Going over the good, the bad, the loves and the loathes for the month of May. Oh, and a little bit of a travel update too…
So here we are again, recounting the month that has been. May. How did we get here again so soon? I feel like I say that all the time, but I just can’t believe how fast this year is motoring on by! I have only managed one other post in between the last post of this kind, but there is good reason for that, I promise.
Holy hecking heck. Where do I even start with travel and the month of May? Perhaps with ‘I was home for just under 10 days in May’. That is probably a good place to start…
My month away all started with my trip to Vietnam for my uncle’s wedding. We congregated in Ho Chi Minh on the 6th May, and spent a week in the city as a family. What a week of eating, drinking and goofing about it was! The week was capped off with a beautiful traditional Vietnamese wedding ceremony, where my uncle and aunt tied the knot. It was such a different and special experience to be a part of. It was also the first time we got to meet my aunt’s side of the family, who were all just gorgeous.
While I was in Vietnam, I got an urgent email from one of my editors asking if I would be free to go to Hawaii on the 16th. I wasn’t scheduled to get home from Vietnam until early morning on the 13th, but that gave me plenty of time to get home, do some washing, get a little bit of catch up done and repack ready for the next adventure. I might have been pushing my limits (I had 3 deadlines to meet in those 3 days, as well as catch up, prep and everything else), but I did it.
And so begun my trip to Hawaii.
I was away on the island of O’Ahu from the 16th – 23rd May. My gosh, what an absolute dream it was. Hawaii has always been a bucket list destination, and here I was, on assignment, in Honolulu. There were 10 of us writers and journalists on the trip – 8 from various places around the USA, 1 english girl living in LA, and little old me from Perth, Western Australia. I felt so privileged to be in the presence of writers for Vice, Today and the BBC. What made it even better was everyone was so down to earth, so much fun and ultimately in the same boat as me.
Almost as soon as all the fun started it was all over, and I was on a plane heading back across the international date line again. No sooner had I got home to Perth, I had to pack an overnight bag and get to Bunbury for a few days for my cousin’s wedding. It was all a bit of a blur and I was so exhausted that I called it quits at 8.00pm every night, but from what I can remember, it was a good time.
What makes it even crazier, is that Bunbury wasn’t the end of it…
Honestly, May was crazy. I got back home to Perth on the 27th, and the very next day I had been booked on to a flight to Singapore at 2.00am the following morning. NUTS.
Here is to last minute travel. Here is to a crazy month of travel in May!
This trip wasn’t for a wedding, nor was it for work. It was a trip to see someone I care a lot about, but barely ever get to see. We spent 6 days exploring all the different areas in Singapore, drinking wine by the pool and just generally enjoying each other’s company. It was damn amazing. There was no content creation focus, just pure immersion in the experience.
I think that is enough prattling on about travel for now, so I will save any further detail of any of the trips for upcoming blog posts. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts, there will be a few of them I am sure!
Just be thankful I couldn’t manage to fit in the media trip to Seoul this month too (insert: winky face).
I have a spot on a few more famils
So, the travel spree isn’t over yet…
Throughout May, I managed to organise another few famils for June. For those who are not famil with the term ‘famil’, it is a truncation of the word ‘familiarisation’. Basically, it is a trip that is organised for journalists and writers to ‘familiarise’ them with the PR or business offering. Glad we got that covered.
Anyway, I have a few more famils up my sleeve for June. While I am not getting on a plane for them a la Hawaii, I will be doing some things that I think are pretty damn fun. Again, stay tuned!
I got to see someone I really wanted to see
The best part about this is that I didn’t know that I would get to see him until the very last minute. He lives in Norway, I live in Perth. You can imagine that seeing each other happens very infrequently. Thanks to the nature of his job, he ended up in Malaysia (very last minute) at the same time I was away in Hawaii. It just so happened that we both finished up our jobs at around the same time, and he had some spare time to go exploring somewhere in Asia. Cue: Singapore trip.
It was so good to see him again. It had only been a few months since the last time, but it definitely felt like forever. Naturally, it was just awful having to say goodbye again. I am not good with goodbyes, especially when you don’t know when you will next get to see someone.
Working under pressure is getting easier
You can’t get better at something without practice, and I have been getting a lot of practice at working under pressure. Thankfully, all that practice is paying off and I am starting to see the results.
I had just 3 days in which to produce 3 articles, catch up on a week’s worth of emails, organise myself for another trip and do general life admin, and I did it. I managed to finish everything that I needed to get done, without spiralling into panic attack mode once. So. Proud.
I mean, it isn’t my favourite way to work by any means, but when push comes to shove, I know I can do it.
I got a new tattoo!
You may have seen it on my stories, but she has been kept pretty under wraps for the most part. When we were in Vietnam, my cousin, her girlfriend and I all popped in and got some spontaneous ink. I can’t say it was as spontaneous as my Handbrake tattoo on the back of my leg, but it was definitely a very spur of the moment piece.
We found Chun Hack on Instagram and immediately fell in love with the work both he and his tattoo artists do. If anyone is looking for fine line tattoos in Saigon, go see Chun. He and his team are absolutely incredible! And our pieces cost just a fraction of what they would have in Australia. My piece was just $100.00 and I know Chun would be charging some of the top rates in Saigon. Bargain!
I am so in love with the piece that I got, and it could not have been more appropriate given the May I had.
THE NOT SO GOOD
The exhaustion is real right now
I love sleep. Unfortunately, sleep is something I get very little of when I am travelling. Not only is all the flying and time zone change exhausting, but there is no time to rest and catch up. You just have to get on with it, no matter how tired you are. This is especially true of press trips.
Generally on a press trip, the itinerary has you up and into your first activity no later than 8.00am. And generally, your day doesn’t finish until past 10.00pm. When you have a job that never sleeps, neither do you because those precious hours before your first 8.00am activity and post 10.00pm become your time to respond to emails, edit photos, and do whatever it is you need to catch up on. That is not your time to catch up on sleep.
With only a few days (if that) between each trip this month, I couldn’t even catch up on sleep then. Lord help me the day I have kids…
Things have slowed right down
It always seems that things slow right down mid-year. Winter comes and everyone goes into hibernation mode. Admittedly, since changing my focus a bit on here and Instagram, work has slowed down anyway. It hasn’t phased me that much, but this lull in the middle of the year always does. It is across the board, and it is a toughey to work out how to deal with. Tourism, hospitality, retail – you name it, winter is a struggle for them. I am lucky that I don’t rely solely on the blog or social media for my income, but it is interesting to see the shift in the platforms come the winter months.
I miss routine
We are creatures of habit. Routine is comforting for us, even if we don’t want to admit that it is. Being all over the place the last month, I really missed my routine. Funnily enough, it was the little things I missed the most. I missed waking up at 5.30am and kickstarting my day with a gym session. It felt so weird to not wake up and jump straight into emails and feel organised for the day. My morning cup of tea went AWOL, and drinking 3L of water a day? Well that didn’t happen.
It is so easy to let these things fall by the wayside when you travel because you are too busy trying to experience other things. There is nothing wrong with it, but I do really want to try and uphold my routine a little bit more the next time I am away (which isn’t too far away now!).
~ The ballet. Look, I have always loved ballet, but after seeing the WA Ballet perform La Bayadere last month, I remembered just how much I love watching such a beautiful art form. You can bet your bottom dollar I will be going to more of their performances in the future!
~ My La Mer plumping lip gloss. I have been loving nude, gold and clear glosses a ton lately. I love how polished they make you look, and that sheen is just extra fancy. Plus gloss doesn’t move as much as a bold colour lipstick. which is perfect when your teeth love attracting colour. The La Mer lip volumizer is darn amazing. It smells like peppermint, has a gorgeous sheen and the applicator is so super soft!
~ Setting my own schedule. I am loving the freedom of setting my own schedule now more than ever. Slowly but surely, everything I am doing is becoming less dependent on location, and hot damn I love it!
~ The fact we still have a conservative government. I am not shy in saying I voted for The Greens in the recent election. Why? Because I choose the environment and equality over filling someone’s back pocket. The fact that we still have a bunch of conservative and greedy old men running our country makes my blood boil.
~ This stormy weather. OK, so it is nice to be all snuggled up in bed and drink red wine, but the rain and dark is not good for my energy or mood. I am so sunlight dependent and I really struggle with all the bad weather. I know we need the rain, so maybe I just need to escape somewhere sunny again?
~ Showers (only because it is winter). With the storms comes the cold weather and holy hell showering is the worst in cold weather. You know that stupid pep talk you have to give yourself before you get undressed and jump under the water? I rather not have to do that, thank you.