Fight for more or settle for less.

Today, a massive air of dissatisfaction has been lingering around me. It’s not nice.

At first, I sat here feeling sorry for myself indulging in my own little pity party. What exactly did this achieve? Fuck all.

To be frank, I’ve been feeling very stuck in a rut for the past month or two. I haven’t been happy with two main aspects of my life – my health and my career. I’ve been feeling extremely down and out when thinking about these things so sometimes it just seems a bit easier to sweep it under the rug.

Today though, I had a mini revelation – if you’re not happy about it, do something about it. If you are doing something about it and it’s not working, try harder or try something else.

In relation to my work situation, you see dear friends, I thought I had been doing enough to change my situation up until this point. I had enrolled in a course to up my skills and knowledge and had been applying for jobs like crazy, a job rejection had put a damper on my fire… up until now. I’ve decided enough is enough, I need to attack my situation with ferocity and in full force!

stop

Making calls, sending emails and networking with the right people. I’ve decided that if anyone is going to make my situation change, it’s gotta be me. No more time for complacency.

And what do you know? I have an interview tomorrow for a job I could only dream of having up until now!

Time to kick ass!

Short Attention Spans & The Entrepreneurs Curse

I know, I know. It’s been over a week since I’ve posted anything. I feel lazy, guilty, uninspired and unmotivated. Not because I don’t enjoy writing, I do. Not because I’m unhappy with what I’ve posted so far, I am.

However, when I first clicked the ‘Create Blog’ button here, I knew this would happen. I knew I would get distracted, become complacent and would not regularly post like my concentrated counterparts in the blogging community. At any given time, I have at least 3-4 windows open on my desktop to keep my wandering mind occupied. These windows usually contain anything to do with travel/personal finance/recipes/events and things to do around Sydney.

Well readers, it’s because… I’m cursed with a short attention span. Put something shiny in front of me and I lose all train of thought! It’s true, I am the most easily distracted person I know.

You may recall, in a recent article I referred to something called The Entrepreneurs Curse. In short – it frames the positives of being cursed blessed with a short attention span and how to utilize this trait to it’s full potential. Finally, someone who understands me!

So firstly, I hope you can forgive me.

Secondly, instead of feeling guilty about what’s distracting me from progressing Chasing More forward, why not go with the flow? Share with you guys what’s been on my mind? Get some opinions and thoughts up in here!

So here goes, in a Dear Diary type fashion, not in any particular order. Let me purge my life onto your screen, beloved reader!

  • Back at work today. I’ve been off sick for two days and I’m (unexpectedly) happy to be back here. A workmate of mine cleaned out her wardrobe and brought in a bag of clothes for me to sort through (Yay, free clothes! She’s Italian too, so she always give me quality threads!). My boss just left the office too to fly out to America, which makes me jealous/partially depressed that it’s not me.
  • Returning to tertiary study. Today I’ve given myself a deadline to decide who I will study with. Must make payment for course and not be upset about it – it’s an investment, not an expense.
  • My baby sister. Well she’s not really a baby – she’s 14 and tonight I am going to watch her in a school performance singing/playing guitar. After that, she is sleeping over at our house and we will spend some quality sister time together tomorrow. This has been weighing heavily on my heart for quite some time, since I moved out of home, I don’t feel I’ve been giving her enough of my time.
  • Travel. Travel is always on my mind. However there are a few trips in particular we’re needing to organise that have held my attention recently. 7th-10th November 2013, Coffs Harbour, North Coast of NSW, Australia. The week following, 11th – 17th November 2013 I am hoping to get back to Gisborne, NZ to see my family. February 2014 – Hawaiiiii, fingers crossed! Other trips I’m keen to take are to The Great Barrier Reef in QLD and Melbourne, Victoria.
  • Tax returns and savings. I am quite pleased with the progress my savings accounts seem to be making! The Simple Dollar keeps me inspired to achieve my financial goals daily.
  • Getting my laptop fixed. Primarily so I can write from home and not just at my work computer (naughty, I know). This needs to be prioritized and again, I need to look at it as an investment, not an expense.
  • Upcoming events in Sydney I wanted to attend. These include the Make your own Magnum pop-up store, The Gangsters Ball and Cyren’s Big Fat Greek Party! Three delish events I’m hoping to hustle up the cash for in the couple o’ months!

