Monthly Archives: September 2015

Simple beach house getaway with your hunny for some R&R

Sometimes all you need is a little weekend away to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Your hunny having a holiday house to escape to on the Central Coast makes this a little easier.

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It was my first weekend back in Australia after three weeks away in wintery Europe, a beach escape was just what I needed. Yes, I had been travelling and recovered from my travel with more travel but this is just my life. Travel for travel. I love it. We drove just an hour north of Sydney to the area of Umina. Beachside towns in Australia just have a certain feel and it reminded me of holidays when I was young.

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We did lunch, we cooked at home, we walked to the beach, we read books and played some board games. We really just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. For a couple that spends quite a bit of time apart, this was perfect for us.

The beach was simple and the sun was out. We could have done activities, but just playing in the water was perfect.

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At night, we thought about attending the cinema. A lovely little set up in the town, but again, it was best for us just to enjoy our own space and time.

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It rained on the Monday but we didn’t mind at all. The ducks who have taken over the street loved it, and we went out to meet them. Such a bizarre sight to see. Hundreds of ducks spread out over the street, sitting under trees, on neighbours lawns and in small pools they’ve placed out for them.

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If you can’t get away on a big trip in the near future, I highly recommend looking to a local spot. A country hideaway, a mountains escape or a beach break. Check out Air B’n’B or if you have a friend with a house in a different location, maybe do a swap. It doesn’t have to cost a bomb, it just has to be different.

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My epic two days of travel has nothing on that of the Syrian Refugees journey

As I arrived to Munich the other day after more than 45 hours of travel across 5 countries, on 5 planes and in a number of cars and buses, I felt guilty. As I looked out over the beautiful land of Germany from high above, I remembered that below me are hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees travelling by rail, road and foot in the hope of securing safety.

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My view as I arrived to Germany on the 10th September 2015

A woman carries a boy after crossing Greece's border into Macedonia near Gevgelija, Macedonia, August 22, 2015. Thousands of migrants stormed across Macedonia's border on Saturday, overwhelming security forces who threw stun grenades and lashed out with batons in an increasingly futile bid to stem their flow through the Balkans to western Europe. Some had spent days in the open with little or no access to food or water after Macedonia on Thursday declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders to migrants, many of them refugees from war in Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski  - RTX1P7YZ

A woman carries a boy after crossing Greece’s border into Macedonia near Gevgelija, Macedonia, August 22, 2015. Thousands of migrants stormed across Macedonia’s border on Saturday, overwhelming security forces who threw stun grenades and lashed out with batons in an increasingly futile bid to stem their flow through the Balkans to western Europe. Some had spent days in the open with little or no access to food or water after Macedonia on Thursday declared a state of emergency and sealed its borders to migrants, many of them refugees from war in Syria and other conflicts in the Middle East. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski – RTX1P7YZ

How can I sit here and bemoan my travel, travel that will lead me to see my dear friends and enjoy a holiday. I chose my modes of travel. I have the funds to make my journey more comfortable. I also have the voice to complain or to raise an issue when I have one. How can I be upset about a nervous flyer and a crying child on a plane, these people are surrounded by fear and desperation as they worry for their futures.

Afghan immigrants land at a beach on the Greek island of Kos after crossing a portion of the south-eastern Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece on a dinghy early May 27, 2015. Despite the bad weather at least a dingy with over thirty migrants made the dangerous voyage to Greece. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1EPUP

Afghan immigrants land at a beach on the Greek island of Kos after crossing a portion of the south-eastern Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece on a dinghy early May 27, 2015. Despite the bad weather at least a dingy with over thirty migrants made the dangerous voyage to Greece. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX1EPUP

Tears began to roll down my face as I remembered this video I saw the other day. Germans welcomed Syrian refugees who arrived by train to Munich after a long and difficult journey. What compassion, what care, such love!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34162844

BBC Video

BBC Video

Syria Crisis Response – statistics (Courtesy of World Vision Australia)

  • Total number in need of assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries: over 16 million (UNOCHA)
  • Refugees: 4 million (UNHCR)
  • Internally Displaced Persons:6 million (UNOCHA)
  • People in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria : 12.2 million (UN)
  • Global humanitarian appeal for Syria crisis for 2015: US$7.4 billion
  • Australia’s ‘fair share of the global appeal for 2015: AUD$144 million, but it has only pledged AUD$20 million for 2015.
  • Number of people killed in Syrian conflict to date: 220,000 (INGOs)
A baby cries at the border line dividing Macedonia and Greece August 21, 2015. At least 1,000 migrants and refugees pressed against Macedonian police lines on the Greek-Macedonian border on Friday and at least 10 people appeared to faint in the crush. People could be heard screaming and medical workers raced to treat those who passed out or were hurt. The crush ensued after police let several hundred through into Macedonia, having kept them out since Thursday under an emergency decree. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski - RTX1P3HW

A baby cries at the border line dividing Macedonia and Greece August 21, 2015. At least 1,000 migrants and refugees pressed against Macedonian police lines on the Greek-Macedonian border on Friday and at least 10 people appeared to faint in the crush. People could be heard screaming and medical workers raced to treat those who passed out or were hurt. The crush ensued after police let several hundred through into Macedonia, having kept them out since Thursday under an emergency decree. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski – RTX1P3HW

I am so blessed to travel and to see the world and to understand it is bigger than I am. It’s easy to get caught up in your day to day and worry about things that seem important. Please take a moment today to count your blessings – think of the things you do have. The greatest thing I know I have is my freedom. I live in a country free of war and I am able to live my life in peace. For so many, this is not a reality.

Please donate now to World Vision Australia’s Syria appeal

We saw that our voices have power. The Australian Government under public pressure have agreed to take in 12000 Syrian refugees, over and above the existing refugee quota. They’ve also agreed to give $44 million in aid support within Syria to those affected who remain.You can sign the petition here to lobby the Australian Government to give more support to Syrian Refugees: https://action.savethechildren.org.au/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1917&ea.campaign.id=41897

A Syrian refugee holds her child in her arms as she sits in the port of the Greek island of Kos waiting to be registered and move with her family to the "Eleftherios Venizelos" vessel August 15, 2015. United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) called on Greece to take control of the "total chaos" on Mediterranean islands, where thousands of migrants have landed. About 124,000 have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis - RTX1OCU3

A Syrian refugee holds her child in her arms as she sits in the port of the Greek island of Kos waiting to be registered and move with her family to the “Eleftherios Venizelos” vessel August 15, 2015. United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) called on Greece to take control of the “total chaos” on Mediterranean islands, where thousands of migrants have landed. About 124,000 have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis – RTX1OCU3

World Vision’s response

World Vision, Oxfam and Save the Children have launched a joint public campaign appealing the Australian Government to:

  1. Increase Australia’s overall intake of refugees to 30,000 – not just Syrians, but for refugees from all countries seeking safety,
  2. Commit its fair share of humanitarian aid for Syria and neighbouring countries, and
  3. Increase diplomatic efforts towards securing a peace agreement to end the conflict in Syria.

Sign the petition here!

Some of my moaning on Facebook. I laugh at my ignorance and my frivolous “first world problems”.

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I know when my journey ends. I know when I’ve reached my destination and when I can rest. Tonight I hold in my thoughts and prayers those who are still travelling, who do not know where the final destination is or if there will be safety there.

Note: I am part of the World Vision Australia Blog Ambassadors program, #WVAbloggers. I am currently undertaking a one year contract with World Vision in the media team as a separate role to my World Vision job role. My views are my own.


R U OK? Day 2015

R u ok?

Thursday 10th September 2015 was R U OK DAY.

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How often do we ask this question? Generally it implies something is wrong. When you ask this question, you often get “Yeah, I’m fine, why?” It shouldn’t be unusual for us to ask someone are they ok – it should be frequent and it should also be normal for them to be able to answer “no, i’m not” if they are in need of help.

Talking is so important and sometimes just sharing with someone our worries, concerns and fears, it can lighten the burden. More often than not when you speak something out loud, it diminishes it’s power. “A problem shared is a problem halved.”

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I feel blessed to have family, friends and even kind strangers around me who have helped me through difficult times. I know that in a time of trouble I can say “I’m not ok” and there will be a support network around me to help me deal with this problem.

There are also incredible sites and resources you can visit to learn more and to get help:

R U OK?

What is r u ok day?

R U OK? is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Gavin Larkin in 2009, whose vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide. Accordingly, our mission is to encourage and equip everyone to regularly and meaningfully ask “are you ok?” 

Learn more at R u ok website : www.ruok.org.au

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Lifeline – Call 13 11 14

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Somewhere in Australia there is a new call to Lifeline every minute. People call Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis line 13 11 14 about:

  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Personal crisis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Abuse and trauma
  • Stresses from work, family or society
  • Self-help information for friends and family

For more information visit: https://www.lifeline.org.au/

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Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute is a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder.

For more information: www.blackdoginstitute.org.au

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In October 2015, I will travel to Bhutan to Trek for Happiness! I will be personally raising $3500 for the work of Black Dog Institute. I wish to support those living with mood disorders and to break the stigma that surrounds mental health. Each year, Black Dog Institute aims to advance the understanding, diagnosis and management of depression and Bipolar Disorder and improve the lives of those affected by these mood disorders. Please help me in my cause by donating through my page.

Sponsor here:http://bhutantrektohappiness.gofundraise.com.au/page/LovellyEmma

In Peru in 2012, trekking to Machu Picchu with Black Dog Institute

In Peru in 2012, trekking to Machu Picchu with Black Dog Institute


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