Finding My Happy Place in Byron Bay

Finding My Happy Place in Byron Bay

This past weekend I took a trip to Byron Bay with my friend Rachel from Wales where I had my first hostel experience at Aquarius! I had an amazing time and met so many awesome backpackers from around the world.

My first hostel experience was amazing, weird, and just plain awesome. When we first arrived we thought we had booked the females only dorm, but, as we unlocked the doors, we were greeted by three half naked, young men. After dropping off our stuff we wandered around a bit and grabbed delicious burritos before heading over to Byron Bay Brewery for drinks.

When we got back to Aquarius it was raining a bit, so we decided to take a quick nap before our night out. We ended up going out with one of the other girls in our dorm named Kristie who is from Netherlands and is backpacking up the coast. It was definitely a memorable night involving lots of glitter… Don’t ask.

We only stayed out until around midnight since Rachel and I had to be up early the next day. It was then that I had my “Introduction to Diving” course and went on my first ever scuba diving adventure. I was a bit nervous at first but thanks to the amazing instructors I had an amazing experience filled with fish and the biggest turtle I had ever seen in my life! My biggest regret from my first dive was not having an underwater camera because it was incredible. Rachel did get a photo of me which you can see below.

It was then that I had my “Introduction to Diving” course and went on my first ever scuba diving adventure! I was a bit nervous at first but thanks to the amazing instructors I had an amazing experience filled with fish and the biggest turtle I had ever seen in my life! My biggest regret from my first dive was not having an underwater camera because it was incredible. Rachel did get a photo of me which you can see below. (I am the orange one)

That night we had the true hostel experience. We ate dinner with all of our dorm mates (Free Meals Each Night!) Afterwards, we moved the party to the common area. There we played ring of fire and other fun drinking games to get us excited for our last night out.

Our final day we spent lounging on the beach before heading back to the Gold Coast. I went body surfing with some of the guys, but the water was freezing so I didn’t last too long. It was a beautiful day out. Which made it extremely hard to get off the beach to go back to life as an Au Pair. Luckily, Byron is only an hour away so I will definitely be back!

As you can see, I was not very happy to leave this beautiful place.

Until next time <3

The Reasons Why I Left the US and became an Au Pair in Australia

The Reasons Why I Left the US and became an Au Pair in Australia

The news definitely came as a surprise to my parents when they first heard my idea of becoming an Au Pair in Australia. Finding out that after five long years of earning my degrees in Hospitality and Event Management, I’d be leaving my full-time job at an amazing 5 Diamond Resort in Orlando to become a “nanny” gave them a bit of a shock. There were a lot of questions for me regarding this decision and I am sure that I am not the only Au Pair out there who had to answer them over and over again before I finally took my flight to Oz.

So, why did I decide to become an au pair in Australia? I have decided to be an au pair for two simple reasons:

1. I wanted to go to Australia but had no money. 

That’s right, I said it. For as long I can remember I have dreamed of visiting Australia to swim in the Great Barrier Reef. It has been on the top of every bucket list I have ever made and has always been the #1 place I wanted to visit before I die. When I came home for my graduation party I found a journal from 10th grade and even in that, I mentioned how Australia was where I would want to go to on my dream vacation.I made the decision to go to Australia now versus later because I want to take my good old time exploring all that Australia has to offer and that couldn’t be done on a two-week vacation.

So instead, I am taking six months to live with a family on the beautiful Gold Coast and experience Oz thoroughly. From kissing Koalas and Kangaroos to diving with sharks, I want to see and do it all before I leave. And believe me, I will!Working as an Au Pair you do not make a ton of money. You also do not spend a ton of money thanks to the family taking care of all housing and most food expenses (My daily $5 coffee splurge is the biggest expense currently beside my adventures).

This has been key for me in making the most out of this experience. I have created a budget for myself that will allow me to travel each month to somewhere new and exciting. This month I am going to Byron Bay for three days with my new friend Rachel from Wales. In October I am going to visit my high school friend Alexa who is an Au Pair in Melbourne currently. Before I leave I am going to also visit P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney and finally Cairns where I will live my dream and swim in the Great Barrier Reef!

2. I want to take time to myself

I have always been one to put others dreams, and happiness, about my own. Do not get me wrong, I have had a wonderful 23 years of my life so far however over the past five/ten/fifteen years, I have over programmed myself with countless activities. In high school it started with ice skating, band, choir, drama, Interact Club, Mock Trial and more. At UCF I had the opportunity to be a part of the LEAD Scholars program which was incredible and opened my eyes to many amazing organizations that I became a part of while studying and working internships each semester.

I do not for one minute regret being super involved in college because I truly had the time of my life and I owe it all to Chi Omega, LEAD Scholars, Late Knights, and Knight-Thon. My final semester was the busiest five months I had ever had in my life. I was working full time at the Four Seasons at Walt Disney World, finishing my final courses for graduation, and volunteering 12-20 hours a week as the Community Outreach Manager for Knight-Thon where I oversaw 12 Directors and Coordinators as part of a team that raised $1 Million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Being busy doesn’t bother me, however, I know that it took a toll on me and my health both mentally and physically in the last few months. I was stressed and anxious constantly as I literally ran from work to school to sorority meeting to dance marathon meeting to school and back again the next day. It was insane. But I did it and I am damn proud of everything that I have accomplished.

Now, however, I have decided to hit pause. I am hitting pause because my degrees, connections, and experiences are not going anywhere; and when I get back to the US I can easily hit play and continue living out my career aspirations. For now, I am hitting pause in Australia, somewhere new and exciting that I can adventure through on my own time and at my own pace.

I basically have from 9:30a until 2:00p every day plus Monday and Tuesdays free to do whatever I want in addition to evenings that I have been spending with my new friends. So far, many of my days have been spent finding new delicious coffee spots and reading on Burleigh Hill which has become my favorite spot so far in Australia.

Overall, I am so unbelievably happy with my decision to hit pause and become an Au Pair in Australia. For me, this is a once in a lifetime experience and I am going to make the very most out of it. When my time here is finished, I can check it off my list and put a new place on my bucket list 🙂 

Update: After a few months working as an Au Pair I fell in love (oops). Now my life has completely changed!  

First trip down the hill! 

First trip down the hill! 

I made it out of the house today! 

Walking down the hill from the house to the beach felt like I was finally stepping out of the comfort zone that I made for myself at the Cooney’s home. I made my way straight over to a coffee shop called Nook Espresso and got a cup of Mocha that I could sip while watching the ocean for a while.

Burleigh Point is such a lovely area. I am sure that it will be my favorite spot to lay out and get my daily dose of Vitamin D. Nothing compares to laying on the grass while listening to the sound of the waves breaking on the shore.

I am absolutely in love with Burleigh. Everyone is so friendly and the coffee is delicious. The thing that has me head over heals is its’ natural beauty. I am so excited to live and breath in such a peaceful place and tranquil place.