Volunteering Abroad

Some of you who have been following this blog for a while might remember in previous posts id mentioned I would be volunteering abroad this summer. This is something I got a little tasted of a few years ago when I volunteered in Greece for two weeks, however this year I was away for 8 weeks.

I love travelling and wanted to feel like I made a difference somewhere in my summer break so volunteering with Plan My Gap Year was the perfect option for me. I’d had my trips to Bali and Sri Lanka planned since this time last year but yet it still feels totally surreal now that I’ve been and gone to both of these places.

My first trip was to Bali where I stayed in Tabanan with the most amazing family who opened their home and let 70 volunteers come and stay there. They cooked for us and made sure we got safely to project and wherever else we wanted to travel too. Bali is somewhere I have always wanted to travel too, more so since my obsession with Eat, Pray, Love began a few years ago. I never expected myself to fall in love with a country as much as I did with Bali. I opted for the wildlife project during my stay in Bali mainly because I love animals and wanted a relatively stress free project which it was. It was a nice break and often didn’t feel like working as we fed animals, cleaned their cages and got to spend all of our time outdoors mostly just in awe of where we were and what we were doing. Everyones favourite animal here was definitely Balou the sun bear who was rescued from an owner who trained her to fake cry for money, so unfortunately she can never be released. We were all amazed that for a bear, an animal which we have always taught to be afraid of, that Balou was just like a slightly bigger friendly dog. There were so many travel opportunities in Bali as well so even after volunteering I managed to see so much of the country. It completely breaks my heart to see such a beautiful place effected by the earthquakes that are striking the Lombok area.

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My second trip was to Sri Lanka which I had really high expectations for given that I had just had possibly the best month of my life in Bali before. Here we weren’t staying in a family home but a rented out villa area with multiple sort of houses in the grounds, this already made things a bit segregated. My room over looked the river below and had the most amazing views. It was one of those moments where I was sat on the balcony reading my book and looked out at the view and just thought, wow I can’t believe this is my life. I worked at the turtle sanctuary here for the same reasons why I chose the previous project. I expected myself to get bored of this project after a while as it was a little repetitive and didn’t expect myself to stick the full month at it, however once I was there it was so much more fun than I originally anticipated. The highlight of this trip was definitely the long weekend I spent in the Maldives which really was breathtaking. Photos don’t even do the place justice with the crystal clear water and blue skies as far as the eye can see. It really was one of the highlights of the entire trip. I don’t think I appreciated my time in Sri Lanka as much as I should have – I spent a fair amount of time moaning and not really seeing how lucky I was to be there. However, there is only so many times where you can find ants, spiders and cockroaches in your bed and food before it starts to get to you.

I think volunteering abroad especially with companies like PMGY is probably one of the best ways you can spend a summer.

Despite minor hiccups and annoyances this will forever be cherished as one of the best summers of my life.

It’s an amazing way for people to travel, meet new people and experience life in another culture.

So thankful to have had these experiences,

Siobhan x

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My Favourite £6 Sunglasses

Sunglasses are an essential for summer fashion whether you need them because of the weather or to complete an outfit by sitting on top of your head.

The recent sunshine we have been having has inspired me to write this post about my new sunglasses.

I always buy cheap sunglasses for my holidays and summers because I really detest spending a lot of money on a pair.

The summer saviours I got for this summer are from Nasty Gal. They were originally supposed to be waiting until my holidays to be worn but unexpected sunshine has brought them out earlier than expected.

I am obsessed with all things pink in my wardrobe – every outfit has some shade of pink involved so these sunglasses were the perfect addition for the summer.

I adore the pink frame and the blue tinted lense on these. Perfect for going with an already bright summer outfit or brightening up a darker toned outfit too.

I’m keeping this post fairly short as there is only so much you can say about sun glasses.

I hope you guys enjoyed this short but sweet post on these sunglasses! This is my first fashion related post which I have really enjoyed writing.

