The following pictures are just a few traditional candies / snacks & street foods that I tried during the past year of living in Australia, and I just wanted to share them here to encourage you to try new foods in a different country. And, if you’re planning a trip to the land down under soon, here’s a list to get you started! So, here are some of the things I think you should definitely try in Australia:
Thanks for reading! I hope this list encourages you to try new foods wherever you are; and helps you on your next trip to Australia – to know what to try!
So, yes. I am still living & studying in Australia.
However, due to the current world pandemic, called Covid-19, I haven’t been able to explore much of Australia. So, I decided to make this video to show you what my home / school looks like here. Hope you enjoy! THE VIDEO
For more information about what I’m doing here, check out this link!
The lies are gone Truth has won I’ve been set free from doubts
Broken love has vanished Peace has won I’ve stopped running
Quitting has no place here Comfort has won I’ve found my home
Hiding places have disappeared Light has won I’ve started shinning
Thanks for reading! I hope this post encouraged you to come out of hiding because life really is so much better when you are free! Don’t hide who you are because it’s only hurting you; God is waiting for you to realize that you have been found! He is greater than all your fears; stop hiding & trust Him!
Wow! It’s literally been almost 3 years since I’ve been in school, & I vowed I’d never go back. But, here I am, 3 years later, excited to go back! And, all I can say is that a lot can change in 3 years, because this Saturday (Feb. 8) I will be on a plane to go to school somewhere very exciting! I’ve already made two post about exactly where & why I’m going that you can read by clicking these links: The Start of Something New From Follow Me! To Send Me!
So, instead of repeating myself, I just wanted to make this post to link to the new page I’ve created on this blog. I’ll be posting updates over there about my time living & learning in Australia. So, if you’re interested in following along on this crazy, exciting journey, check out that page using this link: My YWAM Journey!
And, if you can’t wait for a weekly/monthly post on that page, follow me on Instagram (for more daily updates)!
Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to share all the things I learn about on this amazing adventure!
So much has happened in the last 10 years that it would literally take me a 300-400 page book to tell you all about it. So, instead of making you read all that, here’s a poem I wrote to sum up the last decade of my life:
9 countries 4 Schools 5 jobs Over 100 flights More than 100 adventures Lots of lessons learned Millions of new friends So many new experiences
9 security checkpoints 4 graduation ceremonies 5 new-employee forms Over 100 foreign languages heard More than 100 pictures taken Lots of languages learned Millions of hellos & goodbyes So many different realities
900 international flights 4 diplomas & certificates 5 million interviews Over 100 new faces seen More than I could ever remember Lots of new skills acquired Millions of doors opened & closed So many amazing opportunities
This decade has truly been amazing, life-changing, & full of growth for me. And, I can’t wait to see what’s next! I hope you’ll stick with me through it on this blog because I still plan on posting on here! This blog is one of the most amazing things that I started in the past decade, and I don’t plan on stopping now!
Thanks for reading my random thoughts these past years. I have so many new adventures coming in 2020, and I can’t wait to share them with you!
P.S. This is also the decade when I created all of my current social medias!!! It feels crazy to me that I have had Instagram,Twitter and YouTube for exactly 10 years. And, that I have had this blog for 3 & a half years now! Here’s to continuing to:
First impressions: The seat is comfortable (hopefully I get some sleep). The bathroom is nice & clean, and almost triple the size of an air plane bathroom. There’s a nice lounge area and snack bar with wifi (a little slow though). So far, it’s a pretty positive review (I’ll say more after I get some sleep).
And, that’s my first impressions during my first ever hour on a train. Let’s see how the next 20 hours go…
Before going to sleep, I ate some takeout (from thai express) that I bought before getting on the train. And, looking back now, this was a GREAT idea because the next day I had to buy food on the train, NOT a great idea (items and prices below).
10 hours later… (after a “weird” night’s sleep)
I was only able to sleep for a minimum of 2 hours at a time. But, when I did get some rem sleep (from 12:30 am – 5:00 am), it was pretty decent (although a little bumpy and shaky). But, all in all, I was able to close my eyes for a few hours, so I’ll call it a win (even though I’m still pretty tired).
When I woke up, I was feeling a little stiff (from sleeping curled up in a ball on my seat), so I went to the lounge car to get breakfast, and do some stretches. Unlike a plane, there is room on a train if you need to stand and stretch, so that’s a plus. But, one downside is that, if you don’t bring your own blanket on a train, they don’t give them out or sell any, so my night was a little cold (which I also think is why I didn’t sleep too well).
While eating breakfast, I decided to catch up on some stuff (like emails, Instagram, and I started writing this post).
After breakfast I went back to my seat and took a 2 hour nap (trying to catch up for the missed rem sleep from the night before). Woke up again around 11:30 and made my way back to the lounge car for lunch.
