Tag Archive for australia

Little Cupcakes, Melbourne

So as I may have mentioned, there are a lot of temptations in the form of food over here in Melbourne. Lots of temptations in the form of cakes and pastries and donuts and cakes and more cakes….it’s playing havoc with my waist line that’s for sure. But the diet starts on Monday. Maybe. Probably not.

Anyway, we are slowly but surely testing out a few places on the food bucket list and a rainy Thursday afternoon definitely called for cupcakes and coffee.
cupcakesLittle Cupcakes is a deliciously divine little store selling well, you guessed it, little cupcakes. Very appropriately named I think. They also do a great range of coffees and hot chocolate – something we definitely needed after feeling our first windy chill since we left the UK.

We edged inside the small store, our eyes widening with glee at the array of rainbow cupcakes on offer. We “oohed” and we “ahhed” for a good ten minutes before finally settling on a mini red velvet and a mini salted caramel. They’re mini so the calories don’t count, right? RIGHT? With our respective lattes and Belgium hot chocolate (I mean, I may as well go all out), we settled down and dived right in.

Cupcakes are scrumptious at the best of times. But mini? With that perfect ratio of icing to sponge? With red velvet and salted caramel? Mmm. As I greedily wolfed my two halves down, I eyed the counter and saw that they do boxes of cupcakes – boxes of 6, boxes of 12, boxes of 24 – can I just box up the whole shop? Man, I love cupcakes. Can you tell?

With various stores around Melbourne, I am bound to make this place my second home over the next few months. A cupcake for any occasion – actually thinking about it, it’s my birthday in March. Maybe I can buy myself a box of cupcakes or five.

Little Cupcakes – full of all things nice and all things that make you want to smash the glass counter they are kept so lovingly in and stuff every one in your face (I wouldn’t really do that. Obviously. I’m a lady) – is the perfect way to treat yourself on a not so sunny afternoon.

Although treat day seems to be every day for me recently…..

 

 

 

Making a life in Melbourne

MelbourneI’m officially unemployed in Australia. I don’t know what’s worse – the fact that I have blisters all over my feet from walking around job-hunting all day, the fact that I’m probably going to be permanently sunburnt from being in the sun all day, the fact that I’m getting ill again a WEEK after just getting over the last cold, or the fact that I’m unemployed and surrounded by all kinds of amazing food?  I imagine Hell to be a big old Nutella donut or chunky piece of carrot cake with creamy frosted icing sitting on a plate in from of you and you’re sitting there not being able to eat it. Seriously. Everything just looks incredible. Burgers, Thai, Chinese, sandwiches, cupcakes, pastries….Fitzroy Garcens Melbourne

We have started to make a bucket list of places we need to visit, before we leave Melbourne, which is growing steadily by the day. We’ve also stated on a number of occasions that “Ooh we’ll have to go there to celebrate once we finally get a job.” But we’ve just started going anyway to cushion the blow of being unemployed on the other side of the world. You know, “treat yourself” and all that…

There have been many a time where we have stood outside a cake shop window staring longingly at the food like Oliver Twist waiting for scraps, wondering whether we really should spend money on “treating ourselves” when we don’t have a steady income….The answer is always yes of course. I’m being slightly dramatic – we have our savings of course. It’s not like we came all the way to Australia with a pair of sunglasses and a knotted hankie but you know, there’s that feeling of guilt when you know you shouldn’t be spending your money on something but you just HAVE too….

City Heights melbourne

I’m complaining, but I guess there are worst places in the world to be unemployed. I mean, at least in Melbourne I can sit at a rooftop bar at 2.30 in the afternoon and enjoy a glass of Pimms, or sit down by the river, taking in the view and people watching or spend an afternoon sitting in the sun (read shade) in some gardens and read a book. Yeah, I shouldn’t complain really.

So fingers crossed for us two sunburnt Welsh girls trying to make it on the opposite side of the world. Please, employers of Melbourne, take pity on us.

We’re really good, honest.

A Farewell to Sydney

My time in Sydney is coming to an end and whilst I am excited to move on to Melbourne and continue my Australian adventure, I will be sad to say goodbye to this amazing city. 

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Two weeks in Sydney felt like a long time when we were in the planning stages of our trip, but now I am glad that we spent a longer time here. The first few days were filled with jet lag and tiredness, waking early and sleepwalking around the city, attempting to get our bearings. It was good that we had extra time to properly see Sydney and do everything we wanted to do.

