The recent violent storms which shook New South Wales, claimed lives, destroyed property, communications crashed and more or less shut down the state. While the state prepares to clean up and carry on, a bigger problem emerges. The C word. Climate Change.
Climate Change is real. There’s no denying it and there’s definitely no avoiding it. It will affect each and every one of us. But the poor, helpless and the people who contribute least to to climate change will be affected first.
The Kiribiti Islands are being claimed by the sea, Australian rural areas are in serious drought, ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating, we’re cutting down forests, causing extinctions, polluting our oceans and our air, sucking, drilling and digging out natural resources and it is believed that World War 3 will be over clean water and food…. and why? For money. But at what cost? We sacrifice our time, soul, patience, kindness, happiness, respect, excitement, passion and love… is it really worth it?
Don’t believe me? Don’t believe the science? Don’t believe reality? Then I have a challenge for you. Go to the sea. By yourself. And sit in the sand. Immerse yourself in the water and float. Water blocks your ears and you can heart your heart pumping blood through your chest. Your weightless as the ocean supports you, slowly moving up and down. Feel that? Freedom? That is the immense power, beauty and tranquility of nature. If you can’t believe in that, then I guess there’s no hope.
But what can I do? I’m just one person in this world of over 7billion people. One person may not be able to change the world, but one idea can. And the idea of healing the environment is one that we must believe in, in order to make the world a better place.
For more news and information about the NSW storms, click here
Lately I’ve been asked a lot from my lucky jet setter friends, ‘what are the essential things to do and see in London?’ I usually reply with ‘depends if you want to see the touristy London, or the real London?’ And whilst I only lived in London for a year and am still no expert on the real London, here’s my list of awesome things that you mustsee and do in the fabulous city of history and culture, LONDON!
1. Big Ben. Of course.
2. The Red Telephone Box. Again. Of course. And don’t worry, they’re EVERYWHERE!
3. Piccadilly Circus TDK neon signs. Kind of unmissable if you venture into the city.
4. Tower Bridge. So much history and beauty. Get a good shot from the Southbank.
5. Buckingham Palace. Obviously.
1. Camden (Markets). Pretty much one of my favourite parts of London. You can walk around aimlessly for hours and find a good feed and bargain along the way. With music, buskers and weird and wonderful things everywhere, it’s a must see. Plus an amazing music scene! Amy Winehouse ring any bells? This was her territory.
2. Brick Lane. Possibly one of the coolest places ever. Located in East London and just a short walk from Liverpool Street, Brick Lane is a hipsters paradise. Amazing pop up food stalls, underground vintage markets (I bought my pair of Converse from there for 20pounds), street performers and AMAZING Indian cuisine. If you want cheap and authentic Indian then this it the place to go. Hidden between the high rises of Liverpool Street, it really is a hidden gem.
3. Covent Garden. Beautiful restaurants and a few little markets hidden around, conveniently located right in the middle of the city.
1. Carnaby Street. Lots of cute little restaurants and bars scattered along the street it’s a great find and a lot of fun.
2. Any markets. Camden, Brick Lane, Southbank, Notting Hill, Borough Markets…
3. Browns for High Tea. If you’re in London then you must indulge and have a high tea experience. I was fortunate enough to go with some family members and it was a simply divine dining experience.
Galleries and Museums
1. The British Museum. I went here about 4 or 5 times and still didn’t see everything! Make sure you don’t miss Cleopatras Mummy or the Rosetta Stone.
2. The National Gallery. Prime location, overlooking Trafalgar Square. Again, a day simply is not enough but my (biased) recommendation is checking out the Romantic’s artwork.
3. The National Portrait Gallery. Adjacent to the National Gallery, it’s worth the detour to spend an hour or two here. When I visited, there was an exhibition on Miss Marilyn Monroe and I was in love.
1. The Tower of London. If you want to dive deep into 13th Century London, this is the place to do it!
2. Shakespeare’s Globe. If you’re a poetry/literature nut like me then you’ll probably swoon when you see it. If you’re not too keen on paying super high prices, every now and again they have deals on tickets.
3. John Keats House in Hamstead Heath. Again, if you’re an English Romantic Literature fan… you CANNOT miss this. I studied John Keats in English at high school and have since had a fascination of him and his work. Being at his actual house and in the surrounding neighbourhood was so inspiring and overwhelming, I may have shed a tear or two.
