Friday, 18 August 2017

Adventures in Sydney: Kurnell

Kurnell

Last weekend, my boyfriend and I headed down south to Kurnell. Kurnell is where Captain Cook first landed in 1770 and thus triggered the whole process of European settlement. Despite it being such an important place, I had never visited! The general areas is a bit odd; Botany Bay houses Sydney's (very small) port and Kurnell is also home to Caltex's giant oil refinery.

Kurnell
Another weekend, another picnic.

Kurnell
Made a little friend - as always don't feed the wildlife.
Monday, 14 August 2017

[Video] Day in My Life | Work Edition

I am back with another vlog style video! I mainly use my blog to document about the interesting and adventurous things that I get up to. However my life is generally a bit mundane. I work Monday to Friday from 8.30am-5pm + commute which isn't conducive to doing interesting things during the week. And also because I am lazy.


Random thoughts from this video process:
  • Finding music is a chore.
  • It seems that I bounce a lot when I walk.
Saturday, 12 August 2017

Mongolia Packing List & Advice


A year ago I embarked on a two week trip to Mongolia. This post has been sitting in my drafts for almost 8 months now and I thought it was fitting to post it now.

---

Before my trip to Mongolia, I wrote a packing list of what I was bringing. I thought it was best to write another packing list for those who are going to Mongolia and to prevent you from making the same mistakes that I did. I went in August which was the tail end of summer therefore my list and advice is only relevant to the warmer months in Mongolia. During my two week stay in Mongolia, temperatures ranged from 10 - 25 degrees C.

This is not an extensive packing list as I have not included all basic items such as shirts, shorts, socks, etc.

Clothing

  • Underwear - bring underwear for more days than your tour. There is no running water and cleaning your underwear on the trip is unlikely. That is unless you don't mind wearing your underwear for more than one day, to each their own.
  • Lightweight rain jacket
  • Sports bra/s - I am not large chested, however I was told that they are a life saver for the bumpy off-roading
  • Pants / Trousers - especially if going horse riding and also for the cool mornings / evenings
  • Hiking boots / joggers - any sturdy shoes really. I don't think hiking boots are a necessity. I brought semi-casual combat boots and they were an okay choice.

Accessories

  • Sleeping bag - I think this is crucial! Your tour operator will supply you with sleeping bags most likely, however, they will have been used by countless people before who went days without showering. And who knows when the sleeping bags were last washed properly. Even between your tour members, you will inadvertently end up rotating your sleeping bag as they all get bundled up and randomly distributed at the ger. A little bit gross. If you don't have a sleeping bag, I would strongly to see if any family or friends have one. My sleeping bag ended up being my "home" and it was comforting to know it was only mine as everything ended up being shared on the trip. Even my lip balm! Luckily I brought an extra lip balm as some people were using mine. In the end it grossed me out too much and I just gave that one away for communal use.
  • Bandanna - offroading = dust / dirt / sand. I used it extensively when I was in the van as they had open windows. When I washed it halfway through the trip, the water was brown. Yuck, I would have breathed that in.
  • Hat - coming from Australia, I always advocate for people to wear hats.
  • Sunglasses
  • Car charger - the van may be able to charge your electronics via the cigarette lighter outlet, however do not rely on this. The first van's outlet didn't work.
  • Mosquito net (if you are scared of bugs) - if I could go back in time, I would have definitely purchased a mosquito net to place over my bed. I am terrified of bugs and there were quite a few nights where bugs and spiders were all over the ger walls. Brrrrrrrrrrrr. I ended up getting my tour mates to kill them for me, but I knew there were still many more around. There was one night where there were so many spiders and I literally curled up in my sleeping bag all night and too scared to turn over and face the ger wall. At one point in the middle of the night, it was so warm and I needed to take off my jumper and pants however I was too worried to unzip my sleeping bag and ended up stripping in my zipped up bag. It was very difficult.
  • Wet wipes - they were the best alternative when showers were not an option
  • Tissues / toilet paper - always useful and best to carry it with you at all times!
  • Own utensils / mug - this is probably the grossest part of the experience. I am not the biggest clean freak, but knowing that plates / cutlery were not cleaned properly (except with some water and wiped down with a tea towel that probably never got cleaned) was slightly ... uncomfortable to accept. I think I would have had greater piece of mind if I had brought my own cutlery, mug and plate. That being said I did not get food poisoning at all!


Food

I'll be honest, the food in Mongolia is not great. It largely comes down to the fact that supermarkets have limited supplies, it will need to be quickly cooked by the tour guide and transported in the van without refrigeration. If you are not a fussy person then probably ignore this section. But below is what I did and what I would do differently if I had the chance.
  • Buy fruit at the supermarket - firstly it's healthy, especially since the rest of your diet won't be. Secondly, it won't melt in the van.
  • Don't buy too much chocolate - although chocolate feels like a treat, it isn't very glamorous when you end up licking it off from the wrapper as it has melted in the van.
  • Instant oatmeal / porridge (pre purchased in Ulanbaatar) - breakfast usually consisted of bread and jam / butter / nutella. If anything was left over, you would eat it the next morning ergo a lot of dry / stale bread. In hindsight, I should have brought instant porridge and made it with the hot water.
  • Museli bars
  • Hot sauce / condiment - food wasn't always great and having a condiment like hot sauce a) makes bland food taste better and b) it masks the taste of any food that doesn't taste good

Technology

  • Don't bring a laptop, chances are you won't use it and the chances of it breaking are quite high - I brought it and although I used it back in Ulanbaatar to edit photos, I really could have done without it. I ended up stressing a little about my laptop breaking as luggage was constantly jostled, thrown on the ground, etc
  • Bring spare camera batteries- you will not have a chance to charge your electronics. And, on the odd chance that there are powerpoints they will all be occupied
  • Powerbank - life saver! I used it to charge my camera
  • Camera of course!
  • Don't bother bringing a power adaptor, all places have a wonderful multiplug powerboard which is great! That being said, if you are a little worried you will be caught out then bring one just in case.

Luggage

  • Do not bring a suitcase unless you are happy to roll your suitcase over dirt / sand / grass.
  • Pack light, the vehicle does not necessarily have a lot of space and luggage will be packed in snuggly along with the food and other supplies.

Entertainment

  • MP3 Player / Ipod - Chances are that you will be in a vehicle for an extended period of time and it does get a little boring
  • Books / Audiobooks - I brought my Kindle which was a lifesaver! I read probably 5 novels over my 12 day trip during the downtime. I also had one audiobook loaded onto my phone for the car rides. I can't read on a moving vehicle (trains are the exception) as I get motion sickness. In hindsight, I should have loaded more audiobooks!

And most importantly, you definitely need to go with an open mind! Go with the flow because things won't go to plan and that is okay! You will most likely get to know people very intimately, moreso than the average person. You will be living and breathing the same air in a smallish enclosure for an extended period of time!

By the way, that camel from the photo is from camel hair handmade by a family in rural Mongolia. So cute!

If you have any other questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email at dignifiable[at]gmail.com.
Monday, 7 August 2017

Warragamba Dam & Knapsack Viaduct

I always find it interesting to return to a place that I have previously visited. To reflect on how I have and my life has changed compared to my previous visit. Although I must admit it is something I am reluctant to do; the whole 'there is so much to do and so little time' mentality does kick in a fair bit.

Earlier last year, I made a visit to Warragamba Dam in the south-west of Sydney. Fast forward to almost 18 months later and I made another visit.

Warragamba Dam

Warragamba Dam

Warragamba Dam

It was a fairly chilly Saturday morning despite the supposed high of 22 degrees. We had arrived close to midday and I was surprised by the lack of families / people at the dam.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Monthly Recap: July

June 2017

July was a fairly quiet month. Apart from the bushwalk at the Royal National Park, my weekends were generally non-eventful.

  • I have been getting a little bit restless and have been wanting to travel again. More specifically, I am really wanting to go on another roadtrip by myself. There is just something about being on the open road with fields and paddocks stretching out to the horizon. Perhaps I am just feeling a little bit trapped. I just find it so much easier to slow my monkey-mind and enjoy the present moment when I am in nature / middle of nowhere. The rat race is a real thing.
  • I have almost been in my 'new' job for three months and I was informed that I passed probation. The job is a bit of a weird one; as they say, 'you can pick your friends but you can't pick your colleagues'.
  • Last month I uninstalled Instagram from my phone and I don't feel like I will reinstall for the near future. I haven't been as lost without it as I thought I would. Although I must admit I have installed it twice and removed it within an hour because I wanted to check / stalk something. I simply don't have the will power to have it installed but limit my usage! However, I have recently created another Twitter account so add me if you would like! There was a part of me that thought I had substituted one social media platform for another but my usage on it is fairly low. I also have a Snapchat (typicalovestory) account if anyone wants to add me on it.
  • A few weeks ago it was announced that Pandora would no longer work in Australia & New Zealand. I am devastated! I have been using Pandora for the past 5 years and adore it. I am now transitioning to Spotify. I didn't like Spotify originally which is why I went to Pandora, but that was 5 years ago and I am sure it has changed dramatically since then. Hopefully it serves my needs!
  • In the past two months, I've tried to re-connect with people who used to play a big part in my life. However, all this affirmed was the reason as to why we moved apart. It also made me reflect on a few different relationships and whether or not they really have a place in my life anymore.


How was your July?
Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Adventures in Sydney: Bradley's Head

I have lived in Sydney for almost my entire life and there are times when I think that I have been everywhere that is even remotely interesting. However I know that is definitely not the case and I like to actively search for things to do. And also because I get restless. I used to joke to an ex* with, 'do you even Sydney?' The context to the joke was that he lived his entire life in Sydney and yet didn't know ... well a whole lot at all. Except for trendy brunch places. I actually find that to be a common occurrence and need to clarify when I ask people for things to do that I don't mean where to eat for brunch. Major digression.

I recently visited Bradley Head to watch the sunset. To save the $8 parking fee, we walked down the road (2km one way) to the water's edge.

Untitled

Untitled

On the walk down we passed Bradley's Head Fortification. There is one cannon (there are three pits) and the trenches are still accessible.

Untitled
Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Colour Film: Canberra

June 2017

June 2017

Canberra is the capital city of Australia and located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The location of the capital city was decided in 1908 as a compromise between Sydney and Melbourne, the two largest cities. It is an entirely planned city designed by two American architects, making it one of the few entirely planned cities in the world! Workers in the ACT are among the highest paid (on average) in the entire country. Good ol' public servants.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Colour Film: Manly, Lawson & Misc

I recently developed two rolls of film shot by my brand new Pentax SP1000. I have had issues with Fuji Superia 400 previously and on my last bulk film purchase, I decided to try Fuji Superia 200. Funnily enough, Superia 200 has now been discontinued! I enjoyed the 200 a lot more than the 400. The Pentax SP1000 is my first manual camera and I definitely need to be more aware of the aperture as some of my shots were severely underexposed. Well, at least that is where I think the problem lies. There were some shots that were so dreamy, and then others that were ... not.

This post will feature my first roll and contain shots from the Lawson Waterfall Circuit (blogged here), Manly Beach and random stuff!

June 2017

June 2017
Walk to work.

June 2017
Manly Beach

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Weekend Colour Palette: Blue

I spend a lot of my life on public transport; commuting to and from work and also to meet up with my boyfriend. I suppose that sounds a little depressing however, as I don't have a car, it is the cheapest form of transportation. The blue seats on the bus are so familiar to me.



▪▪▪

I must admit, there are moments when I find Sydney to be quite dull; the urban sprawl and the rat race starts to feel a little claustrophobic. However, the weekend is the time when I reconnect, see and appreciate the beauty in this wonderful city.


Friday, 7 July 2017

Uloola Falls & Karloo Pools

Untitled

Last weekend I went for a bushwalk at the Royal National Park from Waterfall Station to Heathcote Station. It was 11.3km track and the main attractions were the Uloola Falls and Karloo Pools.

Untitled

Untitled
Banksia
Monday, 3 July 2017

Weekend Colour Palette: Pink

Lulu from Beside the Danube recently created a photography project where she would create a set of photo each weekened centred around a selected colour. I answered her open call and decided to give it a try.* The colour for last weekend was: PINK.






Surprisingly, I found it quite hard to find pink over the weekend! Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it as it challenged me to look at my surroundings more carefully.

* The last time I've done a challenge of any sort was back during LIMS (last icon maker standing) on Livejournal. Anyone remember those? 
Friday, 30 June 2017

