Friday, 28 February 2014

Untitled.


I can't even find the right words to title this post, nothing seems fitting or can convey what I want to say.

I've spoken quite openly on here about struggles in the past. My mind can often be quite temperamental when it comes to change; I struggle to settle and swing from good day to bad day fairly quickly. Each day I work on these kind of things and often wonder; so why did I feel like that again? Battles aren't overcome easily and you need to take comfort in th triumphs, no matter how big or small.

This week I've lost a friend of mind. She too has had struggles in the past and my admiration for her has always been high; all the heartbreak and fighting she went through and she didn't give up. After all of that, she lost a very unexpected and rapid fight to cancer. The last thing I expected was a phonecall from my Mum back home in the UK to tell me what had happened. As you can imagine, I'm really cut up and very shocked, yet it doesn't feel real at the same time.

Life is so short and precious; it can be taken away in a flash. Experiences need to be embraced and loved ones need to cherished and next time I have one of my struggles, I will be thinking to myself, everybody has bad days, move on from that feeling and make the most of the day and those around me; I'm bloody lucky - and sometimes we forget this.

This post will end up being a rambled one, trying to process the thoughts in my head...but it's truly impossible to do that right now. 

Be happy and free with M now xo

Thursday, 27 February 2014

52 Lists // Week 9 - Best Qualities

I'm not exactly full of self confidence so listing my best qualities doesn't come too easily. And right now, things feel like a bit of a struggle for me again...I can't put my finger on why or how but I can feel the smaller things become a challenge and I've decided to put my energy and anxiety into a little something I'm going to start working on this week...so stay tuned, it might not be a quick process but I have something up my sleeve!

So here's this weeks list;

1. I look after my friends - the girls call me Mum, it's in my nature to organise, look after everyone and take charge

2. I can put on a brave face even when I'm feeling out of sorts

3. I couldn't love my family anymore than I do - my parents and grandparents mean more to me than I can explain

4. I'm a good cook and baker

5. I'm hardworking and will put my full attention towards something when necessary 

6. I'll always listen to and care for my friends, even if we don't speak a everyday - I will always be there 

7. I won't give up - I've had a tough few years and even on the rubbish days I will keep going and find new ways to stay level headed

8. I am determined and optimistic about my future career - my travelling has brought to light the things I feel I want 

9. I'm realistic - about myself, life, things that are achievable 

10. I'm passionate about the things I love - mostly food, travel and designer handbags...and breakfast - breakfast is of the upmost importance

This was a tricky one...

xo

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Life on the road; Goodbye Sydney, Hello Open Road


It was a weird feeling to be saying goodbye to Sydney - I settled in veryquickly  there compared to Melbourne and although it didn't feel asmuch  like home as my lovely Melbs, Sydney had come and gone very quickly. 

Sydney was incredibly fun - discovering new beaches, the Harbour, the nights out, the friends made along the way - it was a shame it had to be over but I was ready for something more relaxed compared to the big city. Don't get me wrong, places like Coogee (my favourite Sydney haunt, apart from Surry Hills) and Bondi but theres still the need for buses and delving into the hectic buzz of the city.


We made our way to Travel Wheels, our chosen campervan hire company, to collect our home for the next three weeks. We were shown around, checked it over then we were off - all alone on the open road!

First stop - Newcastle.

Now this was just a stop off for food and a quick drive through. I'd heard good things about Newcastle but of course we were on a time schedule so it was a flying visit.

After Newcastle we had planned to head to Port Macquarie for a night, moving on to Coffs Harbour the next day...us being us, the plan was corrupted by new friends and the prospect of a party and gig that evening. Our change of plans led us to Forster.

The drive itself was lovely, even from Sydney. I had obviously heard about the famous Pacific Highway and now, I was actually driving along it. The views are amazing and not what you would expect from a motorway.

We arrived at the quaint seaside/port town of Forster. With it being the first night, we didnt want to splurge out on a campsite so opted to use our app, wikicamps (WELL worth the $4.50 we paid for it and I would as far as saying essential if travelling Australia in a campervan, car or generally camping). 

Our trusty app led us to Pebble Beach...

Free, a short drive into Forster AND beautiful views. TOP TIP: make sure, wherever you stay for free, that there are NO signs 'no overnight stays' or basically anything relating to no camping, fines for overnights etc. You do not want to wake up in the morning with a hefty fine slapped on your windscreen or an unwelcome wake up call to move along.

We had our dinner, the first and last night of pasta and contacted our new pals. We had a bit of a wild goose chase attempting to find the party, which led us through Pacific Palms, which I must say, looked lovely.

We woke up early and headed for the beach, mostly to have a shower (Pebble Beach only has toilet facilities) and a little morning dip in the water.

We set off for Port Macquarie, day two of our adventure...

xo

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Life on the road; the route


Here's a little taster of the places I will be telling you about over the next couple of weeks.

Our route;

Day 1 - Sydney -> Newcastle -> Forster (Pebble Beach)
Day 2 - Forster -> Port Macquarie -> Coffs Harbour
Day 3 - Coffs Harbour -> Byron Bay 
Day 4 - Byron Bay
Day 5 - Byron Bay -> Minyon Falls -> Nimbin -> Surfers Paradise
Day 6 - Surfers Paradise
Day 7 - Surfers -> Brisbane
Day 8 - Brissie -> Mooloolaba -> Noosa
Day 9 - Noosa -> Rainbow Beach
Day 10 - Rainbow Beach -> day trip to Fraser Island -> Hervey Bay
Day 11 - Hervey Bay -> Airlie Beach 
Day 12 - Airlie -> day trip Ocean Rafting to the Whitsundays -> Airlie
Day 13 - Airlie -> Townsville
Day 14 - Townsville -> day trip to Magnetic Island -> Townsville
Day 15 - Townsville -> Mission Beach
Day 16 - Mission Beach -> Cairns
Day 17 - Cairns
Day 18 - Cairns
Day 19 - Cairns
Day 20 - Cairns -> Cape Tribulation
Day 21 - Cape Trib -> PortDouglas 
Day 22 - Port D -> Cairns
Day 23 - Cairns

I`m currently in Cairns, still with limited wifi so my posts to you will be as often as I can manage - so please bear with me, I haven't forgotten about you.

xo

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Week 8 // List 8 - My Hometown

When I tell people where I'm from, the responses aren't always great. Where I live is actually lovely - I can't help the rest of the place - but my area is respectable and, at the end of the day, it's home; always has been, always will be. Yes, that's right, with the exception of four years in Sheffield, the family home in Forest Town is the place we've lived since hve been born. It holds so many incredible memories and it will be a sad day when we eventually have to let go of that house.



Things that I love about my hometown? The centre itself - nothing - it's a dive, unfortunately like a lot of British towns these days; the high streets are seemingly non-existent, this an influx of non-locals and people would rather was into the cities. But, there are some things I love about my little town within a scummy town.

1. We've always lived there, I went to school there - memories from my childhood are all there

2. I still have a small handful of friends there that I've had since nursery - we may have done different things but I know they will always remain my friends.

3. Walking the pup in the woods and by the golf course - it's so beautiful and peaceful up there; these are the places people don't know about and this is one of my favourite spots. I love feeling in the middle of nowhere up there.

4. You feel like you're in a more rural area but it's close to the city - fields, woods, forests, rivers, lakes...a half an hour drive from EVERYTHING.

5. Memories of galloping my horses through the fields - I miss horse riding terribly and vow to strength my poor knees again and start riding

6. The Dog and Duck - our 'local' fine dining that hosts a brilliant menu! 

7. We never flood - which I am grateful for since the UK is experiencing such awful weather. Means I can worry less from my Aussie bubble

8. My parents and grandparents are there - and I miss them ridiculously 

9. Things don't feel so scary there - my town is my comfort zone - familiarity and security make it somewhere I want to be.

10. The short drive from my house to my grandparents as the sun is setting across the fields

xo

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

TRAVEL: Life on the road; the end



So the time in our campervan has almost come to an end; three weeks - done.

We've driven over 2600km, myself and Hannah doing the majority of that mileage - yep, tired work but definitely worth it - it has meant three weeks with two of my best friends and a new close friend. We've had a great time, a lot of laughs, ALOT of inside jokes and memories that will last a lifetime.

