My Travel Diary: Surfers Paradise & Brisbane

I’m writing this post on board one of our many Greyhound bus journeys – this one is only 3 hours long which we’re quite thankful for as some people STINK! Like I know some people are travelling to ‘find them selves’ or ‘be free’ but Jesus H Christ that doesn’t mean your general hygiene needs to go out the window does it?!

Ok, rant over.

So, in my last post Ryan and I had finished our time in Sydney and Byron Bay.

We made our way from Byron to Surfers paradise, and unfortunately didn’t have the best weather! It wasn’t bad (like UK cold and rain ‘bad’) but it was mainly overcast the whole time; but hey, I guess that’s what you should expect when travelling in Winter!

We still opted to take a stroll along the beach, but as beach days were out of the question, due to the weather, we decided to do some indoors-y things instead!

We went to check out The Crazy Cat cafe, located on Surfers Paradise Boulevard.

The Crazy Cat Cafe is home to 11 cats. The Cafe and Lounge is separated so you can either grab a drink in the cafe and watch the cats through glass walls that separate it from the lounge, or go into the lounge amongst all the cats for a fee.

Ryan and I just took a peak at the cats through the glass wall – I’m not sure how many people would actually spend their money to sit in a room to eat with 11 cats – but, having said that, it was still something I wanted to check out!

We also took a stroll around Ripleys Believe It or Not attraction.

It was full of weird and wonderful objects including a wedding dress made out of toilet paper, shrunken heads, Elvis painted on the end of a needle, Micheal Jackson painted on crickets, a video and replica of the worlds tallest man and so many more wacky things!

There was one section where The Legendary African Fertility Statues were situated; it’s said that they were used by an African tribe to give a couple fertility, they say if you touch them you will soon fall pregnant..

..we stayed far, far away from those statues!!

After a busy day sight seeing we popped into Pancakes in Paradise for a bacon and maple syrup pancake stack – so bad, but ohh so good!

Another day was spent up the Q1 Sky Point tower. The Sky Point is a viewing platform that over looks Surfers Paradise – it gives a beautiful birds eye view of the coast and buildings below and is 322 meters high – higher than the Eiffel Tower!

Ryan and I walked to Pacific Fair shopping centre, which I would highly recommend if you have money to play around with and love to shop! There were so many different shops; everything from supermarkets, standard high street stores, all the way to luxury designer brands like Rolex, Louis Vuitton, and so on.

Everything you could need all in one spot! It was great!

Although, of course, Ryan and I were merely window shopping!

We waved good bye to Surfers Paradise and hopped on the greyhound bus to Brisbane.

Brisbane was so much bigger than I anticipated – it was like Sydney with all the shops however they just seemed to be a lot closer together.

Our first day in Brisbane was spent walking around the botanic gardens; the sun was shining and it was a perfect day for a stroll. We even stumbled across a bundle of trees which were covered in carvings of people’s names. We were tempted to carve ours too but there wasn’t much space!

We then caught the free City Hopper ferry from North Quay to Sydney street and took the Riverwalk to the Modern Art Gallery.

Or at least that’s where we thought we were going, turned out there’s two Art Galleries in Brisbane and the one we were heading to had actually closed down! Whoops!

As the hostel kitchen was a bit grim we ate out for dinner (any excuse aye?) We had burgers at Mrs Kays and popped into SAN Churro for pudding – YUM!

As we accidentally walked to the wrong (and non-existent) art gallery the day before, we opted to actually find the correct one, the Queensland Art and Modern Art Gallery.

We took a stroll around the gallery with our friends, Hayley and Joe, who have been living and working in Brisbane.

I’d like to say the galleries were great but in all honesty Ryan and I were far to interested in catching up with Hayley and Joe to take much in – I imagine we were probably far to talkative for the other visitors to the gallery too – oh well!

After the art gallery visit we continued our chats over a meal out at an Indian restaurant – (whoops more naughty/yummy food!)

Our other time in Brisbane was spent wandering and taking in the city – and of course we had to get a picture near the Brisbane sign!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Sydney and Byron Bay

So, here we go!

First Travel Diary post in what feels like forever – we’ve only just started exploring again and I feel like we’ve done so much already..

Ryan and I finished working at our office jobs mid May and our last day was a mixture of sadness and excitement. Excitement obviously for the travels to come, but also sad to say goodbye to our ‘work family’ which was a nice mixture of Aussies and fellow travellers. We were definitely spoilt on our last day with a farewell card, cake and flowers ..and a ‘Care Package’ given to us from two ladies, Tori and Sue, which contained an assortment of Aussie BB’s choccies to keep us going through our long Greyhound bus journeys – so cute!!

Our time after we finished work was spent sorting all the boring, BUT important, admin bits. I mean, do we really need to buy insurance?

Yes (clumsy) Kim, yes you do.

After that we spent our time wandering Sydney; we were lucky with our timing and managed to wander around in the evenings when Vivid Sydney was on. Vivid Sydney is a yearly festival of light, music and art which goes on for 3 weeks. The most visual aspect being the light sculptures and light projections that transform famous landmarks, like the Sydney Opera house, into night time works of art.

Our favourite was ‘The Liminal Hour’ which is a moving light installation of a female creature named Marri Dyin – meaning “Great Woman” in the Eora language.

