Tuesday, 31 December 2013


What a year this has been. I have spent only 14 days in England out of 365, I have met people from all over the world and made some lovely life long friends.

The past year I've had many highs and lows. I've never been so unwell or poor as I was this year. But then I've never had as much fun as I have this year. I've done things I never thought I'd do and lived my life in a crazy blur. I can safely say that moving away from home was the best decision I have made to date.
I rented my first house in Perth and lived underground in Coober Pedy. I caught up with old friends and saw amazing sunsets. I tried new things and opened my heart to new people. No regrets.
Thailand was out of this world, the very best holiday I have ever had. I met brilliant people, only a few days in, and spent time stroking tigers, riding elephants and taking the longest coach rides with them. I truly felt happy.
To top off my whole travel experience, I ended up surprising my family on Christmas Eve. I told them I was spending Christmas in New Zealand but travelled back home at the perfect time of year to be reunited with my friends and family.
2013 has been incredible but here's to 2014. A year for taking risks, wearing my heart on my sleeve and more adventure. Wishing you a happy and healthy year ahead, love always.


Thursday, 26 December 2013


I think that Christmas is magical and a great time of year to show your loved ones just how much they mean to you. I also think that Christmas is a time that's best spent with your family.
I spent Christmas 2012 in Perth with my lovely friend Becky. We spent Christmas Day on the beach in a 42 degree heat and had a BBQ for dinner. Although it was a great experience, it wasn't the same without my mum, dad and brothers.
At the beginning of 2013, I made a decision. It would take a lot of dedication and many lies, but I knew it would be worth it. I spent all year telling my parents that I would be spending Christmas 2013 in New Zealand with my friend Caitlin.
Throughout the year , my story developed. I googled what the weather would be like, any traditions that they have and what is eaten for Christmas dinner. I was telling my parents lie upon lie and, sometimes, it was hard to keep track of them all.
I finished my year in Australia and month in Thailand and, instead of flying to New Zealand, I caught a flight to London. I arrived on the 17th December and stayed in Covent Garden for a week. I decided to arrive a week early so I had some time to get over jet lag, do some Christmas shopping and avoid any problems there may be with flights.
On Christmas Eve, I surprised my family.
My family were shocked, confused and excited. I hadn't seen them for one year, one month and one week and it was a brilliant way to end my travels.


Saturday, 23 November 2013


After seeing the inside of too many bars in Bangkok, I decided to go on the hunt for some temples. There are lots of different temples to look at, but I decided to take a boat to see The Reclining Bubbha. The grounds were peaceful and the temples were beautiful, a lovely day in the city.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Here are a few pictures from my first night in Thailand. I arrived in Bangkok, met some new friends at my hostel and had a great night out on the famous Khaosan Road. Many buckets and shots were consumed, I ate a grasshopper and ended up on a ped with two other people to find my way back to my hostel. A great introduction to my 4 week holiday in Thailand.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


Today's the day that I leave Australia and I am a bag of mixed emotions. I have such happy memories here and I am going to be leaving some amazing people behind. I fell just as I did when I left my friends and family at home only this time, with the people I have met here, I don't know how long it will be before I see them again.
I have had many highs and lows in Australia, but when I look back and think of the year I have just experienced, it is the high moments which stick out and bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I do, however, think of the low points fondly because I can see how I overcome and learnt from them.
It's true what they say, travelling does change you. I am a much stronger and more confident person then when I arrived a year ago and I have experienced things I never even dreamed of doing. I have had my eyes opened to how different people live and been able to experience it for myself. I have learnt about different peoples backgrounds and understood how it has shaped them to the person they are today. But, most of all, I have learnt a lot about myself. I have seen both my strengths and weaknesses and I can now work on being a better person then I am today.
They also say that travelling helps you find yourself and at this moment in time I feel more lost then when I first arrived to Australia. Although I've learnt a lot, I still don't completely know who I am, where I'm going in life or even what I'm doing next year. I always planned on travelling for a year, then settling back in England for a while and maybe look for a 'proper' job. But now I want to continue meeting new people and seeing new places, not matter how hard it is to say goodbye.
I can't put in to words exactly what I'm feeling, but I know that living and working in Australia is the best decision I've made to date. I say this so much but if you're thinking of travelling, just do it. The hardest step to make is the first one out your door, but you'll be so pleased you did. I've not yet met one person who has regretted moving away from home for a while to discover something new. There's a whole world out there waiting for you.
Soon, I'll be on my way to the airport to catch a flight to Thailand where I will be spending the next 4 weeks. I've never been before but heard such great things. I haven't done much research at all, so if you have any suggestions on what to do, where to go or where to stay it would be a great help. I don't think I'll be able to blog whilst I'm away, but I will be back in full force in a few weeks with some stories to tell.
Today's the day I left my heart in Australia.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


