These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER 2019

Seriously… it’s December?! How on earth is there only a few weeks until Christmas, a few weeks until a new decade, and a few weeks left of work until we get to relax and play! Wow

🌅Terrigal getaway

There’s nothing quite like a little weekend getaway. When life gets so crazy and you’re living hour by hour, sometimes you need to remove yourself from reality and explore somewhere unknown. Despite growing up in Port Stephens, I’d never ventured to Terrigal or the Central Coast. So when Soph and I finally had a free weekend that lined up, we knew we wanted to getaway. So why not somewhere only 2 hours away with gorgeous beaches, national parks, great bars and even better restaurants. Terrigal really is a holiday town and nothing says ‘relaxed’ more than fish n chips, 3 hour dinners, lolly shops, and soaking up some sun and getting lost in a book. Reset and refreshed.

🎓 Soph’s grad

The day finally came that we got to celebrate Soph’s graduation! My girl is a clever cookie, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) earlier this year. Graduation is such an exciting time and it’s important to recognise (and adequately celebrate) the hard work and dedication it takes to complete a degree. I’m so damn proud of Soph for all of her hard work. I know she’s going a long way and I can’t wait to see the path she forges for herself.

🏙️Sydney sesh

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge fangirl of Shameless Podcast. So when I heard there was a live show in Sydney, I knew I had to go! So my friend Vanessa battled for some tickets (these are some popular gals) and we were heading to the show. Us, along with 800 strangers, gathered that rainy Sydney night, to engage in a similar conversation we’ve been listening to every Monday morning for nearly 2 years. I must admit, it was pretty damn exciting. Zara and Michelle have done an incredible job to build their company and a highly engaged following. It was awesome to soak up some strong female vibes.

And what’s a night out in Sydney without sharing cocktails with my beautiful friend Tishia. We went to a sneaky gin bar that played smooth jazz and sipped on fancy cocktails. We got delish woodfire pizza and giggled the night away. The next day we headed to Burwood to go shopping and eat bulk Chinese food. Chinatown there is next level and we found ourselves some delicious treats. It’s weekends like this that I live for. Running from one event to the next, soaking up all the good vibes, good food (and good alcohol), and even though I’m left absolutely exhausted, they’re amazing!

📷Work

This month I was lucky enough to do the socials for the Fellowships and Alumni Awards Dinner. I was working with a great group of people who are talented, driven and so damn nice. I also got to meet some incredible people (check me out on Linkedin for more), and it got me thinking about how lucky I am to work with people who are working to connect one another and make the world a better place.

🎧Podcasts

Inside the Big Day Out
This mini series is a must for all music fans! It will leave you looking up Pearl Jam’s greatest hits and want to jump around in a mosh pit. This is an incredible insight behind the scenes of one of the world’s biggest music festivals that defined Australian culture and music. Pretty devastated that I didn’t attend one of these festivals myself – I was busy being punky at Soundwave – but wow, Big Day Out in the 90s would have been incredible!

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📚 Books

Conversations with friends, by Sally Rooney
Yes yes yes! I loved this book so bloody much! I picked this up from the university book shop, and found that it was prescribed reading for an English Literature subject. So I figured it would be alright, but boy did I underestimate how incredible this would be! I smashed it out in a few days and I am so stoked. I was intrigued, hooked, angry, wanted to shake the characters through the pages, and be invited to the parties… I loved it and would absolutely recommend it!

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🎥Flicks

Flying the Nest
I know I’ve mentioned them on the blog several times before, but…. OMG they’re having a baby and I’ve never been more emotional watching a baby announcement vlog! I love their videos, their relationship and their outlook on life. And I’m so excited to see their vlogs leading up to having the baby, and watching their journey as a young travelling family!

Season 3, The Crown
I’m sure I’m not the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this season with a new lead actress, but OMG wow, get onto it asap! It’s much like season 1 with big, historical events unfolding throughout the season. Olivia Coleman is incredible and I’ve loved having a spare few hours to binge a few episodes immersed in the world of the royals.

🎵Tunes

Old School Arctic Monkeys
So after taking a deep dive through rock history by listening to ‘Inside the Big Day Out,’ I became consumed by old school Arctic Monkeys. I’m not going to lie, I first got into them in 2013 with their AM album (yep amazing album) and I never really went back through their old stuff. So I’ve lately become obsessed with old school Arctic Monkeys and wow… I’m even more in love. Seeing them at the start of the year was amazing, and I’m so glad they’ve a band that continues to grow, evolve and produce bloody good music.

📝Quote

The law of attraction is something I truly believe in. You get what you give. The universe doesn’t owe you anything, so you might as well treat people with kindness, radiate happiness and keep a positive outlook on life, because you may just get exactly what you want. A frame of mind is one of the most powerful things we can possess. So why not try being happy and see what happens.

OK, so December will disappear before our eyes, and we’ll suddenly be in 2020! So I’m going to try and live in the moment, soak up the beautiful sunshine we have, enjoy the festive season and make the most of what’s left of 2019!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: SEPTEMBER 2017

If only there were 2 of me.” That’s what I used to say when I was young and wanted to be a ballerina and an astronaut. Now I say it as a way to have a successful academic and professional career plus a thriving social life with my friends and loved ones. This month has been full on. I’m beginning to doubt that there’s enough hours in a day and days in a week to get everything done. Yet somehow, I’ve managed to get through it. And I’m pretty damn proud of myself. This month has honestly been hectic and next month is my LAST SEMESTER OF UNI! OMG! But before I get too ahead of myself, let’s have a little reflection time on the month that was.

