These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JANUARY 2018

There’s nothing like a new year (new me) and a fresh start. I wrote some goals for the year and published them online for the world to see (you can read them here).¬† This month has been hectic with moving, work and getting my shit together to smash out another year, I’m convinced I’ve blinked and January has disappeared. So let’s look back at the hectic month that was.

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ūüĎ™¬†Family Visits

I love when my family comes to visit me in the Gong. I love taking them out and about to my latest and greatest cafes, restaurants and discoveries. This was no exception. I took them rock climbing and tortured them with a climb of sublime point. We went to some lovely cafes and all round had a great time! Thanks fam.

ūüŹ†¬†Moving House!

It’s that time of year again! The time where I pack up my life, sign a new lease and get some brand spanking new keys and house mates. I’ve just moved into a beautiful apartment with two beautiful people and I am so so so excited to be living where I am! Close to the beach, town and the station… I feel like the world is at my fingertips! Unfortunately I haven’t taken a visually aesthetically pleasing photo of my room yet but I sure will soon and I sure will let you guys know!

‚ėÄÔłŹ¬†Port Stephens Tour

I’m pretty lucky to have grown up in Port Stephens. And there’s nothing quite like taking someone I love there to show them around. So I took Mitch to see the sights. Of course including Tomaree mountain, Murray’s Brewery, a romantic dinner at The Deck, and a cheeky dip at the nudist beach.

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ūüé∂¬†Tunes

Cloud Control – Rainbow City.¬† Wow have I had this on repeat! It’s grungy, funky and I’m in love! They’ve had a few really great singles out lately that I’ve been loving, so make sure to add this to your Summer hit list asap.

Winston Surfshirt – Be About You.¬†It’s sexy, smooth and funky… what more could you ask for in a song. It’s the ultimate Sunday sesh tune to kick back, bob your head and sip your beer to.

Ocean Alley – Holiday.¬†I don’t know what took me so long but damn am I in love with these guys! Their whole album is on point! They played recently at the uni bar and I’m devo I missed them. I get some serious Sticky Fingers vibes from them which is always fantastic. Their song¬†Comedown¬†is another banger I’ve had on repeat!! 10/10

ūü镬†Flicks

L’asenscion (The Climb)

ūüď∑¬†Bloggers and Vloggers

Damon and Jo

Oh my god I have literally watched them for hours and thought they are the funniest, brightest and more awesome people alive! I’ve only just come across their channel and I am honestly in awe. They speak something crazy like 6 languages and produce videos in French, Portuguese and English (WHAT!!!) It’s so contagious watching their fun friendly chemistry and really puts you in a positive mood! For anyone that loves travel and language… these guys are for you!

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Woman of the Hour – Lena Dunham podcast

So I’m a huge fan of Lena Dunham and am slowly getting more and more intrigued into this mysterious world of podcasts. I found Woman of the Hour on the music streaming app ‘Deezer’ that I use (it’s like Spotify but better). I’ve laughed, cried and been incredibly inspired by these podcasts and is an absolute must for all!

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ūüď̬†Quote

This speaks to me. Happiness is something that I value SO MUCH! It is core to who I am as a person and my values. One of the hardest things is acknowledging and accepting those moments when you’re actually not happy. It’s not a bad thing and it’s nothing to feel guilty about, but instead, should act as a reminder to check in with yourself, look after yourself and ultimately make changes that will lead to your happiness. And there’s only one person in the entire world that can ensure that happens… YOU.

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February, please be kind. I’m not sure I can handle another crazy whirlwind month. The grind is real and the work is hard, I just need to remember to love myself along the way.

The 3 BEST CAFES near Mont-Royal

Yep – I’m calling it this early… I’ve been here for nearly 3 weeks and I’ve had plenty of time to explore my awesome, hipster, buzzing neighbourhood of the¬†Mont-Royal Plateau.¬†And I feel that by chance and a little bit of fate, I’ve managed to find the¬†3 BEST CAFES¬†in the area. Maybe it was chance, but I think my classic Australian coffee-snobbery gift led me to find these little gems. Who knows, but damn I’m happy I’ve found these places.

