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The Year that has been

To achieve what I have achieved this year and set out to do has been a ride that I would go on again and again…..

IM BACK……….

My apologies for this long hiatus!!! Have I stories to tell and it all revolved around breaking my phone in September this year. It was supposed to be my next blog, I had taken all these beautiful photos on my phone when tragedy struck. I fell of a tour boat into the water stone cold sober as a judge!!!! APPLE I PHONE 6s GONNNNEEEEEE!!!!!

What a debacle it has been, I know utilise the Apple I phone 4 kindly given to me by my sister, but really its about as useful as a Nokia now.

But there is a silver lining to this, guess what I survived without my usual apps that I had and my constant links to Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. And you know what its great because now guess what???? People have to call me and text me and I have to do the same and quite frankly I think that’s great. I feel like I have reconnected instead of being disconnected. Long story short I survived and you can too.

Which got me thinking…….

What a year and journey its been so far. Who would have thought just in myself that I would have survived without a TV, a Car, my PlayStation etc. Its been a wonderful journey, I’m now up to my 35th Book, my dream board taps me on the shoulder each day to remind me what’s great about having not just one dream, but a 100 of them, I’ve travelled, and I feel like my greatest achievement this year is the personal growth and reconnection to the world around me.

This blog has been wonderful, it has allowed me to do many things, become much more open and honest about my feelings, I’ve inspired a couple of people to also make changes and create dream boards and also the gift of writing and publishing and sharing that with an audience.

It has also allowed me to connect with other bloggers with a much bigger audience than me who actually follow me also, it’s an amazing feeling. I said to a friend today that I feel this year has set me up to just explode next year with a new-found impetus. It has helped me to develop the confidence to challenge the status quo and give others that confidence also.

And lastly on reflection it has made me more positive over the course of time. I have had some dark periods which were reflected in some of my blogs but from those dark times I feel I grew exponentially on a personal and professional level. I have also through this journey discovered other passions. For example bushwalking. What an awesome hobby its been, and I would encourage my followers and friends/family to join me. It’s so wonderful walking and observing the nature and splendour that is around us. And guess what??? ITS BLOODY FREE!.

It has allowed me to plan something that I have never done on my travels before. An organised walking tour of the Dolomites Mountain Region that runs through Italy and surrounding countries. I cant wait to achieve it, it’s a moderate 8 day walk and it’s just going to be spectacular.

Lastly its good to be back, I hope you have enjoyed my story so far because I have enjoyed sharing it. Its been a year of growth, but if you thought this year was good, next year will blow your mind.

Love You All

Tim x

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This is my WHY…..

You know they don’t teach kids in our education system to make goals, think about their dreams. I think that’s really sad, my aim is to change that

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This is my WHY

Dream Boards are so important

First of all I apologise for my hiatus recently. But the reason for the few weeks since my last blog is because of the picture you now see above you. One of my big goals this year was to create this dreamboard. I didn’t want to rush it, and because I value its importance on such a high scale I wanted to take my time and get it right… And most importantly the way I wanted it. And to be honest I couldn’t be happier with its outcome.

There were tears of happiness when I laid down the last picture. I was so emotional, it was just fantastic to see the end result. To wake up in the morning to see this everyday, there is no better feeling. And in my opinion no better way to start your day.

Making a dreamboard is the best advice I could give you all right now. Dreamboards are such a personal collation of what makes you happy in life. Because everyone’s dreams are so different, and to take the time to really think about what you want to achieve out of this life, then  create it in this visual way, has a profound impact that only the person creating this in the first place can know the experience.

Why dont they teach this in our schools

You know, for a child in today’s climate and the world we live in, the importance of teaching children a different way of thinking, to be creative and to start educating them about what they can achieve in this world will have a more profound effect in their lifetime then what we think is best to teach them now. Think about that point, we are teaching our young people what WE think they should know. But our education system is still in the past instead of the now, the only thing different is that it’s now on an IPAD instead of a whiteboard.

I cannot express the impact that this dreamboard has had on me since its creation. It has truly validated what I believe that life is all about. It tells me everyday what I truly want out of life and that is to experience the things I enjoy, and that is what Im now working towards. It’s a plan, a life plan, a visual that I can access and see each day. Its repetition which repeatedly engrain’s into  my mind what I believe life is truly meant to be. I say this because these are my dreams, mine only, and everyone is different.

But I implore to you all that read this to write down your 100 dreams, buy the biggest whiteboard you can find, take the time to create the best dreamboard you can, then wake up truly inspired each day by looking at it each morning to validate what you want from this life.

