Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Most Liked Instagram's of 2014

We all know I love Instagram and thanks to Iconosquare they make it so easy this time of year to know what your top posts of the year are. The video of this is up on my IG feed but under the cut are my top IG pics of 2014 and a bit about each one.

Thank You and Happy New Year

This year has been an incredible journey for me, from starting my blog back in May to being in Australia having travelled around and thinking of where to settle down to make a life for myself for a few months before moving on again. 

Looking into the new year possibilities are endless and I am excited about what the new year will bring for both myself and the blog. Today I just wanted to thank you for following my journey, reading my posts and supporting me. 

I will be taking a short break from my blog while I make some changes and brainstorm inspiration for the new year. I hope you will stay with me on my journey when I return in 2015.

So Thank You and I hope you have a fantastic 2015 full of adventures.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

SA - Christmas Markets

Christmas time in South Australia is so different from what I would be experiencing back home. The weather is boiling hot, though I have been told that it is cooler than usual due to all the storms we have been having, so it is easy to forget that Christmas is coming up and just think that summer is here. 

Monday, 22 December 2014

Highlights of 2014

I am a fond fan of looking back, I do think you have to be grateful for what you have and what you have done and that sometimes people can't appreicate where they are going until they remember where they have been. I have been so fortunate to have had so many incredible experiences this year as well as so many amazing people to share them with that today, as the sun is setting on 2014, I thought I would share my highlights with you.

Uluru - I really don't think there could be a highlight higher than this fore me. I absolutely adored being out at 'The Rock'. The remoteness, sleeping in a swag and the millions of stars and milky way all heightened this experience and luckily for me I was there with an amazing group and had a few too many nights burning the candle at both ends making sure I completely absorbed this whole experience. I can't wait to go back. (Posts Here 1 - 2 -3)

Whitehaven Beach- Whitehaven really is as incredible as it looks in photos if not more so with its fluffy pure sands and crystal clear waters This was a day I wont forget anytime soon going with my East Coast Family makes it a special memory and added to that the fun of going out on a high powered speed boat made it for a thrilling adventure. (Post here)

Melbourne - I can't really talk about Australia without talking about my first port of call and it features highly on my list because once again the people helped make it for me helping me get over my jet lag and showing me what backpacking life is really like. Melbourne really is the perfect place for me to have started my adventure with so many sights to see, I am looking forward to going back and finding a job here after I have completed my farm work and seeing so much more. Here is a post from my favourite experience in Melbourne.

Columbia Road Markets - Not Australia but I cant really have a list without my favourite city on here can I? With this being my last treat weekend away before my adventure began and getting to meet Emma and Ellen, who I will hopefully be seeing in Adelaide soon, make this a special trip memory from 2014. Even the visit to The Shard and Tower of London to see the "Sea of Blood" display make this a special day in my heart. (Post here)

Skydiving - Something I have wanted to do for years finally got ticked off my list and I am so glad I did it. I am always wanting to try and push myself to the limit and this experience certainly helped to do that. I'm excited to do my next skydive and am already looking into where I would like to do it. (Post here)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

SA - Counting Stars

One of the best things for me about being on the farm is being so far away from all the street lights and being able to see all the night stars. This was certainly a blessing at the weekend for the Geminids meteor shower on the 14th. I love the night sky and stargazing but back home in Britain it normally is too cloudy to view them and in the city there is not many places that are dark enough to see the amount of stars that I got to see out here. 

We perched ourselves on the trampoline in the farm and lay back to watch the night sky. Hannah even lent me her camera so I couldn't get some photos of the stars. My camera has unforunately taken its last photo a short while ago but didn't have the capabilities to take photos of the stars unfortunately and it felt so good to be able to take some star shots. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Instagram - South Australia: Part 1

Four weeks ago I returned to South Australia to start my regional work towards a second year visa. Here are some of my Instagrams from the area so far. 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Reflections: 3 Months

I can't believe I have been away from home 3 months already. It seems so crazy to think it has been that long and at the same time that short amount of time, this last month in particular has flown by.

Starting on a low note by losing my long term travel companions, being unable to find work in Sydney and not really getting along with Sydney as a city, whether this is because I felt very low after losing my East Coast family or not I am not sure, and then moving onto a farm in South Australia my life just seemed to be a crazy mess. However I feel like that farm is probably the best move I could have made in the whole situation. It has given me some stability and helped my work-a-holiday self from getting bored, it has also taken away the immediate stress of having to pay out money for accommodation when I don't have a job (or a plan).

It's hard work and long hours but I honestly enjoy it. The first week I didn't want to get my hands dirty, I have never been green fingered and pretty much refused to ever garden or weed back home but out here I am now keen to get stuck in and get my hands dirty which is crazy to me. I have pulled out six foot weeds, bled, sweated and become exhausted by it all but despite this I am keen to continue. I'm even developing muscles in places I never had them before and being active a lot which I am loving. The farm has even given me the opportunity to try new recipes which travelling hasn't given me before.

Now the only thing I think I need to do is learn how to relax again, or at least gain a balance between working and relaxing as I tend to do all of one and none of the other. The last 2 months were all relaxing for me so this month has seen me throwing myself into work, trying to find work or stressing about working that I haven't really relaxed which has always been a problem for me. Getting my second year visa work done early is taking a huge weight off my mind and give me the oppertunity to really think about what I want to achieve in Australia before I move on and I would recommend this approach to anyone looking to stay in Australia for longer, starting your regional work sooner means if you hate it, you move on and still have time to do some more elsewhere. So I am glad I took this approach and feel so fortunate to have landed myself straight in a good farm.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Where does your food come from?

I don't know whether it is working for the farm and all the fresh vegetables I can get my hands on there but I thought to myself the other day "why have I never wondered where my food comes from?". Even before I came to Australia I had heard about how good South Australia's produce is and after working at the farm I now have a huge respect for what goes into producing market fresh goods. So I thought I would share a few points on what goes on behind the scenes in farming and a few facts about the produce to give you a better idea. 

It takes a team to make a farm great.
At the farm I am currently working on Brenda and Al have a team of Wwoofers (5 of us), 2 daughters that help and 2 full time employees to help them with the day to day running of the farm. They prefer not to use too many chemicals so weeding is done by hand and can take several hours just to do a small plot. Then you have to add in fertilising, picking, packing, building maintainence, feeding the animals, planting new crops, laying new water lines for the crops and about a million more jobs just to run the farm before you can even consider all the work to be done for the markets. This is done over 7 days a week with the farmers themselves working long hours to get all the work done before you even account into it the helpers.

Produce with marks are still edible. 
Supermarkets will only stock unblemished produce of a certain size because aestetics of a piece of fruit or veg is what makes it sell. However at a farmers market you will probably find that there are a few marks on the item and that it still tastes better than what you get at the supermarkets. Unblemished goods are sold as 'premium' goods but even the 'rejects' with splits in the top (from tomatoes trying to abosorb too much water) or marks from the leaves can still be eaten and taste just as good at the premium product.

Produce from farms will be fresher than from the supermarket.
The advantage to farm work and backpacking is when you get talking to others working toward their second year visas you find out what it is like to work in other farms and packing jobs. On one such occasion i was speaking to someone who packed for a supermarket and she told me it can be stored and shipped for up to 8 weeks before it hits the shelves. Where as produce from your local farmers market is fresher with having only been picked a day or two prior to the market and stored in large chillers on the farm.

It is now crazy to me that I have never considered this before and I now feel I have huge respect for the farming community for all they go through just to give others fresh food. Hopefully this post will make you think twice before you look away from farmers markets again because now, to me, not only is the atmosphere better but the food is too.

Monday, 1 December 2014

SA - Adelaide Show Ground Farmers Market

Yesterday I headed out to do my first Sunday farmers market at the Adelaide show ground with produce sourced from the farm I am working at and all I an say is what a rush.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Instagram - Sydney #ILoveSydney

If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the above photo asking "Guess where I am". Answers on a postcard? I was in Sydney, with so many cool places to visit and Instagram. Here are the pictures I took while there. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Sydney - Hard Times and New Beginnings

You only have to read to my post last week to know saying goodbye to my travel companions broke my heart in two and maybe it was this, or maybe it was self sabotage post this event but things in Sydney seemed to be slowly getting worse for me. 

Monday, 24 November 2014

Instagram - New South Wales #VisitNSW

Another short and sweet IG Diary post for New South Wales just because I wanted to keep the Sydney chapter separate. Here are a couple of shots from Byron Bay and Newcastle.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

SA - Life On The Farm

I moved out to the farm on Wednesday to start my Wwoofing to gain points for my second year visa. I wasn't sure what to expect but I was still excited to go and start. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Adelaide - The Calm Before The Farm

I left Sydney on Monday morning to head to my flight to Adelaide. I will be honest after everything that I went through I am happy to have seen the back of Sydney, for a while at least. I forgot how much flying wears you out because by the time we were landing in Adelaide I felt ready for a nap. Making my way to the hostel on the bus with a now very heavy case (I'm not sure what I brought to make it so heavy but it now weighs a lot!) I was excited to go out and explore the city. I only got one day here when I came on my G Adventures tour and we spent most of that at the beach so the city was my oyster.

Monday, 17 November 2014

VIDEO: G Adventures South to North #YOLO Tour

Okay so this is  my first video I have made while in Australia and uploaded to my YouTube channel.  I am hoping to make loads more videos in the future so keep your eyes peeled. This is comprised of some of the videos I took on my GoPro while on my tour, I have always loved photography but really wanted to expand my creativity to videos too.

The Music is by Vance Joy and I live this song but do not own any rights to it so please support the artist and buy the track from iTunes. I hope you enjoy it. Clips include  The Twelve Apsotles, Uluru, Maguk, Coober Pedy, Halls Gap, The Gampians, Mount Gambier and the Great Ocean Road. Hopefully it will inspire you to take a road trip too!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Instagram - Surfers Paradise #VisitGoldCoast

I am particularly happy when I look at this post and the above picture as it was chosen to be featured by the Gold Coasts official Instagram. Go me! Thank you @VisitGoldCoast for featuring me it was an honor and wonderful to see my photography appreciated. So this one is short and sweet.

Sydney - First Sight, Last Week...

After leaving Newcastle we were on our way to Sydney, the final stop of our trip down the east coast. There was definitely a solemn feeling in the air as we boarded our bus. Comments of "this will be the last bus we catch together" and reminiscing about our journey began, you could already tell the last week together was going to be a difficult one. The journey from Newcastle only took just over two hours and before we knew it the Opera House was in sight and we were driving across the Harbour Bridge towards Central Station.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Reflections : 2 Months

The last two months have been fantastic travelling from place to place, meeting all kinds of wonderful people and having experiences that will last me a lifetime of stories and wonderful memories that I will cherish forever. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

See You Soon...

Sitting crying you eyes out, all alone In a dark hostel room is probably one of the most sobering moments I think you could have. And that's is what I am doing as I write this post. I mentioned before that travelling, especially backpacker-style for any period of time isn't all glitz and glamour like everyone thinks it is, this is definitely one of those moments and I want to cover it before I cover all my Sydney memories.

Instagram - Queensland Part 2 #ThisisQueensland

Today I am showcasing my second set of Instagrams from Queensland (you can find the first post here). Featured in this post is Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island and Brisbane.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Instagram - Queensland Part 1 #ThisIsQueensland

Because I took so many Instagrams in Queensland I have had to split the IG diaries up so they are not too photo heavy. Today's features images from Airlie Beach and Agnes Waters/1770. Enjoy!

Monday, 3 November 2014

Byron Bay - Sky Diving

On my second day in Byron Bay I woke early, around 5.30am, got my sleepy self up and ready to leave the hostel at 7am. Nerves were lightly fluttering around my stomach but tiredness was winning. Today was the morning I was going to jump out of a plane from 14,000 feet. Today I would b Skydiving.

