Author Archives: AussieButterfly

Travel Adventure Moments…It’s the small things..

When I first started traveling one of the things that I didn’t expect was to create so many wonderful memories. Interestingly though it wasn’t the massive ‘must see things’ that stay with me the most.

I have laid on the grass watching the Eiffel Tower and feeling in love with Paris, walked around Stonehenge – 17 years after I first fell in love with it, stood on tops of mountains and continents, placed my feet in as many oceans that I can. These are not the things that first come time mind when I think of my travel adventure moments.

The little things that really should be forgotten quicker than others are the ones that I remember.

Reaching the top of Branco Wall whilst climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Whilst getting to the top was magnificent I was pretty sick with altitude sickness but climbing Branco Wall was a scaling an almost vertical wall and seeing the excitement on my mums face when she reached the top was priceless!

Those little coloured dots are humans!

Those little coloured dots are humans!

We did it!

We did it!

Siting in the artist workshop while he made mother of pearl inlay boxes in a back street of Damascus Syria. His skill was amazing and our lack of common language didn’t matter. I stayed there for hours and drank tea prepared by his wife. Sadly I wonder if this man and his family are still alive given the current situation in Syria. I pray that he made his way safely to another country.

Artisan of Damascus

Artisan of Damascus

Seeing what could only be described as where goldfish come from in the Blue Hole at Darhab, Egypt. Snorkelling with all those beautiful little fish… I popped out of the water and yelled to Mum that ‘I’ve found goldfish’. I was probably far more excited than I should have been but we’d had a little gold fish ‘Harry’ for many years when I was a kid so this was such a treat!

Goldfish live here!

Goldfish live here!

I am a deeply spiritual person and find Buddhist philosophy resonates with my outlook on life. So while staying at Kopan Monastery in Nepal when one of the monks fell down and had a seizure I wanted to help. Due to customs I couldn’t help physically. My younger brother had childhood epilepsy so I felt my heart being drawn to ensuring this monk was taken care of. Before I left I donated enough money to pay for his medication for the next 2 years. It was the least I could do!

Monks chilling

Monks chilling

I am a native Queenslander and if there is one thing that Queensland grows well, it is mangoes. I love them in smoothies, eaten over the sink because the juice goes everywhere and in salads. Oh how sweet a mango can be so when I tasted mango with chilli salt for the first time my view of this delicious treat was doubled! It was during my trip to Vietnam to commemorate 10 years since my Father had passed. I did a boat tour along the Mekong, seriously you can’t go to Vietnam without doing a boat tour on the Mekong! While there I was introduced to the sweet hotness of chili salt on mango. Well if this doesn’t just send your taste buds into overdrive nothing will. It also tasted amazing on grapefruit, pineapple and papaya but the mango was the standout!

Fruit says 'Chili Salt you complete me!'

Fruit says ‘Chili Salt you complete me!’

These are just five examples of the little travel adventure moments that spring to mind when I think of the great parts of travel. There are so many brilliant reasons to travel but for me, these little moments are the reasons I keep vagabonding along!

What are you favourite travel adventure moments?

Blessed Be
Robyn xox

DIY Yoga Retreat…Ubud, Bali

Have you ever thought about doing a yoga retreat?

I had many times but the price tag had always put me off. Not that I couldn’t afford it, I just didn’t see the point of spending upwards of $2500 for 10 days of yoga!

When I decided that I would travel for 9 months, I knew this was the prefect opportunity to actually do a yoga retreat. I had a nagging feeling I really didn’t want to do a retreat though. Once I had finally settled on the fact I was going to go to Bali, a place I had been turned off of because of Kuta and drunken Aussies, I digress back to the yoga….Google came to the rescue. I decided to Google DIY yoga retreat bali and low and behold the best blog post appeared.

This post, 

How to DIY a Budget Yoga Retreat in Bali

by Ashley from Ashley Abroad. It was a lightbulb moment and I nearly screamed when I saw it!

Immediately, I knew this option was for me! It meant I could attend yoga daily (or twice daily) without compromising my work or study plans. I booked myself into  Delicious Onion via AirBnb for 3 weeks. It was just a few hundred metres from Yoga Barn where I choose to do my ‘retreat’. Not only did Ashley’s blog also have a great deal to do with why I choose The Yoga Barn but lots of other people I knew raved about it. Done!!

The only potential issue in spending 3 weeks doing yoga presented was that I had also entered my first ultra-marathon, the Davao50 in the Philippines on the 28 Feb 16. Thankfully yoga and ultra-marathon training also seem to go very nicely together.

