What Would Samantha Do? Ultimate Beach Essentials This Summer!

Summer may be coming to an end in Australia, but it doesn’t mean we have to give up the beach just yet. As many of you beach lovers already know, we’re pretty lucky here in Australia and can go to the beach pretty much all year round. Yep – even in Winter (on a nice sunny day). Regardless of when you’re heading to the beach, there’s a few essentials I’ve come to realise I absolutely cannot go without. Getting some blogging inspiration from Tripping.com – I thought I would put these together into an ultimate beach survival guide for wherever you are in the world. If you’re by a beach, then you’re pretty damn lucky.

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Sunscreen 

Being a red head with very pale and sensitive skin, I absolutley cannot leave the house with SPF 50+ To some of you, this may be a bit excessive, but with my skin, I just can’t risk it. Even if you’re not prone to sunburn, you should always slip, slop, slap! Because let’s be honest, you don’t want to be one of those ladies who’s skin looks like it’s turned to leather now do you?!

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Fabulous Hat

Think Samantha from Sex & the City, in this case, bigger is definitely better. Not only do hats look trés à la mode, but (again) they’re perfect for sun safety. It’s a win wine. And just think, you’d make Samantha ever so proud!

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Source

GoPro

If you’re more into an action packed beach visit, then you absolutely must pack your GOPRO! I got my hands on a GoPro Hero+ last year and every time I go to the beach I love to take it. It’s such a fun way to capture photos and moments without stressing about ruining your phone. Plus, you never know what you’re going to see under the water!

Here’s a little clip of when I took my GoPro rock hopping with some friends.

Water

If you’re planning on spending a big day at the beach, you’ll get warm, sweaty and extremely dehydrated. I always take a huge bottle of ice cold water with me to quench that thirst. Plus, you’ll be able to get rid of that sand when it inevitably gets everywhere!

Super cute swimsuit

OK let’s be honest, the best part about prepping for beach season, is shopping for swimsuits. I picked this one up in Santa Monica right before my Hawaii trip (because Hawaii, enough said). I absolutely freakin love the colour, it’s a beautiful deep green which makes my hair look super red. The cut really flatters my body and I love the cut out and low back. If you’re looking for some new swimmers, you can check out Urban Outfitters where I got mine from. Another place I love to look is on ASOS!

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Urban Outfitters swimsuit. You can find it here. 

Book

If someone asked me to describe my perfect afternoon, it would be laying under an umbrella, on soft warm sand, with some watermelon, a coffee and a good book. There’s honestly nothing quite like sitting on the beach and burying your mind into the pages of a good book. At the moment I’m reading ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ by Andrew Mueller, an Australia/British war correspondent who shares his experiences from across the world. The pages are absolutely filled with sand (and sorry to my friend Dylan who kindly lent it to me), but I’ve read the majority of this book on the beach. It’s absolute bliss!

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So what are you waiting for? Get your ass down to the beach this very moment! Is there anything else that you have to bring with you? Let me know in the comments below

 

Simple & Easy Way To Make A KickAss Travel Video

So you want to make a travel video but you don’t know where to start? Well there’s a million ways to make a travel video. The most common is a quick GoPro edit with a Kygo song plastered on top. But if you don’t have time, money, energy or resources to put together an epic travel video… never fear. I have the ultimate travel app for you!

1SE (1 Second Everyday) is the easiest yet most creative way to document your travels. In short, this is how it works… you take one second of footage everyday and it saves it into a calendar. You can set reminders so you don’t forget to take a quick video. Then at the end of your trip, you mash it all together and export the file.

The best thing is, that it allows you to capture what you think is important or special about a particular day. And even if you don’t do anything specifically important or special in a day, and you end up filming your office desk or your coffee order, they’re all part of what make up your adventures.

PLUS… it requires minimal effort. It’s a slow project but at the end of the year, you’ve got about 5.5minutes of adventures, and I assure you that you’ll thank yourself when you watch your year back.

