I just came back from a brief getaway to Brisbane and Byron Bay with my partner, a trip full of catch-ups and gourmet dining. Along the way we managed to catch up with family (on his side), and some old friends of mine which was really, really lovely. There’s nothing quite like locking eyes with a friend across a room, and that knowing smile comes across your faces. The memories come flooding back, the laughter and good times you shared, and no matter how long it’s been you can pick up right where you left off. You don’t have to explain what you’ve been doing the past few months, why you might have been a little absent here and there because you know, deep down that these type of friendships last forever. These are the people who might piss themselves laughing if you fall over, but also help you bury a body if needed (fingers crossed it never comes to that!).
I’ve met many people in my working career and can honestly say I’ve never found such a tight knit group of friends that have managed to stay in touch. We all worked together about 4-5 years ago in varying positions and time frames, but having that one unifying bond has provided a life time of smiles. I think the real reason we’ve stayed so close is because our work environment was team-focused rather than individual-focused. There was a real sense of camaraderie and trust because in our line of work (front office team for a large hotel), you absolutely needed each other to get the job done. Since then I’ve worked in office environments where it’s every man for himself, and that sense of unity is sorely missed.
What I will say is this – cherish your friendships and maintain them. It doesn’t have to be a daily, weekly or even monthly check-in, but staying somewhat in touch through social media these days certainly makes it easier. Nothing can ever replace that face-to-face interaction though, so making the time and effort now and again to get together is absolutely worth it 🙂
As I sit here day dreaming about the next destination on my bucket list (Thailand), I can’t help but think back to the places I’ve been so far, and how they keep making me smile. Travel (in the broad sense) is such a fountain of never ending joy – from the moment you even think about going somewhere, through all the excitement of planning, to the actual adventure itself. What you rarely hear about though is the post-travel smiles, as we are inclined to focus more on the reality of back-to-work blues. Just recently I’ve discovered a whole bag of beautiful hand made items I bought in my travels to South Africa about 11 years ago, still in perfect condition. Putting them out on display in my room has been a lovely walk down memory lane, not to mention a colourful addition to my collection.
Something I tend to do after I’ve been somewhere of significance (for example the Bali Bombings memorial in Kuta), is go and read everything I can about it afterwards. You’d think that would be the smart thing to do before visiting a destination, but for me the real significance of a place doesn’t hit me until I’m living in the moment, staring it in the face. The complete sensory overload you feel when visiting somewhere iconic (whether that be a place of beauty or sadness), can leave you either awe-struck or overwhelmed. Whatever the case may be, I think it’s incredibly important to see as many places of significance in the world as humanly possible. Viewing life through the screen of a TV or mobile isn’t living, it’s simply cutting yourself short from engaging with other cultures, people and experiences that will make your own life richer.
I’ve been pretty fortunate to visit some incredible places so far, from China, Singapore and Hawaii through to Indonesia, California and Vegas. Some of my standout memories and items to put on your own bucket lists would include:
- The Great Wall of China
- Kruger National Park in South Africa
- The Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa
- Ubud, Bali (Indonesia)
- San Francisco, Santa Barbara and San Diego (California)
- Pearl Harbour, Hawaii
- The Road to Hana (Maui, Hawaiian Islands)
So here’s to turning day dreams into reality, working hard so you can play hard, and not letting life pass you by from the comfort of your couch. Catch me in the Emerald Cave in Thailand!
Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not things to show.
I think I can speak for the majority of people when I say a new relationship means a new clothing size as well (and no, I don’t mean a size down). It’s been about 6 months now and I can reluctantly reveal I’m now 7 kilograms heavier than when I first met my lovely boyfriend. Now I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed all the breakfast outings (who doesn’t love bacon and hollandaise), and I’m not saying I haven’t loved having someone to order pizza with, but what I haven’t particularly liked is not having any clothes that fit! Thankfully my boyfriend is not the vain type and actually likes me for me, but being a New Year and all I think its time to shape up. Who’s with me?
I’ve recently discovered Deliciously Ella’s recipe blog and am feeling TOTALLY inspired to get back in the kitchen and cook healthy, lip-smacking meals. Like this one for example:
Who wouldn’t enjoy homemade guacamole and sour cream dumped on a mound of mouth-watering sweet potato? What I’m most looking forward to though (aside from trimming down) is the effect that healthy cooking will have on my mental health. We all know what it’s like to feel lethargic and run down, which in turn leads to a cycle of snacking on rubbish food (My pitfall is Pringles … once you pop you can’t stop!), which in turn leads to you feeling more shitty. When will we learn? Trust me, I get it. Sometimes we work in environments where the naughty snacks are literally everywhere. You go to make a cup of tea, and somebody’s left a packet of biscuits beside the kettle. How dare they! What we need to practise more is SELF CONTROL! (That thing proper adults do). Crazy right?
So here I am making a commitment to myself to start sourcing fresh, healthy recipes I can enjoy with my boyfriend. Nothing beats cooking a meal from scratch and knowing exactly what’s gone into it. Nothing beats feeling healthy, energised and dare I say it, sexy! Feel free to send me links to your favourite healthy recipes, I’m all in and stay tuned 🙂
P.S Check out the buddha_bowls page on Instagram (pic below). Amazing!
Many of you would have heard this statement here and there throughout life, applied to a whole variety of situations. But have you ever stopped for a second to think about what it actually means? Apparently the original ‘KISS’ acronym was used as a principal in the U.S. Army for reducing complicated systems to more simple designs. Makes sense right? So instead of getting bogged down in the pointless worries we face in our day to day lives – how about we start keeping it simple, stupid.
Yesterday I had what we like to refer to in the Western World as a ‘sickie’ (although I prefer to say ‘mental health day’). To be fair, I was actually hitting a wall with flu symptoms and complete exhaustion, and spent most of the day going between my bed and the couch for naps with my puppy. Sometimes a day off from all obligations and people is a complete saviour, not only for your physical health but just as importantly for your state of mind. Today I’m feeling a thousand times better, but I’ve still kept it simple. A short walk on the beach followed by a coffee while I watered the plants, and now I’m sitting here writing in a cool breeze. In hindsight though, letting myself get to that point of exhaustion where I needed to call in sick was not healthy, and that’s because I wasn’t keeping it simple at all.
Last week in between working a shift based roster, I was also house-sitting for 2 dogs, attended my first yoga class in a few years, had a pretty painful acupuncture session, was trying to cook healthy and keep up to date with the TV show I was hooked on, all while trying to be ‘present’ in my relationship for a boyfriend who is only home 2 weeks a month. To put it simply, I was wrecked. I was mentally drained, physically aching, and could have quite easily slept for a week. So is it any wonder that come Sunday night at work, I went through a box of tissues and no joke sneezed at least 200 times? Why do we continue to drive ourselves into the ground with over-commitments and an unhealthy obsession with technology, when we should be focused on lifestyle choices that keep us nourished and energised?
- Healthy eating
- Learning new things
These are the things that matter to me, and I’m making a promise to myself to remember just one thing…
Keep it simple, stupid.
Photo credits – theportraitpr0ject & ubudhood
This year I’ve gotten off to those ‘New Year resolutions’ a little late in the piece, but as they say it’s better late than never. Typically you spend the first day or 2 hungover, followed by a day of regret and disappointment at yourself. Then work takes off again, obligations, this person needs to be dropped here and so on until you realise it’s already a week into the New Year and you haven’t stopped to take a moment to yourself! My moment of epiphany happened this morning, when I was walking around making breakfast and could literally feel myself getting more and more worked up. I was annoyed about things happening at work, wishing I could have a day off, annoyed at the sound of my Pop mowing the yard, wishing I could see my boyfriend. Blah blah blah… Then something inside of me snapped, and I said ‘Fuck it, I’m taking some time out’. And that’s what I did.
Fast forward 2 hours and I’m in a completely zen frame of mind. After meditating and stretching on a yoga mat with the scent of lavender oil softly wafting through my diffuser, I sprinkled eucalyptus oil through a hot shower and washed my hair (go on, give me something better than the feeling of a fresh shower and clean hair). I then made a coffee and pulled out a gratitude diary (gifted to me a Christmas by an aunt who knows me well), and proceeded to write down the things I was grateful for today. What a simple, easy exercise to pull you back into a good head space! There’s nothing quite like taking a minute to write down what it is you’re grateful for, to put things in perspective. Oh how ridiculous those things I was worrying about were!
So please, do yourself a favour and take some time out for yourself. It is absolutely not selfish, because you need to be your BEST self to your family, friends and colleagues. How can we expect to be good partners, siblings, children and parents if we can’t even look after ourselves? Make this year the year you stop running yourself into the ground with chores and responsibilities, before collapsing into bed at the end of the day completed exhausted. Take half an hour to walk your dog on the beach. Take 20 minutes to treat yourself to a candlelit shower, or stretching in a cool breeze. For heaven’s sake, take an hour to have a nap if that’s what you really need!
