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

POKEMON NO! CURE YOUR NEED TO ESCAPE

Since I like to think that I am a nice human with the goal to help you all out I want to give you some tips of how you can make your ‘need’ of escape a little easier. 

I never joined the bandwagon of Pokemon Go. To be quite honest with you, I never entirely understood it. So I call it Pokemon No for the time being. Maybe it was because I never grew up with the Pokemon obsession.

I grew up with a different form of escape-  the need to fill my life with travelling. This is my means of escape and it’s steamed from a childhood of constant shifting around Queensland. We didn’t even have to move overseas for me to understand that my love for travel was formed from inter-state moves. Eight times to be exact. I don’t mind, it’s allowed me the opportunity to live on the coast, city and countryside. The best of triple worlds. 

Don’t be fooled. Escaping is actually a good thing if it is done in moderation. Before too long you must realise that return to reality is inevitable. ** Balling my eyes out crying face emoji. **

6 STEPS TO CURE YOUR NEED OF ESCAPE: 

  1. TRAVEL SOMEWHERE NEW in your current city or town. It doesn’t have to be too far away from where you’re living but just go somewhere different. Example: A trip to a park which you’ve never been to before can probably perform a miracle on your mood.  My friend and I are craving another overseas adventure so badly that we randomly spent the afternoon driving around for 3 hours. It was ridiculously pointless but it made us feel like we had accomplished a sense of escapism. 
  2. READ A BOOK (ideally the genre of fantasy if you really want a worldly escape). Books are by far the best form of escape when you don’t have the money or the time for an expensive holiday. 
  3. TALK TO SOMEONE about their travels. It’s nice to live vicariously through someone. Just don’t get jealous, that will ruin your mood. Be excited for them. 
  4. PLAN YOUR NEXT DESTINATION. Most people will tell you that it’s a bad idea to plan your next destination when you just returned from your last. I honestly think there is nothing more healthy than planning your next adventure. If it makes you happy and more motivated to work hard to achieve that next travel goal then why not? 
  5. DON’T DWELL ON THE PAST. This is a huge one and very important. Obviously it’s nice to feel nostalgic as you scroll through the Instagram updates of your trip. But you shouldn’t dwell on it for too long because it’s detrimental towards your future goals. Post summer depression is a real thing guys (Coming soon- my article about it HERE). 
  6. KEEP BUSY. Immersing yourself into your studies at university, work or even getting an internship are all good ideas to keep yourself busy. Keeping busy both physically and mentally is challenging but it’s worth it. 

It’s hard, I understand that. I’m sitting here planning my next trip after only being home for a week. However, if that’s what you need to do to keep sane, then do it. Turn that into motivation to get what you want and explore where you want.

Read all about how to control your FOMO disorder HERE: 

Much love,

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I lost my foot for a week.

First of all, I didn’t lose my foot…well, just temporarily.

Let’s recap because a lot has happened since I spoke to you all.

I’ve been feeling down this week. No reason, just sad. The only thing that makes me happy when I’m sad is dancing. However, this week (after another Greek dance) I lost my ability to dance. Let’s back track another week and it will take you to the Mitata Full moon party where some French guy pushed me (fully clothed) into the pool where I believe I twisted my ankle.

I found it easy to deal with this but I felt that the pressure of dancing on it made it worst. To add to my bad luck whilst I was going on a stroll through the olive tree’s next to my Pappou’s house and something bit me. My foot puffed up like a balloon and then begin to go hot and red. Just what I wanted…

After two days of this, Mum (who, yes, has returned back to Kythira. Told you a lot has happened!) took me to the local hospital where they half examined me/ half did what Mum told them to do. Mother’s know shit, that’s what I’m saying. We found out that it’s actually infected due to either an open wound or bite from something.

Brings me here, smashing out a whole season of ‘An Idiot Abroad’ (Secretly the idiot is me) and ‘The Vampire Diaries’ (Don’t judge me) as I lay on my bed popping antibiotics (my best friend) and icing my foot for four days.

Obviously if I was in Alaska, or somewhere even ridiculously cold then I wouldn’t mind being trapped indoors. However, I’m on an island in Greece and it’s completely out of my nature to be watching movies all day long. I could be doing this at home. That’s why I’m upset mostly. Because I’ve been in this room with no escape for my last few days on the island. I must admit that I’m thankful that this incident didn’t occur at the start of my trip though. I don’t know what I would have done.

After a fun trip to the Kythirian hospital, a last meal in Potamos and a pair of crutches later, we said quick goodbyes to Pappou because the car is broken so he had to keep it running. Being cripple actually has many benefits when you’re travelling in airports. Jumping in front of cue, riding around Athens airport on a wheel chair and going through immigration/customs so much quicker! Okay yeah that’s about it. They don’t give you any lollies or anything to help soothe the pain, unfortunately.

Then reality hit and we found ourselves walking around Athens (well, I was hopping) unable to find where we had booked our apartments for the night. I eventually found refuge in a garden at the back of a cafe and waited for Mum to find out where we were staying.

The flight home was awful. A tall person is already uncomfortable when flying internationally. Combine that feeling with a foot which needs to be elevated 24/7 and you’ve got some trouble.

But I made it back home alive and well…thankfully.

Of course there’s something I’ve learnt from this experience. It’s to never take your legs for granted. The ability to walk is something that should be cherished because it’s so essential. Think of all the things you couldn’t do if you lost your foot!

I have been frequently writing short blog posts for Story board social so check out 25 Things I learnt about Greece HERE: http://www.storyboardsocial.com/things-learnt-greece/

 

Byron Bay: TRAVEL DIARY

Sometimes you’ve just got to get away, to god knows where, but just somewhere.

My gal Ivy and I decided that Byron Bay seemed fit for our mini getaway after uni was over for the semester. We left around 4pm that afternoon, decided that we would just drive down there and see where the night took us then deal with it in the morning. In simpler terms, it was a semi-planned trip- but we like to think of it as spontaneous and wild. In my 19 years of living had I never been to Byron, so now was the best time for it.

A wicked sunset lead us the way out of Brisbane city as we smashed out the classic ballad, ‘If I ain’t got you’ by Alicia Keys. We had a pit-stop on the Gold Coast for fuel, to gather a mean feed of hummus&pita bread from IGA and a $5 bottle of Rosè. We switched drivers and were well on our way. It was so difficult to drive Ivy’s car because it starts to clonks out if you go over 100km so you have to keep that speed demon instinct well in it’s cage. I’m surprised my friends even trust me to drive their cars with this attitude.

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Side note: Yes I am very much aware that I spelt ‘get’ wrong. But at the time I really didn’t care. 

Second side note: We managed to tick 7 of those things off. Top effort. 

I’m glad we documented everything though because that night was so hilarious. The formulated plan was to drink the wine on the beach and then find our way back to Ivy’s aunties house to sleep. Then we were going to wake up at 4am and go to a lookout to take photo’s of the sunrise. Seemed simple enough, right?

Wrong.

I got too drunk (wait, we both did… I can’t remember much) and found myself disorientated on the streets of Byron. When Ivy beckoned me to get up from where I was perched on the cold cement I told her that she had to get a taxi or uber to take me. I had no idea of my bearings, especially at night. Turns out her Aunties house really wasn’t that far away, I just didn’t know what I was saying.

We stumbled home and I found comfort as my head hit the pillow that night.

I did not find comfort at all when I woke up.

I also did not find comfort when I realised that my phone was missing. 

It was panic central, I don’t know how Ivy put up with me to be quite honest. I was freaking out. We decided to eat some sort of food other than pita bread and hummus from the night before.

Cut a long story short (because my panic attack can be found on my YouTube channel when the video uploads) I actually managed to find my phone! Surprisingly! If you think about all the backpackers that come and go through Byron it would seem impossible for me to locate it. The story goes, that some old man had picked it up on the street in the early hours of the morning and decided to hand it to a lady at the real estate – LJ Hooker whom then answered the phone when I called. THANK GOD FOR GOOD PEOPLE.

Believe it or not, good people are still out there my friends.

And thankfully, we are okay.

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Yes- I quoted myself.

Check out my Byron Vlog HERE: 

Goodnight lovelies, chat soon when I am in some other far away dreamland.

NEXT DESTINATION: MELBOURNE, AUS

mwah.

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“She’s a Brisbane-ite now”

I recently caught up with a friend from school whom I was blessed to be able to meet whilst I was on Kythira and then reconnect with over in Ireland.

Like me, she had also spent a decent amount of time overseas, experiencing and understanding how others do life.

With both of us now back in Australia, moving to Brisbane to study couldn’t seem less appealing. Especially with vivid memories still roaming wildly from our overseas expeditions.

When we hung out that day, we decided to make the most of our time in Brisbane. Because, just like travelling, we would surely look back on this experience and realise that it was such a small part of our lives. Therefore, having a pact agreement that we would take on Brisbane as though we were tourists ourselves. Instead of viewing it how I normally would, I aim to view it through new eyes.

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I have lived in Brisbane before, when I was in primary school. So although many elements of the city have changed, a lot has remained the same (think Queensland Museum which has probably not changed it’s main exhibition since it was built, much to mine and Logan’s disappointment).

This feels even more different though then back then. I have officially moved out of home and I was more nervous in doing that then when I flew across the globe.

Of course I’m relatively independent (#stillcan’tcookadamnthing) but now that the time has come to move out of home, this independence only makes me feel sick at the thought of how it was when I left home for boarding school in grade 8.

Back then, I loathed a never-ending series of goodbyes after each holiday break had come to an end.

Of course things were very different back then. The people and the fact that I was still in a school environment all added to the immense hate for that place. Things would change this time around as well. I was much older now and more in tune with how to deal with situations by myself.

Unannounced nervousness rose as I packed up my bedroom on the quest for a new life in Brisbane. I couldn’t understand why I would have felt more in my element if I were to make a detour to the airport on my way to Brisbane. Since Brisbane was only an hour away from home and by quick detour, I meant; get on a plane, move to a foreign country and never look back.

However I couldn’t pin point the emotions that I was feeling on the journey to Brisbane. I mean I was excited for university and excited for a change of atmosphere, yet I still felt like I needed to crack some sort of code for the itchy feet I was experiencing. So that’s when my Aunty stepped in whilst we were having coffee. She knew exactly where these feelings had erupted from. The trigger that had set it off was due to my uneasiness and hate for my boarding school days. I automatically knew that this was exactly how I was feeling. Since realising where the pain was triggered from I was able to master how to control it.

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My first week of university life was far from what I had expected. Then again, life is frankly more exciting when realisations ride shot gun on your expectations.

I didn’t get the best night sleep the night before the first day of university. So basically on Monday morning a zombie Ell rose from her bed, put on her ‘new year, new me’ outfit, grabbed the necessary items for uni (whatever I threw in my bag was out of a pure adrenaline rush to make it to my first lecture on time, I was extremely unorganised). I walked briskly to the bus into the city. Once in the city I would have to catch bus 66 heading towards QUT at Kelvin Grove campus. However, because I basically don’t know how any of the transport works in Brisbane I accidentally caught the 66 bus going inbound instead of outbound. But a motivated, headphones in- music on/world off sort of girl like myself didn’t really pick up on that factor.

I assumed that I was in the right place as I looked around at all the tech savvy kids on my  bus.

Skipping to the point now…

I ended up at UQ. Which is the wrong university. And as I watched all those tech savvy kids jump off the bus, I knew that even being a tech savvy kid myself; I hadn’t done any of the necessary google research in order to reach my destination.

I applied the “phone a friend” terminology into my real life crisis. 10 minutes later my gorgeous friend Lainie had collected me from my troubles and was en-route to my actual university. I decided to give my first lecture of the year the flick and instead have a much needed coffee break at the Regatta Hotel as a congratulations for starting university….

Sorta. 

I would laugh about it later because most kids would get lost whilst navigating around campus. I guess I would be in the same boat as them if I could even GET to uni.

My first week of university slash hahaha jokes on you you’re actually an adult now life had so many downfalls.

I won’t go into too much detail but basically here is a list of what happened:

  • I caught the wrong bus and ended up at the wrong university
  • Thus missing out on my first ever lecture. (Okay I know, nobody goes to them anyways but it was a sentimental thing in my head that I should try to attend. Ah well too late)
  • My phone internet ran out, but thankfully would be up & running in another week
  • I had no idea how to do the Marketing quiz as I haven’t bought the textbook because I can’t afford it at this rate. Still managed to scrap through with a 6/10 score.
  • Centrelink contacted me saying that my claim for youth allowance as a studier will be rejected if I don’t get bulk paperwork in by Wednesday
  • The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) contacted me saying that I haven’t done 3 years worth of tax return forms. Basically I was now a criminal for tax evasion.
  • My new printer that I bought was not connecting to my computer so I couldn’t print off anything to prepare me for lectures
  • My brain got swamped with assignments already
  • My brain got swamped with things to remember for my new job
  • I continued on a daily basis to catch different wrong buses (not to university, I learnt the first time) but to other destinations around Brisbane….every time thinking “well how the hell did I manage to do that AGAIN!”
  • I did so much unnecessary walking which could have been prevented with some internet on my phone
  • Lost my phone charger
  • Drank too much wine
  • Only got 3 hours sleep before a 7am shift at work
  • My mum drove back to the Sunshine Coast with my wallet in her bag after our visit on Friday

And in the words of Joyce Meyer “WELCOME TO ENJOYING EVERY DAY LIFE”

So many things will go wrong, and since leaving the nest this is just the START of many to come ! !

It’s hard to ignore the fact that for the first few weeks I will struggle with things. I’ve often heard the term “Don’t try to run before you can walk” and I love it. There is so much honesty in that quote not only for those who are anxious in new situations but also for those who feel like they want to get out of their situation as quickly as possible. I am at both ends of the spectrum. I know I will eventually get to that place of peace, but I so badly want to cross that horizon now!

I’m still learning patience and to enjoy the touristy life of being a Brisbane-ite.

Wish me luck.

x o

E-g