Green with envy – the pitfalls of jealousy.

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I’ve fallen into the trap of social media envy lately –ย that ridiculous self-imposed jealousy you feel when endlessly scrolling through happy snaps of people travelling and living (seemingly) fabulous lives. And even though we all know the version of people portrayed on social media isn’t real, there’s some part of us that still feels down when we see images of gloriously tanned people, sipping on cocktails by the beach in exotic destinations. So why do we do it to ourselves? Why do we even bother looking on social media sites when we know, more times than not, they leave us feeling like our own little bubbles somehow aren’t as wonderful or glamorous as others?

For me, I think I’m personally suffering from some mild seasonal depression as well. Winter in Australia is officially upon us which means no bikinis, no little sundresses, and no swimming (unless you’re really adventurous, or just drunk). Life in summer is what makes my soul sing… give me sweat, sand and sunshine every day over snotty noses and socks. So as I sit here in ugg boots with a eucalyptus oil diffuser cleansing the air, I can’t help but feel a little envious of those basking in summer on the other side of the world. I’ve recently been bombarded with images of friends in far off places like Mexico and Cuba, looking like they’re having the time of their lives. Meanwhile I’m stuck here in a small town, with less friends that I can count on one hand, working in a pretty mundane job.

But I’ll stop myself right there and metaphorically slap myself on the face, because in actual fact – I’m setting myself up for a wonderful future. I’ve returned home for a ‘gap year’ of my own choice, and in 4 months I’ve managed to save $7,000.00 in a casual job which is something I should be really proud of. I’ve (slowly) recovered from some debilitating anxiety issues, and while I know there’s still a long road ahead in this regard I’m fully committed and positive it’s something I can now manage. And lastly, I’m going to Bali in a few weeks for a holiday with my beautiful friends, where I’ll be doing the exact same thing – creating social media envy for others. And while this is not my intention of course, it’s become part and parcel in our digitally connected world, and something we must all learn to live with.

So let’s give ourselves a break from feeding the jealous monster within that sometimes wreaks damage on our happiness, and commit to living in the moment – especially the moments in between those ‘happy snaps’ posted on social media. Those are the real moments – the raw, honest and authentic experiences we all go through.ย Cheers to that ๐Ÿ™‚

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Photo credits – amin_ramzi & hvmansouls

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Little town… it’s a quiet village.ย 

Spent the morning wandering through Yungaburra, a quaint little town on the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland. Absolutely charming place – each street is lined with bouquets of flowers hanging from lamp posts, and shop fronts are decorated with quirky quotes and character. 


Elderly ladies filled well worn cottages, getting together for tea and scones. Shop owners bustled around in checkered aprons, proud of their little slices of paradise. 


Vibrant colours are everywhere to be seen in this beautiful little town, with a new delight waiting around each corner we turned. After a freshly brewed chai latte and home cooked sausage roll, I was content and happy. 


Can’t wait to keep exploring this lovely part of Australia ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Currently exploring Tropical North Queensland…ย 

On a road trip with my Mum and Step Dad exploring Atherton, Kuranda and Cairns – thought I would share some snaps of our little trip. Gorgeous weather up here in the tropics… you certainly wouldn’t know Winter is just around the corner! Where the rainforest meets the beach, and dairy farms stun visitors with their country side charm. Yesterday we sampled some beautiful cheese and chocolates, before trying organic Chinese for dinner in a medicine/massage shop. Very authentic experience! While we all are battling varying degrees of the flu, spirits are high to be venturing into new places. There’s nothing like a mini-holiday! Sun, sea and sand is all this girl needs to smile ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Can’t wait to imitate this lovely creation at home with all the shells I have been collecting ! Of course I had to buy some fairy lights as well… you can never have too many. 

Parents enjoying a sneaky moment in the rain at Kuranda, surrounded by rainforest. Doesn’t get much better. 

‘You won’t find any wifi in the forest, but you will find a better connection’ 

Hope you all have a great weekend x  

Australia, you untamed beauty.