I think that’s it… before something else pops up and I get distracted again, I better round up this article.

What’s on your mind friends?! What are your plans for the upcoming weeks, months, year?! Tell tell tell in the comments!

Pre RTW to do list

checklist

So in my Evernote (think of it as an online notebook/diary) I have been keeping and updating a list of skills I would like to learn before setting off on our RTW Trip. It’s entitled “Before I leave”. It made me curious as to how many other travellers, bloggers, international friends had a list of things they wanted to achieve before departing their Motherland too, is this a common practice? I know there is a whole lot of writing up of checklists to do with planning and execution of a RTW venture, but what about skills, attributes and traits you’d like to practice, attain or refine before leaving? They may add to your trip however aren’t essential for it to progress forward.

I want to share my list with you all today and I really want to hear of things you may add or if you have a similar checklist too!

  • Learn another language. Taking time to learn the tongue of a country you’re traveling to, I believe, could entirely enrich your experience while there and add a completely new dimension to your travels. It will make it (if not a little) easier to get around, locate places and find out information about your surroundings. My chosen language? Español!
  • CPR and basic first aid. Although this isn’t necessary when heading overseas, it’s really a non-negotiable for me. I think it should be on every traveler’s checklist, for obvious reasons!
  • Let go and go with the flow! This I have been happily practising over the last week or two. I am usually a plan it kind of person, always trying to keep myself busy. However at the end of last month I asked both my bosses from my side gigs to give me the weekends of July off (If I didn’t have rent and bills to pay, I would’ve taken a month off from my full time employment too!) I’ve completely loved coming up to the weekends without major plans locked in or weekend work casting it’s cloud on my supposed free time. I do however, have quite a short attention span (Something I’ve found to attractively label The Entrepreneur’s Curse) and have found myself searching for new ventures to take on to fill my time – so it still looks like this trait has a lot of refining left!
  • Negotiation skills. I’ve read from many travel bloggers and in travel books that negotiation skills can come in real handy and save you some real moolah in different parts of the world. This may seem like an easy skill to acquire, however I wouldn’t want to come off as a pushy, arrogant Westerner. At the same time, I don’t want to get ripped off by local businessmen who have mastered the craft of taking advantage of foreign travelers. Practicing at local markets in Aus before leaving and reading as many travel sites as possible is my best chance of mastering this skill.

Please note, this is a very short list started not too long ago and grows weekly. I’d love to hear some of things you decided to practice before leaving for a trip.

Who are you going with?

I’ve been sitting here for half an hour, scraping my mind for some blog-worthy material. To no avail. I’m not sure if the problem is that I have nothing, or I have too much… I’m hoping it’s the latter.

When I’m writing a post for you, I panic. I get anxiety. I delete an entire page of writing and start again. Twice.

Then out of the blue, I receive this text message –

“I was just going through some of the photos on my phone, you’re so beautiful my girl… I love you so so so much. Nothing will ever stop me from loving you”

Then I remember, I’ve just updated my About page. Check it out, scroll down about halfway. See where it says ‘Who I am going with’? The person who sent me this message is the person I will be going on my Round the World trip with. Let me introduce you to him!

IMAG0923Missing our Australian Summers!

For now, let’s just refer to him as boyfriend. Boyfriend and I, before we met, had the same big dream of traveling around the world. Right now, we are in the saving & planning stages of our RTW adventure. I think that we are the perfect travel partners. We compliment and contrast each other. He doesn’t like trying new food, I do. I can get overly worried about minute things, whereas he is pretty easy going.

This got me thinking about what and who really makes the perfect travel partner. A significant other? A sibling? A BFF? Perhaps no travel partner at all?

