Home

I always thought that as you get older, your passion for things would wane. I thought that as a late teenager my passion for travel, for new things would never be stronger, so it always striked me as odd that the desire was never that strong. I was shocked to find that as I got older, my passion for new and different places actually grew. I wanted to explore, to see more, do more. This passion hasn’t led me very far across the globe yet but I find myself very drawn to the road and to airports. Something that leads you somewhere. Places that take you places.

Despite my urge for adventure, I flew into Brisbane last night after a trip away and felt a very distinct and yet surprising feeling.

Home.

Brisbane, feels like home. Home is most definitely a feeling, an emotion. I felt home as I walked through the terminal. I felt home as the rain fell on my face and I was picked up. I felt home as I slid into my bed and closed my eyes after a wonderful weekend. Despite my craving for something else, this felt like home.

I think sometimes we mistake familiarity for home and I think that is a mistake. It’s easy enough to do, familiarity often means safety and we often feel safe when we are at home. It’s easier to collect my baggage at the Brisbane airport because I’ve done it 30 times before. It’s easier to drive to my house because I know the streets, I know the way. It’s easier to fall asleep in your own bed because you do that every night. But I don’t think familiarity and home are the same.

Familiarity breeds contempt, laziness and the safety of it all can keep you bound up and driving around and around the same life you weren’t meant to live in. Home, however is where your heart lives. I felt home when I arrived last night because the people I loved most, are in Brisbane. Collecting my baggage quickly at the gate meant I could see my family quicker. Falling asleep in my own bed meant I would wake up to people I loved. A home is a place of love, encouragement and nurture and it should build  you up and prepare you to be propelled into whatever God has called you to. Whether that is here, or elsewhere.

Familiarity breeds an unhealthy attitude of safety – where you never try anything so you never fail.
Home creates an environment where its okay to fail – it allows you to try, knowing home is your safety net.

I know now that I probably won’t end up in this place in the end and that is scary for me. But it’s also really wonderful. I know wherever I end up and whenever I end up there, I’ll have been lovingly sent.

For me, for now, this place is home. This city, its my hearts resting place.

 

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Thoughts from the road.

This weekend I checked two things off my ‘The Last Single Girl’ list.

13. Go on a vacation by myself.

21. Go on a road trip.

This weekend I went on a road trip by myself.

Honestly it was one of best ideas/decisions/things I’ve had/made/done. I’d been feeling a little bit ‘bleh’ and decided just to do something a little bit spontaneous. I decided last Friday to go. Booked that night and the following Saturday morning I was off! I wasn’t too worried about having only myself for company, however I thought a one night trip would be a good starting place.

I stopped off for coffee at Blaine & Tegan’s before I left. Caffeine is critical for long drives but it also makes me happy. It also felt a bit like I had a cute little send off.

I drove to Byron Bay, which I’d actually never been to before. I drove up to the lighthouse.. walked around. Drove down to the beach. Sat on the beach and contempated life.

I had lunch and coffee at Bayleaf. Felt a bit judged with my slick hair and Prada handbag but got over it enough to enjoy the experience. And then I drove the last and longer leg of my journey on to Coffs Harbour. I stopped only once more to take a few photos and arrived in Coffs Harbour at 5pm.

When I road trip, I road trip in style. No backpackers or seedy motels. Resort luxury baby! Private access to the beach, a room that didn’t need to be that big. Pools, grassy lawns, sneaking a peak at a wedding they had that night. Yes, I think I’d make the right choice.

I wandered down to the jetty.. basked in the delightfully pink sunset. Picked up some dinner and settled in for some election updates which was all that was really on tv that night. I snuck a midnight (actually 8.30pm) swim and froze to death. Used every towel they provided me (6 in total). Took 2 showers and a bath and just generally enjoyed doing nothing.

Upon a recommendation from a local (B Ward represent) I went to Urban for breakfast, LOVED it. Stopped in at the beach again and then headed home.

Important lessons to be learnt from road trips.

