#Gramspam

lady gaga

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wQdcCiVb59g

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I spent a lot of my holidays with my brain and phone off, which was rather delicious. During the coconut & colada reclining sesh, I did however view the above video.

Being a (former) Gaga skeptic, I planned to dedicate approx five minutes of my demanding schedule to the ‘clown’ – who quickly slapped my ignorance in the face with absolute brilliance.

For once I am not going to impose my opinions on y’all- instead I’ve decided to leave the link to the hour long interview here, for leisurely viewing.

The video perfectly articulates my views on social media and mental health/ illness– SO, SO ELOQUENTLY.

As the techno slaves we are swiftly becoming, It’s more important than ever to gain some control over the shit that now determines our moods.

So, I thought I would use this platform to lightly suggest some worthy Gram follows.

(Randomly) listed below are some of the accounts that keep me #stable, #happy, #inspired and #LOLing through this thang’ called life, in 2016!

12665748_10156501739960182_995463690_n12674608_10156501673655182_943342998_n12674540_10156501675845182_419560951_n12674102_10156501675860182_13929948_n12674396_10156501674150182_695191865_n12666481_10156501673890182_1611229388_n12666445_10156501673700182_1618338762_n12665783_10156501673945182_963578980_n12660407_10156501673795182_1116993771_n12660447_10156501674100182_459525259_n12660445_10156501675615182_901882013_n12660389_10156501694570182_1535450460_n12660327_10156501674270182_215668454_n12660259_10156501675810182_778026333_n12650163_10156501673770182_1299701623_n

 

12660244_10156501674245182_497503850_n12650247_10156501675785182_102071184_n12659616_10156501673825182_1938330067_n12647814_10156501673955182_348794093_n12647938_10156501673905182_647591067_n12647629_10156501675655182_812613875_n12626049_10156501674195182_1784294586_n12647751_10156501674360182_1867955077_n12626190_10156501675680182_1696495873_n12625746_10156501673920182_1381224063_n12625884_10156501673900182_1249558432_n12625812_10156501673995182_1494336078_n12625869_10156501673850182_745918612_n12625734_10156501674015182_86987947_n12596315_10156501673725182_1580093938_n

 

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Winter Whining (By A White Gal)

Oh holidays.. such a dreamy period full of opportunity, experiences, travel and fun…. well thats the idealistic version I diluted myself with to get through every dry, tedious lecture, assignment and exam prep.

netflix

The reality for the brain fried, lazy and every so stereotypical uni student that i am (particularly in winter) is slightly closer to unhealthy Netflix binges, pizza and alcohol consumption along with as much sleep as I can manage amongst shit-ly scheduled shifts.

Sometimes I surprise myself however, like last Thursday when I treated myself to a massage, intended to relieve the study induced tension that has NOTHING to do with Orange Is The New Black.

Having assessed the fat knots framing my neck, I knew a bita’ Chinese acupressure (with a side of back straddling) was in order.

When I called, I was excited to hear the owners voice; that woman does things to my ass that no physio has ever achieved. The relief and sensation is something else, and I intended to lay down and take it all in.

hapy endings

Just as I was settling in however, a gross creep barged into the salon, interrupting my appointment to ask how many girls worked at ‘Nihow’, how old they are and whether or not he can receive a happy ending at 3pm on a Thursday arvo in my little civilised neighbourhood.

Not only did this fuel a rage in my feminist veins, it led to a heavy discussion on race, politics, education and of course money, which resulted in a few leg kicks and excessive arm waving (GOODBYE ZEN).

I was learning a lot, mostly about men and the typical behaviours found at varying salons across the metropolitan area. (A wine or 10 was defs required to process that shit). It wasn’t until my dear masseuse decided to intercept my opinion with a solution however, that led to my… well… annoyance.

” You know, you should go to China. You would love.”

-Of course I asked what this had to do with perverted men-

“Lots of fun, good shopping, you know, good economy, find nice husband.”

Then I realised- this woman was just being patriotic. She had built a bond and felt the need to entice me into her mother country, you know- while I was naked and hot headed, covered in vegetable oil while she whispered to her employees peeping through the door.

I then remembered that I am off to Bali in a few weeks, and took a deep inhale. I pictured myself laying by the pool, coconut in hand, soaking up the rays as I take in the un-interrupted ocean view.

seminyak

Oh wait~ except for the line of beach workers shoving sarongs in my face, begging me to look, and buy, and look, and buy.

“You! black hair, you look Indonesian! very pretty! come look, come look.”

Yes, it’s cute. More so, it’s a bloody tough gig, (from a privileged white girls point of view). They are just trying to survive, and the sarongs are ever so pretty. i don’t wanna hate, or ignore. I want to show acknowledgement and respect, and I always do.

But after that, I want to be left alone. I don’t want to hassled every time turn my head in the wrong direction, or walk along the beach.

And here we have it: the clash of the worlds. The white power guilt and ethical dilemmas.

whitepower

While I admire the owner of the massage parlour, I did not enjoy receiving a photo album of Beijing post massage.

This led me to reflect on a doco I watched recently about an American girl who had been adopted from Vietnam.

Having felt a void in her adopted family, the lady went to a lengthy effort to track down her biological relatives. As I watched with enthusiasm and emotion as the woman arrived at the airport, it was so nice to see the love and connection experienced as she embraced her mumma and papa.

It was then so disheartening to watch her face change as her brother sat her down to request financial support. Being from the west, the family had assumed the girl was in the position to support the family, as is tradition in their culture anyway.

The cultural clash had struck again, and it’s no ones fault!

