Steph'sAdventuresinAussieland. Powered by Blogger.

Be A Winter Warrior! Running the Sandy Point Half Marathon

Does anyone else find running during the winter a serious challenge? During summer, the beautiful, warm weather invites you into its gently breezing arms while you soak up the sunshine during your run. If you run during the winter, you get bitch slapped by the cold every step you take. With willpower slowly, or rapidly, depleting, how does one find the motivation to run during the colder times of the year?

*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission from any purchases at no additional costs to you. All opinions are 100% my own*

I was never a runner. Heck, I still wouldn't even call myself a runner. Every race I run in physically and mentally inflicts pain on me. But I continue to sign myself up for race after race. Why you may ask? Because it challenges me and forces me to continually better myself. I had run a handful of races during more pleasant weather, so I thought why not sign up for the Sandy Point Half Marathon. 

*In full disclosure, I did not actually run the half marathon. I only signed up for the 10K so still maintained a little bit of my sanity*

The easiest way to force yourself to sign up during the winter, SIGN UP FOR A RACE. It doesn't matter the length. Even a 5K can seem like a bloody marathon when you have icicles dangling from your eyelashes. The point is, you've already signed up and paid the money. Do not allow your warm, comfy blanket to entice you into spending money with zero follow through!

After you've given yourself the kick in the pants needed to sign up for a race, it's time to get some proper winter running clothes. DO NOT make my mistake. I ran in 8C without the mist and wind chill factor in a cotton t-shirt. I cannot stress enough that running in cotton is never a good time. 

I highly recommend something with cool-dry technology so that even when you sweat you stay nice and dry and warm. Invest in a decent pair of compression leggings and a long-sleeved top, and you'll never want to stop running! If you're in an even colder climate than Melbourne, layers are your friend. Rug up with a jacket, beanie, gloves, and those little hand warmers. 

I did not think this through properly

Now that you're prepped with your cool winter wardrobe, it time to vary up your runs. It's ok to run on the treadmill and elliptical but make sure you're running outside at least once a week, NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER IS. This will help prepare you for any forecast Mother Nature may send your way race day. 

Alright, you little winter warrior, you've got your clothes, you've prepped for your race, and now it's race day. Time to go out there and rock the heck out of the run and prove yourself to be a winter warrior! 

I don't think any preparation could have prepared me for how cold it was going to be race day. The mist from the ocean gently coating me like I was a popsicle that stayed in the freezer for too long was not my idea of a good day. But for some reason, the cold made me run faster. I was ready to get the race done and over with! Running with Archer also gives me an added boost of adrenaline to keep the pace up. 

To recap, when running during the winter:
1. Sign yourself up for a race. This will give your first boost of motivation.
2. Get yourself some good winter activewear.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Do you prefer running during warmer or colder weather? Share your running stories in the comments below. 

And until next time...
Stay curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media:

10 Phrases You Should Know Before Visiting Australia

I recently travelled back to the US for a bit of a forced holiday. It would seem each time I return "home" it feels less and less like my actual home. Everywhere I went, I felt like a tourist in the town I grew up in. While change is the only true constant, the rapid rate of accelerated change (not necessarily in a positive direction) made my little hometown look completely unfamiliar. 

Not only had the facade of the town completely changed, but it would also appear the people had too. Or at least, I had. I did not view this as a negative. It's only natural living in a different country would make me a foreigner to the locals. Even my friends and family often struggled to decipher what I was saying. 

The fact that people regularly had to ask what the bloody hell I was talking about made me laugh a fair bit. Many people would scream that I needed to stop speaking Australian because I was in America. Mate, I was speaking English. Same as the rest of America. 

It made me question, was it worth reverting to the American way of saying various words and phrases only to face the same ridicule when I returned home? In my mind, it wasn't worth using the extra brain power to translate between the two dialects of English and often used the Australian slang. 

A day did not pass where I wasn't asked, "I'm sorry but what in the world are you talking about?" But what if the situation was reversed? What if my friends were on holiday in Australia? What are some of the most common phrases they would need "translated"? 

A warning to all those who venture to Australia. Do NOT greet any Australian by saying "G'day mate. Wanna throw another shrimp on the barbie?" You will be promptly deported from the country. Also, avoid the word root. Unless you're prepared for a fascinating conversation to proceed. 

1. "How ya going?" 
If you're coming from the US, this is the same as "How are you?". While Australians will not look at you like you're nuts if you say "How are you," you're generally greeted with a warmer response if you use "how are you going."

I frequently used "how are you going" when I was back in the US and got heaps of funny looks and questions from this phrase. 
2. "TA." 
Aussies shorten everything! I cannot stress this enough. "TA" is a great example of this. Instead of saying "thank you" after a transaction or being helped, simply say "TA." 

3. "She'll be right."
This is another way to say "don't worry about it" or "it'll be alright." If it sounds a bit too foreign for you, simply use "no worries." 
4. "Good on ya mate."
Using this phrase is another way of saying "well done" or "nice job." 

5. "It's my shout."
A word to my American friends, if you're going out with a group of Aussies, you're going to be paying for drinks in rounds. It's rare that people will order their drinks separately. When you're going to cover the round or the bill, it's your shout. Want to make friends quickly? Tell them the first round is your shout. 

6. "Yeah, nah" or "nah, yeah."
Depending on how you use this will dictate what you're trying to convey. "Yeah, nah" is another way of saying no whereas "nah, yeah" is saying yes. If you're from California, these two phrases will be no surprise to you. 
7. "I'm knackered."
You're exhausted. Even if you tried, you couldn't muster up the strength to put on your rally pants. It's time to take a nap and rest up for the next adventure. 

8. "Feeling a bit crook."
Starting to feel under the weather? You may be a bit crook (sick). Sometimes things can get a bit rowdy in Australia so having this phrase up your sleeve will help heaps. 

9. "Taking the piss."
The word piss has about 20 different meanings in Australia depending on how it is being used. If you're poking fun at something, you're taking the piss. 

10. "Where's the/your local?"
Every suburb has their own local, the pub where people who live in that suburb go to drink. Many locals tend to have pretty decent food and cheaper drink prices than if you decided to go out in the CBD. Plus, you'll make some awesome Aussie friends instead of being surrounded by tourists. 

Bonus Phrase"A few tinnies short of a slab" or "a kangaroo loose in the paddock." I absolutely love these phrases. They're similar to "a few fries short of a happy meal" or "not the sharpest tool in the shed." They both bring a smile to my face every time I hear them. Please, everyone, use these! 

There are quite a few other slang words that are beneficial to learn prior to visiting Australia, especially if you're from the United States. Keep up to date with everything Adventures in Aussieland so that you're fully prepared for your trip to Australia. If you've ever visited this incredible country, what were some of the words and phrases that confused you the most? Share them in the comments below.

And until next time...
Stay curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media:

Adventures in the Dandenong's: William Ricketts Sanctuary

There are very few places on this planet that both amaze me and scare me. William Ricketts Sanctuary is one of those places. Throughout the lush Dandenong forest, you'll find intricate carvings of Aboriginal Australians blending seamlessly into the surroundings. 

Any Doctor Who fans out there? If so, William Ricketts Sanctuary may be right up your alley! The Sanctuary gives off a little bit of a Doctor Who Weeping Angel vibe. The entire time walking through the sanctuary I kept wanting to make sure I was looking at each of the statues as to not get sent back in time. 
Anyone else get a Weeping Angel vibe?

As soon as you enter the sanctuary, you are embraced by this amazing sculpture garden. The gardens project a place of spiritual tranquillity. The sculptures, half hid by the ferns and other natural fauna, aid in making the sanctuary the perfect place for quiet reflection.

As you continue to walk through the sanctuary, you truly get to see William Ricketts vision unfold. The house where William used to live serves as an additional information centre. In the house, you're able to learn more about the life and vision of William. It was a beautiful place to a take a little bit of a rest and learn more about the inspiration behind the sculptures.

Incredible he never had any training!
It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk through the entire sanctuary however, one could quite easily spend up to an hour looking at all the beautiful, mysterious statues. If you're travelling through the Dandenong Ranges, it is a beautiful, quick stop before exploring other areas. If you choose to stop by after going on a hike (like we did), I would suggest ending the day at the Alfred Memorial Gardens. It is located within close proximity of the Sanctuary and is a lovely way to end the day.

If you were in Melbourne would you want to visit William Ricketts Sanctuary? If you have visited, what was your favourite part about the sanctuary? Want to learn more about the Dandenong Ranges? Click HERE!