The Vivid Sydney website explains:

“Marri Dyin calls upon the natural forces, transforming peaceful bushland, into a raging bush fire, then a torrential storm – a cycle of regeneration which assures new life and prosperity for future generations. While the storm calms, Marri Dyin then sits to share a moment with children.

Marri Dyin is not a traditional spirit, rather she is a contemporary concept. Her existence seeks to recognise the influence and importance of the First Nations women, including Barangaroo, who lived in Sydney prior to settlement. Marri Dyin represents their strength and spirit, and their role as providers for their people through a connection to the land and its waterways.”

Ryan and I packed our things, left our cosy rented room, and hopped on the overnight bus from Sydney Central Station to Byron Bay. (Which was 12 hours *crying face*)

No more than 5 minutes after arriving in Byron Bay, the first person we spoke to happened to be someone that lives in Alton, which is near our home town, and went to the same college as myself and Ryan, at the same time, and has loads of mutual friends with us – what are the chances!

Our first day in Byron was spent looking around the Community Market (which is only on once a month – so again we were lucky with our timing!)

The market was full of food vans selling everything from fruit juices to full on Mexican dishes. There were clothes stalls with tie dye garments galore but also lots of neutral coloured linen pieces which I loved! (I’m obsessed with all things linen at the moment – especially if the items have button details!)

And of course there were plenty of jewellery stalls to get your teeth stuck into as well!

We then opted to walk to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, which is the most easterly part of Australia.

The walk itself was lovely, there were lots of different points along the way where you could stop and enjoy the view of the bay in front of you – we could even spot a pod of dolphins leaping in the sea in the distance.

Byron is full of little trinket shops, edgy cafes and buskers.

We spent one day exploring the town and ended up sitting down by the beach listening to a busker called Karuah (who was brilliant I might add – his Instagram is @karuahmusic). It was just so relaxing to sit by the beach, watch the waves and listen to chilled out music.

We ate pizza at Legends Pizza with other travellers and popped into The Railway Bar in the evening to try their locally produced beer. We tried a Stone & Wood Pacific Ale which had a slight after taste of passion fruit – we had a ‘schooner’ which is the typical size of a drink out here in Australia ..in England you’d have a pint, here you’d ask for a schooner (which is 3/4 of a pint). There was live music inside the bar; a guy who sang his own original material but also mellow versions of hits like: ‘No Diggity’, ‘My Pony’ and ‘The best of me’ by the Foo Fighters.

Our hostel was pretty quirky too; there was lots of wall art including one wall featuring a massive map of the world and all the beaches/surf locations labelled – ‘so gnarly’!

Ryan and I also decided we would try a surf lesson – neither of us had ever surfed before, and I’m not a huge fan of water but thought we might as well give it a go!

We were pretty lucky as there was only one other person booked on the same time slot as us and that person pulled out so it was just me and Ryan – our own private lesson!

The lesson was a lot of fun, we both managed to stand up on our boards relatively quick (I stood up on my 2nd try *just saying*) but for me the fear of the water slowly took over the excitement of the surfing and I just didn’t enjoy it as much.

And Ryan, being the water baby that he is, absolutely loved it and that’s all that matters really!

Unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures of us surfing – which honestly you should be thankful for, skin tight wetsuits are not the most flattering!

‘Til next time!

Love Bumble x

Spring Trend Alert: 5 Wearable Basket Bags

So here it is; the first instalment of my much needed fashion fix!

I’d like to say that since leaving the U.K. and travelling the world, I’ve come to realise that clothes, shoes bags and makeup are just ‘things’ and they’re not really important ..but actually all it’s done is highlight the fact that I am materialistic AF and I’m not even sorry!

I’m obsessed with all things fashion and don’t feel like that’s a bad thing – ‘you do you’ and all that!

At the moment I’m travelling, so can’t justify spending money on clothes, shoes, bags, makeup, jewellery etc etc (much to my disappointment) but I still feel like I need my fashion fix – I need to scroll for hours on end through online shops and chuck every second item into my basket ‘just because’ – and although I’m not able to actually purchase any of these items, I feel like they shouldn’t just sit there in my basket, I feel like I should share the love and show you what I’ve found.

The basket bag is a massive trend this Spring. So, I’m actually in Australia, it’s Autumn here (and 30 degrees!) but I’m an English Rose and I can’t help but keep up with UK seasons/trends. And the basket bag is no exception.

There are lots of different styles of basket bags on offer, ranging from the larger picnic basket style which I imagine would look silly and slightly OTT on myself, to the more wearable classic bag shapes which I would more than happily buy if I was back at home.

So without further ado here’s my list of wearable basket bags that I’m obsessing over at the moment.

1. ASOS: Straw Circle Bag

Whoever designed this bag was showing off. They’ve thrown two trends in one; the basket bag and the circle bag. Both massive trends, and I’m loving it, and at £25 it’s definitely one I would suggest to get if you want to dip your toes in the Spring Trend without breaking the bank.

Shop it here.

2. Zara: Black Box Bag

I love everything about this bag, from the gold hardware to the top handle – something about it screams Blair from Gossip Girl to me – although I bet she wouldn’t be seen dead wearing something from high street favourite: Zara, for £29.99.

Don’t be like Blair. Get the damn bag.

Shop it here.

3. Zara: Bow Detail Raffia Bag

Super chic, stylish and still cheap at £29.99. Love the pop of colour on the bow detail and cross body strap; it just adds that extra oomf to an otherwise simple raffia bag.

