Category Archives: Travel

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling…..

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Life, lately.

What’s that? You’re desperately wanting to know what I’ve been up to in the last month and a half?
That’s what I thought you said.

I’ve had so many good things happening lately: I had a birthday, holidayed in France, took up baking, went back to yoga and other exciting things!

So here it is, bits and pieces of what I’ve been doing in the last little while.

Visiting Eastbourne
One drizzly Sunday I decided to jump on the bus to head to Eastbourne, home of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, a wonderful movie which you should put on your list to see if you haven’t already. It was a lovely hour bus ride, driving through some gorgeous scenery like the Seven Sisters Country Park, which I want to head back to and photograph soon. Eastbourne had some cute little markets along the seafront, a small but surprisingly interesting Royal National Lifeboat museum and the Wish Tower (small defensive fortress) on top of the hill which was built in the early 1800’s for defence in the Napoleonic wars. Eastbourne is known locally as ‘God’s waiting room’, and there is certainly a large proportion of older people there, but I was happy because I found some great ‘old lady skirts’ including a very cool lavender pleated skirt for next to nothing in the charity shop!

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Little beach houses and the life guards along the seafront.

Birthday Celebrations
At the end of September I had my 28th birthday, and to celebrate I bought myself a title. Yes, a title. You may now refer to me as Lady Amanda.
I am the proud owner (well, not owner, it’s actually dedicated in my name, but whatever) of two square feet in the Lake District! I am going to build a paddle-pop stick castle and cement it to my holdings.

I know that the English believe this to be terribly crass, but I actually don’t care. I’m claiming the non-classy Australian part of me here and saying it’s well cool!

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I am now known at work as ‘Lady A.D.’

Holiday in the French countryside
A few days after my birthday I flew to France, to spend a week with my great-aunt, and I had the most amazing week with her and her partner, plus a couple of their friends. They live on a small farm called Guimondiere in Saint Aubin du Désert, in the Pays de la Loire region of France, and it’s just a stunning area.

We lounged around the gîte (the holiday house that they let out during the summer – check it out, you can stay there too!), ate huge amounts of fresh baguette and cheese, drank copious amounts of wine, cooked with all homegrown vegetables from the vege patch (one of my favourite parts of the holiday!), crafted at the local Stitch & Bitch club (it does have another name officially, but it’s long and in French), attempted to go to a few different markets (where every time we ended up getting lost or rained out, until the very last day!) and generally just soaked up the beauty of country France.

Every day we visited a new little town or village, and I got to see Alençon, Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, Frênes, Lassay-les-Châteaux, and a bunch of other little places that we drove through. Here are some photos:

My felting craftiness at the Stitch & Bitch club. It has bells!!!

My felting craftiness at the Stitch & Bitch club. It has bells!!!

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Chapel of Saint Céneri

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Saint Céneri, looking down at the village from up at the church.

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The chateau of Lassay-les-Châteaux. I’ve decided that I want to live on this side of the lake so I can look out of my window and see this every single day.

A chateau in ruins at Sillé le Guillaume. I thought it looked a bit like the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. So pretty!

A chateau in ruins at Sillé le Guillaume. I thought it looked a bit like the mermaid lagoon from Peter Pan. So pretty!

Twilight at Sillé le Guillaume

Twilight at Sillé le Guillaume

My aunt and I, hanging out near (yet another) chateau in Frênes.

My aunt and I, hanging out near (yet another) chateau in Frênes.

Other bits and pieces
Since my little holiday I’ve mainly been working, yoga-ing, baking etc. But yesterday I decided to head into town to visit the Royal Pavilion, built as a summer holiday palace (because why would you have a holiday home when you can have a holiday palace) in the late 1700’s for the Prince Regent George, who would become King George IV. He was widely known and often hated for his lavish parties and love of all things edible (he had his world-renowned chef throw a dinner for a few people with 100 dishes on the menu!!!), and basically ended up dying from being too fat.

I spent two hours walking around the palace, and sadly they don’t allow any photos inside (such a shame, because it’s amazing!), but below is a picture of the outside. Keep in mind, this palace is smack bang in the middle of Brighton, and they have the grounds open to the public (which is where I often spend hours sitting and reading), they’ve converted the stables (which are huge, and in the same style as the palace) into a museum and also a performance space. My favourite part of it all was that the palace was used as a hospital for the Indian soldiers who were wounded in the first world war (almost a quarter of a million soldiers from India and Nepal fought for Britian!). Also, that Queen Victoria (who inherited the palace later) was disappointed when she came her saying it was a ‘strange, odd, Chinese looking place, both outside and inside’, and hated the fact that it was so close to the sea but she could only see it from one window. I think she was being a bit fussy, personally.

Yes, this building is in the middle of Brighton. And even though it's Indian on the outside, it's Chinese on the inside!

Yes, this building is in the middle of Brighton. And even though it’s Indian on the outside, it’s Chinese themed on the inside!

So, this is what I’ve been up to. I’m getting super excited about Christmas here – there are already lights up over the street in Brighton, and little craft fairs are starting to pop up everywhere. I seriously start to bubble over with giddiness when I think about scarves, mulled wine, Christmas markets, roasted nuts, coats and Michael Buble’s Christmas album.

I’m planning a few more little outings here and there over the next month or so. There is Día de los Muertos (better known as the Mexican Day of the Dead) at one of my favourite pubs which includes theme dress up and face painting, a Fairy Tale Fair complete with a vintage tea room and Guy Fawkes celebrations in Lewes (the biggest in the UK!). I’m also thinking I might catch a bus out to somewhere in Kent soon, because it’s only one county over, it’s known as the ‘garden of England’, and I’m thinking it’s going to be incredibly beautiful in the autumn. If anyone knows of the best places to go in Kent, please let me know!

Until next time I will leave you with a photo from my Saturday night selfies photoshoot (what else is a girl meant to do on a Saturday night?). This is me and Karl, the bird I bought home from France.
Au revoir!

Karl, the only bird I like because he won't fly in my face.

Karl, the only bird I like because he won’t fly in my face.

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Loving London (or, how I gave my heart to Brighton)

I’ve been neglecting to post what I really should… part two of the Paris photos. But this last weekend I did few days in London, and I thought while it was fresh in my mind I should post it up.

I went up on Saturday evening to meet my cousin who was flying in to hang for a few days before she kicked off a Contiki tour, and also to say goodbye to my sister at the airport on Sunday.

Side note: I am feeling a teensy bit sad about my sister leaving, because she was a sort of security blanket – someone I knew and could depend on for company in this town. On the other hand, it’s a little exhilarating, a push to jump in to the water and put myself out there to meet other people. Overall, I think it’s a good thing.

But back to London – we didn’t do too much on this amazingly sunny and hot weekend, mainly just enjoyed the best of London in the great weather. Sunday we walked around, taking in Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, some household cavalry guards… you get the drill. We hung out in Covent Garden in the evening, an area that stays lively until late, brimming with people, market stalls and street performers. Monday we did the London Free Walking Tour with the same brilliant company I toured with in Paris. They didn’t disappoint the second time round either. Finishing off the day at the massive four-storey Primark store on Oxford Street, I rested my weary legs in a corner while my cousin waited 40 minutes just to try on her items in the dressing room!!!

Below is some photo evidence of the great weekend:

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Cider, crisps and cookies in St James Park. A beautiful lazy Sunday afternoon.

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London Pride, flying from one of the parliamentary buildings.

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My lovely cousin with a stoic guard.

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The classic ‘Big Ben’ shot, which is actually the nickname of the bell in the tower… the tower itself was renamed the Elizabeth Tower for the grand old lady’s jubilee.Image

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An iPhone panoramic with me on the right photographing ‘Big Ben’.

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A lovely iPhone selfie, my cousin and I hanging in Covent Garden, drinking ciders on the street and watching street performers.

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A hilariously dirty street performer who likes to ‘mount’ people from the audience….

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… and juggled a running chainsaw.

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And strolling home I saw this beautiful ballerina in a bubble, hanging from the side of a building.

I’m really looking forward to coming back to London and spending a weekend by myself to do some more walking tours (particularly this Grim Reaper tour), the National Portrait Gallery and the British Museum. Hopefully I’ll be able to do it in a month or so.

I must say though, when my bus rolled back in to the bus stop in Brighton, and I looked out the window to see the Brighton Pier lights flashing, I felt a little leap of joy. I do love London, but it was so nice to be home. Yes, home.

Home is where the heart is, and I think I’ve given my heart to Brighton.

Feeling très French

So it’s time for an update. I’ve been in Paris now for four days, and I am starting to really enjoy it. In fact, I have been mistaken for a Parisian six times in the last 48 hours!

Firstly, I’d like to say that I have enjoyed my journeying in France thus far, but travelling alone is very different.
Pros – You get to do what you want to do when you want to do it. If I choose to wake up at 9.30am and take my sweet time getting ready and out the door, there is no one to tell me that I’m wasting my day away. Likewise I can spend what I want, eat what I want, when I want, and feel no guilt (except what I put on myself, and I can always justify that away). When I decide that today experiencing Paris means reading a book for three hours in Jardins des Tuileries, then I can enjoy it!

Cons – There is no one around to say ‘oh my gosh, did you see that!’, or ‘that’s brilliant, do you want to do that with me?’. Sharing the moment is a little hard. Also, there is no one around to take a photo of you jumping in front of the Arc de Triomphe, or go with you to take night shots of the Eiffel tower all lit up (which I haven’t done yet, because it’s not the same by yourself). Hassling other people is an option, but I’m scared of handing someone my camera and having them run away with it.

Today though, I think is the first time that I’ve had a truly wonderful French experience. I’ve done some day tours (if you want an amazing free walking tour check out Sandemans New Europe Tours) and museums the last few days, and then trundled back to where I am staying to make myself an awesome fresh baguette from the local boulangerie, with deliciously creamy camembert (so cheap!), tomato and olive tapenade, accompanied by a glass of Merlot.

This morning I woke up late (around 9.30am), pottered around slowly, taking my time to shower, get ready, check facebook, answer emails etc. Then I took the metro to Jardins des Tuileries (the gardens of the Louvre) and bought a takeaway breakfast/lunch (coffee, mozzarella and tomato panini, and a pain au chocolat), enjoying the little bits of sun shining through and reading a book for a few hours. Then I went to the Louvre itself to join a small group tour (five people, run by the Arnaud at Babylon Tours) which was a fantastic entertaining few hours. I highly recommend using Arnaud for any private or small group tours around Paris. He definitely earned more than I paid in just the answers to my questions!

I decided to walk to the Latin Quarter (which was a bit of an effort considering my right foot has decided to hate me for walking on a lot of uneven cobblestones and footpaths for the last few days… I think I might have strained something somewhere) and find some dinner. After making it through Saint-Germain-des-Prés without getting lost, I turned down a little side street, then up another one and stumbled across a fondue restaurant called Heurex Comme Alexandre. I’ve never tried fondue before, and thought ‘what the hell… I’m in Paris!’

I turned up and a beautiful french man bounjoured me. I asked if they could do ‘fondue fromage végétarienne’ and he said ‘oui oui!’. Actually he didn’t say that exactly, but he did say yes. Then the owner Alex (of Alexandre fame) came out and he spoke brilliant English. Such a lovely man. They bought me a complimentary apértif , then a salad, then the bread, the potatotes, the fondue… I had a glass of wine, then another one, and basically I’m blaming Alex for the fourth glass. Also for the chocolat tarte he made me have. I’m not even joking, he said ‘come on, have it for me’. So I did. Also for me though, let’s be honest.

Across the road from where I was eating, drinking, smoking, and reading in the restaurant, there is a little second hand bookshop that has a Canadian flag hanging above it. About half way through my meal there was a group of people that sat at tables outside it and started playing guitar and singing! I was totally moved by their Coldplay and Beatles renditions, and eventually almost three hours later, after an amazing gastronomical experience, I tipsily made my way down to the metro to catch the train back. To complete my perfect typical French night there was of course a man playing a piano accordion when I got in the carriage. Happily I toe-tapped my way back to my station and eventually got home (after entering the wrong apartment complex, mixing up 30 and 32 in my slightly sozzled state).

Before today I was thinking that maybe Paris was just another slightly-charming city that smelled slightly like Vietnam if you stepped up the wrong lane way. But after tonight I have to admit that I have once again been won over to the city of love.

Here is some supporting evidence:

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Along the Seine

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The best outfit on a street performer that stands still for a living that I’ve seen yet!

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Ever wanted to know how to put up an obelisk? The instructions are in gold on the side.

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Like this even needs a caption….

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Looking out over Paris from a clock window at the Musée d’Orsay

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Looking out of another window at the Musée d’Orsay (not just great for Impressionist art, but also amazing views!) for the view over Paris, with the Sacré Coeur right at the top of the hill.

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Me and the pink sphinx hanging. Better than the pink panther I reckon. At least he’s not a cartoon.

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Galerie d’Apollon (Gallery of the Sun King) commissioned by Louis the 14th who loved Apollo and basically wanted to be him.

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See the Mona Lisa in the distance over there? Yeah, I didn’t bother. Did you know that the Mona Lisa only got really famous just over 100 years ago because it was stolen by an Italian cleaner (wanting to return it to his home country and make some money), and then when it resurfaced it suddenly had all this extra security and it was in all the newspapers and was this massive thing. It actually took them TWO WHOLE DAYS to realise it was missing from the Louvre. That’s why it’s famous. Not even DaVinci’s best work.

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Doing a worrying impression of ‘The Young Martyr’ by Paul Delaroche – my favourite painting here (I bought a print of it seven years ago when I was here last!)

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Amazing fondue dinner with bread, potatoes, wine, salad and of course fondue!

Brighton Beginnings

Well today will be my fifth day in the lovely sunny (so far) town of Brighton.

I don’t yet have a reliable or fast internet connection, so uploading some photos is about all I can do at the moment as far as a blog post is concerned!

I go to Paris in a couple of days and I believe that I will have internet access there, so I will hopefully blogging from there.

I’m off to get a cup of tea now, but these are some shots I took yesterday in North Laine and down at the seaside. They will have to speak for me until I have time to tell my stories!

 

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Looking down one of the streets in the North Laine

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On my list of things I definitely need to try.

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Can I eats them?

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I’d kill for legs like this.

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I just love a good sign.

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Hello ladies!

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Just a typical pub in Brighton

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Obviously there is a lot of nasty crime going on here in Brighton.

The clock all dressed up in t-shirts for Brighton Festival

The clock all dressed up in t-shirts for Brighton Festival

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Close up of the t-shirts that are covering the clock

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Around the Brighton Pier

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Fly, little birdie, fly!

Changing my mind

The last week has been quite emotional for me. It has finally hit me that I am really moving overseas, that things will be changing, and that my mum won’t be around for a hug and a chat whenever I want her.  This of course has resulted in a few random emotional explosions (you know, the ones with tears and fury and kicking fridge doors) as well as a migraine (the doctor told me it was the physical reaction to my mental anxiety). I knew that I still wanted to leave, but I was finding it hard to remember why I wanted to go so badly. I even thought about booking a return ticket now.

Last night I was sitting on the couch with my dad and he flicked over to a movie that was on called Vicky Cristina Barcelona. On a sidenote, the main actor (Javier Bardem) was bugging me the whole movie because he looked so much like another actor that I couldn’t remember and I kept thinking of Gerard Butler but it wasn’t him. Turns out it’s another guy from P.S. I Love You. They look so similar, see?

Javier Bardem on the left, Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the right.  Both totally gorgeous.

Javier Bardem on the left, Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the right.
Both totally gorgeous.

Back to the point: this movie is obviously set in Barcelona (see film title), as well as some beautiful little towns outside it like Avilés and Oviedo, and it reminded me why I wanted to live in a different part of the world. To see incredible beauty, different to what we have in Australia. To surround myself in history, and culture, and languages that I don’t understand (but will endeavour to learn). To be the carefree woman riding a bicycle down a dusty road to have vino and cheese and bread for lunch with someone I just met (like in so many European movies!).

So I thought about it and came up with the 10 places/adventures that I most want to experience while I am over there. Not all of them are the stuff that romantic movies are made of, but they will be part of my journey nonetheless!

In a list from 10 up to numero uno:

10. Visit EuroDisney.
Mainly because I have never been to a Disney park, and there is nothing like rediscovering your childhood! It’s located in France (about 35 minutes from Paris by train) and since there are a couple of other things I want to do in Paris while I’m there (and can get £69 return tickets by train from London), why not?

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EuroDisney – one of millions of castles around Europe, but this one has real princesses!

9. Sleep in a castle. Preferably haunted.
Firstly, sleeping in a 14th century castle, pretty cool right? Add in a four poster bed, a murdered ghost and a nice breakfast the next morning and you’ve got a pretty amazing experience right there!

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This is Ackergill Tower in Scotland. It boasts several murders in a family feud, and is haunted by the beautiful Helen Gunn who was abducted by the other feuding family and either jumped or fell from the tower, trying to escape.

8. Hang out in Paris.
Last time I was in Paris I was only there for a few days, and I missed out on so much! I want to explore the Louvre again, visit the Musée d’Orsay, chill out in Montmartre, see Versailles, admire Notre Dame from the inside, and stroll once more through the midnight fruit & veg markets in the Latin Quarter.

The beautiful latin quarter in Paris, where I stayed last time I was here.

The beautiful Latin Quarter in Paris, tends to be filled with students and bohemian types.

7. Rock out with the Beatles in Liverpool.
Yes, I am a massive Beatles fan, and yes, I will be doing the Beatles tour in Liverpool. They take you on a Magical Mystery Tour to Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields the Beatles homes and places they hung out at, met at and performed! There is even ‘A Day In The Life’ all day tour that I might splurge out on! Then I truly will know whether or not I Am The Walrus.

The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, England.

The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool, England.

6. Soak in the Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik.
I first heard about Reykjavik because of an amazing Icelandic band called Sigur Rós. After watching their own documentary Heima, a showcase of their music and their stunning country, I immediately wanted to go there. I then heard that they have a rockin’ mayor Jón Gnarr, leader of the Best Party (satirical political party devoted to making life more fun) who is happy to appear in drag at their Pride parade! Really, he deserves his own post. Please look him up. Anyway, the Blue Lagoon is a geothermal spa which is fed by the water output from the nearby geothermal power plant which provides electricity. Relaxing and environmental!

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, with Svartsengi Power Station in the background.

The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, with Svartsengi Power Station in the background.

5. Visit Torchwood Headquarters in Cardiff.
Is anybody else out there a massive Doctor Who fan? I also love the spinoff series Torchwood, which has its headquarters in Cardiff, Wales. I want to stand on the right square near the fountain at Roald Dahl Plass and imagine that I too will suddenly be camouflaged by a perception filter and take the lift down into The Hub. I am a sci-fi nerd, yes. Also, the rest of Wales looks lovely.

BAD WOLF. Watch Doctor Who if you don’t understand me.

4. Ride in a Hot Air Balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey.
I just can’t think of a better place to ever go Hot Air Ballooning. Firstly, you get to overlook the amazing ‘fairy chimneys’ where people carved houses and lived in the rocks. Secondly, the sight of so many hot air balloons in pretty colours in the air at once is just gorgeous too! Thirdly, the rest of Turkey is incredibly rich in history and landscape, and I really can’t wait to organise a trip there.

Can you think of anything better to do? Really?

Can you think of anything better to do? Really?

3. Visit a Greek Island. Perhaps two or three even.
I know that it’s stereotyped and typical and everybody does it. But there has to be a reason why! I have seen so many movies and books and photos of the Greek Islands and I just can’t wait to plan a trip. I want to maybe do a boat that goes around a few of them, but I also want to hunker down in one place for a few weeks, drinking ouzo and eating dolmades every night and soaking up the culture. I can even imagine myself sun baking and getting a nice golden tan! Well. Maybe that’s a bit extreme.

A friend of mine stayed here in Mykonos for a few weeks last year, and said it was absolutely not a cliche but a must-do!

2. Live in an Italian Villa for a month or two.
I don’t necessarily have a particular part of Italy in mind. It can be San Gimignano  in Florence, or Assissi (one of my favourite spots in the world so far), or Siena or Ravello in the Amalfi Coast. I don’t care, I just want to soak it up and live like a local. Find a beautiful Italian to have picnics with. Drink red wine at 11am. Write. Paint. Pick flowers while wearing a floppy hat. I want it all!

Where I will be so incredibly inspired with creativity that I will be positively glowing with it. Then a beautiful Italian will fall in love with me and I will write a best-selling book about it which will become another one of those movies you don't watch for the plot but for the scenery.

Where I will be so incredibly inspired with creativity that I will be positively glowing with it. Then a beautiful Italian will fall in love with me and I will write a best-selling book about it which will become another one of those movies you don’t watch for the plot but for the scenery.

And finally, numero uno!
1. Enrol in Hogwarts.

1. Have my breath taken away by the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)
When I was looking for pictures, it took me about 15 minutes just to make myself stop looking at them. They are breathtaking, amazing, incredible and five dozen other descriptive words. The best places to see them in Europe are Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway. If the wonder and awe of the lights in the sky isn’t enough, there is usually specially-built luxury lodges near the best Aurora Borealis viewing spots, and other awesome activities like reindeer feeding (especially if you go to Finnish Lapland!), snowmobiling and husky sledding! I’ll be taking a couple of photography lessons though before I go to do this one.

A.ma.zing.

A.ma.zing.

I’m sure that I will have many more adventures than just these ten, and I’m glad I did this exercise – it’s made me remember why I so desperately wanted to be on that side of the word in the first place.

