My Epic Travel Plans: JUNE – AUGUST

“I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”

After putting some plans into action, I can finally reveal to you my incredibly exciting plans for the next few months! One of the best things about travel is planning. And one of the other good things is actually making these plans come to life! Now, it’s just a matter of time.

24th June: Sydney -> Manila (one night stopover)

25th June: Manila -> London (I’m back baby!)

26th June – 3rd July: LONDON! I’m talking visiting old friends, visiting my old house, my old local pub and my old stomping ground which is East London. I’m also talking visiting friends that I haven’t seen for years, and visiting places I didn’t get to go when I was there in 2013.

a23f7440e575e9bef89a58021e27097d.jpg
Hamstead Heath, London. One of my favourite places. Source

3rd July – 29th July – La Rochelle, France. So I’m spending a month in France doing an AIM Overseas Short Course. For 4 weeks I’ll be living, learning and breathing everything French. I’ll be studying French language every morning, and be doing cultural activities like tasting wine and cheese in the afternoon. This is where I’ll be for Bastille Day and my birthday! I’m a little nervous because I haven’t studied French for the past 6 months but I think there’s only one way to learn… and that’s do as the French do.

d3c94f93b59924e94829f87674d2a16f
The beautiful streets of La Rochelle! Source

29th July – 12th August: Roadtrip/Epic Adventures! I don’t have any locked in plans as of yet, but that’s always fun, just to wing it a little and see where I end up. I may go north to Rennes, Mont St Michel or Dinan. I may go south to Toulouse, Bayonne and end up in Spain in San Sebastian. Or I may go south east and go to Nice, Cannes and through to Italy. Wherever I go and whoever I’m with, I know I’ll have an awesome time!

7019af47a5f6b30314c169023b2fd284
San Sebastian, Spain… who knows where I’ll end up? Source

12th August – 18th August: ICELAND! I am beyond ridiculously excited to go back to Iceland! I was there in Winter of 2014 where I nearly froze to death. This year, I’ll be returning in Summer (where it’s still likely to be cold) but nonetheless… I’m determined to get out there and discover all that this unique country has to offer. I’m planning on visiting friends, chasing waterfalls and swimming in natural thermal hot springs! Watch out Iceland!

d586721bb17fd2130e8f92c2f38bd2d4.jpg
Akureyri, Iceland. Source

18th August —- MONTREAL! As of the 18th of August, I’ll be in Montreal. I’ll be here until late December as an exchange student at the University of Concordia! A part from having to organise where I’m going to be living during this time, everything is coming together nicely and I freakin’ cannot wait!

d0d84890cf33dd21dea970010317e36f.jpg
Cannot wait to explore French Canada! Source 

And from there, who knows? But hey, I think that’s the best part!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daring or Dangerous? Are Co-Productions the Future of Australian Films?

“I don’t know an Australian would have made this film” Andrew Mason (Producer)

I previously watched this film and was completely blown away by the tender provocativeness of the storyline and honest vulnerability of the characters, complemented by the stunning landscape of the NSW coastline. It was unlike any other Australian film I had seen before so I had to do a bit of research on this film. It turns out that Adore (also known as Two Mothers, Perfect Mothers and Adoration) is a French – Australian film that was released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 (Bodey, 2013). Australians love French cinema which is proven through the success of the Alliance Francaise French Film Festival ,in its 27th year in 2016 and the biggest festival of French films outside of France.

Culturally, France is renowned for their unapologetic romance and passion. Bodey explains that they know how to feel and if you love something, go for it’ (Bodey, 2013). The movie And as the producer Andrew Mason confesses ‘I don’t know an Australian would have made this film.’ The film is based on a short story by British author, Doris Lessing and was directed French director, Anne Fontaine. Yet the film features predominantly Australian actors and is set in Seal Rocks on the coast of Australia. This neat fusion of culture and cinematic ideas, create a hybrid film.