Below is my 1SE video from 2016. Let me know what you think! I’m making another 1SE for 2017 so watch this space! I’ll also be making a proper travel video (maybe with a bit of Kygo overtop) so once I sift through my 100’s of Gigabytes of footage, I’ll be onto it.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to be sure you don’t miss it! 

My 5 GOLDEN RULES for travelling on the London Underground

London is a big one on a lot of people’s bucket lists. And I must admit, there’s nothing quite like descending over the city and being able to spot buildings from your window seat. You’re not sure if it’s because you’ve been seated for 14+ hours or your excitement, and your legs are shaking away. You may have heard about Heathrow’s long queues to get through customs, but you may not of heard of another very important aspect of landing at Heathrow, and that’s getting the tube to your destination.

Ah the tube. At first it’s comically exciting. And then you realise you need to manoeuvre your suitcase up and down stairs, on and off trains and in between thousands of people.

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Make sure you can carry your stuff

There’s nothing worse than literally not being able to carry your belongings. You’re trying to wheel your suitcase, your’ve got your backpack on your bag, handbag over your shoulder, shopping bag in one hand, reaching for your Oyster card in the other… It’s a nightmare. If it helps, have a little practice at home before you tackle the tube. What’s easiest and most comfortable for you? Figure it out as soon as possible so you can get your sh*t together and get from A to B easily.

Take your time

Sure the tube makes you feel like life is moving at hyper speed… but there’s no need to rush. When there’s so many people rushing around you, it’s easy to feel like you’re being the biggest pain ever and in everyone’s way. But everyone’s been there. They probably feel sorry for you that you have to lift that huge thing. around everywhere. In fact, a lot of people will offer to help carry your bag up stairs. Just take a deep breath and take your time. You’ll get there. Everyone else can just shover around you. After all, you’re the one with the massive suitcase, no one’s going to mess with that!

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Try to avoid peak hours

Peak hours on the tube vary between 6:30am-9:30am and 4:30pm-7:30pm. If at all possible, I would strongly recommend avoiding travelling with lots of luggage during these times. It’s hard enough with a small handbag, let alone everything you belong. However, if you unfortunately find yourself in that position, just make sure to take extra care so you don’t hurt yourself or someone else.

Stand up

It’s going to be much easier for you and other passengers if you put your luggage against the tube doors once they close, or against the panel. This will firstly make sure you’re not taking up too much room, it will secure your luggage, and you can lean against it for comfort and security. Trust me on this one, there’s nothing worse than someone sitting down on one of the seats, with their bag stopping someone else from sitting down. You will receive the death stare from many people.

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Smile and apologise

If you do find yourself in someone’s way (which is most definitely going to happen) just smile and say sorry. They’ll appreciate the notion and be on their way. If you get frustrated, flustered or rude, there’s no way someone’s going to offer to help you and again, the death stares will occur.

FINAL NOTES

At the end of the day, the tube is a very strange type of ecosystem with it’s own rules and laws. You never quite know if it’s safe to look someone in the eye or smile at someone… but hey, you’ll be getting off in a few stops and most likely never see them again.

Travel Anxiety #KeepingItReal

Travel is scary, nerve racking and gives you ridiculous amounts of anxiety. These are probably not the first thoughts that come to mind when you think of travelling the world. We are completely saturated by images of beautiful people standing in front of beautiful sites in beautiful places. Despite the carefree looks on their faces, I can assure you each and every person who’s journeyed overseas has felt some sort of travel anxiety.

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I consider myself pretty adventurous and I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel before. Despite this, as I was in the uber on the way to the airport with my Mum this morning, I didn’t quite know if I needed to sing with joy or vomit. It’s a fine line really and I’m still not quite sure what I needed to do, but I’m glad I didn’t throw up in the taxi.

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I think it’s only natural to feel this way. I’m heading off on a 6+ month adventure. Goodbye friends, family and the familiar. It’s even harder when the past few weeks with your friends and family have been among the most exciting and fun weeks you’ve had in a long time. I guess this is what travel is all about, creating new memories and forever expanding your ‘familiar’

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Plus, the date completely crept up on me. How the hell is it actually the end of June?! I booked my adventure at the end of January. Way back when June felt like a life time away. I guess I’ve always had something to distract me and keep me busy. Uni does a pretty good job at that. I finished uni at the beginning of June and suddenly, I’m packing my bag and heading to the airport about to vomit in an uber.

