Reflecting During a Snow Storm

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It has been almost two months since I’ve arrived at Detroit Metro Airport from Sydney, Australia. I was warned that I might feel bouts of depression after such an amazing experience abroad. Now, I’m here sitting in my bed with 20 inches of snow outside and -40 degree wind chills. A few months ago, I was prancing around Australia with cute little kangaroos and laying on the beautiful beaches enjoying the 70+ degree temperatures.

WHY WOULD I EVER BE DEPRESSED?!

Today is going on my third day stuck at home with my wonderful but sometimes nagging mother. I am dreaming of my time spent in Australia. Hiking through the mountains with my fellow interns, seeing a play at the Sydney Opera House, chatting with my lovely co-workers from Dani Lombard PR and basking in the Aussie sun. However, for some reason, I feel totally content.

Here are a few reasons why my transition back to the States was an easy one.

1. It’s all about perspective. The whole time in Australia I knew I would be coming home on November 16th. I knew that my family and friends would be welcoming me with open arms. I knew it would feel amazing to be HOME. I knew the holidays would be a fun time to share my experiences with loved ones. I knew I would be heading back to school and falling in love with Athens, Ohio all over again. This perspective allowed me to experience Australia to its fullest while having something to look forward to when my journey ended.

2. I kept up with my friends and co-workers from Australia. I’m Facebook/Twitter/Instagram friends with all the interns and most of my DLPR co-workers. This makes it easy to stay connected and keep up on each others lives while living many, many miles away from one another.

3. My faith will always keeps me grounded. I know that God has a good and perfect plan for my life. Australia was a part of His incredible plan but so was me returning back to the US to be with my family during the holidays and to finish my schooling at Ohio University. Through His word, God has taught me to content with my situation at all times. Here’s one of my favorite verses that has kept me thinking positively during my transition (I actually shared this in a previous blog post and it has stuck with me).

  • Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether hungry or well fed, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”

4. The end of one adventure just means another is around the corner. I wrote this in the back of my Australia photo story book and it’s so true! I had the time of my life in Australia and learned so much about myself and the culture there. However, I will be graduating college soon and finding a big girl job (fingers crossed!). Sometime, down the road, I’ll be starting a family of my own and creating more and more adventures. The adventure of life never ends!

So back to the frigid temperatures and level three snow emergency. Yes, I can’t drive anywhere and had to cancel an interview in Columbus and might go nuts locked up in my house. But if I put things into perspective, I have a warm bed and a warm house and I guess I should enjoy this time relaxing before my last semester of school starts.

On to the next adventure!

Kickin’ the Bucket

NOT LITERALLY but today marks my LAST day in Sydney after 10 weeks experiencing this amazing place. I will officially be kickin’ the bucket from Australia and heading back to Ohio. Australia has taught me heaps about myself, other people and life in general.

Living abroad can be tough from finding your way around a foreign place to understanding slang and being away from loved ones for several months. That being said, it can be one of the most INCREDIBLE, LIFE-CHANGING experiences of your life! It was for me.

Just after I arrived, I created an Australia Bucket List that included all the things I wanted to do before I left. Well, here I am on the last day of my time abroad and my bucket list is BEYOND complete.

Enjoy my journey!

1. Play with a Kangaroo

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Marked this one off on my second day here at a wildlife park in Cairns.

2. Pet a Koala

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I pet a koala, held a koala and saw wild koalas! I really overdid myself on this one.

3. Visit Bondi Beach

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One of the most beautiful beaches in the world if I must say so myself!

4. Visit the Opera House

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I visited the Opera House and I visited it again and again and again. It’s truly a magical, icon!

5. See a play at the Opera House

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I saw a modern interpretation of Romeo & Juliet (which I still couldn’t understand!) with all the other interns.

6. Climb/walk on the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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I walked on the bridge and ran across it during the Blackmores’ Sydney Running Festival!

7. Visit New Zealand

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I traveled to Auckland, New Zealand. It was cold, rainy, sunny and windy all at the same time. This picture was taken atop Mt. Eden overlooking the city.

