We Found a Gym!

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I HAVE EXCITING NEWS!

If you know Kels and I, you know that the gym is a MAJOR part in our lives. Our very first conversation had to do with squatting, and we bonded over gym memes and hand callouses. So you can imagine the effort that has gone into finding a gym we can call home here in Brisbane.

We had begun the search while still in Edmonton – looking for a gym that would allow me to train for powerlifting while Kels could continue Olympic Weightlifting. So basically, we needed a gym with platforms, bumpers, proper bars and that allowed weights to be dropped. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

Some of the cool gyms we had scoped out online were either WAY away from where we were living, or WAY WAY too expensive. So much for researching ahead of time, eh?

But, like with most things – the best way to see if you like something is to try it out. So not even a week in Australia, Kels and I signed up for a free one day trial at the gym closest to home. It may have gotten points for convenience (a 5 minute walk away), but it lost points in equipment, culture and it was not what we were looking for. It was much more general population than strength and performance based.

The second gym we tried was an adventure in itself. We took the wrong bus to get there initially (what should have been a 20 minute ride ended up being a 70 minute ride). When we finally did get there, we were greeted with a sign saying the owner was at the dentist.

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This was taken at 11 am

So, we made the most of it and went for pre workout burgers nearby until 1pm. We did manage to eventually get a lift in, but Kels and I didn’t dig the vibe of the place. Kels couldn’t do any Oly lifts, and we just didn’t feel welcomed.

So we were zero for two (but, on the plus side, we had gotten two free workouts in)! We hit the interwebs to see what else was close-ish. We kept an eye out for gyms while we were on the bus. We creeped Instagram to see what the insides of the facilities looked like. We started to get a bit discouraged.

Then, we came across All4Fitness. It was right on the bus route (and only a 30 minute bike ride, or bus from home). It had bumper plates. It had a bad ass mural of Arnold on the wall. It had a back room where you could do sled pushes, cardio, squats and more. AND it had a free 7 day trial pass!

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So we went to go visit on a Saturday morning. We were greeted by super friendly staff, set up the pass and we had our first good lift of Australia! Horray! I was able to squat, bench and deadlift, Kels could Oly lift, and we had dumbbells to do some bicep curls.

We finished up our 7 day trial here, and decided to call it HOME! We signed the paperwork and gave our bank info over and became members!

Here in Australia, you pay by the week (rather than monthly like our old gym). All4Fitness is just under $11 a week, and at that price, we can’t complain! Even the 8 km bike ride each way doesn’t get complaints from Kels or I (whaaaat, we aren’t complaining about cardio, who are we?).

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Now that the gym is sorted, most days involve a couple hours there. We normally bike to the gym, and then back home to do some job searching; other days, we bus into the city afterwards to explore a bit!

So that’s our fun, exciting news for the week! Wish us luck with finding jobs!

xxx

5 Must Dos on North Stradbroke Island

Last Monday/Tuesday Kels and I decided to head over to North Stradbroke Island (aka Straddie) and do a bit of exploring! It was so beautiful – crystal clear water, blue skies and plenty of Aussie animals! I’m already itching to go back!IMG_9744

Straddie is the second largest sand island in the world, and is only a short 30 minute water taxi ride (or an hour on the vehicle ferry) from mainland Brisbane! Monday morning we woke up bright and early and packed our bags, making sure we had swimmers, food for the trip and loads of sunscreen. We were lucky enough to catch a ride with Reagan to the ferry terminal in Cleveland. However; if you get yourself to the train line and hop on the train heading to Cleveland- there’s a free bus that will take you from the station to the terminal.

We took the Stradbroke Flyer water taxi*, which was only a $19 return ticket. The boat comes approximately every hour, so we caught the 7:55am one so that we could spend maximal time on the island! There’s also a vehicle ferry that can take you to the island that will cost anywhere from $50 to $100, depending on peak times and size/weight of your vehicle.

Once on the island (since we didn’t have a vehicle to take us around), we caught the local bus service to take us from Dunwich to Point Lookout (where all the gorgeous beaches are, and where I recommend staying if you stay overnight). It picked us up just to the right of where the boat dropped us off. The bus was $4.70 each (one way) and just a 30 minute ride to take us to the start of our adventure. **

Once you are all settled on the island (for us that meant dropping off our food/ extra bags off at our Air BnB) – the adventure really begins! There’s so much to see, and I was so excited to see it all! Here’s my top five recommendations for what to do on the island!

1.Walk the Beaches at Low Tide
Put on your swimmers, pack some water and slap on some sunscreen and explore! Kels and I started at Home Beach and managed to wander all the way to Frenchmans Beach. There’s plenty of little rock pools to explore, a massive sand dune to climb and then slide down and unlimited gorgeous views!

GOPR2573aGOPR2618DSC_3367a2. Take a Dip!
This was our first ocean swim in two years! Kels ran straight into the water; I had to be girly and put my hair in braids first (#justgirlythings). We swam at Cylinder Beach, which is patrolled by lifeguards 365 days of the year. Main beach was also being patrolled when we visited on day two, but it was windier (and chillier) so we opted out of a swim. The water on Straddie is so incredibly crystal clear and beautiful – it’s a sin to not take a dip! It is “winter” here at the moment, so we basically had the beach to ourselves!

GOPR2639_MomentaGOPR2650_Moment(3)3. Walk the North Gorge Walk (and Watch for Whales)
It’s an easy 1.2km boardwalk style walk along the headland of Point Lookout. There’s views of the gorgeous clear blue waters, and plenty of lookouts to watch for whales (if you’ve visiting around June and November). Kels and I were lucky enough to see a couple of them swimming by when we did the walk the first time. (THEY ARE SUCH MAGICAL CREATURES). So grab a seat on the rocks, be patient and keep an eye out on the horizon!

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4. Make Your Way to Amity Jetty to Watch the Dolphins
You can drive over to Amity (if you have a car) or you could do what Kels and I did and use the local bus to make your way to Amity. We went around 2pm and managed to see a few jumping around right near the shore (although we didn’t manage to snap any photos)! We were told by a local who was fishing off the jetty that the best time to see them was about 4pm, so that’s when I would plan to go for next time!

5. Watch the Sunrise/Sunset on the Beach
I absolutely LOVE the sun; and I was so excited to see it rise/set over the ocean again. Kels and I experienced some stellar sun action on our last trip to Aus; and this trip to Straddie was our first time on a proper beach to experience the magic again – and it did not disappoint! Grab a blanket, your camera and settle in at least 30 minutes before the sun is supposed to rise/set. We watched the sun set from Home Beach, and rise from Cylinder. However, I’ve read that Amity Jetty, Adder Rock, and Point Lookout itself offer amazing views as well!

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Straddie is absolutely incredible, and the fact that it’s so damn close to where Kels and I have decided to call home for the next little bit just makes it even better! I definitely recommend spending the little extra money to find accommodation for at least a night. You won’t regret it. I guarantee if you plan only a day trip you’ll be wishing for more time. I highly recommend booking in at the Air BnB*** we stayed at with Kym, it was a cute little tree house suite with and outside private shower and everything you could need (including a little BBQ)!

I can’t wait to get back to Straddie! Let me know if you have any other suggestions for our next trip back!

xxx
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* Link to the timetable for the walk on ferry: www.flyer.com.au/
** Link to the Straddie bus website (with timetables etc): www.stradbrokeislandbuses.com.au
***If you haven’t used Air BnB before, sign up by following this link www.airbnb.ca/c/danip40 and then you can get $50 travel credit off your first booking (WIN).

Week One is Done

It’s hard to believe it’s been only a week here in Brisbane! We landed last Friday afternoon and it’s been a whirlwind since!

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Our first weekend spent in Australia was a mix of exploring our new city, and relaxing and adjusting to our new time zone. The sun is up at 6:30am and down at 5pm – so we’ve been in bed before 9pm and up around 6am most days to take advantage of the sunlight! Crazy to think back home in Edmonton right now the sun isn’t going down until 10pm!

On Saturday we did a little walk through mangroves with Jan and Reagan, the sun was on our faces and Kels and I couldn’t help but look at each other with massive smiles. We did it. We were in Australia!

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After the walk, we were sitting around the house feeling antsy – so we decided to try out Brisbane’s transit and adventure our new city! We had no data, no phone service – but we figured worst case scenario we got lost and would have to interpret a local Aussie’s accent to lead us back home. ADVENTURE TIME!

We hopped on the bus, (it’s about a 45 minute ride into CBD) and watched the suburbs go by until we crossed over Story Bridge and into the city. We got off and found Queen Street Mall quite easily. Queen Street is a massive pedestrian street that has shops ranging from Chanel, H&M and Cotton On to Australian Souvenir shops. We wandered in and out of stores all over the area. There were street artists on the corners singing and performing and contributing to the vibrant atmosphere. Our tummies began to talk so we found a sushi place for lunch (so cheap and so yum here!) and then continued to wander, also finding Anzac Square. With all that walking on top of what we claimed to be jet lag we wandered back to the bus stop (all by ourselves!) to get home just in time for dinner!

Sunday morning Jan and Reagan took us along to the bay to check out the little market, so cute! Then we relaxed at home reading and sitting in the sun (IN WINTER – HA).

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Our New Backyard

Monday morning we got on the bus, ready to adventure our city again! This time we ventured over to South Bank – an area with a lovely promenade along the river, gorgeous walk ways and views of CDB. We managed to find the City Botanic Gardens, it was like a mini rainforest in the middle of the city! The weather loved us again, a 26°C day (don’t worry we made sure Kels was sunscreened up), and such an eventful day in a gorgeous city, photos don’t do it justice!05.31download (2download (3GOPR2532

Continuing on with the pattern of exploring this new and exciting city, on Tuesday Kels and I decided to walk to the ocean. From our place it was just over a 4 km trek there; again, the sun was on our side and the weather was gorgeous. So nice out that I decided to hang my t-shirt off of the backpack Kels was carrying and walk in my sports bra. It was all find and dandy… until while wandering down the esplanade we realized that the shirt had fallen off at some point (oops). We had to retrace our steps, and I was successfully able to clothe myself and after what felt like ages later and miles of walking we found ourselves back home and absolutely pooped.

Wednesday we set out on a mission – find Death Before Decaf; a bad-ass 24/7 coffee shop in New Farm. (Coffee here in Aus is so much better than back home in Canada – I will never touch Starbucks again). We took our coffees to go and wandered along the river. I love this city!

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We spent the rest of the day exploring around the river, doing pull-ups at the little parks and riding the City Hopper – a free water taxi that takes you from one bit of the river to the other end! And of course, we fueled ourselves with sushi from LR Sushi (highly recommend if you’re in Bris, it’s a good fill, super yum and priced so well)! It was such a lovely day spent walking the in the sun, our legs were jello by the time we were home.

Thursday was one of those days where what we had planned just didn’t go by plan. We decided to try a new bus route to find a new gym in Lota – we got on the wrong bus, so what was meant to be a 10 minute ride ended up being an hour long. All part of the adventure we said – no harm. So we find the gym at about 11am, only to be greeted with a sign saying that we’d have to come back after 1pm because the owner was at the dentist. So what began as an inconvenience turned into a stroll along Manly Harbour and then the most delicious burgers we have had in AGES. We found this cafe down a little laneway called Cambridge Lane Espresso and decided to grab a table outside and treat ourselves to a nice little lunch. SO WORTH IT. Kels had an Angus beef burger and I had a lemon pepper chicken burger and we were both blown away! When we finished lunch, we walked the 2km back to the gym and the owner let us have a free drop in. What turned out as a day where nothing was going the way we hoped turned into a beauty afternoon. That’s travel for you though!

Crazy to say that today has officially been a week here in Aussie Land – and today was a day for the books! Kels and I bused into the city with no set plans but to find a place for coffee and then see where the day took us. We found a cafe called Brew down a little laneway (I love these little things) and had a coffee to start the day. Then we wandered to see what new bits of the city we could find. We found ourselves at Roma Street Parklands – 10/10 recommend! We couldn’t believe we were still in the city and not in a little rain forest! We spent a couple hours just wandering in and out of gardens; and we made a friend! We found a water dragon (who did not breathe fire) and I made Kels stand around as I took heaps of photos and spoke to our new friend (who we called Moose).

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Lunch was, you guessed it – SUSHI. We found a spot in the sun and sat in King George Square and listened to live music as we ate. There’s constantly events and such going on in Bris, this city is so great!

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Lunch for less than $6

Overall, I can’t believe it’s already/only been a week here – and I can say that I’m happy we chose to start our adventure here in Brisbane. We’ve had nothing but sunshine and blue skies, kilometers on kilometers of walking, delicious sushi and new adventures every day! Next week we’ll start attempting adult life (yuck) and start looking at jobs. We’re getting ourselves bicycles this weekend, so we can cut down on some of our walking and turn it into biking (and hopefully find more to explore)!

xxx

The Beginning of the Adventure

They say it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. If so, then we had one hell of a journey!

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Our final day in Canada started with a lovely breakfast; I made waffles for Kels’ and my family. We had the afternoon to run around like chickens with our heads cut off – last minute packing, cleaning and sorting out of our lives. Then we all went to lunch for burgers (and unlimited yam fries – yummmmm). It was your typical day of take off; a little bit of crazy, some cries and enjoying company. Only thing was – there also happened to be wind gusts of up to 90km/h. Apparently that’s not ideal weather for take off – even if it’s blowing you in the direction you want to go.

We arrived at the airport to find out our 6:10pm flight to Vancouver was delayed to leave at 7:30pm instead, no big deal we figured. We could run to make our connecting flight to Auckland and be good to go. Except the winds continued, and flight was delayed further to 8:30pm. Kels and I decided to take the positive approach to our entire travel plans spiraling away. We decided to treat it as an adventure; we had no idea if we would have a flight out of Vancouver that night, or if we would need to race to find accommodation as we landed.

We patiently waited to leave Edmonton, fueled by smoothies, card games and excitement for the adventure we were about to embark on.

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We passed time on the 90 minute flight listening to podcasts  with minimal turbulence (ps I’m open to suggestions if anyone has any recommendations on new ones). Getting off the plane we were still unsure of the game plan. We hopped off, planning to find customer service to see if there was a flight we could get squeezed on to; but, we were met by an Air Canada lady who had our new flight itineraries ready for us. We were so excited to know that we would spend the night on a plane to Sydney rather than paying for a hotel in Vancouver. We gave her a massive high five and breathed a sigh of relief; we had transportation – now just to survive the 15 hour flight!

The big flight actually was quite painless! We were sitting next to an excited American girl with dreadlocks who was headed to Aus to study physics and was certain she was going to pick up an accent during her 7 week stay. After some chatting, I settled in and slept the first 8 hours, only to wake up to a massive headache from my neck being so sore from the terrible angles. After popping some Advil, I fell back asleep for the new two hours. Kels and I put on a movie to watch together (Air Canada does not have the best movies . . . good thing I was able to sleep). We landed in Sydney as the sun was rising, Kels and both craving a good coffee and a stretch of our legs.

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As soon as we were in Sydney, we found our bags and then a coffee shop. The coffee was magic to our souls, and paired with a protein bar, we were transformed from zombies back to people again.

We checked our bags once again (we had to pick them up and check them at every single stop thanks to the itinerary change) and took the bus from the international airport to the Quantas domestic airport. There, we wandered around for about an hour to stretch our legs (and make our 5 hour layover pass faster) and then we decided it was time for more food. We weren’t sure if it would be any good, but we went for airport sushi – and it was delicious (see ya later Edmonton sushi). Afterwards, we found a corner in the sun and we did some yoga, and checked in with our families to let them know we hadn’t died.

Finally, our last flight was called and we boarded for the quick hour and twenty minute ride. Quick and easy – soon we were descending. With the most beautiful views out of the window we grew more and more excited to finally be in Australia for real.

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We were met at the Gold Coast Airport by Kels’ cousin Jan and Reagan. They were our ride into Brisbane as well as our lovely and generous hosts. We got to their house at about 5pm – we showered and were treated to the one meal I was craving like no other – salad and chicken! By the time 7pm rolled around we were ready to pass out; we managed to stay up until 8pm and then got ready to crawl into bed for the first horizontal sleep in what seemed like forever.

All in all, it was about 30 hours of travel time, and Kels’ and I still weren’t sure if it had for sure hit us that we had just packed everything up and moved to Australia. We had an eventful journey, and were now at the destination. Here’s to this next adventure and I guess we’ll see what we get up to here in Brissy!

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The Question I’m Always Asked: How Can You Afford to Travel?

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When people hear that Kels and I are packing up and moving to Australia, a question that we are constantly asked is “How can you afford that!?!”. Kels and I often look at each other and shrug in response. Yes, we’ve both just recently graduated with degrees from uni – but that doesn’t mean we need to be tied down to staying in Edmonton the rest of our lives.

We’ve known for the last year or so that we wanted to take off for some long term time outside of Canada – so we’ve adjusted our spending, and our lifestyles accordingly. It’s as easy as being aware of your spending habits and keeping your goals in mind (and thanks mom for teaching me skills on how to budget).

Take Date Nights Into Your Own Hands

Date nights are still essential in a relationship, but who says you have to go to the theater and to an expensive dinner to keep that spark in your relationship alive? That gets hella expensive – no thanks. If we wanted to do dinner and a movie we would find a recipe online, grab groceries together and make dinner! Afterwards we would find a movie on Netflix that neither of us had seen and cuddle up with some microwave popcorn. It’s way more fun to have quality time together creating dinner, and WAY cheaper. A date night that could have cost you one hundred dollars now becomes under 20!

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Homemade Pizza Night!

Say No to Dranks with Friends

And instead say yes to drinks! Rather than going for bevvies with friends, suggest going for a coffee and a walk outside! Going out for patio drinks or out to the bar with your buddies can always start with good intentions (I’m just going to have one) . . . but we know that one turns into two turns into chicken wings, pizza and three more drinks . . . which turns into an expensive hangout sesh. My favourite memories of with my girlfriends include going to the gym together, drinking tea and watching Disney movies and going for walks outside and chatting.

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Think Once, Think Twice – Then Sleep On It

See something you like/want/neeeeeed? Think about it, do you already have one? How often wuold you use/wear it? How many hours do you have to work in order to pay for it? Can you survive without it? It’s so easy to see something you want – buy it – and then realize too late that it wasn’t necessary. Don’t buy on impulse, go home and sleep on it. If you realize you really NEED it, then do some research and make an informed decision. It may have been only $20 on a shirt, but that $20 can go a long way (there’s a night in a hostel). If you can survive without it right now – you probably can put that money into savings for your trip instead!

Track Your Spending

About September last year I decided I wanted to know EXACTLY where my money was going. Kels and I saved all our receipts (groceries, dates, gas, etc) and I created an Excel spreadsheet that I inputted everything into at the end of the month. I was able to see exactly how much we spend on groceries, and even to the point of what sorts of groceries (unnecessary items or yummy veggies?). We found this super helpful if for no other reason than to hold ourselves accountable.

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Put Money Away

On that exciting day called pay day, I would pay off any bills I had (phone, rent, utilities, credit card etc) and then from what was left, I put an average of 80% of into a separate savings account I wouldn’t touch. It’s totally fine if you have a different percentage; but, the point is to have a set goal in mind so you are consistently putting money away. Having less money in a spending account also limits any temptations you may have for random buys!

Pack A Lunch

Again, food can be a major money drain – but only if you let it. If you buy lunch five times a week at $10 each time, that’s $50 a week, or $200 a month . . . $2400 a year. It can be so easy and fast to prep some meals to take to work with you for lunch, and SUCH a money saver. Wouldn’t you rather eat out when you’re abroad and try a different culture’s food . . . rather than Subway . . . again?

And above all else,

Keep Your Goals in Mind!

Spend your money on experiences, not things. A cute shirt, a drunken night or a new phone case are all temporary. The memories of you sitting on a beach, climbing a mountain or experiencing a new culture are way WAY more valuable. Remember your WHY every time you pull out your wallet – and before you know it you’ll be packing your bags for your next adventure!

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Less Than Two Weeks ‘Till Take Off

Ohmygoodness. Maybe it’s starting to feel a bit real? In less than two weeks Kelsey and I will be on a flight to Australia. Who knows when we’ll be back again!?

I want to say my emotions right now are excitement, but in reality – it’s stress. THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO, SO MANY PEOPLE TO SEE!

When we bought our tickets seven months ago, there were so many things that I didn’t even consider; and now I have a massive list of things to tackle in the next week. I’ve checked a few off, but every time I finish something – I think of something else to be done! But here’s a few things that you should consider and do before you pick up and leave!

  • Cancel your cellphone bill
    – be sure to unlock your phone so you can get a SIM card down unda
  • Sell your car
    – who needs it when you’re on the other side of the world!?
  • Cancel my car insurance
    – who needs it if you don’t have a car!
  • Cancel internet bill
  • Go to the bank and get some Australian money
    – it’s nice to land and have a bit of money on hand and not have to worry about it
  • Photocopy/Scan important documents
    – passport, drivers licence, credit cards, certificate of any education etc are all important. In case you lose the original during travel, or if you don’t want to chance bringing the original at all!
  • Get refills of  prescriptions
    -girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do
  • Buy Travel Insurance
    – very necessary, Kels is going with World Nomads (https://www.worldnomads.com/), we found it was the best for being gone for an extended amount of time and that could be extended compared to any local companies! I’m a NZ Citizen, so I’m not getting any (hopefully this is smart)
  • Cancel Netflix
    – it’s an extra cost, I want to be adventuring and moving, not in front of a screen (plus my parents will give us access to their account if we absolutely need).
  • Say Goodbye to Friends and Family
    – relationships are so important to maintain, be sure to say your goodbyes and I love yous! Kels and I are having a goodbye picnic this weekend with our friends so we get a chance to see everyone all at once! (We figured it would be expensive to go for coffee/dinner with everyone separately $$$).
  • Call your bank/credit card
    – let them know not to freak out if they see out of country charges, nobody wants to be stuck in a new country with their card frozen!
  • Cancel your lease (if renting)
    – let your landlord no you’re outta here (give the proper notice that was agreed upon orginally, we gave a month and a bit notice).

As you can see, the list goes on and on! That’s just the basic stuff – not even including actually packing your bag!

Speaking of, I still need to do that and figure what clothes to take/leave behind! Better get to it! Let me know if there’s anything else super obviously that I MUST do!

 

5 Things I’ll Miss the Most from Home

I’m sitting at twenty days out from the 23 hour journey to the land down under. I’ve quit my job and now it’s down to just selling stuff, cleaning up our flat, saying our goodbyes and packing up our lives into a backpack.

People keep asking if I’m excited yet; whether or not it has hit me – the answer is nope; not yet. I don’t know if it will seem real until I’m buckled into the airplane seat. It’s been words for so long that to think it’s actually happening just seems absolutely surreal.

Twenty days. It seems like a lot of time. But it’s also not very much at all. Before I know it I’m going to have my bags packed and on my way to the airport. So that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m leaving behind here in Canada.

  1. My Cat

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This is my kitty. His name is Iker Catsillas (for any of you soccer fans he’s named after the spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas). I’ve grown up having a cat in the house since before I can remember; but, Iker is the first cat I call my own. I rescued him when he was a little guy, he was left behind in a bucket with his siblings. He has the most character I have ever seen out of a cat. He plays fetch, he spoons with my while I read my book at night and he will give me high fives. He’s going to be one of the hardest things to say goodbye to when we head to Australia. Luckily my lovely parents will adopt him from me and take care of him (I know you’re reading this mom and dad, thank you, you rock!). So if anyone in Brisbane is reading this, I would love to give your cat some cuddles! 😉 #crazycatlady

2. The Rocky Mountains

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Australia is gorgeous. I love the sea. I love the sun. But . . . I also love the mountains, and as far as mountains go, Canada does them freaking well. As soon as Kels and I decided we wanted to pack up and head to Aus, we also decided to dedicate our last summer in Canada to the mountains. We took the four hour drive at least once a month (sometimes more) to go on a weekend getaway. We did more hikes in Banff, Jasper and Waterton National Park this last year than I have my entire life. I have fallen so deeply in love with how the mountains make me feel that I 100% know that I will miss these big rocky beauties.

