Sunday, December 29, 2013

Once again, I have landed on my feet.

A week has passed since my Irish adventure has closed and now that I have caught up on much needed sleep and am feeling back to normal again, I can write about it.

I've had such an adventure these past seven and a bit months in Ireland and I am just devastated that they have come to a close. It has been such a challenging yet joyous experience to be an aupair and I just feel incredibly heart broken that it is all over and I have had to say goodbye to the lovely family I was working for.  
At the beginning I found being an aupair challenging. Not because I had naughty children, a language barrier or difficult host parents but because I myself had to change, I had to adapt to another lifestyle and find a new awareness. Being the youngest in my family and never really having had much experience with children I've never really had the pressure of being responsible for someone else nor too thoughtful in the way in which I conduct myself. So, you can imagine pressure I felt when I realized I was responsible for three young souls and not just responsible for entertaining them, but for feeding them and teaching them. For nourishing their curiosity and for keeping them safe. Suddenly when the activity or game said 'Adult supervision required', I was the adult and it was me who was responsible. However, as time progresses everything gets easier, everything gets routine and as I built a relationship with the children and learnt their lifestyle, I felt calm and in control. As the children grew, I grew too. It was a job where I learnt something everyday. One day it would be to remember to squash my competitiveness when it came to games because children like to win. One day it would be to approach with caution in the morning because you never knew what you were going to get or one day it would be that simply, finger food would be the easiest way to get to the 2 year old to eat the healthier food. I learnt to pick my battles and that even though it looks horrible to put your child on a leash, there is a reason someone thought to invent it because those things are magical!
The girls I minded are pure gems and I enjoyed so much being a part of their lives. They were my daily joy and I'm so thankful to them for the happiness, patience and open arms. It must be hard for them to have different people come into their lives and be such a part of it, only to leave again. I can only hope in the future that this experience with aupairs from different cultures enriches them.
I'll be forever grateful for my wonderful host parents, you hear horror stories but this was not and I don't have a bad thing to say about them. I was truly lucky and my aupairing experience has been 100% positive.

I will miss my wee village in county Meath and I will miss beautiful Ireland and all the joy that it has brought to me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The train to Greystones.

My heart is a little bit broken tonight. I just had the loveliest final weekend away with my beautiful Cousins. I had a great time with them despite the fact that Ireland decided to make this weekend the perfect weekend to introduce me to to typical Irish weather.... Rain... and more rain, so I did not see much of Sligo. However, to be honest with you, it was time spent with my cousins that I wanted more and that's what I got.  So today, being Monday, I finally had to say good bye and I just feel terrible. As I stood at the train station waiting for my connecting train, I just wanted to hop on the train on the other platform that was Greystones bound. I know that this wasn't my last journey to see them, but it is for now. It's my last journey as I am this person now, right in this time and I know that there will be no journey to see them next weekend or the following. The next time I visit them (or they visit me), Noah will have a voice and Eve will be able to count to a hundred and know a thousand new words. It's exciting to think of what I will be like then. Who more will I be and who more will they be. It just breaks my heart that in the mean time, I don't get to see them grow like I have the past seven months.

It has been the most wonderful thing getting to know my family. My Dad has never had that luxury as great as me. My Grandfather is English and moved to Australia to live, so my Dad has parts of his family all over the world- Cathy is my Dad's cousin., However because all my Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all live in Australia, I don't know what it's like to NOT know my family-my life has always felt full on the family front. But coming here, coming to the other side of the world to meet more, to get to know more family filled a little a hole in me that I never knew was there until I found it being filled. Before I was just connected to these people through blood, through family ties but now we are connected by something much more stronger than that and that's friendship, that's love.
I am so so appreciative and grateful for my time with them, I have am so thankful for them letting me into their home every other weekend, for including me in their lives, for spoiling me and for helping me out. I never thought when I decided that Ireland would be my new place of residence that my Cousins would become a staple part of my life. Seeing them every other weekend, always felt familiar, always felt comforting, it always felt like coming home and I'm just so devastated to leave them. Time will fly and I know I will find myself back again, but all the while I will just miss them all so so much.

Cathy, Noah and I - crappy quality... the one weekend I forget my camera! and missing Ciaran!

Miss Eve and I- this little girl is so bright and such a cheeky miss. 

Mr Noah- the cutest boy, I will miss our snuggles

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Home is not where you live but where you are understood- Christian Morgenstern
The days are getting shorter now and the good bye hugs and thank you's are starting to become a fixture of my life of late. It's nearly time to go home and it makes me realize that wherever I go I will always be home. I have shown myself that life can be lived from any corner of the globe and that my home is everywhere. It's in the cobbled streets of Edinburgh city, it's on the tube in London. Home is is the Danish word 'hygge' and in the hearts of three little girls living in county Meath. 
It breaks my heart to know this life here is all ending. I believe my life will forever be spent missing people. Missing the fact that I'm no longer a part of their daily routine, that I'm no longer in their company and even though when I give someone their last hug good bye I wonder 'am I ever going to see this person again?' I do find comfort in the fact that life happens and sometimes paths do cross, time collides and some moments of our lives continue to connect to others moments. I saw this in June when I ran into my crazy Mexican friend who when I hugged good bye three years ago at a little bus stop in DK, I thought I'd never see her again. And I did, we just happened to be in the right place at the right time. 
As an exchange student the motto we told ourselves to get us through was ' it's not good bye, only I'll see you soon' and as my heart was made to wander I honestly believe this is the case. I will forever be going home and I will forever be looking for a new home. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wild and Sexy Scotland

I have been to England and Wales and I am living in Ireland so I thought it was only fitting that I knocked Scotland off too! I may have only scratched the surface of what I want to see in all these lovely places but such is life of an adventurer.
I have spent five wet and cold but lovely days exploring Scotland. I flew into Edinburgh early Sunday morning and had the day to explore. Then the next day I was off on another wonderful Haggis tour of the Highlands including the Isle of Skye for three days. Then my final day in Edinburgh before flying out late at night. I had been told that if I loved Wales that I would definitely love Scotland, and love doesn't even come close to describing the joy and happiness I got from lovely Scotland.
I had not done any research on Edinburgh, I just simply booked my ticket and got on the plane. As I travel more I seem to be a bit more relaxed, I don't feel the need to have everything planned and 'googled' before I set off and I am glad that I didn't because Edinburgh is just enchanting. The city has quickly become my favorite city in the world. As the airport bus drove into the city, I could not believe what I was looking at. All these old gorgeous castle like buildings lining the city skyline and as I wandered the streets, despite the splash of the modern day life, I felt like I was in another time. There was no need for site seeing just wandering the streets was mesmerizing in its self!

