10 Thoughts and Life Hacks After Commuting To Sydney (For A Month).

So I recently started a job working in Sydney’s CBD. Yep, the big smoke! The only catch is, I live in Wollongong, 90 minutes away. Whilst I really can’t complain as I’m only commuting 3 days a week, and yes I’ve only been doing it for a month, consider these my top 10 tips for your commute from a novice commuter.

1- Noise-cancelling headphones are a must
I recently invested in some Bose noise-cancelling headphones and this could possibly be the best investment of 2019! I can put these baby’s on and disappear into my own world. They are perfect for losing track of time listening to a new podcast, banging along to a new album or even the occasional snooze.

2- I will never be able to wear heels to work
How the hell do women wear heels to work? I see some wear sandals and change into heels on the train but then I see women get on the train with heels on! OMG how?! And not just heels, stilettos! Kudos to you business women. Kudos to you.

3- Get yourself a routine
My mornings look a little like this, I put on a podcast, I write in my journal and I have a little nap. On the way home I read my book until I get too tired and then play Suduko. I know, wild routine hey! But I find that it’s so easy to stare out the window, listen to albums you’ve listened to 50 times before, and waste this precious time. Your time is precious so it’s important that you make the most of it. Plus I get to tick off some self-care, me items for the day. It feels pretty damn good.

4- Run baby run
How do people go for lunchtime runs around the Opera House and go back to work an hour later cool calm and collected? Do these people have genetically modified genes? If that was me I would be red, hot, sweaty and unable to show my face in a professional setting again! I’m quite happy sipping my iced long blacks in the sunshine and watching these people run on by.

*accurate image of me after a run*

5- Coffee, coffee, coffee
There are so many incredible coffee shops right at your doorstep, don’t settle for just one! One of my favourite ways to make the commute fun is to plan where I’ll stop by for a coffee on the way to work. I’ve come across a few great gems and I’m excited to find more! It almost makes the overpriced coffee and sub-par service bearable.

6- On that note, why don’t more people use keep cups?
Perhaps living in environmentally friendly Wollongong has created a bit of a bubble with what I assume is normal, everyday practice. I am seriously shocked at how many people don’t use keep cups! I walk past hundreds of people on their way to and from work with coffee in their hand. These people, I’m assuming have worked in the CBD for some time now, and they go to their regular places and get their regular coffees, but don’t bring their own cup? Seriously it is the easiest thing in the world and the planet will thank you for it. Just when you think we’re getting somewhere, you realise that the challenge ahead is far greater than we anticipated.

If you want a cool reusable coffee cup and/or drink bottle, check out Frank Green!

7- Which book will I read next?
Probably my favourite thing about commuting is the dedicated reading time I give myself. In all seriousness, when did you last give yourself time to sit and read for a solid 90 minutes? I barely got to read for 30 minutes before bed and now I am flying through books. I’m currently reading Eggshell Skull, and not only is the book incredible but all of this thinking and completely losing myself in books makes the trip fly! It leaves me asking what’s next on the reading list?!

8- Lunch views never looked so good
Ok so I may have gone a little overboard with the Insta stories and my ‘lunch views’ tag. But seriously, when the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are literally on your front door, you can’t just turn your head and have lunch in your office! One thing I’ve committed to taking seriously is giving myself a break whilst at work. Last year I often found myself in the disgusting habit of eating my lunch at my desk. There is seriously nothing like taking a 30-45 minute lunch break, getting some fresh air, going for a stroll, reading a book or just watching people pass you by. It will honestly leave you feeling like a new person when you waltz on back into your office ready to get you through to 5pm.

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9- Sydney is so multicultural and I love it
I love people watching. It’s a great way to pass the time and I love conjuring up back stories for all of the faces passing me by. And something I love about working in the city is the diversity present in all of the people that pass me by. It’s so exciting and it’s a reminder of how cool diversity is. And I mean this in a genuine way. It’s awesome to live in a global city, to be influenced by other cultures, to learn about new ways of life and share insights into your way of life. It’s inspiring to know that so many people like to call Sydney, or Australia, home. I love feeling like I am a total stranger, yet completely at home in a city, where you can be the best or weirdest version of yourself and people accept you. It’s fucking awesome.

