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 online and for my reading challenge) and my writing. I hope you enjoy learning about my new home and Melbourne moments.
Well that’s it, we are halfway through 2015. How did that happen? I swear I only arrived back in Australia from Canada a couple of months ago (it’s been seven). Here is what I got up to in June.
At the beginning of the month I visited Hobart to catch up with friends and see as much as possible in two days. It was just a taster that left me wanting to see more of Tasmania. I also visited St Kilda for the first time since moving to Melbourne, and it was as good as I remembered. I went back to be an audience member on The Project because it was so much fun. Afterwards I had my first dumplings EVER at , which is a great restaurant.
Sports-wise, I went to my first AFL game thanks to my friends. Although their team lost, I still enjoyed my initiation into the Victorian tradition. On the rugby side of things, I got to go to a Queensland fan day and meet the team, which was a big deal for me! I have also been to trivia a couple of times with a Meetup group, which has gotten me out of my comfort zone. Other than that, it’s been about working both online and offline.
Getting my Mexican fix in St Kilda
I haven’t blogged as much this month, but I am going to try and post at least once a week in July, so stay tuned for posts on solo travel, Hobart’s food and drink scene and perhaps a flashback to the USA.
My Favourite Things: Hobart, Tasmania – a glimpse at the main things to do in Hobart, including heading up beautiful mountains, going to museums and eating.
Five Things to do in Norwich, Connecticut – a post as part of the #HipmunkCityLove campaign about Norwich.
Thoughts on the Move to Melbourne – my post on why I was moving to Melbourne has become my most clicked, so I thought I would do a follow up and let you in on how I feel after two months in the Victorian capital.
Pretty Hobart from Mt Wellington
I finished four books this month, so I am still on track for my reading challenge.
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Challenge Completed: A book that made you cry
I have never cried over a book before. Movies and TV shows? Too often. So on that logic I thought I would read a Nicholas Sparks novel, because his movies always make me tear up. Thank god The Choice had a better ending to The Best of Me, which I watched this month. It is also being turned into a film that stars Aussie Teresa Palmer, so I’m glad I read it beforehand.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Challenge Completed: A popular author’s first book
Sharp Objects is as dark and twisted as Gone Girl, but I think the characters are more complex in Sharp Objects. A brief synopsis: a reporter returns to her small hometown to investigate the murders of two young girls, which hits her too close to home. If you like thrillers, pick this one up. Now to read Dark Places.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Challenge Completed: A trilogy
I finished the trilogy! After Catching Fire I wanted to find out what happened at the end so I picked up Mockingjay at the library straight away. I also re-watched the latest film again and realised the script stuck very close to the book, except for the inclusion of Effie — she doesn’t make an appearance in the book until the end.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Challenge Completed: A funny book
I really enjoyed Tina’s novel and it was funny. It makes you realise that most people have to start from the bottom and work their way to the top. It took her many years of experience to land the job on Saturday Night Live and then go on to create 30 Rock. I also really loved reading what was going on inside her head when she was impersonating Sarah Palin.
Just me and a giant cane toad at a fan day. The usual.
I loved these photos Stephen and Jess captured around Desolation Sound in Canada. This list from Her Packing List is filled with great advice — 99 pieces of advice even. Even though I won’t be heading to Europe any time soon, I still thought this was a perfect list created by Margo from . Look at just how much you can see and do in Europe with one week. Finally, some helpful blogging tips shared by Sonia from for fellow bloggers.
I finished the first season of Chasing Life, which is one of those easy-to-watch series. I also watched Empire, which is a fantastic show that includes a lot of great music. My favourite track: definitely You’re So Beautiful. In the movie category I watched Focus and Playing it Cool. Focus was a bit of a let down and Playing it Cool featured an amazing cast (Chris Evans, Topher Grace and Aubrey Plaza for starters) but was also quite lacklustre. Any film recommendations for July? Let me know in the comments!
Unfortunately I don’t have any links to share this month, but I have continued writing for Copypress and Article Writers Australia. I have also picked up a further copywriting job, which is only once a month but a nice pay day nonetheless. In July I am focussing on travel writing: pitching companies and other blogs. I’ll let you know how I go this time next month!
I choose happiness, success and abundance in my life — Louise Hay, who always knows the right thing to quote.
July is a Melbourne month, which shall be full of happiness, success and abundance. Make sure you keep up with me on the social media channels below for daily inspiration.