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The Ultimate Disneyland Scavenger Hunt

Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth! Whether it's your first visit or your thousandth, Disneyland does not disappoint. Wondering what you should do with your limited time at Disney? This scavenger hunt will help you have a magical day. Be sure to use the hashtag #AdventuresinDisney to help us keep track of your adventure!

1. Kiss Donald Duck and/or Hug Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Two of the most iconic Disney characters. Getting a picture with Disney characters is fun. But engaging with them can make your trip that much more magical. Sometimes the line can be wrapped around Main St. So if you're rushed for time you can often catch these two characters in other areas of the park and California Adventure. 

Didn't quite capture the kiss

2. Become a True Mountaineer
This can be done by riding all the mountain rides in one day: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, and Big Thunder Mountain. If you're there on a busy day, utilise your fast passes, or single rider passes to ensure you get to all four. 

3. Dole Whip at the Tiki Room
There is nothing better while waiting for your turn in the Tiki Room than enjoying a Dole Whip. I'm pretty sure a whole list on how to eat your way around Disney could be put together. But if you're on a budget or unsure where to eat, Dole Whip must be on the list! This nondairy treat won't sour your tummy for the rest of the fantastic Disney food. 

4. Ride the Nose of the Monorail
If you're trying to get the best first glimpse of the park, sitting in the nose of the monorail will meet this expectation. Not sure how to access this coveted seat? Just ask a cast member. There may be a bit of a wait so make sure you're structured this time into your day.

5. Get Your Crew Matching Attire
Disneyland is one of the few places on the planet where it is perfectly acceptable to wear matching attire, and it be magical af. It doesn't matter how old you are, if someone asks you to wear matching ears or attire at Disneyland, you bloody do it! 

Matching for our milestone birthdays
6. Try the Goat Trick on Thunder Mountain Rail Road
While on Big Thunder, you will see a goat with TNT in its mouth. Do NOT take your eyes off this goat. This little trick will give you a whole new perception on the ride. Apparently, if you sit in the very back, you feel it a bit more. I've heard that intensity can vary based off whether you turn just your head or your whole body. Sit in the back, only follow the goat with your head, and it'll be a whole new ride!

7. Snap a Picture on Every Ride*
Riding every ride in Disneyland is not an easy task. It takes heaps of time management and a super early start (unless you manage to make it to the park on a quiet day). Celebrate your massive accomplishment by snapping a picture on/near every ride. Please read the caveats at the bottom of this post. 
I ranked 45th at the Park that day!

8. Go to Hell
Yup, you can go to hell at Disneyland. Go to Mr Toad's Wild Ride and hop onto a motorcar. As you zigzag through the town, get sentenced to jail, and then break out, you'll find yourself going head to head with a train. Where will you end up? Heaven or hell?

9. Loudly Sing the Gilligan Island's Theme on Pirates of the Carribean
Who doesn't love singing along to the Pirates song? It's pretty much a ride tradition. Break that tradition and be bold. Sing the Gilligan Island's theme song or better yet, sing 'I'm on a Boat' by Lonely Island. Cuz I'm on a boat, and it's going fast, and I got a nautical theme pass me the afghan. 

10. Tell the Mad Hatter a Silly Joke
The Mad Hatter is always sharing riddles. Surprise him with your best joke. Bonus points if you can get the Mad Hatter and Alice to laugh. Not sure where to find the Mad Hatter? He can often be seen in front of the Tea Cups or Alice in Wonderland ride or at Refreshment Corner on Main Street. 

11. Steer the Mark Twain River Boat
Not only do you want to be the first one on the boat, but you also want to be the first one to ask a cast member. You'll be directed to a door that says 'private'. Once you knock on the door, you'll be greeted by the captain. Here you'll be allowed to steer, ding the bells, and blow the whistles. Make sure you say thank you to the captain and the cast members that helped you.  

12. Explore Tom Sawyer's Island
This is one of the most overlooked areas of Disneyland. Let your inner child run loose exploring the island, looking for pirates treasure. You might even get a cheeky picture with Captain Jack Sparrow. 

