Health and Wellbeing (mental, physical, emotional & spiritual) · Love and Happiness (and all the fun bits in between) · personal growth · Self Improvement

Protecting your own Self-Peace & Energy

When do you stop farming out your own energy, at the cost of your own self-peace just to be hurt or to have it thrown in your face?

I spent my twenties spread too thin. Constantly trying to juggle the number of confusing friendships and competing priorities. Only to have most friendships dwindle away.

My thirties have always been about protecting those friendships which are precious to me. Regardless of where our lives take us. Marriages, travel, families, interstate moves, building houses. Whatever it was, it would never be enough to break these long term friendships up. However you long for your friends. You miss their cuddles and your heart just isn’t quite the same without their laughter.

Food for thought…

I watched my husbands younger family member Skype her friend and text her at the same time and I thought it was overkill. Then I realised how much I missed my friends. What I would have done to be with them and see their faces. It’s true that you can experiencing heartbreak away from those you love. I made a solid effort at growing my friendship group but mostly I just feel disappointed.

New friends rarely work out. Everyone wants something from you, some people like to keep you close especially if you’re life is complicated, or you’re a natural problem solver or in a position to help them. I’ve tried to fight those thoughts recently, but have ended up burned once again.

I’m sure it’s possible to develop new friendships as you age, but the screening process is so much more complicated. I find myself at the moment looking around at several people who a year ago I considered close and now I barely speak to them.

I can’t be everyone’s big sister. I can’t keep being the work mum.

My friendship is not one sided. I have needs as well. I’m consistently trying to help others. I end up a free and over utilised source of psychological counselling. Only to find myself turned inside out, feeling exposed and exhausted. Yet, because of the strong personality people are so prone to point out, I am very rarely asked if I am okay.

I am not okay. I am tired, I am worn and I am confused. I have stuff going on, my needs and wants are valid and I too need a listening ear.

As I approach my mid-thirties and race towards a massive change in my life, I’ve started thinking about how I can reclaim my space, my time and start putting me first. I still want to be a good friend, to those friendships that nourish me but I need to learn how to close the door on non-serving friends.

Any advice on how to do this effectively and kindly, while protecting my own space and peace is welcomed. Thank you x

Courtney

#redmondtraveldiary18 · Courtney's Travel Tips & Tricks · Europe · photography · Travel

Travel Diary (Day 11) – Faroe Islands to Bergen (via Copenhagen)

Day 11 – Sunday 30/9 – Faroe Islands – Bergen (vis Copenhagen)

Well we knew today was a write-off, as most transit days can be. We had no idea how long the day would feel though! As our schedule really only allowed us to visit the Faroes for three days, this meant we would leave on a Sunday. Sadly there are no direct flights on a Sunday from Vàgar to Bergen, so we needed to fly via Copenhagen.

As our travels tend to play out, we woke up to shocking weather and we were beyond pleased to have experienced the beautiful weather we had whilst we were there.

Our flight was not until lunchtime, so we had a few hours to explore Vagar a little more, we drove out to a beautiful old cathedral, boat harbour and village with some older style log buildings.

We drove back to the airport, dropped off our fantastic little cat which had served us well and decided that wine + beers at the airport were our best-bet for some time wasting.

Once we were on the plane we had a few more drinks and watched movies on our phones and we were back in Copenhagen. We had around a four and a half hour layover in Copenhagen, but once we collected our luggage and then took it to the departures terminal and survived that disaster we couldn’t be bothered leaving the terminal. We had originally planned to maybe go back into Copenhagen and see some more, but sadly that was not to be!

We departed Copenhagen around 9pm and landed in Bergen at 10:30pm, it was such a long day. Once we had our bags we then headed out to our bus transfer which dropped us off at the Torget stop near the old fish markets which was the same block as our hotel!