I can’t get over this beautiful harbour city – everytime I see the opera house or the harbour bridge, I feel like I am seeing them for the first time. And I have probably seen them from every possible angle….. even from atop of the Harbour Bridge after a climb up. Perhaps the Megan Carr and Beth Harringtonthing I am most impressed by however, are the trains. I’m in awe, seriously. I’m used to delayed services and noisy, cramped cabins but these trains are something else. They are spacious, quiet and so so clean. And the system is so much better too – a quick swipe of a card and you’re in. No waiting in long queues to buy a ridiculously over-priced ticket, but a simple swipe for cheap travel. I’m so easily pleased. Here I am, in Sydney and I’m talking of how impressed I am by public transport…….giraffe in Sydney Zoo

So, apart from the trains I am of course impressed with other aspects of Sydney. It’s a great starting point for my year in Australia. Spending a year on the other side of the world is quite daunting to me but I am slowly getting more and more organised…bank accounts have been opened, money has been transferred and jobs have been researched. The thing I am most concerned about is winding up unemployed and homeless in Melbourne. Hopefully that won’t be the case but with my luck, who knows what could happen.Megan Blue Mountains

So with one more day left in Sydney and currently lying in bed after spending the day as a hungover sloth, I can look back on my two weeks and feel satisfied with what I have accomplished. I have seen most of what Sydney has to offer – I have seen it in the pouring down rain and in the sparkling sunshine. I have climbed a bridge, travelled to the Blue mountains, ambled around the beautiful botanical gardens and the Chinese Garden of Friendship, I have been to the zoo and held a Huntsman Spider in a jar (dear God, if I ever come across one of those, I will cry and come home)….. Blue MountainsBondi BeachI have sunbathed in parks and on beaches and gotten horrifically sun-burnt in the process despite having used nearly a bottle and a half of Factor 50 (might have to Google where I can buy in bulk here…), I have created a bank account and of course, Pancakes on the RocksI have watched the famous New Year Fireworks and barely been able to keep my eyes open due to a sad case of jet lag. (Hmmm, probably not the best day in the world to pick to travel to Australia.) And last but not least, I’ve eaten the most amazing pancakes at Pancakes on the Rocks!

It really has been a jam packed couple of weeks. But good things must come to an end and adventures must be had else where. Melbourne, I’m coming for you….

(PS: We are staying at Wake Up! which is apparently ‘Sydney’s best backpackers’ accommodation’. It’s fun, clean, good-value, no queues for the shower and smack bang in the middle of what’s got to be one of the best cities on earth! Sorted!)

Ahhh, Sydney

So, I am finally here in Sydney. And it’s awesome.received_10153712665956041

After months and months of working and earning money and dreaming of Australia, it feels so good to finally be here and relax and explore Sydney.received_10153712665736041

After nearly falling asleep during the famous Sydney New Years Eve fireworks due to a severe case of jet lag, we are finally feeling on top form again and are truly loving this city and what it has to offer.received_10153712666076041 Although I’m not too fussed on the intense sun burn I am currently sporting. I think my skin is allergic to suncream. Copious use of the factor 50 and I still look like I’ve been living on the sun for 5 days. Sigh. Curse my pale skin.received_10153712666306041

However, we have had a break from sunshine here in these past few days and instead have been dealing with torrential rainfall. Which I suppose my poor sunburnt skin is grateful for.received_10153712666141041

Here’s a few pictures of what I’ve been up to so far including standard tourist photos outside the opera house, chilling in Darling Harbour, ambling around Royal Botanical Gardens and The Chinese Garden of Friendship, the Sydney Aquarium, marvelling at the Harbour Bridge at Campbell Cove and generally sunbathing in Hyde Park (oh so maybe that’s why I’m so sunburnt. Oops).

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I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these views.

Next few days holds adventures including a trip to the Blue Mountains, sunning ourselves on Bondi Beach and a climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge…..

Sydney, I love you.

Am I overthinking things?

Hands up who has no idea what they want to do with their life?

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Honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m stuck in a universe where I’m walking blindfolded through life, where I’m the only person who has no idea where they should be in the world. But of course, I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I think everyone feels a little lost sometimes, right?

