Australian Food & Candy Review!

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:

Flat White :
Basically a latte, with less foam (invented in Australia).
P.S. that’s my latte art! πŸ˜€
Musk Sticks :
Soft sugar stick with a fragrant taste (like perfume).

(these a good, in moderation, if you eat too many the perfume taste becomes really strong)
Anzac Biscuits :
They were invented in Australia, during WWI because the ingredients were easy to get,

and didn’t spoil.
Delicious oatmeal coconut cookies with a hint of honey, perfect for tea and coffee.
Meat Pies :
There are many different varieties.

They are sold at many bakeries around Australia, and some even have unique flavours.
This is just a few from a popular bakery near where I live.
Tim Tams :
Malted cookies coated with chocolate, with different types of filling,
(these are one of my favorite Australian snacks!
!)
Lamingtons :
An Australian cake bar made from butter cake or sponge cake,

coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in shredded coconut.
Fairy Bread :
Sliced white bread with butter,
covered with “Hundreds and Thousands” (sprinkles),
served at children’s parties in Australia and New Zealand.
Vegemite :
A thick, dark brown Australian food spread made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract with various vegetable, vitamins, and spice additives.
(it does not taste as bad as it’s seems)
“Australian” Milo :
Milo in Australia is anΒ iconic crunchy milk drink,

(first introduced in 1934).
It’s made from malted barley, dried milk, and cocoa.

(not to be confused with hot chocolate powder)

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!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Still in Australia?

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!


-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

P.S. Subscribe to my channel for my “A Day in my Life” video that’s coming soon!

No More Hiding!

My time has come
Hope has won
I’ve been found

Fear is gone
Love has won
I’ve been covered

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!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

P.S. This post was inspired by: This Song!

My Trip to Australia!

Part 1 of my journey to Australia has been uploaded!!!

Check it out using the link below:

My Trip to Australia! (Part 1)


Thanks for following me on this journey!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Back to school?…

Update time / a lot of interesting links below!!!

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!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

10 year challenge…

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:

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

21 hour thanksgiving train ride!

And, it’s 21 hours (on thanksgiving)!

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).

My seat for 21 hours…

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).

Lounge car (where I spent half my train ride).

While eating breakfast, I decided to catch up on some stuff (like emails, Instagram, and I started writing this post).

Breakfast: $5
(banana bread – $3 & water for $2)

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.

Lunch: $3.50
(Can of hummus with 6 crackers)

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)
If you’re looking for a more Thanks Giving type of post that you can use to make a difference this thanksgiving check out this one: Make A Difference Today!

Thanks for reading!
I hope this helps you know more about what to expect & bring for your next overnight train adventure!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Living in a National Park! (video)

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, here’s my video experience from my time living and working in Jasper, Alberta, Canada: https://youtu.be/bVHs7lSZfsI


Thanks for reading!
I hope you enjoy the video!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Reasons to travel


Surround yourself
With new people
New food
New culture
New Air

Immerse yourself
With different people
Different food
Different culture
Different atmosphere

Teach yourself
With an open mind
An open heart
An open spirit
An open soul

Be yourself
With a new perspective
A new understanding
A new desire
A new heart

Thanks for reading!
I hope this post inspires you to travel, and change your perspective!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

The Endless Cycle of Constant Failure

I keep failing
Yet you forgive me
Over and over again

I keep straying
Yet you look after me
Everyday

I forget about you
Yet you never forget me
Never

I try to do it on my own
Yet you still look after me
No matter what I do

I try to hide my shame
Yet you show me it
And you forgive me right away

I constantly apologize
Yet you always welcome me back
With open arms

I say: “It won’t happen again.”
Yet you know it will
And you’ve already forgiven me

I’m tired of this constant failure
Yet you never tire
Of loving me

I want to leave
Yet you tell me to stay
With you

I want to give up
Yet you still believe in me
Enough to make me try again and again

I try to earn my way
Yet I’m learning
You don’t work that way

I fail many times
Yet you’re always there to catch me
And forgive and love me

I think I’ve failed too many times
Yet you reassure me that I haven’t failed enough
And that I never will

But, why?
Why are you so good to me?


