EXPLORING MELBOURNE: HOSIER LANE

Hello hello! Now that I’ve got wifi back I can share with you all my little adventure to Melbourne a few weeks ago. I had heard countless times that Melbourne is way better than Sydney and that once I go I’ll ask myself why I stayed in the latter for so long. Now that I’ve actually been there I can say that this is 100% true. I really don’t know why it took me eight months to go visit the place, it stole my heart in so many ways and I wish I could have stayed there longer. This is the first in a series of Melbourne posts so I really hope you guys enjoy reading about what I got up to.

One of the main things Melbourne is known for is its crazy street art, so of course I was going to visit its most famous street and see it all for myself. Hosier Lane is just a short walk from Flinders Street station and Federation Square, and is lined with the most spectacular pieces of graffiti. Street art is widely celebrated here, which was refreshing to see, and the pieces of art were insanely good, making a once-normal laneway into an outdoor exhibition.

Just off Hosier Lane is Rutledge Lane, where not only are the buildings covered in graffiti, but also the wheelie bins that line the walls. Of course there were a ton of tourists (including Josh and I) walking along and taking photos, but it wasn’t so busy that I couldn’t stop to take some of my own and appreciate just how wonderful my surroundings were.


It was so nice to see graffiti art be appreciated as actual art, rather than just vandalism that makes a place look scruffy (which was most definitely not the case), and if you’re looking for things to do while you’re in Melbourne then Hosier Lane should be at the top of your list.

Until next time,

Liv

xo

STRAWBERRY PICKING @ BEERENBERG FARM

Good morning/evening wherever you are in the world! Aside from Fringe Festival, strawberry picking at Beerenberg Farm was also on my to-do list whilst in Adelaide. I had been told that this farm, located just outside the German town of Hahndorf, produces a really well known jam brand in Australia, and that it attracts a ton of visitors keen to pick and fill their punnets with the tastiest strawberries for themselves.

As a backpacker I wanted to see what fruit picking would be like, even if it was just for lesuire and not for regional work with the pressure of time and making money. This was a super fun way to try it out and made for a good day out away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Entry to the strawberry fields cost $4 for an adult, free for children, and your punnets are weighed at the end, costing $9 per kilo. This works out to be more expensive than just buying them from a store but then you wouldn’t get the experience of picking them yourself right from the plant. Plus you can choose the best looking ones and Poppy came out looking like a serial killer from the amount of strawberries she had shoved into her mouth along the way.


It was so much fun hunting down the biggest and most vibrant strawberries, although I couldn’t do it all day long as it would kill your back! It didn’t take us long to fill our punnets to the brim, so we made our way back to the shop by the main entrance to pay and I couldn’t resist buying a jar of homemade strawberry jam to take home.

If you decide to visit Adelaide head to Hahndorf to explore the town and go strawberry picking yourself, or if you know of anywhere near your town that offers the experience, give it a go!

Until next time,

Liv

xo

TO THE PLACE I CALLED HOME


First of all, I apologise for being inactive over the past month. A couple of days after New Year I became really homesick and got myself worked up over what to do or where to go next now that my reason for staying in Sydney for so long had passed. However everything is sorted now and I’ve got my motivation back!

If someone had said to me a few years ago that I’d be living in Sydney for 5 months after graduating university I would have called them crazy. However since arriving in Australia this city been my home away from home and I’ve gotten to know the place like the back of my hand. My initial plan was to stay until the start of January so I could celebrate Christmas and New Year here and tick it off my bucket list, but I ended up staying an extra month, not just because it’s become my security blanket but because of the people I’ve met who have made it what it is.

I stepped out of my comfort zone when I arrived as a solo traveller, but made a load of new friends when I moved into Wake Up. I met my best friend here who I’ll be travelling the east coast with and going to live with her and her family for a month in Vermont, US. I saw two of my favourite DJs, Paul van Dyk and Eric Prydz, live and experienced my first proper festival. I tried sushi for the first time and ate it so much that Sushi Hub gave me a discount card and already knew my order each time I walked up to the counter. Queuing for two hours to get Rush tickets for Aladdin the Musical was so worth it and I would 100% recommend it if you ever get the chance. I spent Christmas Day on a beach and brought in 2017 watching the Harbour fireworks.

