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14 May 2018

Why Your Twenties Should Be Less Big Choices And More Big Risks

Ah your twenties.

The "peak" of your time here on Earth, apparently.

The decade you're statistically most likely to meet the love of your life, get married and have babies.


Yet, if I'm entirely honest, I've never written anything so terrifying in my whole life.

In a world in which our lifespan is growing by the year, being in your twenties right now, is the sudden realisation that you're likely only a quarter of a way through your life.

A quarter.

Which also means, you need to slow down.

Because right now, you probably have the biggest support system you'll ever have. Most of us are fortunate enough to have parents or grandparents, friends and family friends, helping you to navigate the hot mess that is being in your twenties.

And the mistakes you'll make are the ones you'll bounce back from.

You can snog guys and gals in the corner of dark clubs and you can live 4-to-a-room and get drunk on rooftops which you deffo shouldn't be on.

You can quit your job and you can change careers and you can just TAKE YOUR SWEET TIME.

Because actually, in your twenties, time is one thing you really do have.

It's so easy to look at what other people are doing and think you should be doing something along the same lines.

Seeing friends get married or have babies - it can make you question whether you should be in that place too?

But everyone's life path is completely different.

If you've figured yours out than fabulous, good for you.

But if you haven't, well, the chances are you're out here with the majority of people you know.

Don't waste time in a job you don't want to be in, don't go travelling because you think it's what you should be doing.

Take some time to figure this stuff out.

Move countries, be fun-employed, jump out of an aeroplane and do things so that when you look back on in 60 years time, you don't think "WhY was I wasting my prime years commuting for 4 hours a day to a job I hate".

So you might wake up next to the Mr. Wrong once again.

But truly?

Who cares.

Blogger Widgets

3 May 2018

My Ultimate Travel Bucket List

Believe it or not, I've never actually written a travel bucket list.

I'm not sure why, because I write lists for practically everything else in my life - even the things I don't need lists for - but I guess I thought in order to write a travel bucket list, I kind of need to be travelling.

The good news is - here I am!

Even though I'm settled in Sydney, I still class myself as travelling, because it's only a temporary stop for me to fund more travels.

So for the first time, I'm writing a bucket list where I'll hopefully be able to start striking off a couple of points within the nexr year!

1. Skydiving 
Spoiler alert, I'm actually booking to jump 15,000ft out of a plane for my 23rd birthday, so let's hope all goes smoothly and I'll be able to finish the rest of my bucket list!

2. Swim with whale sharks 
In Western Australia, you can swim with the biggest fish in the sea and it's basically all I've been thinking about since I landed.

3. Attend Loi Krathong in Thailand (the floating lantern festival)
The Loi Krathong festival is celebrated on the 12th month of the lunar calendar, which falls in the western month of November and is breathtaking to experience.

4. Eat breakfast with giraffe-shaped-friends
In Kenya, there's a hotel where you are joined for breakfast by a couple of long-legged friends each morning. Can you imagine halving your apple with a giraffe?

5. Hike the Inca Trail
The long hike to Machu Picchu is absolutely iconic and a must-do whilst you're young. South America isn't actually somewhere I've thought about travelling to much, but machu picchu has been on my agenda since a couple of friends did it a few years ago.

6. Swim with wild dolphins
Fun fact: I actually won my Blue Peter badge when, aged 8, I wrote a poem about dolphins. I then stood in front of my door, which was covered in photos of dolphins, holding my favourite dolphin stuffed toys and wearing a t-shirt with a picture of a dolphin on it. So, for my 8-year-old self, I need to do this.

7. Roadtrip in a campervan 
I mean, the main thing holding me back with this is that I can't actually drive... HOWEVER, every single day on the various Aussie backpacker groups I've joined, people post lift offers and road trip offers, so this could be on the horizon!

8. Experience penguins in Pantagonia
My favourite animals - and lots of them. Pantagonia is renowned for its penguin population, how could I not want to visit them in one of the most beautiful countries in the world? Note: I may or may not have been inspired by The Penguin Lessons, one of my new favourite books.

9. Walk the Great Wall of China
This speaks for himself. My stopover in China doesn't count as a sufficient visit to the most populated country in the world.

10. Ride in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia 
I travelled down Turkey, from Istanbul to Bodrum, when I was 18 and it remains one of my favourite countries in the world. But being a young, broke backpacker, I never had a chance to experience the hot air balloons in cappadocia - but I'm desperate to return one day.

Where are you desperate to visit?

I hope I inspired your brains - there is a LOT of world to see!

Love, Alice x


28 April 2018

LIFE UPDATE: Sun, Sea and Moving to Sydney

Does anyone else feel as though they blinked, and then suddenly found themselves at the end of April?

That is my current state.

A slightly-blurry mess, sat in a coffee shop and drinking an oh-so-naughty iced mocha (they make them with ice cream here).

But it's time again for another "life update" post, and I feel slightly bad about it.

Because as you may have noticed, I've only written one blog post in almost two months.

Which makes this the end of the longest hiatus Alice's Antics has seen in almost 5 years.

Half of my job right now is writing content for online publications, but it sort of hurts my heart that the writing I'm doing isn't going into this blog, because the reason I even got the job in the first place, was because of Alice's Antics.

Not the £27,000 degree I have, lol.

But what's going on in my life - where have I BEEN? What wild Australian adventures have I been on?

Have I encountered a dingo yet?

Thankfully, Sydney isn't really a dingo-hangout.

I've been in Australia for 3 and a half months, which actually makes my head spin, but I am loving it.

When I first moved to Sydney, I have to be honest, I wasn't entirely convinced by the city. I'd just moved away from London and felt like I'd landed in a hotter version of the city I'd left - featuring a lot more beaches and a lot less history.

But over the last three months, I have honestly fallen in love with this city.

So much so, that I've actually just accepted a full-time job in Sydney, as the place I'm interning has offered to turn my internship into a role.

Which means I will soon be leaving my au pair position -  and *sob* my kingsize bed -  and will be moving into a travellers apartment, where I will almost definitely be sharing a bedroom with at least one other person.

But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Working in the city, the biggest challenge so far for me has been to remember that I am in fact a traveller, passing through, and not an Aussie resident.

Which is why I think in some ways, moving into an apartment with a group of others all trying to save money, will probably help me a lot with bringing me into reality.

Because right now, I live a pretty comfy life.

I'll be in Sydney until at least September, at which time I'll have to make the decision of whether I want to continue working until December (at which point I always planned to travel around Australia for the 6 weeks before my visa expires) OR grit my teeth and go off to do my 88 days of "farm work".

Because if you didn't know, to extend your one-year visa into a two-year visa, you've got to "work the land" for 88 days.

Like, really, that's a thing.

For now,  though, you'll be able to find me making the most of my last month with my king-size bed.

Love, Alice x

2 April 2018

How to Start a Travel Diary (and stick at it)

I don't like to blow my own horn, but if there's one thing I know I can do well, it's write.

Not in like an 'omg the next novelist of the 21st century' kind of way, just in, yknow, I like to write, so I write a lot, and I think people like to read what I write.

But the roots of my writing came long before Alice's Antics. Growing up, I would write short stories and poems and have book plots sitting inside my brain for months. And then, when I was 11 years old, I decided to start a diary.

And a mere 11 years later, guess who's still writing that diary of hers????? You guessed it.

Keeping 11 years worth of diaries isn't for everyone, and sometimes I read back through them and sort of wish I hadn't recorded the mind of my 14-year-old self in hard copy. But, writing a diary when you're going through a big change, can be a great idea.

Although writing down the boy-stalking part of my life isn't my favourite period to reflect on, keeping a diary through moving to Italy, starting university, and coming to Australia, definitely is.

And, well, you gotta take the highs with the lows.

My first thing, is to buy a notebook which is specifically for the purpose of keeping a diary. Not like a general notebook which you write whatever in, a notebook which is specifically for journalling. That way, you will only associate it with writing in your diary, rather than forgetting its purpose in a couple of months because you've been using it for shopping lists.

When you're buying your diary, splash out and get a good pen too. Sooo you'll probably lose said pen in a month or so - but if you're anything like me, you'll want the first page of your diary to be aesthetic, even if it all goes downhill from there, so invest in a nice pen to stimulate your diary-writing-mood.

Then, you should keep it by your bed. Keeping it by your bed is both cliche, and vital. Because the only time most of us switch off, is as we're getting into bed. If you're staying in a hostel, or somewhere you don't particularly want it on display, try just keeping it in your everyday backpack. Then, if you're on a train, or in a cafe, you can get it out wherever you like.

To keep you entertained, keep it creative. My travel diaries include postcards, photographs, tickets, receipts, you name it. I love flicking through the diary I kept through my time Greek-island-hopping because it is so visual and I've kept so many things. Obviously, most of us don't carry glue sticks with us on the road, so my best tip is to leave a page blank where you want to stick in a postcard or whatever, and slip the postcard in the folds of the pages, until you're home/somewhere you can stick it all together.

I hope you guys have found this useful! I'm sorry I've been so quiet over the last couple of weeks - unfortunately tonsillitis took over my life and soul, but I've been posting a little bit over on my Youtube channel so make sure you're subscribed!

Love, Alice x


14 March 2018

LIFE UPDATE: Friends, Freelancing and Figuring Life Out

It's fair to say, my last life update post went pretty bloody well.

If I may say so myself.

This months life update involves a couple less life mistakes and a couple more YOU GO GIRL(s)!

Because your gal is now, officially, a freelance writer!

*round of applause here pls*

My plan, when I moved to Australia, was always to get a second job on top of au pairing. Au pairing is perfect for me right now, I absolutely love my host family, I love where I live and, to be honest, I love not paying the extortionate rent.

All in all, it's a pretty sweet deal.

But with 4 days a week only working outside of school hours, I'm left with a lot of time to myself. And to be honest, I always thought I'd end up working in a restaurant or a cafe out here and hadn't considered looking into much else.

But then I thought - why shouldn't I. Why shouldn't I try my hand at landing something a little more up my street than waiting tables. So, after a bit of gentle persuasion from those around me, I decided to apply to become a freelance writer in Australia.

And, well, now I am one.

Yup, alongside my blog, I'm currently writing content for Lost at E Minor and Techly, but am also sub-editing other contributors work too and basically just being an all rounder for the real-deal editors where I can.

The BEST part of all this, is that with a couple of well-known Aussie publications under my belt, alongside the experience I've gained in the UK and through my blog, I can literally take my job on the road whilst I'm here. I'm not limited by a desk or by 'office hours'. I can work weekends and late nights, and I can take on as much or as little as I want to, because I'm also au pairing right now too.

So, that's basically the dream.

I cannot even describe how lucky I feel to have landed on my feet here. Obviously travelling is so important, but if you're like me and unsure of when you'll be going back to a more traditional lifestyle, it's also great if you can keep your C.V. going whilst on the road. Gaps in employment for travel aren't uncommon at all, and a lot of employers look favourably upon it, but this means I do have the both of best worlds, and the best part is it doesn't even feel like work because I enjoy it so much. (Cringe - don't hate me for that).

If you read my blog post about making new friends, you might have found out that this month I threw caution to the wind, and after a gentle prod from my host-mum, decided to seek out some other backpackers/au pairs who might want a new pal, (spoiler: me).

So I ignored basically all stranger danger warnings ever taught to me as a child, and decided to write a Facebook post on a couple of backpacker groups, asking if anyone wanted to do something that weekend.

It turns out, there are a LOT of lonely people in Sydney.

Which was a big relief, and made me feel a whole lot less tragic.

Eventually, I created a little Facebook chat for some of the girls who messaged me, and well, things just grew from there. A 20+ person beach bbq and never-ending fb chat later, and it's safe to say I definitely made some new friends. It was honestly a fantastic decision, and to be honest, one I was really apprehensive about. It's just taught me sometimes you need to swallow your pride and admit you don't have to be satisfied with being alone.

Which brings me to my last little life update of the month - FIGURING LIFE OUT.