 

 

 

Why 2019 is my year…. And yours too

Why 2019 is my year and your’s too

What will I write first in 2019? I have seriously been “wracking” my brain this month on what would be my first blog in the new year. Then in the last 30 minutes whilst washing the dishes it hit me!!!!!

My first blog for this year is inspired by some close friends of mine. I cannot tell you the amount of times, seven days into the new year how many of my close friends have dedicated this year to make so many changes, and all for the better of course.

Now I know its common in the beginning of a new year where we all have that “GUNNA” attitude”. But already a few of my friends have turned that “GUNNA” into action and its inspired me for this year and obviously tonight’s blog. Whether its job change, lifestyle change, new ventures, hobbies, blogs etc the amount achieved already from close friends of mine is phenomenal.

A friend just said to me, and I will use her quote “Our life sometimes changes in the blink of an eye when we don’t have a choice so the times we do have choices should be made while we are present (Mel C 2019).

I have included this in here, because it really struck me and I thought how awesome is this statement?? Please read what she has said because I think it will inspire all of us  to make change whilst in the present moment.

And that’s why this is going to be the year I build on the changes made in 2018.  I now have the foundations to make  change and take action. One of the biggest things for me is to change my living environment. It is well-known my affinity and love for the South Coast in NSW, but just before Christmas this year I visited Western NSW, specifically the town of Orange. Orange is considered a food bowl, where its climate allows a range of produce, agricultural and wine industries to thrive. The drive up with friends was like a picture postcard of luscious green that put an immediate smile on my face. I met so many people from the big cities that had made the change and created a wonderful life for themselves and family. I’m still yet to decide my next move but I think I have picked two areas where both options would be a great choice.

Secondly, financially, I want to build on from last year. I didn’t achieve all of my goals financially last year. I want that feeling at the end of the year that “I’m in Front”. I want a nest egg that will give me choices and options for the next year which will be 2020. Even in today’s environment I still believe that if you make some changes/sacrifices, whatever you’re situation that the same can be achieved. Financial stress is so common these days so the better you can get yourself “In Front” the better you will feel about achieving that goal, plus the options it forwards you.

And saving the best till last is my travel plans, and no it doesn’t involve France. For the past three months I have been reading a wonderful series of books by the author Frances Mayes whose first book “Under the Tuscan Sun” was made into a movie. It’s a wonderful account how this woman 25 years ago after a relationship breakdown went to Tuscany, Italy and bought an old Tuscan villa named “Bramasole”. Now Frances Mayes had travelled to Italy before as well as other parts of Europe, but it was one particular trip where on an impulse she drove up the driveway with the Italian real estate agent, made an offer and the rest is history.

She has written three books about the trials and tribulations where for the past 25 years she has spent every summer in her villa  at Cortona, Italy which has inspired my next trip.

Firstly, I will join an eight-day walking tour of the Dolomite Mountain region in Northern Italy bordering the Austrian Border, I will then, (as previously mentioned in another blog) spend a week in Lucca Tuscany with some wonderful friends in a Villa. We are then doing a road trip into Northern Italy and Switzerland then returning to Milan where I will head home on August 5th. The part I’m most looking forward to is the walking tour, I have never in all my travels done something like this. I can’t wait to take the breathtaking sights on camera and post them on here, but most importantly I will be taking them in with my own eyes.

Next month I’m off to Bali for the first time for a week. I have never been their and to be honest I never had a previous interest, partly due to the amount of Aussies that go their every year to drink the place dry. But the people I am meeting their and have been friends for many years tell me how wonderful it is. Also my parents have been their twice and loved it also. I will report back in February and share my opinion of the place.

Have a great 2019, dream big and achieve because we can do anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Feeling you get when you book you’re next trip

I wanted to write this short blog tonight of the feeling I get, and (hopefully you as well) when you book that next trip.

The immediate emotion is that you have now something to work towards and look forward too especially those Monday mornings when the weekend has finished and its back to the office.

Just last week I paid a deposit for an 8 night stay in a beautiful Tuscan Villa, in Lucca Tuscany, Italy for next July. I plan this to be the beginning of a substantial overseas trip next year and I cannot wait for this to occur. As well of the feeling of elation and happiness of having the trip locked in, It has also allowed me to set some financial goals of which I will have nearly a year to achieve it.

There is nothing like the feeling of booking you’re next trip, it’s so exciting and exhilarating. It’s now something to dream about, plan, and work towards knowing that  the best trip of a lifetime is coming up, some sacrifices need to be made along the way.

So for the best part of a year I will be working towards having the next life changing experience, with a few small taster’s along the way (short trips).

Now that I have booked mine, how about you book yours!!!! The joys of travel await you.

The Beautiful South Coast of NSW

I do not use the word affinity often but when I talk about my love and passion for the South Coast of NSW I get all “giggly” and an immediate buzz.

 

 

My affinity with this beautiful part of Australia

My love for the South Coast of NSW started as a child when myself and family would spend our weekends in the summer at Thirroul and Austinmer beaches depending on the velocity of the surf. I loved getting “dunked” in the water so my preference was always Thirroul Beach as the surf was more intense. I use to love taking on the waves head on, I remember I would shout at the waves “Come and get me” and that they did. My family thought I was nuts!!!!

Many memories were made at these two locations, the sand castles, fish and chips from the takeaway across the road or chips on a bread roll with tomato sauce!!! My mum and sisters would love to bring a book, set up the beach chair or the towel and read, whilst I would annoy the hell out of my Father to either come in the surf or build a sandcastle.

As we got older we headed to Wollongong or North Wollongong beaches, I’m not sure when that change occurred but it set the scene for my parents relocating from the Blue Mountains to Shellharbour nearly six years ago.

My love for the South Coast grew when…..

My parents relocated to the South Coast in December 2012. I took it then as an opportunity to discover this pristine coastline (and whilst I had a car)!!! when my parents moved I discovered new parts of the south that I had never seen before. I would regularly make the trek down on weekends to the “holiday house” that my parents acquired near Shellharbour in a new estate called Shell Cove. I never got tired of the view from Mount Eusley road that showcased the beautiful pristine waters of Wollongong Beach and would have the window wound down to breathe the beautiful coastal air that emanated from the ocean.

Then down the highway I would go, Albion Park you may hit the weekend traffic, but for the rest of it the drive is scenic and a smooth ride. I discovered that once you go exploring from Shellharbour the beauty of the South Coast truly awakens.

The small beach town of Minnamurra where upon entry is a beautiful golf course on either side of you. Or the beautiful towns of Kiama, Gerringong which has the most beautiful beach “Werri”, and if that is not spoilt enough the pristine Seven Mile Beach in Gerroa always brings me a smile. But on multiple occasions I would discover further to these parts. I could backtrack towards Wollongong and turn off to the beautiful Kangaroo Valley, Robertson or Jamberoo, or drive to Berry the beautiful town that houses many B&B’s and is the beginning of a beautiful coastal drive towards many wineries, Shoalhaven coast and the gateway into Nowra, Huskisson or Greenwell Point just to name a few.

The thing I love most is that there is so much to explore and SO EASY to explore with the upgraded roads and highways with gorgeous views on either side of your drive.

My Happy place……

I remember when my parents first told myself and sisters they were moving down south the immediate joy we had. It was going to be a beautiful place that we could all gather albeit that it wouldn’t be as regular as we used to. The home my parents acquired is a beautiful place with unobstructed views of Killilea State Park and a beautiful “lush” golf course.  The State National Park provides direct access to a unpatrolled beach the locals call “The Farm” which is a beautiful turquoise stretch of ocean where a steep descent is required to access this beautiful beach.

It goes for miles and I love to regularly walk to the location, down the steep wooden steps to the promise land. It’s just a sublime stretch of sand and calm surf and is a popular beach for learn to surf schools. I recently discovered as seen with the pictures above access to one of the most beautiful beaches in Australia, Mystic’s Beach. It is also beset by the State Park bushland with the most beautiful golden sand.

Whilst I don’t drive anymore, it doesn’t mean I don’t continue to discover the hidden gems or treasures of the south coast of NSW.

My next blog or part 2 will be the beautiful townships beyond Berry and the many side trips you can take by not just following the coastline on either side of you. Yes for this part I will be hiring a car!!!!!! Shock Horror!!!!!!!

Sydney 2018 Bastille Day Festival – Circular Quay

Ahhh there’s something about this time of year when the Sydney Bastille Day Festival comes around.

It never disappoints and always gets the heart racing when seeing French Culture on full display right on your doorstep.

 

 

For the past few years myself and my family have enjoyed the Sydney France Festival that occurs each year in Circular Quay for Bastille Day. It’s always a double celebration as it’s Mum’s birthday weekend also. 

