Failing forward into 2013

2012 is my biggest year of failure to date. There is a long, long list of things I did not do, or started to do and didn’t finish. Last year I had set out to carry out 25 things by the time I turned 25, yet only completed a measly 14 of them. If it were a high school exam I would have received an F. FailI failed 2012. I even failed at writing this post; I started writing it in October last year but could never find the words, or more importantly courage to admit to anyone that I failed (the 25 by 25 officially finished on my birthday, November 23). With just one look at my blog, my failure was obvious; I had crossed things off my list as I did them and there were not many items with a black line through them. Continue reading

Getting into the Christmas spirit à la New York City

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Christmas Window at Lord and Taylor

Today is Christmas Eve, in a few short hours the big man in the red suit will fly around the world delivering gifts to children everywhere, regardless if they are on the naughty or nice list; I speak from experience on this one. As this is my first Christmas living in New York City I’ve attempted to soak up as much of the Christmas spirit as possible, which is not hard with ice rinks and fairy lights popping up everywhere. After Thanksgiving this city turns into a magical, winter wonderland, with the finishing touch of snow hopefully coming on Christmas Day. There is a long, long list of the magical things to do in New York City during this time, and while I would have loved to have done them all, I also moved apartments this month (more on that later), so did a few that tickled my fancy. Continue reading

All I want for christmas is a free flight home

I’ve been told, on more than one occasion, that I am a very lucky person. However I believe you create your own luck and with the help of a few people, I am about to do it again. At the end of November I met the Bulla Creamy Classic roving team in New York City who were finding Aussies abroad to enter in their competition. As soon as I heard the words “win return flights to Australia during the summer” I was in! Living abroad means that I don’t get to see my family very often, with flights being anywhere from $1500-$2000+ and having a never-ending list of places to visit, unfortunately, home seems further and further away. Within minutes of them telling about the competition I was recording a video entry with my epic reason for wanting to win – visiting Uluru.

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The Smallest of Them All


Bee Hummingbird

The Bee Hummingbird or Zunzuncito is the smallest bird in the world. While in Cuba, on my way to Baracoa, I was fortunate enough to snap a quick shot of this little guy! I took this photo with a Canon Powershot camera. Recently I bought a Canon Rebel 4Ti and can not wait to explore with it.

Dive Deep into Life, and the Caribbean

“Hey you, right-heart girl, put this one on.” It was 10 o’clock in the morning and I was standing on a not-so-sandy beach in Cuba, preparing for my first scuba diving experience; my instructor had just thrown me a wet suit. A few hours earlier our dive instructor Peter had met us at the host Casa in Trinidad and I had attempted to explain to him about my heart. From my poor attempt at Spanish and the little English he knew, I think he got all the main information, but mostly he just took with him that my heart was on the right-hand side. The other divers, my mum and I all jumped in an old 52′ American car, the local cab service, to get down to the beach.

“Where is the boat to take us out?” I asked Peter. Woops. I had put my foot in it, how was I to know that Cubans are not allowed on boats? Continue reading

Born a Miracle Baby with a Happy Heart I’m Thankful to Turn 25

25 years ago to the date, my Mum was pushing hard to squeeze out a chubby bubby who had decided to hibernate in her belly for an extra week. At exactly 6:55am on this day, a cheeky 9lb 6oz baby entered the world; me! Since then, though I see myself as perfectly normal, many people have called me a miracle baby. Whilst we should be thankful everyday, not just on Thanksgiving, on my 25th birthday today I am especially thankful that I am alive, healthy and loving living life to the max. This is the story of my “miracle” life.

Not long after I was born, my Mum who was a nurse, noticed there was something not quite right with me (other than my killer good looks at only 2 hours old). Continue reading

Little Cubans and their Beautiful Faces

As I wandered through the streets of Cuba, around every corner I found Cuban children playing on the road. Each of them were as entertaining as the next. Unlike children where I live, they don’t have Xboxes, Wii’s or computers to keep them bailed up inside in front of a screen; they don’t even have 5% of the toys that kids in first world countries have. Children there are forced to be resourceful to stay entertained. They use rocks to play marbles, I’ve seen kids playing with a wheel and stick; hoop trundling, or kicking a deflated ball around a town square.

One evening in Santiago de Cuba I took a stroll around the town before dinner. I’d recently noticed how everyone in Cuba loves being photographed, especially the children, and wanted to enjoy this as much as possible. Rounding a corner I almost got knocked over by a boy zooming past me on some type of wooden board. While catching my breath I took a moment to watch what they were doing. These awesome kids had made their own quasi skateboards with 3 wheels, a stick and some recycled wood. A-mazing! I don’t even know how long I stood there to watch them play with their “skateboards”, their happiness was infectious.


My favourite experience of taking a photo with a little Cuban was in Santa Clara. Of an evening everyone takes to the streets, or maybe they just stay on the streets, as that’s where they spend their whole day too… either way, people are everywhere, relaxing, enjoying the night air, the music at a bar on the corner and most of all, enjoying each other. At the heart of almost every town is a Revolution Square, this particular one in Santa Clara had a rotunda that looked beautiful in the night-light.

My photography skills are all self-taught, and so for a good 30 mins I had tried to take the perfect photo of the rotunda. What happens if make this number a little higher? A little less? I fiddle with this button? How about this one with the funny +/- sign? Starting at novice level I can only get better! I had moved around to see what happens if I put the water fountain in the foreground when the sweetest little boy came up to me and wanted to see what I was doing. How could I tell him that I actually didn’t know what I was doing, and that I didn’t know how to explain that to him in Spanish? I showed him the screen of
my camera, explaining that I was attempting to capture a memory of the Revolutionary Square. Pretty sure that the big eyes that looked back at me had no clue of what I had just tried to explain in my horrific attempt at Spanish. To show him exactly how it worked, I took a quick snap of him. I will never know if he understood any of my butchered Spanish, but I will always remember the delight and excitement when he saw himself on my camera.

Come on Sandy, what’s the matter with you?

Today I was planning on sharing photos of the beautiful children I met in Cuba, instead Sandy happened. Yesterday before the storm hit I took a stroll outside to see the city I love so much, before destruction would hit her. Continue reading

Our country is not just Cuba; our country is also humanity


Today while hurricane Sandy is keeping me indoors I looked over my photos from Cuba for the millionth time thinking “how on earth do I share this amazing experience with people?!” A question that has been on my mind everyday since I set foot in Cuba. For weeks now I’ve been writing, trying to find the right words, but everything I write seems to fall short. Each time I suck at writing I then look over the photos I took of the joyful people, the magical scenery and all the feelings of Cuba come rushing back. Which leads me to wonder, if a picture is worth a thousand words, for now can I simply use my photographed memory to share the inspiration I felt in Cuba?

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