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That anxiety is kind of put to rest when your Mum is snapping photos of you on her phone as you wave goodbye in departures…. (I love it). But then you’re wacked in the face with passport checks and security screenings. Next thing you know you’re barefoot and trying not to look suspicious so you end up looking suspicious af. Then you need to find your gate and my god it’s easy to get lost in an airport!

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That anxiety is then put to rest again when you see two of your friends at the airport both embarking on their own adventures as well. Both equally as nervous, excited and ahhhhhhhh as you.

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Then there’s the added anxiety of landing somewhere completely unknown… somewhere like Manila for example. Having no idea how to get to your hotel, how much money you should be spending on taxis plus the added nerves of reading horror stories of tourists experiences in Manila… it’s pretty damn overwhelming.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not complaining. I’m just sharing that feeling of butterflies/needing to throw up that we all experience at some point in our travel journeys. It’s totally normal and totally real. Just remember to take a deep breath, have a drink of water and think about all the amazing things you’re about to experience. It will totally be worth it. That travel anxiety will quickly be replaced with travel excitement and adventure. 

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When you get upgraded to Business Class, it definitely helps with those pre flight nerves!

How to be TECH SAVVY whilst travelling

Let’s be honest, in this day and age, if you didn’t get a photo of it, did it even happen? OK I’m totally joking. Well kind of. There’s nothing I love more than capturing a moment. With people, of an event, a sunrise, a sunset… anything. And not just capturing a moment, but sometimes, you ‘get by with a little help from technology.’ So here’s the list of things I’m taking overseas with me.

GO PRO HERO+

I bought this about a month ago with a collection of gift vouchers I’d been saving for a rainy day. Finally I took the plunge and bought my beautiful GO PRO. I’m genuinely surprised by just how good this little thing is. The video and photo quality is amazing, it’s even more amazing under water, and the sound quality is actually pretty good. My GOPRO actually motivates me to get out and do fun and adventurous things.

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GO PRO HERO +

iPhone 6S

You always need a phone with you. So naturally, I’ll be taking the one I already own. I’ve had a Lifeproof case for the past 6 months and I don’t know what I would do without it. It’s a huge piece of mind knowing that if you drop it or spill some liquid, your phone is well protected. The iPhone 6S also takes pretty damn good photos and videos (in fact, I’m quite surprised with the video quality). I love the slow-mo and timelapse option as well. Plus – it’s always good to be able to call, text, gram on the go.

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iPhone 6S with a Lifeproof case

Power adapters

You’re not going to get far at all without power adapters. Personally I prefer the individual adapters. I’ve had friends in the past deal with faulty and very dodgy universal adapters

Power board

I always take a power board with me. It saves being stuck charging one thing at a time because you only have one adaptor. Taking a power board is a simple and effective way to make sure you’ve satisfied all of your charging needs.

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Adapters, pocket scales, hard drive and power pack

Chargers galore

Check, check and double check you’ve got all of your chargers. Handy tip: I usually keep all of my chargers in a cotton draw string bag. It keeps them all together. There’s nothing worse than losing a part of your charger. I’m speaking from experience so trust me on this one.

Gorilla Pod

I first discovered this little beauty when my sister bought one for her adventures overseas last year. So I just knew I had to get one myself. This one is compatible for any camera that you screw on to a tripod stand. It’s also got a tripod to GOPRO piece which means you can use it for your SLR then quickly switch over to using it for your GOPRO. Pretty fancy.

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Power pack

I even take this when I know I’m going to be out all day in Sydney. Sometimes when you’re Snapchatting, Instagramming and Facebooking, it chews up your battery faster than you down an espresso. Making sure you bring a fully charger power pack in your day pack will make sure you get to gram til your hearts content.