 After I became acquainted with lovely Edinburgh it was time to start my Haggis tour and it was such a great tour! We had a fantastic tour leader/driver who certainly payed homage to the Scottish cheeky, perverted and honest humor! I tell you what I giggled all the way through those Highlands.
 Our first day was spent getting to the Highlands so we saw many gorgeous Lochs and Battles sites. We also had a trip to distillery and tasted some Scottish whisky as well a lovely drive through the Glencoe area... our first taste of the highlands before making it to Fort William our base for two nights.
The second day was spent on the Isle of Skye with a quick stop at Eilean Donan Castle- a very popular castle for the Hollywood industry!
Where we went on the Isle of Skye was very weather dependent so the west was our destination and the Macleod's Tables were our back drop for the day. Again Scotland did not seem to disappoint and at every turn was another amazing site of mountains, water and sky. With autumn out in full force everything was also covered in different shades of red and orange which just added to the beauty.
Our last day we stopped off at Loch Ness- which to be honest, is just as gorgeous as all the others I have seen but obviously more popular because of the legend attached to it. Needless to say I saw no monster but I enjoyed the stories of the crazies that packed up and sold everything to devote their life to finding the beastie!
We also stopped through the battle site of Culloden which is probably one of Scotland's most important battles in history as the outcome changed- and damaged, the identity of many of the Scottish people, the highlanders in particular! Now I am not a history buff and I'm not particularly interested in past warfare so when we stopped off I wasn't all that fussed but after learning about the battle that took place there I think this story will always stay with me.
After Culloden we continued our drive back to Edinburgh, with a wee stop at some old ruins, much similar to the ones at Newgrange (see previous post) and then a traipse around a forest for a stop at Hermitage Falls.
My final day in bonnie in Scotland was spent wandering Edinburgh again. This time I went to the National Portrait Gallery and the National Scottish Gallery which were great but mainly, I was just interested in soaking up the atmosphere of this fairy tale like city.
While on tour I also met some lovely people which just added to the experience and while I love traveling on my own it does get lonely, so it was so nice to be taken in by some lovely people and share the experience of this magical place with them.

Eilean Donan Castle


Isle of Skye

Scotland is just truly a treasure and now all I need to do is find a Scottish Prince so I can live in a castle on hill surrounded by gorgeous mountains and bodies of water. I could live very happily indeed.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Little adventures

You can blame procrastination for my lack of posts over the past six weeks. I get busy, I have some adventures then I get busy again and then when I finally feel ready to write about it I get overwhelmed by everything that I put it off and get busy again. So here I am, a week away from my Scotland trip and writing my latest fun down so I don't forget about all this in my Scotland hype.

Lately I have been working some five day weeks so I have been very much in a bit of a working mindset and settling into the routine of that. However on my weekends I do have some fun things to report.

A while ago myself and two other aupair friends went to Dublin for the day and went to the National Leprechaun museum. We were honestly going because we had a voucher for a free gift and we were wondering what it could be. However, we had a fantastic time! the tour basically took us through Ireland's folk history and it definitely sparked a curiosity in me to buy and read some folklore stories!
That day was also followed by dinner and a few pints in the city at a lovely Irish bar with some great music!

National Leprechaun Museum

I've also had two really lovely nights in Dublin. One I went to see Aus comedian Adam Hills and another I went in to see one my my fav musicians Passenger.
Adam Hills was great! He was hilarious and so good with the audience! and the night was even better as I followed it on by having a few drinks and danced away with some of my aupair friends in the city!

Adam Hills @ Vicar St
Passenger is a musician that I have been trying to see live for years now. I heard about him through a friend when he used to just busk on the streets. She has seen him in Fed Square in Melbourne. I never got around to seeing him live and when I saw he was in Dublin just recently I booked my tickets right away! He was such a great artist to see live and definitely going to be a concert I will always remember!

Passenger @ Vicar St.
I have spent a weekend in Northern Ireland with my original aupair girls. Ioana and Martina were just finishing as I started but we became good friends very quickly. Ioana is now living in Northern Ireland with her husband so Martina and I caught the train up to Belfast and spent the weekend with Ioana! I enjoyed being with these girls again, I have missed their presence in wee Stamullen! We had a good time exploring Belfast. It was great to see a new city. We took one of those 'hop on, hop off' bus tours and it was such a great idea because the weather hasn't been too kind lately, coming into winter and all, and those tours are an easy way to get your bearings and learn about the city you are in. Belfast is laden with an interesting past (and present) and it was such an eye opening experience to learn more about it.
Ioana, Martina and I.
Peace walls that are still needed in Belfast
In between all my little weekends away I have also managed to go off and visit my lovely cousins!
I always enjoy going down to visit them and I love that I get to see their gorgeous kids grow up in the time that I am here.
One weekend that I was over we had lovely weather so Cathy took me to a place called Glendalough. It is very near to them in the gorgeous Wicklow mountains and it has been the backdrop for many movies over the years. The sun shone, so we had a lovely picnic overlooking the gorgeous lake!
A grave yard in the mountains- not a bad little part of the world to be buried in ay?
'the money shot'- Glendalough
and finally, just this weekend gone, Ciaran took me off to a place called Newgrange- which is actually very near to where I am living, just hard to get to on public transport!
Newgrange is part of a set of 'tombs' or 'chambers' that are older than the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. These, what look like mounds in the landscape or as a part of the hill are an amazing piece of work that has been well organised and constructed by its people. There are lots of theories to why these were built but it's believed that they were used for ceremonial and religious use as there were skeletons found in them but also mostly likely used for farming and agriculture as a way of counting the seasons and time. The chambers are not only known for their precise and unique construction but also for their beautiful stone carvings inside and around them. Newgrange was definitely a very special experience!
Newgrange- the outside fully reconstructed however the inside, despite a few beams, left untouched.

