Saturday, 30 January 2016

Horse Riding

On my second day of my long weekend, I headed out to Ingleburn for horse riding! I had never been on a horse before and it was something on my 30 before 30 list. This will be counted as my first trip (1/12) since Ingleburn is hardly in Sydney.

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This was an hour horse ride (walk only) and it was quite a nice experience. I was on a horse called Zorba who slowly plodded along, a little too slow in my opinion in comparison to the other horses. It was definitely a very cool experience and I am glad that I did it. Although half way through the ride, my allergies kicked in and I was sneezing constantly.

I am thinking about going on a horse tour/ride in Mongolia so this was a very much needed experience.
Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Bike Riding at Centennial Park

During my 4 day long weekend, I headed to Centennial Park for a bit of bike riding. I hadn't been on a bike for over 10 years and to be honest, I didn't hire a proper bike. Rather, I hired a two seater pedal car!

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Wearing a dress was, in hindsight, not a good choice.

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It is now two days later and my butt hurts a lot. To be fair, it's because my bones stick out when I'm sitting for extended periods of time. But it was a very fun experience and quite amusing!
Saturday, 23 January 2016

Life & Work Life Update

It is the end of the work week and also the start of my 4 day long weekend!  A bit of a random post to capture my current thoughts.

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→ Life
It was been a bit of a weird summer. For most of December it was relatively cold. Two weeks ago, Sydney received the average January rainfall in two days. And over the past week, there has been on-and-off weather; it is either cool at around 23C or it has been super humid and hot at 38C followed by crazy thunderstorms. I was going to visit Port Stephens for my long weekend however I ended up cancelling as there was a 70% chance of rain on each day which is a bit pointless when visiting a beach town.

I have also been thinking about my Christmas this year. Wait. Natalie, it's only January you may say. But I am crazy like that. I have a week (bloody annoying that Christmas and New Years Day is on a weekend) off from work most likely. My mind is jumping between a few places: Tasmania, Northern Territory/ Kakadu and Vietnam/Cambodia. Currently just ideas but flights to TAS and NT aren't even available yet (apart from Qantas) so I think I have some time to decide. That being said, I am leaning towards Tasmania purely because it's been on my list for 3 years now.

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→ Work Life
I wrote a post on my phone a week ago and in a nutshell, it was expressing my great unhappiness and dislike with my current job. I don't think I will end up posting that but maybe in the future in some sort of amended form. I might finally be starting real work in the coming weeks which is incredibly exciting since I haven't had work for two months now. Actually. I also found out my manager is a year older than me which was a little weird. But then again, I had a manager when I worked in retail who was a year older than me and, like my current manager, had a reasonably senior role.

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!
Monday, 18 January 2016

#Take12Trips

This year, I will try to complete the #Take12Trips. Essentially, it requires you to take 12 trips or one trip a month. This was started by Clare at Need Another Holiday a few years ago. I love to travel and I miss it constantly. In fact, I've been feeling quite restless for the past three months now so discovering this challenge was very fitting. That being said, as you may or may not have realised from my blog, I definitely do try to take as many trips as I can. But it is not as often as I would like.

Everyone's definition of a trip is different and taking a trip overseas is not feasible or practical considering I live in Australia and am actually in the middle of nowhere. Even flying to another city is so expensive. My definition of a trip is something outside of Sydney excluding national parks which are within Sydney.

I have a lot of months empty right now but there are some concrete plans. Later this month, I will spend 3D/2N at Port Stephens. A coastal area and right now it seems that it will be raining! Of course. I have also booked my trip to Mongolia in August! Over my Easter long weekend, my idea is to drive to Mount Kosciusko and the NSW/VIC border. But that is not concrete and it's still a little all up in the air.

The downside to already having the mentality about utilising my weekends to its potential is that I have been to a lot of the day trip suggestions near Sydney already.


For any Sydneysiders, what are some of your favourite day trips outside of Sydney? 

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Hermitage Foreshore Walk


Living in Sydney has its upsides and downsides. The upside is the fact that there is the endless coastline to explore. The downside is that the coast all begins to look the same after a while.