I’ve heard some horror stories of partners going overseas together and coming home separated. Besides death, this would be the worst case scenario for me. This isn’t exclusive to loved up travelers though, what if you were to embark on a trip with your Best Friend Forever and came back but had dropped the ‘best’ and ‘forever’? How about a sibling? You’ve put up with them for X years, you know each other better than anyone else and you even have a secret handshake… Surely you can take on the world together! Don’t want to have the hassle of a +1 and ready for solo navigation? (It can be done, check out Adventurous Kate for proof)

Whoever you decide to spend your time on the road/in the air/on the water with, there are a few things you’ll want to clarify before leaving:

  • Most importantly, do you both want to be there?
    Seems like a silly question, but if one of you had to be begged or convinced to leave their creature comforts behind then this will likely cause resentment.
  • How long will you be gone for?
    1 month? 1 year? Or will it be an on going adventure without a set time before you both mutually decide abroad to come home?
  • Who will pay for what and how will expenses be divided?
    Money can be a problem between people without the added stress of having to deal with it while in transit. You don’t want to end up in a unfamiliar country broke and fighting with one another. Get it sorted.
  • Where will you go?
    Every small town in the country or on the coast? Or only to see the big city lights? Are their particular destinations you want to visit or avoid? Get a rough itinerary sorted before leaving to ensure both parties are satisfied.
  • What do you want to experience?
    Gears will grind if one of you are going away to conquer every summit you come across while the other is happy to lie around sipping on Pina Coladas on the beach all day.

If you can’t get these clarified and settled with a potential travel partner then perhaps flying solo is the best choice. In a future post I will tell you where boyfriend and I stand on each of these points. I’m almost certain I’ve missed some points to consider when deciding who to travel with, so share your thoughts in the comments!

Motivation, where for art thou?

motivation

Like most, I’ve had difficulty in finding motivation at the best of times. In the last month or so, I’ve been extremely motivated in many aspects of my life. I’ve been able to hone in on goals I want to achieve and use these benchmarks as motivators.

The problems I’ve had with mustering up motivation were the factors fueling it. For me I know that the things I used to tell myself in an attempt to find motivation were artificial and from a place inside of me full of desperation.

I was trying to lose weight because that’s what I saw in magazines. I wanted to start studying again because I feared being stuck in a mundane job for the rest of my life. I kept spending all my money because I enjoyed instant gratification too much. I wanted to start my own blog because I thought I needed the validation of others.

What common denominator did all those goals have in common? They’re all shallow and desperate. So when it came time to dig deeper, I had nothing else left to motivate me.

It wasn’t until I reassessed my goals have I started to see changes. Giving them thought, meaning and depth.

I eat well and exercise because I want to feel the best I possibly can. I want to study because I enjoy the subject and I love to constantly learn. I’ve stopped blowing cash on temporary fixes and set myself big goals to save towards. I started Chasing More because I love writing and I want to connect globally with people.

So what are you using to motivate yourself? Artificial goals that are formed out of fear and doubt? Or big, beautiful dreams that are created out of aspirations and excitement for the future?

Free Fitness Sydney

Good Monday morning friends!

I love Mondays. I feel like Mondays may have drawn the short straw. Everyone needs to shift their thinking about Mondays and look at it like a fresh start, in the same NYE type fashion!

What a beautifully sunny day it is today here in Sydney, Australia! Going through Winter right now, it’s nice to have some rays of Vitamin D giving our city a big warm hug.

In my attempt to save every dollar possible for our RTW trip, I’ve been on the hunt for ways to stay fit without spending my entire savings. That may sound like an over exaggeration but the problem with living in a major city is that along with gym memberships, sports team registrations, personal training sessions and classes to promise an ass like J-Lo’s, it may seem like getting in good physical shape isn’t possible without spending your savings.

Yesterday (another perfect Winter day) I head out to Rozelle in Sydney’s Inner West to embark on ‘The Bay Run’, which in Sydney, is something only crazy people do on a Sunday morning. But really, it’s a 7km run along the water in some of Sydney’s prettiest suburbs.

So below, behold! Some fun and frugal ways to get into shape minus the budget blowing prices!

Lululemon Classes

Favourites first, right? This has by far been my favourite free fitness discovery yet. The international sportswear brand, Lululemon, hold free Yoga classes in store! Yes! So Wednesday AM I get my stretch on before work and feel so much better for it. They also host running clubs, anyone can join in so don’t stress if you’re no Usain Bolt! Different stores hold their classes at different times so head to their website to find times.

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is an online community connecting those with common interests. Although this isn’t strictly for fitness groups, there is definitely a strong presence of them on meetup.com. So sign up, search for a group that sounds good to you in your area and get moving!

Walks Around Sydney

Sydney.com recently posted an awesome list of Running Festivals and how to train for them. The list includes Sydney’s most picturesque paths, making the prospect of the actual running a little less painful. Whatever one you choose to walk/jog/run, it’s time to lace up, I promise the views will make it worth it!

At Home.

This may be the hardest, however most obvious of frugal fitness choices. I am not one to talk, as I find it extremely difficult to find motivation to do any kind of physical activity when at home. However there is endless amounts of information online to get moving to. This includes articles, photos, videos – basically anything you could need or want, you can find online these days. My favourite place to find information is Pinterest.

Trials Passes/Trial Periods

This option is a bit cheeky, however most gyms and other fitness centers offer free or heavily discounted trials passes or periods, where you may be able to test drive their services. So why not pop into your local and see what you can hustle up?

 

So no more excuses, it’s time to get moving!

Do you have any suggestions for fitness on the cheap? Let me know if you think I’ve missed something!

Favourite Bloggers Friday!

So there were a few varying reasons as to why I gave (figurative) birth to Chasing More.

1. Accountability – Perhaps, if I put my intentions out into the WWW then I will be held more accountable by my readers – I hate letting people down. This will keep me active in researching daily, creating new content often and keep the (again, figurative) fire of Chasing More inside of me burning.

2. I enjoy writing – I genuinely love conveying whatever I’m talking about to an online audience. Writing is my creative outlet – I can sing about as well as Ke$ha and my 3 year old cousin’s finger paintings are Picasso’s next to anything I put on a canvas. Also, I’d like to think I’m not half bad at this whole writing gig (up for debate).

3. I love reading – Over the last 6 months, I’ve really fell into reading online religiously. Every day, no, every hour I will check one of my favourite Blogger’s sites to see if they’ve put up a new post, picture, motivational quote, link to another blog – ANYTHING! All these people, dedicated, updating every day to their equally as dedicated audiences around the globe. And not just about any ol’ thing that pops into their brainbox, they talk with passion and vigor about what they love the most, they inspire me everyday. I want to do that. I want to inspire people!

Today, I am listing my favourite bloggers. In no order, just categorised. I hope they inspire you too. Maybe one day I’ll end up on someone’s ‘favourite bloggers’ list! (What can I say, I have big dreams)

Personal Finance

Trent @ The Simple Dollar

The Team @ Man Vs. Debt

Travel

Hannah @ Further Bound

Kate @ Adventurous Kate

Social

The Team @ Urban Society (I casually contribute to Urban Society, they are the go to guide for Sydney’s social side!)

The Team @ Weekend Notes

Health and Wellbeing

Jess @ The Wellness Warrior

Connie @ Connie Chapman

Career

Scott @ Live Your Legend

 

Happy Reading!

Free Clothes?! Say whaaaat?!

Okay. Maybe I lied.
Maybe it’s not completely free.
However,
if we’re going on the basis of ‘money in exchange for goods’, then yes, it is free!

Free clothes? In Sydney?

The Clothing Exchange  run clothes swapping events, their next one being held in Sydney on Wednesday 10th July.

The dealio is, that instead of handing over $$ for some new threads and treads, you grab some pieces from your own wardrobe to swap at the event!