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❄️ Snow

I started the month in the snow! Yes Australia has snow and I finally got to experience just how amazing it is. My dad, my sister and I headed down there for a long weekend, including three days of skiing and three nights of stuffing our faces with amazing food and beer. I got to see my sister have a hilarious temper tantrum on the side of the mountain, reminiscent of our childhood days (haha sorry Elly), saw my dad accidentally ski backwards unable to stop, my dad pushing me off a TBar, drinking steins of beer, carving up some fresh snow and tobogganing downhill in a blizzard. It was a pretty damn awesome long weekend!

 

 

 

 

💌 Friends and Shenanigans

What’s a month without some wonderful shenanigans with some wonderful people? I’m so so so blessed to have such a supportive group of people around me and I constantly feel lucky to have them in my life. Whether it’s for the parties or hangover’s…. I’m in love.

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🎵 Concerts and gigs

Wollongong has been delivering the goods when it comes to music this month! And all around this month has just been filled with epic music. I went and swooned over Gang of Youths with my bestie in Sydney, rocked along to Camp Cope and was blown away by Meg Mac. That’s a lot of extremely decent music right there! And to top it off this weekend was Yours and Owls Festival! Damn what a music overload. I’m just lucky I have amazing friends and an awesome boyfriend that’s into cool music and we can go drink some beer and make a night of it.

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🌴 Byron Bay

Sometimes you just need a little escape, and I spent 3 days in beautiful Byron Bay with Mitch. I wrote a separate post titled ‘A Romantic Weekend Away In Byron Bay’.

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🎒 My Little Brother Getting School Captain!

OMG shameless plug but damn I am so damn proud of my little brother Isaac! He’s going into Year 12 and just got nominated as school captain! Not that I ever doubted his ability to achieve such an amazing honour, but I just can’t believe it’s real. Because, another shameless plug, myself and sister were school captain of our highschool. So poor Isaac the pressure was on. But I honestly can’t think of anyone more kind and deserving of the title! Dude – I’m freakin proud of you!

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My grandparents there to watch Isaac’s inaugural speech.

🕺 Yours & Owls

Let the photos speak for themselves. There was glitter, beers, double blacks (who ever thought that was a good idea?), crepes, bread and just all round good times.

🎶 Tunes

Angus & Julia Stone. Ahhhhhh this song is BEAUTIFUL! I’ve had it on repeat and it just feels like love and adventure. Can’t wait to get my hands on their album.

Camp Cope. What babes?! I was lucky enough to see these guys at UniBar and they were absolutely AMAZING! Their music is different, funky and raw. Plus I think they’re now mine and Mitch’s band so I’m pretty down with them.

Miguel. MY MAN IS BACK!!! Oh my lord is this not the sexiest most amazing thing your eyes have seen? I’m absolutely in love and can’t wait for his album!!!!! Anyone who knows me knows the significance of this man and damn am I excited.

🎥 Flicks

I have been getting into docos lately and damn it is good for your soul! I’ve been getting in to States of Undress, a documentary series you can watch free on SBS on Demand. It examines the interaction between fashion and politics. Some of the shows I’ve seen so far take us to France, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Russia. This is binge watching worthy and your brain will thank you for it.

📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

I usually don’t like to repeat bloggers and vloggers from month to month but these guys well and truly deserve it. Flying the Nest have really upped their game lately. Their style and personality is gorgeous and they’re travelling to some really cool places; including The UK, Israel, Jordan and Japan! I’ve also just discovered their BLOG! I’m in love and realise just how much work they put into their brand #impressed

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Jess and Steve

📗Books

Child Migration & Human Rights in a Global Age – Jacqueline Bhabha

What a compelling book. It’s academic and based on primary and secondary research. At times the language can be quite technical, however it’s presented clearly and draws on personal stories and encounters which really add depth to this book. It covers various issues like Trafficking, Child soldiers and international adoption. For someone researching potential thesis topics, this book really sang to the part of me interested in researching migration.

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📝 Quote

The following quote/idea has really captured my attitude towards life lately. You may never be ready for what you’re about to do. The timing may never be perfect. You just have to do what’s right for you and not measure this against others. And that’s it’s always worth the risk when you’re truly excited about something. You can’t live your life questioning if you’re ready, instead you should ask yourself if it feels right. You never know, you may end up feeling more alive than ever before.

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Well well well…. September you were bloody hectic. Next month is my LAST MONTH OF MY DEGREE!!! Woah! Before I know it I’ll be submitting my last assignment and hanging up my student cap (well at least for the time being). So watch out October, I’m going to take you by storm.

 

 

 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY 17

Ok, so I get that February’s a weird little month. 28 days, 4 weeks, 672 hours, and damn have they disappeared. My first full month back in Australia and in Wollongong. And it’s been a freakin amazing. Let’s get to it!

