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Introvert


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This may sound hard to believe given the title of this article, which is also ironic considering the points I’m about to make, but I was having a conversation with someone recently. I’ll pause to let that joke sink in for a minute.
He was about to start a job in a new city overseas where he didn’t know anyone, leaving behind all his friends and family and everything familiar; a daunting prospect for anyone. “But I’m pretty sociable,” he said to me, “at least I’m not, like, an introvert.”
“Like me,” I said, grinning.

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Blog, Travel

City, or A Defence of Auckland


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When I first moved to the city from the small town I grew up in, way back when I was 20 and King Henry VIII was still in power, I remember being in awe of the sense of anonymity. No one knew who I was. I was a nobody; a stranger in the crowd; one more person on the bus; yet another eccentric in a top hat and fake moustache loitering near the bar in the local drinking establishments. I could be whoever I wanted. In the city it seemed like anything was possible; this was where ideas were born and people got together to change the world. Or, at least, got together to solemnly discuss all the problems in the world and compare berets until all the red wine runs out at four in the morning. What I liked about city life was feeling ‘amongst it,’ like I was a part of something and that something was important. I didn’t know what ‘it’ was or where to find it, but that didn’t seem to matter.

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Blog, Travel

Van Life


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Van life isn’t for everyone. I mean, nothing is really for everyone because, incredibly, there are people who don’t like ice cream… or sunshine… or time off work… or Birkenstocks… or any form of fun, apparently. So you don’t need to read this article to know that there is a portion of the population who will not enjoy living in a tiny space with few possessions, doing without luxuries such as, I don’t know… electricity. In fact, you might as well stop reading now (just kidding, keep reading, it gets good later).

When I say that van life isn’t for everyone I’m addressing those who think they’ll love van life; those who have an idealistic fantasy about sticking their middle finger up to the nine-to-five for days or weeks or perhaps forever, escaping the stresses of the modern world in search of a simpler existence. Those who dream of leaving behind the ladle, the shower curtain, those clip things that keep bread bags closed, overdue hoovering, strangely coloured shoe polish that doesn’t match any of your shoes past or present, confusing water bills, bits of wrapping paper that are too small to be useful, and all the other crap you somehow accumulate when living in a house. Those who yearn to pick a place on the map and take off in a majestic house vehicle in the direction of the sunset, or, more likely, the direction of the place they picked on the map. Well, if you’re one of those people, as you’ve probably already guessed, I’m here to manage your expectations. Hi, yes, it’s Bella, we’ve met before.

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Blog, Travel

Australia


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Australia. The land of eternal sunshine, overly descriptive road signs and a preposterous number of ant species. The place where it’s acceptable for men to wear short shorts, you’ll get cream with your dessert whether you like it or not, and where it’s illegal to complain about the rain. Don’t be fooled into thinking that travelling is all jet setting, partying, glamour and lounging around on the beach drinking beers. It isn’t. Being a solo traveller (did I just call myself a solo traveller?) you are faced with a whole new world of challenges that are hard to understand unless you’ve done it yourself. But I’ll give it a go.

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Blog, Culture

Tea


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Have you ever wondered why the British drink tea so much? Perhaps you think that we’re obsessed with this strange beverage with its oriental origins and milky additives. Well, we are. You see, tea is more than a drink to us. It’s a way of life. Let me explain.

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Blog, Culture

Instagram


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Instagram. What an absolutely fascinating place. I’ve been secretly admiring the filters on Instagram for some time; even though until recently I wasn’t on the platform I saw people’s Insta posts dotted around in other locations on the internet and I hatched a theory that the filters can make any old crap look good. Like, really, any old shit. No photography skills necessary, just a phone and the urge to take photos of, well, whatever you darn well please. Whoever made those filters is a Goddamn genius. GENIUS, I tell you.

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Blog, Culture

Flexin’


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I’ve recently discovered ‘flexing’. What is that, you ask? I’m not convinced that anyone really knows for sure but I think it’s very amusing. Flexing, or maybe I should call it ‘flexin’, isn’t the thing that happens when you tense your muscles – well, it is the thing that happens when you tense your muscles, but that’s not the kind of flexin’ that I’m talking about. What I’m talking about translates to ‘showing off’; flaunting your material wealth and using this as a barometer to demonstrate to others how worthy you are as a person. It’s not a new concept and the term ‘flexin’ has been around for ages, but I should state that the cutting edge of culture (especially American culture) doesn’t reach me at the rock under which I live until way after the event, so if you already know what I’m talking about you’re probably thinking “Pfff, gurl where you been?”

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Blog, Culture

Disappointing Things About Being an Adult


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When I was little, I was excited about the prospect of adult life. I envisaged a whole world of adventure and possibility, no bed time and no one around to tell you what to do. Adults seem like they have their shit together. Things make sense to them and they know about stuff and, as a kid, I wanted some of that for myself. Being a kid was tough. No one takes you seriously, you have to do what people tell you and and you’re really small so there are many things you need help with, like opening impossible crisp packets and the vexing task of tying your shoelaces. Plus you have to go to school, which, for me, anyway, was a confusing, terrible place that felt like a twelve-year prison sentence. So I longed for the day I could burn my school uniform and do what I wanted in the world of grown-ups.

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