These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: NOVEMBER 2019

Seriously… it’s December?! How on earth is there only a few weeks until Christmas, a few weeks until a new decade, and a few weeks left of work until we get to relax and play! Wow

ūüĆÖTerrigal getaway

There’s nothing quite like a little weekend getaway. When life gets so crazy and you’re living hour by hour, sometimes you need to remove yourself from reality and explore somewhere unknown. Despite growing up in Port Stephens, I’d never ventured to Terrigal or the Central Coast. So when Soph and I finally had a free weekend that lined up, we knew we wanted to getaway. So why not somewhere only 2 hours away with gorgeous beaches, national parks, great bars and even better restaurants. Terrigal really is a holiday town and nothing says ‘relaxed’ more than fish n chips, 3 hour dinners, lolly shops, and soaking up some sun and getting lost in a book. Reset and refreshed.

ūüéď Soph’s grad

The day finally came that we got to celebrate Soph’s graduation! My girl is a clever cookie, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce – Bachelor of Arts (Distinction) earlier this year. Graduation is such an exciting time and it’s important to recognise (and adequately celebrate) the hard work and dedication it takes to complete a degree. I’m so damn proud of Soph for all of her hard work. I know she’s going a long way and I can’t wait to see the path she forges for herself.

ūüŹôÔłŹSydney sesh

If anyone knows me, they know I’m a huge fangirl of Shameless Podcast. So when I heard there was a live show in Sydney, I knew I had to go! So my friend Vanessa battled for some tickets (these are some popular gals) and we were heading to the show. Us, along with 800 strangers, gathered that rainy Sydney night, to engage in a similar conversation we’ve been listening to every Monday morning for nearly 2 years. I must admit, it was pretty damn exciting. Zara and Michelle have done an incredible job to build their company and a highly engaged following. It was awesome to soak up some strong female vibes.

And what’s a night out in Sydney without sharing cocktails with my beautiful friend Tishia. We went to a sneaky gin bar that played smooth jazz and sipped on fancy cocktails. We got delish woodfire pizza and giggled the night away. The next day we headed to Burwood to go shopping and eat bulk Chinese food. Chinatown there is next level and we found ourselves some delicious treats. It’s weekends like this that I live for. Running from one event to the next, soaking up all the good vibes, good food (and good alcohol), and even though I’m left absolutely exhausted, they’re amazing!

ūüď∑Work

This month I was lucky enough to do the socials for the Fellowships and Alumni Awards Dinner. I was working with a great group of people who are talented, driven and so damn nice. I also got to meet some incredible people (check me out on Linkedin for more), and it got me thinking about how lucky I am to work with people who are working to connect one another and make the world a better place.

ūüéßPodcasts

Inside the Big Day Out
This mini series is a must for all music fans! It will leave you looking up Pearl Jam’s greatest hits and want to jump around in a mosh pit. This is an incredible insight behind the scenes of one of the world’s biggest music festivals that defined Australian culture and music. Pretty devastated that I didn’t attend one of these festivals myself – I was busy being punky at Soundwave – but wow, Big Day Out in the 90s would have been incredible!

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ūüďö Books

Conversations with friends, by Sally Rooney
Yes yes yes! I loved this book so bloody much! I picked this up from the university book shop, and found that it was prescribed reading for an English Literature subject. So I figured it would be alright, but boy did I underestimate how incredible this would be! I smashed it out in a few days and I am so stoked. I was intrigued, hooked, angry, wanted to shake the characters through the pages, and be invited to the parties… I loved it and would absolutely recommend it!

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ūüé•Flicks

Flying the Nest
I know I’ve mentioned them on the blog several times before, but…. OMG they’re having a baby and I’ve never been more emotional watching a baby announcement vlog! I love their videos, their relationship and their outlook on life. And I’m so excited to see their vlogs leading up to having the baby, and watching their journey as a young travelling family!

Season 3, The Crown
I’m sure I’m not the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical about this season with a new lead actress, but OMG wow, get onto it asap! It’s much like season 1 with big, historical events unfolding throughout the season. Olivia Coleman is incredible and I’ve loved having a spare few hours to binge a few episodes immersed in the world of the royals.