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We call ourselves the lucky country, and for very good reason. If you’ve had the fortune of visiting us Down Under, the first thing you might notice is how much space we have. Completely surrounded by ocean, Australia is dotted with coastal cities and beaches, rain forests, cane fields, cliff faces, natural water holes and stories of the Dreamtime. Wide open landscapes fill the country between our major cities, while smaller but charming towns fill our hearts with joy and glimpses of a simple existence. I love the fresh air here, the smell of sea salt on the wind and palm trees swaying in the breeze. Lara Bingle aptly put it, ‘Where the bloody hell are you?’ in this famous tourism advertisement, and she couldn’t have been more right:

I’m lucky enough to call Australia home and am currently living in North Queensland, the state based on the North/East Coast. I felt inspired to write this blog post after a beautiful morning connecting with nature at Cape Hillsborough National Park, about 40 minutes drive from the city of Mackay (my home). We arrived at the park just on dawn this morning where a small group of people were gathered on the beach, watching the majestic kangaroos dotted across the shoreline greeting a new day. This was truly an incredible sight. I’ve seen plenty of kangaroos in my life, but seeing them on this stunning beach at sunrise, hopping along with their babies without a care in the world was really quite breathtaking. As the sun slowly burst through a light cloud cover, my friend and I had a lovely little picnic completely at one with nature and more importantly – no WIFI signal! A truly spectacular morning that I won’t be forgetting.

I know the blogging community is stretched far and wide across the world, which is why I am encouraging those international readers to come visit us here in Australia. You won’t be disappointed ๐Ÿ™‚

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Photo credits – organictravel & theblondeabroad

California dreamin’

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Oh LA LA Land. You crazy, alluring, soul-destroying bunny you.

I recently had the pleasure of travelling California (and Vegas) by myself for 3 weeks, which was eye-opening to say the least. I didn’t plan to go alone – my friend had to pull out at the last minute due to personal reasons, so I decided to don my solo travelling boots and hit the West Coast. I had ideas of what my travels might entail – the beach, hostels, new friends and cocktails. Little did I know what a BIG place Los Angeles is! I felt like a tiny, naive ant in this sprawling Californian city where dreams come to die (unless you’re rich and famous).

My first 2 nights were spent near Hollywood Boulevard – a hot mess of people from all walks of life mixed in with the smell of tacos, nachos and hot sauce. I did Santa Monica, Universal Studios and Sunset Blvd like a typical tourist, before heading North to the idyllic town of Santa Barbara. What a refreshing change from the chaos of LA! No sirens and police helicopters here, I spent the days wandering beautiful Spanish-inspired streets and embracing the summer sun. I even found a fantastic Thai restaurant! Savouring the familiar flavours of a Panang Curry, I felt a sense of relief and gratitude. I couldn’t eat another burrito if you paid me!

Next on my list was the stunning bay of San Francisco, which I absolutely loved. Up and down hills filled with boutique restaurants, shops and a cultural melting pot, the cold wind did little to deter my spirits. I was challenged by my first hostel experience – having never shared a room with complete strangers it’s accurate to say I didn’t get much sleep. I did however embrace the free walking tour of the city with my fellow hostel-dwellers, and had a blast trying clam chowder on the marina. Of particular enjoyment was my day in Yosemite National Park, seeing the wonder of El Capitan and watching free climbers ascend to the top – simply amazing.

The hot desert beckoned me towards Vegas next, with a bus breakdown on the way to give me a taste of the rising heat. And holy hell was it hot! The only thing hotter was my experience at the Jennifer Lopez concert. Man could she shake it! Seeing Cirque du Soleil was another tick off the bucket list, an incredible performance of stamina, athleticism and beauty. The last destination on my list was the cruisy city of San Diego, where I spent evenings wandering along the ocean and listening to local music.

I had a fantastic time overall, and while I would have liked to have a friend with me on the journey I’m proud of myself for having the courage to go alone. The trip gave me an appreciation of how incredibly lucky we are in Australia, with education, health care and government to our spacious land trumping everything I saw in America. They don’t call us the lucky country for nothing!

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Photo credits – twbloves & lgusamobile