Monthly Recap: June


  • The months of June and July are always a bit of an odd period for me. I am usually susceptible to having low and existential moments but it is always a little harder to shake off at this time. I think it is largely because it is the halfway mark of the year and I question if I have achieved anything for the year. It is also exacerbated by the fact it is the anniversary of my mother's death and then I wonder about my own life and my own existence. Death doesn't scare me but what scares me is thinking that I will be on my death bed and realising that my life has amounted to nothing. That I have done nothing and I haven't lived life to the fullest. In comparison to last year, that fear hasn't controlled me as much. As mentioned in my resolutions, I wanted to slow down in 2017 and to accept that every activity that I do doesn't need to be productive and valuable
  • I have been finding it a little hard to do work at work. I am doing enough to get by. But the motivation has been a little hard to come by. My only work friend / colleague resigned earlier this month. Well, she was pushed out effectively. I worry about my own future at the company and if I will pass probation.
  • My trip to Canberra over the long weekend was lovely. I really enjoyed Canberra and think it is actually a beautiful city. Canberra definitely isn't as bad as people say it is. Sure, it may not have as much happening as Sydney, but the things that happen in Sydney aren't exactly up my alley. I would actually love to move out of Sydney at some point to somewhere quieter. But alas, jobs.
  • I am going on a shopping ban for the rest of the year. The only exception to this ban are necessities such as socks, underwear, shampoo, etc. I am not very spend-y overall however I would like to be at a point where I am saving approximately 75% of my pay.
  • As of 2 weeks ago, I've uninstalled my Instagram and would like to maintain this ban for the month of July. I deactivated Facebook a few months ago to curb my mindless scrolling. This was relatively easy as I wasn't an active user. However I really felt that I needed to curb my time on Instagram. I got sucked into and spent so much time scrolling mindlessly / stalking and really want to do something more productive with my time.
How was your June? 
Saturday, 24 June 2017

Blue Mountains: Lawson Waterfall Circuit


A few weekends ago, I went to the Blue Mountains for a bushwalk. Although I have been to the Blue Mountains quite a few times now, there are a lot of areas that I haven't explored or even heard of! Whilst I was Googling for easy-ish day walks, I stumbled upon the Lawson Waterfall Circuit which sounded pretty intriguing - 3km walk which passes by 4 waterfalls.



Compared to the bushwalks at Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba, my boyfriend and I were the only ones on the track! It was a very peaceful walk.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Vivid Sydney 2017

Another year, another Vivid Sydney! Admittedly, I only attend the light installations, however I think Vivid has become less exciting as the years go by. Instead of a photo dump, I decided to make a video of Vivid using my Samsung S8. I picked the wrong day for a visit as it started to pour halfway through the night and I decided to just head home.


The best thing I saw from Vivid which wasn't even an installation [it projected onto the Opera House] 

If you are interested, I have blogged about it in previous years - 2012, 201320142015. Looking back at those posts has reminded me a) that I have had this blog so many years! and b) I did take some pretty awesome shots with my point and shoot.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

5 Places I Want to Visit Overseas

To complement my post about the 5 Places I want to Visit in Australia, I am here with a post about the 5 Places I want to Visit Overseas! This was a tough list to compile as the list is always changing. In reality, the places that I want to visit is insanely long however I have tried to capture the ones at the top of the list.

Unlike my Australia post, I feel that I might not end up visiting most /any of these places. It boils down to two simple reasons: time and money. Assuming that I am departing from Sydney, each destination is so far away and I don't think I can justify spending a whole day on a flight anymore when each day of leave is so precious. But one can dream!

1. India
Minimum flight time13 hours
India is such a diverse and large country; it is hard to really pinpoint where I would want to visit! I had originally planned on visiting in the first half of next year, but I am unsure if that will eventuate. The top regions I want to go to for a first visit are: the Golden Triangle and Ladakh!

Stupa at Lamayuru Monastery, Ladakh, India

Jaipur

Jaipur


Friday, 9 June 2017

Hobart

Mount Wellington or Kunanyi is located 20 minutes away from Hobart CBD. After seeing photos by Jane and Leonie and also the film, Lion, I put it at the top of my 'must see' in Hobart.

Tasmania 2017
There are a few bushwalks to the top however I decided to take the easy option and drive up. The drive was a little windy however nothing scary (and this is coming from someone who drives a maximum of 3 times a year!).

Tasmania 2017

Tasmania 2017
Friday, 2 June 2017

May Update

Work

I have been at my new job for a month now. I don't know where time has gone! Work has been alright. Truth be told, I wasn't very excited about the role during the interview (and also didn't believe I would get the role) and those feelings are still present. But overall it hasn't been that bad. I am not unhappy anymore and I now have a permanent role which also pays more! I also have a work phone - Samsung Galaxy S8 - and I am still trying to learn how to use it. I am still in the awkward phase where I can't type properly and have a trillion typos in all my messages.

I no longer work in the CBD (Central Business District) anymore and surprisingly, I am glad of it. There are a lot less people at my new location which also means less smokers on the footpath and my hair is less likely to reek of cigarette smoke. I only wash my hair once a week (every 5th day) which is why the whole smoking-whilst-walking is an issue for me.

It is likely that I will have an interstate work trip in the next month or so. I am excited! There is something about a free trip and free meals that appeals to me. Now, if I could manage to go on an overseas work trip then I truly will be someone at work. The likelihood of this is incredibly slim ..... 

Travel

Starting a new job is synonymous with one fact - no leave. I don't have leave to go away on a substantial holiday and don't foresee myself doing anything exciting over the Christmas office closures. Namely because it is peak season and therefore very expensive to go overseas and also it will be ultra hot in Australia for domestic travel. Well apart from Tasmania and I vow to never return for leisure.

For the long weekend in June, I will be heading to Canberra (Australia's capital) for 3D / 2N. My last visit was a quick day trip for Floriade and the time before that was for a primary school camp. Everyone tells me that there isn't much to do in Canberra, but I am interested in visiting the arboretum and perhaps going to some monuments and museums.

I will also be going up to Cairns, Queensland in October! My first and only visit was back in 2006/2007 (I can't remember when...) and it was my first proper travel experience; I had to pay for everything out of my own pocket. Back then it was a really big deal, especially as I was only earning $8 dollars / hour. Honestly, I don't remember a lot from the trip which is why I have been wanting to revisit.

Other

I have been obsessed with a ginger turmeric "tea". I was first exposed to something similar at a Marrickville market. Being the frugal person that I am, I abstained from purchasing it and decided to make my own! Although frugality and purchasing ginger are almost mutually exclusive (ginger at $25 a kilo?!?!). I like to think that this drink is helping my health and will boost my immune system since I hot desk at work, catch public transport and it is getting into cold / flu season.

I also randomly bought a new film camera! It is the Pentax SP1000 and I am in love with it; the click of the shutter is just so sexy. The massive downside is that the camera is pretty heavy at 850 grams.

For the first time in many years, it is actually cold in Sydney! There are lows of 9 and highs of 17 (although it doesn't feel like 17 with the wind chill) which I am absolutely loving. I am able to wear my long boots and my Marcs winter coat.

Overall life is looking pretty great :)

Monday, 29 May 2017

Central West (Travel Diary)

Over the Easter long weekend, I went on a roadtrip to the central west region of NSW. I have already published quite a few posts about my trip and I also filmed a little! I discovered that it is hard to film anything as photography is my first priority and it becomes a hassle to switch my camera over and then retake the same thing but in a video format. Due to this, a lot of the clips are from the car when I was driving!

Finding music for videos is also so difficult!


Thursday, 25 May 2017

Tasmania: Freycinet National Park

Tasmania 2017

Tasmania 2017

This was the only sunny day during my visit and I had chop-and-changed my itinerary so that my visit to Freyicinet National Park coincided with the only nice day.

First stop was Sleepy Bay which was a short walk from the car park.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Tasmania: Historic Villages

Once upon a time, there was a man called Ross (from my former workplace) who I had a crush on and thought was very attractive. He was tall and had a very subtle Scottish accent. Fast forward to a few months later to when I moved over to sit in his area and some conversations later and I soon realised he was a dumb idiot and his attractiveness went to 0. He was comical and was one of those people who used a lot of big words to say nothing. I also found out he had sex in the work stairwell a few years ago. Lol. That was a very long introduction as to why I wanted to visit the historic village of Ross!

Ross is listed on the Register of National Estate due to the historic sandstone buildings. It is also home to the Female Factory which was one of the few female convict compounds in Australia. The sandstone bridge was built by convicts in 1836 and is the third oldest bridge still in use in Australia.

Tasmania 2017

Tasmania 2017

Tasmania 2017
Thursday, 18 May 2017

Tasmania: Land of the Pie

Tasmania 2017

Grindelwald is a village in Switzerland and also the name of the wizard in the Harry Potter series (I was listening to the final novel during my drives in Tasmania). It is also small town north of Launceston and was developed by a Dutch immigrant in the style of the Swiss village. In all honesty, it was quite random. Almost unncessary. It is a resort these days with mini golf, paddleboats and a giant jumping castle.

It was a bit of a nothing day. I tried to reach Liffey Falls but didn't manage to find them. Due to all the bad luck I had, I was genuinely concerned that I was going to crash my car and possibly injure myself. Hence when I couldn't find the falls after driving on a dirt / muddy road at a 45 degree incline, I decided to turn back for fear I would get stuck.

Tasmania 2017
Eliza Forlong & Ram - played a pivotal role in introducing merino wool to Australia

I drove past Campbell Town again and stopped at the bakery for a pepper pie. I believe this was the first of many, many pies I consumed in the island state. What can I say, I love pies. 

Tasmania 2017