Originally we had booked to stay at a place called Citybox Hotel, but in my over-prepared state as I couldn’t pre-pay the stay I had cancelled it and booked elsewhere. We stayed at the Magic Hotel in Bergen and it was gorgeous! The rooms great, the location could not have been better, incredibly comfortable bed and all-inclusive breakfast in the morning. If you are heading to Bergen, I couldn’t recommend this hotel any more!

Really not too much to update on today, given it was a transit day – only that we are finding the serving of hot fish meals on planes to be, um…different? Also a lady kept turning around in her seat and turning our air pumps off above our seats. Seriously she did it three times, until I had to tell her ‘No, leave it – that’s my fan and it’s on me’. Oh and the other lady that tried to stay on her mobile phone during our plane’s taxi – hiding behind her seat. Hilarious.

The Scandinavians are a very tolerant and patient bunch, put it that way! We all know what sort of responses occur with that sort of behaviour in America!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

#redmondtraveldiary18 · Europe · Travel

Travel Diary (Day 10) – Faroe Islands

Wow. Today was one of the most amazing days I have ever had travelling, it compares to that time in 2014 when I witnessed the sun rise over Machu Picchu. Today was challenging, exhausting, rewarding and hard to believe.

IMG_1951A little about how we found ourselves heading to the Faroe Islands (pronounced like ‘fair-row’ and not ‘fa-row’. When G and I started dating, we spent over a year in a long-distance relationship. We saw each other for one weekend per month, it was tough. We used to take turns in inspiring trust in the process with one another and beyond the thousands of text messages and hundreds of calls to one another, we used to send each other destinations we had found pictures of. To remind ourselves that all the sacrifice we were making, the time we were spending apart and the money we were setting aside, was for a purpose.

IMG_1736We were going to travel the world. We shared pictures of far-away places with one another, one picture in particular stood out to us. It was an incredible picture of a place called  Lake Sørvágsvatn/Leitisvatn (the name really depends on who you ask). This place is known as the ‘lake over the ocean’, I would be willing to bet you have seen at least one picture of this incredible place. Look we can all admit we have seen a picture on Pinterest or Facebook or Instagram and gone ‘Oh my god I am going there!!!!’. Here’s a tip for your bank account, make sure that place is not the Faroe Islands!

IMG_1919We started our morning with a drive out to see the incredible town of Gasadalur, the picture-perfect town which was unable to be reached by any means other than helicopter up until 2004. Generations of postmen had to hike above the mountain several times a week to deliver goods to the inhabitants of the area! We stopped at the little white building and the gravel path on the left, and then walked down the pathway. Until we found ourselves staring across at Gasadalur and the incredible Múlafossur Waterfall

which makes its way into the ocean. I have seen pictures of this serene spot during summer, but we were treated to something else entirely. The wind was so strong that it was licking the waterfall back up over itself and sending it high into the sky, it was absolutely beautiful.

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We then drove back through one of the infamous Faroese tunnels and headed to to Lake Leitisvatn, near to the airport on Vagar. This is the largest fresh water lake in the Faroe Islands and it is absolutely incredible. We were there for a purpose and that was the hike to Bøsdalafossur.

Okay, so the actual ‘lake-above-the-ocean’ Bøsdalafossur is an optical illusion and it ‘allegedly’ takes 45 minutes to hike. To be clear, Grant and I are tall. We have long legs, we walk pretty quickly. So I would like to call B*llshit on the ’45 minute walking time’. We walked in rain which was going sideways, making way for others whose backsides were covered in  mud – they had obviously come undone in the slush!

Note for all: do NOT walk the path which looks worn, it is slippery, sludgey and dangerous. Falling over is all fun and games until you are on the sort of incline where such a fall could result in you toppling over the side! Where you can, look for the rocks, or the grass. Stick to the path in general but maybe one or two footsteps to the side, just to be safe.

The hike was rough, mostly because we had decided to segway our trip over to the Bøsdalafossur waterfall, as it was storming at the time, the cliffs were incredible, we were using each others body weight to try to stay vertical!

