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.


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. 


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.


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:


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...
Stay curious!

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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...
Stay curious!

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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...
Stay curious!

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Fat 22: How to Lose Weight When Your Unhealthy Lifestyle Leaves You Lacking Energy

Thursday, 6 December 2018
*This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are 100% our own.*

So, you want to lose weight. You’ve weeded through the female-focused weight loss articles out there and made your way to a blog which suits you. Pat yourself on the back. Doing the research takes you halfway towards improving the problem. Now, the real hard work begins.
When it comes to shedding the pounds, you’re going to come up against endless obstacles. You’ll need to work past physical barriers, personal cravings, and faltering motivation. You’re also going to have to deal with the old beginner's fat 22. Lucky for you, it’s this latter we’re going to focus on here.

When you start on this journey, the chances are that your lifestyle thus far means you lack in energy. Those microwave meals and evenings on the sofa mean that even getting up the stairs is a challenge. How on earth can you contemplate exercise?

Everyone faces this catch 22 when starting on a fitness journey. If they’ve all found a solution, you can too. All you need to do is consider the following ways to give yourself the energy boost you haven’t had before now.

Avoid the worst foods
As a general rule, food avoidance and fasting aren’t going to help you towards your weight loss goals. If anything, a focus on things like these holds most of us back. The reality is that weight loss is about moving more. Remember, though, that you’re struggling to do even that at the moment. As such, it may worth taking a close look at your diet. If you observe how you feel after meals, you may find to come that some things leave you more lethargic than others. Carby meals with a lot of saturated fat, for instance, are notorious for making us feel sluggish. By comparison, a home cooked meal with plenty of protein could see your energy levels rise. Start a food diary, and track how you feel after a variety of meals. Then, weed out the foods which sap your energy the most.

Find better ways to build your energy
Even if you do already turn to certain foods to boost your energy levels, the chances are that they aren’t good for you. We live in a culture where endless hordes of people rely on energy drinks to refill their stamina. Many of us also turn to sugary snacks like chocolate for the same purpose. Ultimately, though, snacks like these are no help in the battle to lose weight. If you had to eat a chocolate bar to build yourself up to exercise, there would be little benefit. High sugar foods can also lead to a crash which sees your energy levels lower than they were to start with. Luckily, there are healthier alternatives to boost your energy levels. Energy bars are fantastic for this. They hold high sugar levels, but also include oats and nuts which release energy over time. You could even turn to something like this oxyshred supplement which helps transform fat into energy, as well as aiding your calorie burning process. Whatever you do, steer clear of those false boosters which have been sapping your energy for too long.

Opt for little and often
It’s also worth noting that exercise in itself boosts your energy levels. Nothing quite kicks lethargy to the curb like regular exercise. As such, it’s worth starting with small bursts, often. That way, you won’t push yourself before your energy levels are up to it. Embark on, say, five minutes of exercise three times a day. You’ll see your energy levels start to rise as you get into this. After a few weeks, you’ll find that you’re far more able to get up and get going. With a bit of luck, you won’t even feel out of breath from walking up the stairs anymore.

Get to know the best times to exercise
The chances are that your energy levels are better at certain times of day than others. It may be that you feel most lethargic come mid-afternoon when you’re digesting your food. In that case, time your exercise in the mornings when you feel your best. If you usually experience a boost during your early evenings, start exercising after work. By making use of boosts like these, you can set about ensuring those higher energy levels are with you for a lot longer. After a few months of this, you may find that you’re ready to workout irrelevant of the hour. That’s when you’ll start to see the results you’re after.

What are your favourite weight loss tips and tricks? Have you tried any of the above to help motivate you to jumpstart your fitness goal? Let us know in the comments below!

And until next time...
Stay curious!

5 Fun, Quick, and Challenging Christmas Workouts

Wednesday, 5 December 2018
Just because it's the holidays does not mean that you need to slack on your workouts. Gym hours may be all over the shop, but that doesn't mean you still can't work out at home. I find workout out during the holidays to be a bit of a struggle. So I've come up with 5 quick but challenging workouts that you can easily fit in, no matter where you are! Maybe you can even convince some family members to join in! Give them a go and let me know what you think. 

Total Body 12 Days of Christmas
This complete body workout is fast, but you'll be sweating by the end. Sing along to the 12 Days of Christmas or just challenge yourself to keep up with the song. That's probably an unrealistic challenge but if you're super fit, let me know if you were able to keep up! Just like the 12 Days of Christmas, complete each exercise in ascending order then work back down, adding on exercise per round. 

1 Push-up
2 Dumbell Rows
3 Tricep Dips
4 Bicep Curls
5 Burpees
6 Mountain Climbers
7 Crunches
8 Russian Twists
9 Glute Bridges
10 Lateral Jumps
11 Tuck Jumps
12 Jump Squats
Congrats! You've survived the 12 Days of Christmas ladder!