I graduated from university this summer and like many recent graduates, I am well and truly confused. The real world is big and scary and it’s a daunting thought trying to figure out where you fit in it. I had a lecturer who once said “when you leave here, you’re all going to have an identity crisis”. Everyone laughed of his comment, the thought of leaving the safe haven of uni so far away. But here I am, a new graduate, booking a plane ticket to the other side of the world to get me away from making decisions.

megan graduation

My problem is – I worry too much. I overthink to the point where I talk myself out of doing things, where I make myself believe that I can’t do it, that I won’t be able to. Which is stupid, because really how can you think that, when you’ve never even tried? I have interest in a few different career options but everytime I talk myself into something, I talk myself out of it. It’s a vicious circle of self doubt and lack of confidence that I should probably start to work on. I spend too much time comparing myself to other people, looking at their lives and wondering how they have it all together. I spend far too much time worrying that I’m letting people down, if me being so unprepared is disappointing my family, that unlike my sisters who seem to have it all together, I’m the one letting the family down. Which is stupid. Because everyone is different and no one is perfectly content with their lives – the grass is always greener so to speak. And everyone, everyone has the same doubts, the same worries that I do. I’m not the only one who feels this way. We are all just kids in adult clothing trying to make our way through life.

Am I overthinking?

However, despite my uncertain future, I can’t help but feel a little happy that I have no career plans. It gives me a chance to travel, to explore the world, do something I love. When I finally decide what I want to do, I want it to be the right decision, I don’t want to rush into something and regret it as soon as I’m there. I’m thankful for this time where I can work in my average, minimum wage job, go home and not worry about it until the next day; where I can relax a bit and not be bogged down with responsibilities and commitments; where I can book a one way ticket to Australia and have the trip of a life time. Of course, being a worrier, I worry that me moving to Australia for a year is just another divergent technique to get out of making the tough decisions, of escaping “real life”. But then again, “real life” is right now. I have the rest of my life to find a career but right now, at this point in my life, I want to experience life. I want to explore the world, and be indecisive; I want to be able to pick up my life and move it to the opposite end of the world and I want not to have to worry about things for a little while.

I guess what I’m saying is this – I don’t think one person in the world knows what they’re doing. You could be the happiest, richest,most confident person but still feel like something is missing, that you have no idea who you are and everyone else is doing it better. Everyone compares themselves to the people around them and everyone puts themselves down.5-live-the-life

Not knowing who you are is part of growing up. And part of growing up is pretending you have it all figured out when you really, really don’t. So I’m learning – well trying to – to chill a little. To stop worrying so much about the little things, to stop worrying so much about my future when I have so much to look forward to right now. Like moving to Australia for a year and having a pretty good time.

So you are not alone. It’s about time we all admitted how uncertain we all really are. It’s about time we stopped living up to other people’s expectations, to stop thinking we should have it all together and learn to embrace life and live a little. You know, like that famous Boyzone philosopher said: “life is a roller coaster, you’ve just gotta ride it.”

(Can’t believe I just ended a blog post with a song lyric from Ronan Keating. Don’t judge).inspirational quotes on life (1)

BRB, just off to Australia

So, it is officially less than 100 days until I leave for Australia.

Like many university graduates, I have no plan for the future. I have no “proper” job, I have no “proper” plans and I have no “real” commitments. Therefore, why not buy a one way ticket to the other side of the world? What’s the worst that could happen?

Well aside from the hundreds of killer spiders, killer snakes and intolerable heat that Bill Bryson talks of so lovingly, Australia doesn’t seem like the worst place in the world to try and get my life together.

So how did this plan come together? Not very smoothly to say the least. And possibly not with the most planning in the world. A old school friend and I decided to head out there together, both unsure of our futures and both wanting to escape the UK for a bit. We eagerly bought our working holiday visas and after a minor blip and a major dent in the savings due to a required hospital appointment, my visa was finally accepted. Things were looking real. The next scary part was deciding when to go. Buying the ticket was possibly the scariest thing I’ve ever done – I mean paying a huge sum of money for one flight to another country when you have no idea how things are going to turn out is pretty daunting. But in the spirit of “you only live once”, the tickets were paid for and we were officially going to Australia. JUST IN TIME FOR NEW YEARS EVE IN SYDNEY. This New Years Eve is going to be kick ass.

So with less than 100 days to go, I am completely terrified but at the same time insanely excited. The fact that I’m moving halfway across the world with no set plan or any ideas about what could happen is scary but at the same time, isn’t that the funnest part? The not knowing? The fact that anything could happen? And isn’t this the best time in my life to do something like this?

I’ve never been one for knowing what I want to do with my life so putting that decision off for (another) year is the best decision that I’ve ever made. I’m hoping that the endless hours of work in a job that is far from my dream job will be totally worth it when I get off that plane and set my feet down in a new and exciting country. Although, who knows, I could hate it and come back home within a few months with my tail between my legs and in desperate need of tea and cake.

Australia, I’m all yours. Any suggestions on where to go/what to do are welcome!

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