What a beautiful smile

Version 2

I love this photo so much and remember it so well it was my first trip on a Thai train. OMG jammers would be an understatement.

Me & the other girls, I was travelling with were a little bit scared of the long journey ahead it was about an 8 hour ride the heat was unbelievable & our first time doing it.

I remember sleeping with my bag at my side with a lock on it because everyone told us, don’t fall asleep, you’ll be robbed. This didn’t work for me I love sleep too much so the lock worked for me 🙂

All in all the journey was fine, we didn’t get robbed & it was great experience.  We  were like celebrities on the train people kept coming up & looking at us they were fascinated by us. It was so funny. When travelling, dont let what people tell you put you off, instead embrace every moment with curiousty. If I hadn’t got on the train I would have got this picture.

Experience is the teacher of all things.

Julius Caesar

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That happy face

TaffyIt’s the things in life, that we call the little things, that are actually, the biggest things that make the most impact on a person life. Like

  • Pets
  • A walk in nature
  • Reading a book
  • Taking a bath
  • Relaxing
  • Enjoying a new food

Just a few to mention.

I believe it is so Important to really enjoy everything that happens in life especially the “LITTLE THINGS” Learn how to be mindful in every situation & you will have a very happy fulfilled life. We always want more enjoy what you have & more will seem amazing 🙂

 

 

 

 

Skies the limit

Keeping things in perspective 🙂

If it scares the crap out of you do it if we let fear win we will never try anything.

DCIM999GOPRO

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Elanor Roosevelt

I remember when I was younger always saying I wanted to bungee. As, I got older, this very much changed. I didn’t want to do anything that would call for a coronary I lost my nerve for everything. I hated roller coasters, anything fast I don’t know why it just happened.

So in Australia as my trip was coming to an end and I was going in the direction of Byron Bay, the highest jump at 14,000 feet. It was a now or never decision so I said f**k it. I told myself if I don’t do this now I will never do it again.

I remember paying for the ticket the day before I was shitting bricks. Paid for it & off we went to the supermarket to get the last supper. Pretending everything was ok.

When we finally go to the hostel we settled in chilled out & relaxed tried not to think about it too much *yeh right* There was meant to be a big storm coming the day of the jump I must have ( even tho I’m not all that holy) said every prayer over & over for it to be so bad we couldn’t do it & it was looking like it was gonna be bad. I was so happy because I was so nervous. Next morning wished one more time pulled the curtain the sun was splitting the trees. I was devastated !!

On the way I got a serious reality check of what I was about to do I couldn’t believe how stupid it was. Got geared up prepped up, given the direction of what to do’s. I started to feel so sick.

I got in first, thinking, I would be first out. Clearly, wasn’t in the right frame of mind because “first in last out”

It was about 15 mins up so to distract myself I was talking to my instructor & asked are you doing this long, he says, no I was a carpenter last week. That was it I was a ball of nerves for the rest of the journey.

Got to altitude level, doors opened the camera man & another diver just jumped straight our one of them clung to the side of the plane I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. One after another they were gone finally my turn I said I don’t think I can do it he pushed me along & said move it. I didn’t argue. When we got to the door he asked can you remember everything I nodded he said ok let’s go.

 !!!!!! Legs tucked, Head Back & up !!!!!!!

I closed my eyes, I could just feel us rolling. I had a really quick prep talk told myself open your eyes or you will regret it the rest of your life, so I did.

The free fall lasted all of 1 Min, the adrenaline rush was unbelievable from it, I could feel myself shaking in the air. Bang, shute opened & we were in glide. The views were amazing I could see the whole coast of Byron Bay. I wanted to stay up there forever.

He was such a good Instructor. My sister & friend were also in the sky he made it all the more enjoyable by gliding us over to them to say hello & check in. The landing was also amazing. I wanted to go back up again & only for the cost I would have.

When travelling on a budget we tend to scrimp on certain things. It’s only when you have a f**t it moment & do it you realise what you could have missed. Don’t scrimp on experience like this or you will have major regrets. And, don’t, let the fear stop you.