10- Sydney is a bloody beautiful place. 
Wow. We are so lucky to live so close and work in the heart of Sydney. Sydney really is gorgeous. There’s not many cities in the world that have so much natural beauty surrounding the hustle and bustle of the CBD. I know I may still be looking at this all with starry eyes, but I can’t shake it. It’s pretty incredible to look out our office windows and see the Harbour Bridge. It’s amazing to be able to have my lunch break overlooking the Opera House. And I feel pretty damn lucky to have the experience of working in the CBD. Commute and all.

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These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY 2018

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

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👣Sublime

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

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☀️ Those nature vibes

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

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

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🎶Tunes

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

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

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

🎥 Flicks 

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

📗Books

Angela Davis: An Autobiography

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

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📷 Bloggers and Vloggers

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

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📝 Quote

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

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

 

 

 

 

Why can’t you turn your life onto Aeroplane mode?

Your Facebook messenger is filled with notifications that you haven’t got around to replying to yet, your next three weekends are booked up with birthday, engagement and ‘any excuse’ parties, your alarm is going off persistently to remind you to get off your arse and go to the gym, you’re trying to secure a date, catch up on ‘Girlboss’ on Netflix, finish those assignments and get more than six hours of sleep, all whilst remembering that pasta and cheese is not an adequate diet….. HOLY SHIT! Apple, where’s the aeroplane mode for life?
Now I don’t consider myself to be overly popular; I know I ain’t Regina George. However for the past few months nearly every hour of every day has been completely planned out for me. I do enjoy being busy but I also enjoy not wearing pants, listening to 90’s music and just taking some serious me time. Not wearing pants is an essential part of life that, quite frankly, I’ve really been missing out on lately.

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When did we all get so busy? Trying to organise a simple lunch with a few friends turns into making a spreadsheet to find out everyone’s availabilities, only to find that you then can’t decide on a cafe because one of your friends is vegan, and you’re craving a double beef burrito. Even staying on top of all those Facebook messages becomes a tedious task (curse the handy yet exasperating advent of the ‘group chat’!) You think that you’re going to reply properly, with time and thought put into your response, only to wind up replying two weeks later with a shitty response like ‘hey sorry – was super busy! How’s life?‘ And if someone was to ask you ‘how’s life,‘ you’d probably roll your eyes at their attempt to make conversation and think to yourself ‘my life is too fucking hectic to deal with this small talk‘ but instead craft a tactful response of, ‘busy, but good thanks, how’s your cat?’

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 Part of me thinks that as young people trying to figure out this whole ‘adulting’ business, we have no idea what we’re doing. We look at our friends, colleagues and peers and immediately compare ourselves. We see them going to the gym, so we sign up to yoga classes. We see them learning how to use Excel, so we watch YouTube tutorials. We see them travel, so we open a savings account to book that ticket, only to remember that bills are due this week so there goes that idea.

 We’re constantly connected to others through our phones and when we get a life update from them it’s usually in the form of an Instagram post with a beautiful Valencia filter (the Valencia filter is bomb). It’s their little way of saying ‘omg my life is great and look at all the amazing things I’m doing,’ and even if we don’t realise it, we feel the pressure to do more and be more. What ever happened to just being who we are?

 So, can there be an aeroplane mode for life? To shut off that phone, turn off notifications, pick up that book, those pencils, and paints, get outside, get messy, get dirty, start a conversation, smile, eat and sing at the top of your lungs, make plans to not make plans and put your life on aeroplane mode, just for a weekend. Oh and absolutely take those bloody pants off as you tune out!

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I originally wrote this piece for TWENTY SOMETHING HUMANS. You can check it out here. 

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