Did I Achieve My New Years Resolutions for 2016?

For anyone that knows me, I love making lists, writing my goals down and using it as inspiration to work towards achieving them. That’s why I always make New Years Resolutions and set myself goals for the year. And as 2016 sadly comes to an end, and I start trying to make sense of and work out the complications I’ve already got of 2017, it’s led me to wonder what’s in store for me. But I don’t just believe in letting fate happen. I believe in encountering fate, then telling it exactly what you want to do so you can achieve your goals. So, here were my goals and my New Years Resolutions for 2016 and my thoughts and reactions on some of the challenges I set myself.

You can see my original post of 16 Things I Want To Achieve in 2016 HERE

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1. Watch less TV shows, read more books

I’d say this one is somewhat accomplished. I don’t think I necessarily stopped watching TV shows. I just found more time to read and instead of watching TV shows, I made the transition to the wide world of YouTube.

2. Limit my coffee spending.

DID NOT HAPPEN AT ALL… maybe I need to buy a coffee machine?

3. Buy my lunch a max of once a week.

ALSO DID NO HAPPEN! In Australia I was good.

And this is probably the point where I should address that this year was split into two parts… Australia and exchange life. Obviously exchange life isn’t ‘reality’ where I have a job and responsibilities so it therefore impacted my ability to achieve these goals. None the less… I ended up buying food out a lot… oops.

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4. Be a vegetarian. 

I did this in Australia. I quickly discovered that when travelling and staying with friends and family overseas, it’s very difficult to maintain this diet. So I just decided that whilst travelling, I’d ditch the veggo diet. However, the only time I eat meat is when I eat out. I eat vegetarian at home and buy tofu as a source of protein over meat.

5. Ride my bike more often.

Yes in Australia. Yes in France. No in Canada. Sadly I didn’t have access to a bike in Montreal… and to be honest, I think I’d be a bit scared to ride my bike around the streets of Montreal. Drivers here are kinda mental. But I’m soooo looking forward to going home so I can ride my beautiful bike absolutely everywhere.

6. Maintain and improve my French.

Oui, absolutement. After a month of intensive French study in La Rochelle, and 6 months in Quebec, I think I’ve managed to improve my French skills.

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7. TRAVEL! 

This one was kind of cheating because I knew I’d be doing a lot of this on exchange. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around France, Spain, Iceland, Canada (Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Kingston, Niagara Falls) and the US (DC, Boston, New York – and soon to be California) and I’m so freakin grateful and happy that I had the opportunity to do so much travel during this time.

8. Volunteer.

I did volunteer at the beginning of this year but as soon as I started travelling and moved to Montreal that totally died off. Definitely something that I want to get involved with in 2017.

9. You can’t play hard until you’ve worked harder.

This was all about doing well at uni and I think I managed to do this in Australia and in Montreal. With 2 Distinctions and a HD at UOW for Autumn, and getting the top mark in my mid term for one of my classes at Concordia. I think I’ve deserved those beers.

10. Try something new

I experienced lots of new things, but I don’t think I really tried something new. I guess my intention with this goal was to really put myself out there and try a pole dancing class, learn to play a song on piano, a skill or something just completely out of the ordinary. I did try a lot of new things, but I’m all about pushing myself so I’m going to leave this unachieved and I’ll definitely be carrying this with me into the new year.

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11. Say Yes!

Absolutely smashed this one. There’d be nights where I’d be in bed, winding down for the evening, and then suddenly get a message from a friend inviting me out. It’s really easy to make excuses. In fact I think I realised just how hesitant I can be to making plans. Exchange definitely encouraged me to put myself out there and say yes to opportunities and I’m so grateful for that experience.

12. Be thankful, and show it.

One of the biggest things I learnt this year was just how privileged I am and I never want to take this privilege for granted. I want people to know how much I appreciate their friendship, their kindness and love. Actually, I don’t want them to know it, I want them to feel it. That I’m completely grateful for everything that has happened this year and nothing has passed by unnoticed.

13. Couchsurf.

Maybe next year.

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14. Eat. Sleep. Blog. Repeat. 

Mmmm kind of. Whilst I may not have been blogging as much as I would have liked, I launched my YouTube channel and have been making videos every week. I’ve also written content for Twenty Something Humans and Thought Catalog which has been an incredible experience and something I definitely want to continue into the future.