the entrance and some beautiful original carvings

more carvings

In other news I have been doing a bit of house keeping lately such as I changed my flights for back home. January 16th- save the date! and I am mid applying for university. It's crazy to think I have just four months left. I have so many things coming up that time is just going so quick. I love my little life here and I have don't like that I don't have long with it left. My heart is torn in two and I just wish that I had a little bit of clarity. 

oh, and in case you were wondering what that free gift was? Pins. They would of been handy when I was a Rotary kid ay!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Paddywagon craic.

This weekend seemed just as a good time as any to enjoy some more of beautiful Ireland. This time my aupair friend, Zoe, and I ventured to the south of Ireland. We decided to book our tour through Paddywagon  because we had such a great experience with them last time, and as expected we weren't disappointed.
Thursday night Zoe and I ventured into Dublin after a long week- the children are back at school so a new routine changed the dynamic of the week for us!
We stayed at the lovely Paddy's Palace so we were ready for our tour the following morning. However, that night we enjoyed a few pint's of cider in the Temple district of Dublin which is well known for its good pubs and great music.
Friday morning up and early, after not so much sleep, we got on our lovely green bus and started driving to the south of Ireland. We drove through the beautiful Connemara area. The scenery was just absolutely breathtaking.

photo stop in Connemara area

We also stopped off at a place called Kylemore Abbey. We didn't have enough time to go in and walk around but it is such a gorgeous abbey sitting in the most gorgeous spot.

Kylemore Abbey
That night we found ourselves in gorgeous Galway and we had an absolute ball. The group all met up for dinner so we ate, had a few pints and danced along to some live music. Galway always has something going on and it is definitely on my list to go back to!

The following day we drove through what is called The Burren which while a desolate rocky landscape, it was absolutely lovely. Stopping at more gorgeous old Abbey's until we found ourselves at the Baby Cliffs of Moher and then on to the proper ones.  We were so lucky with our weather because it was pretty misty and grey and we were worried that we wouldn't get a clear view but the weather fined up for about half an hour giving us plenty of time to snap some great shots and revel in these amazing works of art of mother nature.  They have fenced alot of the main walking tracks off because it is so dangerous out on the edge of the Cliffs- these things are 700ft high, if you get a gust of wind or lose your footing you really have no chance. However, there is one spot where you can walk along and get close to the edge. So I gave it ago.... and just sitting there.... I felt like I was on the edge of the world. 
Baby Cliffs-156ft

The Cliffs of Moher- can get up to 700ft high
on the edge of the world.
After our breathtaking day we drove on to a place called Killarney that was to be our home for the night and what a lovely night we had. Again, we went out as a group and had some good food and found ourselves a few pints while listening to some great irish music. The bus driver had been teaching us Irish all day and he said whoever can use the most got a free pint. I love a good challenge, so I'd been practicing in my head all day and when the moment came, that free pint was mine!

Our final day we headed out of Killarney and on to Cork where we went to Blarney Castle, kissed the Blarney stone and explored the gardens. They say that if you kiss the Blarney stone you will get the 'gift of the gab'- the ability of eloquent speech. Now some would say that I have no problems, I may not be all that eloquent but I do love to talk. However, I don't care, I was a tourist and I wanted to kiss that stone so I did. So in case I needed any help before in the talking department, I'm all good now ;) 
giving the stone a big ol' smooch. 

Blarney castle

From Cork we headed on back for the 2.5 hour trip back to Dublin. What an amazing weekend I had. It was so nice to go exploring in Ireland's south and now I definitely have a few places I want to come back to explore more. I had great company on the trip, I'm lucky to have some lovely aupairs in my area and of course to have had a great group and tour company. Paddywagon are so much fun. Our driver had us in hysterics the whole time and gave us some good old Irish fun.

Despite the weather getting chillier, it is happy days here in Ireland :)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oh me, Oh my, It is September.

Can I just say what a FABULOUS Sunday I had today. This morning early, My friend Zoe and I took the train to a place called Howth and completed a 10 km coastal walk. I had heard that it was popular and well worth a go, so off we went. There were a few walks to choose from but the 10km had the most coast so we thought 'let's do it'. We spent the whole day walking along gorgeous cliffs with the ocean and Dublin skyline on our left and pink and purple heathlands of the cliffs on our right. We climbed down the cliffs to get to a little beach where we found lots of rock pools and a cave. We did some rock climbing and ate our delicious fudge (bought from the market that morning) on a huge rock with the ocean lapping below us at our feet. I thoroughly enjoyed today. It was so nice to be out in the beautiful weather and walking along seeing the flora and enjoying the landscape made me reminiscent of my outdoor ed days.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Family time

