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!

 

 

 

Learning A Language: Why It’s Important If You Want To TRAVEL

Having the ability to speak another language is one of the most admirable, useful and incredible skills we can have. Nothing else quite compares. Yet in Australia, learning a language is not overly encouraged or common. We already speak English, which has become a sort of universal language in itself, so why would we need to learn another? Since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in other cultures and ways of life and as I grew up, I came to realise the extremely important role that language plays in a culture.

At my high school, it was compulsory to study French for a year. However, that year was year 8, when everyone’s about 14 years old and really doesn’t care about school, let alone learning another language. I really took to it, and chose it as an elective for year 9 & 10. I wanted to continue it for year 11 & 12 however my school put French and Mathematics on at the same time so I had to make a decision. I chose French, however because of it being the same time as Mathematics, they didn’t have enough numbers. So I looked in to doing French by correspondence. I remember my year advisor taking me out of class one day to talk to me about my subject selection. He told me how French was not going to contribute towards a university degree or a career, unlike Mathematics. He told me students who take Mathematics at high school do far better in their HSC (high school certificate) and go on to get better ATARS (an ATAR is a number we use in Australia to determine what university courses you can get in to – so it’s pretty important). So… listening to my teacher and his ‘world of wisdom,’ I decided against doing French and chose Mathematics instead.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve never used that Mathematics in my life, that subject didn’t even contribute towards my final HSC mark, it’s compulsory for me to study a language as part of my degree, and I’ve just finished an intensive short course in France. Mmmm…. Yep, it seems that French really has not been beneficial in my life at all.

(To read about my short course in La Rochelle, click here).

Travelling and meeting people from across the world has helped me realise the true importance of learning a language. So here are my reasons for why learning a language is one of the most valuable life skills you’ll ever learn.

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It’s respectful

In Australia, we never have people come up to us in shops, restaurants, on the street to ask us something in their native language. If they did we should shoo them away and  think ‘you’re in Australia mate.’ However as soon as the role is reversed and you’re on a Eurotrip trying to order tapas and beer, it’s OK for you to speak English and expect the other person to know English as well?

Even if you’re not perfect and make mistakes, that’s OK. They’ll appreciate you trying.

It’s so much more than being able to say hello

When going to a new country, a lot of people learn hello, thank you and good bye. Whilst this is a good start, being able to be conversational in a language opens you up to so many more experiences. Sadly, French is the only language I (partly) speak. At the beginning of August I spent a week in Spain (awesome right?!) And yes it was indeed awesome, but I genuinely struggled with the language barrier. Sure, everyone spoke English and we could get by, but I couldn’t help but constantly feel reminded of the fact that I was a tourist. I felt like I was missing out on something. Whilst of course I had an amazing time, I’m sure that if I spoke Spanish, even just a little bit, I would’ve had an even more incredible time.

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It allows you to have a much more genuine travel experience

By being able to speak the language of the country you’re in, you’re going to feel much more immersed in their authentic culture. You can meet locals at bars, tell them about your life and learn about theirs, discuss current topics and the country you’re in.

It’s a skill that you have to keep working at

Sure, knowing a language is a lifelong skill, but you have to keep practising. And the best way to practice isn’t in a classroom or on an app, but by travelling or better yet, living in that country and speaking that language all day every day. Is there any other skill you can think of that forces you to travel? Cool right!

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You’ll learn a lot about yourself

By learning a language, you not only learn about verbs, tenses and vocab, but you also learn a lot about yourself and your personal style of talking and about you. This one is hard to explain so I’ll just use an example. My grammar is by far my low point of my French skills. Tell me a rule and I’ll remember it and use it. But don’t then tell me there’s a million exceptions to this rule… hello passé composé! But my speaking and oral skills are by far my best. Sure, you need grammar to talk properly, but it’s not the biggest deal if you use the wrong tense or use ‘tu’ instead of ‘vous.’ Many of my French friends have told me and sure they notice it, but personally I’d prefer to be able to talk to people and express my opinions and thoughts that be able to write an essay with perfect grammar.

I think this just says about me as a personal that I don’t sweat all of the rules and I’m happy to go with the flow and just have some fun, even if you make a few mistakes along the way.  Well, that’s just my little psychoanalysis of myself.

 

My month studying French in La Rochelle is probably one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m incredibly proud of myself and that I managed to learn more about a language and culture, but also myself.

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: JULY

July!!! One of my favourite months of the year! Always because… well, it’s my birthday in July. Usually it’s always cold on my birthday because at the moment in Australia it’s about 10degrees (even colder). But this month, July in France has been sunny and superbly spectacular. I can’t believe how quickly the month has gone and how much I’ve squeezed into just 31 days! Voilà, here are my favourite things from this month!

