Goodbye 23. Hello 24!

I just turned 24! Which is supposedly the birthday that you get your fully-grown adult brain. Welcome adult brain! Hopefully you more capable of handling this whole growing-up thing because my previous brain would go into a flap at the sight of bills or paperwork.

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My birthday was spent in Perth with one of my favourite friends. We started the day off right with breakfast at one of Perth’s brunching hotspots, Sayer Sister. I had the huge breakfast complete with chorizo, bacon, tagine and potato rosti, and a glass of champagne ( treat yo’ self). It was definitely up there with one of the best breakfasts I have ever had. After brunch, we went for a long drive along the coast and stopped at Cottesloe to dip our toes in the sand. After a couple of calls and Skype sessions, we finished the day with a little birthday tradition of going to see the new Hunger Games (no spoilers but it was amazing). I loved the whole day and was grateful for my friend Sarah for making the day so special.

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This past year of my life has been challenging, but fun, and has fostered bravery, passion, and stress like no other year before it. I’ll leave the big recap for the end of the year but this year took me to 11 countries and 22 cities. I developed a love for writing and a big dream for the future. I also learnt some awesome things about how I relate to the world. Here are just four.

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1. I am a feminist (and I don’t hate men!) 

I learnt a lot about feminism this year and am happy and proud to identify as one. My education started in a little group of girls in Kathmandu who would get together and talk about what it means to be a woman. Topics ranged from the toxicity of ‘purity’ culture to Taylor swift and everything in between. I learnt the upmost importance of fighting for the rights of women and how far away Feminism is from “man-hating”.Emma Watson staid it best in her address to the UN “I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop”.

 2. I am brave. 

It takes a lot of bravery to travel solo. Some of my bravest moments included eating at restaurants alone, going solo to a music festival and keeping it together when I lost my purse in London. I found that it wasn’t the big things that required the most bravery but the little moments when you were alone with no help or support.  It was the shaky take-offs, the late night taxis, and the awkward “table for one” moments that had me clutching at my wavering bravery. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, didn’t cry too much, and came to the conclusion that I am brave.

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3. There is something good in every day. 

As far as quotes go, this one is a little basic (the pumpkin spice latte of quotes) but rings true for me every single day. This year I learnt that even your day goes horribly wrong, there will always be at least one good thing. Your flights delayed for six hours? Go buy yourself a really expensive cup of coffee and drink it slowly. Horrendous food poisoning in Thailand? Be grateful for the friend who gives you comforting back pats (a true friend).

4. Live vibrantly. 

The word “vibrant” has stuck out to me this year because  I think this one word captures a lot of different things. Colour, exuberance and laughter just to name a few. My 23rd year was the year that I lost two of my grandparents to cancer. In the short and precious hours I got to spend with my Grandma before she died, I made a commitment to create a vibrant and bright life for myself. One of the last things she said was ” Be good, and if you can’t  do that, then be careful!”. Good advice Grandma, I’ll take it.

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Apparently my adult brain comes with a whole new function- Goal making! So here are my goals for 24.

1. Start and (hopefully) complete some postgrad journalism study.

2. Become a more regular blogger and increase my traffic.

3. Go to at least one music festival.

4. Run a 5k (I’m getting there!)

5. Finally get my dive master accreditation.

6. Publish one article in print (scary!)

7. Go to at least two new countries.

8. Learn to use my SLR on manual.

9. Learn how to cook 5 meals from my new Jamie Oliver cookbook.

So that’s it folks. Here’s to a good year! 

What’s the main thing that you learnt this year? Are you a goal maker or do you just wing it? Let me know in the comments below or you can always email me at dirtypawsblog@gmail.com.

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