Here is Post two, Part two....
After finishing up my Wild Welsh weekend I got back to London late on Sunday night and got back to my hostel (where I would be for the next 4 nights) and got a good- much needed, nights sleep ready for my second leg of  my holidays.
I woke Monday morning and I was in much need of doing my washing. So I grabbed my pack and turned my notes into coins and sat in the launderette next to my hostel in my pajamas while everything in my pack went through the washing machine. I wash my own clothes but I have never used a launderette before so as I was sitting there I did not feel ashamed that I was in the middle of London sitting in my pajama's but quite satisfied with myself for successfully using the launderette ( I think it's a had to be there moment ha!)
Anywho, after I my clothes were squeaky clean I myself got squeaky clean. It is amazing what a decent shower and clean clothes can do. I was now ready again for more adventures. I wandered off into London. I went to Trafalgar Square. I enjoyed the National Gallery and The National Portrait Gallery and I booked a ticket to go see the musical 'Once'.
Once was incredible. I got a cheap ticket and I was expecting pretty crappy seats but I was in the stalls with a clear view of the stage! wonderful! The style of the musical was different to many I had seen. It was small scale. Only about 13 people in the cast and everything was done on stage. The story is about an Irish busker who has lost his way and meets a Czech woman who puts him back on track etc. The performers did such a great job, they made it quite the comedy and they did a great job of the music. I ran into a lovely couple who were sitting next me and I had quite a nice old time chatting to them too.  Such a lovely night.
Tuesday in London started off with catching up again with my lovely friend Astrid. I had seen her last week on the Sunday when I flew into London before my tour started but it was good to see her again. We went to the borough markets near London Bridge and enjoyed eating delicious foods. YUMMM. I then went down to Shakespeare's Globe to see Midsummer Nights Dream with Cathy and even though I had to stand in the sun for 3 hours to watch it I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've never seen a Shakespeare play done before but I would love to see more now after this.
During the evening I headed off to Soho to see what comedians were on and I found an Aussie playing so I went in. He wasn't amazing but still funny and it kept me entertained for the evening. Back at the hostel I ran into to aussie girls who were holidaying and ended up trying to find a pub and walking the city with them later on at night and that was lovely too.
Wednesday morning I woke up ready to start my day visiting my family. I caught the train to a place called Haslemere which is an hour (by train) south of London and was picked up by Cathy and Ciaran and taken back to what is called Shepherd's Hut where my Great Aunt Jane lives. I'd been there once before back in 2010 but it was a quick visit and raining so I didn't see much. This time however I spent the afternoon sitting looking over the South Downs from the back garden enjoying lovely chats with Jane. I was then taken out to the Farmhouse where my Grandfather grew up and the Milland Pottery which Jane built and then finally onto the Tuxlith Church and I got see the graves of my great Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles as well as graves for more of my ancestors.
The whole experience seeing Milland- the countryside, the properties, the church etc. was just incredible. It was very brief and I would love to go back and spend more time there but I just feel so fortunate to see a part of where I came from. My whole life I have heard my Grandfather- My Papa, talk proudly and fondly of this place and it's always been a bit of a mystery to me. Now however, it is something that I understand, now when I hand my British Passport over at immigration I hand my British identity over with it too.
Shepherd's Hut. 
Thursday I got the bus early and headed off to Leeds do some more family tracking. I spent time with Claire (Cathy's sister, My Dad's cousin... my second cousin?... see this is why I say cousins) and her lovely lovely family. Oh, I just had a wonderful time with them. Such a happy joyous family. We had some wonderful chats, watched some great movies, saw some great things- they took me to York and Richmond castle which are gorgeous! and they also took me to see my Grandfathers Cousin ( I have no idea what that makes them to me) Lucy and her husband George. I was told these two are great fun and it is true. They are both such happy chatty people and again I felt so fortunate to meet these people that have been a part of my family's life!

So after my whirlwind two weeks I was off bright and early back to Dublin on Sunday morning. Now it is Monday night and after washing, writing and crafting I am back to life as usual tomorrow morning.

What an incredible two weeks I have had and it has been an incredibly joyous, learning and beautiful two weeks. I had moments where I sat on the train and would look out at gorgeous rolling green hills and just smile to myself. Smile because I made this happen and here I am changing my world and making myself happy. The things I have dreamed about are my reality and now so much more. It's a liberating feeling when you understand truly that you are in control of your life. When you realize it is your drive, your choices and your power that gets you to where your dreams are. Knowing this makes me realize that I will never settle for anything. I will never settle for anything less than what I want because my life is my choice. Whatever the circumstance may be, whether I am broke, rich in love or alone... I know I am enough for myself and as long as I am following my dreams or on the way there, I know I will be ok.

Welsh Adventures.

Oh me, oh my it is already mid August and as usual time and his merry friends have stolen more weeks from me. 
I have just come back from two weeks in the UK and I have loved every moment of it. I'm going to do some separate posts because one post will be just too long. So, with out further a do here is Post One, Part One: Welsh Adventures. 
In Green is a rough guide of the first 5 days of the tour and in Purple is a rough indication of where I went for my adventure weekend on the Pembrokeshire Coast. 
A few months ago I googled Wales tours and up popped the homepage for Haggis tours. I found a great 5 days tour with a 2 day add on that sounded just amazing and very cheap, so I booked away. That is why just two weeks ago at 7 am I found myself in London, sitting on a mini bus with 8 other Aussies, 2 Americans and the 3 Brit's ready to start touring the Welsh lands. We went from North to South Wales and it was just amazing!
Day One: We started off with a quick stop to Stratford upon Avon where we saw Shakespeare's house and grave. We travelled on into wales where we saw some of Thomas Telford's fine engineering an aqua duct that was built for transporting narrow boats. Then we climbed a big hill to see some Ruins called Dinas Bran- these were incredible but just a taster of some of the amazing things we were about to see in the coming days. We headed then onto a little farm where would spend our first night in the hills. 
Dinas Bran ruins.
Day Two: We continued North through Wales and drove through Snowdonia National Park stopping at lakes and waterfalls to get some great shots until we got to the Island of Anglesey where the town with the longest name in world is situated. The weather was looking a bit grim so we decided to postpone our walk up Mt. Snowdon until after lunch in hope that the weather would improve. So off to Conwy we went for lunch. Conwy is a breath taking city. It is a coastal city with the most gorgeous Castle and the drive in is one of my most picturesque entrances to a city I have ever seen. We walked the Castle walls and went into the Castle. It was just amazing. 
On the top on Conwy Castle

The weather did clear up and we headed off to Snowdon where we walked a bit of Mt. Snowdon. We obviously didn't get to the peak but we went to a place where we could see it. Oh how I love this part of the world, the landscape is just incredible!
somewhere on Mt Snowdon.
 Snowdon was our last stop and then drove to a town called Caernafon where we stayed the night. This place is also gorgeous. Right on the sea with a big Castle- the Prince of Wales' Castle, towering over the town. 

The Prince of Wales Castle.
 Day Three: The day we started driving to the south of Wales. We made a few stops. The first stop we made in the town of Aberystwyth. The weather was pretty ordinary but I enjoyed this colorful little coastal town and the second stop was the Devils Bridge where we got to walk the gorge and see a pretty cool Waterfall. Then we drove through the Elan Valley which was again so picturesque! after a long day in the bus we got to Cardiff where we were based for the remainder of the trip.


Day Four: We drove out of Cardiff through the Brecon Beacons to a place called Hay on Wye which is book capital of the world. There are over 200,000 books in this little idyllic town and it was well worth the morning spent there. We went off to the Big Pit mine after Lunch and I really enjoyed it. This was one thing on the itinerary that I wasn't really all that phased by but after going I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I was fascinated to learn about this history of Coal and mines in Wales. Leaving the mines we drove along the 'Top Gear' road and finally after a long hot afternoon boiling in the bus we got to Tintern Abbey  which was just AMAZING. So serene and so gorgeous just nestled in the forest.

Tintern Abbey
Day Five: Spent in Cardiff. In the morning we headed off on a 'Hop on. Hop off' bus which was great way to see the sites. We then Walked past Cardiff Castle and saw all the stone animals on the castle walls. The Prince wanted a zoo but the council wouldn't let him have a zoo in the center of town so he asked someone to make animals on the castle walls and give them glass eyes to make them look real- make them look CREEPY more like it. We wandered the arcades of Cardiff- there are so many pretty shops hehe.
and finally our trip came to an end and I said good bye to the group because that evening I was to make the trip from Cardiff to the Pembrokeshire coast to start my adventure weekend.
I had such a great group. It was nice to be surrounded by Aussie's again and I made some really lovely friends. Haggis do a great tour and I strongly recommend them for anyone looking at doing Scotland/Wales adventures. The guides were fun and made a great tour atmosphere! 

After saying goodbye I made my way to the train station where I got the train to a place called Fishguard which is situated in the Pembrokeshire National park. I had a small debacle at the station because no one was there to collect me but after some messing around finding phones and numbers I got picked up and was ready to start my adventure weekend!
When booking the trip I was just excited by the sound of the action packed weekend that I didn't really think too much about my ability to do the tasks required. So on the Saturday morning as I sat with a group kitted out in my wet suit, buoyancy aid and helmet with my legs shoved uncomfortably in a kayak I was seriously wondering if I had bitten off more then I could chew. However once on the water I was fine. It was the most incredible experience kayaking next to these big cliffs and going in all these little caves. It was a clear day so the water was calm and you could see for miles. It was hard going on my poor arms but I loved every moment of it.
In the afternoon we went Coasteering. For those that don't know what Coasteering is (I didn't when I booked the trip) It is basically swimming in the ocean around coastal walls and climbing and jumping in the water from them. It was such an awesome experience! The water was a bit chilly and choppy but the buoyancy aids kept us a float. We swam, traversed walls, jumped off rocks into deep water, swam in caves and let the swell of the water suck us in and out and learnt about the sea life living in the area. INCREDIBLE.  I was so exhausted after my big day!
I took a coastal walk the following morning before we headed off (back to London) and despite the fact that I got rained on it was truly a breathtaking walk! 
Pembrokeshire Coast

 I have had the most amazing week travelling through Wales. I honestly did not know much about it so I came away with so much knowledge on its mythical and medieval history. I am just enamored by the beautiful landscape and I just love this part of the world.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Time eats everything up.

And so here rolls round another Friday. Tonight I spent my 11th Friday in Ireland sitting on the beach eating my dinner and watching the world go by whilst my ice cream (for dessert) melted because Ireland seems to be having some sort of heat wave. We have had high 20's all week, which doesn't sound like much for an Australian girl, but I will take sun and heat where I can get it (gives me a chance to get those shorts out I so boldly purchased just a month back) and I am not ashamed to admit that I have been roasting this past week!
So tonight, as I sat and watched the world go by from my little spot on the sand a thought crossed my mind. This is my life now. Life is the same on the other side of the world. I forgot that feeling of finding normalcy in a foreign country, of finding a home in the people around you and where ever it is that your feet are planted. I have a nice little routine here for working and travelling and I feel content and challenged everyday which satisfies me.

So what have I been up to lately in past month that I haven't updated this blog.
A few weeks ago I said 'Goodbye' to one of the Aupair girls who was working in my estate. I didn't know her for very long, but I have made a lovely friendship with her (and another girl who is leaving soon!) and I'm very excited to be going up North for her wedding in a few weeks!

I have spent a lovely weekend at my Cousins. The sun was out so we went off to an old Manor called Powerscourt that has beautiful gardens and as usual we had a lovely coffee and a bun! The baby boy is growing up and I just cant wait for cuddles every time I head down to see them.

Last weekend I decided to take a Paddywagon tour and go up north to the Giants Causeway and do the Carrik a Rede Rope bridge. Paddywagon do such a lovely tour and I came away from the day totally exhilarated. I was lucky that the weather was so beautiful but also the landscape that I got to see was spectacular. I love the cliffs along the coast and the formations formed from the old volcanic action (the causeway) was just incredible. We had a really great tour guide/driver too who gave us a really eye opening history lesson on the happenings Ireland and Northern Ireland over the years. I am definitely going to look into doing more tours with them!  and the day was spent in wonderful company with my lovely Italian Aupair friend!