13. Fight Kylo Ren or Darth Vader
When visiting Kylo Ren or Darth Vader, don't be afraid to show them what you got. Challenge the Sith to figure out who actually is the most powerful person in the galaxy. You may end up with a hilarious photo like the one below. Kylo asked to see my fighting skills, and I was unprepared. 

14. Steal a Cheeky Kiss on Main Street
Are you feeling uber romantic? Are you catching the sights with your kiddos or your favourite niece/nephew? Are you spending a fun day with your besties? Or are you just super bold and wanting to potentially meet your soul mate? Grab a partner and give them a smooch on Main Street. It's too iconic to pass up! 

15. Ask for a decoder on Indiana Jones or the Jungle Cruise
This one may be a bit hit or miss, but it wouldn't be a scavenger hunt if there weren't at least one super challenging item on the list. The Jungle Cruise almost always has decoders however, Indiana Jones does not always have them. 

16. Great Moments with President Lincoln
This is one of the most underrated attractions in Disneyland. No, it is not an epic ride like Space Mountain, but it is a great little history lesson with a pretty dang cool President Lincoln. Get a sweet selfie with Lincoln for bonus points!

17. Eat a Churro
I. Literally. Dream. About. Disney. Churros! Eating a churro at Disneyland is one of the easier accomplishments on this list plus it will give you a boost of energy if you're starting to hit the afternoon lulls. It's a great way to help the lines go by a little bit faster as well. 

18. While You're at it...Eat a Corndog 
Not sure if you can still find corndogs in Disneyland or if you might have to sneak over to California Adventure but dang they are one bloody good corndog. Definitely worth the park detour. If you know where you can find a corndog in Disneyland, please share it in the comments below!

19. Sing for a Disney Princess
Taking a picture with the Disney Princess' is great but let's challenge ourselves just a little bit. It's time to be extra af and sing to Ariel that you want to be part of her world. Belt out 'Let It Go' with Elsa. Or sing at the wishing well with Snow White. 

20. Make a Wish in the Wishing Well
After you've finished singing with Snow White, be sure to make a wish in the wishing well. It will help make your Disney adventure that much more magical. 

If you've managed to complete your scavenger hunt, hop on over to California Adventure, try a Mickey's Fun Wheel, and start your California Adventures Scavenger Hunt.

BonusRide every single ride at Disneyland and California Adventure. Bonus bonus points if you can do both on the same day. 

When you visit Disneyland, what are your must do's and must see's? Share this post with a Disney addict. Use #AdventuresinDisney so I can keep track of all the Disney fun!

And until next time...
Stay curious!

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*For the love of all that is holy, please PLEASE do not risk the safety of yourself or others to take a bloody selfie. Take it in line, in front of the ride, in the car before the ride takes off but DO NOT actually snap the dang picture on a ride that could cause serious harm. Adventures in Aussieland will not be held liable and does not condone risk-taking behaviour.  

Are They the Same? Australian vs US Spartan Races

It goes without saying, no Spartan Race is created equally. Each is designed to test you physically and mentally. Even if you've raced at the same location more than once, it is highly unlikely it will be the exact same race. 

I recently participated in my first US Spartan race. Before the start, I was excited and nervous. There were many obstacles I had never encountered. Some seemed incredibly intimidating (I'm looking at you A-Frame. It's not the height that scares me, it's the falling) and others I was seriously looking forward to (I'm talking about the Dunk Wall!). 

Before the race, I did not think the races would be that different. Spartan is the same company, you would expect there to be the same rules and regulations throughout. But there were some significant differences I noticed between the two countries races. 

**Some of this information may not be accurate. I have only done 1 Spartan race in the US and 6 in Australia. All accounts below are my personal experiences with Spartan thus far**

Sorry Oz but the US Spartan races are incredibly well organised. From picking up your race packet to starting times to the finish line, the Spartan SOCAL was a well-oiled machine pumping out Spartan Warriors like they were headed to battle. 

The only downside, you couldn't sneak into an earlier heat. I made the mistake of thinking my start time was 12:30, not 1:30 and arrived at the arena super early. I tried to get into the 12:30 heat as scheduled the rest of my day around a 12:30 start time but was unable to do so. Oh well, I still had a killer time on the course!

