I have made the decision. I am taking the plunge and starting my travels in Australia independently. I will be flying out with my friend, however upon arriving at Sydney airport we are going to go our separate ways. I’m staying in Sydney whilst she’s flying to Melbourne. At the moment I’m more excited than nervous, which I’m quite surprised at as this is something that I never in a million years pictured myself doing.

I know that backpacking tends to be quite spontaneous but I like to feel a bit more secure, which is why I have booked my hostel in Sydney (just for the first 3 nights until I get myself sorted out). This is making it seem a lot more real, and like I can actually look into what I want to do now. One thing that is really appealing to me is climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I am terrified of heights, but I’m also terrified of breaking out of my comfort zone. Travelling alone is pushing me out of my comfort zone so why not try and tackle my fear of heights at the same time? 

 

My next few months are going to be spent saving, and planning for this trip. It would be great to hear some recommendations on what to do whilst I’m in Australia, as well as being given some tips for independent travel.

 

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My Time…

So I have officially finished university, and until the 25th September I have no guaranteed plans. I have been applying for jobs, but I’m yet to hear back from any and to be honest I’m not feeling too positive. For the past week or so all of my friends have been revising, leaving me alone with my new best friend. I can’t work out whether it’s a good friend or a bad one…

I am literally addicted to Netflix. Every moment I get I’m on it. I fall asleep watching it, I wake up and watch it and throughout the day I watch it. It’s becoming ridiculous the amount of binge watching TV shows I do because of it. I tell myself that I won’t watch a film because it takes too long, but then I’ll sit there watching episode after episode of a show. My current one is One Tree Hill, I’ve already nearly finished. I actually feel anxious about finishing a series. What am I going to after? Yet if somebody asks me if I watch TV, I’d say no. I’m not sure if that’s the right or wrong answer to that one though! 

Is it possible to be addicted to Netflix?

I always pictured myself handing my dissertation in and then having some non stop mad social life. What a joke I am. I feel closer to Brooke and Haley (from One Tree Hill) than I do my own friends. I know that isn’t normal, especially when I’m living with 5 of my friends. It seems that now university is drawing to a close, people are drifting apart already. I don’t like it, and I want it to stop. I would happily give up Netflix for this!

I am going to make myself a promise, after I have finished One Tree Hill I’m going to take a break from Netflix, no more binging, no more watching, no nothing! Even if I read instead it’s something!

 

 

Taking a plunge…

A couple of posts ago I spoke about my depression, which is something that I finally seem to be getting over. Counselling really helped me and I finally feel closer to the “old me” than I have felt for the past year. My doctor has decided to reduce my dosage of anti depressants which is great, although it leaves me some anxiety over what I’m going to be like when I fully stop taking them. 

Although mentally I feel fine, I know that the past year has been horrendous to my social life. I pushed friends away and hurt them so badly that it feels like there is no turning back. One of my best friends, who I have lived with all throughout university has been at the receiving end of most of this, and although we’re still friends it just feels like it will never be the same. A few months ago we booked to go to Australia together, getting a one way ticket and arranging a place to stay when we get there. Another friend is planning on joining us a month after. 

All of this sounds great, but for a while I was questioning whether I should go. Whether I could handle it. Whether I would feel the same out there. Whether I would be the one to ruin it for my friends. I kept all these worries to myself, but eventually they came pouring out one day. My friend told me that she had never had any doubt that it wouldn’t be good, and that she thought I’d be perfectly fine out there. So I committed myself 100% to going. Then, a couple of days ago, she dropped the bombshell on me that she thinks for the first month out there we should do our own thing. Her reasoning for this is that I don’t speak up for myself, and she never knows what is going on in my head. She also feels that it would help me build confidence, which is something that I have been wanting for a long time. I completely understand her reasoning because it frustrates me too but it hurts me to think that she feels as though spending time alone with just me would be awful.

But now I’m faced with a dilemma…I still want to go, but I’m a stubborn person. I feel that she doesn’t want me to go, which is making me doubt myself. Part of me wants to just avoid the whole situation and stay in my comfort zone at home. Part of me wants to go and do my own thing, not even worrying about meeting up with my friends, having a whole new life. The final part of me wants to follow her plan of doing our own thing for a bit and then meeting up. But should I do that? The whole issue is me speaking up for myself, but will it even matter what I feel about this? It seems her mind is made up, now I just have to make up mine…

I bought myself the Lonely Planet Discover Australia book to get me in the mood and to try and work out what to do. The past couple of days I’ve been gearing myself up for going and doing my own thing, looking into things I could do etc. But I’m scared. I need to take the plunge but I felt like it was a scary enough plunge booking a one way ticket with somebody, let alone ended up in a strange country with no clue what to do. I don’t want to hold myself back, but I feel like I need somebody there to take the first few steps with me. I don’t want to feel like I’m trying to run before I can walk.

