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Author: Hayley

15 Things To Do In Summer

15 Things To Do In Summer

The warm weather is still hanging around for a little while so make the most of it while it lasts! The sun’s out, people are happy, days are long, and it’s holiday time. What’s not to love. So, sere are some ideas to make the most of your summer and get you outside to enjoy the surroundings!

  1. Go to the park and read
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Play outdoor games like Finska / Möllky
  4. Have a picnic
  5. Go out and buy ice cream
  6. Hike
  7. Pick fruit
  8. See a movie at the outdoor cinema
  9. Swim at the beach
  10. Play backyard or beach cricket
  11. Water fight
  12. Bike ride with your friends
  13. Stay up to see the stars
  14. Road trip
  15. See an outdoor gig or festival
15 Things To Do In Summer
5 Things To Do In Tekapo, New Zealand

5 Things To Do In Tekapo, New Zealand

Tekapo might be a small town on the south island of New Zealand, but it has a lot to offer. Its picturesque surrounds and chilled vibes make for a relaxing getaway from the usual hustle of travel. Here are my 5 things I recommend you do while in Tekapo!

See the lake

Lake Tekapo is obviously a highlight of this small town. It’s rich blue colour and mountainous backdrop is perfect for an insta pic, or to marvel at for hours on end. In winter you can see the snow capped mountains not so far away, while in spring and summer you’ll find gorgeous purple lupine flowers.

 

Mount John hike

If you’re in Tekapo for a day or two and you’re into hiking (or long walks) this is one for you. It starts near Tekapo Springs and takes you up Mount John to the Observatory, which is a nice pit stop along the way. Offering beautiful views of the lake as you walk along, the upwards climb is definitely worth it. Take some water, snacks and your camera with you so you can stop off at the sight seeing spots because there are definitely plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

 

See the stars

Spending the night in Tekapo is 100% worth it. The town is in a dark sky reserve, meaning there is minimal light pollution at night. Head outside in the dark and you’ll see more stars than you’ve ever seen in your life before, it’s honestly breath taking. If you want to understand more about the constellations hit up the locals where you’re staying, they’re happy to share their knowledge, otherwise there are organised tours at the observatory. If you are heading out by yourself don’t forget to take a torch or phone with you so you can see where you’re going, we don’t want any injuries in the night!

 

Tekapo Springs

Tekapo Springs is like a little relaxation zone is an already pretty relaxed place. There’s different hot pools with different temperatures which you can chill out in and enjoy the atmosphere. Unfortunately they’re not natural pools, but they’re about the next best thing. In winter there’s also a snow tubing area, which is what we went for and was incredibly fun. You can also buy value passes that allow you to go snow tubing, in the pools, and ice skating all in the same day.

 

Church of the Good Shepherd

This is the prime tourist destination in Tekapo. It’s a small church situated just in front of the lake; it’s the perfect photo opportunity. You’ll find busloads of tourists coming in all day so I recommend visiting early morning to beat the rush.

 

Have you been to Tekapo? Tell me about your favourite things there! If not, tell me what you’d like to see!

 

What to do in Tekapo
How To Make The Most Of Your Commute

How To Make The Most Of Your Commute

Commuting is just a part of life for most of us, and I envy those whose commute is ten minutes. For the rest of us who have a commute of 45 minutes, an hour, or even more that’s a big chunk of time! My commute is 45 minutes, twice a day, sometimes up to 6 times a week. That’s 9 hours, a whole nights sleep, or time to do something productive.

 

So, instead of staring out the window or scrolling through your phone, what can you do with that time? It’s time to start making the most out of your commute.

Prepare your day

Big day ahead? Plan ahead. Plan out what you’ve got ahead of you, your to do list for the day, your goals, and a plan of action. Putting it just in your head isn’t enough (and if you’re like me you’ll probably forget half of it). Jotting down your to do list and goals or making note of them in your phone makes you more accountable for them.

 

Read

It’s a great time to zen out and read a good book, and 45 minutes is plenty of time to get stuck into a good story line. If you’re not into novels there’s also short stories, and this is something lots of public transport providers have been on boarding. I recently read an article about short story vending machines in the Paris Metro, what a brilliant idea. Alternatively you can try audiobooks, a good way to pass the time while someone does the reading for you. Audible has heaps of books to choose from on their website that you can pop straight on your phone for your commute!

 

Podcasts

Podcasts are great, and there’s a podcast for just about anything. Take the time to brush up on some knowledge you can whip out on pub trivia night, or catch up on the news, learn about a murder mystery, master a new language. There’s something for everyone. Think about it this way, if you learned something new every day from a podcast, you’ll be a walking encyclopaedia in no time!

 

Apps

And I’m not talking about Candy Crush or Clash of Clans. I’m talking apps that get you thinking. It’s the perfect time to brush up on your French on Duolingo, oui oui. Or maybe you have a test coming up and want to practice using flash cards on your phone. And there’s always Khan Academy so you can learn about just about anything you want, through your phone. There are so many apps that boost productivity on the app store, you might never need Candy Crush to kill time again.

 

What do you do on your commute to make it productive? Let me know in the comments below! 

Must Read Books About North Korea

Must Read Books About North Korea

North Korea fascinates me, maybe because it’s a place that gets so much attention, yet we know so little about. I’m so intrigued by the stories of what goes on beyond the border and the people who live there and escape. Here are some of the books I have read about North Korea and the defectors who have escaped that have fascinated me.

In Order To Live – Yeonmi Park

Written by Yeonmi Park who is now a famous activist for North Korean human rights, this book was the first I read about North Korea. It’s a real eye opener and a bit of an emotional roller coaster as she retells her story leaving North Korea, through China, and Mongolia until her arrival in South Korea. I read this book in about two days, I couldn’t put it down because it was so intense.

Dear Leader – Jan Jin-Sung

This one is one that I found very interesting. It is written by a North Korean who was in the party’s inner circle, offering a different perspective to any of the other books I’ve read. This books details much more about the political side of the party and how some of the propaganda works, which is super fascinating. The reason for his defection is probably mind blowing for anyone who lives outside of North Korea, and highlights what can go wrong, even at the top.

Nothing to Envy – Barbara Demick

Following the stories of different people and their lives in North Korea, the reason for their escape, and life on the Outside. This is a good book to get a perspective of life from different people from different walks of life. Retelling the history of lives including love stories, family struggles, job struggles, it paints a picture of ordinary life for North Koreans.

The Girl With Seven Names – Hyeonseo Lee

I found this one very similar to In Order  To Live. While not as intense and emotional it’s a fascinating story about how one can adapt in a new country and use their survival instincts under pressure. It is the story of a unique way of escaping both North Korea and China.

On the reading list:

  • Escape From Camp 14
  • Without You, There Is No Us
  • The Aquariums Of Pyongyang
Must read books about North Korea

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