  1. You are not invincible. My calves are aching today. I feel ridiculously tired, not relaxed. Whoops.
  2. Take a car with cruise control. Ouch. Seriously, my calves are SO sore.
  3. Go luxury. It’s worth it.
  4. Take photos. Lots of them.
  5. If you feel the need to talk to yourself, do it. I didn’t talk to myself, but I certainly did laugh out loud. Quite a lot. I laughed when I got to my room and realised how big it was. I laughed when I thought I’d take a shortcut back to my car from the beach and walked directly into a caravan park.
  6. Still talk to people. I think complete isolation is a bad idea when you travel alone.
  7. The whole point of being alone is that you can do things on your own timeframe. Eat dinner at 5pm, or 9pm if you wish. Stay up late, go to bed early, sleep in. Do whatEVER you want. WhenEVER you want.
  8. Get an amazing playlist. A mix between new songs and classics you love.
  9. Use a GPS. Not maps. I downloaded TomTom for my iPhone. Works a treat.. yells out directions to you and even if you have your headphones in, it will dim your music and let you know amazing things like ‘Keep going on Pacific Hwy for 76 km’. Ok great. Like I had other options.
  10. Snacks. That’s what I sort of forgot about. I should have gotten really into it and planned a little esky situation. Nope. Whoops.
  11. Look up places you want to go before hand. Research your coffee joints.
  12. Remember that there’s a time difference between the states. I got home way earlier than I needed to be due to a little thing we call Day Light Savings. Darn.

So many times I would sit/stand somewhere beautiful and think ‘Boy, I’m having such a good time’. And I would want to tell someone, but there was no one, and realising that was the main reason I was having such a good time was such a liberating experience. There’s something very important and necessary about open roads, relying on a map, street names you aren’t familiar with and a tiny bit of risk.

I’m sorry if you never see me on the weekends anymore, I will be adding more oil to my car (whoops again) and be road tripping all around our great country. Happy travels.

Paradise

It’s no secret to the world that I like blogging. I follow one or two travel blogs and a couple of travel tumblr accounts. I only follow a couple because I was so so sure that following them would make me depressed. I desperately want to see more of the world but a lack of money and dedication to save said money has prevented this. So far I’ve been basically no where. I’ve been to New Zealand, but only briefly for work and I’ve been to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The worst part is I’ve only really been to Sydney and Melbourne when it comes to my own country. I’ve briefly visited Adelaide so I don’t think it counts and the only thing I’m proud of is how much of Tasmania I’ve seen.

I’ve realised that until I finish university and start earning the big dollars, my overseas adventures will probably be a little limited. BUT, Australia still awaits! I’ve realised that Australia is actually pretty amazing. I’ve become so accustomed to beautiful scenery that I’m almost not aware of it anymore. Hanging out with foreigners brings new light and perspective. They are so aware of how different and beautiful everything is here and I’ve come to appreciate the country I live in so much more because of that.

Images Courtesy of Tourism Queensland.

Follow Friday

Blogs you should check out.

Miss Pinches.

My lovely friend Hannah is an amazing blogger. Now that she has an amazing camera by her side, her blog has been ever better. She’s a brilliant list maker and pulls insight out of the smallest things. It’s wonderful to read because I know her and is a great way to keep in touch with her life, but basically, Miss Pinches is for the masses. I laugh and appreciate this blog so much.

My Favourite Colour is SHINY.

This girl can’t be stopped. Like literally, we are looking at a post every single day. So many people start blogs and then stop posting after ooo.. 5 posts. Tegan is getting set to hit 100 already! People who love design and beautiful images will get a kick out of this blog along with some personal insights as well. Hands up if you never want the blogging to end? *both of my hands literally went up*.

William + Laura

I’ll be honest and say that both William and Laura are individually great bloggers. But perhaps not as consistent posters on their own blogs as they are on their couple blog. This blog is pretty darn cute and I think every couple would read it thinking ‘I wish our lives were cool/photographable enough to warrant a couple blog’. Lately they’ve been showcasing their wedding shots which are pretty amazing. I even feature – so you should head on over there and love a little on that blog.

Sarah Starrenburg

If you’re looking for intelligent writing, prose, theological thoughts and other wonderous things I wish I could come up with in my head. You should read Sarah’s blog. She posts daily which for a pure writing blog – is AMAZING. I wish I could write like that. I think everyone does. Except Sarah, she probably wishes she could write better. Sarah is one of my longtime favourite people and is one of the most consistent people I know. Her blog is equally as consistent.

Kendi Everyday

This is my favourite fashion blog. Kendi reminds me of friends I already do have and makes me wish I could be her friend and steal things from her wardrobe. She posts a daily (get it!) outfit and other miscellaneous things thrown in. I think her style is wonderful, realistic, classy and I’m super envious of her hair. Ladies, you won’t regret subscribing to Kendi Everyday.