As most of you know, I came to Australia with little to no plan, except knowing I had to be in England for March 2019 because I'd be flying out to work in Southeast Asia from then for 6 months (more on that later).

So basically, the world was my oyster.

I knew I wanted to spend a full year in Australia because you only get one of these Working Holiday Visas in your whole life, so I'd be an idiot not to make the most of that. But I wasn't sure where I was heading or how long I'd be in one place for.

Well, I can officially say I'm going to be living in Sydney until September. Yup, another 6 months in my new favourite city in the world.

I made the decision based on a number of factors, including my new job, my au pair family, and my ability to save. But I am so happy in my decision. I have some time off over the winter here to travel to the places not on my actual 'route' - aka Uluru and Perth - but I'll be dedicating the last 6 weeks of my time in Australia to actually, properly 'backpacking'.

Anyway. I've rambled on for far too long in this blog post.

Make sure you're keeping an eye on my Youtube channel, I post weekly travel vlogs AND sit-down videos.

Sorry this is the longest blog post in the world, you're all caught up on my life now!

Love, Alice x


8 March 2018

A Letter to Every Woman I Know - International Women's Day 2018

I am surrounded by incredible women.

I walk past you in the street. I buy my groceries from you. I have meetings with you. I talk to you on the phone. I share your secrets. I share your blood. I am a product of a woman, and I am proud to identify as a woman.

I am proud to be a woman, and I urge you to be proud too.

Be proud enough to stick up for the 62 million women worldwide who are denied an education because they were born female.

Be proud enough to speak out about the sexual assault encountered by 1 in 3 women. 1 in 3 women have come forward. Speak out because 2 in 3 women haven't reported their assaults.

Be proud enough to raise awareness for the 1000 honour killings of young women which occur in India and Pakistan each year.

Be proud enough to raise your daughters to equalise the 32% of women who are in national parliaments worldwide.

Be proud enough to teach your daughter that they can be a beautician. Or a rocket scientist. Or a mechanic. Or a hairdresser. Because men outnumber women in science degrees 4:1.

Be proud enough to stick up for yourself and your wage. Because the gender pay gap will take a century to close.

Being proud does not mean burning your underwear and throwing yourself under horses. Being proud does not mean you cannot be a mother, or a bride, or excited about the next episode of Love Island. And being proud does not mean subjecting men to abuse.

It is using your voice and not being ashamed to do so. It is rising against the oppression of women internationally, not just in your town.

It is knowing you are fortunate enough to have freedom, and recognising that there are countries where women are not allowed to leave the house without a male.

It is fighting against the fact western society are supposed to be leaders in women's rights, and yet a rapist is in charge of the United States.

The women running through our bloodstreams fought a war which brought us votes, and taught us we could be anything we wanted to be. And now, it's our turn to fight for our own daughters.

Fight to allow them to walk down the street without holding their keys through her fingers. Fight to have her walk into a job and know she'll be paid the same as her male equivalent. Fight to watch her walk a red carpet and be asked about her passions, not her dress size.

Be proud enough to stand up for your gender without being embarrassed. And be confident enough to speak out about the oppression and discrimination which continues in every, single, country.

Be brave, and be proud. Don't be afraid to celebrate today.

Here's to strong women.

May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

19 February 2018

How to Meet People in A New Country

The title of this blog post is very generalised. Whether you've moved to a new 'country', or a new town, moving somewhere you don't know anyone is daunting. Moving away from people you love means finding a new support system, because the people around you are, in all honesty, what keeps you sane in life. They're the ones who stop you calling your ex at 3am and help you eat a tub of Ben and Jerry's during titanic, they look after you on nights out and stop you feeling 2/10 when you don't get a second date.

Basically, friends are life.

But without school, or college, or uni, how on earth do you meet people when you go to a new place? How do you naturally make conversation happen, so you find your people?

The truth is, it's difficult.

But if I've learnt anything from the time I literally leaned over a table in Italy because I heard four girls speaking English and half-begged them to take me under their wing, (the words 'I have no friends here' were mentioned at least twice), it's that you need to be brave.

