I Won't Be Home for Christmas

Monday, 23 December 2019
Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year. For some, it is filled with happy memories, delicious foods, and family traditions. For many, it symbolises the one time of year the families busy schedules are put on hold so everyone can celebrate together. But what do you do when you're not home for Christmas? Sometimes it's a choice. Sometimes it's not. Either way, you may find yourself missing family, friends, and traditions. 


Living in another country can bring about some interesting feelings this time of year. Christmas has always held a special place in my heart. And the inability to be with my family often leaves me feeling extreme guilt. I love living in Australia. Even more so, I love this time of year. I love the different holiday traditions that are celebrated. But I miss my family. I miss white Christmases. I miss getting to see the excitement on my nephew's faces when they walk down the stairs and see all the presents under the tree.

It seems as though the guilt of choosing to leave family and friends never goes. From talking to other immigrants, it seems to be a common theme. But acknowledgment of this guilt helps lead to acceptance. It is in this acceptance that one realises that our choices were made for a reason, sometimes out of necessity. This acceptance enables you to take ownership of your actions and turn the guilt of the holiday season into empowerment, creating new traditions. If celebrating with your family is important to you, you can always include them in these ways to cope

1. Accept the Change
This is one of the first steps in coping. At the end of the day, this was your choice. Whether you're unable to get the time off, do not have the financial means to fly to a different country, or immigration prevents you from leaving, you chose this new life path. And that is 100% ok! Do not let anyone in your family make you question your choices. 

Just because you're in a different country does not mean you cannot keep family traditions alive. Or you can always adopt new traditions. Better yet merge traditions from your home country with the traditions of your new country. This can help get over the feelings of isolation and guilt and be an exciting new tradition to share with your family!

2. Volunteer Your Time
Giving back is a time honoured holiday tradition. If you're travelling solo in another country, you may feel isolated and lonely this time of year. Why not give back to the local community? Giving back will help you feel more connected to the city you're in, ensure you're surrounded by people during the holiday and boost your mental health. 

Travelling and it's not the holidays? Volunteering year-round is never a bad idea. Shelters and food kitchens often have an overflow of volunteers during the holiday season but struggle during the rest of the year. Create a holiday tradition to volunteer outside of the holiday time. 

The reindeers visited

3. Communicate with Your Family
Is your family struggling to understand why you won't be home? Be sure to have an open dialogue with them. Helping to ensure they understand your perspective and struggles might help them accept your absence a bit more. When my family is upset I am unable to come home, I always extend the offer to them to visit me. No one has taken me up on this offer; however, I think it helps adjust their viewpoints and creates a deeper understanding of the challenges I may be facing. 

4. Skype with Your Family
Technology is incredible y'all! You can be halfway across the world, and if you have an internet connection, you can see your family. You may not be able to be physically present, but that doesn't mean you can't Facetime with your family during the holidays. This will help them know you're thinking of them and you'll get to see the little one's faces whilst opening presents on Christmas morning.  

5. Send Holiday Cards
What? Snail mail? Do people even still use the post? YUP! Sending a Christmas card is just a small gesture that allows your friends and family to know you're thinking of them. My grandparents love it! It's a concrete form of communication that they can revisit whenever they want. Sending parcels through the mail can be expensive, so this is a cheaper alternative. However, if you're going to send a parcel to the younger members of your family, just ship it directly to their house. This will save on the post fee. 


6. Let Those Emotions Free
Do not sit there and pretend you're not experiencing any emotions. If you're sad, allow yourself the opportunity to feel sad. Feeling guilty, acknowledge it and understand why you're feeling that way. Use your feelings to learn and grow. Don't judge yourself or repress your emotions. The holidays bring about many feelings and denying them is only going to cause more distress. 

7. Stay Present
I get it. The holidays bring about all kinds of nostalgia. But just because you're not at home doesn't mean the holiday is ruined. Reach out to locals or other immigrants who may be in a similar situation to you. Appreciate all you have around you and what you're new life has brought. There will be a number of things to celebrate and be thankful for. Take time to acknowledge and appreciate them. 

