Beauty in the Mess

In 26 years I have been to 26 countries, some of those twice even thrice but I have never done a solo trip. After a long 18 months of getting my mental health back on track I made the last minute decision to pick up and leave for a 3 week adventure to New Zealand, solo. I had three weeks between booking to departure and for anyone that knows me this is a big deal. I am someone who likes things organised in advance with hours of planning and preparation, but I did the unthinkable for me and I booked within 2 hours of finding the deal of a lifetime. YOLO right?! After a year and half of rebuilding myself it was time to concrete my progress with a final soul-searching chapter to cement how far I’d come. And did I ever!

On my way to the airport a mini panic attack set in and a rush of silly thoughts overcame me “what are you doing, why did you do this, what if?” This was the first time travel has ever made me nervous, nervous of the unknown and with no travel companion to fall back on. I quickly snapped back to reality of what was happening, I am doing this I told myself and I will never wait for anyone to come with me because I have too much to see in this beautiful world. Don’t hold back!

When you travel solo you learn to embrace all the people, all the places and you truly make the most of all the experiences that lie front of you. One thing I loved is how often I was shut away from social media when wifi or service was not available. At first you crave for the habit of grabbing your phone and at times wanting to show the world all the amazing experiences you’re apart of, but soon shutting away from the tech-savvy world was so incredibly detoxing and the feeling to check your phone constantly passes.

I hiked a freakin’ glacier, jumped into a canyon with a 60m freefall, ziplined through the canopies, hiked and biked. Tested myself and my abilities and was rewarded at every corner in rail, hail or shine. Not every day is the same, there are ups, there are downs but you learn to roll with the punches. You meet amazing people along your journey and you learn to be more capable to do what you want alone and enjoy it. The sense of freedom you get when you travel solo is just different to all the other times I have travelled, I really just felt at peace even when my day started before the sun rose. Imagine just sitting on a picturesque cliff face at sunrise, dancing under a waterfall or taking a morning hike without having to make conversation with anyone.

Traveling alone has become a new part of my reality. I absolutely love doing it and I’ve learned many lessons along the way. The best relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself and this trip gave me the chance to slow down and reflect on many aspects of my life; how far I have come, what I have achieved and the more I want to achieve. I am more self-assured than I have ever been, I know who I am, what I want and I refuse to settle for anything less than I deserve. My spirit has been renewed in the most positive way, I have become more fearless and confident in figuring out things on my own. I don’t want to say I jumped out of my comfort zone, but instead I have stretched its boundaries and my capabilities. Once you take the plunge, you’ll feel a sense of empowerment. A successful solo trip can inspire you to tackle even more things in life you’ve been afraid to try and bring back the beauty of you within the mess.

The journey isn’t about becoming a different person, but loving who you are right now.

FACT: The best stories are found between the pages of your passport.

Because I will have to wonder for the rest of my life why I wasn’t enough…

The scariest part is not feeling the loneliness or the darkness that fills you despite the looming pain of emptiness. It is the realisation that you’ve completely lost yourself. You lay there all hours of the night not being able to sleep and you cannot cry because you’ve lost the ability to care. Not enough words can string together to describe all of the pain, the guilt and the self-doubt I have suffered through.

Heartbreak is breaking down in the middle of a busy street, seeing their face in all the people that pass you by. It’s feeling okay for weeks at a time and then all of a sudden, you feel the ghost of them upon you; around you and the memories begin to choke you up. Heartbreak is waking up from dreams of them coming back into your life and your chest begins to ache. You learnt my secrets, my scars and all my flaws and then used them against me. Sometimes I want to wake up not remembering anything about you!

I still struggle knowing that I loved you to the point I sacrificed my own happiness for you. I became a watered down version of myself, fading into the background of your life, afraid of saying the wrong thing. All I craved was effort, to feel appreciated and to be shown affection. The treatment I deserved! I gave my time, effort, patience and love into something that felt like situational hell in the end. I was trying to be good enough for someone who was comfortable mishandling my heart. It’s a lonely feeling when someone you care about becomes a stranger.


Somewhere along the way I gave up. I got tired of always trying to make everything okay and apologising, because I wanted you in my life. I was hoping for things to go back to the way they used to be , then I realised you didn’t care. But then came the point when I drew a line and I made a decision for both of us. Moving past it all is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure, especially when I saw our future. I’ve had to allow myself to be sad, I’ve had to allow my self to be angry (for which I still am) and I’ve had to learn to love myself again. Time will heal those wounds and rather than avoiding the bruises, it’s about collecting the scars and fighting to become a better version of myself.

“I’m never going to be the girl who’s okay with being controlled, and I’m never going to to be the girl who’s okay with being half loved… I’m also never going to be the girl who apologises for those things, ever again.” – Cici. B | The Crimson Kiss

I stood by your side; I didn’t walk away, you pushed me away. Somedays I still have to take a deep breath and remind myself that not everyone will break me like you did. Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.

Travel with your bestie.

Travel has been a top priority in my life for over a decade, what started with a family trip to Thailand blossomed into 26 countries by the time I reached twenty-six. I have been blessed to see this magnificent world with family, work colleagues and a few of my best friends.
Travelling is the truest test of friendship.Travelling with someone really gets deep down to the bare root of your friendship: how similar nor not you really are? Many people are not so lucky to have an amazing travel partner (one of my first trips was very hit & miss) because it’s tough to find a friend who travels the same way as you.
But when you do find that friend or in my lucky case 2 best friends & you find out it works out, well girl you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ve truly found this best kind of friendship, nothing compares! Travelling with a bestie makes you see yourself through their eyes and self examine yourself. They push you & you get to understand yourself better.

The Travelling with your Bestie Stages:

1. So excited you could pee yourself.

2. You meet at the airport – ADVENTURE BEGINS…

3. You both talk yourselves stupid and pass out.

4. Destination reached – this will be the best trip ever.

5. You’re jetlagged but explore through your delirium.

6. First night and you pass out. The struggle is real!

7. You drag yourselves out of bed read to visit new places and experience new things.

8. You miss tours, eat & drink way too much, you get sick, take tonnes of pictures, have an absolute ball and help each other tolerate the boring shit!

9. Eventually it all comes to an end and you hugging good-bye at the airport ready to get home. Give it one night and you already miss having them around 24/7.

You come home with a million memories, too many inside jokes to bore your other friends with and maybe a few hoe stories [ that one night in Gili 😉 ]. And do not get me started on all the Insta Pics! “Girl you know how I like to work this lens”. We can demand fifty retakes just to nail that perfect traveller pic.

You encourage one another to step out of your comfort zones, you learn from each other and learn more about your bestie, understanding them on a deeper level. When you travel with your bestie nothing holds you back. You know all there is to know about them and you’re never ashamed, not even with bathroom habits, getting nakie or telling them you just can’t be effed today! It’s all laid on the table.

The connection you have strengthens from these incredible experiences. You will always be close and ready to plan the next epic adventure as you suffer from low-key separation anxiety.

So girls…. Where’s next? It’s bad manners to keep a holiday!

Create your own serenity.

You have to find that place that brings out the human in you, the soul in you, the love in you. – r.m. drake

We live in a world where people are ashamed to face and confront themselves, their past, their hurts and their wounds. We pretend to be happy when we’re not, painting the outside in bright and shiny colours when the inside is in ruins. We care more about what other people think of us than we do about how we feel. Why do we do this?

There is so much we try and keep hidden from ourselves and from those around us, things that have caused us so much pain and suffering. All those dark, ugly and painful memories and thoughts. A lot that we would rather forget happened. In the past I have always been one to keep it all buried deep down inside than it bring back to the surface. But the truth is that until we come to terms with what has happened and we cleanse ourselves, we cannot heal all our past wounds nor can we truly move forward with new goals, new friendships and new loves. And those painful experiences will continue to have power over us and we’ll continue to be their victims. It all begins and ends with your mind. What you give power to, has the power over you, if you allow it.

One day it just clicks; you realise what’s important and what isn’t anymore. You learn to care less what other people think of you and more about what you think of yourself. You will realise how far you’ve come and you remember when you thought things were such a mess that you would never recover. And you smile. You smile because you are truly proud of yourself and the person you’ve fought to become.

“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls your life” – Akshay Dubey

“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there. Cry it out, pick yourself up and then refocus on where you are headed. Happiness is a habit. Cultivate it!” – Elbert Hubbard

And remember to live everyday with intention. Daily life can be busy, hectic and sometimes overwhelming. It may sometimes feel like finding some inner peace and calmness is hopeless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Small and smart changes over time can bring great rewards.

Nic’s Habits to START TODAY.

  • Think positive
  • Drink more water
  • Wake up early – enjoy the whole day, you will be surprises what you will accomplish and the time you have for you.
  • Go to bed early – get those 8-9 hours
  • Eat wholesome foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get outdoors, enjoy nature
  • Read more
  • Do you to-do lists
  • Face your fears
  • Set goals; long & short term
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Put yourself first for a change
  • Learn new things
  • Don’t fear failure
  • Its okay to say no
  • Slow down
  • Declutter your world, declutter your mind
  • Journal and talk to someone (friend, family or therapist)
  • Never give up on your dreams
  • And start TODAY

Do You Examine Your Life Enough?

I like to be a life-examiner; I journal, I blog and I now talk through my experiences, emotions & reactions to help me understand my life. I can now easily say “Yes” to the question of my blog, but can you?

Most will probably say maybe or I don’t know? If that is you, take the next few moments to really analyse yourself. Take a step back and examine your life and where you are in it. If you love your answers,  great! But if you don’t like your answers, then that is where the work on yourself begins. In the coming weeks I will address my own answers but for now, grab a journal or a piece of paper and see where these questions take you? It’s a rainy Sunday and reflection time sets me up for the week ahead.

“Self-reflection is a humbling process. It’s essential to find out why you think, say, and do certain things… then better yourself.” – Author Sonya Teclai,

20 Questions Every Woman Should Ask Herself.

  1. What do you really want in this moment, right now?
  2. How do I want to be loved?
  3. Who do I need to forgive?
  4. Am I in my body?
  5. Do I love myself exactly as I am now?
  6. What did I love as a child?
  7. What would I love to learn?
  8. What is my super power?
  9. When was the last time I felt truly joyful?
  10. Who is my community?
  11. What is beautiful to me & do I have some of that in my life?
  12. What can I let go of?
  13. Do I know the sound of my own true voice?
  14. What practise consistently brings me home to myself?
  15. What do I want my legacy to be?
  16. What have I done for myself today?
  17. What is my story?
  18. Have I planned for my own death and my survivors?
  19. How can I speak with more love today?
  20. Can I ask a better question?

Image result for quotes about self-reflection

Armidale, I’m Frustrated!

So this week’s post is different to my normal blog topics, I had something else to post but today’s events really were ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ and made me so frustrated I needed to type it out.

I was not born here, I was born wayyyyy out West where things are not your everyday delight. My father was Police Officer and we lived in some not so amazing towns. We moved to Armidale where my parents were both from in 1998. I’ve always loved this town, freezing weather and all. I have always felt at peace here in this cute regional town set in the heart of The New England. It was an amazing place to grow up with great schools and a University, wonderful families and plenty of sporting. I appreciated having enough around me not to be spoilt and to really learn to make the most of my life. I moved away 2 years ago and still always felt Armidale was home. I may not live the rest of my life here but it always will have a soft spot in my heart. When I moved back in October to work on me with the support of being back with family, friends and a community I still loved, I was excited to be a part of it again. Man have I been disappointed.