15. Stop comparing myself/Stop with the negative thoughts.

Everyone has insecurities and has periods where they feel down about themselves. This is something that I’ve wanted to combat this year because being negative is not productive or helpful to anyone, in any situation. So I’ve really been focusing on loving myself and owning my flaws. This has pushed me in a really positive direction and I feel that I’ve grown so much as a person because of it. YAY progress!

16. Own It!

Hells yea I ‘owned it.’ I feel that this carries on from my last point, to love myself, accept myself with my flaws and strengths. I’m really proud of everything that I’ve achieve this year. From improving my French, moving to Canada and putting myself out there to make such amazing friendships and connections with incredible people! I feel like I’ve been able to re-evaluate my values, goals and ambitions to work towards what I really want to achieve and who I want to be in life.

So… do New Years Resolutions work? I achieved 9 of 16 goals so yep – I think that counts as mission accomplished! I’m already thinking about things I want to achieve next year so stay tuned for more!

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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: AUGUST 16

So I think I can officially say that August has literally been the craziest month ever! I’ve actually lost track of where I’ve been and what I’ve done – thank god for journal entries and Insta posts… But before I get stuck into it – August has been an absolute whirlwind. Something that I think I’m paying for now (I’m a bit run down and sick at the moment). So it’s always important to take care of yourself so you don’t burn out. OK – without further ado…. I present to you my incredible month of AUGUST!!!!

SPAIN

Believe it or not I started this month in San Sebastian, Spain. It was the first time I’ve ever been and I was lucky enough to be travelling with my Dad at this point. San Sebastian was literally like a fairytale come to life. The most vividly blue water, crowded lively and buzzing tapas bars and the best sangria I’ve ever had! A highlight was probably SURFING! The beach we stayed near is famous for it’s surf so it was pretty cool to rent a board for an hour and paddle out without having to worry about sharks!

You can see my SAN SEBASTIAN VIDEO HERE

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Sangria all day everyday
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Dad and I exploring
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Sunset in San Sebastian

Barcelona

Another incredible city that I’d never been to! Barcelona was an absolute whirlwind! The architecture is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before! I felt like I was walking through a Tim Burton film most of the time!

You can check out my Barcelona video here!

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BARCELONAAAA
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Love a good snapchat filter!
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Endless views of this incredible city

PARIS

After Barcelona we flew to my favourite city of all time… PARIS! There’s not enough words in the world to describe just how much I love this place! We stayed in an AirBnb in Abbesses (click here to see). It was in the best location, right under the Sacre Coeur, with bars, boulangeries, markets and restaurants surrounding us. I felt like an actual Parisienne living there, which is pretty much the dream!

For me- Paris isn’t about the museums, galleries, monuments etc (although they definitely do add to the experience). But it’s the atmosphere. That beautiful immersion in French culture, history and way of life. To me, that’s absolutely magical.

However, it was my Dad’s first time in Paris… so I got to play tour guide (and I think I did a pretty damn good job). We walked absolutely everywhere, ate baguettes with every meal and enjoyed incredible food.

You can see my PARIS VLOG HERE

ICELAND

Round 2 in Iceland and dayum this place knows how to make someone happy! We rented a car (which is an absolute must for Iceland) and drove around the Ring Road and just pulled over whenever we saw something awesome. I’m talking, waterfalls, plane wrecks, more waterfalls and glaciers.

The highlight of Iceland was probably Vestmannaeyjar. It’s an island about 30 minutes from the mainland and is probably one of the most wild places I’ve ever been. The hiking was incredible and the views were literally breathtaking!

You can check out my ICELAND VIDEO HERE

MONTRÉAL

The time finally came where I touched down in Montréal! Woo! It’s so surreal when something has been months in the making and then it finally happens. All that hard work pays off… and then you come to the realisation – shit. I’m in a new city, new country and don’t know anyone… You can read about my first impressions of Montréal here but after being here for a few weeks… this place is AMAZING!!!

My housemate is cool af, I’ve made countless friends, drank waaaaaay too much alcohol and just am all round having a great time.

TUNES

This month it’s been kind of hard to keep on track with new music, but there’s no way in the world I would miss new music from BANKS! OMG finally! I’m absolutely in love and I’m just hanging out for the album to be released!

Just A Gent

I’ve been trying to keep on top of my Like A Versions but when I heard this my mind was blown!!! It’s so sick I really don’t have many more words….

FLICKS

Same as July, I haven’t really had the chance to watch many films… but I’ll get there. Instead, like always I’ve been binge watching Netflix, and this is definitely a huge advantage to being in Canada! The Canadian Netflix is awesome!

