Down By The Bay…

I’m writing from my sunny deck outside of my hostel room in Byron Bay, pretty idyllic spot if you ask me! I came down here last week from Broadbeach on a quick and cheap shuttle, just an hour and a half. For such a short distance the two places could not be more different in my opinion. Where Broadbeach/Surfer’s Paradise area is all flash and people trying to impress each other, Byron Bay is laid back, relaxed and has a super easy going vibe. If you’ve been to Tofino, picture that, but warm and sunny. Plus any town that has no fast food restaurants is a winner already for me!

Since I’ve been here I’ve been staying at the Byron Beach Resort, which is part hostel, part hotel and part apartment rentals. It’s right across the road from Belongil Beach which is gorgeous and filled with super happy dogs. It’s an easy 20 minute walk on the beach to town or there’s a shuttle that goes about every half an hour. The town itself is super cute, just one or two main roads filled with little shops and delicious restaurants.

Byron Bay

I’ve been staying here with another Canadian that I met in Adelaide while I was there, it’s been nice to have a bit of a travel buddy!

Yesterday we decided to do the hike up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. We started from the beach in front of the hostel and I would say it took us about 2 hours round trip. It wasa relatively easy hike, considering how out of shape I am at the moment (blame the wine drinking and cheap hostel meals), but a bit of a sweaty one as the sun was shining down on us the whole time. From the main beach we walked on the trail over to Wategos Beach and then up the hill to both the most Easterly point of Australia and the Lighthouse.

Eastern Australia

Cape Byron Lighthouse

After spending some time up there trying to spot whales and dolphins (we did see some!) we went down the main road into town and rewarded ourselves with some seriously good tacos for our hard work.

Cape Byron

I think the next couple of days will be quite relaxed, hitting the beach and maybe finally starting the job hunt. On Thursday one of my best friends from home is coming and I am so excited!! I can’t wait to show her around and I know we’re going to have so much fun.

Air NZ

A Good Airport Needs…

Airport Photo

As someone who has flown a lot both in life and even more so in the last three months I’ve started to realize that all airports are not equal. When you need to be at an airport for a few hours before a flight or while waiting for a connecting flight, you end up spending a lot of time there if you’re someone who travels regularly.

We all have our local airport, that we’ve been to multiple times, know our way around, what restaurants are there, where you need to go to check in or get to your gate. I could probably tell you 90% of the restaurants, where the gates are for the airlines and which bathroom is cleanest in the Vancouver International Airport.

So here’s my list of things I think makes an airport better than others;

  1. Comfortable chairs. Bonus points for couches or anything that isn’t a bench seat. Minus points if every seat has an armrest between it…hello I might want to spread out, especially if I have to sit there for an extended period of time.
  2. Power points! This one is key. With everyone in the world obsessed with electronics being able to charge all that stuff is seriously nice before getting on a flight. It’s great to have your phone fully charged before you fly so if you need to find your way around when you land or get a hold of someone you can. Again bonus points for if the plug ins are in a convenient spot, not making you sit on the floor in some random hallway while waiting for that precious battery percentage to go up.
  3. Good selection of places to get food and drink. This can vary from little coffee shops or full on restaurants. It does feel pretty nice at the beginning of a holiday to be able to grab a glass of wine or a beer before you head out. It’s also really convenient to be able to get something little to eat before boarding the plane, we all know how shit airplane food is (PS. If you think normal airplane food is bad, try the vegetarian options…pretty sure it’s not even actual food).
  4. Easy to maneuver. Getting off of a 12 hour flight, landing in a country that you’ve never been in, they don’t speak English, and now you need to get through customs, find your bag and get a cab. If an airport is easy to get around and has good signage it can take away so much stress, which when you’re exhausted and jet lagged. It’s also nice when you have a connecting flight and the airport is easy to get around, I’ve been in some airports in Asia where I could start to feel a bit of panic setting in when I couldn’t figure out where I needed to go to get my flight.
  5. WIFI. When you have an hours long layover and nothing to do free wifi in the airport is basically essential. It can keep you entertained (although be careful, I almost missed a flight while in a serious Making a Murderer binge watch), you can check out things to do once you get to your destination, and maybe let your mom (who you know was watching your flight online, or maybe that’s just my loving mom) know that you’ve made it part way safely.

What makes a good airport to you? What’s the best airport you’ve been to?

It’s My Birthday!

So…it’s officially my birthday! My favourite day (let’s be honest, week) of the year!

I’m turning 27…holy that sounds old to me. 26 was an amazing year for me. I can’t believe all of the different things I did. I met so many amazing people, travelled to 3 new countries, am in a different country right now, and have learned a lot about myself. I got to watch my best friend marry the love of her life, spent New Years in Bali with my favourite travel buddies, did countless wine tours, spent hours laughing with my nephews and nieces and have spent a ridiculous amount of hours in airports and airplanes.

So to sum it up I rounded up my favourite 27 photos from the last year, what a year it was!

Monte Creek Winery Birthday

Annual birthday winery trip last year

Shuswap

Tubing at the Shuswap with Hudsy

Winery

Wine tour fun

Kelowna

Pre-wedding wine tour (sensing a bit of a wine tour trend)

wedding

Seeing Ashley in her dress for the first time

Summerhill

The big day for Ash and Lukasz

Hudson

Hudson and his mohawk

Vegas

The boys living the dream in Vegas

Claire

Claire and I enjoying the hottub

Sun Peaks

Getting to be a date for the firefighters ball in Sun Peaks

Gatsby

Callie’s Gatsby themed birthday party!

Lucy

Hiking with Lucy

Lucy

Lucy’s birthday hike at Paul Lake

Christmas

Cutest boys on Christmas Eve

IMG_7575

Best New Years Eve BBQ

Seminyak

Ringing in the New Year with my travel bestie, Jacqui

Single Fin

Aman’s birthday drinks in Uluwatu

Gili T

Gili Island sunset

Paul Lake

Hiking with the pups on Paul Lake

Canucks game in March!

Canucks game in March!

Easter

Easter with my favs!

Family

Setting off to Australia

 

Twelve Apostles

Sunny day at the Twelve Apostles

Devil's Tear

Probably the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to, Nusa Lembongan

Koals

Koala holding dreams coming true

Kangaroo Selfie

Favourite selfie ever!

So there you have it, my year summed up in my favourite photos. Today Kara and I are heading to the Hanmer Hot Springs for a little birthday celebration (the annual wine tour will have to be another day). Then I think it might be time for me to head back to Aus! I still haven’t booked my flights, typical last minute booking of course. Maybe that will change when I’m actually 27…old and wise.