I have previously explored the importance of landscape in Australian films (check it out here), and this film is no exception. Bodey states that the isolation of the location – a small coastal town, plays on the idea that it is an Australian film and apart from a few references to Sydney, could be any coastal town in the world.

adore2
Adore. Source

To co produce with France also offers enormous benefits in audience reach, financial support and box office success. France has an extremely strong and unique film industry. In 2013, ‘270 feature films were produced with a combined expendituare of €1.25 billion’ (Screen Australia, 2014). Along with having a significantly larger budget, France also has a huge cinema watching audience. With a population of 66million and 196.3million annual cinema admissions, France is a strong country to co produce with (Screen Australia 2014). France and Australia have a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which was signed in 1986 and since then have co produced over 32 productions with a total budget of $265million (Screen Australia, 2014). The Australian minimum is 40% but the French minimum is 20% (Screen Australia, 2014) which illustrates the Australian film industry’s need to exercise tight control over our national industry and identity. The benefits of co producing with France are economically and culturally viable and beneficial to both nations.

Critics have said that co-produced films are ‘oriented towards global agendas and systems’ (O’Regan & Potter, 2013) and we could risk losing our national film identity. They are also concerned that internationalising a national film industry can lead to ‘loss of creative freedom and contribute to film distribution, production, post-production and visual effects also being internationalised’ (O’Regan & Potter, 2013). However, others believe that co productions are the key to the future and success of the Australian film industry, with unique and changing stories that can capture rich appreciate from audiences (Dillon, 2013)

A film like Adore contains significant Australian content, it just has a fresh French squeeze drizzled over it. It seems however, that Australian audiences aren’t ready to embrace such a big change in our national film industry just yet.

 

References

Bodey, M 2013, ‘Sons and lovers unite in French-Australian drama Adoration‘, The Australian, 16 November, viewed 14 January 2016, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/sons-and-lovers-unite-in-french-australian-drama-adoration/story-fn9n8gph-1226759727586

Dillion, J 2013, ‘On Australian Screens’, Scrope Screen Industry Views, Metro, Communication & Mass Media Complete, 176, pp. 112 – 119, viewed 17 January 2016

Screen Australia, 2014 ‘Co-Pro Program Partner Countries Profile: France’, Screen Australia, viewed 14 January 2016, https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/coproductions/partner_countries/france

O’Regan, T Potter, A 2013, ‘Globalisation from within?: The de-nationalising of Australian film and television production’ Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, No. 149, Nov 2013

A Love Letter to Paris and a Few Tips on How To Be Parisian

So there’s this book. A beautiful little book, that sits neatly on my bookshelf. The thing about this beautiful little book, is that you cannot simply ‘read’ this book. No, you believe this book. Live it. Breathe it. Know it, with every inch of your body, and by the time you turn to the final page…. you know exactly ‘How To Be Parisian, Wherever You Are.’ This charming little book is written by four very beautiful, and very French women; Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Anne Berest. They share their secrets to the world about How to be Parisian. 

My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.
My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.

A must read for those of you who have ever day dreamed their way to Paris. Ever since I was little, I remember being captivated by the City of Lights. And as soon as I made it through high school and ventured on my GAP year, I went to Paris not once, not twice, but three times.

Those who say they ‘didn’t like Paris’ or ‘thought it was dirty,’ then you obviously missed the whole point. Paris isn’t meant to be perfect. It is dirty, there’s gypsies everywhere and the Metro does stink like urine. But while you were so busy worried about a little dog poo on the sidewalk, you completely missed the beauty that lies in every street. Every arrondissement has a different story to tell. Your job is to listen and let the streets guide you along the way.

One of my favourite photos of Paris. Taken from the Sacre Coeur, this is Paris at dusk. Before she wakes up.
One of my favourite photos of Paris. Taken from the Sacre Coeur, this is Paris at dusk. Before she wakes up.

‘Parisian women never try to appear to be something other than what they are. They want above all to become the best possible version of themselves.’

The best version of themselves. Isn’t that what we should all strive for?

