Fair Weather Friends (Or How to Stay in Touch with Friends Around the Globe)
Growing up, my family moved a lot. First from city to city, and then later we emigrated right across the globe. I’ve been traveling solo for the last year and a bit, and am no stranger to relocating and making new friends. But what about the old ones?
There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to stay in touch with every friend you meet on your travels. In fact, chances are you’ll lose touch with most of them. Yes, there are a number of  easy ways to keep in contact, after all it is 2014 and just about everyone has access to a smartphone or the internet. But the reality is that most people can only really be bothered to focus on the friends that live in a reasonably close proximity to them. It’s not that they’re heartless, it’s simply that life is just too chaotic and busy to really care about someone that they don’t see very often.
However, even if life is busy, and you’re out and about exploring the world, it is no excuse to neglect true friends. The same applies for the friends you have left behind- if they are real friends, they will find the ways and the means to stay in touch.
Here’s a step by step of how to talk to a friend that lives far away:
1. stop what you’re doing for a minute.
2. contact them.
DONE.
One harsh reality I have learnt from moving around a lot is that most of my so-called “best friends” growing up (and sadly even now) lost interest in staying in touch all too quickly. Friends that once swore we’d be “BFF’s for life, no matter what,” suddenly couldn’t find the time to even wish me a happy birthday, or argued that time-zones or call costs were just too much.
The reality is that most of the friends you’ll make will fade out of your life at one point or another. This is healthy and normal. People change, they grow up, they fall into different paths in life. The friends I had during my punk phase are no longer on my speed dial, just like it’s unlikely I’ll be invited to play dates with all of the friends I had that got married and settled down. These friends become acquaintances, and get replaced as your life changes.
However, traveling shouldn’t be the crux that ends a real friendship. Not in this day and age where we have so many ways to stay in touch. Not only do we have a constant news feed on Facebook, but there is Instagram, email, twitter, Skype and even… lo and behold… good old fashioned snail mail. While it is difficult to keep in touch and remain enthusiastic about friends that live far away and have different lives, it isn’t impossible.
Over the years I have lost countless friends. I am not sad about this. Traveling opens your eyes to who counts, who is willing to make the effort. I have close friends that I could probably count on two hands. But those friends are the ones that I know will be friends with me until the end of days. Why? because no matter what is happening in everyday life, because no matter where we are or how far away we are from each other, these friends have managed to stay in touch with me, and I with them. They’re the friends I still confide in if I am feeling blue. They’re the friends I think of inviting when I plan my next adventure. They’re the ones who still make the effort to meet up when I am in town. They haven’t let a little distance come between us.
When you travel you’ll learn all too soon that friendship is not as transparent as it was in school. Friendships can vary and are molded and shaped around different purposes. We have different friends in our lives that fit different criteria: party friends, fair weather friends, serious friends, school friends, travel buddies, work mates, and so forth. What constituted as a Best Friend on the playground no longer fits the bar. It’s not simply about both getting along and having the same interests. Travelling tests even the strongest of friendships and those shared interests become redundant.
The way I test it is this: if you had a destination wedding somewhere far away, would your friend make the effort to be there? If they genuinely would- they’re on the Bestie list.
Here’s my advice to those of you who travel, or who have close friends that are off exploring the world: stay in touch. Make the effort to stay in your friend’s life. If you don’t, they won’t be so eager to see you when you’re/they’re back in town. Friendship isn’t about convenience. At least not the ones worth a damn.

Fair Weather Friends (Or How to Stay in Touch with Friends Around the Globe)

Growing up, my family moved a lot. First from city to city, and then later we emigrated right across the globe. I’ve been traveling solo for the last year and a bit, and am no stranger to relocating and making new friends. But what about the old ones?

There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to stay in touch with every friend you meet on your travels. In fact, chances are you’ll lose touch with most of them. Yes, there are a number of easy ways to keep in contact, after all it is 2014 and just about everyone has access to a smartphone or the internet. But the reality is that most people can only really be bothered to focus on the friends that live in a reasonably close proximity to them. It’s not that they’re heartless, it’s simply that life is just too chaotic and busy to really care about someone that they don’t see very often.

However, even if life is busy, and you’re out and about exploring the world, it is no excuse to neglect true friends. The same applies for the friends you have left behind- if they are real friends, they will find the ways and the means to stay in touch.

Here’s a step by step of how to talk to a friend that lives far away:
1. stop what you’re doing for a minute.
2. contact them.
DONE.

One harsh reality I have learnt from moving around a lot is that most of my so-called “best friends” growing up (and sadly even now) lost interest in staying in touch all too quickly. Friends that once swore we’d be “BFF’s for life, no matter what,” suddenly couldn’t find the time to even wish me a happy birthday, or argued that time-zones or call costs were just too much.

The reality is that most of the friends you’ll make will fade out of your life at one point or another. This is healthy and normal. People change, they grow up, they fall into different paths in life. The friends I had during my punk phase are no longer on my speed dial, just like it’s unlikely I’ll be invited to play dates with all of the friends I had that got married and settled down. These friends become acquaintances, and get replaced as your life changes.