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Kahwa Cafe

To give you my first impression of the cafe – my first experience here went a little something like this. I walked in with my new book ‘The Danish Girl.’ I ordered my Americano (in French). He asked if I wanted milk or sugar and I said no. He looked at my book and said ‘forget the Danish girl, you’re a real girl.’ Apparently you’re tough af if you have your coffee black here. After paying, I grabbed my coffee and sat on a long bench where people were set up with laptops. I then looked around and saw a camera crew and two actors sitting at a table candidly sipping their coffee. I asked if they wanted me to leave – just in case I would be in their way and they insisted I stay. They were making a music clip for a song they were about to release.

So apart from this incredibly cool experience, the coffee was great- and absolutely huge. There’s artwork all over the walls from local artists and apparently they do pretty amazing cous cous. Yep, this cafe does just coffee and cous cous. What an amazing combination?!

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Kawha. Mont-Royal. Source

Le Moineau Masqué

This gem is literally 2 mins from my house! *HALLELUJAH* It’s a cute little cafe with AMAZING coffee. The staff are also ridiculously lovely! I speak French with them- when in Montr√©al- and they always take the time to ask how I am.

The other morning I went down to get my morning coffee and I only took $5. Then I noticed that they had fresh croissants, aka, exactly what you need on a Sunday morning. I asked how much that would cost… $6. I said don’t worry about it because I only had $5. But the guy insisted I take it. I refused and said, no no no it’s fine. And he said please take it, you can make up for it next time. He recognized my face (because I’ve been there my fair share of times over the past few weeks) and I felt like I not only belonged in this cafe, but in this city.

It was at this moment I pledged my loyalty to this cute little cafe for making me feel like a local.

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Le Moineau Masqué. Source

La Distributice 

As you walk south along Mont-Royal, you may not even see this cute little cafe. The epitome of¬†‘hole in the wall,’¬†this little cafe provides the goods. My absolute fave is a¬†latte glac√©¬†(iced latte!) It’s sweet and strong and perfect! Their espresso coffee is superb as well, so next time you find yourself on Mont-Royal, make sure you slow down a little bit so you don’t miss it!

Oh – and one of the barista’s there has red hair, and that’s how you tell if a place is good or not ūüėČ

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La Distributrice, Source

What are your favourite cafes in Montréal? Do you have any more recommendations? Let me know in the comments below!

Top Five Cafes in WOLLONGONG

If anyone know’s me, they know how much I love coffee. And if there’s somewhere that knows how to make a good coffee, the Wollongong aka. the Gong. This is my third year living in the Gong and through my time here I’ve consumed my fair share of coffee. So after a while, you come to discover the best places to grab a good coffee or two. So, here are my top 5 favourite cafe’s the Gong has to offer.¬†

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Rush. 

1. Rush

Conveniently located at UOW, where I work and study, these guys deliver quality beans quickly before your shift or class. Rush 1 is my ‘work coffee,’ where I usually settle for an extra hot skinny cap. My standard for a day at the office. Rush 2 is where I experiment with my coffees. The staff there are beyond awesome and are always playing amazing tunes.

Coffee of choice: Single Origin Long Black

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L&M

2. Lee & Me

L&M as it’s also known, is a cute little cafe/boutique located at the bottom of Crown Street. On a weekend you’re lucky to get a seat on their cosy balcony. But once¬†you do, it’s worth it. And when¬†you’ve finished with your coffee, you can browse through their cute boutique store. If you can’t afford one of their lavish leather bags (which, by the way, I’m in LOVE with), you can settle for a cute little succulent.

Coffee of choice: Skinny Cap (with a side of a cute succulent). 

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Latte at Diggies

3. Diggies

And the award for the best view whilst indulging on an even better coffee goes to…. Diggies. Primly located on North Wollongong beach, this beachy, breezy cafe boasts beautiful views looking out at the surf. If you’re not up for a coffee, I’d also recommend their coconuts or fresh juices. This place is divine in summer after a nice long swim at the beach. Just remember to bring some clothes to cover up in.

