Sunday, 14 August 2016

THE CASE OF CRUMBLING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN US AND WORK


After leaving my previous work to take some time off for travelling and working out what I want to do next, I’m facing a fear I’ve never experienced before: the fear of joining the wrong workplace. Searching for a new role, I’ve realised the particular responsibilities isn’t necessarily where my main focus lies anymore. Sure, I’d still want to be interested in the tasks and feel that I have the capacity to fulfil them, however whatever they are I know that I’d be giving 100% to get them done as thoroughly as I can. My main concern has shifted to whom I will be working for: I want to work for someone that truly believes in what they do, knows why they do it and inspires their team to commit to this journey with them. I want to be part of a team that takes their work seriously, looks out for one another, feels safe to challenge the circumstances and does this with their best intentions. Unlike knowing the type of responsibilities I’m signing myself up for when applying for a job, how can I be sure of what kind of work environment I’ll be in for?

The interesting thing is that currently I’m surrounded by people who are going through related issues: people in their “dream jobs” burning out because there isn’t enough support; people wasting time trying to piece together their available resources or keeping up with the changes because communication within the organisation is poor; people with high potential being placed in challenging roles but being provided with little to no structured development plans, mentoring or consistent feedback. All these people are really close to me and I know they take their careers seriously. Why are our relationships with our workplace breaking down?

It’s definitely a two-way relationship between us and our workplace – both parties are meant to give and take. Not unlike being in a romantic relationship, you do become one unit with the other party while maintaining your own identity and voice; you work towards common goals together, but as an individual you are able to make unique contributions that can help the unit achieve those goals faster or better. There are going to be conflict and fallouts, which may or may not be resolved.

At work though, you’re in a relationship with a whole bunch of people, each of whom you have a different type of relationship with. Relationships within a relationship: already sounds like a disaster. Is that perhaps why nobody wants to talk about how the workplace-employee relationship should really work? Is that why often when problems arise, the surface gets scratched, maybe a bandaid gets slapped on, and off you go back into the battlefield until you either bulldoze over your opponents or drop out yourself? Are we just expected to get along with everybody at work, “get on with it already”, “talk it out like adults” because in reality the system is way too complex and no one wants to deal with it?

Like in any relationship, each individual has his or her own personality, goals, priorities and attitude. However unlike in a romantic relationship where two people are working towards finding common ground and learning to love/accept/tolerate each other’s differences, at a workplace you have lots of these individuals under one roof, which is meant to have its own mission, objectives and values as well. It’s like a bloody Reddit forum: you’ll need moderators to keep shit under control, but also respectful, considerate contributors who understand that they’re not the only ones entitled to be there and get something out of it.

It feels like people from both sides in the workplace seem to forget (or ignore?) that it’s very much a big, messy relationship that requires love, care, understanding and effort from everyone. I’m not saying it’s like that everywhere – there are indeed people out there who love their workplace and/or put a lot of energy into making it a healthy environment for their team. We need more of them sharing their learning and practices to inspire their peers! Nevertheless, what myself and the people around me are going through shows that many do view work as a Lego game: gaps get filled and every block is just meant to fit with the other. Some structures will just look like shit through because the colours (i.e. personalities, objectives, intentions) might be all over the show.

Pupils on Rue de Rivoli, Paris, 1978. Photo by R. Doisneau 

Again, just a bit like in a personal relationship, there is nothing and no one regulating what it means to be a healthy workplace; there are some compliance boxes that need to be ticked, but work satisfaction and loyalty are all based on how people feel, which is rather hard to consistently measure. I’ll leave it up to you to decide how important it is… all I can say is that it’s hard to deny the role it plays in productivity, which in turn affects the bottom line. In an ideal world, here are questions that I strongly believe all parties need to frequently ask themselves and work on to play an active part in building a healthy workplace for everyone: 

Company decision-makers – questions around the company’s identity and values, the importance of their people and their hiring process

  • What is our true mission and how do we ensure we don’t get sidetracked from what we are meant to achieve? E.g. at our very core, do we exist because we want to be a hospitality company that delivers the most unique experiences, or is our true priority to just gain as much power in the industry and profits as possible? (I do understand that people are in business to make profit for one reason or another, however the mission does dictate much of the approach and direction of how things are executed)
  • What are our values, how do we ensure we embody them as a company and that all staff is on the same page? What kind of culture do we want for our company and what kind of behaviour will be expected from everyone?
  • How much do we need our people? What exactly do we need them to achieve for us and in return, what could they possibly need and want to perform their best? Is it in our best interest to keep employees as long as possible, and if so, what could they possibly want to have a fulfilling career and work life?
  • How do we hold people accountable when there are not delivering on any aspects – tasks-wise, culturally or morally?
  • Do we want feedback from our employees? How do we ensure people feel safe to raise issues and what’s the process to make sure those issues are resolved?
  • Do we fully understand everyone’s positions within the company? Are our roles and company reflected accurately when hiring new people? Are our expectations clear and reasonable for what we provide in return?
  • What can we do to ensure we find and hire people that can do the job, fit into our culture and respect what we stand for? Who are the people their performance and behaviour will affect most and should they be part of the recruitment process? Are there any creative ways to get to know the candidates better (and also give them a realistic taste of what it’s like to work for us) before hiring them?
  • Can we do our work without everyone else in the structure? If not, why should they be doing it with us and not someone else?

Employees of all levels – questions around their own objectives, priorities and the ability to work with others

  • Why am I applying for this job: because it’s the responsibilities that I want for my career development, it’s a company I want to work for, it’s the title and/or salary I want, it’ll help me pay my bills, I need a change from my current role, or I’ve been told to apply?
  • What do I want out of my next role and workplace? What could they possibly want in return? What do I know about the company and do their objectives and values seem to align with mine?
  • What are the things I would like to know before I start working for someone new? Am I prepared to ask those questions in my interview or have I thought of any other ways to find out?
  • Am I aware who I will be placed to work with and therefore my performance and behaviour will be affecting, and vice versa? (i.e. will I be working under someone alongside other peers, be in charge of a team or will I be mostly working independently?) Do I enjoy being part of a team, do I have the skills and empathy to lead others or do I rather enjoy working alone?
  • How do I deal with conflict or confronting situations? What’s my way of being reasonable and fair, and where do I draw the line? Do I have someone I trust to speak to when an issue can’t be resolved on my own?
  • Do I take pride in my work? What are my true strengths and weaknesses, and how do I seek to improve yourself?
  • Am I ok with the fact that at work, it should be as much about me as it should be about everyone else?

By no means do I have all the answers to this, but I do know one thing: going in blindly from any direction will cause issues in one way or another. I hope to spark a fresh conversation around what is hurting our relationships with our workplace and what measures we can take to change this… or do we live in an era where work is rather considered a transaction, and whoever doesn’t like it should just go and start their own thing?

 Sourced from Dailydoseofstuf




Saturday, 22 March 2014

HOBART, YOU LITTLE STUNNER. A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO TASSIE'S CAPITAL

I know our trip was a few weeks back now, but it's not like I've been able to stop thinking about it.

Here's what we saw, ate and did. I say "beginner's guide" meaning a guide of a beginner to Hobart, but I expect to become an expert at some stage - already thinking about when to go back next...


The city of Hobart is very, very charming: colonial architecture, big boulevards laced with smaller, cosy streets and alleyways, hilly scenery, and a gorgeous harbour. Food is fresh and in abundance and so tasty; it's definitely a bit of food heaven down there (as you should know we base our destination decisions on how good the food reputation is). Art is everywhere too, it's definitely not just MONA. People are cheeky, creative and superbly chill. They just seem to have a really, really good life there.


Where we stayed: The Alabama, Hobart
One word: brilliant. It was a budget boutique hotel so only had the necessities (crazy comfy bed, super indulgent natural soap, and shared but really cute and spotless bathrooms), but the place was decked out with some pretty mad art, and had the most welcoming communal area and terrace - all in the middle of the city. Kelly and Aedan who run the place were so great to us, with cool recommendations and funny stories up their sleeves. If you're a spoilt brat that needs instant coffee in their hotel room then forget about it, otherwise - don't miss it.


What we ate and drank (ooooh here we go):

- Bruny Island Cheese Co:  There's a little shop in the city and the main attraction on Bruny Island, both stocking their own, most beautiful cheese selection, as well as other local meats, jams, honeys, oils and other condiments. If you're in a hurry this is a good one-stop-shop for your all your belly satisfaction needs, as they sell Tassie booze as well (I know, we were amazed too by the fact that you're allowed to sell alcohol basically anywhere, given that it's from Tassie. #represent)

- Garagistes:  spectacular fine dining; modern Australian with a Japanese touch (menu matched with sake anyone?). Understated space, surprisingly calm even on a busy night, huge kitchen and bar, with seats at the bar from where you can observe all the action. Service was perfect... no everything was perfect, including the bathroom sinks towards the front windows.

- Sidecar: Garagistes' little baby sister, where you sit around the bar and they slice Garagistes' cured meats for you to devour eagerly (even if you would've just come from Garagistes, unable to breathe). Again, super cosy and welcoming spot, where drinks and snacks are served with great knowledge, good chat, and a lot of pride. Makes you wanna come back again and again.

- Lark Distillery: There's so much hype around Tassie whisky, and this is where you can experience it all, minus all the extravagant schmick. Tasting flights of Lark's own award-winning booze for a mere $10, an absurdly large range of single malt whisky, and a fine selection of bottles to buy for your consumption at home - all happening in this shed-like, super down-to-earth bar. Just make sure the boys don't get sucked in all day.

- The Standard: Rad American burger joint, in an alleyway/loading dock in the middle of Hobart city. Apparently it had only been open for a week when we went there, but it's hard to miss: crankin' hiphop can be heard from the main street, and the wall art along the laneway makes people stop for a second look. A small selection of simple, solid burgers, awesome fries, and shakes so thick the girl at the counter calls it ice cream. Grab a milk crate to sit in the sun pocket and it really feels like you're away from it all. Genius.

- Smolt: beautiful restaurant in Salamanca Place, serving mediterranean-inspired dishes and some seriously good-looking pizzas (that I saw the guys across from us have). We hit up the seafood, and the mussels were to die for. Service was really really lovely, and the location was pretty awesome for people-watching, including spotting Kochie coming in for dinner!

- Property of: Pilgrim: This place is crazy. The effort that goes into what they serve for breakfast is really what you'd more expect at a nice dinner venue (confit duck? Slow cooked beef cheeks? Anyone?). That said, of course everything was sensational, including the stunning fit-out (theatre seats!! These guys are too clever) and warm service. By the way, their coffee sizes are perfect, medium and large... don't you embarrass yourself and order the wrong one here.

- New Sydney Hotel: the vibe there on a Sunday night was amazing. Old and young were dancing to rad live music, families were having dinner, couples were having a beer at the bar - everyone was just having fun time, and the demographics really amazed me. Everywhere we went people were talking about this pub, how good their beer range is and how we should check out the bands playing there. The streets were dead that night and the pub was full - we guess this is where half Hobart hangs out.

- Jackman & McRoss: The venue we visited downtown was this very elegant, rustic and French-inspired bakery/patisserie, with pastries literally everywhere when you look through the huge windows, which I of course couldn't take my eyes off. From substantial breakfast dishes to pastries, cakes and bread, they've got everything your dough-loving heart desires (cherry chocolate coconut danish was soooo yum). Go for a very European experience, sitting outdoor in the sun, leaning against the black-painted brick facade, imagining yourself in Paris.


Other things we saw:

- Shops: Salamanca Arts Centre caters well for a relaxed stroll to admire unique gifts, clothing and other objets d'art (I was too focused on the Bruny Island Cheese Co. shop that's located there as well, so I didn't have too much headspace for the other stores). There are also lots of antique shops which we came across while exploring the city, however I can't quite remember where they were; if you're desperate I'm sure a google search can help. For quirky clothing and homeware/stylin' bric-a-brac, pick up a "We are Hobart" guide when you're there.

- Public art: It's everywhere, and it's amazing. North Hobart was a bit of a highlight for me.

- Salamanca Market: I think whole Hobart + its tourists come down here every Saturday morning. It's the biggest outdoor market in Australia, and it sells absolutely everything (conveniently, most of the stuff is Tassie made). As expected, we really loved all the food-related stalls, including fresh produce, Tassie condiments and booze (yes, booze at 9am in the morning at a market; only in Tasmania), and lots more that I couldn't keep track of; my head was buzzing by the time we got out of there. Don't forget to try the scallop pie from the pie van - so delicious. When it all becomes too much, walk up Kelly's Stairs and have a wander through Battery Point, Hobart's oldest residential area.

- Bruny Island: this is a very special one. I first read about Bruny Island on Feast Magazine, and had never wanted to go somewhere this bad. Hire a car and drive about 30 minutes south to Kettering, where a ferry takes you over to Bruny. Give it at least a whole day (but keep an eye on the ferry schedule) - the scenery is quite breathtaking and dreamy, and the island is a solid 100km long, so don't expect to get through it all on a tight schedule. Food again is a huge highlight, with of course Bruny Island Cheese Co. based here, and Get Shucked Oyster Bar within a baby distance (FAQ: "Where do you get your oysters from?" - "Across the road"), as well as much more, which we unfortunately didn't get to check out. Of course you can't miss the "Neck", where you can take a set of stairs up to an outlook point, and enjoy the magnificent scenery of the ocean coming in on both sides of this thin strip of land, connecting North and South Bruny. I almost cried when I saw it.

- MONA: Oh MONA, how could anyone resist visiting you when in Hobart. It was a pretty outstanding experience, from the James Bond-like ferry trip, to the massive space and venue, and of course the art on exhibition; it was all a bit surreal - when you get back to "mainland" Hobart you almost want to wonder whether that all really happened. A lot of the art was quite interactive, but some was also a little dark; the underground venue doesn't really help with the mild panic I might've gotten walking into somewhere pitch black. The museum has its own vineyard, brewery, restaurants, Saturday market and hotel, so you could technically spend days here. If that's not your jam, at least a half-day visit is a must, because you gotta see it to believe it.


















1 At Salamanca Arts Centre * 2 + 3 North Hobart * 4 + 5 The Standard * 6 + 7 North Bruny Island * 8 Get Shucked Oyster Bar * 9 Bruny Island Cheese Co. * 10 + 11 The Neck, Bruny Island * 12 What The Alabama used to look like * 13 Bruny Island Food Pork Rillettes * 14 Streets of Hobart



Other places we would've loved to check out:

- Pigeon Hole Cafe
- Crumb Street Kitchen
Ethos Eat Drink
- Berta
- Farm Gate Market
- Mount Wellington (we tried to drive up there but the streets were blocked for a cycling race)
- Bruny Island Smoke House
- Nutpatch Nougat, Kettering


So if you haven't been and are after a relaxing but still active holiday, I can't speak any more more highly of Hobart - you gotz to go. If you're an old Hobart lover already, let me know what to check out next time I'm down there! x


Saturday, 26 October 2013

THE CHRISTMAS GIFT BUYING GUIDE

1- I know what you're thinking - "It's only October dude! Fuckin' chill the fuck out." But what's the most hated thing about Christmas? Running around like a maniac doing last-minute Christmas shopping (and for the receivers, getting shit gifts as a result). So first tip: Start early. I think we're already behind now that it's end of October, because two years ago by mid November I had all my presents wrapped and it felt pretty damn good.

2- ... Because this way you can put some proper thoughts into your gifts. Write down all the people you'd like to get a present for, next to which you can also record their interests, as well as your ideas and finds. Starting early gives you more time for brainstorming and browsing for the best gifts. Also, keeping track of who's already got a present and who still needs one gives you an idea of how much time you've got to cover the list.

3- Be selective about who gets a gift. It's all about the thought anyway! If there's people in your circle you won't be able to wow with a great gift (because of budget reasons or you don't love them as much anymore or whatever), don't give them a mediocre one that'll clutter their home. Write a nice card or give them some home-baked goodies - way better than some stupid business card holder...

4- Let the internet be at your service. Seriously, if there's free or cheap shipping offered to send your gift to a friend at the other end of the world, just do it - opening a parcel is just as exciting as ripping off wrapping paper (just send a separate greeting card if you find it too impersonal... whatevs). By the time it makes it to your home, you wrap it and send it off again, it mightn't even make it to their house this season because it took you too much effort.
If you have no clue what to get (especially for those people that already have everything), let pages like Svpply.com give you a hand with cool shit that's trending around the world; it's also an amazing source for unique stores. On the other hand, if you know what you want to get but it's sold out where you saw it (mainly clothing and accessories), hit up Polyvore.com, which will spit out all sorts of stockists and price points for you to pick and choose. Of course Ebay is a trusted old friend that can assist with all sorts of occasions (and bargains), as does Etsy with vintage-y, hand-madey things.

5- Don't underestimate the wrapping paper... because if you leave that to the last-minute too, you might end up with some tacky supermarket stuff (and cardboard boxes only work if shipped via air mail). If you wanna go all out, do your rounds at the likes of Pulp, Kikki K and Paper2; if you're a hipster cheapskate like myself, a roll of brown paper from the news agency and some twine should still land you some oohs and aahs.

I'm not claiming to be the best Christmas gift giver, however I know I'm much better at it if I get into it early and prepared (as opposed to my boyfriend for example... just kidding. He's actually getting pretty damn good at it - maybe just for me though because I set the bars so high). If you do need a little help with ideas, check out my gift guide below (many of which I'd like to receive myself... HINT HINT NUDGE NUDGE).


From left to right, top to bottom:
2- Cuisinart: Ice cream maker
8- Copernicus Toys: Crystal growing: Saguaro cactus
9- Kareena Zerefos: "Beyond the Menagerie" print
10- Less & More: Cosmetic make-up organiser
11- Eliza Spell: "Lithium" brass bracelet
12- Henry Langdon: Cocoa and chai spice
13- Natalie Marie Jewellery: Tiny pyrite ring
14- Laguiole: Cheese knife set
15- Fjällräven: "Kanken" Classic backpack


Don't shop too hard. x



Thursday, 19 September 2013

MY THEORY OF HAPPINESS

1. Are you happy today?
If your answer is "yes I'm quite happy because my boyfriend and I didn't fight today", it unfortunately doesn't count, because it seems like if you had asked yourself the same question yesterday and the day before and the day before that, the answer would've most likely been no. "I'm alright" or "not too bad" don't count either. It's either an "absolutely yes, everything is going the way I want"; everything else will go into the "no/not quite/things could be better" category.


2. Are you not completely happy today because you're working on achieving something?
If your work isn't the most amazing but you're doing it because you know you will gain skills, knowledge and experience that will help you break into the field of your desire, that's alright. If you're away from your loved ones on a work assignment and miss them dearly, but it's something you've always wanted to do, it's alright too, because you're doing something that makes you happy today, and know the day you're returning to more happiness. If you're doing something that's not ultra fun, but with a great goal in mind, you're on the right track - there needs to be an "expiry date" to "struggle time", leading to something you want. However, if it's a chain of average/boring/not-worth-thinking-about days with no end in sight, something needs to change.


3. Define what truly makes you happy, and go for it
Whether you feel good today or not, it's always worth sitting down to think about what makes you happy in life - things you're passionate about, your favourite people and activities, your goals, even the little details in your life and the things happening around you. Alternatively, you can start with your current concerns, and ask yourself how you would like things to be differently. You'll be surprised how this can help you draw your very own roadmap, taking you to exactly where you want to be.

Now there's two things you need to commit to: Firstly, you have to be absolutely honest with yourself. Nobody's listening, nobody's judging, so you have to listen to your very own voice, and shut everyone else's out. Forget about commitments and responsibilities for a moment - this is about what you, your heart, truly wants.
Secondly, you have to be specific defining the things that make you happy. Ask all the W questions: what, who, where, when, why, and most importantly, how? If you sit there and say "I'd be really happy if I had loads of money coming into the bank without having to go to work", you can keep sitting there and say to me "as if that's gonna happen just by writing it down", or you can ask yourself why you think that easy money will make you happy, and how you can get it. Create your game plan to achieve all those different goals, and be prepared to find yourself in point 2 for a while - however, you know where you're going and you will be happy doing it.

It might take some time for you to pull together your game plan; it's not easy to be completely honest with yourself sometimes, because we grow up with different influences of what is expected of us and where our place is supposed to be in this world. You gotta be brave and make yourself understand that in this precious life you were given, you gotta be happy and wouldn't want to look back at anything regretfully. No one can look after your own happiness but you, and no one can give your happiness more meaning than you.

I know that someone's gonna say, "I know I'm happiest when I'm in a relationship, now I can't force XYZ to be my boyfriend, because he's the only one I want!" Of course you can't. But knowing what kind of person you would like to be in a relationship with will have you patiently wait for the one that ticks all the boxes - you wouldn't want to be with anyone just for the sake of being in a relationship, and then have crappy ones, do you? Same with looking at famous people and wanting to be like them - what would you like to be famous for? And how famous would you like to be? What needs to be done to get to that fame?

Once you work out the whys and hows, it's time to take action. Normally you should be happy to work hard to get where you want to be - if the road seems too rocky for you to commit to, it might not be your true happiness after all. Even if you're lazy and don't want to lift your finger, you gotta know what to do and who to know to make things happen for you. Basically, if you want to wake up every day and think "life is really, really good and things are going the way I want", you gotta follow the formula: Happiness = hard work and patience + knowing why you're doing it.

By the way, there's the old family commitment hurdle that I'd like to mention, something I know too well from my own culture. Often times you are made to feel guilty for thinking about yourself only, and get the "selfish" label tacked onto you, "after all those years we cared for you". I'm not saying this out of disrespect - I have utmost respect and love for my parents who have supported me all this time (despite all the clashes during my teenage years). But if there's something you want for your life that could refresh your selfish sticker once again, you just have to know what you're talking about. You gotta know why you want to pursue whatever you chose and have to be fully committed to it. They might get hurt, they might not let you, but be patient, and be reasonable - it will get you nowhere if you just stubbornly scream back at them. However, don't give in: you will resent them for not letting you follow your happiness, and it could kill your relationship. Make it clear to them that you could care for them no matter what you do or where you are, or you could listen to what they say but couldn't care less about them. There are many tricky situations and it could take you a lot of time and energy to figure out what's best to do, however with every compromise you make you need to find that silver lining for yourself.


It takes some experience, but a lot more thought to understand what you want in life (= happiness), and knowing that you have no choice but to take that road to get there; after all, nothing will ever measure up to what you've set your heart on. It won't be easy, but you will feel on top of the world, because you get what you want, or you're on your way there. Not to say that your definition of happiness will never change in your life; however, knowing that you're doing things to fulfil yourself always makes the journey worthwhile. Today, I'm happy, as I was yesterday and the day before: being with my boyfriend, who is a genuine, generous, hardworking and loving man; living in the most amazing apartment, spacious, full of natural light, with the coolest landlords I could've never imagined; in my new job (fairly new now) that is the first stepping stone into the direction I want to go, working for a really great boss that cares, and doing different things every day which has pretty much made me forget the word "bored"; being surrounded by caring and inspiring friends, being in touch with others across the world, having a stronger connection with my family more than ever (even though we don't talk that much), and having taken solid first steps into a healthier lifestyle. It took a lot of time, energy and even tears to establish this is what I want, and it took even longer to get to where I am now, but the journey is so much more bearable, knowing where I'm heading. I'm not saying I'm leading a better life than anyone in any sense, and I'm not saying I've got more experience than anyone else... but I know I'm happy and I'm proud of it, every day.


And I wish you to be happy too.


[Image sourced from Tumblr]

Saturday, 24 August 2013

[I DIG] YOGA WITH ADRIENE

I'm pretty notorious for not enjoying sports at all. I like pretty trainers, but I wouldn't use them for anything faster than walking, or maybe riding my bike. So yeah, I'm that person that would watch your bags when you go swimming. (However, ironically, I do like the beach.)

I always knew that my attitude towards sports doesn't really help my health, but any athletic activities just never felt natural to me, so I was never like, "yeah! Let's do this again in half an hour!"... until I tried yoga. The idea of it being a more holistic practice for your body and mind, and that you can take your time to adjust and rest - it's not about faster, stronger, sweatier - appealed to me. I got myself a trial pass for a local yoga studio and loved it, as I left every class feeling warm, energised and clear minded.

However yoga classes are sooooo expensive, and I stopped for quite a while, longing for the day I earned more money to buy monthly passes. Nevertheless I was also concerned with whether I was  doing the poses in class correctly; since classes usually do full flows and welcome students with different levels of experience, there was never a huge focus on explaining the positions in detail. One day I thought, I should've come up with this earlier - why don't I look for yoga videos online? Everyone exercises by watching videos these days! After some intense searching for the right beginner videos, I found Yoga With Adriene and it was love at first sight.

