Fun activities to look for in every city

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With valentines day just around the corner I thought a post on fun (and sometimes free) activities are would be a good idea.
Having lived in many cities and countries, it can sometimes get overwhelming trying to find new things to do. Whether it’s with your partner or a group of friends, there’s always plenty to do, you just have to explore and find out.

But if you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a few suggestions. If you have any great ideas, please feel free to comment in the comment box below!

  • Ice skating. There are usually free outdoor ice skating rings in countries that get snowy winters.
  • The beach. In a polar opposite, there are plenty of free sports available on beaches. (Volleyball anyone?)
  • Visit a famous store. Sounds weird, but the historical toy store in NYC, or the high fashion labels in Paris are all icons.
  • Dance class. Learn the dances of the locals, that way you can impress when you’re in the club next!
  • Cooking class. Self explanatory, have fun, learn new skills and eat everything you’ve created!
  • Hiking. There are plenty of shuttles, trains and other forms of transport that will take you from the city to various hikes all around the world!
  • Busking. Whether you’re watching or doing it yourself, it’s a great way to see a place
  • Night markets/day markets. Think of the fooooodddd!
  • Library. Oh the possibilities! My local library offers a pass that lets me attend the Opera, Symphony, Botanical gardens and many more, all for free!
  • Photography. Go and explore the place you’re in, and take photographs from a different perspective. Most places even have photography tours.Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 12.11.18

Shall we play some music?

 

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Or go for a dance?

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Or explore the city and take some photo’s?
*All photo’s from Cosmopolitan Magazine, Singapore

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The world is mine

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Having moved to yet another city in yet another country, I decided to make this place a little more of a home than just a another travel stop.
My partner and I scoured through Ikea, local art fairs, markets and art stores, all in pursuit for the perfect things to fill our temporary home. The emphasis was on being affordable. After all, most of this stuff is either going to be sold, or has a good chance of getting broken when we move again.
I had my heart set on gold tones. Yep expensive and impossible to find in most decor stores, I’m fun like that.
Needless to say, my boyfriend set the budget limits and left me to my own devices. I couldn’t find anything that I wanted for our price range, so I came to the conclusion that I was going to do my own home made art.
In particular, I wanted something that represented the both of us (he comes from all over the world, and I was born in Australia but have also lived all over)
So I set about creating a world map made of gold and black paints.
Here is my DIY Tutorial, so you can make your own if you want!
A word of warning, it took approx 11 hours to make (drying time, printing, cutting, painting all included.) I nearly went cross eyed by the end, but I think you will enjoy the end product as much as I do!

What you will need:
Canvas size of your choosing
Background acrylic paint colour (I chose black)
“World” paint colours (You can either do multi colours, or stick to one colour like I did)
Imitation gold leaf (If you’re doing metallic like me make sure you get at least 100 10x10cm sheets, I ran out!)
Clear lacquer
Paint brush
Soft sponge brush
Painters tape
Permanent Marker
Exacto/stanley Knife
Patience and a good mix tape for music inspiration
Step 1
Print out a world map (I used this one here, and blew it up to a huge size, to print out over approx 10 A4 sheets of paper)
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Step 2
I stuck the sheets together with painter’s tape, and then place a large plastic sheet over the top (I bought a shower curtain from my local dollar store and cut it up to be larger than the canvas)
I then traced the map below, onto the shower curtain.

Step 3
I took the plastic off the board, and placed it on a cutting board. I then took a few hours to painstakingly cut the traced world out of the plastic. leaving only the outline. (It might have been easier and quicker with a sharper knife!!)

Step 4
Paint your entire canvas the desired background colour you want. I chose black, and did several coats to make sure it was on thick.
Once the paint has dried completely, place your plastic sheet over the top.

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Step 5
Carefully paint the parts that are exposed by the plastic. Be careful not to let any paint seep through the edges of the plastic. You can definitely paint over the plastic though (You’ll get a sharp edge, and you can peel the plastic back easily once the paint has dried)
After that, place the gold leaf on top of the painted area. (Skip this step if you don’t want a metallic look)
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Step 6
I suggested sticking to one continent at a time, that way you can work without the paint drying. However I didn’t know this before I started, so that’s when I used the clear lacquer for the gold leafing to adhere to. That way if I accidentally painted over any gold leaf, it wouldn’t show up, and I wouldn’t have to use more (expensive) leafing, to cover up the mistakes!

