So, when are you having kids? Me: Just stop, thanks.

I am a 32 year-old, married woman, loving Aunty, kick-arse Step-Mum and a pretty good friend. I love my photography, love blogging, love travelling and just generally hanging out with the people I love. My friends and families love to ask about what the next trip is, how my photography is going, if I am still making jam (new hobby, loving it by the way) and how I am.

People who I do not know on a personal level, I work with or I am not close with want to know when I am going to have a baby. Do you know what my answer is soon going to become? That is none of your business, go away now.

Now this conversation or blog that I am writing does not extend to my inner circle, because at the end of the day I am comfortable to speak about this with you.

Is anybody else my age/gender/relationship status sick of being asked by strangers (or even nosy family members who are NOT as close to you as they think they are), asking you this question? When was the last time you were asked if and when you were going to get pregnant, or if you were trying or why you were waiting so long? Special mention goes to the guy at work who I did not know from a bar of soap who greeted me on my first day back from my Honeymoon with ‘You better not wait too long, or they might end up all munged up’. Charming.

I want to talk to my pre-baby peers, my fellow women out there who do not have children and are, quite frankly, sick of being asked about it. Nobody ever asks me about my period, or my flow, or my pre-menstrual pain. No-one seems particularly interested in my sex-life, my personal relationships, views on politics or religion, my diet or the type of car I drive. People don’t care about my career plans, stance on global warming or if I am an organ donor.

So – can someone please tell me, why my, why OUR wombs, ovaries, and our ability to reproduce or in their eyes, our biological responsibility to do so is up for conversation?

These things are private and I’m sure if I do have children one day, I’ll have a whole new post on what is or is not appropriate to ask a pregnant woman. For now though, that’s none of my business. I haven’t experienced that, it has not yet been part of my narrative or my journey.

I want you to think next time you go to ask someone if they are pregnant / are trying to get pregnant / or if you personally think they are risking the natural order of things in not having a child. Just stop, think for three seconds and if you are still sure (read: rude), continue with your question/comment/judgement.

Maybe we have been pregnant? Maybe we have had a baby and adopted it out. Maybe we can’t have children. Maybe we can and we don’t want them. Maybe our partners cannot have or do not want children. Maybe some of us have no genitals….

All I ask, that as I approach 33 and as we head towards 2019, that you please – just avoid asking us these questions. Be sensitive to those around you. The person you’re asking may be sick of defending why they aren’t having children. They may have had a radical hysterectomy. They may be infertile. Their partner may be infertile. They may have had or are having a miscarriage. They may have had a termination. They may be up to their fifth round of IVF. Or maybe it’s just none of your business and you could ask them literally anything else about their lives.

Maybe I am speaking on behalf of every other woman of my age who is sick of feeling uncomfortable, judged, or ridiculed. Maybe I’m not. All I ask is that you be sensitive, read the room, mind your business and be kind.

Courtney Gaye Signature copy

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! 

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

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x C x

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My go-to movies to make my heart happy <3

I absolutely LOVE throwing myself into a movie, tv series, book, music – you name it, if it offers me some form of escapism, or if I am hungover, or if I just do not want to leave the house – then I am in! I have 100’s of favourite movies, but here are ten which, without fail, are the movie version of chicken-soup-for-my-soul.

In no particular order, here is my list of my favourites – enjoy! P.S These are normally enjoyed with tea and or wine ;).

Overboard (1987)

This is a movie which I watched with my sister and my mother so many times, we have lost count. It’s hilarious. Goldie Hawn a snooty heiress who ends up with amnesia and becomes the ‘Wife’ of the Carpenter (Kurt Russell) she mocked? Amazing. If you re-watch it now, I guess you could say ‘kidnapping’ and ‘criminal’ and ‘immoral’ but I just think it is 1987 at its finest. Also seeing as I am constantly being asked when I am having a baby I like to quote this exact movie ‘if I have a baby, I won’t be the baby’ ;).

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Steve Martin’s epic journey to get home to his family for Thanksgiving, trailing along with the ever-annoying, but loveable John Candy. It is another movie that reminds you that kindness costs nothing. It is a comedy, and I remember laughing with my entire family watching this one, but it also gives me all the feels. Despite its age, the core of the story remains ever-relevant.

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Hellooooo! I watched this movie probably 4 or 5 times every year when I was a kid. It was my first exposure to divorce, Robin Wiliams’ extraordinary talent, San Francisco, cross-dressing and Pierce Brosnan playing a skeazy d*ckwad. I love this movie, I still watch this movie and I cry every time I think about poor Robin and the pain such an amazing man experienced throughout his life. Also the sentence ‘the whole time!?’ is a staple in our household.

