So I’ve recently had a lot of time to do some serious self reflection… 10 hours on a plane will do that to you. And after recently reviewing my 2016 goals and self evaluating how I went in actually achieving those goals, I did…. Eh average. Some of my goals were quite broad and general, making it hard to develop a plan to achieve said goals. And of course, as you would have read, my exchange to Montreal kind of interfered with some of them. I know, it’s no excuse, but it happened. So… how do we make 2017 bigger and better? Here’s my list of 52 things I want to achieve in 2017. And it’s not general boring crap like be fit, eat healthy, be smarter. As you’re about to see, I’ve got some pretty solid, achievable things that I want to achieve physically, emotionally, spiritually or bucket list worthy.
Do yoga – everyweek
Meditate – outside in fresh air for replenishment
Get flexible – being flexible makes you sexible (Thanks Logan Paul)
Don’t eat shit – steer clear of fried food, fast food and cakes (birthday cakes and pizza are allowed) (birthday pizza is allowed and also encouraged)
Eat mostly vegetarian – buy and cook vegetarian, if you see something tasty on the menu like some chicken, treat yo self
Learn how to compost
Buy an awesome coffee mug and bring it everywhere (no more takeaway cups)
Buy an awesome French Press coffee maker to put awesome coffee in my awesome coffee mug
Make my lunch the night before
Make an entire meal for my friends and family
Learn how to cook an impressive meal. E.g bake a fish, lasagne, brownies, pad thai
Go to a new country
Visit Tasmania – points for a camper van, extra points for hitch hiking or bike riding
Visit home more often
Have coffee and cake with my Grandma & Grandad, Nan & Pop
FaceTime my firneds overseas
Experiment with video styles
Make a video once a week
Blog once a week
Make some money from said videos and blogs
Graduate (with distinction)
Watch 12 sunrises (once a month)
Learn to surf
Try Bollywood/Pole Dancing
Volunteer at uni
Make a killer CV #employable
Go on a roadtrip
Have lunch at the grounds of Alexandria
Work hard at uni. HD’s come at me.
Enquire about honours/masters (overseas)
Go to careers central and plan my future career path
Go to a trampoline park and learn how to do a back flip
Read, read, read
Go in the City2Surf
Work hard at work
Practice my French by watching French films, French YouTubers and as part of the French Society
Don’t buy things for the sake of it. How many more clothes do you really need?
Complete the waste challenge
Have at least 1 make up free day a week
Make people birthday gifts
Make a vision board and decorate it with fairy lights
Learn how to edit videos
Make a snapchat filter
Meet new people and put myself out there
Go to a festival/concert
Promote peace and understanding. Try not to be as critical of others and myself. Believe in myself, my values, decisions and choices. Don’t drink as much as I did in Montreal (sorry liver). Look for the joy in life. Be accepting of others.
What do you want to achieve in 2017? Have you ever done anything on this list? Comment below to let me know what you have planned and what your fierceness levels are!
One of my favourite things about blogging is the community it creates. You find yourself reading, befriending and caring about the blogs you read and the people behind them. And then every now and again you’re rewarded with a kind praise and ‘keep it up’ with a blogging award. Now these things are super informal and don’t have much significance in the traditional sense of an award. But DAMN do these mean so much to people (like me) who blog for the love of blogging and feel that their words have impacted someone’s life in a positive way #thedream.
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to “bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”
So more of less, the lovely Little Sunshine, nominated me (you can check out her awesome blog here). She’s asked me 10 questions which I’ll answer below. Then I need to nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 10 questions as well. It’s a great way to get to know a little more about me and continue contributing to the amazing blogging community I’m a part of.
Ready? Let’s Do It!
1. What is your biggest dream?
Admitting to your biggest dream is scary, because it means putting it out into the world. Which means you’re somewhat accountable. But honestly, one of my deepest, biggest dreams is to write a book and have it published. That would honestly be unreal and a dream come true!
2. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ooooh this is a tough one! There’s sooooo many places such little time. At the moment I’m going to say EGYPT, my best friend is there at the moment and she’s making me incredibly jealous! But it’s somewhere I’ve always been fascinated with. I want to learn about their history and their present. It’s a country with so energy and creativity that I really want to experience first hand.
3. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
Extrovert all the way. I have introvert tendancies because give me a book and a cup of tea any night and I won’t leave my room, but damn I’m pretty outgoing and I’m quite proud of it.
4. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?
Well at the moment I’m studying in Montreal on exchange. I don’t think that idea ever crossed my mind but I sure am happy here. For me going to university was something I always wanted to do. Not only to further my education but to grow, learn and meet people who will challenge and encourage me. And so far, that’s exactly what university has provided me.
5. Do you usually follow your heart or your head?
I’m a low key hopeless romantic and always follow my heart. Sometimes I have to follow my head, but for big decisions, I’m going to follow that crazy thing pumping away in my chest.
6. What are you most thankful for?
The opportunities and experiences I’ve been blessed with. Words really can’t describe how grateful I am for the people who have guided and encouraged me to bravely pursue my dreams.
7. What’s on your bucket list this year?
Well considering that the year’s nearly over, I think I might change this one to next year. I think I want to do the City2Surf again next year and I really want to learn how to surf!
8. What´s your favourite food ever?
I love Japanese food! Hit me with that salmon sashimi, ramen and dumplings any day and you’ll find a very happy Adelaide.
9. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve received a lot of good advice lately, but I think the thing that stands out the most at the moment was said to me by Ben Brown, when we met at Buffer Festival. He said that we’re all just trying to figure out what we’re doing. That we make mistakes, we learn, we improve and life goes on. That we shouldn’t stress over the little stuff because it’s the big stuff we should focus on and go after.
10. Which of the places you’ve traveled to inspired you the most, and why?
Oh damn this is a tough one! Edinburgh really inspired my creative spirit and it’s a feeling that I carry with me to this day. I have to admit that Paris is eternally inspiring. There really is something magical about that city that makes me want to be the best I can be and soak up all the beauty that city has to offer.
OK so here’s some bloggers that I’m absolutely loving. To all of you, please keep up the amazing work! Your posts inspire me and many other in more ways than you’d know. The world (and the internet) need your voices so keep on spreading your sunshine.
At the beginning of February, I was a keynote speaker for UOW’s Discovery Days. Discovery Days is where year 12 students come to the university to experience a day in the life of a uni student (a pretty cool experience if you ask me). At first I was over the moon! I’d always wanted an incredible opportunity like this to speak to students in an inspirational manner. But then it dawned on me… am I inspirational? Am I interesting enough to Year 12 students? What am I going to say? Over the course of 5 days, I would speak to over 6000 students from all over NSW and the ACT. And if I’m going to speak to that many students, it’s got to be good! I had so many ideas, doubts, worries, nerves… it was all pretty overwhelming as I’d never done something like this before. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride.
Now that it’s over and done, I’ve had some time to reflect on this scary, exciting and exhilarating experience. I learnt so much. And lessons that don’t just apply to being a keynote speaker, but lessons I will carry with me for as long as I can.
Lesson 1 – Practice makes perfect.
And if it’s not perfect, then it’ll be pretty damn close. I started writing this speech in December last year, so it was pretty well embedded in my mind when it came to February. I knew this speech. I had notes sitting on the stand just in case, but other than that I was just relying on the pictures on my slide and my trusty brain. I must’ve practiced this speech at least 30 times before I practiced in front of an empty audience before I actually delivered my speech. Sure I may have made mistakes but because it was etched in my mind, I was confident with what I’m doing. So whatever it is you’re trying to do, practice really does pay off.
Lesson 2 – Think positively. Always.
Whilst preparing for my speech and even waiting backstage before I was called up, all of these bizarre negative thoughts would cross my mind. “What if I fall over? What if I have a coughing fit? What if I am so nervous that I pee my pants?” Right?! Ridiculous thoughts. All you can do is push those negative thoughts out of your mind. Realistically, the worst thing that could happen was that I might stumble on a word, or lose my train of thought… and in realistically, it’s not the worst thing that could ever happen.