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Step 7
Once you have finished, wait for the paint and leafing to completely dry.
Suggestions to pass that time. Dance, go to karaoke, or bake a cake for your neighbour :)
When it’s dry, carefully peel back the plastic sheet (Try not to tear it, you can use that world cutout for future projects!)
Make sure there aren’t any spots missing, Paint in the smaller islands like Hawaii, Fiji etc, by hand.

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Step 8
Hang, and admire!
If you create one, please feel free to share it on the more than just models Facebook page! I would love to see your creativity!!

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You’ll be my resolution

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In the wonderful words of Australian singer/songwriter Matt Corby: You’ll be my resolution.
No. Matt is not going to be my resolution.
Rather, this year focus is my resolution.
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Focus on standing very still… ;)

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the sheer amount of things that need and want to be done?
If you haven’t, then you’re most likely still in school. ENJOY IT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!!!

This is not your typical “My new years eve resolution was…”
Technology, social media, the world in general.. it was all meant to make things easier, faster, nicer. Instead it’s made it harder, more enviable at our neighbour’s seeming success in 5 different genres and accountable at all hours.
Firstly, if you’ve read any of my past posts, you would know that social media is one big facade of amazingness. No one can possibly get all the things done that they’re doing in one day. They either have help from a team of makeup artists, lighting crew, photographers, PA’s, free clothes, free food, free anything else you can think of.
OR, they’re posting stuff that’s been archived for slow days, when they’re sitting around in their pyjamas . (which is perfectly fine too!)

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Yep winter is a time for thinking about things. And snowboarding. lots of snowboarding

But this year, instead of breaking my back trying to do everything at once, I’m going to streamline my focus on each individual thing I want to achieve. Sure I may have two or three projects going at once. But each will have its own place and time.
No more jumping from thing to thing, and losing flow.
There’s a lot I want to get done this year, but not having a plan will be a sure fire way to make some of them fail. Instead I’ve set goals, and mini goals within them. Timelines (flexible, because there is life of course!) and a round about way I am going to try and achieve them.
So let’s hope and work on our own goals, while enjoying life and each other!
That’s it. My resolution.
Oh and one more thing… I want to get fit….

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It’s going to be a happy year!

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What’s in a share?

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I think that we should share things that we’re passionate about. Not just the same news articles that everyone is sharing and self promotion.
There’s so much more than yet another selfie, or another sleeping kitten video that’s gone viral.
(Not that there’s anything wrong with either. ok perhaps the former has beginnings of narcism.)

However, there’s so much more to us than just facades of fantasticalness. Share what you love, share things that you have knowledge on.
Some of my friends share the most incredible things that I never would have recognised. From architecture, history, music, dance, makeup, politics, environment, health, sports, food, human rights… The list could go on forever.

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Things I love: Piano’s that resemble Louboutins. Because piano’s and fashion are always a yes.

I like to think of my Facebook newsfeed as a carefully curated selection of interesting updates and shares.
and the writers/contributers are my friends and pages I follow.
I’m not saying that I get all of my worldly information from Facebook (because that would just be crazy! like using wikipedia as a legitimate source of knowledge… please I repeat do not use wikipedia for your studies!)

Here’s a little food for thought. I absolutely abhor click-bait titles.
If you’re not interested in an article unless it says “I can’t believe what happened next…” or “Number 15 had me gasping with shock.”
Then you must have the attention span of a 5 year old. No maybe a 3 year old. I know some 5 year olds that wouldn’t fall for that shit.
Ok there I said it. Sorry if I’ve offended you. (But not really sorry, because obviously I edit my posts and I decided to leave this in.)

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Things I love, part 2: Mountains. Please know that I love each and every one of my friend’s scenery pics. Yes keep showing me all the cool places you are!
OK now that that’s out of the way, let’s get onto cool shit that you should be sharing as a service to your fellow peers and friends.
#1. Stuff you’re really into. (Food? Everyone likes food. Or how about travelling? Ummm, fashion is nice! animals? see kitten video reference above…)

#2. causes that are close to your heart. and there might be a million of them, but hey share them. I’m interested!

#3. Cool stuff you’ve been up to. It’s all about the little victories. I like seeing my friends doing happy and cool stuff.

#4. Your honest opinion of a movie/album/band/concert review.
So much better than trusting the 17 year old intern who writes for the shitty music/film blog.