8. Have an Aussie barbie

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Thanks to a family friend back home who grew up in Australia, I had dinner with two Aussie families and the traditional “shrimp on the barbie” with a lovely Melbourne couple.

9. Visit Melbourne and other cities

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This was taken from the 88th floor of the tallest building in downtown Melbourne and the Southern Hemisphere! I also had the opportunity to visit Newcastle, Cairns and Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

10. Take a boat ride on the Harbour

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This is my friend Eden and I taking a ferry to Manly Beach. 360 degree views of the Harbour is pretty awesome.

11. Have dinner at the revolving restaurant

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Although I didn’t have dinner due to the outrageous prices, a few interns and I had a $12 glass of wine as we made a complete circle around the city. It took about an hour and 30 minutes.

12. Visit Manly Beach

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Visited Manly and saved a few lives. No biggie.

13. Eat Kangaroo Pizza at Australian Heritage Hotel

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I ate kangaroo and EMU pizza. So yummy! Sorry cute, little kanga!

14. Eat at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

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This is me eating my meat pie with gravy and peas. Harry’s is an Australian icon and is a popular late-night drunk food establishment. It’s been around since the 1930’s depression years.

So that about wraps up my Australia Bucket List! There were two things I wrote down that I didn’t do…#1 Try to Surf and #2 Go to the Sydney Aquarium. I’m not devastated I didn’t accomplish these. Actually, I could have done both but chose not to. I thought I wanted to surf but after seeing how massive the waves here were and experiencing how cold the water was I decided it wasn’t for me. Plus, I hate salt water. I don’t know why I even wrote ‘visit the Sydney Aquarium’ on the list because I’m not all that fascinated by marine life and I can visit the aquarium back home.

I’m leaving Australia satisfied and with that I’m ready to symbolically “kick the bucket” back to the United States!

I’ll have a Kangaroo pizza, please!

If I could sum up the food in Australia in one word it would be: ENDLESS. If you’re hungry for a big, juicy burger, you can find it on the nearest street corner. If you want Thai, there’s 20 options within a 1/2 mile radius. If you want seafood or Italian, it takes one quick Google to find a good place. Whether you’re looking for a quick, cheap eat or a multi-course gourmet meal, Sydney’s got ya covered.

Over the course of my stay here, I photographed most of the meals I ate. Since I didn’t want to be accused of posting too much #FoodPorn on Instagram, I opted to write a blog post about my culinary adventures. Enjoy and don’t get too hungry!

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A very popular Australian dish: Chicken Schnitzel. Don’t be deceived by the funky name. It’s just breaded chicken. Add marinara sauce and cheese and you’ve got Chicken Parmesan. A bit of a letdown for me but delicious, nonetheless.

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A delicious Australian cheese plate I had while visiting an Australian family.

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The main course following the cheese platter. Indian spiced lamb, stir-fried zucchini, pasta salad with butternut squash, cheese and spinach and a side salad.

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A massive burger I had in Auckland, New Zealand. It was bigger than it looks and YES, I ate it all…

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Ginger beer I had on the set of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It doesn’t have any alcohol in it and pretty much tastes like Ginger Ale.

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This is an example of a home-cooked meal. This is as fancy as it got. Usually I would heat up a frozen pizza or make some 90 second rice. This is pasta with meat sauce and I thought I did good!

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Kangaroo meat that we had for family dinner. We overcooked it and some pieces were jerky-like. It has a very ‘meaty’ taste but is apparently very lean and good for you!

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This was a splurge meal I had in Auckland at a nice restaurant on the waterfront called Mecca. I get this meal at one of my favorite restaurants in Athens called Salaam. Spinach, beetroot, onion and squash (?) wrapped in a crispy phyllo dough with powdered sugar on top. Sweet and savory = MY FAVE.

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This was a rice dish called Paella that my friend made me when I visited Newcastle. Rice, chicken, chorizo, peas and yellow pepper.

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Delicious Thai noodles with peanut sauce, chicken and veggies.

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Australia’s version of Coldstone. Caramel ice cream mixed with TimTam’s (a chocolate covered wafer that’s very popular here). This cost me $7 and it was worth every last dollar!