A Little Something Extra
1. The Heron Tower. Located just near Liverpool Street tube station is this fabulous 40 floor tower. If you dress up pretty nicely and say to the guy at the door ‘I’m just going up for drinks’ then he’ll let you past. Press number 38 and you’ll shoot up in a glass elevator. Up the top of the building is something spectacular. An amazing 5star bar, a sushi restaurant and a fantastic view (which is free). I’ve been up there a few time and not purchased anything, just to check out the view and it’s splendid every time. If you feel like splurging, why not enjoy a glass of wine whilst overlooking the spectacular city.
Things to give a miss
1. The Tate Modern. OK if you love modern art… go for it. Even with my open mind, I still didn’t get it. Any of it.
2. The London Eye. Look at it from a distance. It’s not worth wasting the time in the huge line or money.
3. Changing of the Guard. I never went and I’m glad I saved myself a few painful hours. There’s waaaaaay too many people, you can’t really see anything and it’s all rather uneventful.
The saying ‘there’s more than meets the eye’ is relevant to today’s society more than ever. The phenomenon of Facebook promised us the gift of connecting to friends and ultimately, getting to know people on a more personal level. But how realistic was that promise? Whilst we all may have thought Facebook had the best intentions, not only have we deceived each other, but ourselves.
So why is it that we think we know a person (on Facebook) and then realise that in person, they’re not the person you think they are. I believe it’s because on Facebook/any other social media website, we post our ‘ultimate selves’ aka our Mr. Brightside selves. We post pretty pictures, write a witty status, put a few hashtags in there and tell everyone about how awesome our saturday night was.
The things that we neglect to post online is the other 20 photos we took in order to get that perfect shot, we sat there for 10 minutes thinking of the perfect way to say something and don’t tell the world about the epic hangover we get on a Sunday morning.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% guilty of this promotion of my ‘ultimate self.’ But lately I’ve been questioning why we do this? We complain that people don’t know the real us but the truth is that we don’t even know the real us, and even if we do, we don’t share it with anyone because we won’t get enough likes that way.
We never seem to put out to the world when we need help, or need a shoulder to lean on, and maybe that’s a reason that we can’t get the help we need. I’m not saying that overnight the world will change and we’ll suddenly stop producing a false image of ourselves online, but I really do believe that if we start to make more intimate, genuine and caring relationships, then we can all live in a better world and live a happier life.
Happy Mardi Gras! And what a happy occasion it was! It was my first ever proper Mardi Gras celebration, and it wouldn’t have been complete without a tonne of glitter! This day is about equality and celebration of people from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex Community.I enjoyed this magical day with my two good friends Tishia and Dylan and these are some of my observations/conclusions from one of the biggest Mardi Gras Festivals in the world!
I felt incredibly happy. I’m not sure if it was the glitter or the ecstatic energy from the buzzing crowd but I felt so HAPPY! In fact, I felt like a real life fairy, skipping around everywhere and sprinkling glitter on everyone. This euphoric state got me questioning, ‘why can’t I feel this good everyday?’ And I guess I have no legitimate reason at all! And everyone seemed happy and thus everyone was absolutely beautiful. Whether you were wearing hot pants, leather, sequins, had glitter on your eyebrows, lips or breasts, jeans and a t-shirt or basically nothing at all, everyone looked absolutely FABULOUS! And not only were they fabulous but also lovely people. Walking up and down the parade, we talked to and met some incredible people.
All this colour and happiness and loving acceptance got me thinking about everyday life. When we’re not covered in glitter or listening to doof doof music, what happens then? I honestly believe if we lived everyday of our lives like we were at Mardi Gras (yes, glitter included), the world would be a much better and much more peaceful place. Wearing what we want to express ourselves and not being slut shamed. Talking and accepting our own and others sexuality and not be labelled as a derogatory name with associated stereotypes. Meeting new people without fear of being judged. Dancing in the street and listening to great music. And most importantly. BE OURSELVES! Why is it that for only one day we let our guard down and flaunt what we’ve got? And every other day we embody prejudice, we discriminate subconsciously, or judge others? Equality is for everyone! But unfortunately for some, they wipe their glitter off with a conservative and close minded wet blanket. We all have the right to be our own unique being on this planet, some of us just prefer a little more glitter in our lives.
Here are some photos of my night and all the sparkles!
A new year, a new place to live. On the weekend I moved onto a new university campus, one with a little more freedom and independence. So far I’ve only met two of my (awesome) housemates and am still learning my way around the house and surrounding area. And until you’re completely settled in to a place, there’s a few things that always seem to run through my mind for the first couple of nights. I’m sure others have experienced this too right?
1- Where are my pyjamas?
2- How do I use this shower/microwave/washing machine?
3- Where are the light switches
5- I have nothing to wear because all of my clothes are creased
6- Is it acceptable to run from the shower to my room in a towel?
7- Where should I put my undies and bras?
8- What’s that (windows been closed for too long it’s kinda dusty and needs some life in it) smell?
9- What’s that sound?
10- I don’t have any moisturiser!
11- Does my poster look better above my bed or on my wardrobe?
12- I don’t have any blu tack for my poster!
13- How long does it take to defrost frozen chicken?
14- Where are the frying pans?
15- Should I turn the hall lights off at night?
16- I only have double A batteries and need triple A
17- My housemates seem cool… I hope I seem cool?
18- What’s that guys name again?
19- Do I have to wear a bra?
20- What’s my address again?
21- When’s it time for beers?
Let me know if these random thoughts aren’t so random when moving to a new place in the comments below!
Valentines Day. The one time of year we can eat chocolate, have our cheeks flushed pink, watch chic flicks and write clichés in cards… Actually that’s every other weekend for me. Regardless of how often you eat a box of heart shaped chocolates, there’s no escaping the fact that the 14th of February is all about love. And whilst it’s nice when you’ve got that special someone to spend it with, the most important date you’ll have on Valentines Day (and for the rest of your life) is YOU. Yes, I realize it’s clichéd to write about how important it is to love yourself but hey, it is Valentines Day. So here are some things you can do (or I try to show myself) a little loving.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Buy that dress you’ve been eyeing off on ASOS to show yourself some appreciation.
Walk with confidence of everything you’ve accomplished and dreaming of.
Embrace your flaws.
Surround yourself with positivity.
Dream big and act even bigger.
Paint your nails blue, or green, or purple to brighten your day.
Play your music loud and sing even louder.
Call your family/friends and tell them how much they mean to you.
Have a relaxing bath with candles.
Cook a lovely meal for yourself.
Lay on a grassy hill and watch the clouds roll over.
Crack open a bottle of wine.
Binge watch How To Get Away With Murder (woops, too late).
Download Taylor Swifts album.
Put on your beautiful jewellery.
Write down all these things that make you happy and feel loved for future reference.
And don’t forget to finish this all off with a small box of chocolates… you’ve earned it.
Happy Valentines Day to each and every one of you. xxx A
Yesterday, whilst waiting for my mum to pick me up from the train station, I took a seat on a 4 person bench where a guy was seated at the other side. He had his earphones plugged in and nervously looked at me once or twice. I was struggling with eating an icy-pole given that it was so hot outside, and trying to keep my cool as my frosty fruit dribbled down my arm. A few times I almost went to start a conversation, but I didn’t… I held back and focused all my attention to slurping at my icy pole, that thinking back on it, even if I did start a conversation, he would’ve thought I was strange and completely incompetent of eating an ice cream.
Which led me to thinking… have I lost my ability to talk to strangers? By the time his mate came and picked him up and Mr (pretty cute) bench guy was driving away, I felt like I had lost more by not starting a conversation, than if I had talked to him and made a fool of myself.
I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t. I’m not exactly a shy person, and when I was overseas travelling, I would talk to anyone and everyone. My conscience tells me it was because I was too focused on eating my ice cream, but I think deep down, it was because I was slipping into my ‘routine’ life where I stay neatly in my comfort zone and can sit at a bench with strangers in silence and be OK with that. I also think another part of me was nervous. I remember a thought crossing my mind ‘what if he thinks I’m strange/boring/weird/any adjective.’ He had his earphones in, and his head buried in his phone, where I then reached for my phone and started aimlessly scrolling through my newsfeed so that the silence wouldn’t be awkward. We automatically created a barrier (being on another planet with our phones) that we completely blocked the potential of engaging in simple conversation.
By the time my mum had picked me up, I had already began to beat my self up for not starting a conversation with him, or even just saying hello. Because at the end of the day, the odds are we were never going to see eachother again, he wouldn’t think I was crazy or a psycho, and who knows, we could’ve had a really lovely conversation… (and then added eachother on Facebook, see eachother at the same station a week later, exchanged numbers, had a dinner date, get married, have kids and live happily ever after….) Haha OK so that only happens in movies.
Regardless, striking up a conversation with a stranger was something that I really liked about myself when I was travelling the world. And I met the most incredible people because of it. But I feel like I’ve fallen back into that state of mind where ‘all strangers are serial killers, trying to rob you or rape you.’ And the truth is that there are some truly remarkable people in our every day lives that we just haven’t had the opportunity of meeting yet. And starting off with a simple ‘hello, how are you?’ is a way of doing that.
This random bench guy probably hasn’t given this whole slightly awkward encounter another thought, but my not talking regret has sparked something in me that I’m determined to change. I don’t want to miss any opportunity in life. Whether it be the chance to travel someplace new, go camping, learn an instrument or even talk to a guy on a bench, and I feel that starting with a small ‘hello’ can lead to bigger and better things.
Challenge – So for the next month, I’m going to break my cosy little comfort zone and meet someone new/new people. Why? Because even if they turn out to be a bit psycho… I’ll know that I’m not crazy for not starting a little conversation.
Some of you may be wondering… ‘Why have a Facebook page for a blog?’ Well why not?! Like most current relationships in our technology dominant decade, it’s not official until it’s Facebook official.
Now Over To YOU
With some exciting things planned for 2015, I’d like to hear from you, my incredible readers from across the globe. What do you want to see more of this year? Travel Tips, Destinations, Photography, Creative Writing, Opinions…Or something completely new and different? Please let me know in the comments below or on Facebook so I can continue to grow A Worldly Addiction and bring you along for the ride!
Firstly, I’ll start by saying how extremely difficult it was for me to write this post. Not physically write it, but for me to actually accept the fact that this big journey that I’ve been living (my Eurotrip Gap Year) was a year ago and is officially over.
So this time 2 years ago (January of 2013) I got on a plane and headed off to London (you can read about my Gap Year here). One year later (a year ago nearly to the day) I said goodbye to London and G’Day to Australia. And as the months flew by, I got stuck in to my new uni life (read about my adventures of 2014 here) as my London life slowly slipped away. So what are the biggest changes readjusting to life back ‘home?’ How do I define home? What’s the hardest part of it all? Here it is.
Home isn’t quite the same – you’re stuck somewhere in between. For a few months you mistakingly refer to home as in London (after all, it was home sweet home), then you start calling your parents house home, then where you’re living home and then you just get confused. I believe home truly is where the heart is, and my heart seems to be scattered around the world.
You have an identity crisis – you get on the plane all strong minded like ‘yea I know who I am and I’m not gonna let anyone change me.’ Then you land in Sydney, see all your friends and family and suddenly have an identity crisis. WHO AM I? It’s a terrifying experience, thinking that the old you is slipping away, making way for the new you that you’re not quite sure you like. The thought that got me through this ‘transformation’ is that I’m growing and learning from every experience (good or bad) and at the end of the day, it will help make me stronger.
People see you as the same little you that left – Not the strong independent traveller you now are. School friends see you as the nerd that studied too much, or too things too seriously, or partied too much… but little do they know how much you’ve changed. You feel so empowered, accomplished and strong until someone says ‘aw, you haven’t changed one bit,’ then all that confidence disappears like packets of Tim Tam’s on sale.
You can no longer say ‘This time last year’- For some reason, this was such a comforting statement. Comparing my life now to my adventures last year. But now I can say ‘this time next year… who knows where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing!’ That is the most motivating thought I have. The thought of the unknown!
You can see people getting bored with your travelling stories but you’ll still tell them again – What do you mean you don’t want to hear about how I lost my purse in Rome and magically found it an hour later with all my money in it? Or the time I crashed the best house party in London? Or the time I got to march in the St. Pattys Day Parade in Dublin? Or the time… Ok I get it, you’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it a few more times yet so get comfortable.
You get a serious case of PTD (Post Travel Depression) – You have the highest high that travel offers and suddenly you stop and you’re back at home. Then you come crashing down with the realisation that it’s over. It’s real and it sucks.
You lose touch with your ‘lifelong friends’- At high school you have about 50 BFFL pink sparkly necklaces. And as soon as you jet off, the sparkles seem to magically disappear. This isn’t necessarily a sad part of leaving home, it’s just the inevitable change in life that takes some getting used to. Regardless of if you actually keep these friendships for life, you’ll always have the precious memories of friendships.
But you also find out who your real friends are – You might now have to message everyday. In fact, one of my best friends that was in Australia when I was overseas and I barely spoke. Not because we didn’t want to, but because we were so preoccupied with our busy lives. And the second one of us needed eachother, we’d be there. The minute I returned to Australia it was like I never left. It’s those sorts of friendships that will last for years and will be the most special. Best Friends For Life (for real).
You don’t settle for okay anymore – You’ve had a taste of the spicy, succulent, addictive flavours of the world and crave it everyday. Why would you then settle for a little salt and pepper seasoning? You won’t accept ordinary, or average, or okay… you try to make everything incredible!
You feel motivated to do it again – Was it all worth it? The love, the pain, the grief, homesickness, the ongoing identity crisis… (see image below)! So what am I doing about it now? I’m trying to live life to the fullest, to appreciate everything and everyone I have and bring on the adventures for 2015 and years to come!