A Fun Time In Fraser: Finding Things to Do on Fraser Island

Thursday, 13 December 2018
Whether you’re in the heart of the outback or enjoying the coast, you can always find something new and exciting to do when you’re in Australia. Thanks to the size of this magnificent country, there will never be a shortage of things on your list, and this makes it a pleasure to explore. Of course, though, a single post can’t cover all of this. Instead, to give you the chance to make the most of your stay on Fraser Island, this post will be exploring this slip of land, giving you an idea of what to expect when you arrive.



The Beaches: If you’ve been in Australia for some time, you’ve probably come to know what to expect when you’re presented with a beach. Of course, though, nothing is quite what you imagine, with Fraser Island being practically made up of one massive beach. Being the largest sand island Australia has to offer, the entire surface of this area is covered with the stuff. While the beaches are still separated by name, most of them are connected as if they are exactly the same body.


The Lakes: Along with having plenty of great beaches on offer, Fraser Island also has plenty of lakes for you to get stuck into. For those who enjoy a spot of fishing, Lake McKenzie can be a great place to start, offering clear waters and beautiful beaches for the family to enjoy. If you prefer to have a swim, though, Fraser’s deepest lake, Lake Wabby, could be a much better option for you. Of course, it’s always worth making sure that you’re choosing somewhere safe to swim when you’re doing this.


brown shipwreck on coast during daytime
Image Credit
The History: While it is quite a small place, Fraser Island is home to a lot of history. It is thought that the place has been occupied by humans for over 5000 years, with tribes of aboriginal people still calling home today. It doesn’t stop with the old, though, as there are also traces of more modern events on the island, like the rusting wreck of the SS Maheno, a ship which has seen a lot of different uses in its life.


The Wildlife: Like any area in Australia, one of the key reasons to make a trip to Fraser Island is the wildlife calling it home. Most notably is the large Dingo population on the Island. While some reports suggest otherwise, these could be some of the last pure dingoes in the entire world, and this is a great reason to come and see them for yourself. Along with this, you’ll also find plenty of snakes and other reptiles, along with over 350 species of bird. This provides a true medley for anyone in love with nature.

With all of this in mind, you should be excited to start making your bookings. If this isn’t enough for you, though, you could take a look at some other posts about Fraser Island to give you even more inspiration. There are few places in the world which offer such a rich mix of different activities.

Have you ever visited Fraser Island? Tell us all about your trip in the comments below!

And until next time...
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Adventures in Aussieland's Most Memorable Christmas

Wednesday, 12 December 2018
We've made it to the final day of the 12 Days of Blogmas. First, Merry Christmas to all of my lovely reader! I wish you a magical day, and I hope all your Christmas wishes come true!

Throughout the last 12 days, I've been reflecting on Christmas past. I've analysed the challenging aspects of the holidays and tried to created fun solutions to make them more memorable, but I haven't really shared any past Christmas memories. 



Today, I'd like to take you on a little trip down memory lane to my most memorable Christmas. In a family as large as mine, it actually was quite difficult narrowing down just one unforgettable Christmas. 

Would I choose a funny memory like when my best friend and I lit the wall at my dad's house on fire trying to curl our hair before my dad took us to a play? Or the time my granny started dancing on top of the bar? While they were pleasant memories, I've chosen a simpler one...


To grandmother's house we go...

My family is originally from Michigan, so I was lucky enough to pretty much always have a white Christmas. While back in the Mitten, we would split our time between my dad's family and my mum's family. 

On this year, we had spent Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family and would be spending Christmas Day with my mum's side. The drive to my Granny's house is literally something out of a Christmas movie or postcard. You drive through a tiny, snow-covered town before turning down an unpaved back country road. After driving for about 20 minutes, fearing you're completely lost and will never see civilisation again, you round a corner, and a long driveway appears. 

As you ascend the driveway, there stands a picturesque snow-covered house surrounded by forest. I never truly appreciated it at the time, but my Granny's house was incredible. This year, the entire family was going to be staying in the house at the same time. To put this in perspective, my mum is one of six. So there were a lot of people staying in this house. 

My family, God bless them, are all incredibly strong-willed and opinionated. We're all loud, a wee bit hyperactive, loving, and love trying to embarrass each other. You could see how this quickly would turn into arguments and frustration. 

While I do remember a few debates taking place during this Christmas, we quickly moved passed them. The weatherman stated that a big snow storm was due to hit soon. We didn't care. We were all sitting around a big table playing CLR, laughing, and enjoying each others company. 


Snowball fight anyone?

Well, we managed to get snowed in. With Granny living so far off the beaten path, her street would be last on the list to be plowed. We lost power for a while, and it was cold as outside. You would think this would be enough for the first annual hunger games to break out inside the house. While I'm sure it crossed a few peoples minds, we somehow managed to escape the 38ish hour snowed in entirely in one piece. A few people did end up sleeping on the stairs, but we made out alive. 


The family spent time shoving the long driveway (who's brilliant idea was that?), having snowball fights, dancing like nerds, and just enjoying each others company. And while we were all longing for some solitude, by the end of the stay, we were sad to see each other go. We knew it would be a long time before we would see each other again. 

I may be slightly romanticising this Christmas in my head. I'm sure there were many more arguments, tears, and anger throughout those few days. But amazingly, that's not what I remember. I remember all the fun we had. But I guess that's what makes Christmas so amazing, we choose to remember all the good times and the fun we have with our family and friends. 

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone! Wishing you a memorable holiday season! 


And until next time...
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Why Australia is the Best Place for Nature Lovers

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Every country has its own natural wonders, but some of the ones in Australia cannot be matched by anywhere else in the world. Anyone that loves nature will be enthralled by some of them, and who people who are not nature lovers could not fail to be amazed by some of the sights.


The Great Barrier Reef

Officially one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the reef has more than 400 different types of coral and over 1,500 species of fish. It is made up of about 2,900 individual reefs and is 2,300 km long. It is the largest living structure on earth and is the only living thing on the planet that is visible from space. There are Reef tours in glass bottom boats, you can snorkel, dive, sail or admire it from the air. There is nothing else like it, and visiting the Great Barrier Reef is an experience that is never forgotten.



Uluru

Formerly known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is located in the heart of the outback.  Uluru is its Aboriginal name and is also now what it is officially called. This huge piece of sandstone stands higher than the Eiffel Tower at 348meters, is 3.65 km long and 1.9 km wide. It is sacred to the indigenous Australians and believed to be around 700 million years old.

Climbing the rock is not illegal, but the aborigines see it as an insult to their culture and the practice is frowned upon. Most visitors respect this, and very few attempt to make the climb.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island was formed over 800,000 years ago when Australia was still joined to Antarctica. It is the world’s largest island made of sand and stretch for 123 km long and 23 km wide. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site because it is constantly moving and evolving. For anyone that loves camping, beach fishing, inland lakes, the rainforest or 4-wheel drive treks, it is an ideal location. You might also be lucky enough to spot migrating humpback whales off the coast.

Kata Tjuta

This natural wonder is just about 50 km down the road from Uluru.  It is said that it originates from a similar time. However, it is much larger than Uluru and has 36 domes that are spread over a 20km area. The largest of the domes stand 546 meters high. Its name is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘many heads’. The best time to see it is at sunrise or sunset, and there are organized walks through parts of it.

The Gordon River

Until the river reaches the Macquarie Harbour, it is uninhabited all the way along its 200 km course. You can take a boat down the calm waters, which has ancient and lush rainforest on either side. It is listed as a World Heritage site, the land around it being called the Gordon-Franklin Wild Rivers National Park.


There is an enormous amount of things that nature lovers would admire in Australia, including so many more than we have mentioned here. It is without a doubt a paradise for anyone that loves natural things, and there are probably too many of them to see in a lifetime.

If you love nature, then you’ll certainly love Australia.

Have you ever visited any other places above? Which place would you most like to visit? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

And until next time...
Great Ocean Road
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Healthy Holidays: Stay Fit & Healthy

The holiday season can be a difficult time to remain in peak physical fitness. It's easy to overeat, binge on unhealthy snacks, and completely neglect your workouts. If you're looking for some fun Christmas workouts, click here before finishing this post. But if you do not want to bust out a holiday workout, here are some playful tips on how to stay fit and healthy this holiday season:



Engage with Your Younger Family Members
Nothing helps burn the calories faster than trying to keep up with a rambunctious toddler. I swear, the younger the child, the better they embody the Energizer Bunny. They keep on going, and going, and going, and going. Playing an exciting game of Tiggy or What's the Time Mr Wolf will get the heart pumping. 

Don't have younger kiddos in the family? Convince the family to join in a game of touch football or any other sport. No matter the weather (unless it's raining fire), it's always fun playing some kind of sport with your family. At the very least, you'll be able to tackle out any built up anger you have towards your family members. 

Spontaneous Dance Parties
These are always a winner any time of year, but Christmas makes them slightly more socially acceptable. Turn up the Christmas music extra loud and dance till you're little heart is content! 