Shop it here.

4. Mango: Bamboo Basket Bag

This little beauty is available to buy at Mango for £49.99. The shape and opening is quirky and different – it would definitely a talking point of an outfit!

Shop it here.

5. Dune: White Woven Handbag

I think I’ve saved the best until last! This bag is everything that I would want in a basket bag; it’s white straw with a contrast flap, gold hardware, a top handle and a cross body strap – I mean what else could you need?! This bag has a higher price point than the others at £70 (of course I would prefer the most expensive one). But just look at how beautiful it is!

Shop it here.

What do you think of the bags I’m loving? Are there anymore that I should be lusting over this Spring?

Let me know!

Love Bumble x

I’m going crazy!

I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I was going slightly crazy with thoughts flying round my head 24/7..

Ryan and I are currently in Sydney, working and saving ready to travel in a couple of months. We’ve really not been doing much apart from working (and the occasional sun bathe to TRY and get a tan ..and I’m still paler than when I left England. BLOODY GREAT.) and as such I feel like with little-to-no distractions or brain stimulation that I have a million and one thoughts flying round my head and it’s starting to stress me out.

Okay so that sounds very dramatic, let me explain..

I’ve always had an obsessive personality; if I want to do something I want to do it now. I get super excited, determined and obsessed looking into the nitty gritty of what I want to do and how to do it. Then the thoughts constantly fly around my mind until I realise that actually, I can’t do it now because of X Y and Z.

X being money.

Y being resources/time.

And Z being that it’s not a current priority.

..and it’s like I’m a balloon, the realisation that I can’t do what I want is the pin popping my plan and I just deflate.

Knowing that I can’t do what I want to do RIGHT NOW makes me sad, all the excitement from my original thoughts and planning gone and I’m left feeling like that deflated balloon.

And I seem to alternate between the same thoughts/obsessions.

The main ones being my blog and my nose.

Where do I even begin with my obsession over blogging?

Well, I have my favourite bloggers that I keep up with, ‘stalk’ if you will. And I once had their blogs open in a tab on the computer and also my own.

OH MY GOD!

My blog honestly looks ANCIENT compared to theirs!

I only really view my blog on my phone so to see it side by side on a computer next to a couple of my fave bloggers was awful!

I already knew I wanted to revamp my blog, give it a major update, I just never got round to spending the money on a swanky new blog theme and new name, what with saving to go travelling and now actually travelling. And that’s just my take on the look of it..

Then there’s the below all floating round my head too;

• the type of content I want to be producing. Basically: Fashion. Or FasHUN if I’m feeling sassy.

• the camera(s) I want to buy

• and an ever growing list of clothes I want to buy, style and blog about (I’m having major withdrawals from fashion and beauty at the mo, so get ready for some random fashion posts on here so I can get my fashion fix. Apologies in advance)

Then there’s my nose.

Now those of you that know me personally know my nose is a massive thing for me – excuse the pun! (I’ll take the piss before anyone else does thank you! Ha)

I’ve hated my nose for as long as I can remember and always wanted a nose job since the very first ‘Pinocchio’ comment.

It’s no secret that in Australia you tend to earn more than what you would in England; and in my mind that means I could get my head down, work for 6 months, save and have enough money for a top notch surgeon to sort out the monstrosity that is my nose and even have some dollar left over. Something that would take me twice as long to do back home.

Over a year ago I did have the money to get my lusted after nose job ..I went and had a consultation, discussed the costs/risks/process and was serious about finally having the surgery..

But then Ryan happened..

That makes it sound like he came into my life and stopped me doing what I wanted which is not what I’m getting at here – ha!

What I am getting at is that he talked me into spending that money on something more worth while; experiences. Travelling and exploring this beautiful world that we live in.

I’d love to say I’ve learnt to love my nose, it’s part of who I am and I’m going to love the skin I’m in – but the truth is I WILL be getting my nose done at some point in the future, I’ve simply delayed it so I can have the most amazing experience travelling the world with the one I love. Which was definitely the right choice.

My sister once said ‘would you rather be at your desk at work with a new nose – or – travelling the world with the one you love?’ And I honestly can’t tell you how silly I felt for even debating whether to choose to travel or the surgery. Like I said it’s not ‘travel or a nose job’, simply ‘travel then a nose job’.

And it’s the same with my urge to do everything RIGHT NOW with my blog. I will do what I want with it, but not right now; it’s not the priority here. But saving my pennies to add even more memories wandering the world with Ryan is..

I need to remember this when I get these ideas in my head – take a step back, look at the bigger picture and just enjoy NOW and what’s coming next.

The rest will come in time.

This post has been slightly longer than I anticipated and I’m not really sure what I’m trying to achieve with it.

Maybe I just needed to vent my thoughts as they’re bulging out of my head and driving me insane – or maybe this is my way of giving myself a pep talk to stop worrying about things that aren’t really that important at the moment..

Just enjoy now.

Love Bumble x

My Travel Plans

Myself and better half Ryan have been working in Sydney for what feels like FOREVER! We’ve been turning down invite after invite to social events in order to save as much dollar as we can ready to start exploring again in a couple of months and in all honestly I’m feeling so ‘done’ with work and just want to explore now, but hey, these trips won’t pay for themselves!

