Round Up: October 2020

Mt conner and red sand dunes

As I welcome the start of a new month and begin the race towards the end of 2020 I’m enjoying the opportunity to reflect back on the month that was. In my goal to improve my mental health and better manage my stress, I took to writing these monthly round ups to help remind myself of all the wonderful things in life that I have to be grateful for.

I’ve slightly changed the layout of these posts, so please let me know what you think. Does it work? Should I change/add/remove anything?

What I’ve done

October started with a bang!
My partner and I flew into Adelaide for a quick break (just one of the pros of being a teacher) and spent a week lounging around and catching up with friends. In between lazy days and boozy evenings we sprinkled in some fun with a ghost hunt and tour of the Old Adelaide Gaol, a stroll through the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, an embarrassing trip to Victor Harbour, and the successful completion of our second escape room.

We caught an early flight back home on the Wednesday and passed through boarder security much faster than last time, and thank Goddess for this! I have a tendency to pack terribly for all forms of holiday so was desperate for any extra time possible to pack my carry-on case for my impromptu road trip to Uluru (insert excited squeals). I planned this trip with a friend about a week before I left for Adelaide when I became aware of a sweet deal on accommodation in one of the higher ranked hotels at Uluru.

I also had the amazing opportunity to attend an outdoor orchestra held at Simpsons Gap. The concert featured original music and it was such a calming experience laying in the sand of the river bed and watching the clouds go by overhead to gorgeous instrumental music. They have promised they are planning more outdoor concerts in the future and I can not wait.


Visiting Uluru was definitely the greatest highlight of October for me. You can read about my experience here. I am so grateful that the stars finally aligned to make this happen and that my friend was able to join me. I know that solo travel has been heavily promoted over the past few years, but honestly, a road trip is far more fun when you’re with friends.

Exploring the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. On a sunny spring day there really isn’t anything better than strolling through lush gardens surrounded by exotic flowers.

I saw a koala in the wild and visited three waterfalls in one day! Hiking to all three waterfalls at the Morialta Conservation National Park was so awesome. As someone who lives in a desert setting running water is always an awesome experience… Even if I manage to get lost on the trail. My bad.

Adopting a “say ‘yes’ to opportunities” mentality. In won’t lie, as someone who always needs to think everything through to the ninth degree, this has been a difficult change to make. Despite this, overall it has been a positive change that has lead to some awesome experiences.

It rained! This was particularly exciting since we’ve been in drought for a long time now and the desert was starting to look particularly dead and ugly. I hope this is a sign of things to come over the next 6-12 months, especially since it will give the West Macs the chance to recover from the devastating bushfires from 18 months ago.


We almost got broken into. Twice. This was particularly scary and I’m so thankful that my partner chose that time to get up for a drink of water and was able to catch them in the act and scare them off.

I’ve developed an intollerance to lactose. My doctor always warned me this was a possibility given my coeliac diagnosis. Currently the only major change I’ve had to make is swapping to soy milk, though I admit, I might currently be ignoring the symptoms in relation to cheese.

Photo of the month

Uluru at sunset
Kata Tjuta at sunrise

Given that visiting Uluru was the highlight of the month for me it should come as no surprise that this is my nominated photo of the month… or that I couldn’t just pick one.

A lot of people express feelings of intense spiritually while at Uluru. This was not the case for me. I had a great time and I’m so excited that I got to go, but I realised that it is not my place. It was the experience, not the place that fed my soul.

Quote of the month

Give voice to your dreams – if you don’t talk about them, you won’t achieve them.

Brendon Burchard

This applies to my dream to visit Uluru. I put it out to the universe and it delivered.

My favourite things

Cold pressed coffee! Have you tried it? I recently found a coffee shop that sells it by the (recycled) bottle and it brings me so much pleasure and energy in the morning before work.

Katie McIntosh from The Katie Show Blog just published her book titled Your Vacation, My Office: A Day in the Life of Tourism Workers Around the World and What we Can Learn From Them. This book provides a different perspective on the travel and tourism industry and is a good read. (btw, this isn’t an affiliate, I’m just so damn proud of Katie for her achievement. I’ve followed her blog for a long time).

I’ve been learning a lot about World War I as its the topic we are currently covering in Humanities, but best things I’ve learnt about relate to the unsung animal heroes of the conflict. Did you know there was a Canadian goat called Sgt Billy who was arrested for eating military equipment and saved three of his comrades by head-butting them into a trench? What about the carrier pigeon who flew 25 miles blinded, with one leg hanging on by a tendon to deliver a message that resulted in the rescue of 190 allies? How about Stubby the dog who served in 17 battles and was awarded the rank of Sergeant after he rescued his comrades by waking them up during a gas attack? Aren’t these stories just great to read about! If you want to read about these animals and more, the Guardian has a great article.

Health & fitness

This month I set aside my biases against chiropractors and saw one as a desperate last ditch effort to get on top of my back pain. The person I saw was more of an osteopath rather than a chiropractor and I’m not lying when I saw he is a true magician. I had my first pain-free week in months thanks to him, and I am hopeful for recovery.

I began using my ‘nobs’ gym guide, which I purchased in September and am 20% through the program. The guide has been super easy to use and it helps that my gym buddy had been encouraging me by joining me on my workouts.

Goals for next month

Being an adult child on a carousel. Can you tell this is my dirty time on one?

Last month my goals included seeing a professional to address my back pain and visiting Uluru. I managed to check both of these items off. I’ve also done a pretty good job of maintaining a healthier work-life balance and saying ‘No’ to extra shifts and I want to keep this up into next month.

This month I have 3 goals I want to focus on:

  1. To keep saying ‘yes’ to new opportunities and experiences.
  2. To start swimming 1-2 times per week for fitness.
  3. To start journalling on those mornings I get up early but don’t hit the gym.

How was your October?

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