Location: An elephant retreat in Chaing Mai, Thailand
Twitter has helped me connect to other bloggers on their own journey. I have been reading Hannah's blogs for a while now so was pleased when she said she'd like to share some of her own tips with you. So, if you're heading off on a big adventure or a quick weekend get away, here are Hannah's Travel Tips to help you pack what you really need.
I've been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time travelling the world, whether it was backpacking around SE Asia, inter railing over Europe or getting away for a weekend city break. Travelling is fun no matter where you go but sometimes it can be a little stressful, especially when it comes to packing. Over the years I've picked up a lots of little tips on how to get the best out of your luggage so I'm here to share them with you today.
  1. Give yourself time to pack - One of the biggest mistakes I've made in the past is leaving packing to the last minute. This is fine when you're going away for the weekend but if you're headed somewhere for a few months you really do need to give yourself time to think about what you need to take. Before a big trip I start packing a week or 2 in advance, I'll start by just throwing things I think I'll need into my bag but as leaving day looms closers it's best to spend one full evening sorting out your clothes as those are the items that take up the most room.
  2. Edit, edit, edit and then edit some more - The first time you pack you will inevitably pack way too much stuff which is why it's important to give yourself time to edit. As much as we'd all like to look fabulous when trekking through a jungle this really isn't the time to be showing off your finest garments so put back the 10 dresses you had packed and bring along 2 that you can wear all day, every day instead. I know it's hard but you have to be brutal. When I was in SE Asia for 3 month I took 1 pair of trousers and leggings, 2 dresses, 2 pairs of shorts, a few t shirts, 1 jumper, a waterproof jacket, 1 set of trainers and sandals, minimal underwear, a few accessories, 1 hand bag, a small wash bag / first aid kit and a travel towel. This doesn't sound like a lot but most hostels provide washing facilities which are usually free to use yourself or cost very little if you get someone else to wash your clothes.
  3. Don't over pack, you will need the extra space - One of the best things about travelling are the cheap markets and you will no doubt want to buy yourself souvenirs and maybe a few gifts for friends and family as well. Therefore it's really important to have space in your rucksack so you have somewhere to store the stuff you buy. You can always post stuff home but trust me this is more hassle than it's worth so best to leave a trip to the post office as a last resort. When I was in Thailand I bought an enormous bed quilt. Fortunately I just had enough space in my ruck sack (due to my minimal packing) as it would have cost a fortune to send home. My ruck sack was completely full for the rest of the trip but I knew I wouldn't buy anything big so it was fine.
  4. Separate your stuff into little bags - I kept my clothes separated into different bags inside my ruck sack. 1 bag for underwear, 1 bag for t shirts and shorts, 1 bag for dresses, 1 bag for chargers/electronics etc. This made packing and unpacking my rucksack really easy as I only had to worry about a few small bags rather than lots of individual clothes. I kept the small bag with my pjs and wash stuff at the top as it was something I had to reach for everyday. Little things like this don't sound like a big deal but they really do make the whole packing process easier and faster. If you arrive at a hostel late one night the last thing you want to do is spend 20mins rooting through your bag looking for a toothbrush!
  5. Embrace second hand book shops - This won't apply to everyone, especially e-book users but I love reading as many books as possible when I'm travelling however they take up an awful lot of space. To stop myself getting loaded down with paper I would buy and sell my books in second hand books shops. Not only are these places cheap but they're fun to spend a bit of time in and you can often pick up great travel advice from the people who work there. In SE Asia there are second hand book shops everywhere and the general quality and choice is excellent. After a visit to a few you will start to see a trend in what books they sell. Almost every shop I went into had copies of The Beach, Life of Pi and The Alchemist which are all great travelling reads.
I hope these packing tips have come in useful but remember there's a lot more important things to worry about when you're travelling. Enjoy yourself and remember that if you're carrying a ruck sack for 3 months it makes sense to keep it as light as possible!
Remember to check out Hannah's blog, which also has links to her travel and burger blog. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013


It's safe to say that this is the weirdest house I have ever lived in. Firstly, I should explain a bit about Coober Pedy...

Coober Pedy only exists because opal was found here in 1915. If opal was not found, it is unlikely that Coober Pedy would be lived in today. The temperature can reach 52 degrees in summer and -3 degrees in winter. There can be sand storms and amazing thunder and lightening storms. It's not a place you would usually choose to live.

Opal is found by digging holes in to the ground and tunnelling along opal seams. In 1915, miners would live in their mines because they discovered that no matter what the temperature was outside, it will constantly be 23 degrees underground. Once this was discovered, people continued to live underground to this day.

I called my underground home, my cave and I feel like you should listen to The Cave by Mumford and Sons whilst you read this post. As you can see from the top picture, my house was built in to a hill and did not go in to the ground like many people would expect.

My cave was once backpacker accommodation, which is why it is full of bunk beds. I spent most of my time living here alone but I did spend some time living with some lovely friends.

My cave was certainly an experience and I'll miss it so much.

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Wearing: Tee - Dotti

I've been back in Coober Pedy for a good few months now. I didn't have the best luck here last time, but things have got so much better.
Coober Pedy is a weird little town. When you first arrive you'll notice all the red dust, the flies and the fact a lot of people live underground. A lot of tourists pass through town on their way to Uluru, Alice Springs or Adelaide and this is all they see.
As I have been here a while now, I have seen past the towns little qwerks and it really feels like home. To me, Coober Pedy is a place where strangers will give me a lift when I'm walking in the rain or the 40 degree heat. Where the local supermarket will let me take my shopping home and pay for it the next day when I didn't have enough money on my card. Where the nurse who gave me a hepatitis jab invited me to play golf with her family after finding out its on my list of things to do before I leave. And where I have made great friendships with a group of people who have been friends for years.
People often ask me why I have stayed here for so long and it's hard to explain to people who are only here for a day or two. It's a town that you either love or hate and I have fallen for it hard. I only have a few weeks left here now before I head off to Thailand for 4 weeks and I'm incredibly sad to be leaving.
My year is Australia will be up on the 19th November and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. It really has been the most incredible experience and I can't wait to come back. To any one who is thinking of going travelling, but has doubts, I urge you to take the leap. It will be the best thing you ever do.
If you ever find yourself in Australia, I would definitely recommend coming to Coober Pedy. As they say 'don't judge a book by its cover'. Get to know they place, stay here for a while and speak to the locals. Coober Pedy's reputation is worse then it actually is. I think you'll enjoy it.