After lunch, I continued writing this post in the lounge before returning to my seat. I still have 5 hours to go (but luckily for me I will arrive before supper, so no more buying overpriced food).
I ended up taking another nap when I went back to my seat. And, when I woke up the train was almost at the station, so I just looked out the window at the colourful trees. Fall is a great season to take the train because if you get bored, you can always just look out the window at the beautiful landscape.
My final thought about my first 21 hour train journey is: BE PREPARED! Even if you think you might not need something, just take it! It’s better to be over prepared than be miserable for a full day on a train.
Here’s a list of things I wish I had taken with me on the train:
More snacks (train food is overpriced)
A blanket & pillow
A book (the internet isn’t fast enough to download anything)
Already downloaded things (enough movies or podcasts to last a few hours)
Here’s a list of things I’m glad I brought on the train:
Toothbrush and Toothpaste
Eye mask (they don’t turn off the lights)
Noise cancelling earbuds (it’s loud, especially when the horn goes off near every station)
Thanks for reading! I hope this helps you know more about what to expect & bring for your next overnight train adventure!
The peace, the mountains, the small town vibe, the locals, the tourists, the cafes, the hiking trails, the lakes, etc…
From every little thing; living in a small national park town is: “interesting”. I can say from experience that it’s not for everyone, but everyone should definitely try to experience it at least once. You can really learn a lot! I’ve lived in a small national park town for a year now (6 months at a time), and I can truly say that each time, I’ve learned something new. The first time, I didn’t like it so much, and I kept saying: “too small, not for me.”. But, the second time, I was better prepared. I was mentally ready to enjoy the peace, hiking, cafes, tourists, locals, and everything that you get to experience when living in a small national park town. And, so, I decided to make a video showing what it’s like to live, & work in a small national park town.
So, I’m back from taking a break from blogging. I’ve had an amazing, and refreshing summer, with a lot of fun, and silly moments, and a lot of reflection moments. It was a well balanced summer (with work and beach days and hikes to the top of mountains). I feel refreshed, and ready to start blogging again!
I also have an amazing announcement to tell you!!! I am planning a trip back to….
(you’ll have to wait, and see what country in my next post…) I’m SOOOO EXCITED to go back to one of my favorite countries!!! And, I’m excited to blog about my travels, and share my adventures with you! I’m counting down the days until I get to return to my favorite country, but until then, I can’t wait to share the Pre-Departure process with you.
That’s all the updates I have for now. Thanks for reading! I hope you’ll follow me on my upcoming trip back to… one of my favorite countries!
P.S. If you want to see what I did all summer, I’m currently editing a video that I’ll post very soon, so stay tuned for that post.
P.P.S. If you want to follow my adventures real-time, without needing to wait for a new post, follow my Instagram @joannalavoie(I have been posting on there a lot more lately). The featured picture above is actually from one of my summer adventure (So, if you like it, and you want to see more like it, click the link above!).
These scars won’t last They might hurt now The pain just feels too real Will they ever go away?
These scars cut deep They are changing you You can barely think anymore Will it ever become normal again?
These scars are opening a new chapter They could become positive But, right now, they feel deadly Will it ever feel good?
These scars have taken something from you Maybe it’s happiness, or sadness Or, innocence, or willingness Or, maybe even your life?
But, even with these scars You are still here There’s still time So, what will you do now?
“These scars is a metaphorical poem I wrote during a confusing time in my life. The scars mentioned (while they could be real scars) represent past mistakes/memories that will never be forgotten, and that are constantly haunting and hurting.”
Thank you for reading to the end! I hope this poem encourages you to turn your scars into amazing things for your future selfbecause it’s never too late!
Sometimes it can be good to go back to where you started. It can teach you new lessons. It can show you things you didn’t notice last time. It can be a comforting, familiar place in the midst of the chaos. It can help you think better. It can give you clarity about some tough decisions. It can truly be a blessing.
. . .
If you ever feel like you’re going backwards, remember that nothing you do will ever actually push you back because you are always learning new things.
Even if it’s the millionth time you do something, it can always be done differently.
~ I’ve recently learned that going back to where you started can be a very good things because it can show you new things, and teach you new lessons. And, through it all, you can learn more about yourself. ~
Sometimes going backwards is the only way to move forward!
From arriving safely at your destination, to exploring your destination… When traveling alone, there are A LOT of things to think about… and, one of the most important, and overlooked thing is PACKING! So, here are some tips about packing that I’ve learned throughout my many solo travels:
1- Pack light You’re traveling alone; you don’t want to worry about carrying 2 bags and lugging around 2 suitcases. Save yourself the stress, and pack just 1 suitcase and 1 bag.
2- Check the weather! You most likely don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe. And, if you do forget anything, you can probably find at your destination (and, it can count as a great souvenir).