Living in a hostel meant spontaneous plans were always popping up, like when Maya, Kim and I took a trip to Skyzone trampoline park after deciding to go only half an hour prior, or when Maya, Meg, George, Worm and I got bored so we went and bought Monopoly, and let’s not forget MOANA SING-ALONGS! Albeit we got some odd looks playing friendship-wrecking board games in reception or the kitchen but when the hostel is basically your home you’re going to start treating it as such. And at the end of January I celebrated Australia Day even though I’m not a citizen, but hey it was a nice day out with nothing but good vibes. 

There are so many more amazing things I’ve done in Sydney but I’m sure no one wants to read an endless list. But now it’s time for me to move on and start my regional work, and although it stressed me out to no end finding a place to go (already breaking my new year’s resolution to worry less) I found the loveliest family in Orange, NSW. I’ll still be posting my unpublished drafts about Sydney such as the best things to do there and how to live in the city on a budget etc. because I feel it would be a waste of writing not to, and I hope it will help other travellers alike find their place in the big city.

So for now Sydney I bid you farewell, but don’t worry I’ll be back to visit soon enough.

Liv

xo

REFLECTING ON 2016: MY TOP 10 HIGHLIGHTS

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are just as bummed as I am that we’ve got to wait a whole year to do it all again. The days between Christmas and New Year provide an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider one’s expectations for the future. Although 2016 seems to the world like a year that has brought nothing but doom and gloom, it’s also important to notice the positive things that have happened throughout the year.

For me 2016 has been a year full of chapters closing, new beginnings, and opportunities that have quite literally dragged me out of my comfort zone. Whilst reflecting on all of this I put together a list of 10 of my highlights from the past year. It was so hard to narrow it down and I’ve missed out so much from this post, but I doubt you guys would want to read a neverending list of them all.

1. In the first semester of my final year of University I somehow achieved 80 in my qualitative research methods module. This went along quite nicely with the 79 I got for statistics the year before and I was in pure shock when I found out. These modules, no matter how tedious and stressful they might have been, were really important to be as I need them to stand out on my transcripts for my future PhD applications. At a time when I was so stressed it reminded me that hard work really does pay off.

2. Being on my university’s Advanced Irish and Intermediate Contemporary dance teams was so much fun, but the absolute highlight of my dance career this year was at Liverpool University’s dance competition, where our Irish team debuted our Lord of the Dance routine. Nothing can even compare to the feeling I got when we finished and looked out to see the audience and even the judges all cheering and giving us a standing ovation. We then went on to win first place at both Liverpool and Manchester’s comp!

3. In March the University of Manchester’s Surf Society went on an Easter surf trip to Feurteventura. Those 10 days were some of my best from this year and if I had the money I would gladly catch a flight out to wherever they decide to go for their 2017 trip. UMSC was such a big part of my final year of uni, and even now I still miss them all so much.

4. Graduating from university was a definite highlight from my year. The day itself was great and to spend it with my family and friends made it even more special. Everyone had worked so hard over the past 3 years and graduating felt like the end of an era, which was sad but at least I can now say I have a degree in Psychology from a Russell Group university.

5. Living at Willesden Ave for half the summer was something I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Peter, Dale and Zim were some of the messiest yet most wonderful housemates, and I always find myself missing living with them (and Sophie, Taylor and Asa, haven’t forgotten you guys). Having the morning after debriefs in our duvet burritos, beating Peter multiple times at NBA 2K16 (I’m still in denial that I lost), and  cooking chicken nuggets at 2am whilst watching Wasted on E4 is something I actually really miss.

6. In August I took a 5 day trip to Madrid to visit Oscar before I left for Australia. I had never been there before and it was such a beautiful city. While I was waiting to be picked up after my flight I explored El Retiro park and stumbled across a huge, and I mean huge, crowd of people sat on the steps next to the lake. I later found out it was a Pokestop… Over the next few days I got to see the Temple of Debod, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and got to eat at the Mercado de San Miguel. Watching Suicide Squad at a Spanish cinema was pretty cool, but at least it was in English with Spanish subtitles. Even now Oscar doesn’t find my Cazafantasmas joke funny…

7. Aside from graduating, the biggest and most definitely the scariest thing I’ve done this year is jet off on my Australian adventure all on my own. Doing this has so far taken me way out of my comfort zone, and although I still get homesick from time to time I’m proud of myself for plucking up the courage to move to the other side of the world.