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A truly Australian lunch: meat pie with ‘chips’

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Enjoyed this pumpkin and pine nut pizza overlooking Newcastle beach.

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My first experience with bubble tea. This was chocolate flavored milk tea with pearls (which are little balls of rubber). It was gross. The only reason I finished it was because I paid $5 and felt bad throwing it away.

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Chicken chorizo rolls with coleslaw and chimicurri sauce from the Rocks foodie market. A bit spicy but delish.

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Vietnamese Rice paper rolls with prawns (shrimp), salad leaves, rice and mango from Miss Chu.

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Kangaroo and Emu pizza at the Australian Heritage Hotel. One of my favorite meals I had!

And that completes my culinary adventure through Australia! Check out the link below for the top 40 foods that Australia calls their own!

http://travel.cnn.com/sydney/eat/40-foods-australians-call-their-own-651613

This Blog Post is LEGENDARY!

The other day, I yelled, “Bugger, I forgot to bring my cossie to the beach!”

I’ve obviously picked up on some Aussie slang and I could probably pass as a native now. Just kidding, I really said, “Oh, crap! I forgot to bring my bathing suit to the beach!”

With seven weeks under my belt, I have collected a decent list of Aussie slang I hear on a daily basis or read in magazines or books. Understand this, I’m living in Sydney, not the Outback so don’t be surprised if your favorite Aussie phrase didn’t make my list!

  1. Legendary: My co-workers say this often when they receive good news about a client. Apparently, some guy on How I Met Your Mother says this a lot too but definitely not as common in the States.
  2. Far Out!: My co-workers also say this when they receive bad news or when something’s unexplainable.
  3. I Reckon: I hear this everyday. I reckon I can’t get enough of it.
  4. Dodgy: another word for sketchy. This one’s my favorite!
  5. Arvo: afternoon
  6. Lollies: candy
  7. Sultanas: raisins (Raisin Bran is called Sultana Bran here) Image
  8. Aw, bugger!: Oh, crap!
  9. NMP: Not My Problem, our version of NBD
  10. Cossie: swimsuit
  11. Bloke: a man
  12. No, worries: If you say, “Thank You” to someone, their response is “No worries”. I want to say, “I wasn’t worrying” but I kindly resist!

I hope you enjoyed my list, mates! (BTW, people don’t use the word “mate” nearly as much as I expected)

Working for Free in One of the Most Expensive Cities in the World…

IS SO WORTH IT! So what, I paid about 6 grand to be here, I get paid zero dollars and zero cents per hour (compared to the current minimum wage: $17 per hour!) and a small coffee and muffin costs me at least $10.

I wake up actually looking forward to work. I leave my apartment at 8am every morning, wait for the train to take me into the city and then wait at the bus stop for a bus that takes me over the bridge and into the suburb of Mosman. I arrive at Dani Lombard Public Relations at 9am sharp with a smile on my face!

For those of you who don’t know anything about Dani Lombard Public Relations or public relations in general, let me fill you in. DLPR is a small, boutique agency specializing in eco-friendly, natural health and beauty products. A few products you might be familiar with include Yes To, Neal’s Yard Remedies and Pukka Tea. DLPR has five employees, that is, if you include me.

There’s basically a whole wall of shelves dedicated to all their amazing clients!

Dani Lombard is the ‘chief talker’ and she deals with new business pitches and directly contacting clients. She also just had a little, baby girl so she’s often out of the office being a new mum! Then there’s Jess, an account manager. She’s been with the company for several years and she’s literally the nicest person I’ve ever met. She also has a young, baby girl at home and usually works three days a week. She’s such a fun person to have around the office. Next is Zoe, also an account manager. She’s the fashionista of the office and moved to Sydney from Adelaide to work at DLPR. She’s been with the company for a few years now and lives nearby with her boyfriend of several years. Finally, there’s Sam. She’s usually my go-to when I need something to do and we collaborate on a lot of projects as well. She only works twice a week because she still attends Uni and will be graduating soon! I’m so grateful to work with 3 of the nicest, most down-to-earth girls I’ve ever met.

