Coming Home

Here I am yet again, writing a blog post at 5am.

Yes, that was an unintentional rhyme and no, I don’t plan to make a poem out of this post. I just want to talk about something that people seem to glaze over when it comes to travelling: coming home.

I’ve never found it hard to leave home for an overseas adventure. For me, it’s like an escape from reality that lets me explore the world and experience all it has to offer. For anyone who’s read my post about my plane obsession, you’d know just how much I enjoy leaving the country to leap into the unknown.

But something I’ve recently discovered is a surprisingly strong dread towards the thought of coming home. Not the ‘seeing family and friends and sleeping in my own bed’ part, but the idea of returning to reality and having to fall back into old routines after such an exciting time abroad. It’s exactly what I’ve had to do over the past two days after returning from the states and honestly, I’m really struggling to stay sane. After 3 weeks of non-stop adventure in the big apple, life at home just seems mundane and boring in comparison.

I came home to an empty house, exactly as it was when I left it. My whole family is overseas on a West Coast road trip right now, so I’ve been tasked with the duty of manning the house and keeping the rabbits fed whilst trying to settle back into everyday life.

I know that I shouldn’t expect anything to be different, but I can’t help that it all feels different. There’s no rumble of the metro outside my window, or a symphony of honks and angry yells from impatient drivers on their daily commute into the city. There’s no spontaneous singing or JB’s remix of ‘Despacito’ blasting me awake each morning as a partially naked Steph runs around in a towel yelling about puddles. Without my two favourite travel buddies Caitlin and Steph by my side, the house just seems dull and foreboding, and it’s making me miss the hustle and bustle of the city merely 48 hours after leaving it. #theseperationanxietyisreal

In New York everything was non-stop and exciting 24/7. There was always an adventure to be had and curfews to break when an exciting opportunity arose in the middle of the night. There were cools Brits to meet downstairs in the basement of our hostel (don’t worry it was a perfectly safe kitchen/chill out area, not a congregation point for the local murderers appreciation society) and people to smash in ping pong 4 nights in a row #pingpongchamprighthere. I made so many new friends from all around the world over a cup of tea and nachos, and I can’t wait to meet many more next time I take a plunge into the unknown.

I guess all I can do now is try to create some sort of daily routine that will make life a bit easier for me in the coming weeks. I’ve got a uni intensive starting today (in T-minus 3.5 hours exactly, whoops) that should help keep me busy and productive, and I’m planning to catch up with some friends later in the week, so hopefully I don’t go completely insane and soon enough my next trip will roll around and I’ll be able to escape this city once more.

Adios Amigos *insert USA flag emoji*

 

Industry Lingo

jargon-meme.jpg

For my fellow ad students, and anyone interested to learn the meaning behind some terms you’ve probably heard in Mad Men, here’s a simple list of phrases I’ve picked up whilst working in adland:

Deck: A presentation document (usually powerpoint).

A lead: A potential or current customer that you’ve acquired through a campaign.

Specs: Specifications (ie. The size dimensions of a Facebook post).

Being ‘served’ an ad online: When you see a sponsored ad on your FB/IG feed, it means that you are being ‘served’ that ad by the platform. The same applies to any web banners or ads that you see online.

WIP: A ‘work in progress’ meeting, usually with the client, where people from different departments come to discuss where they’re at with their projects and get client feedback. There can be internal WIPs too, where you review content and get different people’s opinions.

Scrum: An internal meeting where people from different parts of the agencies come together to work on a specific problem and come up with a solution.

FMCG: ‘Fast Moving Consumer Group’ – ie. products that are sold quickly and at a low cost. Although this isn’t an ad industry term, you hear it thrown around quite a bit when you’re working with food companies.

Re-targeting: Ever wondered why you’re being served protein supplement ads after googling ‘healthy spinach smoothie’ recipe? That’s retargeting. Also known as ‘legal stalking’ for advertisers.

Mock: Also known as a mock-up, this is basically a fancy word for a prototype of an idea or an illustration of the final idea before you go into production and bring it to life.

Suits: Pretty much anyone who doesn’t do creative work in the agency. I thought that the ‘suits vs creatives’ joke was just that, but people actually call account execs + account people ‘suits’ and art directors + copywriters ‘creatives’.

Alrighty, I’m out of ideas for now but I’ll keep updating this list if I come across any more useful terms.

Adios Amigos *insert eye roll emoji because ain’t nobody got time to put up with useless jargon*

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAJoAAAAJDRlYTY1YmRiLThhZTctNDQxNi1iNjE3LTU2MDI1N2EzZjRlMA.jpg

Good ol’ Dave knows what’s up 

PS.If anyone has any more jargon to ad to the list, hit me up!

P.P.S I get that not all of these terms are ad-specific, but I thought it could help my fellow ad peeps out when you’re pretending to know your shit at an internship. Also, check out this article for some funny advertising stereotypes (that are actually sorta true): http://digiday.com/agencies/copywriter-decodes-agency-rituals-jargon-newbies/

Where is the Love?

Aw guys, I miss posting on this blog. I’ve been so caught up with uni and work recently that finding the time to post on here has been a legitimate struggle *insert sad face emoji*.

I know I made a promise to myself to keep this blog updated regularly but let’s be serious, does anyone ever really follow through with those types of promises? Like, in my heart I honestly wanted to keep posting weekly but my brain’s been like ‘Bitch, hold up, we have more important things to do.’ *sigh*

That said, I’m writing a post now so YAY:

great-success-gif.gif

Note to self: Add Borat to my to-watch list so I stop feeling guilty about quoting it without actually having seen the movie.

Anyway, here’s what you’ve missed in the past month and a half:

  • I’ve now been working at Ogilvy for just over a month and I’m absolutely loving it. From my second week onward, I’ve had heaps of tasks to work on which included coming up with 3 months worth of content for Elucent, which I then had to present to the client in a meeting a few weeks ago and, thankfully, she LOVED it! #cancontent.
    This week, I’ll be directing a 2-day photoshoot where we’ll bring all of those ideas to life in a proper shooting studio with a whole camera crew. I have a pretty big prop budget to work with so I’m planning to buy all the props today and tomorrow. I can’t wait to see how the shoot runs on the day, fingers crossed it all goes swimmingly!
  • I’ve low-key been ignoring Uni for the last few weeks because I’ve been so dedicated to work and I’ve also been on/off sick for the past month #kms. The semester finishes this week and I have 2 more assignments to submit until I’m finally free! I feel like Uni has been this weight on my shoulders recently that I just want to get rid of, and being so close to the end is really exciting.
  • I think I’ve spent more days being sick than healthy since my last post *cries*. For some godforsaken reason, I got Tonsillitis TWICE and am recovering from a sore throat and cold right now #prayforkatia. I’ve lost count of how many antibiotics I’ve taken this month but maybe that’s a good thing because the total number would surely make me faint from shock. I think I’m going to put clubbing on the sideline for a bit until my immune system decides to reappear from vacation.
  • I started watching the latest season of American Horror Story and omfg it’s such a good season! Having to watch it week-by-week is painful, but definitely worth the struggle #firstworldproblems. This season is based on the lost colony of Roanoke which is apparently a pretty big historical event that everyone knows about in America, so if you’re from the rest of the world READ THIS SUMMARY BEFORE YOU START WATCHING SO YOU KNOW WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON. (Not that you ever know what’s going on in AHS, but it’ll help give this season a bit more clarity).
  • I was the production assistant on a short film photoshoot in early September which was a really cool experience. I helped create this sick mermaid sand sculpture (see below), did coffee runs (my fave) and got to observe how a film crew works together on shoot days. I’ve always been really curious to see how film shoots work and this was a great way to have a poke about behind-the-scenes – and get paid whilst doing it #score.

14599710_1177346502323351_22748882_o.jpg

14600520_1177346495656685_1599602513_o.jpg

Alrighty, I think I’ll wrap it up here because I actually need to bullshit 3 blog posts for a uni assignments and I’m on a creative roll so I should try to be at least a little bit productive today. I’m going to brew some tea in my awesome new typo mug, chuck on some Alt-J and hop to it.

