Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between)

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

The best 8 things I have learned at 30…

IMG_0651• High school was 13 years ago. Do NOT freak out. High school is not a period of your life which you should ever let define you. Whether you were the most popular kid there or if you were mostly invisible. It’s been over for nearly half your life. Leave it in the past.

• There is absolutely no obligation to stay friends or in contact with people who make you feel like rubbish. Seriously. Take a good hard look at who you spend your time with. If they aren’t propping you up, supporting you or bringing smiles to your face – then these are not the people for you. Life’s too short. Cut your losses and move on. Just don’t be cruel or a dickhead about it.

• You can say NO! It’s amazing. Seriously. I spent my 20’s saying yes, feeling obligated to do so and basically silently suffering through a host of activities I had zero interest in being at. You do not owe anyone anything. You are obligated to be kind and gracious if you’re invited to something you don’t wish to take part in – BUT you are able to say “No thank you”, without an excuse.

• Work – Life balance. Say it with me. B A L A N C E. I spent my twenties absolutely going hell for leather to get my qualifications, get those promotions and work my arse off to get to where I wanted to be. And then, well. I realised I was exhausted. I realised that it isn’t about money, or titles. It’s about leaving the office and not feeling overwhelmed with dread for your return the next day. I remember completing a safety investigation over the phone at 12:30am on New Years Day. I was meant to be on annual leave. That was my New Years, after having worked through Christmas. Considering I was paid appallingly to live in the middle of nowhere and be on-call at all times, it just was not worth it. Just remember to have “you” time. Switch-off where you can and make sure you have some kind of self-love. Whether it’s music, Netflix, phone-free time, saying “no” or sleeping. You do you, babe.

• Travel, clothes, house stuff, açai bowls, avocado on toast, makeup, bottle-service and the latest iPhone are all great in your 20’s. Do you know what isn’t? Paying that same debt off in your 30’s. Don’t take that automatic pre-approved credit-limit. Don’t put everything on finance and live within your means. Have your fun – spend your money, but try not to spend the next three years of money before you’ve earned it. Also, pay your bills. Whatever you do – do not go into one of those debt agreements, you’re as good as declaring bankruptcy. Don’t ignore those calls if you owe money. Let them know that you need more time. They are legally obligated to assist you.

• Pyramid schemes are a joke. There’s nothing wrong with supporting your friends where you can, it’s amazing trying something new. Just avoid giving up a weeks wage for some start-up pack, selling things not only will your friends think you’re a jerk for contacting them for the first time in three years to sell your tea/face cream/juice/oils, but there’s a massive chance you’re going to lose that money.

• You are entitled to like / love whatever music, tv shows, food, form of travel, clothing, or socialising you freaking like. In your twenties you’re so busy being turned inside-out by what is and what is not ‘cool’ or ‘in’ that’s it is a complete waste of time. You finally become completely at-one with being who you are.

• Kmart. Is. The. Best. It’s actually considered a date amongst friend. You have pleasure unlike any other when you get to roam free in Kmart.

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Lifestyle

Sweat now, or anytime – in your own home!

Across Australia, Aussies are spending an average of $65 per month on gym memberships, or over $780 a year. That’s two return trips from Brisbane to Auckland. As a passionate travel & lifestyle blogger, that cannot be ignored!

Now I love working out in a group environment, but I have recently made some changes and have swapped my gym membership for a membership to Pilates and I could NOT be any happier with my choice. The gym leaves me feeling lonely, sore, exposed and incredibly isolated. It just is not enjoyable for me anymore.

So it begs the question, can you set-up a home-gym without breaking the bank? Guess what? You absolutely can. It all depends on where you are willing to make changes financially. You don’t necessarily need the latest and greatest gym equipment and for the most part, you can get away with some basic items.

Recently, Voome released a great article succinctly summarising what we have all wanted to read! Written by Danielle Flynn, she summarises:

  • Use what you’ve got – if you cannot afford new dumbbells or steps, that is completely fine, see if you can substitute chairs and bottles etc., I have personally done bicep curls with water bottles and it works pretty well. You have stairs you can run/jump-squat/walk. Use YOU. You can lift 6kg in weights, or you could hold yourself off of the ground. Find a YouTube or free app of Pilates etc., and off you go!
  • Become a bargain hunter – it’s 2018, I know that we are all flogging Facebook Marketplace/eBay/Gumtree like it is our job. You can get some amazing deals. Do not be afraid to bargain. Also – KMART, guys. KMART.
  • Big-Ticket items – a Danielle writes, if you are set on a large piece of equipment, rather than forking out $$$, check to see if there are any machines being sold at a lower cost by gyms themselves.
  • Creating space – if you do not have a dedicated room, or like me you live in an apartment with zero outside space, move your furniture around – set up a space for your dedicated workout time and then put your items away.
  • Be in the zone – be prepared. Get that playlist ready, make sure you have your towel and your water and treat your workout time like an appointment, with your health.
  • How much should you buy? Well, this depends how advanced you are. Truth be told, I am managing with a mat, a couple of dumbbells, a band for my legs and a small ball. Easy does it when it comes to  building up your home-gym. Remember, walking is one of the best fat targeting (and cardio friendly) activities you can do.

Trial Voome for FREE now.
To read more of Danielle’s blog – follow this link: Set Your Home Gym up on the Cheap.

Voome are currently offering a free 7 day trial to all, and with over 1000 delicious and healthy recipes, meal plans designed by experts, and daily inspiration to be your best – what have you got to lose? You can also purchase a four week program which becomes yours to keep for $39.95. Let me know if you do try Voome Nutrition or Voome Workouts. 

Have you set up a home-gym, what are your tips?!

Voome.com.au

Feature pic credit: HoneyBeePrintsShop

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post. I may however 

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

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Australia · Lifestyle · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between) · Wives, Husbands and Marriages

Why I love being a Bonus (Step) Mum

The expectation when you are growing up is to meet the guy/girl of your dreams, and build your life together. For some people (not all), that dream extends to having children. To building a family, and loving that family, hard.

While I was growing up, I never had those marriage fantasies. I dreamt of far away places, of travel, of writing or creating movies. There was a small period of time where I actually tried to change my name to something horribly embarrassing. Most people laughed at me, my best friend Meagan backed me and immediately started rolling with it. Because she is amazing.

The thing is, I didn’t dream of my wedding. I didn’t dream of the family. The white-picket fence. Being pregnant. They all seemed like great things but they just weren’t on my ‘list’.

I had boyfriends. I had love stories. I had break ups. I did the thing. I have a lot of wonderful memories. The love of my life was always travel. I would work myself into the ground, saving every $ I had. Creating travel plans. Dreaming of my escape and throttling those holidays by the neck when I was on leave.

When I started to head towards thirty, something changed. I wanted that special someone. I wanted the text messages and the calls. The cuddles and the kisses. Holding hands. Being nauseatingly in-love in public, pissing-off all who saw.

I made a list. My now-Husband doesn’t know about the list. Because let’s face it, the list is something all of us girls keep hidden. Whether it’s in your diary, on your blog, in your notes, on your phone or just in your head. We ALL have the list. If you say you don’t, then you’re lying.

For me, my list looked something like this.

Taller than me. Has a job. Brown hair. Kind eyes. Great sense of humour. Likes to travel. Is honest. Is respectful. Hasn’t been married. Doesn’t have kids.

Your list might look like mine, or it may not. No judgement, #womensupportingwomen.

On my 27th birthday, I was out with my girlfriends, far from home. I met a man. He was the perfect man for me. We hit it off straight away. To say it was love at first sight, is an understatement. I KNEW this was the man I was going to marry.

The list wasn’t so much as a role-call as it was a guide. Find a man who doesn’t treat you like shit and wants to hang out with you and only you. The rest, was completely negotiable.

Fast-forward five years and I’m a Step-Mum. My dream man has two kids. Two gorgeous, intelligent, funny and loving kids. It was an adjustment. It wasn’t easy. For any of us. There are many extenuating factors when it comes to being a step-parent.

As much as you love them, you haven’t been a part of their firsts. You haven’t watched them grow. They aren’t yours. Now before you read that as a negative, I need for you to know that it isn’t. It’s anything but. Being a step parent is hard. It’s challenging, heart breaking and rewarding. All at the same time.

Do you know why this love feels insanely pure? It feels pure because there is no biological link. Your steppies are not a part of you. You are not biologically wired to love one another. The maternal instinct cannot be compared to that of a mother. That would not be fair. Unfortunately we have Cinderella to thank for the awful banshee portrayal of a step-mum. Step-dads are painted as self-serving, violent or cruel. Step-mums are painted as jealous, baron, nasty bitches.

We aren’t. When you choose to love children that aren’t yours- it shows dedication, commitment and intentional love. They are an extension of the person you love. When you look closely, you see the physical similarities, you also see the biological traits which do not match your partner. A reminder of where and from whom they were created.

