Longtail boat Ko Phi Phi Thailand

So, I thought we could get to know each other a little more. As well as my About, I thought I would share some of my random quirks and facts that make up who I am with 35 things you didn’t know about me.

  1. I’m a secret adrenaline junkie – I love skydiving and roller coasters.
  2. I have bungy jumped three times including The Nevis in New Zealand (which is 134m).
  3. Photography is one of my hobbies. I love capturing and recording moments in time.
  4. I’m terrible at remembering names (nothing personal). It is on my list to devise a strategy of improving this.
  5. I have been to 36 countries… Working my way to 50, then 100…
  6. I love positive, inspirational quotes.
  7. My birthday is on the 6th April, which makes me an Aries.
  8. I have been known to eat breakfast for dinner – cereal, or bananas on toast.
  9. Looking at the sun makes me sneeze without fail.
  10. Drinking water upside down always cures my hiccups.
  11. When I was 15 I cut my hair to about an inch in length and bleached it blonde. NEVER again. I looked like a boy.
  12. I am competitive.
  13. I love baby animals. Actually, animals in general.
  14. I don’t have any tattoos.
  15. My guilty pleasure is watching reality TV shows, which has included The Hills, Project Runway, and America’s Next Top Model.
  16. When I was 16 I flew a plane.
  17. I’ve ridden a camel (and also eaten one – not the same one though).
  18. I can wiggle my ears and cross my eyes.
  19. I love Michael Jackson music.
  20. Receiving mail gets me excited. I used to have loads of pen pals growing up!
  21. I’m not good with directions, or reading maps. I have been told once (or twice) that my internal compass is broken.
  22. I love hugs.
  23. When I was younger I lost all four of my front teeth at the same time.
  24. My favourite desserts are banoffee pie and lemon meringue pie.
  25. I remember when the Internet started! Something to blow the grandkids away with one day.
  26. I have a cat – Oscar, who lives with my parents in New Zealand. Update – Sadly Oscar went to Cat Heaven at the grand age of 12 (human years) not long after this post.
  27. I love anywhere warm and tropical. Golden sand beaches, crystal clear water, palm trees and blue sky is my paradise.
  28. My favourite trip was traveling through South East Asia for three months.
  29. Spiders freak me out.
  30. Even as a ‘grown-up’, I still hate brussel sprouts.
  31. Scuba diving is a new hobby and I have my PADI open water certificate.
  32. I enjoy taking silly jumping photos.
  33. I don’t embarrass easily. I think this is due to not taking life too seriously and being able to laugh at myself.
  34. I like uneven numbers. My favourite numbers are 3 and 5 for no specific reason. Notice my list is 35 things?
  35. I have a silly sense of humour. Some of my favourite comedies are Old School and Napoleon Dynamite.

What are some of your quirks, or interesting facts? Share some in the comments below – I would love to know what makes you unique.

Celebrating our individuality,

Croatia Beach

Croatia had some high expectations to live up to. Before visiting, countless people had told me what an amazing place it was, but I still wasn’t prepared for how quickly I would fall in love with it.

Friendly locals, picture perfect views, clear turquoise water, charming cobbled towns and delicious, fresh food – I was in my utopia. With the Summer heat of July to top it off, Croatia easily entered my top five favourite countries and is somewhere I would return in a heartbeat.

Rental Car Zagreb

After flying into Zagreb, we packed our rental car to the brim and set off to Rakovica – our small village base to explore the nearby Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lower Lakes

We spent a day walking around Plitvice Lakes and I have never seen so many shades of green, blue and turquoise in one place. Each lake is a different colour and changes constantly throughout the year. The natural beauty of the lakes, waterfalls, greenery and colours makes it a pretty special destination.

Croatia Merchandise

The following day it was back into the rental car with a quick stopover in Split before catching a ferry to Vis – Croatia’s most distant island. Split port was buzzing with tourists, merchandise stalls for those essential last minute purchases and tour boats ready to set sail for the coming week.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As we pulled into the harbour of Vis Town I was excited by the approaching view – this was the Croatia I had been anticipating. Tiered terracotta roofs, old stone buildings and yachts lining the waterfront.

