Ohhhh Caaanadaaa!

First and foremost, Happy Canada Day to my Canadian pals!

There are so many wonderful things about what is often described as the cold version of Australia. The people are unbelievably welcoming, the night-life is unlike anywhere else, the air is super fresh and the food (namely poutine) is amazing!

In order to celebrate, I thought I’d put together some of my favourite pics from my travels to the Great North over the past couple of years.

IMG_2299

Quebec City, QC ’14

IMG_2825

Qualicum Bay, BC ’14

390548_10150446990738911_352104775_n

Montreal, QC ’11

IMG_2691

We ❤ Canada! Vancouver, BC ’14

 

Advertisements

To Stay or Not to Stay

Staycation /steɪˈkeɪʃ(ə)n/ noun: A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.

 

When I first learned that there were people who actually took time out of their lives to stay at home and do nothing, I thought they were all mad. Why wouldn’t you go out and explore?! – Utilise your spare time experiencing something new. The idea of a stay-cation had never really appealed to me. Any time that I got off was spent going somewhere new and experiencing life and the world with a new set of eyes.

Oh how things change.

Fast-forward some time, to a time where the unfathomable “real world” has made itself uncomfortably comfortable in my every life and has so perceptibly changed the ways in which I view so many things. This year has seen the introduction of the mundane 9-5 slog, which combined with other life-happenings leaves me with little time to myself at the end of each week. So by the time the weekend rolls around, my body feels like it enters a non-conforming state to my active, wanting-to-wander mind. Typically, the mind trumps the body, but for the first time in my life EVER, I let my body win the battle this past weekend. And boy did it feel good!

Everyone has that list of things that they want to get done, but never finds the time (or makes the time) to do it. Enter the stay-cation. Whilst it may seem like the most Nanna-activity ever, once you’ve made the decision to let lazy win, you won’t be disappointed! I put my gallivanting mind to rest for one weekend and had a blast! My first day of freedom was spent doing things around the house that I had never had time to do. I went to a yoga class, potted some succulents and moved the TV into the bedroom (just for the weekend – I swear!) and binged on chick flicks. Day two of the stay-cation was a little more active and saw me head out to my favourite local markets, explore the greenery at Minnamurra Rainforest and indulge in some hot chips at my favourite diner in cute seaside town Kiama.

IMG_2604

Held on the 4th Sunday of every month, the Coledale Markets are a great day that everyone can enjoy. How could you not with this as a backdrop and the ocean at the forefront?!

 

Nature in all its glory at Minnamurra rainforest

 

IMG_2623

Lunch with a view – Little Blow Hole, Kiama

 

Whilst past me would be horrified to hear of present me’s actions (or lack thereof) this past weekend, it did make me realise how important it is to put aside some time for a little TLC every now and then. If you’ve been contemplating taking some time out, telling all your friends you’re busy and doing sweet FA, I’d advise you to do it! Bask in the gloriousness that is contempt laziness in this fast, routine world! If my little revelation hasn’t convinced you, let these 5 points ice the cake for you:

5 reasons why taking time out for a stay-cation is great

 

  1. Been eyeing off a cute pair of pj’s at the shops lately, or just been hanging out to wear your favourite onesie again? This is the perfect opportunity! When disembarking on a stay-cation, remaining in your pj’s is like the number 1 unbreakable rule.
  2.  Drinking wine in bed, eating chocolates and watching endless chick flicks is ok – Hoorah!
  3.  

    Perfect op to research the crap out of where your next big adventure will be …. After you’ve rested up that is.

  4.  

    You’re only going to be at home all weekend, so any reason for wearing make-up, showering or even getting out of bed is diminished.

  5. Remember that time, before life got busy when you actually had hobbies? Now’s the perfect time to rekindle that love for crocheting you forgot you had.

 

 

 

 

Finding Hope

If there’s one thing that we can always be sure of, it’s that the sun will always rise and set. No matter where you are, who you are or what you’re doing, the sun will rise everyday and set every day.

The last couple of weeks have been tough. I’ve had to say goodbye to someone who inspired me from a very young age. The world can be a cruel place sometimes, but dwelling on this doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Somewhere along the way, I managed to find some stability, a streak of hope. The sun will always rise and present itself with a new day.

If anything, this past month has reinforced just how grateful I am for my health. Without it, I couldn’t continue to do what I love to do the most – travel. As corny and clichéd as it is, make sure you live every day to the absolute fullest. Live without regrets and love endlessly.

xx

A New Day

IMG_3782

Wollongong, NSW Australia

 

 

IMG_3933

Byron Bay, NSW Australia

 

 

IMG_4045

Sanur, Bali Indonesia

Nature Photo Challenge

A little over a week ago, I was nominated by a friend to participate in the Nature Photo Challenge – a challenge that sees nominated people share their favourite nature photographs over 7 days. Ultimately, my love of nature directly syncs up with my love of travel, the desire to constantly be outside, exploring what unseen things are out there. I thought it’d be nice to share my favourite nature pics with you guys, so here goes:

 

Day 1: Belmore Basin, Wollongong, NSW AustraliaIMG_3764.JPG
The first picture I chose to share as part of the Nature Photo Challenge, is a picture I took a little over a year ago. I had just started learning how to actually use a digital SLR and had an assignment looming, so after much deliberation I chose to go down to the harbour one morning and attempt to capture the sunrise. Having been studying Ansel Adams and his association with the f/64, I was keen to take photographs keeping his legacy in mind. Luckily Mother Nature put on a spectacular show, allowing me to capture this (untouched) moment.

 

Day 2: Füssen, Bavaria, Germany
IMG_3170

This picture was taken whilst on a family road trip holiday around Europe in January 2015. We were driving down Germany’s Romantic Route from Munich to Bavaria. We were staying in a sweet town called Hopfen Am See, just 10 minutes out of Füssen. I took this photo on the highway, just as the Bavarian Alps were coming into view.

 

Day 3: Seal Rock Beach, OR, USA
Seal Rock OR

It’s funny how you sometimes find yourself in places that you know you’ve visited before. This was the case with Seal Rock Beach in mid 2014. Henry and I were riding around North America on a motorcycle and at this point were mid-way through driving down the 101 in Oregon. As we walked along this beach, I got the strong sense that I had been there before. The feeling gnawed at me for a while. The next time I called home, it was confirmed, I had been playing on this same beach some 15 years earlier as a little girl.

 

Day 4: Camp Zuiderzee, Victoria Island, BC, Canada
IMG_2725

Another picture from the motorcycle trip. This time a little further north in Canada. On a whim, Henry and I decided that we’d spend two weeks riding around British Columbia’s Victoria Island. Without so much as planning where we were even going, we had boarded the ferry over. By some stroke of luck, we found this wonderful campground. Every evening the lake would mirror all the trees around it. That combined with the laughter of young children splashing about will always bring a smile and fond memories.

 

Day 5: Thirroul, NSW, Australia

IMG_4098

Ever feel like you’re lacking in creativity and are unsure of how to retrieve it? This is how I was feeling a few weeks ago. I’d just landed my first career, 9-5 job and was feeling overwhelmed and tired. One evening, after realising how long it’d been since I’d taken a photo, I grabbed my SLR and headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. The colours that evening were amazing, and the crashing sounds of the waves were exactly what I needed.

 

Day 6: Lake Ohrid, Macadonia
1915350_191987568910_575054_n

This was one of the first pictures I’d ever taken whilst abroad. Dad was always the photography man on our family holidays. During a trip we did around Europe and America in 2007, I asked if he could show me how to take a decent photo. Whenever I saw something I liked, Dad would point me in the right direction. This picture was taken on an evidently windy morning at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia – a beautiful part of the world that I will always recommend you visit!

 

Day 7 : Lake Phewa, Pokhara, Nepal

303049_10150360666393911_1996713876_n.jpg

I feel like Nepal has got to be the mecca for nature lovers. In 2011, I spent 5 weeks volunteering in this gorgeous country. On my final week in the country, my Mum came over to visit. We took the 8 hour bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara and were blown away. It’s crazy how much beauty there is in one country!

 

Picking just 7 photos was not an easy task. Although, I did have fun rummaging through my archives to find pictures that evoked happy, precious memories for me. I hope you enjoyed looking at my top nature pictures, selected over the course of a week. I’d love to see your favourite nature photos too! Comment your blog links below so that we can all share in the greatness that nature provides us with! xx

Bucket list

This blog post is kind of going to steer away from the typical travel blog posts that fill the archives of Kachina’s Nomaddiction. If you follow my blog, I’m sure you’ve noticed the big gaps in between posts of late. Whilst typically that has meant I’ve been busy creating something fresh and exciting, this time my absence has simply been because life got in the way. A series of events and the commencement of new employment (yay!) have made what spare time I now have fairly limited, very precious, and for a short while, quite dull creatively. Somewhere amongst the busyness that life became, my creative beam of light flickered out, and I was left feeling lacklustre and uninspired.
I’m sure for those of you reading whose passions lie within the creative arts realm, you’ll know how disheartening this feeling can be. My spark had escaped me and no matter how hard I looked, or tried, I just couldn’t re-acquaint myself with the fleeting vigour that is creativity.

Having recently read Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book ‘Big Magic’, I thought that the notion of creativity she describes in her book explained my current situation; I hadn’t grabbed that creativity streak when it reached out to me. Having realised this, I knew that the only way I could re-establish my relationship with creativity was to continue about my every day, and have faith in knowing that creativity hadn’t abandoned me and that it would return.

And what do you know? It did just that. Not subtly either or in an expected location. In fact, it happened whilst I was on the train, on the way to Sydney to watch a film documentary at the IMAX. I was feasting my eyes to an old issue of the Collective magazine when I came across an article about a guy named Sebastian Terry, who after losing a close friend realised that life was too precious and short to not at least try and accomplish everything you can. So he wrote a 100-item bucket list and has started working towards ticking each item off. His story had reeled me in and I could feel something within me that I hadn’t felt in a long time – the beginnings of an idea.

Terry’s story had forged a path in my mind, and I wasn’t going to let whatever ideas came to me escape. By the end of the train trip, I had started thinking about what I would add to my bucket list now, and tried to remember what was on the bucket list I had written about ten years ago as an early teenager (sidenote: think things like, see Green Day, see the Spice Girls etc, etc). I let these thoughts continue to float around in my mind as I sat down and watched America Wild – a film documentary that is currently showing at IMAX theatres around the world that I highly recommend seeing! Not even ten seconds into the film and the thoughts of my bucket list stilled. America Wild had caught my attention. I was in a state of awe as images of America’s native parks were being flashed in front of me. These images were not only sparking vivid memories in my mind, by also reminded me of how beautiful the world that we live in is – if only we put ourselves in the way of it. My heart became instantly very happy and I felt like I wanted to cry. Not because I was sad, but because of all of the beauty that is being lost on so many people.

I left the cinema on a natural high. I had ideas and affirmations flowing around in my head, and I knew that this time, I wasn’t going to let them go. So what ideas did this particular day inspire? It reinstated my love for writing, travel and nature. And got me thinking about bucket lists, what was on mine and how could I tick every one off whilst maintaining a deeper understanding from within. So I started writing out my bucket list. Here it is:

 

  1. Work on animal conservation in the Galapagos
  2. Finish learning French
  3. Live in a French speaking country
  4. Do the Annapurna trek in Nepal
  5. Trek the Inca Trail
  6. Go surfing in El Salvador
  7. See the Mayan ruins at Tikal, Guatemala
  8. Travel through Central and South America
  9. Hang glide
  10. Canyoning
  11. Visit a hidden beach
  12. Drive down route 66
  13. Buy a hippie van and road trip around Australia and New Zealand
  14. Sleep in an Igloo
  15. Go to Burning Man
  16. Go to Rainbow Serpent
  17. Sleep in a hammock by the sea
  18. Learn how to salsa
  19. And then dance the night away
  20. See Orca’s in the wild
  21. See the Northern lights
  22. Participate in a triathlon
  23. Go to Russia
  24. Explore the ancient ruins at Egypt and Jordan
  25. Create a motorbike/travel web series with Henry
  26. Never stop helping people
  27. Publish a book
  28. Learn how to SUP
  29. Learn to ski
  30. Take photography classes
  31. Get my diving license
  32. Get my motorbike license
  33. Swim with humpback whales
  34. Swim with dolphins in the wild
  35. Learn how to play the mandolin
  36. Participate in a musical
  37. Be on TV
  38. Go to a nude yoga class
  39. Get my yoga teacher certificate in India
  40. Make art
  41. Fly first class
  42. Go to circus school
  43. Participate in the Mardi Gras parade
  44. Get a market stall up and running
  45. Be more selfless and more giving
  46. Continue to create awareness and work towards change for HIV/AIDS
  47. Grow out my armpit hair
  48. Learn how to fly a plane
  49. Make sure that everyone I love knows it, every day.
  50. Do everything on this list for a different charity/cause.

 

 

Since putting this list together, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what charities and causes I could link each activity with, and the ideas I already have make the excited butterflies flutter in my stomach. Of course, the goal is to share each of these adventures with you all online. So for now, lets say cheers; to a happy, safe and spontaneous future!

