A day at the beach

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Curving roads. Empty roads. Surrounded by greenery roads. With arching trees and creeping vines. Like a grand entrance beckoning us, offering so much more in the great beyond. The cool moist air with a hint of the ocean as if caressing our cheeks. Off the highway, the empty back roads tell us this isn’t season time. Instead of drunk raucous revelers we encounter silent trees out for a parade covered in their greens. This is Goa in the Monsoons.

It is drizzling now, a hint of rains yet to come, but it is pleasant enough to be venturing out. We tell our driver to take us to the beach. Candolim being the nearest, we go there. He tells us that it’s a short walk to Calangute & Baga and we can call wherever we chose to get off the beach. It’s an interesting idea, probably more so because strolling on…

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Travel Budget Blues

I have done something bad. Something i never thought i would do and now am mentally freaking out at making this work. Impulse buying a BIG thing.

You see, it started with an email i received announcing sale fares to 6 destinations on Malaysian Airlines. I had to do a double take when i got to the airfares they were so low. Lower than i have ever seen before. So the next day i walked into my friendly travel agent store and bought 4 tickets for a family holiday to Dubai.

Now that the excitement of buying the tickets has worn off, i am left with a major problem – arranging enough money to cover our 3 week holiday. I have started dreaming of travel vaccinations, passport photos, and assorted other expenses. 

I have only 4 months to arrange $10,000+. I need to get a grip on my panicking brain and start thinking about what i can do to save up.

Options so far:

– find an evening job – but then i will need to figure out what to do with my girls during that time 

– sell anything i don’t need

– we are already quite a frugal bunch so don’t know how much more i could squeeze from our food budget

How you you funded your trips on short notice – maybe you can help me with your tips on what i can do 🙂

Auckland – the tenth most liveable city in the world – again…..

I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience life in a clean, green and peaceful place like New Zealand. So far, I have lived in Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton and visited most parts of NZ. Sometimes you tend to take things for granted once you get used to them and when I read this morning how Auckland has been rated the 10th most livable city in the world I had the chance to mentally review all the things I love about living here.
So in no particular order, here is my list of why I love Auckland:

  • You can drive in almost any direction in Auckland and still be within 20 kms of a beach. My fave beach is Maraetai in South-East Auckland – a beautiful white sand beach full of colorful gorgeous sea shells, a long pier extending into the blue sheltered waters, a great playground for the kids, and a fish and chip shop and ice-cream parlour right across the street.
maraetai beach, auckland

maraetai beach, auckland

  • Auckland is a multicutural melting pot and it is not unusual while walking around the city to see a multitude of cultures often in their traditional attire and hear numerous languages and accents. Auckland is also home to many events celebrating the festivals, food, arts and cultures of its various immigrant residents.

 

Maori dance

Maori dance

  • The friendliness and helpfulness of kiwis in general – I often see such wonderful stories of human goodwill and it is a powerful reminder of what a wonderful community we live in.
  • The elusive work/life balance – If you have children you may be familiar with the difficulty in finding enough quality time to spend with your family and friends. Luckily Auckland offers you the chance to really have it all – a career in a thriving metropolis and the chance to get home at a decent enough hour to spend time with family
  • Free things to do – Auckland has so many beautiful parks and other facilities that are absolutely free which is great if you have young children. My faves are:

– Auckland Art Gallery – my kids love to see the art exhibits and also try their hand at creating their own art in the childrens room

auckland art gallery

auckland art gallery

– Auckland Museum and Domain Wintergardens – we have spent so many days here enjoying the offerings

wintergardens at the domain

wintergardens at the domain

Auckland Museum

Auckland Museum

– Michael Savage Memorial – has wide panoramic views across the city and is a great place to look for Tuis, a native bird with a distinctive call

michael savage memorial
– Parnell Rose Gardens and Judges Bay – for beautiful walks and a spot of swimming

 

It is spring now and I cannot wait for glorious summer to start going on picnics to the places above. Just a little longer now, just a little longer…….