Feeling extra inspired? Gather a group of friends or family members and choreograph your very own Christmas dance. Perform it for the family or record it and shamelessly share it on the internet. You'll eventually look back, laugh, and cherish these Christmas moments. 

Christmas Workouts
I know I already made an entire post about holiday workouts, but they're a fantastic, quick way to burn a few extra calories. Do you have a competitive family? Turn the workouts into a competition. During the HIIT workouts, see who can do the most reps in the allotted time. On the 12 Days of Christmas Workout, see who can get through the ladder the fastest, with the best form. Your body will thank you later!

Be Mindful of What You're Eating
It is so easy to overeat during the holidays. If you've ever looked at most US families Christmas dinner, you're looking at a table of butter. The amount of butter that ends up in all the dishes is mind-boggling. It is very easy to quickly consume a high amount of calories. So how do you enjoy your favourite holiday foods without eating a year's worth of calories?

First, portion control. Unlike the workout and sports suggestion, who can eat the most is NOT a competition you should partake in. You are more than welcome to eat whatever you would like just be mindful of the portion size. 

Second, you can always opt for healthier options. Instead of loading up on high carb, high starch foods, make a majority of your plate roast veggies. Still eat the more savoury dishes, just limit the amount you do. Gravy has an insane amount of calories. Instead of slathering your entire meal in it, place a small amount in a small bowl and use sparingly (or not at all). You'll be less likely to end up in a food coma and won't have a massive sugar crash the next day!

Stay Happy and Positive
During the holidays, it is inevitable that there will be some mishaps. People are bound to disagree, the turkey may catch on fire, and you may end up spending the holidays alone. That's ok. Don't focus on the negative. Keep yourself in a happy, healthy mindset. 

If a problem does occur, think about the things you can do to fix the situation. If there are no options, let it go and move on! Is the problem a little more complicated? Use some of the strategies mentioned in How to Cope with Holiday Stress to help you get back in the holiday spirit! 

Most importantly, enjoy this time. It may be the only time of year all your friends and family get together. Treasure this. Be silly. Laugh. Make some precious memories. 

And until next time...
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Holiday Traditions You Can Keep No Matter Where You Are

Monday, 10 December 2018
It can be difficult being away from loved ones this time of the year. But just because you may not be spending the holidays back home, doesn't mean you can't bring a little bit of home to where you are. Here are 4 simple, (somewhat) free traditions you can keep no matter where you are.



One of the simplest things one can do throughout the holidays is be thankful and grateful. It doesn't cost anything to reflect on all the beautiful things that have happened over the year. 

Whether it's travelling the world, having a job, having friends and family, or merely the fact that you woke up this morning, there are always things in our lives to be thankful for. Take the time to say thank you today and share a little holiday cheer. 


Another fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit is to volunteer. I realise this is the time of year where everyone offers to volunteer but that doesn't make the act any less important. Unfortunately, there are people in the world who are not that fortunate. There are many reasons they may need a little extra help. If someone is in need, do the right thing and help out. 

Volunteer activities don't have to be limited to helping people. Volunteer your time at an animal shelter helping little doggos, and kitty cats find their forever home. Work on an environmental conservation project. Or help clean up a local beach. When volunteering, find something you're passionate about. It's definitely in the Christmas spirit to give back. 

Technology is incredible these days. You can get from one side of the US to the other in approximately 5 1/2 hours, we have entire computers in our pockets, and we have the ability to video chat with anyone, anywhere in the world. Just because you're in a different country or state doesn't mean you still can't be with your family. 



FaceTime or other video messaging services are a great way to keep the tradition of being with your family alive. Since I am unable to be with my family this time of year, I always make sure to FaceTime them so I can at least feel present for the holiday festivities. 

Lastly, sending Christmas cards is a fantastic holiday tradition! It can be a lot of fun sending a card to friends and family from your holiday travels. It's a great little way to let them know you're thinking of them and keeping the Christmas spirit alive. 

This is one of my favourite Christmas traditions. While I may have slacked this year, I feel there is something incredibly personal and special about sending Christmas cards. Next year, Archer will totally be decked out like Santa's little helper for an adorable card photo. 

No matter where you are in the world, it's never to far to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Even if you're alone, do not let this time of year isolate you. Embrace the freedom to gain a deeper understanding of yourself and push yourself to give back. 

*If you are feeling isolated this holiday season, do not be afraid to reach out for some additional support. In Australia, you can call Lifeline on 131114. In the US, you can call 1-800-273-8255. Or text 741741 from anywhere to get connected with a counsellor*

What are some of your favourite holiday traditions?


And until next time...

Stay curious and Merry Christmas!