To give you guys a sneak peak into our travel plans (and to help keep myself sane through the future weeks at work) I thought I’d write this little post!

Those of you who have read my other posts will have noticed that Ryan and I haven’t really explored much of Australia – we took a short trip to Coffs Harbour and have seen the main attractions in Sydney but not really seen much else.

We came to Australia after travelling South East Asia and New Zealand so had no option but to start work to save some more pennies.

At the end of our current work assignment we hope to leave Sunny Sydney and travel our way up the East Coast to Cairns (have you even been travelling to Aus if you haven’t travelled the East Coast? Just saying, it’s like a ritual). We hope to do all the normal must dos; dive the Great Barrier Reef, sail the Whitsundays, visit Fraser Island etc etc. Of course I’ll keep my travel diary posts up to date once we’re on the move so you can come along and join us for the ride!

As if that isn’t exciting enough, we then hope to go down the centre of Australia from Darwin to Adelaide, through the Northern Territory and through the outback. Which in all honesty scares me a little; especially when you’re telling your Aussie friends at work and they look at you like you’re mad for even thinking about it ‘good luck, you’ll be in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dirt and in the heat!’

Now, contrary to popular belief, Ryan and I are not stupid (I can hear my family at home disagreeing with this statement) and actually I’m a bit of a control freak, not massively, but I do like to plan so if we do decide we are going to travel down the centre we 100% wouldn’t be alone, everything would be planned, from our travel to our hostels so (hopefully) nothing would go wrong.

*The saying ‘the blind leading the blind’ comes to mind*

There’s also discussions of going to Fiji whilst we’re over this side of the world; and maybe popping back to Bali before flying home which I’m so up for ..but let’s talk about that some other time!

I feel like I’ve been the worst blogger in the world recently – but in all honesty we’ve not being doing much exploring so there’s not much to update you on. We spend our free time soaking up the sun and wandering the city – and I should also add that I seem to be spending my spare time getting obsessed over X Y Z ..I feel like because we’ve stopped and are working/saving that I’m going slightly crazy with thoughts flying round my head 24/7 ..but again I think that’s more for another post!

Til next time!

Love Bumble x

Top 10 Must Do’s in South East Asia

There are so many things to do and see in South East Asia! Our time traveling there was short lived but jam packed nonetheless, so I thought I would write a short list showing what I would class as a ‘must-do’ if your thinking of travelling there yourself!

1. Visit an Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai

Now I couldn’t write this list without including this one first! Our visit to an Elephant Sanctuary was up there with my favourite days of our travels.

We had 2 MASSIVE bags full of bananas to feed them – all you had to do was hold out a banana and an elephant trunk would snatch it from your hand! They were like hoovers; eating banana after banana!

We also got to bathe the elephants – they seemed so happy playing around in the water – one was even blowing water out of his trunk at people which was hilarious!

On a side note: Do your research – there are so many places claiming to be a Sanctuary however are just there taking tourists money! It’s hard to find an authentic Sanctuary and I’m still not 100% sure the one we visited was one!

2. Catch the sunrise over Angkor Wat in Cambodia

If you’re not a morning person then maybe give this one a miss (although I would still class checking out the Angkor Wat temples as a must-do).

We woke early and made our way to the temples and only just made it in time to catch the sun skim over the temples. It was bliss!

Or at least that’s what I would have liked to have happened..

The reality being it was cloudy AF so we woke for a non-existent sunrise!

But hey, you win some you lose some! We were just unlucky, and I’ve seen photos of how the sunrise SHOULD look and trust, you don’t want to miss!

3. Visit a tailor in Hoi An

Those of you who have read my previous travel diary posts and follow me on Instagram (@kimberleylouisebutler) know Hoi An was my favourite place in South East Asia that we visited.

I loved it there! The old town is covered in vibrant flowers and full of lanterns that light up the streets in the evening. It’s so cute!

As well as lots of shops and cafes there’s also ample tailors to get your teeth stuck into. They make made-to-measure clothes and all for a reasonable price – if you’ve got some spending money spare and are after something unique then definitely treat yourself to a tailor made outfit (or two)!

4. Wander Buddha Park in Vientiane

Buddha Park was definitely worth a visit. It’s a sculpture park full of over 200 Buddhist and Hindu statues; including one which you could walk inside (through the mouth) and climb to the top to see a view of the whole park – just be careful not to lose your footing as it’s not exactly secure!

5. Walk to the top of the Luang Prabang waterfalls

The Luang Prabang waterfalls were truly beautiful! We took a short walk to the top where we swam in the Lagoon; the walk itself was a little steep at times but definitely worth it up the top! Or if you’re feeling lazy just take in the views at the bottom – we won’t judge.

6. Visit a floating market

What is a floating market I hear you ask? It’s essentially a market on boats – I know – SO COOL!

We spent one morning visiting the Can Tho floating market in Vietnam, it’s mainly for whole sale however there were boats selling food and drinks too.

It was strange watching a boat pull up next to ours, make his pitch, easily make a sale and sail off to find more customers.

There was also boats selling noodles first thing in the morning! In Asia they eat rice and noodles for breakfast – bizarre!

7. Opt for a home stay with the locals – Anywhere

A home stay truly makes you appreciate your home comforts and also bring you back down to Earth.

On our Asia trip we actually had two home stays – both completely different.

