Pisces in Passau

So last month my friend Nadja asked me if I’d be interested in joining her for a day trip to Passau, Germany on the weekend and obviously I said yes.

We set off on our little road trip bright and early on Saturday morning along with another friend Jules. Nadja’s main reason for the trip was to get some shopping done because according to her shopping for certain items across the border is significantly cheaper when compared to Austria but I can’t attest to that so…don’t take my word for it. I personally try to shop local as much as I can. Anyway I was mostly just along for the ride and the opportunity to explore a place I’d never been to before.

We’d heard that security had been tightened at all the German border crossings that week because of the G7 Summit so we had our passports at the ready. Maybe they forgot about this particular border crossing or something because we breezed through rather anti-climactically without any signs of security.

Passau is a historic Bavarian city that straddles the border between Austria & Germany and is known as the “Dreiflüssestadt” or the “City of Three RIvers” because it is where the Donau (Danube), the Inn & Ilz rivers meet. Besides that, and the rather unfortunate fact that Hitler and his family lived there for a brief period (and now no one will EVER let them forget it), I didn’t know much else about the city.

The two women both had their DSLR cameras with them so the first stop was St. Stephan’s Cathedral to snap pics of the Baroque architecture and interior. I’ll be honest and say that I’m not a huge fan of exploring museums & churches and those places aren’t usually my first ports of call on my travels. Sure if there is something particularly special about a church or other historic building I will check it out, but otherwise I’d much rather be exploring the outdoors or the local food scene.

Since I’d decided to leave my camera at home on this trip, I chose to just wait outside the church, admiring from a distance and soaking up the sunshine.

Passau has lots of charming, cobblestone-lined alleys and while wandering around we came across some cool little shops that I just couldn’t resist.

Das Marmeladen Haus‘ won me over with the beautiful sample-laden table they had set-up on the sidewalk outside their store. (I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that free food samples are pretty much the best thing since sliced bread am I right?). Marmalade, jams, chutneys and preserves of every kind imagineable. We had fun chatting to the owner and tasting the latest seasonal concoction – white asparagus spread, or interesting combinations like sour cherry & walnut. In the end I decided on a jar of elderflower jelly, one of my favourite flavours.

The marmalade house

How inviting does the Marmeladen Haus look am I right?

We hadn’t gone more than a few steps further when I squealed with joy upon seeing a GUMMI BEAR STORE. More than 100 different varieties, we’re talking Cuba Libre, Chilli, Pina Colada, Green Tea…you name it, ‘Bears & Friends‘ have probably got it. I settled on a packet of strawberry & rhubarb flavoured gummies.

My last purchase of the day was some marzipan scented soap for my sister from a shop I like to think of as Passau’s very own, local version of LUSH. Except only for soap products I suppose. Basically as soon as you walk in you have to stop yourself from licking things because it all smells so damn good but sadly isn’t edible.

Of course no visit to Passau would be complete without a visit to the ‘Dreiflüsseeck‘ (literally translated, the ‘Three Rivers Corner’) which is the point on the tip of the peninsula where the three rivers merge. Obligatory selfies, oohs and ahhs aside, at this point both Jules and I were pretty hangry because we hadn’t had breakfast that day, and I’m not a very fun person to be around when I’m hangry.

Three rivers corner

Obligatory selfie with the crew at the Dreiflüsseeck

We stopped at the first restaurant we came across but Nadja insisted we eat somewhere else because it was a Greek restaurant and we couldn’t possibly eat GREEK food when in Germany! When in Rome and all that jazz…Thankfully we soon found a German restaurant so crisis averted.

Somehow the conversation over lunch turned to horoscopes (as conversations tend to do) and it was only then that we realised that all three of us were Pisces and how fitting that three fish should be visiting the City of Three Rivers together!

Cold beers and hearty meals of schnitzel and roast pork did the trick and we felt ready to conquer the afternoon’s activities. After some ice-cream of course. 😉

We made our way up to Veste Oberhaus which is an old fortress situated on a hill overlooking the city and used to serve as the stronghold of the Bishop of Passau. Nowadays it is home to a museum, a youth hostel, a restaurant, a cafe, and even an open air theatre. I guess someone told them to branch out and they were like, “DO ALL THE THINGS!” 😀

Veste Oberhaus and view

The lower part of Veste Oberhaus & the view from the top overlooking Passau

From the top we could take in the best views of the city and the point where the rivers meet to create a murky kind of tricoloured water-painting. Then we sat a while in the shade of the courtyard listening an older female busker, dressed like a hippie, singing a cover of “One Of Us” and I couldn’t help but sing along and chuckle to myself. :-)

Veste Oberhaus Courtyard

Notice our hippie serenading us in the shade on the left?