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Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Anyone on Your List

Sunday, 9 December 2018
This year has flown by. I am still in disbelief that we are less than a week away from Christmas. If you're anything like me, your busy schedule has put shopping on the back burner and now you're panicked to get all your shopping done on time. Fear no more! I've compiled a list of 10 amazing last minute gift ideas for anyone on your list!


*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission off any purchase at no additional cost to you. All opinions are 100% my own.*
Do you have any people left on your list and you're not entirely sure what to get them? Bullet journals are amazing gifts for anyone but especially those hard to shop for people. These journals give you the freedom to be creative, track progress throughout the year, and practice mindfulness. 

Does your loved one travel a lot? Have you shared a special moment together? Or do they have adorable photos of their dog? Creating a custom canvas is a great personalised gift! I always love printing my favourite photos from my travels and hanging them around the house. It makes me feel like a professional photographer. 

Obstacle Course Races
Many people make health and fitness a goal for their New Years Resolution. Do you know why a lot of people fail? They make excuses. A great gift for someone of any fitness level, SIgn them up for an obstacle course race! Sometimes the greatest motivation can be knowing you have to be prepared for the race. Get them a great training book, a race, and buddy up with them so you get to spend more time with your loved one! 

If you're really stuck for a gift idea, mystery boxes can be just the gift. There are beauty, sci-fi, health and wellness, fitness, so many different types of boxes to choose from! I've given one a go a few months and was pleasantly surprised with what was sent. 

Gifts to a proper spa can be expensive. We want the people we care about to take care of themselves. Sometimes this means forced mental health time. Can't afford a proper spa but still want your friend to be able to relax? Give them a home spa kit. Grab some bath bombs, mud masks, and some relaxing scents to help make this DIY spa a bit more special. 

This is perfect for any traveller or racer. I have wanted a GoPro for such a long time. I think it would be so cool to be able to video any snorkelling trips or crazy OCR runs. It's a great way to remember any adventure you've gone on. 

Wanting to get the tiny humans in your life excited about travelling? The World Traveller Set is a great way to do this. If your a jet-setting auntie, this gift is great for your little nieces or nephews to pretend they're going on holiday with you! I'm super excited to play around with this when I see my nephew!

Food Subscription Boxes 
Do you have a loved one that wants to get healthy but doesn't know where to start or is pressed for time? Why not get them a food subscription? Companies like HelloFresh, Fresh 2 U, and YouFoodz send the food you need directly to your door. The correct portion sizes are sent so there's no fear of overeating and you're given recipes with each box. No need to think about what's for dinner! 

Whether you're at the beach, hiking, on a picnic, or simply relaxing in the backyard, everyone loves listening to some music or a good podcast. Having the freedom to listen to music whenever you want, that is actually loud enough to hear, can make any day a little more magical. These speakers are a great, simple gifts for anyone left on your shopping list. 

What do you think of the list? Any gifts that should have been added? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

And until next time...
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How to Cope with Holiday Stress

Saturday, 8 December 2018
The holidays can be a joyous, happy, and stress-inducing time. For many, spending time with loved ones can be a bit conflicting. You're glad you're spending time with your family but the inability to find alone time and your one family member who holds polar opposite viewpoints than you and shoves them in your face, makes you want to bash your head against a wall. So how does one spend the holidays with loved ones and not end up institutionalised from losing their mind? I've come up with a few tricks to make your holiday season a pleasant one. 



You're Feelings Aren't Bad
No matter what your family tries to tell you if you feel run down, upset, or sad, you have every right to feel that. Allow yourself the opportunity to acknowledge your feelings. If you try to repress them, you'll only feel worse. Let those around you know if you need some space or a person to talk to. It is vital that your family listen to your request and respect the way you're feeling. 

Be Realistic
If history has taught us anything, it's doomed to repeat itself if you do not make the necessary changes. Your loved ones may be respecting your feelings but don't expect miracles to happen overnight. If you know, Auntie So-And-So always grinds your gears, make sure you allow yourself some distance. You may not be able to change the opinions and actions of those around you, but you can change how you interact with them. If you have to be in the same room as these people, work on some mindfulness exercises to help calm you. Limit the amount of time you spend with these people. And know when it's time to walk away or what conversations not to engage in. I love my brother, but we do not see eye to eye politically. We've implemented a No Politics rule so that we don't end up hating each other. It's helped spare a lot of arguments and made time spent together much more enjoyable. 

Implement Good Coping Strategies
These could include breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, working out, or time to read. Planning in time for some self-care will help make the holidays a bit more pleasant. Just like in your day-to-day life, self-care is an essential part of holiday survival. As the holidays can be extra stressful, plan more self-care time than you would the rest of the year. For some, this may be a whole day where you're focusing on yourself. For others, an hour a day is enough. Make sure this time is uninterrupted so you can have proper time to relax. 

