For the Sunday mornings that I have been in the city, I have discovered Lululemon’s free yoga classes. Due to the fact that a student travel budget doesn’t really allow for a yoga membership (you really have to seek out the 30-day trials), Lululemon provides me with an excellent opportunity to keep up with my practice during my time in Adelaide! They have different teachers depending on which weeks you go, I’ve had three different teachers so far and every single one has been amazing, and there is such a great community feel around the room during the hour-long practice! Also, they give out cups of tea afterwards – how can it get any better than that?!
A few weekends ago I went up to the Flinders Ranges for a weekend of hiking, camping and embracing all that the outback has to offer. We were so lucky with the weather (it was warm!) and even more lucky to have two South Australians with us showing us all the important things to see during our long journey! We passed through Snowtown; infamously known for the Snowtown murders, as well as Port Augusta for a little stop at the bakery and finally the Yourambulla Saves Aboriginal Painting Site before reaching our final destination: Wilpena Pound, our little home away from home for two nights. We became experts in fire-making and indulged in the best ready-made meals that Woolworths had to offer. On our only full day there we hiked up to the highest peak in the Flinders Ranges, St. Mary Peak. It was such a beautiful hike up the red clay path to reach the peak, which provided a stunning view of the ranges and the most amazing thing was the absolute silence that we experienced at the very top!
One of my best friends (who I miss so so much!) wrote me a letter before I left for Australia saying, ”…you’ll be galavanting through the city, wearing your sun dress and hat – no doubt heading to the farmer’s market with a tea in hand.” Boy, does she know me well… and despite the fact that sun dress weather is slowly leaving us over here, Adelaide’s Central Market is still in business! It is definitely my favourite spot in this city for my grocery shopping, meeting friends for coffee, grabbing a lazy brunch or just simply people watching and grabbing great deals on a busy Saturday morning. The market has also given me a whole new appreciation for where my food comes from and supporting local businesses. It’s the perfect place to go if you’re a foodie like me!
Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
This quote perfectly embodies the strength that my best friend has had since she was diagnosed with lupus, a serious autoimmune disease, five years ago. When you meet her you would never guess that she has a disease that throws many challenges her way everyday as she is one of the most easygoing, high spirited and gorgeous girls that I know. She battles through tough times with such grace and determination and I’m writing to all of you about this because I love her dearly and would like you to take a moment to check out her donation page here. There is little known about Lupus and raising funds for research is imperative in helping to search for a cure. Read more about her story on her page and definitely share it with your friends and family!
I am thinking of my Canadian friends and family back home today as I selfishly enjoy the absolute gorgeous weather that we are getting on the Gold Coast this holiday weekend (Anzac Day celebrates the Australian and Kiwi soldiers that fought in the war). We started the day with a walk up 353 stairs to the lighthouse and on the way we stopped by the most easterly point of Australia where we saw an amazing view of a school of dolphins! On our way back we stopped by the top shop cafe, a definite “must” if you ever take a trip here,it was bustling with people ordering amazing breakfasts, burgers, fruit bowls, pressed juices, coffees and baked goods. An pre-lunch ocean swim was such a treat in the clear blue (and very warm) water! I’m loving this lax, hippie town and the Aussie beach bum lifestyle that goes with it. Sending love and warm weather to the North!
Sydney is the city that I was in when I first fell in love with this country and one of the things that brought me here was family; I am incredibly grateful to have family all over the world! When I knew I’d be on exchange over the Easter holidays it just seemed right to come back to Sydney and spend it with family. Their home here always feels like my home away from home! Not only did I first visit with my parents and brothers five years ago but I also came by myself three years ago and now I’m back feeling like a local and still loving everything about this city!
dolce far niente; the sweetness of doing nothing
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
I think it has become somewhat of a cliché to relate one’s life to that of Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, when they embark on a journey whether it be for indulgence, self-discovery or in search of love – all of these things being so common whilst travelling. A good friend of mine sent me a message the other day all the way from the Amalfi Coast that said, ”Emily, you are Julia Roberts from Eat, Pray, Love”, I was incredibly flattered considering that Julia Roberts has always been one of my favourite actresses and even if someone were to compare me to her role in Pretty Woman (which would be very unlikely) I would still take it as a huge compliment. More importantly, Julia Roberts plays Liz Gilbert in the film who is a woman that decides to drop everything one day and travel to Italy, India and Indonesia where she eats, prays and loves (obviously). So during a long bike ride to the beach yesterday I started breaking down my travels so far into these three categories…
EAT: Yes. I do a lot of this. I am one of the biggest foodies you will meet, and if you ever take a trip to the Adelaide Central Market with me I am always so excited to be amongst all the fresh food and goodies. I love to cook and dance around the kitchen, especially with friends but I also love to try different restaurants and cafes everywhere that I go. Here in Australia there always seems to be some reason to eat and I am not complaining.
PRAY: I’m not a particularly religious person but I do feel that I find a sense of spirituality during my travels. My yoga practice is my closest thing to religion but beyond that I love learning about other people’s practices and beliefs. Last night I attended a lovely dinner for Passover, I celebrated an ”unorthodox Easter” the night before with friends, and I went to mass for Ash Wednesday a few weeks ago; it was inspiring to be able to celebrate meaningful events with friends. Namaste; my soul honours your soul.
LOVE: I think it has become quite obvious at this point that I enjoy eating and praying with the ones that I love. I always meet so many people during my travels and my Australian exchange has introduced me to an incredible amount of people. I feel so so lucky to have met such amazing friends! My beautiful British-Bosnian friend made the point the other night that meeting all of these people from all over the place has made the world seem so much smaller and accessible – we have found love all over the place.