Cheers for a lovely day trip Passau!


Austria’s Very Own – Shoutout to Local Musicians

My (re)immersion into Austrian culture these past two years has at times been slow and steady and other times a bit like being thrown into the deep end, only instead of being expected to swim, in this case you’re expected to consume your blood volume in schnapps & beer and still be able to waltz around on a dance floor (even though you can’t even waltz to save your life when you’re sober).

When it came to local films and music it took me a while to get into it, mostly because of the language barrier obviously. I only finally got cable TV a few months ago so I could watch local news and a select few local programs that I like, and really just to make a more conscious effort to watch German language programs.

But now that I’ve had some time to experience and appreciate the local music scene (I suppose it helps if you can…you know…understand the language and lyrics 😛 ) and even found myself a favourite local band, I felt like this would be a good time to give a little shout-out to some of the local artists who I’ve added to my music collection & playlists, or whose live performances I’ve attended here.

J.J. King – Austria’s Very Own Elvis Presley

The first concert I ever went to in Austria was an open air event by J.J. King a.k.a. Austria’s number one Elvis impersonator and quite the local celebrity in Upper Austria specifically. I really wasn’t sure what to expect when my cousin told me exactly what kind of gig it was that she was taking me to but I was happy to get out of the house and in for a pleasant surprise. Both J.J. King and his band were awesome and really know how to entertain a crowd. Plus I do like Elvis’ music and it was nice being able to rock out and sing along to songs you know the words to.

J.J. King in action

Photos taken from the official J.J. King website

Fun fact: J.J. King actually came in 4th at the World Elvis Impersonator Contest (yeah apparently there IS such a thing) in Memphis in 1996, and that’s where he picked up his stage name since the Americans had a hard time pronouncing his real name – Jürgen Höchtl. 😀



I stumbled upon Wanda after someone shared their latest music video on Facebook. The band name sort of rang a bell and I vaguely remembered seeing a few posters around town promoting an upcoming gig of theirs. What really convinced me to click on the video though was the title of the song, “Bologna”, since Bologna was the first city I visited on my solo trip to Italy last year and it’s a place that still holds very fond memories for me.

The song was catchy and the music video and lyrics were…different. I loved it.

I looked up some of their other songs on Youtube and I was hooked. I knew then that I had found my favourite local band.

I immediately tried to get tickets to their gig in town only to find out it was sold out. It turns out they had actually just finished touring sold out shows in Germany and all their upcoming Austria & Switzerland gigs were already sold out too! I didn’t realise how popular these guys had already become.

As luck would have it I managed to score a couple of tickets last minute from someone who couldn’t attend and so I took along a couchsurfer from Spain, who was new to the area and had gotten in touch with me about hanging out. I think the fact that we both had such a great time that night at the gig, despite her not really understanding most of the German lyrics, says a lot about how good the band really is.

Wanda at GEI - Timelkam

Photos I took at the gig. Crowdsurfing!

To quote Vienna Würstelstand, Wanda’s music tastes like a mix of “Indie rock/pop, strawberry & beer stained carpet”, which seems like a pretty spot on description to me. There’s just something about their weird, catchy tunes about incestuous cousins and break-ups that makes you want to sing along and I’m looking forward to the release of their next album and future gigs.

Special Mention – Julian le Play

A special mention to Julian le Play, the singer-songwriter who my sister fell in love with during her 3 month stint here in Austria after constantly hearing his songs on the radio I assume. So this one’s for you little sis. My very own anchor so to speak. :-)


On Falling Out of Hate With Running

I used to LOATHE running.

‘Used to’ being the operative words here. Now it’s more of a love-hate type of relationship.

I can recall several different points in my life where I have either been forced to, or have forced myself to attempt running. What I distinctly remember about each of those moments is just how much I disliked it.