Practical Magic (1998)

I definitely seem to love the movies with lost love, not sure why! Is that morbid? I don’t know. I love Practical Magic, it came out when I was about 15 and excuse the pun, but it was completely bewitching. It was also scary when I first watched it – it did however remind me that love is real and one day I would have it <3. I love Sandra Bullock and I cannot help but love ‘our’ Nic. It also reminds you to stand up for yourself, not to give into bullying and to have your families back x

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Heath Ledger. Kat’s Teen angst. A powerful female character who was not the most popular chick in school and who was well-read. Heath Ledger. That scene with Joey doing the exact same pose for underwear and swimsuits at Bogey Lowenstein’s party. Oh my god. The poem, the end scene, the kiss at the paintball. Just stop. 14 year old me could barely handle the excitement of this movie (and 31 year old me is still the same level of excited). This movie always makes me feeling ‘just whelmed’ :).

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

This movie has won no particular accolades, many people have not even seen it. I remember borrowing it from Video Ezy in one of my manic Friday afternoon 10 for $10. However, from the first time I saw it – I loved it and I still love it to this day. Diane Lane is Frances, a writer who goes through a marriage break-down and impulsively buys and restores a tuscan villa on a holiday. Uplifting, inspiring, girl-power, you can do it on your own. I absolutely Love it. If anything, this movie taught me that I had to love myself before I could love someone else.

Love Actually (2003)

Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth? A little boy finding love and chasing after it with conviction even just after his Mum has died? Billy-Bob Thornton playing a sleazy American President? An entire village in Portugal thinking Jamie is there to kill Aurelia? What isn’t to love? It is a staple Christmas-time movie and to be honest, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Love Actually, because, love, actually is all around ❤

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Who doesn’t love Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey as Benjamin Barry and Andie Anderson in this movie? All of the feelings! Special mention to Kathryn Hahn for being her usual hilarious self in this one as love-clueless Michelle. I like this movie because it embarrasses men and women – shows us how ridiculous we both can be! Also, Princess Sophia, making men curl their toes in embarrassment for years! Which couple hasn’t had the love-fern fight?

The Upside of Anger (2005)

Joan Allen is a woman whom I absolutely adore, and in this movie my love affair with her only grew. When Terry’s husband leaves her and her four daughters, her life is flipped on its head. Terry needs to draw strength to support her family and each one of their unique lives. It is gritty, it has some dark moments but it is feel-good. I do think its an adequate portrayal of a family filled with head-strong and very different women. Kevin Costner is brilliant in this as well and even though the movie is hardly all sparkles and sunflowers, it is a feel-good movie that I just keeping come back to.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Again – empowering! Also Meryl Streep (there is no Meryl Streep I do not love!) Emily Blunt (the most adorable English rose in Hollywood if you ask me). Stanley Tucci, the thought of being exposed to all of that fashion! Ruthless behaviour, demanding Boss. Sign me up! It’s glossy and not a true portrayal of probably any real-life situation but I don’t care. I love it and it makes me happy.

P.S I Love You (2007)

Ireland, Gerard Butler, the ultimate acts of love – even beyond the grave, a family rallying together to support a woman who has lost the love of her life. I love this movie. It makes me bawl my eyes out, it makes me remember why I love who I love and to let them know. Every, damned, time. The book is amazing and although I am not the biggest fan of Ms Swank’s, I absolutely adored the movie.

Tell me, what is your go-to movie, to perk yourself back up?

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 am not paid any sponsorships at all, 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

x C x

A Celebration of Women – International Women’s Day

 

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and it is celebrated on 8 March every year commemorating the movement for women’s rights. First observed on 28 February in New York the year 1909, it was confirmed at the 1910 International Women’s Conference that 8 March would become an ‘International Women’s Day’.

Each year there is a different UN theme, this year it is The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. IWD is an official holiday in several parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Russia and Turkmenistan. Countries such as Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Chile celebrate the day, although it is not a public holiday.

team-motivation-teamwork-together-53958.jpegThis years campaign is heavily focussed on #PressforProgress – on global activism for equality for women – heavily fuelled by movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp (amongst others). The world is aiming for gender parity and shockingly, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings suggest that gender parity is over 200 years away!

#PressforProgress is a call for us all to motivate and unite each other, our friends and colleagues, our communities to act, think and be gender inclusive For more – read here.

There is no denying that the last year has been tumultuous in terms of the struggle for women’s rights. You only need to observe the inauguration of Donald Trump, the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the rise of #MeToo & #TimesUp campaigns to understand the significance of this years IWD.

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A little snapshot of the IWD which I have found really interesting is below:

  • In 1010, Clara Zetkin became the first person to table to idea of an International Women’s Day
  • Later in 1910, 100 women from 17 different countries gathered to formally establish IWD and in 1011 when this occurred, more than a million people rallied in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for women’s voting rights
  • It was officially declared by the UN in 1975.

So why do we need to keep celebrating it now? Surely women’s rights have improved? Could this really be as prevalent as it was 108 years ago? The answer is yes. We continuously need to mark this event because although huge progress has been made, much more needs to be done.

pexels-photo-567633.jpegThe income of female workers worldwide is predicted to continue lagging behind males for another 70 years and it has also been suggested that the gender pay gap will not fully close until 2186.

One in three girls in the developing world is married off before her 18th birthday and more than 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female and only 7.8% countries in the world have a female head of government.

