2018 – My Year of Big Change

The last year changed my life completely. 2018 was my year of big changes. It started and ended with a family vacation, but everything in between is not at all how it was before.

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The first months of 2018 were filled with school, exams, learning, working. But I also took lots of time to spend with my friends and family.

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I turned 18 at the beginning of the year. And even though this means being an adult, I didn’t felt a big change…luckily. Driving a car on my own, without having to have one of my parents next to me was the biggest difference I could feel.

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In April I finally had my last day of school. Celebrated and enjoyed with my friends and making one of the last school memories together. Then the preparations for the final exams started and in the end, I can say: it sounded more difficult and challenging than it was. We all made it – we all celebrated our High School graduation.

And that was the biggest change of 2018: stopping to work on things that I need to know, need to do when someone wants it, to do what I love and choose for myself. I can finally use my time however I wish to. I finally spend my days doing things I love, enjoy, that are bringing me closer to my goals and that I truly want.

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After I enjoyed the summer in Europe at home and in Portugal for two weeks, worked in a beer garden and café for a while and spend as much time with my family and friends as I could, I started the journey I have dreamt of since I was 14 years old.

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I went to Australia. With a huge backpack on my shoulders and so much excitement for what is about to come. Facing the biggest adventure of my life, all by myself and knowing that I would learn, grow, experience and meet many new people along the way.

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There will soon be a blog post about celebrating New Year’s in Sydney and all the tips I have for you!

And my year still ended with my family by my side. I was lucky enough to have them over in OZ for three weeks over Christmas and New Year’s.

So this was my year 2018! I take a lot of amazing memories, lessons I learned, new and old friends, pictures I took and more excited for what is to come into 2019!

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Plans for 2019

In the last year, I wrote down goals that I want to archive. But even though I am a hard working person and I like to get things done, learn, grow and improve, it is hard to keep up with long-term goals. I just never know how and where to start. I rather like to tick many things off my to-do list and get things done to feel accomplished and productive. So this year I want to set myself a big to-do list / daily/weekly goals that are easier to keep up with.

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My To-Do List for 2019

Daily
  • Eat healthy! Which means: vegan, lots of veggies and especially greens, wholesome products, minimal produced food, good amount of protein, drinking at least two litres of water/tea
  • Be active! Go for walks, hikes, bike rides, swims, dance, stretch, do yoga, clean, cook or bake in the kitchen, take pictures – try to limit sitting that is not necessary for eating or working

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  • Spread positivity! Be happy, grateful, thankful, loving, caring, kind, helpful, nice. Pamper yourself, do things that make you feel happy and loved, love yourself, care for yourself so you can take care of others, practice gratitude, spread positivity
  • Be me! Not afraid of other peoples opinions, doing what I desire to, not being shy because I might have different opinions or values than others, don’t overthink your decisions too much

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  • Make a positive impact on the world! Eat vegan, buy only vegan & cruelty free products, don’t support animal cruelty, use only minimal plastic, buy from sustainable brands, support local agriculture and businesses, use re-useable products, buy less and also: talk about these topics with people you meet, your friends and family, make people think and hopefully improve and change to the better, be a good example, inspire people

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  • Work towards your big goals in life! Read books, blogs, educate yourself, practice, practice, practice, work hard, put in effort and heart, take opportunities, go for it

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Weekly
  • Workout! At least 4 times a week. Whatever you fancy: go for runs, hikes, bike rides, swims, home workouts – at least you sweat, breath heavy and feel it in your body. But especially work on building muscles, let them burn, let them grow, tone and strengthen.
  • Stretch and do Yoga regularly! Stretch after every workout as well as stretch and do yoga for a peaceful mind, to move your body in between working at the desk, to stretch your sore muscles and to get more flexible
  • Set goals and write to-do lists for the week! To keep on track, keep focused and organised, to work towards the big goals, to be productive
  • Upload 3 blog posts per week with interesting content that has value

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To-Do
  • Do a surf camp and learn to surf
  • Be an AuPair
  • Find a job in a health food café, organic store or somewhere else that I like
  • Live at the coast, in an apartment near the ocean, with a balcony to have breakfast outside
  • Film and edit more, upload videos on YouTube, make vlogs
  • Write an eBook
  • Travel and enjoy Australia, travel the East Coast
  • Get a tattoo and a third ear piercing
  • Declutter and sell my closes and build a minimal wardrobe with great timeless pieces
  • Do skydiving
  • Ride a horse at the beach
  • Snorkel more
  • Travel and explore Bali
  • Test many healthy vegan cafés and restaurants or dishes
  • Do a retreat on Bali
  • Do Yoga in Bali
  • Do a Yoga class on the beach
  • appreciate and enjoy being home and around my family and friends
  • Enjoy having a kitchen to myself, all the ingredients I need and try out new recipes, make recipe videos, create recipes, take beautiful food photos
  • Start studying
  • Get my own apartment or a shared apartment, design it minimalistic and beautiful
  • Make my blog into a business, more professional, consistent, interesting, incorporate YouTube videos, improve writing and photography
  • find and connect with people that share the same interests, values, thoughts etc.