Bøsdalafossur flows from the lake Sørvagstan and into the Atlantic Ocean, it is 30m high and the views from this vantage point are astronomical and well-worth our goat-trek out to the area.

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The optical illusion is best seen from Traelanipan, which is very steep, so even though those photographs you have seen are something else, please be careful. We saw one couple going all out with their selfie-stick and they were much too close to the edge. Great photo, if you live to post it I suppose!

So, how to get to these beautiful islands?

You can fly either from Edinburgh in the UK, or from Bergen/Copenhagen in Nordic countries. You can also get there directly from Iceland. We flew from Copenhagen and then returned via Copenhagen to Bergen on our way back. If you wish to take your own car then there are many cruises which operate from many countries, just keep in mind that in poor weather, they are unable to dock so you may be out of luck in that respect.

Considering everything we saw and how many km’s we had once we returned our hire car, I doubt very much that this will be my last post on the Faroe Islands! For now though, I shall let you go, please enjoy the following shots!

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Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

#redmondtraveldiary18 · Europe · Travel · Travel Gear

Travel Diary (Day 9) – Faroe Islands

IMG_6031This morning I woke up to my gorgeous Husband telling me that sunrise would be within the hour and although we were both tired, it would be an absolute shame to miss it. It took a while to get going, but with our Frank Green Eco-Cups (to see this incredible range click here & at the moment it is $7 flat-rate Aussie shipping), at the ready and Kathmandu jackets good to go, getting out that front door was easier than I would have expected!

It was incredibly early and the sky was beginning to flash her pink tones, so without certain knowledge of the area, we headed to the highest point we could before the sun rose. The wind and the temperature of it in the Faroe Islands are unlike anything I have experienced before. When you take into consideration its coordinates 61.8926° N, 6.9118° W and its average temperature of 7° to 10° during the month in which we were there, as well as 30km winds, then it is only expected to be cold. I have tot ell you though, it was worth it – here are some of our shots from our early morning.

Once we made it back to our Air BnB, completely blown-away by the beautiful sunrise over Tórshavn we had witnessed, it was time for breakfast (toast & coffee) and to map out an action plan for the day. We made our way from Tórshavn through to Viðoy, where we first able to stop and have a look around. Driving through those tunnells is abslutely wild in the Faroe Islands, I have my Husband to thank for making it through, beause I 100% would have freaked out driving through those lowly-lit one-lane tunnel for km’s on end!

Our journey toViðoy was around an hour and a half (with a few stops) it was our most far away destination for our stay so we really wanted to knock it out the first day. The weather was being kind to us, it was incredibly windy and raining on and off but then we would have these incredible bursts of sunshine, which is quite rare given the time of year! The drive from on side of Viðoy to the other is just amazing, the cliffs coming out of the sea in the Faroe’s, commanding attention is something I will not soon forget.

We ate our packed sandwiches, enjoyed the view and then drove around to visit the Viðareiði Church, it is located in one of the most beautifully scenic locations I have ever seen and it has an amazing history to it. Viðareiði is the northernmost settlement of the Faroe Islands, so it felt really special to be able to visit such a place. It sits on the ocean, facing the fierce winds and has behind it a lovely village. To the north, Mount Villingdalsfjall rises over 844 meters (2,769 ft) from the water and it provides an astronomical background to the area. The church itself is rich with history. In the 17th century it was destroyed by a storm, it is said that part of the cemetery was washed away by the sea and that the coffins were recovered in Hvannasund and reburied. The church which stands on the land currently was constructed in 1892 and the silver was a gift from the British government, thanking the Viðareiði citizens for their assistance in saving the brig Marwood, which was shipwrecked in the are in 1847.

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We had another beautiful, cold, scenic and jaw-dropping drive back to our Air BnB, had potato gems for dinner, drank wine and whiskey and cuddled on the couch. I think we may have even watched a horror movie, it was so typically us. To do something so calm and relaxed and ‘normal’ after experiencing something so astronomically beautiful!