After the Sunshine Coast 70.3 Ironman, I have to admit that I have pretty much let myself go! I had issues with my shoulder (burpees had caused some real tenderness that wasn’t changing) and my nutrition was less than impressive. Added to that I had what could only be described as two episodes of me thinking I was having a heart attack. The first was over very quick and caused me to think it was a panic attack. The second didn’t subside, a trip to hospital later and seeing my doc as well as my physiotherapist I soon found out that my rib was inflamed and slightly out.

Like come on – who the bloody hell as a rib slightly out… Me of course!

A massage and a tweak from my physios wife – Craig was gentlemen enough not to manipulate my rib given it was one right under my boob – and it was as if nothing had happened. I did however get a MRI on my breasts to check for any abnormalities and I am happy to report the doctor informed me I had “unremarkable breasts”…. Only person in the world that can get away with saying that is a doctor!

Back to the yoga! I purchased a 20 session card for 1.400.000 which is about AUD $145.00 or US $100 (gee the exchange rate sucks at present!) and went to classes by Eka, Les (this man is amazing!!!), Nadine, Denise and Estee! I cannot say enough at how amazing the teachers are there. I did Intro, Yin, Vinyasa, Nidra and Laya yoga classes. I do feel sorry for anyone that took me in Nidra Yoga because all I did was fall asleep and yes snored a little!

After three weeks, and doing 3 workshops, I am stronger and more in love with yoga than ever before. Being surrounded by people that love yoga made it easier to love it. I was able to deepen my understanding of yoga and hold poses I had never managed to nail before.

The pool at Delicious Onion

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I still have a long way to go but when you consider I did 20+ yoga lessons over 3 weeks (the full day immersion, Laya Yoga and Nidra Yoga workshops were paid separately but still only cost me less than an additional AUD $100.00) I think I got a better deal than paying for a 10 day retreat. I am not saying the other retreats are wrong. At the time, for me, it was much more beneficial to do a DIY retreat. I was able to complete some studies, do yoga, eat great food, stay in an awesome hostel and meet amazing people during my 3 week stay all for just under $1500.00.

I am now in Koh Lanta, Thailand for a solid 4 weeks of training including Crossfit at Fit On Lanta, running (One does need to run, it is an ultra-marathon after all) and doing yoga at Oasis Yoga! It is shaping up to be a magically transformative month!

Have you ever done a DIY yoga retreat? I challenge you to get creative with a retreat for yourself.. Go on spoil yourself! It could be yoga, surfing or anything at all! Find a way to make it all about you and the thing you love and want to learn better!

Blessed Be,
Robyn xox

Fit Life Confession…

It is confession time..

I am training for the Davao 50 Ultramarathon and I feel like I have lost the passion for fitness. I even went as far as – wait for it – having KFC in Burnei… Of all the bloody things this aspiring plant-based eater could do!!! I was chewing down on the chips and chicken before I even knew it. My body did protest! I nearly vomited it up later!

I can’t say what happened with losing my fit life love. I had had trouble with my shoes (read every run meant my right foot was in pain) or that being in foreign countries making me not so confident with running. Mind you I did run 18km in Kuwait City while training for the Dubai Marathon so that excuse is well bullshit! I have been blessed with trails around the Sunshine Coast so roads with dogs, scooters and mosquitos was a challenge but not one that should stop me from kicking butt!  Oh was it that I was away from my fellow crazy fit life peeps!

I did do a lot of yoga in Bali and completely loved it but as for people that were crazy fit life peeps there was none that I found!

Cue a change in mindset!

This morning I went to my first crossfit style workout at Fit On Lanta, since leaving a box almost 12 months ago. I have blogged about it before so I won’t go into it in too much details but the rudeness of one of the coach/owners was unnecessary and well quiet frankly if I am paying big money I won’t be treated like shit! I take my money else where! But I digress!

This mornings workout was short but nasty…

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My shoulder held up during the Pendlay Row but I didn’t push the ‘heavy’. For the WOD, I did swap out the pull ups for ring rows and the 20kg KB for a 12kg but I was very happy with my 9.26min finish. Something clicked in my head while laying on the concrete feeling like death at the end, I LOVE THIS LIFE!

Being fit is an amazing feeling. I am not talking about skinny! I am talking about achieving goals, being stronger than yesterday and having a sense of self that no-body can destroy. With less than 50 days till race day I know I am not going into this my fittest but I will be ready to having some fun and challenge myself!

So for the next 3 weeks that I am in Koh Lanta I have 3 Crossfit, 3 yoga and 4 runs per week! I am excited again to live this fit life! I may have even found a trail in the national park! Woohoo let’s pray I am correct on that cause I really want to run a trail again!

I challenge you to get up from behind the computer and do something to improve your health and fitness!! Remember it isn’t about being skinny it’s about being better than you were yesterday!

Blessed Be
Robyn xox