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18 Things You Wish You'd Known Before You Started Travelling

It's the most incredible feeling in the world. You've saved up, put in heaps of planning, and soon you'll finally be off on your first adventure. Whether you're travelling within your own country or travelling abroad, travel, in general, can be a daunting task. Previously, I've discussed the top 10 travel blunders even the most seasoned traveller can make. As I frequently get asked about travel advice, here is Adventures in Aussieland's list of things we wished we'd known before we started travelling:

1. Everything you're on the fence about bringing, LEAVE IT AT HOME! You're only going to waste space and carry extra weight. 

2. Pack lighter! If you can't easily carry your suitcase up stairs, it's too heavy. No, you will not need twelve different pairs of shoes.

Related Post: What To Pack When Backpacking

3. (This may be obvious) Make sure you have your passport and that it will be valid for the entire length of your travels.  

4. Remember to bring all your medications. Even if you're not on meds, it's wise to pack acetaminophen/ibuprofen, band-aids, an antiemetic, and (sorry mum) contraceptives. It's better to be safe than come home with an STI. 

5. Bring extra memory cards and batteries for your camera. I'm not joking. I took over 3,000 pictures of the Angkor Temples. I have happy to have extra memory cards with me. 

6. I highly advise against drinking on the aeroplane. Yes, it is heaps of fun to try and drink the price of your flight ticket, however, hangovers as soon as you land in a foreign country are not. 

7. It's ok to get up and walk around on the aeroplane. If you're anything like me, you'll puff up bigger than a puff pastry. Not a sexy look. If you're unable to get up and walk around, do the silly little exercises recommended in the pamphlet in the seat back pocket. 

Related Post: 3 Simple Steps to Avoid Jet Lag

8. Carry the essentials in your carry on. By essentials I mean, a toothbrush, tooth paste, brush, wet wipes, deodorant, and a clean pair of underwear. You'll feel like a new person if you freshen up a little bit towards the end of the flight. 

9. Learn a few key phrases in the native language of whatever country you're visiting. I try to learn: "hello", "thank you", do you speak English", and "I'm allergic to pork and fish". 

10. Step out of your comfort zone. You didn't travel half way around the world to feast on the food you could get back home. Try the local cuisine. You won't regret it (or you learn you don't like something and at least you tried!). 

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11. Don't be afraid to stay in hostels. Staying in a hostel can enhance your travel experience, and you have the opportunity to meet hella cool people. As the staff at the hostel for their recommendations around the city. They probably have a better insight than your guide book.

12. While you're at it, meet locals. This is the greatest way to become emersed in the culture and learn all about the incredible city you're visiting. 

13. It's ok to make mistakes while travelling. 

14. Make copies of all important documents. Your passport is your lifeline so do everything in your power not to lose it. 

15. Don't keep all your funds in one place. You can never be too safe. 

Related Post: Ho Chi Minh City: A Rocky Adventure

16. Make the most of your time. Do not try to cram too many activities into a short period. This causes travel burnout. 

17. Every trip will not be perfect. You'll have amazing moments; you'll have hellish moments. Do not let the bad times ruin your time. Use them as learning experiences. 

18. You WILL become addicted to travelling and want to book your next trip the instant your home. 

There will always be uncertainties surrounding travel that even the most season traveller cannot avoid. But as long as you're flexible, you open yourself to an amazing experience. Have any other travel advice? Share it in the comments below!

And until next time...

Stay Curious!

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Power Through Challenging Activities: Tips for Completing Your Run

Everyone has certain things in their life that they dislike doing. Whether it's going to work, cooking, cleaning, tolerating children, or working out, we all have things we struggle doing. For me, it has and alway will be running. I find it dull, boring, and for the most part, a huge waste of time. It's consistently been the only form of cardio I struggle to complete. But for some reason, I force myself to go on runs anyways. 

There are numerous articles written about finding exercises you enjoy because there is a higher probability you'll complete them. For the most part, I agree with these articles. It is so much easier to wake up early when I know I have a workout I enjoy. I love making the time for dance and yoga classes. These workouts get me excited about fitness. Running, however, sounds just about as appetising as eating deep fried spiders. Not my cup of tea. Forcing myself to go on runs has helped me grow as a person. So why do I continue to put myself through this kind of torture? 

Running has been a great way to reinforce the notion that in life: there will be times I have to participate in things I do not want to do or do not like. We all have been placed in a school group where we didn't get along with everyone, been given a project we're not overly thrilled about, or had to go to events that weren't something we enjoyed. By forcing yourself to partake in these activities, you're helping condition yourself to be able to survive these times (with minimal whinging). While running, I've found that HIIT or active recovery runs tend to keep me motivated throughout the entire run. When I'm feeling extremely unmotivated, I often will open the Zombies, RUN! App and RUN FOR MY LIFE! Hearing zombies breathing over your shoulder tends to boost the motivation levels. But most importantly, I set a goal, and I push forward to achieve this aim.

My diary would make the US President cry there are so many meetings, activities, and work scheduled into every day. If you're anything like me, planning a run into your day is an excellent way to give yourself some forced alone time. Depending on the time, I am either able to prepare myself for the day ahead or process the events that happened. It's a time to shut off my brain, organise my thoughts, and enjoy nature. Occasionally, if my day is super busy, I'll run while listening to an audiobook. This way I feel double productive. 

While there are many cardiovascular activities I could do to keep me healthy, they are not always free. Running is a great, free way to get in shape and stay healthy. No matter the weather, you're always able to step out your front door and go for a run. 

There are a few ways to help make your runs a bit more enjoyable: 

1. Make a great playlist. Finding music that is motivating to you will help keep you on track throughout your run. Need a few new songs to add to your workout playlist? Try looking HERE

2. Run with your dog. My dog is the most motivating running partner on the planet. If your doggy is a firecracker like Archer, take them on the run. You'll both benefit from the exercise. 

3. Change your running route. Each day try a different way. This way you'll be looking at new scenery, and it won't become monotonous. 

4. Join a running group or download a training App. This will help keep you motivated throughout the run. I've found that running with other people helps me during tempo runs and Aaptiv Running App really helps keep me on track when I'm running solo.

I may despise running, but I enjoy the benefits I receive from completing a run. I end up feeling better about myself and more motivated to tackle more challenging tasks. What do you continue to do that you dislike? Have any tips for running? Share them in the comments below.

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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Why It's So Important to Remove Toxic People From Your Life

If you’re lucky enough, you’ve surrounded yourself with amazing friends. These friends have your back and are an added bonus to your life. However, sometimes, these amazing friends can become toxic. It can happen slowly over time or be wildly apparent from the start. Whatever the situation, this person has infiltrated your life, and it's time they were removed.

Generally speaking, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some incredible people in my life. Most are super supportive and a positive influence on my life. However, I have ended up with a few bad apples. *Please do not confuse those with opposing life views as toxic people. These two are not synonymous.* This has always been a concept I’ve struggled with mainly because I choose to see the best in people. So when you want to see the best in everyone, how do you remove toxic individuals from your life?

The first step is to identify these people. Sometimes, the person just might be struggling at this point of their life. While it is important to be there for your friends, if you are being dragged down with them, it might be time to cut the cord. Other times it can be incredibly challenging to identify these individuals as they can often be extremely manipulative. Their ability to charm those around them while being incredibly cruel behind closed doors leaves their 'friends' confused and in dismay. These type of toxic people may have an underlying, (un)diagnosed personality disorder and rarely recognise themselves as the problem.

Not sure if you have a toxic individual in your life? Here are a few signs you may need to end the friendship:

  • They are frequently asking but very rarely giving.

  • They have the need to always be right. It’s their way or the highway with tiny wiggle room.

  • They’re self-centred.

  • They have a Dr Jekyll/Mr. Hyde attitude. One moment they’re loving and caring, the next they’re angry, cold, or resentful.  

  • They are always the victim. Whenever something happens, it’s never their fault.

  • They lie...CONSTANTLY. It doesn’t matter how big or small the lie, it will happen. Sometimes, they will purposefully negate information to present themselves in a more favourable light.