  • Primary school Inter-House Athletics Competition. I somehow ended up in the 400m race? Started like a firecracker but fizzled out in the home stretch to watch everyone run past me in what seemed like a cruel slow-mo replay. I guess even back then I was already a Premature Accelerator. (GO NAMKIN!)
  • Trials to determine the athletes who would represent Team Fiji Va’a at the Mini South Pacific Games in 2009. You would think that after falling in love with a sport like outrigger canoeing you could look forward to days of just sitting and paddling out on the open sea with thoughts of running banished to the darkest depths of the ocean. You would be WRONG. Those 5km runs were the most dreaded parts of the physical trials for me.
  • When I moved to Austria 2 and a half years ago and started flatting with strangers for the first time in my life I attempted to run as a way to try and bond with my outdoorsy flatmates. Needless to say…that was a failure. Not the bonding part, we managed just fine with alcohol and Wii dance competitions after that, but the running was never mentioned again.

A few months ago I surprised myself by deciding to give running another go. Blame it on a combination of Quarter-Life Crisis feelings, winter blues, and sibling withdrawal. I don’t know. All I know is, at that moment I just needed to get out of my flat, get out of that space that just reminded how much I missed my little sister and the time we had spent cooped up there together during her recent visit. I needed fresh air. I needed something to take my mind of everything.

So I laced up my shoes, put on a jumper AND a windbreaker (Oh yeah did I mention it was still winter? WINTER! Oh the irony…I used to scoff when I saw people running in the cold of winter.) then I headed out to the marked 2km trail in the woods near my place.

2km might not seem very far, but it was a start. More importantly, it felt GOOD. I resolved to make Sunday “Run Day” and made it a point to set a reminder on my phone and go for a run again the following weekend. Besides, I thought, what else is there to do on Sunday in small town Austria anyway?

For about 3 weekends in a row I got up in the morning and started my Sunday with a short run. Inspired by Facebook posts of a friend who had only recently started running as well and who had taken on the Couch to 5km programme, I decided to verrrrry slowly see if I could increase the distance and frequency of my runs and started keeping track of my activities via the Runtastic app too.

Enter my sporty cousin – “C”, who had become aware of my new running ritual and insisted we go for runs together. Considering she was way more fit and in-shape than I was, I didn’t think this was going to be a good idea but I couldn’t say no. So one Sunday morning instead of going for my usual solo 2km run, I attempted the 4km trail with C. No one was more amazed than I was when I managed to jog the whole distance without stopping. C had talked me through proper pacing, breathing, and different strides, and after going on a few more runs with her I realised that I had probably found the perfect running buddy in her.

Fast forward a few months and I have been going on more regular runs with C, participated in my first 10km run, signed up to take part in the team event of the Suva Marathon next month in Fiji, and am hoping to take part in my first Half Marathon with C in September if all goes well!

I guess what I’m trying to say is…maybe miracles do come true kids! 😉 Too much?

How about, running is HARD. It’s probably also going to really suck in the beginning and for quite some time after that. BUT, there will come a time when it starts to suck a little less each time you lace up your shoes and hit the pavement/trail/tracks/whatever.

No matter what though, those last few moments of any run, when you can almost taste the finish and feel that 2nd, 3rd, or 4th wind coming on and the endorphins kicking in? THAT moment makes it all worth it. (Unless of course you go too hard and end up passing out, in which case you probably aren’t going to be feeling too great no.)

Österreichischer Frauenlauf 2015

After finishing the 10km at the Österreichischer Frauenlauf 2015 in Vienna.

TL;DR – Somewhere along the way I fell out of hate with running and maybe you can too.


Austrian Achievement Unlocked – Schifoan!

So it seems I’ve fallen in love with a new expensive hobby and, in the process, even gotten a little more in touch with my Austrian roots.

Schifoan >> Skifahren >> Skiing!

While I have memories of White Christmases from the first 6 years of my life in Austria I don’t actually recall ever having been on skis as a child. But I know Austrians seem to consider learning to ski as important as anything else kids learn in kindergarten so I believe my Dad when he says he remembers me being on the bunny slopes at least once as a little girl. At any rate my goldfish brain has decided to forget any of that ever happened and the closest I ever got to skiing in Fiji was when watching a movie or reading a book about it maybe.

Of course I was eager to try winter sports when I moved here  and I even went snowboarding a couple of times with my flatmate after she told me it was very similar to surfing and I would pick it up quickly. Let me just state now, snowboarding is NOT like surfing and it’s quite an unnatural feeling having your feet strapped to a board and basically not being able to move them.

Unfortunately, going skiing or snowboarding has gotten increasingly expensive over the past years and most people I know here, besides some die hard winter sport fans, have hung up their skis and lost interest over the years. Something that has kind of been a bit of a recurring theme here for me – Most of my friends and family here have already done all the things that are still new and exciting to me and waiting to be ticked off my list. Whether it’s going to some local annual music festival, climbing a certain mountain or, in this case, going skiing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like no one ever wants to do anything fun, it’s just that sometimes it’s a case of ‘been there, done that’, and hey I get it. And because I didn’t want to put myself through the embarrassment of joining a beginners ski class with a bunch of 6 year olds who could probably already out-ski me anyway, I kind of just forgot about it.

That was of course until earlier this year when the subject somehow came up during a work function and a colleague of mine commented on how she couldn’t believe I hadn’t been skiing even ONCE in the 2 years I’d been here. “THIS IS AUSTRIA!”. She promptly announced that she wasn’t having any of it and that she would take me skiing if I wanted. Her enthusiasm was so infectious I instantly agreed as long as she promised not to laugh at me when I made a fool of myself.

So on the Friday of my birth week, we knocked off early, packed our gear into her car and drove to the nearest ski area – Kasberg. It was the first day that week that we had nice weather and when we got there I was super nervous and excited at the same time. Was I going to be any good? What if I hurt myself? I’d heard about how it takes just one bad fall when you’re skiing and next thing you know you’ve broken something. Was I even going to like this sport??

To her credit, my colleague was super chill about everything. I should add that she’s the type of person who goes ski touring at least once a week and, like I mentioned earlier, her love and enthusiasm for skiing is pretty infectious. So I pretty much just followed her lead the whole time – how to carry the skis on your shoulder, how to get on the gondola, how to get on the ski lift, how to step into your skis…all I had to do was follow her lead and I was fine.

We started on a bunny slope and she talked me through and demonstrated the basics – stance, moving, stopping and turning. I would listen and watch her and then try to copy whatever she just showed me. And so we made our way down that first slope with me only falling once. Back up the slope with the T-bar lift, which is an experience in itself for a first-timer and we repeated the process. I didn’t even fall the second time! Slowly we moved on from the snow plough position to bringing the skis parallel and working on cleaner turns.

We did a few different blue slopes (the beginner slopes) and yeah I fell sometimes when I got too excited and was going too fast, or when trying to practice carving turns, but for the most part, I WAS DOING IT! I was having fun and I was skiing! Sure I wasn’t the most graceful skier on the piste but I also noticed I wasn’t the worst so that was encouraging too. We spent 4 hours on the slopes that day and then it was time to pack it in. I was tired but ecstatic. I tried hard not to grin like an idiot when she told me she was impressed with how quickly I picked it up and that it must be in my blood. 😀

For someone who isn’t a professional ski instructor I have to say my colleague is an awesome teacher and at the end of the day I am so grateful to her for introducing me to this sport and being so encouraging and patient. I know now that skiing definitely has its hooks in me.

Learning to ski at the age of 25. Who said you can’t teach an old ninja new tricks? 😉

Learning to ski at Kasberg

Master & Padawan


Austrian Achievement Unlocked – Licensed to Drive

So a few weeks ago I kicked off my birth month in style by finally getting my Austrian Driver’s License! Ideally I had been hoping to get this ticked off the bucket list before my 25th birthday but the practical tests at my driving school are only held on Thursdays and so I had some scheduling issues when booking a spot.

Not that any of that matters now because the important thing is that I passed and am officially licensed to drive baby!
Sure I may be one of the last people in my circle of friends to get it done but hey, everyone knows the cool kids get their DIVING license before their DRIVING license! 😉

The process of getting a license here in Austria was, unsurprisingly, much more complicated than getting one in Fiji and of course wayyy more expensive. Come to think of it, when I add it all up this has to be THE biggest personal expenditure in my life thus far. Even more than the bond for my flat or pricey flights home to Fiji.

BUT in the end it was something I not only had to but wanted to do and I know it’s an investment for my future. Besides, what with the low fuel prices of late and me now being old enough to rent a car without the ridiculous surcharges for “under 25s”, there really was no better time!

Now it’s time to plan some road trips and of course update my road trip playlists!

I leave you with this somewhat silly photo that my driving instructor asked me to pose for right after I’d passed my practical. “For our Facebook page.” Obviously.

Officially licensed to drive

Practical Passed – Check. Goofy Grin – CHECK.


