Why does nostalgia give us the warm and fuzzies?

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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

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Photo credits – bryanadamc & theseafiles

Life is unpredictable, so smile and take one day at a time.

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I’ve been seeing so much trauma on the news lately; tragedies and terrorism, murders and child abductions, natural disasters and everything in between. It’s come to a point that I almost want to shield myself from the constant coverage and treat myself to a little ‘media blackout’. You can’t be exposed to so much sadness without it affecting the way you live, and I certainly don’t want to go through life with the fear that at any second something awful is about to happen to me. Because in reality, we have no control over how we’re going to exit this world. I might make it to 100 years old and die peacefully in my sleep, or I might get hit by a falling coconut tomorrow and succumb to horrific head injuries. Who knows?

6 months into 2017 and I’m already feeling happier than I have in quite a few years, but I still have days where silly little worries consume me. I’m sure we all do. My grandparents are concerned about me going to Bali in a few weeks, as statistically a lot of tourists do fall into danger there – murders, alcohol poisoning, vehicle crashes and drowning to name a few. But when you think about it, most countries are not without their dangers and you certainly shouldn’t let fear prevent you from travelling. I want to experience the world, embrace other cultures and taste exotic foods. I want to see new landscapes, talk to different people and create wonderful memories. Of course I’ll have my wits about me, but there’s only so much careful planning you can do… and I think there’s a certain beauty about letting go and riding the wave. We can’t wire ourselves to constantly move from A to B and have contingency plans for everything – spontaneity, impulsiveness and random decisions are the spice of life.

Every day my Nana checks the funeral notices in the local paper to see if anyone she’s known has passed away. While this makes me a little sad, I think it keeps her aware of just how precious life is, and subsequently leads her to make the most of every day. She’s constantly on the go and caring for us family members, rarely taking time out for herself. Her joyful attitude and caring nature are an inspiration to me every day, and I can only hope that I’ll be half as an incredible mother and grandmother as her one day. So here’s to making every moment count, spreading love and happiness, and being the best possible version of yourself 🙂

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Life working in the hotel industry; secrets from behind the scenes…

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We’ve all had to stay somewhere other than the comfort of our own home before, whether it be at a friend’s place, an Airbnb rental or a nice hotel. So we all know the feeling of being slightly displaced, dealing with impossible shower gadgets and freezing air conditioners, wondering if we’ll get woken up by a random guest busting into our room in the middle of the night or a fire alarm going off. After studying Hotel and Tourism Management at University, and having worked in the hotel industry for 4 years now, I can’t exactly call myself a veteran – but trust me, I’ve seen some things. From the lady who left her personal toy in the room and actually came back to collect it (seriously, just go buy another one!), to the obvious one-night stands and hookers dressed as cowgirls, to the oldies who just love a good chat, it’s certainly been an eye-opening experience.

Something that I’ll always remember was the day MH370 went missing. We had the Malaysian Air Crew stay with us every day, and I remember them arriving at the hotel that night after being briefed on the situation. They huddled in the foyer in a small circle, all holding hands and said a solemn prayer. It was very eerie and quite moving. We were obviously told not to mention it to them and to maintain our professionalism, but looking into their crying eyes was extremely difficult, for they had most likely lost friends and colleagues. Another interesting experience was working through the G20 Summit, where our hotel hosted the Japanese Prime Minister – Shinzo Abe. As police and security forces descended on the city and hotels went into extreme lockdown, whispers of who was staying where became the talk of the town. Of course we were disappointed not to get POTUS himself, the one and only Barack Obama, but it was still a great experience overall.

These examples were just the big things, but the mundane day-to-day stuff could get pretty hilarious as well. From redneck weekend guests trying to get EVERYTHING for free, to the arrogant business men from fancier places like Melbourne who couldn’t even show decency by ending their phone calls to check in, to inter-department ‘relationships’ (hello hot foreigners working in the bar), I have a lifetime of memories to tide me over. Now that I’m working in a much smaller hotel for the time being, it’s all flooding back to me. You have to be constantly ‘on’ as the face of a hotel brand, smiling through your frustration and finding the yes in every situation. Yes Ma’am, I’ll arrange for your dirty knickers to be express-posted back home. Sure Sir, I’d love to book your international flight right here and now whilst I’ve got a line of people waiting to check in. YES YES YES.

So next time you’re staying in a hotel, spare a thought for the people on the other side of the desk working tirelessly to ensure your ‘home away from home’ is a delightful experience. Cheers 🙂

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Photo credits – acottagegirl & ratedmodernart

It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

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Having just returned home from a little retreat with friends on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, I’m feeling exhausted but full of love and gratitude for having such beautiful friendships. We had come from all corners of the world for one of our own’s weddings, where we laughed, cried and reminisced together. We made new memories to tide us over until the next gathering (rumours of a destination 30th!), and promised to be better at staying in touch.

So what are friends for? Previous to this getaway, I have to admit I had become a little lazy in maintaining my friendships. A mixture of fatigue from 2016, a move to my home town, being with family and needing a little escape had resulted in my feeling out of touch with those who know me best. The last few days however, have filled me with happiness and appreciation for simply knowing these amazing people. Some of us haven’t seen each other in months, even years, yet it was as if no time had passed when we embraced and greeted each other. This is the mark of true friendship I believe – simply picking up where you left off and having a laugh about the old times.

We participated in the merriment with full cheer, danced under the stars and witnessed the union of two lovebirds, and the best part of it was that we did it together – as friends. We’ve come from all walks of life. Some of us have pursued careers in finance, accounting and law while some have pursued the creative arts and marketing. Yet we are all still bound together by the values, memories and dreams we share. When we departed it was with the knowledge that this was not goodbye, it was see you later. Until then, I love you crazy people and wish you nothing but the best.

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Photo credits – ourmoodydays & yanrwtb