8. Getting a job at Wake Up hostel in Sydney has to be one of the luckiest things to have happened to me since being in Australia, especially because it’s so expensive to live in this city. When I tell people I live and work in a hostel they don’t seem too impressed, but Wake Up is one of the best hostels in Australia, it’s more like a hotel, and it now feels like home. We’re basically family here and when we all start going our separate ways in January I’m going to be so sad. To keep this to a nice list of 10 I’m going to go ahead and add the staff boat party onto this one, which you can read about here.

9. Spending Christmas Day on Coogee Beach was different to say the least. A few of us went to Helen’s house first for a big roast that she so kindly cooked and I think that was the first proper meal I’ve had in four months. Maya and I then spent the rest of the day on the beach as the grassy area at Coogee was too crowded and not really our vibe. I’m glad I got to experience one Christmas away from home but I couldn’t do it again. If I stayed here permenantly I’ll be coming home for two weeks every year.

10. Over the past week I’ve been receiving all the packages my Mum had sent me for Christmas and today I received a card and a letter from my Dad. I can’t even describe the joy that I’ve felt every time I’ve gone down to reception to see that I’ve got mail, and when reading the card my Mum sent me and the letter from my Dad I had to fight back tears. Being so far away from home makes the small things matter so much more. Two of the items my Mum put in my package was a big bar of Dairy Milk and Galaxy chocolate and I was so happy (Cadburys taste horrible in Aus and they don’t even sell Galaxy). Also I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see a pack of Custard Creams!

So there you have it, 10 highlights from my year! I know I’ve missed off a lot and after I’ve published it I’ll probably remember something really big that I should have put on the list, but reading this makes me realise how lucky I am to have had these experiences. Here’s to a just-as-wonderful 2017!

See you guys in the new year,

Liv

xo

BLOGMAS DAY 10: TOP 5 UNDER £5


Oh wow we’re in double digits now people, blogmas day 10 is here! I’ve got a jam-packed weekend so today and tomorrow’s posts are going to be short and sweet. Have you ever been stuck on what to get someone for Secret Santa or find yourself browsing for ages trying to find little bits and bobs to fill up a stocking with? Well look no further because I’m about to give you a quick rundown of 5 gift ideas I’ve found to fill a stocking with that won’t break the budget!

1. Chocolate 
Whether it be a Terry’s Chocolate Orange or a bag of gold coins, I always had some sort of chocolate treat in my stocking from my Mum. They’re great for nibbling on throughout the day while you’re waiting for that heavenly Roast to cook.

2. Lush bath bombs
Because you can never go wrong with a good lush product. If you’re stuck on which one to get there are so many blog posts and YouTube videos of Lush hauls with reviews and recommendations on a variety of products.

3. Fluffy socks 
They don’t necessarily have to be Christmas themed, even if they’re just stripy or a plain fall colour I still love receiving a new pair of cosy socks for Christmas. Plus they’ll get you through the rest of Winter and come on, if you live in the UK they’ll get you through “Summer” too.

4. Books  
I don’t know about anyone else but if I was given a new book in my stocking I’d be proper pleased, and I’m sure fellow book enthusiasts would agree. You can buy books from Amazon for as little as £3.65 and pay no extra for shipping if you have Prime.

5. Festive phone case 
What better way to get into the the Christmas spirit than to Christmas-ify (I’m going to count that as a word for now) your phone?! Amazon sell loads of cases for an affordable price, and if you’re a Prime customer some of them come with free next day delivery. You might want to give this present a little earlier than Christmas day though so they can get more wear out of it, unless you’re like me and will continue to have Christmas decorations up for as long as possible, even after the day has been and gone.

So that’s my little list of gift ideas under £5. This week I might do a Top 10 Under £10 post but as I’ve got a really busy weekend ahead I only had time for a short post today. Tomorrow is our staff Christmas boat party so I’ll do a photo set on Monday of our shenanigans if it’s not too crazy, which it probably will be…
Until tomorrow guys,
Liv
xo