I've done a fair bit of solo travel and I always hear the same questions:

"You're going alone? Are you crazy?!"
"Don't you have any friends?"

"Wont you get lonely?"

There's a huge stigma about doing things alone - one that I cannot quite wrap my head around.

I've been to the movies countless times all by my lonesome. Dinner for one? You bet! Solo tropical vacation? Check mate. Climbing the Sydney harbour bridge? Yup - did that alone too, on my birthday even! I don't feel embarrassed, ashamed or lonely. In fact, I feel TOTALLY comfortable. Liberated.  Enriched.

If I waited for a friend to be available, I would of never completed half the things on my bucket list that I've conquered by now!

If you REALLY want to do something, why should doing it alone be an obstacle?

I refuse to wait. I'm not going to let others dictate when I get to accomplish my goals.

Spending time by yourself is good for the soul, and heres why:

1. You'll stop caring so much about what others think.
The thought of being in public with just your own company scares the shit out of some people.

Oh god they're looking at me, they probably think Im such a loser here by myself.....
Where am I supposed to look? What am I supposed to do with my hands??

We all care far too much about what others think. It not only holds you back - but also has a negative effect on your self-esteem and confidence.  Take a look around, guarantee you're not the only one there alone. You are fine. The truth is, everybody is too busy thinking about themselves to really give a fuck about you.  Breathe. Enjoy the moment and take it all in.

After going out in public alone a few times, you wont even think twice about looking weird.

Being a photographer has really brought me out of my comfort zone. There's been a few times where I had to get into a weird position or use an attention drawing flash.  The first time I was asked to photograph a venue during open hours I was MORTIFIED of completing such tasks because I was scared of 'looking funny' and standing out.

Did people look? OH YES!
Were my photos awesome & did I get a nice pay cheque? Hell yeah!!!!
So should I really have cared what they were thinking? NOPE!

Over time I have learned that you don't need to justify yourself to anyone. Just do you.

2. You'll get to know yourself.
You'll be able to ponder your own emotions and get a deeper understanding of what makes you happy, what you really like and what you want out of life.  You will learn so much when you get out of your comfort zone and try new things.

As it turns out, I really love Indonesian food, writing and the art of dance. Who knew!

3. You can do what you want, when you want. 
Of course it's fun to travel with other people, but there's been times I've felt rushed when I really wanted to relax and soak in the experience, while other times I really wanted to speed things up a notch but had to remain patient instead.  When you travel by yourself, you set your own itinerary and move at your own pace.

Feeling tired? Skip on the night out and go to bed early - no pressure.
Wake up and watch the sunrise OR sleep in until noon. You're on your own time frame.
Feeling like tacos for lunch and supper? Why not.
The world is your oyster!

3. It makes you more independent.
You no longer rely on someone else to do things for you. When you're on your own, you absolutely need to speak up to get what you want and/or need!

Also, when the influence of others isn't present, you're able to think for yourself and create your own opinions.

Your voice will be come strong and clear.
You'll be able to think for yourself.
You'll strengthen your beliefs and purpose within the world.
But most of all, you'll be able to accomplish things on your own.

There's no better feeling than saying "I did it!" - with emphasis on the "I"

4. You'll learn responsibility.
Somethings just don't work out. You'll miss your bus, a train or a plane. Forget to pack an essential. Get your car stuck.  Maybe even fracture your knee (again) and end up on crutches in a foreign country.  You'll be forced to take responsibility for your own actions, as there's no one else to blame. You'll end up stronger, learning and laughing through your mistakes.

5. It clears the mind - then opens it. 
There's so much chatter in our daily lives. Social media, the news, co workers, friends, family - seems like everyone has something to say these days. It can be mentally draining when you're constantly connected to other people: keeping them happy, reading emotions, making them laugh, feeding their egos, providing advice...  A bit of alone time does wonders to clear the mind. It allows you to recharge and regroup. It's important to take care of yourself too.

Once you clear your mind and let it wander, you'll be amazed at how much inspiration is around you.  Use this as an oppurtunity to become an observer:  take in the sights, the smells, the full experience.

With a clear and open mind, you're in a better position to learn about the things you don't understand before you place judgement.

7. Creates better relationships
Seems odd - but its true.
When you can love, understand and value yourself you're better able to understand and value others.
You'll have a better knowledge of what qualities you seek in someone when you really get to know yourself first.

For those in relationships: It's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Alone time can make you realize how much you appreciate your lovers company.

Bottom line is:
 There's nothing to lose but the fear of being alone.

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Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist

I'm currently pregnant with my first baby girl and I couldn't be more excited!
 It's definitely a learn-as-you-go process so I thought I would bring everyone along on the journey.

This month I've been looking up baby shower ideas and started making my baby registry - better late than never haha.

I chose to make mine on Amazon.com as it was super easy, includes multiple retailers for better options and gives the creator a discount once all set up :)

Click here to create your baby registry on Amazon!

When I first started making my registry I HAD NO SWEET CLUE what to include. So I made a list of all the baby things I would be needing and went from there.

My list was broken down into sections to cover all the basis...

- Car Seat & mirror
- Baby chest carrier
- Stroller
- Diaper bag

A few from my list:

- Crib, mattress, crib sheets
- Light & heavier blankets
- Baby monitor
- Night light/ sound machine
- Pyjamas

a few from my list:

- Bottles & nipples
- Bottle sanitiser/ cleaner
- Breast pump, nipple cream, nursing pillow
- Bibs
- Highchair/ Feeding chair
- Baby utensils and dishes

A few from my list:

- Baby tub
- Shampoo/ baby wash
- Washcloths & towels
- Grooming/ health kit (Nail clippers, combs...etc)

A few from my list:

- Diapers (duh)
- Diaper pail & liners
- Changing table/ pad
- Wipes, cream & powder

A few from my list:

- Onesies,  socks, hats, warm clothes to conquer the Canadian winter
- Pacifiers
- Play mat/ bouncer
- Teething toys

A few from my list:

I plan on breastfeeding and using disposable diapers - so my list could be different from other moms. Since I'll be immigrating to Australia when the baby is 4-5 months old, I opted for easily collapsable/ lightweight products to take on the airplane. I've included both big ticketed items and smaller priced items.

What did you include on your baby registry? Have I missed anything that you would recommend?
I'd love to hear your feed back.

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Nude Maternity Photoshoot

Although it doesn't always feel like it - pregnancy IS a wonderful miracle. The female body does miraculous things while growing a baby & should be embraced.

Thank you, Gabrielle Gionet Photography, for making me feel like a maternal goddess. I feel beautiful and empowered every time I look at these photos.


Gabrielle Gionet Photography,
Instagram: @gabriellegionetphotography

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