Getting to London

27 Jul

I am currently sick in bed on our last night in Europe, so I have some time to myself to catch up on my blog for the first time since Paris.

London was a dream… once we got there. Let’s just say that the way there was not something I’d like to relive. A train which was booked to the wrong train station, a taxi which wasn’t actually expensive but cost more than I had ( not like cash on hand, literally more money than I own), an almost missed ferry, a frustrated sister and an expensive train from the middle of nowhere to London. We later found out that it would have been cheaper to catch the Eurostar, fast, direct train.

Aside from that, London was absolutely amazing. The internet keeps stuffing up so I can’t add any photos, but I’ll be back in Brisbane in three days to tell you all about London, Berlin, Prague and Vienna! I’m going to go sleep off this stupid cold,

Lots of love,

Tamara. Joy xoxo

The City of Looove

19 Jul

You guessed it – I’m talking about Paris!
It’s already quite late but the internet is working well at the moment so I’ll tell you a bit about our time in Paris ❤

We arrived on the 14th of July which just happens to be the French national day. It was a complete coincidence and we didn’t even know until some nice locals banned us from leaving the restaurant they were at and wanted to meet up that night at the fireworks (we didn’t end up finding them). So my sister and I found our way to the Eiffel Tower where hoards of people were congregating to get a good look.  This is where we ended up:

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And this is what happened next:

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And then they played Imagine by John Lennon, while the fireworks lit up the night. I died.

Also in Paris I met up with a good friend from school who took my sister and I through the Louvre, which was amazing as well. There is just so much to tell that I can’t get the words out right!!

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On day two we visited the tower again and ate baguettes, crepes, macarons and snails in Monte Marte, a gorgeous area filled with artists begging to sketch your face for a pretty penny. If only I hadn’t run out of money on day 3!

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I wish I could share more photos but I’m worried that it won’t upload if I do. As soon as I get back to Brisbane they will be on Facebook! I can’t believe there is only one week to go.

I’ll be writing about London in my next post – I absolutely adore this city!

Until then,
Tamara.Joy xoxo

Where do I start?

19 Jul

Oh my God. Where do I start? I’ll have to break this update into a couple of parts because so much has happened, so I think in this post I’ll just talk about Spain.
We only had time to see Barcelona and Madrid, but I’m going back as soon as I can. There’s just an overwhelmingly good feeling that comes over me when I’m in Spain, especially Madrid. It really just feels like home for some reason, even though I don’t speak a word of Spanish. Our hostels were also both amazing in Spain – Tailor’s Hostel in Barcelona (short walk from La Rambla) and Cat’s Hostel in Madrid (short walk from Plaza De Mayor). Here are a couple of photos of our time in Spain, although the WiFi won’t let me upload many:

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Amazing market off of La Rambla in Barcelona

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Güell's Park in Barcelona

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The Royal Palace in Madrid

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Beautiful garden in beautiful Madrid

Madrid is such a picturesque city. It’s so clean, there are so many flowers and amazing buildings, not to mention the shopping! I can totally see myself living there without a doubt. It is much less touristy than Barcelona and there are much less English speakers, but we got around just fine. I really don’t know why more people don’t talk about how beautiful Madrid is, because I really think it is up there with Paris ( I’ll talk about Paris in my next post).

Right now I’m lying in my bed in London in the coolest hostel, but that’s a story for another time.

Bye for now,
Tamara.Joy xoxo

Photo Update, Greece and Switzerland

10 Jul

Hey guys!
Somehow this post got saved as empty so I lost everything! It’s not like I’m not already short for time :( Anyway, the little bit of WiFi I get doesn’t let me upload too many photos so I’ll just give you a quick run down. In the past week or two I’ve ridden a donkey, gotten a fish pedicure (best thing ever, look it up) and climbed a volcano in Santorini…
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I’ve explored the temples of the Greek gods in Athens…

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I’ve met up with friends and family in one of my favourite cities ever – Zürich, Switzerland…

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I’ve slept on the street with a scarf as a blanket on the 16 hour trip to Cannes and eaten some of the best salmon I’ve ever had…

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I’m currently getting ready to leave beautiful Barcelona, but it definitely needs a blog post all to itself. I am so in love with Spain – it really feels like home. I’ll be back as soon as I can to tell you more stories and show more photos. Until then,

Tamara.Joy xoxo

Mykonos, my love

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After three days straight of flights and overnight stopovers, we finally made it to Mykonos. The ferry on the way there was absolutely freezing, and going on about two hours of sleep that night and four the night before, I’d say it was a pretty painful experience… but all was forgotten as soon as the ramp lowered and we saw Mykonos for the first time

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The water was crystal clear and the atmosphere was so electrifying that it was hard to stand still. We were then driven through the narrow streets to our hostel (Paraga Beach Hostel) to find one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. This is what I’ve been waking up to for the past two days:

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Our first day was spent lying in the sun, admiring the views, exploring the coast and dancing our hearts out at a party by the beach.

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On the second day we caught a bus into the centre of the Mykonos town, and it was absolutely breathtaking. I can’t believe we only had two days here, but the next stop is Santorini so I can’t complain!

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On our last night in Mykonos we walked to the famous Paradise Beach and danced under the moon with people from all around the world until our legs literally buckled and we were too exhausted to even talk. It was such a great end to our Mykonos time and I can definitely see us coming back as soon as we can.

Right now we’re on a ferry that was two and a half hours late and has engine difficulties so it can only go really slowly; but hey, we’re on our way to Santorini so who really cares? I’ll upload this as soon as I find some free WiFi, so I don’t know how long that will be. I’m praying for good WiFi at the next hostel!

Bye for now,

Tamara.Joy xoxo

Touch down in Seoul

27 Jun wpid-dsc_0110.jpg

Hey guys!
I’m currently laying in the comfiest bed I have ever had the pleasure of laying in. It literally feels like a giant cloud that moulds to your body. The hotel room is a thousand times nicer than I thought it would be, considering it is just a free stopover including breakfast and dinner. You know it’s a little bit fancy when you can set the temperature of the toilet seat… What?! Unfortunately we won’t have time to step out and explore the city, because in a couple of hours we are flying to Vienna for a quick stop there, then to Frankfurt for another quick stop, and then finally we’ll be on our way to Mykonos, Greece. I have to go down to breakfast soon, but I just thought I’d share a few photos of the trip so far :)

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An interestingly shaped building...

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Bare-faced and sleep deprived, but still smiling!

That’s all for now, I’ll be back with more next time I have WiFi :)
Bye for now,

Tamara.joy xoxo

The Night Before

25 Jun

The time has finally come. The bags are packed and the alarm is set. It has been an extremely hectic day full of meetings with people to look after the house, frantic rushes to the shops to pick up last minute essentials, house cleaning, the application for a certain tertiary transport concession card that I should have done months ago, the printing and copying of important documents and the usual bag packing until the early hours of morning, even if I need to get up at 4:00am. Somehow I can never get it right. Now it’s safe to say that I am beyond excited, yet completely and utterly exhausted. There is nothing I want more right now than to be on the beach in Greece, relaxing in the sun with music and Greek food, and I cannot believe that tomorrow morning I’ll be on my way to doing just that. This “investment” was literally the best decision I’ve ever made, and I can’t wait to share it with you. It all begins tomorrow!

Personality Type – INFP

15 Jun
My Results

My Results

Hey Guys!

Today, while procrastinating, I took an online test that revealed which personality type I fit into, based on the studies of Myers Briggs and Jung. The test has about 70 questions and basically gives you a result comprised of four letters which stand for different things. The outcomes are based on 8 characteristics: Introverted vs Extroverted, Sensing vs Intuition, Thinking vs Feeling and Judging vs Perceiving. My type came up as INFP – Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving. The type description that it gave me was so accurate it was actually a little scary. I felt so revealed, like someone knew all my secrets. Once this vulnerable feeling disappeared, I felt humbled by the fact that there are others like me. I’ve been doing a bit of research on it lately and found out that, although INFPs are rare (2% of the population), there ARE people out there who think and act like me – they can be really confident and even mistaken for extroverts around some people, and extremely shy around others; they have messy desks and closets; they have their heads in the clouds and are constantly day-dreaming; they are complete romantics; they get very emotional in stressful situations; they are very private and selective as to who to show their true selves to; they absolutely hate conflict and confrontation and above all, they are driven by their values and ability to sympathize with other people because of their strong intuition.

As well as a detailed description of the personality type, the test also showed me which famous people were also INFPs, and surprisingly enough, a huge percentage of them were writers:

William Shakespeare, A.A. Milne, George Orwell, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe and Hans Christian Anderson were the writers among the group of INFPs. This reminded me that following my dream of becoming a writer was the right thing to do, despite the sometimes unstable job opportunities (another characteristic of INFPs is not caring much for money).

I was also so so so happy to find out that I have the same personality type as Audrey Hepburn. She is such an obvious inspiration, to the point where saying she is my inspiration seems clichèd, but it’s true. Her class, elegance and kindness has been the image of everything that I want to be for a very long time. Another of my inspirations, Helen Keller, was said to be and INFP as well. It seems like I’m inspired by people who I can relate to personality wise, which is something that I wasn’t aware of before doing this test.

It really has made me understand myself better as a person. I no longer question why I occasionally can’t open up to people, or why I sometimes feel super emotionally drained after a lot of socializing. I don’t question why I tend to have meltdowns over stressful situations, why my head is constantly in the clouds or why I find it so difficult to give criticism. The answer is, I do these things because I am me and that is completely ok. I highly recommend everyone take this test and become more in touch with who you are. It was so interesting to see a bit of the science behind why I act the way I act, and compare results with friends!

Here is the link to the test I took:  http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp (copy and paste into browser)

Comment your results down below, I hope to hear from you soon!

Lots of Love,

Tamara.joy xo

 

Quote

“Only put off u…

13 Jun

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.”
– Pablo Picasso

Feeling like a single housewife…

13 Jun

Hey guys,

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately! I really want to say it’s because I’ve been busy with all sorts of adventures, but to be honest I haven’t really been doing much at all apart from studying, cleaning, cooking and grocery shopping. I’ve been feeling like a bit of a housewife lately; except wife would imply that I’m not single, which I am. Damn. That aside, today marks the day that the wait to Europe falls beneath 2 weeks. I still can’t believe that this Eurotrip is happening. A couple of days ago we sorted out insurance and ended up getting it for less than a quarter of the price our travel agent was offering it for. We still have to make the slightly awkward call telling him that we bought it elsewhere which is not helping my phone anxiety, but it has to be done.

On another note, I have been reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and I am in love with it. I wasn’t really expecting to like it because if you’ve heard of it you’ll know that the story line is very twisted. When you’re reading it, you’re forced to empathize with a middle-aged man who falls in love with a 12 year old girl, and acts on it. That’s how beautifully written it is. I know this sounds disturbing and off putting, but I really can’t explain it – just go and read it. Here’s my favourite line:

“Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo-lee-ta.” – Vladimir Nabokov

On yet another note, I’ve decided to give up on dying my hair blonde and dye it back to light brown right before the trip. My hair now has this unflattering orange tone in pictures especially, that I just can’t get rid of. Ash dyes turn it green, toners don’t do anything and neutral blonde doesn’t even show up on my hair, so back to brown it is! I’m using a semi permanent napro palette dye and can’t find reviews anywhere, so I’ll be writing one as soon as I dye it. I promise to take before and after pictures this time!

I’m sorry that this was so all-over-the-place and boring, I feel like it was more of a diary entry than a blog post, but I guess they’re kind of the same thing. I promise that, in less than two weeks, this blog is going to get a whole lot more interesting!

Much love,

Tamara.joy xoxo

2.5 Years of Traveling

28 May

Tamara.joy:

I absolutely love reading all about other people’s travels! I hope I can go travelling for a longer period of time in the future :) She has amazing photos!

Originally posted on Soulshine Traveler:

Every once in a while, it’s helpful to step back and assume a bird’s eye view of your own life.  Over the past few months, I’ve struggled with a lot of big questions:  What the hell am I going to do next?  What the hell have I been doing?  What the hell happened to my savings account?  Etc.

It’s easy to get mired in the devilish details of everyday life, and to compare your success to others’.  I’m the queen of “the grass is always greener,” even though I know how obnoxious that sounds coming from someone who has graduated from Harvard and traveled the world for the past two and a half years.  Actually, after rereading that last sentence, I want to punch my own face.

I’ve reached a point where my long-term travel and life as an expatriate might be coming to an end out of necessity.  I’m not…

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Quick Update – Excitement

26 May

Hey guys!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a very excitable person. When I wake up in the morning I’m excited for a lovely breakfast, when I’m getting ready I’m excited to listen to music on the bus, and when I get off the bus I’m super excited to see all my uni friends and to be inspired by successful writers and editors. So you can imagine my excitement when something big is actually going to happen in my life. Today is the 26th of May, which means one thing – this time next month I’ll be on my way to Europe! It is so insane and I still can’t get my head around what is happening, but all I know is that it’s going to be the best month I’ve ever had. There are so many places I haven’t seen and so many things I haven’t tried, and I can’t tell you how glad I am that my sister and I decided to make this trip happen. I can’t wait to be able to document my experiences on this blog, and share them all with you to hopefully inspire some of you to follow your travel dreams. A month ago we thought that this trip wouldn’t be possible. Our passports were expired, we thought we had no where near enough money or time, yet here we are. I think that if you really want something, you can make it happen, even if it takes years. 

On another note, I just wanted to say a big thank you to my readers and followers! It makes me so so so happy to check my blog in the morning and see that people from all over the world have been reading my ramblings – this morning there were views from the US and South Africa! Wherever you are in the world I hope that my posts bring a little bit of joy to your day :) That’s all for now, talk soon!