It is still one of the best days of my life so far, not only did I push myself, I loved every minute of it & would gladly do it again. Whereas, if I didn’t how would I know.

Try everything once for the experience and to get your own opinion 🙂

 

 

A day with a silver lining

IMG_3068

I went a spend a couple of days in New Jersey with a friend while travelling around America.

There was no set plan just go with the flow & see what happens. I love the outdoor so she suggested going for a drive into the Delaware Water Gap. No hesitation needed that’s what we did. Got up the next morning and headed off it was roughly a  1 Hr drive away.

The first stop was amazing, it was just under the bridge going in it was covered in autumn leaves, I loved it already. Couldn’t wait to see the rest. It’s enormous, there are so many places to see i would recommend way more than a day to rally enjoy it.

We stopped off at some of the walking trails & went down to the water. The peace was unbelievable.

Until ↓↓↓

We were lying at the side of a bank & i noticed a man across the water with a gun  Alarm bells start ringing. Then out of nowhere these mean came behind with guns. I was shitting bricks even the sight of the guns made me sick. I said to the girls i think we need to go. It was like something you see in a movie 3 of us down at the water a good ten min walk back to the car uphill theses two come behind us one with a Riffle & one hand gun.  “My fight or flight was hoping off the walls. There is absolutely no need for guns I don’t care what anybody says. I could even tell by looking at them they thought they were the big men with their guns. For me it was a highly disturbing situation.

↓↓ Silver Lining ↓↓

We got the hell out of there & headed further into the park it was almost sunset. We came across some many beautiful areas. In one place the water was just flowing so gently but fast & the water was full of leaves so relaxing to watch. But one in particular really caught my eye. The picture of the men fishing it was just so peaceful the sun was setting over the water & they we just right in the middle of my shot. It was a lovely ending to the trip.

I would highly recommend when travelling look for places not on the list they offer the most beautiful areas.

 

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A day trip on a floating market

deep-in-though

Damnoen Saduak, floating market, Thailand.

As a european the first time visit to a floating market is very different to what I’m used to. Me, my sister & a friend went on the day trip together. Our trip started off in Bangkok, which was our base for the whole time in Asia. It was just so much easier thank hauling all of out luggage around.

When we got to the floating market, there was a mix up with the boats. I got split up from them and ended up on a boat with a Korean family & one Italian woman. In the space of an hour I knew the Italian lady’s whole life story. But we had so much fun on the boat together, it actually turned out I enjoyed the split from the other two. Considering we were in it for the next two years together 🙂 Australia was after Asia.

What I learned that day in the market was Thai people have a very different lifestyle to Irish. There were a lot of older people still out working on the boats that would be retired in Ireland.

I think it was the first time I discovered what being mindful was. Just sitting on that boat taking it all in. There were men with snakes around their necks, older Thai ladies like the one in my picture selling different things everything is just so colorful. The hustle & bustle was just so lively. We even experienced a traffic jam all the boats bashing into each other.

It was really interesting to see how other people lived. If you make it to Thailand try it once & make sure you buy a souvenir. Enjoy the market but be cautious of the scammers because it is so busy there are many around. Once you have your wits you’ll be fine & enjoy.

How to organise everything yourself for travel to Australia

Siobhan Marie Photography The Heart Reef

Understanding how to, organise everything by yourself is essential when, before & while travelling. Not only will it save you enormous amounts of cash that you could be enjoying you will learn so much about you & what you are capable of.

When I first decided to get to OZ, it was kind of a last-minute decision. Not sure of what to way to do everything, I started to research everything myself. People were telling me about all these companies who do everything for you. The problem with them is the final price is scandalous.

Don’t be scared to do it all yourself, it’s not hard, just a small bit time-consuming which is worth it in the end really. 

↓↓↓ I’m going to try make it as simple as possible ↓↓↓

  1. Everything you need regarding OZ is here. Research the website & figure out what you need. The visa options are different for all visitors & purposes.
  2. Any income in Australia will require a Tax File Number apply here
  3. Bank Account I used this but there are so many more
  4. All the info you need on lodging you tax return. Do it yourself don’t pay the companies
  5. Book flight well in advance & shop around
  6. Make sure you have travel insurance. Yes its very expensive but it’s so important 
  7. Accommodation can be very expensive & will rack up fast this is a link for hostels but search for house shares or something more permanent

Regarding the phone & network you need at some point after you arrive, go around the different companies they all offer something different. 

