two people sitting on the beach at sunset
Lifestyle

My Sneaky Quarantine Sunsets

At six o’clock in the evening, I realized that I had not spoken out loud the entire day. My voice didn’t make an appearance until I had to start teaching English that night. 

How strange, to not speak all day. That would be so hard to do on any normal given day, but now it almost went unnoticed. Buried in my quarantine apartment beneath a pile of books and scribbled notes, sending messages on my phone, I almost forgot what my voice sounded like. 

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girl standing on beach with 'daintree rainforest' text in foreground
Video

My Month in the Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Long overdue, this is a snippet of my time adventuring in the Daintree Rainforest. A place of natural beauty, simple living, and incredible people, a part of my heart with always stay in the Daintree.

Check out some of my other written pieces to get a better feel of this amazing place I fell in love with!

Travel

My Island Lock Down in Thailand

Part of what lured me to Koh Tao in the first place was the fact that it’s a small island that seems to exist in an undisturbed parallel to the outside world. As the island lock down begins, these same qualities could come back to either haunt me or save me.

Starting April 1, and continuing for two weeks, the island will be closed to visitors – that means tourists and foreigners. Night ferries will bring in food and supplies every evening, and people are welcome to leave, but foreigners will no longer be permitted to enter.

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Lifestyle

5 Days of Meditation: Day 5 – Mindful Eating

There’s one thing that we all do multiple times everyday and hardly ever think about: eating. We talk to our friends, look at our phones, and think about what we’re doing after the meal is over. We hardly ever sit there and think specifically about the food that’s going into our bodies!

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looking through the trees in a forest at sunset
Lifestyle

5 Days of Meditation: Day 4 – Calmness During Corona

A few months ago, heck, even a few weeks ago, I thought news of the Coronavirus would blow over in the same way that so many attention-seeking stories do. Little did I realize that what I thought was the peak of the pandemic was only just the beginning. 

Borders are closing, entire cities are shutting down, and global tension is on the rise. A screenwriter couldn’t have crafted a more cinematic experience. A great script for the movies, maybe, but certainly not the best for mental health.

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Lifestyle

5 Days of Meditation: Day 3 – A Beach Walk

After running some errands this morning, I decided to walk home along the beach. The island here (Koh Tao) is quiet, with tourists returning home to be with their families and take care of themselves as the Coronavirus continues to spread around the world. It was just me and the ocean as the sun began to rise higher into the sky.

Along my stroll I stumbled across a wooden swing that overlooked the water. Solitary and tranquil, it was beckoning me to sit and stay for a while. Of course, I obliged. 

Looking around, all I saw were empty boats and footprints of people who had been here but are now gone. The tide would soon wash their prints away, the sand destined to remain mostly untouched as the island becomes more desolate. 

While the swing gently rocked me back and forth, the light breeze caressing my skin, it felt like a perfect moment for meditation. Instead of searching my phone for a podcast or recording, I decided to use the world around me as a guide.

I closed my eyes, initially using my breath to anchor me to the present moment. The salty air moved in through my nose, the aroma of the ocean tingling on the back of my throat and tongue. With every exhale I began to feel more relaxed. My breath moved me like the tides, in and out, letting it pull me as it may.

My awareness spread from my breath to encompass all of my body, noticing how my legs felt sitting on the wooden swing. I felt a bit of uncomfortable tension in my lower back, not being used to sitting cross-legged for longer periods of time, but I just tried to notice it and let it go. Slowly I began to work through the rest of my body, from face, to neck, to shoulders, feet and fingers, releasing tension, and then observing how the wind felt on my skin.

The breeze had my hair playing with my skin, my shirt lightly dancing across my shoulders and arms. Everything felt soft. The repetitive drum of waves kissing the beach played in the background, and in the distance I could hear people quietly chatting to each other.

These are the kind of moments I love. My whole body was alive and every sensation was noticeable. Not only could I feel and really notice, but I could hear everything around me. In a sense, it felt like I stopped existing and just blended in with everything around me. There wasn’t such a line of ‘this is where my existence starts and the rest of the world begins,’ but rather a general sense of being. All I am is energy, and all the world around me is energy. We move and the world reacts to us, like a dance of give and take.

This meditation took me to a different place than the previous two, and I think that’s largely because my senses were in tune in a different way. Instead of listening to other people, I was focusing on myself and the environment around me.

When I opened my eyes, the world around me felt calmer. The rest of my walk home almost felt like a meditation in itself, just noticing the way my feet felt when I stepped in the sand and how the sun reflected off the water as it rose higher in the sky.

Guided meditations are a great way to start practicing, but I also challenge you to try meditating based on the sounds and the sensations within yourself and within the environment around you. You might be surprised just how much is there that you never noticed before.

girl standing in a field at sunset
Lifestyle

5 Days of Meditation: Day 2 – Self Love

Today left me feeling worse than yesterday, in terms of health at least. I didn’t sleep that well last night and am definitely not feeling 100 percent. I just took a fat cat nap, which almost persuaded me to remain on my couch and miss work. There are worse things that could happen…

On the flip side, the view from my current seat is one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. The sun is glistening off a turquoise sea, waters lulled and tranquil from the lack of boats. Cicadas and the soft lapping of waves on the sand cradle my mind with sounds of island ease. 

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woman sitting on the beach at sunset meditating
Lifestyle

5 Days of Meditation: Day 1 – Immunity Boost

Today was not great for me. My head has been in a bit of a haze for the past few days, and my dive ended terribly. With a small but decently impactful injury (don’t worry Mom and Dad, I’m still healthy), I’m going to have to take a solid week or two out of the water. To make it worse, I just ordered a new pair of fins, so they will be taunting me from the confines of their shiny new box.

By the middle of the afternoon, I seemed as if I just couldn’t shake this downer of a feeling. I tried writing about it, talking it out, but that heaviness was still there, sitting on my chest with a firm stubbornness many of us know all too well. 

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girl sitting alone in a field reading books
Lifestyle

‘Social Isolation’: Turning Negativity into an Opportunity for Self-Discovery

In the current pandemonium that the entire world knows as Coronavirus, much of the population is facing a bit of a crisis (other than a potentially fatal flu): What should I do with all of my spare time since we’re being pushed into isolation? 

Now, as society seems to be traversing a tightrope, people are being forced into the physical confines of their homes and the mental confines of their minds. It’s a scary thing, to be alone with ourselves. Most of us are never really alone, surrounded by the buzzing noises of social media, as well as the presence of friends and family. 

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graphic of man working on his laptop with a map in the background
Travel

How I Afford to Live Abroad in Thailand

Money’s always a bit of a sensitive topic. We’re nervous to bring it up and then when the discussion finally happens, it turns into a ballet dance on a withering sheet of ice so as to avoid insult or offence.

I’ve had a few people ask me, not without uncomfortable pause before, about how exactly I’m paying for all of my travels and life abroad – what with being a broke Millenial crushed by college loans. 

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