Discovery Days

Let’s be honest, I have one of the best jobs on earth! And the best time to work as a student ambassador is definitely the annual Discovery Days. Not only is it a heaps of fun for the kids, but it’s fun overload for us as well. And this year was no exception, pouring rain and sweltering heat… nothing could stop us from having an incredible time. I’m so lucky to work with such an awesome team of inspiring people.

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My Montréal Video

So I FINALLY put together my Montreal video. It took hours of gathering footage, editing and then re editing (because my original upload got muted due to copyright – oops) but it’s finally alive and chillin out there on the internet! I’m so proud of this video. It makes me so freaking happy to watch!

[If you haven’t yet subscribed, click here to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! I’m nearly at 100 subscribers and I’ll have to do something epically awesome when I reach 100]

Finding a new HOUSE

If anyone knew me during the beginning of the month, they would’ve known how freakin stressed I was looking for a place to live. Khal, Rhys (my two amazing friends) and I were searching for a house to rent in Wollongong and damn is that market competitive. However, this goes to show how far positive thinking can go. I told the universe that I would have a house by Sunday the 5th Feb, and on Friday the 3rd Feb we got a very exciting phone call confirming this!

80s Prom Party

It was one of my beautiful friend’s 21st Birthday party and she decided to have it as an 80’s Prom Theme. OMG. First of all – why can’t I wear puffy pastel dresses around all day every day?! Secondly, damn it was so much fun! It’s always so nice going to a good house party, catching up with people you haven’t seen in forever and meeting new people. The night ended with a swim in the pool, me ripping the petticoat out from under my dress because I could barely breathe, and then crashing in an awesome van for the night. Top night!

Speaking at Orientation Week 

I know I’ve included a few little speech related moments through these posts, but every now and then, you gotta show yourself some love and be proud of what you’ve achieved. I was asked last minute to give a 10 minute presentation of a ‘Uni Survival Guide.’ I had prepared my slides but hadn’t really prepared much else. Yet I was able to get up there, smash out a great speech and speak confidently and calmly. I’m super proud of yet another speech I’ve made at UOW. It was even better when a student approached me afterwards asking me about my degree and uni experience, saying that I inspired her to look into doing exchange. (Awww).

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Tunes

Maître Gims. Yep, this whole French major thing has really got my head because now suddenly everything is in French. Regardless of whether you’re into French music, this song is actually freakin awesome!

Benjamin Clementine. I’ve only just discovered this guy and I’ve been listening on repeat. His music is so unique, the piano is enchanting and his vocal range is huge! Plus this video clip is just so stunning, I had to include it in my faves for this month.

Childish Gambino. So somehow last year I lived under a freakin rock and missed his amazing album that came out! Urgh it’s soooooooo good I’ve had this on repeat all month!

Flicks

Call My Agent. Netflix, you’ve done it again. This is a brilliantly dramatic yet light hearted TV show about agents and their crazy actors that they manage. It’s in French and I’ve been opting to have the French subtitles on to work on my French. It’s soooo worth the subtitles though! C’etait magnifique.

La La Land. Ooooh la la I’m in love. Emma Stone has been my ultimate girl crush since Easy A when I could finally relate to an awesome red head on screen being awkward and somewhat cool (at least, that’s what I thought I was). The soundtrack is amazing, it’s simple, beautiful and just so damn lovely to watch. Though I would recommend letting your friends know that it’s a musical before going. I somehow failed to mention that and they weren’t too happy! haha

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YouTubers 

RayaWasHere. I’ve been following Raya as long as I’ve been following Louis, but it’s not until recently that she’s really won me over. I think it was the video below, that really pulled me in. I feel that she has a very genuine and beautiful way of capturing her friendships and connections with people and I’d love to see more content like the one below! You go girl!

A Worldly Addiction.

I’m going to give myself a little plug here but I feel like this month I’ve really produced some great content. One of my favourite videos I’ve ever made is absolutely killing it and it’s received over 1300 views so far! WHAT?! I’ve been feeling super proud of myself and my drive to put myself out there, live life to the fullest and create beautiful moments, so why not do yourself a favour and chuck us a subscribe. If you go to my channel from here make sure to comment “Shameless Plug” on one of my videos. OK let the blog continue as per usual.

Books

I haven’t technically finished it (I kinda got caught up in Season 3 of How To Get Away With Murder ((OMG))! But it’s so so good! ‘I wouldn’t start from here’ by Andrew Mueller is a reflection on his career and experiences as a war and conflict correspondent. I love in each chapter you’re taken somewhere completely different and never quite sure where he’s going with it. From Kosovo, to  Palestine, London to Lichtenstein, it’s a fascinating take on ‘the 21st Century and where it all went wrong.’

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Quote

The quote below has really helped me through this crazy month. It reassures me that if we want something, if we want to be something, then we must accept the change that inevitably comes with growing, learning and evolving. It reminds me to let go of things that are no longer important and embrace the new, the scary and the exciting.