Anyways, I walk into the office every morning expecting to learn more about PR and I most certainly do. What I love about my job is that I’m handed a wide variety of tasks every day. I work on everything from packaging up a product to send to a journalist or updating the media contact list to searching for social media coverage online or actually crafting a pitch for a real client! At first, I did more basic tasks like running to the newsagent to pick up a magazine. As I continue to learn and get a better grasp for Australian media, I’ve been handed more important tasks that truly challenge me and allow me to test my PR skills. I’ve been able to work with almost all of their clients and prove that I’m a valuable asset to the team!

Another great thing about DLPR is being able to openly communicate with my co-workers as we all sit at the same desk. I hear EVERY conversation that’s had, meaning I get the inside scoop on everything going on in the company. I can ask a question out loud without having to email someone on the other side of the office. We can all talk about each other’s days and take chat breaks when we get stressed! Aside from learning tons about PR, I’ve been able to build relationships with all my co-workers and that’s what makes my job so much fun!

Here are a few highlights from my work experience so far:

I get to take an hour lunch break and I usually walk to this peaceful, little park where I eat my yogurt with no spoon. Whoops! Sometimes, I’ll sit outside the Telstra store (an Aussie phone company) so I can pick up Wifi and use my phone!

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I get to take home the occasional freebie! These are a few Yes To products I took home and I love them!

The other day we got a new set of shelves because we didn’t have enough to fit all of our client products. That means my co-worker Sam and I got to reorganize the whole office, put products on shelves and de-clutter. If you know me, this was one of my FAVORITE tasks. The photo above is the before picture. I forgot to take an after shot! But, that’s my co-worker Zoe finding her way through the mess.

Last week, we delivered cake to several journalists for a new client, Love Home Swap, with the tagline “Swapping your home is a piece of cake!” Get it?! Anyways, the baker brought in leftover cake and we each had a slice. I’m not usually a cake eater but it was really moist and sweet!

I got to meet Dani’s puppy, Tibby! She has allergies so she has to wear a doggie sweater to keep her from itching too much!

Everybody told me that Halloween didn’t exist in Australia. That’s not true. It exists it’s just not as big. Social Diary is a blog that sends us updates when journalists, editors, producers, etc. change jobs or move positions so we know who to contact for pitches. Every year they host a party around Halloween time and I was invited this year! The party is phobia-themed so I’m going as ‘public speaking’ and pinning pieces of paper with a speech on them to my outfit! The party’s on Halloween night and I’m looking forward to a fun time with my co-workers.

Apparently the Melbourne Cup is a bit deal here. Like bigger than the Kentucky Derby. Oh, it’s a horse race by the way. It’s on Nov. 5th. That’s a Tuesday. Nobody works. You’re some sort of crazy if you don’t bet on a horse and you’re even more crazy if you don’t dress up and where a fancy fastener like the ladies above. Restaurants offer special deals for race day like 3-course meals for $90 per person. That’s how much my lunch should cost but instead it’s FREE courtesy of my wonderful boss! We get to leave work early and enjoy the race over drinks and a gourmet meal. Talk about perks!

Ok, I need to shut up now. Long story short, I LOVE my internship. It’s the best work experience I’ve ever had by a long shot. I know I mentioned several wonderful benefits of working at DLPR but the main reason I wake up wanting to go to work is because I’m surrounded by positive, caring and down-to-earth people. It makes all the difference!

“Well, we have a lot of corn”

These were the intelligent and elegant words I used to describe the state of Ohio last night. Thanks to a family friend born in Australia, I was connected with a lovely Australian family that graciously invited me to their house for dinner. 

Ginta and her husband have 3 kids. They have 18-year old twins. The boy, Ziggy, just returned home after a few months backpacking through Europe. The girl, Vida, just started at Duke University in the States. The oldest daughter who’s my age, Vilija, lives at home and works in North Sydney. Ginta’s husband works full-time as a lawyer. Ginta spends her days running A LOT and taking care of their beloved border collie, Felix. 

After meeting Ginta one afternoon for lunch she extended the invitation to join her and her family for dinner. I gladly accepted! When I arrived at her home, she showed me where I’d be staying (FYI, she lives just minutes from my work so I spent the night!). I stayed downstairs in her daughter’s room.

