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My first week in Australia

My first week, meeting new people, overcoming jet lag, new environments, trying new foods and all the experiences.

My first week in Australia was really exciting. It only made me more excited for the rest of the 3 months that I’ll be here.

Let’s start from the beginning.

On Sunday 9 Feb 2020 greeted my family with tears flowing and a sore but excited heart. This is the beginning of my independence. I flew from O.R Tambo to Dubai. On my flight I met a guy that was n student teacher in my preschool, we knew each other from a distance so we had time to get to know each other better. We talked a lot on the flight and grabbed a coffee as soon as we landed. A magical moment: I fell asleep on the plane and started to get cold but wasn’t able to wake up and get myself a blanket, he notuced and put a blanket iver me without wanting anything in return. Its so lovely to know that there are (half) strangers out there that would do such nice things for the people around them. As this is my first solo travel he felt like a reassuring person/ sign and helped me get through the airport and took me to my next gate. We parted ways and I talked to my family quickly before boarding my next flight( 14 hours fyi)

I slept most of the time on the flight. I landed in Australia 7pm. I got my bags at baggage claim and immediately skyped my mom and dad. I walked to the gate end and met Magdaleen Kelly(my mom’s cousin) one of the most loving souls I’ve met thus far, where I will be staying with her and her family for the next 3 months.

Why I’m in Australia?

It’s my first stop in my gap year. I’m here for some working experience in the accounting field and will be working with Mags(Magdaleen) and other accountants. Im doing this because my plan for university was to go into accounting and I want to be 100% sure before committing. And I obviously want that touristy part so that I can explore and experience.

Mags and her youngest son welcomed me and I knew that that moment was the start of a new chapter in my life.

I unpacked everything, talked to my family, ate dinner and got to know the Kellys a bit more.

I woke up Tuesday, 11 February, and could finally see everything in day light. I still couldn’t believe that I’m finally in the place ive been planning on going for the last couple of months. I’m so excited and can’t wait to do and experience everything and anything. Mags took me to the beach and I came in contact with the locals for the first time. The culture here is totally opposite from where I come from. People where everywhere on the beach surfing, walking, rowing, chatting and drink coffee at a coffee shop right on the beach and all of this at 11am on a Tuesday. I couldn’t understand how they could have jobs but be on the beach ar this time of day. After a couple of conversations I found out that they schedule their meetings, work hours, lunch breaks etc. so that they could do what excites them the most. Its absolutely wonderful to see people living the lives that makes them the most happy.

On Wednesday the 11th I woke up 4am( jet lag messed up my sleep schedule pretty badly) and after I Skyped my parents I went to go watch the sunris eon this foggy day. I also went on a short hike back home. I walked with mags to take her youngest to his school. It was such a wholesome experience to see the goodbye-ritual they do everymorning. Later I walked to the gym I was recommended and went to get a membership. Priorities ya know. That evening all of us went out and ate at a cozy restaurant. I already feel at home with this family and couldn’t have asked for people to make me feel more at home. We ate ice cream for dessert and watched Schitts creek (a series me and my famiky watched together each night) which was the start of a new tradition for us.

Thursday 12 Feb: i slept until 12pm( yup, jet lag was here to stay for longer than i thought)my eyes felt droopy for hours on end. I went to the gym and felt so rejuvenated afterwards. I can’t wait to be back in my routine. I took the long way home and walked to the beach. In my hometown we are really far away from any sea side so I’m super excited to stay like 200m from the beach. I took that hike again and went home feeling great! Of course after dinner I skyped my parents and we watched schitts creek and it made me feel close to my family even though I’m 1000’s of kilometers away.

Friday: 14 February, Valentine’s day! I woke up walked with mags to drop of her son. And we went to the local farmers market where you can literally buy anything you can think of. At home I received a poem my mom wrote for me and it had me in tears instantly. I went to the gym and felt like a new person again( at this point jet lag was still super prominent). Me and mags went to pick up her son and spontaneously decided to go eat gelato in a bequtiful area a couple of minutes away. We ended up driving past all the nearest beaches to give me a general idea of where we are. At home I booked a CPR certification for next week. That has been on my bucket list for the longest time. I just want to be sure I would know how to save someone in case of emergency. We also spent the evening conversing with people that also live in the area. Its always nice to meet new exciting people.

Saturday, 15 Feb. One of my favourite days.I woke up and talked to my family. We had a beach day. We went down swam for a bit and enjoyed the sun. Afterwards I got ready and went to the gym and took a walk along the beach. When i got home I got ready for tennis. Thats right a bunch of neighbors in the area come together every Saturday and just play tennis and catch up. I met new interesting people and played tennis until the sun went down. This was the first time that I’ve played tennis on a grass court and I love it! This feels like a dream. Everybody is so nice, social and interesting. I feel like I always learn something from new people. We watched Schitts creek and afterwards I talked to my family before I went to bed.

16 Feb, Sunday: Exploring Sydney. Me mags and her 3 children went by car, bus and then a ferry to make our way to the Sydney Harbor bridge and also the Opera house. Thia was such an amazing time and I felt like an excited tourist. I ate oysters for the first time at a newrby restaurant and wasn’t totally repulsed. We walked around in a couple of shops and then took the B-line bus back home. Me and the youngest watched a movie together. I told him about our sunday tradition back home and how me and my household always braai and watch movies on sundays. With that story I convinced mags to make braai broodjies( lekker!) and it felt like home. After dinner me and Mags went down to the beach and ended the day off with a swim. She showed me all the stardish families and we watched the sunset before waliing back home. What an amazing way to end off the week.

This was the first week of my gap year in action. I can’t help but feel so blessed to have this opportunity. I’ve met so many people and had so many meaningful conversations with new people. It makes my heart feel warm. So far Australia is truly amazing and I haven’t even experienced half of it.

I’m so thankful to Mags and her family for treating me like a member of their household. This feels like my home away from home. And I feel like I belong.

Of course there’s been tears and sadness. Its never eady to leave people behind. But I try to focus on being in the moment and staying in contact. I skype my family 2 times a day and sometimes more. I miss being around them but I know that I’m here learn and work.

Next week is the start of me working here and gaining perspective of the fields I’m interested in. I’m trying to experience or do something new every day.

I can’t wait to see what the rest of my stay here has for me.

Thank you so much for taking the time and reading my blog. I truly appreciate it and can’t explain how happy it makes me to know people are interested in what I’m doing. Have a great rest of your day❤

goals, lifestyle, planning, resolutions

My goals for 2020

One of my favorite things to do is to listen to or read about peoples goals.

With it being a new year(and decade) most people set themselves some goals to achieve in the next couple of months. It really motives me to also set goals and try to better myself in some way everyday.

I want to share some goals that I’ve set for this year and reasoning behind it. I’m also going to do a January review on what I’ve achieved thus far.

What I’m going to discuss:

  • My goals for 2020 (16)
  • Habits I want to adapt
  • Skills I want to learn
  • My January review

My goals for 2020:

  1. Read at least one book per month.

I know, I know. This is the most common resolution out there. But I recently heard someone say that a book is all of someones knowledge(gathered over years and years with tons of research and effort) put into the form of a book for you to read in a couple of days. Why wouldn’t you want to learn everything a expert knows in his field much quicker than they did?

2. Try to watch a sunset or sunrise everyday.

Sunsets and sunrises are the most magical time of the day. Its a time where you see the world begin to settle down or wake up. Plus they look pretty amazing and I think its important to realize that its a gift from nature.

3. Be able to do 10 body weight pull ups.

I mean no explanation. I just want to gain strength and challenge myself (and feel like a badass)

4. Run 2 km as fast as I can.

I saw that running 2 km was part of a U.S. navy fitness test and I want to challenge myself.

5. Do 50 push ups.

Also part of the fitness test.

6. Invest in educational courses.

I never want to stop learning. The world is full of information and opportunities and I don’t want to waste time not gaining some wisdom. “You can never be over educated”

7. Better my photography skills.

I want to document my life in more creative and quality ways.

8. Take care of my skin.

I want to be that aunt/ grandma /stranger that still looks youthful in their older age.

9. Become more flexible.

According to the Human Performance Resource Center, which is affiliated with a health-sciences university, if your joints are tight, that might affect your form when exercising. As a result, you could be more likely to get hurt.

10. Limit my plastic and paper use (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

Helps sustain the environment for future generations.

11. Do volunteer work.

I can’t think of anything that will make me feel more fulfilled other than helping others.

12.Learn a new language.

Benefits: better decision making skills, improved memory, increased attention span, improved ability to multitask, increased perceptual sensitivity, better cognitive abilities, delayed onset of dementia. The list goes on.

13. Have Sunday as my rest/planning day.

I want a day for my body and mind to relax and prepare for the upcoming week.

14. Try to write with my left hand(i’m right dominant and thought this could be a nice challenge).

Using your opposite hand will strengthen neural connections in your brain, and even grow new ones. It’s similar to how physical exercise improves your body’s functioning and grows muscles. via https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/benefits-of-using-your-opposite-hand-grow-brain-cells-while-brushing-your-teeth/ialcents.com

15. Become qualified to do CPR.

Only reason is that I want to be able to save someone’s life if there’s an emergency.

16. Go for drumming lessons.

I’ve been dreaming of playing drums since I was a little girl and I want to start practicing this year.

My daily habits:

  1. Try to have 45 min of exercise everyday.
  2. Listen to a podcast while I exercise.
  3. Hydrate before I caffeinate.
  4. Drink 3 liters of water everyday.
  5. 10 000 steps everyday.
  6. Be more mindful and in the moment.
  7. Read .
  8. Choose a skill to work on everyday.
  9. Practice my flexibility.
  10. Family time: Talk to or call family
  11. Plan my finances
  12. Journal about my day and thoughts before I sleep.
  13. Plan the next day the night before.
  14. NB: plan for one new,strange, challenging of exciting experience each week.

Skills I want to learn

  1. Learn a new language.
  2. Learn how to surf.
  3. Improve my cooking skills
  4. Blog (yup I’m doing it).
  5. Learn about investing.
  6. CPR
  7. Play the drums
  8. Do a lot of accredited courses and learn about all aspects of life.

My January Review

I would say that January was a successful month. I definitely made progress on most of my goals. I’ve put action plans in place for the rest of the months on what goals I will focus on or practice.

My habits are coming along. There’s a couple that I’m still struggling with but I go over the list of habits often and try to be as committed to them as I can.

I know that I won’t be able to master all of my goals or goal habits in this year. But that’s the thing: they are goals, I put them there to motivate me to achieve them. and if I only achieve them in a couple of years that’s still okay! As long as I know I want to better myself and learn I know my year will be a success.

What are your goals for this year? How did you progress with them in January?
Don’t give up! See what happens if you stick to your goals this year.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and about my life. I hope to better my blogging skills as well so just bear with me. Have a nice day 🙂

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Why I'm taking a gap year

The most dangerous risk of all- the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

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The beginning of my journey

The day I decided to make 2020 my gap year: it was a Saturday and I was between study sessions for my prelim exams. I went to my mom beacause I wanted to express how tired, stressed and frustrated I was.

Before that day I talked alot to my parents about these feelings. The sentence I repeated over and over was ,”I dont want to graduate high school, go to university, get a job, get married and have children and then when I’m 70 realize that I didnt do anything extraordinary with my life”. How could anyone think this when they’re given this amazing gift to live?

I’m usually the positive person in any group. The one that encourages others to look past the problem and see the potential. My positive side is also mixed with my type A personality. While I we were busy with prelims I obviously studied hard. When I got home or woke up I basically sat in my room and studied until the sun went down (sometimes I watched the occasional tv show when I had a break). And often with my study breaks I felt guilty throughout the whole resting time because “I wasn’t busy studying”.

No one was pushing me to do this, I am fortunate to have parents that give us freedom to decide almost everything for ourselves. So if I don’t want to study for a test its my choice, if i want to have a distinction its also my choice.

So back to the day i decided to take a gap year. I went to my mom and told her jokingly that I would love to take a gap year. And that I don’t know how I will be able to go back to studying again after a short matric vacation. Even though I was that person a couple of months previous to this that couldn’t understand why anyone would waste their time on taking a gap year. She said something along the lines of ,” so doen dit dan”.

Its safe to say that I burned myself out. I felt like all you have to do your whole life is work. High school, university then your job. I realize now how this was out of the ordinary for me to think like this, I also realize how worn out I was.

In that moment (as cliche as it sounds) it felt like a weight was lifted of my shoulders. So we began thinking of all our family members around the world that I could go visit. Once we had a list we bagan contacting them.

My dad loved the idea and I’m truly blessed that he can make these visits possible for me. He told me that I should make the most of this year. Because later in my life a year off isn’t going to be this easy. He encouraged me to talk to everyone I met and to try to learn something from each person.

I’m excited for this journey. My first stop is Australia. Because I think I want to become a chartered accountant one day (but I still have a little doubt) I’m going to work as an intern at an accounting company. By doing this I’ll be able to see if this is truly the career I want to have.

I want to end my first blog by saying that this is my way to document my journey for myself and for anyone that wants to follow along. I am so grateful for this opportunity and still can’t believe this is happening. I’m flying to Sydney at the beginning of February 2020.