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Beaches

I am currently sat on Monkey Mia beach in Western Australia and it got me thinking about New Zealand. I would generally say that I prefer New Zealand to Australia but there are certain things New Zealand just doesn’t have that Australia does and vice Versa.

One of those things most definitely being beaches, when I was younger I was never a big fan of beaches or summer in general being very self conscious and not liking the lack of clothes available to me in summer to cover up the body parts I didn’t like (that’s a story for another day). As I’ve got older however I’ve really started to love summer and beaches and have learnt to put aside my insecurities or at least bury them so that I can start to enjoy all the wonderful things involved with Summer.

I think the moment I fell in love with beaches was in November 2011 when I saw Santa Monica beach for  the first time, it grabbed a hold of my heart and has never let go. I came to have much appreciation for beaches whilst I was travelling there, I had a much smaller budget than I’ve had the last couple of years, looking back now I’m not how I managed to travel consistently for 4 months on almost no money.

This is where beaches came in, they’re free! They were the places I could go when I didn’t want to spend any money, but also didn’t want to sit around the hostel all day or if I didn’t like my hostel or room or roommates or I just felt like having some alone time. My time in the States happened when I’d just been through a massive emotional upheaval so I was a little fragile. I remember Sandra Barbara beach being my sanctuary for the few days I was there as all of the above reasons applied whilst I was there.

Coming to Australia made me fall in love with beaches even more, again they were free and as a solo traveller they’re a place you can go by yourself with out feeling too much like Billy no mates. Each Australian coast how ever does happen to be beautiful beach after beautiful beach which definitely endears them to you.

Whilst I’m sat here looking out to sea watching a pelican and seagull diving for fish, I can’t think of any place else I’d rather be and how very grateful I am that I haven’t let my insecurities ruin my love for a place where Mother Nature has really out done herself and how I will miss such beautiful beaches when I head back to New Zealand at the end of the month.

P.s. I have written this on my iPad so please excuse any typos or spelling mistakes.

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Working Holiday Visas: What I’ve learnt about life, love and literature

I will be heading back to the UK for a visit in about a months time, the visit coincides with my 30th Birthday, which has got me thinking about everything I’ve learnt about myself and doing a working holiday these past 19 months, closing the door on my 20s.

When people talk about travelling they talk about the way it changes you and yes it does change you, but for me at least it’s given me the freedom to explore and become the person I want to be.  As you’re constantly meeting new people and they don’t know who you were before so you can be whatever version of yourself around them you want to be.

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Some of the lovely people I’ve met in Wellington

I think for most us doing the WHVs for most of the time, we’re static in one place living and working in a new city or town. I’ve lived and worked in 2 different cities Sydney and Wellington.  I’ve been different in both.

Sydney Harbour the side you don’t normally see

In Sydney I was pretending it seems to me now, I was acting and behaving in ways that I thought I should be whilst living ‘the dream’ in Sydney.  My reality was very different to the ‘dream’ life I thought I’d have.  Looking back now I feel like Sydney was just a big old learning curve for me, I felt overwhelmed in it. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great city and I had some great times there, it just wasn’t the right fit for me.

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Wellington harbour at sunset

Wellington on the other hand, feels like home.  I feel like here I’ve become a person I like and a person I’d like to stay.  I’ve become a gym bunny, a party girl, hostel long termer, HR Coordinator and friend to a lot of awesome people. I am content here, and yeah life isn’t perfect a lot of things could be better but I have good friends, I like my gym, I don’t hate my job life could and has been a hell of a lot worse.

 

This is what I’ve learnt these past 19 months:

  • I needed to grow up a lot.
  • Life is what you make of it.
  • Nothing can live up to big expectations.
  • Reality is when it’s payday and you’re moneys already gone.
  • The cheaper hostels have the best people in.
  • Be that annoying person who talks to everyone that walks in their dorm room.
  • A bit of distance makes things clearer.
  • I can sit at home watching Netflix feeling sorry for myself or go out there and do something about life.
  • People can make a place, but a place can make people.
  • Being content is a great thing to be.
  • Being a heavy sleeper is a god send in Hostels.
  • Hostels are the best way to meet people while travelling. Embrace it.
  • Each new place you move to you’ll figure things out a bit more and get a step closer to what you want.
  • Wellington is the coolest little capital in the world I love it with all my heart.

 

 

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North Island Road Trip Day 4:

We spent a few days in Lake Taupo, which is right in the centre of the North Island.  

The lake itself is size of Singapore, and has it’s own horizon due to the way the curvature of the earth.  It’s pretty cool when you think about it.  We had a wonder around Taupo, in the morning as we had a boat cruise booked in for around the lake later on in the day.  Taupo is adorable and probably the busiest place we’ve been so far on this trip, it’s full of little quirky shops and restaurants.

Our boat cruise was aboard a beautiful 1930s yacht called Barbary, as we sailed out onto the lake our skipper told us a bit of Barbabry, it was an old racing yacht so had been pretty much everywhere in the world.  Before running aground and being rescued by a Taupo local, our skipper remembered her arriving in town and had been sailing Barbabry since she was about 11.  I thought that was a really cool story, and it was amazing being taken out on the Lake by a true local.

The main focus of our cruise was to go out to some awesome Maori Carvings that date all the way back to 1981!  The carvings were commissioned as a tribute to the Maori priest Ngatororangi (apologies that is most probably not the correct spelling) who guided the original Maori tribes to Taupo over a thousand years ago.  The carvings are around 10 metres high and are meant to protect the lake from any Volcanic activity.

Which it looks like it’s doing as from the Lake you can see Mount Doom or 

Mt Ngauruhoe it’s actual name looming in the distance. It is located in the Tonagriro national park, along with another Volcano that has been erupting since 2012, but doesn’t seem to have done any damage.  There is a walk you can do up to Mount Doom that follows Frodo’s journey from the Return of the King, however due to poor weather we were not able to do it as they closed the park to visitors.

I’m starting to understand why Kiwi’s are so chilled out, as they live with the imminent threat of a volcano erupting or an earth quake so compared to that everything else is easy as.

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West Coast Day 2: Kalbarri National Park

We left the hostel at 5:30am to do a little hike – only 4ks – through Kalbarri National Park. We left so early to beat the heat as the hike we were doing leads to a basin where the heat gets trapped.The hike was fairly easy apart from a few sections that had been stepped, so I could fully appreciate the view. 

We had the choice to pay for an optional extra of abseiling which I chose to do, as I remember loving it as a kid when we went on holiday to the Lake District. However as an adult I have slightly more fear then I did back then, we got 2 descents on the first one I was so nervous my heart was in my mouth when I first leaned back over the cliff and pretty much the whole way down! 

The second one was a lot easier and a lot more fun as I could actually enjoy the amazing view and I wasn’t so eager to get back on solid ground. The walk and the abseiling were a lot of fun.

That afternoon we headed to a beach resort Monkey Mia where we would spend the night.