For as long as I can remember I dreamt about seeing Australia, the white beaches, endless sunshine and exotic animals. What isn’t there to love?!

Last October I travelled from Dublin to Australia for a month and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life. I would of stayed longer if I could!

I’m going to do a couple of posts on Australia just so I can give you the full lowdown in a digestible way rather than one long post. This post is going to be how to choose what to do and see. If you have specific posts you would like to see comment below 🙂

Getting there: I was extremely lucky when booking these flights as we got a pretty good deal! The universe was on our side to say the least I’ve always wanted to see Sydney but worried that I wouldn’t be able to afford it. I found a flight deal on e-dreams for €1000 which entailed a stop over for 2 hours in Abu Dhabi with Etihad which was an easy process from beginning to end. Its so important to have a comfortable flight for this long of a journey so I would spend the money on an airline you want. Check out my in flight essentials post to make you comfortable for any long haul journey here. 

Where to stay: This was hard for me to decide did I want to stay in the incredible hustle and bustle of Sydney city or did I want to stay by the beach. Safe to say I chose the beach, I stayed in Bondi right beside the beachfront. I luckily found an amazing Airbnb for such a good price so definitely look around the area don’t be put off by the hotel prices! It is important to note that from Bondi to the city say the opera house is around an hour on the bus and about 35mins by train. However, the balance between beach and city was phenomenal, seeing the work life balance so level there.

The must see’s:

I’m going to break this into bullet points and link off to their websites. Thank me later!

  • Taronga zoo: this zoo is probably the most extravagant zoo I’ve ever been to in my life. I never really like going to zoos but this zoo is on its own island and the animals are cared for so well. You have to get a ferry from the opera house to it, then a cable car up the Mountain to the top of the zoo entrance. I got a tour from a zookeeper and it was such a memorable experience. If you have kids, this is a must.
  • Opera house:  The Opera House is an obvious but essential to do. People travel across the world including myself to see this incredible iconic building. I recommend going for drinks in the opera house bar underneath.
  • Watson bay boutique hotel:  This venue is a must. The Watson Bay is such a great location, there isn’t anything to like. Great food, great music and great views. I recommend coming here for some quick bites in their beach club and have a few cocktails while watching the sunset. Great Instagram Spot. Thank me for your new followers later.
  • Bondi beach: The infamous Bondi Beach- it’s worth the hype. There is lots to do cool restaurants, bars and cafes. There is also the Coogee to Bondi coastal walk   which I would highly recommend because it is a great way to see the other towns especially if you are restricted with time. There is also the Icebergs Club which is great to use their pool and they have a lovely restaurant to grab a lunch time snack.
  • The Rocks:  This was a highlight for me, personally. I thought it was so unique in terms of architecture as it was right beside the Opera House. There is lots of cool bars, restaurants, markets and boutiques.

Costings:

This aspect varies from person to person but for me I spent less that €1000 for a month which is good for my track record. There’s easy ways to cut costs, simply get an Airbnb which will allow you to eat meals there, get the bus /train over taxis, buy alcohol in the shop rather in restaurant and have drinks at home. Easy but effective ways to save costs.

I’m going to do some other posts around Australia but comment below any suggestions!

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The land of smiles…. where to start! My trip to Thailand has definitely been a major highlight of my 20’s and I want to share all my knowledge with you all to hopefully make planning a trip to this spectacular country a little easier for you!

Bangkok: 

No matter where you are flying from around the world, most likely you will be arriving in Bangkok. First thing to remember is Bangkok is huge so I would recommend staying in a location that is central especially if you are only in the city for a short space of time. The city has every type of accommodation that any traveller could need from budget to luxury.

However, when I travelled to Thailand I decided to stay in Silom. Silom was close to the airport, central to everywhere where I wanted to visit in the city. Silom also had its own stop (Chong Nonsi) on the BTS line which became extremely helpful to pin point how to get back at any given time. The hotel I went with was the I-Residence Hotel, with its rooftop pool with spectacular views of the city to central location and good prices. The hotel was so accommodating from the moment we arrived, the staff were so friendly and went out of their way to help us. I couldn’t recommend this place enough! Check it out here.

If you want to stay in one of Bangkok’s many Luxurious hotels look no further than the Infamous Lebua State Tower, with its breathtaking roof top bar to the architecture of the hotel itself. It is simply stunning. The hotel is located right beside the river which allows you to avail of boat taxis across the city. Another way to view the sites. This hotel is famous for starring in the Hangover 2 movie. Have a look for yourself here.  If you are looking for more hostel style accommodation I would suggest going to Kho San Road where the heart of the backpackers go. This crazy strip has all kinds of accommodation for you to choose from.

Phuket:

Phuket consists of a more resort tourist vibe compared to the other places I visited in Thailand. This made me choose our hotel more carefully as I didn’t want to be caught in any tourist traps and avoided the party strips as much as possible. Relaxation was key for this part of my travels. After a long time researching, watching YouTube videos and checking reviews, we decided on the Charm Resort Hotel. This hotel was on the Patong beach front but around a 15 min drive from any party areas… ideal. The rooms were just marvellous. There was also a rooftop pool for any sun worshippers. (You will see a common trend in my accommodation choice). The Charm Resort boast great prices for luxury level with a fantastic restaurant and facilities you can’t go wrong.

Phi- Phi Island: 

The infamous Phi Phi island, definitely a highlight of our stay in Thailand. This island is simply breathtaking. Don’t be fooled by the stunning photos this island turns into a crazy party town in the evening so you have been warned. Being Irish I wasn’t too worried 🙂 This island has so so many options from every time of backpacker or holiday goer.

First up, a favourite amongst the backpacker community PP Charlie Resort while your time on the island you’ll be sure to be at a few after parties in this place. The hotel has a gorgeous pool overlooking the sea and the centre of the island is right at your doorstep.

I could write a whole separate blog post on Phi Phi accommodation alone but here is a list on Booking.com that you can use for reference. TOP TIP: When choosing accommodation in Phi Phi, choose somewhere that is walking distance to the pier. the pier is how you arrive/leave the island and in that hot climate you do not want to be trekking your bags far. Remember there is no taxis on Phi Phi!

Koh Tao Island:

My favourite location of them all Koh Tao. Firstly, don’t believe everything you read this island was my favourite by far and honestly if I was to travel back to Thailand it would be to see this island again! Koh Tao is an extremely small island so many backpackers choose to arrive in this island in the early hours and choose a hotel when they arrive. In Thailand it is completely the norm is asking to see a room before making a booking. My top tip for Koh Tao is to stay on Sairee beach. The beach is like something off a postcard white sand and crystal blue waters. Koh Tao is the ultimate diving island so if you are into Scuba Diving I recommend looking for accommodation that links with a diving school for cheap rates!

My top recommendations for Thailand! I mainly booked through Booking.com as I could cancel and change hotels/ time of stay quiet easy. This allowed me to have piece of mind while also having the flexibility for this holiday as I pleased. I hope some of you found this helpful and comment below your recommendations I would love to hear them! 

“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?”

Let’s face it we all have good days and bad days. What is important to realise is that even when were down we pick ourselves back up and smash our goals! So, how do we stay motivated? I am going to share some of my top tips to help you reach your goals.

  • Organisation

First things first. Organisation is key to staying on track with your goals. I am a big believer in organising my space. This includes where I work and in my home. All of this will help you to have a clear space to gather your thoughts and to start planning.

  • Planners

This brings me onto my second point… planning. I’m a huge stationary nerd.. nothing makes me happier that starting off the new year with a cute journal to start jotting down my thoughts in. Planners are a great and easy way to plan out your weeks, months and days.  This will help you prioritize tasks and keep on track for long-term plans. Every month I write a checklist. What do I want to achieve this month? How much money do I want to save? Where do I want to travel this year? All of these questions become clearer when you plan and have a strategy. The same advice I take into my work life, I write down the tasks for the week. Then, I priorities these tasks into my days according to deadlines and importance. This way I never feel overwhelmed and all of my tasks are achievable and realistic.

  • Motivational Books

I am going to do a separate blog post dedicated to this to delve into more detail. I cannot recommend motivational books enough. These types of books help me get of a negative head space and I find it so relaxing to read especially in the morning. I feel like I start my day off right. Keep an eye out for a blog post recommending my favourite books in the coming weeks.

  • Visualisation

I saved the best of last for two reasons. First reason being that I believe it is the most effective and second being because it is the hardest thing to do. The easiest way to explain visualisation is to imagine having everything you ever wanted as if you have it. Seems a bit strange right? Hundreds of famous ‘celebrities’ across Hollywood swear by the power of visualization. My biggest tip for beginning visualisation is gratitude. Start to be grateful for everything that you do have and stop focusing on everything that you don’t have. Being genuinely happy and grateful for the life that you do have will not only make your days better but everything that you want it in life will start to happen.

That is all of my tips for now. Everyone is different and what might work for me might not for you. I hope this blog post as helped someone feel that they can conquer their goals.

The only thing holding you back is you! 

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