3- What are you going for? Are you going to be at the beach everyday? Are you going hiking a lot? Are you going in the mountains?
4- What kind of trip? Is it for business? Are you going for vacation? Are you going to visit friends/family? For how long?
5- How are you going to pack?
Will you choose the fold or roll method? This tip is very controversial. But, after personally trying both methods, multiple times, for different trips, I’ve come to the conclusion that the FOLD method is 100% easier and much more effective for any type of trip. It also takes much less room in your suitcase, and keeps your clothes much more organized, and less wrinkly.
Thanks for reading! I hope this post helps you pack effectively for your next adventure because packing effectively is the start to an amazing experience because it can take away some of the stress of traveling!
P.S. This post was inspired by my next adventure (departing: tomorrow)! So, stay tuned for more adventure posts (and, to find out where I’m going)!
When you finally decide to step out of your comfort zone, and travel abroad alone, you’re going to be so happy, and proud, but there’s one thing you should know.
When you travel abroad alone, you are going to want to make international friends, and meet people that speak the language and know the culture.
So, while you’re alone in a foreign country, that’s what you do.
That’s what’s on your mind because you don’t want to be alone all the time, so you start making friends to explore with, learn the language, and make amazing international connections.
And, in the moment, it’s all amazing and great fun, but soon it’s going to be time to say bye to that amazing country and those awesome new friends. And, that’s when the difficult part begins.
. . .
The first hardest part is actually saying bye to your amazing new friends.
The second hardest part is leaving a new country and culture that you started adapting to and loving so much.
The third, and final hardest part is going home, and getting used to seeing everything differently.
. . .
While traveling abroad alone, you learn more about yourself, you make new friendships and you learn to live differently in another country.
And, although all these things are awesome, the worst part is coming back to your home country because your perspective has changed, and sometimes it can feel weird to go back to your old ways. Especially when you had such a good experience abroad; you don’t want to lose this amazing, new version of yourself.
. . .
So, if you ever feel lost after a trip abroad:
Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone and changing your perspective is what it takes to move forward, and change your life. And, now you have friends in another country that you can visit whenever you feel homesick for that country.
Thanks for reading!
I hope this post encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, and change your perspective on the world (don’t be afraid of doing something different!).
Wow! I can’t believe I’ve lived in South America for a total of 7 months.
. . .
Half a year of living on another continent. Half a year of learning another language. Half a year of living in another culture.
. . .
It’s crazy to think about all the things I’ve done / learned in the past 7 months. And, I couldn’t possibly explain them all in one post. So, instead, here’s a list of 7 things I learned during my experience living in South America for 7 months:
1. This first one’s obvious: I couldn’t live in South America without learning Spanish! I’ve learned a lot of Spanish, and realized that I love learning languages! See post: Foreign Language Classes Abroad!
2. I learned a lot about budget traveling, and how to budget with foreign currency. See post: Budget Travel Tip #1!
3. I learned how to successfully, and happily spend the holidays while solo traveling abroad. See post:Abroad for the holidays!
4. I learned a lot about Patience. So much so, that I think it might be a separate post. Coming soon! 😉
Thanks for reading! I hope this post inspired you to travel, & step out of your comfort zone because it’s truly the best decision you will ever make. And, although, traveling comes with ups and downs, one thing is for sure, I don’t regret one minute of my time abroad.
Look at nature. The mountains, trees, ocean, are not perfect. But, they are beautiful! We look at them in awe, of their natural beauty! Nature’s simplicity, is awesome, and, perfect!
We don’t ask much of it, we don’t complain about it, and, yet we stare at it, in awe of it’s perfection. Even if we notice it’s faults, we choose to look at it’s perfect simplicity and peacefulness instead.
So, why can’t we do that with people (especially ourselves)?
We are always hating on ourselves and all our flaws, and, we can’t stop judging others, but, when we look at nature, we see beauty, and, perfection. I think it’s time we start noticing our flaws as perfect personality traits that make us amazing!
If we can find beauty in nature, we can definitely find beauty in people!
At first you just shake it You feel it for a moment And, then, you forget it
You start living in the moment With all the excitement Of this new experience
But, soon you get tired And, it catches up to you You can’t shake it this time
You’ve learned, explored, experienced Now, your brain is tired ready To go home
This new perspective These new lessons This new excitement
Ready to go home And, see the world Through your new view
Thanks for reading! I hope this reminded you that if you ever feel homesick; remember that everything you are learning and experiencing will completely change your perspective. So, enjoy your new experience and learn as much as you can because that’s what makes going home after a trip so exciting; you get to experience your home with a new perspective, in a completely different way!
P.S. I’m going home in 2 weeks from my 4 months trip in South America, so if you want to receive a postcard from my adventures, click this link!