Drink of choice: A latte or cocount (depending on how hot it is)

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4. His Boy Elroy

Ah, the infmaous His Boy Elroy. It’s got your night out covered with their craft beer and sexy ciders. Plus, it’s there for you in the morning when you have a filthy hangover. Opt for sitting outside and watch the world pass by as you caffeinate your hangover away.

Drink of choice: Skinny cap (classic)

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A pretty in pink skinny cap

5. Humber

And last but not least… HUMBER. My favourite cafe in the whole Gong. The vibe downstairs is awesome. People are always running in and out, trying to get their hands on a coffee or some of their awesome food. The first floor takes you back to some serious 70s vibes with some brightly coloured stain glass¬†windows and funky carpet. The la pi√®ce de r√©sistance…¬†the rooftop bar.¬†I absolutely love rooftop bars, and as far as they go, this one definitely delivers. Sure – the view is nothing spectacular (hello Port Kembla Steel Works), but the chairs are super comfy, the tunes are on point and the coffee is to die for! The picture above is a pink cap that my fave barista made me, and it’s this type of service that keeps me coming back for more!

Voilà! My top 5 cafes in the Gong. Whilst Wollongong embraces a great cafe culture, these are my favourites. Are there any I missed? Have you been to any of these before? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy drinking!

 

The Rocks Aroma Festival: The Happiest place on Earth

Anyone who knows me, knows I love coffee. And anyone who knows me really well, knows that I’m ridiculously addicted and nothing in the world can replace the taste of a beautiful cup of hot coffee. So, knowing this… can you imagine my utter excitement, overwhelming-ness and just pure joy when I went to a festival dedicated to coffee? Absolute BLISS!

Not a bad view
Not a bad view

I spent this past Sunday at the Rocks Aroma Festival¬†in beautiful Circular Quay, Sydney. And for all of you coffee addicts out there, I’d highly recommend hitting it up at some point because it was damn AWESOME! We were blessed with a gorgeous winters day. Sydney really did show off.

If you hate crowds, then like any other event held in Sydney, it’s probably not ideal for you. And to make matters worse, I was with a large group of friends which nearly impossible to navigate through. But for that golden coffee drop, I’d do almost anything.

Nothing like sipping coffee with your girlfriends
Nothing like sipping coffee with your girlfriends

After checking out all of the stalls, I decided on the Belaroma and settled for a skim cap (my usual). It was hot, strong and bloody AMAZING!!! We then wandered up to the Rocks, through the crowds and followed our noses to the abundance of food stalls that lined the cobblestone streets. We got these delicious chicken, lamb and prawn skewers with rice and scoffed them down with another coffee (it’s a coffee festival, as if I could’ve had just one?!).

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Working the crowds

After a big feed and being hyped up on coffee, there was only one thing left to do… wash it all down with a beer! We wandered through the Rocks and stumbled across the Argyle. From the outisde it doesn’t look like much, but once you venture through the allyway, it feels like you’re in some Hungarian ruin bar. It is such an awesome place! It also doubles as a club at night and I’m already planning a trip back to Sydney for a night out here. It’s fancy, classy and just down right cool.

After some beer, food and coffee, we’d had a pretty solid day. It was a beautiful day to spend in the city with my friends before uni goes back this week.

xxx A

In my happy place
In my happy place

11 Things To Do in Melbourne

After my amazing girls long weekend away to the amazing city of Melbourne, I’ve come up with my ultimate to do list in this spectacular city.

1. Brighton Beach Huts.¬†Only a 15 minute train ride from Flinders Street Station, is Brighton Beach. From the station, you can make the quick walk to the beach where you’ll get exquisite views of the Melbourne city skyline and get to see the quaint, beautiful and bright beach huts. And once you take your photos, you can venture up to the main street of Brighton and enjoy some shopping and beautiful cafes.

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2. Chapel Street. Get the train to either Windsor or Prahan and just wander that street my friends. Perfect for day and night. Great little boutiques, funky bars, unique restaurants and a cool vibe that resonates with King Street in Newtown, Sydney. (Note: the bar tenders at Taco Bill are really attractive).