Girl Removed

This blog belongs to Gemma Bird. It’s a newly created, freshly, regularly updated travel/devotions blog that centres around Gemma’s recent move to Canada. I love travel blogs, they are always filled with funny little stories and tidbits of wisdom. I also love and miss Gemma, so this blog is perfect.

Take five

5 Things

(Stolen from Red Velvet Art Blog)

5 Things I Am Looking Forward To:

  • A mini holiday to Tasmania for my cousin’s wedding
  • Finally being able to purchase a luxury bag I’ve had my eye on
  • When my amazon purchases arrive!
  • A visit from father for fathers day.
  • Accomplishing a goal off my 100 things to do while I”m still single list

5 Things I Did Yesterday:

  • Went for a walk
  • Cleaned my bedroom
  • Worked
  • Discovered two great new blogs (coming soon!)
  • Got my Josh and Donna fix

5 Things I Wish I Could do:

  • Skip out on work and live a life of blogging, making things and picnics!
  • Sew
  • Fast track my uni degree so I graduate now.
  • Be more patient
  • Write like Donald Miller

5 Places I’d Like to Travel To:

  • Egypt
  • France
  • US
  • Rockhampton
  • NZ

5 Cute things I’ve found online lately:

 

 Happy Spring people! I love spring!

Holiday

I’ve been thinking a bit about holidays recently. Sitting at a reception desk all day long makes you want to travel. To compile my own list I used the Top 50 must see places on the Getaway website.. (who knew that website would actually come in handy one day).

I used to always want to be a Getaway lady when I was older. Truth be told, I think I would still do it. Dad tried to tell me that it probably isn’t as fun as it seems, but I used to say that it would be more fun than going to school everyday. I guess if we were to have that conversation now I would say that it would be more fun than going to school, but school would be more fun than having a full time job.

Here’s my list of places to see (in no particular order)

1. Canadian Rockies 

 I’m reading a book series set in the Canadian Rockies, so this is why I’d like to go there. Also cos it’s beautiful.

2. The Amazon

It’s the second largest river in the world or something.  I read a book about the Amazon when I was little.. and while apparently I’ll be eaten alive by all sorts of things, I still want to go.

3. Prague

4. Ice Hotel in Sweden

Well who wouldn’t want to go to Sweden? But this would definitaley make it onto my list.

5. St Petersburg – anyone seen Anastasia? It looks pretty cool in the cartoon..

6. The Great Wall of China

7. Ireland

8. Rome

I want to go to Rome for fairly obvious reasons.

9. London

I want to go to London for fairly obvious reasons.

10. The Maldives

11. Santorini

12. Pyramids of Giza

A couple of years ago you couldn’t have convinced me to go to Egypt. I actually hate sand. But I have a fairly decent sized craving to go there. So much history, maybe half the books I read are set in Egypt. Okay, not half, but a big chunk.

13. New York

14. Paris

I dont’ really care how cliche Paris is. I still want to go there.

And yes, I realise that I want to go to these places because of books. The travel industry should really give more credit to authors.

A thought for the day

 

People who catch the train at 5.39am are actually much friendlier than people who catch the train at any other time of day.

I would have thought people that had to get up that early.. would be 5 times more cranky.  But no, they all greet you, make comments about the weather, let you have their seat. If it wasn’t such an early train – I’d catch it more often!

Long Way Down

Finally! I finished the last book from 3 books in 3 weeks, which turned into more than 3 weeks, but still.

A Long Way Down is very different from most of the books I read. It’s essentially a travel book, written by Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor (who I’m a fairly big fan of), about the trip they take on motorbikes all the way through Africa. Long Way Down

I found this book a little hard to read, although very interesting. They met with a lot of organisations, like UNICEF, and got to see first hand the great things that organisations like that are doing throughout Africa. I enjoyed hearing all the stories, and it made me want to travel, although I definitely wouldn’t do it on a motorbike. Ewan and Charley also made me laugh – which is always good. I don’t normally laugh out loud when I read books, even if they are funny, but this one had me laughing.

The swearing (which there was a lot of) was a little bit frustrating, although I got used to it and I think the only reason I didn’t love love it was because it was different to what I would normally read. However I think it’s good to expand your reading and your book collections, so I think this was the best book out of the three.

Maybe more of a boys book though? Read it if your into Africa, Motorbikes or Ewan McGregor.

3 stars