I want to focus my blog on more fashion related things in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing these bad boys, you can do that here. Nasty Gal also have 50% off sale on right now if that isn’t tempting enough either.

Siobhan x

Blogging Goals 2018

Hi everyone, I’m determined this is gonna be the year where I really start to make my blog mine and totally own it. I want to get back to posting regular, great content and become more involved in the blogging community.

I’m gonna stop setting myself monthly goals for my blog every month because I just don’t seem to have the time to follow through and complete them. I’ve literally had the same blogging goals for the past however many months now. I’m going to make a list of goals for the whole year, then re-evaluate in June to see how I’m getting on.

I totally suck at growing my followings on accounts. I spent so much of my time this summer using Facebook groups to help grow my accounts following and they were so helpful but I just cannot find the time.

1) Increase blog following to 500. 

This is just over double the followers I have right now and I believe this is achievable to double my follow count in a year. I know it’s not all about the number of followers you have but it is a nice feeling to see your following grow.

2) Post at least twice a month. 

I think this is a realistic goal to give myself and I am confident I will manage to post twice a month most months. I hate not posting regularly on my blog.

3) Improve photo/content quality.

I can see a difference in my blog photography from when I first started blogging which is quite encouraging. I know my photos are nowhere near to the standard that I want so this is definitely something I want to improve on in 2018. I want to branch out and do more lifestyle content as well this year. I just struggle thinking of new ideas and putting my spin on things to make it original and interesting.

4) More travel and lifestyle posts

This blog is primarily a beauty blog but I have a lot of exciting road trips and travel plans for later this year I can’t wait to post about. I’m hoping to write a couple fashion posts as well but I am totally awkward in front of a camera so maybe if I get over that fear I will branch out and cover some fashion stuff too.

These are my four main blogging goals for 2018. I can’t wait to prioritise blogging again and get back into posting regularly. I don’t want this to ever feel like a chore but time management is not one of my strong points.

Hope you all enjoyed reading this post, I’d love to hear about your blogging goals for this year too.

Siobhan x

What I’m Looking Forward To In 2018

So as each day is approaching closer to the new year, I find myself looking back on the highs and lows of this year. I am going to write a post about the most memorable moments from 2017 however it seems much more fun to write about what I am looking forward to.

There are so many exciting things going on next year that are already planned, and I’m sure there will be just as many amazing unplanned surprises as well. I’m gonna try and keep this list in the order as it is going to happen throughout the year.

Let’s start with one of my oldest friends and her boyfriend are having a baby due at the beginning of February next year. I’m so excited and happy for them and no doubt I will get crazy broody after seeing their cute baby.

It will be Luna’s second birthday at the beginning of March and then in May it will be marking two years since we got our little ball of fluff. I never imagined how much of a positive impact a dog would have on my life but now I can’t imagine life without little Luna.

Finley turns 20 next March so we will be doing something together to celebrate that. I love buying presents, especially for him, so I will be looking out for something special. I still can’t believe we are both turning 20 next year. We started speaking when we were both 16 and it just seems crazy.

My mum and her partner Brian are getting married next April so I’m obviously looking forward to that. I love weddings so much and it just makes it so much better that I get to be there on my mums special day and see how happy she is.

I finish my first year at uni at the end of April which is super exciting. I’m absolutely loving university which totally reassures me that I’m in the right course. I feel more motivated than ever to do well since moving to Glasgow.

On the 2nd of June it will be mine and Finley’s three year anniversary which I am super excited about. At the moment we are planning to go abroad on holiday to celebrate but we haven’t made any immediate plans for this. So if anyone knows any sunny, reasonably cheap but nice places to go on holiday hmu.

Last thing I’m gonna mention in this post are my two trips to Bali and Sri Lanka next summer. I am spending one month in each place and doing some kind of animal conservation volunteering as well as travelling in each country too.  I am so looking forward to travelling again. It was such a highlight of this year I bet it will be next years highlight too.

