Category Archives: Travel

Introducing ‘The Sun Chasers’


Friends are the family we wish we had. 

Some people are blessed with perfect parents, siblings, relatives… Some aren’t. 

Some find the beauty in their unique families. And let’s face it. We all have unique families.

And some make friends with those who they wish were in their family. 

I believe in the saying that people come into our lives for a reason. We cross paths with each other, to help us shape our future. It’s all part of the journey we’re on. 

Some will be short term, while others will stay a lifetime.

Some will come and go.

My husband and I met when I was only 15 – he was 14.

Naturally knowing each other that long, meant getting to know each other’s circle of friends too. One particular mutual friend, Ken, decided to go back to our home country, Philippines, approximately 15 years ago. His family remained in Australia so he’s been back and forth since then. In late 2016, due to personal reasons he came back to Australia for a short period and this is the story of how The Sun Chasers was born.

Ok, well technically this was just a name I spun-taneously created after our first official catch up. Also, for clarity, we are not officially The Sun Chasers, this is just what I have called us for the purposes of my Blog and to create a series. Each of us are individuals doing our own things. We just happen to share the same passion. #WeLovePuns

My husband’s two brothers from other mothers (Ken and Devin), our son (Gabriel) and myself decided to take a journey together. 

To explore, create memories and have adventures. 

Our purpose was the same – to travel and explore new things; to share our love of everything beautiful by using our creative minds and to create a story from what we capture; and to be positive and happy. Our adventures were spent together. But the stories we told, were our own. 

Meet Devin | Devin Legaspi | creating videos for YouTube of his travel stories and his journey.


Meet Ken | @iphonogra_ph | capturing photos only using his iPhone and publishing on Instagram. He is a Traveller. Dog lover. Musicon. Coffeesseur. Wordnerd. Dreamer. 


Ken also has today launched his YouTube channel, called Iphonograph Channel, which will follow on from his Instagram page and will feature tips on how to perfect your snaps. Watch this space. 

He is also a “wordnerd” as he puts it and his blog can be found at iphonogra.ph

Meet my son Gabriel | Gabes Tube | 7 year old newbie on YouTube. Creating a channel for kids and sharing his love of drawing, origami, Star Wars, LEGO, gaming, art & craft, music, dinosaurs and being creative. After years of watching other children on YouTube, experiencing the adventures we’ve shared as The Sun Chasers and with his own bubbly personality, he decided that in 2017 he was going to create his own channel. #Goals


My husband prefers to enjoy the adventures by living in the moment. I admit, his photos are WAAAYYYY better than mine, but are rarely posted on social media. He simply enjoys the adventures for what they are, without feeling the need to share them with the world.


And then there’s me. The First Lady. The only lady. Snapchat is the name. Living out my #Godlys100Things is my game. Many ask why I post everything. Many ask what am I doing it for. Many don’t understand. If you feel the need, follow me on Snap @Godly153 with a current snapchat score of 10,103 (whatever that means)! Please tell me if you know that that score actually means!


Since November 2016, we have discovered some new places, some were hidden treasures. Others were simple beauties. We even conquered some fears. 

Personally, my journey was to soul search. I even managed to tick some goals and I definitely learned a lot from each experience and from each individual. #Godlys100Things @GodlysCorner

The next few posts will be about each adventure so far. I hope you take something out of it, that you can incorporate into your own life. And perhaps take the adventure on yourself and tell your own story, in whatever platform you choose.

Remember:

Life is beautiful. 

Today is the day that you are living for. So make it count.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed. 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take. But by the moments, that take our breath away.

Subscribe to my blog to be notified of when my posts are published. And keep your eyes out for The Sun Chasers series. 

For now, to wet your appetite, check out our creative work for the adventures we’ve had together and our own personal journeys. I guarantee you, it will be worth your while.

Until next time…

Keep smiling.


All the good things 

My last post was about 2016 and what brings me back to blogging. There were so many things that held me back from my writing but by the end of 2016, I grew my wings and started writing again.

2016 in one word: SHIT 💩

But it wasn’t all bad. There were so many good things as well. 

In fact, I managed to hit my goal of ticking 5 things off my #Godlys100Things list. I set up my goals tree back in June 2015, after listening to a podcast from Jonathan Doyle. 




I’m usually a goal-oriented person, without goals, I lose focus and become unbalanced. Last year’s New Years resolution was to build my upper body strength. 


That didn’t go exactly to plan. But, I have learnt from that. I set that goal up without planning and preparation. This year, my focus is on my health and fitness again. But this time, I came in with a plan:

  • I started with a personal trainer with fitness goals that are achievable and realistic;
  • I have healthy competition to keep me accountable and motivated; and
  • I have the right mindset coming in to 2017.

This is where it went wrong for me in 2016. 

But that’s ok, because all the good things from 2016 should be remembered and cherished as well. I’ll rattle off a few:

In January, me and my boys rode in a R44 helicopter over Sydney Harbour. This has made me want to add to my #Godlys100Things list and get a helicopters licence (number 9).



My hubby and I took a couples trip to Melbourne with another one of our couple friends, Dalin and Em.  The main purpose of this trip was to dine at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal (number 54). But I will do a separate post on this shortly. 

While on our couples trip, I played roulette for the first time and won a significant prize, we ate at some very delicious places, went to the Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs and had quite the romantic adventure.




We rescued a blue-tongue lizard who was injured near our pool and released him back into the wild when he was better. This led to us owning a blue tongue lizard as a pet. #Crikey



In February, I joined a Netball team. In my 32 years, I had never played netball and I loved it.


I watched The Sound of Music (The Musical) with my 6 year old. This was his first ever musical and he loved it. #LikeMotherLikeSon


Erica and I ran-then jogged-then walked the Night Colour Run.


In March, my son was elected SRC, he’s in year 1. This was not a great moment for me though. Check out my resilience post. #ProudMum

I celebrated my 33rd birthday in style, by having a Frozen party. I, again, had never ice-skated in my life and I was terrible, but it was so much fun. I also enjoyed watching friends and family show me their ice-skating skills and some who had no skills at all.



It sorta went downhill from the 7 March though. But let’s continue with my 2016 highlights…

My son figured out the Easter Bunny. #WiserThanHisYears


In April, we visited my bestie, Tracy, in QLD and I took my son to Dreamworld for the first time. Her son Harry is my son’s bestie too.


In another double date night with Dalin and Em, we went to see Akmal live for The Comedy Festival.

In May, #OperationHalfMarathon started abruptly. It is number 52 on my #Godlys100Things list, but I didn’t expect it to be happening quite so early in my running journey. Although my goal was to run a marathon, not half, but this is a start. My friend Erica and I have been running once a week since September 2014, when we initially both didn’t enjoy running. It has been a fun journey for both of us, we are at different fitness levels but I enjoy running weekly with her. My Saturday runs have gotten better and better (even though it ended in November when I injured my ankle playing social Soccer. Again, more on that in a different post – yet to come ). But overall, consistently running (even just once a week has improved my long distance running and split pace). Now, when my friend Dalin decided to train with me, running became 2x a week which has led us to train for a half marathon this year. #WishMeLuck



From June-November (life was demanding, busy, and all that jazz). It became too much that I didn’t want to post photos on Instagram anymore. Which is where I usually go to reminisce. 

I’ll try and do the last 6 months of 2016 in FFWD:

I made a flower crown for my niece (Stacey) and tried to get my hobby with flowers back into my weekends, I taught my son how to cross stitch, my work dad/buddy (David) retired, at work we changed it up and tried playing netball, we celebrated our friend’s (Mark and Cathy) engagement party, my work friend, (Rachel) opened up a new cafe, Stacey received the Sacrament of Confirmation and asked me to be her Godmother, Erica and I ran the 9km Harbour Bridge Run, my mum and I went to the flower festival (Floriade), Erica and I went to the Billabong Yoga Retreat, I learnt how to play the guitar, I participated in the Tour de Cure CAN4CANCER fundraiser d 21km walk, I went zip lining with my niece (Katelyn), I ticked off number 93 which was to walk/run the Bondi to Bronte…phew… that’s a lot!



