Lately I’ve been dreaming of this magical place I’ve only seen in pictures. Nestled neatly between Iceland and Canada is Greenland. Despite it’s name, it’s mostly covered in snow and ice. It has a population of 56 000 and it’s capital city is Nuuk. With town names which are unpronoucable and filled with coulourful little buildings, it’s somewhere I’m dreaming of! So here are some of the reasons why I want to go to that magical country in the Arctic circle.
You can go dog sledding
There’s whales everywhere
They speak Greenlandic, Danish and English
You can disconnect from reality for a while
And reconnect with nature (85% of Greenland is covered in ice)
Football is the national sport of Greenland (source)
Greenland is known as Kalaallit Nunaat’ meaning land of people (source)
Greenland’s national day is the 21st of June
They celebrate the return of the sun because they can spend weeks in darkness
You can see the Northern Lights
Eat some of the freshest fish in the world
Experience 24 hour day light or darkness
Learn about the inuit culture and history
But just in case these fun facts and reasons aren’t good enough, maybe the photos below will convince you!
Have you been to Greenland or know someone who has? Let me know about it in the comments below!
Anyone who knows me, knows I love coffee. And anyone who knows me really well, knows that I’m ridiculously addicted and nothing in the world can replace the taste of a beautiful cup of hot coffee. So, knowing this… can you imagine my utter excitement, overwhelming-ness and just pure joy when I went to a festival dedicated to coffee? Absolute BLISS!
I spent this past Sunday at the Rocks Aroma Festival in beautiful Circular Quay, Sydney. And for all of you coffee addicts out there, I’d highly recommend hitting it up at some point because it was damn AWESOME! We were blessed with a gorgeous winters day. Sydney really did show off.
If you hate crowds, then like any other event held in Sydney, it’s probably not ideal for you. And to make matters worse, I was with a large group of friends which nearly impossible to navigate through. But for that golden coffee drop, I’d do almost anything.
After checking out all of the stalls, I decided on the Belaroma and settled for a skim cap (my usual). It was hot, strong and bloody AMAZING!!! We then wandered up to the Rocks, through the crowds and followed our noses to the abundance of food stalls that lined the cobblestone streets. We got these delicious chicken, lamb and prawn skewers with rice and scoffed them down with another coffee (it’s a coffee festival, as if I could’ve had just one?!).
After a big feed and being hyped up on coffee, there was only one thing left to do… wash it all down with a beer! We wandered through the Rocks and stumbled across the Argyle. From the outisde it doesn’t look like much, but once you venture through the allyway, it feels like you’re in some Hungarian ruin bar. It is such an awesome place! It also doubles as a club at night and I’m already planning a trip back to Sydney for a night out here. It’s fancy, classy and just down right cool.
After some beer, food and coffee, we’d had a pretty solid day. It was a beautiful day to spend in the city with my friends before uni goes back this week.
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.
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.
Scotland. A wild, rugged country. Where red heads roam free and it’s perfectly acceptable to say Aye and Wee. On my travels, many people told me about how I should go to Ireland, ‘it’s so green, the accent is so sexy, they know how to party, there’s so much history…’ and yes that is true… but how many people have you heard say ‘YOU MUST GO TO SCOTLAND!’ Well here I am telling you this! SCOTLAND IS WHERE IT’S AT!
These are the places I visited
-Isle of Skye
1 – They have the sexiest accent! Seriously, any Scottish men out there give me a call. Whilst you might not always understand what they’re saying, it’s ok, you can just stare into their eyes and nod your head. The people are so so friendly. Unlike the snobbish Londoners, the Scots know how to make you feel welcome. When I first arrived off the train in Edinburgh, a gentleman helped me find my hostel and carry my bag without being creepy! Yay. You can approach almost anyone in the street and they’ll be more than happy to help you out with directions, translations or just to say hello.
2 – Edinburgh is the coolest capital city ever! The windy roads, cobblestone streets, open green spaces, clean crisp air, best and cheap nightlife, amazing pubs and a castle in the middle of the city… it has everything you could ever want out of a city! And it’s relatively small, so you can explore the city by foot. Be sure to make the climb up to Arthur’s Seat to get a breath of fresh air and a spectacular view over the city.
3 – Scotland has so many castles! Like 3000 (most are complete ruins but still spectacular). So if you’re into your knights in shining armour, kingdoms and castle walls, look no further than Scotland. For the full list of castles visit http://www.scotland.com/castles/ A lot of the castles are free, so you can climb in and around them and capture some wicked photos.
4- Harry Potter was written and filmed here! Enough said really.
5 – The Isle of Skye is one of the most majestical places on Earth. Basically untouched by man, you can completely immerse yourself in the beautiful countryside!
6 – You can spend hours by Loch Ness, looking for Nessy! You can enjoy a beer or whisky by the lake and watch the sun set whilst having your camera by your side. If you’re game enough, you can jump into the nearly freezing water, unfortunately I wasn’t game enough, but what a great story to tell.
7 – The landscape is completely surreal. Moutains, rivers, valleys, lakes with small winding roads to take it all in.
8- It snows! For all of us Australians that have never seen snow before, it’s quite a remarkable experience. Scotland has ski fields and beautiful snow capped mountains, and in the midst of winter, snow will creep down to the lowlands into the bigger towns and cities where you can throw snowballs and make snowmen.
9 – It has beautiful beaches and coastal areas. Perhaps, not in winter, however when it starts to heat up, you can flock to the sandy beaches. My favourite was in St. Andrews where you can see the ruins of a cathederal, castle and run your feet through the sand.
10 – IT’S JUST DAMN BEAUTIFUL!
I hope this has inspired you to add Scotland to your itinerary for your next adventure!
‘Hey, yea I’m from (insert country here).’
‘Oh really? I want to go there one day.’
‘Ah well add me and when you come hit me up.’
I’ve had this conversation so many times. And my facebook friends keep growing in number as you meet people from everywhere across the globe. There are so many places that I do wish to visit in the world and yes if you’ll let me crash on your lounge and take me out to your favourite bar, let’s do it. However, I just recently got to thinking about all the people you meet through your travels, you might have an amazing time with them, and you may never see them again, but you’ll always see their status updates and keep up to date on their life.
Twenty years ago, you would’ve had a great time out with some cool people, went your separate ways, never saw them again, and they may cross your mind a few years later as you reminisce.
But now due to facebook, a night out turns into a virtual connection lasting a lifetime.
And it gets me thinking about what it really means to be someone’s friend, beyond a friendship request.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love scrolling down my news feed and seeing things in all different languages, with pictures from the snow, mountains or beaches. And I love the fact that at some point in our two very different lives, our paths crossed, we smiled at each other and formed a bond. The unfortunate thing really is, I still know everything that’s happening to you in your life, but I genuinely don’t know if I’ll ever see you again. And you’ll see what’s happening in this person’s life for years to come.
So how do you cut people out of your life now? You really can’t. Whereas 20 years ago, if you outgrew someone, that was it. But now it’s all so personal and people take great offence to being blocked or deleted. Life definitely needs those buttons to filter out those people who are no good for you, but does it have to be so public? It’s such a relief when you do realise that you don’t need certain people in your life and you can cut them out, but until then your friend requests keep rolling in.
Some of my closest friends that I have the fondest memories with , are people that you share intimate moments with. Whether it’s telling them your secrets, going on an adventure together, staying up until 3am just talking about nothing in particular, calling them when you’re in trouble and just someone to hug and who makes you feel at home. And it’s just a bonus if you can crash on their lounge when you go traveling to their home country. But it’s those relationships that last beyond that one night out, you message them, have your little inside jokes, have numerous photos with them and you’re already planning when you can see eachother again. You don’t necessarily have to talk everyday or skype once a week, but when you do talk, it’s like it was yesterday. And when you talk, you’re not telling them everything you’ve done for the past month, instead just having a general conversation filled with laughter that doesn’t really make sense.
It’s crazy how social media has changed friendships especially within the travel community, because back in the day if you really wanted to keep in touch with someone special, you would get their home address, print off some pictures, write a letter and send it across the world which could take weeks. But now everything is instantaneous. Night out. Take some photos. Have a good chat. Discuss future travel plans. ‘Oh add me.’ And done, you’re now friends for life, where that friendship once wouldn’t have exceeded that night.
And I’m not saying in any way that this is a bad thing at all, it’s fantastic. 20 years ago it would’ve been impossible to have pen pals from Brazil, America, Canada, Scotland, France, Sweden, China… all at the same time. I am so thankful for all the incredible people I’ve met in my travels from all across the world, and I probably follow you on facebook, Instagram or twitter. I wish you all of the best in your lives and really do hope I get to crash on your lounge at some point and my offer is always there, if you’re ever in Australia, please do come a visit. Until then keep the status updates, snapchats, tweets and posts coming.
p.s (everyone in these photos are truly incredible! we shared some amazing times together and these photos are just a small reminder of the memories i’ll carry with my for life).
Now that you’ve decided if you want to take a suitcase or backpack overseas on your big adventure, it’s time to pack it! These items and words of advice are things that I wish people told me to take/not to take, so I hope that this is helpful. *Also note that this is more for people traveling in winter for up to 3 months compared to people moving overseas to live. Also, things you pack will greatly depend on what time of the year you’re going travelling, but with European summers/winters, they’re never quite predictable.*
Check out this youtube video of easy steps to pack your bag
As you’re packing, lay everything out neatly on your bed so that you can visualise everything before you shove it into your bag.
1 – Passport – You’re not going to get very far without it
2 – Bank Cards – Register them with your bank to inform them you’ll be overseas
3 – Money – Have some local currency on you when you land
4 – Travel Insurance – You just never know what life is going to throw at you
5 – Medication – Pack any medicine you may need and check that they comply with laws of the country you’re entering. It’s not a bad idea to have a little first aid kit with you either. With some bandaids, antiseptic cream, panadol, nurofen and cold and flu tablets. Don’t worry about taking anti-diarrhoea or anti-nausea tablets because most European countries have high standards of food preparation and water quality. If you’re unfortunate enough to catch something bad, speak to the hostel staff immediately so they can assist you.
1 – Phone – I took my iPhone 5 and it was literally my life, if you take a smart phone, then I wouldn’t recommend taking a laptop. It’ll just be heavy in your bag and you run the risk of losing it or getting it stolen
2 – Camera – You want a good little camera to document your trip and that you can just put in your pocket. Unless you’re a professional photographer, a massive Canon SLR will just be chunky and in the way.
3 – Chargers – Make sure you have the chargers to all of your electronic devices!
4 – Adaptors – Make sure you have an AU-EU or AU-UK adaptor before you go so you can charge your phone as soon as your check in
In the Bag
1 – 1 pair of boots – I took my black Doc Martens and man they go with absolutely everything!
2- 1 big, warm, long coat – you will be wearing this everyday, so make sure its warm and you love it! (Opt for navy or black, it’s practical but also hides dirt/marks)
3 – 2 pairs of thermals – I took a thermal singlet (which I legit wore every day) a long sleeve thermal for those extra cold days, and 2 pairs of thermal tights (I also wore them everyday)
4 – Your swimmers – It may be winter and snowing outside, but you never know where you’re going to end up
5 – Socks and Undies – This is where you thanks Mum for the mundane presents on your birthday. Take enough underwear to last you 2 weeks because you don’t know when you’ll get to do your washing next. Take 2 pairs of thermal, fluffy socks and 3 pairs of little ankle socks (whenever I went out in freezing conditions, I sometimes wore 2 or 3 pairs of socks at once). Also girls, you really don’t need that many bras. Personally, I’d take 3, max! They just take up room.
6 – 3 T-shirts – you can wear these all the time, they’re comfy and practical
7 – 1 pair of jeans – black of denim will go with everything. If you’ve got a bit more room you can pack 2 paris but you can definitely get by just on 1.
8 – 1 or 2 going out outfits – for girls this is easy, pack 2 pretty/sexy dresses for when you hit up the town. Boys, just a nice pair of trousers, chinos, and a dress shirt so you can pull all the ladies.
9- Gloves/Beanies/Hats/Scarves – Invest in 1 good scarf, 1 pair of warm and water proof gloves (i own beautiful leather ones) and 1 cool beanie that will go with most things. Keep these in a separate part of your bag because you’ll be accessing these all the time.
10 – Thongs – and for you non-Australians, I mean ‘flip-flops.’ If you’re staying in hostels, you want to be wearing thongs in those showers. Because you have no idea what’s happened there before… ewww.
11 – Toiletries – Have a toiletries bag to keep everything together. You’ll need shampoo/conditioner (you can buy bottles where they’re 2 in 1), face wash, face wipes, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, moisturiser, make-up for girls and anything else you use in the shower on a regular basis.
12 – A diary – I kept a diary whilst overseas and it’s my favourite thing to do, read back over it and reminisce about my adventures.
13 – A friendly attitude and open mind – you’re going to meet so many incredible people from every corner of this globe. Ask questions, go out, talk, adventure, get lost and learn along the way. Open your mind and you never know what you might discover next.