Living away from friends and family during the holiday season can be challenging but it doesn't need to be crippling. Finding ways to adapt and create new traditions will help to make Christmas in your new country feel a little bit more like home. And remember, no matter what, never feel guilty for telling your family "I won't be home for Christmas". 


And until next time...
Stay curious!
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The Australian Bucket List: 7 Things You Must Do!

Thursday, 24 October 2019
We've surpassed 5 years of living in the beautiful country of Australia! Throughout my time in this marvellous country, I’ve come to learn that it’s one of the most unique countries on the planet. No matter where you go, there’s something special lurking around the corner in all four corners of this great country. 

Funnily enough, this is both excellent and bad! Well, it’s only bad because it makes it super hard to come up with a travel itinerary during your trip to Australia. With so many incredible things to do, how do you decide which ones take priority? 


I thought about this for a long time, and I’ve finally come up with the ultimate Australia bucket list! Below, you’ll see a list of things to do/see that are unique to this country and simply can’t be missed:

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The Best Amazon Prime Deals for Any Well-Rounded Traveller

Sunday, 14 July 2019
Whether you like it or not, Amazon Prime Day has basically turned into a second Black Friday. The US and other parts of the world have become almost spoilt with Amazon's ability to get our stuff to us quickly. So when another great sale comes along, most people would be crazy to miss out. 

If you're anything like me, you do not enjoy spending full price on items. I'm the person who goes to the markets around closing time to get discounted groceries, uses Groupons if I want to eat out, and waits till there are incredible sales for any travel-related item I may need. 



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Escape the Rock: Touring Alcatraz

Friday, 7 June 2019
One does not simply go to San Francisco and not visit Alcatraz. I mean when someone even mentions the word San Francisco chances are the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are going to be the first couple of things that pop into your head. Alcatraz is an excellent piece of history and touring the island allows you a small snippet into this infamous prison. 



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How to Spend A Long Layover in Fiji

Friday, 31 May 2019
How many of you have ever had a long layover somewhere? It happens more frequently than not. Years ago, I would have been content to sit in the airport, spend WAY too much money on crappy airport food, and count down the minutes until my connecting flight was due to board. Now, I hate not making the most of my time and try to get out of the airport and explore.



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7 Easy Steps for Travelling Internationally with Only a Carry On

Friday, 24 May 2019
When you're trying to make the most out of your holiday time, the last thing you want to do is wait at the airport for your bag to be unloaded from the plane and placed on the baggage carousel. I don't know about you, but I hate giving over that much control to the airline. What happens if they lose my bag? 



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9 Things You Must Do In San Francisco

Friday, 17 May 2019
San Francisco is an incredible city with so much to do and see. It can be quite overwhelming when trying to decide what to do and see. I've visited San Francisco several times and each time I find something new and exciting. There are always incredible shows, foods, and shops to explore. Do you want to get the most out of your San Francisco trip? Here are 9 things you must do! 



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Revelio the Magic at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hollywood

Friday, 10 May 2019
When it comes to theme parks, California seems to have it all. When the Wizarding World of Harry Potter first announced the opening in Florida, I must admit I was gutted. California always gets the awesome theme parks first. WHY FLORIDA?!?! WHY!! So when the news that Universal Studios Hollywood was opening the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I lept for joy! 



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How to Avoid Traveller's Gut

Friday, 3 May 2019
Whenever you're travelling the last thing you want is to be knocked on your behind for a few days because you got the Rangoon Runs. But it can be a tricky thing to avoid, especially when you're travelling to a country who has different culinary practices to that of your home country. 



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7 Discount Travel Sites to Help You Save Money

Sunday, 3 March 2019

It's a highly discussed topic, "how do I know that I'm getting the best deal possible on my holiday?". There are many tips and tricks to save money on your holiday, but it can be exhausting sifting through multiple sites, all of which claiming to have the best deals. 

For me, getting the best bang for my buck is imperative. I like saving as much money as possible so that I can afford to experience more on my holidays. So here are my top discount travel sites to help you get the most incredible holiday experience. 