So, this is going to give me a lot to think about over the next few weeks, decisions need to be made, plans need to be created. Expect to hear more from me about this.

ImageBook available from Waterstones £14.29

 

Garnier Ultimate Blends

My hair has been in horrendous condition for years and it is never seems to be helped by any products which never stops me trying. I was in Boots recently and noticed that they had the new Garnier Ultimate Blends collection on offer so I thought I’d splash out and try the products whilst they were so cheap and because I wanted to treat myself for finally finishing my dissertation. I wasn’t expecting much from them but I was running out of my old products so thought I might as well try them. Boy, am I glad I did. My hair has never felt in such good condition, it is silky and smooth…best of all it’s no longer greasy after a day!

So, what do I use?

I use the Silky Smoother shampoo and conditioner. It is designed for long hair with split ends (describes mine perfectly!!) and has a vanilla milk and papaya scent. It is fabulous, it makes my hair feel amazing clean and soft and surprisingly lighter. I have ridiculously thick hair so this is a must have for me!

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Every other wash I’ve been replacing the conditioner with the Nourishing Repairer 1 Minute Treatment. It is what could be considered as a scrub for hair, it sounded different to the other products out at the moment which is what drew me into this range. This particular one has avocado oil and shea butter and is aimed at dry and damaged hair, again this is perfectly describing my horrendous hair! Again this product is amazing and gives my hair that extra little bit of nourishment that it requires!

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The final product I’ve been using from the range is the Marvellous Glow Oil. I have always been a bit skeptical about using oil in my hair, I just never understood how it wouldn’t make your hair ridiculously greasy and weigh it down. However this product seems to have the opposite effect on my hair. It feels lightweight and sleek which is unusual for me, and if I blow dry my hair after using this product it seems to stop me requiring my GHD’s which is an added bonus! This particular oil has argan and camellia oils in it and is suitable for all hair types, offering heat protection up to 230 degrees! It is multipurpose and can be used on wet or dry hair, I was skeptical about using it on dry hair at first but it hasn’t made mine any greasier, if anything it is less greasy!

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Overall I would definitely recommend trying this range out, especially whilst they’re on offer at Boots! I have received dozens of compliments about how good my hair has been looking recently which is rare for me, these products must be helping it to look a lot healthier! There are other products available within the range, these are just the ones that appealed to me and my hair type so they are what I purchased.

The Final One

I was diagnosed with depression before Christmas and for the past 10 weeks I have been seeing a counsellor. Tomorrow is my last session with her and I am dreading it being the end. I have literally only just begun to feel comfortable to open up to her, to bring up what I want to talk about and to be completely honest with her and it’s over before I know it. When I started counselling my main goal was to be able to open up to those around me more, I thought I would be able to manage it but I still can’t. I just have a barrier up constantly and I am trying to talk myself into breaking it down but it just does not seem to work for me. It honestly terrifies me, but I don’t know why. These are the people who have seen me at my lowest, people who I know so much about yet I can’t let them in. I can’t think of a specific reason for this but all I do know is that it frustrates me so much. This is definitely going to be the focus of my last session.

Counselling has helped me to feel aware of my feelings, be able to banish negative thoughts if need be or be able to take a moment and try to solve what is causing me these thoughts. It has definitely helped me to feel better, going from spending all day alone in my room feeling rubbish to being able to go out and socialise with my friends. Obviously I do have some days where all I want to do is be alone, and for a while I will do that but then I know when to draw the line and stop excluding myself.

A friend of mine suggested writing down my thoughts and feelings as she knows I find it difficult to talk about them, so this is something I have been doing on and off for the past few weeks. When I’m feeling particularly down I have begun to find that writing it down and having a little cry does wonders, before I would literally let things make me feel so rubbish and get stuck in a vicious cycle. The next step for me is definitely to try and share what I’m writing down, but I know this is going to take a lot of courage for me to do it.

I have always lacked self confidence which I think plays a major part in me feeling like I can’t open up to people. I constantly feel like I am split in two, as I often have discussions in my head – one side will be telling me to go for it and that it isn’t as scary as it seems, whereas the other is telling me that I shouldn’t do it. The majority of the time I allow the side saying that I shouldn’t to win. I hate this.

To sum up what I have learnt from counselling; I have far too high expectations of myself and hold myself responsible for too much, it is okay to have negative feelings and be able to keep them without letting them affect you, sometimes I need to make myself a priority rather than other people, I need to have a voice, I hate silence but it can sometimes be a good thing, being able to tell how you’re feeling can help you to feel better and always try and find the positives even if the situation seems completely negative.