THE UK

It feels like a lifetime ago now, but at the beginning of the month I was still in the UK. Those last few days were so special because I got to see some very special familiar faces. First was James & Beth in Leeds. I met James in 2013 at a Green Day concert in London and we kept in touch. In 2013 I visited him in Harrogate and was introduced to his friends and his (now girlfriend) Beth. 3 years later I was staying with them at their gorgeous place just outside of Leeds.

Then I went to a quaint little town called Yarm which is home to one of the greatest Englishmen I’ve ever met… Khal!!! Khal was my housemate in Wollongong last year so it was very special to be able to meet his family, his twin Jaz, and see his home town. I can’t wait to see him again in Australia one day soon!

After a few nights up North, I ventured back to London and out to Essex to see Jack, a guy that was in my Politics class in Wollongong. It was cool seeing a new part of the country, and one of the oldest parts of England. His father and him kindly dropped me off at the bus stop in town the next day so I could get to the airport.

I’m extremely grateful to all of these people who put me up and went above and beyond to make me feel at home. If you even need a place to crash and a friendly face in Australia, you know where I am.

La Rochelle

La Rochelle was the place I called home from the 3rd of July. La Rochelle is probably one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever seen in my life and to be able to call that place home and live with an absolutely incredible woman. It was definitely an experience I’m never going to forget. I blogged each week in La Rochelle and you can read them here.

Week 1 

Week 2 

Week 3 

Week 4 

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PARIS

Hands down, the best weekend here in France was when I went to Paris for the weekend with my American friends. We stayed in Montmartre and just wandered the streets, drank cocktails and wine, went to the Sacre Cœur and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and atmosphere that Paris has to offer. The highlight was when we went on a river cruise at sunset. It was one of the most spectacular things I’ve even seen and I’m so glad I got to spend it with such special people.

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Île de Ré

Île de Ré is an island just off the coast of La Rochelle and one of the most unexpected surprises of living in La Rochelle. It’s connected by a huge bridge which makes getting there extremely easy. If you have a car, you can venture further around the island and get to more secluded and beautiful beaches. My first weekend in La Rochelle, Delphine took me to Ars-en-Ré, La Flotte and some secret beaches. It was at this moment that I realised that I was kind of on holidays.  I also went to Île de Ré for Bastille Day, one hot afternoon, my birthday and with my Dad to Saint-Martin.  It’s such a beautiful place which screams à la mode and chic! It’s definitely one of my favourite places I got to discover.

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My Dad Arriving

On Thursday the 28th July, my Dad arrived in La Rochelle! It was so cool and I still don’t think it’s really sunk in that we’re actually in France together! On the 29th it was his birthday and we went out to dinner with Delphine to one of my favourite restaurants in La Rochelle The Cave. We had beer, wine, wine and more wine, along with cheese, cheese and even more cheese! It was such a lovley evening and I hope I was able to make his birthday a memorable and special one.

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Delphine, me and my Dad

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FRIENDS

Now I’m all for solo travel etc, but sometimes, there’s just nothing better than sharing a special moment with the people around you. And I’m so lucky that I got to meet some absolutely incredible people from all over the world! Let the pictures tell you our stories, but all you need to know is how grateful I am that I can call these people my friends.

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TUNES

One of the hardest things about travelling is trying to keep on top of your music and making sure you’re up to date on the latest tunes. So when in doubt, just bulk download and then you can spend all of those hours on trains and buses discovering the music you’ve downloaded.

This month I’ve been loving Vallis Alps. They’re just super chilled and also work perfectly for Youtube videos. (you can check it out here).

Chance the Rapper! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! That’s the best thing about long bus/train rides, it gives you time to discover some of those tunes you downloaded but haven’t got a chance to listen to yet! My fave songs are ‘same drugs’ and ‘no problem’

 

FLICKS

Because I’ve been so busy, I haven’t actually had a chance to watch any movies (except for Finding Nemo in French – that was pretty cool). But I did watch Season 4 of Orange is The New Black!!! If you’ve seen this season let me know because I NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT!!! It’s killing me not being able to grab someone’s hand and say ‘OMG!” Legit one of my favourite shows out there and I’d recommend it to anyone!

QUOTES

This one comes from the beautiful Delphine. Présent. It’s a reminder that every day is a new day. That there’s no use worrying and stressing over what’s to come or what has been, because we just need to focus on the now. On today. And trying to make today as good as it can be. And if it’s not good, then that’s ok. Because tomorrow is another day, and there’s a new présent to live in.

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July – you have been incredible. I’m so excited and kinda scared by how excited I am to see what August has in store for me. Whatever it is – I know it’s going to be spectacular.