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Her home was absolutely beautiful and reminded me of the home I stayed at in Lyon, France. Bedrooms and laundry on the basement floor, living room and kitchen on the main floor and more bedrooms upstairs. The interior was very sleek and modern with very few decorations.

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One of the first members of the family I met was their 5-year-old Border Collie, Felix. They are a bit obsessed with their dog, to say the least. He got fed before we did and their Wifi network is even named after him! Ginta had to rush me to work early so she could exercise Felix! He’s the king of the house and he’s truly treated like royalty!

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After I got settled in my room, I headed upstairs to Australian cheese and crackers for an appetizer. I also had a glass of white Australian wine! I told them about my adventures in Australia so far as we waited for the rest of the food to cook.

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We were all pretty hungry and ready to eat by the time all the food was done! Ginta had had her last training session before her next marathon, The Chicago Marathon! She leaves this Thursday and when she’s done she’ll have complained 10 marathons at age 57! She’s hoping to complete, I mean she WILL complete the world tour of marathons. Truly an inspiration and a bit crazy, I might add! Anyways, my hunger was soon relieved after this…

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That’s a salad with avocado and cucumber, “Falling” Lamb with 5 Indian spices, pasta salad with broccolini, spinach, butternut squash and cheese cubes, roasted eggplant and zucchini and roasted potatoes that I couldn’t fit on my plate! Everything was DELICIOUS and a much needed change from my usual spaghetti in a can!

At dinner, we talked about everything from cool places I should try to go to in Sydney (like a great gelato place!) and President Obama to my family and the different things that make Ohio…Ohio. As mentioned earlier, my first answer was “we have a lot of corn” but I was also able to tell them about Buckeyes, perch and walleye fish, cattle, our flat farmlands and our state slogan. BUT, I had to look up the state flower because Ginta was curious and she stumped me on that one!

After dinner I made the whole family take a family photo with me. We experimented with the self-timer and like any family photo it came out a bit…dysfunctional. But, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

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After just one night with this family, I felt at home even though I’m a 24-hr plane ride from my actual home in Toledo, Ohio. I laughed some, learned some and most of all, experienced what it’s like to be a part of a true and AWESOME Aussie family! 

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This was out on the back balcony where I enjoyed my morning cereal before work. I could get used to that! I’m hoping to reconnect with the Viliunas family when we Ginta returns from Chicago. Until then, I can mark “Have dinner with an Aussie family” off my Australia bucket list!

My Mum Always Told Me…

“If you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance!” These popular lyrics taken from Lee Ann Womack’s song, I Hope You Dance will forever remind me of the bond between me and my mom. Every time I accomplish a goal, set out on a new journey or take a big step in my life, my mom sends me the I Hope You Dance music video. Every time I watch it, I end up in tears just thinking about all the great memories, the triumphs, the struggles and the hard work that have gotten me to where I am today. 

Spending 10 weeks abroad in Australia is definitely a new journey so, of course, my mom sent me the music video. I don’t take every verse literally. Meaning you won’t literally find me breaking it down in the middle of the dance floor. Unless of course the cupid shuffle or the electric slide comes on! But if you’re asking me to dance with any sort of rhythm…count me out. 

I’ve officially been Australia for a month now and I’ve had many moments where I thought about Lee Ann Womack’s lyrics and decided not to sit it out. Instead, I got out on that dance floor and busted a move!

Sitting it out would be finishing my last semester at Ohio University and graduating early.

Dancing would be flying to Sydney, Australia for a 10 week internship and graduating in May.

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Mom didn’t want me to go.

 

Sitting it out would be staying in the apartment on a Tuesday evening and going to bed early.

Dancing would be watching an American country singer, Alan Jackson live in Allphones Arena.

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Sitting it out would be snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.

Dancing would be scuba diving and having a total panic attack.

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Sitting it out would be complaining about my internship.

Dancing would be learning to love it more and more everyday!

I got to take some free goodies home the other day!

Sitting it out would be reading my Bible alone without community.

Dancing would be finding a church and getting involved in a bible study.