The Festival has grown each year, in its first year it was just outside Customs House and it consisted of a few food stalls, beer stand and outdoor cinema. This year the growth in its popularity was obvious as it now takes up all of Circular Quay. It runs from Argyle Place, down George Street, Customs House precinct ending on Macquarie Street Sydney. 

Their was no question it was going to grow and to be honest I think it needs to move somewhere like Hyde Park, that’s how big I believe it will get. 

What I have liked in the last few years is that the festival is broken up into the Regions of France scattered along Circular Quay. For example the wine regions of Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Champagne etc are outside Customs House. Then the food stalls and their regions are in Circular Quay East and near the Museum of Contemporary Art you have more food stalls, concert area and an expanded outdoor cinema. 

The festival has also opened my eyes to the large French expat community that exists in Sydney. All the stores are run by French people who are from their particular regions they represent.  I like how they do that. 

Well “Viva La France”, another great Bastille weekend has passed and just quietly I hope they win the World Cup too. 

For the love of France…..

I have had a “love affair” with France since I started travelling in 2006. It was that feeling of walking down the champs elysee for the first time that got me hooked….

My love affair with France

Ever since I stepped foot onto the Champs Elysee for the first time in 2006 whilst on Contiki there was something that drew me towards this country that I do not have with other places I have travelled too. I remember my first time as if it was yesterday, as hazy as that Contiki trip was I will never forget my first time in Paris, France. It was raining actually, pouring down, and of course I didn’t have an umbrella. I was just in shorts and a T shirt. But the Parisians were out in force, every café and bar was packed, the boats and cruises along the River Seine were streaming up and down the river, the vibe was just how good is it to be in Paris.

I was ever the tourist, walking down the main streets, traversing the arrisdissonemonts, I remember walking in the pouring rain into a little café to order a croissant, it was packed with tourists, but I remember the male waiter, engaging me in French, the menu also in French. I pointed to a ham and cheese croissant and an orange juice (not very French, but I didn’t drink coffee at the time).

The French people are proud of who they are, their language and their culture and if you show some effort towards engaging in their language they will really appreciate you. At first this waiter was quite abrupt towards me, but when I made the order and attempted to ask how he was in French, as awful as the attempt was, he appreciated that fact and was much more engaging from then on.

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Why I keep going back….

Since my first trip in 2006 I have been back to France on another three occasions. My most favourite trip was last year when I went further south between the French & Swiss border. This trip solidified my dream of living in the south of France. I travelled to some little known medieval towns of Chambery & Annecy. Annecy was this beautiful little medieval town on the banks of Lake Annecy and separated into little canals in the middle of town. It had the most beautiful old buildings and little walkways and had a market on each day. At the time I was their it was also hosting an animated film festival. This little town had so much character, on the main banks were the tourists lining the bars and cafes but take a walk down a laneway and their was a little art museum teaching 6 and 7 year old children how to paint. I remember myself and my friends walking in there and watching the class take place. The teachers and students were more than happy to have us around.

Below is a picture taken in Grenoble France which was about a 30 minute drive from the town of Chambery in the south east of France. I remember my friends exploring a cave system which led to a zipline that overlooked the town. I myself, being ever the social, found a group of French people that were having a picnic with a view of the town below. They spoke little English but I was their taking some pictures and they approached me and two friends I was with, we had some photos and then I proceeded to explore the caves. But I didn’t want to go on this zipline, I had this burning desire to hang out with these French people who were having drinks at 11am in the morning, music blaring and just having a good time. I wanted to join them and that I did.

I proceeded towards their group, shouted in a high voice Bonjourrrrrrr and was handed a Captain Morgan. Well for the next few hours we had a few drinks and they played some Australian music from their Spotify account (from memory it was Jimmy Barnes and we all sang the chorus of Kasan in unison). We have stayed in touch to this day and have free accommodation in Grenoble.

Their way of life appeals to me…

Their is a lot of opinions of the French, but one thing that you cannot fault is their approach to life. Whether its Paris, Annecy or Grenoble they view life the same, that life is not a rush and to enjoy the company of family & friends to make experiences each day. That is something I truly love, which is why I have a burning desire to spend an extended time living like a French person. My dream is to spend an extended period in the city of Bordeaux which is the home of Red wine, which I believe is a gift of the gods!!!! Ultimately I would like to have a little chalet or chateau that I can take my family and friends too and give them the experiences this country has given me. I only have the most wonderful memories of this beautiful place they call France.

I say to you, come join me one day and experience it for yourself.

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