Paris Is ALWAYS A Good Idea

Ooh la la… I think this week has been my favourite so far! It’s hard to believe that so many incredible experiences can even squeeze into just 7 days?!

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Saint-Martin on Île de Ré

Mon anniversaire! (My birthday)

Yay! It’s my birthday! And how lucky I am to get the chance to spend my 22nd birthday in beautiful La Rochelle! And I think that all of my stars aligned because scheduled for the date of my birthday, was a day trip to Île de Ré (meaning no class, and wonderful exploration times around a beautiful island). We all met at the station and hopped on a bus to Saint-Martin, one of the most picturesque and renowned towns on Île de Ré . We met our tour guide, Frédérique, for the day in Saint Martin before we started our little scavenger hunt. Between answering questions and taking photos… the first hour flew by. Then we went to le marché (the markets) to buy some food for lunch. Everything there is fresh and local produce and I had some of the best salmon I’ve ever had. We had a cute little picnic under a shady tree just relaxing and enjoying some sunshine. Actually, it was 34 degrees so A LOT of sunshine! After lunch we got on a tuk tuk (yay) and were chauffeured around to three interesting places, a soap making warehouse, a salt flat where they make salt and la piece de resistance… a chocolate factory! That one was definitely my favourite! After our long hot day, we spent the afternoon cooling down at a very cold yet beautiful beach.

After a quick shower and an espresso for some energy… we headed into La Rochelle for some dinner. It was really special to spend my birthday with my new friends at a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful part of the world.

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The view from my window watching the sun rise.

 

 

Cooking Class

As part of our gastronomy programme, we had two cooking classes in a local restaurant. Now I’m definitely not the best chef around, but the chef who guided us through the recipes that she created was very patient and provided a lot of guidance. The best part was when we got to eat what we created! And it was magnifique!  Then we had Joel from our Oneologie class join us to assist us match wine with the food we had created. As you could imagine, the best food with the best wine made for a match made in heaven!

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Aubergine tarte and chocolate cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting a French Blogger

Because my host mother – Delphine – is the coolest person in La Rochelle, she set up a dinner date with one of her friends, Anne-Laure who is a travel blogger for her website Nana Voyage. Not only was Anne-Laure incredibly friendly, interesting and gorgeous, but we talked in French the entire time! I’m so glad that I got to meet someone as lovely as Anne-Laure!

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Paris

For the weekend, I decided to go to Paris with my American friends from class. Sadly, they were flying out on Sunday afternoon so it was great that I got to spend as much time with them as possible before they flew out. After finding a cheap hotel and train ticket, I thought… paris is always a good idea. My weekend in Paris was one of the best weekends of my life! The five of us went on a bateau mouche which was a 1 hour river cruise down the Seine at sunset. I felt extremely blessed to be able to spend such a beautiful evening with my friends. We wandered around Montmartre and even went to see the end of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysée. It was a pretty memorable experience.

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The Sacre Cœur has my heart 

I can’t believe that time has flown by so fast and that I’ve only got one week left! This week truly has been so special and I’m so grateful for all of the people who have helped make it that way!

This is a little teaser from my time in Paris…

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens When You Say YES: The Road To Paris

So yesterday afternoon, I finished my Summer Session class and was walking home. It was hot, sticky and a pretty uneventful day and definitely wasn’t looking forward to going home to study. I walked home via the travel agent. I kept walking… and then I thought ‘mmm I might just pop in and talk to someone about flights.’ And that’s when my few seconds of insanity helped me develop a plan and a dream.

Later this year I’ll be heading to La Rochelle in France to study French for a month (how freakin’ cool!). The program is set to start in July and with it already being mid January, I had a fleeting moment of thinking ‘wow, that’s only in a few months.’ So I looked up the key dates for my university, making sure exams would be finished and came up with a window of time to fly.

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La Rochelle, France. Source

I had been doing some research on Skyscanner and found a really cheap flight, Sydney > Singapore > Paris. The only issue is that it was with some random European budget airline company I’d never heard of and you had to book it through an even more random website. Something about flying internationally and random or strange websites just really doesn’t sit well with me.

So I spoke to my now travel agent and she did some researching. She found an extremely cheap flight to Paris. Sydney > Singapore > Helsinki > Paris. The only issue is, that I feel that stopovers are such an amazing way to make the most of a unique opportunity to experience a new place. If I did take this flight, I’d want to stop in both Singapore and Helsinki for at least 3 days and before you know it, I’d probably have already spent a few hundred dollars before even getting to Paris. My travel agent then did some more researching and found another great deal, Sydney > Doha > Paris (with no stopover fees). As she’s typing away at her computer, she asks… ‘would you want to stop over in Qatar?’ And I said ‘why not?’ 

