Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bits and Pieces of Rome

Three months after my trip to Italy, I'm finally posting the last of the photos....nothing like being right on top of things. These three photos weren't taken in the same place and have nothing to do with each other. They were just tiny pieces of beauty that caught my eye during my wanders.

I know solo travel isn't for everyone, but I love it, and these photos are part of the reason why. On my solo trips, I wander completely at my own pace. I find I'm more introspective and the world looks different to me in the quiet moments. Don't get me wrong, I like travel with groups as well, sometimes traveling with someone else means I laughter and the joy that comes from seeing the world through someone else's eyes.

Whether solo or in a group, bottom line, for me, travel is one of the great joys of life.

"Cause she always like her shadow more than her reflection, it's a better understanding of her place in the world."
Born Ruffians - With Her Shadow Pin It

Monday, July 29, 2013

Magic Hour in Rome

Months and months ago I took a Roman Holiday, and proceeded to fill my blog for weeks with photos I took there. Then the move to Australia took over, and for some reason since the move my camera hasn't made it out of the bag. Sure I take a few iPhone photos of the beach now and again, but I can't seem to find any real photo inspiration.

In an attempt to try and get my mojo back, I dug into some old photos of Italian adventure and realised that I'd never gotten around to posting my favorite set - the ones I took on my last night in Rome, during the golden hour for a hill over looking the city.

Every photo I took that night turned out beautifully - and not because of anything I did - but just because the city is beautiful and the light was amazing.

"Who are you when no one is around?"
Ivan & Alyosha - Who are You? Pin It

Monday, July 22, 2013

Nowhere Fast

This was a big weekend in the saga of my move south. Friday I packed up my tiny temporary apartment, called a maxi-taxi - one big enough to move me, my four suitcases, bike and two large shopping bags and moved to the apartment I'll be in for the rest of my time here (fingers-crossed.) I found a place a bit further from the beach than planned, but in walking distance to the office, which means no more 80 minute commutes. The apartment is fantastic, in all the years I've been living in furnished apartments (7.5 years now!) this is by far the best place I've found. It just feels comfortable and like "home."

I unpacked for a couple of hours, and then ran to the mall for some essentials - the place is furnished, but everyone's idea of furnished differs. Me, I need a hairdryer, a blender for smoothies and containers for leftovers (I'm attempting to learn to cook while I'm here) I might also have started looking for some colorful rugs and pillows to make this apartment look more like me.

I was back home by six, because I'd used one night last week to create a massive online grocery store order. $300 later - I have a place stocked with cleaning supplies, the kind of non-perishables it takes to stock a good pantry and produce/dairy for the week. I can't imagine how many trips it would have taken me to get my place stocked if I'd had to do it a few bags at a time walking to the corner shop.

Saturday I was back at the mall getting the things I forgot the first time or, let's be honest, that I couldn't carry.  Then home to disinfect every surface and running all the dishes through the dishwasher. And, yes, I know that is a bit over the top, but it helps me feel settled. By the time Sunday rolled around I was ready for a serious sleep in, followed by church where I continue to meet some very nice people and then home to start breaking in the kitchen.

I attempted a butternut squash stir fry curry I'd found on Pinterest. It was slightly undercooked, but yummy and something I'll make again. I discovered that the labels that tell you whether you are cooking on low, medium, high have been scrubbed off my range. Not good news for a novice cook like me - wish me luck.

After this weekend, which also marks one month in Australia, I am finally starting to feel settled. A very good feeling. How was your weekend?

"Traveling, going nowhere fast."
Josh Turner Feat. Anthony Hamilton - Nowhere Fast Pin It

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Go Insane

Go insane
Lindsey Buckingham - Go Insane Pin It

Sunset on the Beach

After a couple of weeks of trying (and failing) I may have finally figured out bus commuting in the Gold Coast, too bad tomorrow is my last day on the bus. Tonight, thanks to my new found route, I made it home just after sunset, changed clothes and headed straight to the beach for the sunset and to feel the sand between my toes.