Then due to personal reasons, a dear friend came back to Sydney after living overseas for almost 2 decades. 


As life remained difficult, laughter, adventure and friendship brought happiness back into our lives. I called us The Sun Chasers. More about our adventures in posts to come!

I had some great adventures/memories (Garie Beach, Central Coast road trip, fishing adventures, archery for our team building day, discovering the sleepy town of Windsor, Rediscovered Bent’s Basin, bubble soccer, had some poker nights at home, and lots of fun moments )


I actually started drafting this post on the 1st day of 2017, with the intention of it to be uploaded shortly after. But a whole month has gone by and it’s been quite a hectic January that I sit here on 2/2/2017 finishing this piece.

Initially I wanted to say that 2017 will be a bigger and better year for me. My son and I wrote up our goals for 2017 and already in 33 days, were kicking goals. Unfortunately I know this trend all too well. I start my year well and by June I’m all fizzled out/overwhelmed and tired. I am conscious of my actions and need to make myself accountable. I need to be my own motivation. But I can’t do it alone, like I did at certain times last year. I aim to post more regularly and keep my blog up to date with my journey. The best feeling is when someone asks me “when’s your next blog post coming out?” I write this blog for many reasons, but the most rewarding is to know someone out there reads it. 

Stay positive. 

Stay true to yourself.

Keep smiling.

Purpose

  
I found my purpose after I started my #Godlys100Things list after that work conference that I had attended that July afternoon, all those years ago.

I wrote a list and to this day I keep working towards ticking things off. I have found that as I work towards ticking them off, that I had things on that list that aren’t exactly what I want anymore. So I either replaced them or kept them as [Thinking of a new thing to replace the old thing]. Because like all lists, they change. And as I work towards these 100 things, I realise that I’ve changed my wants/needs/priorities. In fact, I’ve changed a lot. #DJKhaled

Every day may seem similar but in actual fact, for me, every day something changes in my life. That’s important. To stay the same means not growing. And while I’m physically not growing, I’m growing in all other ways.

At the end of 2015, I made some new goals. I put them up on my ‘Goals Tree’ and wake up to this tree every morning. One of them was to tick 5 things off my 100 things list in 2016. It seems simple enough but if you’ve read my list, you will know that some require a lot of work. Some are easy but that’s not the point. I’m not just going to tick 5 easy ones and wipe my hands clean of any hard work. NO WAY. That’s not my style. 

  
So far, to date, I have ticked:

  1. Number 54: Eat at a Heston Blumenthal restaurant. Dinner by Heston Blumenthal opened in Melbourne and after booking a table in August 2015, the day had finally arrived. We flew to Melbourne to have dinner. I don’t know what was going through my mind but I happened to think that was ok to do that. Like I’m some kind of hot shot food critic that travels to have fine dining experiences. LOL 
  2. Number 72: Learn to drive a manual car. Which ironcally just happened today. 
  3. Number 94: Watch a fight with my husband. This was technically ticked off twice already in 2015, but we’ve enjoyed this so much it’s became almost a tradition. 
  4. Number 95: My husband’s choice: Kill a spider. The reason this was important is because I am petrified of spiders. The word itself gives me the heeby-jeebys. So I had to do this one for myself like my own version of the Tv show ‘Fear Factor’. Again I’ve done this twice now and I seem to be doing ok facing my fear. 

   
  

    
    
 Fear is something we all face. We’re all scared of something. But don’t let fear stop you. Let it drive you to beat it.

So you may be wondering how my purpose is built on silly things like this, but it all boils down to this. When I’m a better version of myself today, I can contribute to a better world tomorrow. Whatever new things I learn today, I feel the need to share it with the world. Because knowledge is power. #MajorKey

I may be one person, but I’m one person who cares enough to want the world to be a better place for the kids of today and the kids of the future.

My son tells me he wants to be a scientist and work with DNA to bring dinosaurs back. Everyone says that’s not possible but I believe he will do great things. And I need to help him along the way to support his dream. If I just nod and smile, how is that helping anyone? 

I don’t know if his dream is possible but I don’t care.

I care that he has a dream and he’s only 6 years old.

I care that he loves dinosaurs so much that he wants to see them again.

I care that he’s deciding his own future by setting his own goals and he’s nailing it. 

That’s the kind of future I want. Kids with big dreams and living life, not by what anyone tells them they can/can’t do, but by what THEY decide they can do.

Follow me on snapchat to see how I choose to live my life daily. I’m also on these social media platforms:

  
Click here to see my #Godlys100Things

To learn something new

  

I just love learning something new. I love the saying “you learn something new everyday!” It’s so true.

Today, I learnt something about a product I deal with everyday and more about how to do my job better. A job I’ve been in for almost 3 years. I know what I’m doing – yet I still have so much to learn. 

Lately I’ve been learning how to swim. Yep! You read that right – how to swim. I’m 32 years old and this year, I’m learning a new life skill. This was also number 41 on my 100 Things list. There were so many reasons why I wanted to learn this skill:

  1. to save my own life (I’ve had a couple of near death experiences with drowning)
  2. to be able to save my son’s life (God forbid that ever happens)
  3. to be able to participate in The Amazing Race TV series (number 20 on my list). I’ve applied a couple of times and they never call me. So to increase my chances, knowing how to swim might help me get a phone call. I really want to test myself in that kind of environment. How strong mentally and physically am I really? Can I really do anything I put my mind to? A show like this that would really allow me to test myself. How competitive am I really? #OneDay
  4. a new activity for me to keep fit
  5. a means of getting to/from work/school/home 

In December 2014, I decided to learn how to ride a bike (number 99). One beautiful, sunny day, we were buying a bike for my husband and my son was just learning how to move the pedals. I didn’t want to be left behind. I wanted to buy a little girls bike with training wheels. But the sales lady wouldn’t let me. She insisted on teaching me. It took 1 phone call to make the appointment, $140 and 2 lessons. And the rest is history. I must admit, learning was scary. Mainly because I didn’t want to fall. But now, the feeling of riding is exhilarating. I love the freedom. The solitude. And the family rides – that we are yet to have. I’m still teaching my son how to ride. It’s been about 10 months since we took his training wheels off. He’s still learning and he’s getting there. But we’re not yet 100% confident that he can stop suddenly if he needs to and ride fully independently while we’re both on our bikes too. So one day, this will happen – My dream of getting on our bikes on a Sunday arvo and just riding. #MakingItHappen

  

  
     

One thing I tell my son is that everyone needs to learn something. As a parent, teaching your kids is one of the most important things. The fact that I showed him that I too need to learn how to ride a bike, hopefully in some way motivated him too. I must admit, he doesn’t really like trying new things. But slowly, he’s learning that new things are great.

I’m learning new things everyday, every week, every month and every year. So when you see an obstacle, think of the opportunity it brings. Find the reason why it came into your life. Embrace it. Make it work for you. #RemainOptimistic

Next on my list of skills to learn…

Number 72. Learn to drive a manual car

Once I learn that, I’ll be totally ready for my journey on The Amazing Race. #WatchMeWhip

Life’s a journey. Life is meant to be lived. What are you waiting for? Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

  
There’s something about Italy that excites me. It all started in year 7 back in 1996. It’s strange how it feels like so long ago – yet it feels like yesterday (all at once). We were asked to choose between French or Italian as our language elective. Being the odd one out, as always, I chose Italian. I really took a liking to the language and decided to continue studying it throughout high school – even into my senior years at a new school. As I’d studied it for 4 years prior, I was told at enrolment into St Mary’s Senior High (SMSHS) that I was part of the Italian Continuers class – with my friend who was in the same boat. It was fun. We were in a class of about 18 with the rest of the class being beginners. We thought we knew it all in class, until my HSC verbal exam when I realised I didn’t actually know much at all. Yikes. I couldn’t answer the questions they asked me in Italian simply because I had no idea what they were asking me. Had they asked me in English, I may have just had a fighting chance. #FAIL. I’m lucky that I was too short to be flight attendant! That was always everyone’s career aspiration at school. Well at least I came second in my class, out of 2. Some may say that “that’s looking at this as Glass Half Full“; others will just say “You came last!” Both are true but I still to this day look at it as glass half full. I always have and I always will.

