Thursday, September 27, 2012


Having a limited wardrobe makes taking worthwhile outfit posts tricky. Also when it's 33 degrees every day there's not much creativity that I can come up with. Ideally I'd like to just wear my bathing suit or a dress that hangs off my shoulders and doesn't touch the rest of me. Not very flattering but oh so breezy. 

So I finally got around to take photos in a hostel room that we hope to stay in for months but were kicked out after 2 weeks due to ineptitude... Oh well, it was probably for the (more expensive) best anyway... 

Cardi: Ricki's
Tank: Cotton On
Skirt: City Chic
Thongs: Havianas
necklace: gift from parents from Spain

Please ignore the boob stain on the tank top. I don't know how it happened. I washed it 5 times and was resigned to throw it out. And then one day I picked it up and the stain was gone. And so the top remains... 

Today I am thankful for an outfit post. Man, I've really missed these!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Lovin' up on Canada

When we first arrived in Darwin, Northern Territory we were going through a bit of a Canada withdrawl. Luckily we found a bar that served Moosehead beer. 

It wasn't the freshest but it went down a treat!

We played some crib and tried not to lose our minds in the extreme heat. 

On July 1, Canada Day, I had to work at 7:30am but that means that I was finished about 1pm. Bargain! We went out for some cider and cards. 

I dressed in red for the occasion.

Later that evening we walked to Mindil Beach where there are night markets on Thursdays and Sundays. The market has much the same stuff every time but it's fun to watch the people and try to food. On this particular day there were fireworks!

At first I just thought that they were particularly fond of their Commonwealth sister country. 

Turned out that it was 'Cracker Day', a celebration on self-government for the NT. Either way the free fireworks were some of the best that I've ever seen. Such a treat!

Today I feel lucky to be from one great country and living in another. 


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crocing Jumpodiles

Crocodiles are serious business in the Northern Territory. Everyday there is an article in the newspaper about a croc eating a boat or a small dog or showing up unexpectedly. And there is crocodile merchandise everywhere. 

There are a lot of tourist options when in comes to crocs. We chose the Spectacular Jumping Crocodiles Tour. They took us out on the murky Adelaide River where crocs love to live. Then they dangle some meat over the edge of the boat and the croc swims predatorily up and eyes both the meat and us with a hungry, prehistoric eye. 

You're next

The croc propels himself out of the water to chomp on the meat. Some of them only had 2-3 arms/legs because other crocs had been chomping on them. It's a dangerous place in that river. Some of the crocs were over 6 metres long!

Click on through to Mind the Ramp for more photos of these scary dudes. 

Today I am thankful for a sturdily built boat. Seriously. 


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yesterday was my last day at work before starting our next travel adventure. About 5 minutes to close 40 people walked in for dinner. This is not an exaggeration. I counted them.

It was also my 3 year Date-aversary with the Gentleman Caller.

Because of both of these things we drank champagne at midnight. Out of teacups.


Swimming under waterfalls: Litchfield Park

Litchfield Park is a couple of hours away from Darwin. We decided to spend our last campervan day there. There are so many beautiful waterfalls and spots to swim safely (crocodiles are a huge concern here). 

We swam across this watering hole and sat on the rocks under the small waterfall on the left. It was beautiful and so magical. 

Apparently freshwater crocodiles like to swim here too but they are not the really dangerous ones. And probably there weren't any here at this time. Probably. 

To see more photos of rock pools, waterfalls and a swimming hole in a valley that we had to walk down a zillion stairs to get to click on Mind the Ramp.

Today I am thankful for those little moments where you can hardly believe where you are because it's just so perfect... 


Friday, September 14, 2012

What life looks like from a campervan

This campervan was brilliant. After so many months relying on public transport and our own two feet it was such a pleasure to be able to drive where we wanted on our own schedule. The Gentleman Caller did the driving. I did the navigating / bad car singing.

We stopped in Mataranka twice for the amazing hot springs. Down a long path through a palm forest (in which the ground is carpeted by broken branches, pulled down by flying foxes) there is a FREE thermal pool. The water is beautifully clear and about 32 degrees. They've built it up so it is like a pool but it has a sandy bottom with tree roots sticking up and the thermal river passing through. After a long drive it was such a treat to be able to bob around in this magical place. Perfection. I've often wished we could go back just for a few hours. 

Our evenings were spent rolling into a campsite and setting up (a simple matter of attaching our power cord). We'd make an awesome cheapy pasta meal on our camp stove and listen to a lot of Paolo Nutini. 

I learned that the bachelor's meal of instant noodles with pasta sauce (and a few veggies thrown in at my insistence) is actually pretty good. Beer and chocolate also help. We'd cuddle down for the night with some Modern Family and slept surprisingly well on a foam mattress in the back of a van!

Today I am so thankful that we were able to hire this van. It was so fun to be on the open road with nothing but a great roadtrip playlist, trivia, madlibs, a vague plan and a cute boy. 


Monday, September 10, 2012

Thoughts on Darwin, heat, adventure and short skirts

I've been living in Darwin, NT, Australia since the middle of June. It was an accident really that we ended up here. The Gentleman Caller and I planned on finishing our roadtrip to the centre of Australia and then fly somewhere else to get jobs. But then we rolled into town, took one look at what paying for petrol did to our bank accounts and decided that we couldn't afford to leave. And so we got jobs. Me working as a waitress, again. Him working moving furniture. And because we're in the Northern Territory, far away from most things we make good money. But because everything is so expensive here we're not saving a lot.  

And so I've been living here, where everyday is the same. The weather is stunningly hot everyday. There is never a cloud in the sky (ok, maybe twice), there is never any rain (ok, maybe 3 drops). All I know is that when I go outside every morning it's going to feel like I just stuck my head in an oven. And in the middle of a -40 degree Canadian winter that sounds like heaven. But day after day? It's oppressive. I feel the sky, the sun, the heat weighing down on me. I'm tired all the time because heat make me sleepy. I've discovered that this body of mine likes a temperate climate, not too hot and not too cold. 

And so I am eagerly counting down the days until we leave. It's 10 days away. I'm looking forward to maybe having to look out the window before leaving for the day. I'm excited for potentially wearing layers (and tights!!!). I'm pretty pumped about not sweating all the time. But you know when you are looking forward to something and the closer it gets the more anxious, eager, frantic you are to get there? Kinda like when you really have to pee and the closer you get to home the more it feels like you're going to blurst? That's how these last few days have been feeling. 

I'm trying to remember to live fully. This is where I am right now and this is where I need to be: mind, body, spirit. When else will I be living in a tropical climate? When else can I go to the beach everyday? When else can I work at a job where I have absolutely no responsibility? These last few days are for enjoying what I have and working to save up for the next phase of our adventure. And maybe they are to help me learn just to sit with something that is uncomfortable. It's not going to kill me to just be with my eagerness, anxiety, anticipation and not do anything about making it go away. 

And one good thing about Darwin? It's taught me to feel (more) comfortable in short dresses. It's too hot otherwise!! Case in point: I remember wearing this dress in Adelaide and feeling super uncomfortable and conscious that it was pretty short. And so I look awkward in the first photo. Since it's boiling everyday in Darwin I've decided to give up feeling self-conscious about my legs and the huge potential that someone might see my bottom if the wind plays a mean trick. I'm way more comfortable and confident. So thanks for that, Darwin!


Today I am thankful for this moment. And the next one too.


Friday, September 7, 2012

A little Grey

Last week I found my first grey hair. I'm sure I've had them before but I just didn't notice. Maybe because I've always coloured my hair and this is the first time in a very long time that my hair is exactly how it's meant to be (plus highlights from the serious sun in Australia). I mean, it was about time. I'm nearly 31 (Holy pants. I just realized that I'll be 31 in a month. Whoa.) so I shouldn't have been shocked. And I wasn't, not really. I wanted to keep it and tape it into my journal. But I don't have any tape. So I threw it away. 

Then the next day I found another hair the same length and texture. But this time it was black. I think my body, like my mind, doesn't much care for age or doing what it's 'supposed' to do at a certain time. And I think that's cool. 

(And another thing: is it grey? Or gray? Is one American and one British? And being Canadian which am I meant to use? And now that I've written them both out they both look wrong)

Today I am thankful for growing older. Because I'm glad to be alive. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Daly Waters

The road is a long one to get back to the top of Australia. And one we had already driven on the way to the centre. And there's not too much to see, really. 

So we stopped in little towns to refuel, to have an icy treat when it was too hot, to park our van for the night. And also to make Gentleman Callers do silly things begrudgingly. 

We stopped at Daly Waters Pub because we heard it was a sight to see. Every available surface from the ceiling to the floor is covered in things that people have left behind. You know, the usual bras, underwear, ID... Click on over to Mind the Ramp to see more photos of this strange little pub in the outback!

Today I am grateful for people who can only be described as characters.