So, this is all the big events I’m majorly looking forward to for the first 8 months of 2018. I think it’s lined up to be a pretty good year and I can’t wait to see what the future will bring. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Siobhan x

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The Best Things To Do In Cairns

The Great Barrier Reef

On my first day in Cairns I spent it snorkelling and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. As Cairns is the last stop on the East Coast trip with arguably the best activities planned this was the perfect way to start off my week here. For as long as I can remember swimming in the Great Barrier Reef has been one of my lifelong dreams and I am so pleased to say I’ve done it now and ticked it off my bucket list. I know by the end of this post I am probably going to have over used the word amazing about a hundred times but it was AMAZING. There isn’t any other way to describe it. Any words I use don’t do it justice – being able to swim among all the tropical fish and be able to get up close to see the Reef for all its beauty is a once in a lifetime oppertunity. 


Waterfall Tour

There are many beautiful waterfalls and parts of nature in Cairns and the surrounding areas which this tour allowed us to see. First stop was Josephine Falls which is a waterfall in the rainforest of Cairns. This was a really beautiful place to visit made even better by the good weather we had that morning. The way the rock was formed by the swimming pool and the way the water goes over it makes it like a small rock slide into the pool. This looked cool, but I missed out on the swimming here as I deemed myself too clumsy and the last thing I’d want is to ruin my whole day out. 

Next stop was one of Australia’s most famous waterfalls – featured in the Herbal Essenses adverts and Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl video, it is Millaa Millaa Falls. This was absolutely STUNNING, however at the same time it began torrential rain almost as soon as the wheels on the bus made it into the car park. You will be able to see in the photos I put up I am completely drenched and think I went swimming already, however,  this was from the walk from the car park to the bottom of the Falls. 

Those were the two big stops of the tour and the rest was little stops and activities. Once we picked up lunch we went to this place to stop and eat it where in the rainforest we could go and see baby turtles in the water. We all probably saw about 15 little baby ones and the cuteness was unreal. After that we stopped and went platypus spotting which was really cool. It was so rainy so we just stayed in the car but our tour guide took us to a pond where we kept seeing the same one come up for air. The last stop of the day and where the rain eventually stopped was the Crater Lakes National Park, this was a super pretty lake that a couple people went swimming in. I’m boring and because I’d literally just dried off from the rain I was not up for getting soaked again. There is apparently a little crocodile in this water, our tour guide didn’t believe it for a long time as there has been no attacks but some people with drones have been able to take photos of it. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the crocodile which is probably a good thing as it would have freaked everyone in the water out. After that, it was time to head back to the hostel and get some well needed rest. 




Skydive Mission Beach 

Before I even start to write about my skydive I cannot stress enough what an amazing experience this was. We got picked up around 6:30am for this, then after we collected everyone from Cairns we began the two hour drive to Mission Beach. Once we arrived we found out we were the 4th group of the day at around half 10. Once the guys came along and strapped us up in our harness they did a wee introduction for our video, it was a little cringey but this is when I started to get really excited because I knew it was happening soon. The aerodrome where we start flying from is about a half an hour drive from Mission Beach, this just adds to the excitement. Once we got in the plane I couldn’t stop looking out the windows, the views were INCREDIBLE. It finally felt like it was actually happening. I just kept thinking within the next 10 minutes I will have jamp out of a moving plane at 14,000ft. Looking back, it is amazing to think I wasn’t scared. I’m not a huge fearless adrenaline junkie. I thought by the moment I was sitting on the edge of the door to the plane, just hanging there I would be absolutely shitting it. There really isn’t a chance to get scared though, you’re on the edge of the plane for less than a second. The man jumping with me asked if I was ready, and as soon as I responded yes I was out of that plane before I could give it another moments thought. The free fall was nothing like I expected it to be because you don’t have a good perception of the height your falling from and the speed so the whole experience is just enjoyable. The whole time I had my mouth open or I was just smiling because I was so overwhelmed by how much I enjoyed it. 





