These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY 2018

Um excuse me, where did May go? I think I blinked a few times and suddenly we’re smacked with Winter and it’s end of semester! How flippin crazy?! This month I’ve been consumed with work and study, and as always had a little boogie here and there. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve achieved this month. I’ve learnt that playing hard, means you gotta work hard, and working hard means you gotta throw yourself into your work. I feel that I’ve really reignited a love of research, learning and inquisitiveness, that is inspiring me to keep it up. With that said, I’m really looking forward to June where I can have a little bit of a break, and come back refreshed and ready for that grind!

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👣Sublime

For those of you local to the Gong, you know about the painful hike that is sublime point. For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s not just your casual stroll! With approximately 1000 steps at the VERY steep 1km incline, this one’s sure to get your blood pumping. It’s hard, you will get sweaty, but the view is absolutely worth it!

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☀ Those nature vibes

Carrying on from Sublime, there’s nothing quite like getting in touch with a little bit of nature to reset the stress of life. Luckily there’s been some stunning sunrises that have made me feel incredibly connected with the earth, sun, moon and ocean, and honestly, there’s no better feeling.
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💋 Friend love

I know I keep coming back to this but maybe it’s because I have the best freakin friends on earth! I’m sooooo grateful for all of the lovely humans that surround me. Whether it’s to study, party, coffee, adventure, sweat, cry or watch Masterchef with, your love means the absolute world to me!

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đŸŽ¶Tunes

This Is America – Childish Gambino. Yep he’s a genius. It’s not just the incredibly intelligent video clip, but the song itself is incredibly impassioning. People in colour have long suffered in America’s ‘land of the free.’ Artists like Donald Glover have been using music and art to stand up and fight against oppression. Sadly, police brutality and violence against people of colour continue to die at the hands of hatred and guns. This is song is an incredible piece of social commentary. The question remains, how many more hits must come before change is implemented.

I Want A Girl (Carrie) – Moaning Lisa. Woo heeeeelllloooooooo there! After seeing these guys at Groovin the Moo I fell in LOVE! They’re absolutely rad and I can’t get enough! There’s nothing I love more than a kick ass girl band who is all about promoting love and support between and for women.

DMA’s. Do I really have to say more? I’ve been listening to their new album on REPEAT and I’m in love!

đŸŽ„Â Flicks 

Red Sparrow. This isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a Russian spy thriller that’s pretty graphic, pretty hectic and pretty full on! Not exactly the ‘girls night in’ kinda movie Chloe and I had in mind, but nonetheless, DAMN it’s good! Plus I LOVE Jennifer Lawrence and she’s a total bad ass in this flick!

📗Books

Angela Davis: An Autobiography

If you’ve seen me at all this month, then I’ve most likely told you all about Angela Davis. GIRL CRUSH ALERT! I came across Davis during an assignment I had to do on critical theory. Not wanting to write about old white men again, stumbling across Davis, lesbian, ex-Black Panther, communist, did not disappoint. In fact, I was so inspired by her ideas and contribution to academic research and activism, I went to the library and borrowed her autobiography. Yep, I absolutely love and admire her, and I would absolutely recommend this book and familiarising yourself with her work. She wrote it when she was 28 years old and had been imprisoned on false allegations. Her story is one that deserves to be heard by all people, especially students, wanting to make a change in the world.

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đŸ“·Â Bloggers and Vloggers

Sorelle Amore. Wow this woman is incredible. Her smile is drop dead gorgeous and her personality literally shines so bright it jumps out and through your screen. She’s incredibly artistic, fit, healthy, happy and has a very genuine connection with her audience. I love watching her YouTube videos and following her on Instagram really inspires me to lift my game. This is one travel vlogger I would ABSOLUTELY recommend checking out.

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📝 Quote

I think it’s time for a Dead Poets Society movie night soon! This quote fills me with motivation and reminds me why I got my tattoo ‘Carpe Diem.’ Make your lives extraordinary! What a powerful statement and what a life I will live if I make the most of every opportunity and Carpe fucking diem!

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Well May you have been delightful! As we brace ourselves for a chilly winter, work and uni commitments are becoming more demanding and intense. So if I seem a bit stressed or distant, I’m sorry. I know that this is my time to grind, work hard and really throw myself into everything. I’ll be FREE in October and damn will the satisfaction taste sweet!

 

 

 

 

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: FEBRUARY

February. You graced us with an extra day this month, and it still wasn’t long enough. This month was full on! With work being absolutely crazy and uni starting back, February was pretty damn intense! However I learnt a pretty valuable lesson this month. Because life was so damn hectic, I ran myself down to the ground! For the first time in years I got a cold sore. What the heck?! And not only that, but it stayed for three whole weeks! Three weeks! I took so many vitamins, used lots of different creams and tried my hardest not to touch it, but it just wouldn’t leave. And along with having a cold sore, I constantly felt fatigued and found it difficult to concentrate when at work. My body was screaming at me to just calm down and take a breather for a day. It felt horrible and it’s not something I want to go through again. This just made me realise how we need to look after our bodies, and when we need time out, we need to be strong enough to say so. Alright, enough about that. Here’s some of the things that got me through the craziest and shortest month of the year.

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Diary Goals. Source

My Diary

So I finally got around to buying myself a diary. I used to always write in a diary, however for some reason I just stopped writing. It’s something that I’ve always loved doing. So with February being a pretty stressful month, I thought I would suck it up and finally just buy a diary and get writing. The best thing is that the diary I bought doesn’t have lines. So I’ve experimented with some little drawings here and there too. Watch this space for more reasons why I absolutely love keeping a diary. I honestly can’t explain how beneficial and amazing keeping a diary is, so I’ll fill it in later.

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Speaking to 1200 year 12 students. No big deal.

Being a Keynote Speaker at Discovery Days

I wrote about my experience and what I learnt here. Quick run down – I spoke to over 6000 students over 5 days spreading my word and trying to spread some happiness and inspiration to some truly incredible kids. It was one of the scariest, exciting yet nerve racking experiences of my life.

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These lot! From left to right it’s Nicola, Tiger, Me and Chantelle!

Moving into a new apartment with new and awesome people.

This session, I’m living at the same residence but in a different section (a much nicer and cleaner section). I was so excited to move into a new place, but slightly nervous about who I would be living with. And as soon as they moved in, it was love at first sight! I’m living in a four share apartment with Nicola (Graphic Design student), Tiger (Engineering student – and yes… his name is really Tiger), and Sam (Medical Health Science Student). Plus we’ve adopted a few more housemates who practically live with us too! And I’m so happy that my old housemate Chantelle is one of them. Overall, I’m living with some pretty awesome people! #imagine #thedream

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Greatest roomies!

Sunrises and Waterfalls

So you probably already know I’m not the best morning person around, however I’m trying to change that. And after moving in with my new housemates, I’m not really getting much of an option. I’ve spent two mornings up at 5:30am to watch the sunrise and go for an early morning swim.  We also spent a day a day at Macquarie Pass (just half an hour from Wollongong) and it was such a beautiful way to spend a day off!

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Spending a day jumping off rocks and sliding down waterfalls at Macquarie Pass. For more photos check out my Instagram @aworldlyaddiction

More 21st’s

Again, 2016 is the year of 21st birthday parties! I went to my friend of 10 years 21st in Newcastle! It was so good to see her and everyone from back home! I also went to my other friends 21st who had a decked out bar tab in Wollongong. It was great to spend time with people I only see occasionally and have a free flow of beer! Thanks heaps to Mollie and Audi for the amazing parties and even better memories! Keep up the parties guys!

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Myself, Chantelle and Elly prepping for Mollie’s birthday in Newcastle!
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Audi’s 21st! Instagram frame and all!

Books

I read Escape From Camp 14 this month and I wrote a review about it here.

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Tunes

I have absolutely been LOVING Claptone this month! The perfect chilled out yet get pumped music!

Blogs and Vlogs

I’ve really been digging Hey Nadine. I’ve been wanting to watch a few more female vloggers and eventually want to move beyond watching just travel vloggers and watching people who vlog about important social issues. But I particularly like this video because there’s a few different travel vloggers talking about the pros and cons of female solo travel.

Quote

“Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer.” 

This past month I saw some pretty horrible acts of attention seeking. It’s fake and everyone can see right through it. People are attracted to other people who are confident and true to themselves. Not people who act how they think they should. This quote has showed me the importance of self respect and respect for others, and to always be conscious of the long term effects of decisions you make now.

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And so concludes the month that was February. Uni has started and of course I’ve got plenty of things to keep me busy so I’m really looking forward to what march has to offer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl in the Woods: Life Inspiration

I’m on a mission. On a mission to read some great books. There’s nothing I love more than spending a Summer’s day at the beach, buried in my book. I bought this book a few weeks ago and after finally having the time to read and reflect on this little treasure, I just had to share with you some of my thoughts.

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Girl in the Woods by Aspen Matis is a beautiful memoir that explores the delicate connection between nature, healing, growth and self acceptance and development. On her second night at college she is raped. She then decides to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, from Mexico to Canada. This book is not about rape or being a victim. It’s about being a survivor, not only through sexual abuse and self acceptance, but literally surviving the American wilderness.

As a young woman just trying to survive university and the struggles of everyday life, reading Aspen’s personal, emotional and brave story of her overcoming such things is not just inspiring but deeply motivating in my pursuit of happiness, travel, connection and love. I am extremely passionate about the educational and healing power of travel and I feel that this book beautifully illustrates this.

But it’s not all sad and serious. I don’t think she intended it to be this way at all. Of course what happened is horrific and you can’t write a memoir without including such a life altering event. But I think the real life changing event for me reading this book, was how she grew, learnt, changed and accepted herself over 2 650miles from Mexico to Canada.

So here are some of the things that I’ve taken away from such an engaging book.

(There are a few spoilers ahead, but I haven’t given anything away yet).

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Some of her pictures taken on the hike.

No means no

If it doesn’t feel right, it’s OK to say no. Saying no doesn’t make you uptight or frigid. It simply means that right now, in this moment, you are not consenting to have sex with someone. It also doesn’t mean you don’t like or love that person. But how that person responds to you saying no, will definitely say a lot about how they truly feel about you.

Speak to be heard, not just listened to

Aspen wrote this book with purpose. She later spoke at her college where she was raped and by her speaking up about what happened, a woman in the audience felt empowered to do the same. If we have something to say, we deserve to be heard, not just listened to and marginally acknowledged. When her parents choose not to acknowledge her rape, it’s absolutely heartbreaking. The only people she’s ever been dependent on her whole life had let her down. It is not only up to us to speak out, but for the people we’re talking to, to do something about it. Her way of speaking about it was through her journals. By doing this she was able to write about her thoughts and emotions but also contemplate them and grow. This also reflects society and the urgent need to know how to help someone who needs it.

Nature is dangerous and it may try to kill you, but it is beautiful

Aspen writes about survival. This trail is not just a pleasant hike you go on to tick off your bucket list. You need to have the deepest motivation and commitment to the trail and yourself. There are few incidences where she is short of death, but as the saying goes… what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Not only does she survive off of the land and care packages her Mum sends her, but also rape. She writes ‘the trail had shown me how to change.’

Life has a funny way of working itself out

She meets her husband on the Pacific Coast Trail. When she finishes and they are catching a ride back to civilisation, she admits that she could of taken another path in life. One that involved her finishing her studies, living out her life as a high school teacher and being mediocrely happy. The path of the Pacific Coast Trail started with her rape, but it ended in her becoming Aspen Matis. She fell in love, she learnt how to survive by herself, and ultimately the Pacific Coast Trail served as nature’s way of healing her body, mind and heart.

Overall, I felt like I was walking the PCT with Aspen. With every page I could feel the miles she walked that day. It’s a difficult book to read because there are such personal reflections, but I think it’s what we need. In order to offer help to others and allow others to seek help, we need to be educated about what to do in situations like this. To empower women to stand up for themselves and teach men not to rape. This book is extremely captivating and I thank the author, Aspen Matis for sharing such a beautifully personal experience.

 

 

 

A beautiful weekend in the Northern Beaches

This weekend, I was lucky enough to visit one of my friends houses on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Nature treated us to a stunning performance, as the sun dipped below the ocean, beautiful ombres of pinks, purples, golds and blues lit up the sky, I was reminded of the simple beauties of everyday life! So I thought I’d share some of these pictures with you, as a reminder that beauty is all around, and sometimes if you’ve got a friend to share the special moments with, that’s all you really need in life.

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As the day ends to rest
The sunset does its best
Setting on fire the lively waves
Colouring orange the nature he saves
its pure ancient glorious perfection.

The great ocean will receive
The burning sun who’s going to leave.
Slowly comes the night
Devouring that magic light:
we are still suspended in a great delight.

Source:
Family Friend Poems

xxx A

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_7020ReykjavĂ­k, 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, ReykjavĂ­k is a gorgeously unique place.

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View of Reykjavik from the Church –  Source
HallgrĂ­mskirkja
HallgrĂ­mskirkja

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

A smile is a smile by any other name

It doesn’t take much to make me smile

Oh no, not much at all

For a smile should cross your lips as quickly and as easy as remembering the tune to your favourite song.

And a smile can stretch from ear to ear or perhaps just quiver above your chin.

Maybe you hide your teeth behind your lips to try and hold the excitement in,

But for me, my crocodile smile is always on show, creeping across the bridge of my nose so that my eyes squint and my cheeks ache.

 

It doesn’t take much to make me smile,

Oh no, not much at all

A simple hello, a fluffy white puppy, a blueberry muffin or a warm and sweet coffee.

A kiss on the cheek from the ones that I love, a hug, a handshake and sunshine above.

Painting your nails a bright, bold colour, getting to the train station one minute before departure, a text from your friend to say g’day, being woken up early on Christmas Day.

Finishing a book, cooking dinner, submitting an assignment, and getting a distinction.

When my favourite song plays on Triple J, when I arrive back home and look out over the Bay, going to sleep before midnight, and knowing that when I wake up… everything will be alright.

 

Sometimes I smile when I’m happy, even when I’m nervous or trying to be brave. Some days I don’t know if I can smile because the sunshine is gone and the clouds are grey.

But I now know a secret, something that will break a frown, when someone smiles at you, don’t look at the ground.

Look them in the eye and let that smile infect you, until you hear your favourite song ring through your mind and a smile sweeps across your face.

Then pass that smile on, you never know how much someone will need it.

xxx

A

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LandiĂ° 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.

 

FerĂ°alagiĂ° mun halda ĂĄfram[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