Monday Motivation

How full is your glass? 

Every Monday, I come into work and chat to my colleagues about the weekend and we all mention how it ‘went too fast’ and how we ‘need another one to recover’ but today (and I’m not quite sure why) I’m just not feeling it. I think it’s finally time for me to just say ENOUGH to the moaning and glass half emptiness and start to look at things more positively.

I’ve been jokingly saying to my mates this weekend how I’m trying to be a better person. Now, I don’t mean I’m going to single handily change the world, or be a new person all together (don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna shout expletives at the bastards who cut me up on the motorway every morning), I think I mean, I’m just gonna try not to let it bother me as much and appreciate how good life is. Rather than dwell on things that I think if I change x, y and z, it’ll make me happy.

I’ve been feeling a bit down the past few weeks and my heads felt a bit like a grey cloud has been looming, but this morning I just feel ready. Ready to tackle my job, ready to smash my work out, ready to set some goals (e.g. say no to the chocolate biscuits (maybe) and try not to spend my monthly wage in a week), and ready for the cloud to clear. I’m not saying this is going to last all week, I’m not even sure it’s going to last all day, BUT nevertheless, right now, in this moment @ 11:04 am I would like to document this feeling and run with it.

If the Sunday night blues have run through to Monday for you, have some of my motivation and see how good of a day you can start your week with.

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.s Someone stole the Suzuki ‘S’ badge off the front of my car this weekend and even that’s not bothered me because I can’t stop laughing! Who knew Suzuki Swifts were such valuable collectables? LOL.

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Home Sweet Home

Oh Manchester, I’ve missed you 

Saturday 24th February 2018

I’m back! On that good old Manchester soil. After a monster journey I managed to successfully surprise my parents by turning up on Saturday morning. I will never forget the looks on their faces when I opened the door and thankfully I caught it on video to cherish forever!

Why you home so soon? Is a question I had a lot when I got home, and it was less that people didn’t want to see me (I hope!), more that they just weren’t expecting me. The answer to that question is…we ran out of money. The longer answer is that we had done what we wanted to, we weren’t tight with our money so what we saved didn’t last long and honestly, it gets to the point where you’re lay in a hostel bunk bed, in a room of strangers, craving your old bedroom and your home comforts and you just know it’s time for this journey to end.  

Our trip was split up into 3 parts; travelling – working –  traveling and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We got there and travelled, settled in cairns to work and experience living in a foreign country for the first time then moved around again. We made the best out of all our trip and loved it, made friends and memories that will last forever, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

This marks the end of our Australia travels and the team is stronger than ever. I love Alex and Jess with all my heart and I cannot wait to see how we flourish now we’re back.

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Am I sad to be home? OF COURSE! But I’m glad I’m back and I’m ready for my next adventure even though im not quite sure what that is yet!

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Melbourne

Walking, Penguins & Saying Goodbye

20th – 23rd February 2018

After another monstrous greyhound bus journey, we made it to Melbourne and thankfully to a nice hostel (you wouldn’t get me back to that place in Sydney even if you paid me!).

Our plans for Melbourne were to do more walking tours as they are a really good way to see the city. The first one we did was one of the city and our tour guide, Tristan, was super nice and his enthusiasm for the spots he was showing us, and coffee were infectious. It allowed us to go to the less mainstream places and see the hidden art down the side streets of Melbourne. 

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This is Flinders Street railway station, fun fact – My paternal Grandmas maiden name was Flinders! 

The next evening, we decided to head to St. Kilda for another walking tour and to witness the penguin parade. The penguin parade is a nightly occurrence after sunset when they are returning from their hunt for food at sea. We were lucky enough to spot about 8 of them and a few younger ones who, as you can imagine were insanely cute. No pictures unfortunately because it was so dark and we didn’t want to frighten them! 

There are lots of similarities between Manchester and Melbourne and the pictures show just how the architecture is similar. I really liked Melbourne and would love to go back as I feel like I didn’t get to explore as much as I would’ve liked. Spending our last evening in Aus (before the monster journey home) in St. Kilda, was a really lovely ending to a life changing journey that I’ll never forget. 

One last greyhound to go, one last journey, to the airport… Manchester, I’m coming for you! 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

The Blue Mountains

The 3 Sisters 

19th February 2018

Listen, it is a well-known fact at this point that I’m not a fan of the outdoors and nature. Give me WIFI and air con over open air and hiking any day! BUT, what I will say is that during my travels in Aus I was pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and experiencing the beautiful views that the country had to offer. We booked a day trip to The Blue Mountains and off we went. 

