The Bucket List: Revisited

While I still have a few months until I turn 26 (sorry Keeling!) I thought I would come back to the bucket list and see what I have achieved this last year. Depressing as it seems, the older I get the quicker time seems to pass me by. Of the 13 items on last year’s list, I have only managed two of them: 1. Seeing the New Year in Sydney sydney nye 2015 the royal botanical gardens the point view111 In last year’s post I used a stock image, this one here was taken by me. 2. Dive the Great Barrier Reef IMG_1672 Again, this beauty was taken by me, but for illustration purposes this was actually from diving in Fiji – we weren’t allowed to take pics at the GBR, boo! As incredible as it was to be in Australia as the New Year started, I still felt like I was in limbo. Although I am luckily on the right side of 30, there are still so many things I want to do, sooner rather than later. As you will see in last year’s list there was a lot of focus on travelling, and well basically, being anywhere but here in a small town, in the Midlands, under what feels like a near constant cover of cloud. I have decided to make some decisions, and I think it is time to start living my life. I am not reckless enough to just up and leave, but I am going travelling, and I am spending the next two years planning a trip that could last for just as long, or even longer. What got me thinking was a story I read recently about a nurse who worked in palliative care whose patients basically went home to die. She asked them if they had any regrets or anything they would have done differently with their lives. There was a common theme amongst the answers, and out of the top five, these three stood out to me: 1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. 3. I wish that I had let myself be happier. I think society has a lot to do with these responses, given that these people would have been teenagers in the 40s and 50s – a time where it was normal for a woman to be a housewife, cook, clean and breed, while the man of the house went out to work. We all know that in 2015, things are not what they were, or are they? At 25, having been with my boyf. for nearly five years (literally don’t know where the time has gone), I am hit with many questions about starting a family, getting married and “settling down”. Erm, no. While I am truly happy for anyone who wants that life, it just isn’t on the cards for us right now. I mean, it scares me that I am at an age where if I were to get pregnant my mom would be HAPPY! My ID may say I’m 25, but secretly I’m still 15. So I will start with point one, having courage to live a life true to myself and not what others expect of me. I’ll say it now, I am not having kids any time soon! I look on Facebook and there are so many people who post a million picture of their kids, or rant about their wedding plans, and I am over here like “I’m watching a DVD in bed with my cats” and I am cool with it. They have their lives, I have mine and I am happy with not procreating or making vows right now. My aim is to be happy, to do what drives me, and not what is expected of me. I want to see the world, meet new people, discover new things – I might even manage to write that book I have been talking about for so long. Believe me, I am not one of these people that is running away travelling to “find” themselves, ‘cos I ain’t lost. Life is for living – and that’s what I intend to do. So here it is, a bucket list that I intend to fulfil: 1. See the Northern Lights – I just don’t think there will be a sight more naturally beautiful than the lights. Unknown 2. Party at Carnival in Rio – Because deep down I am still a party girl. riocarnival460 3. Live in Australia – Having had a taste for the Aussie way, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be. 4. Go to Base Camp – Just so I can feel like I am on top of the world. However, not looking forward to the two weeks of camping to get there. 5. See the Statue of Liberty – I have already been to New York, and we managed to do everything else on the list but that, and I always promised I’d go back. 6. Go dancing in a jazz club in Manhattan – Because last time I went I was only 19, and while I was hungover on the flight from a night in the Student Union, once we landed I was officially two years underage – boo! 7. Drive Route 66 in a Mustang – Because I have heard you just should. 8. See lions on safari – I love cats as everybody knows, so to see giant ones in the wild? Yes please! 9. Visit the Great Wall of China – Because I am a tiny little culture buff really. 10. Learn a new language – French has always been at the top of my list, I just wish I’d have paid more attention in school… 11. Visit Antarctica – The frozen continent at the end of the Earth that is only accessible a few months of the year? Man will never permanently occupy this beautiful place. 12. See Pearl Harbour – For the history 13. Write a book – Always wanted to, hopefully travelling the world will give me a story! writing 14. Niagra Falls – For the beauty. 15. The Maldives – I hear if global warming continues the way it is the Maldives will be underwater in my life time. 16. Bali – For the culture. 17. Drive the Great Ocean Road – It is supposed to be quite a journey. 18. See the Vegas Strip – I also need to see Britney (bitch) while I’m there. 19. Party in Buenos Aires – like Serena Van der Woodsen when she ran off in Gossip Girl. Not even ashamed of that reason. 20. See the Taj Mahal – being half Indian I should probably include some of my own heritage somewhere in the mix. I’m not going to lie, this list came out so fast I didn’t even have to think – there are so many other things I want to do that this list is just the start. I love the idea of going some place amazing, and sticking a pin in a map to decide where to go next. Lucky for me I will have my boyfriend and partner-in-crime with me – I wouldn’t do it without him. So while yes, we are purchasing our first house together like society says we should, it is a mere investment to fund us on our journey, and honestly, I can’t wait to see where we end up. Have you travelled the world? Tips would be greatly appreciated! – love Carla x

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New Year’s Eve in Sydney

With the weather sitting at 34 degrees, it was hard to believe Christmas was just six days ago…

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New Year’s Eve was upon us, and it was the main reason for our visit to Australia. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the best vantage point in Sydney from The Point in the Royal Botanical Gardens, and it was worth every penny.

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As this was a ticketed event with limited numbers, we didn’t bother queuing all day (or all week like some had to secure a good free space). I honestly am glad I spent the money so I was able to have a whole day in Sydney and have an amazing view without having to sit a queue in the summer heat!

The doors to the event opened at 6pm, and closed at 7pm. We rocked up at 6.30pm and were handed a gourmet picnic and tickets for free water. The foodie stalls were also included in the ticket price, but as we had spent the day filling our faces with gelato and other goodies, we were just too full. Instead we just munched on our little picnic of pepper, ricotta and thyme tart, Cypriot grains and chargrilled vegetables with wild rice and a selection of cheeses and dried tomatoes.

We got chatting to some people who had queued since lunchtime to get in and secure a good seat, and as I said, we walked in at 6.30pm and sat next to them. There is no such thing as a bad seat here, I would only recommend going a little early if you are in a large group which wants to sit together.

We snapped some pics as the sun went down and it was lovely and warm, despite my wearing a jacket it was still around 25 degrees but it gets a tad breezy!

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Then for the main event, 12 minutes of utter magic! And as you can see, it really was the best view in Sydney!

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As a lot of the roads are closed off in Sydney for New Year, the only way to get back into the city is to walk, and luckily for us it was only a 20-minute walk to the Menzies Hotel. But walking against a rumoured 1.6 million people added to the journey – it felt we were the only ones heading back in to the city!

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sydney nye 2015And there you have it, New Year 2015 in Sydney! It was quite a night, and something you just can’t put into words.

Despite all of the people, Sydney is the cleanest city I have ever seen – I think the locals would be mortified with London.

Have you been to Sydney for New Year? Where did you watch the display from?

– love Carla x