I smashed out Season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder in nearly a weekend and OMG if you can start this show without smashing it out in a weekend then I’m very impressed with your self control.

QUOTES

I think this one is extremely relevant to my life at the moment. I guess when you have a lot of spare time and find yourself chilling alone, it’s easy to forget what you’re passionate about. You kind of get caught up in other things. This quote has motivated me to get out there, introduce myself, make mistakes, make a fool of myself, make friends and get in there. When you do the things you love and are truly passionate about, your heart and soul will be absolutely raging… so do it.

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OK – What a month! I can’t believe I somehow made it from Spain to Canada! I’m sooooo looking forward to September. For classes to start and meet even more people and have many more exciting, scary and daring adventures!

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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Cannot wait to explore French Canada! Source 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iceland: Why It’s The Most Magical Place on Earth

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
The Blue Lagoon

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.

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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!

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It was so cold and windy that I had to hold my beanie on
Selijalandsfoss, source
Selijalandsfoss, source

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.IMG_7020Reykjavík, 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.

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View of Reykjavik from the Church –  Source
Hallgrímskirkja
Hallgrímskirkja

The VIKINGS. Enough said really.

The Sun Voyager
The Sun Voyager

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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

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Go Snorkelling at Silfra-  the Eurasian and North American continental plates

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And see the Northern Lights!

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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!

xxx A

Control-Alt-J

I love those epic nights out where you don’t really have any plans or expectations, and then the night just keeps on rising from one level of awesome to more awesome! And that’s exactly what last night was about. Having minimal plans, two great friends and an amazing city like Sydney to play with.

Me, Jonny and Zina
Me, Jonny and Zina

At around 5:30 we exited Town Hall and set ourselves upon Sydney. Our excitement for a good night led us to a cool little bar near the QVB building that had $8 cocktails. Hallelujah! After a sexy cosmopolitan and channeling our inner sex and the city selves we wandered around George Street in search of a good restaurant to eat at.

And then we found the restaurant. The most confusing, random, awesome and delicious restaurant I’ve ever been to. It’s called Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke and it’s on George Street. We ordered wine, salmon sashimi, seared crispy salmon sushi and some amazing seafood noodles and kept ordering food on our little screen whenever we felt like more. I’d definitely recommend it, just don’t forget to bring some awesome friends to help you with the wine.

Afterwards, we went back to the $8 cocktail place… naturally, and embraced more of our Carrie Bradshaws. I think even Jonny was channeling some Aidan Shaw in there.

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And theeeeen… it was CONCERT TIME!!! We got a taxi to the Entertainment Centre (where we probably could’ve walked, but risked Zinas ankles in her killer heels). A few more beers later and we were seated with our ears and hearts being serenaded by ASGEIR! He was incredible! His voice was abolustely incredible and he sang one of my favourite songs ‘In Harmony,’ in Icelandic which was such a pleasant surprise! He definitely didn’t play for long enough but I look forward to the next time I see him play!

Another beer and then it was time. ALT-J! I still can’t even deal with how good they were! Any rumours you’ve heard about them not being that good live – I can tell you is absolute bullocks. They smashed it! Highlights for me included ‘Something Good,’ ‘Breezeblocks’ and my personal favourite ‘Taro.’ It was such an awesome atmosphere and their music was moving.IMG_3177

Once we’d come down off of our Asgeir/Alt J cloud, we made our way to Scubar, a backpackers bar near Central YHA. It seems that we stumbled across a glo party and I somehow ended up all over my coat. Nonetheless, we danced, drank and had a great time before getting a slice of pizza, jumping on the train and having a snooze.

And this is why I love spending my money on concert tickets. Because it’s always so much more than the concert. It’s the people you’re with, the places you go, the drinks you drink, the food you eat, what you wear and the memories you make. I’m so grateful for my awesome friends and I’m so glad I could share such awesome music with you.

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xoxo A

Check out Alt J and Asgeirs music below

2014 ~ My Year in Numbers and Pictures

As we jump into 2015 with lifted spirits, high hopes and a bit of a headache from one too many beers last night, it’s important that we look back on the year that has come and gone. As I watched some fireworks from a beach, under the stars… I thought about everything 2014 threw at me, so here’s my year in summary.

14 000. The number of feet I fell through the sky after jumping out of a plane.

Flying High
Flying High

1000. Number of drinks had in Prague before getting alcohol poisoning. OK so it wasn’t 1000 but it sure felt like it.

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59. The number of countries A Worldly Addiction has been viewed in! Thank you to each and every one of you!

59 countries and counting!
59 countries and counting!

20. Number of years I’ve been lucky enough to be on this Earth.

Celebrating my 20th in Sydney
Celebrating my 20th in Sydney

18. Number of years I’ve had my sister around.

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10. Number of months I lived in Wollongong

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9. Number of the house on Clarendon Road I had to say goodbye to

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8. Number of times I went exploring in Sydney

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

4. The hours of sunlight in one winters day in Iceland.

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3. Number of concerts attended. Violent Soho, The 1975 and BASTILLE

The 1975
The 1975

1. My one and only family that is AMAZING!

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But the most special thing of all, are all the incredible friendships I’ve made and kept. So thank you to all of you for making 2014 such an awesome year!

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Landið sem andar – An Ode to Iceland

Ferðin byrjar hér[2]

 

Located sixty-six degrees north

Surrounded by the Atlantic and Artic waters,

Lies a small and forgotten Ísland

Where Mother Nature unleashes her great forces.

 

We dive through the clouds

And see her wild plains laced with ice,

Mountains stand tall like elders of the land

Watching us with dangerously beautiful eyes.

 

She balance life and death effortlessly

Winds ferociously howl during daylight,

Her flesh blanketed in white

Stars and auroras radiate through the night.

 

Air pierces my bones and blood

I stand atop a cliff, weightless,

Water roars towards the earth

And I feel a strange sense of clarity, even in this chaos.

 

You helped me rediscover your power, Mother

With your I spent three short days and three long nights,

She left your skin cold but my heart warm

Giving the gift of your story from your elders and enchanting lights.

 

Ferðalagið mun halda áfram[3]

 

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The extravagant countryside of Iceland

 

 

 

[1] (The country that breaths)

[2] (The journey starts here)

[3] (The journey will continue)

Adelaide Haynes. CACW100

Backpack or Suitcase?

Backpack or Suitcase?

The age old question. Do you want to rock out the backpacker look or stroll elegantly and easily with a suitcase? Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and as someone who’s experienced both, I feel that I’ve got it down pat.

I initially went over to London with a big suitcase. Suitcases are good because you can squeeze a lot of stuff in there, so when you’re moving overseas to establish a new life, it’s quite convenient. Also, pulling it along behind you in easy and pretty much effortless. However, when you’re tired and it’s late at night and you’re changing trains, trying to heave 30kg of luggage up the station’s stairs… you start to question life as you know it! In my experience, there will usually be a few people who will offer to help you out, generally men, trying to do a good deed, but also assert their strength. And then they go to pick it up and you see them channel every depth of strength contained in their body to lift it up those stairs. Their eyes, filled with regret yet determination. I truly do admire these people, however, it just adds to me feeling useless and sometimes I just can’t help but laugh.

Backpacks are cool. Full stop.

After struggling around trains and public transport for about a month in the UK, I was fed up. My little beauty is a 66L TRESPASS, which I got on sale for about £30. And it was the best decision I’ve made. It does limit your luggage (mine usually weighed between 10-15kgs) but that’s generally a good thing. Because really, how many pairs of jeans do you need? (the answer is 1 by the way).

About to jet off to Iceland
About to jet off to Iceland

Backpacks generally don’t get in people’s way too, making you feel like less of a nuisance. It’s easy to carry, there’s lots of straps that you can tie around your waist to take the strain off of your back, however I must say that after about half an hour of wondering around with that thing on my back, lost somewhere in Budapest, I need a coffee break. Also, at airports, they always make you drop your bag off at the oversized baggage drop. Just in case they felt you needed the extra walk with it. But it gives you the greatest workout ever! Works your back, arm, stomach and leg muscles so if you don’t eat too many Yorkshire puddings or drink too much beer (which you will), you might actually keep in shape!

Then there’s also the overnight bag. A crucial thing you need, especially when you’re settling down somewhere. Perfect for those weekend trips away to avoid paying Ryanair’s baggage fees (10kg and that’s it).

Also a must need for the ladies is a little handbag. Trust me… it’s a lifesaver! Because you will go out and party, and have a great time, and you don’t want to be shoving everything down your bra. I bought a little shoulder bag from Primark for £2. And that thing was my saving grace. Somewhere safe to stash your phone, wallet, lippy, whatever you need, whilst you’re out to avoid the prying hands of pick pocketers.

Obviously you can tell I’m definitely pro-backpacks. They’re convenient, easy to carry, give you a work out and they look damn cool!

Ciao