Many people say when it comes to yoga, you have to like and feel comfortable with your teacher, which I really do when it comes to Adriene (as much as I can like someone that I only see on YouTube anyway). She's got a nice pace for rookies like me to keep up with, explains everything in a lot of detail (especially why you do certain things), is pretty damn funny, and her videos are pretty too! She's got a series of foundation poses which were very helpful for me, and a collection of flows (including some belly fat burning ones yeehaa) so there's something for everyone. See you on the yoga mat?






Monday, 29 July 2013

[THOUGHTS ON] SEARCHING FOR THE "REAL THING" WHEN TRAVELLING

Came across this Sydney Morning Herald article on "Searching for the real thing"when travelling. It gave me the chuckles - not because I didn't agree with the writer, I fully do; it's more about whoever doesn't seem to find the "real thing" and complains about it.

I believe that travelling is what you make it: some travel to finally see with their own eyes all the iconic sites and scenery that they've learned about; some travel to simply get away and be in a completely foreign environment, in order to get back refreshed and energised; some do to enjoy new cuisines, fashion, languages etc; it could be a combination of many and of course there are millions of other reasons why one takes themselves to a new place. All will be experiences that are very real to the traveller as they are going somewhere to satisfy a want - they can be good or bad, however definitely, well, real.

People that want the "real thing" on their holiday, I gotta say are either lazy or ignorant. What is supposed to be real - non-touristy? What the locals do? Something mind-blowing that hardly anyone knows of? Whatever you want it to be, anywhere in the world there would be plenty of it. You need to look, ask, do research, embrace. But most importantly, you need to be very open-minded and accept the fact that "real" does not always mean "the most exciting time of your life". I guess it can be, but if you're that kind of person that will make your travels the time of your life, you wouldn't sit around waiting for the "real thing" to happen.

Put it this way: what would be the real thing you'd want someone to experience when they come to your own town? Now if the question was "what would you recommend them to experience" it would be a different thing, but since you find things on your own trips quite unreal, we'll be just as picky with your answers. So you live in Sydney: Opera House, Harbour Bridge - isn't that super touristy? Having breakfast at your favourite cafe - can't I do that back home? Go to a rugby game - I've been to crazier things, like the World Cup (hypothetically). Throw some kangaroo on the barbie - but I thought locals don't really eat much kangaroo? Go to the pub - isn't the pub English anyway?

So you see, real is very subjective - only you can decide what the real thing is. And as it was mentioned in the article, it's less of a thing, but rather a whole authentic experience. Whether you decide you want to do what the locals do, see things that don't exist anywhere else in the world, or eat yourself through your destinations, so be it. However, the richer you want your experience to be, the more you have to talk to different people, the more you have to read, and above all the more you have to be prepared that not every single thing will be crazy cool and super fun. Just because someone says it's their absolute favourite it doesn't have to be yours too; moreover, in your "real" daily life, not everything is perfect either, is it? However, it'll be very real, very authentic; it'll be things you happen to experience, learn and understand about the destination rather than something choreographed by someone that believes this is what you should see. Actually, that may very much be something that other travellers would want to see - you just have to be smart enough to know what you want.


What does travelling mean to you? What kind of expectations do you have when you go on a trip and how do you prepare for it? Do you think it's a bit of a "first world problem" to complain about not seeing the real thing on holidays while we should consider ourselves really lucky to have the opportunity to see different parts of this rich beautiful world? Would love to hear from you guys - you can actually log in via Facebook to leave a comment, it's that easy :)

x


My T, with night time Pretty Beach behind him


Tuesday, 9 July 2013

[I DIG] FLUME

Oh baby it's cold outside... let's dance. (around the house while cooking dinner)



If you don't know him yet (WHAT!), he's this 21-year old music god from Sydney's Northern Beaches that won't take too much longer to make everyone else around the world go crazy for him. All you kids in Europe and the US better go see him at one of his gigs now that he's touring or else you'll really regret missing out... I always make the mistake to discover artists after they finish their concerts in Sydney, so don't follow my example.


In the meantime, go on his Spotify and star the shit out of him already.