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C3 Church in Sydney

Sitting it out would be paying a $10 fine to get my keys out of my locked room.

Dancing would be climbing through my window instead.

Sitting it out would be eating this.

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Dancing would be eating this.

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Kangaroo meat!

Sitting it out would be spending a Sunday morning in bed.

Dancing would be participating in the Sydney Running Festival and running across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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Sitting it out would be spending every weekend in Sydney.

Dancing would be finding new places to explore.

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Beautiful Bar Beach in Newcastle

Sitting it out would be sleeping in on workday mornings.

Dancing would be going for a run along the harbour.

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My view every morning!

Everyday I find a new way to “dance”. A new way to experience wonder. A new way to open a door even if another closes. I encourage you to check out the music video and be inspired to always make the most out of every opportunity you have!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV-Z1YwaOiw

For your viewing pleasure!

 

A Lesson from Philippians

Philippians 4:13 is probably one of the most quoted verses in the  Bible. No doubt this verse has given believers the strength to overcome a variety of life issues from the loss of a loved one and addiction to obesity and break-ups. I, personally, have heard this verse hundreds of times but never really took the time to think about it and grasp its true meaning. Have you ever wondered what the context of this verse is? This morning I took the time to find out.

No matter where you are in the world, a Saturday morning spent  enjoying a vanilla latte and a fresh-baked muffin with a Bible in your hand is a GOOD morning! As I sat in a quaint little cafe in the beautiful city of Sydney, I reflected on Philippians 4:11-13. I thought I would share what I learned in hopes that it might impact your day like it did mine!

The verses read as follows: “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether hungry or well fed, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”

After reading this verse a few times, I began to think about my time here in Australia so far. I’ve done some pretty incredible things and seen some pretty incredible views. Needless to say, right now I have plenty. WAY more than I deserve! Yet, at times I’ve found myself still wanting more! Everyday I’m surrounded by thousands of busy businessmen and women trying to get to work on time in a big city. I’ve felt lost. I’ve felt at home. I’ve felt happy and sad. Living in a big city like Sydney has left me wanting more because at times I’ve felt like I’m just in any other big city, going to work, coming home and having dinner, passing out at 9pm and getting up and doing it all over again. Where are all the kangaroos hopping around? The beautiful shorelines and tropical temperatures? I want more! I want more!

This morning I came to the realization that I’m 21 years old and I’m in Australia pursuing my dreams! Most people don’t get this opportunity in their whole lifetime. What am I doing telling myself I need more? God has given me SO many blessings. He has given me WAY beyond what I could ever deserve. Not just because I’m in Australia but because I have a personal relationship with a God that’s loving and faithful.

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These verses also taught me that no matter what’s going on in my life, I know that all my strength comes from Jesus. I’m certainly not strong enough to endure this life without him. I’m just a weak, clueless little girl but with God by my side I’m a strong, independent and confident young woman! So strong I can jump really high!

So far this trip has involved countless smiles and “wow” moments. Just yesterday I had the opportunity to have an $11 glass of wine 47 stories above Sydney at a revolving restaurant! It took an hour and 45 minutes to make a complete circle and we stayed almost the whole time! As I looked out at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House under the full moon, I was overwhelmed with joy. It was probably one of the most AMAZING things I’ve ever experienced in my life. This morning I realized that I should be rejoicing in the Lord every time those moments happen. He’s the one that gave me the strength to get to where I am today. He’s the one that brought me to Sydney. He’s the one that blesses me each and every day.

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Luckily, I haven’t been terribly homesick yet. But I know that by the end of the 10 weeks I’ll be crying for my momma and my boyfriend and little old Toledo, Ohio. I am too weak to handle this experience on my own. However, I know that when homesickness kicks in my God will give me the strength to be content with my situation. To enjoy each moment, whether tears are falling down my face or I’m smiling so hard my cheeks quiver.

This morning I learned that God not only gives me the strength to face each day but that I should always feel content no matter the circumstances. Things won’t always go MY way. There will be times when I feel in need even when I have plenty. There will be times when I am literally hungry and get irritated because a hamburger here in Sydney costs $15 dollars. There will be times when I feel alone but God is always by my side encouraging me, blessing me and giving me strength!

