the countdown is on

So we have just over four months to go until we jet off to Fiji to get married… it’s an exciting yet daunting thought!
It’s stressful putting the whole thing together… Ceremony, reception, decorations, dress, travel arrangements etc, but what has really blown us away is the reaction we’ve had from our friends and family.
We kind of thought no one would really come other than our parents because it’s a bit of a hassle, especially in early December, but the support we’ve had for our decision to marry overseas has been overwhelming. So many of our friends and family are coming over to share this with us and I think this is what makes it so special for us. As well as a wedding, it’s going to be a reunion too!
Most of Fiancé’s family are in New Zealand so he doesn’t get to see them much, and so many of our friends are now living interstate or overseas (everyone’s growing up and getting careers!). Some of our parents’ close friends are coming too, which is not only very exciting for us but also a testament to the effect close friendships have on our lives and a reminder of how important these friendships are.
The Sofitel Resort and Spa in Denarau is the perfect venue and the ceremony and reception are nearly all organised. We have the amazing photographers at Kama Catch Me and the beautiful Liza Emanuele has nearly finished my dress… I feel like a princess. Sarah at Simplethings Press has designed some stunning invitations for us and we can’t wait to send them out in the next few weeks.
I’ve lost 10kg so far – “wedding photos are forever”! If possible I would like to head over with a new bikini for every day and wear them with pride… but of course I need to make sure I’m not burnt to a crisp on the day. Fiancé is looking pretty fine too but hey, he always does (don’t tell him, but that’s why I’m marrying him).

Other than that all I can say is… This really is going to be the best week of our lives.

                                  

Kava Ceremonny and Port Denarau. Images from Sofitel Fiji.

perspective



Does anyone remember Couchsurfing? For those who don’t, it’s a website where you can meet other backpackers and the basic concept is that anywhere in the world you have a couch to crash on. It’s a great way of seeing the world for those on a budget, and offers the chance to hang out with locals in each place you visit. For more insight read Brian Thacker’s Sleeping Around; it’s great.

The reason I bring it up is because once, a long time ago, a young guy wrote to me from Aleppo, Syria, via the site. He was the “Ambassador” for Aleppo, which basically meant he had hosted a lot of couch surfers in his time, had a really good rating, and his passion was to show tourists around his hometown. Being 19 or however old I was, Syria wasn’t really on my to-do list yet, but I was really interested in what he had to say and I was fascinated and inspired by the passion he had for his home.

Of course, I can’t turn on the television, radio or internet now without hearing about the violence currently occurring in Syria and more recently Aleppo in particular. It always saddens me when these things go on, as they always do, and I have followed news on the Arab Spring closely (I’ve had to anyway because of my job). However, I think it’s so easy for us to be vaguely saddened by what’s happening but then to be able to ignore it because we have more important things to deal with right here.

I find myself thinking about this young man, so ecstatic about the city he was lucky enough to call home, and wondering where he is now and what he’s doing. I can only hope and pray he’s okay, and that he’s either fighting the good fight if that’s what he feels is right, or he’s in a much safer place. Either way, I hope he’s still teaching people about his country and reminding them of its place in the world.

He gave me a different perspective on a part of the world that was unknown to me, and for that I will be forever grateful. I hope thousands more are lucky enough to be given the same opportunity.

photo courtesy of Reuters

freakin’ hippies



It’s time for a getaway a bit closer to home.

This afternoon I’m heading to the sunny Byron Bay with Boyfriend and four awesome girls who I didn’t even know six months ago, but who I’m growing to love.

It’s “Team Trip” time, where we pool the funds together for an office getaway where we can get to know each other, bond, hopefully have a few too many drinks and explore somewhere new.

I wasn’t sure about Byron at first. I don’t subscribe to the hippy lifestyle and, although I hate to be judgmental, all that came to mind at first was tie-dye, dreadlocks, vegan menus and stoners… oh and people who reek of patchouli. BUT I’m expecting this place to prove me very, very wrong and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for me.

Apparently, Byron is in the caldera of an ancient volcano which of course excites me a lot and will not excite anyone else on this trip, guaranteed. No matter, I accept myself as the nerd that I am and will get my happy juices flowing by reading this while everyone else “smashes tins” on the plane.

And back to hippies.

I am all about rules, I think we need “The Man/The Establishment” and I don’t know how I feel about randomly hooking up with all sorts of people: I’m not really a “Free Love” subscriber because I think you need to work hard for that! But I will concede that  it’s nice to love one another and just be free from judgment and negativity and that’s what I really need this weekend. So Hooray For Byron!

…Somehow though, I don’t think a trip to Nimbin is on the cards!

“Peace Out”.


i’m in love with a shooting star…



some things truly blow me away.


anything space-y (galaxies, shooting stars, this solar eclipse), always does it. as i’ve said before, i love the feeling of being insignificant. but sometimes, it’s about the little things.


people say that a lot: “it’s just the little things”. it could even be a cliché, but everyone knows clichés are always true otherwise they wouldn’t be a cliché. and sometimes life IS about the little things. 


take rain for example. i love the smell. i love the sound of it on the roof. i love being rugged up inside playing board games or some other family activity while watching water gush down the windows (like being a little kid and going through the car wash – remember how cool that was?)


or the feeling of getting home on a freezing cold day and putting on a warm pair of socks. or the look on my puppy’s face when he sees me at the front door each night. or when my little sisters give me a big hug. or when my girlfriends and i get together with a bottle of wine and talk too much about our boyfriends.


i love it when my clients pop in just to say “hi!” or they call me before an appointment to see if i want a coffee. i love it when i feel like i’ve genuinely taught someone at work something useful. i love it when my boyfriend asks me to help on his work projects.


but most of all, i’m in love with life. a lot of the time i forget to be, but when i remember, i appreciate just how lucky i am to be here, able to smell the rain and watch the stars and get up at 6am to help Boyfriend at work (well… maybe not the 6am part!)





bad, bad leroy brown



…the peskiest dog in the whole damn town!

But he’s still pretty cute, I have to say.

I was never a dog person really, but Leroy really is our best friend. He drives me nuts, but every day when I get home he’s so excited to see me and it’s the best feeling. Whenever I’ve had a bad day he always tries to make it better and although I complain of him driving me crazy, I think sometimes it’s really him keeping me sane!

As for Boyfriend, that’s a different story…

Rebirth

Simba, it is time.

The previous blog had been neglected because, honestly, my motivations for starting it no longer existed and most of the time I had no idea what to say.

This time, it’s different. I am sitting in an airport lounge about to head home after an African escapade and I have two thoughts in mind. The first: this world is an incredible place and I can’t believe I somehow managed to forget this; and two: I am incredibly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who keep me going day after day and who make my life wonderful.

I am starting from scratch today, acknowledging the past and moving on. I am dedicating this new set of thoughts and posts to the beautiful people I have been lucky enough to meet on my journeys, and to my wonderful man and incredible family who support me all the way.

Love!