Update: Where Have I Been (Hint: On A #Caledoniandream)? Why The Radio Silence?

Little Miss Mon Bon New Caledonia #caledoniandream

Oops. I know, I know, it has been a minute! But I really do have good reason for leaving it so long between blog updates…

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Little Miss Mon Bon New Caledonia #caledoniandream 2 And just like that, weeks have passed without so much as a peep from me on this here space. There was a solid 2.5-3 weeks there where social media, my blog and even my emails became strangers to me; living life took over and I had zero desire to get online. I tell you what, it was liberating!

But now I am jumping headfirst back into the game. So why the radio silence?

I was on the trip of a lifetime (the #caledoniandream) in New Caledonia

If you were playing along on Instagram, you would have seen the stories and the ensuing Instagram posts from this slice of paradise. I actually still can’t even believe I had the privilege of being in such an incredible place with the most incredible people.

Back at the end of August, I announced that I won a competition to head to New Caledonia with 5 other winners from around the world. When I won, I knew I was in for something special – heck, I had wanted to go to New Caledonia for so long – but I was not expecting the trip that we had. There was a reason they dubbed this trip the #caledoniandream! It was a Caledonian dream that none of us wanted to end!

Somehow, the New Caledonian tourism team managed to pick 6 people that gelled immediately, and totally vibed off each other. How they did it, I don’t know. All I do know is that I now have some amazing life-long friends.

I have so, so, so much to share from this incredible #caledoniandream experience, so I won’t harp on too much about it now. Do keep an eye out for upcoming New Caledonia posts though.

I hope you will love the content as much as I do!

Little Miss Mon Bon New Caledonia #caledoniandream 3Readjusting back to Perth life has been… interesting.

After living the dream on an island for near on two weeks, and then spending time hanging out with my brother in Canberra, coming back to Perth has been an adjustment. I went from surviving on 5hrs sleep a night, action packed days from 8.00am until 10.00pm and sunning myself on gorgeous, deserted beaches… to rainy, cold Perth and an inbox of some 800+ emails.

Yep, quite the adjustment! But this happens to everyone after their holidays, right?

While I was away I totally let go of my routine and habit. I haven’t been to the gym in months (eeeeek!), and my normally clean diet went out the window. While I was in New Caledonia, I went with the flow and ate what was there without question because, well, experience. But that wasn’t exactly the best of ideas…

I have had issues with gluten for years now, but in the last year or so I have noticed my tolerance start to build.

When I say ‘start to build’, I mean the crazy cramping, almost instant lethargy and nausea are no longer there. That shouldn’t have been an excuse to eat french baguettes for lunch every day in New Caledonia though. I definitely shouldn’t have indulged as much as I did because I definitely still had an adverse reaction.

With my indulging in foods I have avoided for many years, I found myself incredible bloated and puffy every single day; and all the diet change caused me to break out in the most insane acne rash on my chest. I have never reacted like that before so understandably, I was a quite upset and shocked at what my body was doing to me. If I thought I was able to tolerate gluten again, that episode was proof that I really am not.

Fast forward to being home and, in an attempt to recoup, I have reverted right back to my normal diet.

After freaking out about my reaction to my diet change, I have cut the sugar and gluten back out again and upped my water intake. So far, so good. I can see my body slowly starting to readjust.

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I have made sure I put more effort into cooking myself good, healthy meals too (instead of rushed, last minute cook ups for one). Admittedly, I have had a little help from HelloFresh there. While I am still time poor and trying to play catch up with unpacking, washing, work and life admin, having the convenience of food boxes and recipes delivered to your door is invaluable. Never underestimate the amount of time you win back when you don’t have to plan, shop or think too much at all about your meals! Plus, I don’t waste as much produce when everything is planned out to a tee.

As well as my physical health, my mental health seems to be on the up and up too.

For a long time I have been saying how I am the happiest I have ever been – and it is true. I have come to realise that there are just 5 things I need to be happy, any combination of which puts a smile on my dial; sunshine, the ocean, amazing music, great company and a good drink. It really is that simple.

Somewhere along the line I lost sight of that and found myself in a crippling state of anxiety, but for the past 1.5 years, things have been on the up and up.

One thing I can attribute this sense of happiness to is the thrill I get from experiences; be it a simple trip away, or facing a fear and just getting on a zipline some 80m above the tree tops. You can only imagine what my last action packed trip did for my mental health! Heck, the last few months (and the getaways to Siem Reap, Mauritius, Geraldton and back home) has been incredible for my mental health.

Chasing experiences instead of coveting ‘things’ has changed my mindset for the better. Coveting things perpetuated a never ending cycle of feeling like I wasn’t good enough, and – dare I say it – encouraged a certain shallowness. I couldn’t be prouder of shaking that cycle and for where my head is at today. It has made the world of difference and I know that everyone can see it too.

So all in all, this little break from the blog has been good for me – mentally, physically and spiritually – but I am back and ready to kick some more goals!
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