His love even showed through my latte this morning 🙂

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Just a little lost girl in a BIG, BIG city

So I had the opportunity to pet kangaroos, take a picture with a koala, scuba at the Great Barrier Reef and take a picture next to the iconic Sydney Opera House. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of being a tourist in Australia. However, this past Monday it was time for me to start taking on the role of an intern, a very, very lost intern but an intern nonetheless. For the next  nine weeks I will be spending most of my time at Dani Lombard Public Relations. It’s a small boutique agency run by four GIRLS! Can you believe that?!  They specialize in health and beauty products that are sustainable and organic. I work Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5:30pm. And no I don’t get paid… Here’s a little look at how my first week interning went.

dlpr sign

 

 

Monday: I set out to catch the train around 8am and successfully got off at the right stop. However, I had very little success finding my bus stop and the right bus for that matter. I had no map and no access to Google Maps on my phone so I literally had no idea where I was besides the brief directions I wrote down on my notepad. I never could have imagined how hard Sydney’s public transport was going to be. I ended up missing my bus, calling up my work and then hopping on the next available bus. When I finally did catch the right bus, I got off on the wrong stop and ended up walking what seemed like five miles until I finally found Dani Lombard! I arrived 30 minutes late and sweaty but happy to finally be there! Australians are much more laidback in the workplace than in the US. Me arriving 30 minutes late received a “No worries at all” response from my co-workers. That morning I looked through different Aussie magazines and newspapers to get a feel for what they were like. Then I walked down the street with my supervisor Zoe and studied magazines at the news agency to see if any of their products made it into the magazines. If they did, we bought the magazine. Luckily, I had a short day at work and I was able to leave at noon to enjoy Balmoral beach just minutes from Dani Lombard!

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Taking a selfie at Balmoral Beach in my work clothes

Tuesday: Thought I might have better luck with public transport. Nope, I nearly missed my bus in the morning and had to run it down. Apparently I wasn’t at a designated bus stop so the bus driver completely ignored me as I tapped on the door. I walked quickly alongside the bus with my pouty face on until he finally opened the door for me at a red light. People on that bus probably thought I was crazy! I had to run down my bus BUT I made it to work on time. I had so much fun at work this day. I met my co-worker Sam who gives me most of my tasks. She still goes to school and works at Dani Lombard two days a week. A majority of our day was spent dying sugar different colors! They have a green tea client and wanted to show the sugar content of their green tea compared to beverages like coke, Redbull, vitamin water, etc. I made two trips to the store for sugar, food coloring and more sugar. I also learned how to update their media list and format coverage they receive in magazines. All the coverage is stored in a nice little binder according to client. On the way home I got COMPLETELY lost after I got off the bus! I went to the nearest train station I saw and it ended up that none of the trains went to where I needed to go. Luckily, I asked a random guy on the street and he directed me to the right train station. It took me a good hour and a half to get home.

Wednesday: I got up at 6am for a run next to the bay. It’s just minutes from my place and absolutely beautiful. Hundreds of sailboats are docked up and gorgeous homes are nestled into the hillside overlooking the water. So glad I found this little gem! Did I tell you guys how active people in Australia are? I felt like a slacker getting up at 6am just to run because the park was filled with people running, sprinting, doing crunches, doing burpees, doing yoga. You name it, people were up and kicking butt at sunrise! I returned home to shower and eat breakfast. Once again, I got confused getting off the train. I ended up going in the wrong direction for quite a while and had to backtrack. Once I finally got to the bus stop I still caught the bus because it was late. A nice lady who knew the bus system helped me out. At least I have friendly Aussies to help when I’m walking around like a lost puppy! At work I finished labeling the test tubes from the sugar displays and filled them all with the colored sugar. It was neat to see the final product come together. I also learned how to send out products to different editors in hopes that they will put the product in their magazine. I also filed some media coverage into the appropriate client binder. My commute home was actually successful and I didn’t get lost. This gave me hope for a perfect commute the next day.

