Travelling to Thailand and Cambodia

In 2015 I went with a group of 17 other young people from my school on a trip to Thailand and Cambodia. We went with an organization called World Challenge. World Challenge is basically a massive safety net organization that stops bad things from happening to the groups of 15-year-olds that go on these trips. The trip was a month long and we got to organize everything.

Where we were going, how long we were going to stay in each place and what we were going to be doing. It was a really good experience and I am glad I partook in the expedition, but if I could do it again I’d do a lot differently.

Firstly, I’d buy my kit from somewhere a little bit cheaper than Kathmandu. Although everything I got was of superb quality and I still use most of the things I did buy; it was just outrageously expensive for a 15-year-old. I did fundraise a lot of that money, but it really wasn’t enough and I ended up leaving my mum with a big financial loss because of this. I’ve recently stumbled along a website called Travel Factory. Here they sell everything you’d need to go trekking, glamping, whatever it is you’d want to do along with Hotels, Cruises, Car Hire and much much more, all at very competitive prices. It would have helped relieve some of the initial outlay that all of my camping and trekking gear cost (we had nothing). If you want to check them out here’s a link: https://t.cfjump.com/46575/t/3562

Secondly, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go with World Challenge. Although I had a great time and we could clearly see why certain rules were in place, it did feel very restrictive and as if the control we thought we had, was disappearing as the trip went on. I’ve since come across The Working Holiday Club, and although you definitely could not go on one of their trips as a 15-year-old, I think they are the best option for anyone over the age of 18. They are a complete safety net, giving you a job, housing, and a bank card all within the first 24 hours of arrival. The only thing they don’t cover in their very competitive prices is the flight and visa charges. They do however offer a visa service that helps you get the working visa you need to go to your wanted destination. If you want to know more their website has a lot of information about the varying packages and also has an option to enquire to your very own in country agent who can then give you all the information you need. The best part is they aren’t overly spammy. I joined up 6 months ago and I had one appointment to talk through the best option for myself and how I would go about it and I haven’t received any emails since, it’s completely on my terms if I engage with their service which is something I really like.

I would like to put out an honourable mention to the international card company I used. Travelex was the company that I decided to go with and they made it very easy for me to see how much money I had on my card, I also received two cards, which came in handy quite often as I had one on me at all times – that could be easily canceled if  it was stolen, and one safely in my locked backpack that could be used as a backup. They made it really easy for my mum to add money to it if I needed it. They had very competitive conversion rates and this allowed me to keep as much of my money as I could. When it came time to cancel the card it was a very easy process where I went into the store, paid $10 and the card was no longer active, which was a relief as I didn’t have to continue paying any fees or charges and I still have the option to reactivate the cards if I start to travel again. Overall this was probably the best decision I could have made for this trip.

The actual trip was quite fun. We arrived in Thailand and went straight from the airport to the already booked hostel. It was mine and another members’ job to find an appropriate taxi at a decent price for all 20 of us -adults included. We managed to do this fairly quickly (Within an hour) and we were all beginning to become acclimatized to the area. We didn’t spend very long here, maybe 3 days, and then we went to the first camping ground where we would complete our first trek. It was quite small spanning 2 days. The biggest problems I faced was leeches loving me and crawling through the tent trying to eat me and becoming quite sick (we think from the malaria tablets) overnight. That was really not a pleasant experience.

The trek itself was really nice, we went over rickety bridges and saw what elephants can do to an environment; we saw all these different types of animals that we would never see in Australia and even some of the plant life was absolutely gorgeous. The campground itself was really beautiful and the tents that were given to us were really quite spacious for 2 people.

We quickly moved on to go up into the mountains for our week long trek. We trekked for over 40km in 5 days and went to a different mountain tribe every night. The treks were gorgeous. The villages were so beautiful and the places we slept in all had these really homely touches that I really wouldn’t expect in the middle of the mountains in Thailand. There are 2 I remember quite clearly. The first one where we ate with the villagers and we played with the children well into the night. The villagers danced for us and taught us their story-time dance. This was a really awesome experience and was definitely the beginning of getting me hooked on travel. The second village that sticks out in my mind was a beautiful village with these big dirt roads that had been mostly washed away by dirt and this really gorgeous common area with a fire pit to one side. This was probably the highlight of the journey for me with the group becoming really close and talking to each other with respect and even some adoration. The view definitely helped with a look out over the canopy of the forest below us (the one we had just trekked through) and the guides we had teaching us how to make plaited rings out of the bamboo that just covered the area.

After we finished this trek we moved onto the Rest and Relaxation portion of our little adventure in the islands of the bottom of Thailand. We actually went way past the normal touristy area of the island and ended up in this really nicely remote area where the beach was right in front of us. There were a few problems here with a couple of people getting heat stroke and a snorkeling trip that could have gone better for all involved. This was the only part of the trip where I remembered to take photos, but honestly, they’re all really bad. It was a beautiful time though, with lots of time spent in the clearest waters I’ve ever seen and seeing really interesting fish.

After only 3 days of rest, we got on a bus and headed over to Cambodia. Here we went into a remote village built a path along the edge of a classroom and some of us painted the side of a different classroom to add a bit of colour to these children’s day. We took turns in working and teaching English, and we all had a really good time. It was kind of funny though because the person who set us the job of building the path underestimated us and we had it done in the first 2 days of our 5-day trip there. We had to keep finding things to do within the school to help these children learn and grow.

The place we stayed at was just someone’s house, they had 2 areas set up, one about where the girls all slept and an open area below where the boys slept. It was really nice and we all discovered a new favourite. The people who ran this place gave us 3 meals a day and I think on our third day of being there they made us this beautiful barbecue pork that none of us could get enough of. I’m pretty sure we demolished this massive pile of pork in less than 10 minutes. Although, there was one night where all we could hear was this weird screaming and panting. We all joked someone was giving birth. I still can’t come up with a better explanation, and I kind of hope that the woman and baby are doing okay now.

After this, we went back into Siam Reap where we did all of the touristy things, and I got sick again and had to stay in the hotel so I don’t really have any good stories. Other than the pancakes that where covered in fruit and my discovery of dragon fruit which is delicious and everyone should try it.

We finally headed home, and that ends the month I spent travelling with a group of 17 young people and 3 adults.

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BLT Pasta Salad Recipe

To go along with my little fitness journey, I have been trying to find recipes that are maybe a little bit healthier than what I would normally eat.

Insert Yummly. It a little recipe sharing app I downloaded ages ago now. What I love about it is the fact that you can filter what you want by its nutrients and calorie content. Something I’m interested in as I am trying to lose weight.

Today I tried the BLT Pasta salad. Its total calorie content comes in at around 450kcal which is around what I’m aiming for, for each meal (I used to eat a lot more. A LOT more).

For one person you will need the following things:

1 piece of bacon

1-2 lettuce leaves, or a lettuce mix of about 1 handful

1/2 tomato

1/2 cup of bowtie pasta

1 tablespoon of Mayonaise

1 teaspoon of bbq sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Firstly, bring a pot of water to the boil and add the pasta – it will need around 10 minutes to cook properly so make sure you have the time to do that. Cut up the lettuce and tomato and place in a bowl with the mayo, bbq sauce, and salt & pepper. Cut the bacon into smallish squares and fry. Drain pasta and add that and the bacon to the bowl. Mix well.

Tada an easy and healthier lunch or dinner for anyone. 19380005_1873242582996188_3706984190118461440_n

My Little Polaroid Journal

Last year for my birthday I got a polaroid camera. I quickly had a problem of not having anywhere to put the (kinda shitty) photos I took.

Luckily, I was walking through Dymocks with Paige and we found a little journal with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on the cover with a really soft faux leather cover. I loved it and Paige bought it for me! Which was incredibly nice of her so I started putting my polaroids in there.

If you’re wanting to get the book you can follow this link here https://t.cfjump.com/t/46575/29692/ to the Dymocks website where you will find all the different journals they have on offer. Not only do they have Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children they also have Harry Potter sets and many, many more.

Honestly, I love it. It gives me a little place to put my favourite photos of big moments. I date most of them and this just is a really nice way for me to put photos that mean so so much to me.

The first few pages are really bad but as I continued to take photos you can see the improvement. You can even see when I stopped taking the photos and how bad they got.

Obviously, this is a really personal thing, however, starting it gave me the motivation to start this blog. It holds so many memories within it (some of which are in the photos below) and gives me such joy when I can add things to it.

See ya next week little adventurers.

Review of Neutrogena Hydroboost Mask

The Neutrogena Hydroboost mask is a sheet mask that promises to make ‘skin looks hydrated, radiant and glowing’ it also states that the mask has a special fabric contour to go to all the crevices of the face.

The directions state to cleanse the face before use, so as I haven’t worn makeup at all I used one of my amie makeup wipes just to get any dead skin cells and oil off my face.

At first, I was really surprised at how liquidy the mask was. Although it is a sheet mask there is just so much liquid surrounding it. I don’t really like sheet masks as I really like the process of putting on the cream and clay masks and washing them off when there done. This one I feel very easily could have been a non-sheet mask as it was just so liquidy within the packaging.

When it’s on it a very cold, fresh feeling. It doesn’t move around a lot which is nice and you only need to leave it on for 15 minutes. I’ve tried this in winter and it was a bit too cold for my liking but I can imagine in summer this would be a really refreshing mask.

Before Photos:

After:

It did make my skin a little bit fresher and the dryness of my T-zone and cheeks has gone down a little bit. For $15 it did a pretty good job, especially as you do get 5 of them but I don’t think I would necessarily purchase them again as the fabric just feels weird on my face and it didn’t really contour around my eyes and nose as well as I would have liked, as that is one of it’s selling points.

I hope you liked my little review! Have fun adventuring!

Here Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

  1. Paige
  2.  Bundy
  3. Cordelia
  4. Turvy
  5. My Bed
  6. Chocolate
  7. Butter Chicken
  8. Pasta
  9. Hope

As you can see not one of these things really requires large amounts of money. Although I do spend wayyy too much money on food, you can see I like a lot of it.

The most important one is Paige. Yes, this is going to be sappy, I’m really not sorry.

Paige has been my biggest support over the last couple months. She’s let me stay at her house so I don’t have to drive nearly an hour and a half to get to my exams. She’s made me do my work even though it may be the last thing I want to do. She’s done more for me than I ever thought a person could do.

We haven’t been together that long really, coming up to nine months (and no pregnancy scares!) but I honestly can’t imagine my life without her. My weeks revolve around when I can see her and my days are a countdown to when I can spend time with her. Despite spending nearly every day with her, and countless fights, she’s still the person I want to wake up next to every day. She’s still the person who I pick to fight through every hardship life throws at us.

We have our differences. We joke that we’re ying and yang. Somehow it just makes us stronger. Our differences meld us together in such a way that even the threat of her being taken from me is enough to put me in hysterics.

I’ve always been one to catastrophise, and that really hasn’t changed. The world just seems a little less scary with her by my side.

See ya next week,

Turtle.

Quarter Life Crisis

It’s the day before my first written exam and honestly… I’m procrastinating. It’s partly because I feel it’s too late to start studying for anything now and I may as well accept my failing grade with pride, but mostly it’s because I just don’t know what to do. Part of me knows nursing will be a good career for me, I’m smart enough, fit enough and basically well adjusted enough to do it. Midwifery even more so. The other part of me says it’s not what I want to do every morning. It doesn’t give me enough to look forward to every day (at least not studying to be one) and this whole process just seems a bit long winded and not worth it.

The thing is, neither is Veterinary Science. Sitting through 5 years to be a vet and then having to basically do a fellowship and gain years and years of experience before I can truly branch out on my own and be seen as an accomplished vet. It just seems like something that I’ll enjoy for maybe 4 years then get sick off, having wasted my time.

Right now, I just don’t know what I want to, and I definitely know I don’t want to end up like my parents. Both having dreams that didn’t even get close to being fulfilled. As of right now, I feel like I’m heading in the direction.