One was way more basic than the other – I’m talking sleeping side by side on the floor of a wooden hut with a matt, pillow and mosquito net; and the other being a room with a bed, light and western style toilets!

Now neither were exactly great situations, I’m a huge clean freak and honestly couldn’t sleep at all! (Without sounding to much like a snob – I promise I’m not!)

But in terms of spending time with the locals it was great, we had a family cook a local dish for us and also met local children from the town. We gave them gifts of colouring books, colouring pencils and stickers – they loved them! It was so nice to see their appreciation for something that some children back home would just shrug off as the norm.

8. Take a boat trip around Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Our boat trip around Ha Long Bay was great! Ha Long Bay is full of limestone islands topped with rainforests and sailing around the bay is definitely a must do!

It’s also where some of Kong: Skull Island was filmed and if you’re feeling up to it you can even have a leisurely kayak around the bay!

9. Watch a Lady Boy show in Bangkok

So this isn’t exactly going to be to everyone’s taste BUT Thailand is so well known for its Lady Boy Shows, you just can’t NOT watch one!

Our last night in Bangkok was spent watching a Lady Boy Show and it definitely was unique, to say the least!

The show itself was really entertaining and some of the performers on stage you honestly couldn’t tell if they were a man or woman!

(Except for those with chest hair, armpit hair and a full on beard – I mean they’re clearly women – or is that just me? Haha)

In all seriousness though, I would highly recommend checking a show out, they’re unique and reasonably priced, so go for it!

10. Relax on Phi Phi islands

Now unfortunately we didn’t visit the Phi Phi Islands due to our busy schedule, but have heard it’s a must!

The islands are a 90 minute boat ride from Phuket and have turquoise blue waters filled with vibrant marine life ..that, teamed with its tropical beaches makes it sound like true paradise! So deffo worth a visit!

So that’s it for my list of Asia must-dos!

I hope this gives you some inspiration for travelling Asia! There are so many more places to go and things to do so let me know in the comments if there’s anything you would class as a must do that’s not on my list!

Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Australia 

Hi Guys!  
Firstly, apologies for the very long delay in writing this post! 
Ryan and I are still settled in Glebe; our office jobs have been extended until the end of February and in all honesty we’ve not done much exploring as we’re trying our best to save our pennies ready to travel Australia in a couple of months! (Hence the lack of posts recently) 
For all you food lovers out there we did visit a restaurant one weekend called ‘Bare Grill’ where they stamp their burger buns and have raclette cheese topping on the menu! Now I’m not a massive cheese fan (apologies) so I didn’t get cheese on my burger, Ryan however did order the raclette cheese and I couldn’t help feeling it looked like every cheese lovers dream! 

Since my last post we’ve had our Aussie Christmas and New Years. 
Christmas is by far my favourite time of year; I love the cozy nights in and spending time with family and friends, so I knew being away this year I was going to miss home like crazy. We decided we were going to have the most un-Christmassy Christmas ever to help me not miss being at home as much. 

Our Christmas didn’t exactly go to plan either. We had been hoping to spend the day at the beach – I mean, what else is there to do in the Australian summer? But, unfortunately, the weather was not on our side, it was hot but it was cloudy and overcast the whole day! So we didn’t end up going to the beach – we spent the day together, I cooked a curry for Christmas lunch (I know, weird, but I was not up for cooking a full on roast in the heat, soz Ryan) and we met up with another English couple in the evening for drinks and secret Santa! 

(My secret Santa got me a voucher to go and get my nails done at a salon BEST. GIFT. EVER!)
Ryan and I were very lucky and were given some pennies from loved ones back home for Christmas – all of which we have transferred into our savings apart from strict instructions from my mum, stepdad and Ry’s dad to treat ourselves to a meal out. Ryan and I went to Grill’d for one meal (and now we’re slightly obsessed with their delicious tasting burgers!) and went out to an Indian restaurant for the other. We must of been extremely keen to dig in to our Indian as we didn’t take a before photo of our feast! 

As we may only be in Australia for one year we definitely wanted to bring in the New Year by watching the Sydney fireworks. 

We queued up for what felt like forever and just made it into a section before it was closed off due to being ‘full’. (At midday I might add!)

The day was beautifully hot and the atmosphere when the countdown began was amazing! 

And it didn’t take us any longer than usual to get home which is a bonus!(Ryan and I went to London to watch the New Year fireworks one year and it took us 3 HOURS to get home! It was ridiculous!)

One of our house mates is originally from Nigeria and as she was travelling back there to visit family over the Christmas period she had given us some cinema tickets to use whilst she was away. 

We opted to watch the new Jimanji film! We do love the original but thought the remake was very funny and worth a watch! 
Another weekend was spent at the Royal Randwick Races. We went with another couple that we work with called Joe and Hayley. 

It was a great day, the sun was shining, the tickets were cheap and Ryan came back with the same amount of money he took as he won half of his bets and his horses came second or third in all the others… lucky git! We did however get very burnt from being out in the sun! Ouch! 

As I mentioned earlier, as we’re trying to save pennies our free time is spent soaking up the sun, taking in the graffiti and wandering the Glebe markets. We even stumbled across Pendrill Street which isn’t far from where we live! 


When it came to the end of the year I checked my nine most liked pictures on Instagram for 2017. All nine were from the second half of 2017 and all from my travels. 