Until next time...
Stay curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media:

10 Bucket List Travel Destinations That Aren't in Europe

Like most individuals, I have an insatiable case of Wanderlust. I'm frequently googling new and exotic places to visit and explore. Hell as I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my connecting flight, I'm looking at where I could travel on my next holiday. It's not that I'm ungrateful to be on vacation, it's really more a means to pass the time before my next flight. However, every country I visit, every new town I explore, I want to learn more about the world around me. 

A few short years ago I would have never dreamt that I would travel to Asia. European countries were always at the top of my travel list, but after a work trip to Bali, I discovered I wanted to see more of Asia. Seeing as I want to see as much of the world as possible before I die, this list is a Sparknotes version of some of my top must-see destinations, in no particular order.

1. The Great Barrier Reef
How have I not been here yet? I've lived in Australia for over two years now and still have not managed to take a trip up to Queensland. Yes, I did have a flight booked for this year, but life gets in the way and just messed that trip up. I think I need to just plan a long weekend and go! This should be the most attainable destination on my list.

2. Sri Lanka
I've had a few friends travel to Sri Lanka. When they've returned, its nothing but amazing stories about how lovely the experience was. Great beaches, amazing surf, fantastic food, and charming locals is everything I could ever want on holiday. Until recently, I did not have a good understanding of Sri Lankan culture, but now I want to learn more! Sri Lanka is definitely a must see on my travel list. 

3. Antartica
Antartica is the polar opposite of everything I usually look for in a holiday. It's freezing cold, the beaches are ice, and there's lots of snow. But there is something about Antartica that has been drawing me to visit. One day I would love to travel there to do conservation or research work. Maybe I'll even summon the courage to dive the Antartic waters. It will not be a luxurious vacation, but that is what I'm seeking. I want a trip that will challenge me and expand my horizons. 

4. Ecuador
Narrowing down the countries, I want to visit in South America was no easy feat. Ideally, I would like to visit all the countries in South America, but Ecuador is highest on my list. Ecuador is littered with incredible historical sights and breathtaking landscapes. Nature and history are two big selling points for me on any holiday excursion. Sightseeing on Easter Island and the Galapagos would be an incredible experience. Exploring the historical sights such as the Ingapirca Ruins or the gorgeous landscape at the Swing at the End of the World are definitely high up on my list. Please excuse me while I go pack my bag right now. 

5. New Zealand
I'm still unsure how I have yet to visit New Zealand. There are always so many fantastic flight deals from Australia too there, and yet, I have not visited. I mean New Zealand is home to Hobbiton and some of the best adventure sports in the world. Next time there's a flight deal on I Know the Pilot, I need to book a trip. 

6. Tanzania 
For those who do not know, I am a massive animal lover. I've driven to Adelaide simply to cuddle a koala (it's illegal in Victoria). Anytime I have a chance to see amazing animals in their natural habitat, I'm even more excited. I've done a lot of research on where to visit in Africa and have found Tanzania seems to be the best country for animal safaris. Not only is there incredible wildlife in Tanzania but there are also unbelievable hikes and waterfalls. Everything I love wrapped up in one beautiful trip!

7. Brazil
Not only do I have some amazing friends in Brazil, but there are also so many incredible things I would like to see in Brazil. Hiking in the Amazon, exploring Rio, enjoying the superb beaches. Brazil has so many amazing things to see and explore. I may have to take a long trip to Brazil just so I have enough time to see everything. 

8. The Maldives
I have wanted to go to the Maldives for years now. For a long time, I only viewed this as a honeymoon destination. But the Maldives doesn't need to be just for couples. Whether you want to relax and detach from the virtual world for a while or experience some incredible scuba diving and snorkelling, the Maldives seems to be the perfect place for anyone wanting a detox from society. 
9. Peru

Peru is filled with outstanding geographical and historical sites to see. With three different regions that offer three different terrains, there is definitely something for all types of travellers. Machu Picchu is high up on my travel list. How incredible would it be to see one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World? There are hot springs, incredible hikes, ancient historical sites, and beautiful beaches. Plus, I could get my fix of Inca Kola (if anyone knows where to find this in Australia, please let me know)!

Honestly, who wouldn't want to visit the Great Pyramids? Seeing the ancient Pyramids of Egypt has been on my travel list since I was young. There is so much history, so much culture. One could easily spend months in Egypt. Hopefully one day soon, I will get to visit. 

Have you visited any of the countries on this list? What was your favourite part of your visit? What does your travel bucket list look like? Share it in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media: