Okay, guilty. It has been far too long since I last updated this blog and I would like to apologize! I started this blog in the hopes of showing my American family and friends my assumedly different life in Australia but the truth is that, after a few months after moving across the world, life kind of just feels … the same. Just as you would expect, I got used to the day-to-day life here and now, honestly, I consider Australia just another home of mine.
Anyway, in 2015 I have made a resolution to update this blog once a month. I thought that a great way to begin the year would be to recap 2014!
Without further ado, here are the top eight things I did in 2014 (in no particular order):
1. I went to the Australian Open with Brent. We saw two matches in the evening in the Hisense Area. We watched Mens Singles (Tommy Robredo v Richard Gasquet) and Mens Doubles (the Bryan brothers v Paul Hanley and Jonathan Marray). During one of the last sets of the singles match, it began to pour rain so we even got to see the stadium’s roof close! All in all, it was a very fun evening of tennis watching.
2. I got my first job in Australia and outside of college. Granted, the job was in the hospitality sector, not within the field that I studied in university. For six months, I was a front of house manager at a brand new restaurant. I learned a lot about the industry as well as the responsibilities that come with being in charge of 15 staff and a restaurant. I had a great time working there and look back on the job highly!
3. I watched the Seahawks win their first Superbowl! Brent and I got up super early (because of the time change) and went to the grocery store in search for some American food. We watched the game while eating hot dogs and Skittles and sipping on some Budweiser. So excellent.
4. I purchased my very first road bike. Brent and I began cycling weekly on a trail near where we live and I have fallen in love with the sport.
5. I went to Lakes Entrance twice! Lakes Entrance is a beach town on the coast of Victoria, it’s about a five hour drive away from Melbourne. Brent, his best friend Matt, and I first went to Lakes on the second day of the New Year and again in early December.
We played two games of mini golf, spent every day at the beach, drank a lot of beer, and cooked a lot of meat on the barbie.
One of the coolest things we did while in the area was check out the Buchan Caves. About an hour away from Lakes Entrance, the Buchan Caves are a popular tourist attraction (and rightfully so)! We toured the Fairy Cave with a dozen other people, a lovely park ranger telling us all about the cave and its’ history. It was definitely an experience to remember!
6. In September, Brent and I went on a short road trip to the Great Ocean Road. This is the second time that we have driven along the beautiful and winding road. On our first night, we stayed in Port Campbell. We ate dinner at a small Italian restaurant and finished the evening by eating a pint of (very expensive) Ben & Jerry’s!
On our second day, we drove down the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay. Along the way, we stopped at a dozen of the lookout locations and took a lot of photos.
When we made it to Apollo Bay, we hiked up to an awesome lookout of the small beach town.
It rained almost the entire time we were in Apollo Bay but with views like this, we forgave the weather gods.
We ate dinner at a posh restaurant that had a Sangria happy hour. When we got back to our hotel room after dinner, we shared a six pack of local beer and had an early night.
The next day, we drove back home. On our way, we decided to make a quick stop to see one of my favorite things: a waterfall. After descending down a couple hundred stairs, we were at the bottom of Erskine Falls. You could explore the area around the waterfall which was probably my favorite part of the experience. It was such an awesome way to end our little getaway together.
7. For seven years now, I have participated in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who do not know, NaNoWriMo stands for ‘National Novel Writing Month.’ The challenge: for the entire month of November, you must attempt to write an entire novel (they mark that as 50,000 words). Though I have participated for so many years, this is the first year I have ever won NaNoWriMo!
In other nerdy news, I also participated in my own challenge of reading every day for 100 days in a row. Doing this rekindled my love for reading and created a valuable habit for the future.
8. In late July, I was able to travel to Hawaii in order to see my family. Seeing my family for those two weeks was just what I needed to combat the homesickness that I had. Unfortunately, Brent was not able to come with me.
We ate lots of delicious foods, visited a handful of beaches, and went hiking. The above photo is from Salt Pond beach where we went during sunset.
This photo is from one of our hikes along the Waimea Canyon. Picture: me, my dad, and my sister.
All in all, 2014 was a pleasant year for me. And I’m especially looking forward to what 2015 has in store for me.
Until next time!