ūüéĶTunes

Old School Arctic Monkeys
So after taking a deep dive through rock history by listening to ‘Inside the Big Day Out,’ I became consumed by old school Arctic Monkeys. I’m not going to lie, I first got into them in 2013 with their AM album (yep amazing album) and I never really went back through their old stuff. So I’ve lately become obsessed with old school Arctic Monkeys and wow… I’m even more in love. Seeing them at the start of the year was amazing, and I’m so glad they’ve a band that continues to grow, evolve and produce bloody good music.

ūüďĚQuote

The law of attraction is something I truly believe in. You get what you give. The universe doesn’t owe you anything, so you might as well treat people with kindness, radiate happiness and keep a positive outlook on life, because you may just get exactly what you want. A frame of mind is one of the most powerful things we can possess. So why not try being happy and see what happens.

OK, so December will disappear before our eyes, and we’ll suddenly be in 2020! So I’m going to try and live in the moment, soak up the beautiful sunshine we have, enjoy the festive season and make the most of what’s left of 2019!

Uni’s over, now what? GAP year 2.0

Two years ago, I was on exchange in Montr√©al. Upon the depressing thought that I would be returning back to Australia, I had a lot of people ask me what I wanted to do with my life when I finished uni. And I reflected upon this so much that I even wrote a blog post about it. Fast forward to today and I am (again) finished uni forever! I have submitted my 17,777 word thesis (yes that’s really how many words it was) and I am hanging up my student hat (well at least for the time being).

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Upon the submission of my thesis, all I wanted to do was settle in, celebrate with a few beers (which I did), focus on my work and actually have no plans (for the first time in a long time). Well, that didn’t last too long before the classic,¬†‘so what’s next?’¬†

Does there have to be a next? Can I just focus on the now? I’ve spent the last 5 years of my uni life thinking about my next assignment, next¬†deadline, next¬†date, next time I’ll see my family,¬†next¬†pay check, next next next,¬†go go go…. I just needed to take a want to be grateful for what I have right now.

I’m sure anyone who’s recently graduated from uni knows the feeling – you submit your last project and you suddenly stand taller, feel lighter and see the world differently. There are endless possibilities. I genuinely can take my career path in any direction I please. Which is terrifying but bloody exciting. There’s only a limited window in your life where you get the opportunity to be selfish, to pack up and go, to work casually, take risks, backpack the world before you have commitments and other priorities.

I know people and have many friends who know what they want to do. Who aren’t even finished yet and have a full-time job lined up for them. Which is awesome because who knew there were permanent full-time jobs still available (#casualizationoftheworkforce). And it’s awesome because they’ve worked so hard and made so many sacrifices to get that job. But for me, right now, the only job in the world that would make me want to sacrifice so much would be a full-time travel blogger (which 1- sadly, people don’t apply for, you gotta make that happen yourself, and 2- now that I’m free I can commit more time to making that happen which I’ll jump into now).

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BLOG, VLOG AND CREATE

Speaking of making things happen, one thing I do generally respond to the¬†what next¬†question, is that I’m going to focus on my blog, YouTube channel, photography and editing skills. I love what I’ve created on this platform. I love that I can sit in my room and type what my brain thinks, and that other people take time out of their day to read it and connect with it. It’s incredibly powerful and I think I’ve somewhat forgotten the magic of blogging.

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TRAVEL

Another response to the¬†what next¬†question, and really, I think this answer is to be expected from me… is TRAVEL! As if I’m not going to galavant around the world?! I’m heading to Bali in November with my girlfriend, Soph and am so freakin excited! It’s a place I’ve never been and a place that I’ve recently become fascinated with. With beautiful hiking, volcanos, islands, beaches and cheap alcohol, I cannot wait.

Then, at the end of the year I’m heading to Japan with my Dad and family. Dad and I are flying out in December and will be on the ski slopes on Christmas Day. Then my brother Isaac and sister Elizabeth, will join us as we venture around Japan. It’s definitely going to be a spectacular Christmas and wonderful New Years Eve.

GAP YEAR 2019?!

And then bam! Hello 2019! I think I’ve decided to call 2019 my GAP year. GAP year 2.0. Wow! I’m excited, filled with hope, options and possibilities, and I really can’t wait to jump into it all! I plan on filling it with weekends away, planning some overseas adventures, getting back into what I love and committing to making the most out of this special time. So, to anyone else out there thinking, ‘what next,’ take a deep breath and say ‘whatever the fuck I want!’

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Transform your health and wellbeing: Will Grant from Ghetto Movement

[This article originally appeared on Twenty Something Humans]
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My alarm sounds at 6:00am. Fuck what day is it? What do I have on? Why am I up so early? It’s still dark outside as I head down to the café at North Wollongong beach to meet up with Will Grant, creator and owner of Ghetto Movement.

 

 

Blessed with a golden sunrise, we settled in for our interview. I ordered a long black and Will ordered a peppermint tea and a bacon hash-brown brekky burger. Yep, herbal tea and a burger, what a perfect way to sum up Will. He’s a newly-wed, a yogi and a business owner with a baby on the way, but his busy personal life doesn’t put a dampener on his ambitions, in fact, he’s hungry for more!

Will caught up with Twenty Something Humans to share his thoughts on health, philosophy, personal growth and working in pursuit of a balanced life, all the while chowing down on his brekky roll as we watched a beautiful sunrise over the ocean.

What were you like after high school and in your early 20s?

I was your stock standard 21-year-old. I loved footy, partying and drinking. I was a little bit chauvinistic to be honest; unfortunately that was the ‘cool’ way to be.¬†From 18 onwards¬†the footy boys and I had the ‘Ben Cousins’ mentality. I had¬†insight into the world of an athlete who could drink, party and then go to a training session. That’s what a lot of us boys based ourselves on, it was so self destructive and eventually it will catch up on you. I guess you could say that my attitude towards wellbeing was pretty non-existent.

Adding to that, I was a tradie and that job¬†really didn’t promote a healthy lifestyle either. We were emotionally, physically and mentally disconnected.¬†There was a lot of¬†mental pressure in¬†that¬†industry, trying to live up to that tough ‘blokey’ expectation¬†while being hazed and picked on. It’s one way to get thick skin but it’s not the type of environment I thrive in.

  

How did you begin dabbling in yoga?

Between the ages of 21 and 25 I had three shoulder reconstructions. Adding to the tradie lifestyle and¬†the ‚ÄėBen Cousins mentality‚Äô. I really wasn’t healthy. It wasn’t until after my 3rd shoulder reconstruction in 2015 and meeting Emma (his now wife), that it all clicked and I realised I’m not invincible and that I didn‚Äôt want to keep up that unhealthy and destructive lifestyle.

When I walked into my first yoga class it was about 90% girls and it was incredibly intimidating. After I‚Äôd got the hang of it, I’d post my flows onto Instagram and one day I received a message from a mate‚Äôs Mum who asked if I would teach a yoga class.¬†I thought, why not give it a go?

My first yoga class was an absolute disaster. I kept forgetting my words, I wasn’t too confident and was really embarrassed. I thought that was my yoga career over. Luckily, I had some really supportive people around me who encouraged me to jump back on the horse and my second class went pretty damn well. That’s when¬†I started Ghetto. I started out teaching 2 or 3 classes a week and later this year we’ll start doing 30 classes a week!

 

How was it going into a class that was predominantly filled with females?

It was honestly quite intimidating. At first most of my mates would say things like ‚Äėaw we know why you‚Äôre going to yoga!‚Äô and chuckle along. But I promise I was really there for the yoga! I wanted to make sure that guys felt just as welcome in¬†our classes as girls. That gender divide is something I‚Äôve been really conscious of. In fact, we‚Äôre starting some jiu jitsu which is predominantly male dominated. ¬†I wanted to flip it on its head and encourage women to get involved. Not only are women feeling stronger and more empowered from it, but it breaks down those barriers that often exist in the health and fitness industry.

Where did the name ‘Ghetto’ come from?

My mate had an old backyard gym that we used to call the ‘ghetto’ gym. Everything was 5th hand a bit rusty. When thinking about what I wanted my company to be, I wanted to be able to incorporate mobility and movement and we thought why not Ghetto? And it just kinda stuck despite some criticism.

When you’re starting out, people sometimes unintentionally give you the ‘best’ advice based on their mistakes, but you need to make your own mistakes, fuck things up and make the wrong decisions so that you’re equipped to make the right decisions later on in your career. It’s hard not to take things personally, but the quicker you realise that people want to see you succeed, the thicker your skin will grow and the more resilient you’ll become.

 

What inspired you to¬†start a podcast?¬†In case you weren’t busy enough.

I had been¬†receiving¬†acupuncture sessions from my friend.¬†Before and after our sessions we’d have some great conversations! One day we were talking and wondered why people weren’t having these conversations every day. We thought let’s have these conversations and record them. The idea for the podcast is a modern take on philosophy. We wanted to share our thoughts and experiences and try to inspire others to have those conversations as well. So that’s how we began¬†The Modern Monk! It‚Äôs another avenue for Ghetto, and myself, to grow and evolve.

 

How’ve you got to where you are today?

I really wouldn’t be where I am today without my wife Emma and my family. I really can’t even put it into words. So much of my time and energy goes into Ghetto and that’s an emotional investment. When you come home a bit tired and drained, you can’t always bring it. It’s made me realise the importance of the saying¬†“you only get what you give”. Without Emma, I don’t think we’d be sitting here having this interview. We got married at sunrise at the start of the year and we’ve got a baby due in November. I’m really excited to see how a baby influences our life and adds to our relationship!

“Exhaust every opportunity to make it happen. Don’t half arse it, go all the way! Try and fail and try again…you never know.”

So you’ve got your peppermint tea and your bacon brekky burger, what advice do you have for balance?

I think people fail when they set themselves up to fail. You’re not always going to fit the idea of what people think you should be, but you have to stop and enjoy yourself. People think I’m vegan and I’ve tried it but my body didn’t respond well. I don’t believe in beating yourself up for certain life decisions. It’s important to have those quality times with your mates. I had a little espresso martini night last night and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I try to employ the 80/20 principle. 80% of the time I’m the Modern Monk, 20% of the time I’m 21-year-old Will and that’s OK.

I think it’s really important to have balance and I’m sure a baby will be a great challenge to this balancing game, but I don’t want to give up what I’m passionate about. I can’t see why my kid can’t be a part of this journey? I think that’s where we’d like to move Ghetto and I think there’s definitely a gap in that industry. I want to make Ghetto¬†fun, healthy and enjoyable for the whole family.

What plans do you have for Ghetto moving forward?

Big plans! Last year we had our Ghetto retreat where a group of us went up the coast to unplug and connect with ourselves and like-minded people. We want to recreate this and make it bigger and better, hopefully sneaking in a little Bali retreat! At¬†Ghetto HQ, we want it to be a one stop shop for all things health and wellbeing. We’ll be opening a little caf√©, we’ll have some acupuncture and massage and¬†our movement space. We’d love a huge community book shelf as well. So yeah, we‚Äôve got some big plans!

Famous last words?

Exhaust every opportunity to make it happen. Don’t half arse it, go all the way! Try and fail and try again…you never know.

 

 

 

Images: www.ghettomovement.com and @ghettomovement.

Travel Regrets Part 2 (Because The Regrets Keep On Comin’)

On any given¬†day, you will find yourself¬†scrolling through Instagram, and judging the photos of your friends¬†galavanting¬†around Europe on a Summer extravaganza, whilst you stuff your face with Doritos under the covers of the¬†pillow¬†fort that used to be your bed. You’ll see them with their ripped, tanned abs, low cut bikinis, coloured doors, stray cats and sailing boats that they’ve called home for the past week and what have you been doing? Watching¬†Friends¬†re-runs, that’s what.

In July this year I was lucky enough to leave the comfort of my pillow fort and travel around Central America for a month; Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. To the untrained eye, I too was living the dream (not going to lie it was pretty damn awesome). But little did those people at home in their pillow forts know that my trip was filled with regrets, mistakes, sickness and an overwhelming longing to curl up into the fetal position.

I wrote an article about my travel regrets¬†a few months ago, and at that stage I didn’t think there was much more to regret or fuck up. How wrong I was because here, dear friends, is part two…

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Bringing a suitcase

¬†Who the fuck brings a suitcase on a G Adventures ‘YOLO’ style¬†adventure¬†tour?¬†I was the only one in my group who had a suitcase and each time I had to push it up ridiculously steep hills, through mud, across cobblestone streets, up stairs, on boats and buses…¬†I was constantly reminded of my na√Įve choice. What was I thinking?

Booking the cheapest flight (despite the layovers)

¬†In the moment you think “sure, I can wait in Mexico City airport for 9 hours before catching my connecting flight to Guatemala City,”¬†but when that 9 hours is from 1am…things start feeling¬†a little bleak. I might have saved myself a whole $50, but I paid¬†for it¬†in breakfast, lunch and my sanity.

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Not bringing a rain jacket

¬†Listen to what your grandma says‚Ķ. ‘take a rain coat.’ I dismissed this advice thinking only of all the sunshine and warmth I was about to immerse myself in. Ah, Central America in Summer! No! Do your fucking research and you’ll realise it’s their rainy season and that Mexico City has an altitude of 2500m in the fucking mountains where it fucking rains all the fucking time!¬†If you couldn’t tell, this was a rather sore spot for me after¬†confidently¬†rejecting the thought to take a rain coat.

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Hooking up with a Guatemalan guy named Alejandro

Actually, is that a regret? Hell no, we salsa danced all night, went to a rave, made out and danced until morning!¬†Oh, I remember… it was the hangover the next day that was the regret, not Alejandro. I mean really? His name was Alejandro!!!

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Not reading my briefing instructions properly

When I was in Mexico I was¬†studying at a Catholic university,¬†and in the brief (which I only skim-read) it specifically states that you can‚Äôt wear thongs or singlets to uni. As an Aussie girl abroad,¬†that was basically the entirety of my suitcase¬†(for someone that’s travelled a lot, I really fucked up on this whole weather/climate thing). So off I went to buy some¬†respectable¬†length skirts and modest shirts that covered my scandalous shoulders.

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Not having a polaroid camera

¬†This one’s a bit of a meaningful regret. When reflecting on my time abroad¬†I wish I could have made a more meaningful contribution to the lives of some people I met; two specific times in particular:

1- When we did a homestay with a traditional Mayan family in Guatemala. They lived a very simple life, roosters for alarm clocks, no TV, cooking over a fire, no hot water or internet, with only several photos on their family room wall. I wish I could’ve been able to whip out a polaroid camera and take a family photo for them for their wall.

2 ‚Äď During my course in Mexico City, we often met with refugees. For their protection, we could not take¬†digital¬†photos. However, I wish I could’ve had a polaroid camera to take photos of the kids and give it to their mothers and fathers as keepsakes.

The idea of taking photos is so skewed for us living in developed, technology saturated countries. It’s a touch of a button on our phones and we share it to the world online. For¬†people who don’t have this¬†privilege, photos are all they have of their family. They can put it in their pocket and hold onto it forever. It means so much more than a piece of paper. It means they’re able to capture, remember and bring their loved ones with them on their journey.

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Eating those street tacos

OK I don’t think it was the street tacos, but something I ate over there made me sick.¬†Very¬†sick. Let’s just say the next two weeks whatever I put in my mouth, did not come out of my body in a nice way.¬†You can read my shameful tell all here.

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Picking up hitchhikers

No not people… parasites! After my rather shitty experience with getting sick in Mexico, I came back to Australia still experiencing horrendous cramps. After a rather confronting experience of having to poo in a cup, it’s confirmed that I have two little parasite friends living in my stomach. Rest assured, I’m on some pretty serious pro-biotics, but in the meantime I named my new friends Pablo and Renee. Lucky me!

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Dying on a public bus in Belize

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Luisa couldn’t quite make it to paradise

Don’t believe those beautifully crafted¬†Instagram photos¬†and witty captions, everyone has travel regrets, mistakes, fuck ups and¬†maybe some parasites too. I just wanted to put mine on the internet to get down and real when talking about the joy of travelling.¬†Oh and I guess I just wanted to brag about my hook up with Alejandro. No shame, he was hot.

[This article was originally written for TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS]

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Boats, Biscuits and Bordeaux

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. And if that’s the case then I think I’m having the absolute time of my life because the days are absolutely flying by! Week 2 held some pretty awesome things in store for us, leaving us with a jam packed week and scratching our heads on Sunday afternoon thinking where the week had disappeared to?

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Loving the streets of Bordeaux.

Class

This week has been pretty intense with coursework but it’s been extremely rewarding. I did a 10 minute presentation about a town in the South of France, and not only did I learn a lot about the cute little town of Cassis (it’s on the bucket list) but I spoke for 10 solid minutes in French?! How did that happen? I’m definitely feeling my French improve every single day and I’m extremely lucky that Delphine is so supportive and understanding when it comes to my French at home. I even gave directions to someone about how to get to a certain street in La Rochelle‚Ķ in French‚Ķ that was a pretty big accomplishment!

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Picturesque La Rochelle

BASTILLE DAY

I was so excited to be spending BASTILLE DAY (or Quatorze Juillet as they say in France) in FRANCE! It’s La f√™te nationale (national holiday) so of course we had the day off of class and went to √éle de R√© to soak up the sunshine. A big group of us from my class went and we ate bread, cheese and wine on the beautiful sandy beach. Pretty much paradise! That night we all met up in the centre and La Rochelle was absolutely buzzing! There were markets, street performers and people everywhere! I watched the fireworks with a friend and it was pretty spectacular to see them explode above the iconic towers.

Sadly, that was the night that the Nice terrorist attacks happened. Luckily, there was nothing but celebrations and good times in La Rochelle however my phone quickly became flooded with concerned messages. AIM also quickly contacted us to ensure that we were safe and to reassure us that if we needed anything, they were there for us. As tragic as this event was, it really reaffirmed the belief of needing to travel and learn as much as possible about other people, culture and language so that we can unite together instead of being divided and turned against each other.

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My friends and I enjoying Bastille Day

Activities

This week was activity central! On Monday after class we went to the Maritime Museum. Now I’m not usually one for museums of the maritime type, but this was actually quite impressive.

Then on Tuesday afternoon we had a tour of the tours. La Rochelle is pretty impressive because of it’s complex and interesting history. One of the most defining features of La Rochelle is Tour Saint Nicholas. We were lucky enough that we had Emilie from Soupe De Co come with us. If you ever got to La Rochelle I would 110% recommend going up the top of Tour Saint Nicholas. Not only is the history fascinating, but the views are spectacular! And let’s be honest, your Instagram will love you for it.

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The beautiful view from Tour Saint Nicholas

We also had our other Oneologie class where we tasted cognac and worked on our smelling skills by trying to identify different types of flavours used in wines. Joel, who facilitates these little classes asked us about wine in Australia and we attempted to draw a map and explain the different wine regions. It was actually really interesting to put our taste buds and noses to the test to see how well we could differentiate smells. It seems that I still have some improving to do on that one!

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FRANCE 1

Weekend

And speaking of wine,¬† four of us organised a little getaway to Bordeaux. And lucky for us, we were able to score super cheap train tickets along with an awesome Airbnb! So Saturday morning we headed off to the station in La Rochelle and two hours later we were working out the tram system in Bordeaux! What an awesome city! We only spent two days there so it’s definitely somewhere I’d love to go back to one day!¬† I describe it as a ‘petit Paris.’ The apartment we stayed in was right in the city, close to a tram stop and just streets away from restaurant upon restaurant! We had a picnic by the cathedral and just wandered about the city. It was about 33degrees the whole weekend so it made the XXX fountain by the river that extra bit more special!

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A beautiful brasserie in BORDEAUX

Next week is also going to be a busy one so make sure to stay tuned to see what next week has in store!