Upper Body Carol of the Bells
I always struggle with my upper body workouts. Because of this, I need seriously motivating music to push myself through an upper body workout. During this workout, you'll do six exercises all out for 20 seconds and rest for 10. Since it is such a short workout, go all out for each set. You should be tired by the end of each exercise. If you're doing this workout at the gym, grab a set of dumbells at the weight of your choice. If you're at home, use dumbells (if you have them) and if you don't own any weights get creative! 2L jugs of milk or canned soup are excellent substitutes. Follow below for your Christmas Upper Body Challenge:

20 seconds Bicep Curls
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Tricep Extensions
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Front Arm Raises
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Side Arm Raises
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Upright Row
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Shoulder Press
Congrats! You've made it through the Carols of the Bells workout!

Lower Body Feliz Navidad
I am all about lower body workouts. If I'm ever stuck at the gym, I usually gravitate towards a lower body workout. This year is the year of the booty, so this workout focuses on those booty gains. Feel free to spontaneous start dancing as well because who doesn't want to dance when they hear Feliz Navidad? Remember to go hard for each exercise. You'll be doing 3 exercises, for 30 seconds, with a 10-second rest. 

30 seconds Single Leg Dead Lift 
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Single Leg Dead Lift Opposite Leg
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Jump Squats
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Curtsy Lunge
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Curtsy Lunge Opposite Leg
Congrats! You're finished!

Abdominals Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Flat stomachs and six packs seem to be what everyone longs for. I may never have a six-pack, but having a strong core is a huge focus of mine. No holiday workout would be complete without a great core workout. For this workout, use your rest period to transition to the next exercise. Don't forget to focus on your breathing and keep your core strong and stable!

30 seconds Plank
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Knee-In Crunches
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Plank
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Reverse Crunches
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Plank
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Bicycle Crunches
10 seconds rest
30 seconds plank
10 seconds rest
20 seconds Sit-Ups
Woohoo! You did it! Congratulations! 

Cardio All I Want For Christmas Is You
For the last Christmas workout, we fit in a little bit of cardio. Every time I hear this song, I can't help but bounce up and down with happiness and joy. This is precisely the type of song you want to listen to while doing a cardio workout. Have fun with this one!

30 seconds Mountain Climbers
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Star Jumps
10 seconds rest
30 seconds High Knees
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Burpees
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Side Ski Hops
10 seconds rest
30 seconds Butt Kickers
And with that, you've finished your Christmas workouts! Great job!

Here's to rocking another day of the 12 Days of Blogmas. Wanting a bigger challenge? Try to do these workouts multiple times. That will push you a little bit more and help you finish off the year strong. 

If you try any of the Christmas workouts, share your thoughts by commenting below or post a picture or video on Instagram or Facebook using #AussielandChristmasWorkouts. Be sure to tag Adventures in Aussieland. I would love to see your photos rocking these workouts! Be sure to stay tuned tomorrow for the next instalment of the 12 Days of Blogmas. 

And until next time...
Stay curious!

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Celebrating and Surviving the Holidays Abroad

Tuesday, 4 December 2018
Spending the holidays away from family and friends can often be challenging and isolating. You often find yourself missing the traditions and family members back in your home country. Traditions in your current country may be vastly different from those in your home country. 

This will be my 5th Christmas in Australia. Each year, I always assume it will be easier being away from my family and friends. Sadly, this has not been the case. Each year I'm away from home, I find myself longing to be back in the US. Christmas was always a big holiday in my family. It was the one time of the year that the entire family would get together and celebrate. 

Regardless of whether or not this is your first Christmas away from home or your 50th, there are a few tips and tricks to surviving the holidays season abroad. 

First, DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF! This can be an easy thing to do but don't! Isolating yourself during the holiday season will only leave you feeling homesick and sad. Muster up the energy to get your booty out of the house and celebrating with people. If you're a new arrival to a new country, many bars will hold Orphan Christmas'. There will be a ton of expats in the same boat as you. Missing home but still celebrating the holidays. It's a great way to celebrate and make new friends!

Next, make sure you're open to change. Even if every single family member with you, the holidays will never be the same as if you were back home. You're in a new country. Use this time to learn about that culture. Incorporate their traditions with yours. This change can bring about new, fantastic holiday traditions! 

Creating new traditions with friends

Homesickness may be utterly unavoidable at some point during the holidays. If it hits, it's important to not isolate yourself. Talk to your family and loved ones back home. Technology has made it so easy to communicate with family no matter where in the world you are. Holidays are a set FaceTime date for my family back home. They know how grumpy I get when Auntie Tetie doesn't get to speak to her tiny human during the holidays. 

Lastly, as you'll be away from loved ones, chances are you may not get many gifts. This is the perfect time to treat yo' self! If for some reason you end up not making any plans, treat yourself to a massage or a nice dinner. This is the perfect time to travel and explore your new city. Take a mini vacation so you enjoy your holiday season. 

Just because you're in a foreign country does not mean the holidays need to be any less magical. What are some things you do to enjoy the holidays when you're away from loved ones? Share it in the comments below! If you haven't been keeping up with the 12 Days of Blogmas, be sure to go back and read the previous posts.

*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...
Stay curious!

Never miss an adventure by following along on social media: