After being in Thailand around a month or so, we decided to pop over the border and give Laos a visit. I had been before as a kid, but couldn’t remember anything at all about it – because at the time I picked up a horrendously nasty case of food poisoning and was hospitalised. Actually, my only memory of Laos was a dehydration hallucination I had of Joey Tribiani giving me a giant cheque. Um, yeah, so I was MIGHTY excited to give it another go – preferably not as a sicko!
We only had a couple of days to explore, so we hired an electric bike (SO much fun!) and whizzed around the central city. The French influence on the architecture and signage is beautiful, and although I was excited to put my high school knowledge to good use, it turns out none of the locals speak en Francais.
In all honesty, besides visiting an array of incredible temples, most of my time was spent eating pizza. Seven, yes, seven pizzas were consumed over the span of three days! You might think that I wouldn’t be able to make eye contact with a pizza ever again.. but if Pomodoro Pizza was presented any time soon, I would absolutely be there (please guys, move to Thailand!)
All in all; I enjoyed this a LOT more than I did being a kid.. even if there was no Joey Tribiani or giant cheque this time! 😉
Um, so the past couple of months have been slightly hectic (to say the least!) In short; I got married (will post photos from this so super soon!), quit my job, and migrated all the way over to Thailand. Northern Thailand, to be specific. Welllll, Udon Thani, Northern Thailand to be really specific. I haven’t been exactly sure how to even write all of this down – namely as so much really as happened. So I suppose I’ll start with why I decided to move to Thailand..
In June 2016 my Nana passed away and I have been really, massively, enormously struggling with coming to terms with it. I didn’t have a lot of family support in New Zealand. My parents live in Brunei, in South-East Asia, and my brother and his wife live in the UK. My Aunt, who I am close with lives in the North Island of New Zealand. So basically, no immediate on-site family support – from my side, anyway. Barnaby’s Mum, Jane was massively kind; taking us into her house and buying me a gym membership to help ease the pain. But oh my gosh, there was (and still is) SO MUCH PAIN. I have never lost anyone before – let alone someone so close to me (Nana and I emailed multiple times a day and had set weekly coffee dates). Around the time of the funeral all of my family was there, but when they left… it was just me. And I could see my Nana everywhere. I drove past all our favourite coffee places, vintage shops we would visit together, and to get to work I had to drive alongside the church where her funeral service took place. It was the absolute pits. And I didn’t know how I was going to be able to stay there.
But I stayed. And the pain eased a little.
But then I hit the point where I knew it was going to keep hurting for a long time, and I just wasn’t happy in Christchurch anymore. After all, we moved there from Wellington so I could be closer to my Nana, who had just started to get sick.
Sorry if this has caused any tears (eep, it has for me!) so lets get onto some happier stuff!
First up – I got married in December – as I mentioned earlier ! To the love of my life – my man for well over ten years; Barnaby. I will share some photos soon! It was a little intense planning a wedding in just over a week – but so, so wonderful!
You might not know that I actually grew up in Asia! From the age of 4-16 I was raised in Brunei. Since arriving in New Zealand I had been desperate to get overseas again! And luckily my love, Barnaby, felt the same way. We had had so many ‘what if?’ conversations over the past few years, and this time it all seemed just right. Right down to the fact that my car in Christchurch literally exploded the day after I signed the contract! Talk about meant to be!
So here I am! Udon Thani! Visiting the giant ducks – my favourite landmark. I hope you enjoy following along my Northern Hemisphere adventures – it sure is lovely having you here!
Two weekends ago we decided to have our very first foray into glamping – and sorry to be a cliche, but oh my goodness, it certainly won’t be the last! I think the very first time I heard of glamping was when one of my favourite bloggers, Liv Purvis, visited a campsite – or glampsite, I suppose, over on her blog. Things can take a while to catch on New Zealand – but glamping is apparently not one of them, and the wonderful Canopy Camping host a range of seriously stunning sites all over the country.