The girls are on School holidays now, they have been for the past two weeks ( I think?!) Despite the fact that it rained the first day of holidays, I so far, have had a really good time with them. I was a bit worried about how the holidays would go, seeing as I just got the hang of school routine. But the girls are great. Sure they have their moments, but they are kids and they are growing and learning so you can't hold it against them. The days are long but next thing I know Friday comes around and it's time for the weekend.

Time is eating away at the edges of my time here. I feel like I go to sleep and wake up weeks later. I think Time is the thing I fear most in this world. That there isn't enough time to do everything and that it just comes and goes.  I don't want the seconds to multiply and become my past. I want to keep them right here, right here in my present.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Here's three things about Ireland I learnt in twenty minutes while walking home from the bus stop.

1. Irish weather doesn't appreciate you making predictions about what the weather will be. Here's how I know this. Today I bought three pairs of shorts because over the past two weeks we have had 20 degree sunny weather, and for the past two weeks all I have wanted was a pair of shorts. Today I buy the shorts and as I step off the bus for my 20 minute walk home... the rain pours. Drenching me and my bags of shorts.
2. Paper shopping bags are useless in Rainstorms.  I've always thought. Good work Ireland, good work using paper bags that are probably a bit more environmentally friendly then the old placcy bag. However what I discovered today is that paper bags are useless when the rain pours. I got half way home when I looked down to realize all I was holding was the handle of the paper bag and no clothes in sight. After the hole I have put in my credit card from shopping today, I couldn't just ignore it so I walked back only to find said shorts on the side of the track in mud!
3. Irish people are extremely friendly. As I was walking home a man, who also got off the bus, shared his umbrella with me. I was wearing my rain jacket and I didn't spend 100 euro's on it for nothing so I declined. But he insisted that my things shouldn't get wet, at the time I thought how silly it was because, they are just clothes I will wash them... but after the paper bag debacle I understand that he probably wasn't referring to my clothes but the object that was holding them! So not only did this lovely man offer his umbrella when I was perfectly clothed to handle a little rain, he also lent me a plastic bag when I realized I had lost half my clothes while we were walking!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Irish Kids love sunscreen!

I've been told that  it seems every time Bank Holiday weekend rolls around there is always sunny weather. The first weekend I had in Ireland didn't break tradition and neither does it seem will this weekend. I have had lovely days of sunny weather- I haven't looked at the temperature gauge for fear of disappointment but non the less I have been able to dry my clothes outside and not fear a torrential downpour from out of the blue. These sunny days could not have picked better timing because about a week ago, after I had come home from a lovely weekend in Greystones with my Cousins (I will get to that in a minute) I was hit late at night with a bout of what we thought was food poisoning but considering recent events we suspect it might of been a vomiting bug (charming right?). Never in my life have I had food poisoning before and let me tell you... never in my life have I missed my Mum more then at 4am while hunched over the toilet bowl (it's a compliment really Mum!). I put on a brave face the next day- despite little sleep, but only managed a half day. Luckily I am working for a super lovely family who were very kind and understanding of the whole situation and I am very appreciative for them. I'm feeling better now but I am a bit more selective in my food choices.

I have spent some time at my Irish Cousins. It was a weekend of just chatting, cuddling the gorgeous baby and eating good cake. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I am so glad that I am here and can get to know this side of my family.

I have just come back from a blissful weekend in London. My fav comedian Wil Anderson was doing a show at Soho Theater, so a few weeks ago I casually looked at flights and found super cheap ones. Just like that I booked tickets to his show, flights and hostel all for no more then 200 bucks! SCORE. It was nice to be back in London. I really enjoyed the show, I found it so good to sitting in a room full of Aussies and laughing along to some Australian humor. I also got myself a ticket to The Lion King. I have always dreamed about seeing a musical in London because it is so renowned. The set and costumes for the Lion King were incredible and I was just so in awe that the talent wasn't just in the singing and dancing but in the mime and the movement of the puppetry work that the performers had to do!
The rest of my time was just spent wandering the streets and navigating the underground. I had beautiful weather so I ate my lunch along the Thames and watched the world go by!
I also unexpectedly caught up with a Mexican Exchange student that I knew while I was in DK. We had dinner together on Sunday night. The catch up was just another one of those moments where I realized what great friendships I made on exchange. I saw Maria for 2 hours and I hadn't seen her in 3 years and we just chatted like normal, like we see each other every day. There was no awkwardness and it did not feel weird at all that we were sitting in London eating pizza and talking about our friends. What I'm trying to say is, that it made me realize that while these friendships are connected through DK but they don't just solely belong in DK. Because there are some friendships that you lose because a place that once connected you doesn't anymore eg, school, work, sporting team.

I also had the scariest experience I have ever had on a plane before. Flying doesn't scare me at all, I just try not to think about how the plane stays up too hard because then I get a bit antsy. However, we had a training Lady (yay!!) Pilot and coming into land was the most hair raising experience ever. We had a bit of turbulence coming down- which is normal considering the cloud but we hit the tarmac so fast and so quick and then swang from side to side so much I was almost on the verge of holding the little old lady's hand that was sitting next to me. I was also literally trying to think if I had my travel insurance number in my purse! But we landed fine and I jumped off that plane so quick!

Now I am back to reality. Beautiful reality might I add. The weather is glorious. I am actually guttered I have no summer clothes just some dresses, however I am little scared to buy some because last time I tempted fate like that it poured down with the rain the next day! but sun is sun, and my poor little white legs will take what they can get! Anywho, reality, back to work before I jetset off to Berlin on friday to see my lovely bestie. But I am happy in my new little reality and I love that its the little things like sunny days, a cup of tea and a book at the end of a day or the girls learning something I have taught them that makes me happy, that makes me smile. Because, while life is complicated, most of the time we make it complicated when things are quite simple and I feel like we live in an age now where our happiness is gauged or determined by the size of something and that size normally is large. For example a large gesture or living large but really it's the little things everyday that give us happiness and it's nice to get back to that.
It's nice to smell the roses.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Aupair World

Hiya from Ireland!