The past few months have passed way too quickly, I have joined a few community pages and I have been extremely frustrated at the behaviour from some of the residents of this town. From break-ins to personal attacks, this town has started to slide but the most horrific part is noticing how much we do not support one another like we use to. We all know social media can be the devil and everyone loves a whinge online but one thing I do not get is how a group of humans can be so cruel and disgusting to one another. What happened to support, something I now rarely see. I’ve never personally had issues blow up for all in this town to see and make judgement on, but to come back home and see residents sitting behind their screens being absolute tossers to each other and getting a kick from it is appalling. Some of you really are a bunch cowards! Are we no better than our cavemen ancestors with this type of behaviour?

I have been reading a book called the Life Changing Magin of not Giving a F**K and it really has helped with my personal demons such as anxiety and anger, and it has opened up my eyes to only allowing good vibes into my life, being a better and kinder person and also getting rid of the toxicity in my life. I really do not know how so many people can bring such bad vibes into their own lives and the lives of others. So many of you thrive on the social communication of ripping into others just to cure what, your own boredom?! How can you thrive on such negativity? How purposeful is your life, really?

I get that there are some people who do morally incorrect things in this life, but remember we all have our own demons and no one is perfect. Terrible things happen in this life and some of this community do horrible things, but let the Law decide their judgement or if you’re religious let your own God judge them. What gives you the idea to think it is okay to slander, belittle and openly ridicule.

I am frustrated Armidale, frustrated that a community I once loved is turning on one another more often than it is supporting fellow residents, I’m frustrated that you’re creating drama for entertainment and that you feel you need to comment on the life of others publicly.

When we were children we were taught about bullies and how that affects the life of another, and in a world full of high depression, anxiety and suicide rates you feel it okay to fuel that fire.

I ask you this, who have you supported this week, who have you thanked this week, what have you been grateful for this week and who have your empathised with this week? Are you finding you have less support around you, that people are less grateful and more rude and that you’re annoyed at others? Well it starts with you, STEP UP Armidale and make a change!

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.”


When we know who we are, we are more able to live with intention. As most of you already know, this past year has been a journey of rediscovery for me; who am I and where do I want to be in life? For a month now I have been super quiet, apologies! I’ve been reflecting on the past, finding out where I am at right now and mapping out what’s next for me.

After a lot of journaling over the Christmas/New Year break, some quality me time and catching up with a friend I have not had one on one time with in way too long, I had one of those light bulb moments. That moment people call an ‘Epiphany’, but I like to refer to it as ‘Metanoia’; the journey of changing one’s mind, heart, self, or way of life.

I found myself saying “I value who I am, I love my life, I know I am worthy and after ever hurdle look how much I have accomplished.” I can proudly say I am so content with where I am and who I am right now. For so long I have been trying so hard to get back to that girl I once knew, the one who I felt was taken away from me. I loved that version of me but I am not her anymore. I still hold onto her dreams, her values, her optimism but as life’s hurdles approach us, they shape us, move us and we grow.

If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation. – Jiddu Krishnamurti

You may feel very secure in that pond you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know there is such a thing as an ocean. Holding onto something that is bad or good for now, may be the very reason why you don’t have anything better. Close your eyes and envision where you see your life in five years. Don’t get hung up on the details you feel you’re suppose to know (career, savings, marital status) but instead focus on the aspects of your future that are important. Do you see yourself in a new city, learning a new hobby or feeling a certain way? Can you ever be sure you are on the right path in life? What path do you see yourself on now, describe it to yourself. Did you have to make sacrifices to get there? What would you change?

Life isn’t fair, but its good. I find it great, but we all have our lows. When in doubt just take that next small step. Life is too short to fill your life with things and people that no longer serve greater purpose in your life. Burn candles, use the nice sheets, wear that fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special! Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful. And no matter how you feel, get up, get dressed and show up because those simple steps helped me more than you know and the best is yet to come.

I ask you this: Is there a difference between happiness and fulfillment? What does it take for you to be happy? What does it take for you to be fulfilled? Are the qualities the same?