I’d like to think that I’m a every cloud has a silver lining kinda girl with a positive outlook on things. Everyday is a blessing and it is guaranteed that we will face adversity but it’s how you see it, act on it and eventually come out of it, that I think matters.

At SMSHS, we were given the opportunity to travel to Italy for a class excursion with our teacher. Unfortunately due to many factors, money being the main issue, I was unable to go. I regret not making the effort of saving or asking family for help. I am the youngest of 4 and I knew we just couldn’t afford it, even with my part time job and the Government funding a small portion of it. I just didn’t want to ask my family – we were in no position for me to be on an overseas holiday. There were more important things like bills to pay and mouths to feed. 

This regret haunts me to this day and this is why it has made my list at number 87. Take a photo at the a Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Such an experience will now be one I will share with my family. I WILL go to Italy and see the Leaning Tower of Pisa (before it falls completely) and do that corny photo where I am holding the tower up on the falling side. And that really excites me. 

   
 

The other day I was running errands and saw a puzzle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and I just knew it was a sign. I bought it because it served 2 purposes. 

  1. quality time with my son who loved learning about this amazing landmark; hearing about my dreams of visiting there one day; and the fun of building a 3D puzzle.
  2. it will now be front of mind and my daily reminder of my BIG dream, as it sits pretty on my kitchen bench, slightly bent.

    

I also wanted to do a mini product review while I’m at it. Because I wanted this blog to also serve the purpose of all things on life. Product reviews being a big part of life these days. Everyone wants something and a product review is a perfect way to find out from another consumer what something is like and whether to buy it or not. This of course comes down to personal preferences, own experiences and budget etc. But like I said in my first blog, this is just my side.

Pros:

  • My fave thing about this is that it serves many purposes. It is now part of my decor, it could be an interesting talking piece when visitors come over and it’s 3D aspect is much more fun than the conventional flat puzzles.
  • It was also only AUD$12.50 and only had 13 pieces. 

Cons:

  • This puzzle said + 5 which I assume means it can be done by a 5 year old. I’m 6 times that age and I had to do it 3 times over as the 5-step instructions weren’t very clear. They were written too simply that I just couldn’t get it to sit correctly on the grooves.
  • I did this with my 5.5 year old son who struggled with his heavy handedness to put this together without it falling apart.

  

    Verdict:

    We had such a fun time building this and watching a YouTube video on why it was leaning in the first place that we discussed what our next puzzle would be. Of course it had to have something to do with dinosaurs. We are going to build a museum (if they have one). The next one will be his choice either way; and regardless, it will be lots of fun! 

    He loved popping the pieces out of their main board and popping the tiny windows and doors out from all the individual pieces. I think this should realistically take only 30 minutes to complete but I can’t say for sure, because it took me longer than that to finally get it right!

     

    This product is recommended for parents who want to share an activity with their child or anyone who has an interest in landmarks. Prices vary depending on the landmark and I guess how many pieces the puzzle has. There was an Eiffel Tower puzzle that had a different puzzle structure to this as well.

    Product details:

    • Product Name: 3D puzzle Leaning Tower of Pisa
    • Item No: CF706H
    • Distributed in Australia by Hobbyco Imports Pty Ltd
    • Ages: 5+
    • From Hobbyco 
    • My star rating 7/10

      
    I learnt so much from just a puzzle that it just goes to show that even something so minor/small/tiny/minuscule could be so fun and educational for both myself and my son. I love telling him my big dreams and hearing him say funny things like “Dad, did you know there were dinosaur fossils under the Leaning Tower of Pisa?”

    – Godly –
    9 June 2015

    Change

     

    One winter’s day in Brighton-Le-Sands, I sat at a round table with my colleagues. The room was filled with perhaps ~170 others and I only knew about 40 people. It was a conference. The ones where you are supposed to mingle, network and get out of your natural team environment. I found most people still spent the break times with those they already knew – I know I did. I can’t get out of my comfort zone very easily so I tend to shy away from these things and let people come to me if they want. I’ve kinda always been shy like that. 

    During the break we saw this guy chatting to the organiser and funnily enough my friend thought he was kinda cute.

    Break was over, we all took our seats and then Sebastian Terry gets up on stage. He had the crowd’s attention just from his personality and perhaps his looks played a small part. But then it got serious. He spoke about his friend who passed away suddenly while he (Seb) was travelling. Without taking his story (you have to read the book yourself – it’s interesting) and to cut to the chase, that was when he decided to change his life.

    • To live every day without regrets.
    • To know that if he were to die the next day, that he did all he could to make the most out of life.
    • It’s his version of ‘The Bucket List’.
    • To be happy!

    You can check his story out on 100Things.com.au

    I still remember coming home that day full of life and excitement and saying to hubby “I met someone!” That was my kinda humor. One would think that would mean I was leaving. Lol. But then I pull out my autographed book and said “this is for you.” Seb had signed the book to inspire hubby. I must admit, I was excited to read his book first. I can say I’ve read the first few chapters but unfortunately time has had the better of me and I haven’t been able to sit and read a book in a very long time. I will get to it though. Maybe I should just stop blaming time and just make time.

    Seb

    “Why is this important to me and you?” – I hear you ask. Well ask yourself this – If you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with your life?

    I couldn’t say yes to that about a year ago. For many reasons. The big one was because I was just existing. I was not living life to the max. Don’t get me wrong – I would have been happy. I have a beautiful family, a great job, a nice home to call my own but that’s not nearly enough. I didn’t realise my dream was bigger than that. WAY bigger. 

    So in chapters and in no particular order, I will take you on the journey that I have taken so far. I’ve said it before, I’m not here to change people’s mindset or create world peace. I’m not even here to inspire people. I’m doing this purely for a better life for my son in the hope that whatever small change I make now, that the world may be a better place for him in the future.

    Let’s be realistic:

    • We can’t take away pain and suffering.
    • We can’t stop natural disasters or humans from getting sick.
    • Or worse still – from killing each other.

    But I think, we can all do something today that makes someone’s life better. I’m not talking about a random act of kindness. I’m thinking bigger. I am no saint. Don’t take my name the wrong way. This is not a religious cult or preacher-type blog. This is just how I feel.

    The thing I find is I’m learning something about myself along the way. And the biggest thing I learnt was it’s never too late. Clichè I know – but so powerful!

    So, I challenge you to think of something that you could do tomorrow that can change someone’s life? It could be a stranger, your friend or a family member.

    It’s kind of a smaller version of Neil Armstrong’s quote

    “This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

    What we do today, no matter how insignificant it may feel to you and me, it could be a massive change for the future.

    My son learnt a lot about space last year in day care. He even started rapping songs that his educators found on YouTube and the order of the planets in the solar system. I think, if we get it right now, we can really shape the future of tomorrow. Not just his… But for all children.

    The above is my son’s drawing of the solar system and to me, it represents a few things:

    1. Where our future is headed. Neil did walk on the moon back in ’69 but these days people (very, very wealthy people) can buy tickets to see the moon. Imagine what craziness we can do in 2040 and beyond? My son will only be 31 but how mint would it be if they started driving the space cars from The Jetsons? It’s not impossible.
    2. The sky’s the limit. We all know that saying and it’s true. Believe and you can do anything.
    3. History has taught us about dinosaurs and how they lived millions of years ago. That’s also one of my son’s favourite topics. He knows the dinosaur ABC and he’s only 5! What will our children’s great-grand-children be doing in a century’s time. Today (right now) will be their history lessons. Don’t you want to be a part of that? Don’t you want your name on a statue, in a book or on a Wikipedia page? I know I do.

    In summary, living the 100Things way is how I found my life purpose! Which is to help shape the future. One step at a time!

    – Godly – 
    2 June 2015