We stopped at loads of places and it was quite a busy day, but the most memorable stops were:

Euroka cam ground (lots of wild Kangaroos)

Wentworth Falls (very cold)

Jamison Valley

Mount Solitary

Katoomba Falls

Echo Point – which gave us the best view of the 3 sisters. 

The views at all stops were absolutely gorgeous and I am very grateful that I got to witness them but I didn’t just look around and moan about being in nature, I did learn that the Blue Mountains have been given the name because the Eucalyptus tree oil mixes with the suns rays and makes it look blue! Every day is a learning day folks 😉

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After the tour we headed back to the hostel, got dressed up and headed out to catch up with the lovely Celyn and Rebecca who we met and worked with in Cairns. I won’t go into details but, WHAT A NIGHT. 

We were heading to Melbourne the next evening, so spent the following day recovering from the night out…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

P.s the pictures just don’t do these beautiful mountains justice, they looked soooo much better in real life! 

Bondi Beach

Beach Boys

18th February 2018

You can never have too many beach days, right? Bondi was just a short bus ride away from our hostel and was highly recommended by everyone we met along the way.

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Me and Jess did venture into the water, but the waves were so strong we didn’t last very long!

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We had some Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream and a walk along the shops, it was a really lovely day. It is important to note that it’s worth going to Bondi for the boys and dogs alone (heart eyes emoji). 

It’s a good job we had a chilled day as we were off up the Blue Mountains the next day! Time for an early night…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Sydney

City & The Streets 

15th – 17th February 2018

So, after 6 months in Aus we finally made it to Sydney and treated ourselves to breakfast in the Holiday Inn. Yes, that’s right, after making all those threats in Cairns we went to a Holiday Inn. Little did we know that we should have stayed there as the hostel we were going to call home for the next few nights was grim AF and that’s all I’m going to say about it. We dropped our bags, figured out what we were going to do for the next few days and went to explore. 

We decided to do a walking tour of ‘The Rocks’. The tour we picked was a ‘free’ walking tour by the company ‘I’m Free’ and is a great way to see the city if you’re on a budget like we were. No need to book, you just meet your tour guide at the meeting point and pay what you feel at the end, as little or as much as you like.

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The Rocks is a neighbourhood of historic laneways and it gave us a good look at the Sydney Harbour Bridge from underneath and we got our shots of the Opera House. Our tour guide Jake was really lovely and pointed out Sydney’s oldest pubs and told us the tales and goings on of the past. Jake was really captivating as a guide and made sure he spent time with everyone in the group answering all our questions.

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The next day we did some more exploring and navigated our own way around the city. It had such a different feel to all the other places we had visited and was a lot more like home, opposed to the much smaller beach towns we had visited. It had a lot of shops from home like Topshop and H&M which Jess loved, but it was bittersweet because we had halved the sizes of our cases so didn’t have the room to shop!

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Friday night I think the long bus journeys had really got to us and we were so tired so instead of experiencing the Sydney nightlife we decided to do what we do best and played Cluedo. I know, WILD. 

We had a busy couple of days ahead with a beach day at Bondi and a trip up The Blue Mountains so an early night it was…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Byron Bay

Rainbows & Blue Skies 

13th & 14th February 2018

Byron bay is known for its beaches, independent shops and relaxed environment. We were only there for 2 days so had to cram in what we wanted to do. It would have been nice to stay maybe one more night to take in the sights more but we did experience the beautiful sites of the Cape Byron trail. 

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As you can see from the pictures it was absolutely stunning and the water was the nicest we had been in so far. Byron has a bit of a reputation for being a hippie town and the shops definitely reflected that, there were lots of independent shops selling local artists work and it was nice to see the support and the real sense of community that Byron had.

We were there during the most romantic day of the year, valentines day and in true team triangle fashion we went for a lovely Dominoes!

Time in Byron was short but sweet, a place I would like to go back to like most places we have visited. We made the decision to move on to Sydney and we were really looking forward to heading to the big city!

All aboard the greyhound…

Speak soon,

Hannah x

Gold Coast

Surfers paradise & Movie World

10th, 11th & 12th February 2018

Going to new places can be scary and it was something we hadn’t done after being in our Cairns bubble for a while but it was finally time to head somewhere new and explore.

I fell in love with the Gold Coast straight away. As soon as we were driving in on the good old greyhound I could just sense that I was going to enjoy our time here. We arrived at the hostel and were blown away, It was so nice! After staying in only Nomads up till this point, it was a breath of fresh air to be somewhere that was newly furbished and modern. Spoiler alert, this turned out to be our favourite hostel so shout out to BUNK surfers paradise, keep doing you. We spent the afternoon napping and doing a bit of exploring, aggy and tired we needed to just spend some time coming round before we did anything too adventurous.

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The next day we were up ready for a beach day which was only a 10 minute walk away. Living up to it’s name the surf at the beach was insane! We nearly drowned a few times but it was SO FUN. Funnily enough just after we left for the next place they closed the beach for about a week due to strong tides.

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The thing about Aus is that no matter how mcuh this pale Brit put suncream on, the Aus sunshine always won. 2 very burnt bum cheeks later it was time to head into the city to do some shopping, which conveniently, was just off the beach. I think that was my main reason for loving surfers as much as I did, you had the big sky rise buildings, shops in the City and the beach all in 100 metres of each other. 

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I won’t lie to you, another reason I enjoyed surfers was because of my whirlwind date with a certain boy nicknamed J-lo. I won’t be going into detail as I know my dad reads this (hi Stu), but lets just say it was the sweeping off my feet I needed. 

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Monday came around and it was time for an adrenaline filled day at Warner Brothers Movie World. This was honestly one of the best theme parks I’ve ever been to, including Disney. The wait times for rides where minimal and with opportunities to bump into characters and have your picture taken or watch the parades, there was always something to look at and engage with. 

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An evening in the Hard Rock Cafe was a treat to us and it was nice to treat ourselves to something other than cheesy pasta. The next morning we were off again heading to Byron so we spent the evening packing and getting some rest. 

Yep you guessed it… it was greyhound time again, off to go “find ourselves” in Byron Bay…

Speak Soon,

Hannah x

Australia Zoo

One of the best days of my life…

9th February 2018

Up early to catch the bus to the zoo, we eagerly anticipated the day ahead. I am normally a little apprehensive about going to the zoo, especially those outside of the UK as I fear the treatment of animals is not as regulated. Australia zoo however is the legacy of the crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. The zoo span’s 100 acres and has an animal hospital just next door that helps thousands of animals a year. 

Here are just a few pictures from our day at the zoo:

 

One thing that really stands out at the zoo, is how happy the animals are. You can tell the keepers really care for the animals and that they have a really special bond. There is a ‘Kangaroo park’ that you can walk through and pet the kangaroos. This was a really special moment and I am so lucky to have witnessed a mother caring for her baby joey. 

The zoo is so hands on with the animals and offers a whole range of ‘animal encounters’, one of which I was lucky enough to be able to book. It is no secret that giraffes are my favourite animal and when I saw that there was opportunity to feed them I couldn’t miss out. This was honestly one of the best moments of my life. I am so glad I got picture evidence of it so that I can remember this for ever. 

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Overall, the zoo was a great experience, one I will definitely never forget and I feel extremely lucky.

It was time to get on the greyhound again this time we were off to somewhere new! Gold coast, surfers paradise here we come… 

Speak soon,

Hannah x

East Coast Part 2

When they greyhound becomes home…

7th & 8th February 2018

After the gruelling 17 hour bus to Airlie we arrived to glorious sunshine and we were ready to chill. We went back to our favourite cafe (Sidewalk Cafe) for breakfast and a smoothie and started to come to terms with the exciting fact that we had left Cairns, this time for good. We were so tired but we still managed to go for a wonder around the shops and decided to go for a lay down bye the sea. We arrived in Airlie in the morning and were leaving that evening so we took the time that we had to chill out and take in some fresh sea air. 

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As the evening came the sky gave us a beautiful goodbye view and we boarded the Greyhound ready for a long slug of a 17 hour journey. 

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In between this journey one of the stops was our favourite service stations where the ‘Winking Matilda’ kangaroo mascot from the 1982 Commonwealth games. We have passed through this stop so many times on our travels it was nice to see her again one last time! 

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Thursday morning was when we finally arrived in Noosa after the 17 hour journey turned into 18!! We were all just absolutely shattered so we checked into the hostel and took a quick chill/nap.

That evening we headed to a place called Betty’s Burgers and Concrete Co, which was hands down one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. We had such a lovely evening walking around Noosa Heads and we even bumped into some old friends who had left Cairns just before us. so we had a drink with them and headed to bed. 

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We wanted to get an early night because we were heading to Australia Zoo the next day! Brace yourselves for the animal pics…

Speak soon,

Hannah x