For me, being a feminist means respect and an aim for equality – at the core of it it is the struggle to end oppression. I am fortunate enough to live where I do, be in an equal and loving relationship and hold both a Degree and a well-paying job. In 10 countries, women are legally bound to obey their husbands and only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; with just 57 of them including sexual abuse.

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This year I have donated to the UN Women National Commission of Australia – Link is here.

  • $48 you can help provide food for a woman living in a shelter for a month.
  • $98 can deliver a young woman’s leadership program.
  • $156 can ensure women have access to legal services.
  • $456 can provide financial and literacy and business training for three women to create sustainable enterprises.
  • $873 can support a safe hour to protect women from domestic violence.

IMG_8750This International Women’s Day, let’s continue to empower each other and work together to ensure women are safe from violence and have choice and opportunity.

Happy International Women’s Day!What do you wish you could change for women in today’s world? I would like to see everyone in this world have access to mental health care.

Some of the beautiful ladies in my life, at my Hen’s Night ❤❤❤.

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 am not paid any sponsorships at all, 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

x C x

Akaroa, N.Z – spending a long weekend with friends <3

Hobbits, fish and ‘chups’ (they don’t say this, at all just fyi), kiwi fruit, Russell Crowe, Angela from Real Housewives of Auckland, being mistaken for an Australian, explaining where the country is on a globe and not getting credit for the pavlova.

This is a short summary of some things every kiwi I have ever met, dislikes. Kiwi’s, or New Zealander’s (a bit too formal I think), are the FRIENDLIEST, funniest, most giving and warm-hearted people on the planet.  You will never find a better companion than a friendly kiwi. One of my favourite people on this Earth is from Christchurch and I can honestly say, I have never met a kiwi I have disliked. It would be near impossible.

I think it has something to do with how astronomically beautiful their country is, not to mention how progressive the country is in general. New Zealand will always be one of my favourite places to visit. I have seen more of the North Island than I have the South Island, so i was excited to be able to visit more of the South Island.

Two years ago, in October 2015, we had decided a girls trip was on the cards. We are all spread out across the eastern cost of Australia and of course NZ, so Nats and I decided we would head over to New Zealand for a long weekend. Jem was going to show us around Christchurch and we were going to spend the weekend out at Akaroa. Akaroa was settled by the English and the French, the cultural influences of both are littered throughout the region.

Akaroa is on the Banks Peninsular in Canterbury area of the South Island of New Zealand. The name Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for “Long Harbour”. It’s around an hour and a half from Christchurch, depending on the number of cars, sheep, the weather and of course the car you are in. If it takes twice as long, enjoy it! The drive is beautiful. We took the trip with  the best of Fleetwood Mac on repeat and catching up with one another.

We also stopped and did a massive haul at the shops. We had ten different types of cheese, since we are all cheese fiends, we also stopped by Barry’s Bay Traditional Cheese, which is in Akaroa. Barry’s Bay Cheese is made from local farms and is made in the traditional way since 1895. Their Havarti, Cracked Pepper and Chilli Cheddar cheeses are amazing!

fullsizeoutput_1a60No good girls trip is complete without several bottles of wine, some champagne, some cider and some delicious food before the drinking begins! Jem had found the cutest cabin in in absolutely gorgeous location in Akaroa, overlooking the water. It was a little walk out of town and was up on top of a hill.

We spent the weekend exploring the area, eating cheese, watching trash T.V, sleeping in, eating more cheese, drinking copious amounts of wine and just hanging out. It was amazing. We don’t get to spend too much time with each other, so it was really nice just being able to hang out and chat and bond. I firmly believe that your friendships with your girlfriends in your 20’s and 30’s are some of the most important and rewarding relationships we can have.

On our last day we visited a crazy little tourist must-see, the Giant’s Garden. The Giant’s House is a sculpture, mosaic garden and gallery and has the tag of “the happiest garden on earth”. It was certainly something different. It’s not cheap, at around $22 per adult entry. However, it’s worth it for the photos and it helps the owner’s keep the place open to the public. It is located within an historic house and gardens and is only a few minutes walk from the centre of Akaroa. It is seriously different and like I said, worth the photos! We also stopped in and checked out the local boutique stores as well. There is certainly a lot more about crystal’s and their healing powers I need to learn!

The Australian NRL final was on our last night in Akaroa and having found a little pub to spend the afternoon/evening and with no other patrons there, we asked the bar tender to change the channel. It was a Sunday night and hardly tourist season so it was super quiet. It turned into one of our rowdier nights and watching the game with a few locals who potted in later on was good fun as well. Our other girlfriend who was unable to make the NZ trip because of the grand final, was the reason we found a pub to watch the game in. Thankfully her team, the North Queensland Cowboys won, so it was celebrations all around!

Soon enough our amazing Akaroa break had come to an end and we made our way back to Christchurch. Hunted down fish and chips (with whitebait fritters – which I LOVE!) and watched a stack of reality tv whilst sitting near Jem’s fire and just soaking up each other’s company. Our little break had come to an end and Nats was back to Sydney and I back to Brisbane the next morning. Until our next catch up.

Having your friends so far away is really tough, but having the quality of friendships I have I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

fullsizeoutput_1a61Thanks for reading ❤

x C x