#5. Whatever the hell you want. because it’s your page and your digital medium to convey whatever message or non-message you want!

#6. Promoting friends/family with their careers/achievements. That’s cool. You care, I care. We all care.

#7. things you need help/opinions with. If you’re struggling let your friends know. I know I want to know and help. If you need an answer to something someone unexpected might know it. If you need a rare record from 1876 then someone might just have it (You see I made a bad music joke there, because records weren’t invented until 1877… nerd moment for me.)

#8. And this one is possibly the most important one. Never ever post or share anything Kardashian related. Don’t be a slave, don’t baa like the media wants you to. Just so much no. Sorry there is absolutely no love for the K-Klan and what diet they are or aren’t on, or what person they’re “dating”.

Ok this post wasn’t as succinct or eloquent as I would have liked, but can you blame me?
Today alone I’ve written a press bio for a friend and then spent the last 8 hours procrastinating writing my fiction novel. (Oh yeah. that’s happening! It’s all sci-fi, music, glamorous settings and cool people and… well you’ll just have to buy a copy when I put it on amazon for $1.99 won’t you… just kidding. If you’re a friend I’ll probably end up posting half of it on my Facebook. Or if you cook me a nice a meal I’ll totally read it to you in all the character’s voices.)

 

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Things I love part 3. Sir Hamlet. This is my hamster looking like a bat. I proceeded to laugh for the entire day, and called him a bat for the rest of the week… Anyone want to be friends with me?

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I don’t wanna be

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It’s international are you OK day today,
Originally I had planned to write a post about my experience shopping and buying completely sustainable and ethical clothing for a month. But that can wait.

This can’t.

Am I beautiful? Why doesn’t he/she love me? Why can’t I make friends? What is anxiety? Why am I so alone? Why am I such a failure?

These are a few of the very extensive list of “Why/how/Am I” questions that are asked on search engines, from all over the world.
It’s a pretty depressing list, but you know what’s even worse? They’re being asked to an inanimate search engine, that doesn’t have any empathy (or usually the right answers either!)

I’ve had my share of “Am I?” and “Why” questions, about myself before. I’ve also been one of the people googling late at night, to find the answers on my own, whether it be because of embarrassment at having such “silly/negative” questions, or because I don’t know how/who to ask.
Lucky for me, I have an awesome family and friendship network, all of who are attentive and notice when me, or anyone else is feeling off.

If you’ve been reading my blog posts before, then you’ll know the stance (read, love hate relationship) that I have with social media. On the one hand it’s an amazing way to stay connected, and find out things about friends and the world that you never knew before.
On the other very heavy hand, its an invasion of privacy, with trolls coming into the safety of your home, and getting under your skin, while they write from their computer somewhere else in the world.
It’s a way to make you feel bad about yourself, forgetting that the instagram gallery of “amazing lives” is a snapshot in time, usually not even taken on the same day of posting.

2010-12-31 at 18-46-32Yep, family and friends, it doesn’t get much better than this!
Everyone has their insecure days. Yes, even the most confident people do.
For some it’s easier to talk through the inner dialogue, to quash the rising fears, and to get back to living and being awesome.
For others there’s a lot more going on underneath. The inner turmoil that’s hidden beneath a happy facade.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been modelling for so many years, we’re taught how to fake a genuine smile. There’s an oxymoron for you. Fake a genuine smile.
It’s simple really.
Step 1: Think of something incredible in your life, adorable animals, presents on christmas day, your significant other, family.. whatever it is.
Step 2: think of said noun, doing something funny.
Step 3: Pose, and hold that smile.

Simple right?
It’s a job, that smile has to be held for a few minutes or even a few hours, but that’s it. Once the job is done (and your cheeks are sufficiently sore from grinning too much) you get to go home.
Now imagine having to keep up a fake smile like that every day, even when you feel horrible inside, when all these damaging thoughts are attacking you.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then that’s absolutely awesome and I’m super glad that you have a great headspace! But please keep reading, cos we need you too! If what I’m writing has you nodding with familiarity, then also keep reading!

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Going to Ikea and playing hide and seek is possibly the best pastime ever, and it gets me out of the house!

1. Know that it gets better.
It really does. I’m not pulling your leg, I’m not making things up, or spouting some bs line for you.
Know that you are incredible. I like you. Yep I think you’re an amazing human being, and there’s not enough positivity on the internet, and a whole lot of negativity towards strangers and friends alike.
So at the risk of sounding cray cray, You’re totally awesome, incredible, talented, beautiful and marvellous!

2. Try talking to people. Family is an obvious one here, they’re usually the people closest to you and with your best interests at heart. Friends are also great, however it’s sometimes a little harder if they don’t know the full story, or aren’t properly trained to deal with issues. But by all means talk!
And of course psychologists, school counsellors, peer helpers (maybe my school was the only one to do this? It’s an incredible program where they trained up several students from different social groups, in how to deal with any issue that another student might be having. I was one of the peer helpers, and we had a school counsellor checking in with us every few weeks to make sure we were ok in dealing with students’ issues. But the amazing thing about it was that most of the people I had coming to me, were from different social groups. and I assume my own group of friends perhaps went to another peer helper. That way any issues that might have been happening inter-friendship group, could be taken to an outside party. It was honestly one of the best things to come to my school, and I think every school should have it!)

3. If people are too hard, talk to an animal (patting fluffy ones are very awesome, but any animal will work).

4. If those two options are too hard, write a diary and read over your thoughts when you’re in a slightly better frame of mind later on. Reflection helps! (then move to step 3 and then step 2.)

5. Sometimes a social media cleanse can help, especially if you have feelings of inadequacy due to the flooding of “Amazing” lives. (Who wouldn’t!)

6. Do the things you love, go and paint, write music, dance, pick flowers, watch tv…
It’s so easy to say “don’t feel alone in this” when the number one feeling is probably loneliness.

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My favourite muffin to hug!

As a friend/family member, watching this happen to someone you know and love can be completely heart breaking. I’m sure there’s plenty of times you’ve wanted to say “Snap out of it. C’mon be happy, you’re amazing, can’t you see that?”
And wouldn’t that be incredible if that was all there was to it. Oh wow, that really would make life happier and sparklier.
Sometimes it’s not always about a single underlying problem. Sometimes there might not even be a problem, and that can make it feel so much worse that there’s nothing to pinpoint.
Know that you’re not always going to deal with someone elses’ pain/questions/sadness in the right way, and that’s ok! You’re human too!
I know I certainly haven’t been tactful at times, or said/done the right thing.

All I know is that we can draw from our experiences. whether it be good/bad or everything in between, we’re all on this earth, navigating our own strange journey, only now we’re being bombarded with a constant reminder that we should be all these things we’re not yet, or that we’re not pretty enough, strong enough, skinny enough, kind enough, caring enough, extroverted enough, ladylike enough, quiet enough, accomplished enough.

Well you know what I have to say to that.

You are enough.

You always have been, and you always will be.

If you’re in Canada, and need someone to talk to, try these:
*You can email, live chat, or phonecall them

Mental Health Helpline
Kids Helpline

Australia:
Beyond blue

560315_10150820679102224_639958395_nMy friends, winter sun, happiness.

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Kulture?

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This morning I woke up and like every morning before that I checked messages and emails.

It’s become kind of a ritual, before I have my breakfast smoothie, or roll out of bed, I switch on my phone to see what’s been happening on the other side of the world whilst I was sleeping.
(A nomadic life hazard of having family and friends in many different time zones.)

I’m guessing that like most of my female readers (and men too!), I have subscriptions to one or two magazines/fashion brands/pinterest boards…
Ok full confession, I am subscribed to pretty much every great fashion magazine and blog out there. I like to keep up to date with what’s trending, what issues are important to our generation, what the fashion world is doing and everything else that comes with it.

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The first two articles on my ELLE email, all things I would expect to see in Elle.

I’d like to think that I’m selective with what comes into my inbox. I avoid the gossip rags at all costs, not wanting to read the drivel they make up produce.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I opened my inbox this morning and practically every single article was about the Kardashian (and whatever other surnames they fall under) peoples.
I’m not even joking, the next 3 articles when I scrolled down, were these 3…

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One article, I could understand, but THREE articles on them? Come on, seriously does no one else on earth exist anymore? How does a child end up in a fashion mag? This was not a mothers and baby magazine, not a maternity magazine and not a gossip magazine…

So I started doing my research, I read the mission statements of each magazine (picture below), I thought that maybe I had gotten it wrong, that I was expecting too much from the editors. However when I read the statements, they were clearly saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. The articles they are pushing are neither empowering, intelligent or aspirational.

