Recognize and celebrate the heroes and she-roes of the World!

Don’t let the darkness of the past cover the brightness of the future.

ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance held on April 25 to honor the Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in World War One. It is also a national holiday for all Australians.

This day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day to remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for the sense of national identity. On ANZAC day, ceremonies are held in towns and cities across the nation to acknowledge the service of veterans. The official ANZAC Day Parades begins at 9am and travel throughout the cities and are followed by a heartfelt  commemoration service for the lives that were lost and the ones that still serve the country.

Soldiers wear Rosemary on Anzac day. It is an ancient symbol of remembrance. The Greeks believed that the plant stimulated the memory and at funerals, mourners would throw sprigs of rosemary into the grave as a memorial for the dead. Its significance to Anzac Day is simple: The shrub grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Diggers recall the pungent scent as they scrambled up the hills at Anzac Cove under a hail of Turkish machine gun fire, and for some, it became a scent that haunted them upon return to Australia.

After the morning events you round the friends and family up for good old fashioned BBQ. We headed back to of the beach home where the smoky aroma of sizzling kangaroo meat, fresh salad and red wine filled the air.  As you can see by the video above, the music was pumping and the good vibes were flowing.

2-Up: As part of the ANZAC Day celebrations a number of pubs play the traditional Aussie gambling game of ’2-up’. Players bet on whether two or three coins (traditionally pennies) will fall heads up or down. It’s good fun to watch the excitement from the crowd grow as each bet is placed.

Here are some hard and fast rules on how to enjoy this exciting game that is only allowed to be played on this day of remembrance:

Choose your bet: Supposedly tails it’s the unlucky side of the coin (as told to me by the head betters) When I spoke to the tails betters the screamed “Tails never Fails!”. Both sides of the betters suggested for me not to fraternise with opposing betters, buy them beers, or talk to them. The crowd was a very lively bunch indeed.

Don’t be indecisive: Nobody wants to associate with someone that changes allegiances, betting on tails, then heads as the whim takes them.

Never: Take money from a 70-year-old gent wearing medals. Just forget to pick up your winnings from him, or slip the cash into his jacket pocket and disappear into the crowd.

Do scream ”HEAD ‘EM UP!”: As loudly and as many times as you’re physically capable off. Preferably next to opposing betters.

Do question the spinner: It’s your money, you should be able to ask the person tossing the coins if they’re feeling lucky, did they eat a bad prawn the night before, or have they had success with the opposite sex lately. The Aussies say it all counts with Lady Fortune.

Do peacock: If you’re a spinner, you have the right to strut around and make as big of a show of it as you can, especially if you’re an attractive woman. Just toss high, spin the coins and land ’em on the ground.

My heart was a little lonely as I watched everyone pass by with their friends and family. Although I wished my loved one were here in OZ with me to experience the history, traditions, dancing, letting out the inner child on the playgrounds….It was still an amazing day to add to the books with wonderful new friends.

Courage and perseverance are the little voices at the end of the day that say “No worries, we’ll try again tomorrow”

When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly – Patrick Overton

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Although I have been having many amazing experiences with tons of new friendly and some familiar faces, I haven’t had much luck in finding volunteering opportunities in countries that are not poverty stricken. New Zealand and Australia have very in depth processes for volunteering (applications, interviews with HR staff, training courses, etc.) which is all good and well and I am glad that they are screening volunteers, but unfortunately I can’t just pop in and say “Hey guys! I’m visiting your country for a bit and would love to assist you in any way that you need.”  So, to keep my sanity I’ve  been donating/helping in smaller ways whenever possible…donated 10 lbs. of hair to Locks of Love, Helping carry and elderly woman’s groceries, taking Simon, a homeless NZ man out for lunch, connected with to support micro finance loans to enable women in poverty to establish the ‘business of their dreams’. All profits received will be distributed via microfinance loans enabling these women with an entrepreneurial spirit to have a new beginning and a brighter future.

After sending tons of requests out it looks like things are finally beginning to fall into place. I’ll be assisting the & on Sunday morning for Marine Life/Beach cleanup and am anxiously awaiting approval from Conservation Volunteers Australia….Good things are coming. I can feel it! Sometimes we forget that ALL of the beauty, truth and light is out there for us…every single day…just for us! You just have to listen to the voices of Courage and perseverance that say “No worries, we’ll try again tomorrow”

I’ve been in Brisbane with my Framily (Friends that are Family too) for the past week. Big thanks to the Browns for including me as part of the family during their vacation to Surfer’s Paradise.  We’ve had such a fun time, visiting the Currumbin Wildlife SanctuaryTamborine Mountain Eco Centre and Rainforest Skywalk Byron Bay & Surfers Paradise.

Sadly we had to part ways a few hours ago and now it’s time for Sydney to go to Sydney! I’m at the Brisbane airport getting ready to head south and explore another wonderful city in the Land Down Under.

Who’s to say what’s impossible can’t be found…

It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about, how you treat others and how you decide to live each day! Go forth and make each day absolutely AMAZING!!!

My last few days in New Zealand were unforgettable!  Kite surfing at Murawai Beach, Hiked all around Takapuna Beach, Watched my first Rugby Game at Eden Park (Auckland Blues vs. Natal Sharks), Got to drive around on the other side of the road…it takes a little bit to adjust, especially on round-abouts and left turns, took a yoga class at the Lululemon store in Ponsonby, Camped out in Dida’s Cafe for multiple hours working on pictures, video, postcards, etc. Luckily they said they like having a smiling face around and told me I could stay as long as I’d like.

With as many wonderful experiences that I had I still didn’t come close to doing half of the things that are available in this beautiful country. I can’t wait to come back and visit!

Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it’s inspiring ♥

Talking to yourself and getting things done is more appropriate then telling hundreds of people about who you are and how you are going to make it happen.

Wanderlust is a very strong, irresistible impulse to travel and I am completely overcome with this desire. I’m always amazed when people tell me that travel doesn’t really interest them and they don’t really feel a need or a longing to see all of the amazing things, people and places this BIG world has to offer. I’m sure they are equally confused by me packing up and selling my belongings, putting my career on hold, walking away from the security of benefits and a well paying job and wandering the globe by myself. I realize it seems crazy to most, but I’m okay with it. This is my dream…Your first responsibility is to be happy. The second is to make everyone else happy.

It isn’t too difficult to pack up your life and start all over again. Perhaps a bit overwhelming and scary in the beginning, but then you get into the swing of things and everything begins to fall into place, and if it doesn’t then adjust your mindset and keep moving forward. Don’t hold yourself and your dreams back out of fear. Obstacles are placed in front of us to see if what we want is really worth fighting for.

I always dreamed about exploring as many countries as I possibly could…. Then one day I said to myself  “Why not? What do I have to loose? The way I’m living cannot be it? There has to be more to life….If anything I’ll regret not doing it.” So I went with the feeling deep inside of me that longed for something more than spending the rest of my life in one place without having explored every experience to the fullest and embracing every opportunity that comes my way.

So why did I give up my world to see the world? When I’m traveling I feel so light and overcome with joy. Sitting on a sandy beach, riding a train/bus across country watching the landscape pass by, marveling at a local artists masterpieces, not knowing where I am going but I know I’m going to meet new friendly faces each day… It fills my entire being with happiness. Travel is one of the few things I do in my life that is just for me and the one thing in life that puts a permanent smile on my face as I stand in a new country knowing that I worked hard to get here and this moment…it is mine.

No matter what we need, desire and long for in our lives, you can have it. It’s yours! The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours.  It is an amazing journey and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  So go for it! Because at the end, you don’t want to have any regrets.

Inspired by:

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…

Being authentic is the ability to be true to oneself. Living an authentic life requires the ability to be true to our own wants, needs and desires and not live our lives by the opinion of others. Being authentic is the ability to make self-honoring choices and stand firmly in who we are in our core. Being true to ourselves gives us the insight and compassion to see others for who they are, not who we expect them to be. It frees us up from the judgment of ourselves and others and it gives others the freedom to be themselves as well.

I’ve been absolutely astounded by New Zealand’s numerous vantage points. Regardless of where you turn, water is always a hop, skip and a jump away. The sensational mix of quality waves (perfect for beginners and the experience) gives a wide variety for surfing, sailing, kite surfing…the list goes on and on. You can score some great, uncrowded locations without traveling far off the beaten path. The island and coastlines are hit with swells from all points of the compass throughout the year. So, with a little weather knowledge from www.surf2surf  numerous options present themselves. Point breaks, reefs, rocky shelves and hollow sandy beaches can all be found, just take your pick! I’ve been lucky enough to have two very amazing couchsurfing hosts so far that just happen to be into water sports and have given me lessons in just about all of the options that are available. Everyday has been non-stop action-packed fun! Video coming soon 🙂

The city of sails…It’s hard to imagine a more geographically blessed city. Auckland’s two magnificent harbors frame a narrow isthumus punctuated by volcanic cones, surrounded by fertile farmland. It’s intriguing how close the Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean come to kissing and forming a new island.

It’s been an adventure from day one. I arrived Wednesday morning, walked out into the airport parking lot and was able to catch a ride directly into the city. Made a pit stop at One Tree Hill to view the city from the overlook point, met the couchsurfing gang at Bungalow 8 for their regular weekly meet up. Went surfing with Hadyn at Murawai Beach, tasted local honey at the Bees Online honey center and cafe, watched a street art movie at the open-air movie night at the Silo Park on the harbor to support local artists, Hiked all around Piha Beach, Climbed up Lion Rock and explored the jungle at Folly Falls, Met with a hairdresser that contacted me on couchsurfing because he needed a hair model….got a wild hair (literally) and chopped it all off for Locks of Love. I’ve cut my own hair for the last 15 years, wasn’t sure what to expect. I was nervous & excited, but now I just feel free! Sailing on Okahu Bay, ate all kinds of goodies from various cafes around the city in search of the tiniest wi-fi signal to talk to my loved ones back home…with little luck I might add, Flat water/Stand up paddling at Tawharanui Beach, Tuesday night Advanced Acrobatics, Rode the Naked Bus ( from Auckland to Rotorua and back to view the Maori tribal grounds and Whakarewarewa Thermal springs and there is still so much more to do and see in the few days that I have left in the wonderful country! Will post more soon! Cheers!

You can’t have Rainbows without the Rain…

The Universe is desperate for you to follow your dreams. You will be surrounded by all the support you need if you choose to see life that way. So many live their life in fear. It’s such a rare moment when one of us wakes up and decides to plunge into the abyss of the unknown that the Universe will rejoice & provide everything you need for a successful journey. There will be obstacles, so it’s your job to decide how to react to each challenge. I promise you if you keep pressing on you will be pleasantly surprised to find out what lies just on the other side of every perceived “failure.”

I’ve been given a few tests at the beginning of my journey. Yesterday was definitely a test of patience. My heart dropped when several caring/concerned texts and v-mails from loving friends and family popped up as I turned my phone back on after landing in LAX.  My flight had been cancelled and the Fiji international airports were closed due to flooding and cyclones… I had to quickly come up with a plan B, so I rerouted myself straight to New Zealand. The Air Pacific counter didn’t open until 4, so I spent the day exploring the city with my bestest California gal, Yung Vay & my new buddy Dann Guinto.

We had burgers at the Standing Room restaurant/liquor store and then walked all around the Redondo Pier, soaking up the sun, the waves and saw fresh sea urchins moving their little tentacles while being cut open like a coconut by the local fisherman…so sad.

Hoping to rescue my bag back in time, I headed back to the airport. 10 hours later after fighting with Air Pacific I finally located my bag & booked a flight to New Zealand leaving Monday at 10pm PST…So, slight delay, but on the bright side I got to hang with my west coast peeps & I already have several CouchSurfing hosts lined up in Auckland so it’s all good. We made it to the Hollywood sign and considered it a win for the trip.

Lessons learned:
* Always check the weather, travel alerts/warnings
* Purchase insurance on all flights purchased through a 3rd party (budget air, kayak, etc)
* Be open minded and don’t sweat the small stuff…it’s all small stuff
*  You can never plan for everything,
* Always be ready to come up with a plan B, or already have one in place

Now I’m sitting  on the plane to Auckland about to explode with excitement! I love it when a plans unfolds as it should. I have a good feeling for the rest of this journey and am excited to see what the future holds! New Zealand here I come!

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