Mac Book Air

I don’t normally take my laptop away with me, but because I’m going on exchange and will be attending university overseas, it’s a no brainer. Plus, if I want to keep up with the blogging and vlogging, it’s going to be pretty damn handy.

CANON Powershot G7X Mark II

La piece de resistance…. My beautiful little Canon G7X. I’m kind of in love! I chose this camera because of its compact size, built in wifi, manual modes to experiment with and flip screen, perfect for snapping a quick selfie or vlogging. I’m still figuring out how to use it exactly, but I’ll get there – watch out Instagram… I’m coming for you.

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But here comes the savvy part;

The most important thing to remember is that whatever you take away with you, you need to be prepared to lose. As much as it would suck if I lost something or had something stolen (not my Canon – nope – thieves, you keep your hands off), at the end of the day, they’re all replaceable. What you can’t put a price on is your happiness, health and safety.

Make sure you’ve got insurance and take photos of your receipts and serial numbers.

Be smart with your tech. There’s no need to carry around a big flashy camera through the backstreets of a city, showing it off.

If you ask someone to take your picture, ask someone who has a similar camera to you. It’s much easier and you’re more likely to get a better photo. Trust me, it’s extremely difficult trying to explain how to take a photo in another language.

Et voila – that’s my list of tech things I’m taking with me on my trip. Do you have any savvy tips and tricks? Is there something that you HAVE to pack with you on your trip? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

 

 

 

Review: Airbnb in MELBOURNE

In a world where hostels are too crowded and hotels are too boring, the internet has given us Airbnb. For those of you who have been living under a rock, then I’m about to make your 2016 even better. Airbnb is an amazing website which allows for a truly unique travelling experience. You choose the place you’re going, punch in some dates, adjust the price range per night and voilà! It gives you so many different options, from a room in a house or apartment to the entire house and apartment! If you’re staying somewhere where your host is also living, it allows you to really immerse yourself in the culture and lifestyle of the place that you are staying. Or if you opt for the entire place and share it with some friends, it gives you so much freedom to explore and do what you want to do.

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Our beautiful Airbnb apartment! 

So… my friends and I were planning to spend New Years Eve in Melbourne and we were looking at accommodation. Hotels were crazy expensive per night per person, and hostels just didn’t seem ideal. Then we came across this listing on Airbnb. A beautiful 2 bedroom apartment in central Melbourne. We contacted the host, Mel, who was extremely prompt in replying. We agreed on a price, we paid and we were booked in. Upon arrival we were blown away with the quality of the place we were staying. Across from Federation Square, Flinders Street Station and we could see Hosier Lane from our window. The place was beautifully decorated (and even came with some beer in the fridge). There were board games and DVD’s and when we were a bit worse for wear in the morning, we would lay on the fold out lounges that were incredibly comfortable. With such a perfect location and amazing people to spend my time with – we had the ultimate getaway. Though I believe our time was only so amazing after some solid planning. So here’s what I recommend doing when booking with Airbnb so that your time can be as amazing as ours!

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A list of sites and things to do in Melbourne. 

Do’s

  • Read the reviews. Airbnb asks people that stay at a property to review it. After you finish your stay they bombard you with emails reminding you to leave a review which is a win win situation. You get to read the review your host left you, plus add what you loved and what you thought could be better (if there’s anything). Reading the reviews are absolutely essential to secure the right place for you.
  • Contact the host. You’ll be staying at their property so make sure to carry yourself in a mature manner. If you’ve got any questions about the property, now’s your time to ask.
  • Google Maps It. Look up the location on Google Maps to ensure you’re in a good location. Look for famous landmarks or central areas.
  • Read the house rules. Generally each property has their own ‘house rules.’ This may include information like where to pick the key up, how to operate the air conditioning/pull out loungs, where you can and can’t smoke and if it’s ok to have parties. We were staying in a residential building so of course we couldn’t throw a wild party. It’s important to read these to make sure you get the right place for you.