Bryon Bay - Reunion with Old-New Friends

We left Surfers Paradise for Byon Bay after lunch on the 28th October for 2 nights. We were all quite excited as we would be seeing old friends we made that night from Mission Beach. Travelling down the coast you seem to do that. Meet people, split up, see each other again for a few hours/a day, overtake them, they overtake you and then all of a sudden you find you get a few days together again in the same hostel and you still feel like you have known these people all your life. I don't look forward to seeing them all off at the airport when I reach sydney.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Newcastle - Rest and Recouperation

By the time we reached Newcastle on the morning of Halloween we were all exhausted. Anyone who has ever taken an overnight bus and tired to sleep in the chairs will probably agree that it isn't the best night sleep you can ever get. We strolled up to the hostel bleary eyed and sleep depraved and were very grateful we could check in early.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Surfers Paradise - Job Hunting, New Friends and Nights Out

On our second day in Surfers Paradise reality was starting to settle in a bit for me, for my group is is just a holiday but for me I know I need to find a job and acommodation for the summer and decide where I am heading to, it's quite nerve wracking really and so I woke up with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Despite all of this I was determined to get out and do some chores and sees bit more of the city before heading back to the hostel to hammer the wifi on my job search.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Surfers Paradise - Skypoint

As I said back when I first came to Australia I love a good view and when I found Surfers Paradise had a 360 degree viewing deck it was automatically on my list of must dos for while I was visiting. I headed off early to make sure I got there pre-sunset so I could take in the city during the day, at sunset and at night again like I did with Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Rainbow Beach

Sorry I am only just getting around to posting about Rainbow Beach now, finding time to post on the road became a bit hectic this last week from moving around and exhaustion because of noisy room mates and hostel guests causing lack of sleep.

We arrived in Rainbow Beach lunchtime last Sunday after an early bus in from Agnes Waters and after settling into our accomodation across from the bus stop headed out to explore the beach. Weather was warm but there was a strong wind on the beach which meant you couldn't really sit down as you became covered in layers of sand but we did take a walk down the beach toward the Rainbow cliffs that the Beach now gets it's name from. The sands in Rainbow change colour from white, yellow, red, black and orange, hence the name of the beach, and you can see this colour change in the tall sand cliffs and dunes along the beach.

For myself I didn't get to see much more of Rainbow Beach than this as I fell asleep for sunset and went to Fraser Island on our second day but my travel companions tell me the sand blows at sunset were a brilliant sight so I would like to go back and see it if I ever get the opportunity. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Surfers Paradise - Time on the Gold Coast

We left for the Gold Coast early on Sunday morning off to the coast again for a few days at Surfers Paradise. Arriving at the city for 8.30am and straight to leave belongings in the hostel, Budds in Surfers, though we couldn't check in until 2pm they took our bags and stored them for us so it was off to catch some z's on the beach.

Tom and I took to the sea for a little while jumping the strong waves and getting truly drenched in the wonderfully cold sea, a great contrast to the strength of the sun. Queensland's sun seems to fell stronger than anywhere I have travelled so far and I have felt the need to seek out shade a lot of the time to avoid burning my skin.

Surfers Paradise isn't huge, but it isn't small either with most of it being only a few blocks back from the beachfront and stretching for miles along the coastline. The atmosphere was fantastic and I think this was only aided by the V8 super cars being in town to race through the streets, you could hear the roar of the engines from the hostel and beach. 

The town is easy to walk around but the traffic lights and crossings in Australia still get me a little as you have to wait for the green man or be fined for J-walking but they take so long to change sometimes I think I could have crossed the road 6 times while waiting and no cars have passed.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Brisbane - Time Out In The Suburbs

After a rough night with horribly disrespectful room mates and getting about 3 hours sleep all night I was so grateful to be headed out into the suburbs of Brisbane to see my friend Kim and catch up with her. She had extended me the offer to stay with her and I am incredibly thankful for her kindness.

Instagram Diary - Tropical North Queensland #exploreTNQ


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Brisbane - In the City Again

Back in the city again, this time Brisbane. I can't tell you how excited I was to be back in a city again with its tall architecture, beautiful bridges and hundreds of people milling about. I have really missed the buzz of a  metropolis, beaches start to look the same after a while and there is only so many times you can sit on the sands and watch the waves before you get bored but cities are forever changing. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Fraser Island with Fraser Explorer Tours

So yesterday I had the time of my life on the photographers paradise of Fraser Island. Fraser Island is a world heritage listed site and the largest sand Island in the world located just off the Queensland Coast and somewhere I wanted to tick off while on the east coast and now I just want to go back and see more. I woke early to catch my bus at 7.30am for the ferry crossing from Rainbow Beach to the Island and was a little excited when a big bus with 4x4 power and wheels came rolling up to the bus stop.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Review : Nomads Southern Cross - Agnes Waters / 1770