So if you have that pair of bridesmaids heels you only wore for your BFF’s big day or you’ve lost (or gained?) some extra kilos and those jeans don’t quite fit the same anymore, then get down to Bondi Surf Life Saving Club next Wednesday night for the Waverley Council Clothes Swap.

A chance to get some (kind of) new clothes and a great excuse to give your wardrobe a spring clean, just remember, all the pieces you take along should be of good quality.

This is obviously a fantastic initiative and in one of Sydney’s most fashion forward areas (Eastern Suburbs, dahhhling!) so bookings are essential! Get in there quick smart as spots are limited!

Click here for more info.

World’s Best Luxury Fitness Retreats – Stay toned while getting tanned!

What better way to begin my new, shiny blog than with a post about the World’s Best Luxury Fitness Retreats? Chasing More will primarily be the focus and recording of my journey to embarking on full time travel. So what a great way to kick off than with over views of a few places around the world I will hopefully have the pleasure of visiting one day!

Holiday – the word in itself sends shivers of excitement, delight and yearning through my body.

Exercise – Weirdly enough, doesn’t quite have the same effect!

These two trigger words aren’t synonymous with one another, nor does one conjure up thoughts of the other when mentioned. That was until, I decided to tell you about the world’s best luxury fitness retreats. Don’t say I don’t take care of you.

 

Absolute Sanctuary Fitness, Thailand
Despite the (unfortunate) stereotypical Australian holiday story, Thailand has a lot more to offer us besides cheap alcohol, fake Fendis and those kind of ping pong shows. Allow me to broaden those Thai horizons for you and send you in the direction of Absolute Sanctuary Fitness, Koh Samui. With weight loss, fitness, anti-stress, hot yoga, meditation, healthy (and delish) eating all on the menu, there isn’t much they’ve missed. Offering a buffet of Yoga, Spa and Detox Programs, you really won’t have an excuse to return home not looking hot like a sunrise Rhonda…

More Info: http://www.absolutesanctuary.com/

 

Aguas de Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza – party capital of the world, no? Not at Aguas de Ibiza! Head to this haven of self renewal to experience the most luxurious of backdrops for your healthy holiday. You can (and should) participate in daily activities ranging from yoga and pilates classes, personal training sessions in the decked out fitness centre and maybe even a dip in the Feng Shui pool or counter current jet pool. If you feel these things aren’t enough, perhaps you could take it a step further on their alkalising juice detox programme. Claiming to be ‘the only place in Spain to offer the Universal Contour Wrap which guarantees you lose 15cm in a single session’, I’ve already booked my room!

More Info: http://www.aguasdeibiza.com/en

 

Ananda Spa Resort, India
Don’t be fooled because you read ‘spa resort’ in the title! The highly qualified team at Ananda, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, will have you ready to return home a renewed being of wellness ‘discovered through the union of body, mind and soul.’. They understand each individual is different, therefore expect to have a consultation prior to choosing your package to ensure the highest of results. Wellness Experiences available include Ananda Active where you can go white water rafting on the Ganges, Ananda Weight Management if you want help losing those few extra kilos or Ananda Yoga which is, you guessed it, centered around Yoga and its benefits. Don’t say you’re not convinced, I know you were when you read ‘spa resort’ in the title!

More Info: http://www.anandaspa.com/

 

The Biggest Loser Retreat, Australia
I’ve found the reason why Queenslanders are the toned, tanned, beautiful people that they all unfairly are. It must be because Willow Vale, Queensland is the home of The Biggest Loser Retreat! Yes, just like the TV Show of the same name, The Biggest Loser Retreat caters to all fitness levels, looking to increase your activeness (or lack thereof) to maximise weight loss. Dance classes, aqua combat, a triathlon and weekly team challenges are just a few of the activities that will help you slim down. Unfortunately I don’t think the Commando and Shannon will be your trainers and I’m not sure if you’ll have Michelle screaming ‘You either go down Pussy Street or Man Up Road!’, but I’d like to think I’d get similar results to their contestants!