Forgive and Move On
The saying goes to forgive and forget. I'm actually not a huge fan of this saying. You should forgive but don't forget. Accept. Forgetting often leads to one repressing feelings and can lead to more conflict. Instead, forgive and accept. Accept that the past happened, and implement strategies to ensure it doesn't happen again. This could be avoiding specific topics, don't push each other's buttons, and learn when it's time to take a break. 

Know When To Walk Away
Sometimes all the coping strategies in the world won't help the stress you're experiencing. When this happens, it's crucial when to know when to walk away. It's better to take a break and remove yourself from stressful situations rather than stay put and permanently damage relationships. Go for a run, see a movie, or take a run to the shops to clear your mind. This way you're able to reapproach the situation with a clear head upon your return. 

The holidays don't have to be a stress-inducing time. One just has to arm themselves with ways to decrease stress whenever possible. What strategies do you use to help cope with holiday stressors? Share them in the comments below!

*If you are feeling isolated this holiday season, do not be afraid to reach out for some additional support. In Australia, you can call Lifeline at 131114. In the US, you can call 1-800-273-8255. Or text 741741 from anywhere to get connected with a counsellor*


And until next time...
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10 Amazing Christmas Gifts for Any Expat or Jet Setter

Friday, 7 December 2018
How are you finding the 12 days of Blogmas thus far? Keeping on track with buying gifts for people, I thought today would be a great day to tackle some more gifts for the jet setter or expat in your life. Being away from family and friends during the holidays can often feel very isolating. Personally, this time of year I always tend to get a little homesick. Christmas is a massive celebration in my family. My dad always went all out decorating the entire house. When we would go back to Michigan, we got a white Christmas. Being in Australia, the way I've celebrated Christmas has drastically changed. I miss my old traditions, and I miss being with my family. As I'm sure many other expats and jet-setters feel the same, I've compiled a list of some great holiday gifts they're sure to love: 


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

1. Home Sick Candles
This is one of the only times throughout the year I feel homesick. I long for things that will remind me of home. A while back, I saw these fantastic candles and had to have one. They are the perfect gift for any homesick immigrant wanting a little slice of home. 

2. The Carry On Cocktail Kit
For the frequent flyer in your life, this may be the perfect gift. Especially if this jet-setter frequents budget airline travel. Sometimes long-haul flights can be less than glamorous. That extra little something can help you bounce off the plane with a bit of extra pep in your step. 

3. Snacks from Around the World 
Sometimes the perfect thing for any homesick individual are some yummy treats from their home country. I often find myself craving Cheetos and Taco Bell when I start to get a bit homesick. These snack boxes are a great treat for any homesick traveller or a great way to try different snacks from around the world. 

4. Adventure Throw Pillows
When you're an avid traveller, you want your house to reflect your lifestyle. Having various travel related items around the house can help inspiration and wanderlust at any instance. 

5. Instant Print Camera
I know the last thing a traveller wants to do is add more items to their travel bag. However, being able to instantly print photos is an excellent way to share memories with new friends or mail back cards to family back home. It may seem old school, but I always send friends and family cards from the countries I've travelled to. It's a little bit more special than sending back some random tchotchke you bought at a random market. 

6. Paris-Chien: Adventures of an Ex-Pat Dog
Yes, this may be a children's book, but that doesn't make it any less amazing. It's a great book to read when you've first moved to a new country or when you're feeling a little homesick. 

7. Anti-Theft Backpack
I am super paranoid when I travel, especially when I stay in hostels. This backpack is a fantastic way to remove a little bit of worry one might have about having their belongings stolen. At the very minimum, you can go to the bathroom on the plane in peace not stressing about your passport or money going missing.

8. Photo Calendar
There is nothing better than looking back at old photos of your friends and loved ones back home. Sending them a photo calendar of all the happy memories is a great way for your loved ones to remember home. It may also inflict some tears when they're feeling a little homesick, but it will nonetheless be greatly appreciated. 


9. Coffee Mugs
Just like the photo calendar, having your morning cup of Joe in a mug adorned with your hometown or country, tugs at any expats heartstrings. Creating magical home memories right in their new house is something that will be greatly appreciated. It can also be a good conversation starter when people come over to visit. 


10. Posters of Home
Posters and prints of photos from back home are other lovely gifts for any expat. Decorating a room with little pieces the home can help make a new, strange country a little less foreign. 

Was anything missing from the list? Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next post!

And until next time...
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