3. My Parents

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I’m a homebody through and through when it comes down to my parents. Free evening? Dinner at the parents. Need my taxes done? Mom’s on it. Sore body and needing a hot tub? Over to the parent’s place. You name it and they are there for me. My mom is my best friend, she will listen to my problems and always be there for me. I like to pretend I’m a grown up – but you best believe I’ll cry at the airport saying goodbye to my mommy and daddy.

4. Our Waffle MakerIMG_6658

Now, as weird as this may sounds – waffles have played a big role in the relationship of Kels and I. We bonded over waffles, I through him a BYOT (Bring Your Own Topping) surprise waffle party for his birthday one year, plus we have a sweet as waffle maker. So yeah, I may miss that waffle maker.

and of course,

5. My Friends

And I refuse to post a photo for this one, because I have way to many friends that I am going to miss and I don’t want someone reading this thinking that because their photo wasn’t included that I won’t miss them – because I will. I have so many people in my life who bring a smile to my face constantly. So many people who are such strong and passionate individuals who I am proud to call friends ( you all know you who are, I’ll miss you and let’s schedule skype dates). ❤

 

I’m sure that once I am on the other side of the world I will find many more things to miss. But I’m also going to find so many new things to enjoy and fall in love with (Hellooooo sunshine, ocean and aussie coffee).

Even after writing this post, the adventure awaiting doesn’t seem real. So I guess all I can do until then is take advantage of my time here in Canada, cuddle my cat, spend time with my friends and family and eat waffles for every meal ;).

LET THE COUNTDOWN CONTINUE 🙂

 

 

Who am I, and what am I doing here?

Well here goes nothing – or maybe something. My first blog post. I guess I’ll start by introducing myself (just in case you never made it all the way to my About Me page).

I’m Dani. A 23 year old girl who grew up in Canada. Edmonton, Alberta to be specific. For those of you who have no idea where that is, it’s about a four hour drive from the Banff, in the Rocky Mountains.

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Rawson Lake, Kananaskis

I graduated high school, went straight to Uni . . . did everything I was supposed to . . . then realized I wasn’t really happy. I was settled. I was doing what I thought everyone expected of me. So I bought a one way ticket to New Zealand in October, finished my Uni exams mid December and then I was off! I traveled the North Island through a tour company (more on that later) and I spent a lot of time with my family in the South Island (my dad is a kiwi, so I have dual citizenship). After almost five months of doing that my boyfriend Kelsey met me in Australia and we road tripped the East Coast.

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Good Ol’ Alberta Praries

As cliche as it sounds, those six plus months abroad changed me. I realized how important life is, and how small some of my problems are in the grand scheme of things (uni exams, pshhhh). I met so many inspiring people who had a steady life, but decided to chase their dreams. Those months made me want to make more changes to my life – to do what wanted to do.

My whole trip through New Zealand/Australia I kept a journal. I loved writing in it at the end of every day, and even more than that; two years later I love being able to read about my adventures. I also love taking heaps of photos ( and I mean HEAPS); and, I also love looking through them on a regular basis. So now that Kelsey and I are headed back to Australia – but this time for longer (he’s got a WHV this time round) I figured let’s join my writing and my photos together and make a blog out of it! So here I am (and here you are, thanks for still reading)!

Here’s to new adventures! I’m leaving the mountains behind for the sea. Leaving our my friends, my family and my kitty Iker.  With my best friend, we are going to take on the land down under for a second time! The countdown is on!

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Hyams Beach, NSW