To pack, or not to pack: That is the question.

Or rather, what to pack and what not to pack.

With 26 days left until I fly out, I am starting to look at what to sell, what to pack and what to leave behind. I have 30kg checked bags, and 7kg of hand luggage.

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Some things are obvious: my dress-ups collection (including fairy wings, angel wings, hard hats, tool belts, elbow length gloves and safari hats just to name a few) are probably things I need to sell to get a few extra dollars.
My computer I am selling. SIDE NOTE: Calling all nerds! If anybody knows a nice techno-head that I can email the specs through to and they can tell me how much to sell it for, that would be handy!

My clothing I need to go through, and if I haven’t worn it more than twice in the last 12 months then it can probably be sold as well. If it’s warm, take it!

I am packing my pillow (lovely expensive memory foam pillow that I will not part with) and a towel (I like the giant-sized bath sheets because on a 6ft curvy girl, normal towels are a bit more like tea-towels!), toiletries, camera, chargers, adaptors, a power board etc. I can buy a cheap hairdryer over there with the right voltage and such. Obviously I am not going to forget my passports and tickets either *fingers crossed, touch wood*.

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My beloved Kindle screen was crushed in my adventure to Yamba, and I need to replace it this week because I am feeling so lost without it! Happily my parents will mind my 500-odd books for me at home and I can take my electronic library with me. Thank God for technology!

I will take a folder that has my diploma, certificates, uni transcripts and a half dozen copies of my resume so that I can get started on finding a job with an agency when I get there.

I keep getting this nagging feeling though – is there something I’m not thinking of? Surely there must be something that I am going to get to Brighton and smack myself in the forehead for forgetting!

So my question is this: to those who have moved overseas, or have travelled around, is there something that I am going to regret not bringing, or something I’m taking that I shouldn’t bother with?

On backpacking

So this long Easter weekend I decided to catch up with an old friend. In previous years whenever we had a couple of days together, we would make the most of it and go camping.

I don’t know if it’s that I’ve really changed, or just gotten older and more used to my creature comforts, but I decided that I just couldn’t do our normal camping spot (Lamington National Park) this year because of the envirotoilets (composting toilets). They look like this, and are enough to put you off chocolate for the weekend:

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So he suggested going to Yamba, a place which I had heard was lovely but had never been to. Ideally, it’s all sunshine, beaches and tourists (though it turned out to be grey, dull and mostly closed due to it being Good Friday).

So after a lovely first night at his house where we drank and then fell asleep at about 3am watching The Lion King (just like old times). Before and after shots are below.

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Before. As in before we had those last couple of scotch and cokes.

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What a difference those couple of extra drinks make.

Once my friend was sober enough to drive the next morning, we made our way to Yamba. Yamba is one of those typically Australian beautiful beach towns. Looks like this:

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Being Easter weekend with everything horrifically expensive, the Yamba YHA (backpackers) seemed like a great idea. It was my first ‘backpackers’ experience and it’s actually a pretty classy joint from what I’ve heard.

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Problem number 1: Bunk beds. I just don’t do them. Not top bunks anyway, and of course that’s what I got. It was like sleeping in a tall metal crib because of the guards around the top, and when you are 6ft tall and like to starfish in your sleep it’s not a great mix.

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I don’t know who these people are, but these are the bunks at the YHA.

Problem number two: Being forced to socialise. I am quite a social person when I am in the right situation (read: one I want to be in). But I don’t like having to chat to people when I am tired and cold and feeling like I need some me-time. It’s great that the girl in the bunk downstairs is from Melbourne and is with a friend she met in Cronulla who is sleeping in another room and they couldn’t spend the extra 3 nights here that they wanted and so now they have to go to the Gold Coast instead. Good for her. Don’t care.

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If I make too many friends then I won’t have any time left for me!

Problem number three: drunk people. They yell. They dance. They throw open your door at 1am when you’re fast asleep and think they’re hilarious when they ask you why you’re sleeping. And you don’t even know who the hell they are. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like getting woken up by strangers four times in a night.

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Agree. Drunk people, not as funny as they think they are.

Problem number four: You can only sleep in until the first person in the quad dorm gets up. Pack quietly because I don’t do mornings. Enough said.

It ended up being a great little trip though, especially since we decided to randomly check out a little road off the Pacific Motorway on the drive home, and ended up in a 4WD’ing adventure!

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Yes, that is a 4WD that is not even as tall as I am.

Moral of the story: pay the extra per night to get a private room.