Lesson 3 – Surround yourself with positive people.
I was lucky enough to speak alongside of my amazing friend Campbell. He’s hilarious, talented, kind, energetic and did I mention hilarious? He was the MC to get everyone pumped up and man did he nail it. I was so grateful I could go through all of these emotions with him by my side. We would pump each other up before our speech, give each other support and encouragement and a massive hug once we’d finished! My bosses were our side stage wingmen and women who were there to snap some awesome pictures and to give moral support. And knowing that I had friends and family watching was such an amazing feeling. It’s all of these amazing people that you surround yourself with, who are going to encourage you to push your boundaries and support you.
Lesson 4 – Balance is key!
During DDAYS, I would be at uni at about 7:30am until about 3:30. They were pretty big days that were high energy and concentration. It helped me realise that you have to listen to your body and what it’s telling you. Having such a crazy week really made me focus on getting a good nights sleep, eating healthily and taking some time out for myself to relax. By being aware of trying to balance these things, it really helped me be the best person I can be. Something I definitely need to be doing a lot more of.
Lesson 5 – Be true to yourself and proud of yourself.
The biggest lesson I learnt throughout this whole experience, is be true to yourself and be proud of what you believe in. As I was writing and preparing for my speech, I kept doubting myself, wondering if people would like it, if they would get it, or if it would be any good. And then I realised, this is my opinion, my experiences and my perspectives. Of course not everyone will relate to my experiences, but they might find my story interesting. And better yet, my perspectives may actually resonate with people listening or they may even find me inspiring. No matter what it is you’re setting out to do, if you stay true to who you are and what you love, you can’t really go wrong, and you may even spread some joy.
Being a keynote speaker is something I’m incredibly proud of. Getting the amazing opportunity to spread my ideas, experiences and perspectives has been a dream come true and I thank each and every one of you who support me with whatever it is I set out to do.
Do you like coffee, beaches, graffiti, rooftop bars, live music, shopping, hole in the wall bars, more bars, amazing nightlife, tall buildings and scenic roads? If you answered yes to any of these things then Melbourne is the place for you!
I first went to Melbourne in July of 2015 with one of my best friends. You can read about our adventures here. After returning with some more friends over New Years, I am officially head over heels with this fabulous city! Among having the best coffee in the world, there’s literally something for everyone! So, here’s my ultimate guide to Melbourne and many reasons why you need to pack your bags now!
Where to stay
Like most Australian cities, Melbourne is quite big and spread out. If your time in Melbourne is limited it’s worth spending a bit more cash to have prime location. In July, my friend and I booked a package deal which included return flights and accommodation. We had a studio apartment right off of Flinders Ln.
In December, we used Airbnb to book a beautiful 2 bedroom apartment across the road from Federation Square and backed onto the iconic Hosier Lane. You can read about our stay with Airbnb here.
There are also a number of hostels located centrally. I haven’t stayed at them but from the look of them and from what I’ve heard – they’re pretty great!
How to get around
The CBD of Melbourne has free trams. Yes that’s correct 100% FREE! It makes getting around to all of the sites so easy! I’d recommend downloading Tram Tracker so you can easily find the route you need.
For when you want to catch the trains to other suburbs like Fitzroy or Prahan, you’ll need to get a MiKi Card. These are similar to Sydney’s Opal Cards or London’s Oyster Cards. In Melbourne you NEED one of these cards to use the train system as they don’t sell paper tickets. It costs approximately $6 to purchase one of these cards plus you’ll need to load some money onto it. You may find you’ll need to use your MiKi card for when you leave the free tram zone as well, for example going to St. Kilda. Definitely worth getting one when you arrive incase you need to use it.
If you’re not into public transport then check out Uber. This was my first time using Uber and I’ll never go back! Reliable, easy to pay and cheap. On New Years Eve we used about 3 Ubers and didn’t even end up spending too much money. Then my friends and I decided to get an UberX to the Airport and it worked out cheaper than getting the skybus! I’d definitely recommend it and I’ll definitely be using it a lot more when I travel.
What to pack
Melbourne is renowned for having all 4 seasons in one day. In Winter, it can get cold. When we were there in July it was around 10degrees during the day. I wore a beanie nearly everywhere and wore boots, a coat and stockings.
When we went over December in Summer, oh boy was it Summer! The first 2 days we were there is was over 40degrees! I wore my hat everywhere, lathered up on sunscreen and wore sun dresses everywhere because it was so damn hot! Then suddenly there was a cool change and we were back down to a reasonable 25 degrees.
Whatever time of year make sure you pack;
going out shoes
going out clothes (they have quite a strict dress code at clubs)
clothes for when it’s hot
clothes for when it’s cold
and clothes for when it’s raining
The trick is to expect the unexpected!
The Great Ocean Road
If you’re a busy bee like me and want to step out of the CBD, there are plenty of day trips you can go on to have a change of scenery. In July, we booked a day tour with Evergreen Travel to do the Great Ocean Road. We got excellent value for money and taken to some of the most breathtaking places on the Victorian coastline. An absolute must! You can read about our amazing time here.
If you’re just looking to spend half a day out and about, then jump on one of those trams, tap your MiKi card and head off to St. Kilda Esplanade. It’s only a 30minute tram ride from Flinders Street Station and will take you right to the beach. You can walk along the pier and enjoy a cold cider at the end whilst enjoying beautiful views of the Melbourne skyline. If you’re lucky enough, you may even be able to see Fairy Penguins! Here you’ll also find the famous Luna Park and heaps of cute little cafes and shops.
Again, tap that MiKi card and head out to Brighton. With a few manoeuvres from Google Maps, we made it to Brighton Beach. Again, you can get spectacular views of the skyline and stoll along the beach. I was in awe of how cute and colourful these beach huts were! Perfect photo opportunity! Once you’ve finished checking them out and you’ve taken your selfies, head into the town of Brighton. There’s gorgeous cafes and shops along the main street that will keep you entertained for hours.
What to see and do
After my last visit in July, I wrote my ultimate list of things to do in Melbourne. You can find them here. But there’s just so much to see and do in Melbourne that I have to add to it and reinforce some of the things on the list.
The Crown Casino
So I’m not usually a big fan of casinos, but The Crown Casino is pretty damn awesome. I guess it was even more awesome when I won $200 on blackjack.
I cannot emphasise enough how cool this little street is. Back to back cafes and always packed, it’s an absolutely MUST! We went here nearly every morning for breakfast and didn’t regret it once. This is cafe culture at its finest!
One of our friends took us to this awesome bar. If you’re an animal lover you probably won’t like it. Exhibit A – the taxidermy giraffe on the wall (and many other animals). And before you ask, yep, it’s real.
Obviously everyone visiting Melbourne has to check out Hosier Lane. A little lane just across from Federation Square that attracts flocks of people for the ultimate grungy pic in front of some awesome street art! The best thing is that it’s constantly changing. We went there in July and were pleasantly surprised to see Monster Inc on the wall. In December, some socio-political quote bubbles.
Walk along the Yarra River
Want something free and beautiful to do? Walk along the Yarra River. You will walk past heaps of nice little cafes and you can even walk through the Botanical Gardens.
Tah-dah! That’s my ultimate guide to Melbourne. Melbourne is such an amazing city. Just walking around, drinking coffee, ducking down little lanes, and when you’re with amazing people, it makes the experience even better! Did I miss something? What should I go and see next time? Let me know in the comments below!
Like these photos? Follow me on Instagram @aworldlyaddiction for more!
The Great Ocean Road is one of those breathtaking journeys that you just have to experience in your lifetime. I was lucky enough to go with my family when I was a wee lass, however, being 4 years old, I didn’t exactly appreciate/remember the whole experience. So… on a girls long weekend away to Melbourne with one of my best friends (Tishia), we decided to relive this awesome journey together and it was one of the best day tours I’ve ever done.
We travelled with ExtraGreen Holidays located in Swanston Street. Our tour guides name was Frank, and frankly (haha get it?) he was awesome. For $45 we definitely got our value for money. From 7:30am-7:30pm, we were on and off the bus and absolutely breathtaken by the spectacular views of the unique coastline of the Great Ocean Road. We were considering hiring a car and doing it ourselves, however for that value for money, we not only got there and back, but were also taught some great history lessons along the way. So in our situation, it was totally worth our money. (NOTE: The weekend special is $45, any other day can cost you up to $100).
We stopped and had lunch at Appollo Bay for an amazing Fish and Chips feast (what else can you expect from a small coastal town?) and continued on down the windy roads with many photo stops along the way. The tour highlight include, the 12 Apostles (the most iconic part of the Great Ocean Road), Lord and George and London Bridge. Even though we willingly came to Victoria in the middle of winter, it was indeed pretty damn cold, so a good jacket and warm clothes are definitely recommended. And as Frank wisely advised us, on the Great Ocean Road, it can be sunny one minute and raining the next so always be prepared.
Many of you may ask if it’s worth spending the full day on a bus to see some rocks and cliffs. If you’re spending several days in Melbourne (like we did) then yes, absolutely. It’s cost effective, exciting, adventurous, and you get to meet lots of great new people and learn about the history and making of the Great Ocean Road. However, if you’re intending on doing further travel throughout Australia and Victoria and already hire a car, it’s probably worth heading there yourself. Then you can do it at your own pace. Saying that, we were definitely given plenty of time at each spot to explore each area and take some pretty amazing photos.
The photos speak for themselves. The Great Ocean Road is definitely a must- regardless of if it’s Summer or Winter, raining or sunny, it’s going to take your breath away I can guarantee that!
Have you been here before or want to know more about it? Let me know in the comments below!
Iceland. The name is somewhat deceiving, because there’s so much more than ice to this wonderful country offers. With waterfalls geysirs, volcanoes, lakes, mountains, elves… it should probably be renamed Magicland or maybe even Narnia. I was lucky enough to go there in January of 2014 for a few short days (literally, there was only 3.5 hours of sunlight a day), and it’s somewhere I hope to revisit next year in Summer. After some positive procrastination of searching through some of my favourite travel blogs and personal photos, and engaging in some more procrastination now, here’s some of the most incredible things about Iceland, and why it will leave you coming back for more.
The Blue Lagoon. Where it can be 0-2degrees outside and a balmy 30-35degrees in the water. Whilst it is a little bit expensive, it’s totally worth it to be surrounded by snow capped mountains, in the warmth, it’s an absolute MUST! I’d recommend going either as soon as you arrive in Iceland or before you leave because The Blue Lagoon is half way between Reykjavik and the airport and that way, you won’t waste a whole day getting there and back.
Chasing Waterfalls. I went to Gullfoss when it was half frozen and my bones were completely frozen. However there’s so many other beautiful waterfalls in Iceland that I cannot wait to go back and visit!
Geysirs and Volcanos. The land of Iceland is extremely active and versatile. Everywhere you look, there’s a something different to capture that you’ve never seen before and may never get the chance to see again.Reykjavík, the people and the culture. Reykavik is a unique city (or more like a big town) homed to a lot of great little bars and restaurants, with a niche little culture. The Icelandic people I met are ridiculously nice and sweet, welcoming, helpful, and the men can definitely rock a beard. With unique history, fun facts and the world’s only penis museum, Reykjavík is a gorgeously unique place.
The VIKINGS. Enough said really.
The Mountains, the landscape, the sky and the land. Iceland is like anything I’ve ever seen on earth. And I can’t wait to go back again (hopefully in Summer) and do and see even more!
And here’s my bucketlist for next time I hit up Iceland!
Ride Icelandic Ponies
Go Snorkelling at Silfra- the Eurasian and North American continental plates
And see the Northern Lights!
Do you have any other recommendations for when I go back to Iceland? Do you have any favourite photos to share? Let me know in the comments below!