Don’ts

  • Break the house rules. If they say ‘no smoking,’ then don’t smoke. If it says do the dishes before leaving, then do the dishes. This is out of respect to the property owner, and to ensure you don’t incur any cleaning or damage fees.
  • Try to squeeze more people into a space. The number of people the property sleeps is set at that for a reason. Any more and you’re at risk of breaking something or getting kicked out. Just be honest and I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate your needs.
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The view from our window. Hello Melbourne!

In Conclusion… Our 4 nights away in Melbourne was made more spectacular by us staying in such a beautiful apartment. It was honestly worth every cent and I’d highly recommend it to anyone with a group of 4-6 people looking for a great location.

If you want to stay at this apartment, you can enquire with the host here. 

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Things People Don’t Tell You About Travel

If you look to travel bloggers and the internet, you would be under the assumption that travel is rejuvenating, filled with adventure and picturesque sunsets. That you’re so lucky and you’re going to have the best time of your life. Whilst I agree that people who get the chance to travel are incredibly luck and will definitely have an experience of a lifetime – when you’re in a dark alleyway in the back streets of Rome, no charge left on your phone and there’s creepy people lurking around, it’s hard to say that you are having the best time of your life.

I’m 100% guilty of creating this illusion that travelling is so amazing and every second is simply unforgettable. However, when I stop and really think back on it, I think this wanderlust magical illusion has altered my memory. In life, it’s only natural to remember the good times so when people ask you ‘how was your trip?’ it’s only natural to think back to those beautiful sunsets over the ocean, the wonderful people you met and the breathtaking sight of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night.

Travelling looking as appealing as ever
Travelling looking as appealing as ever

But as the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. So, here’s my list of things that people don’t tell you about travelling, because in order to truly have the adventure of a lifetime, you need to know what to do when travelling turns out to be less than perfect.

*Obviously everyone’s experiences are different, but these are things that I encountered whilst travelling and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there.

On your first few nights away, you will cry

You’ve just spent a whole 24 hours on a plane, you’re wearing dirty clothes, you’re over tired, confused and trying to decipher out how to get to your hostel. Life is difficult to navigate when you’re tired when you’re at home, let alone in a strange city. And when you finally lay your head down on a strange pillow, it kind of sinks in that you’re on your own. You get these strange feelings over being overwhelmed with your decision to embark on a journey so bold. On my first night in London I remember crying because I arrived late at night, got the train from the airport to the station (it wasn’t a pleasant train ride either) and then having no idea where to go from the station. Then when I finally made it to my hotel, I couldn’t sleep because of jetlag and there were sirens all night long.

What to do?

Accept these feelings. If you feel like crying. Just let it out. Personally, if I try and hold some tears in, I get all worked up about nothing. To get over nights like this, make sure you’ve got a few good movies or TV series loaded onto your laptop. I find it so settling to just switch off and watch some mindless TV to fall asleep to. On that note, make sure you get a good sleep. Adjusting to jetlag is a bit of a bitch but try and wake up at a ‘normal’ time and go to sleep at a ‘normal’ time. That’s the quickest way to adjust.

Sometimes, it's ok to have sad days. Source
Sometimes, it’s ok to have sad days. Source

Places, Sites and Cities will not be what you expect

For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to go to Paris. I couldn’t wait to set foot in that city and follow the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel and Victor Hugo. Paris… the City of Light… of the city of dog sh*t, ghettos, uncomfortable metro rides and gypsies. I was utterly repulsed by the Eiffel Tower as well. I just didn’t get it and everything about it just felt off. THEN, there were numerous incidents where I nearly got pickpocketed and many times where I was followed and harassed on the metro. Let’s just say, Paris was not in my good books. I remember being so internally upset that Paris didn’t live up to my expectations. I just didn’t understand it.

What to do?

There was just something in me that yearned to love Paris. So when I got the opportunity to return, I had to take it. The second time I was there – it felt like I’d lived there my whole life. I stayed with a dear friend of mine that lived in the Bastille arrondissement. I met lots of locals and explored hidden treasures. And then, I saw the Eiffel Tower from the hills of Montmartre and that is the moment that I fell in love with Paris. The point is, not everyone is going to like every city or place. We all have different experiences and that’s what make our stories worth listening to. It’s just important to not be disappointed by your first encounter of a place, and to try and immerse yourself in the local way of life to get a true feel for what a place is like. If I had never given Paris a second shot, I would’ve regretted it so much.

