HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND

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I came across an article about the meaning behind the word happiness and  then I thought to myself, what do I consider as happiness? When am I happy?

I guess there is no more fitting time than after living in Australia for five months to sit and reflect about the things I have learned while moving to another country.

I remember the feeling of excitement and curiosity about everything when I first came here and how I wanted to make as many friends as possible and trying to fit in, in this new country. But then I noticed how dissatisfied and unhappy I was of trying too hard and trying to live up to those high expectations. Truth is, everyones’ journey is different and you should never, ever compare yourself to other people. Once I realised how that state of mind was robbing myself of true happiness and contentment, I knew I had to change that mindset in order to make my journey and experiences as real and honest as possible.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

“Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”

I consider happiness to be doing what you love. It’s when I can sleep in on a monday morning. Happiness is when I listen to dvsn – hallucinations with earplugs in. I swear this song could make you both happy and sad at the same time. Happiness is giving love and receiving love. This has got to be one of the most, if not the only, greatest thing you could ever give to another being. Happiness is seeing the joy on my parents faces when they do gardening. It’s seeing your own potential and following your dreams. Happiness is puppies and babies and chocolate and pizza. Well happiness is also alcohol.

Don’t mistake me though, its not like I walk around happy all the time. Everyone has their bad days. But having a positive attitude towards things does make you a lot happier, and like when you see someone smiling, you automatically get happy and smile too. It’s contagious!

So now its your turn. What do you define as happiness?

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Big city livin’

Besides seeing the Vivid Sydney Festival, it has been fun getting to explore Sydney with my travel and foodie Arichi! You can definitely feel the different types of lifestyles between Brisbane and Sydney. While Brissy is very laid-back and for some people a “big country town”, Sydney is very big and very fast-paced. Shops closes much later (this we really do need in Brissy) and there are many 24 hours food places (wouldn’t be bad either to have in Brissy).

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Sydney Opera House really is a spectacular piece of architecture. Way to go Jørn Utzon!

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FLOWERCHILD CAFE

This little café is placed in the Westfield mall up in Chatswood. Its a bit out of the city area but definitely a place worth going for breakfast and lunch. We were quite surprise by the amount of people queuing up when we arrived at 10.30 am. Luckily we didn’t have to stand in line the whole time, but just had to write down our number and then they would call when our table was ready. An hour later we finally managed to get a table and as you can probably tell by the pictures, it was so worth the waiting! Everything did taste just as good as it looked.

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We ended up ordering the French Toast and Fruit Salad. And for drinks a Chai Latte and Lychee and Mint smoothie. Edible flowers always does a dish very nicely.

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Now, careful not to drool all over yourself.

 

DARLING HARBOUR

Playing pirates and captains for a day, we went to the Darling Harbour to see the replica of the ship James Cook once sailed and discovered Australia with back in 1770 . You can get one ticket from the Australian National Maritime Museum that lets you enter the museum, the replica, a real submarine that was commissioned during the Cold War and a destroyer ship which is one of the last of Australia’s big gun ships.

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BEACH WALK

It was quite shocking to me how cold the winter would get in Australia. For the most part the winter is kind of similar to the summer home in Denmark. At least in Brisbane but the more south you go you can definitely feel the difference! Never thought I would ever be the one saying that it could get too cold since I’ve been living my entire life in a cold climate lol, but yes it do get cold here! Though it didn’t stop people from going in the water. We, however, decided to enjoy the view of surfers catching waves at Bondi Beach.

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There are actually many small beaches not to far away from Sydney, so we decided to do a little walk by the coast to Manly Beach.Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetIMG_5883

 

BREAD & CIRCUS

This wholefoods canteen had the cutest decorations ever. Pink theme with tiles, cupboards, flowers, yeah even the menus. Also decorated with lot of healthy and organic fruit and veggies which makes you feel like you’re living the right healthy lifestyle. Only lasted for a few hours if ya know what I mean.

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Here we ordered the Parmesan-Not-So-Scrambled Eggs and Toast w/ Avocado and Fresh Tomato and for drinks a Green Juice and Cafe Latte.

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BLUE MOUNTAINS

Since we didn’t consider to go hiking in Sydney before we actually arrived there, we didn’t pack the proper shoes or clothes. Therefore we took one of the shorter routes around the mountain and we still got some pretty great views.

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Here is The Three Sisters from Echo Point Katoomba.

We even passed a little waterfall. Just a little one.

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Lights, lights and more lights

Oops oops, another late update. Sorry! I honestly thought that maintaining a blog would be easy. Turns out it really isn’t haha!

There is something about light installations and interactive art that continues to amaze me. I went to Sydney a little over a week ago to see the Vivid Sydney Festival and it was even better than expected. Can I just say that pictures almost does not justify the pretty views and stunning lights in real life. It was amazing.

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They projected an animated movie on this building, and it was also possible to view an augmented reality version through Huawei smartphones. The extra effects were siiiiick.

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Also cool lights along the food stalls. Had the best Pho there yum yum

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The Cathedral of Lights was one of the most beautiful installations. You could already see everyone pull up their phones and cameras as soon as they stepped into the queue, which was like severel of hundred meters long. The lightwalk itself was only 70 meters long and it was definitely worth going back in line for. Yeah we totally did that a few times. The lights created pure magic.

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I love the type of act that encourages the audience to engage and interact with it and of course there were a lot of those to find including this light installation that senses your movements and transferres them in different colours and lightning.

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Looking into infinity.

 

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Lots of changing patterns projected on the Opera House

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Its selfie time!! Kids nowadays lol

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This one was my favorite. They call it the Jellyfish. Everyone was jumping up and down to get the jellyfish from the bottom up to the surface. Cool art!

If you’re ever in Sydney or close by around June, make sure to check out the festival its so worth it.

How to be successful in everything you do

 

Being successful comes in many ways and it’s not only about climbing the corporate ladder and making a lot of money. Success can be going on a sugar free diet for one week, learning a new language or finishing the book you said you would finish four months ago. Success is an achievement of your actions.

But how do you achieve your actions?

If there is anything I learnt after stepping out of my comfort zone and moving across the world to pursue a life long dream of studying and living in another country, it is without a doubt that time is precious and it is what you do within that time, that counts and determines your success. I knew that big dreams required big planning and big actions, so I started to slowly research and plan for my trip about 6 months prior to even submitting an application for the university.

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When I received a conditional letter of offer, that is when everything went fast, and I knew that if I wanted this dream to happen, I had to be ready to take action and prepare for all of the things necessary. So thats exactly what I did. And I’m not going to lie, it was four very hectic months and I don’t believe that applying to studying for a masters in another country outside of your continent (especially if you’re not a native english speaker) while you’re doing your bachelors degree and working part-time is good for your health and stress level, but if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Time is precious

Time is so precious and it will pass by regardless. You control how you spend it. So don’t be afraid to dream big. Hell, the only proper way to dream, is to dream big! Set yourself small goals that you want to reach, and work towards those goals every day. The more of them you accomplish, the closer you get to your dreams. And before you know it, you have turned your dreams into reality, and you will have succeeded. No success comes over night and it requires hard work, effort and patience. Stay resilient and enjoy the journey you make towards those goals. Life really isn’t so much about the destination as it is about the journey.

Everything starts with you and you hold the keys to success. Its just a matter of using it and unlocking the door, and every step you take will slowly point you in the direction of success and greatness.

If you choose to settle for nothing less than your best, you will be amazed what you can accomplish in life– (Quote found at the fitness centre. Lol I know – but it’s so true though)

How do you see success and how do you intend to achieve it and create the best version of yourself?

 

 

Weekend getaway guide: Brisbane – Byron Bay

 

The great part about living in Australia, is that you have some of the most beautiful nature and beaches only a few hours away! For a small weekend getaway, Arichi and I decided that Byron Bay would be the destination.