That’s the most basic of what you will need regarless of where you are from for backpacking purposes. Go with the flow & take each day as it comes. Most importantly, don’t stress, have fun 🙂

 

A short story about Cambodia

“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

Nelson Mandela

This was one of my biggest eye-opening moments to the world. Coming from Ireland where I would class a lot of people rich compared to this. I could not believe this is how people lived in this day & age. Until we see it with our own eyes it is not a reality.

I remember sitting on the bus, there was a road block & we had to stop. But we were not allowed to get off. It was actually a heartbreaking moment. I could not believe what I was seeing. I had paid to take a bus from Vietnam to Cambodia. These people don’t have that luxury. I now fully understand that. Buses full of tourists pass them regularly. I wondered, do the majority of tourist even see the bigger picture. On my bus at least 70% were asleep.

There was 3 others an older man & two boys playing with a football at the edge of the tent. They had nothing but look how happy they looked. I really could not believe this was how these people lived. What they are sitting on is their home. Behind the white plastic that they have for shelter, is a green swamp area. This was taken in the middle of a dirt road.

Then it dawned on me how the world works. These people don’t have a clue about anything else in the world, how could they. There is no real education being provided for them, they live in unsafe environments, barely any food or shelter. And are part of one of the biggest Human Trafficking areas in the world. But as far as they are concerned this is all normal. They know nothing else.

When we finally got to a town to have some food. I remember going to the toilet & when I got back here was a man sitting in front of me. He must have been about 60-70, well dressed. He was American, I, heard him ordering. Then a little boy appears. He was about five & Cambodian. I knew immediately what I was witnessing by the way he looked at me. He was a sex slave. I remember my face filling with blood I was so angry.

I wanted to scream at him so badly

WHAT F**K IS WRONG WITH YOU

I said it to my sister and the other girls I was going to say something. They said don’t. One of them nodded out the window across the road there was a big embassy or something. The outside was filled with guards armed with guns. I knew there was nothing I could do  I didnt have a leg to stand on. This was how this country works. It was heartbreaking.

When we got to Siem Reap I was exhausted from what I had witnessed. But it wasn’t over. That night, we headed out for food, stumbled across pub street. We went and got some food. The whole street was full of young prostitutes no more than 15 trying to impress all the tourists. I remember a table full of European men sitting in front of my table. The young girls started to walk up to them sitting on their laps and trying to pull them away. I was absolutely disgusted, not at the girls, at the tourist for allowing it. It didn’t seem to faze anyone it was normal here. 

Then, further up the road, there were little boys dancing and doing silly things kids do, trying to get the attention of the tourists. Everyone was so drunk they taught it was hilarious. I was appalled at the fact people didn’t even blink. Kids no more than 8 out in the middle of the street trying to entertain them. I had to leave & go back to the room I had enough.

 The point of this post is to raise awareness of what goes on in countries like Cambodia. These people don’t know any better. But when you have well-educated people going and buying people for sex and every one turns a blind eye there is a huge problem. 

I have actually witnessed other tourists saying things like its a disgusting sleezy place. But the reality is, if these people were provided with correct education to nourish their mental health & shown basic human rights. Would they really, sell themselves or, their children to these inhumane characters, buying them. I somehow highly doubt it. Lets face it, the people of Cambodia are not the ones who are highly disturbed. The ones restricting the human rights are !!!

↓↓ Just a little over two minutes if you can spare it please watch & share the video ↓↓

↓↓ This one is a lot longer but it is so worth the watch for a true eye opener ↓↓

Ps please remember when traveling don’t just turn a blind eye, I‘m not suggesting getting yourself in trouble to help someone. However, become aware of the bigger picture. If there we less blind eyes being turned & more open, the world would be less corrupt. Share you stories  in order to help countries just like Cambodia after you visit them.

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