Cairns Bungee Jump

When I say this was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, I’m not exaggerating. When I first booked this, I was like only 50 metres high, pfffft so easy. I was so so wrong. It felt like everything was fine until I got to the edge of the platform with my toes hanging over and I choked. I could hear the man counting down from five as an indicator to jump but once he counted to one, I took a step back holding onto the tower begging him to not make me jump. Not my most proud moment nearly crying at the top of a bungee tower. After about 30 minutes of being persuaded and calmed down I eventually got myself back to the edge of the platform. However I was still unable to jump. I was probably the most pathetic bungee jumper that day as I had my eyes closed and had to be pushed off the tower as I was still too scared. Nearly $200 later, I’ve learnt my lesson – I don’t like bungee jumping. At least I got a free t-shirt and some funny photos out of it. 


Having completed all these activities marks the end of my east coast trip. I think overall I definitely saved the best things for last and ended the trip on a high note. Now onto the next chapter in Melbourne where it’s time to properly start the job hunt. 

Hope you enjoyed reading this, 

Siobhan x 


Exploring Fraser Island

Hi everyone, 

I spent last weekend doing a tour of Fraser Island and it was amazing. Definitely one of my highlights of travelling so far and I just couldn’t wait to share it with you all. This island has some of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen on it as well as being rich with aboriginal history. 
To get to Fraser Island it was probably about 4 hours of travelling all together from Noosa. Once we got to the Island, our first stop was Lake Mackenzie, which is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. The real name of this lake is Boorangoora as the aboriginals called it. It’s a fresh water lake surrounded with pure, white sand which many people use to exfoliate their skin, hair and teeth. 



That was all the sight seeing for the first day on the Island. However, day two was really busy we visited the champagne pools, Indian head and Maheno shipwreck. 
The Champage Pools are tranquil little swimming pools among the rocks where the waves come crashing it. The rocks are filled with bubbling sea water which some compare to a jucuzzi. I didn’t quite find the water as nice as that, but it was really relaxing to have a paddle around in the water. However, the rocks are covered in slippy seaweed at the bottom so I had to put a lot of effort into not falling over as I am so clumsy. I have to say, after I came out of Lake Mackenzie I felt as if I may as well have come out of my bath whereas the champagne pools made me feel dirty all day due to the high content of salt in the water. 


Indian Head was one of the most interesting parts of the tour due to the history behind it. Indian Head got its name when Captain Cook passed it on a ship and saw many aboriginal people assembled there. The aboriginals assembled there for meetings and also as a court, that’s why Captain Cook would have seen so many there. The original name of the rock to the aboriginals was Tuckee. As we climbed to the top of the rock, we looked for sharks and dolphins but we didn’t see any which was a shame. 



The Maheno shipwreck was another interesting thing to visit on the island. At one point this ship was the fastest in the world, it was used in transporting routes between Australia and New Zealand for a long time. It was a hospital ship for New Zealand in WW1, before getting caught in a cyclone in 1935 where it ended up on Fraser Island.  


These were my highlights of my weekend in Fraser Island, it’s a beautiful place to explore and I am so lucky I have had the oppertunity to spend time there. Any trip travelling up the East Coast of Australia wouldn’t be complete without visiting here. 
Hope you all enjoyed this post,  

Siobhan x 
 

Visiting a Koala Hospital

Hi everyone, 

Last Thursday I took a wee trip to Port Macquarie’s Koala Hospital and it was amazing. This place is totally run by unpaid volunteers except from the vetinarians. 


When we came to this hospital unfortunately most of the koalas were sleeping as they weren’t being fed. We were a few hours early before feeding time. It was still amazing to be able to see real koalas though, they look just like soft toy koalas do. 