Tomorrow was a new day and we had mapped out some big-ticket attractions for it!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click-through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

#redmondtraveldiary18 · Europe · Travel

Travel Diary (Day 8)- Faroe Islands

Day 9 – Friday 28/9

Waking up and knowing that you are heading to a magical land you stumbled across through Pinterest five years ago, is to say the least, a little overwhelming.

As excited as we both were, we really had no idea what our expectations should be or what we would be coming across. We knew that the weather for most of our trip was likely to be rain-filled, windy and cold. So to some degree we were prepared for that (side note: jeans, as fond as Aussies are of them, are not technically wet/warm-weather pants), other than that we had no idea what would be awaiting us.

We caught a cab from our hostel to the Copenhagen Central train station, as neither of us really felt like hauling our packs there. Once we were at the station it was all pretty straight-forward and just like that, we were on our journey to Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands. The flight was only two hours, Atlantic Airways has movies available on their internal and free Wi-Fi which is always appreciated! I made a terrible choice and watched a movie about an elderly couple, one of whom has Alzheimer’s and the other terminal cancer. Grant watched a comedy and his thoughts were “why are you crying? Always go dumb with the movie Courtney. Always”. I’ll admit it, there was far too much crying on that plane.

As our plane came in for landing and we spotted many of the Faroe Islands our of our window, we were nearly jumping from our seats. Flying into the Faroes is other-worldly, it is honestly like nothing you have ever seen before. Or in our case, will ever see again.

Getting off the plane was easy, getting the keys to our hire car was easy – there was just one problem. My international sim did not work there. Grant had bought a SIM card at the Copenhagen airport as well as the top-up credit, with the assurance (yet disdain) that it would work by the cashier. Yet here we were, in the Faroes with absolutely no reception. Thankfully I managed to feed offa servo’s Wi-Fi as G bought us very bizarre drinks (my request admittedly) which tasted like Guinness cola soda (but in a bad way, not a good way). So after a few back and forthcoming we found our Air BnB in Tórshavn.

Our Air BnB absolutely blew away any expectations we had, it was gorgeous, local to everything and had anything you could possibly need. Relief. Pure relief after our bare-as-bones hostel stay the two nights before.

It was a converted area on the bottom floor of our hosts home. We had a separate bedroom, laundry, wet room, tv with Apple TV and a courtyard. The kitchen was fully equipped and it just felt like home. For three nights we paid around $600 Australian and our host had left some local fruit and biscuits and locally brewed beer as well. It was just lovely.

It was getting on in the day so we went and spent a small fortune on a grocery shop, came home, had a few drinks and watched tv. The little comforts. We also started planning our Faroe Island attack for the next couple of days.

I was still coughing and generally being gross (seriously a holiday tradition of mine is to be a germ-riddled pain in the arse. So Grant slept in the lounge room, which is so unfair for him. He’s such a gentleman, honestly if it was me I would have kicked me out to the lounge room.

It was hard to believe we were finally here, this little place we had only dreamt of, changed our plans for and squirrelled away an extra amount of money which would make your eyes water to get there!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see! 

Please note, I have not been paid any sponsorships at all for this post, however some of the links in my blog posts may be affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

To follow me on Facebook – you can do so here – Courtney Gaye Travels FB

If you are a Pinterest fan – you can find me here – Courtney Gaye Pinterest

x C x

Australia

Our Cheeky Sydney Trip in 48 hours.

IMG_0036_2 (1)The beauty of having amazing friends up and down the Eastern seaboard and overseas is that sometimes a regular birthday weekend catch-up can result in an express inter-state/overseas weekend!

Sydney is only an hour and a half by plane from Brisbane, so it makes it super easy to catch up with friends….if you can afford the airfares. Gone are our $79 one-way flights BNE-SYD, but if you book far enough ahead you can normally get flights for $99-$129 each way.