More Info: http://www.biggestloserretreat.com.au/

 

Canyon Ranch, North America
It’s hard to believe that America is constantly slapped with being one of the fattest countries in the world or are experiencing an obesity epidemic when places like Canyon Ranch, Arizona exist. With a comprehensive list of fitness, sports and activities to pick from, as well as nutritional menus to devour and delight in, Canyon Ranch will have you on the path to being the best version of yourself in spa retreat surroundings. For those who want the whole kit and caboodle, why not sign up for the Life Enhancement Program where you will develop healthy habits for life.

More Info: http://www.canyonranch.com/tucson

 

Gaia Retreat, Australia
Owned by the Queen of ‘Let’s get physical’, Miss Olivia Newton-John herself, there is absolutely no reason to believe you would leave Gaia Retreat anything short of restored and rejuvenated. With a strong focus on Naturopathy, Gaia offer tailor made packages focusing on what it is you’re after. Despite the array of daily yoga and pilates classes, guided bushwalks, organic cooking classes, cardio circuit and nutritional consultations, what really won me over is when I read ‘day beds and hammocks’ on their website. If it’s good enough for Sandy, it’s good enough for me.

More Info: http://www.gaiaretreat.com.au/

 

Longevity Wellness Resort, Monchique
As winner of the 2013 Tatler’s ‘Most Life Changing’ Spa, I’d like to think I’ve got you onto a game changer with this one. Longevity Wellness Resort in Monchique, Portugal takes it to a whole ‘nother level, they’ve got EVERYTHING. Preventive Health Management? Sure. Intravenous Nutrient Therapy? No worries. Laser Resurfacing? All over it! What I love most about their Wellness Concept is the ability to chose a beginner, intermediate or advanced level from their spa, detox, weight loss, anti-stress and anti-ageing programs. Let your family and friends know you’re heading to Longevity Wellness Resort, chances are they won’t recognise the new you when you get back!

More Info: http://www.longevitywellnessresort.com/en/

 

Paradis Plage, Morocco
If you’re more interested in frolicking in the ocean as a fun way back to fitness, then don’t fear water babies, I have something for you too! Paradis Plage in Morocco is where you need to be. With a bevy of Surf School Packages, surfboard and equipment hire and stand-up paddle lessons, you could be a complete novice or a seasoned pro, they’ll have something to get you into the blue. For all ye’ landlubbers, never fear, Paradis Plage offer a range of Yoga packages! Can’t chose between the two? How about a yoga AND surf package? Bet you’re feeling spoilt for choice already.

More Info: http://www.paradisplage.com/

 

Porto Elounda, Greece
Oh Greece, I thought I couldn’t love you anymore. You’ve already given us so much. Azure blue beaches, haloumi and Effie. But okay, if you insist, I’ll take one more sparkling gem from your treasure chest. As if I needed another reason to get to Greece, I discover Porto Elounda in Crete. With their very own Golf Academy of PGA standards, scuba diving, water sports, tennis lessons and a gym with the latest and greatest of equipment, this five star facility will have you doing as much as possible (however much that may be on a holiday in Greece). I just heard the scribbling down of a Porto Elounda on bucket lists worldwide.

More Info: http://www.portoelounda.com/

 

The Body Holiday at LeSport, St Lucia, Caribbean
Rounding off the list is the crème de la crème of the Caribbean. With a title like ‘The Body Holiday‘ I expect big things and the team at LeSport are more than willing to meet and totally surpass all expectations you would have in a world shattering type of way. Their prices are ALL INCLUSIVE, one price covers accommodation, food and drinks (yes, the alcoholic type!), spa treatment daily and of course, all the trying-to keep-my-holiday-body activities too! Fencing, aerobics, volleyball, archery, scuba diving and water sports. If it involves any kind of physical movement, I’m pretty sure LeSport have it on their books. Tell Jack Sparrow I said hi, then thank me when he falls completely in summer love with you.

More Info: http://www.thebodyholiday.com/

So now, instead of coming back from your well deserved worldly adventures 5kg’s heavier, you can at least break even. You’re welcome!