July and August saw me escaping Sydney’s winter as much as I could manage. It’s by no means intolerable or even unpleasant (think 60F mostly-sunny days, often with wind), but I really struggle with it after several months of hot beach days. I am my happiest and best self when it’s hot and sunny and I can spend all day at the beach. Without these things, I feel like a shell of myself.
It wasn’t all carefree fun, though. I also got a new flatmate, signed up for a course, and attended a speed dating event!
Adventures & Travels:
With Mammoth scheduled between Yosemite and Big Sur on our NorCal road trip, my expectations were understandably low in comparison to those big guns. I think it worked out extremely well though because Mammoth impressed the socks off of us – so much so that we scraped together an extra day to spend there.
When I reminisce over our time in Mammoth, I picture the stunning sunset we took in from the comfort of a hot spring; I recall striking yoga poses in the middle of a golden hour-lit road; I remember how unbelievably smoky it was and how we basically couldn’t breathe out of our noses for days thanks to local bush fires – and yet, it was so easy to forget about it due to the amazingness all around us.
Ugh, Mammoth, you gem!
Big Sur & California Coast
Big Sur was a major bucket list item for me (you know me and coastal beauties), so unlike with Mammoth, my expectations for Big Sur were sky high.
I think it was totally a case of me building something up in my mind so much that the reality could never be as good. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy Big Sur – I did, and I’m so glad I finally saw it. I think I just came down from a high of 5 straight days of perfect sunny weather and into the cool cloudy coastal fog. And then there was all this seaweed in the water off the coast, which kind detracted from the beauty of the scenery (at least for me).
I spent a week in SF after our NorCal road trip and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. Sadly I had to spend most of it catching up on work, but I did make an effort to get out and do some exploring at some point each day.
Highlights from this SF trip: the Golden Gate Bridge-backed Baker Beach; burritos, street art, and the coolest shops in The Mission; catching up with some BlogHouse friends who I hadn’t seen in over 4 years.
Is San Francisco still my soul city? I think it would be if not for the weather. This girl likes it HOT, y’all.
I based myself at an Airbnb in Berkeley during my week in SF: mostly because any sort of accommodation in the city is outrageously overpriced (like, worse than in NYC), but also because I was curious about what it was like across the bay.
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Um, so it turns out Berkeley is pretty rad. Yes, there are lots of college students in this area, but there are also families living in gorgeous houses – I couldn’t get over how they all had plants and gardens (like, is it a city-mandated requirement that all Berkeley residents must adorn their property with greenery?).
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are a bunch of parks in and around Berkeley with plentiful hiking trails and city views. Best of all: the East Bay generally enjoys warmer weather than the city, so while SF was a wee bit too cool to walk around in anything sleeveless, Berkeley was the ideal temperature for dresses and tank tops.
I Live With A Kitty!
Right after I returned to Sydney from the US, I had a new flatmate move in… with her adorable little kitty Ivy!
I’d been to-ing and fro-ing over adopting a cat for months, so this is like the perfect setup: I get to enjoy living with a cat again but without the responsibility!
It’s been equal parts awesome and frustrating having her around. Obviously I love me some kitty cuddles and antics; but what I DIDN’T count on was to have to train her not to attack my plants or pee outside/inside my bedroom. We’ve tried everything we can think of to stop the rogue peeing, but to no avail. THEN we realized she was going into heat… which I’m really hoping explains this misbehavior. We’ll see if it stops after she gets spayed.
Malabar Headland Hike
Sydney usually gets a couple of unseasonably warm days during winter which, I won’t lie, I pretty much live for. As soon as the temperature hit 75F I was outside checking another coastal walk off my list: the Malabar Headland hike. It’s a short but super scenic walk from Maroubra to Malabar – would recommend!
Byron Bay & Gold Coast
I joined my friend Marijs on a spontaneous road trip to Byron Bay in early August. The drive from Sydney to Byron is about 10 hours depending on how many stops you make, but if there’s any destination worth that drive it’s definitely Byron.
It was absolutely glorious to be back in this hip(pie) town! Marijs and I got our blogging on and dressed up, went to trendy brunch spots and boutiques, and spent a good portion of our time exploring outside of Byron (think villages, waterfalls, and secluded beaches). Ugh, SO MUCH FUN. And did I mention it was in the 70’s the entire time? (Take that, winter).
We also went up to the Gold Coast one afternoon and spotted some whales while waiting for sunset!
I’ve been wanting to experience speed dating for awhile now and had had my eyes on the monthly events put on by Conscious Dating Co… but due to the usual collection of excuses (didn’t want to spend the money, was out of town either during or right after the event, was occupied with another guy), I never quite got around to buying a ticket.
Until this past August, that is! I hoped that a ‘conscious dating’ event would attract people that were looking for more than just a hookup (looking’ at you, Tinder), and went into the speed dating with a reasonably open mind and minimal expectations. This one was a wine tasting at Urban Winery, which I’d been wanting to try anyway – so I figured even if the dating was a bust, it would still be worth it.
I’m SO GLAD I went. It was such a positive experience! There were some… *interesting* characters, let’s say. But also a few guys I enjoyed chatting with. I came out of the speed dating event with two matches AND a couple of new girl friends as well, so I’d say it was a win.
Started an NLP Course
Filed under Following My Gut: signing up for a life coaching course! I’m not saying I necessarily want to become a life coach, but I feel pretty strongly that I’m supposed to explore the option.
A casual Google search turned up an NLP course by The Coaching Room, which sounded particularly appealing because it’s not just meant for aspiring coaches: it’s more a personal development course that ANYONE can benefit from taking. AND GET THIS: the course is held in the SAME BUILDING COMPLEX that I lived in during my first semester abroad at Sydney Uni, aka the first time in my life when I felt free and alive. What are the freakin’ odds?!
So yeah, it’s totally a full circle situation, and for SURE a sign that this is the course for me.
The first 2 days of the course happened in August, while the remaining 6 days will occur in September – so I’ll save the deets for the next update!
Top 3 Instagram Posts:
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One of those scenes you dream of glimpsing in person, and then you finally do and you’re all 😍😍😍
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Checked this view of the GGB off my SF bucket list ✅ Not pictured (cause I photoshopped them out and also waited til there were fewer in the frame): all the naked men hanging out (like, literally hanging out) here. Apparently Baker Beach is a clothing optional beach, so be warned! 🤭
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A natural hot pool all to myself 👌🏻 We loved this Mammoth spot so much that we came back the next night to camp and stargaze here. Laying in the hot springs with my sis @jimbobuckwild and gazing up at one of the starriest skies I’ve ever seen is one of those moments I’m gonna carry in the memory bank forever 😍
Here are the posts I wrote in July & August:
FF Monthly Recap: May & June 2018
A Perfect Day in San Francisco
One Week in Northern California: Road Trip Itinerary
Things To Know Before Visiting Yosemite
That Time I Went To See A Psychic Healer
13 Things To Do Around Byron Bay
Ok, so despite buying a new Kindle in July, I’ve still been slacking on the reading. It’s taking me ages to get through this Tony Robbins book I started and I’m just not motivated to keep reading because I sorta feel like I’m reading a textbook and should be taking copious notes on it. Should I drop it and read something lighter just to get the reading ball rolling again?
Coming up in September & October:
The first half of September will be my busiest stretch in quite some time. I’ve got a trip to Tropical North Queensland bookended by my NLP course and therefore won’t be coming up for air until September 17th. Very much looking forward to being catapulted to 90-degree weather up around Cairns and doing some diving for the first time in nearly a year.