Despite a bit of a rocky start the rest of our holiday in Vietnam has been a joy (so far) we've eaten street food sat on tiny chairs feet from the bustling road and we've sipped Mango Slingers next to an infinity pool. Needless to say some of it has cost penny's and some has been eyewateringly expensive. But somehow we have managed to come in on budget and walk away with the most incredible experiences under our belts (and wonderful tales to add to our story telling repertoire)
What strikes me in hindsight is that some of the most important decisions we made were the choices of where and how to spend our money in particular with regards to accommodation. When we booked our hotels we considered how much time each day we anticipated staying there. There's no point staying on the most luxurious 5 star hotel if you're going to be out exploring all day is there? Of course it's lovely to come back to comfort and pazaz but frankly, after the amount of walking we do, by the end of the day I could sleep on a bed made of bricks.
So this trip, when we were in the cities we went low key with a bog-standard bed and a basic breakfast. When we were in Pho Quoc, with the intention of lounging all day everyday, we went all out 5 star, the biggest bed you've ever seen (seriously, they were wider than they were long) more breakfast options than you could get your head around and a pool and private beach to die for.
I was lying next to the pool the other day when it occurred to me that without really thinking about it, we spent our money in the right places. The relaxing part of our holiday was made extra special by the staffs impeccable attention to detail and the beautiful standard, and the other hotels didn't really matter because we were never in them. And it got me thinking - Is this not similar to everything in life? If you learn where and how to spend the money on quality and when it's not necessary you get to have a wonderful balance.
If you take a wardrobe of clothes for instance, I imagine there's very few people who buy ALL there clothes from one place. You shop around, something's are worth the compromise of quality and others aren't. From Primark to Harrods we all have different opinions of what is acceptable to pay for what items. The key seems to be understanding what is important to us as individuals. A unique and personal decisions to each of us - What budget basics we want, what 'special' clothes we desire and when we require quality.
Shoes are probably the best example as we all wear them. We all know what it's like to wear uncomfortable shoes (to squeeze your feet into to heels that make your toes bleed... But they match your outfit so well). For me, I'm more likely to buy cheaper stilettos from new look for one weddin - to suffer for that one day so that they match my outfit and then get really good Chelsea boots for day to day (literally day in, day out - I wear them to dinner, to tesco, to the fabric shop) so I want them to last and be comfortable where as I'm only a 'stilettos on occasions' kinda gal. Don't get me wrong I have some beautiful, quality, staple heels that are comfortable classics, ideal for a meeting or dinner, but when it comes to the finishing touches on a wedding outfit I'm looking for coordination over comfort!
When you relate this to business and it (inevitably in my world) comes round to my chunky knits they may not be top of everyone's list when it comes to splashing the cash, after all there's so many other temptations for us! (Holidays, clothes, food, to name a few!) also not everyone has that type of expendable cash and you can buy a blanket from practically anywhere. But when it comes a quality statement piece, I'm thrilled to say that my products fall into the same category as the 5 star resorts. You couldn't ask for softer, chunkier knits with a better WOW factor (apparently 😉)
But why is that? Well, as you may know I spend a lot of time processing each piece carefully by hand, after it's been knitted. This time consuming element required for each product is intricate and delicate work - a balancing act to find the perfect degree of bonding the fibres (to help with durability) whilst keeping its delicious softness. Its basically the finish and quality control of every item. It's a crucial part of each product, which increases the time spent on each one and therefore has a knock on effect on the price, however it really is the all important 'Q word'. A luxury item isn't just any item with an expensive price tag, it's something that is special, it's great quality and yes, it may seem a bit more extravagant and expensive compared to a BHS blanket but all these elements make it worth the extra money.
Learning when to splash the cash is a personal decision for each of us as individuals. I find it so brilliant that what's important to me may not be important to you - it's great because we are all different so we all value things differently it's what makes us unique. You need to figure out what's important to you, when do you require quality? When is it ok to go for the basics and when do you want something special? Personally I love buying beautiful items for our home. Special statement pieces - lamps, vases, blankets, bedding. It's those little luxuries that last and make an ordinary tho g special and that's what I love - it's no wonder I do what I do!
On that cosy note I will leave you! Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings!