Monday, December 16, 2013

How did I ever get so lucky?!

Wow. Au Pair life sure is something else! This has been an incredible 4 months, and somehow it just keeps getting better. Where do I even begin with how awesome this week has been and will be?

This past weekend the family took me on a weekend away to Mandurah (about an hour south of us). We left early Saturday morning and made it in time for an early breakfast on the canal. I enjoyed pancakes (with ice cream of course) and hot chocolate in the 95 degree heat. Weird, I know.

And there were dolphins :). lots of dolphins!

We walked around the city, and then we went to the house. The multi million dollar house. The multi million dollar vacation house. Remember those crazy, awesome, and rich Italians I spoke of during my first week here? Those would be the people. Apparently they don't use it much, and are happy to let us do so whenever we're in the area. We are so LUCKY. (here's the post if you missed it and/or are interested)

We spent the day on the water gazing at all of the beautiful houses, swimming, and crabbing. I wasn't much use, but it was fun watching Ben try to find his way around and catch dinner for us. They were too small for us to keep, but I certainly learned a thing or two. Mainly to stay the hell out of the water, and let people who know what they're doing do the work.

We got ready for the party that night, and Ben came back with cases of beer (including one of my absolute favorites) and we headed to the birthday party by boat. It was an hour long trip of pure bliss. Tanning, drinking, and jamming out to our favorite classic rock songs. We drank and ate a little too much that night, and I got a little worried when we stumbled upon a random island on our way home. It was pitch black and, by all accounts, I had no idea where we were. I didn't know if Ben did either as he had this somewhat worried look on his face, but would never let us know either way. Somehow, as usual though, he managed to get us home safe, sound and relatively intact.

On Sunday, we headed home and I spent my day recovering and packing for my upcoming trip. At dinner, the family informed me that they are buying me a plane ticket for Christmas. I was THRILLED. They knew my best friend here had some time off in January, and thought it would be a good time for me to get away. Funny thing is, I get home from my 3 week trip, just 6 days before I leave again. It's still in the works, but we're looking at heading to the east coast to Brisbane. Either that, or I save my ticket to use some other time in my remaining 8 months. We shall see! Either way, I am so so SO excited. There is no better gift than a plane ticket for someone who likes traveling as much as I do.

And if these months weren't amazing enough already, I'll be ending January with the Avicii concert and Australia day! Sounds like one hell of start to summer.

To top off EVERYTHING else, I leave on FRIDAY for the trip of a lifetime. Seriously, I'm wondering if I even have a job anymore. Anyway, here is our plan...ish.

Tentative Itinerary: 

Queenstown, New Zealand

December 20th- Leave Perth.
December 21st- Arrive. Reunite with my best friend. Explore. Recover.
December 22nd- Shop. Hike. Book our adventures. Anything is possible really :)
December 23rd- Day trip to Milford Sound.. which for the record.. looks like that ----->
December 24th- Skydive. For the first time. In the adventure capital of the world. SO excited. Will probably piss myself and/or cry the day of. Only time will tell.
December 25th- Christmas Day. We're playing this one by ear.

Auckland, New Zealand

December 26th- Leave Queenstown (South Island), and arrive in Auckland (North Island). Spend the first day and night in the city exploring.
December 27th- 30th- 25 years of life finally pays off! Renting my very first car as a big girl and spontaneously driving wherever and doing whatever. No idea where we're sleeping, if we'll be sleeping, or if we'll be homelessly living out of our car. But that's half the fun :).
These are some of our must sees- Waitomo glow worm caves, Tauranga, and some stunning beaches up north. Who knows what else we'll stumble upon.
December 30th- Off to Sydney!

Sydney, Australia

December 30th- Arrive. Eat. Prepare ourselves for quite possibly the most epic night ever.
December 31st- Explore. And spend our night on this beautifully, amazing cruise. All inclusive food and drinks, under the insanely gorgeous fireworks on the harbour. Celebrate my birthday and hopefully hunt down a cute Aussie boy to kiss at midnight ;). I deserve to kiss a boy with an adorable accent for my birthday.. right?! Plus, it'll help me cope with the fact that I'm now closer to 30 than 20. woof. 

January 1st- Recover. recover. recover. Birthday celebrations continue. And hopefully have some time to explore some more. The possibilities of this day are endless.
January 2nd- Head to Melbourne.

Melbourne, Australia

January 2nd- Arrive and explore.
January 3rd- Take the 'Great Ocean Road' tour. Can't wait. It's going to be stunning!
January 4th/5th- Spend the days with our friend Caitlyn. I see koalas, shopping, beaches, and loads of drinking in our future.
January 6th- Head home to Perth.... where my life is still so freakinggg awesome.

Home for a few days and then hopefully off to Brisbane for more fun!

Then the countdown begins for my Wisco family to arrive and my trip to Exmouth, WA with my Aussie family just after. This place apparently has the most beautiful and untouched sea life in Australia and the most turquoise water I will ever see. It's one of those hidden gems, and a yearly family road trip. I've seen pictures, and boyyyy, am I in for one hell of a week.

