Soup Swap Sunday

Sunday, 25, May, 2014 3 , , , , Permalink 0

Now winter is fast approaching, I've been cooking a lot more warm, hearty soups. But, it doesn't matter how delicious the pumpkin soup or minestrone, eating it 3 days in a row is no fun. After a few weeks of this though, my freezer is stocked with a good variety of hearty winter meals. Problem is, I'd rather not have to wait to build up the selection. The solution? Soup Swap Sunday! Today I invited 4 friends over (also twenty-something working professionals often cooking for one) with the instruction to bring 4 freezer containers each filled with a delicious soup. Post swap, we would each walk away with 4 different soups to stock our freezer with for the wintery week ahead. ...

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The Quiet Achiever & Leader

According to Myers Briggs, I’m an introvert. This actually surprised a few people (friends and colleagues included) but not me – I’ve always been a bit shy and reserved. I’m happy in my own company and find crowds and meeting new people overwhelming. Sure, I can be the life of the party, give a presentation and mingle and network with the best of them – but I find it draining and regenerate afterwards by spending quiet time by myself. It became pretty clear to me fairly early on that schools, employers and the corporate world in general recognise and reward extroverted behaviour much quicker than the subtler introverted approach. Susan Cain talks about this divide between introverts and extroverts in her ...

Morning Sunshine!

When I was in Rio recently, I stayed at a little B&B called The Rio Dolphin Inn, nestled between Copacabana and Ipanema. There were only two bedrooms, so the hosts (John and Cindy) had essentially opened up their home to travellers and so were innately very open-minded, generous and authentic people. We were lucky enough to be their last guests - after 28 years in Rio, John (originally a Texan) had decided it was time for a new sea change and they were moving to Maui in Hawaii. John and Cindy chose to live a very holistic, organic life and John had a very natural and philosophical take on things. We had a few chats but one piece of wisdom he shared ...

Life is a classroom

Wednesday, 21, May, 2014 1 , , , Permalink 1

It was 19 July 2010 and I had just arrived at Cambridge University in the UK. No, I wasn't there to study a Masters in Law or Philosophy or anything else remotely as impressive. I was there to teach English to [rich] European kids for the summer. Besides briefly contemplating primary school teaching as a career before law, I had never taught in a classroom. The idea came to me when I was researching alternative tours and activities for solo travellers. It seemed like a good way to meet people, get free accommodation and earn some money while I travelled (and, FYI, I was right - highly recommend it). So I completed a 6 week TESOL course in Perth before I left ...

The Modern Career Crisis Staircase

Monday, 19, May, 2014 8 , , , Permalink 1

Have you noticed that “what do you want to be when you grow up” is no longer just a question for pre-schoolers? Plenty of twenty-something’s (myself included) are asking themselves the same question on an almost-annual basis.  I’m not exactly panicking about it. It’s become so much more acceptable nowadays to not know what your career is going to look like in 5 or 10 years time. Not only that, but slipping into a cookie cutter career is now (in some circles) considered mainstream and suitably unimpressive. Instead, we are encouraged to think outside the box, make our own rules and define our own version of career success. Is it just me or does that sound like a lot of pressure? Social ...

Dear Grown Up Me

When I was 16 years old and in my final year of high school, I had to write a letter to my future self. It was placed in a time capsule for ten years, to be given back to me at my high school reunion last year. I didn't go (for a few reasons) but it was mailed to me. When I read it, I couldn't help but smile through tears - gosh teenagers really do know it all don't they! I felt a wave of love, kindness and pride sweep over me as I imagined 16 year old me standing face-to-face with 26 year old me, saying this: Ok, so if you asked 16 year old Emma where she would like ...

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“It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others…Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion’s questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.” 

— Alain de Botton - The Art of Travel

The first page of my favourite chapter

Friday, 16, May, 2014 1 , , Permalink 1

So I chose my first “Extracts of a Travel Diary” post from my most recent overseas adventure. But (surprise, surprise) my journal entries have not always been quite so profound. Recently, I came across my very first journal entry from when this whole wanderlust thing really started. After quitting my job as a junior lawyer, I left Perth airport on the 18th of June 2010 for an 8 month solo adventure around Europe. I remember the feeling before I left, like I was going up against the world – just me, myself and I. It was terrifying and exciting and everything in between. The first few pages of my travel diary from that trip, however, proved to be quite an ...