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Elle and Harpers Bazaar (Respectively) mission statements taken from their media presskits (23 August 2015)

As a model, I understand the importance of fashion, presentation and knowing how to dress your best. I love the artistic expression behind new makeup trends, seeing backstage photographs of models preparing for the runway, fashion designers stories of their inspiration for their latest season. Of course I’m hyperaware that unfortunately the kardashians are very sadly part of the current pop-culture. Yet the fact that this one family is a constant feature of articles from supposed educated writers and fashion journalists, is disheartening.

I’m sure the writers roll their eyes at every assignment they have to write about the “clan”. Is it really the masses who are driving this demand?
I would like to believe that it isn’t. My social circles have their focus on things far more interesting than mundane material on absolute strangers’ lives.

So then who is behind this massive push of these 5 or 6 people (I’m not completely sure how many there are in the family/group, I feel like they keep multiplying and there are more and more each time!)

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The header, taken from Elle’s online US site. The Kardashians featured in 3 of the 5 options…

I’m not expecting nobel prize writing or articles, but I do expect a certain standard. Fashion is more than just the same bandage dress in every shade, it’s more than the same 4 girls who are given everything by designers.
I want to know about fashion on the streets, affordable fashion, sustainable fashion, haute couture, celebrities, monarchies, designer from other countries, up and coming student designers… Oh the list could go on and on.

But instead we’re subjected to the same women/girls doing the same thing, wearing the same clothes, and posting the same instagram pictures with the same pout, same lack of clothing, and same designers that stock their wardrobes for them.

On the subject of transgender, I’m delighted that fashion and culture magazines are covering this topic. It’s incredible. But seriously it’s as if there is only one transgender person in this entire world…
The one person that they constantly interview and bestow praise on (highlighting how tough it has been), is starting to grow a little tiring. Sorry. I said it.
Reality shows, high end fashion labels, countless interviews, and bundles of money can’t be the average struggles of the transgender community.
There has to be so many more interesting, intelligent and articulate transgender people out there who could shed a much better light on the issues they are facing and what changes need to be made in our social system.
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Two articles about pregnancy and babies. I can’t stress enough that this is coming from a high end fashion magazine for women, not babies… and look, another one of them popped up! seriously how many of them are there? Make it stop!!

The general public is interested in so much more than just one family. But the media world is intent on throwing them in our faces, with every boring little detail. Things that aren’t relevant, things that don’t belong in high end fashion magazines. Things that do belong in gossip rags, weekly “news” on celebrities.

I wish that these high end magazines would instead present us with the amazing fashions of other people. The lives of other artists, musicians, businesswomen and those who are making an impact in the world.

I don’t know about you, but I want to see how powerful smart and intelligent women dress. Not just one single family that seems to have a strong hold over the media.

American magazines, take note of your European counterparts. They may still have one or two articles on them, but they cover much more of the real fashion world, relevant culture and news topics that are of interest to people everywhere.

 

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You are just too…

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A song for you to scroll by ;)

Lately I’ve been hearing it everywhere. They/you/he/she is too: fat, skinny, ugly, neat, pretty, kind, assertive, stupid, feminist, bold, quiet…
The list could go on.
It’s as if the adverb “too” is now there solely to make the following verb a negative.
Think about it. If someone says “She’s too fat.” It’s still the same jibe as “She’s too skinny.” Even saying “She’s too healthy.” doesn’t come off as a positive thing. (Is there any such thing as too healthy or too happy?)

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Not caring what anyone else is doing, I’m focusing on being as happy and healthy as possible!

I am just as guilty of doing this, as much as the next person. What prompted me to think about it was when I realized how negatively it was to view things this way.
I was watching an interview with a celebrity, and as she was talking I kept thinking “She seems to friendly, it’s coming off as a bit fake.”
Then I stopped. Wow, did I really just think that? Who was I to dictate how someone else should act. Did I know her personally? Nope! Was it affecting me directly? Nope!
Why am I concerned with the way someone else is acting/looking/simply being, if it’s neither harmful nor affecting my life!
She is a talented actress who should have more of the focus on her craft and skills rather than the intense scrutiny she gets on the way she conducts interviews or the way she appears.

She looked happy in that interview, they were talking about her latest film, the places she had visited and other interesting facts about her life.
And yet I’m sure that a majority of the thousands of people who had watched it, were probably making mental judgements on what she was wearing, what her body looked like and whether she fit their ideal of happiness and social presence.

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Don’t judge me, I promise not to judge you :)

Why is that so important to us? Admittedly appearance is a huge part of being human. We are visual creatures. But tell me have you ever seen a child wearing tattered and muddy clothing, so unabashedly happy? I used to be that kid, who didn’t care what I was wearing, how I looked. I cared more about being happy and making the people around me happy.
We need to move back to being those kids who don’t care if someone else is a little weird, hyper, quiet, messy, clean… Yes you can still take pride in the way you look. You can conduct yourself with the decorum that you deem right There is absolutely nothing wrong with that (especially if it makes you happy!)
But we need to stop pushing our ideals onto everyone else. We are not the parents of the world, we are all navigating our own paths.
So make a promise to yourself today to focus on your achievements and goals, work hard to help your friends and family achieve theirs. Forget about the little things that annoy you, forget about judging someone else’s journey, and take delight in the happiness of others!

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Four shots and I couldn’t figure out that riding on the sand is not the best idea! 

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Sharing is caring

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Do you have that friend that always posts their complaints on public forums?
Thinly veiled jabs at ex’s that are way too obvious, whingeing and whining, pity pictures of them being sick (but still somehow looking beautiful) and harrowing sob stories of how busy and stressed they are…  does this sound all too familiar, making you want to never post anything personal ever again?
If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Most of my social media buddies post funny memes, news events, recipes, photo’s and sometimes even controversial musings. But the lack of complaining leaves me breathing a sigh of relief.
I thought that having a complaint free newsfeed would be good for my happiness, but then I read a blog post recently that changed my thoughts on it all.

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All the happy things, but are we hiding the other side to ourselves?

The post was by a friend, entailing her struggles through sickness and the road to recovery. Her story resonated with me. As someone that’s been suffering from chronic fatigue for years, I recognised a lot of similarities with what she was saying and her journey shone a light on tips and tricks to make life easier and recovery faster.
Not only that, her story was a great read. It was about life, loss, hardships and finding good health again.

Maybe complaining isn’t such a bad thing. It was a dose of reality knowing that everyone goes through tough and good times. Not just seeing the perpetual happy and sparkly life. (Not that I’m complaining, I love seeing all the good things!)

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Carrying my own struggles are usually something I keep hidden.

Following my friends’ journeys are like reading good books. Each one with personal triumphs and difficulties. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to this, sometimes sharing the darker side to life might be just the thing that someone else reading it, needs.
You never know how much your story might be impacting someone else. No matter how big or small, a difference is still a difference.

So don’t be afraid to share your ups and downs, both are equally as important.

*(If you are in need of an outlet to share your story or want advice on blogging, please don’t hesitate to contact me for advice! Or I would be happy to interview you!!)

Photography by Louis Lay. Instagram @louislay

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Raise me up

I know there’s been hundreds of articles about this “ruined” generation. We, the self absorbed, instant gratification generation.
The ones that are given participation awards for everything we do. All the “Well done’s”, “pats on the back”, “good job” for every mediocre thing that we do. The congratulations and encouragement given for every little thing done, no matter how half arsed.

But here it is. We are not that. We are not the kind of people who expect compliments and applause for everything we do. In fact far from it.
I know so many of my ilk who work silently behind the scenes, so many scientists, actors, teachers, musicians, students, doctors, painters… the list goes on.
I can understand why the past generations think that we’re so eager to receive. They are unused to this new world of social media, of quick and instant updates, of showing the good side to everything and avoiding talking about the real things.
But perhaps what they don’t know is the dark side of all this.

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That time I finally learnt my J turns… proud moment for me hehehe.
Posting an achievement on Facebook/instagram/twitter, is the present day equivalent to hanging your diploma proudly in a frame above the dining room table.
I’m going to use an example that most people can relate to.

You’ve just received an award for an exceptional piece of work. It’s something prestigious, that you’ve worked on for a few years. It might even be something you’ve had your sights set on for ages. Something you’ve spent countless hours studying, working on, creating, pouring your blood sweat and tears into.
You’re proud, and rightfully so.
So you post it up. And then the disappointment comes.

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Playing instruments makes me happy, but it also takes a lot of practice and studying :)

It comes from the fact that friends happen to like the superficial things you post. Liking only the selfies and elitedaily link shares.. the posts about “being in your 20’s” and “how to contour your face like b-grade celebrities”
I’m not saying they’re superficial, it’s just so much easier to switch your brain off when you’re scrolling through ocean of information that is your newsfeed. It so much easier to like all of the pretty pictures, and big bold headlines accompanied by whimsical pictures of couples cuddling naked on a mountain somewhere.

I know I shouldn’t care. I know I should be secure in the work that I do, I know that likes, and comments shouldn’t matter.
Here’s the thing, they do matter.
Not necessarily to me, more the like counts and play counts and shares all matter for my music.
As do models posting on instagram. Gone are the days of booking a job just on your looks and personality. It’s now judged by how much of a following you can bring to the table.
Journalists are judged on how many shares their articles get.
Artists are judged on the like count of their work.

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Walking for a fashion show.. sometimes it’s the little victories that make us feel like we’re getting somewhere.

I make it a point to like my friends’ work and posts. I don’t go crazy and shamelessly like everything , but I take the time to read posts. To see what my friends are up to around the world. To be happy with their achievements, no matter how big or small it’s an achievement for them.
Something that might seem little to me, could be a huge deal for them. Likewise, when I post a clip of a new song I’ve learnt, a picture of finished shoot, a blog post… All of it are small little achievements that I’ve worked hard on.

So perhaps next time you’re scrolling through, remember be kind and share the love. It takes barely a second for you to double tap a picture, hit the like button on a post. And it would mean the world to the person posting it.
No one ever died or was shamed for liking too many of their friends things!
Friends and family support each other, because if we don’t then who will!

To all my readers, you guys are amazing! Thank you for your comments, suggestions on how I can improve and new topics to write about. Thank you for watching my music videos, taking the time to like and comment on youtube, instagram etc.
Every single like and comment, I take to heart and your support does not go unnoticed!
I hope I have returned the favour with my comments, likes, shares, encouragement etc!

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Born from one, Citizen of all?

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I was born in Melbourne, Australia. A beautiful city, rich with intertwining cultures and  four seasons in one day. No seriously, it can go from being a hot and humid 38 degrees celsius, to storm clouds and hail in a few hours. I grew up with almost all of my cousins close by, and family gatherings once a week were not uncommon.

Since leaving Melbourne, I’ve been lucky (or driven) enough to live in many other cities and countries. Each one has its’ own unique quirks and charm. Sure not all of them have me begging to return, but I can still remember every place I’ve lived in with a certain fondness and seemingly push aside all of the unfortunate events. It’s funny how reminiscence can do that to you.

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So now I write to you from sunny Vancouver. Another gloriously beautiful city, albeit a little quieter than I would prefer. You see, I’m used to a bustling metropolis, a city that never sleeps, 24/7 party people.
It wasn’t always like that, but I can’t unlive what I have lived.

When people ask “Where are you from?” It’s a double edged question. Ummm do you perhaps mean my heritage? If that’s the case I’m German & Chinese. I naturally go for the German football team in the world cup, and know all the words to German nursery rhymes. Although I know all the recipes passed down by my mother and her mother for traditional Chinese cooking (Which is nothing like the Chinese takeout you get in Western countries, yuk!)
Then there’s the fact that I was born and raised in Australia. Yes I know my situation is not a unique one, practically every kid I went to school with came from an immigrant family whether it be first or third generation.

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All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.

But now there’s something else to add to the mix (pun intended). If you were to ask “Where is home?” I could give you a different answer depending on who you were.
To the immigration officers and all legal forms, home is Vancouver. But I grew up and still have my family and strong roots in Melbourne. Then there’s Singapore which I have frequented so much in the past 10 years that I think I have more close friends in that one city than anywhere else.
Of course there’s Toronto that I spent a very cold year in, Thailand that I’ve lived in for a year and a half cumulative, or Hong Kong where I had my “wildest youth” moments.
The list could keep going, but I’m not going to bore you with my passport stamps.

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Travelling with my friends through Thailand.

It’s a beautiful thing really, I feel a rush of happiness when I see any one of my “adopted” countries achieving something great. Singapore is living proof of religious harmony. Nowhere else have I experienced so many religions and cultures living and working side by side in cooperation and friendship.
Germany has renewable energy in housing going strong, showing the rest of the world that it’s possible and economically viable.
Canada has a city in Alberta that could possibly eradicate homelessness by the end of this year! (You can read more about it here)

No matter where I’ve been or where I’ll go, each city and place is home now. Forever destined to be a part of me.

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Forever dreaming of my next destination.

 

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