Adios Amigos *insert tea emoji*

14585700_1177340898990578_1933323931_o

 

Werk Werk Werk

So today’s the big day, my first day working at a part-time job in a proper advertising agency. To be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing.

I mean, I’ve been a Social Media Manager before, but for a much smaller agency where assistance was much more readily available and I had a supervisor who helped me with my tasks for the first week. Of course, I have that here in my new job, but unfortunately one supervisor is away in New Zealand for the week, and the other is in Sydney. I could just ring the one in Sydney, but my phone phobia is telling me otherwise.

phone-call

I relate with this stock photo on a deeply personal level

So what do I do?

Well, I have a task list to complete for my first 3 days until someone can help give me a bit of guidance, but until then I’m just winging it. At the moment, I’ve checked and updated all of my emails and started to work through the list, but it’s a bit challenging when you don’t have the access codes to half the things on it. I’m pretty much waiting for the Sydney boss to fly down next week to show me how to do everything and basically teach me how to adult. Until then, I’ve just received a little ‘Welcome to Ogilvy’ care package with an instruction manual and a few other things to read so HALLELUJAH I have something to do.

I guess the first week of a new job is always a tad confusing and all over the place, so I should just expect it and go with the flow. As a side note, it’s funny to think that no one in the office knows that I got the job so they probably think that I’m still the social intern who’s been coming in randomly throughout the year. I’m glad that I have 3 full days a week to settle in and get to know how things get done around here. That’s if I even make it through my first week without stuffing up somehow and melting into a hopeless puddle on the floor.

All jokes aside, I’m really excited that I get to work at such an awesome agency. I’ve already been welcomed into the Social team through a stream of memes and GIFs, so I think I’m going to fit in just fine.

TLDR; ADULTING IS DAUNTING AND I’M NOT SURE HOW I’LL GO BUT I’M JUST PUTTING 100% INTO IT AND WISHING FOR THE BEST.

Adios Amigos *Insert obligatory tweet reference and twitter emoji*

Pond-Jumping

You know what I realised today? We spend our whole lives pond-jumping. Now, I don’t mean this in a literal sense, although I did just find out that it’s an actual threat to the koi fish population according to Google. But no, I’m talking about pond-jumping in a metaphorical sense.

I’m sure that you’ve all heard the expression about ‘being a small fish in a big pond’ before, and this is the type of pond that I’m referring to. It’s the one that everyone finds themselves within no matter what occupation they have. Whether you’re a student scaling the education system or an adult growing your career within a business, we’re all really just fish swimming around in different ponds.

For most people, that ‘little fish in a big pond’ saying first comes into play when we start primary school as an eager little prep student. We’re seen as these small, naive and vulnerable creatures who will ultimately grow into big strong fish by the time we’re in Year 6. But then we enter high school, and it’s back to being that small fish amongst the sea of older students once again. Sure, we know much more than we did when we were in prep, but the idea still stands. That transition from primary school to high school is one of the first big ‘pond jumps’ we make in life.

From then on, and as we enter the workplace and start changing jobs, things can become a little bit more difficult. By the time we’ve climbed the ranks of high school and started to excel in our part-time jobs, we soon discover that we’re no longer small fish. In fact, we realise that we’ve morphed into the medium and big fish that we once admired in the very same pond we landed in all those years ago. As Year 12’s we are given the authority to decide where we want our lives to go and are tested on our knowledge of certain subjects to affirm our status and rank as the pond’s ‘top dogs’.

But then it happens again, we jump into another pond – university. Well, some of us do. Others decide to stay in our part-time jobs and keep growing within that pond into more senior positions. For those passionate individuals, pond-loyalty is obviously quite a strong trait which allows them to grow within the safety of an environment which they’re familiar with. Whereas in my experience, it can be very easy to get lost as a little fish in the big sea of university.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not actually learning as much in uni as I did in high school. I often find myself struggling to find the motivation to head in for a full day of classes and equally complain about having to trek a whole hour into the city for a mere 1hr lecture #priorities. But anyway, I digress. As I was saying, life is about jumping from pond to pond, and I think that although it can be daunting to leap into a new one, it can also be highly beneficial too.