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Rushcutters Bay Park where I run in the morning

Thursday: I got up and ran again and discovered that if you continued along the path you could see the Harbour bridge and much of the city. It was spectacular! Today was the day of public transport success! I boarded the train, exited the train station and found my bus stop flawlessly. My bus came and I ended up in Mosman (the suburb I work in) 30 minutes early. I had extra time to stop and get myself a vanilla latte. It was my little reward for finding my way! Today it was only me and my supervisor Zoe in the office. It was kind of nice and peaceful. I spent most of the day calling around different newspapers to see if they were planning on running a Christmas gift guide. If so, I had to take down their contact information and deadline. It was quite the learning experience. I wondered what they all thought hearing an American accent on the phone. For the most part, people were much nicer than they would have been in the US. I only got hung up on once! I also filed media coverage, formatted coverage, restocked shelves with product, organized product send-outs and booked a courier. They just come right to your home or office and hand deliver whatever you want! I had never heard of the concept of a courier before starting at Dani Lombard. Maybe I’m too young to understand? I also found head shots of beauty editors for an upcoming event and researched prices for a new vacuum since the company vacuum died. My commute home was also flawless!

By the end of the week, I absolutely loved my job and I finally started to figure out how to get there. Everyday I do something different and I learn something new at Dani Lombard. My co-workers are the nicest people in the world and it’s such a fun, laid back workplace. I can’t wait to see what week two has in store! Hopefully more successful commutes 🙂

My GlobaLinks Intern Family

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Moving to a foreign country for 10 weeks can be tough for a variety of reasons. Having a group of people surrounding you during the process makes it a whole lot easier. When I arrived in Los Angeles to board my international flight I met most of the other GlobaLinks interns. If I didn’t meet them there, I met them in Cairns during the orientation program. They are all great people, from a range of different places, doing a range of different things while in Australia. I thought it would be interesting to list all the interns, where they come from and what they’re doing here. Enjoy!

1. Eden Pascual

  • From: Girdwood, Alaska
  • Attends: University of Anchorage Alaska
  • Interns at: Sydney Children’s Hospital

2. Cary Plott

  • From: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Attended: University of South Carolina
  • Interns at: Creative Advertising Agency
  • Fun Fact: She’s here for a whole year!

3. Kamryn Fall

  • From: Victorville, California
  • Attends: California Polytechnic State University
  • Interns at: Spectrum Films (on the Fox Studios lot!)

4. Hanna Tappe

  • From: Pleasant Hill, California
  • Attends: California Polytechnic State University
  • Interns at: Iron Grip Gym

5. Lily Barnard

  • From: San Luis Obispo, California
  • Attends: California Polytechnic State University
  • Interns at: Iron Grip Gym

6. Fabian Virgies (the only guy!)

  • From: Chicago, Illinois
  • Attended: St. Ambrose University in Iowa
  • Interns at: Health gym

7. Brenna Liddle

  • From: Camas, Washington
  • Attended: Central Washington University
  • Interns at: Captain Cook Cruises

8. Amberly Condon

  • From: Quispamsis, New Brunswick in Canada
  • Attended: St. Thomas NB
  • Interns at: Brain and Mind Research Institute

9. Rayna Davis

  • From: Camarillo, California
  • Attended: California Polytechnic State University
  • Interns at: Cancer Council

10. Hanna Henderson

  • From: Lexington, Tennessee
  • Attends: University of Memphis
  • Interns at: Food and Nutrition Australia

11. Rhonnie Embres

  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Attends: University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Interns at: Gianacas Argiris McDonald Solicitors in Newcastle

12. LE Wolfram

  • From: Coppell, Texas
  • Attends: Texas State University
  • Interns at: Glen Waverley Secondary College in Melbourne

13. Rachael Leung

  • From: Renton, Washington
  • Attends: Washington State University
  • Interns at: Wedding Planning on Hamilton Island

So far, I have really enjoyed getting to know all the other interns. They are all very different but easy to get along with. I am super pumped about the diversity of our group because we not only get to learn about Aussie culture but we’re learning about each others cultures within the US (and Canada!). I can’t wait to learn more about each intern as the weeks pass here in Sydney! G’day for now, mates!