Lots of Love,

Tamara.joy

10 Ways Travel Will Change Your Life For The Better

22 May

Tamara.joy:

Love this post by Mathew Kepnes! Only some of the reasons why I’m going travelling next month :)

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

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Travel is transformational. It changes who you are to your very core. Out there on the road, without any baggage, you encounter life in a way that’s not always possible when you are working all the time. I know I’m biased since I write about travel but my experience meeting others has shown me that travel changes you for the better. It brings out the best version of you possible. Here are ten ways travel will better your life and why you should start planning your next trip away:

You become more social

It’s sink or swim on the road. You either get better at making friends or you end up alone. You learn to make friends out of strangers and get more comfortable approaching new people. You get better at the small talk. When I first started traveling, I was an introvert and uncomfortable talking to strangers. Now, I…

View original 631 more words

Health and Wellness

12 May

Hey guys!

This past week I’ve started making a few changes to my lifestyle to make sure I’m fit, healthy and confident for the trip (read my last post if you don’t know about said trip ;) ). During some really stressful times last year I was having a lot of trouble sleeping and staying my peaceful self, so I looked for natural ways to help me catch my balance and came across meditation. Before bed, I would basically just put on some relaxing music (this is my favourite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suW_Fhv9wPU ), sit cross legged on my bed and just breathe really deeply, focusing on the music and dismissing any thoughts that come to mind. I’m sure everyone is different, but after a bit of practice I was able to get to a thoughtless, peaceful, relaxed state of being. At the time I didn’t tell anyone because I thought it seemed a little odd, but it really isn’t and it can help a lot with getting a good night’s sleep and stopping your brain from going into overdrive right when you don’t want it to. So I’ve started that up again, not because I’m stressed but just because I find that when I do it the night before, it helps me to be more peaceful and relaxed all day which is always nice.

As I said in my previous post, my sister and I are going to Greece and Spain during European Summer so I’m doing a little bit of work to tone up my body and shed a little bit of weight before we go. To do this, I started up my Pilates once again! This is what helped me lose over nine kg (20 lb) in a couple of months last year, relatively easily. If you’re like me and you absolutely despise running and aren’t talented in any sort of sport, I highly recommend trying it. I heard about a website called http://www.blogilates.com from a friend and decided to try it out, not expecting to enjoy it at all. It’s basically a series of amazing workout videos, workout plans, recipes and even meal plans all for free. Her beginners workout calendar really helped me to stay on track in the beginning, but now I just do the moves I’ve learnt to my own music, and I actually enjoy doing it. I also went to the park this afternoon because I got a little time to myself to write a bit of poetry for a uni assignment, and ended up doing 108 skips with the skipping rope which was a very quick bit of cardio. Unfortunately it was cut short because it started absolutely pouring down with rain and I had my journal with me so I couldn’t risk it, but I’m planning on going down tomorrow and doing 300 skips, plus a bit of pilates. Praying for nice weather tomorrow! My roommates and I eat quite healthily so I haven’t made a lot of changes to my diet, but I have cut down my portion sizes a little bit. I’m a firm believer in ‘almost everything in moderation.’ I’ve also definitely started drinking a lot more water, a glass of water with lemon juice right when I wake up, followed by a sencha green tea that I drink instead of coffee on most days.

After doing this all for only a few days I feel a lot more alive and have completely gotten rid of that blaghhh feeling that you get when you don’t do enough exercise. My body already feels stronger and more purified, and I feel like I’m on the road to a happier and healthier lifestyle, not only for before the trip but for afterwards as well. I hope this helps anyone who is looking to make a bit of a change for the better as well.

Good Night!

Tamara.joy xo

The Day of the Booking

10 May

Hey Guys!

Today was one of the most amazing days of my life. After almost three weeks of painfully waiting around for exam timetables, we finally got the confirmation that we actually have enough time during our uni break for the euro trip we’ve been planning! As soon as we heard the news, my sister and I rushed off to the travel agency (Sta Travel) to book our flights. Due to how late we left it and the time we want to go, the flights were coming up as much more expensive than we first expected. It was so stressful, but thanks to our awesome travel agent we were able to find a flight in our price range after two and a half hours of searching! Thanks Charlie! We promised him a coffee for the next  time we see him :P So now I can safely say that at the end of next month, my sister and I are flying across the world for our Euro trip! Our destinations in order are: Seoul (for an overnight stopover), Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Zurich, Milan, Cannes, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, London, Berlin, Prague and finally Vienna. I know it’s fairly ambitious but we are definitely going to make the most of each and every day. We were freaking out a little over the money as this will use up absolutely all of my savings but, as the travel agent said, travel makes you richer. This is the reason why I haven’t bought phone credit or clothes in a very long time. It’s the reason I have given up spending money on so many things that I thought I needed, but are actually just material things that only make me happy for a really short time. It’s all about priorities.This is the first time I’ve had a really good feeling spending my money, and it’s because I know it’s so worth it. I am so happy that we’ve made this work and I absolutely can’t wait to share my photos and experiences with you all! 

Lots of Love,

Tamara.joy xo

 

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