Holidays sure make it difficult to be away from my friends and my family, but I am so thankful for the opportunities I've been given and have created for myself while being here. Incredible things to look forward to sure make my time away from home that much more bearable. I miss and love you all.. especially during my first Christmas without my family and away from home.

Just know that I am happy, healthy, and in good hands this holiday season. I am thinking of all of you, and wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! XO.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taking things for granted

It's often a pivotal and life-changing moment that leaves us re-evaluating the important things in life... the things we often otherwise take for granted. You know the ones- our health, our families, our jobs, having a place to live, something to eat, or even the sheer fact that we opened our eyes to yet another beautiful day of life on this earth this morning. 

You see, we often get so caught up in our busy lives that we tend to forget just how important it is to truly live in and experience each and every moment in it's simplicity. We live for the big things, the exciting things, instead of too, always appreciating the little things. We live for the weekends, the holidays, or the vacation we've been dreaming of for years, instead of too cherishing the days we spend in bed with a pint of ice cream watching "The Big Bang Theory". Oh, no one else does this? Well... you get the point.

And while of course it's great to have goals and things to work towards, I think it's equally important to remember that each day, hour, or minute from now is never promised, and to thus, live accordingly. By living in the now. By not taking life for granted. And by making each and every day the best as it can be. Yes, even those supposed "bad days". Sure, we ALL have days we'd rather forget, and believe me, I have PLENTY. But really, give it a good think.. how bad is it really? Aside from the really really devastating days, are the other 'bad days' really that bad in comparison? 

OK. Hear me out. 

You accidentally dropped your brand new iphone, smashed and water damaged the hell out of it. Or you got in a minor car accident in which you or no one else was seriously hurt. Or your flight was delayed due to bad weather. Annoying? Yes. Life altering? No.

Consider this:
  • The fact that you have an iphone says enough.. It tells me that you can afford the necessities and live a pretty comfortable life. It tells me that you have water to drink, food to eat, and hopefully a roof over your head. This is a luxury MANY people don't have. Go cry about it, and tell me you're having a bad day when you have a REAL problem. 
  • Be THANKFUL you got in that accident. It will teach you to be better aware of your surroundings and to be a better driver. Oh yeah, and that cell phone you were texting on before you almost killed someone... put it away. Texting can wait. Your life won't. Consider it a valuable lesson learned.
  • Ok. Your flight is delayed. Annoying, but tolerable. Be happy you're not thousands of feet in the air experiencing the vomit-inducing turbulence, or worse yet, plummeting to the ground due to the planes inability to handle severely poor weather conditions. View it as a blessing in disguise. 

See. You can choose to look at every situation in two ways: positively or negatively. Seems simple. And it is. You can either wallow and waste what you consider to be a bad day on the gamble that you'll be given a new and better start tomorrow. Or you can accept that you are simply having a bad moment and move on.

This good attitude stems from, what I like to call, re-awakenings. Moments that have us questioning all of the people and moments we don't always appreciate to their full potential. We have all kinds of these moments that jolt us back to the sad truth about life. The fact that inevitably, it will all someday end. And it usually takes something as traumatic as a loved ones death, or experiencing a major heart break, to bring us unwillingly back to the reality that the life as we know it today, is never promised tomorrow.

And so... afterwards, we make that simple promise to ourselves that we will be better about treasuring the people and the things important to us, and make time to do the things we've always dreamed about doing. There's only one problem...

As time goes on, so do we. We go on, living life, forgetting completely about our pact to 'live in the moment' to 'appreciate the little things' and to 'not take things.. or life.. for granted'. We go back to being overworked and becoming too busy for the moments that REALLY matter in the grand scheme of things. We go back to planning our entire lives, down to the retirement we hope to have by age 65, and all of the things we'll do once we reach this new age of supposed freedom and independence. 

In fact, we often become SO busy trying to build a life, that we sometimes forget how to simply just live one. 

I think that we tend to view life as this never ending road in which we are guaranteed to wake up happy and healthy tomorrow, and for many years to come. And although, we all know that's not necessarily the case, we live as though it is. Even though we are all very much aware, that one day, it simply won't be. We plan all of the things we will do once we have the time, forgetting though, that time is never guaranteed. 

You see, we all wait for the right time to live out our biggest dreams, when the reality is... the right time is NOW. We overlook the seemingly meaningless, for the something meaningful. And we live for the big things, and not for today.


Tell him or her how you really feel, take your dream trip, or spend every Sunday in your pajamas. Stuff your face with cheese curds, sing with your god awful voice, or watch and entire season of Dexter in one day. Dance crazily, party 'til the sun comes up, and kiss all of the wrong people. Climb the Eiffel tower, jump out of a plane, or watch the beautiful sunset over the ocean. 

Do what you've been dreaming of doing. Enjoy every moment. And follow your heart completely. 

And do it all while you still have the chance. 

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