A lot of these koalas cannot actually be released back into the wild as they wouldn’t survive due to injuries they obtained. The koala in the bottom two photos is named Wombat, as the farmer who found him in the wild mistook him for a wombat. When Wombat arrived at the hospital it was suffering with chlamydial conjunctivitis and is now left with minimal vision. Another koala in the hospital is called Miracle, as it is considered a miracle she survived. I wasn’t able to get a photo of her, but there is a notice saying she survived a bush fire where she was seriously burnt. She wasn’t able to be realised into the wild as her paws were permently damaged. 


This is a before and after photo of a koala that was taken care of by the hospital after a bush fire. This really shows the amazing work the hospital does. 

As you walk around the hospital there is large parts closed off as the koalas need to rehabilitate and need minimal human contact. This shows the hospital really does have the best interest of the koalas at heart. 

When I came here, this was just a quick visit as a stop on a long bus ride but I would definitely visit again if I’m in the area. It’s free entry and there is a gift shop where all profits go towards the koalas. A really good way to see the animals and also know that they are being correctly looked after. 


Hope you enjoyed reading this, 

Siobhan x 

Sydney – Day  One 

Hi everyone, some of you may know that I have just flew to Australia to begin six months of work and travel. Technically, this is my second day in the country but I am doing an orientation week through Gap 360 and this is my first day in the country with them. 



So today, our main activity was the Sydney walk. I really underestimated the length of this walk. I wore sandals instead of boots (terrible idea) and now my feet have been in pain all day ever since. 

First we walked through Sydney’s Chinatown which was pretty cool. This is actually quite close to our hostel so wasn’t too long a walk. In the streets surrounding our hostel almost every  restaurant is Asian cuisine, with either a 7/11 or subway to occaisionally separate them. In Chinatown there is a large Chinese market which sells clothes, technology and food for super cheap prices which is recommended for backpackers. I am excited to check this place out at the weekend. Through the Chinatown street there is decorations EVERYWHERE for Chinese New Year. Most shops are either restaurants, bubble tea or gelato – definitely making a trip to the gelato shops because it is just soooo yummy. Unfortunately I did not get any photos here to show you guys. 

Next place we strolled along to was Darling Harbour. This is basically a harbour that is surrounded by restaurants, clubs and bars as it is right next to the CBD it is a popular but very expensive place. Walking about here at probably the hottest time of the day was not too enjoyable, I love the sun I just hate sweating and feeling completely gross. 


After that we walked across the huge bridge you see in the background of the photo to go to Hyde Park. Wow, saying we walked to Hyde Park feels a bit weird to me as there is one in the UK but miles away down in England. Hyde Park in Sydney is beautiful, it looks like a peaceful place to come and relax if you need to escape from the busy atmosphere of the city (even though it’s still in the city centre). There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the park, pretty bushes of flowers everywhere and St Mary’s Cathederal behind too. 



The botanical gardens aren’t too far away from here either. The gardens were beautiful and I will definitely be coming back along but just perhaps on a more cooler and shadier day. There is little notes all around the place to tell you what each plant is, so if you’re into that it’s kinda cool. There were also little hoses by each plant too, this was just tempting to hose myself down and cool off. 




Last big attraction we went to today was the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. By this point in the walk I wasn’t really excited to see these attractions but more just excited to finally stop walking and sit down in the shade. The Opera House is HUGE, quite overwhelming to stand under it and look up. The Harbour Bridge as well was cool, you could see people at the top who did the climb up and I am soooo excited to do that. It seems completely overpriced but it is a one in a lifetime opportunity so the money is worth it. At the side of the Opera House there was also multicoloured chicken statues there, I’m not sure if they are always there or perhaps another decoration for Chinese New Year. 




After the walk I was completely dead and needed to cool down so I thought the best way to do that was to get some passionfruit gelato and a frozen coke. Despite how tiring the walk was it was completely worth it, i still find it a little unbelievable looking at these photos and knowing I was there just a few hours ago. 

So now my first day is over and I can safely say I hope every day travelling is as good as the first. Although I am missing some home comforts, like  not sharing a room with 7 other people and not living out of a suitcase already. 

Hope you enjoyed this post about my day, 

Love Siobhan x