A holiday to me means new experiences — whether they are local or global. Every month I lived in Canada I chronicled my working holiday in Expat Updates. Now I am back in Australia, I have created Hayley Lately. At the end of each month I talk about my life lately, my blog posts, what I’ve been reading (both on and offline) and my writing. I hope you enjoy learning about my new home and Melbourne moments.
January was an awesome start to my year, if I don’t say so myself. It began right here, at Bondi Beach in Sydney. It was my first time visiting and it was actually better than I expected. The water was insanely turquoise, which is unusual for surf beaches in Australia. Plus the walk along the coast to neighbouring Tamarama Beach was spectacular. So yes, Bondi deserves to be on the bucket list. I was also super excited to see Sydney Harbour again. But you know what? I was so happy to return home to Melbourne. It’s kind of a big deal for me to admit I love a place, but Melbourne has my heart.
Another weekend was spent enjoying brunch at Two Birds, One Stone in South Yarra. My workmate and I then wandered down Chapel Street to Prahran Market, which was also my first time in the area. I know, I am a seriously slack Melbournian but this is changing in 2016! We tried a ridiculously rich chocolate cake from the infamous Zumbo Patisserie too. Sooo filling.
Next was working at the Australian Open during the weekend and Australia Day. Although I know absolutely nothing about tennis, the atmosphere inside was pretty spectacular.
I also finally checked out the Queen Victoria Night Market before venturing to South Melbourne to see Uncovered, part of the Midsumma Festival at Gasworks Arts Park. I have been trying to get to the markets once a week, because the fruit and meat is so much cheaper than the supermarket. I also enjoy checking out the prepared food, like borek for $3. Yes, please.
I really wanted to be more consistent this year when it comes to this blog, and I started off well in January.
• Where I want to go in 2016: my travel wishlist. Who knows what will actually happen?
• 2015 Reading Challenge: I fell six books short but alas, I still recapped every read and highlighted my favourites.
• 15 Ways to Celebrate Australia Day: from beach to booze, I’ve got every Australia Day covered.
Two books down only this month. I started the Throne of Glass series, which was a fun and interesting read. It is about a female assassin who must compete against other criminals to become the King’s Champion. There is also, of course, a little love triangle. I finished Beautiful Ruins, which I was going to read for the challenge last year but that obviously didn’t eventuate. It was an unexpected story set in 1960s Italy and present day Hollywood. It even featured a cameo from Richard Burton. Highly recommended.
Reading on the net:
♦ When You Can’t Let Go of a Place: I so resonated with Kirsten’s words about her love for Australia, and how her time here changed her. I felt the exact same way about Vancouver.
♦ 30 Things to Do in 30 Countries Before You’re 30: I love this list from Jeremy and there are some pretty exciting activities included. I have a few to tick off in three (!!) years.
♦ How to Make Money Blogging: For fellow bloggers looking at ways to make money blogging, this is a very relatable and comprehensive post.
♦ If you also want to smile, watch these videos: Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard lip syncing to Toto’s Africa; Adele and James Corden’s epic carpool karaoke; and Canadian band Walk Off The Earth’s awesome rendition of Adele’s hit, Hello.
As well as the usual suspects, I have started watching the always raved-about show, Suits. It is as good as the critics say, just so you know. I am looking forward to returning in February too.
No new writing on the interweb this month, but February will see more for The Australia Times and Feast Melbourne. I also got back in touch with two different copywriting clients from 2015. I have already completed articles for one and registered my availability with the other. It pays to send an email, guys.
February sees me in Melbourne until I fly out to BALI on the 25th. Melbourne has lots of fun things planned for the month though: St Kilda Festival, White Night Melbourne, Chinese New Year Festival, and a little pool party in the city. I’m looking forward to it all.