Kut_Vis Croatia

Stiniva Cove Vis Croatia

Even in peak season, Vis felt relaxed and wasn’t crowded. We spent our days watching sunrises, swimming, eating amazing food (I’m sure we ate our weight in Carpaccio), exploring the island on scooters and enjoying other beaches and sights including the blue cave by private boat.

We had an amazing few days on Vis and when the time came to leave and I watched the island disappear into the distance behind us I felt sad leaving my new found paradise. I left for Hvar with dreams of returning and building a holiday home on Vis. One day.

Hvar harbour

While I have a soft spot for Vis, Hvar is the slightly cooler older brother – a bit more vibrant, a bit livelier and likes to party. Hvar has something to offer every age, which is what makes it such a popular destination.

Bonj Les Bains Hvar Croatia

This was actually my view for a whole day while Relaxing At Bonj ‘Les Bains’ Beach Club.

After a few days of more swimming and eating our way around Hvar (notice a theme?), it was time to move on to Dubrovnik.

To see more of Croatia we hired another rental car and drove to Dubrovnik from Split (it also meant we got to briefly enter Bosnia, although they barely glimpsed at our passports and alas, no stamp either). I was amused that our rental car came with optional wi-fi. We really are becoming an instant, connected world.

Dubrovnik Old Town Rooftops

Dubrovnik old town

Dubrovnik’s old town is stunning and a walk along its surrounding walls is a must. It is the perfect way to see the old town and it’s sea of terracotta roof tops.

More to come on each of these beautiful destinations.

Cheers Hvar Croatia Bonj Les Bains

Cheers to Croatia!

A Life Less Beige

Beige to me is a metaphor for being comfortable. It’s safe. Less challenging.

It’s my comfort zone.

I realised awhile ago I wanted to improve some areas of my life. I wasn’t getting where I wanted to be and this was due to making excuses and not doing anything about it. I wasn’t challenging myself, or making the changes needed. A light bulb moment hit and A Life Less Beige was born. This is me saying ‘Yes!’ to life and not letting it pass me by.

Living less beige to me is living with purpose, self-love, balance, adding more colour and making the most of life. It’s about doing and adding value.

For me this takes shape in being happy and connecting with other positive, like-minded friends, being inspired daily, travel, being creative, having a healthy mind and body, regular exercise, being grateful, trying new things, learning and setting goals that challenge me. It is living a life I love and making my visions come true.

Nothing is impossible. Some things just take more work and determination.

Consciously living less beige is unique because it will mean something different to everyone. It celebrates individuality.

Growing up my Mum loved frequently enriching my life by providing me with lots of new experiences. This included things like hiking, camping and even staying in a Fijian village for a week with no running water, or power – end of the world for a teenage girl!

All of these experiences have shaped me into who I am today – the sense of adventure it created, the people I have met, the fun, even what I found hard and made me uncomfortable was building my character.

With each passing year I thought I must surely have enough character by now. I was wrong. Apparently you can never have too much.

Christmas presents started to include an ‘experience’ – a voucher for something I had never tried. My fate for the coming year sealed in an envelope sitting under our tree.

After a challenging weekend horse trekking one year, seeing that envelope under our tree the following year caused mixed emotions in the days leading up to Christmas.

Looking back, I am so grateful to my Mum for enriching my life and opening me up to so much. Yes, there were moments of discomfort, of frustration and moments wondering why I couldn’t just have a new stereo, or Game Boy like my friends. But I now realise that it isn’t the ‘things’ that are important in life. It’s the experiences.

Pushing my comfort zones (though still just as uncomfortable at times) is my normal. I learned that nothing is ever as bad as I what I build it up to be in my head.

Challenging myself and doing things that seem hard, or scare me make me feel alive. Achieving personal goals, both mental and physical makes me realise I am capable and have unlimited potential.

That once feared envelope is my favourite present each year. And the year that caused me the most worry ended up being a fabulous massage voucher.

Join me in living a life you love.

Be brave to make change,