But if you don’t have a car, how do you get there? Where do you stay? What can you do? The decision for this trip was pretty spontaneous and was decided like 8 hours prior to departure. Personally I believe that spontaneous experiences might be some of the best, because you don’t have any expectations and you just go with the flow. Though I know that its not for everybody, so I made a little guide of tips and whereabouts for a little weekend getaway to Byron Bay.

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How to get there:

The fastest way to get there is without a doubt by car. Though if you, like me, don’t have a car or perhaps can’t rent or drive a car, there is other alternatives:

The public transportation, though this includes four bus transfers and a train too, with a total amount of 4,5 hours. I don’t know about you, but that is too long for me. I mean going with the car is only about 2-2,5 hours!

However there is the Brisbane – Byron Bay express busses. I went with The Byron Easy Bus – got picked up from Roma St. and arrived at The Visitor Information Centre, which is basically the stop for the main station. The trip took about 2,5-3 hours because the driver went and picked up people from different places. The ticket was $42 one way.

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Where to stay:

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There is plenty of options for accommodation around Byron: motels, hotels, hostels, airbnb etc. We were looking for a cheap place to stay because of the few nights we were there and decided to go with a hostel. Also staying at hostels is a great opportunity to make new friends. We met a lot of female solo travellers there and it’s always interesting to hear what they have been up to. Personally, I’ve always thought it was a bit intimidating backpacking the world alone as a female, but meeting all of these cool ladies and hearing about their stories, makes you want to consider doing it yourself sometime in the future.

Anyways, we stayed with The Arts Factory Lodge and can totally recommend it. This hostel is super chill and has a nice and laid back vibe. The decoration is very artsy with paintings on the walls, apart from the usually dorms, you can sleep in teepees’, or cottages facing the little lake. If you’re keen on sleeping in a tent, there is a camping ground there too. Also there is a brewery on the opposite side, where they throw parties. Every monday is Reggae night!

Where to eat:

Byron Fresh Café has a cute beachy and romantic atmosphere, and a live performance playing in front of the café which makes everything a bit more authentic. We never tried any main dishes there (they looked really good though!!), however we went there for coffee and dessert. The Macadamia Brownie Fudge with vanilla icecream, strawberries and blueberry colis is definitely worth trying! What a guilty pleasure.

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Have lunch or dinner (or both) at Fishmongers Gourmet Fish and Chips. They have hands down made some of the best fish and chips I’ve have tried so far while living in Oz. Also the portion is pretty big, so you won’t leave on an empty tummy, thats for sure.

And if you’re in a hurry, check out Kahwa Coffee Bar. For our last day we decided to grab some breakfast to go and eat it on the beach. I can definitely recommend the croissant w/ ham and cheese and the watermelon juice!!

 

What to do:

Of course the main reason I came to Byron was to see the Beach. But make sure to check out the Lighthouse. Take the route along the beach, this way you also get some pretty amazing views of the ocean on your way to the top.

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When in Byron Bay, it is a most to go surfing! Neither of us have tried surfing before, but we were all aboard on trying new things! We booked our first surfing lesson with Happy Travels for $69 dollars, and this was with everything included: surfboard, pick-up from the hostel, wetsuit and/or t-shirt when surfing, and of course lessons with the instructor including him jumping in the water and helping you catch waves.

Can I just add that surfing in itself, is not easy at all, so throwing in an angry wind and aggressive waves, almost seems like a suicide mission for a first time surfer! However with a bit of help from the surf instructor, I did manage to catch a few waves. This was def the best experience yet!

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Lastly, make sure to go for drinks! If into pubs, Railway Friendly Bar is an option, and if you’re into the dance and clubbing kind of scene, Cheeky Monkey’s is probably the most popular choice. The only right way to dance here, is on the tables haha! Oh, and you get one free drink if you run into the promoters on your way there.

 

This spontaneous weekend getaway turned out to be a successful trip for Arichi and I. We had no expectations to this trip and ended up falling in love with this little beach town. It is without a doubt a place worth going back to!

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P.S did I tell you about this pretty piece of work we discovered? Rumor has is that the artist is unknown and he travels all over the world just to paint these pretty patterns in the sand, and then he leaves again. #Humanityissocool

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