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Well those 4 weeks just absolutely flew by! March is going to be absolutely hectic. I’m organising another overseas trip (can you guess where?!), uni will hit with it’s full blow, my little sister is turning 21 (HOW?!) and the adventures will continue as always! I hope March treats you well and you treat life even better! xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theses Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 17

Woo Hoooooo. Welcome to 2017! And aren’t we off to a flying start?! Where the hell has time gone?! I swear I blinked and suddenly I was back in Wollongong chilling with my friends, looking back on 2016 like it was all a dream. Luckily for me, it wasn’t a dream and I fortunately experienced so many wonderful things. So without further adieu, let’s recap on the start of 2017 which I can just feel, is already going to be a freakin awesome year.

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California: SAN FRANSICO / LOS ANGELES / ROAD TRIP

To get the full scope of everything we did in California (there was a lot) I’d recommend checking out my YouTube video here. But beyond the video, CALIFORNIA IS FREAKIN AMAZING! I can’t wait until I get to go back again.

 

HAWAII

Absolute paradise. I don’t know if there’s anything else I can really say about Hawaii except the fact that it’s just honestly beautiful. It was so lovely to be back in the heat again! Hawaii was pretty much non stop swimming, eating, exploring and swimming. You can check out my YouTube video here. 

DISNEYLAND 

OMG…. enough said.

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Euro Disney, Paris, 2013

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Disneyland, California, 2017

BACK HOME: AUSTRALIA

So I’ve returned home after nearly 7months. It was so amazing seeing my friends and family. You know once you return home after a long time away, and your headspace is just so positive? It was so awesome to apply my new found outlook on life to life back in Australia. I think it makes me much more excited and grateful for everyone I know and everything I have here in Australia.  At the moment I’m currently looking for a place to live in Wollongong, so hopefully by the next time you check into this blog, I will have found one and I’ll be showing you around!

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Beautiful Port Stephens – lucky to call this home

TUNES

Amy Shark – Adore. The first time I heard this song was on Australia Day while tuning in to the Hottest 100 on Triple J and OMG I’ve had it on repeat ever since.

 

Ed Sheeran – Castle on the Hill. The ginger ninja is back! Let’s be honest, this guy kills it every. single. time. And I’m absolutely loving it! I can’t wait for his album to be released!

Films

War Dogs. I watched this film on the plane back to Australia and damn was that actually made my 10 hour flight enjoyable.

Please Like Me. OK So this one isn’t a film, but it’s a freakin addictive Australian show on Netflix! It is millenial comedy/drama at its best! I actually can’t get enough.

Books

I’m happy to say that I actually finished a book this month… and damn was it a great read. I’m a huge fan of Mitch Albom’s after having read his book ‘Tuesday’s with Morrie’ and ‘Five People You Meet in Heaven’ whilst I was at school and I loved them. I picked up this book at the airport in Hawaii and I read it in a week. For anyone who loves music, books and a great story being unravelled in front of you, then this book is for you!

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Blogs & Vlogs

Lost LeBlanc. Man, this guy has been killing it lately. His Bali vlogs were on point, his Philippines vlogs were on point and his Panama City vlogs….. DAMN. Honestly, this guy is definitely on his game!

Sawyer Hartman. I’ve been following this guy since I met him at BufferFest in Toronto. His drone shots and cinematography is superb! Plus, when I was in Venice in LA I actually ran into him. It was so cool to meet him and have a chat. PLUS I MADE IT IN THE VLOG! You can check out his video and my cameo below.

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Quote

So I’m doubling up this month. The first one is be excited about everything. It honestly changes your perspective on everything when you get excited about things you’re doing or people you’re going out with! I’d recommend it.

And the second one is definitely related to the first, but also to always remember to be inspired and grateful, but to surround myself with people who share the same values.

Alrighty, so that’s my month wrapped up. Watch this space for some exciting things to come!

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY

My my my… May has been FULL ON! Thinking back on the month that has been, I can’t believe how much I’ve managed to squeeze into 31 days! And it’s crazy to think that in *whispers* 25 days… I’m jetting off on my epic adventure. Whilst I’m currently trying to reframe from ripping my hair out (I’ve got 3 x 40% assignments due in the next few days), I’m also getting ridiculously excited for my trip. It’s served as a great motivational tool to get me through these past few weeks of intense uni work. So… it’s that time again when I recap on my favourite things for this month!

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Testing out the new GOPRO

I bought a GOPRO

The time came and I finally bought a GOPRO! And OMG I’m in LOVE! Now I’m sure you can read a million reviews about GOPROS online but honestly – I just absolutely love it! It’s small, takes amazing quality photos and videos and motivates you to get out there and take some awesome footage! You can check out a little edit I’ve thrown together about my roadtrip.

ROADTRIP!

Speaking of roadtrip (and if you check out the video above) you can see that I had a pretty good time! I work as a student rep at uni and I was lucky enough to be sent away for a week to represent the uni at various careers markets. Whilst a lot of hard work goes in to these trips, it’s always great when you get a chance to unwind at the beach, go for an adventure or explore a new place after a long day at work.

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Showing off at Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle

Lunch with my Grandparents and Family

Because I live about 5hours away from home, I don’t make it home as often as I’d like. And when I do it’s only for such a short amount of time. So I was absolutely ecstatic when my Grandparents called me saying they would be in Wollongong and wanted to have lunch with me. I always love catching up with my family. I’m constantly inspired and reminded of how lucky I am to have such a supportive family who loves and encourages me.

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Lunch with my beautiful grandparents

Uni Work

I know this is ridiculously nerdy, but I’ve really been engaged with a lot of my coursework for the past few weeks. I recently wrote an essay about gender inequality in the work force which I was ridiculously passionate about. At the moment I’m half way through making a short video about empowerment and nudity, again, another topic I find really engaging and important. That’s one of the best things about my degree, it’s not just ‘you have to learn this’ but it’s ‘I want to know more about this…’ 

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 Tunes

I think I’ve been driving my housemates absolutely crazy with how much I’ve played this song lately! I have no idea how I came across this amazing tune but I’m definitely not letting it go anytime soon!

Flume you’ve done it again! Providing the goods to pump us up and sing our little hearts out! This song was the soundtrack to my roadtrip, so every time I hear it, I just think adventure!

And just as an added bonus, this is another fave of mine from May. Again, I somehow stumbled across this one on a late night prowl through Youtube and dayum I’m grateful. This song is perfect when you’re winding down after a long day at work and you’ve got a cup of tea in hand!

Films

I don’t usually include films in my ‘favourites’ list – partly because I usually don’t have enough time to watch them but Oh My God this movie is such a laugh! I’m not sure if it’s because it’s too relatable, laugh out loud worthy or the combination of amazing actors but dayum, this is an absolute MUST for anyone trying to figure out how to be single. 

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A quote I’ve totally been trying to live by this month is the following.. ‘may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears’ – Nelson Mandela. With all of my adventures just around the corner, I’ve been making some awesome plans and I’m soooooo damn excited. Hopes don’t come without fears, and of course it’s only natural to be nervous, but that’s what life is built on!

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Well, June, you’re probably going to disappear way too quickly, so I’m looking forward to smashing out uni and enjoying the time I have left here in Australia before I jet off! I hope your month has been just as wonderful and that June welcomes you kindly.

 

 

 

Why ROAD TRIPS Will Always Be The Best Type of Travel

I was lucky enough to recently be sent on an epic road trip for work (I know… what a job?!). Whilst we did work really hard during the days, leaving me absolutely exhausted by the end of my trip, it was also a great experience to see some pretty epic places. My little road trip took me to Tamworth, Newcastle, Maitland, Port Stephens (home), Port Macquarie & Coffs Harbour. I was lucky enough to travel with two awesome guys that I also work with, along with eating amazing food at amazing places, belt out some great songs and take some awesome pictures. This little adventure reminded me of why road trips will always be the best type of travel!

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Abdul and I on the first leg of our road trip. Wollongong –> Tamworth.

You get to see all of the sites

You can just see so much more by road! Sure – highways aren’t that exciting, but as soon as you take an exit, you drive through towns you’ve never heard of and see the landscape change as you rack up the kilometres.

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Seeing the sites of the Golden Guitar at Tamworth.

There’s nothing holding you back

Unlike travelling by plane, train or bus, you don’t have to worry about timetables or schedules, worrying about where or when your stop is or making sure you arrive early…. not with a car! It’s as simple as grabbing the keys and hitting the gas!

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Not holding back those yoga skills 

You choose the music, and you choose the decibel you want it at!

By far the best thing about road tripping is the music you choose as the soundtrack to your adventures! Whilst Triple J will get you a long way, it’s one of the commandments of road tripping – ‘thou must provide solid beats.’ There’s nothing better than cruising down the highway and belting out some bangers!

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Attempting to surf in Coffs Harbour. 

You can alternate drivers 

If you love a good nap but don’t want to fall victim to prying, judgemental eyes when you fall asleep in public, then snoozing off in the car is perfect for you! You can put the seat back, cuddle up to a pillow and have the snooze of a lifetime. Or, if you’ve got stuff to do (hello uni work!) you can sit back and get your reading/essay/blogs done!

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Friends you make whilst on the road! Enjoying lunch in Maitland.

Road trips make the ultimate friends

At the end of the day, the people you road trip with become pretty awesome friends! You have to put up with each other’s bad singing, confusing directions, snoring in the car and downing take away coffees on the go – that’s a recipe for some ultimate friendship bonding right there!

Road trips will always inspire spontaneity, motivate you to get up early and just go! I can’t wait to have many more road trip adventures to come.

You can check out the highlights to my road trip here! 

 

Travelling Your Own Backyard: Spotlight on Brisbane

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and a city I’ve never been particularly interested by (sorry Brisbane). Until several of my closest friends moved there. Then I was slightly more intrigued. I began doing my research and found some return flights from Sydney over the ANZAC day long weekend for $120. My intrigue grew. Then I came to the realisation that if I don’t return to Australia until February next year, I’ll go over a year without seeing my closest friends. And that’s just not OK. So I closed my eyes, pressed confirm, threw some clothes in a carry-on bag and was on my way to Brisbane for the first time.

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Getting There

Brisbane’s public transport is fantastic! Easy to understand and easy to work your way around. As soon as you land at the domestic airport, you simply exit the airport, cross the road and follow the signs to ‘AirTrain.’ I would strongly recommend purchasing a Go Card (the equivalent to a MiKi Card in Melbourne or an Opal Card in Sydney). They cost $10 to purchase, plus whatever credit you want to put on. I put $50 credit on it which was the perfect amount. And the best part is that when you leave again, you can return it and get your $10 back (perfect for an airport coffee). The train heads into the city and from there you can basically get anywhere.