I’m stuck in Perth – a little city in Australia that half of Australia doesn’t acknowledge. I’m doing a degree, that yeah is interesting and gives me something to do, but doesn’t make me want to keep doing it; and yeah maybe that is because I’ve only completed my first semester and it’s incredibly basic and easy things to do. It just doesn’t feel like it fits me.

This blog, ironically, is the only thing I’m liking at the moment. I can sit and write out how I’m feeling, what I’m doing or even just a recipe for a cake and people will read it. People will get something out of it. Whether that be making themselves feel better – at least they aren’t 18 anymore. Or someone to empathize with- there sitting her next to me going through the same thing (metaphorically).

The last part of me wants to start blogging and even creating videos, full-time. Even though I didn’t stick to it, I saw what blogmas can do to my little platform; and the thought of reaching and influencing people (all for good) makes me happy. The thought of being able to see my life unfold and go back and see how far I’ve come in 2,3 years. It’s something that makes me excited. Another area of blogging/creating that excites me is seeing my style in whatever I chose to do change. Whether that be the clothes I wear (maybe make?) or the style of video I create, heck even the blog posts I write I want to see how aging will change my preferences, my loves and hates, me.

I’m still unsure little blog. This turtles got some thinking to do.

Introducing My Pets!

Hey, guys! I’ve decided that as this post is going up the week before exams (AHHH!!) I thought I’d make a more happy post about little kitties and horseys and plants (Plants are people too!) so here we go!

I have two cats. A boy and girl (aww). The boy is the older and bigger of the two. He was adopted in 2011 and his names Turvy. This was the name the RSPCA gave him and it was because apparently, he used to hang upside down in his cage so he was Topsy Turvy… I didn’t really get it either but it’s cute so it stuck. He’s pure white but despite this isn’t deaf. He is a  bit of a bugger who constantly wants to be outside and doesn’t quite

He was adopted on July 21 2011 and his names Turvy. This was the name the RSPCA gave him and it was because apparently, he used to hang upside down in his cage so he was Topsy Turvy… I didn’t really get it either but it’s cute so it stuck. He’s pure white but despite this isn’t deaf. He is a  bit of a bugger who constantly wants to be outside and doesn’t quite understand the concept of quite. Unless he’s sleeping on my mum’s bed of course. He really is a sweety though, he just likes to be in charge of who gets to pat him and when, and he doesn’t like being picked up. Not at all! Nicknames include: Bigman, Turvs, and lil shit

Cordelia is the littler of the two and also the younger. She was adopted on the 2nd of February 2016 and born on the 10th of October 2015. She’s a Calico with the most amazing markings I’ve seen. I swear every time I look at her she has a different pattern on her. Her original name was Parvati (like the Harry Potter character), we changed it though as it really didn’t suit her. She is such a cuddly little sweetheart and she puts up with everything. She is very good at sharing her love between my mum and myself. She loves to sleep under covers and half the time follows me around like a little puppy. If I’m gone for a few days, when I come back she almost comes running when she hears my voice, which is very adorable

Bundy is my horse. He is a beautiful thoroughbred who stands at 15.3 1/4hh (~160cm tall). He is turning 15 this year! He is bay/brown who becomes a mini mammoth in winter with how fluffy he is! He does have kissing spine which is a condition in which the vertebrae in his back get pulled too close together and pinch the nerves in the back. With proper conditioning and love he is okay though, and he loves jumping and working for those who care for him. I got him on July 21 2012, exactly a year after Turvy. He has been with me through some of the hardest times in my life so hard. He lives in Harvey at the moment with one of my friends, as I can’t afford to keep him in Perth. Horses are expensive and I am definitely A Poor Uni Student. He really is an amazing creature, and I can’t wait to get him back.

Finally, there’s Mildred. My little succulent who sits on my bedroom window sill. She’s the cutest lil plant who provides me oxygen in exchange for love. When I first got her my bedroom didn’t get direct sunlight and Mildred started to die, so she went to the kitchen window sill until we moved to our current house, where she gets plenty of light and love.