Now, you will have to bear with me as I now have three weeks worth of catching p to do with you guys - and you know me - I cant do one post per place; theres food to take into consideration, trips, random things that have happened. Yes, I ramble, but hopefully that is why you all keep coming back to me.

At this moment in time, Ive set up this little office...


which is the best I can do right now BYT it means I can get on track with filling you in on my recent adventures.  

Today has been much needed - a hearty brunch...



a dip in the pool, an afternoon of catching up with Aussie pals and general relaxation.

So now you know my whereabouts once again and I can now return whole heartedly to the blogging world, Ive missed it!

xo

Monday, 17 February 2014

TRAVEL: Hyde Park, Sydney


Located in the centre, a couple of minutes walk from the Westfield shopping mall, is Hyde Park.

I love city parks - the natural, green escape, surrounded by high rise buildings.





Treat yourself to a coffee or a little time our during the day here...



It's very peaceful.

xo



Saturday, 15 February 2014

Skydiving over Wollongong

Whilst in Sydney I did something I've wanted to do for YEARS!



I did a skydive - 14000ft, 60 second free fall, terminal velocity - AMAZING!

I can honestly say it's one of the best things I've ever done and I cannot wait to do another jump (hopefully at Mission Beach in a couple of months)

I did my jump with Skydive the Beach and Beyond and would definitely recommend their company. They're organised, super friendly, reasonably priced AND offer a free pick up and drop off shuttle bus to and from the city.

Here's a few pictures from the day...and my video is up on YouTube too.














If there's one thing on your bucket list to put up there in first position - make it a skydive!

xo











52 Lists // Week 7 - To Do


Another week, another list. I've said a million times to you guys I'm a real list maker - so even during my roadtrip I have a mental to do list ticking in my brain the whole time. I'm now coming to an end of my time in the campervan - we arrive in Cairns tomorrow for a night before Nikki leaves on Monday to fly back to the UK. We then have four or five days to see Port Douglas and Cape Tribulation before diving the reef. 

Here's this weeks list...

1. Book diving for the Great Barrier Reef
2. Read up on things to do in Port Douglas
3. Book horse riding for Cape Trib
4. Confirm another night at Giligan's Hostel (Cairns)
5. Decide when to book my flight back to Melbourne for
6. Blog about the last three weeks (this may take me some time!)
7. Write down an initial plan for my parents trip to see me
8. Start job hunting again
9. Top up my tan - hard life!
10. Take the camper back to the hire company
11. Buy a replacement iPhone USB lead now mine has broken 
12. Upload all of my pictures 

A bit of a boring list as it's basically booking trips and sorting my plans out. It's made me realise quite how much I need to do...

xo

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Port Stephens - Sandboarding and Dolphin Watching


Rooooooadtrip.

Flicking through travel brochures, blogs and forums is a regular past time of mine since being away. I found out about the beautiful Port Stephens and a $45 trip to go sandboarding and dolphin watching.

The issue? 2 and a half hour drive from the city. No issue! - budget car rental. For 24 hours with a small extra fee for being under 25, we had hired a car, including fuel,between five of us for around £20 ($40) each.

We set off bright and early, myself and Hannah splitting the driving.

The drive was lovely and we were lucky enough to witness some beautiful scenery.

We arrived at the sandboarding location, next to Stockton Beach, signed ourselves in and hopped in the sand equipped buses.


The view of the dunes is amazing - blue skies, perfect sands...


We got to it straight away...


So much fun...


And the competition begun...



Rematch! No clear winner!


After sandboarding we made our way down to the bay to board our dolphin watching boat.


The views of Anna Bay's re beautiful...


And the dolphins were out playing straight away...


It was a boiling hot day, beautiful surroundings and several pods of dolphins.





We were all very happy with this, of course...


After our activities, we made our way back down to the small beach in the bay to catch a few hours of sunshine.


I couldn't get over how lovely it is...


We spent a few hours down at the bay before heading back to Stockton Beach to watch the sunset.




It was a perfect day and a great example of why its sometimes much better to plan a trip yourself rather than attending a company organised event.

xo