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Doha, Qatar. Source

I’m booking my travel through STA Travel.  With them, I was able to layby my flight with stopover, airport transfers and 2 nights accommodation for $99. Then you just need to make the full payment 10 weeks prior to departure. The best thing is, if you want to change your flight… you can!

So even though at the moment at the end of June I’ll be heading to Doha and then Paris… who knows if those plans will change!

I walked out of that travel agent with my heart pounding and my hands tingling. Finally, I have actually booked something to secure my spot jetsetting to Paris and exploring a new part of the world along the way. And that’s where saying YES can take you, Doha, Qatar. 

Have you been to Doha or Qatar? I don’t know anyone who’s been there before so any suggestions on what I have to see and do… please let me know in the comments below! Yours sincerely, a very excited traveller. 

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Doha, Qatar. Source

Call to Action on Climate Change

“No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than Climate Change.” – Barack Obama

Climate Change… it seems to be a buzz word of the 21st Century. Now that (most) people have come to accept that it’s a real thing and it’s REALLY going to affect us, the question remains… what can we do NOW to stop it? In a few days, the world’s leaders will be meeting at the UN’s Summit in Paris to submit their proposals for carbon emissions reductions. And to put pressure on our world leaders to set targets that NEED to be met in order to prevent our world and the people in it from spiralling out of control.

And to implement this pressure, the world united to form The People’s Climate March.  Australian’s ‘marched for a transition to renewable energy, for secure job creation, for clean air, for a healthy environment and a safe climate’ (People’s Climate, 2015). However as I found at the Climate March in Sydney on Sunday afternoon, people were marching for so much more!

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Oxfams mission to end the toxic relationship between Climate Change and Food Security. Source

Climate Change is more than a polar bear balancing on a piece of ice. There were people at the Climate March marching for the First Australians and their land, people’s culture and heritage from the Pacific Islands, farmers from rural Australia affected by drought, scientists showing us the hard evidence and harrowing predictions, school children concerned for their future, the elderly concerned they’re leaving their grandchildren a messed up world, people of faith and different cultures… the list continues. The face of Climate Change can be found in your mirror. It will affect you. Each and every one of us are responsible for doing our part in the fight to protect our planet!

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Along with nearly 50 000 other Australians, it was such an incredible experience to march down Macquarie Street in Sydney. Here we are,          50 000 individuals, all leading our separate lives and dealing with our own problems – yet we managed to take a few hours out of our lives and come together to demand climate action now! Not tomorrow, not next year… today!

The World’s Leaders are meeting in Paris and they have to listen to us. In times of terror, war and inequality, it is now more than ever that we must come together as a world united and ready to make REAL decisions that will make positive change to our world. I am not just one woman demanding Climate Action. The world is screaming! Are they listening?

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References

People’s Climate 2015, Australia, http://www.peoplesclimate.org.au/

 

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: August

The last month of Winter! Winter I love you, but I won’t miss you at all.

Running the City2Surf. Something I’d only been dreading for months finally happened and I couldn’t have been happier at the finish line! Just helps motivate me to push my comfort zone and never stop daring to achieve something great!

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Banks. Goddess. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this album is the real deal! Definitely helping me get through those study blues.

Sad airport trips. This month we had to say adieu to two of our favourite English exchange students. These boys know how much we’ll always love them, but it really does suck not seeing them every morning and every night. I look at the photo below and am so grateful for everyone’s unconditional friendship. You guys make me feel at home, safe and completely loved. Cheesy I know but deal with it.

Our beautiful little KB family
Our beautiful little KB family

Adventures with the family. Sadly I don’t get to see my family all that much. So when they come and visit for the weekend, we truly have the best time. We went out to the Sea Cliff Bridge which is an absolute must! Plus a lovely tour of Wollongong’s best restaurants and bars. Please come and visit more!

My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge
My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge

How to Be Parisian. One of the most beautiful little books that I own. For more reasons why I love it, read here.

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.

Orange is the New Black. I have a problem. I’m addicted. Like seriously. I watched 2 seasons in just under two weeks. For anyone that’s been thinking about checking it out and has put it off (like I was) DO IT!!! Though it’s definitely not recommended during the middle of session when you have a million assignments due. But honestly, it’s such a quality show and I’m loving it!

So that’s about it from me. I’ve been ridiculously busy with work and uni so I’m glad I got to squeeze in this much excitement. September is looking even more scary with many assignments due but… just keep pushing on!

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?

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‘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.

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‘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’ 

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“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.

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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.

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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.