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Tigerair do super cheap deals from Sydney to Brisbane. Just make sure you stick to your baggage limit!

Where To Stay

This is a bit of a trick question because I was lucky enough to stay with my friend in the North of Brisbane. Of course, if you don’t happen to have friends in a city – I would always opt for a centrally located hostel or if you’re travelling with friends, AirBnb!

What To See & Do 

If you’re new to a city, what else is there to do but aimlessly explore?! My sister spent a whole day doing that, so lucky for me, when we went exploring, she knew exactly where to go. But these are definitely my top recommendations!

The BRISBANE sign. A bright and colourful sign on the river overlooking the city. A MUST have shot!

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Go to the beach. OK, for those of you that are good at geography, you’ll know that Brisbane doesn’t have any beaches. So when you don’t want to go to the beach, you bring the beach to you! On the South Bank, there’s a man made beach, complete with sand and lifeguards! A perfect way to spend a hot afternoon! There’s countless bars and cafes nearby as well! Is there anything better?!

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Eat & Drink

OK confession – this trip wasn’t really about the site seeing. Sure it’s a bonus! But what we were really here for was the food, coffee and drinks! And let me tell you, Brisbane delivered!

Barvarian Bier Cafe

We went here twice on our trip and I couldn’t recommend it enough! Not only am I a fan of the chain ‘Barvarian Bier Cafe,’ but this one really excels! It has a beautiful big balcony with stunning views of the bridge and the river. The espresso martini there is to die for, and you really can’t go too wrong with a stein of beer as well!

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My sister and I enjoying the views. 

Cowch

A dessert and cocktail bar… need I say more? The South Bank is where you can find this hidden treasure! We orderedthe bannoffee pizza with some churos which I would highly recommend. If I wasn’t already buzzing off of a sugar high and about to crash into a food baby coma, I could’ve definitely gone for one of their delightful looking martinis as well!

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Grub Street

This one is a bit out of the way (but conveniently down the road from my friends house). Just a short walk from the Gaythorne station is THE BEST BREAKFAST I’VE HAD IN A LONG TIME!!!! I really cannot emphasise how good the food there is! From the outside, it really doesn’t look like much at all. But the quality of their coffee and food was beyond all expectations! So much so, that I went there two days in a row for breakfast! I’d strongly recommend a latte with their carrot pancakes. I know it sounds weird, but just for proof, refer to the picture below. You won’t be sorry.

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Jimmy’s on the Mall

Quite fancy and quite pricy, this place is so charming and worth the extra money on your bill. Not only is the food and wine exceptional but the staff are super friendly and attentive. Hello wine refills. Upstairs is a nice bar where they had a guitarist playing some great music. It’s located right in the middle of Queen Street Mall so you feel like you’re in this gorgeous bubble among the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Morgan, my sister, Mack, Charline and Teagan being fancy at Jimmys. 

Et voilà! Not exactly a complete guide to Brisbane, but if you’re looking for some good food and coffee, this has got you covered! Do you have any recommendations for my next visit? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making a PROMO VIDEO 101

When my ridiculously talented housemate at the time, Chantelle, came to me with an idea for her major work for uni, she was beaming with excitement. And as soon as she said she wanted to make a promo video for A Worldly Addiction, I was beaming even more. At first I thought ‘are you crazy? Why would you want to make a promo video for my blog?’ But then she told me her fantastic ideas and I was hooked. She’s the person I go to to run my ideas by -the closest thing to a personal manager I’ll probably ever have, of course I agreed. Every blogger or vlogger has a highlights reel or promo introductory video. And this was my attempt of starring in a promo video.

*Thanks Chantelle for your amazing talent*

Step 1: Find A Place

Obviously you need to find somewhere to film your promo video. Luckily we started the day looking for some food. So where else do you go? But your favourite cafe… Humber! It’s even better when your favourite cafe has an awesome rooftop and even better owners who let you use the closed off section of the bar to get some good shots. All you need to do is ask and you never know what you’ll get.

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70s-esque vibes of the 1st floor in Humber.

Part 2: Showcase Something You Love Doing

The people who are subscribing, liking or invested in your blog are genuinely interested in what you do and what you love. So make sure to showcase that. For me, luckily, it’s writing and exploring… something that we did all day.

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Flicking through Frankie & Future Perfect whilst writing away.

Part 3: Showcase Where You Live

I’m lucky because I live in a beautiful part of the world. Surrounded by stunning beaches, mountains and trees, it’s hard to focus on just one part to showcase. Chantelle and I ended up adventuring up to Stanwell Tops, about 20-30minutes north of Wollongong. Everytime I go here I’m absolutely blown away by how beautiful it is. This place makes me extremely happy, so only naturally, I wanted to share this with everyone else. Showcase your happy place and your part of the world because people will want to see the world through your eyes.

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Stunning Stanwell Tops. On top of the world!

Part 4: Showcase Something Interesting

Something that a lot of people probably don’t know about Wollongong is that it has quite a strong street and cafe culture. And something I absolutely love about it is the street art hidden down random ally ways. And this little known fact is something not many ‘outsiders’ know about. Try to look at your home town like you did for the first time. Showcase something that people don’t know about and get them curious!

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Vibrant street art in a back ally way.

Part 5: HAVE FUN!

The most important part is that you enjoy the whole experience and have fun. This day was one of the highlights of my year! Not only did I get to spend the day eating amazing food, wandering the streets of Wollongong and adventuring up the coast… but I got to share this experience with my best friend. And the best thing about this whole experience is that she made me feel so comfortable with something I’ve never experienced before. I must say, I don’t know how Chantelle put up with me breaking into laughter every few seconds whilst in the recording study recording my voice. But being with your best friend makes laughing fits and being silly in front of a bright red wall even more hilariously fun!

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Being silly.

Et Voilà

Mix it all together and you have a rad promo video! Hopefully there’ll be many more videos to come in the near future! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Little Red Shirt That Captured The World’s Attention For All Of The Wrong Reasons

Aylan Kurdi’s body was found on a beach in Turkey in September 2015. Lifeless, his innocent body was dressed in a little red shirt and boots. At just three years old, Aylan Kurdi brought immediate light to a crisis previously ignored by the mainstream media and the rest of the world. When I first saw this image in September 2015, I remember staring blankly at my computer screen with tears rolling down my cheeks. I wasn’t sad or angry, I felt numb and empty. I remember being mesmerised by his little red shirt. There is no denying the overwhelming sadness this image brings us. However, there are certain questions and issues around this image that are important for us to address as we look through a lens at people and a world far from us.

 

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Refugees rescued from the coast of Libya. Source

Why this image?

Thousands of photos have been captured documenting the enormous movement of people since the beginning of the refugee crisis during the Arab Spring. The photo above is an example of a photo that would typically be used by the media to sensationalize and dehumanize refugees and their threat to our way of life (Klocker & Dunn, 2003).

‘Images of children suffering form the ultimate emotional argument, compelling us to move from sentiment to action, from the particular to the universal, from passivity to engagement’ (Kennicott, 2013). People around the world reacted to this image. It may not have been for the right reasons, but they saw shame and horror that they couldn’t ignore. (Sontag, 2003).

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Cover of the Independent showing the body of Aylan Kurdi. Source

To look or not to look? To publish or not to publish?

A debate which arose following the publication of the photograph of Aylan’s body was whether or not to show the image, and whether or not we should be looking. Channel 10’s The Project stated that they would not show the image as it was ‘too distressing for viewers’ (Ting, 2015), followed by host, Carrie Bickmore, breaking down expressing ‘I am lucky that I and my children live in Australia’ (Ting, 2015).

“A picture of a dead child is one of the golden rules of what you never published.” (Laurent, 2015)

What is interesting is that the network’s primary concern is the wellbeing of its viewers. That they’re doing their audience a favour by not subjecting them to such horror of the reality of this migrant crisis. What about Aylan? His father? His Aunty? What about their distress and suffering?

A view that some may share with Sontag, is that by capturing images of suffering, ‘where news has been converted into entertainment for a small, educated population living in the rich part of the world, is that everyone becomes a spectator, suggesting that there is no real suffering in the world’ (Richard, 2010). Richard then goes on to suggest that we as ‘consumers of globalized media should refuse to look at photographs of suffering because suffering’s urgency is thereby diminished’ (Richard, 2010).

 ‘Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering, are those who could do something to alleviate it.’ (Sontag, 2003, pp. 37)

The Independent (as illustrated above) took another stance by putting Aylan on the front cover. By doing this, they are refusing to igrnore this issue and reaching out to those with the right to look who can do something about this suffering. And is that something that we as global citizens should be doing? Educating ourselves about what is happening in the world, and being motivated to do something about it.

The West vs. The Rest

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One of the many cartoons that emerged after the image was published. Source

Laurent expresses that the child’s ethnicity played a critical part of the photo’s reception. He explains that ‘dozens of African kids have been washed up on the beaches of Libya and were photographed and it didn’t have the same impact’ (Laurent, 2015). This is then illustrated by Carrie Bickmore and the world’s reaction thinking that could be my child. Ethnocentrism is a key issue in mainstream media, why do we only pay attention when there are terrorist attacks in Paris but not Aleppo? Is it up to us as global citizens to seek global news, or should we sit back in our beach chairs and wait for it to be handed to us on the front page of a newspaper?

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‘Hope for a New Life’ Warren Richardson. Source 

Other significant images of struggle and suffering

Whilst the image of Aylan Kurdi’s body is one whose importance will linger, there are many other significant photographs which capture the struggle and suffering of refugees. The image above ‘Hope for a New Life’ was captured by Australian photographer Warren Richardson in August 2015. A baby is being passed through the border from Serbia in to Hungary (World Press Photo, 2016). This image won the World Press Photo of the Year, a highly prestigious title in the name of visual journalism. And looking back over the past winners, there have been many which carry a similar theme. Where an audience sits at their computer screen, flicking through winning photographs of people subjected to torture, abuse and suffering absolutely unimaginable.