25 Things To Be Grateful For At 25

Today, or more specifically, a couple of hours ago, I turned 25. The big 2 – 5. A quarter century!

I wasn’t sure I was ready to turn 25. Sure it might seem like just another birthday to some people, but I remember back when I was young(er) I’d always assumed that I’d have my life all sorted out at this age. Dream job. Dream relationship. Dream dog. Dream house. See where I’m going with this? (What can I say, I’m a Pisces ok!) Pretty much all that ‘grown-up’ stuff just sorted out.

But while life may not have turned out how I imagined all those years ago, I realised that I AM READY for 25. Quarter-life crisis be damned! I am ready to embrace this year and it is going to be a good one. And in keeping with this positive energy that I’ve been focusing on this year, here’s 25 things I am grateful for today:

1. Family
I am grateful for a mother who taught me about unconditional love, strength & hard work, a father who showed me the meaning of second chances, and a sister who makes me laugh like no one else does, makes my heart swell with pride, and who I know will always have my back. I am grateful for my aunts, uncles, cousins, dearly departed grandparents and the rest of my crazy, lovable extended family for enriching my life and for allowing me to experience the awesomeness of a big family.

2. Friends
While the saying ‘ friends are the family you choose’ holds true for me, and my closest friends are basically family to me, they are too amazing not to have their own shout out. I am grateful that these wonderful souls chose me to be their friend and for the love, laughter, craziness, patience, and support they have provided me with over the years. I am grateful that I can say that some of my best friends are people who I went to PRIMARY SCHOOL with and our bond is still strong today, even if most of us are spread out around the globe.

3. The ocean
I am grateful to the ocean for always reminding me of home, and the more important things in life. For the lessons it has taught me and for being a cure for the bad days.

4. Having 2 places to call home
I am grateful that even though my parents are separated, and they made life quite complicated by being from opposite ends of the earth, I know I will always have 2 places that I can come home to.

5. Modern technology
While it may have it’s pros and cons, I am grateful to modern technology, in the form of Skype, smartphones, Whatsapp, Viber and the like, for allowing me to keep in touch with my global family and to make the distance less lonely. I am grateful to be able to know what is going on in the lives of the people I love and to feel like I’m still a part of it all even in those times when I can’t physically be there.

6. Dual citizenship
I am grateful that my dual citizenship means I’m not forced to choose which of my homes I suddenly have to declare my loyalty to (because how can anyone expect people to do that?), and I’m grateful for a passport that allows me to travel almost anywhere in the world. Believe me when I say that this is not something that I take for granted as I’ve experience first hand  the amount of red tape one has to work through with a ‘developing country’ passport. That being said, I am just as grateful for my blue passport and its stamps, and the memories of being able to represent my country at an international level.

7. A healthy body
I am grateful for a healthy body that allows me to get out and pursue all the physical activities that I love, and the knowledge that I can still try all those other activities I have yet to attempt! I am grateful for the opportunity to represent my country as a national athlete during my more active outrigger canoeing days as those times will always have a special place in my heart. I am grateful that I have full use of all my senses and that’s something I never want to take for granted. I’m grateful that even though I was a premie baby, there were no complications and I grew up healthy and happy. And I am grateful for the health care system currently available to me in Austria.

8. The little things
As cliché as it may sound, I’ve found happiness really DOES come from the little things, so I am grateful for something as small as a surprise postcard in the mail, a text, a phone call, a funny coincidence, or the cute boy-next-door in his army uniform opening the building door for me as I’m struggling with my keys after work. That. And so much more. All those little things.

9. Being debt free
I don’t have a lot of money but I am grateful for the fact that I don’t have the extra weight of a student loan, or any kind of loan for that matter, weighing on my shoulders. I’m grateful that my mother instilled good financial values in me and taught me the value of saving for a rainy day. (Though to be fair I might just have my Chinese blood to thank for that)

10. Food
I am grateful to have such a huge love for food. All kinds of wonderful, delicious food all over the world just waiting to be tasted! It really does make me sad to think about people who really only see food as a means of sustenance and don’t get to feel that immense joy that I, for example, feel when eating a perfectly cooked, medium rare steak. Mmmmm. Bliss.

11. Ice cream
Yes ice cream deserves it’s own shout out because it can’t be described as merely food it’s…more than that…it’s…MAGICAL. I am grateful for the awesomeness that is ice cream in all it’s glorious forms and flavours!

