Thursday, 28 July 2016

July Update

Another month and another update! I won't bore you all with the standard sentence but please keep reading to see how I have been tracking.

+ Work has still been slightly frustrating however I have entered holiday mode and nothing phases me too much anymore!

+ This month has been challenging on my interpersonal skills. I have presented to senior stakeholders and in a 20 person meeting full of important people, I provided some input without stuttering! It was fabulous.

+ When I get back from my holiday I will become a more active job-hunter.

Online Life
+ I have revamped the layout of my blog ever so slightly! I have now included a drop down navigation. Originally I had wanted a multi-level drop down for my travel rather than separating it into different continents but alas after 3 hours of tutorials I couldn't figure it out. I think it still works currently. My previous travels page was getting too long, too detailed and just very blah.

+ Learning CSS and HTML was quite weird; it was a definite throwback to 15 year old Natalie who used to code / modify her Livejournal layouts. There was a point in my life where I could code (a very basic) layout. In fact I made a website from scratch as my major project for Year 12 Software Design & Development.

+ As part of this clean out, I also reviewed my old content (I have been blogging here for 5 years now!) and it is quite amusing to see how I used to write. I believe that I write quite conversationally now, however it was much more casual back then! What is even more interesting is how my content has changed. My blog has inevitably shifted from a random collection of my thoughts to become more centred around travel (domestically and internationally). These update posts are essentially the only personal posts that I write these days.

+ I still need to tidy up my tags which is a little out of control. I remember back in the good ol' LJ days that this was a horrible task and alas, I don't think this current state of tag-affairs is any better. But it needs to be done as I haven't reviewed it ... ever.

+ I have been on-and-off with my blog again. This may not be apparent as I schedule the vast majority of my posts (including this post!), but in the past I used to write at least one post a week. These days I am lucky if this happens every three weeks.

+ In fact, for quite a few weeks I was "struggling" to keep up with my blogs that I read. Life has been a little busy (keep reading) and I haven't had the chance to keep in touch with everyone. My bloglovin feed is currently under control again; hopefully it stays like that.

+ In the month of July, I went on this binge-dating phase. I am thinking about writing a separate post about this but in a nutshell, I went on an absurd number of dates in a reasonably short period of time.

+ Due to the above, I did not venture outside of Sydney. Not once which is unprecedented! I will still be able to meet the #take12trips challenge as I am ahead by one trip.

+ Song favourites: Trace Adkins "I Can't Outrun You"; Birdy "Wings; Darius Rucker "If I Told You"

Travel itchy feet rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Sunday, 17 July 2016

Bouddi National Park & Wisemans Ferry

I had rented the car for the entire length of the long weekend and thus headed up north to the Central Coast for a day trip. Bouddi National Park had been on my radar for well over 7 months now however it required a car to get there and it wasn't a high priority for me. But alas I made the drive up since it was reasonably close!



Friday, 8 July 2016

Hill End

I mentioned that I had wanted to visit Hill End during my Easter road trip, however due to time constraints I didn't end up going. As I was roughly in the area, I decided to head there on my second and last day.

I woke up to the valley completely surrounded in fog and it was just breathtaking. Stupidly, I had forgotten to remove my camera battery from my camera and in the -4 degree temperatures overnight, it had drained completely. D'oh! I moved the battery to my pocket on my shirt to warm it up and eventually had the battery partly restored which is why I still have photos!



Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Glen Davis Shale Oil Works

The Glen Davis Shale Oil Works closed in 1952 and can now only be accessed via a tour that is run every Saturday at 2pm by a local. It is on private property hence the need for a tour and honestly, I really didn't mind paying the $15 as it does go back to the very small community.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Capertee Valley

Over the Queen's Birthday long weekend I had plans originally to drive to New England region of NSW and drive "aimlessly" around Tamworth and the surrounding towns. However, I ended up only having two days (intention to return to Sydney on Sunday night) and it wasn't feasible to make the drive there and back. Instead, I did a quick google search and discovered Capertee Valley.

In the past 12 months, I have driven on the same road through the Blue Mountains three times and all three times it has been very overcast despite being sunny in Sydney. I left a little later than what I would have liked due to the opening hours of the car rental place. There were also quite a few cars cruising at 80kmph on a 100kmph stretch of road which was a little frustrating. But soon enough I reached the roads that I love to drive on; 100kmph country roads with minimal / no cars on it. It is just so peaceful and the epitome of a road trip.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016

June Update

I have been MIA from my blog yet again! Life has been a little crazy lately which I guess I will dot point below. July is almost here which means that my trip to Mongolia is fast approaching which is crazy considering I booked this back in December!

+ I have been a little frustrated with work due to people. My role has a lot of interactions with clients and also various operational teams. I've also been off my game lately so mistakes have been made which irks me.

+ I have made a new work friend and it is a lot of fun having someone to chat to.

+ I am mentoring / buddying with the guy that got the role that I wanted which is incredibly ironic.

+ I have finished all my pottery classes and loved it! It was infinitely better than the other studio and I may actually pick this up as a hobby. Maybe.

+ Mr Paella and I broke up. But I have come to the sad realisation that I didn't actually care enough about it and have been on quite a few dates since then. I sound like a horrible person, but I guess I don't know why I stayed as long as I did.

+ Over the long weekend (which I still need to blog about) I went on a road trip and it was amazing!

+ I am back on Tinder life! However, I haven't had any interesting stories unlike last time.

+ V was my second most viewed story out of the three Tinder stories (actually that series were my most viewed posts ... seriously) and I matched with him again (third time now) and we finally met up. Twice! He is surprisingly exactly how he is on texts. Confident, smooth talker, knows he is attractive and just a commitment phobe (but not willingly to say he is only looking for flings). He also has a lot of baggage (as do I) and his bravado is very obvious. He is a super super interesting character. The reality is that I know at some point (probably in the near future) I will have to stop spending time with him. And it is sad because he genuinely is such an interesting person; probably the most interesting person that I know.

+ Music favourites: Lukas Graham - 7 Years.

+ Travel itchy feet rating: ☆ 
Thursday, 16 June 2016

Blue Mountains

This post is from mid April and is about my trip to the Blue Mountains.

After breakfast at Henri Marc, we headed to Wentforth Falls in the Blue Mountains. The last time I visited was - surprisingly- in 2012! I hadn't actually realised it was that long ago! The aim for the day was to do a short walk at Wentworth Falls. I am a hiker and I love it; unfortunately Mr Paella is not quite the hiker / outdoor-sy kind of person. I don't mind it generally, however it does make it a little difficult when we are doing something together. Something that is deemed a Grade 1 (very easy) is right up his alley whereas I don't really look at any hike that is below a Grade 3 (moderate / hard). I enjoy hikes that are at least 9km round trip whereas he is more comfortable with 1km. For Wentworth Falls, we were just going to walk to the bottom and then back up the death stairs.


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Henri Marc

This review is a massive throwback! I visited Henri Marc on the way to the Blue Mountains back in mid April.

The cafe was quite busy at 8am when I visited and it was very quirky! It honestly looked like it used to be a garage of some sort, converted into a cafe. The coolest part was their sink which was made from a re-purposed gas cylinder. I was seated at the bar and had a great view of the kitchen!

The table was so high that the bar stools all had an extra 30cm added to the legs for the extra height. Never been seated so high up ever!