Living in A World All About the “Picture”

Living in A World All About the “Picture”

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I am an active participant in technology and the world of social networking, and because of that I have encountered many people in life who tell me to “put the camera down and enjoy something”. For the people who have similar experiences as myself, here is what I suggest you try saying to them next time.

Just because I want to have that perfect Instagram picture does not mean that the moment I am in right now is any less important to me than it is to you.

Just because I am on the beach facetiming a faraway friend does not mean I still do not hear the waves, smell the salt, and have my feet all dug up in the sand.

Just because I am texting my boyfriend while I am sitting in a café halfway across the world does not mean I am attempting to isolate myself.

It is possible to take everything in around you while still having a camera ready to go in your pocket. No one should have to apologize for wanting to snap a photo during a really beautiful moment. We should not have to apologize for picking up the phone to call our mom when something insanely amazing happens. There should not be an apology for blogging about a crazy encounter that just occurred. Just because we want to share the journey that we are all on via social media does not mean that we lack the comprehension of the value in the experience we are having. Who would not want a photo to remember that great moment for just a little longer than your memory can hold. Technology has made this huge world smaller and more attainable for everyone.

I live for the moments when I get to snap a picture in my Ranch Bucket hat on top of the mountain I just climbed in Colorado. Or the beaches I get to photograph in the land down under of Australia. I am grateful for the opportunity to travel and experience and share so many things, so what if I want to take a picture of it. For all of the picture haters, you will be seeing A LOT more of my pictures, from more traveling, to more pictures just lounging at home in my Ranch Bucket and I hope to see some of yours in the New Year to come.

Xx

Gabi

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Small World

Small World

It is crazy how it took me traveling all the way across the world to learn that the world is actually a small place. Yes, I have always understood that the earth is just a speck in the workings of the entire universe. This makes me basically non-existent, but when it comes to our tiny little speck it felt pretty big growing up. There are seven billion people on the planet, and this number is fluid and constantly growing. There are 195 countries on the earth, and all of them possess different cultures. There are five different oceans, and I have only dipped my toes into three of them, but moving to Australia made me realize the world is not actually quite as expansive as my young mind once thought.

I moved half way across the world to live with girls from my home state. Yes, this is true, I moved to Australia only to move in with two east coast girls and two girls from Evergreen, Colorado. Evergreen is an hour and thirty-minute drive away from where I grew up, but a fourteen-hour flight from where we live in Australia. I now have three girls I have met and become close with in Australia that attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. It has lead us to connect over mutual friends and childhood experiences. I will get to keep these forever friends close to my heart and close in vicinity. I got to have little piece of home away from home and I honestly could not be more thankful.

I have a sorority sister that has recently moved to Australia. It was wild to me how this sisterhood had brought me the ability to travel the world and still know there was always going to be someone close by to have my back, no matter where in the world I was residing. That was a feeling that did not parallel anything I have yet to experience.  Along the line of my sorority, even one of my roommates happens to be a sister of mine who attends Boulder. I have now even been blessed with the opportunity to expand my sisterhood through my study abroad journey.

I have met so many individuals from the United States. States all over, states I now cannot wait to visit. I have even made one friend, from Nevada and she knew people that went to my college in Arizona. The world continues to grow smaller and smaller to me.

Coming to Australia I expected a very different educational environment. The most intriguing thing I did not see coming is that one of my professors was American. Not only was he American, but he also formerly taught at my rival school… the scumdevils… sorry Sun Devils back home in Arizona. What are the odds of that out of the four classes I choose to attend during my trimester abroad that would happen.

Along the way we met people from the same state as us, even the same city sometime. That is something I could not have imagined when my plane took off for this adventure. I have had a lot of favorite things about this experience, but my very favorite has to be what I am taking away with me, a whole new set of people who have substantially made a huge difference in my life. Thank you guys, and I love you guys.

Kate, Mollie, Jen, Carroll, Lauza, you have my heart.

Also, big thanks to Veronica for always being down to adventure or for a photo-shoot for my beloved Ranch Bucket! I am so glad to have you joining our team and I am so lucky that the Gold Coast brought me you!

Xx

Gabi

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Blue Mountains and The Three Sisters

Blue Mountains and The Three Sisters

I have one FINAL post about my favorite place in all of Australia, Sydney.

So, I have not done an outdoorsy review since my hike of Mount Warning in New South Wales. Unfortunately, I have nothing to rave about when it comes to the Blue Mountains in Sydney. I had much higher expectations for this endeavor. The Blue Mountains have a lot of rules that come along with it, which often impedes on your ability to truly hike and explore them on your own as far as I found. We somehow got roped into being with a tour guide. I have said this before and I will say it again, I hate hate hate looking and feeling like a tourist, so naturally I hate guided tours. I wanted to hike the mountains and explore all that the nature had to offer on my own with my friends but that is not the experience I necessarily got. We hike enough to know what we are doing, and I feel we are all in good enough shape to do so. This is not what we got to do though this time around but hopefully next time.