However, traveling shouldn’t be the crux that ends a real friendship. Not in this day and age where we have so many ways to stay in touch. Not only do we have a constant news feed on Facebook, but there is Instagram, email, twitter, Skype and even… lo and behold… good old fashioned snail mail. While it is difficult to keep in touch and remain enthusiastic about friends that live far away and have different lives, it isn’t impossible.

Over the years I have lost countless friends. I am not sad about this. Traveling opens your eyes to who counts, who is willing to make the effort. I have close friends that I could probably count on two hands. But those friends are the ones that I know will be friends with me until the end of days. Why? because no matter what is happening in everyday life, because no matter where we are or how far away we are from each other, these friends have managed to stay in touch with me, and I with them. They’re the friends I still confide in if I am feeling blue. They’re the friends I think of inviting when I plan my next adventure. They’re the ones who still make the effort to meet up when I am in town. They haven’t let a little distance come between us.
When you travel you’ll learn all too soon that friendship is not as transparent as it was in school. Friendships can vary and are molded and shaped around different purposes. We have different friends in our lives that fit different criteria: party friends, fair weather friends, serious friends, school friends, travel buddies, work mates, and so forth. What constituted as a Best Friend on the playground no longer fits the bar. It’s not simply about both getting along and having the same interests. Travelling tests even the strongest of friendships and those shared interests become redundant.

The way I test it is this: if you had a destination wedding somewhere far away, would your friend make the effort to be there? If they genuinely would- they’re on the Bestie list.

Here’s my advice to those of you who travel, or who have close friends that are off exploring the world: stay in touch. Make the effort to stay in your friend’s life. If you don’t, they won’t be so eager to see you when you’re/they’re back in town. Friendship isn’t about convenience. At least not the ones worth a damn.

(via demiilauren)

Why it’s Totally Okay to Want to be Beautiful.

It seems these days you can’t say anything with out hurting someone’s feelings and getting told that you’re out of line. Especially when it comes to women and beauty.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the media portrays an idea of beauty that is, for the most part, unattainable to most of us regular folk.

But does that mean the beauty industry in general is an evil that must be destroyed? I don’t think so. Here’s why:


1. It’s fun.

So I have a guilty pleasure. I enjoy logging onto Pinterest and browsing pretty make-up techniques. I do this because I am a fan of pretty colours and painting my nails different ways and I like accentuating my lips or my eyes with special liners and balms. This isn’t to prove my self worth or to make me more attractive to men- it’s purely because I find it a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend my time.

2. It’s a confidence booster.

My grandmother, who may have come from a generation of women with far less rights than my own, still taught me that as a women I should always look presentable and never leave the house with at least some make up on. Yes, I can hear the feminist’s throwing their hands up yelling “This is terrible, outdated advice!” and maybe to a point they’re right- in 2014, and I am by no means obliged to wear make up or look pretty when I leave the house. But do you know what? When I leave the house looking frazzled and unkempt, I feel less confident, and less proud. It’s not because I have low self esteem or because I value appearances more than I should, it’s because I know I could have put more effort into myself, but I didn’t. Wearing a bold rogue, or styling my hair nicely makes me feel confident because I am telling the world “Hey! Look at me! I’m fabulous today!” even if it’s just at face value- as far as I am concerned it still counts. The person sitting opposite me on the bus isn’t going to notice my personality, but they will see the confidence I exude by being dressed neatly and the pride I have for putting effort into my looks.

 

3. Flaunting your looks is not an invitation for predators.

I recently got into a row with a good friend who said that flaunting any form of sexual appeal was not only setting women back but also superficial. I argued that there is nothing wrong with sex appeal. She argued that sex appeal is what has created a rape culture in society. Let me make one thing extremely clear: It is not our fault that rape is prevalent. No matter how we dress, how we flaunt our assets or assert our sexuality, we are not asking for, nor are we condoning rape in our culture. Rape is prevalent because men are living in societies where they struggle for any form of control- hence why it is more common in poorer countries that are struggling economically, or in places of war. It’s even common in fraternities and sports groups because the men that are placed in a lot of these environments are put under enormous pressure to be masculine and more often than not have little control over what they can do with their lives- so they seek control in the most primitive and basic way- sex. Rape has absolutely nothing to do with how a women chooses to dress. It is about time we stopped playing the Blame the Victim game.


4. Androgyny is boring.

I am a woman. I have curves. I have cleavage. I have pouty lips and big eyes. I have flowing long hair. I am proud of these things, because they are what makes me a woman. I do not want to hide these assets, because as far as I am concerned that means I am ashamed of them, and I most certainly am not. Being a woman, and having a figure and physique as such, is something I take pride in. I will wear make up that accentuates these things. I will wear clothing that highlights these parts of my body. It boils down to confidence, once again. When I dress well for my shape, I feel amazing. Kind of like saying “I am WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR”.


5. Being beautiful often means being healthy.

Yes, there is too much fat shaming and skinny bashing going on these days, particularly online. But we shouldn’t be condoning unhealthy body imagery either.

For example, when I was growing up I was quite slim. Whenever I went out anywhere to eat it was always the same ridicule: if I chose something healthy off the menu, or maybe voiced my health-conscious choice, people would always say “Oh, don’t be stupid. You’re already thin, eat whatever you want. You’re probably starving yourself, aren’t you?” Quite offensive and yet somehow completely socially acceptable things to say. BUT if someone obese walks into a restaurant, suddenly everyone is quiet. Nobody says “Maybe you shouldn’t have that, here’s a healthier alternative…” nope. That would be unacceptable.

Our generation is hell bent on not saying anything confrontational to anyone overweight, and it’s actually doing them a disservice. Being obese is not okay. It’s not only unhealthy, it’s deadly.  Obesity in children is even more of a growing problem. We should be teaching them healthy and realistic ideals, but instead we’re saying “It’s okay to be fat, be proud of yourself, eat that carb-loaded burger, you deserve it!” We’re passing on bad eating habits and low self esteem. Overweight children miss out on so many activities and fun parts of growing up. They’re being held back, and for what? Because we were scared we’d hurt their (or their parents’) feelings by instilling healthier ideals?


6. The Media only has power if you let it have power.

When I was growing up my mother taught me to take everything magazines said with a pinch of salt. She said that I should always trust my own instinct above all else. I grew up loving fashion and girly magazines just like most girls, but I didn’t let the articles and editor’s tell me how to live my life. As far as I am concerned, fashion is something you use as a useful guideline or tool. For me, I enjoy reading Cosmo because they sometimes have interesting ideas about styles or trends. But more often than not I don’t like most of the trends entirely. I take the idea, shift it and change it and see how it works for me. If it doesn’t (for example, jeggings) I discard it and move on with my life.

See, the media can tell you to be skinny, or to dye your hair and stick your tongue out a lot (thanks, Miley), but it’s entirely up to you to decide if you want to or not. That’s the beauty of living in 2014. What you do is entirely up to you.

Instead of blaming the media for creating our insecurities and unrealistic expectations, we should be using our own will power and teaching young girls to embrace their freedom of choice. We should be teaching girls to be powerful and independent and strong enough to decide for themselves what they want to take from a magazine spread.

When I see an article on beauty I don’t think “Oh, I don’t look like that model, my life sucks, I wish I was her,” I think “Neat. Polka Dots. I like those.”


 7.  You can be smart AND beautiful.


Too often do I hear us call one another “bimbo” or “tart” if we see someone that appears too into their own looks. But as Legally Blonde pointed out, you can be pretty and smart. Of course, you don’t have to wear a Barbie pink wardrobe and get a law degree either. When I was in university a lot of my so-called “forward thinking” female friends bashed anyone that wore make up or dressed pretty. To them these girls were ditzes and idiots. Oddly enough, some of the smartest girls I met on campus also happened to be some of the prettiest. I’m not sure why society has raised us to believe that you can either have books or looks, because if you work hard at it, you can certainly have both. Wearing a bright colour or looking ravishing in a great ensemble does not make you less intelligent. If you ask me, the girls that say snarky things about pretty girls that are at university- they’re either conceited or jealous. AND neither of these traits are something to be proud of. 

Basically, liking beauty products and fashion and a healthy lifestyle is something we shouldn’t be ashamed of. All women are beautiful in their own right, but if they want to use a nice product or a pretty colour to enhance or flaunt this beauty, then we shouldn’t condemn them for doing so.

Why it’s Totally Okay to Want to be Beautiful.

It seems these days you can’t say anything with out hurting someone’s feelings and getting told that you’re out of line. Especially when it comes to women and beauty.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the media portrays an idea of beauty that is, for the most part, unattainable to most of us regular folk.

But does that mean the beauty industry in general is an evil that must be destroyed? I don’t think so. Here’s why:

1. It’s fun.

So I have a guilty pleasure. I enjoy logging onto Pinterest and browsing pretty make-up techniques. I do this because I am a fan of pretty colours and painting my nails different ways and I like accentuating my lips or my eyes with special liners and balms. This isn’t to prove my self worth or to make me more attractive to men- it’s purely because I find it a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend my time.

2. It’s a confidence booster.

My grandmother, who may have come from a generation of women with far less rights than my own, still taught me that as a women I should always look presentable and never leave the house with at least some make up on. Yes, I can hear the feminist’s throwing their hands up yelling “This is terrible, outdated advice!” and maybe to a point they’re right- in 2014, and I am by no means obliged to wear make up or look pretty when I leave the house. But do you know what? When I leave the house looking frazzled and unkempt, I feel less confident, and less proud. It’s not because I have low self esteem or because I value appearances more than I should, it’s because I know I could have put more effort into myself, but I didn’t. Wearing a bold rogue, or styling my hair nicely makes me feel confident because I am telling the world “Hey! Look at me! I’m fabulous today!” even if it’s just at face value- as far as I am concerned it still counts. The person sitting opposite me on the bus isn’t going to notice my personality, but they will see the confidence I exude by being dressed neatly and the pride I have for putting effort into my looks.

 

3. Flaunting your looks is not an invitation for predators.

I recently got into a row with a good friend who said that flaunting any form of sexual appeal was not only setting women back but also superficial. I argued that there is nothing wrong with sex appeal. She argued that sex appeal is what has created a rape culture in society. Let me make one thing extremely clear: It is not our fault that rape is prevalent. No matter how we dress, how we flaunt our assets or assert our sexuality, we are not asking for, nor are we condoning rape in our culture. Rape is prevalent because men are living in societies where they struggle for any form of control- hence why it is more common in poorer countries that are struggling economically, or in places of war. It’s even common in fraternities and sports groups because the men that are placed in a lot of these environments are put under enormous pressure to be masculine and more often than not have little control over what they can do with their lives- so they seek control in the most primitive and basic way- sex. Rape has absolutely nothing to do with how a women chooses to dress. It is about time we stopped playing the Blame the Victim game.

4. Androgyny is boring.

I am a woman. I have curves. I have cleavage. I have pouty lips and big eyes. I have flowing long hair. I am proud of these things, because they are what makes me a woman. I do not want to hide these assets, because as far as I am concerned that means I am ashamed of them, and I most certainly am not. Being a woman, and having a figure and physique as such, is something I take pride in. I will wear make up that accentuates these things. I will wear clothing that highlights these parts of my body. It boils down to confidence, once again. When I dress well for my shape, I feel amazing. Kind of like saying “I am WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR”.

5. Being beautiful often means being healthy.

Yes, there is too much fat shaming and skinny bashing going on these days, particularly online. But we shouldn’t be condoning unhealthy body imagery either.

For example, when I was growing up I was quite slim. Whenever I went out anywhere to eat it was always the same ridicule: if I chose something healthy off the menu, or maybe voiced my health-conscious choice, people would always say “Oh, don’t be stupid. You’re already thin, eat whatever you want. You’re probably starving yourself, aren’t you?” Quite offensive and yet somehow completely socially acceptable things to say. BUT if someone obese walks into a restaurant, suddenly everyone is quiet. Nobody says “Maybe you shouldn’t have that, here’s a healthier alternative…” nope. That would be unacceptable.

Our generation is hell bent on not saying anything confrontational to anyone overweight, and it’s actually doing them a disservice. Being obese is not okay. It’s not only unhealthy, it’s deadly.  Obesity in children is even more of a growing problem. We should be teaching them healthy and realistic ideals, but instead we’re saying “It’s okay to be fat, be proud of yourself, eat that carb-loaded burger, you deserve it!” We’re passing on bad eating habits and low self esteem. Overweight children miss out on so many activities and fun parts of growing up. They’re being held back, and for what? Because we were scared we’d hurt their (or their parents’) feelings by instilling healthier ideals?

6. The Media only has power if you let it have power.

When I was growing up my mother taught me to take everything magazines said with a pinch of salt. She said that I should always trust my own instinct above all else. I grew up loving fashion and girly magazines just like most girls, but I didn’t let the articles and editor’s tell me how to live my life. As far as I am concerned, fashion is something you use as a useful guideline or tool. For me, I enjoy reading Cosmo because they sometimes have interesting ideas about styles or trends. But more often than not I don’t like most of the trends entirely. I take the idea, shift it and change it and see how it works for me. If it doesn’t (for example, jeggings) I discard it and move on with my life.

See, the media can tell you to be skinny, or to dye your hair and stick your tongue out a lot (thanks, Miley), but it’s entirely up to you to decide if you want to or not. That’s the beauty of living in 2014. What you do is entirely up to you.

Instead of blaming the media for creating our insecurities and unrealistic expectations, we should be using our own will power and teaching young girls to embrace their freedom of choice. We should be teaching girls to be powerful and independent and strong enough to decide for themselves what they want to take from a magazine spread.

When I see an article on beauty I don’t think “Oh, I don’t look like that model, my life sucks, I wish I was her,” I think “Neat. Polka Dots. I like those.”

 7.  You can be smart AND beautiful.

Too often do I hear us call one another “bimbo” or “tart” if we see someone that appears too into their own looks. But as Legally Blonde pointed out, you can be pretty and smart. Of course, you don’t have to wear a Barbie pink wardrobe and get a law degree either. When I was in university a lot of my so-called “forward thinking” female friends bashed anyone that wore make up or dressed pretty. To them these girls were ditzes and idiots. Oddly enough, some of the smartest girls I met on campus also happened to be some of the prettiest. I’m not sure why society has raised us to believe that you can either have books or looks, because if you work hard at it, you can certainly have both. Wearing a bright colour or looking ravishing in a great ensemble does not make you less intelligent. If you ask me, the girls that say snarky things about pretty girls that are at university- they’re either conceited or jealous. AND neither of these traits are something to be proud of. 

Basically, liking beauty products and fashion and a healthy lifestyle is something we shouldn’t be ashamed of. All women are beautiful in their own right, but if they want to use a nice product or a pretty colour to enhance or flaunt this beauty, then we shouldn’t condemn them for doing so.

(Source: royalbitchcouture)

damn straight.

(Source: fyzombieland, via feelingfickle)

lexical-girl:

Books Actually is an independent bookstore in Singapore that specializes in fiction and literature, literary trinkets, tchotchkes, stationery and more. They publish and distribute books under their imprint Math Paper Books, and produce stationery under the name Birds & Co.

Take a tour of Books Actually with Google Maps.


All photos: [x]

(via teachingliteracy)

thecreativebridge:

French ad agency Rosapark has created a series of creepy real-life emoticons as part of a campaign for Innocence en Danger, an international non-profit that aims to prevent child sexual abuse.

this is disturbing, but a worthy campaign.

So the tally is as follows: another 3 of my high school chums got engaged this year. (Jesus, it’s only January!) and I’m still riding the Single Bus (is that what they’re calling it these days? Sounds a bit raunchy) anyway.
Here’s the thing though. Ya, of course I want to find that significant other. Because, let’s be real, travelling with a boy means never having to lug your bags up all of those stairs by myself… and I can get him to take photos of me posing infront of all the big fancy touristy monuments, without having to try and do an awkward selfy. haha
Oh, I am just kidding. However, one thing I don’t think I will be doing is settling just for the sake of it. I look at a lot of the people I know that are in relationships and I wonder, more often than not, are they even really in love? A lot of them don’t seem to be. Some of them only seem to barely tolerate each other. Why bother?
Truth is, I think I’m pretty damn groovy. So I am not going to settle. Instead, I am going to find someone just as groovy, and the two o’ us are going to ah… do whatever it is two groovy people do very well together.
I think it’s better to be alone than with somebody just for the sake of it. Just like you wouldn’t buy something if you weren’t 100% sure you wanted it, or you wouldn’t order something if you weren’t 100% sure you felt like eating it, you shouldn’t date someone if you’re not 100% sure you even like them, amiright?

So the tally is as follows: another 3 of my high school chums got engaged this year. (Jesus, it’s only January!) and I’m still riding the Single Bus (is that what they’re calling it these days? Sounds a bit raunchy) anyway.

Here’s the thing though. Ya, of course I want to find that significant other. Because, let’s be real, travelling with a boy means never having to lug your bags up all of those stairs by myself… and I can get him to take photos of me posing infront of all the big fancy touristy monuments, without having to try and do an awkward selfy. haha

Oh, I am just kidding. However, one thing I don’t think I will be doing is settling just for the sake of it. I look at a lot of the people I know that are in relationships and I wonder, more often than not, are they even really in love? A lot of them don’t seem to be. Some of them only seem to barely tolerate each other. Why bother?

Truth is, I think I’m pretty damn groovy. So I am not going to settle. Instead, I am going to find someone just as groovy, and the two o’ us are going to ah… do whatever it is two groovy people do very well together.

I think it’s better to be alone than with somebody just for the sake of it. Just like you wouldn’t buy something if you weren’t 100% sure you wanted it, or you wouldn’t order something if you weren’t 100% sure you felt like eating it, you shouldn’t date someone if you’re not 100% sure you even like them, amiright?

(Source: psychodreams)

dear-photograph:

Dear Photograph, I’ve recently discovered the pleasure of travelling around the world and the feeling that nothing would ever replace the warmth of a home.A Belgian backpacker

dear-photograph:

Dear Photograph,
I’ve recently discovered the pleasure of travelling around the world and the feeling that nothing would ever replace the warmth of a home.
A Belgian backpacker

A Traveler’s Remorse (Or How You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too)
Traveling is one of the most exhillirating, wonderful ways a person can spend their time. I have so many journeys and adventures I want to go on, and I am always planning and looking into trips and vacations and ways to explore the world. But, sometimes, the idea of being a roaming vagabond is intimidating.
See, throughout my life I have been told to believe that there are two kinds of lives a person can lead: one where the road is their home, and they live out of a suitcase; the other where they live in a perfect little house, in the same old town, with a 9-5 schedule. For the longest time I struggled to figure out which of these lives I would choose for myself.
On the one hand, I want to spend a month volunteering in Fiji. I want to hike through South America, I want to visit every museum and sidewalk nook of quaint European towns. I want to travel through the heart of Africa and back again. The idea of crossing off a new city, or booking that ticket without knowing where it will lead to next, is one of the things I love most about my life.
But on the otherhand, I want to settle down, too. I want to have a place I can call my own. I am not materialistic, but I am sentimental. I want a house I can fill with souvineers and tokens from all of my travels. I want a giant bookshelf, filled with stories and classics. I want a nook by the window, where I can read on a rainy day. I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet on the floorboards. I want a family to wake up early with on Christmas morning. I want the stability and ease of the 9-5 life, too.
For the longest time I believed it was a case of either/or. My friends that live out of their backpacks turned their nose at the idea of owning anything that can’t be picked up and stuffed into their 40l. My friends who grew up in my home town and have never set foot outside of it reeled at the idea of me actually wanting to travel around. I felt like I wasn’t fitting into either category and that I was doing my head in trying to decide which world and lifestyle I wanted to be a part of…
…Until I realised, it doesn’t matter. I can very easily work my way towards both goals. I can travel, frequently enough to see all of the places on my list, but I can also slowly build a stable life for myself. The reality is that I will never be rich, because both lifestyles warrant a fair bit of spending, but that’s okay. I have never been one to dream of a big house or a fancy car (heck, I don’t even know how to drive).
So to everyone that says you have to choose- tell them to shove it. The truth is you can do whatever the heck you want in life. And I choose to travel whenever I can, but instead of limiting my life to a suitcase, I am going to find myself a place to call home, too.

A Traveler’s Remorse (Or How You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too)

Traveling is one of the most exhillirating, wonderful ways a person can spend their time. I have so many journeys and adventures I want to go on, and I am always planning and looking into trips and vacations and ways to explore the world. But, sometimes, the idea of being a roaming vagabond is intimidating.

See, throughout my life I have been told to believe that there are two kinds of lives a person can lead: one where the road is their home, and they live out of a suitcase; the other where they live in a perfect little house, in the same old town, with a 9-5 schedule. For the longest time I struggled to figure out which of these lives I would choose for myself.

On the one hand, I want to spend a month volunteering in Fiji. I want to hike through South America, I want to visit every museum and sidewalk nook of quaint European towns. I want to travel through the heart of Africa and back again. The idea of crossing off a new city, or booking that ticket without knowing where it will lead to next, is one of the things I love most about my life.

But on the otherhand, I want to settle down, too. I want to have a place I can call my own. I am not materialistic, but I am sentimental. I want a house I can fill with souvineers and tokens from all of my travels. I want a giant bookshelf, filled with stories and classics. I want a nook by the window, where I can read on a rainy day. I want to hear the pitter patter of little feet on the floorboards. I want a family to wake up early with on Christmas morning. I want the stability and ease of the 9-5 life, too.

For the longest time I believed it was a case of either/or. My friends that live out of their backpacks turned their nose at the idea of owning anything that can’t be picked up and stuffed into their 40l. My friends who grew up in my home town and have never set foot outside of it reeled at the idea of me actually wanting to travel around. I felt like I wasn’t fitting into either category and that I was doing my head in trying to decide which world and lifestyle I wanted to be a part of…

…Until I realised, it doesn’t matter. I can very easily work my way towards both goals. I can travel, frequently enough to see all of the places on my list, but I can also slowly build a stable life for myself. The reality is that I will never be rich, because both lifestyles warrant a fair bit of spending, but that’s okay. I have never been one to dream of a big house or a fancy car (heck, I don’t even know how to drive).

So to everyone that says you have to choose- tell them to shove it. The truth is you can do whatever the heck you want in life. And I choose to travel whenever I can, but instead of limiting my life to a suitcase, I am going to find myself a place to call home, too.

(Source: somedaynewyorker)

gimmesomeroy:

My goal

(Source: s-thr, via itshadrian)

A Melbourne Memoir (Or a few things I miss about home)
While I don’t miss the awful Melbourne weather (anyone see the ridiculous heatwave they’re going through right now?) There are a lot of other things that make me homesick about Melbourne-
1. Degraves Street coffee.
2. Sitting on the park bench just below Fed Wharf, where all the joggers run and the yarra river flows, taking in the city sky line and summer weather.
3. The best poached eggs a breakfast girl could ask for (and I don’t even mind the price).
4. Playing “Is he a hipster, or is he homeless” on the train home in the afternoon.
5. The fact that there is always something on. An art expo, a theatre exhibit, a concert, a folksy band playing at a hole-in-the-wall bar.
6. Fine dining to suit any appetite. Modern, traditional, asian flare.
7. Sushi. $2 Tuna rolls on the go, to be precise.
Beer gardens, china town, little laneways covered in awe-inspiring grafitti, tourists huddled at stop streets, the bell that rings from a tram, the way the city lights reflect off of the rain covered walkways, the guy who plays the sax under the bridge enroute to flinders, the gelato place outside of Crown, the buskers, chalk artists and the street vendors.
Melbourne, I miss you, sometimes.

A Melbourne Memoir (Or a few things I miss about home)

While I don’t miss the awful Melbourne weather (anyone see the ridiculous heatwave they’re going through right now?) There are a lot of other things that make me homesick about Melbourne-

1. Degraves Street coffee.

2. Sitting on the park bench just below Fed Wharf, where all the joggers run and the yarra river flows, taking in the city sky line and summer weather.

3. The best poached eggs a breakfast girl could ask for (and I don’t even mind the price).

4. Playing “Is he a hipster, or is he homeless” on the train home in the afternoon.

5. The fact that there is always something on. An art expo, a theatre exhibit, a concert, a folksy band playing at a hole-in-the-wall bar.

6. Fine dining to suit any appetite. Modern, traditional, asian flare.

7. Sushi. $2 Tuna rolls on the go, to be precise.

Beer gardens, china town, little laneways covered in awe-inspiring grafitti, tourists huddled at stop streets, the bell that rings from a tram, the way the city lights reflect off of the rain covered walkways, the guy who plays the sax under the bridge enroute to flinders, the gelato place outside of Crown, the buskers, chalk artists and the street vendors.

Melbourne, I miss you, sometimes.

(Source: nardvrnza)

"Who hasn’t asked himself, am I a monster or is this what it means to be human?"

— Clarice Lispector, The Hour of the Star  (via stereograms)

(Source: millionsmillions, via hellogiggles)

A Quick Book Review in January
Over the last few months I have become a regular at the local library (If you think there are no good books at the library- the trick is to peruse their online catalogue, alongside Goodreads.com, and place holds on all the books you’d like. The bestsellers and hot-reads seldom sit on the actual shelves, because they’re always in circulation- so if you’re looking for a good book, look online). Anyway, I have been reading book after book while I can, because in several months I’ll be back at uni and my leisure time will be out of the window.
As part of this reading frenzy, I have decided I’ll post a couple of my favourite reads here, every few weeks or so. Just to y’know, keep track of everything (and in no way to brag about how many books I can read if I put my mind to it *wink wink)
The Passage/ The Twelve- Justin Cronin - As you’re aware (if you know me, I guess) I am a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic or in the zombie/thriller genre. This series fits neatly into that category. Cronin paints a world that is reeling after a horrific military expirement that has created Vampire/Zombie thingy’s that are downright terrifying. In my mind it’s the perfect mix between I Am Legend (the film) and The Walking Dead (the TV series). It has a few things I don’t care for, and the plot can be a bit gritty and dark at times, but I am eager for the third instalment due out sometime later this year.
World War Z - Max Brooks - Firstly, let me get one thing straight. The movie and this book should not be compared. If you treat them as two seperate entities, you’ll find both are really good. If you are expecting the film to follow the same plot as the novel- you’re going to get really really pissed off. Secondly, take every idea you’ve ever had about surviving the Zombie apocalypse and kiss it goodbye, because, as this book so happily points out, you’re wrong and you’re going to die. Trust me. When the impending doom hits, I am going to seek out Max Brooks because he has thought of EVERYTHING.
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared- Jonas Jonasson- This is something a little more light hearted than my other reads so far. AND IT’S FRIGGIN BRILLIANT. Every so often a book comes along that just does it right. In all of its simplicity the Hundred Year Old Man is one of those little stories that just finds a spot in your heart and stays there forever. It doesn’t happen often, but I am so glad I have found this book. It is hilarious and smart and just downright goshdarm adorable. The story starts with a centurian who decides to run away from his old age home to embark on one last adventure…. and the only spoiler I will give you is this simple quote: “Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be.”

Enjoy!

A Quick Book Review in January

Over the last few months I have become a regular at the local library (If you think there are no good books at the library- the trick is to peruse their online catalogue, alongside Goodreads.com, and place holds on all the books you’d like. The bestsellers and hot-reads seldom sit on the actual shelves, because they’re always in circulation- so if you’re looking for a good book, look online). Anyway, I have been reading book after book while I can, because in several months I’ll be back at uni and my leisure time will be out of the window.

As part of this reading frenzy, I have decided I’ll post a couple of my favourite reads here, every few weeks or so. Just to y’know, keep track of everything (and in no way to brag about how many books I can read if I put my mind to it *wink wink)

The Passage/ The Twelve- Justin Cronin - As you’re aware (if you know me, I guess) I am a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic or in the zombie/thriller genre. This series fits neatly into that category. Cronin paints a world that is reeling after a horrific military expirement that has created Vampire/Zombie thingy’s that are downright terrifying. In my mind it’s the perfect mix between I Am Legend (the film) and The Walking Dead (the TV series). It has a few things I don’t care for, and the plot can be a bit gritty and dark at times, but I am eager for the third instalment due out sometime later this year.

World War Z - Max Brooks - Firstly, let me get one thing straight. The movie and this book should not be compared. If you treat them as two seperate entities, you’ll find both are really good. If you are expecting the film to follow the same plot as the novel- you’re going to get really really pissed off. Secondly, take every idea you’ve ever had about surviving the Zombie apocalypse and kiss it goodbye, because, as this book so happily points out, you’re wrong and you’re going to die. Trust me. When the impending doom hits, I am going to seek out Max Brooks because he has thought of EVERYTHING.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared- Jonas Jonasson- This is something a little more light hearted than my other reads so far. AND IT’S FRIGGIN BRILLIANT. Every so often a book comes along that just does it right. In all of its simplicity the Hundred Year Old Man is one of those little stories that just finds a spot in your heart and stays there forever. It doesn’t happen often, but I am so glad I have found this book. It is hilarious and smart and just downright goshdarm adorable. The story starts with a centurian who decides to run away from his old age home to embark on one last adventure…. and the only spoiler I will give you is this simple quote: Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be.

Enjoy!