Moving On

We have two options. The first is to look away. We can ignore this little boy, face down on a beach, and lay on our beach chairs and carry on with our lives. Something the Australian government would prefer to do. Or we can choose to look, we can choose to be upset, confronted or angry. And we can choose to do something about it.

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When I went to the ‘Let Them Stay’ rally in Wollongong on the 20th March 2016.

 

Further Information

You can see, what I regard, the most important photo of 2015, Aylan Kurdi found on the Turkish beach, here.

You can see the Project’s take on reporting this news here. 

References

Klocker, N & Dunn, K. M 2003, Who’s driving the asylum debate? Newspaper and government representation of asylum seekers, ‘Media International Australia incorporating media and policy’, No.109, pp. 71-92

Laurent, O 2015, ‘What the image of Aylan Kurdi says about the power of photography’, Time, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://time.com/4022765/aylan-kurdi-photo/

Kennicott, P 2013, ‘Why Syria’s images of people suffering haven’t moved us’, The Washington Post, 13 September, viewed 20th March 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-syrias-images-of-suffering-havent-moved-us/2013/09/13/30407f98-1bb3-11e3-8685-5021e0c41964_story.html

Richard, F 2010, ‘The Thin Artefact: On Photography and Suffering’, The Nation, 23 November, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.thenation.com/article/thin-artifact-photography-and-suffering/

Sontag, S 2003, Regarding the Pain of Others, Chapter 3, Hamish Hamilton, London, England, pp. 36-52

Ting, I 2015, ‘The Project’s Carrie Bickmore breaks down over image of drowned Syrian toddler’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 September, viewed 19 March 2016, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/the-projects-carrie-bickmore-breaks-down-over-image-of-drowned-syrian-toddler-20150904-gjetma.html

World Press Photo, 2016, ‘World Press Photo of the Year’, World Press Photo, 28 August 2015, http://www.worldpressphoto.org/collection/photo/2016/spot-news/warren-richardson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home & Away: Home Is Where You Make It

‘Home is where you make it, if you don’t expose yourself to your new environment, what’s the point.’

Meet my friend Bacon. I met him this year when he put his hand up to play netball for our college team. I was then lucky enough to attend a leadership conference at university where we were in the same team. Since then, I’ve come to know Bacon as an extremely positive, outgoing and happy member of our college community and a lovely friend. Bacon is from Malaysia and currently studying Commerce with a double major in accounting and finance. Having only been in Australia for four months, Bacon offered some very unique perspectives on the management of home in Malaysia and here in Australia.

My friend Bacon
My friend Bacon

Family in Malaysia 

Bacon’s parents and two older sisters still live in Malaysia. I automatically assumed he would spend a lot of time on Skype, and was extremely surprised to discover that he usually makes phone calls to his family back home. “I get 300 minutes of free international calls, it’s a lot easier and cheaper for me to just call them.” Then when discussing Skype and the wonders of new technology, he said that he rarely used Skype. I was pretty surprised because when I spent a year abroad, I generally Skyped my parents once a week. But then he proceeded to explain the frustration associated with dodgy internet connections and I remembered back to all of those frustrated hours spent loading and reloading Skype due to horrible connection. He concluded saying that Skype leaves him wishing he was at home with his family or wishing that his family were here with him, so he’d rather stick with his fortnightly phone calls.

Bacon knows that his parents and family is only a phone call away which is a reassuring feeling when separated by distance. It’s common for international students to have a ‘telepresence’ with their network back in their home country (Martin & Rizvi, 2014), which is the sensation of being somewhere else through technology. Bacon’s new ‘complex social networks exemplify the blurred lines between ‘here’ and ‘there’ (Martin, &Rizvi) and allow him to balance these networks despite distance.

Friends in Australia 

Bacon is extremely independent, so it makes sense as to why he has already created a new home here in Wollongong. Bacon says he has two sorts of ‘groups’ here in Australia; one is of International Students, and a group of other Asian students. He likes being apart of both groups because it’s nice to connect with other people who share similar cultural traits, however he enjoys making the most of his new Australian friends. Living at college makes it easier for him to embrace the opportunity to live and study in Australia and create a home here. He’s also taken on the challenge of adopting some Australian slang like arvo and dodgy (which he used effortlessly in our conversation). ‘I’ve noticed that a lot of Asian international students tend to stick together. I love hanging out with them, but at the end of the day I came to Australia to immerse myself in this environment. I want to make the most of this opportunity.’ 

Bacon represents people who keep in contact with their friends and family back home, however don’t let it interfere with their newly created home. He lives in the moment and makes the most of opportunities, whilst balancing different friend groups here in Australia, all with a smile.

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Thankyou Bacon for your time, energy and insight into communication in Australia and back home for International Students. Your opinions and perspectives are incredibly valued. 

Further Information

“If you spend your time absorbed in your phone, you’re missing out on living in the moment”

The following video is an information clip for outgoing exchange students heading to Denmark on exchange. It covers very interesting points about keeping in touch and making the most of your time abroad.

References

Martin, F, & Rizvi, F 2014, ‘Making Melbourne: digital connectivity and international students’ experience of locality’, Media, Culture & Society, 36, 7, pp. 1016-1031, viewed 31 October 2015, http://japanfocus.org/-Audrey-Yue/4268/article.html