Enjoying Paris as you should. With coffee, bread, croissants, good friends and locals.
Enjoying Paris as you should. With coffee, bread, croissants, good friends and locals.
Getting lost in beautiful neighbourhoods
Getting lost in beautiful neighbourhoods
When I fell in love. Source
When I fell in love. Source

You will get sick, and when you do, you’ll want to press the SOS button

You get sick when you’re at home, so of course you’re going to get sick when you’re travelling. And trust me, being sick whilst in a foreign country is THE WORST!!! I call my experience, the Prague experience. Let’s just say I was there around Christmas New Years time, I ate a lot of street food, and drank a lot of beer (beer is cheaper than water, I was just trying to save money!). Anyway, my body was pretty damn mad at me because I vomited for 24hours straight and couldn’t even keep water down. The next day I was booked in to go to Vienna and then off to Berlin, but I honestly couldn’t even keep my head up without feeling dizzy and throwing up. I don’t really remember it all, but I called my Dad, crying saying how sick I was. I had a random French couple trying to give me medicine that I couldn’t read what it was and an old Polish man telling me that I was poisoned. Let’s just say, I wanted to press eject and get out of there.

What to do?

Firstly, make sure you have travel insurance! I did have it, however honestly didn’t know what to do and didn’t know if I was sick enough to go to the hospital. In hindsight, I probably should have. Don’t hesitate to contact home for comfort, but maybe do so after you’ve had a few hours to think about what’s going on. Listen to your body! I was so tempted to push on the next day to Vienna, my mind was screaming at me to get off my ass and onto that bus. But I physically knew that I was incapable of doing so. Don’t be afraid to relax and let your body and mind heal itself. There’s no point pushing yourself where you won’t even be able to enjoy a new city. I wish I could’ve gone to Vienna and Berlin, but now they’re just on my to do list again!

Always read. Source
Always read. Source

It will be hard, but it will be worth it

Sure all of the jetlag, getting lost, food poisoning, nights spent on airport floors, trying to decipher Hungarian road signs and fending off weird metro goers kind of sucks… but you know what… it’s those stories which will turn out to be some of your best. Each set back you experience is just preparing you to overcome the next. I know that sometimes it’s hard, but trust me it will be worth it!

 

 

Simple Savings: Funding Your Travel

A large barrier that many people seem to face to travelling is Money. It’s true that money doesn’t buy you happiness but it sure does help. And it is a realistic yet silly obstacle that gets in our way. I funded my GAP year myself by working two jobs and my ass off to get there. And now, I’m currently saving for my next big adventure, exchange at university. I’m no stranger to putting away the pennies, so here are my little tips and tricks to help you maximize on savings so you can start your adventure sooner.

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Cut on the spending. I know this seems like the obvious one, but once you’re aware of how much money you’re spending each week on things that you don’t necessarily need, it’s a quick way to hold on to your valuable dollars.

Firstly, for one week, keep a note of all the things you spend money on. Include all the little things like coffee, lunch, online shopping etc and add up the total. WARNING: the first week you do it, it might scare you.

Secondly, for the next week, do it again, but this time, try and reduce your unnecessary spendings by half. By cutting these spendings by even just half, can save you a lot of money.

For example, I used to buy two coffees a day at work/uni, then maybe a snack, do some online shopping at ASOS (which I love btw), go out, buy tickets to everything… I was earning money and then spending it. By cutting my expenses by half, I restrict myself to one coffee a day (everyone needs coffee, I can’t cut all of it), making my own lunch, limiting myself to one ASOS shop per month, I’ve already seen my bank account look much healthier.

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Source

Save Save SAVE! Again… obvious, but there’s certain ways that you can save your money which will see your savings grow much faster so you can jump on that train even sooner.

