10 Tips for Being A Good Friend

Good friends are hard to find these days. But when you do search high and low for that quality person, you’ll want to hang onto that friendship. However, it goes both ways. A friendship can hardly flourish if it is just one sided.

I sat down with my beautiful friend, Katie Baird at Born to Explore the World and discussed what it means to be a good friend.

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  1. TAKE THE TIME:

    Taking the time to listen to each other’s Spotify playlists, knowing full well their blood and sweat went into creating their own little slice of heaven.

  1. VISIT THEM:

    When they’re sick, and provide any sort of comfort food. They will remember this next time you’re sick.

  1. BE NATURAL:

    Be raw with them. Make sure you give your friends the privilege of knowing the real you at all times, even if it drags a whole range of emotions with it.

  1. BE HONEST:

    Call them on their shit. It’s 100% okay that if you feel they are making a crazy life decision to pull them up on it. However, when they’re being over emotional, let them cry and rant to you as well. Sometimes you might not have the wisdom to give to them but they will find it comforting just knowing that you are listening.

  1. ANSWER CALLS:

    Answer their Skype calls or phone calls when their overseas and need your help ASAP and be willing to spend hours on the phone with them talking about every situation with them, and wishing you were together again. We get it, everyone has busy schedules so if you can’t answer their calls then just send them a message saying you’re thinking of them. It’s simple.

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  1. SUPPORT THEM:

    Celebrate with them. They’re victory is your victory. Seeing them happy makes you happy. So make sure you show it.

  1. SHARE:

    What’s mine is yours. Be so comfortable around them that there is no boundaries and what you can and can’t borrow and share…just not boyfriends.

  1. LOVE THE FAM:

    Treat their family like you’d treat your own. Ask about them, because almost instinctively you already care about them.

  1. DON’T BE OVERPROTECTIVE:

    And don’t be overly clingy. Be happy in who you are, and your confidence that the friendship makes you both shine – not one of you hiding behind the other.

  1. ESCAPE WITH THEM:

    They will escape with you when you feel the need to get away. Even if it’s just to pick you up for an ice-cream or a long road trip. They will be there.

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ABOUT BORN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD 

Born To Explore The World is a travel and self-inspiring blog that follows the life lessons of a young woman as she takes risks, and runs through life hoping to find what she’s looking for. Always writing of distance places, lovely faces and the perfect contraption that is, to be in love. It’ll always leave you wanting more.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/katiejbaird/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/borntoexploretheworld/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katherynjbaird

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Image Credit: Shelby Campbell

4 Ways To Understand Yourself Better Than Anyone Ever Will

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This morning my Aunty fell into my DM’s (haha had to use that) on Instagram. She had sent me a famous quote from the movie The Wizard of OZ. Even though I actually have never seen more then 15 minutes of that movie (Shocking right!?) I felt that the quote tied in perfectly to what I wanted to write about this morning.

4 Ways To Understand Yourself Better Than Anyone Ever Will

“You always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”

– The Wizard of OZ

The most powerful thing you can do in life is understand yourself; the potential and power that you possess. Otherwise, you’ll go crazy.

I’ve always thought that 2015 was the biggest year of shaping who I am. However, 2016 has really showed up to be another year of challenges I’ve had to overcome. The hardest challenge of all, understanding myself more. How I react dramatically in certain situations. How in other situations I am reserved and silent.

(1) Understand How Your Mind Works

Ahh the battlefield of the mind….

Do you have a quiet mind, a busy mind or a bit of both? It’s time for you to understand which one you have.

This year I’ve learnt that my loud, chaotic mind doesn’t fit well in a silent household.

Do you feel like you don’t have many views on issues which are consuming our world today? E.g ISIS, Homosexuals and Refugee’s? 

Recently I encountered someone talking quite demeaning about homosexuals. I’ve never been witness to a conversation like this in real life and I didn’t quite know how to respond. Usually I would remain silent on this issue, however it made me more irritated than it ever has.

I came away from that conversation excited as I was starting to understand how to think for myself about issues related to all of humanity- a.k.a you & me. I’m beginning to formulate my own perspectives and I’m basing them off love not hate. #spreadlovenothate

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(2) Understand Your Emotions

Ever feel down and you’re not entirely sure why? It’s okay, that’s apart of being human.

I visited a friend whilst in the Gold Coast the other night and we had a massive chat about this. It also happened to be ‘R U OKAY?’ week so our conversation seemed fitting. It’s important to recognise your emotions and when you are feeling down about yourself. In those times, you must do something to distract you from that feeling. It’s the only way to pull yourself out of it.

Suggestions: go for a walk around the block, listen to an uplifting song, take a quick break from YOUR social media or watch something funny on YouTube (Recommended: Models falling off catwalks). 

With this knowledge, I’m learning the times of the day when I feel most down about life (4-6pm and late at night) and those times that I’m on top of the world (when I’ve left the house or I’m sitting in the sunshine drinking OJ).

(3) Understand Your Purpose

Without purpose we all feel a little, well, stuck. You don’t have to think too far down the track. But if works for you, think about the right nowWhy are you doing what you are doing right now? If the answer is, I don’t know. Then it’s time for you to start understanding your purpose.

(4) Understand Your Soul and Don’t Deny it of Happiness

Most importantly, I am finally realising what is going to make me the most happiest in this crazy world.

I will not deny myself of happiness. Why? Because I deserve it. Just because my path in life might not necessarily be the path that everyone else is taking. THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY.

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Have a wonderful weekend babes. x –

Comment below if you feel that this post has helped you in some way. 

Image credit: Colby Rinaldis, Girl with Knapsack Tumblr, Joe Robles Photography, 

STRANGE GIRL IN MELBOURNE

I’ve never been to Melbourne before, therefore I have never known what to expect. I wish someone had told me more about this place other than the fact that it is cold. Therefore, I have compiled a list of things that I never got told (or I did and didn’t listen) about first time travelling within Melbourne.

Recently I’ve started to write for the Storyboard Social blog. Click here to read the 10 Must know facts about Melbourne .

I’ll often write about myself in third person. Here is a quick reflection of my impressions of Melbourne taken from my journal.


Current status: Strange girl in CNF Bar cafe on Chapel Street drinking earl grey tea on table 2. Her lips are purple with blisters, the soles of her feet are sore from walking. She is wearing a white stripy dress and is nor content or unsatisfied as she stares at her reflection in the mirror beside her. She is thinking nonchalantly about something and the world goes on around her. The music continues, the tourists and locals on the street continue to pass the small cafe that she abides in. Understanding life has always been a struggle for her but she knows to call Australia home, even if her heat longs desperately for Greece. She enjoys watching the interactions amongst people and sometimes it feels as though the power of observation is her long lost friend popping out of the shadows.

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DAY ONE:

I almost missed the train stop for Brunswick because I was daydreaming about how much I loved the area we were passing through. I realised why, because the graffiti and Greek writing reminded me of something familiar and that was, Athens. I’m so thrilled to be going back there soon. I met up with my friend at a place called MADDOX for brunch. We caught the train to Windsor and I met with my cousin.

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Seemingly the main focus for a Melbourn-ite is to find that perfect cup of coffee. Interestingly to me as every cup of coffee I’ve tried seems to taste very much the same. [Side note: Melbourne also reminds me of Birmingham, but I get a nicer feeling than what I did in Birmingham]. I don’t believe that we found a perfect cup of coffee, but it did get quite close. That was found at Manchester Press, Melbourne CBD.

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Current status: Today the strange girl fell in love with Melbourne and realised that the lifestyle here is beyond anything she could imagine. For now, she will settle in West End, Brisbane. But exploring Fitzroy and Brunswick again has taught that West End is like a smaller version of those streets (Brunswick, Smith, Gertrude Street and Sydney Road). She fell in love with the thrift shop fashion, the quirky streets and the smell of exotic food. She fell in love with it all.


DAY TWO: 

Today was wild, but that’s as expected when two Biloela girls reunite in the city. I caught up with a friend who I hadn’t seen for a really long time. Whilst waiting for her I killed time at a shop on Brunswick street called Hunter Gatherer. I was surprised to pick up a pair of Vintage Armani jeans, a white leather belt and striped blouse- all for $22!

We went to a cafe called Attaboy whose service on a Sunday was a bit slow but we got a free coffee out of it so whose the real winner here?

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There is so much to see and do for any creative in Fitzoy. We walked up to Gertrude Street which was a bit more high-end/ designer/ decorator based. Grabbing a quick ice-cream from a shop called Messina (it was amazing, I would 10/10 recommend going here. Make sure you choose from their specials board!) before my friend dropped me off back on Sydney road so I could catch up with another friend for coffee at Green Refectory.

My day was so packed, and we even managed to lose our car and have a small car crash as well.


Current status: The day that the Strange girl didn’t want to leave Melbourne because she loved it too much.


DAY THREE: 

I only got about 5 hours sleep but it seems that Elly-Grace never stops when she is travelling.

Up I got, jumped the train to Flinders Street and had bagels at Manchester Press with my friend again.

I explored Degraves Street (really funky street in Melbourne CBD which reminds you of France or Italy) at drank a cappuccino at Degraves Espresso. The street is full with Cafes and Shops which sit opposite each other with all of the tables in the middle. It was loud, but I felt comfort in that. A chaotic mind like mine can not feel comfortable in a quiet space.

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NEXT LOCATION: ATHENS, GREECE

While you’re waiting for a new post, read about my trip to Greece last year here. 

Much love –

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The Dating Series Part 4/4

My fellow readers, this is it. The time has come to wrap-up THE DATING SERIES.

To be quite honest with you, I am very sad about this. This last one will be short and sweet. Enjoy!

Before reading part four, please find the other posts in the series….

THE DATING SERIES PART 1 & 2 & 3 HERE.

Summarising the tornado 

I’m not saying every girl settles but there are just boys out there who don’t see the point in actual ‘dates’ but it’s not like we are the first generation to have boys/men like that.- Shelby, 18

We now have the freedom to construct a date. How and who do we want to date? Do you want a guy who will knock on the door and say ‘I’ll have her back by 12 sharp Mr and Mrs Johnson’? Do you want a guy that will convince you to wag class before you thought it was cool in Year 10 and make out with you in the local lake? Do you want a guy that will accidentally start vomiting because he’s helping you vomit because you’ve poisoned yourself with alcohol in the middle of a freezing London winter (thanks so much Alex)? Do you want a guy that will agree it’s a bloody great idea to reunite in Calcutta after months spent living on different continents? Do you want to sweep the guy off of his feet? I do! I love being able to express my romantic side. And I know that this is a privilege that has been afforded to me and other women over many years of feminism. Feminism has of course granted things like the right to participate in democracy and the right to employment-though such rights and freedoms might seem to pale ‘dating freedom’ in comparison, it is still a freedom. Enjoy it. – Alethea, 21

I think every moment shared with the one you are in love with should be viewed as a date. – Jodie, 19

I think the key to dating these days is to appreciate each other, not assume anything of one another and love always. – Alana, 19

Find a guy willing to work to give you what you want /need, but remember you’ve got to do the same for him. – Katie, 19

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Now it’s my turn.

I feel like we can get obsessed over things pretty easy.

Craving that ‘dating phase’ is just another obsession of ours. Why? Because we have an IDEA of how we THINK it should be. But when things start to pick up and maybe the dating phase wasn’t as you expected or hoped for is when disappointment arises.

Okay, he might not have picked you up, organised a fancy restaurant (so you could wear your red lipstick and new black fringe heels) and talk about ‘god knows what’ during a three course meal.

Have you thought that maybe, that’s not just him? Maybe he is more than that in the sense that he doesn’t care about materialistic things? Maybe you need to accept that from him if you really have feelings for him. As long as he loves you.

For me, I really like those spontaneous dates. The kind that don’t need much planning but still hold such an importance on the relationship that is forming.

Personally, I have always felt like a 1920’s soul. I feel like I would have thrived to live in that era. The Golden Age, the jazzy tunes mixed with an electric vibe of cars, drinks and dancing. Perhaps, the men back then were just the same as what they are now.

However, I’ve never lived in that era. Maybe everything that has been fed to us through movies, songs and tv shows is just a fabricated version of the truth. Because, we don’t know. We don’t know what it was like to be a girl back then. We only know what it’s like to be a girl now and yet we still look back to these times and cry over spilt milk. Poor you. Poor me. Poor us. Accept the love that you know you deserve, and don’t settle for the second best to that. There you go. There’s my advice for you! – Elly-Grace, 19

Comment your thoughts on THE DATING SERIES below.
Massive thanks to all my wonderful friends involved in this series. I love you all very much.

Much love. Enjoy your weekend chicka’s.

x

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Photography: Ivy Mullins 

Also- subscribe to my YouTube channel to see what Ivy and I got up to in Byron last week.

Ta leme sidoma (See you soon Kythira)

Apologies for my photos which seem to be absent on this post! AUGH computers. 

I sat watching two of my friends as they stare intensely at the chessboard. The tension was high. Or maybe it was just the humidity which made me feel anxious watching them. I use to be the queen of chess and checkers when I was a kid but haven’t seen those black and white squares in a long time. Thus when previously versing my friend, my reign was shortly lived and he decided to accept ‘actual’ competition.

Unfortunately my laptop had another heartache and I have been unable to resuscitate it so therefore this blog post is being written off my iPhone. Technology sucks.

I want to escape like Christopher McCandless did in the movie ‘Into the wild’. Of course I would tell my family where I was going; but I would not take technology with me. Nothing. Just me & the wild….

How incredible would that be. Let’s just think of that for a moment. You, nature and freedom. …

So there I sat, a glass of rosè in my hand and top button of denim pants undone as I just consumed yet another pita club sandwich.

“Elly stop eating you have already put on at least 5 kilo’s since you arrived here and don’t want to spend to much time trying to eliminate the weight when you get back home” My mind screamed to me as I sat there, stomach bulging over my tight pants; already fixated on what was for dessert. I believe ice-cream was on the agenda.

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My last week in Kythira was one of my favourites so far. I got so comfortable with my new routine of waking up at a decent time in the morning, heading to Kapsali for a morning coffee with Claud, and then hanging out at the restaurant he works at. The restaurant ‘Hydragwgeio’ was entering into it’s 20th and final year and thus it was a sad week not only because they were closing after so many prosperous years but because I was also leaving the island. I shed a tear once every day for the last week; knowing that my heart was going to break when I left. I would miss my Pappou, the people I had formed a strong connection with and the way I felt when I woke up everyday in paradise.

But I knew it would have to end. Summer was over, Winter was approaching. And as hard as it was to admit it, I felt it in my soul that it was time to move onto new adventures. I set the date of my departure from Kythira to Athens and just embraced the remaining days with full happiness.

In the afternoons, after Claud had finished working we would head back to the same cafe Banda Landra, to drink the same coffee’s, on the same couch and he would dedicate his undivided attention to teach me the language through Greek magazines on his tablet. I managed to learn more Greek in that last week than I had in two months of being on the island. I believe that when you really want to learn a new language than nothing can stop your brain from adapting into it. That’s if you really want it badly enough.

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I usually hate routines, but this one was my favourite.

I have said many goodbyes in my short 18 years of life; often when moving to and from mulitple towns and schools. I was and still am that friend who always leaves. This has put quite a toll on my heart strings but has also benefited me by testing the strength of my relationship with others. After saying the hardest goodbyes to my local Kytherian crew (the ones I had grown to love the most) I went home to finish packing my bags.

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The ferry was due to leave at 10:10pm and it was almost 9pm when I had thrown the last pair of bikinis into my bag. Crying a little remembering that after Athens I would be moving onto the cold climate of the UK and would not be needing them again until Summer in Australia (That is, if I got back in time). It broke my heart even more when I was ready to go and went to ask Pappou if he could take me to Diakofti (the ferry port). With small tears in his eyes as to hide how obvious it was that he had been crying he asked me if I really had to leave.

I told him it was time for me to go and sensed that he was purposefully driving the car slow to Diakofti in the hope that maybe I would miss the ferry.

Thank-fully my goodbye to Pappou was not long as I was almost late for the ferry and in the mad rush to purchase my ticket and load my baggage we spared our tears.

“We must not be sad Elly-Grace, we will remember the happy times and I know you will be back here soon” He said as we hugged.

Ta leme sidoma Pappou-lee mou”  As I gathered my independence and marched towards the ferry boat.

I would be leaving my heart in Kythira, hoping that it’s beauty would hold it safe for my return.


I have now arrived safely to Athens and am staying with a beautiful friend of my mine whom I met on Kythira. I feel that you experience more authenticity with a local guide to show you around, I have been very blessed. This week we have written a list of things we must do in Athens; including some things that she hasn’t even done herself… come on girl you live in a city which contains an abundance of rich history!!!! Hehe so it will be a new experience for both of us, although she can translate for me which makes me look less like a tourist when we walk around.

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I apologise for the extremely late entry but I didn’t want to spend my last week on Kythira in front of a computer screen.

I will leave you now. Sorry the quality of my photos will not be the best but you’ll have some understanding of how I feel when you have your own on blog and are forced to write from your small iphone screen (First world problems).

Until next time beauties-

MWAH

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