I put on a little Miles Davis and enjoyed the moment. A few more evenings like this and I think I'm going to love this place. Pin It

Monday, July 15, 2013

It Takes Time

Gold Coast
I keep reminding myself that I've only been here 3 weeks - in part to celebrate what I have accomplished and in part to give myself a break on the rest. I have found an apartment that I love and get to move into at the end of the week. I've nearly navigated the crazy bureaucracy involved in setting up accounts and house in a new country. I've started to figure out my job, and have even learned the names of everyone in the office (since I'm not great with names a big deal to me.)

Still, I keep asking myself when I'll start to shift into the lifestyle here. Start to find my way, make friends, work out a routine. The normal adjustments that come with a move. A part of me keeps thinking that moving gets easier the more you do it. And while it does, the simple truth is that some things just take time. 

"I go searching through this world, I wait on something to unfurl."
John Fullbright - Jericho
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Keep It Together

Keep It Together
Ryan Bingham - Keep it Together Pin It

Monday, July 8, 2013


Gold Coast
Friday afternoon I realized I had no plans for the weekend, and, after several weeks of full weekends spent with friends/family before I moved, preparing for the move or settling in, it was a strange feeling. It was also the first time the reality of the move hit me; I realized I don't really know anyone yet, didn't really know my way around and, perhaps, worse that I am likely to be in that weird, new place for several more months. Luckily I've moved enough to know that feeling is temporary and that I just have to live through it.

I did a little research and found a place to get a haircut. Looked up Farmer's Markets and bike shops, then got serious about learning the Saturday bus schedule. I ended up putting together a pretty great weekend, and thanks to my bike shopping I'm already looking forward to next weekend and a long ride on my shiny new cruiser.

Any other ideas for getting adjusted to a new city?

"Could fee the sun about to rise, when I realized we had nothing to fear."
Marc Broussard - Home

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Friday, July 5, 2013

Ride This Feeling

Kate Miller-Heidke - Ride This Feeling Pin It

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wet But Well

Gold Coast
I am happy to report that all is well here in Gold Coast - wet, but well. I've met some very nice people at work and am hoping I'll soon sort out all the names. I think I'm getting an idea of what my job will entail and am starting to form a game plan. I've been told a don't have a think American accent, which I've decided is a compliment. My only complaint would be the very stormy weather.

Normally I don't mind a bit of rain, and in fact I quite like the dramatic skies it brings, especially when I'm taking photos. But, since my commute involves a bus and 20 minutes of walking the torrential rain and winds that turn my umbrella inside out have me grumbling. Fingers crossed the weather changes soon or I'm going to break down and buy some rain boots.

"Change this feeling under my feet."
Kathleen Edwards - Change the Sheets Pin It

Monday, July 1, 2013

Getting Settled

Gold Coast
It's been nearly two weeks since I arrived in Australia. The time has flown by as I worked my way through my to do list. I've finalized my visa/residency permit, I've established bank accounts, sorted out temporary housing, internet and phone, gotten a bit familiar with the city and most importantly, I've found a long-term apartment. All just in the nick of time, as I start working from my new office today.

A few impressions during my relatively short time here: Australian's are really as warm and welcoming as their stereo-types say. I've had great conversations with complete strangers and received so many genuine offers of help and great advice.

Terms of endearment are alive and well - I've been honey-ed, dear-ed, and sweetie-ed all over the place - and I have to say it beats being ma'am-ed any day of the week.

I could learn to love the beach - it's too cold to consider sticking my toes in, but I kept finding myself drawn to the shore just to watch the waves roll in.

Gold Coast
I'm looking forward to diving into work today - I know it will make meeting a few people here easier and it will be good to have a bit of structure back in my week. I do, however, feel a bit like I'm a 12 year old girl on the first day at a new school, wondering what I should wear and hoping I'll have someone to eat lunch with! Fingers crossed it will all go well and that the cool kids like me!

"Seems those ordinary days are the ones that last"
Missy Higgins - Cooling of the Embers Pin It

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