Moving to the opposite side of the world? No problem. Making friends in said location? No thank YOU.

People have a fear of approaching those they don't know. It's a natural fear of rejection, but the truth is, if you're not being creepy and the people you're approaching are nice, then it'll be absolutely fine. And you've got to think, would you really want to be friends with the kind of people who do reject you?

All you really need to kick off a friendship group, is one key pal who has friends too. Most of my friends in Australia have been met through friends of friends. My best friend in Italy was also met through a friend. If you have someone to help you connect with people, making new friends can be easy.

BUT, what do you do when you literally don't have a single friend? Not one human being in the vicinity to depend on?

This is where, in my opinion, you use an equal measure of common sense, friendliness and technology. Facebook groups are your new best friend. There's honestly a Facebook group for everything these days. Write a friendly post saying you're new to the area and keen to go for drinks, honestly, like minded people will jump at this. Use your common sense to accept messages from people you would probably like to hang with, and filter the inevitable creepy ones too. And be brave enough to take the step and meet up with them. Lydia, the girl I'm running hand and hand with into the sea in this blog's photo - we met in a Starbucks after messaging on Facebook. Stranger danger is real, but if you're sensible, you can absolutely use it to your advantage.

If you've travelled to a new country as a backpacker, you might find meeting people face to face easier than online. Hostels are a great place to meet new people, you just need to be brave enough to talk to strangers over washing your underwear in the sink. Hostels are also great because there's a lot of individuals passing through all who have got the same desire to travel as you, and some hostels will have events for you to join in on if you want to - another ideal way to make friends!

The truth is, meeting people depends on two things, being brave and being friendly. Trying to make friends is so daunting, especially as an adult, you feel like you're being thrown into year 7 at school all over again. But if you put yourself out there, and manage a smile, you should be able to meet people even in the smallest of places.

I hope you've all had wonderful weekends!

Love, Alice x


10 February 2018

LIFE UPDATE: Snogging, Blogging and Missing Home

If you've been with me since almost the beginning of time, you might recall I used to write monthly 'life update' posts. These were essentially natters in a blog post based on my current life traumas, what I'm up to, the highs and lows of the month and just basically, any gossip I can feed you about myself and my current life situation.

The thing is, I started writing 'Life Updates' in 2013, when the internet was a much smaller place and the blogging world was far less saturated. I feel like in the last five years (omfg FIVE YEARS), the blogging world has shifted to predominantly makeup and beauty and dyou know what? That's all well and good, but what I'm best at, is writing a long old rambling lifestyle post.

The fear of people not reading what I had to say about ordinary old stuff like my first experience of real life cockroaches in the house put me off writing these types of blogs, but after a long old think, I've decided who bloody cares. Alice's Antics has always been a space on the internet for me to fill people in on my life, whatever form that may be. So whether it is a lifestyle update, or a travel post filled with fabulous artsy pictures (unlikely), or an outfit post, what matters, is that there is a post, and that I've loved writing every word.

That's what matters right?

It's almost been a month since my leaving party, where all of my favourite humans in the world gathered around me and got outrageously drunk on Happy Hour. I honestly didn't realise I had so many people I loved so much until they were all in one room, and seeing people from school, university and my job in France all in one place made my heart hurt a little (a lot). Knowing it's been a month, might be why this weekend for the first time I've missed my friends and family back in England. It's weird, because I don't think it's quite homesickness (yet), because I basically never want to move back to the UK and just want to spend my life moving from glorious beach to glorious beach. BUT, it does go to show that home is the people you love, because I miss all of their stories and late night wine sessions and sunday brunches. Sigh.

A week into being in Australia, I was with my new au pair pals, on a boat on the river overlooking the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House (I actually have no idea what the river is called which runs under harbour bridge - is it a river? is it the sea?)???? It was a very surreal moment, surrounded by a lot of backpackers, an extortionate bar and fireworks over the harbour. Being crammed unceremoniously against people, you end up talking to those you're breathing in the same air as in. Which is why myself and my friend Gemma, found ourselves chatting to a group of guys as the fireworks lit up the sky. Very romantic, I know. Four hours later in a sweaty club however, when I may or may not (I did) have kissed one of the boys. He goes to add me on Facebook. And guess where he's from??? DORSET. My TINY, home county in the south of the UK. I travelled 10,000 miles and still end up snogging a boy from Dorset. Next time I will be insisting upon a full background check before getting within 5 feet of any man.