Monday, 21 October 2013


Since starting my blog, I have tried to combine my love of writing and travel. I finally decided to write Travel Tips for you adventurers out there and share with you what I have learnt along the way.
Through Twitter, I have met many more bloggers who are on a journey of their own and so I asked if they would want to share their own tips with you. First up is the lovely Rose who, in under a month, will be travelling to New Zealand to be with her boyfriend Ed. Here are Rose's Travel Tips for anyone thinking of moving to New Zealand.
  1. Research E V E R Y T H I N G - Moving to New Zealand is a big, big step and it's not something I thought about lightly. I researched almost everything I could before I started on the process, It may be a bit different to me as I am going there knowing someone and being able to live with someone but it's basically the same start. I'd say the best way to start researching and working out if moving to New Zealand is the right thing for you is to read other peoples stories. Blogs are a great way to start. Reading Emma's blog actually made me really think about the whole situation and the things that could go wrong; it was a really good insight to the whole moving thing. So I'd say that is a good way to start as it's not all happy times while travelling, things can go wrong.
  2. NZ Ready Account - Another tip is to set up a NZ ready account. I'd never heard of this until I started researching visas and jobs out in New Zealand but it's really helped. First off it asks you some basic questions on what you're planning to do etc and then calculates everything you need to do before you leave for New Zealand. It puts it into really helpful bullet points as well which can be ticked off when you're done (which is very satisfying haha). It also put into groups for you so it starts with '6 months before leaving', '3 months before leaving' and so on, very handy if you're an OCD person like me and wants to do everything and anything to help me get ready AND in order.
  3. Be Prepared with Packing - I started sorting packing out around 2 months before hand, taking pictures of outfits I liked so I could remember what things to pack and sort out my wardrobe. Throwing away anything that I didn't need so I don't leave my room in a mess for my parents haha. It may be different to other people as I am leaving for 2 years but even if you are just travelling to New Zealand for a couple of months packing will probably be on of the hardest parts. I am dreading it but at the moment I am thinking truthfully what will I need over there. Be sensible. Do you really need that many shoes? Probably not. I keep trying to remind myself that you CAN buy stuff out there it's not like the stuff I pack will be it for 2 years. So I'd say start early. Maybe not the actual packing but definitely start organising and thinking thoroughly what kind of things you need and write lists. Lists are a god send.
  4. Remember and Consider Travel Insurance - I am putting this one in here because right this second I am have a little freak out about travel insurance. I am saving literally every penny and every penny is needed for me to get £2100 which is the amount I have to have to be allowed into New Zealand. Now that's fine I will get that BUT I didn't take into consideration travel insurance and its very hard to find one that is under £100. £100 of money that I really need in my bank, so all I'm going to say is if you're saving money as desperately as me try and think about travel insurance and maybe you wont be as stressed as me. At the moment it's looking like Travel Supermarket is my best bet with 12 month cover for £102. Like all my other tips I'd say research as much as possible as thats the best way your going to find the good deals.
  5. The Last Few Weeks Before You Leave - I have 4 weeks until I leave. All I am going to say is treasure every moment you have. I am taking pictures of everything and anything to remind me of home and my family as I know when I get to New Zealand I will be stupidly home sick. I am trying to make the most of my hometown before I leave and doing things I haven't done before. So yes, last tip is treasure the last month/weeks you have left.
Make sure you check out Rose's blog so you can follow her journey to New Zealand.
[For more Travel Tips; click here]

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


At the weekend, me and some friends travelled from Coober Pedy to Bairds Bay. My friends have a beach house there and as it was a long weekend in Australia, it seemed rude not to. It took a massive 12 hours to drive there, with lots of stops along the way.
On one of the many stops, I pulled out my camera and took some snaps in front of a salt lake, and here they are.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


Listening to: On a Mission by Katy B
Wearing: Sunglasses - Ray Ban . Tee - Boy London at Asos . Jeans - Topshop . Bag - Zara . Flip flops - Havaianas
When you're travelling, you wear the same clothes every week. A little while ago I got so fed up with my clothes, I made an Asos and Topshop order and got it delivered to Australia.
I have always wanted a Boy London tee, so I splashed out. I don't usually spend so much on t-shirts but I thought why the hell not.
Just after these pictures were taken, I ended up jumping off the jetty in to the sea with my t-shirt still on. My friend gave me a top to wear whilst mine dried. I ended up keeping it on for the rest of the day and she wore mine, once it had dried. We both decided that our t-shirts actually looked better on each other, so we decided to swap.
This day turned out to be one of the happiest days of my life; so full of laughter and the best memories. Now, my new tee won't only remind me of my lovely new friend, but one of the best days of my life.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


