Adventures in Wonderland – Nepal

FROM LUKLA TO JUNBESI: THE SOLUKHUMBU DISTRICT

A short flight from Kathmandu up to the Himalayan region and we felt like we were in a completely different world. Lukla airport is known to be one of the most dangerous airports in Nepal and the world… it’s simply a concrete landing strip and tin shed in the middle of nowhere, and surrounded by incredible landscapes and mountains.

The First Trek

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We said goodbye to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu, and hello to the beautiful Himalayan mountains. Our first day included a trek (and a little bit of rain) which took around four hours to get to our next stop.

Cloudy Days

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The Himalayan region was absolutely stunning – no matter the weather. The surroundings were quiet, dark grey clouds folded around the mountain peaks, and every little home we saw along the way was uniquely different from the last.

Grandpa

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One of the locals we met along the way – he was very excited to introduce us to his very shy little granddaughter.

Sunset in the Hills 

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The rain lasted until nightfall, and by the time we reached our campsite it was too dark to see where we were going or what was around us. Luckily, we had amazing Sherpas from the organisation ‘Keep Walking Nepal’ and once we arrived they set up our campsite for us. We could only see around using our torch lights, so it wasn’t until the next morning that we actually saw the village.

Stay tuned for day 2!

Written By Alice Moran
Alice is a  local Geelong gal who loves to travel, enjoys photography as a hobby and wants to hear and share more stories. You can check out her Instagram here

 

 

 

 

All things crystal and energy healing with Cayla Tudehope

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For the last month or so, it’s been battle of the babes for the Badgelor’s heart, and we just can’t stop talking about it.

There’s been no shortage of drama since it’s premier in August – from past flings to full blown bullying.

However, unless you have live under a rock with no common sense whatsoever, you’ll know that a  lot of these reality tv shows – the bachelor included – like to manipulate ‘characters’ and story lines to keep you coming back week to week.

Conversations are cut and only portions of peoples personalities are shown – perhaps one of the most manipulated personalities was Cayla Tudehope or as they dubbed her ‘Crystal Cayla’.

Cayla is an energy healer and runs her crystal jewelry business, Love Loons.

WHAT IS ENERGY HEALING?

‘Energy Healing is a term for a number of different techniques that manipulate the energy in our Physical or Subtle bodies to regain balance and facilitate our body’s natural ability to heal.’  – www.loveloons.com

41267995_338182596927185_3546708542592195752_n.jpgSpirituality shouldn’t be something that is made fun of, nor is the beliefs of one person just because they differ from yours and that is, in essence, what happened while she was on the show.

Cayla is a very kind, compassionate and spiritual person and I was fortunate enough to chat to her about her time on The Bachelor and learn about all things energy healing and Love Loons.

What drove your decision to go on the bachelor?

‘I honestly just felt guided by the universe to apply, I was even a day or two late with the application . I never thought or ever had the intention prior to ever competing against other women on a show like that . But I learnt a lot of lessons in there , met some soul family members and so overall it was meant to be.’ 

The way the show portrayed you isn’t at all even a glimpse of your personality, if you had one sentence to explain the type of human you are what would it be?

‘That I care about us evolving in consciousness, that I care about people , about the collective. That the interests of us as a whole, for me, is my biggest focus . I’m here of service, we are one & I want to help us all evolve on our spiritual journey.’

When did you get into energy healing/crystals?

‘I got into energy healing around 17-18 years old . But crystals a few years before that. Particularly in high school I started to learn more.’

What do you love about energy healing?

‘That it enables us to see ourselves than more than our 3D self and on a metaphysical higher consciousness level of spirit,  here to learn life lesson & become better people & change the earth we live on.’ 

What do you want other people to understand about crystals and energy healing?

‘That we have mental, emotional, physical & spiritual needs that are all connected & energy healing and crystals assist on these levels.’

How important is holistic living to you?

‘It’s everything. Having the lifestyle and everyday something new challenging you , trying to be conscious of things – I’m a minimalist in every sense. I’m happiest when I have very little possessions because I know what it’s like to be the most miserable person ever & no amount of possessions can make you happy – so therefore I derive my focus on enjoying the simple things in life.’

Where did Love Loons, your crystal jewelry business, come from?

‘The name got told to me in the middle of the night when I woke up & I love the meaning of the loon, which symbolises hope & with Tudehope being my last name there was that connection . The loon to the natives meant rising from the ashes & that to me symbolises the trials we go through in life.’ Cayla creates beautifully crafted crystal necklaces, each crystal has a different healing property – You can purchase them here.

What’s your favourite crystal and why?

‘I have quite a few favourites as they help at different times but a few are:
Pietersite – Pietersite is an important tool in bringing pent-up, internalized feelings and conflicts to the surface, allowing the unsaid and unexamined to erupt in an emotional outpouring that not only clears the air, but begins the process of healing. 

Danburite – Danburite point a high vibrational crown chakra crystal to activate your higher abilities , higher self and intuition . 

Rose quartz – The soft pink emanations of Rose Quartz comforts and heals any wounds the heart has suffered, penetrating the inner chambers of the Heart Chakra where emotional experiences are recorded and stored.’

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What did going on the show teach you?

‘So much that it would take days to explain – my producer in particular was an amazing person who I believe helped me remember who I really am. Own who I am and release any unhealed parts of myself that I didn’t even know I needed healing , I learnt a lot from the relationships with the girls and made some life long friends .

My biggest focus in there was integrity , honour & intentions are everything , and I upheld myself to that.

Any final words or wisdom for our readers?

Create a life of meaning , of purpose , of being conscious of the lessons we learn along the way , to be compassionate , loving & kind to others but just as importantly to ourselves. Self love is one of the biggest life lessons that took me awhile to work through and I still have some more work to do . Let’s make this world a better place.


You can find Cayla on instagram here

Adventures In Wonderland – By Alice

Every time I travel overseas, or locally, I try to capture certain moments through photography. It might not be anything particularly special to the naked eye, but there’s always a story behind every snap. I had always wanted to go overseas as a kid and during my teens, but didn’t have an opportunity until I finished high school in 2012. So in 2013, I decided that I wanted to go somewhere new (either overseas or in Australia) every year. I’ve achieved that so far and hope to keep it up in the coming years. The opportunity to travel shouldn’t be taken for granted. The freedom to meet new people and discover different cultures is so valuable and I think these experiences should be shared!

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This beautiful country absolutely stole my heart. From the busy market streets and tourist hubs to the Himalayas and friendly locals – it is the perfect getaway. You won’t regret taking the time to explore this amazing country.

BOUDHANATH STUPA (BOUDHA, KATHMANDU)

The largest stupa in Nepal (and one of the largest in the world), it’s not surprising that this is one of the most popular tourist sites in Kathmandu. It is also the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet itself, symbolising the rich Buddhist culture of Tibet and Nepal alike. The stupa was one of many historical sites damaged in the 2015 earthquake and needed rebuilding, then opened again 18 months later in 2016. As well as groups of tourists visiting this stupa, there are also local Buddhists who visit to practice prayer and mindfulness every day. While you’re there, walk a kora (circle) around the stupa while listening to the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra… for a taste of mindfulness practices.

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STUPA SQUARE (BOUDHA, KATHMANDU)

The Boudhanath Stupa is surrounded by buildings facing towards it, creating a town circle around it and a community atmosphere. Some of the places occupying these building includes market stalls with arts and crafts, authentic restaurants, coffee shops, rooftop bars (with beautiful views and cheap beers) and an ancient monastery where Monks continue to practice and live.

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Written By Alice Moran
Alice is a  local Geelong gal who loves to travel, enjoys photography as a hobby and wants to hear and share more stories. You can check out her Instagram here

Meet Romy – the girl who’s running 1000k’s in 140 days for mental health awareness.

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One in seven young Australians experience a mental health condition and it’s estimated that one million Australians have an eating disorder, with this number only increasing.

Romy Harwood is no stranger to the demons of mental health and what they can take from you, including her will to live.

The gorgeous 24-year-old has suffered from anorexia since 2015 and has been battling with depression for almost 10 years, but is now taking back her life and wants to raise awareness of reducing the stigma that surrounds eating disorders and mental illness.

“Someone who has cancer that you can see and you can treat, no one says to them, ‘well you did this to yourself,’ I just want people to just see it as an illness and not just something you choose,” Romy says.