It can be hard to sit down and objectively analyse a friendship. If you’re anything like me, you want to see the good in people. Heck, you pray that the little slice of good you see can win and prevail over the bad aspects of their personality (thank you, Disney). But we’re not going to play the victims here. It’s not always about how that person is acting, you could be enabling this type of behaviour. Here are a few things to internally check when trying to suss out the unhealthy relationships in your life:

  • Protection mode kicks in, and you feel the need to save or fix this individual.

  • You find yourself justifying or making excuses for their behaviour.

  • You’re always on edge because you’re not sure how they’re going to respond in certain situations. You may go out of your way to avoid talking about certain things to avoid making them upset.

  • You find yourself feeling guilty but without justification as to why. When they’re angry, you find yourself struggling to understand what you did wrong.

  • Spending any time with them is draining.

Toxic individuals can be emotionally and physically draining to the people around them. Choosing to remove someone from your life can be a very stressful and scary process. It's also not a process that may happen overnight. But at the end of the day, you will no longer be weighed down by their bullsh*t. This can allow you the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life.

It's ok if you're unable to walk away without extra support. If a toxic individual is abusive, please contact your local support line. These professionals are trained to help aid with short-term support. If you do not feel comfortable calling a support line, Crisis Text Line is available 24/7. Simply text 741-741 to start a conversation.

This post was not as upbeat as what I typically discuss but was an important topic to address. Life is too short to be consumed by those who make you feel bad about yourself. I again would like to stress that if someone is different to you, this does not mean they are toxic. HOWEVER, if the person is causing you some kind of distress or is being emotionally or physically abusive, this person very well could be too toxic for your life.

"Surround yourself with people that reflect how you want to feel inside." 

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

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Dog's Day Out: The Million Paws Walk Geelong 2017

For those who follow my various social media platforms, it is pretty freaking apparent I’m borderline obsessed with my dog. I’m the type of person who walks down the street and loses my shit anytime I see a fluffy fur angel. At this point in my life, I’m pretty sure dogs are better than people. They love selflessly, they’re reliable, they’re cuddly, and they’re basically the shit. I was pretty bummed last year when I was unable to attend the Million Paws Walk because I had to work. It was not going to happen again this year. I would walk with all the puppies.

Instead of going to the walk in Albert Park, we decided to skip the obscene amount of people and go to the Geelong walk instead. I’m not entirely sure why people complain about how far Geelong is from Melbourne. The drive is relatively easy and short. The pups rested in the back of the car but started to get excited the closer we got to the Botanic Gardens.

While there were no signs as to where the start of the walk was, it was quite easy to find. The pups did an excellent job of leading us to find more of their furry friends. Owners seemed to just let their doggies lead the way, and it worked! Prepare for doggy overload!

As we approached the start of the walk, we were greeted by the lovely volunteers. At this time, we were given a doggy tag for the pups and an RSPCA Million Paws Walk bracelet for the humans. There were plenty of booths with various doggy treats, information on fostering animals, and even some food for the humans. It was a great way for everyone to socialise a little bit before starting the walk.

The walk itself was a relatively short walk. It was only 2kms which was a little unfortunate. I would have enjoyed a longer walk, but for what it was, it was lovely. The dogs were super excited to meet so many new friends. To be completely honest, I’m not sure who was more excited, the dogs or myself. I found with almost every step I took I was squealing with delight at all the adorable dogs surrounding me. It was heaven or at least the closest thing to heaven on Earth.

It was incredible to see all the owners with their dogs coming together to help raise money for such a fantastic cause. There were dogs of all shapes and sizes. There were pups so small they could hide in their human's jumper and doggos so big you could mistake them for a little pony. What was most incredible to me were the owners that had dogs with disabilities. There were so many three-legged doggos running around like the little champion dogs they were. Some of the most magical sights I saw all day.

After the walk had concluded, there were a variety of activities and contests that both humans and pups could compete in. I wish there would have been a few more little stands that sold goodies and coffee as the line was quite long but it was still there if you really wanted one. We decided instead of waiting in the line we would head to a local pub to grab a pot and some food. Luckily, we found an incredible pub that allowed the pups in the outdoor patio. It was the best way to end a fantastic day!

And until next time...
Stay Curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media: