To Ski or Not to Ski

Taking a break from Nepal blogs this week and decided to talk about snow.

Winter hit this weekend, the sweat pants came out and the summer wardrobe was packed away. Not going to lie, it was very nice leaving the house Saturday night not in a ball of sweat from blow drying and straighten my hair in 34 degree heat.

Only 5 hours from Sydney in the Snowy Mountains they have already received there first sprinkling of SNOW! I have been skiing twice in Australia and both times it has been with the same company…Oz Snow. Both times have been such a blast. Its a great weekend with friends and minimal organisation on your part.

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This year we have friends going again and its so hard to say no…but we have to do some hikes and think about our month off in Nepal. It is amazing how hard a two lettered word can be …no! Personally I know I could go but then later down the line I would really be struggling to hit my goals money wise before we head out in September. It is a no ski zone for us this year. We both would really love to go to New Zealand but we have no holiday for a while, so that will have to be a trip we do in the future.

Link to my to blog on my Ski Trip 2016.

Never fear we might be seeing snow in a few weeks. We have booked our weekend to Jindabyne at the end of May. We are hoping the weather isn’t to bad and we can complete the 20KM Mt Kosciusko hike. The original plan was to go up on the June long weekend but that is the opening weekend of Ski season and accommodation was pricey to say we were not skiing. By bringing the trip a few weeks forward we have saved over half on accommodation. Full blog of our weekend in the Snowy Mountains will be up a week after our trip. I am actually excited to experience the other side to Jindabyne, see what it has to offer and to get a decent mileage hike complete.

Snow boots out, winter jacket and woolly hats at the ready!

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Nepal Training May.

3 and a half months until we leave for Nepal. We have started to do training to get our body’s in the best shape for the Trek. Decided to jot down what we have been doing and what we have planned.
Footwear
Both of us bought new hiking boots at the beginning of the year. I don’t really know much about walking boots apart from that I need to be able to walk in them for 8 days. Both our boots are from the Kathmandu shop. To save a few bob we shopped at the outlet mall in Birkenhead Point. They have some amazing deals. MK did struggle to find his size as they don’t carry many in the shop. It took two visits but we found him some in the end. Now the boots have been bought we have to wear them in.

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What Are We Working On?
I did a lot of research on tour websites and blogs about what are the key things for nailing this walk. The one thing that stood out physically is to have a good stamina. My main two focuses are to shift weight and build up my stamina. MK’s is to build his stamina. Basically we just need to be able to keep walking. We also are walking with backpacks as we will have to carry day packs with us. This may seem stupid but walking with a bag does make a difference. Every walk I have done so far I have packed up my camera back pack and walked with it. I would say after 3 walks I am finally getting used to it.
What Types of Training Are We Doing?
I am doing running and swimming during the week. Running is not easy for me and I am slowly getting into it. I actually find it easier with the colder nights. I love my swimming probably because I am good at it. I swim at the North Sydney pool its such a cool view of Luna Park and the Bridge. The sun is setting as I swim it such a lovely backdrop as I do my 2KM in the pool (40 lengths in a 50M pool). I am now running two times a week swimming once and using works gym once a week (uphill on the cross trainer and small weights). I also do the bay walk on a Saturday morning which I will start to run soon. I find recording my work outs really helps keep me going. I use the Nike Run App even if we are doing a walk. Its a great record of our fitness and how we are improving.

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Carly’s Look Out
Obviously we are doing walks /hikes to get used to the boots and build up our stamina. So far on our walks we have completed: Spit-Manly, Bondi-Coogee, Grand Canyon Walk (Blue Mountains) and Carley’s Look Out Point in Bent Basin. If we cant get out for a walk we do the Bay Walk to get a few KM under our belt for the weekend. 
Over the next few weeks we have a trip booked to the Snowy Mountains to walk Mt Kosciusko and over the long weekend in June we will be doing a mountain biking trip in the Blue Mountain’s. We also have a few more walks up in the Blue Mountains to cross off our list. A little bit closer to the trip we plan on doing a full weekend of walking to get into the motion of waking up and walking day after day.
This time next month we will have lots of KM’s completed, some strong legs and worn in boots. Hopefully have many photos of all the beautiful scenery we shall see as well.

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Spit – Manly Walk

Vivid ’18

Vivid is just around the corner it starts May 25th. It is probably one of the highlights of Winter along with reducing your AC bill. Last year I walked around the lights and did a boat cruise. Compared to the previous years the walk around the displays was done in a better fashion. There was a one way system which kept everyone going in the right direction. The boat cruise from last year was so good I have booked it again on Groupon. You can also get tickets still for them just Click Here. You know have to book through the site I believe there is only one company still with Vivid offers on Groupon.
There are so many things happening at Vivid other then the spectacular lights in the city. The events are really budget friendly as well. Two events stuck out for me and I am hopefully going to get tickets for it. I highly suggest checking out the Vivid Website.
My two events I hope to check out is a debate on the #metoo movement. I cant imagine the intensity of this debate. The tickets are $16 for the debate. I think witnessing a talk on one of the most talked about topics this year can not be missed. The other one is the 90’s night House and UK Garage night… my friends and I always comment on how we miss this music from home. Well now for $15 there is a full night dedicated to it!
Get your friends together and for under $20 you can have a night organised experiencing something new/unique or mind blowing for one night. Don’t let Vivid pass you buy its getting better and better each year. Little tip take a video and speed them up they will look like the one below…

 

Bondi Top 5.

A couple of weeks ago we were very lucky and got asked by a friend to house sit for a weekend in North Bondi. Living in the Inner West with a surfboard on the balcony we jumped at the chance to live by the beach for the weekend. That Friday we packed a weekend bag, surfboard and headed East. Massive thank you to our friends for letting us get to feel like Bondi residents for a weekend!

These are just my top 5 things we did in Bondi…We were full Bondi tourists all weekend and even though we have lived in Sydney for years all these were firsts.

1.Swim at Icebergs Pool

I have walked past the Icebergs so many times whilst on the Coastal Walk. This weekend we took the opportunity to have a dip in the pool and sunbath. It was around $8 to get into the pool and we set our towels up looking over Bondi Beach. I only did a few laps in the pool the water was a bit nippy. I spent the rest of the time reading my book with Bondi Beach in the background and soaking up the Autumn sun. There is also a Sauna, massage room and cafe in the pool area. It was a good to finally take a dip at this iconic swimming pool.

2. Sunrise / Surf on Bondi Beach

Sunday morning we got up at sunrise to go to the beach and MK surfed. I took a blanket down and sat on the beach watching the surfers, runners and the odd early morning swimmer. There was a lot of over cast but the colours never disappoint at sunrise. The sky was a soft pink and it is always feels good to get up and see the start of the day happen in front of your eyes. MK loved his morning surf. Bondi is his favorite spot for a surf but to be there that early and ride in those first waves of the day was great. After our sunrise it was straight to Harry’s Bondi Cafe for a coffee and MK  grabbed breakfast.

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3. Coastal Walk at Sunset

Saturday we had been to the beach and the shopping center at Bondi Junction so we felt like we had not done much exercise. In a bid to get some exercise done we decided to do the coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee at sunset. I have done the walk countless times but never at sunset. It was again a pretty overcast sky but still provides amazing views the whole way round. We even saw a wedding party take photos at Bronte Beach ( what a backdrop). It was getting dark as we got to Coogee and our belly’s were rumbling so we jumped on the summer coastal bus back to Bondi.

4. Bondi Markets Saturday and Sunday

The Saturday markets were a bit smaller then Sundays, not as many stalls. The Sunday markets had everything from fresh produce, home ware, flowers and clothes. It looked like everything was home made organic and natural from all the signs on the stalls. There were some beautiful stalls with Turkish towels, dream catchers and candles. I could have spent a small fortune but luckily we were just doing a quick walk through to check it out.

 

5.Sunset at the Head in Watsons Bay

Our last night in Bondi we took a drive around and park at The Gap just above Watson Bay Hotel. There is a path which leads around the tops and it comes to a open which looks over Sydney’s skyline. It was a great spot to watch the sunset if you want a change from Watson’s Bay Hotel.

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Nepal Health

Last year I wrote a few blogs about me loosing weight and how I was trying my best to be healthier. The posts kind of died out because my weight just stayed the same and did not move. Even when I gave up booze for a month my weight did not budge. At the start of this year after we booked Nepal I started to work out a lot and still was seeing no results. I thought I was going mad and people would think I am not really trying…but I was. It was really knocking my confidence.

I finally went to the doctors in March and had my bloods done. Everything came back fine which is good but still no answer on why my weight was the same. The doctor explained to me I might have over stretched my stomach ( sorry not the best visual) and a way to get it to shrink would be to go on a Low Calorie Diet using Optifast. Basically I have two Optifast shakes a day, a piece of fruit, one small coffee, water and a 400 calorie meal. Optifast have a range of low calorie shakes, soups and deserts for you to pick from. I have had the chicken soup which I love and it breaks up having two shakes a day. With the shakes I have had the coffee, mocha and chocolate flavor. In all honesty they taste the same very chocolaty. I think the key to doing the diet well is just becoming organised…always have your shakes on you and water to keep you going through the day. It soon becomes habit.

The hard parts for me are working in a office there is always a biscuit tin or a cake floating around but having Nepal as my goal and thinking about that is helping me resist temptations. I also talk to Mum once a week about our diets (she is also on a health kick) and we give each other support to keep going. It really does help having that open conversation because when you have a weak moment one comment from someone can just keep you on the right track.

This diet at first sounded impossible but I was determined to do it and to get myself ready for Nepal (also to just be healthier for the future).  I have given up drink until Nepal and eating out as lets face it not much room for booze and takeaways in a 400 calorie meal.