For example, when I got my first internship at a social media agency, I was partially scared about actually helping out in a proper agency; but also very excited. Although it was a relatively small agency, I was still the least experienced there and found myself in a whole new type of pond. As I learnt more and more about the wonderful world of social media and grew my skills I found myself working there over the summer as a proper account manager. So in fish-terms, I had grown into a medium fish in this relatively small pond.

Whilst I loved working there and could have happily stayed on full-time, I knew that I had to swim on back to uni to continue my studies and get my degree. However, as fate would have it, I was soon given the opportunity to intern under the social media strategist at one of my favourite global ad agencies in Melbourne, ‘Ogilvy and Mather’. Talk about a big pond.

I decided to tackle both uni and my internship at the same time, with a cafe job on the side to make a bit of moolah. Whilst balancing everything was a bit of a struggle at times, I really loved the challenge and knew that it was the best way for me to keep growing within the industry. Transitioning from a small agency to a big one was an interesting experience for me. Although I had 4 months of social media account management under my belt, it seemed to dissolve as I moved back to an intern position at a much larger agency; and with it went my medium fish status. I didn’t mind being the small fish again though, as it let me learn the ins and outs of a multi-department workplace which I’ll definitely have to face again in the future.

And now that brings me to my current work/uni pond position. It turns out that both of my internships and social media work have actually helped my prove myself within Ogilvy as I was just offered a part-time ‘Social Media Community Manager’ position #fancytitlecomeatme. It’s a bit of a weird situation because I’ll be doing all of the tasks that a normal social media account manager would (ie. creating content, posting on accounts, replying to comments and generating reports) but I’m a bit too young and inexperienced to be awarded that title in such a big agency. Actually no, maybe my situation should be labelled as ‘ironic’ since I’ve been an account manager before? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Whatever the label, I’m just really happy that I’ve got the job and I’m finally going to be a small part of this big agency #suchexcite.

Although I didn’t have a specific intention for writing this post, I hope it gets you thinking about the pond that you’re in and whether you’re going to grow in it or immerse yourself in a completely new one. Because hey, who knows? Maybe you’ll jump into this pond with me and end up being my boss one day 😉

Adios Amigos *insert fish emoji*

P.S. Today’s shoutout goes to a certain motivational fish who managed to traverse across ponds and seas without ever giving up or complaining:

pZLxv.gif

For reference, Marlin is me when I have to get at 7am for uni and work. 

P.P.S. After sharing this with my close friend Steph for her opinion, I feel like her reply deserves a mention in this post too:

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 7.30.25 PM.png

#preachitsteph

 

 

Work This Out

So here’s something that I’ve never tried before: Blogging whilst walking on a treadmill. As an extra challenge, I’ve also added a 7% incline to the machine, so I’m obviously attempting a near-impossible feat. 

Why am I doing this? Well, it’s my first time back at the gym in 3 months and I’m low-key struggling. I thought I could just hop back on after all that time and go for a quick jog to warm up. Ha ha ha no, I definitely couldn’t. Within 5 minutes I was pretty much dead and my body was telling me to calm down before I tore a muscle somewhere. Begrudgingly, I decided to listen and spent 5 minutes stretching before attempting ‘Exercise Round 2.’

So now I’m back on again, but this time I’m just going for a leisurely walk at an incline. Ahh, much better. I’ll definitely be kicking off future workouts with a stretch and walk before tackling the harder stuff. 

Now, all of my complaints and internal reflections may seem trivial for a seasoned gym-junkie – but for me, the struggle is definitely real. I can’t believe that I let myself become so unfit after all those 20K+ step days in Europe! Granted, I was sick for 3 weeks after getting back and Uni started 3 weeks ago too, but I’m really surprised at how quickly my body  lost its definition and stamina. 

So with that in mind, I’ve decided to set myself 2 fitness goals for this month:

1. To religiously go to my beloved Body Balance class each Sunday morning. If it means that I’ll have to miss making a whole lot of moolah because of those Sunday penalty rates at work – so be it. Health > Money. 