2013 in review
2013 was the year of zero accountability for me. I was living abroad by myself. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. It was doing whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it. It was living paycheck to paycheck. Partying during the week. It was living in a hostel with a bunch of germans. It was flirting with people and then leading them on solely because they were “cute Canadians wearing plaid”. It was a summer spent almost always at the beach, or at one party or another. It was amazing, in so many ways, don’t get me wrong. But I am so very tired, so very tired.
2014 is going to about getting my head screwed on. About thinking before I leap for a change. About fixing my eye on the future and working towards it. It’s about taking responsibility for my actions, and not just doing whatever the hell I feel like.
Here’s to 2014. Here’s to growing up.

2013 in review

2013 was the year of zero accountability for me. I was living abroad by myself. I didn’t have to answer to anyone. It was doing whatever I wanted whenever I felt like it. It was living paycheck to paycheck. Partying during the week. It was living in a hostel with a bunch of germans. It was flirting with people and then leading them on solely because they were “cute Canadians wearing plaid”. It was a summer spent almost always at the beach, or at one party or another. It was amazing, in so many ways, don’t get me wrong. But I am so very tired, so very tired.

2014 is going to about getting my head screwed on. About thinking before I leap for a change. About fixing my eye on the future and working towards it. It’s about taking responsibility for my actions, and not just doing whatever the hell I feel like.

Here’s to 2014. Here’s to growing up.

(Source: moonstruck-wolf)

Sometimes it’s Better to Walk Away from an Argument 
I posted recently about how I try not to read comments on facebook because the stupidity of most of them has made me question my faith in humankind. Well, another thing I have decided is to not stay friends with people that post infuriating things online in the first place.
See, like most people, I love a good argument. It’s totally okay to be opinionated, and to express your opinion from time to time. I am opinionated to a fault, I have a view on everything. The thing is, though, that if you’re about to dive headlong into an argument you have to make sure you do two things: 1. accept that there is the possibility you might be wrong, and in which case, rather than make an ass of yourself, learn from what the other person is saying. 2. That there is a fine line between trying to get your point across, and being downright rude or insulting to the other person.
I recently realised that sometimes the problem is that people don’t always want to change their opinion. They’ll start up an argument purely to piss you off. I had an encounter like this on facebook not to long ago, and at first it left me reeling. This person I went to high school with (sadly, always had been a bit of a ‘know-it-all’) disagreed with something I posted as a status. Long story short, she disregarded my opinion on the matter (something close to the heart, too), commented a lot of nonsense (she clearly didn’t know exactly what she was even arguing about) and insulted me, Canada, my family and pretty much everything I stand for. I was fuming.
Until I realised, no matter what I said back, no matter how articulate my response, it wouldn’t make a difference. I could come up with the perfect rebuttal; I could use all of the logic in the world to defend myself, and she wouldn’t have changed her mind.
So instead I did something else- I chose to ignore her rude remarks, and deleted her off of facebook. So simple, so easy. Sure, she probably had a thousand nasty things to say about that, but what do I care? I’ll never have to hear or read them. It was then that I realised, sometimes instead of working yourself up about something someone said, it is better to just walk away.
I’m not one to give up, particularly when it is an issue close to the heart, but some arguments can’t be won. I’m glad I walked away from it, and it made me realize that there are other people online (and in real life) that I don’t have time for anymore. Life is too short to get worked up by idiots. rather just delete them, and move on.
rant over.

Sometimes it’s Better to Walk Away from an Argument

I posted recently about how I try not to read comments on facebook because the stupidity of most of them has made me question my faith in humankind. Well, another thing I have decided is to not stay friends with people that post infuriating things online in the first place.

See, like most people, I love a good argument. It’s totally okay to be opinionated, and to express your opinion from time to time. I am opinionated to a fault, I have a view on everything. The thing is, though, that if you’re about to dive headlong into an argument you have to make sure you do two things: 1. accept that there is the possibility you might be wrong, and in which case, rather than make an ass of yourself, learn from what the other person is saying. 2. That there is a fine line between trying to get your point across, and being downright rude or insulting to the other person.

I recently realised that sometimes the problem is that people don’t always want to change their opinion. They’ll start up an argument purely to piss you off. I had an encounter like this on facebook not to long ago, and at first it left me reeling. This person I went to high school with (sadly, always had been a bit of a ‘know-it-all’) disagreed with something I posted as a status. Long story short, she disregarded my opinion on the matter (something close to the heart, too), commented a lot of nonsense (she clearly didn’t know exactly what she was even arguing about) and insulted me, Canada, my family and pretty much everything I stand for. I was fuming.

Until I realised, no matter what I said back, no matter how articulate my response, it wouldn’t make a difference. I could come up with the perfect rebuttal; I could use all of the logic in the world to defend myself, and she wouldn’t have changed her mind.

So instead I did something else- I chose to ignore her rude remarks, and deleted her off of facebook. So simple, so easy. Sure, she probably had a thousand nasty things to say about that, but what do I care? I’ll never have to hear or read them. It was then that I realised, sometimes instead of working yourself up about something someone said, it is better to just walk away.

I’m not one to give up, particularly when it is an issue close to the heart, but some arguments can’t be won. I’m glad I walked away from it, and it made me realize that there are other people online (and in real life) that I don’t have time for anymore. Life is too short to get worked up by idiots. rather just delete them, and move on.

rant over.