My period arrived bang on time this month! But 2.5 days in, it’s on its way out. I felt bad using sanitary towels for so pitiful a period- definitely a slap on the wrist from Ms Thunberg! ‘What’s the problem?’ I hear you ask; A period so brief you barely noticed it? What a result! But what if I told you that last month this flighty visitor was 20 days late preceded by a fortnight of continuous cramping, no sleep, teary hissy fits, sluggish days at work and bloating? You might not think me so blessed. And I’m not. My period has been under the spell of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) for the last 20 years. It’s been one of the most defining conditions in my life but within eighteen months, since the start of the pandemic, I went on a path of discovery that has set me on the foothills to figuring my way out of this. So much so that I think it’s important to share this journey, not only to support fellow sufferers who might be at the beginning but also for women curious about how their bodies work.
Tourism; whether you’re the holiday maker taking some vital vacay or the local ducking and diving in between dawdling visitors, you can’t deny the benefits it brings to an area. My time in Florence certainly highlighted that. After Rome and Venice, Florence is the next most popular Italian tourist destination and why not? It houses over 60% of the world’s art heritage, boasts architectural feats such as Brunelleschi’s Duomo and is the birthplace of luminaries, Michelangelo, Dante, and Niccolo Machiavelli. Sixteen million visitors a year flock to the city to pay their dues and Florence’s economy thrives on it! Restaurants, hotels, museums and tour agencies all revolve around attracting foreigners to make big money. But it’s not the just the conventional establishments that are capitalising. There is a growing group of young and intrepid entrepreneurs riding the wave. I talk to three such locals, restauranteur Federico, Martina who manages holiday apartments and historical tour guide Andrea who have started their own businesses in tourism and are doing bloody good job at it too!
Welcome to Part 2 of my Working Holiday survival guide. Hopefully Part 1 did not put you off – it’s really not that bad – so here comes the really fun bit. Where to go and some travel tips. This is what really puts Australian living on the map, so listen up!
Ever fancied an adventure? To experience a new culture, or just a time out from hectic work? A Working Holiday visa in Australia is just the ticket.
In 2012 I had a crack at it; I packed my bags and boarded a plane to Melbourne. What was I thinking? Well for four years, I was making little career progress in the UK. I was stuck in a rut, not to mention tired of London’s madness. Australia had been on my radar for a while. My cousins migrated there as well as a few friends- all of whom loved it. The economy was strong, wages were high and lifestyle ideal- everything the UK was not. It took quite a bit of research and prep beforehand, but it made the transition that little bit easier.
In the end it didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would, but that doesn’t mean it was a waste of time. I’ve made some lifelong new friends, explored a beautiful continent and broadened my horizons.
Tempted? Before you take the plunge, my two-part nifty guide has everything you need to know before you go Down Under.
If Part One of my story leads you to say “This girl needs to chill out”, I hear you, but it’s not in my veins to chill out. Why? Well since that crunch moment, I have done an in-depth post-mortem of my past, to trace the roots of my breakdown.
My five-step survival guide to transitioning and most importanly loving your natural hair
Coming out of the curl closet is a daunting task. I should know. To reclaim my curls meant doing a complete one eighty on my hair routine. It was hard at first. My curls just wouldn’t play ball. One day they would look amazing, then the day after, the frizz took hold and I looked like I’d had a few thousand volts sent through me! Put together with the constant jibes I got from fellow Sri Lankans (heavens forbid an Asian girl having curls!) – I had to stomach a lot of ‘straight’ talk!
But I remained steadfast. It wasn’t always easy and I had many disastrous moments. But in truth what hair type doesn’t have an off- day? Five years on and I am confidently curly! Don’t get me wrong I don’t have the fail-proof key and I still struggle at times. But every time a girl compliments my hair it’s all worth it. If you are one of those girls wishing to embrace your twisted tresses, here are 5 rules to keep you on track: