feeling of being out there in the wide world making friends and having so much fun.


Source: via Bex @OliveDragonfly on Pinterest


I’m so glad my post for International Women’s Day inspired so many of you and made you happy that we have all these opportunities, even if you all thought the skydiving and bungy jumping were bonkers ;)  I really loved reading all of your comments!



I’ve mentioned before how I was never popular and always a bit of a geek and an outsider.  Don’t get me wrong, I did have friends but always on more of a one on one basis.  I was never really ‘one of the girls’.  I was often friends with groups of girls but never quite felt I belonged and knew I wasn’t considered one of the gang at school, work or university.  I’d go out with them, sit with them at lunch or in class and sometimes got invited along to parties or concerts with them but somehow never quite became one of them.  I know this to be true as I don’t really keep in touch with any of these groups on more than a casual basis of facebook stalking and the occasional coffee if we happen to be in the same area/at a conference/seeing mutual friends.  They’ve all been to each others weddings, babies’ christenings, other life events and I am not included in that part of their lives, nor are they in mine.  I barely keep in touch with anyone from school and never see any of them although I know a lot of people who do still see their childhood friends but I never had one of those undying friendships that lasts a lifetime until I met Vikki at university.

I’ve often wondered what I’m missing out on with these group girly friendships.  This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt truly accepted as one of the gang.  The AOW gang of the most awesome women!  I haven’t even met some of you but I have been invited to baby namings, weddings, hen parties, Christmas parties, sleepovers…  And they’ve all been SO. MUCH. FUN.  But what I have never experienced and always wanted to, is a girlie holiday.   Way back in March, Crysta happened to tweet that she’d love to go on holiday with me.  I’m assuming she was being over-enthusiastic after reading about my adventures and I knew she wasn’t entirely serious, but I jumped on it and had the idea for AOW on holiday!  Some others jumped on the bandwagon too…

@olivedragonfly I want to go on holiday with you. Then I would do all the things. Is this weird after only meeting once? I don’t care :P

— Crysta Campbell (@CrystaCampbell) March 8, 2013


@crystacampbell @olivedragonfly *shoves herself into conversation* meeeeeee toooooooooooo!!

— Mahj Brammall (@MahjBrammall) March 8, 2013


@olivedragonfly @mahjbrammall @crystacampbell ODP on tour sounds AMAZING to me :)

— Rozzy (@rozzystar) March 8, 2013


In case you didn’t see the twitter excitement (or my hint about an event with a twist I was planning when I posted about the AOW Calendar), that’s what this post is for!  Since March, I have planned to write this (it’s been half written since then in fact, but life kind of got in the way and I haven’t been the best at focussing on everything.  However, now more than ever, I need things to look forward to and this is DEFINITELY one of those things!!

We want you all to come!  Who’s up for it?!  If you haven’t already, why not start a life list now?  Put “go on holiday with bonkers (but lovely, non-psychotic) people I’ve never met” on it!!  Crazy activities optional.  ;)

Now obviously this is a bit more ambitious than the usual meet-ups, and understandably more nerve-wracking for those of you who haven’t met any of us before and yes, we may be a little bonkers, but as Alice says above, all the best people are!  I know it’s a bigger financial commitment than coming along to a party, and quite a few of us, myself included, are having to be much more careful with the pennies at the moment, so I’ll be trying to keep costs down when planning (and I have a husband who is very good at finding deals!).  Basically at the moment, I am just looking for levels of interest.  Would anybody like to do this?  Where would you like to go?  I could look for a long weekend in Europe or a big house up north with a hot tub!?  If we hire a big house for a weekend, we could probably get a good deal and the more who come, the cheaper it will be.  Let me know if you’d like to join in, what kind of holiday you’d be up for and roughly when you’d like to do it and I’ll start doing some proper research!  


Categories: Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
69 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Becca
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Hell yes I’m in. A weekend suits me as I have ZERO holiday left.

    P.S I spent my weekend avoiding twitter by pinning pictures of my bucket list. I blame Amy and her Hawaii trip #surfsmostdefinatelyUP

    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I was also on a Pinning spree!! Great minds…

  2. Anon
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Please! :) X

    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Who are you, wonderfully excited person?!

      • ChirstyMac
        Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        ha ha, ’tis me, Chirsty Mac!
        Don’t always feel the need to keep my enthusiasm under wraps – not sure why is autofilled Anon – maybe the Universe trying to tell me to chill out?! ;)

  3. Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Oh Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I. Am. IN. :) xxx

  4. Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Oh Exciting! Come to The Netherlands :) We could bike around…. go to museums, visit that huge library that’s inside an old church in Maastricht, eat tons of apple cake…

  5. Carly
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I am also watching the pennies with the wedding getting nearer but I think a weekend in a big house with a hot tub sounds wonderful! Count me in!


    • Carly
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Oh and I forgot to say – a weekend is good for me too, anytime from now until Feb really. X

  6. Lexie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Oooooh I like this idea, a little courage is all I need! Like Becca a weekend would be good anytime October onwards!! It’s almost unreal that such an amazing community exists right here and yet it does! X

  7. Mahj
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Well obvs I’m in. And will bring cheese!


    • Becca
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Black Bomber? Mouth waters at thought….

  8. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I was being overly enthusiastic, but that enthusiasm hasn’t gone away. I’m in! I can do a weekend, a long weekend or a week. I’m also happy to go abroad or up north somewhere.

  9. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    YES. Yes please. I’ve never done a girls holiday – I don’t even have any sisters to go with. But count me in…

  10. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    If it’s a weekend then HELL YES! (I’m like Becca and have maxed out my annual leave)

  11. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink


    Big house in the country somewhere would be awesome. Or we could hire out a whole YHA house which they do for groups. Bunk beds ftw.

    Love you Bex! X

    • Becca
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Absolutely EPIC idea.

  12. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Ps. Bagsy top bunk

  13. Hollie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    In theory I am very much in, but having a shift working man at home may scupper my plans – need him for chief baby watching duties! I think a weekend up north is more in my budget, but would love to be kept up to dates with plans so I can see if I can cobble together a plan to make it work :)

    Erm totally loving the idea of a whole YHA house… Love the idea of dorms!

  14. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    OK, I hardly ever comment but trust me, I read every. single. post on AOW. I was the same at school, friend with girls but not what you’d call BFFs, it wasn’t until university (and then here!) that I met my (potential) crew.

    A holiday with a bunch of smart, funny women (who I’ve never met but lets gloss over that)? Yes please.

    And I promise to be braver and comment more/come to meet ups etc

    Claire x

    weekend – check
    hot tub – check
    up north – check
    cheese – check
    (I could bring cake also)

  15. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Oh I am definitely interested! A weekend (from October onwards) would be ideal for me and a big house in the country sounds lovely. I don’t have a bucket list as such, but meeting some online people IRL is definitely something I said I would try to do in the next year or so – so this is very exciting! x

  16. Bex (GingerBee)
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    So exciting! Pennies allowing I am so in! I am exactly the same Bex about never being in a big group of girls. I have really good friends but from all over the place and they don’t really know each other! Yay for AOW!

    Bex (2!)

  17. Yanthé
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    What a wonderful idea!! For a whole host of reasons I won’t bore anyone with I think it’s unlikely I will be able to join, which makes me sad, but I will very much be looking forward to hearing all about it!

    I didn’t start my life list before Bex, but I am definitely starting one now, so thank you for the inspiration and for sharing your amazing energy xxxxx

    • Yanthé
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      PS – Your Pinterest is amazing! Must. Do. Work.

  18. HayleyB
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Still trying to keep up with my ‘be brave and comment more’ resolution….
    So, yes a weekend would be great to meet you all.
    Is it weird that the thought makes me feel a bit nervous (and slightly butterfly-tummy like?). It’s like the being last to be picked on the team type anxiety…eeeekk!

    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Yay Hayley, would love to meet you! But please don’t feel like that (I am USELESS at sports so I know the feeling well!) As I said to Laura on Twitter this morning, there is no in-crowd here at AOW – just look at how I’ve wormed my way in to organise things ;) – some of us are just noisier than others, hehe. Everyone is welcome, quiet or noisy :D

  19. Fee
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Not 100% sure I could make it but please keep me in the loop! Xx

  20. Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Sounds fabulous. A lovely weekend in a lovely house somewhere would be such a treat.

    I would love to come along however at the moment I will just say a big “possibly”.
    Please do keep me posted with the details.

  21. Becca
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I think Lucy’s YHA suggestion is absolutely EPIC and would also keep costs down so there is more money for gin/tea/cake/ALLTHESHORTBREAD.

    Also bagsy the top bunk over here.

  22. Posted August 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Clearly I’m in! Very happy at the thought of a big house and everyone bringing cake and wine. I’m sure we must be able to get some fab deals off season for a house with a hot tub :D


  23. Lottie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Would love to come if I still lived in UK. Will watch all the fun and shenanigans unfold from afar!

  24. Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Cannot guarantee I can come but I would VERY much like to be informed of what is is and where and how much etc, so I can come if I POSSIBLY can!

    KL x

    PS: Cake in a hot tub FTW.

  25. Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I am SO thrilled so many of you are up for this, I was worried it might be too adventurous or scare off the lurkers (lurkers, please come I promise we’re not weird internet murderers!) :) I will get on it this Thursday and come back soon with some proper ideas and possible dates for you all! Yippee!!

  26. Posted August 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Exactly what Katie said – no promises but would LOVE to come if I possibly can- weekend in some kind of lovely cottage-type place with hot tub and cake sounds just up my street! And thanks so much Bex and the lovely AOW ladies for creating this lovely community which makes such things possible x

  27. Sandie
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I would LOVE to, but have All. The. Fear.

    Eeeewek! Someone sort me out!


    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been to two big meet ups so far, and met a few people in smaller groups. I’m terrified each and every single time. I promise you, though, that the fear doesn’t last once you meet everyone. You walk into a room full of women who want to meet you and talk to you. No one has an agenda, no one judges, and there’s no “cool girls” table. There may be a cake table, though… I’m 99.999% certain if you came along you’d really enjoy yourself!

      Are you on twitter? If you’d like to come, but aren’t certain, perhaps chatting to some of the AOW crowd who are on twitter for a bit first would help relieve your fears!

      • Sandie
        Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Hi Crysta :-)

        Thanks for the encouragement – perhaps I should just bite the bullet! I am on Twitter – curlydudette – so feel free to look me up! Even joining in with Twitter chats is nerve-wracking! xx

        • Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          OMG, just seen your profile pic on Twitter – your pout is awesome! (Competition AnnaK!)

          • Sandie
            Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            He he, thanks Bex! Went to the 1940s weekend in Haworth in May, so a proper red pout was required. If only I could wear makeup like that every day! *sigh*

    • HayleyB
      Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m with you Sandie – I have The Fear too. But everyone seems so nice that I am trying to be brave. We could look after each other…. And if there’s cake it’s bound to be ok!

      • Sandie
        Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes, let’s do it! x

        • deltafoxtrotcharlie
          Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          ditto on the fear – can we be new girls together?

          • Sandie
            Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Abso-flippin’-lutely! x

            • deltafoxtrotcharlie
              Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink


              (I’m nice, honestly)

              • HayleyB
                Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

                Yes, brave newbies together!
                (I’ll try to hold in the bonkers-ness).

                • Sandie
                  Posted August 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

                  Why on earth would you need to do that?!

                  • Fran M
                    Posted August 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

                    I’m a newbie too! Please don’t be too normal, you might show me up :)

  28. Zan
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Am so in if I can make it! A weekend would be easiest for me (due to lack of annual leave) but yes, yes and yes! :D

  29. Posted August 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    On the subject of life lists, have you heard of Go Mighty? It’s a site dedicated to life lists and they get a lot of big sponsorships, so if you’re lucky you might get sponsored to tick off one of your goals. Worth a look! (I have a profile on it but haven’t written up any goals yet. Maybe I should put “write life list” on my life list?)

    • Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Oh haven’t heard of Go Mighty but am definitely going to check it out, thanks Kirsty!

  30. Posted August 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Um yeah! sounds good ladies – keep me posted :)

    Vote for big house up ‘norf

    Landmark Trust perhaps?

  31. Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I can tempt the nervous people to come to ODP2 before committing to an actual holiday? Since it’s fancy dress this year you can even hide behind a mask!? :)

  32. Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink


  33. Liz
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like so much fun, and after last weeks promise to be brave and try and meet some of you I would love to say yes…but, am currently in post house-buying, nearing end of maternity leave financial lockdown so I think I have to be sensible…boo!

  34. Posted August 6, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I have been absolutely terrified and met random people of the net a few times. Trust me, these people are awesome. And getting into the convo on twitter really helps to get to know people!

    I would love to come but all time after my wedding is a mystery to me.

    BUT anyone that is unsure, feel free to email me. I only started reading and commenting a year ago and love making new friends. I can encourage and chivvy you along or chat on a range of subjects including weddings, Disney, wine and cake. Ooh, and musicals. See how not cool I am? (katylkh at


  35. Posted August 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    This does sound like a fab idea but unfortunately I don’t think I am going to be able to make it due to impending lack-of-job and also impending new arrival but… I expect plenty of posts about the planning and then posts afterwards about the cake and bunk beds!! K x

  36. Fran M
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    That sounds great to me, if you can put up with a hormonal pregnant lady, please count me in…. on the plus side, there will be more gin for everyone else (but less cake). I’ve had lots of girly weekends away but never a proper ‘holiday’ so this would be great to tick off my list too :D

  37. Sharon
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Sounds fab, and depending on when, count me in. Fran, I’ll keep you company as a fellow hormonal pregnant lady x

  38. Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested too please! Will bring rainbow cake :)

  39. Rach M
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes yes yes! Me too please! Love the sound of a house or YHA. I would utterly love it. Got a busy autumn coming up with all this wedding nonsense but do please keep me in the loop! Great idea Bex, we’re so lucky to have you Xx

  40. Sarah
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I said I would make an effort to comment more so… Yes please! What a lovely idea xx

  41. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Keen!! Weekends are definitely best, YHA or bunkhouse ideas sound awesome. I’m not much of a baker so can’t promise cake but I can rot everyone’s teeth with some tablet… Xx

  42. Posted August 13, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I am certainly in if the timing and costs work at the time! Love you ladies!

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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