Related Post: A Single Event Can Change Your Life for the Better

The Obstacles
This was probably the most exciting part. There were different obstacles between any of the Aussie races I had previously run. Obstacles that were newer to the States (Olympus, Z-Wall and the Atlas Carry), had been in Australia since I started racing. But I had never done the Bucket Brigade, A-Frame, or Dunk Wall. Please please please can the Twister come to Australia? I've been wanting to conquer this obstacle for a while but haven't had the opportunity. 

Other obstacles differences, Australia still does the Gladiators and Balance Beams. Australia also has the Fortress which is an impressive rock climbing wall you must scale up and over to avoid doing burpees. 

I also appreciated the sturdiness of the Multi-Rig during my US race. Australia tends to stick to Monkey Bars, so it was a lot of fun to tackle the Multi-Rig. Australia just announced that they would be introducing 12 new obstacles to the races, I'm beyond excited to see if any of them are obstacles I tackled during my SOCAL Sprint. 

Force a friend to run a Spartan for your birthday

The Penalties
DISCLAIMER!!! Everything I am about to say is just observation. I realise that everyone is racing their own race unless you're in the competitive or elite heats. I am in no way, shape, or form knocking people down for their decisions on how to race THEIR RACE

In Australia, if it is your first race, you're granted a Rookie Pass. This means if you fail an obstacle, you do not need to do the burpee penalties. Personally, I think this is an incredible way to welcome people into the sport. It makes the race slightly less intimidating and means people are more willing to give it a go. 

While the Rookie Pass is not offered in the US, I was a little surprised at how many people I saw completely skipping their penalties. There were very few people I witnessed actually do their penalties at any capacity. I've had to adjust my penalties and switch to squats when I busted my wrist during a race, but I still did some form of a penalty when failing an obstacle. 

In Australia, it was rare to see a person skip their penalties. There are a lot more modifications to the penalties, especially during the Sprint, but they were still done. 

At the end of the day, it's your race. You do what you're capable of while still pushing yourself. You're already a winner that you got your booty on the course and tried. 

Related Post: Bright Trifecta Weekend. A Weekend of Insanity 

The Comradery
The comradery is probably the most incredible aspect of a Spartan Race. It's not every man/woman for themselves, you get through this together. The teamwork attitude was present both in the US and Australia. The only difference, at the SoCal Sprint, people waited for you to ask for help with an obstacle. In Australia, the second someone sees you struggling they offer you support. Regardless, all Spartan racers are ready to help you be the best you possible. 

Regardless of what country you're in, why not push yourself and sign up for a race. Yes, it's intimidating. Yes, it will challenge the f*ck out of you. Yes, you may cry at some point. But it will be SO worth it! If you've ever run a Spartan Race before, share your story in the comments to help encourage new racers!

And until next time...

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An Expat's Guide to Cooking: OG Mac n Cheese

Moving to a new country takes a lot of adjustment. You're introduced to new people, new foods, and new languages. Adapting to a new country is a massive adjustment. Sometimes you have to adjust to the culture while still keeping a bit of your own. After many talks with a lot of expats, for some reason adapting to food seems to be one of the most challenging. The top two foods I hear constant feedback about: Mexican and Mac n Cheese. So today we have a fabulous guest post, from my friend Nick, for all you expats looking to make some killer mac n cheese in Australia (without breaking the bank to get your hands on some Velveeta).

Mac n Cheese: The Velveeta Famine 
So, coming in to contact with many expats over the last few years, I’ve noticed that there is one major hurdle that all of you people seem to struggle with when moving overseas: Velveeta Goddamn cheese. 

What this post aims to do, is teach those of you poor, homesick individuals that not being able to easily access this dead-shit “cheese” product is not the end of the world by sharing an OG Mac n Cheese recipe. 