It's been about two weeks since I got to Ireland and what a fast, happy, fun and busy two weeks it has been!!
I have settled into a lovely family where I'm learning the ropes of looking after their three girls. It's been challenging but it has been fun! The girls are so sweet and very good at helping me along when I'm unsure of where something is or something about their routine. It's exhausting though... I find myself completely knackered by the end of the day. I think that's also because my body is coming out of holiday mode. I'm looking forward to the coming months when I have developed a good routine and everything feels like second nature to me.
I had my first Irish walk to school rain storm! I do two walks to school everyday (one needs to be picked up at 1.30 and the other at 2.30) and I (mainly, the girls had good rain jackets) got drenched!! So needless to say, in the following days I went to Dublin and bought myself a good rain jacket- an investment in my future I like to believe. Oh, and I got drenched walking to the bus stop to go to Dublin and walking home! Cheers, Irish weather!

Just few days after I arrived I got up early on a Sunday morning and took the the bus to the airport to meet some English rellie's that took me back to Cathy and Ciaran's who are my Irish cousins! I spent a beautiful day (literally, no rain in site and lovely sun!!) with all these relatives that I'd mostly never met but heard so much about. It was just the best day, such an opportunity that normally wouldn't come! and I'm off to Cathy and Ciaran's in a fortnight, so here's hoping there's many more lovely catch ups to come! 

I have met a few others Aupair's in my estate/area- I think there's probably about 5 of us but I've only really met two. They are lovely and so so helpful! It's a shame that they'll be leaving in a few months, but I intend to enjoy my time with them. We have been to Zumba classes- I'm not very good at it so thankfully the last one was tonight. Friday night we shall have a movie night also.
One of the girls went with me to Dublin. We just shopped, no touristy stuff. I was finally excited to just shop because now I am based and not going anywhere (with all my stuff) again for a while so it was nice to have a little spree. I've done some touristy stuff in Dublin before so I probably won't do too much more but I'm excited to go there more often and get to know the city!

I keep having to tell myself 'this is it Charlie, this is it' because here I am doing something I have always dreamed about. I'm finally at that point where I'm not saving to go oversea's or saying "I'm going to be an aupair in Ireland" because I'm at that point and it all feels so normal.
And I know it sounds silly or simple to have a 'life long dream' to be an aupair because don't get me wrong I like to learn, I like education and the school part of my life will come around again. But my Dad always told me 'you can do anything you want with your life, you can be anything' and so I will. So I've decided that there are things I must do, I must experience before other things because that's what makes me happy!
 My only problem now is focusing on this dream and not thinking about others- I have a tendency to want to do everything at once!

.......I wonder what Canada is like??!? ... (I'm just kidding.. kind of)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

a beautiful month in Danmark.

Wow, it has been a few weeks since I have posted. Ooops, Sorry!

So my month in Denmark has come to a close and tomorrow I am off to Ireland to start a new chapter in my travels. Coming back to DK has just been absolutely brilliant. It's given me a sense of closure of longing for my exchange days because now I know DK in another way- or remember in another way.  Over the past few weeks I have been busy busy busy with the odd few downs days in between.

  • I have spent some time with my 4th host family- Connie and Ken. It was great seeing them and my host siblings again. I have had two lovely dinners with them and they always know how to put a smile on my face! 
  • My Aussie friend Marita came to CPH (she is travelling Europe and was based in Germany  So we booked a hostel which was cheap, good quality, central to everything and had a great atmosphere (highly recommend) for three nights. It was so fun to show her around the city using my 'local' knowledge. I just let my feet do the remembering and we walked and walked and walked (but we got all the main sites in). We were also lucky enough to have beautiful weather so that made walking around the city even more amazing. CPH is such a beautiful place. It's not enormous like Melbs but it's big enough to get lost in! 
  • From CPH I then trained to Germany with Marita and in Hamburg she went one way and I went another to visit a friend who been on exchange in my Rotary district back home. Now let me tell you something. Oh My God, do I HATE German trains! They are always late and they are confusing, however I think it was the not understanding German that made it worse.
    Despite my hatred for their trains I did have a LOVELY time in Germany. My friend Robert, showed me round the town that he lived close to. The town was beautiful and I spent the day being spoilt by his family with beer, chocolate, coffee and cake! 
  • I have managed to also catch up with two Danish girls that were on exchange last year in Melbourne. I spent the night at Karina's house and the next day we went shopping as well as spending a lovely afternoon with Camilla in CPH!
    It has been great to catch up with the previous exchangee's. I got to know them from Safari that I went on with them last year and I just knew I couldn't be in europe and not say Hi to them!
  • I have spent a lovely Saturday night at a local student production of Peter Pan. My host sister was a part of it so Sussie and Martin invited me along. It was a funny night and it really put my danish understanding abilities to the test!
  • Oh, I got a tattoo. Astrid and I went to CPH after I got back from Germany and I got a daisy tattoo on my wrist. I love it. The flower represents DK because the daisy's are so popular here. I've always wanted something to signify my time here because it's a country that has been very good to me and will always be a part of my heart and life. 
  • I had a dinner last Sunday with my Danish friends from school. There was just four of us and we had such a 'hygge' night. I just loved seeing the girls again. It was exciting to see and hear about their lives now and talk about our travels here there and everywhere.
Now finally, I have been saying some goodbye's (more like see you soon- either in aus or dk ;) ) to my host fams. I spent Sunday morning with Sussie and Martin and the girls- Karoline and I made muffins. Monday night Helen and Henrik and the boys came over for dinner with Claus and Hanne and Tuesday night I went to Per and Marianne's where we went for a lovely walk in the forest, then to the beach and then had a lovely dinner.
I had made mini pavlova's for my danish friends and families and took them to dinner and they were pretty successful!
The past few weeks have been filled with lots of other things. This post would be the size of Harry Potter if I wrote them all so I will leave it at that. 

