I think this is the best month of the year! I am finally visiting my best friend, Ana, over in Sydney Australia, home of the “natural” food styling movement. This is where photos that scream “effortless” come from, and I am really hoping to be able to have a short apprenticeship an awesome food stylist aside from just sitting back to take a nearly month long break from all that’s crazy in Manila. Here are the list of totally awesome adventures I am hoping to have while I’m there:

1. Go back to photography – I bought a vintage lens (sorry I didn’t have the budget for a new one but it was cool) and found out that the lens was so vintage, it didn’t work with my camera’s light meter. It scared me a bit and suddenly made me realize that dang, I haven’t been taking real hobby pictures since maybe a year ago. I really want to stop holding my camera because of work (which is cool too on some days but basically, I bought my camera for my hobby). A fully manual lens would never scare me before (since I was neck deep in photog and I always made time to practice) but now, getting the jitters because of a lens is bad news…I really should get my stuff together.

2. Best friend bonding and catching up time – it’s funny how I’ve got friends you don’t see for years and when you catch up, it’s as if they never really left at all. Ana and I have been friends since grade 7. We lost touch for a while when she left in the 3rd grade but anyway, since she’s been coming back home at different stages of my life we’ve managed to keep touch and catch up. To me, this is going to be the most awesome catch up time ever (since I was never allowed to sleepovers, this will make up for all the years I missed sleepovers at her place)! She used to sleep over in the house using a mattress that I would lay out on the floor, and we would just talk all night post clubbing! Hahaha those were the days…these will be even better!

3. Go back to working out – yes, I am guilty of stopping my gym and activities all together ever since I stopped riding horses. I became really delinquent in going to the gym until I stopped it all together mid this year because of work. I think that’s why it’s been extra hard to melt the stress away…it’s time to detox and whip my ass back in shape.

4. Go to Hunter Valley – another great wine country = great pictures and great food! I can’t imagine how this place will be since I’ve been to Spain’s vineyards…this is something new altogether!

5. Eat things that are only found in Australia – they actually have a fish that only grows in Australia like a King George Whiting, and food like Vegemite, and other stuff.

6. To assist an awesome food stylist – This is going to be great if I get to do this. I wouldn’t mind even just washing the dishes just as long as I get to help out some people who have been in the industry for years. Because Australian food stylists have been pioneers in what we know now as a more “editorial” or natural look, I would love to learn something from these professionals who make it look effortless.

7. Have my room renovated – It is the greatest time to be away from home since I’m finally having my room renovated. This is going to be one of the best things I’m doing this year (and australia is number one)…I seem to be doing a lot of great things this year but this is going to make it even greater! Now that I’ve been rushing the interior designer and seeing how my room will be when I get back, I’m already excited to leave because that way, I know that things are going to be even more awesome when I come back home. Now I can smile about the rent I pay.

8. Find some great props – Apparently, Sydney has a lot of great flea markets to find these really cool props they showcase in magazines. I’m always on the lookout for a beautiful plate, spoon, glass or what have you that can make a layout extra special. I hope I have enough space in my bags for these items.

9. Whip up something with the great produce – I love going to markets, buying and cooking something from the country’s great produce. Since I’m going to be living in Ana’s place, I have full use of her wonderful kitchen and fridge to get to prepare and eat some of the most beautiful produce in Sydney!

10. Celebrate my birthday in the most different way! – This is the first time I’m going to be out of the country and away from my family for my birthday. It seems like a great experience!

Hopefully at the end of the trip, I’ll have tons of new pictures and new inputs for my blog and portfolio. And some really fantastic experiences to tell and reminisce!