“It’s not a life choice, no one would choose this”.

Romy is very open about the fact that if it weren’t for youth mental health service Headspace, she wouldn’t be here with us today.

As a way to show her gratitude and give back to those who have helped her on her journey of recovery, Romy is running 1000 kilometers in 140 days in the hope to raise $5000 for Headspace.

“I read this article and it was people stopping treatment because they couldn’t afford to continue and it kind of resonated with me because I remember, even though I had Headspace, it created financial stress on my family,” she says.

“I had to go to the GP twice a week and then meds on top of that – Even just anti-depressants, which themselves cost $80. Some people don’t have access to services such as Headspace and they’re paying for psych sessions, GPs,  and everything else. So I read that and I was thought shit, if I didn’t have Headspace I wouldn’t be here, 100%.”

“It sat with me for a bit and I was out for a run one day – it was just one of those beautiful days, and I was having a random moment of reflection about how I am really enjoying where my life is at right now and I knew this is what I wanted to do, I wanted to give back,” Romy says.

It had worked out that on that day of mental clarity it had been 1000 days since Romy had been diagnosed with anorexia and was 140 days until Mental Health Awareness Week, so she started running, but this time running for a reason.

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Before Romy could reach this stage in her life, her days were quite dark –  at her worst she was only 39kgs and on the brink of death.

“I couldn’t sleep because I was so boney, I couldn’t lean any way to get comfy, I was just in so much pain trying to get out of bed every day and I knew that it wasn’t good, but it was like having a split personality, I wanted to keep losing,” she says.

“I went to the GP and she said if you go out for a run the likelihood of your heart stopping is so high, you’re 1km away from death and I was thought okay no worries and then an hour later I was out running.”

“It’s quite scary thinking back to that stage in my life and I really was one step away from a heart attack,” she says.

One of the hardest things for anyone with a mental illness is seeking help, especially in the mind of someone who has an eating disorder as they genuinely believe there is nothing wrong with them.

If it wasn’t for her GP and parents forcing her into getting help, she knows she would have gone on living in her fantasy world until it killed her.

“Looking back now I can’t thank them enough, but at the time I was a 2-year-old having a tantrum; pushing them away, telling them not to touch my stuff and I’ve never seen my parents so upset, my Dad couldn’t talk, he was just sitting on the couch crying, it was really hard,” she says.

“I pretty much lost all independence, we went through family-based therapy at Headspace and I couldn’t leave the house without asking permission, which was actually harder than continuing to be sick – because I knew how to do that, and I could do it well.”

It was a long time before Romy realized she wanted to get better rather than people telling her she needed to get better.

“I spent a week at the Geelong hospital and I had to gain 5 kilos in the week, so that was hard – getting weighed every day, blood tests 3 times a day, ECG’s 2 times a day; you’re lying there, and you’re poked and prodded. I was in a constant battle with myself, my parents, my family, my sisters,” she says.

“It got harder before it got easier. To get better it’s really a one-in-all-in approach, I wouldn’t have gotten through it without my family and I’m so grateful for them.”

While Romy is on her journey of recovery she is fully transparent in the fact that it’s not always easy and she still has hard days.

“I haven’t had anything that’s been the hardest day or hardest run, but there’s been moments. My life is definitely not perfect now; once a week I’ll have a ‘throw the towel in kind of day’, but they’re just the dark days and they’re not the darkest I’ve had, so I know I can beat them,” she says.

Romy is studying health sciences at Deakin and hopes to work in the public health sector one day to help people who may be experiencing the same demons she has.

“I want to reduce those statistics. I think in terms of people with eating disorders, 70% of them result in death, whether that be complications or suicide, which is huge to me because I don’t think people realise or understand how many people in the world suffer from an eating disorder and it breaks my heart to see people go through what my family and I did,” she says.

Romy hopes that through all this, if she can reach just one person, that it will help them get the help they need to get their lives back, the same way she did.

“Just get help. As scary as it is, just lean on the people around you and say I can’t do this on my own and I can’t live like this anymore. As much as you’re stuck in that rut, in that cycle, just don’t be afraid to get help.”

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Follow Romy’s journey through her Instagram page @romharwood

Click here to donate to Romy’s Headspace campaign and buy tickets to her final fundraiser here.