Thanks for the great month Denmark. You always manage to warm my heart and I feel so lucky to have another home all the way across the world. 

Ses xox

Monday, April 8, 2013

Du har langt hår nu! /You have long hair now!

It's nearly been a week since I have arrived back in lovely Danmark. After 20 hours of flying, I arrived in CPH at 7am and picked up by the lovely Marianne. I expected coming back to feel like a little 'de ja vu' because my arrival time was similar, the people picking me up was the same and I was taken back to the same house and had the same Dansk breakfast that I had last time I came. Except there was no reminders and feelings of last time. I wasn't a bundle of nerves with a surge of sadness and homesickness running through my body, this time there was excitement, happiness and comfort. Comfort in that everything was the same and completely normal. This past week I have been somewhat busy. The day I arrived I went to a Rotary meeting. I met the current exchange student and the two other going out (to aus and usa) in July. I've been for walks on my beach and seen beautiful sunsets over my bridge. I had dinner with the Astrid in Slagelse. It was so good to see her, I have missed my lovely danish friend!
 I moved from Per and Marianne's to Sussie and Martin's (host fam no.3) where we had girls nights- consisting of chick flicks, tea and dansk lollies. I made 'Shepard's pie' for dinner one night and the second we had 'kebab pizza'- which I have missed extremely much. I got to spend some quality time with the girls and Sussie before I moved once again to Hanne and Claus (host fam no.1) where I will spend most of the remainder of my time here. Last night we had a dinner with Helen and Henrik (host fam no.2 and neighbor to Hanne and Claus) where Hanne made a lovely pavlova from scratch! 
my first dansk sunset!

I was asked today if there was something special about DK, or what I loved the most about DK as to why I came back. The question is something I have been thinking about for a while. There are so many things I love about DK but I honestly I think it was my experience here that is what makes DK so special. There is something about the people and the displays of kindness and love you are given that just gets under your skin. For the 12 months I was here I watched people take me into their home and spend their time and money on me. They let me eat their food, steal their internet and most importantly be a part of their family. Now that I am back, I watch them do it all again. I am so grateful to them and I am just so happy to be a part of their lives again!

(I had almost bob when I was here last so now that my hair is below the shoulders I have had at least three times 'you have long hair now')

Monday, April 1, 2013


Hello/Hej and Welcome to my new blog!
I am off travelling again for what I hope to be for 9-10 months and I'm leaving tomorrow. I found that blogging last time (if you're new to my life try -that might fill you in ) was a great way to vent/talk/express/ make sense of my travelling days but I also found it a great way to show all the beautiful people in my life a window into my world, as unfortunately sometimes I can't be in theirs.
 This blog is called Rejseplan- and to the non Danish speakers (maybe even Swedish or Norwegian speakers), Rejseplan means, directly translated to English, Itinerary- It can mean to make or have travel plans. I don't know why I chose to call my new blog this. I mean I picked it for the obvious- it's meaning, but I felt I wanted something Danish because my time in Denmark is part of the very reason why my desire to travel and experience different worlds is so great.

So what are my travel plans? First of all I'm going back to DK where I will spend a month. This time is  for catching up with friends and families and to experience the country in a new light. I want to see DK again through different eyes. I want see how everything is the same and different all at once. Even though part of me is a little scared that going back may ruin that 'fairy tale' land that I lived in for 12 months. What if maybe it wasn't as great as I experienced or remembered? However, I'm about 1% scared and about 99% excited because finally I'll be able to go home. I'll be able to touch, to talk, to laugh and to see the people that I have missed so much. I'll be able to physically be back in a place that gave me so much comfort and happiness... and that, that THRILLS me.

After DK, I'm going to to Ireland where I will predominately spend the rest of my time. I'm going to be working in a family as an Aupair. This means I'll be looking after three very cute girls and being apart of the family. I can't tell you when it was that I even knew Au-pairing existed but I can tell you when it was and what I was doing when I decided I wanted to be one. I was on the train with my 2nd cousin (but I just call her my cousin, it's all too technical) Cathy, who lives in Ireland and we were coming back from a day well spent in Dublin. She was telling about all her aupair stories.. about the good times and the not so good times. But I remember thinking 'that's my next travel adventure, I have to experience this and when I come back to Europe this is exactly what I'll be doing'. So here I am, starting the job in May and I can't wait. I expect that it won't be easy. I have experience working with children but I'm not a mother or a teacher so I feel I have a lot to learn but exchange really did teach me everything and what it taught me that with a bit of confidence and passion I can do anything. So just as well I love children right? (I hope that last bit was read with a bit of humour)

I hope to get many wonderful things out of my time away. I hope to see amazing new places, eat new foods, meet lovely new people and experience new cultures. However, most importantly I hope to enrich myself in a new way. I want to add layers to the person I am now. I want my brain to think more and more widely (even though sometimes I would kill for a little quiet time up there). I want my heart to grow, to accept and to understand more about the people and the very world we live in.
I am just a very small piece of this huge world and the only way I know how to better myself, how to enrich myself is to meet and experience the other pieces of this world.

 I have said a lot of goodbye's these past few weeks and there are a few that I haven't had the chance to get. I will miss my beautiful family, friends and dog. I will miss my country and the comfort of familiarity, routine and Mum's hugs. However, from last time I learnt, that you can miss these things all you want. You can miss them so much you don't want to get out of bed in the morning-that you actually think your heart hurts too much from missing them, but that's it, you can go on and you have a life to live. You can't stop your life or never seek the unknown because you are scared of a little pain, because you won't have a safety net. So I am off... I will miss all those that are back home dearly but I am off to see the other people and places that I have missed so much, I am off to meet new people and places that I know when I return back to Australia I will miss so much as well.

So Goodbye Australia, it's not forever I promise!