Here’s the answer I’ve found to that question (it’s also what inspired this post):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqybaIesbuA


Thanks for reading!
I hope this post sparks you to think about the bigger picture.
I promise adventure posts are coming! I’m just in a thinking frame of mind lately before I start my next adventure!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

The Confusion Filled Search

Life
A daily search
Filled with confusion
for the days ahead

All the questions
Flying around your head
Just confusing your mind
With no answers

One day
Everything’s great
You have the answers
The confusion is gone

The next day
The search continues
Back to square one
When will the cycle end?

. . .

How I wish I knew
What to do?

I just keep failing
Can someone help me?

I can’t decide
Where to go?

I need a map
Is it left or right?

I’m overwhelmed
Can I do this alone?

. . .

The more I learn
The more confused I become

I want to stop searching
But I can’t

Curiosity gets the best of me
And takes the best of me

I’m searching for something
I’m searching for nothing

What am I even searching for?


Thanks for reading!
I hope this post sparks your mind to think about the important things in life!


-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

I’m Back!

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!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

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…

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 self
because it’s never too late!

P.S. This poem was also inspired by this song!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Where you started…

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!


Thanks for reading!

-LiveForAdventure! 😊

Solo Travel Tip #4

Pack light & simple!

. . .

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.

This is what I normally pack for my trips.
1 suitcase (regular 24″) & 1 backpack (big enough to hold some extra clothes and a 17″ laptop)

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).

Search for the weather forecast for the first week of your trip.

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?

Fold
Roll

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)!

Here’s a hint of my next adventure!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Solo Travel Tip #3

This tip is about:

. . .

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!).

nothing-will-change-in-your-life

-LiveForAdventure! 😊

Home?

Traveling abroad
Learning a new language
Making new friends

Learning the culture
Living in a new country
Making memories

. . .

It’s all exciting
And, very rewarding
Until it’s time to…

Go back “home”, and
Resume life as you know it
With the memories

The past adventures
Will always be memories
For yourself only

Because even though
You’ve changed your perspective
Home is still the same

Your new perspective
Will make home seem different
But, don’t worry

The more you travel
The more homes you will have
Around the world

. . .

Having homes abroad is
Amazing and rewarding
And, makes you wonder…

What is home?
Is it really where the heart is?
How do you know you’re “home”?


Thanks for reading!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Flashlight…

Turn it on
Point it in front of you
Follow the circle


The dark…

It can scare you
And comfort you

Scared to see
What’s in front of you?

The dark
Can feel safe

Flip that switch
To feel safer

The circle
Is your safe spot

Walk in that circle
And feel protected

. . . because . . .

Life will throw you into the dark
And you will feel lost

That’s when you find your flashlight
To show you the way


Thanks for reading!
Remember “flashlights” are important!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

P.S. This post was inspired by: this verse

Re-Entry…

Finally landed home after 4 months!
It’s been a crazy adventure!
The past 4 months have been so crazy,
and I learned so much!
Now, it’s time to re-enter at home,
and use all those lessons from abroad!


I have a lot of future post ideas, but I’m still processing the past 4 months, so, if you want to read about some of the lessons I learned while living abroad, click this link: Living in Argentina!

And, if you want to see videos of my adventures from the past 4 months, click this link: YouTube Channel


Thanks for reading!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

7 months in S.A.

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! πŸ˜‰

5. I learned how to be my own best friend.
See post: Solo Travel Tip #1

6. I learned how to step out of my comfort zone more, and get the most out of every experience.
See post: Fear is Calling

7. And, lastly, I learned a bunch of other random things, like what I want to do with my life.
See post: 2019 resolutions

. . . 

And, if you want to read more about my experiences while
living in South America,
check out the following links:

Living in Chile! πŸ‡¨πŸ‡±

Living in Argentina! πŸ‡¦πŸ‡·


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.

-LiveForAdventure! 😊

Perfection…

Your flaws make you, YOU!
They give you your personality!
They make you amazing!

Your flaws are perfect!

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!


Thanks for reading!

Click here to see what inspired this post!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚

Homesickness…

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!

-LiveForAdventure! πŸ™‚


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!