Whenever you find yourself in a rut, like the one I found myself in, put yourself in the way of beauty and take in the moment without the technology. Let the moment be a special one between you and the world.

Happy Travels,
Kachina.

 

PS: I’d love to know what’s on your bucket list! Let’s share, pop them in the comments 🙂

 

IMG_4098

Camilla – Hendrix College, AR

Who: Camilla from Denmark
Website: http://Cammi.dk
When: Spring semester, 2013
Where: Hendrix College, Conway, AR, USA – At my home university I was studying Modern English and International Business Communication. In the US I took classes in American History, Sociology, Anthropology, and Asian Religions.

 

10365581_10203387005650923_8995674785327449405_o

 

What made you decide that you wanted to participate in a student exchange?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been wanting to live in the US at one point in my life. My granddad lived in Houston, Texas, and for every time that I went to see him I would fall more in love with the country. On the fourth semester of my bachelor degree we could choose to stay home and write a project, or to spend the semester at a university abroad. I of course decided to spend the semester abroad and fulfil the lifelong dream of mine to live in the US.

 

How did you choose where you wanted to spend your semester/time abroad?

Most people from my class decided to go to San Diego or London, but I wanted to try something different and go to somewhere new. I’ve always loved the South, so after browsing through the different college profiles in my programme, I decided on applying for Hendrix College in Arkansas. Honestly, I had never heard anything about Arkansas, but that was exactly what made me choose to study in that state. I wanted to do something unique where I wouldn’t just be one out of thousands of other exchange students.

 

Before leaving, what were your expectations for this experience?

I was pretty excited. I had just ended a 5-year-long relationship, so I was ready for some change. I honestly didn’t expect much from this experience. I was just hoping that it would make me grow as a person and that I would make some memories worth remembering.

 

What were your first thoughts upon arrival at your new campus?

When I arrived to my new campus it was raining, and I was all alone as most students weren’t gonna return from their Christmas break until the day after. So I felt very lonely and I really just wanted to go back home immediately. Luckily this changed the next day.

 

What were some hurdles that you had to overcome/how did you do it?

After the first week I definitely realized that if I wanted to make the most of my semester, I would have to stop holding back and start being more chatty. Being an introvert, this was definitely difficult overcoming, but after a while I just realized that I needed to let go if I wanted to make the semester a good experience.

 

Did you notice any major differences between studying at your home country and your host country?

Definitely! In Denmark we usually spend 8 weeks in class, and the rest of the semester we work on our exams which are usually major essays and oral exams. In the US we only had one week of finals, and these were mainly multiple choice tests. Along with that, we would also take tests and hand in essays several times throughout the semester. It was definitely difficult to get used to this.

 

What are some of your favourite memories from your time abroad?

Honestly, the whole semester has been one big and great memory. Hendrix College is a small liberal arts college of about 1,300 students in the middle of nowhere. Since there was not much going on in town, we lived in something that we called the Hendrix Bubble, where we wouldn’t notice anything going on off-campus. I loved this! You would get really close with everybody, and there was always something going on on campus, from theme parties, to concerts, excursions, literally every day there was an event worth attending. My favorites were probably the Macklemore concert, Holi Festival, International Week, Toga Party, German Immersion weekend, and the monthly theme days in the cafeteria.

 

Has this experience at all changed the way in which you view yourself/other cultures?

I don’t think that the experience has changed the way I view other cultures. But it did teach me to make the most of everything that I do and to be open to anything that may be new and different to me.

 

Did you travel much whilst you were abroad?

I didn’t travel much during my semester abroad. I spent my spring break in Panama City Beach, and did a roadtrip with my family after the semester.

 

How did this experience change you?

This may sound cheesy, but I definitely believe that my study abroad experience has changed my life. Before I was super shy and kinda miserable. Living in the US I learned to let go and just live life. On top of that I also happened to meet a girl who today, three years later, still is my best friend, and I met a French boy who today is my boyfriend and this summer we’re gonna move in together in Amsterdam. So yes, I definitely think that this experience has changed me and my life!

 

Would you recommend other people participate in a student exchange?

Absolutely!

 

If so, what is your top reason for why people should study abroad?

You’ll get a unique chance to immerse yourself with the culture of a new country. Along with that, you might make some new friendships that will last a lifetime.

 

To read about more of Camilla’s travel adventures, be sure to check out her blog on the following accounts:
www.instagram.com/cammi_dk
www.twitter.com/cammidk