2. Not including body balance, I’d like to go to the gym 2 times a week. Once to do a core class on Tuesday mornings, and another to just spend an hour doing cardio – and hopefully in the near-future weights. I know it’s going to be challenging when uni, interning and a potential new job all get intense, but it’ll help keep me physically and emotionally fit. 

I’ve renewed my gym membership this month, so that’s a start #+1Katia. With the motivation of friends, family and anyone who reads this blog, I hope to keep it up #motivationalhashtag.

On that note, I’ve surprisingly managed to keep a steady pace on the treadmill whilst writing this post. Who knows, maybe this will become a regular thing?

Adios Amigos *insert running man emoji*

It’s far from amazing but hey, it’s a start

Guess Who’s Back, Back Again

Back in Australia, back to blogging and as of last week, back at Uni for semester 2. That’s right bitches, I’m back.

Man, what a badass opening to this blog. I feel like I should have some sort of rap song blasting in the background while I write this entry, but then I remember that I’m just sitting in bed writing an blog entry #notthatbadass.

Anyway, HI GUYS! I know it’s been ages since my last post, but that’s because I was soaking up the sun in distant lands and basically eating my way through Europe. Yes, despite all of my intolerances, I actually managed to sample almost ALL the delicious treats I came across in each country. There’s so much I want to spill about my overseas adventures that I’ll save it all for a seperate post in leu of giving y’all a bit of an update on what’s been going on in my life.

  • So my first point is obviously that I went overseas for almost all of June and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I did catch a bug when I was over there though… the travel bug #awilddadjokeappears. Seriously, I’ve already booked my next trip to New Zealand in Feb 2017 and am planning a huge backpacking trip with Hannah back to Europe in 2018!
  • Unfortunately travel must be put on hold because I’m back at Uni for another 3 months and this time it’s going to be much more intense. Although I’m only doing 3 subjects instead of 4, one of them is worth double credit points and requires us to come up with a whole multi-platform advertising campaign in just under 3 weeks -and then present it to real creative directors at a big advertising agency. Did I mention that we have to do this 3 times in one semester? #Prayforkatia
  • I’m back at my social media internship at ‘Ogilvy and Mather’ this semester, and was literally just invited to come along to a photoshoot for BMW MINI tomorrow yassss. It’s like a solid 1.5hrs drive from home, but fuck it I’m in. My first proper interning day was last Friday and I got to help Sam with an AAMI pitch and did a bit of design work which was awesome. Hopefully I’ll be able to help with the creative side of things this time round as I’m keen to see how it all comes together behind the scenes.
  • After years of avoiding it, I finally decided to jump onto the Twitter bandwagon. Well actually, my uni course sort of forced me to, since one of our assignments requires us to live tweet every Tuesday evening during a panel discussion. At first I was really hesitant to get involved with the whole tweeting business, but man oh man I’ve done a complete 180 since last Tuesday night and I’m now low-key obsessed with Twitter. Stalk me here.

    Since I don’t really have a specific fandom to tweet about, I just use the app to stay updated on developments in the advertising world and tweet funny quotes from RMIT’s Talkshop events. Speaking of, if you guys are free on Tuesday nights and are keen to listen to some industry professionals talk about cool stuff check it out here.

  • A few days ago mum told me that we were planning to get a new bunny for Bubba to be friends with and last night we actually went to pick it up! I literally came home from work, jumped in the car with mum and sonia, and drove to woop woop (ie. the middle of nowhere) to the breeder’s house. When we got there all of the lights were off and I was actually a tad worried about whether we were about to be robbed or kidnapped but it was all g, because 15 minutes later we left with a brand new bunny.
13709854_1116315855093083_8182934773899954566_n

Say hello to Sugar! (Because she’s so sweet, get it?)

  • Also, I completely forgot to mention that Han and I went to the ‘Glass Animals’ concert 5 days after I got back from Europe. It was breathtaking and the vibes were at an absolutely high that night – I loved it. At one point Dave Bayley (the lead singer) got amongst the crowd to sing a cover of Kanye West’s ‘Love Lockdown’ and I’ve been low-key obsessed with it ever since.
  • Finally, I BOOKED MY CONTIKI AND FLIGHTS TO NEW ZEALAND YESTERDAY! I know you’re all probably thinking ‘wot, another contiki?’ but yes, Renee and I are going on it together in Feb next year and it’s going to be amazing. I’m so psyched. It goes from the South island to the North island and covers a whole range of spectacular sights and wonderful activities, check it out here.

Alrighty, that’s all for now because I have a class to get to and I’m reaching 900 words on this post so I’ve probably lost over 3/4 of you by now. For those of you who read to the end – THANK YOU, HAVE SOME CANDY CANES! #yougorandomreaders #4foryourandomreaders

Adios Amigos *Insert bunny emoji*

P.S. Today’s shoutout goes to the fabulous Megan Dejong ie. Meggles, who taught me how to navigate the twittersphere and didn’t laugh at me when I asked her stupid questions #youtharealmvp

Another One Bites the Dust

Um guys, I just realised that I’ll officially be halfway through my degree by the end of tomorrow. Just let that sink in…

tumblr_inline_n2nga8hlhb1qhv088

Yes, this is a pun – a terrible one at that.

Hilarious, I know.

conup.gifscsc.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

No but seriously, I can’t believe that it’s already the end of semester 1. I feel like the last 3 weeks have flown by like a pigeon on speed (pretty sure that’s the first time anyone’s legitimately used that simile in a sentence #alwaysafirst), and I’m the cat that’s desperately trying to catch it (I honestly have no idea if that sentence made sense – it’s the end of the semester, give me a break)

In between Europe prep, uni stress and interning shenanigans I’ve honestly been too busy to sit down and write a quality blog post, let alone spend hours doing nothing for the sake of having a deep, eye-opening internal reflection. I mean, I could spend this blog post doing just that, but I reckon I’ll have more than enough time to reflect on the first leg of my 22hr flight to London in just 12 days 😉 Yes, that was a shameless nod to the fact that I’ll be jetting off towards sunnier lands in less than two weeks heheh.

Anyway, since it’s the end of the semester and I’m procrastinating doing two 30 page readings for my final pop music quiz tomorrow, I figured tonight would be a great time to update y’all on my life.

  • I don’t think I ended up blogging about this, but for the past 3 months I’ve been undertaking a social media internship at Ogilvy and Mather (one of the biggest advertising agencies in Australia). Again, I can’t believe that it’s gone so quickly because I’ve loved absolutely every moment I’ve had there and will cherish every memory for years to come. I might continue interning there next semester, but it depends on my timetable and how a few other things pan out within the next few weeks.
  • I have eaten a grand total of 12 doughnuts from Doughnut Time since I first laid eyes upon their heavenly selection of beautiful treats. Since my first post, two new stores (in Degraves Street and somewhere in Fitzroy) have opened up, which has made it even harder to resist grabbing a doughnut when I’m in those areas. I’ve actually started documenting every doughnut I get and the stories behind them so STAY TUNED FOR A MASTER DOUGHNUT POST!
  • I FINALLY discovered what’s been upsetting my stomach after 3 rounds of pointless hydrogen breath testing and one very effective blood allergy test. Ready for this? Turns out that I’m severely intolerant to yeast and cashews, mid-intolerant to eggs, dairy and wheat + mildly intolerant to potatoes, corn, rye and durum wheat. WHAT THE FUCK STOMACH?! When I got my results I thought ‘this is it, this is the day I die’ (more like ‘wtf do I eat now?’) but I’ve actually been managing to eat proper non-irritant food since I found out. Granted, I can’t have doughnuts anymore or my beloved bread, but I’ve accepted that sacrifices must be made.
  • My latest TV series obsession has been with ‘The 100’. After 1.5 weeks of avid watching, I just finally finished the second season today and now I have to wait until we reinstall Norton security on my Mac so that I can dive into the depths of online streaming yet again.
  • This Sunday, my ultimate volunteering experience will come true when I help lead tea tasting + making workshops at the official Melbourne Tea Festival! For anyone who knows me – or has noticed my blog name + tea references throughout my posts – you’ll get why this is such a big deal for me.
  • After just over a year of endless driving and having to rewrite my whole logbook from scratch, I finally got my P’s about 3 weeks ago and I’ve been loving driving ever since. I remember everyone telling me that once I get my licence, I’ll find it impossible not to drive everywhere, and believe me, they were speaking the truth. I’m just borrowing Dad’s car for now, but man it’s been a lifesaver.

Alrighty, that’s all the big stuff for now so I’ll wrap this post up before I crash for the night. Since most of my posts are written around the 2/3am mark, I’m surprised that it’s only just hit 12am, but I’m honestly so exhausted right now that I feel like I’m about to black out.

Adios Amigos *insert bread emoji*

P.S. Shoutout to Hannah Friebel for reminding me what a simile was. Thanks to you, I narrowly avoided accidentally calling my pigeon comparison an ‘idiom’ instead.

Hoot Hoot

I think that I have completely rediscovered the fact that I am I night owl, as it is 1:15am and I feel like I’m functioning in my prime.

I’m not sure if you can tell by my language, but I’ve just spent the last 4 hours researching and writing an analytical essay for uni so please excuse the fancy convoluted language and extraneous formalities (God, even that was ridiculously formal).

But yes, back to my point, I completely forgot how much I actually enjoy staying up late sometimes. There’s just something so peaceful knowing that I’m sitting here tapping away at my keyboard while the the rest of the world is asleep. Well, just the majority of people down here in Australia (if you consider 1am to be late). I just did a Google search and found out that it’s currently 10:18am in Lima, Peru where I would much rather be than here in my room writing this goddamn essay.

Speaking of Peru(ish), I was actually in Student Flights today doing some last-minute flight changes for my Europe trip which leaves in T minus one month! *Cue internal freak out* It’s so weird to think that this time in 4 weeks I’ll be somewhere across the Arabian sea about 2 hours from my stopover in Abu Dhabi (not gonna lie, I had to consult my dear friend Google Maps to figure out which sea I would be flying over). I’ll be miles away from home and all on my own in a random metal beast in the sky – what a lovely image, I hope none of you have a fear of flying. By now, I would have scouted out any hot guys on the plane and either made friends with the people next to me or plotted the most creative ways to kill them if they fall under the category of ‘the worst types of people to fly with’. I would have already eaten one or two airplane meals which I’ll admit I actually love because of how special it makes me feel to have my own meal delivered to me ready-to-eat (can you tell that I don’t get takeout often?)

Since I’ve diverted onto the topic of flying, now would be a good time to reveal my fascination and mild obsession with absolutely every aspect of flying. I love it all.

Well, not the screaming babies, long queues and those people who hog the terminal power outlets to charge their almost-full phones, but just the electric atmosphere that fills the air as soon as you step into the airport terminal. It’s that feeling of ‘holy shit, I’m going on an adventure’ and seeing the most amazing display of multiculturalism I’ve ever experienced that really gets me. I always like to play a game of ‘guess where the person is going’ with whoever I’m flying with (or sometimes by myself because yes, I’m that lame), and the results are usually both hilarious and entertaining. Needless to say, I’m always that person who seems to be ecstatically happy no matter what happens, as long as I have a boarding ticket and suitcase in tow en route to somewhere that isn’t Melbourne.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this city. But I also love the idea of exploring new foreign lands and meeting people from completely different cultures. I can’t wait to hear people speak French and Spanish in their respective countries, and try all of the delicious food on offer. I also can’t wait to meet everyone on my Contiki tour in real life, since I’ve ‘met’ more than half of them via Contiki’s virtual ‘Meetup’ app #lookatmebeingalltechsavvy. I can’t wait for the late nights, and taking ‘typical touristy’ photos with all of the monuments I come across. I also can’t wait to discover hidden alleyways, promptly get lost in said alleyways and get drunk off some DAMN FINE FRENCH WINE!

Okay, this post has definitely gone waaaaay off topic, but this is what happens when I need to work on an assignment and start to daydream (or just dream, since it’s now 2am?). I’ll wrap this up by saying that if you ever need motivation to work on an essay, you should book a trip to Europe and tell yourself that you can’t go if you fail any subjects that semester.

Adios Amigos *Insert plane emoji*

P.S. Today’s shoutout goes to my uber fabulous travel agent Stef, who has been so helpful in getting my whole trip organised over the past 5/6 months. I never knew how much easier life would be with a travel agent who can offer you cheap deals and real-life experience/advice on everything from what shoes to pack to the best ways to avoid identity theft #muchosgracias

Observing Life

I love people-watching. In fact, I’m doing it right now.

If you stood at the corner of La Trobe and Swanston streets, you’d see me sitting on the bench propped on the outskirts of the State Library Lawn. I’ve just finished 3 hours of back-to-back classes and am killing some time before I head to interning. I’m happily tapping away at my keyboard, only glancing down every few seconds to make sure that what I’m writing is making sense, and taking in my serene surroundings .

Here’s what I see:

  • A girl just passed me wearing all-black with her bright blue bob tucked away under the rim of her black bowler hat. She looks like she’s in her early 20’s and fits the stereotypical look of an ‘arts’ student. 
  • Another girl with a tattoo outline of Africa on the back of her arm just sat down on the steps in front of me. Her hair has been ombre’d from a chocolate brown to a golden honey blonde and her dark navy leather backpack has a burgundy pom pom accessory hanging from it. —> A very flamboyant dark-skinned guy, who I assume is her friend, just ran up to her yelling ‘OMG GUUUUURL’ and the two embraced in a warm hug.
  • An old Asian man just mounted one of the green benches next to the lights and is hopelessly trying to summon a taxi.
  • A caucasian man with softly tousled hair crosses in front of me carrying a Nike box. He’s wearing round black-rimmed glasses and reminds me of bit of James Potter (from the Harry Potter series). If I had to guess his profession, I’d bet my money on him being a writer
  • An elderly couple wearing backpacks and holding hands are being guided towards the intersection by a young man with a map. The couple are squabbling in French whilst the man eagerly waves his hands around a gestures to the monuments around him. 
  • An elderly black man wearing a cream suit and a black cap just stumbled up the stairs humming to himself.
  • A large group of tradies just sauntered down Swanston street in their matching tan Timberland boots.
  • A person sporting a mid-length beard just crossed the street with their long brown hair tied back in single thick braid. They were wearing a bright azure blue t-shirt with thin pink glasses and khaki pants which has honestly confused the heck out of me when it comes to determining their gender. All I’ve got to say is, YOU DO YOU COOL PERSON!
  • A short girl with a bright purple bob just powered across the path in front of me on her way to Melbourne Central station (I know this because she told this to someone that she was speaking to on the phone). She has a medium black and white koi tattoo on the back of her lower right leg and seems to be in quite a hurry. I hope she got where she was going on time.
  • The huge flock of pigeons which have been eyeing me up for the past 20 minutes have finally encircled me and accepted me as one of their own. I’m going to assume that it’s because I’ve been sitting here motionless for the past 20 minutes and not because I smell like a pigeon.
  • A guy in his early 20’s swiftly mounted his skateboard and glided away after crossing the intersection. No hesitation, no nervous glances, he popped down the board and away he went.
  • An african american man wearing a mustard-yellow t-shirt, faded red jeans and tan boots just crossed the road. His whole outfit is my aesthetic personified.
  • There’s a businessman on the phone pacing the green grass of the library law. He’s obviously very stressed as the poor grass in getting an absolute hammering #onelikeoneprayerforthegrass

It’s now been half an hour and I’ve probably laid eyes on a thousand people. If I could type fast enough to document them all, I would – because all of them are so unique and amazing in their own way. Who knows what experiences, stories and knowledge they bring to this world, I hope that one day I can talk to some of them and discover their stories (yes, like Brandon from HONY).

Okay, I’m going to stop being all deep and meaningful now and get my ass into gear before I’m late for interning. That said, has been a really relaxing, fun and eye-opening experience, so my message to you is this: Sit down and people-watch. Not because you have to, not because I told you, but to see what kind of weird and wonderful people you live with in your city. It’s such a simple and sincere act which can end up being moving, insightful, inspirational or just plain boring sometimes. What you make of it is up to you.

Adios Amigos *Insert eyes emoji*