You know what though? Children are innocent. Children do not choose where they come from. They don’t choose their future and they certainly cannot be expected to navigate the complexities that blended families bring.

So, in a painfully long-winded post, let me tell you this. Never shy away from a challenge. Never think that someone with children has “baggage”. You are only doing yourself a disservice. It means you have someone who can love others more than they love themselves. They are raising, loving and protecting kids and that is noble and attractive as HELL.

So….

To my two bonus-kids. I love you. I am proud of you and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life. Consider me part of your cheerleading team. We all want the best for you both. I love your Dad and I love you. I could not be prouder to call you my bonus-kids xxxx

Are you a step-parent, are you a step-kid? I want to know!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

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Lifestyle · personal growth

‘To the dark’ – c.g

It wasn’t always the darkness that found her. Sometimes she went looking.

Her feeling of sunshine sometimes extended to her fear of lightness. Lightness in her mind, in her heart and in her soul.

She was more familiar with the dark. Those sharp corners, that heavy feeling. It had been her friend for so very long. The way someone who stabs you in the back and sits on your shoulder, whispering criticisms in your ear.

Although the light brought with it feelings of hope, sometimes she was simply…overwhelmed. Surely they would see that it was all a facade. Her colour was hardly yellow.

Sometimes it was just safest, to return to those sharp and shaded corners.

To return to the dark.

c.g

 

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Copyright © 2018 by Courtney Gaye
All rights reserved. This poem or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Courtney Gaye unless credited.
Australia · Courtney's Travel Tips & Tricks · Lifestyle · Travel

The danger of #begpacking

city man person people
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference ~ Kevin Heath

I have often said that if you cannot afford travel insurance, you cannot afford travel. I work my arse off to save and pay off my trips, sometimes this means a lot of sacrifice and sometimes it can result in two years between trips. Do you know why I don’t deserve your pity or empathy on this one? Because it is completely my choice.

That being said, I want to talk about “beg-packers”, entitled Western travellers who head overseas with no more than a flight and maybe enough money to carry them through their first week in whatever hostel they are staying in, who then have the audacity to sit in the likely third-world country they are in and beg for money to continue to fund their travel.

When you have had the luxury to fly to another country for travel, this actually puts you in the top 1% of the world, financially. So to sit in a country in which you should be contributing to the economy and then beg for money is, ridiculously tone-deaf and ignorant. Let’s not minimise the actuality of poverty.

photo of children forming line lane
Photo by Denniz Futalan on Pexels.com

It goes along with GoFundMe pages for generic things – I once saw a lady asking for a bowling ball, gym shoes and a treadmill – perhaps GoFundMe was in her eyes, the grown up Santa-list?

The ethical implications of being a guest in a country without any financial security or means to support yourself, is further damaging that countries economy. How do you set up outside of an airport and beg for money with your gear and passports and camera/phone (to put your #begpacking on social media, obviously), in a country which has 1.2 million homeless children (Philippines), 180000 people living in informal settlements (Cambodia), 78 million people -0 including 11 million children (India), 30 000 homeless (Mexico City) & 15000 homeless people – 4500 of which are children (Buenos Aires); is….disgusting.

backpack bag blur commuter
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Your international travel is not the responsibility of others. We are living in a time where we are far too quick to put our hands out and say “help me”. Please do not travel if you cannot afford it. please do not make your financial burden become that of your host country. Give YOUR money to those who need it. Be prepared. In case of emergency, make sure you have travel insurance. If you cannot afford to stay abroad and need to come home and start again, then that is what you need to do. Our world needs our help, if you are reading this – remember we are the top 1%. You may not think it, but we are the most fortunate people in the world. It is our job and luxury that we are in a position to help.

To donate (every dollar helps!)

Australia – StreetSmart – Action Against Homelessness – https://streetsmartaustralia.org/donate/

WorldWide – Homeless World Cup Foundation – https://donate.homelessworldcup.org/au-en

Cambodia – Habit for Humanity – https://www.habitat.org/donate/?keyword=header

Bali Children’s Project – registered non-profit in Bali, helping children escape poverty through education – https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/BCP

If you see any of Australia’s friendly ‘Big Issue’ distributors and you have cash, please purchase one of these for $7. For every magazine sold – the distributor keeps half. Say hello to them, they all have a story to tell – they’re people like you and I. Give where you can & be thankful for how fortunate we are.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

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