12. Adventures
I am grateful for the awesome adventures I’ve been on and for those adventures that still await me! To be able to visit 12 countries and counting. To experience the thrill of being at an international 7s rugby tournament, cheering for my team. To see the Lion King musical in London with one of my best mates. To go on a whirlwind one week tour of Spain with some of my favourite people, and all the memories made, people met and lessons learned. Just some of the adventures I’m grateful to have had.

13. Love
I am grateful to have experienced love, even if it may not have worked out, because it has shown me that I am stronger than I know and that there are people who are meant be part of your life, and people who aren’t. I am grateful because now that I’ve moved on, I’ve also learnt what I’m really looking for in a relationship.

14. Books, Movies, Music
I am grateful for the fact that I am able to enjoy all these mediums so deeply and for those special books, films or songs that have the power to make me feel ALL THE THINGS, that inspire me and feed my imagination.

15. Weekends & Holidays
Part of being a grown up I suppose is having to work and work has naturally made me grateful for the break offered by weekends and holidays. It’s amazing how you can suddenly develop such a deep appreciation for weekends & public holidays, and learning just how much (or how little if that’s more your style) you can get done in those days you get for yourself.

16. Employment
When I made the decision to turn my Austrian holiday into more of a permanent situation, I was lucky enough to have found a job almost immediately and this is something I’m very, very grateful for considering the current economic climate. Sure it may not have been a dream job but it meant security, money in the bank, and food on my plate. And today of all days I am grateful for the almost too-good-to-be-true employment opportunity that presented itself after I had been contemplating moving on to something else for quite a while now. I don’t want to jinx it just yet but I have my fingers crossed and am sending out positive vibes (as well as an application obviously).

17. Seasons
I am grateful to live in a country right now where I get to experience all 4 seasons and see/feel Mother Nature in all her glory. I mean, if I had my way some seasons would last longer than others, *cough* Summer *cough*, but there’s just something so beautiful about each season in it’s own right. The undeniably Christmas-y feel that Winter brings with it, along with that powdery white blanket of the first snow. The way the flowers and foliage seem to appear out of nowhere from one day to the next in Spring and everything suddenly comes to life again. The awesomeness of sunny Summer days spent next to a body of water, with a cool beer (or ice cream) in hand and some meat on the grill. And the indescribable way the light seems to fall as it does only in Autumn as if to match the changing colours of the leaves on the trees.

18. My Bed
As much as I love being on the road and travelling, there is just something about being able to come home at the end of your journey and snuggle up under the blankets in your own bed. Just the thought of it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

19. Lessons learnt
Just to be clear, I don’t feel like hitting a quarter century suddenly makes me exponentially more wiser than I was a year or two ago. (Here’s looking at you, 29-going-on-30 gang). But I have learnt many things in my 25 years of life which I am grateful for, and I know I will continue to learn things (hopefully not ALL the hard way) in the years to come.

20. Dogs
I’m not lucky enough to have a dog of my own just yet (sooooooooooooooooooooooon) but I get to dog-sit my for my Dad and cousin quite frequently and I am grateful to those lovable fuzzballs and their ability to turn a pretty crappy day into a good one with their adorable silliness. They really are a (wo)man’s best friend.

21. My Onesie
Yes that’s right. I just included an article of clothing on my list of things I am grateful for. I know people either seem to love or hate onesies but I for one will just come right out and say that I love my onesie and I am grateful that it made winter that much more cosy and bearable for me. Plus it doubles as a convenient last-minute Fasching costume so…WIN.

22. Parks and Recreation
I am grateful for the awesomeness that is this show and all the laughter that it brought with it. For getting me through those rough days where I was homesick for Fiji or just having a crap day in general. There is not a single episode of this show that did not put a smile on my face, even in between the teary eyes during the finale. (If you managed to watch the finale without getting teary you are not human. Seriously.)

23. #TreatYoSelf
I am grateful for the fact that I make enough money to not have to live paycheck to paycheck and to therefore be able to save a bit and treat myself on occasion with a holiday or a little retail therapy.

24. Awesome Surprises
I am grateful for the awesome birthday surprise I just discovered, which my little sister apparently hid behind a picture in my flat before she left to go back to Fiji. Excuse me while I just wipe the soppy tears off my keyboard.

25. This. Right Now. All of it.
I am grateful for the fact that I even have 25 things to be grateful for right now when I know there are people out there who cannot say the same. xx