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So, you ask – how can you spend 48 hours in Sydney? The answer, in many MANY MANY different ways. For me, my priorities are normally: seeing friends, enjoying some drinks, visiting the botanical gardens, soaking in the Opera House and Sydney harbour with my eyes and catching the Manly Ferry across to Manly for ice-cream :).

5pm – fly into Sydney from Brisbane, head out to Air BnB organised earlier…realise cannot check into Air BnB for some time as it is being cleaned, settle at pub – Coco Cubano down the street and enjoy happy hour drinks until BFFFF from Christchurch flies in. See Kochie (of Sunrise fame)…boyfriend shakes head in embarrassment at your fan-girl moment.

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6.30pm – meet up with BFFFF, check into awkward Air BnB, where lady smoking charges $150 cash as a ‘cleaning fee’ and then puts you and your friends through the third degree about how many people are ‘really’ staying at the place for one night. Rude Air BnB host of rank little location (which is clearly filthy and not being cleaned to $150 quality after each stay) finally leaves after quizzing us all and after our other friend assures her that no, she won’t be sleeping there overnight and in fact, lives up the road. Just about kill yourselves using sh*t stairs of Air BnB and becoming stuck in the door ^^.

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8pm – go out for overpriced drinks at Darling Harbour and then make excellent decision to go ten pin bowling. Get rowdy, drink far too much. Once again, forget that Friday was meant to be casual and in-fact, Saturday was meant to be the wild night out for friends birthday.

9am – wake up in Air BnB, pack bags – avoid shower because it looks like you might actually catch something from it. Amazing man has already been out and rescues Jem and I with coffee and pastries.

IMG_129510am – Follow partner on express walking tour around Sydney. You are hungover. Dreadful decision. Walk from Air BnB all the way through Kings Cross, admire iconic Coca Cola sign, walk to Mrs Macquarie’s chair, head towards Wooly Bay Hotel. Enjoy delicious dirty-street-pie at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels. Walk through Botanical Gardens and all the way down to the Opera House.

2pm – Beg partner to go on the Manly ferry – although he is a fierce anti-Northern beaches Sydney kinda guy. Win battle, take ferry – become horrendously sunburnt – walk to Ben & Jerry’s, enjoy mass-amounts of ice-cream. Be aggressively attacked by stupid seagulls whilst trying to take romantic picture with partner. Ge the sh*ts and-commence journey back to Darlinghurst.IMG_1314

4pm – Collect bags from Air BnB – attempt to avoid very weird, very strange, very odd Air BnB host. Grab taxi, race to Central Station, come across very odd street performance, man fighting a police officer with a thong and avoid people trying to scab smokes from you (you don’t have cigarettes), have minor thong blow out yourself – panic – fix thong. Make it to train on-time.

IMG_13095-6pm – Catch train from Central up to Hornsby – feel bad for the young couple with their brand new puppy (in secure puppy carrier) who are shamed via radio, by the train driver, through entire carriage and bullied off the carriage. Wish the drunken yobo at the front of the train making racist remarks and sneaking sips of beer was also kicked off train.

7pm – Arrive Hornby, enjoy amazing shower, get ready, have drinks and get ready to celebrate girlfriend’s 30th. Get to 30th, have mild sunstroke so abuse the bar-tab more than you should. Partner somehow ends up centre stage with girlfriend’s family members during celebration. Eat too many little cupcakes.

11pm – Catch taxi back to girlfriends house, partner forgets girlfriend’s parents are in taxi…long story short. Make it home.

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1pm – Wake up, enjoy hungover snacks and drinks on deck of girlfriend’s house. The catch train back into Kings Cross. Follow boyfriend to Una’s Restaurant so he can get his Schnitzel and German beer fix.

3pm – Visit Gelato Messina. Visit heaven briefly.

5pm – Make journey back to airport – fly home.

8pm – Walk through front door, have shower – go to bed. Realise you are back at work in less than 12 hours.

DONE – Satisfying yet small trip to Sydney in a weekend!

What is your must-do when you go to Sydney?

x C x