Nomads Southern Cross is the second Nomads I have stayed in since arriving in Australia and so far I am impressed with the brand.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Agnes Water / The Town of 1770

We arrived into Agnes Water after a rather gruelling overnight Greyhound bus from Airlie with a particully grumpy driver, who more than once had been rude to most of the passengers on board, not an experience with them I had had before and not one I appreciated after being awake since 6am the morning of catching our midnight bus.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Review : Jackaroos Hostel - Mission Beach

Jackaroos hostel in Mission Beach is a slice of paradise for a fraction of the price of what larger corporations charge you and I found it to be a wonderful experience. Jackaroos is based out of Mission Beach at Bingil Bay really an so when you are dropped at the bus depot a shuttle bus is waiting to take you to the Accomodation.  As you pull up you feel a little removed from the normal again and walking. Down the pathway to reception you could mistake yourself to walking into a tropical hotel.

Truth About Travelling

"Never regret a single moment of your journey. If it wasn't your destination it was preparation" - Unknown 

Today I just wanted to share a few truths about travelling. I never created this blog so I could just gloss over the bad parts and 'create' a happy my-life-is-amazing outlook because let's face it in the back of our minds we all know that is never the case.

Airlie Beach - Whitsunday's and Whitehaven Beach day trip

Honestly I can't even believe I'm really written this right now but yesterday I finally stepped foot on Whitehaven Beach and swam some of the reefs in the Whitsunday's, something I wanted to do even before I knew I was coming to Australia.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

My G Adventure Trip Top 5 - South to North YOLO

I thought since I have finally got down uploading all my G Adventure Tour posts a nice way to wrap it up would be to share with you my top 5 highlights from my trip. I know everyone's highlights will vary and there regally were too many highlights to put down but here are some of my top places to visit should you ever do this trip.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Airlie Beach

So I have been in Airlie Beach 2 days now and have had the opportunity to rest, relax and recover from my cold which feels like it may be going away.

Airlie is quite small really in the lines of towns, like Darwin it it all mainly in ine street but the activities you can do from here are really impressive with the Whitsunday's and the Great Barrier Reef so close by. 

Today we go out to Whitehaven Beach and explore the Whitsunday's on a snorkling trip but yesterday Fanny and I chilled by the Lagoon and did a little shopping. I'm using the excuse of going out tonight to have a new outfit, really I need to join Shopaholics Annonymus. 

Last night we met some friends we made in Mission Beach to go out and have some fun and a catch up, we ended up working out when we would catch up with them again down the coast so I am looking forward to it. For now, off on an Adventure! 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Mission Beach - Beach Hopping and Lazy Days

After a rather hectic Saturday driving around I was ready for a quiet day yesterday with plenty of rest and relaxation. It's crazy how little sleep I am getting used to living on however my cold unfortunately does not appear to be getting any better for it. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Review : G Adventures Australia South to North YOLO Tour

G Adventures has been my first tour with a touring company but what a way to start. They have certainly set a high bar, mostly due to the great work of their CEO who was incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and made the experience fun.

Darwin Instagram Diary

Reflections : A Month in Australia

I sat down to breakfast the other morning I came to the realisation that I have now been in Australia for an entire month and thought for the sake of reflection and to give myself something nice to look back on I would start writing a monthly post to mark each landmark with a special maybe on big anniversaries should I reach them. So here is month one.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mission Beach - Road Trip

We arrived at Mission Beach at 3pm Friday afternoon and the shuttle bus to our hostel was waiting to pick us up. Which was nice after how exhausted we all were from leaving Cairns. We are staying at Jackaroos hostel in Bingil Bay for 3 nights. After check in the owner too us for a quick guided tour and informed us this was not a party hostel and they ask everyone to respect the other guests.  Sounds perfect. 

Review : Chillis Backpackers - Darwin

I found Chillis on the whole to be a pleasant experience. I stayed in a 8 bed dorm though had the lucky experience of only having one other in the room for most of my stay here.
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