3. The Lion King.¬†If you’re a sucker for musical theatre like I am, and if you great up singing¬†Hakuna Matata,¬†you’re in for a dream come true kind of night. When we went, a little boy was bouncing up and down and cackling to himself in his seat and it just made me even more happy and excited.

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4. Cookie.¬†I don’t really know how to describe this hidden tower of bars and restaurants but it’s awesome! Located on Swanston Street, from¬†the outside you wouldn’t even look twice at the entrance. But up every flight of stairs, there’s a different bar, club or restaurant. The best is saved til last… the ROOFTOP BAR! We drank a jug of sangria whilst listening to some awesome music and looking out over the dazzling city.

5. Degrave Street.¬†Located off of Flinders Lane is the incredible little street stuffed with amazing cafes! One part of the street feels like you’re in Paris, other half on the other side of Flinders Lane feels like you’ve just stepped into Japan. It’s so diverse, with little boutiques and bars, we felt so lucky we didn’t have to travel far to get some amazing food and shopping done.

6. The Great Ocean Road.¬†You can read about our adventure on this spectacular piece of coastline here. If the picture below doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

The magnificent 12 Apostles
The magnificent 12 Apostles

7. Take a tram ride.¬†The CBD of Melbourne is lined with trams. And the best part is that they’re free! It’s a fun, easy, quick and free way to get around to all of the hot spots that Melbourne has to show off.

Wandering the streets
Wandering the streets

8. The National Gallery of Victoria. A big and beautiful gallery located just off of Federation Square, is a great way to see some beautiful Australian art and also spend a rainy cold winters day.

9.¬†The Yarra River.¬†Stroll along the river and soak up some sunshine (well, maybe if you go in Summer). It’s a gorgeous river dotted with cafes and a great bicycle track. Around Melbourne there’s also bikes you can hire for a few hours (similar to Barclays bikes in London), so you can ride along the river and get a different perspective of the city.

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10. Hosier Lane.¬†Another hidden gem of an alleyway that is completely covered in street art! It’s funky and fresh and makes for some absolutely amazing photos! Oh, and there’s some Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc artwork aswell. What’s not to love?

Hosier Lane
Hosier Lane

11.¬†And if nothing else… just wander around the streets. You’ll never know what cool bar or amazing coffee you’ll stumble across.

Anything I’ve missed? Where would you want to go if you visited Melbourne? Let me know in the comments below!

xxx A

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Friends Across The Globe: Reunion

Me, Nicole, Charline and Mack
Me, Nicole, Charline and Mack

They say that the friends you make when you first move out of home are friends for life. And regardless of distance or time, or how long it’s been since you’ve talked you know that they’ll be there for you. I was fortunate enough last weekend to meet up with these beautiful (above), who were some of my housemates whilst I was living in London. Whilst some of you may think, what’s the big deal, well I’m not sure you could ever understand the incredible bond we created at Clarendon 9. I was 18 when I moved into that house and was just discovering myself and the world around me. I was always up for trying new things, going on adventures and making the most of every opportunity. My time in London wasn’t always smooth sailing and my housemates were by my side through thick and thin. Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 5.42.56 pm As I waited at Central Station, having not seen my London family for almost 18months, I was absolutely overwhelmed with anxiety and excitement. I scanned every face, my heart skipping a beat every time I saw someone resembling my friends. I had been lucky enough to see Nicole in February and seeing her face again was so exciting.¬†When we (finally) saw Charline and Mack walking through the Central,¬†I couldn’t contain my excitement. We crept up on them, swarming them with hugs and nearly giving Mack a heart attack. After smothering them both with hugs and covering Mack’s shirt with makeup (my bad) we headed off to have some lunch and coffee, just like London times. From then on, we did not stop talking. It was like no time had passed at all and hearing their voices and seeing their faces right in front of me was so special and heart warming.

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For a long time, I was always conscious of starting a story with ‘when I was in London…’¬†because I didn’t want to seem like I was bragging. But after reminiscing about all the crazy adventures we got up to, I really don’t care at all. Why? Because London was the best year of my life. It was much more than just me living it up in another city, but it was where I made incredible friends, learnt my limits, discovered new things and learnt more about myself and what I want in life. And my London family, my housemates helped me through all of it and I’ll make be eternally grateful for that.