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What do you think about New Year’s Plans? Did you set some for yourself? What are you excited about in 2019?

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My First Video from Australia – Melbourne & The Great Ocean Road

I am so excited to finally share my very first video from Australia with you!

I planned to film and vlog a lot here, but it is harder than I thought to keep on track and also find time to edit. Especially because I have never done it before and needed to start from the beginning.

But now I am super motivated as I had so much fun looking back on my old video clips from the beginning of my journey and making it into a wonderful memory, so there will be a lot more videos following soon!

I already planned to make one from my Outback adventures and I started to vlog and talk in my videos as well now, so there will be vlogs coming soon!

I hope you are just as excited as I am and curious to see more than just text and pictures on here.

To make my own filming and your watching experience even better, I am grateful to have my brother with me for the next three weeks, who is into videography as well. And I am planning to buy a new GoPro for some great action and underwater footage, as well as using my brother’s drone for some awesome landscape views.
So there will be a lot of great new content from us coming soon! So make sure to follow us both on our YouTube channels and Instagram accounts!

I hope you are just as keen to see what will come and if you have any suggestions, tips or ideas for my videos, please leave them in the comments as I really would love to improve!

Exploring the Secrets of Esperance in Western Australia

I decided to skip writing my diary blog posts with daily reviews of what I am up to. Even though it is a nice memory for myself to look back on later, it doesn’t really give any value to you and isn’t very interesting either. I much rather want to focus on the exciting things that I experience, my thoughts on different topics like travelling solo & being homesick and sharing content that brings value and inspiration to your life.

So if you have requests of blog posts or topics you would like me to talk about, please let me know down below!

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When I came to Western Australia, I suffered a little bit from the feeling of loneliness. I already wrote a little more about it in this blog post and also some of my tips against feeling lonely as a solo traveller.

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Anzeige |  So I wanted to get rid of these negative feelings inside of me and socialize more and as I already had two amazing tour experiences, I decided to book another six-day tour. This time Nullarbortravel* took me and my eleven travel mates from Perth to explore the south-west of Australia, the Secrets of Esperance and many more wonderful places.

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Day 1: Wave Rock & Fitzgerald River National Park

The first day is always very exciting when you meet your tour guide and group because I think they are the most important factors to make a great trip. Just like on my other tours we had a small bus (for around 20 people) and luckily, we were only 12 travellers, which is a great group size in my opinion as the chance of some cool people is big and you still get to know everybody in the six days quite well.

Once more I was blessed with a lovely tour guide. Nat (aka. Natalie) was just super funny, cute and she really cared for each and everybody.

My travel buddies were: an Aussie couple (Virginia and Mathew) from Victoria state, two more Aussie girls (Emily from Victoria and Tiffany from Sydney), Jeff from Canada, James from London, Josefine from Sweden and four other solo travelling girls, two from Swiss and two from Germany.

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Our journey started with a long driving day and our first stop at the famous Wave Rock. Before I came to Australia I was always keen to see this weird rock transformation in the shape of a wave. Now I have to say that it was not as impressive as I thought but still kinda cool though.

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We had lunch with thousand flies around our heads and then drove further into Fitzgerald River National Park, which is such a beautiful place on earth. We climbed up one of the mountains in the NP for a spectacular (almost) sunset view. The hike was the toughest I did in Australia (until now) because it was super steep and had many loose rocks, even though it’s quite short.

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The first night in a swag again was a little bit weird and I had to get used to it again. Also, it was freezing cold (summer nights in December can still get very chilly in the south) and our camping space had no light at all.

Those of you who already read my Outback Diary know what sleeping in a swag means, as I explained a bit in that blog post.

Nevertheless, it was wonderful to sleep under the stars again and I was excited for 5 nights of camping adventure.

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Oh, and we also spotted this beautiful huge spider at our camping toilet – fun, isn’t it? :D

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Day 2: Esperance & Cape Le Grand National Park

The next day we had a stop at “Pink Lake” that actually isn’t pink anymore which is a little disappointing, but the algae that create the pink colour isn’t thriving at the moment because the water level is too high… still a pretty view though.