I am now 3 weeks in and have shifted some weight which has given me such a confidence boost in myself taking on Nepal in September. The first week was the toughest for sure. I didn’t have much energy and food just seemed to be everywhere. Once I had my routine down with the shakes it became easier and easier. I have told my friends about the new diet I am on and how I cant drink and they have all been great. My friends, family, work team and MK have been so supportive with it big thanks to all of them! Especially MK as he has to deal my hanger sometimes …

Over the last three weeks I have seen my mind set with food change. It has shifted from constantly craving it to seeing it as just something I have to do during the day like a task. I have also gone from working out 2-3 times a week to 4-5 times a week, focusing on my stamina. I am doing a 7KM walk twice a week and swimming up to 2KM twice a week. On the weekend we have started to do our hikes as well. I feel like I have more motivation and I am sleeping better. On a weekend I have no hangovers to deal with and my bank account is looking great. I think I spent about 80% of my money on food and drink! Now I have more money to buy things or put towards Nepal.

I have taken the lead and organised a few things with friends which don’t revolve around food and drink. Date night has changed to we are getting out into Sydney and doing things we haven’t experienced yet. I think I will be discovering a whole new side to living in Sydney.

Being open about what I am doing with my friends has been great and talking with girlfriends about all the body hang ups we have makes me realize everyone is going through a similar thing. I watched the movie ‘I Feel Pretty’ and its a great movie. I think every women in the world has felt like Amy Schumer does in the opening scene.

I am sharing the journey of me getting ready for Nepal but I really wanted to share this side of the journey as well because I just feel so many of us are trying to loose weight and are not seeing the results. Don’t give up and if you are not seeing results go to the doctors, see if they can help you find a way to lose weight and become healthier. I will update on my progress with Optifast in a month.

If anyone has any questions on Optifast or just wants to have a chinwag about weight and being a woman just send me a message. Lets support each other and not bring each other down!

Nepal Booked!

This year MK and I decided to not go home but to go on a trip. We both work full time so the maximum time we could get off was a month. Our work have given us both a month off in September…now we just had to decide on a destination.

I am 30 MK is 30 this year and we both had one thing in common on our 30th Bucket List…to do Everest Base Camp Trek. In September we will both be 30 and will be spending a full month in Nepal and yes you guessed it… we will be doing the Everest Base Camp Trek.

The next step was to find a company to book the trek with. There are around 75 companies which offer the trek. I found it extremely overwhelming and had been warned not to trust Trip Adviser when it came to reviews (apparently a lot of the reviews are from staff members). I turned to a few friends and family who have already been on the trip for recommendations and read a few travel blogs on what to look out for when booking with a company. It did cross our minds for a few seconds to do the trek on our own but as we are not experience hikers we decided against that option. In the blog posts I read I was shocked at how much of the money from this business never made it in to Nepalese hands. I also got a few tips on what should be in the trips itinerary and to check to make sure the company is a registered trekking company in Nepal. I decided that we would use a Nepalese company. I would recommend reading a lot of blogs so you feel confident in what you want out of your experience. I found AME Treks (Adventure Mountain Explore) online and found there Facebook page. To make sure their reviews where honest and true I actually messaged a few people from the Facebook page and had a chat with them about there experience with the company. Everyone had great things to say about AME Treks so I sent them off a email. After a few email exchanges and a look at the detailed 15 day trek itinerary we paid the deposit and locked in the trek. We are now 4 months out from this epic challenge and over the next 4 months I will continue to blog on how we are preparing. Along with the trek we plan on doing Safari in Nepal and traveling around to a few places. I have just started to look at what we can fit in and where we can stay.

This for me will be the biggest challenge I have set myself mentally and physically. I am not slim or that fit but I have been working on myself the past month and will continue to work on myself to make sure I am the best version of myself on that mountain. Over the next few months I will blog on how we are affording the trip, what we are buying and how our training is going. Its such a exciting time / nerve racking time. I know we can do this and achieve out goal of reaching the Base Camp.

InstaTravel

Like everyone else I follow a lot of travel accounts on Instagram. When I am at work wanting to escape the desk for a minuet or looking for some travel ideas this is where I go. I think there amazing all of them…but it is always on the back of mind, how real are they?
I have traveled a lot and I decided to try and stay in Australia which meant finding a job, visas and saving money. My travel list was put on hold. I also have student loans to pay back and just general living cost. I am so baffled on how these young people travel around the world for most of the year in what looks like the most glamours way. I think it’s a great life they have but just wonder how they keep it up with the pressure of daily demands.
I have a month off work to explore Nepal and I can’t wait but it has taken a few months to save for airfare and deposits. The rest of these months I am working I will be saving up the remainder of my trip. It also uses all my annual holiday as well. I would like to know how people do so much travel and keep a job?
I do admire how glamours the photos are and the person in the photo looks flawless. I have to say when I went round South East Asia I was so far from flawless more just sweaty and hoped my clothes did not smell.
I would love to know how people do this please get in contact.
Shout out to the instagrams who are working the 9-5 grind but love the travel.
Any information on how that lifestyle works would be great.
Below is me and my not so Instagram flawless photo covered in mud and possible elephant poop!