Put your pennies away for a rainy day. Or in this case, a holiday. Any small change you find/happen to have tucked away at the bottom of your bag… put it in a jar, in your room where you’ve made a promise to yourself that you won’t touch, and once it’s full, take it to the bank. It’s always rewarding to physically see some money (even if it’s not much) go towards your holiday.

Set yourself a goal with your savings each week. And stick to it! Even if it’s $50 a week, it’s all going to add up. Personally, I get paid different amounts each week and therefore it can fluctuate. But the minimum I’d put into my savings account is $50. Then at least I know that my savings will be growing.

Don’t touch it. Once your savings start to grow, don’t touch it! I always try and set up a savings account that isn’t linked to my card so I’m not tempted by any sales. It always helps if your separate account has a high interest rate as well, just to earn some extra money.

If you’re not sure… ask. Talk to you bank about the best option to save money. When I was saving for my GAP year, that’s exactly what I did and ended up getting a term deposit for a few months which automatically added an extra few hundred dollars to my savings.

Source
Source

If you’re super committed and want money fast for that last minute holiday of yours… try these simple money saving hacks.

  1. Sell all of your old clothes.
  2. Cut back on the coffee all together (if you’re willing to do this, then I applaud you).
  3. Live off of Mi-Goreng.
  4. Work two jobs (who really needs sleep).
  5. Work for tips.
  6. Offer to do jobs for your friends and family for a small fee (i.e car wash, mowing the lawn).
  7. Tutor someone.
  8. Read a book instead of going out.
  9. Use a gold detector.
  10. Know that it’s all worth it for your ultimate travel experience!

Do you have any simple savings ideas that you use to help fund your travel? I’d genuinely love to know and I’m sure many others would as well!

xxx A

5 Ways to Deal With Homesickness This Festive Season

Whilst I may be at home for Summer break, I still have this sick feeling at the bottom of my stomach, reminiscent of home sickness. Why you may ask? Well I’m a firm believer of the saying ‘home is where the heart is,’ and my heart is scattered across the globe. Whilst most of my time at the moment is spent at work, with my family or at the beach, there are times where that little sick feeling grows a little bit. So these are some tips I’ve come to use and facts I’ve had to acknowledge, to accept these feelings and embrace what I have here at home.

Christmas festivities in Sydney
Christmas festivities in Sydney

Boredom is your enemy – You’re up late at night, sleep in late, don’t go out much, watch TV episodes you’ve watched and rewatched… nothing really new or exciting is happening and you’re stuck in a bit of a rut. This bored routine is not good! AVOID THIS! Keep busy, get some sunshine, see an old friend, go for a walk, go and have lunch at your grandmas, go for a swim… ANYTHING!

Skype/Talk to your Family/Friends once a week – If you’re overseas/away from your home and missing it, it’s important to talk it through with your loved ones, but don’t overdo it. Talking to them multiple times a week when you’re feeling homesick is just going to make you miss them more and feel worse. Instead, try and talk it through with a friend you’re with in person and keep busy as well. Being homesick is a phase and you’ll get through it. Plus, if you’re with a good friend, they’ll be there to give you hugs and make you hot chocolate.

Being silly and having fun with my housemate in London. And it also leaves you some hilarious photos!
Being silly and having fun with my housemate in London. And it also leaves you some hilarious photos!

Talk to a close friend/Write it down – So yes, as mentioned above, talking to a friend is very important, one of the highlights is that you can be silly with them, laugh, smile and momentarily forget about your troubles. But if you’re travelling solo or find yourself being alone, you might find it helpful to write it down in a journal. When I’m internalising deep thoughts, I can’t live without writing them down. Expressing your thoughts and feelings is important and the best thing about a journal is that it won’t criticise or judge you… it’ll just always be there for you.

Make Plans – Go away for a weekend, see your extended family, friends, dogs… anything. Making plans gives your something to look forward to and something to be excited about. It definitely makes those long hard nights bearable when you’ve got something to look forward to!

