There are times when you’re incredibly organised and pack all your things carefully, thoughtfully and in an organised manner. Then there are times when you grab half the clothes you own, some straight out of the dryer, and throw them vaguely in the direction of your suitcase. For me, last Friday was one of those second type of days. Messy, frantic and complete chaos.
I had spent the morning writing and walking around my apartment trying to get things done, but really achieving very little. You know those days where you have lots of little things to do to get ready, but you just keep walking from place to place and not really getting any of them done? I was in that kinda mind frame and it was really unhelpful.
I zipped up my suitcase and threw a weird mix of my last-minute essential items into a large canvas bag: Polaroid camera, make-up bag, water bottle, iPhone charger, hat, notepad, three pens, ventolin inhaler, shoes, glasses and swimmers. I rolled out of my apartment looking like a crazed woman, with bags and bits and pieces hanging off me everywhere, hair stuck up at right angles and my keys in my mouth. Yep, I’m living a pretty glamorous life, guys. All the glamour. All the time. I’m just a cool cat.
Hotel reviews are one of my favourite things to do for littlegreybox, so I was really looking forward to staying at Mantra Coolangatta Beach (I also really wanted some reconnect time at the beach too). I love arriving at the hotel and looking at it from a review perspective, working out what people would think of the place, what they would value and what they need to know about it. I also really enjoying photographing the hotel and coming up with fun ideas for Matt and I to film and photograph for the review. The sillier, weirder and more fun, the better.
The first thing I do when I get to the room, after checking in, is localise all my junk. I usually have lots of stuff with me and tend to ‘explode’ everywhere. So I pick a spot that won’t be in the way for photos or filming and create a mountain of all my gear; bags, shoes, tripod, laptop, camera gear and so on. Then I start photographing everything while it’s still really neat and tidy, like the bed and the bathroom, the kitchenette, lounge area and the view out the window. After this is done, it’s time to relax and get comfortable.
After doing the work we needed to do in the room, Matt and I went for a stroll around Coolangatta. I hadn’t spent time in Coolangatta for a few years and had forgotten how quirky and cool it is. I think people dismiss it sometimes because they think it’s stuck in the 70s, which it is, but that’s what’s so great about it. All the funky old signs, weird shopfronts and distinctly old-school Gold Coast apartments are what makes the place so great. It doesn’t feel like there’s any pressure to dress up or be cool, you just want to chill out and unwind. A visit to Coolangatta is all about the beach, which suits me just fine.
Matt and I were both pretty tired and run down from last week, so we went to the local shops and bought wine and food. Even though the weather was really overcast we still sat on the balcony with our wine and a cheese platter to watch the sunset. There’s something so calming and relaxing about watching the water and it was one of those days where you’d rather be enjoying the view from your room than sitting inside a restaurant waiting for food.
We had been very well looked after by the Mantra team, who had given us a beautiful room on a high floor with insane views of the coast. You could see all the way around from Surfer’s Paradise, down the coast to Kirra then Coolangatta Beach in-front of our hotel and across to Greenmount, then further south to Rainbow Bay. The views just go on and on forever and sitting there watching the waves roll in one after another was so relaxing and grounding. Moments like those remind me why weekend getaways are so important for people, just to get rid of all the distractions and noise of daily life and let you reconnect with yourself.
I’d love to live in a house right on the beach and wake up every morning to views like those. I’d take my dog for a big walk on the beach every morning and get a coffee, sit on the sand and throw a ball for him. What a way to start each day, imagine how connected and centred you’d feel. Put that one on the life goals list!
The whole weekend went so fast, we filmed loads of footage of the local area and the hotel for our video review. We sat up at Point Danger and watched a local surf comp at Duranbah Beach. We had a really simple, yummy dinner at a local surf club with friends and I got to chow down on some absolutely delicious Gelato Messina. It was a low-cost, high-fun weekend, which is what we needed coming into this week.
There’s a lot of work that goes into capturing all the little pieces of information and imagery we need for the reviews and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I was glad to be near the beach and take some time to rest. We get so into capturing it all that we get lost in the fun we’re having and all our ideas and before we know it, we’re spent. Yesterday was a pretty slow, chilled out day. Movies, pasta for dinner, catching up on laundry…. all the really glamorous things that need to get done on a Sunday night.
This week is all about getting the Coolangatta content created and up on littlegreybox before we head off to Melbourne this weekend. That’s right, we’re Melbourne bound! We’re flying down ridiculously early on Friday morning and staying until Monday afternoon. I’m going to need to scrape together some half-decent outfits so I blend in with the super-cool Melbourne crowd.
This trip is really exciting because we have SO much planned, it’s one of the first times I’ve sat down and properly planned parts of each day and booked in specific activities for us. Usually we tend to make it all up as we go and follow our travel instincts, but this trip will be a combination of instinct and planning. It’s a weird shift trying to see your travel as work in addition to play, but it gives it a whole different element to it which is really cool.
There are so many fun things happening in Melbourne this weekend and I cannot WAIT to share it with you guys, you’re going to lose your minds when you see the photos of some of the things we have planned. So, keep your eyes on littlegreybox this week for all our Coolangatta content and come to Melbourne with me through Facebook and Instagram. It’s going to be one heck of a weekend. Are you excited? I am!
I hope everyone had a great weekend, I’m easing into this week nice and slowly and taking things gently in preparation for a big weekend. After I get my work done today I’m going to take some time out to meditate, do some journalling and some drawing too. Remember to take things slow, listen to what your mind and body are telling you they need and, most importantly, find the fun wherever you can. Have a wonderful week, homies. Thank you for being part of littlegreybox.
Useful travel resources for your next adventure!
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Agoda – for booking hotels (or homes) whilst earning reward points
Booking.com – for booking hotels
Motorhome Republic – for booking RVs
RentalCars.com – for car rentals
SCTI – for travel insurance
SimsDirect – for prepaid travel SIM Cards
Surfshark – for online security/VPN (Watch the Netflix libraries of 15 countries incl. USA!)
TourRadar – for booking tours