I’ve always believed that humans can connect and relate on many levels, from all corners of the globe. If there was one thing that divides, it is of course- the mighty dollar bills.

One day I plan to use my ‘power’ to make differences, to be honest I already do, weekly. However, sometimes all a gal needs is a good mojito in the sun to re-boot, guilt and creep free!

sex and the city

Happily Diseased: the bug that should be contagious

Reflecting on my favourite hobby- travel and the amazing lessons and memories I have gained, particularly over this year… #reblog

Alternative Thoughts

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 
― Marcel Proust

wandering

 I have received a lot of feedback on my writing so far (I know, its been 5 days, I’m not J.K Rowling… yet!), and the most commonly shared request was for me to write about my personal experiences, because people love that stuff.

This got me thinking about one of life’s biggest ‘teachers’ I am lucky enough to have experienced; travel. Now before you close the tab at the dread of me bragging on about the awe inspiring buildings, museums and countries I’ve seen because I’m just so fucking cultured, give me a chance. I’ll also leave the enlightening experiences from the jungles of Ubud for another time (it will come though, sorry). Instead I am referring to the everyday stuff that make up our lives, but can be…

View original post 850 more words

Happily Diseased: the bug that should be contagious

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” 
― Marcel Proust

wandering

 I have received a lot of feedback on my writing so far (I know, its been 5 days, I’m not J.K Rowling… yet!), and the most commonly shared request was for me to write about my personal experiences, because people love that stuff.

This got me thinking about one of life’s biggest ‘teachers’ I am lucky enough to have experienced; travel. Now before you close the tab at the dread of me bragging on about the awe inspiring buildings, museums and countries I’ve seen because I’m just so fucking cultured, give me a chance. I’ll also leave the enlightening experiences from the jungles of Ubud for another time (it will come though, sorry). Instead I am referring to the everyday stuff that make up our lives, but can be totally altered by experiencing life outside our cushy beds of clean comfortable sheets and the smells of Mumma’s cooking.

Speaking of mothers, it was mine who encouraged my first adventure the tender age of 17. Following a week of waking up on a tin roof and downing shots at 6am before passing out, then waking once more on a floating mattress in the ocean (otherwise known as schoolies/ leavers), I boarded a wobbly Air Tiger flight to Cairns where I started a month of backpacking on the East Coast of Australia. Thanks to a cheeky fake ID, my world suddenly opened up. I quickly learnt of the excitement that comes with being free to go where I wanted, do what I wanted, for as long as I wanted.

To my surprise, I remember my first light bulb moment which occurred in the grungy walls of a 12 bed dorm. From memory it was a late arvo and I had risen from my hung over haze to the sight of a naked guy getting dressed. He said “hello, big night?” I was slightly overwhelmed, he was rather attractive. I then sat up and had a chat, and before long I was talking to a group of  travellers.

I was sitting on my bunk listening to everyone’s stories, before I had the chance to introduce myself as the representative of my country. In that moment I could be whoever I wanted. This memory has stuck like glue because it was in the moment of haze that I realized that there is a massive world outside my own, where my little insecurities and pressures did not (and still don’t) exist. It didn’t matter if I was a good or bad student, daughter, girlfriend, person, whether I was ‘cool’, or what my ‘past’ was. I lost the imaginary labels! I realized that we can decide who we are, and that I was good enough just as I was. For 17 this was life changing.

It wasn’t really until I was 19 and on a tour bus in Italia with another group of strangers that my self confidence was majorly boosted once more through travel. I flew to the country solo, sat my ass down next to a stranger and introduced myself. It was nerve-racking but I needed a buddy. Within ten minutes of chit chat the passenger turned to me and said “I really like you”. Within 24 hours I had bonded with the majority of the group. Making friends with people from all over the world is one of the most fulfilling activities. Particularly as a solo traveller, building bonds is very comforting and uplifting. It also reminds us of how silly cultural barriers and stereotypes are too. Turns out the French, Germans and Koreans are some of the nicest, warm and welcoming hilarious people I’ve met.

Travel brings power and love back into your life.” 
― Rumi

As well as the rattling of love making at 4AM, shared dorms and bathrooms also force us to embrace our bodies! We lose the control over where and when we change, wash, how long for, and after 10 hours of busing or walking around, the thought of whipping out the GHD’s just aint’ that high on the priority list. Luckily the mentality of the majority of people I’ve met travelling, particularly in backpackers has been a  ‘who gives a shit!’ one.  Just like that, the masks are lifted, and we are encouraged to view life and our priorities differently.

This links to my final and most profound reasoning as to why I believe travelling is fantastic, the loss of CONTROL! Travelling, particularly without concrete plans, forces us to trust ourselves and the world a little bit, which is a liberating experience. From sharing bedrooms with strangers, to boarding local modes of transport and gallivanting around foreign land, we are vulnerable.  We are often unsure of how to get somewhere or to find something. These experiences not only encourage us to challenge the lack of trust in strangers that is ingrained in us from childhood, they also suggest that planning can work against us, as there is so much to do, see and learn when in a new place. Not knowing where exactly I am going next is also bloody fun and liberating. 

“Not all those who wonder are lost.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Some of my most fondest memories come from spontaneous encounters that were un- planned. So often we plan our interactions and activities, leaving little room for spontaneity. Travel taught me that this isn’t always necessary, to let life happen naturally. Because it does anyway!

The last little point I have to include for those still reading, is that some of my greatest friendships and life teachers have been found through travel- either on my own, or through others who have found their way to me. I don’t know who I would be without them, or where I would have lived and learned at certain points either- Gracias Amigos!

Swiss Alps 2014
Swiss Alps 2014