Still not feeling better? Maybe you need a big and bold kickstart. Something to get you excited and appreciative about life again. And what better way to kickstart those sleepy cells in your body then by doing something out of your comfort zone? Go skydiving, buy a train ticket to somewhere you can’t pronounce the name of, go to a bar by yourself and meet some new people, do a cooking class, learn a new language… do something that will expand your knowledge and comfort zone. Then after that, you’ll feel re-energised and excited again about where you are and what you’ve achieved so far. And the best thing is, when you ring your family on Sunday night, you’ll have heaps to tell them!

Any other homesickness tips? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t forget to step back and appreciate everything you have in your life, how lucky you are and how fortunate you are to have someone to share your life with.

xxx A

Parlez-vous français?

French. The language of love. Featuring in T.V shows like Madeline since we were little, kick starting my obsession with everything French. And I know what you’re thinking ‘oh you’re just like every other girl who loves the idea of France and Paris…’ well… I’m different (of course). After visiting Paris 3 times last year, it’s only enhanced my love affair with the City of Lights more. I’m currently studying French at university and one day, want to speak it fluently! So, this is a way for me to a. share with you some reasons that I love the French language and all things French, b. to write some more in my blog, and c. a major form of procrastination (my french exam is next week). So this is what I LOVE about the french language!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvyMG0z0FZY The Music – Carla Bruni is definitely my pick when it comes to French music. Sweet melodies and meaningful lyrics (once you decipher them), I always have her music playing in the background and find myself humming along! If your music style is a bit more upbeat… try Stromae (to party and dance to), or Yelle (the French equivalent to Katy Perry). Listening to French music helps familiarise yourself with certain vocabulary and you sound pretty cool if you can sing a song in another language!

A Jazz band I saw at a Brasserie. The guy playing the trumpet kept taking swigs of something from his flask. Very entertaining!
A Jazz band I saw at a Brasserie. The guy playing the trumpet kept taking swigs of something from his flask. Very entertaining!

The Films – French films are renowned for their romance and quirkiness. Amelie is one of the most well known French films, highlighting the beauty of Paris and French cinema’s unique traits. Les Intouchables is a lovely feel good movie with drama and comedy, Un Secret is about the Nazi Occupation of France and Amour,  a beautiful love story where you’ll use a whole box of tissues.  These French films are some of my favourite and I’d highly recommend them. Watching French films helps you become familiar with the phrases, speed and intonations, all of which you can’t really learn in a classroom. The Drinks – Whilst one would assume that France (Paris) has good coffee, you are seriously mistaken! Instead, don’t miss out on happy hour cocktails! Usually 5 euros and they’re delicious! The more cocktails you drink, the more confident you get in your French speaking skills, an opportunity not to be missed!

Lovely cocktail in my favourite brasserie, Le Chat Noir, Montmartre
Lovely cocktail in my favourite brasserie, Le Chat Noir, Montmartre

The Food – If you order food/drinks in French, you’re waiter will be a million times nicer to you than someone who points at what they want. And if your waiter is nice to you, then the whole experience just becomes delightful! Also, don’t forget to tip! When You’re Lost – The amount of times a bit of basic French helped me get out of sticky situations, losing my way around Montmartre, can’t find the exit in the Metro, and asking how to get to x, has saved me a lot of confusing time! Make sure you scrub up on your directions before going! Les garçons! – And of course don’t forget about the most important reason why you’ll need your French skills up to scratch, the number of cute French guys you’ll see around.

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Some Common Phrases You Might Need

Hello = Bonjour

Goodbye = Au Revoir

I would like = Je voudrais… (you can then point or pronounce what you’d like to order)

Please = S’il vous plaît

Thankyou (very much) = Merci (beaucoup)

The bill please = L’addition s’il vous plaît

I’m lost = Je suis perdu

You’re cute (for the french boys) = Tu es mignon!

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? (just kidding)

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So if those spectacular reasons don’t motivate you to start learning French I don’t know what will?!

Bisous x

A

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My favourite Eiffel Tower picture to date. Taken from the Sacre Coeur, Montmartre