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We had several stops at different beaches that are all breathtaking: turquoise water, white sand and we were blessed with the nicest weather as well. So we enjoyed some time in the sand, sun and waves.

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We weren’t lucky to see kangaroo’s at the beach, but @lene_merle was.

Then we drove into Cape Le Grand National Park right to our camping spot for the night: Lucky Bay. One of the most famous beaches in whole Australia, because it is one of the whitest and very special for the fact that you can be lucky to see some kangaroos at the beach.

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In the afternoon we did an amazing 3-hour coastal walk from (I think) Hellfire Bay back to Lucky Bay. It was such a beautiful walk with so many great ocean and beach views and I think it would have been my favourite if we would have done it in the morning. I just prefer working out/hiking in the morning so much more! Especially for sunrise, but the sunset views we had at Lucky Bay afterwards were just insane!

Day 3: Frenchman’s Peak & Stirling Ranges

In the morning of day three, there was another hike on our to-do list. I love how you hike so much on these tours! I really enjoy being in nature, walking, getting a sweat on, feeling my legs the next day and having the greatest views at the top.

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But before, I got up at 4.10am to watch the sunrise at Lucky Bay – definitely worth getting up early!

Frenchman’s Peak is a rock (yep, it’s basically just one solid rock) not far from Lucky Bay, that is pretty steep and slippery. Especially the way down was difficult and not super safe. But we made it, and it was a great morning workout before we had our second breakfast: pancakes.

Afterwards, we could enjoy ourselves at Lucky Bay, soak in some sunshine and jump into the beautiful turquoise (but chilly) water.

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In the afternoon we had a long drive to the Stirling Ranges and saw the reddest sunset that I ever experienced before.

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Oh and we also had sooo many yummy strawberries! It’s so nice that it’s getting into strawberry season here now – I love it!

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Day 4: Climbing Castle Rock, Coastal Drives and Tingle Trees

Another day, another hike. But sadly the last one for our tour. We walked up the Castle Rock hill through a beautiful forest and this hike was my favourite because the way reminded me of hiking at home. I really enjoyed it and walked all by myself. The view from the top wasn’t as spectacular as the other ones we had before, but the little bit of climbing to get there at the end was super fun.

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The weather wasn’t that great that day, but we still enjoyed the views over the beautiful coastal scenery. We saw Elephant Rock, the Green Pools and the huge tingle trees.

In the evening we arrived at a rainy and wet campsite. I had a wonderful experience with a kangaroo that came so close to me (for more roo stories head to my Instagram @mind.wanderer), we had a birthday boy Mathew that day and celebrated with chocolate cake and had to sleep in the kitchen area of your campsite because it was so rainy outside – what an eventful day.

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Day 5: Tasting us through Margaret River

Day 5 wasn’t around hiking and moving, but more around driving around in Margaret River and testing us through all the different factories. We went to a distillery, several wineries, a dairy factory that sells super yummy ice cream and a chocolate factory. Had lunch at the beautiful Margaret River and went to a super fun pub where you can play a lot of funny games in the outside area.

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For sunset, we went to surfers point beach and had a beautiful pre-sunset view. Sadly, when the sun set there were too many clouds, so we could only see a slight red shimmer, but it was still super pretty.

Day 6: Ngilgi Cave Stories & Back to Perth

On our last day, we went to a cave in Dunsborough and heard some stories, information and wonderful didgeridoo songs by the Aboriginal Josh. He showed us traditional fire lighting, bush medicine and hunting equipment from his tribe, the Wardandi.

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Afterwards, we had a wonderful last lunch and swim in the most turquoise water I’ve ever seen and drive to Brusselton for our last real stop on tour before we headed back to Perth.

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To conclude: it was once again a great tour experience and I am very happy that I decided to book it and got to see some of the beauty that Western Australia has to offer. I’ll for sure come back to see the West Coast as it is supposed to be the most beautiful and untouristic part of Australia (but it’s not season right now).

And I learned on this tour that the first impression of people can sometimes be the complete opposite. At first, I thought, I would get along very well with my German speaking travel mates, but after day three I decided to try to stay away from them as much as possible as they only spread negativity against everything (and I mean really everything). And the people I thought would be boring turned out to be the nicest, loveliest and funniest! But that’s the great thing about these tour groups, you really get to know each other when you hang out for six days and usually, you get along very well because you already have a commonality: the urge to travel and adventure.

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*Disclaimer: I got a discount for my booking with Nullabor Travel, but I am obviously still 100% honest with all my reviews and thoughts.