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A John Lewis Christmas

21 Nov

I cannot believe I’ve spent my life so far missing out on the amazing Christmas adverts they show in the UK. They’re like short films and I swear we do not have these sort of ads in Australia at Christmas time!?

This is last years John Lewis ad, but it’s my favourite out of the ones I’ve seen so far.

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My 5 Favourite Countries and Why – No. 2: Laos

19 Nov

I’ve been to Laos twice and I wish I could say I’d seen the country from top to toe, but I always get stuck in Vang Vieng. Vang Vieng is pure backpacker hedonism and it’s so much fun. The first time I went we were only going to stay a few nights and we ended up staying for 8. It sucks you in with its ‘baguette, tuk tuk to river, river bar, free shot, free woven bracelet, bucket, next river bar, free shot, free woven bracelet, bucket, next river bar, free shot, free woven bracelet, bucket, tuk tuk back to town, shower, bar, free shot, bucket, bar, free shot, bucket, bar, baguette, bed’ routine. Every day it’s the same – everyone goes to one river bar, then the next, then the next, dancing and drinking buckets. And then at night everyone starts at a bar in town before moving to the bars over on the island, dancing and drinking buckets. It happens day after day until you reach the stage where you need a day off, and that is when you can spend hours lying in one of the restaurants in town watching friends or family guy in a comatose state.

First river bar.
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Our first day on the river back in 2010. Look at those baby faces.
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Adel braving the swing of death.
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Evening festivities.
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Sexy..
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Did I mention it’s cheap? The baguettes convert to about AUD$1.20 (and are huge as you can see!), you can get private accommodation for less than $10 a night (ensuite and a/c included), and the buckets loaded with alcohol are maybe $6.

It’s pretty beautiful too…

The only other place in Laos I’ve managed to get to is Luang Prabang, and I do love it almost as much as Vang Vieng (just in a completely different way). If you are going to Luang Prabang there are two must dos. The first is the night markets. Words cannot do the night markets justice. If you like your food (like myself) you will quite literally die. My days were centred around the night markets and when they would be open. I forced myself to eat 3 servings of dinner on a nightly basis because the food was just too good and who knows when I’d be going back. There’s the whole fish grilling on barbeques, the criminally cheap ‘buffets’ where you can load your plate up with as many Laos dishes as possible for AUD$1-2, there are the little coconut balls which I can hardly bear to write about as I want one so bad, and so much more.

One of the ‘buffets’ that I enjoyed sampling on a nightly basis.
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Grilled fish. Doesn’t look particularly appetizing but tastes amazing.
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Oh dear god. My beloved coconut balls.
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There are also stalls where you can buy scarves, slippers, and other souvenir type things.

(Have I mentioned my scarf addiction? You can never have too many scarves or nail polishes!)

The second thing you must do in Luang Prabang is go to the Kuang Si waterfalls. It’s best if you have a group to share a tuk tuk with, because it is about a half hour drive away from town. The waterfalls are amazing but the ‘secret waterfall’ at the top is by far the highlight. It was almost 3 years ago so I can’t remember the exact directions to it but I know we had to quite literally walk up waterfalls to get there. If you survive the trek up though, you are truly rewarded. It is literally a naturally formed infinity edge pool that overlooks the rest of the waterfalls. Lush is the only word to describe it.

One of the lower waterfalls. Beautiful.
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“So you just walk up this”
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The secret waterfall. Made it alive and it was completely empty (at least for a little while) apart from our group.
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Private infinity edge pool.
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View looking down on the rest of the waterfall.

 

I have plenty of other Laos stories to share but that’s enough for today I think!

Back in the game! (Part 2)

12 Nov

When I said I was back in the blogging game I lied. I got caught up in work and London life and before I knew it a month had gone by since I’d claimed to be back and I’d written no new entries. Whoops! Anyway I’m properly back now so never mind all that.

I’ve been gone from Australia for almost 4 months now. It was all a bit of a panic in the lead up to my departure – I had a ‘to-do list’ that was not getting done, I was struggling to pack as I find it hard enough packing for a weekend let alone 2 years, and I was highly emotional bursting into tears at every opportunity and making people uncomfortable. But that all seems like a lifetime ago now – I made it on the plane, spent 10 weeks traveling Europe, and now I’ve been in London about 7 weeks and absolutely love it here.

There will be plenty of posts to come about London life but firstly I’m going to finish what I started and complete my ‘5 Favourite Countries and Why’ list. It hasn’t changed from the original top 5 (South Africa, Laos, USA, Mexico and New Zealand) because even though I did visit some beautiful countries in Europe this trip, none of them came close to matching the experiences and fun I had in the original 5. England would be the only place to challenge my list but I’m not putting it into the mix because I’m living here now and my list is more about my favourite countries to visit rather than my favourite countries to live in (which is why Australia also doesn’t get a mention!).

Anyway must go cook dinner now, but a post about whichever of the 4 remaining ‘favourite countries’ I fancy doing first is to come..

Back in the game!

10 Oct

I’ve been ridiculously slack with my blogging since I left Australia, but now I’ve finished my travels and am settling into UK life I am back :-)

Stay tuned..

Vanessa’s Blog

12 Jul

Paintball.

From a young age my little sister Vanessa has copied me because I’m the “cool older sister” (not a direct quote from her mouth, but I’m pretty sure that’s how she sees me). She has now copied me in the idea of writing a blog, but it’s pretty funny so far.

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Europe ♥

11 Jul

This will be me. But a girl version, and with Gemma as a sidekick.

Current Packing Situation:

11 Jul

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Because I’m currently more concerned with updating my blog..