This mind-bogglingly beautiful spot was all ours for the entire weekend. To say I was in disbelief puts it lightly. Between the in-tent fireplace, the outdoor bath (yes, really!) we truly were in heaven. Nothing tops the feeling of waking up next to a flowing river – expect,of course, for the piping hot bath that followed. It was made all the more satisfying by the fact we heated the water ourselves through the use of a wood ‘chippie.’
Although I can’t bring you all along with me (though that would be nice, wouldn’t it! Imagine the campfire ghost stories and pillow fights!) we did manage to capture the whole thing in this cute little video. Over the last few months I’ve been building a travel website; Extacity, that will have a whole bunch of video content. And you guessed it, this is one of them! Be sure to take a look – you know, unless you’re not a fan of paradise ; )
After the mouth-watering visit to Springfield’s giant donut, our next stop was the beautiful (almost beyond belief) Lake Pearson. Surrounded by winding trees that gently dip their limbs into the water, Pearson truly is a treat for the eyes. I couldn’t resist climbing up into the branches with my trusty Instax Mini Selfie in hand, but hopped down quick-smart after a whopping big breeze almost decided to do it for me!
If you can remember way back to January, one of my goals was to branch out and travel more. I grew up in South-East Asia and despite being a New Zealander, haven’t seen too much of my birth country. Not-so-slowly and certainly surely I am ticking more and more places off my list – and I am ridiculously happy about it! My wonderful boyfriend, Barnaby has seen most of New Zealand, so I’m eagerly awaiting the day I can surprise him with somewhere new. Perhaps that should be my next goal?
Until then, I’ll just be lounging in front of the most beautiful lake ever; complete with it’s very own snow-covered mountainous surroundings.
Living in New Zealand can be pretty surreal sometimes. If you’re ever lacking in inspiration – or feeling ‘meh’ for any reason in particular, it only takes a short drive (or bus ride, if you time it right) to see some truly overwhelming sights. And believe me, there is an awful lot to see.
We drove for just over an hour to the beautiful (beyond belief!) town of Akaroa (more on that later!) and our first move was to go on a three hour – yes, three – uphill walk! Talk about intense. But seeing those views made it all worth it. I walked a lot of the track backwards so I could admire it as I went – not to mention that it was easier on the calf muscles!
It was a great chance to try out my latest gym set; a Kate Spade x Beyond Yoga polkadot crop top & bright pink tights that I bought from Shopbop. These tights were so warm it was brilliant! Especially when we got to the peak and almost blew over from the wild winds. Seriously, this was the most incredible trip ever – I am ridiculously excited to tell you all about it!
We spent the past weekend away in the most beautiful little New Zealand town known as Akaroa. It’s a favourite getaway spot for locals – and I’m quite the fan too – although it’s been years since my last visit. One of the things I love most is the beautiful lighthouse. It sits on the edge of the bay so it can be seen by almost everywhere on the waterfront.
It only seemed right to get dolled up in one of my finest nautical numbers; in this case an appropriately coloured fit-&-flare from Chicwish. The hat is one I picked up in the ASOS sales not too long ago – and one that always seemed to finish off an outfit just right!
I am genuinely so looking forward to sharing more of Akaroa with you. You won’t believe just how beautiful it is!
When I told you I was at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world I certainly wasn’t lying! Totaranui is famous for it’s wondrously golden beaches – and although I was hopeful, I wasn’t sure it would be my dream temperature – we are in the middle of Autumn, after all. Luckily I packed my swimsuit, as by mid-morning, daily, we would hit the beach, usually with a book and Corona in hand (ahh, what a life!)
Now I’m curled up at home in my pyjamas, fully emerged in Autumn weather, Totaranui can’t help but feel a world away. I’m hope hope hoping for another great stint in warm weather as now we have a tent, we can escape any single time we like (eep, I genuinely can’t wait!) Oh, and if you enjoy the pretty New Zealand landscapes in these photos (I truly can’t stress how picturesque this was!) then you might be happy to know I filmed a little Totaranui guide! I just have to summon up the courage to record my massively kiwi accent for a voice-over, then it’ll be up on YouTube!
At the very start of the week (Tuesday, to be precise) my boyfriend, Barnaby and I purchased a tent, shoved it in the back of our car and headed to the picturesque Totaranui (more on this beautiful place in my next post!) in search of good weather. And the verdict? Crazy amounts of sun – not to mention the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in my entire life! ♥
We spent five days camping next to the beach, in an enormous lot with natives trees growing alongside us. I’ve never ‘done’ a proper camping trip before – or not that I can remember at least, so everything was truly novelty and so much fun! We had native New Zealand birds join us at every meal (I swear they could hear the rustle of a biscuit packet from a mile away!) and spent our days lounging by said beach and trekking into the forests.
Everything was so quiet too. It’s actually Autumn, although you wouldn’t think it, with the warm weather – and I genuinely think there were only 20 campers all up, when we were told that you can sometimes expect up to 400! It was honestly the most magical trip, and completely inspired my outfit, as I’m sure you can tell!
As you may already know (thanks, previous post!) I have had a slightly unbelievable last few days – as I was recently flown over to Sydney, along with four other bloggers, thanks to DAILIES TOTAL1.
I’ve never been further than Sydney airport, so genuinely had no idea what to expect of the city. Everything seemed to come together right at the last minute, and I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high so didn’t really do any research, other than finding out that there is a zoo right on the harbour (which I totally went to, by the way).
Of course the one thing I knew I had to do was visit the Sydney Opera House. The very kind Ashleigh and Janelle, two of the other bloggers joining me on the trip, took some photos for me as we gazed at the building. In proper blogger form, we had our phones, DSLR cameras and Instax cameras at the ready, and I am so, so pleased with how they came out. I eventually ventured over to the Opera House by myself and snapped away – until I got pooed on by a seagull -_- They say it brings good luck – which I totally now believe as I had the best afternoon with Annika (aka The Pineneedle Collective). What can I say; Sydney, you were so go to me!
Now I have to take just a quick (promise!) moment to talk about my dress! Just look at that collar! I’ve been coveting The Whitepepper for years now, and to finally have a piece of my own – and such a quirky one at that, makes me happier than anything. It’s a brilliant conversation starter too – you wouldn’t believe how many ‘Scranton Strangler’ references I heard (and nothing, absolutely nothing beats an Office reference!)
I’ve been wearing contact lenses almost daily for the past few years. As anyone (apart from me, apparently) knows, this is terrible for your eyes. My poor ol’ eyes were going red and veiny and were constantly irritated, which is why I’ve been wearing glasses so often lately – as they really needed a break! I’ve gone through various contact lens brands over the past ten years and have experienced the same problem with all of them.
…And that’s about when I was contacted by DAILIES TOTAL1. With a revolutionary water gradient, DAILIES TOTAL1 lenses will keep your eyes feeling a whole lot more moisturised than other contact lenses. I was a little nervous that my eyes might not ‘take’ to contacts after such a long break, but they popped in far easier than anything I have ever experienced!
After being flown to Sydney, put up in a beautiful hotel and a quick trip to the optometrist, myself, along with four Australian bloggers were taken out to dinner on the 47th floor of the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever seen (let alone eaten at!). After only getting four hours sleep the night before I was certain my eyes would flunk out and I would remember why I went off contact lenses in the first place.. Turns out that the water gradient is better than I could’ve ever expected! I stayed up until 1:30am with no eye problems whatsoever and enjoyed six delicious courses and a cocktail the size of my head along the way. And at the end of the night I was able to simply throw the lenses in the rubbish, rather than fiddling around with various cases and fluids. Score!
As part of this collaboration with DAILIES TOTAL1, I’m going to be sharing five different late-night experiences so I can really test out these lenses and see how they work for me. I’m a definite member of the Stay At Home Club, so am really excited to push myself out of my comfort zone and to see how my new lenses hold up! I hope you enjoy following along!
This post was in collaboration with DAILIES TOTAL1, but (of course!) all opinions were my own. If you want to purchase the contact lenses head into your nearest optometrist for a fitting. Or alternatively you can find out more information at www.morecontacttime.com