IMG_5019

‘The signature item is an attitude. It is the gun in your holster that makes you feel well dressed and invincible’ 

And personally, it’s my leather jacket (which is coincidentally pictured in the book). I bought my leather jacket in London. I saved up my money for it and may have even sacrificed some food for that week to purchase it, but now that it’s mine I couldn’t picture not having it in my life. It’s me. I feel fierce when I have it on. Not only because it looks great, but also because I’ve invested good money in something that is timeless. Now that’s smart investment.

And what about the French Language? C’est très beau. I’m currently studying it at uni, and despite how difficult the passé composé is, I will always love speaking it. For more reasons on why you should learn French, you can read more here.

IMG_5028

‘When it comes to kissing, the Parisienne does it the same way she does everything else: with cinematic flair. Preferably, all kissing should take play in the middle of the street. The city is after all her stage and she treats each kiss like a once-in-a-lifetime performance. She wants to be unforgettable- both to the man clinging to her lips and to the people passing by. Like any good actress, she immerses herslf completely in the role and amost expects a round of applause when the curtain falls and the end of her scene. Breathless, of course’ 

IMG_5030

“Always be fuckable: when standing in line at the bakery on a Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night, or even picking the kids up from school. You never know.”

You’ll constantly have ‘ah-ha’ moments which resonate with everyone’s unique experiences of Paris. I’ve seen Paris in many different lights. I’ve been there in Summer, Autumn and Winter, I’ve seen the touristy parts of the Lourve and the Eiffel Tower, gotten lost in the streets of Montmartre, been to Disneyland, ate excessible amounts of cheese and croissants, watched cabaret shows and delved through the flea markets. I love Paris, it’s people, history and culture, and I’m so glad I can have a little bit of it on my bookshelf.

1068989_681003838581301_1637797659_n

So you think the image of Paris and being Parisian is overrated. Well my friend, I’m not sure there’s anything else I can do to convince you. I say that there’s nothing wrong with a little daydreaming, and if you happen to daydream about Paris, the City of Lights, so be it.

1079275_680575115290840_635342169_n
The Moulin Rouge. Haven’t been inside yet, but it’s on my list.
Bringing my ballet shoes with me to Paris. Dream come true
Bringing my ballet shoes with me to Paris. Dream come true.
Being fancy at the Palace of Versailles.
Being fancy at the Palace of Versailles.

Love Yourself This Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day. The one time of year we can eat chocolate, have our cheeks flushed pink, watch chic flicks and write clichés in cards… Actually that’s every other weekend for me. Regardless of how often you eat a box of heart shaped chocolates, there’s no escaping the fact that the 14th of February is all about love. And whilst it’s nice when you’ve got that special someone to spend it with, the most important date you’ll have on Valentines Day (and for the rest of your life) is YOU. Yes, I realize it’s clichéd to write about how important it is to love yourself but hey, it is Valentines Day. So here are some things you can do (or I try to show myself) a little loving.

Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg
Picture from http://www.personalityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/do-you-love-me_personalityhacker.jpg

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
– Lucille Ball

***

Buy that dress you’ve been eyeing off on ASOS to show yourself some appreciation.

Walk with confidence of everything you’ve accomplished and dreaming of.

Embrace your flaws.

Surround yourself with positivity.

Dream big and act even bigger.

Paint your nails blue, or green, or purple to brighten your day.

Play your music loud and sing even louder.

Call your family/friends and tell them how much they mean to you.

Have a relaxing bath with candles.

Cook a lovely meal for yourself.

Lay on a grassy hill and watch the clouds roll over.

Crack open a bottle of wine.

Binge watch How To Get Away With Murder (woops, too late).

Download Taylor Swifts album.

Put on your beautiful jewellery.

Write down all these things that make you happy and feel loved for future reference.

And don’t forget to finish this all off with a small box of chocolates… you’ve earned it.