We started off with the Scenic Skyway. This was cool since you got a full view of the rainforest and The Three Sisters (which I will discuss here in a minute), but it was over almost as soon as it started. It also just felt super touristy being smooshed into a small space, with a guy on a loud speaker, and little kids strapped to their dads in those hiking baby carriers. I would not pay to do this portion again honestly.

After this we were given a guided tour through a little path at the bottom of the rainforest. It was a path that should have been fifteen minutes, but our tour guide had to stop and talk about some piece of nature every two minutes, this just made me antsy. If you are looking for in depth information about the rainforest in Sydney, then I do highly suggest taking one of these tours, it was just not my cup of tea. The path eventually would lead us back to a railway where we took a train up and it released us back at the top of the Skyway where the gift shop was. All in all, we were done within an hour and a half.

All that aside, the rainforest was beautiful. It was super green, lush, and I felt like I was in the amazon jungle. There were so many weird sounds coming from within the forest. Ranging from intriguing birds and other unknown animals to me.

The Blue Mountains are full of history. Particularly they are known for the story of The Three Sisters. I am not going to go into detail about this story, but I will include a link below, so you can read about the legend. The story made the actual natural wonder seem even more mysterious and beautiful. I would have loved to explore and hike more on my own with the girls but maybe there will be other places and other times for that. I am just glad I got to experience another glorious creation within our world.

 

Xx

Gabi

The Three Sisters Story

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Other Articles on Sydney

Other Articles on Sydney

 

 

Continuation of Sydney

Continuation of Sydney

By popular demand today we have more on… SYDNEY one of my favorite of places! Last time I really only talked about my experience in Bondi, but it was not the only place I spent my time. Today I want to touch on the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Opera House, The Rocks Markets, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are like a dream out of your favorite Disney princess movie. When we were walking through, there happened to be a wedding going on, adding to the magical delight of it all. I was just awestruck at the beauty within the gardens. They were in full bloom while we were there, which was in September. This time of month is pretty much their spring, so it was not necessarily warm, but everything was creeping into the new growth stage. It was relaxing and de-stressing to just stroll through the gardens, and there was more than enough to look at. I felt like I was a part of the fairy tale as I explored around. I wish I had more time to explore the area, and maybe even picnic in the park.

No architecture compares to The Sydney Opera House. It is just unparalleled to anything else I have ever seen. Being here was one of the most surreal moments of my Australia journey purely because it is one of those places we all grew up knowing existed, seeing pictures of, and wanting to visit. It could not have been any more unique. It was interesting to go inside and read all the signs explaining the history behind the monument, and although I did not do a tour due to time constraints, I feel like I got a lot out of the visit. The location of it was perfectly ideal to explore other parts of Sydney. One of my favorite things is to listen to music, and I am a sucker for street artist. This area has no shortage of them. We ate at a restaurant across from The Opera House while listening to street music, and what a surreal view that was. I will say the day we went was very windy, my friend Kate even had to chase her sunnies down the stairs of The Opera House, so pick a low wind day to visit!

I am a big art fan. I even took art classes from age six to seventeen, so I was not going to pass up the opportunity to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. It is located right across the bay from The Opera House. There is a multitude of sections and floors to look at with a wide range of mediums. I have a strong respect for modern art due to the variety it brings along with it, there are no rules. With no rules comes uniqueness, and sometimes some weirdness. One of the select things I was not as interested in was a video that was playing. It was a video of people just laughing to no end, and not in that cute infectious way but in a creepy way. The cool thing about it though, is even though that is not my cup of tea when it comes to art, I am sure someone out there enjoyed that or was at least entertained by its weirdness.

One of my greatest hobbies and greatest skills I might add, is shopping. I am never one to turn down a street fair or some good markets, and The Rocks Markets did not disappoint. There were tons of cute little vendors, a really good food selection, and a perfect location of across the bay from The Opera House. I got the cutest handmade coasters there for my mom as a gift made from limestone. If they are up and running when you are visiting, drop in and I am more than sure you will find a couple deals there.

 

Xx

Gabi

Bondi Beach Sydney Review

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Maximizing the Faith

Maximizing the Faith

Lately I have been focusing on maximizing my faith. My faith in myself, and my faith in the ability to do all of this traveling on my own. Traveling takes a lot of faith. The amount is actually unfathomable. It is by sheer willpower and desire that we blindly stumble into the unknown future on our own. We leave behind the things we know and just leap, venturing into the world. We must trust we will be safe and okay throughout our travels. No one goes into a trip thinking, I may get sick, I may get lost, what happens if I get hurt. Somehow, we just blindly choose to go without thinking of those things, numb to all the terrible evils of the world and bad possibilities that could be lurking around the corner.

We have to trust we will always have our life essentials. Food, water, a place to stay, so imperative yet we leave with a little bit of money in our pockets and no thought about those essentials.

With little regard, we trust strangers. We do not know who these people are. They could be a kind soul offering assistance with no desire for reward, or they can be manipulative beings, taking advantage of this trust that traveling bestows upon them.

We experience new cultures. Sharing in something our minds and our bodies are not used to, and only the bravest of us fully submerge in the novelty of it all.

Simply, in my opinion, there is nothing that requires more faith than traveling. It can change your life, it can be your worst experience or your best, but I guarantee you will learn from it. Traveling maximizes every aspect of our survival skills and brings out the best and worst in our personalities. Our true being. I am a big reader, and a good friend of mine recommended a book called The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer. I really resonate with a portion of the book that talks about how we do not truly know ourselves until we tell our inner voice and our past experiences to frankly, shut up. Once we learn how to do this we get to know who we really are. I feel that a lot of time, travel can help us with this. When thrusted into a new environment, we throw away that inner voice and past experiences because they cannot help us in something we have never known before. It is just you and the new experience, and you get to live it as yourself with no person from the past blocking you and no outlook to rely on. You get to remain present in the moment. Travel in life to be lost, and to find yourself. This is the best way to test how strong your faith is.

 

Xx

Gabi

 

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Bondi Beach Sydney Review

Bondi Beach Sydney Review

Sydney was my all-time favorite place to visit in Australia, and I have a multitude of stories and places to share from there. I was afraid it was going to be just like any other city and nothing unique, but oh was I very wrong. We stayed in Bondi Beach, which is world renowned and absolutely incredible. I went with five of my girlfriends and we stayed in a hostel this time instead of an airb&b.

The hostel we stayed in is called Bondi Backpackers. They were reasonably priced for being a hostel, and it was clean (all important things to me). They have private rooms for six, so lucky us we all got to be together. They offer a lot of different perks that you can participate in as well. These include sunrise yoga, kickboxing, and different meal opportunities. They also rent out towels and have included Wifi, which most hostels do not so this made the stay more enjoyable as well. It was a great place to stay and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to stay in Bondi where it is less busy and closer to the beach instead of the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you do decide to stay in Bondi or even take a trip down there, I highly suggest taking a casual stroll down the street in the morning to Parisi Juice Bar. It is not even a five-minute walk and they have the best fresh pressed juices I have ever had. They also had a bagel shop around the corner, and if you are American and have been to Australia, you know how rare it is to find bagels in Australia, especially good ones.

The Iceberg Pool is an iconic Instagram spot… but here is a little secret, it’s overrated. It is a really small pool and only makes for good picture opportunities during high tide when the water is splashing up into the pool. Don’t get me wrong it is beautiful, but it is hard to find a time to get a good picture with high tide and it not being super crowded. If you are going for that picture-perfect Instagram then give it your best, but otherwise a casual stroll by it will do just fine and will save you a lot of time and energy.

Next there is the Bondi Beach Walk. The walk is a great exercise and should be alright for any age level to participate. It is kind of a long walk so definitely wear comfy shoes, but it is absolutely breathtaking and has many stopping points to check out along the way. Many people run the path and there are dogs all over, which I honestly did not see many of during my Australia travels. All of the dogs were a breath of fresh air. There are great beaches to stop at, monument marks, and great picture opportunities. The only part I did not like is the large portion that is a walk through a cemetery, purely because cemeteries give me the creeps. Besides that, this is a must do so carve out a good portion of the day to do so.

My final suggestion for my Bondi Beach goers, do your research on your food places. Long story short, with my groups lack of research we ended up in some pretty intriguing places and not necessarily intriguing in a good way. Boy did it make for some funny stories though!

Xx

Gabi

Hostel

Juice Bar

Some Pictures from the Trip! Iceberg Pool, Bondi Beach Walk, Parisi Juice Bar, and explored parts of Bondi!

 

 

Ranch Bucket: How it Fits

I really wanted to highlight today how Ranch Bucket as a brand, a company, and product has fit in with my travels and my personal style. Without this job that I love so much, I feel like I would not have half the courage that I have gained through their support and also the inspiration I have provided by the company. Also, we have such an inspiring mantra that I now try to live every day. So, without further adou, here are my reasons why Ranch Bucket fits into my lifestyle.

-I Wear the Product

It is not just something that is part of my company but I stand by it as a customer. I am always wearing a hat, I have my computer and water bottle stickers, and I love the idea that I can always present new ideas.

-The Challenge

The job itself keeps challenging me to do new and adventurous things. I always attempt new things for that great hat picture, or work is inspiring me to get out of the bed in the morning and go explore some nature. It is a driver in how I want to continue to live my life.

-The People

Not only are the people I work with great, but this product has a way of attracting people that are just good-hearted genuine people looking for a good time and a wild adventure. The hat attracts the people to itself, it is not a hard sell.

-Keeps Me Grounded

The mantra we live by keeps in perspective what the important things are. It also benefits our world and our environments in such strenuous times where I feel our world is sometimes falling apart. I like to think that I might be making a tiny little difference by focusing and backing a repurposed and organic product.

-It Embodies My Personality

I feel that I am a lot like the personality of the product. Relaxed, but always looking for the next envelope to push. The unique style of the hats with their original photography show that easy going can be fresh new and fun too.

Xx

Gabi

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