Just do you.
You won’t regret it.
Photo credits – bohodestiny & spell_byronbay
You hear it now and again, that funny saying ‘Everything old is new again’… So what does it actually mean? For tangible things like fashion, music and décor it obviously references the continuous cycle that we go through as a society, with ‘trends’ coming and going through the decades. A social media ‘influencer’ will wear a 70’s style outfit and low and behold, every 16-24 year old is suddenly dressing like Stevie Nicks and taking up smoking. For futuristic thinkers caught up in a tech bubble lifestyle, there’s no time for the past. For me personally, I think it’s a beautiful thing to look backwards – as long as you know when it’s time to come home.
I could easily spend my weekends wandering through Antique markets, imagining the lives of all the people who have parted ways with their little trinkets, velvet couches and wooden stools. How many cups of tea were shared amongst these porcelain sets? How many bedtime stories were told across these fading books? How many loved ones were lost? The feeling of nostalgia one gets while surrounded by memories, objects and things is hard to describe. It’s like a warm bath, a long awaited hug, or a roast meal. It’s a sense of comfort, contentment and appreciation. It’s a moment to be grateful for, and a moment to just BE in. No distractions, no emails to answer, and nobody waiting on you.
Every time my Nana has a garage sale I shed a silent tear for the things she’s giving away. For the Encyclopaedia’s I grew up looking at, now gathering dust on the shelves. For the bright orange containers, green vases and cane chairs. For everything that was my childhood, and hers, that will now be someone else’s. But I guess that’s the beauty of it – what’s old is new again. Objects are funny things – they go from family to family, house to house, all the while remaining the same (with a little wear and tear), while people change and move on. I look forward to the day where I can pass on items from my childhood to my own grandchildren, and explain the history behind them. While they might not completely understand, I hope I can transport them there for just a moment. For now though, I hope to live more presently in the now and appreciate what time I have.
“How could she feel nostalgia when he was right in front of her? How can you suffer from the absence of a person who is present?
You can suffer nostalgia in the presence of the beloved if you glimpse a future where the beloved is no more”
― Milan Kundera
Photo credits – bryanadamc & theseafiles
As I sit here in the comfort of my air conditioned lounge room on a Friday night, having just shared a lovely meal with my Grandparents, I have to pinch myself and smile. I am so darn lucky. How can I justify complaining about silly things like feeling tired, or having to go to work, when every night I get to sleep under a roof, and every fortnight I get paid? How can I complain about being hot when at the flick of a switch I can be cool, or go and jump in a pool? (That was absolutely not meant to rhyme by the way). Point being – the little things that annoy the majority of us, are the things that some people wish they could complain about.
This Christmas I challenge you (and myself) to stop and think before you go to complain about something relatively insignificant. There are people on every street, on every block, who don’t know how they are going to afford the rent this month. Who don’t have anything to buy their children. Who don’t know what they’re going to eat on Christmas, let alone tomorrow or the next day. Yes, you’re tired. You’re probably exhausted from working hard to ensure everything is done by Christmas so you can enjoy a couple of days off. You’re probably feeling guilty about over-indulging in festive treats and after-office drinks. You’re worried that your Mum won’t like the gift you got her, or that you got the kids the wrong colour. You’re wondering when you’ll have time to walk the dog, or buy the groceries. But just STOP for a minute and appreciate how lucky you are, because you really, really are.
Every day I feel so incredibly blessed to have my grandparents still with me, to share simple moments with them and (hopefully) learn from them as well. Watching my Pop grow to love the new puppy in our life, after initially not being too interested, has been a beautiful transition to see. Every time she comes over she runs straight to Pop’s feet for a belly rub, and the love between them is hard to miss. Seeing Nana fret over her too really melts my heart. From making sure she has a little bowl of water and plate of warmed mince, to worrying over her head getting sore from the way she sleeps with it all tucked into her belly, just really makes me smile. I could complain about little things like our puppy still having accidents in the house, or barking at the postman, but in all honesty she’s been a light in my life this year. It’s the small moments that count, and seeing the magic in every day has been something that I’ve learnt to appreciate.
“My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?”
Photo credits – stylemagazines & minimalliving