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Monday, 7 August 2017

Europe 2017

I have just returned from my first independent overseas adventure travelling around Europe for one month. Unfortunately my phone was stolen within the first few days of my trip which made it difficult to carry through with my promise of posting whilst there and for that I am sorry.

I can't say that I have returned as a different person. I learnt more about myself and those closest to me but return mostly with precious memories and experiences that I will keep forever in my journal and heart.

It was a trip of an absolute life time where I was able to get a taste of different cities and countries including France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Holland. Of all the places I visited, I have narrowed my favorite places down to three: Paris, Nice and Switzerland. Paris is of course one of my favorites because it continues to hold my favorite memory of all. After arriving and driving through the city on our coach we were able to hop off and explore the city on our own. It is also when I first became friends with Ashleigh and Lauren who are likely two of the best friends that I have ever made. Spending a whole month together can have that affect on you.

We hopped off the bus in Paris and ran to the lookout, squealing as we stared at the Eiffel Tower in the short distance away while tears trickled down my cheeks. We grabbed some crepes beneath the majestic monument which was an undoubtedly surreal feeling before purchasing a bottle of champagne, popping it in the garden and sitting below the tower with a hundred other people and listening to music that people played nearby. From that night onwards, we were inseparable.


Our Free day was spent exploring what little ground we could cover in the magnificent Louvre. If you are not a fan of art but admire architecture then I recommend going because the palace itself is a place worth seeing. 



It was definitely an eventful month filled with many laughs, dozens of bonds made and drunken nights in unfamiliar cities. We stayed for one night in Beaujolais, a town in the country side known mostly for its wine. Our Contiki group stayed in a Chateau with another Contiki Group, and it had been announced a day before that there would be a party held at the location with the theme of 'P Party'. Two of my favorite people on the trip, Kein and Phil, also best friends, went as a 'pair' and proceeded to wear matching shirts: one wearing 'Shake' and the other wearing 'N'bake'. It was extremely cute. Me, my sister, Ashleigh and Lauren had intended to go as Presents, but the lack of wrapping paper sold in Paris made that extremely difficult so on the day we reluctantly decided to go as pregnant. We were all worried about any judgement from the other trippers but found that we received a lot of attention and erupted quite a bit of laughs. 

Bad moms

Nice was a city I had been looking forward to but had not expected for it to be one of my top three places that I visited. The beaches were always swarming with people, many topless and buskers playing actually really great music created a vibe in front of the breathtaking view that cannot easily be copied anywhere else. 


Ashleigh

One of the things I admired about France was the affection constantly shown from local couples; finding middle aged couples holding hands over the tables at restaurants, embraces at the beaches and in the streets as they all appeared undoubtedly in love.

One of my fondest memories is in Corfu Greece at our 'traditional Ionian Dinner' where I was able to smash plates as is the Greek tradition before we all danced with our arms around each other's shoulders and did an extremely long conga line around the restaurant. If you are after a real Greek experience I would not suggest going to Corfu, as it is a much quieter island with not very much of the Greek architecture we have all seen from Pictures, but our three days there were spent relaxing by the pool, drinking way too many Pina Coladas and allowed our group to spend more quality time with each other without the hectic and fast paced walks around new cities we had spent the previous two weeks doing. 
We also spent a day on 'Georges Boat' where we were able to go Parasailing and tubing. I went tubing with Lauren and Ashleigh, laughing our heads off the entire time and swallowing more salt water than desired, before relaxing in the water with noodles and drinking wine. The water was so clear we could see fish from deep below us and the water was so salty you didn't even have to move in order to stay afloat. 






 In Munich we rode bikes and did a small tour of the city before going to the largest beer garden in the world and attempted to ride the bike back tipsy. All the boys on our tour had placed bets that I would be the one to fall off. Although I did scratch my leg on the pedal and bled a little bit, I can proudly say that they lost their bets.

Sorrento, a location I hadn't given much thought definitely surprised me. The water was clear as day and while we all treaded water by the shore, our view of the rolling hills and houses and buildings built on it in different colors was beautifully mesmerizing as I had never seen anything like it.

Sorrento

Venice was also one of my favorite locations. It is just so spectacular in the sense that there is nowhere else like it. Transport was either by boat or by foot, but I was surprised to find how small it actually is so walking everywhere was a breeze. I also got to tick off riding a Gondola from my bucket list. We sang as we were pushed around the canals and waved at others who passed us. 






Switzlerland's never ending mountains and waterfalls is a place I definitely hope to return to. Sitting on the grass by our lodge and admiring the view was an activity in itself. I was able to see snow for the second time in my life as we traveled up Jungfrau mountain, also known as the 'Top of Europe'. 




Of course we also went to Amsterdam and to get the full experience that the city has to offer, we went to a live sex show. It was an odd experience with one show including a young girl with the ability to smoke from a cigar out of her hoo-ha but it was definitely worth going to.

Rome was a great experience but not entirely a place I want to return to. As a tourist there is much to do, but I find that I prefer to live as a local, wandering around the streets, visiting stores to merely look, try different restaurants and find pretty places to sit and watch the world go by. However, the heat and dirtiness of the city left us quite uncomfortable and we found that many of the prime locations to visit was quite a far walk between with little to do on the way and we spent most of our time borderline lost, hoping to find our tour manger in time for our next activity. 

Rome

The last night of our trip left everyone embracing and crying. It was hard to say goodbye to people that you spent a whole month with every moment as they fly back to the other side of the country and all you have is hope that we will all see each other again but we cannot makes any promises.

As we drank wine on the Amsterdam Canal Cruise and did the Macarena, I realized that although I may not have changed as a person, I did feel in that moment that this experience was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I am not sure what this new chapter entails but I am excited to see where it takes me.

Canal Cruise

I have also now been infected with the travel bug as I make plans for my next trip. Next stop, USA.


Sunday, 25 June 2017

3 Sleeps

UNTIL THE NEXT CHAPTER OF MY LIFE BEGINS WITH MY SISTER WHO ALSO HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE!




First stop, London. 

I'll do my very best in keeping you guys updated regarding our adventures and the people we meet along the way. 

I can't wait to share my experiences and hope that this journey makes me better, fuller and provides me with inspiration for my writing. 

Wish us luck



P.S sorry for neglecting this blog once again. It seems I have very little to write these days, thinking that maybe my thoughts aren't even worth sharing anymore

Monday, 5 June 2017

Days Off With Alita Kay

Today is my first scheduled day off from work since last December. I had been looking forward to it for weeks. Weekends are great, sure. But there is something calming and soothing to know that the world is continuing as normal, my colleagues are at work whilst I am at home, drinking a cup of coffee outside in the sunshine that the weather so kindly provided me with.

The stresses of everyday life have really gotten to me. I remind myself that it passes, as it always does and I will again have a grasp of my life and have a clear future in mind. 
But of course, sometimes the reminder doesn't help. 

I have started my morning with a bit of yoga to create the beginning of a full day of unwinding. I will use today to do my washing that is overflowing in my basket and then I will spend the rest of the day painting. And I may even have a nap. 

This is my idea of a perfect day off. 

And if you are stressed, have been working or studying until your brain is tired and the only act of unwinding that you can mentally and physically perform is to watch television because you are far too exhausted to do anything else, then I suggest a day off for you too. Do the hobby that you never have time for. Sun bake in the sun listening to music or make a healthy smoothie. 

It seems we are so often caught up in doing what we feel we need to, saving money and working long hours until we are cranky, tired and our hair is falling out that we forget to look after our self.

And that is exactly what today is for. A day for my body to rejuvenate. For my mind to unclatter and receive some vitamin D that it so desperately needs. 

Hopefully one day there will be a time where not only is annual leave accumulated, but a day is provided to everyone once a month for them to simply unwind, retrieve their mental health back and prepare for another long month ahead, 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Ch-ch-changing

Most of the changes that have occurred in my life since leaving high school were completely out of my control and the only real thing I could do was adapt.
The first change had been almost immediately post-high school where I no longer had the same friends I had within those red bricked walls, nor someone I thought would be in my life for quite some time, and instead found a reuniting friendship with someone who helped me cope and as a result, helped change my life dramatically, mostly for good. I guess I am not proud of the way I lived in the year of 2013, but it gave me unforgettable memories and helped create who I am now.

The second change was the result of my still-current boyfriend. He calmed my life a lot and picked up the train that had gone completely off the rails, making me focus on my life instead of running from it. Perhaps I didn't get placed onto the tracks of the path that was specifically mine, but its definitely taking me closer I know that much.
I got a full time job as a result, learnt a lot about different industries, have been able to splurge and treat ourselves with both our incomes and it has also has taught me the value of money and worth of having savings.

I can't say that I loved my jobs; not all of them. But if it means having nice weekends and holidays away, then it was worth it. Mostly.


But the third change in my life is completely my decision and that is scary. Because like in all these chapters there have been times where I was unhappy and I don't doubt that this will be any different. But the difference is, I had something else to blame. For instance, in the first chapter I had circumstances and events and sometimes family to blame for any unhappiness. In the second I blamed the ideology that dreams are not achievable and are unrealistic but a solid income is not. And in this chapter I will not be able to blame anyone but myself. 

I have been working full time for almost 3 years which is very little compared to other people. I have moderately established my resume. Found understanding in 2 different industries and learnt many skills. 
I think it is time to step back from the 45 hour weeks for a short while and I do really hope that you don't think it is because I am lazy or unmotivated, because its not that at all (although, I do look forward to having less 5am morning starts and more 7am ones). 

I turn 21 this year. It's a big age. And if I am ever going to purse my dreams, then now would be the time. 

It is unlikely that you believe in 'signs' that hint to your correct path and encourage your decision making. But I do. 
And these past few months, people mostly, and the 'Tarot' exhibit I saw with my family, practically shouted in my face that I need to follow my dreams instead of playing it safe. I won't get anywhere unless I try. 

"We are more afraid of life than we are death", a tarot card had said. And that got me quite a bit in the feels. I would rather do what I know will provide me with income and let me live out a comfortable life, as opposed to following my dreams that don't have such a definite future. 


But for any of those pursuing their dreams, I admire your braveness and strength. And if you have any tips you would like to share with me, then I welcome them with open arms. 



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Reminiscences of Simpler Times and the Yearning for Sense-er Ones

I miss the days where my biggest problem was my mind and my heart that either tore me in different directions, confusing me and making me feel lost, or tugged me down the same path with almost the exact same consequences, but often worse. 

Now it is the more physical issues that bother and haunt me the most. The ones that come with age and growing older. Responsibilities. The yearning to travel and be happy, to fill my photo book with an abundance of memories to share with my children and children's children, but struggling to make ends meet. 

I feel stuck in the middle. I am not young and naive anymore with little to do and not much to look out for. 

But I am not old enough for proper wages, years of experience and a job that could take care of me for a comfortable lifetime. 

It is a worrying middle. Quite like a valley. The perks perhaps don't outweigh the cons as they had on either sides and it seems like a steep climb to the other side.




Thursday, 20 April 2017

13 Reasons Why

My post isn't about the show I know you have all watched and don't need a recap because the memes on Facebook are there for that.
I am here to discuss the reaction from the viewers of the TV show I finished within 2 days of airing and counted down the days until it was on Netflix.

I am finding a lot of people, myself at times, and my boyfriend included, discussing how bad of a character that Hannah was.
A) she left her parents without even a goodbye
B) she didn't reach out hard enough to people for help
C) and she was hurt by Clay because he didn't confess his love that she knew very well was there.

I agree that she did these things and they were not right. But was she a bad person? 



Overall in the television series, I thought that she was a very relatable and down to Earth character. I admit that it took me a while to connect with her, but then when I did, I found similarities in the both of us.
In fact, I think most girls can relate to her. Because she isn't this quiet girl who hides in the corner feeling depressed. She was funny. Fun. She was normal.

And yet even though she was a representation of many girls all mixed into one, people are hating her because she didn't do enough?

ARE PEOPLE FORGETTING THAT WE KNEW THE ENDING OF THE SERIES ON NOT HANNAH?!

Of course we would think that because we know what Hannah's inevitable fate is. 

And maybe, just maybe, she was portrayed in this exact light, because if you were to experience what she did, you would probably act the same way wouldn't you? You would shut people out, ignore it and hope it goes away. You would think that if someone was so quick to think so badly of you, then they probably don't even deserve to be in your life, correct? You would try to be as tough as she was.



I don't think it was just the act of bullying and the harm it can cause that this series wanted to shine light on. I think it was also the behavior of Hannah or the victim; the behavior that many people in her situation, feeling similar things, feels and does. 
It is to remind us that everyone has someone who loves them and parents who care. And seeing how they all feel post-tragedy with the loss of their beloved Hannah, it is so we ask ourselves if we could ever put someone through the same thing. It is so we don't do the same thing that Hannah did, despite how much easier it may be. 

Dig deeper people. 



Monday, 17 April 2017

T-Minus 70 Days Until Take Off

My sister and I are doing something different. Not. 

We are doing what just about everyone else I know has done last year or intend to do the same time that I do, and that is going to Europe. 

And if you think that just because our trip has already been done and completed by many people that we know and know if is going to stop or limit our excitement for this once in a lifetime trip, then think again. 

Because our trip is not just a holiday. And no it is not some soul searching journey that we will somehow find at the bottom of pints and shot glasses; it's a dream. It's something my sister and I had been planning since we 10. Throughout high school my entire bedroom was covered in pictures of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben and the Venice canals. 
I started saving when I was 14 years old in a jar I called 'paris'. However I only managed to save $30 in a year and unfortunately I eventually had to spend it. But I tried. 

We would both search images of the dreamy cities in Europe and I couldn't wait to finally watch Monte Carlo just to get a glimpse of the city I yearned to visit. 

So we made the decision last June, started planning and saving and paying for our trip one aspect at a time completely by ourselves (no help from the rents), and now only have to wait 70 days until our dream comes true. Together. 

So in the month of July I will not be writing much on here. Not that I have been posting often lately anyway (sorry), but I will be sure to keep a journal to transfer all that takes place in that month into the cyber world for you all to read. 

We can't wait for our contiki adventure. We decided to go with contiki so that most of the activities are planned out for us as I know that I will be to overwhelmed to think rationally. I am also so very glad to be going with my sister because she is strong grounded with a good head on her shoulders that will ensure we make the most of our days and don't get dragged into the party reputation that contiki so commonly has. 

I'll write another post stating the places that we go and the main activities that we do. I'd appreiaxiarw any feedback and advice on additional things to do in these places to ensure this trip is the best it can possibly be. 

70 days. I really can't believe it.