Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Noosa Life

 Australia Zoo:
Home of the Crocodile Hunter

Photos: photobucket.com/leasie4

The zoo was phenomenal! Plenty of wild life to experience, from elephants to otters.
I was excited to see a variety of animals and spend some quality time with the kangaroos and koalas. Wondering around the zoo made me feel like a kid again.

Steve Irwin"The Crocodile Hunter", has made a massive impact on saving the wild life not only in Australia but internationally. I could feel his passion and dedication to wildlife through his extreme facial expressions posted all over the zoo and the zoo keepers. Unfortunately, he died in 2006 by a sting ray. However, his legend as the crocodile hunter will live forever.

My favourite part of the zoo was petting the kangaroos and koalas. The roos were laying around on the grass waiting to be feed and the koalas were either sleeping or eating.

It has been 2 weeks living in the small beachy town of Noosa, Queensland. My initial intention was to stay here for 3 days and then continue to travel north up the East Coast. Most of my stay was filled with rain and delayed me from to touring around Noosa and Fraser Island. The hostel I was staying at was in need of workers. I took the opportunity to work for my accommodation and a free meal and quickly put my travel up the East Coast on hold. 

Work for Accommodation
I was hired to assist the Chef with dinner for 3 hours a day for a minimum of 2 weeks. My first shift, I helped "serve" pizza by which I mean watch people take a slice while I eat pizza. Each night there are different meals from different countries from Italian to Mexican. The Chef/supervisor is half Greek/German. We get to practice our Greek speaking skill to each other, which reminds us of our family back home. Together with a guy from Belgium (French speaking) we run orders and keep the kitchen tidy. 

Actual Accommodation
So, I found my way into a room with 12 people from all over the world, such as UK, Italy, Belgium, Brazil and Germany. With 6 boys and 6 girls surprisingly almost everyone gets along. I settled on a top bunk with no side railing to stop me from rolling off. A week later, a roommate left and I took the bottom bunk where I could create a tent around my bed for privacy. I love my little cave.

After a few days in Noosa, I was wondering what I was doing with my life.

Noosa is not very busy during their winter season and jobs are scarce. As I continue to look for a job, I decided to sign up for Bikrham Yoga and train for a Half Marathon

For 30 days, I have challenged myself to attend a 90 min hot yoga session almost every day. Currently, I have participated 6 out of 10 days. I have seen improvements in my flexibility and have a quicker recovery from running (minimal muscle soreness). The muscle imbalances my body has been experiencing have become less prevalent due to the spine stabilization and low back exercises. While training for my previous full marathon, my IT Band became really tight. 
Practicing Bikrham yoga involves a heated room to help to increase circulation to my muscles, ligaments and tendons thus providing nutrients and eliminating waste quicker. In addition, training in a heated room has improve my cooling system, known as sweating.

Training for a marathon in Noosa is a dream come true! 
A small beach town surrounded by national parks provides a variety of terrain. Each day of running has a different focus, such as running on the beach, hiking trails, hills/stairs, flat and green fields.
I have a pair of cross training hiking shoes and a pair of runner. Since my running shoes are starting to breakdown, I run barefoot on sand and grass for most of my training and use my hiking shoes for my long Sunday morning runs. 

During 6 weeks of training for a 21Km run, I am enriching my nutrition through Herbal Life products to optimize my performance. I take two meal replacement shakes a day with fruits and veggies and one meal for dinner. In addition, a multivitamin/mineral 3 times a day and a natural fat burning herbal tea to satisfy my cravings.

I started Herbal Life 5 days ago, I already felt better from the inside out and my energy has increased. I am looking forward to losing some weight to improve my running performance while consuming a high nutrient diet. 

Overall, balancing hot yoga, running, and herbal life has been amazing. I have the time and freedom to pursue my passions of healthy living. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to live healthy and happy.

Photos: photobucket.com/leasie4

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunshine Coast

1 Month in Oz

More Pictures


Brisbane - Catherine (19years) from Richmond, England
From Byron Bay, I purchased a 3 month Greyhound Bus Pass to Cairns (one direction). I stopped in the Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise which is similar to Miami Beach. I visited a childhood friend of mine who just flew in to start his studies at Griffith University.

As soon as I arrived at the Islander Nomads Hostel in Surfer's Paradise, I met Catherine. A 19 year old English girl traveling on her own. During high school, she volunteered to work in Africa with a group of students for 3 months. The village she lived in had no vegetation, and she had to eat bread and pasta everyday with vitamin supplements.

Next stop, Brisbane (Brizzy) for another night. Investigated the town, the Botanical Gardens, City Hall and store fronts. I liked Brizzy better than Sydney because it is smaller and people move slower, except it is further from the beach. I was happy to head north to a little beach town called Noosa.

Noosa, booked 3 nights and noticed they were looking for staff. I signed up to work for my accommodations for a minimum of 2 weeks.

Noosa National Park
Great hiking trails in and around the coast. I saw a koala sleeping in a tree.
Noosa is surrounded by national parks.


Sunshine Beach

Started my first shift today assisting the chef in the kitchen. I will be helping with some breakfasts (brekky), but mostly dinners, and yes...free food! yay! My supervisor is a Greek and German male surfer who makes his own tzatziki! I lucked out on the best job at the hostel compared to housekeeping.

Sunshine Coast Marathon

On August 26, I will be running a half marathon along the sunshine coast. With only 37 days to train I am challenged to run 21 km in under 3 hours (cut off time).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Byron Bay

...is the place to be!

more pictures

Light House


Most Easterly Point of Australia
Sydney to Byron Bay
After arriving in Sydney, I felt it was time to flock north for warmer weather. I took an overnight bus to Byron Bay. I stayed at the Arts Factory  and  Nomads Byron Bay. Originally I booked 3 nights in Byron and ended up staying 2 weeks because I loved the little surf and skateboard town too much!

Things I love about Byron:
  • Barefoot locals
  • Surf and skateboard Culture
  • Healthy Lifestyle (the only fast food place are pizza shops)
  • Friendliness
  • Running Trails
  • Slow pace lifestyle, there is never a need to rush
  • The beach and light house 

My solo traveler buddies
I meet people all the time, hang out with them for a few days or a night, have the time of our lives together and then we carrying on with our own travel. Meeting new people can be exciting at first, but sometimes you wish you could let the friendship grow. However, the benefit is that you gain a friend from every country in the world.

I won a "Beer Pong" competition with a teammate from Chile, and got a free night stay at Nomads. People thought I was experienced in throwing a ping pong into a beer cup because I was Canadian, but it was just my natural athletic abilities.

I went surfing with Kool Katz Surf School. Out of all of the surf schools, they offered a free meal with purchase of a surf lesson and I was sold! I learned how to stand up, and was surfing on my own.

"It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains behind frontier-style building facades. ... Nimbin is a strange place indeed."
 - Austin Pick

Nimbin has been described in literature and mainstream media as 'the drug capital of Australia', 'a social experiment' and 'an escapist sub-culture'. Nimbin has become an icon in Australian cultural history with many of the values first introduced there by the counterculture becoming part of modern Australian culture.

I am not a huge fan of museums, but found Nimbin's museum to be the best museum ever.


Inside the Museum