At the Royal Ascot
At the Royal Ascot

So what now? Who knows when we’ll see each other next. In the next month, this year, or next? Regardless of when I see my London family next, I know that we’ll all continue to change. Whilst I may have grown up considerably and changed a lot, some might say even matured, but in some way, there’s an 18 year old me still looking optimistically out at the world that my London family know all too well.

Until next time!

xxx A

15 Things I Want to Achieve in 2015

So yes, this is a little New Years resolution and I figured if I put it down in writing and post it to my blog, then maybe I’ll feel obliged to actually stick to them (yay). For a long time now, I’ve always set¬†goals (short and long term) and I find by making goals, I then develop plans to achieve them and actually do it. So this is my hit list for 2015!

Exploring Bondi Beach with my Dad
Exploring Bondi Beach with my Dad

1- Read everyday – I love reading a good book and feel accomplished and enlightened when I finish one. There’s a million amazing books out there that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

2 – Write in my journal everyday – For as long as I can remember I’ve kept a handwritten journal that I try to write in as often as possible. Throughout the past couple of months though it’s completely slipped my mind and now I don’t have any entries from October onwards. So I want to commit to writing everyday (minimum every week) so that when I’m old and grey, I can flick though the pages and think of the funny little things that happen everyday.

One of my favourite books I read this year! A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
One of my favourite books I read this year! A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

3 – Spend less time scrolling – When I’m bored or killing time, I always seem to find myself mindlessly scrolling down my Facebook Feed, Instagram, Buzzfeed etc and after an hour disappears, all I’ve learnt is that my friend got a new car and 10 inappropriate outfits of the week (thanks Buzzfeed). Instead, I can use this time more productively – i.e read, write, and I think I’ll be a lot happier if an hour slips away because I was reading Oscar Wilde.

4 – Renew my gym membership – In August I joined the gym at uni and believe it or not… I’m missing it! Never thought I’d say that about a gym! My goal is to go to the gym 3-4 times a week. I find that by going to the gym and being physically active, I am then more motivated to eat and cook healthier. It’s a win win situation really.

5 – Do yoga at least once a week – I LOVE YOGA! It keeps me balanced, relaxed and flexible. I walk out of class feeling like I can take on the world.

Having memorable times with my friends
Having memorable times with my friends

6 – Reduce the amount of alcohol I drink – Don’t get me wrong, over O Week next year, I’ll definitely indulge in a few beers, however throughout the year, I’d like to reduce the amount of alcohol I consume in one sitting and how often I drink. Because at the end of the day, it’s expensive and hangovers are not my friend!

7 – Save Save Save! – I’m currently saving my money to go on exchange in 2016 and that will be a very expensive adventure. Therefore, by cutting back on alcohol etc and being super strict and smart about my savings… I can make it happen!

8 РBe productive and prepared for uni classes РMuch easier said than done, but this year I wish to maintain my high standard of work and keep up to date with assignments and essays. In the end, it will all pay off!

9 – Hike Mount Kiera – I’ve lived in Wollongong for a year now and I still haven’t hiked up Mount Kiera yet! Mainly because the days people seemed to go hiking were on extremely hot days, but this year… no excuses! It must be done!

10 –¬†Launch my new section of A Worldly Addiction where I’ll be discovering new and wonderful local cafes and posting all the details and photos as often as possible. Watch this space for updates in 2015!

COFFEEEEEEE!
COFFEE!

11 – Be an avid environmentalist – Recycling paper and plastics, donating my old clothes, not using the clothes dryer, turn lights off… Anything I can do to help our planet out more!

12 – Continue having coffee dates with my family and friends – If I’m going to keep up to date with all my uni work, then I’m going to have to keep up with my coffee hits. And what better way to do that then keep catching up with all my coffee buddies at uni and exchanging gossip, troubles, concerns, advice and friendship!