You will need:
Red Leicester cheese.  (90g/3oz)
American Cheddar (90g /3oz)
Sharp tasty cheddar (90g/3oz)
A METRIC fucktonne of parmesan ( 170gm/6oz)
Macaroni (500g)
Pancetta (3 x 10mm slices)
Milk (1 Cup)
Flour (2-4 Tbs)
Panko Breadcrumbs (1cup)
Butter (2-4)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

First off, you’re going to make a Bechamel sauce, Bechamel is French and roughly translates to “How much cheese can I render down into the heaviest concentrate possible?” or something like that.

Heat butter in a pan when bubbling mix in the flour, Whisk until you develop a sexy golden roux slowly pour in a cup of milk, constantly whisking to incorporate it until you have a gravy-like consistency. Then add your cheese, only 110g/4oz of the Parmesan, the rest is used on top. The only real cheese you need to keep regardless of your taste is Parmesan, you can use jack or whatever ungodly concoction you see fit to match your horrible personality. Keep adding until it’s all combined and as thick as a Kardashian’s grey matter  Add cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Related Post: 10 American Foods That Are Impossible to Find in Australia

Meanwhile, we’re going to address another sore point amongst the community: Bacon. 

Bacon is for burgers and to have on top of pancakes. We’re making neither today, so for this exercise, say “fuck bacon” to yourself and go get some Pancetta. Pancetta is an OG cured pork that makes bacon look like the cooking equivalent of the Cleveland Browns. The difference being is it’s salt cured instead of smoke cured like bacon. Which means two things: It’s got a stronger flavour and required to be cooked to fuck before consuming to prevent the spread of gross pork germs.

You can find it literally anywhere if you look hard enough, IGA, any weekend market. But if you’re too goddamn lazy to take 20 minutes out of your day going to your local markets, I’m sure you could dig it up at Woolworths or Coles. I’ve never tried. But you do you boo.

Slice it up into little lardettes and fry it until it’s all crispy and shit. Take it out and set it aside. Now you’ll notice that it’s a lot fattier than bacon and will leave a substantial amount of greasy goodness in the pan. Get your panko breadcrumbs and whack them into the fatty, juicy goodness. Brown the breadcrumbs until they resemble that god awful Pittsburgh Steelers throwback uniform and put aside to cool. Now instead of having boring breadcrumbs you’ve got bacon-y (pancetta-y?) awesome toasted breadcrumbs.

Mix your pasta (Do I have to tell you to cook the pasta? Of course you have to cook the damn pasta.) in with your bitchin’ cheese sauce and mix until everything is lathered and sexy. Then add your crispy Pancetta awesome and mix that in too.

Put it all into a baking tray and cover with your breadcrumbs and another horrendously large amount of Parmesan. Cover it, put it into the oven at 230 degrees Celcius (450F, assimilate people for crying out loud) for about 10 minutes, uncovering and continuing to cook for another 15 minutes. Pull it out. And enjoy breaking through that ridiculous layer of cheese and greasy breadcrumbs like you would a motherfucking creme brulee.

Related Post: 9 More American Foods That Are Impossible to Find in Australia

Post photos of it on Instagram, eat an embarrassingly large amount to yourself and scoff arrogantly the next time one of your other countrymen complains about not being able to get that godforsaken crappy, aluminium coated block of sin called Velveeta.

Pro Tip: Add finely chopped parsley to the finished product to garnish, because we all know that the only purpose parsley has in its miserable existence is to make garbage food look like it’s got its shit together.

If you’re still unhappy, you can always find Velveeta at your local American foods store and pay $15 a block. Because quite frankly, you deserve it.


How to Save Money on a Student Visa in Australia

Saving money seems to be a hot topic these days. I'm not sure if its because we are constantly surrounded by adverts pushing "Buy! Buy! Buy! We have the NEWEST, most amazing product ever!"? Or is it's because schools will teach you calculus, reciting the US presidents in reverse alphabetical order, or finding out how to kill a mockingbird but does not teach its students how to file taxes, make investments, or (god forbid) set a budget? 

Studying in a foreign country can be overwhelming, exciting, and expensive. Financial assistance is rarely granted to international students. In Australia, international students are limited to 40 hours of work per fortnight during the school term. This can often be challenging to save money. But it is not impossible! Australia offers relatively decent wages to workers, but there are a few things you can do to help save money and not live paycheck to paycheck.