The land down under.

Over the summer break I rose to the challenge of creating memories. Our trips to Australia never really seem to disappoint and 2016 was no exception to that challenge.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. Since the rise of the social media and its baby called Instagram, the pressure mounts to create the perfectly timed, filtered and seemingly natural pose that will take you from names to numbers in a matter of hours. I must say I did a lot of that but while on my Instagram tirade I managed to stand back, look out and embrace the view with my own eyes.

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Our adventures took us to the well-aged surfy town of Byran Bay. Unfortunately we weren’t able to catch up with Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth but still managed to embrace the lifestyle. Learning to become a surfer dude #shucka was a goal for 2016 on top of witnessing 50 shades of brown appear on my various tan lines.

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In my attempt to fit in with the locals I donned a bikini, had my windswept and salty excuse of hair, a beer andย  headed off to a secluded part of the beach to catch some waves. My love for the ocean I used to have as a kid was consequently reborn that day. Summer time will always include a day at the beach, where it is acceptable to wear your bikini hugging your curves, get sand in all sorts of crevices and admire a country’s beautiful coastline. I find something quite therapeutic about looking out at the sea. It never ends and it never begins and to me I’m just a tiny little dot in comparison to it all.

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The highlights of Byron was the coast, the trek to the lighthouse at the most easterly point of Australia (and still managing to do this while extremely unfit and hungover I might add) and of course the company. I find that the key to a successful holiday is the right people. We all came together under the one roof from all walks of life and it just worked. Anywhere you go in life, if you have the ability to open yourself up to new cultures, groups and people, then you’ll always find what you were looking for in a holiday.

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We were quite fortunate to have a family lifeline in Brisbane when the Byron Bay lifestyle of walking miles in inappropriate footwear and a round of 11am beers began to take its tole. So back up the coast we went crossing back into daylight savings time and into a new take on civilisation.

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I take my hat off to our family. We seem to make two hour car rides an effortless breeze, a bundle of laughs and a new take on words we now find hilarious. I suppose that makes us a lucky bunch. Having the ability to make trips like these and storing the poignant moments that made us giggle or ‘remember that time when’ is pretty perfect to me.

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And what’s a trip to Brisbane without a cheeky drive down the Gold Coast highway to our version of the happiest place on earth? Our inner 7-year-old selves were reborn with even the wide grin from ear to ear coming from my father (until he needed his 3 o’clock coffee). Personal favs? The Buzz Saw, Wipeout, The Tower of Terror 2 and of course The Giant Drop. I’m not saying I relish in the feeling of the Drop but to pick up my insecurities and bundle them into my seat that would see me plummeting incredibly fast to earth from a great height is an achievement in its own right.

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Our day was physically exhausting to say the least and while we were quite fortunate to have kept our lunch of burgers and chips in our stomachs, we still managed to arm ourselves with twelve krispy kreme doughnuts on the way home. Our intention was to share them with the rest of the crew for dessert, but much to everyone’s disappointment there were only three left upon our return (I won’t name names Olivia).

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While the weather left much to be desired I think I have come to the conclusion that learning to dance in the rain is just inevitable for me. Watching movies and devouring leftovers was the perfect way to end the day.

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So how can you end it all? The weeks go too fast and all of a sudden you’re on a plane back to the harsh realities of the year. This may seem a bit doom and gloom but honestly if you can look back on a holiday and love every bit of it so much, you will have that feeling. But trust me you’ll start planning for the next one no matter how big or small and it’ll be worth waiting for again.

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Our last hurrah before the airport was a complete drenching (literally). Brisbane clearly wanted us gone. Trying to find somewhere to eat in the middle of Brisbane without getting too saturated wasn’t an easy feat. Drowned rats huddling under a toilet hand dryer was not how I saw this ending. But hey I wouldn’t have changed it for anything so a big CHEERS and a Fat Yak to that. Beer was my summer beverage of choice. Trying different beers with the best names was my forte. As a bonus I even managed to sneak a Yak on the flight home too!

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My summer has once again been one to remember. It wasn’t compared to the amount of miles traveled or the money spent or how much I could do in the time I had. It was just as it should have been. Simple and memorable. And if you sit here inside working to a computer screen longing to go back there or explore somewhere else in the world, then you know you’ve had a successful summer holiday.

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