I always thought I'd get a Second Year Visa for Australia. Not that I put much thought in to it, I just assumed it would happen. To get a Second Year Visa you have to do 3 months of Regional Work. This work includes fruit picking or packing, farm work, mining or construction. To complete the 3 months work, I'd say you'd need 4 or even 5 months, as the work isn't always guaranteed and you may have a few weeks between jobs.
Once I'd arrived in Perth, and found out I was jobless, I searched high and low for jobs. As its winter here in Australia, it's not the best time of year for this work, so I found that where ever I called was full.
With no jobs coming through and my time running out, I decided to call my parents for advise. Although my parents don't mind giving me a helping hand, I don't usually bother my parents with my worries. I don't want them to worry about me whilst I'm on the other side of the world.
Sometimes, I think, when we have our mind set on something, it's hard for us to see other opportunities and paths we can take. During my call home, my mum reminded me that there are other countries to visit and visas to enter Australia. My mum reminded me that I can change my ideas and that things don't always go to plan, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing
Believe it or not, I am back in Coober Pedy. Despite having some bad luck here previously, I am determined to have the most amazing last 3 months here. I will be making the most of my time with my amazing friends here because I don't know if or when I will see them again, which is a horrible thought. I am at my old job selling opals and living in something that can only be described as a cave.
I now have no idea what will happen next year, which is both scary and exciting!
"Sometimes things fall apart so better things can fall together."

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Looking through my blog, I've noticed that some of my posts aren't as upbeat as I'd like [this one in particular]. I recently come across this quote - "Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit, talk about your joys." - and so I thought I'd look for the good in the bad.

  1. I hated my job in Perth for a Sales and Marketing company BUT... I met some of the most amazing people and life long friends. I got to travel to Bunbury, Albany and Geraldton, which I may not have done otherwise. I gained so much confidence and learnt about the importance of body language. I tried something new. I have a new job type to add to my CV.
  2. This same job left me broke BUT... I learnt how to budget and stretch my money further. I discovered the true meaning of generosity. Somehow, there is always money for cheap beer and goon. I rekindled my love for wondering around supermarkets, even if it was to look for the cheapest food. I realised that I spend a lot of money on things I don't really need.
  3. My health took a bashing BUT... I now know I'm allergic to wool. I have felt the importance of fruit and vegetables. I have learnt to take my anaemia more seriously. I have experienced a visit to the doctors in a different country, so I won't be as worried if it happens again. I have mastered the art of peeing in to a pot.
  4. I hated my job in Coober Pedy for an Opal Mine and Museum BUT... I got to learn about opals. I got to buy opals with an awesome discount. I learnt a bit about mining. I got to experience working underground. I got over my fear of talking in front of large groups of people. I will be featured in a programme on the BBC, hitting your screens in September. I tried something new. I have a new job type to add to my CV. I got to save a massive amount of money. I met a great, life long friend.
  5. Boys have hurt my feelings BUT... They were good friends at one point. I have many happy memories with them. I didn't hide away from my feelings, like I usually would. Life is about learning from your mistakes. I learnt a little more about myself. I reminded myself that I can leave if I don't like a situation, I don't have to put up with bullshit.

Whilst travelling, you will experience so much more then if you were at home. I won't lie, sometimes is can be tough. But there is always a silver lining to every situation, no matter how hard you have to look for it.


[For more Travel Tips; click here]


Sunday, 4 August 2013


I spent the day wandering around the city of Perth. It was a beautifully, warm winters day and it was nice just to be outside in the sunshine. There aren't too many tourist attractions to visit in Perth but, as you can see, the surroundings of the city are just beautiful.