13 – Go camping – I went on an awesome camping adventure this year and it was AWESOME! So, this year I definitely need to do it again! Preferably on a nice, hot, sunny weekend where we can camp near the beach or go hiking around waterfalls. Either way, an escape from reality and technology with some close friends and sleeping under the stars sounds awesome to me!

When I had a weekend away in Sydney with my boyfriend
When I had a weekend away in Sydney with my boyfriend

14 – Have a weekend away – I haven’t been on a plane all year and I’m craving the excitement of landing in a new and exciting place! I’m thinking of either spending a weekend in Melbourne or on the Gold Coast, with a close friend and just explore and have fun for a weekend!

15 – Share something with you guys at least once a week – 2015, expect to get lots of notifications saying that I’ve just added a new post! Whether it be more photos, quotes, attempted poetry, my opinion on something, a report, tips, memories… I’ll be sharing it with you! So be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss out on a single post!

And one last big thing which will keep me going throughout the whole year… BE HAPPY! Be with my friends and family as much as possible and always with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart!

What are you hoping to achieve next year?

xxx A

One Night in Canberra

Canberra, the capital of Australia. Home to Parliament House, National Galleries/Museums/Universities, The War Memorial and also my best friend in the world! Never knowing how long she’ll be in Australia for, I jumped at the chance to spend 27 hours with her! So here’s some pictures of Australia’s beautiful capital city!

I caught the bus from Wollongong to Canberra with Murrays Coaches¬†costing about $50 return (not bad), taking 3hours and 20minutes to reach the capital. The first exciting/nerve wracking part of my adventure was going through Macquarie Pass, an 8km stretch of steep and incredibly windy road! I’m normally absolutely fine with roads like this, but at some points, I must admit I did grip the seat. The road is so windy that on one corner, the bus had to reverse and then continue to take the corner. After that¬†(ordeal) was over, the view was quite spectacular and the rest of the journey was smooth sailing.

The ocean views from the top of Macquarie Pass
The ocean views from the top of Macquarie Pass

I arrived at the Jolimont Centre in Canberra at 3:40pm where my friend Jess was there to pick me up. It had been around 9months since we’d seen each other and it was just like it was yesterday we were galavanting through London. That’s something pretty amazing about meeting incredible people whilst travelling, they become incredible friends. Regardless of where you are in the world, the moment you call/skype/whatsapp/viber/facebook/facetime/meet them, you realise just how incredible they truly are and how lucky you are to call them a friend. ¬†Obviously we had much to catch up on and we did so over pizza, How I Met Your Mother and coffee.

Jess and I checking out Lake Burley Griffin and views to Parliament House
Jess and I checking out Lake Burley Griffin and views to Parliament House

We had the whole next day to spend together and explore together, (the 3rd capital city in the world we’ve been to together). We had a lovely brunch followed by some awesome cruising around Canberra and all the hot tourist spots. Some of the must see places for tourists are Old/New Parliament House, The Tent Embassy, The War Memorial, The Corillian, CSIRO Discovery Centre, The Australian National Museum/Gallery and walk around (part of) Lake Burley Griffin. I have been to a lot of the museums a few years ago with my family and Jess showed me the rest of the sights whilst we were crusing. We then did some shopping and had some (more) coffee, where I then lost my shopping ūüė¶ We cruised around some more, realising our love for Ed Sheeran, Kygo and our guilty pleasure, Taylor Swift.

City Centre of Canberra
City Centre of Canberra
War Memorial-Parliament House, view from Mount Ainslie
War Memorial-Parliament House, view from Mount Ainslie

After a few more episodes of How I Met Your Mother, it was time to head back to the bus station and head back to the Gong. Departure time was 6pm so we went down Macquarie Pass when it was pitch black! I tried not to focus on the sheer cliffs we were passing and read my book. I don’t know when or where I’ll be back in Canberra or see Jess (like many of my amazing international friends), but true friendship perseveres distance and time. So I excitedly anticipate the next time we meet!

Note for Tourists: To get around Canberra, invest in hiring a car! There’s no way you can walk around and see everything. Unless you have too a best friend that lives there that can double as a personal chauffeur!¬†

xxx

A

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