“Being out of your comfort zone makes you realise a lot about yourself – good and bad.” – Rae.
I bet this title caught your eye – You will understand the title later in this blog post. It seems every time I write a new blog so much has happened I can’t fit it all in. This post has taken me such a long time to write, I’m currently writing this on my phone on my way home from work – The struggle is real.
Collins beach/ Jump rock – I have been reading loads of blogs about where to go within New South Wales. It was my friend Jordan’s birthday and I decided we should go to Collins Beach and jump off a cliff. Yes this was my idea. Did I jump off the cliff? Hell no! There was 18 of us and I was the only one who couldn’t jump. As soon as I was just about to jump my body froze. It didn’t help someone told me someone had died there years ago by hitting their head on some rocks. My mum and dad would be proud I didn’t jump- ha ha! I need to head back there before my time ends in Australia and actually jump. This was honestly one of my favorite days in Sydney so far. This had given me the chance to meet new people. We all found a spot on the beach with our beers, music on, all chilling and talking about life. Getting the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly was also a part of the experience. Even more of an experience going on a boat after a few drinks was something to remember.
Shelly beach – I have found many hidden beaches within Sydney on blogs and websites. Shelly beach is also on the North Shore and many people snorkel as you can see a lot of marine life in the shallow waters. If the weather is nice next week I will be going with some friends.
Jervis Bay/ Great Pacific Road –Me and some friends decided to go on a road trip. I had given them a list of things to do whilst in New South Wales, making sure I tick them all off within the next 5 months. Few of the girls decided they wanted to go down the South Coast and so we did. We hired a car, booked a motel and stayed there for the weekend.
Jervis Bay has to be one of the most beautiful places I have been. The views were amazing. We went on a boat trip the day we got there to see Dolphins. Unfortunately we did not get to see the Dolphins however we got a ticket for a free boat trip for another day. It was nice just sitting on the boat and taking in the views. I dangled my feet over the boat and felt the sea splash on me. It was so peaceful. When we arrived back we went to a place called The Huskinson to get food. According to others a lot of people travel hours to this place to get food. It was a really good night. I had a sober night as I was driving home. Don’t get me wrong I do like a drink especially when I’m going out but this weekend made me realise its about the company more than anything. The girls I went with made me laugh so much I almost felt drunk. The following day we went to Hyams Beach and I was honestly taken away. To have the opportunity to go to the whitest beach in the world (Its in the Guinness World Records so must be true!). The sand was so soft, the sea was so clear you could see your feet through the water. I had to have a mini photo shoot at this place.
This weekend we stayed in a motel which I have never experienced. It was like what you see in an American film, I honestly felt I was running away from a drug lord and was in hiding. It was the most bizarre place with 1970s decor, out in the sticks and the shops close midday but what an experience.
A sober traveler – Does that even exist?
In my previous post I said I wasn’t going to go out as much and I try not to. Hence the word TRY. I decided I would rather spend my money on seeing things, being a tourist. The cost going to the South Coast, including hiring a car and staying in a motel for a night including excursions, petrol and food between the 4 of us worked out to be around $150 dollars per person. I would typically spend this on a night out, even more. To spend this money on seeing new things/beaches etc makes me feel so much better. Don’t get me wrong I do love a night out but I know I can do that back home, however I wouldn’t be able to see Koalas within their natural habitat in London.
A whole new world:
Recently my family and I went to see Aladdin and it was amazing. I have always loved the theatre since I was a kid and even studied drama throughout school and college. Due to my lack of actress skills I obviously did not get the part of Shirley in Eastenders. Anyway this was a great experience and was nice to see a show in another country. Genie was my favourite character. He was so funny and made me laugh so much. I would go again 100 percent.
So as I said in my previous post I call Sydney – Skinny Sydney. I have a personal trainer I see once a week and she is a god send. We have set my goal – I need to lose 3 stone/ 20 kg in 5 months. Around 1 kg a week. So far it has been going well. It has been hard but when you’re not happy with yourself you won’t be happy in general. Today we dug deeper as to why I want to loose weight and how I will feel when I do. I explained how I want to be confident and comfortable again. I told her I do not want to get involved with a guy until I reach my goal and she said the best thing to me “The longest relationship you have is with yourself.” My response was “Preach Miranda my homegirl.” Why do I love to embarrass myself?
It also helps I started talking to a girl at work who is also on a weight loss journey and we said we will motivate each other at work. Working in an office can be a challenge, there is always sweets or someone has put a spread on in the kitchen area. There are always biscuits with a label saying “eat me” and my belly says “Go on Rach, have one.” I am getting there though – I will have one biscuit rather than the pack. Whilst at work I drink at least 3 litres of water. Drinking water has really helped me mentally and physically. I feel more energized and find it easier to get up in the mornings without feeling sluggish.
I make sure I train at least 4 times a week, whether this is Dance or Gym. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday I tend to rest or if I go to the gym I will do a light exercise.