***

Happy Valentines Day to each and every one of you. xxx A

Pont des Arts, the love lock  bridge in Paris
Pont des Arts, the love lock bridge in Paris

 

Why It’s Not So Easy to Drop Everything to Travel the World

Lately I’ve seen a lot of blogs, posts, quotes, expressions and people saying, ‘just drop everything and go, travel the world!’ Whilst in theory I love the thought of this and wish I could, the bottom line is that there’s many of us squeezing in some time on Facebook before after we finish a double shift, or before a uni lecture to read these posts, and I can assure you that the majority of people would love to be sipping cocktails in Greece or exploring London, rather than do these things. So here’s why it’s not so easy to drop everything to book a one way flight to New York, Tokyo or Moscow.

*On a side note, if anyone out there would like to give me an all expenses holiday, please comment below* 😉

from- http://th02.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2013/324/4/f/wanderlust_by_apokalyxe-d6uy8j4.jpg
from- http://th02.deviantart.net/fs70/PRE/i/2013/324/4/f/wanderlust_by_apokalyxe-d6uy8j4.jpg

1- I’m Poor – The big factor here… no money. And when I say no money, when I find 20cents on the ground… I get pretty damn excited! Also, everything about international travel is expensive! Do you know how much a one way ticket to London costs? About $1000… and that’s just to get there!

2- I have a job (so that I’m not poor) – In order to fund my coffee addiction, pay for university textbooks and pay for internet, I need to work, and a lot! I really enjoy my job(s) as well, and if I even want to think about booking flights, I’m going to have to work 25 hours a day 8 days a week!

3 – I need to find myself – Whilst travelling the world is a good way to discover a lot about yourself, when you’re home with your family and friends is also a good time to grow as a person. It helps you re-evaluate your views, dreams and ambitions, and may differ from those of the traveller version of you. Also, travelling can be stressful and exhausting, and there really is no bed like YOUR bed.

4- It’s not the right time – Personally, right now would not be the right time to go overseas at all. I need to be here for my family, for my job, my boyfriend, my friends, my commitments, my degree… I have a lot of things going on at the moment. I know that there never seems to be a right time to go on a big overseas adventure, but there are definitely wrong times, and this is one of them.

5- I’m quite happy here for now – My home is pretty damn awesome! I like within a 10 minute drive to over 10 pristine beaches, close to the city, I have friends to go out with, family to have dinner with… AND the best part about having wanderlust at home is that you can discover some pretty incredible places in your own backyard!

928fc4dc2f90054166e7c014b684-post

I think the most frustrating thing for me is a combination of these things. I do want to travel and live overseas, but I also have a lot of other goals and ambitions as well. And to work towards achieving those it requires me to have a job, go to university and save my money. I’m trying to keep the bigger picture in mind and work towards achieving all of my goals and not just my one desire of travelling the world. Yes, a part of this frustration is jealousy of my friends and family that seem to be travelling internationally every second month, but I know I’ll get there once I work hard for it.

So what do I do to settle nearly every atom which is jumping up and down with infectious wanderlust?

1- I make (realistic) goals – Making realistic goals is the most important first step towards reaching your desired outcome. For example, there’s only a certain amount of money I can earn in a year and therefore it might take me two years to save the money I need for a trip overseas. By being realistic, they’re actually achievable and you can work hard to reach them. There’s no point setting your goals too high and not achieving them.

2- I plan – Planning makes me feel like I am about to get on a plane in a months time. I read magazines, blogs, newspapers… anything with beautiful photos of cities, mountains and beaches around the world I want to go to.

3- I work (extremely) hard – If I set a goal, I will stick to it. I’ll pick up extra shifts, I might say no to a few nights out, I might cut back on buying my lunch… I do everything in my power to reach that goal and live my dream!

4 – I get there – It may take some time, but I’ll get there, and the gelato in Rome will taste even sweeter!

So internet… PLEASE STOP TELLING ME TO DROP EVERYTHING AND TRAVEL! I’m working on it!

xxx

A

Parlez-vous français?

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

Some Common Phrases You Might Need

Hello = Bonjour

Goodbye = Au Revoir

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

Please = S’il vous plaît

Thankyou (very much) = Merci (beaucoup)

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

I’m lost = Je suis perdu

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

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

*

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

Bisous x

A

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