Lessons from a Gap Year: Part One

Two and a half years ago, I upped sticks and went to travel around New Zealand for a year. I stopped off in the USA for a couple of weeks to visit old friends in LA, fell head over heels in love with San Francisco (best place on earth) and forced an ex to endure the evils of Harry Potter World in Florida (muhahahaha!) I arrived in Auckland towards the end of September 2013, a fresh-faced backpacker determined to see and do everything there was to see and do in that sleepy little corner of the world. Continue reading

Clutching at Straws

On the 2nd May 2014, I stood on a bungy platform on top of a mountain, poised to jump. It was a freestyle bungy and I had somewhat foolishly elected to take a run up and dive off the platform. The drop was only 47m and I had done a bungy before, but nerves set in on my way up the mountain and my mind was desperately trying to convince me that to jump would be suicide.
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Ways to Cope When Life is Hard

We all go through difficult phases of life. It is par for the course. It might just be one particular thing – being made redundant or the breakdown of a relationship  – or the whole kit and caboodle where all of life’s doors slam shut at once. It can take anything from a few days to a few months before that elusive window the clichĂ© promises will fly open, and you can finally breathe again. It will open eventually, I promise. In the meantime… Continue reading

Life

One of the greatest things about the random shuffle of world travel is the people you meet. Izzy, a French-Canadian foodie and tennis enthusiast I met when I first moved to Sydney, has a habit of pausing in the middle of the action to sigh and say, “Life.” It always struck me as hilarious and poignant in equal measure. What can we do, as humans, except hold up our hands and surrender to Life? I don’t believe in a divine higher power, but it is humbling to acknowledge there is very little, with the exception of our own behaviour, that we can actually control. Continue reading

Film Friday: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Female double acts are hard to come by in film. I can think of three off the top of my head; Susan Sarandon & Geena Davies (Thelma & Louise), Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy (The Heat) and Marilyn Monroe & Jane Russell (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). I’m sure if I thought harder I might be able to wring out a couple more, but equal female lead billing is exceedingly rare. Continue reading

Film Friday: Wild

I read Cheryl Strayed’s heartbreaking and heart-warming memoir over Christmas. I was unable to put it down, enthralled by her bravery, unflinching honesty and visceral pain. If you pick it up expecting another Eat Pray Love (as I naively did), you are in for a short sharp shock. It is a book I continue to recommend to everyone, because I think everyone should read it. It is beautiful and inspiring and uplifting. Reading it made me want to be a better person.
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