20

5 Things You Must Do If You Visit Northern Australia

Thursday, 14 February 2019
Are you ready for an unforgettable adventure solo or with your loved ones? If you are, Northern Australia is the place to visit. Spend your much-awaited holiday here and experience plenty of fun activities.

The Northern Territory is home to the great outdoors. Whether you are looking for watersports, wildlife adventure, or any exciting activities, there is always something for you. In this post, we look at some of the most exhilarating things you should try when in Northern Australia.






20

Rest Day Activities to Keep You Moving

Wednesday, 6 February 2019
If you exercise frequently, you’ll know the importance of ‘rest days.’ Rest days are a chance for your body to recover and heal, as well as giving yourself a break from the grind preventing exercise burnout. However, rest days shouldn’t be all about lounging around on the sofa, not moving, and throwing your meal plan out the window. Instead, you should find enjoyable yet low impact exercises to keep you active without putting too much strain on your body. Here are a few of my favourite low impact exercises for my rest days.




20

5 Must Visit Australian Events This Year

Sunday, 3 February 2019
There’s oh so much stuff to do in Australia. There’s all those beautiful outdoor areas, the cosmopolitan cities, and, of course, the events. Australia is home to some of the world’s most prestigious, interesting, and outright fun annual events.

If you haven’t yet experienced them in all their glory, then perhaps this is the year to give them a go! Below, we take a look at five must-visit Australia events, all of which are unique. Pick one, two, or all five - you’re sure to have a great time!


12

Is Your Environment Affecting Your Mental Health?

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
There are a lot of things in the modern world that can cause issues for those who are struggling with their mental health. Living in a societal system that prioritizes productivity and profit, the sheer stigma that comes with talking about mental health, and being around those who might be a toxic influence on your life can all be major factors. But one thing that a lot of people forget is just how much of an impact their environment can have on their mental wellbeing. However, more and more people are talking about this kind of thing and it's certainly a conversation worth having. With that in mind, here are some ways that your environment might be harming your mental health.


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Fun Street Foods to Make This Week

Sunday, 27 January 2019
Looking for something different to serve to your family and friends at a party this weekend? Well, look no further. Today we are going to look at some popular street food ideas which will be ideal for serving at a get-together or a party this month.


18

3 Ways to Make A Camping Trip More Bearable

Saturday, 12 January 2019
Travel should be about relaxing and leaving all of the stresses of home behind, so why would anybody ever want to go camping? It all seems like a bit too much work. Why would you want to spend ages putting a tent up in the rain? You want to arrive at a luxurious hotel and put your feet up. When you go camping you’ve got the weather to consider. If it’s raining, you’re stuck in that little tent, miserable until it passes. But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are some great benefits to camping.


20

How to Avoid Travel Stressors and Post Travel Fatigue

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Have you ever come back from a holiday and uttered the phrase, "I need a holiday from my holiday"? On some occasions, I have let this phrase escape from my mouth. It's not that I'm not incredibly grateful for my travels or that I didn't enjoy them, just that I sometimes return even more exhausted than when I left for my trip. 



Holidays are supposed to be our breaks from reality. A time to detox from the stressors of our day to day lives and refresh our mental health and wellbeing. So then why does travelling often induce so much stress? And what can you do to avoid holiday stressors?

16

Where A Career Can Really Take You

Wednesday, 2 January 2019
How do you feel about your job? Maybe you’re happy in the day to day, but you know you want more later on down the line? Maybe you’re unhappy with the day to day, and you’re looking for any reason to hop out and join in on something new? Maybe you’re not too fussed in the moment, you’re just here to make yourself some money? Whatever it is that motivates you when it comes to your working ambitions, maybe it’s time to give them a rethink?



If you’re someone who’s looking to turn 2019 into the year of you and your successful career, then now’s the time for you to think about where your job can really take you. There are all kinds of opportunities out there - which ones will you grab by the horns? Let’s examine these aspirations below.

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