I went on the Hermitage Foreshore Walk from Rose Bay during my mandated office close. It was an easy walk with a nice view of the Sydney skyline and the iconic Harbour Bridge. But surprisingly, I didn't take any photos of it!

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The water was very blue, very clear and also very inviting.

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It was quite a short walk at 1.5km however I was glad when it ended since the sun was burning and it was just so hot! My friend and I caught the bus to Watson Bay to visit The Gap. I had visited it a while ago (I didn't realise it was 2.5 years ago until I just looked for the link!) I'm not entirely sure of the appeal of South Head; I much prefer North or West Head.

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Saturday, 9 January 2016

Shuk

One of the perks about housesitting near Bondi was the fact that there were so many cafes nearby. Although I do need to make a disclaimer: my definition of close is anything that can be reached in under an hour, or 5 km, by walking.

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I am writing this in the room that I am staying in; I am staying in the 8 year old daughter's bedroom. This would have been my dream bedroom as a kid, lilac walls, purple curtains and a vanity table. I have a cat lying on the bed and he has been sleeping for 6 hours now!

It is a shame that Yelp isn't used more widely in Australia as I much prefer it over Zomato. However, I did manage to find a cafe which was Shuk.

This was a 40 minute, 4.8km walk. As I started the walk at 6.30am, Bondi Beach was the quietest I had ever seen in my life.

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Shuk was located a bit further back from all the other cafes in Bondi and North Bondi and was at the corner of two streets. I ordered The Cure which was quite good, however I squeezed far too much lime onto my salad.

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cured salmon, 60/60 egg, sweet potato & quinoa
croquettes, mix leaf, spinach, dill sour cream, almonds $18 


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On the way back to the house, I spotted this tree with a bunch of notes!

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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Somersby Falls & The Entrance

It has been a relatively cool sunmer which is for the best; I'm not the biggest fan of the heat. On a gloomy Monday, I headed up to Somersby Falls on the Central Coast. It was sprinkling the entire time we were there, but it was a nice and easy drive there. Somersby Falls is part of the Brisbane Waters National Park, located around 80km from Sydney.

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On the drive back to Sydney, we looped up to The Entrance and watched the last part of the pelican feeding.

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Monday, 4 January 2016

Recap 2015

The funny thing is that I started compiling this list back in early November due to a never ending work slump and I expected to publish this at the end of December along with everyone else. But as it turns out, I left the Notepad file on my work laptop. D'oh.

Travel
  • Travelled by myself within Australia; visited South Australia.
  • Drove for the first time in almost 5 years and embarked on my first solo road trip.
  • Visited Canberra's Floriade event.
  • Took a few solo day trips around Sydney.

Favourites

Everything else
  • Pandora is available in Australia without VPN
  • Rediscovered my love for country music, notable discoveries are: Billy Currington, Maddie & Tae, Lady Antebellum and Darius Tucker.
  • Started my first "real" job and travelled to Perth and Melbourne for work.
  • When I was at a job interview for Proctor & Gamble, one of the other applicants was complaining about how she had to borrow her boyfriend's "stupid annoying wind up watch". I saw the brand, complimented and asked if I could see it and she took it off her wrist and passed it over to me. I held a Patek Phillipe watch for the first, and most likely only, time.
  • I went out on an audit at a waste removal company and got to: wear a Hi-Vis vest for a week; visit the Kimbriki tip (SO COOL); sat in a ute; gain new appreciation for people who collect my garbage. Honestly, one of the best weeks I have ever had.

'Love' & Relationships
  • Went on a few dates (been on more first dates this year than all the previous years combined) due to Tinder
  • Started a relationship with someone new
  • Reassessed my friendships and have made more of an effort to maintain them (it is true what they say about it being harder to keep friends the older you get)

Me
  • Learnt to let go more
  • Rekindled my love for yoga and meditation
  • Still trying to learn/strengthen my handstand
  • Finally started laser hair removal for underarms and Brazilian. Best decision ever

I don't really make resolutions. Instead they are more just my normal goals for myself: eating healthier, having more patience and being happier.