The biggest, most exciting moment of 2018 (except, ya know, jumping on a plane to Australia), came when after two years of lusting over it, I decided to splurge out and buy a Canon G7X Mark ii. For those of you who don't know, they're the holy grail of vlogging cameras, but are also used by a lot of influencers as photography cameras too, being compact but far better than an iphone. Which obviously means, Alice's Antics youtube channel is going to have far more content up on it in the near future. We're talking sitting down videos, travel vlogs, whatever I can come up with, I will gladly create for you my friends.

Despite the bout of homesickness (and actually, real sickness, I had a 24 hour virus which knocked the LIFE out of me), I am feeling so positive and excited for this year. I'm so ready to put out the content I want to put out and not what I think I should be, and I LOVE this style of writing, okay!? It may be a bit ramble-y and all over the place, but the first blog I ever loved was written by a uni girl friend Essex who talked about her love of Carbs and that one time she ordered a full Domino's just so she didn't have to go out to buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's. That's my kinda gal. That's the kinda blog posts I like.

We're finally through January so I hope the second month of the year brings you far more joy and far less of the 'bleurgh' feeling! Yes yes, it's Valentine's day this week but MORE IMPORTANTLY, it's Pancake day!

Let me know how you feel about these blog posts, I finally have a flare for writing again, thank goodness and welcome back writer Alice.

Love, Alice x


1 February 2018

The Life Changing Act of Deleting People on Facebook

It's September 2005. You've started at your new High School and oh my god you don't know anyone and why do the year 11's look so ginormous??? Surely you can never grow to that height??? You cling to the first person who catches your eye and awkwardly compliments your scoobie string keyring hanging from your Jane Norman shopping tote bag. So commences a few years of happy friendship, until eventually you grow apart and now, you're 23 and haven't spoken in, surely not, SEVEN years? But you were best pals once, right? So you can't actually delete each other on Facebook?

Social media, is a blessing and a curse. In fact, the whole topic of this blog post has been discussed tenfold on my group chat, because recently most of us have been feeling the impact of social media containing a lot of baggage. Meet someone on a night out in the girls toilet and drunkenly give her your Facebook? And then three months later you come across a tragic post on the loss of her pet gerbil, you think 'who is that' and yet completely forget to delete her. Or you join a new job and everyone jumps onto adding you in the first week, and low and behold a couple of months later you move on? We've all been there. 'What if I bump into them on the street', 'what if they notice'? Honestly, and I can't say really say this nicely enough, but who cares?

Facebook has been built to become a lot bigger than we are ourselves. Deleting someone on Facebook somehow means more to people than actually being cut out of eachothers lives. And it's this attitude which should almost force us to jump start, and question why. Why does it matter so much? Why is it a form of validation?

Facebook brings baggage and guilt which has never been accessible in this way before. Suddenly we know people's business when we don't even know their phone numbers. Loved ones deaths, new jobs, where they've gone on holiday. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has spent time browsing someone's facebook profile, clicking on their best friend, clicking on his girlfriend, and suddenly you're looking at her cousins girlfriends 2k11 holiday snaps. And that person you originally clicked on? You never even spoke to them at school anyway.

Deleting people on Facebook is not only necessary, but it's healthy. Go by the rule, if you wouldn't stop and talk to them on the street, you don't need to know their online business. Assess the relationship you have, however much you want to know what your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend is doing right now, is it really healthy to have them online?

You'll never really be able to cut people out of your life and move on whilst they're lingering in the back of your social media presence, and that is the new dimension to life we haven't quite grasped yet. Social media is a wonderful thing, but maintaining a healthy relationship with it is so important. It's way past the time to get rid of the social media baggage, it just took me this long to come to terms with how important it really is.

Love, Alice x

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