My personal trainer said I am still allowed to treat myself however this has to be in proportion. During the week I tend to eat well and one night I will eat out with friends or family. So I am trying to eat like a king for breakfast, queen for lunch and pauper for dinner. This has been quite challenging as I never have breakfast.
A typical day will consist of:
Breakfast – 2 slices of brown toast with peanut butter and a banana.
Snack – Either nuts/ yogurt/ fruit.
Lunch – Salmon/ Tuna Salad
Snack – Again maybe nuts/ fruit.
Dinner – Omelette packed with veggies/ salad.
I was advised not to eat after 9 – again this has been difficult and I will usually drink some water with ice cubes and chew on the ice cubes. Wow how boring! I really need to get rid of this beer belly – F U beer!
Becoming a Dancehall Queen:
Okay so maybe I have not become a Dancehall Queen just yet. I remember when I told my friends back home I was starting Dancehall classes – they did not take me serious. We laughed about it but I was being deadly serious. I need to learn how to dance before Nottinghill Carnival and what a better way to start. The first question when I noticed there was Dancehall class in Sydney was – who the hell am I going to ask to come to a Dancehall class with me? A lot of people I spoke to didn’t know what Dancehall music was. When it comes to these type of things I wouldn’t dream to go on my own so I had to take the plunge and just go for it. I remember rocking up on my first day an hour early and the receptionist said “wow your early.” My embarrassing response was “Keen as a bean me.” So I smiled and sat in the reception area. This was quite daunting as there were a few dancers showing their moves and I was thinking -wow I do not look like that when I dance.
So the dance teacher Crystal called us in and the music was playing which made me relax a bit more. I was moving my hips slightly. Not going to lie as soon as I heard the music I just wanted to go wild but I thought “Have some dignity Rachel you do not know these people.” Going to a dance class on my own was the best thing I have ever done, it made me more sociable. It felt a bit strange going to a dance without a friend, giggling the whole time. Although we had a laugh in the class we all took it a bit serious. My dance teacher Crystal is the best – She makes it so fun and exciting plus I love Dancehall music which motivates me a lot. The week beginning the 5/12 I nearly missed my dance class as I was late for work but I told my manager I will make up my hours another day so I could attend.
The day I started dance classes was the day I realised I look like a Fat octopus (Hence the title).
What I have learned after 3 months in Australia:
Stop listening to others:
When your away from your own environment you learn more and more about yourself every day. Have you ever noticed when someone says something bad about someone you automatically dislike that person they are talking about- but why? Have you ever put yourself in the other persons shoes? I have come to realise within the last few weeks I need to stop listening to people. If that person upsets that person then fine but I need to just shrug it off and I need to make my own decision whether I like that person or not. Not everyone gets on, if we did then what a peaceful world we would live in. Sometimes all you can do is listen, but do not let this affect how you feel about this other person.
Friends having good intentions:
Whilst travelling I have met some amazing people, in particular three girls who have supported me throughout this journey – Pam, Grace and Neila. All three girls are so different and I have no idea what I would do without them. Recently I missed people back home so I met Neila and discussed this with her. To speak to someone who feels the same helped a lot. Pam recently lent me money when I had nothing, I paid her back as soon as I was paid but she was like Rach just give it back when you can. Grace has given me what I missed back home, having a friend who I can go to at weekends, cooking dinners or ordering a take away. These girls make me laugh so much.
As much as I love these girls and the friends I have made I have also realised I also enjoy my own company – Reading a book, watching a film, being in my own thoughts. Back home I always had to be with friends and pestered my sister to come round or I would stay hers days on end. I am glad I have got to the stage that I am content with my own company.
I appreciate home so much more now that I am away from it. I appreciate my Mum taking me to the hospital as a kid, putting so much effort into my leaving party, transferring the odd bit of cash whilst I have been in Australia, sending me messages saying she loves me and how proud she is of me. I can’t wait to see you walking down that Aisle in August 2017.
My Dad who supported me throughout the most important times in my teenage and adult life, being there when I failed university, picking me up at my lowest, giving me a home and never giving up on me.
My step mum being there for me when I had no one, helping me through the stickiest situations, telling her things I dare not tell anyone else.
The friends for all the fun, laughs, having a shoulder to cry on. For staying in contact and supporting me every step of the way and understanding how rubbish I have been not keeping in contact but still making a effort.
My Nan and Grandad for being my second parents and listening to me moan. Having dinner there every week.
My two little sisters teaching me how to be young again.
My crazy cousins who have not stopped making me laugh since I left, for being there early hours in the morning to have a catch up.
Lastly my sister, my best friend. I can not express how much I miss my sister and thinking about seeing her when I return makes my stomach turn with excitement. She is everything rolled into one ball – Teacher, best friend, sister, mum, mentor. I look up to her so much – she really is my role model.
My next post will most likely be about Christmas and New Years, it feels so odd that it is Summer over here yet it is December!
Roll on the sun