Looking back at all the amazing things I’ve done since I left home I feel so grateful and incredibly excited for all the moments and memories that 2018 is going to bring! 
But first – back on that office grind! 
‘Til next time!
Love Bumble x

My Travel Diary: Australia 

Hi Guys! 
Since being back in Sydney Ryan and I have applied to what feels like a million jobs online. We’ve taken our CV’s round to places in our area, signed up to 3 recruitment agencies and moved into a room to rent. Busy busy busy!
From someone who has been in and out of hostels for months on end I can tell you having our own little space is bliss! No more living with randomers who have spread the whole contents of their backpack on the floor, no more having to take all of your belongings to a shared bathroom down the end of the hall to realise you’ve forgotten an essential (a towel? Shampoo? Your bloody room key?) .. in fact no more sharing a bathroom at all! Oh did I not mention we now have our own ensuite? 
To those reading who are not travelling you’re probably thinking I’m abit crazy for getting so excited about a room and ensuite but those of you who are travelling or have travelled and have witnessed hostel life, you know the drill – this is bloody great! 
And it’s actually cheaper to rent a room than it is to stay in hostels so yaknow, win win.
Not that I’m expecting you to give a sh*t about what our new abode looks like – here’s a pic! To be able to actually unpack our stuff too – can’t even tell you how great that was!

Also guys..
I have some good news! 
RYAN AND I HAVE JOBS!! 
Can I get a ‘hallelujah’?!
So I actually had two options – I know, it’s like waiting for a bus, spend ages waiting then 2 turn up at once! 

(I’m not being funny but that saying is a load of bull, like when have 2 buses ever turned up?! Like, please.) 
Okay so my first option was Sephora. I popped into Sephora handed them my CV (obviously had to actually do my make up for once and with what was left of my travel make up collection – hard task I can tell you) and they called me back the same day to arrange an interview. 

The interview went really well and they called me to come in for a trial – I was so excited but also sh*tting myself. Like, I’ve never NEVER worked in retail and my makeup skills are pretty much non existent so yaknow not looking great. 
A couple of days before I was due to do my trial I was called about an office role. It was starting straight away, full time, set hours and I would have the weekends free. 
I was torn. Sephora had offered me a trial, the queen bee of makeup stores had held out an arm for me (ME?!) to potentially join their family and learn makeup techniques. Then there’s the office role, guaranteed hours, insurance based (hello, what I did at home),more money and weekends to spend in the Australian sunshine. 
I had to go back to the reason we were looking for work in the first place; to stop and save as much money as we can to fund further travels.. And with that in mind I turned down Sephora (if my makeup artist cousin is reading this she’ll be disgusted with my decision – Shannon please forgive me?) 

P.S to rub salt into the wound I also got called from MAC Cosmetics yesterday to arrange an interview that I had to decline. It was a sad day. 
The office role is within walking distance from our new home, and as they are expanding they had more than one position so Ryan is also working there! 
We started today and will be paid weekly which I am so ready for – SHOW ME THE MONEY! 
Ryan and I have also had some good news from back home…
WE’RE GODPARENTS! 
Ryan’s best friend Paul and wife Alisha have just welcomed into the world the most adorable baby boy! Who is our godson – all I want to do is have a cuddle but we will have to wait until our travelling adventure is over! 
There have been so many things happening since we’ve been away; my sister moving into her first house, my cousin opening up her shop, my brother starting college, my friend getting engaged, now this little bubba being born! It’s sad to think we’re missing out on all these things but it makes it all that more exciting when we do finally return home! 
‘Til next time!
Love Bumble x 

My Travel Diary: Australia

Hi Guys! 
I’m writing to you on a plane from Sydney to Coffs Harbour. Free extra leg room, a view overlooking the sea and cotton like clouds with biscuits in hand – this backpacking malarkey ain’t half bad!
Since my last post Ryan and I have waved goodbye to Steve and Kathy who had kindly let us stay with them in Dee-Why and grabbed the ferry from Manly back to Darling Harbour ready for us to stay in the centre and wait on the arrival of our Australian bank cards. 

Our new home for a couple of nights was a small hostel above a pub. We really liked this hostel, it was small so reasonably quiet and super easy to get to know other travellers staying, the staff were extremely friendly and believe it or not the pub wasn’t loud at all! 

(Down side was that there was no cooker, only a microwave – so we lived off tried and tested backpacker favourite – packet noodles!) 
As we had to stay in Sydney for our bank cards Ryan and I spent the week wandering the city and visiting different attractions. 

Ryan found a discount online for a visit to two of Sydney’s main attractions; we opted to go to the Sydney Eye Tower and the Sea-life Aquarium. 

The tower is 309 Meters high and gives a 360 degree view of Sydney. 

From the tower we could see landmarks like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, the Allianz football stadium and so on. The view meant we could also spot street art and rooftop pools in amongst the buildings. 
The aquarium was great! There were penguins, an octopus, loads of vibrant fish, turtles, jellyfish and sharks! We were lucky and were able to see the penguins being fed – the zookeeper dropped a piece of food on the floor accidentally and then went on to tell us that the penguins are extremely fussy and will not eat any of the food if it has been on the floor – how strange! 

Another day was spent taking a walk over Sydney Harbour bridge. We had looked into maybe doing the bridge climb however it was very expensive and when we got to the bridge we were glad we hadn’t booked it..

Walking over the bridge itself was quite scary for height-hating me; Ryan and I were taking pictures along the bridge of the view (which was beaut) and made the mistake of looking down a few to many times! You could also feel the bridge as the cars zoomed across which just added to my fear – so we definitely ARE NOT going to do the bridge climb! 
After our stroll across the bridge we then made a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art and popped in the rooftop cafe for a cold drink after! 

Another day was spent wandering the botanical gardens. 

It’s always nice when the sun is shining to spend it strolling the gardens – no cars, no one in a rush, no noise apart from the birds chirping, just a leisurely stroll taking in the scenery. 
On our way to the gardens we walked through Hyde Park which was set up like a festival – loads of food vans, drink pop up shops, chairs and tables but everything was closed. I did a little search online and found out that it was set up for the ‘Night Noodle Market’ and was only going to be there for a limited time and was open in the evenings.

Naturally Ryan and I took the fact that it was limited as a sign that we had to go and visit while we were in Sydney! We sat on swings draped in flowers, ate yummy food and took a visit to the Pimm’s Garden!

When we stayed with Steve and Kathy they suggested we look into doing a whale watching tour. I already wanted to go on one but they said this is the best time of year to go as there’s lots of whales in the area. 

We did a quick search online and found a cheap deal for a whale watching cruise with lunch included. 

It was a 4 hour cruise and as we were going out to sea thought it would be best to grab some sea sickness tablets just in case. 

BEST IDEA EVER! 

Almost all of the people onboard the boat were sea sick and even with the tablets Ryan and I felt a teeny bit queazy! 

The cruise itself was amazing – we saw 5 whales and multiple breaching throughout the 4 hours which was what we really wanted to see! We also saw a mum and her calf who kept copying when the mother would jump out of the water or flick her tail. 

Unfortunately I couldn’t get any pictures of the whales..

1. They were too quick and

2. The boat was far to rocky to possibly get a picture that wasn’t blurred (trust me, I tried)

The next day was probably one of our favourite days in Sydney because we experienced things we had never seen before. 
The first was a march in Sydney for marriage equality. 

We had seen quite a lot of police cars and vans throughout the day and then we heard what sounded like a riot; lots of shouting and cars beeping. 

We took a walk down the street and there it was; a rainbow of people marching and chanting for a ‘yes’ vote on marriage equality.
It was beautiful to see so many people marching for something back home which is just so normal now. 

I couldn’t quite believe that a vote was even an option; surely marriage equality should just be the norm everywhere? 

We saw many couples marching together and multiple signs that made my heart ache a little with their words. One being a sign from an older lady stating ‘only I get to tell my son who he can marry’ and another ‘vote yes: so I can finally be my best friends bridesmaid.’ 


The other new experience (for me) was a football match – or ‘soccer’ if you’re in Aus. 

Ryan had mentioned that whilst we’re in Australia he would like to watch a match; as you can imagine my enthusiasm for this activity on a scale of 1-10 was probably a minus 5.

As with most things I’m negative about I usually eat my words and have a great time – and this was one of those times. 

The football match was so much fun. It was a derby between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wonderers so the crowd was buzzing. 

When I’m at home I sometimes watch my younger brother play football – I get so stressed watching! He plays in goal so whenever the ball is near his goal I get heart palpitations that are through the roof and wonder why on earth I put myself through this ordeal (sisterly love and support and all that). 

Luckily this match wasn’t like that – I had no idea who was playing or who I wanted to win so I just enjoyed the game and the atmosphere of the crowd. 

Ryan got into the spirit and purchased a Sydney FC top. They were behind in the first half with Western Sydney Wonderers scoring less than 5 minutes in but when the final whistle blew it was a draw at 2 all. 


As I mentioned earlier we were on the plane to Coffs Harbour from Sydney. Our bank cards arrived and we were ready to start looking for farm work. I called a working hostel in Coffs Harbour that have connections with local farmers and can help you start your regional work – they had availability for us at the hostel and on the farm so we booked a flight and off we went. 
We came to Coffs in the hopes of starting our 88 days farm work and save money ready to travel at the end of the 88 days. 

It seems thinking we’d be able to save money was naive.

We started blueberry picking and after 2 days decided it wasn’t ideal for us at this current time. The people and the hostel was great; super friendly and such a laugh! But the pay for the farm work was too low. 

They pay per bucket picked and unless you’re a rapid picker you’ll be lucky to make minimum wage – so no saving on the cards! 

The place was great if you just needed to get your 88 days of regional work done to apply for your second year visa but not if you actually needed to save some pennies too. 

Edit: Completely forgot to mention that I also slipped over carrying two buckets of blueberries! Blueberries went flying – all my hard work all over the floor.. it was a real life Bridget Jones moment!

We decided we would go back to Sydney and try and find a ‘proper’ job with better pay.

As we had paid for a weeks accommodation we spent the next few days wandering Coffs and doing all the things we wanted to do as we were here. 
We spent some time at the beach and walked along the jetty. Ryan went body boarding and we saw some turtles swimming in the sea! So cool! 
We also visited The Big Banana and played mini golf in the sunshine. Believe it or not I was winning mini golf then lost after Ryan cheated his way to victory.

He says skill. I say cheat. 

I started writing this post on a plane from Sydney to Coffs Harbour and I’m finishing it on a train back to Sydney after our farm work not working out for us. How quickly things change when you’re travelling on a road to nowhere.

It’s all experience I guess; plus we met some pretty cool people. We had a nice BBQ one night to celebrate another traveller reaching half way through his 88 days and a bonfire and drinks at the beach another night which was worth the sore head in the morning! 

Now it’s back to unemployment life in Sydney – let’s hope it’s short lived! 

‘Til next time! 

Love Bumble x 

 

My Travel Diary: New Zealand and Australia

Hi Y’all! 
Remember me? I know, I know, I’m the worst blogger in the world! Apologies for the lack of updates these last few weeks – better late than never, right?
In my last blog post Ryan and I were on our way back to Queenstown after visiting the very South of New Zealand. 

Our time back in Queenstown was spent wandering the Queenstown Gardens and fudge tasting at a small sweet shop! 

We made our way from Queenstown to Christchurch stopping at Lake Tekapo along the way. 
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand however, due to the earthquake that hit in 2011, there were lots of buildings under repair and building work going on almost everywhere. 
The 2011 earthquake tragically killed 185 people and on the first anniversary a local artist arranged 185 empty white chairs in a demolished site in the town centre. 

The chairs were only supposed to be up for 1 week but have since become an unofficial memorial for the 185 people who lost their lives that day. 

We visited the memorial and it was strange to see all the different chairs, from a stool to an armchair, and a baby seat to a wheelchair. Representing each and every individual that sadly died as a result of the earthquake. As well as the chairs there is also information on the earthquake itself along with the names and ages of the victims.

The rest of our time in Christchurch was spent wandering the Hagley Park and Botanic gardens and taking in the city. 

We took a look at the ruined cathedral and even found a meter which gave you ideas of free things to do around the city! 

You pressed a button which gave an idea of something free to do, if you didn’t like it you pressed the button again, when you saw something you liked you pressed another button which printed out a ‘ticket’ with the idea, address and how far away it was! 

I thought it was a great idea for teenagers who were bored within the area! 
We took a short stroll to the Sound Garden were musical instruments were made from rubbish found locally. The sounds the instruments made were not exactly harmonious but it was still nice to see waste being reused to entertain the youths (or Ryan and I at this point!)


Ryan and I then flew from Christchurch to Auckland where we stayed for a couple of days before flying to sunny Sydney, Australia. 
Now, to say I was happy to feel the heat and see cloud free blue skies when we got off the plane was an understatement! New Zealand was absolutely beautiful but it was chilly the majority of the time so jumpers and coats were definitely needed. Australia’s weather is beautiful and it’s only their spring so it’s only going to get hotter! 
Ryan and I stayed in Broadway for a couple of days to sort out our Australian bank accounts, our Tax File numbers, getting an Australian SIM card, you know – the boring, important stuff! 

We did take a walk to see the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge – it was great! Lovely to see something I’d seen so many times on TV and online, and with the sun shining the view didn’t disappoint! 

Unfortunately sorting out our bank accounts and Tax File numbers wasn’t a quick process so while we were waiting for emails we decided we would pop to Bondi for a couple of nights. 
The hostel itself was ‘ok’, we were given a private room without having to pay any extra dollar, it was right next to Bondi Beach which was great, but the kitchen we tried to avoid at all costs! It was far to small for the amount of backpackers staying, they had hardily any cooking utensils and it was, in my opinion, just a little bit grim! (But hey, what hostels aren’t?!)
We spent our time in Bondi on the beach, taking in the street art on the walls and walking to Coogee Beach. 
On our walk to Coogee Beach we had to walk through Waverley Cemetery.  

Waverley Cemetery is located on the cliff tops of Bronte and was opened in 1877. The cemetery itself is known for its Victorian and Edwardian monuments; it is home to many family tombs that vary widely in structure, size and colours. 

The cemetery was ginormous, by far the biggest cemetery I had ever seen. Unfortunately some areas of the cemetery had been sectioned off due to the damage from the 2016 storm which had made many of the older graves unstable and unsafe. 

Ryan has family that live in Dee-Why, Sydney and they have kindly let us stay with them. It was a short ferry ride to Manly where Steve and Kathy were waiting to greet us.

Steve is Ryan’s Dads cousin, Kathy is his wife and their 2 teenage daughters are Danielle and Georgia. It has been so lovely to meet more of Ryan’s family and for us to bond over our travels (Steve and Kathy traveled when they were younger too, and then ended up living in Aus!) 

They took us to the lookout point West Head where you can see Lion Island and Palm Beach and then to Long Reef to over look Dee-Why Beach. 

There were lots of paragliders around Long Reef – it was a miracle they didn’t bump into each other! 

We also took a bike ride down to Dee-why Beach where we stopped to get ourselves a Golden GayTime ice-cream (as recommended by the family as a must try). It was delicious! It’s a toffee and vanilla ice-cream dipped in chocolate then coated in honeycomb biscuit crumbs! 

Other days were spent walking around the Narrabeen Lagoon Trail where we came across tiny little ducklings which where so cute! And catching some rays down at Dee-why Beach – lunch included!  

Ryan and I are STILL waiting on our bank cards *rolls eyes* 

When we finally have them we will be able to get into the chaos that is finding farm work in Australia! 

We are looking to do 3 months of farm work in order to see a different rural area and also hopefully save a few pennies along the way! 
Hopefully in my next post Ryan and I will no longer be unemployed!

Pray for us! 
‘Til next time! 
Love Bumble x