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How I Want 2020 to Look – A little reflection using 5 words

How I Want 2020 to Look – A little reflection using 5 words

If you’ve been following me along here at Alicia Overseas for a while then you’ll know that it’s been an interesting year.  A year full of discovery and reflection. A year where I’ve learnt so much about how I want my life to look and how I can get it. It was the year I made some big decisions around this blog and my nursing career. We had my mum visit us in Australia and went on a 3 man campervan trip, we moved from Australia to New Zealand and got new jobs. So yeah, it’s safe to say it’s been a pretty wild year but a great one nonetheless. In fact, in terms of self-development and feeling like I know what I want from my life, 2019 has been the best year. So, in true blogger fashion, I decided to write up a little reflection piece for how I want 2020 to be for me based on the discoveries I made in 2019. Enjoy! 

My 5 Words of 2019 

This is the first year that I’ve really sat down and reflected on the past year and it must say it was very fulfilling. I used the workbook Reflect and Grow by Sophie Cliff (yep I know I’ve mentioned it before here) which gives some perfect prompts when reflecting back on the year gone by. My favourite section of the workbook is ‘words of the year’ which is how I’m going to structure this post. 

Language has so much meaning in our world. The words we say, the way we say it, the not saying anything even says something. I’ve always adored reading and writing so when I started thinking about 5 words to describe 2019 I tried to go with what came to me first. It was tempting to sit and really think about words that described the year based on things that have happened but instead, I tried to snap up the words that popped into my head quickly and think about how they relate to 2019. 

The words that came up for me were, discovery, love, challenging, enlightening and commitment. Diving a little deeper into these words made me see exactly why they came up for me and they perfectly sum up 2019.

It was a year of discovery from travel to myself. We discovered so many new places. We travelled the South West Coast of Victoria and New South Wales in Australia. We discovered the North Island of New Zealand and discovered that we had certainly acclimatised to the hot weather in Australia! In the world of travel, we discovered so much beauty. 

I personally discovered a lot about myself which ties into enlightening too. I realised that writing my travel blog and hoping to do it full time wasn’t what I felt truly aligned to. I felt like it was making me miss special moments in our travels and decided it was time to take a back seat and rebrand, which is still ongoing! I discovered that being back on a permanent nursing roster really isn’t for me. I realised I want to live my life and help others in a different way that doesn’t follow the tradition nursing route which is okay. Not everyone has to follow the same path and I know I’m meant to be on the one I’m choosing right now. 

All of these things together have made 2019 a challenging year.  We’ve decided exactly where we want to be in the future and how we want to travel from now on. Making decisions about our careers and how we want to feel in the coming year has come with its challenges. Luckily for Dave and I, we usually agree on most things which leads me onto love. 

I’m so lucky that no matter where I am in life or the world I always feel loved. I have a partner who constantly stands by me no matter what wild decisions I make or how many times I change my mind. No matter how many mental health struggles I face he’s there no matter what. As are my beautiful friends and family back home. I know they are only a phone call which makes me feel so loved every single day. 

As soon as I saw these 5 words on paper I knew exactly why they had shown up. This exercise got me so pumped to think about some words that I want to describe 2020. I knew that with all the reflection I’d been doing throughout the year that it wouldn’t take me long to conjure up some words to think about going into 2020. 

Me reflecting on like whilst looking out of a window
I can think of worse places to sit and reflect, can’t you?

My 5 Words for 2020

I have many hopes and dreams for 2020 and getting them down on paper (or screen) makes them feel all the more real and exciting. So here my words, Joy, Presence, Love, Business, Simple. They get me feeling all sorts of tingly in the pit of my stomach just thinking about what they mean. 

I want 2020 to be filled with Joy. Though 2019 has been joyous in terms of travel I want 2020 to be the year that I find joy in everything I do. I want to make more time for the little things that bring me joy like drinking my brew at the perfect temperature, journaling every damn day, making time for reading and crafts, making more time to boulder, take long walks, basically making time for everything I love in my life but especially the small things. We all know how much joy travel brings me and I will be travelling a lot in 2020 but it’ll be a lot different to how I’ve approached travel this year. Which leads me onto being more present. 

I’ve done a lot of mindset work this year about being present in the here and now. Not worrying about what tomorrow may bring or what happened yesterday. I’m learning to take more time away from my phone and focus my attention on what’s going on around me. This Christmas Day just gone by was a perfect example of how far I’ve come in terms of being more present in my life. 

‘Love’ I think speaks for itself. I want to cherish those around me who love me unconditionally and who I love back. Making more time for family, friends and more time to love me. I want to give more attention to what my mind and body needs by nourishing it wholeheartedly. It’s easy to take our loved ones and ourselves for granted so it’s time to appreciate everybody that little bit more this year. Being away from home certainly makes you appreciate those that will always be there for you no matter where you are.

Business! This is a fun and scary one. Some of you may know that I’ve dove into a new area of nursing recently which is looking at the mental health of nurses. It’s no secret or surprise that nurses hold one of the top spots when it comes to becoming burnt out and I want to explore why this is. I’ve almost given up nursing over the last 2 years due to feeling completely burnt out with the career, no matter where in the world I was. I’ve learnt that we can help ourselves a lot but also that some things in the nursing world need to change in order for our nurses to live healthier, more joyful and purposeful lives. I’ve found a passion in this work and I’m currently taking a life coaching course myself in order to help other nurses, like me. I have big plans for 2020 so watch this space! 

And finally simple, I feel myself taking a huge exhale as I type that word because it resonates exactly with how I want 2020 to look in every aspect. This year I’ve learnt that life doesn’t have to be complicated and stressful.  If you choose it can be slow, simple and easy. Work can be easy and joy can be prioritised. I want to do things that I feel aligned too in 2020 because when you feel aligned with what you’re doing, man does it come easy! From blogging to saving money, I feel more aligned than I ever have and honestly, I feel like life is pretty breezy right now and that’s how I want it to stay. 

So that’s my little reflection based on my words of the year and how I want 2020 to look for me! I wish you all the happiness in the New Year and remember to try and stay clear of all the noise that the New Year brings! You don’t need to change anything unless you want to! If you want, let me know what your words for the next year in the comments below!

In this post I dive into reflecting on 2019 and the words I would use to . describe it. It's been a year full of wonder and surprise. I've travelled, worked, laughed and cried and realised a hell of a lot about myself. I'm also sharing what I want my 2020 to look like! #reflection2019 #2020goals #goalsetting

Love at Christmas and Beyond,


Finishing the Year as We Mean To Go On – Our Slow Christmas & Boxing Day 2019

Finishing the Year as We Mean To Go On – Our Slow Christmas & Boxing Day 2019

It’s been two years since we sat around the table lapping up all the traditions of an English Christmas, family, turkey, laughter, wine, children giggling and adults squabbling. I for one have always been a lover of tradition. Waking up on Christmas morning with my mum and brother launching ourselves down the stairs (yes even at 21) to see if the big man had delivered. Of course, like every year before that, he had. The 25th of December is my favourite day on the calendar and the day that always holds the most magic. So naturally, spending our last two Christmases on the road, on the other side of the world has been anything but traditional. 

Last year we celebrated in Australia and whilst all of our intentions were good, the day ended up passing by in a blur of beaches, sweating whilst cooking, trying to make everyone else happy kind of a blur. So this year, despite the absence of our loved ones I was determined to make it a much more magical and joyful Christmas. The aim was to be as present as possible, take the day as it came and enjoy every single minute.

So, as I begin to type this out on the evening of Christmas Day 2019, I must say that today has been one of the most delightful days I’ve had since we left England 2 years ago. This post is more of a memory for myself to read back on and indulge on the love I felt today but I hope you enjoy it too. 

A Slow Run Up to Christmas 

I’ve always been a bit of a planner. I swear by having a good plan and in my career as a nurse, I love working through a process to get to answer or at least try to. In my travels over the last couple of years, I’ve planned everything from which roads to take to how much every detail is going to cost. For me, Christmas has never been any different. Especially last year when we found ourselves hosting for some friends. Though I didn’t vocalise my specific plans I certainly had a timely plan for how I thought the day should go and for the most part, the day went quite swimmingly but I felt like I was tied to time. This is a huge area of my mindset that I’ve worked hard on this year so for this Christmas, I knew it was time to ditch the plans and see what happens

I was told that Wellington, although it’s been blessed with sunshine for the last few Christmases, can be very hit and miss with the weather. It’s either scorching or miserable and you never really can plan until the day or very last minute. This notion was pretty great when it came to me wanting to play things by ear. We were either getting a hot beach day kinda Christmas or a cosy cuddly one inside. Both sound idyllic so I let mother nature decide on that one. 

It was this decision that lead us to enjoy a slow run-up to Christmas, in a good way. I didn’t do any food shopping until the 23rd and only had cards to send to England this year. Instead of getting myself all stressed about how I wasn’t sending presents I was comforted by the fact that I’d made a decision regarding spending that was what we needed this Christmas. It also meant I spent extra time savouring the presents I did buy for David as I really do love Christmas shopping aspect of Christmas. 

14 Degrees, Cloudy and Windy…

As the big day got nearer it was evident that a BBQ on the beach for two wasn’t going to be the likely winner. Instead, we opted for a day inside full of delicious home-cooked food and board games. 

Creating New Traditions 

With the fridge fully stocked with food and wine, we were ready for that cosy indoor Christmas for two. The best thing about Christmas with a blank canvas is the opportunity to create new traditions. As the sun crept in through the gap in the curtains we made a piping hot brew to snuggle down with back in bed. As the big kids that we are, we then opened our presents in bed with our brews to hand, Micheal Buble playing in the background. There was something especially childhood like about opening presents in bed despite having never done that before. I don’t know if we’ll keep this notion as a ‘tradition’ but for this year it was certainly special.

A tradition I do want to keep though is the Christmas morning walk we enjoyed post breakfast. After a generous serving of croissants, we took to the outdoors for some fresh sea air along with plenty of other fellow travellers. The harbour front in Welly was busier than I expected it but the vibes were wonderful. Smiles shared amongst strangers and the occasional ‘Merry Christmas’ at those brave enough. We nodded at the campers in the car parks feeling like we had a mutual connection whilst being away from home at Christmas. So, when we do return home to England I want Christmas Day walks to be a part of our life – a great excuse to get a puppy right? 

After we got home we got stuck into the Prosecco and started on creating the best ever Christmas dinner – with Jamie Oliver’s help of course! We pulled it off pretty well I must say and here’s the proof: 

I’m not sure we are up to hosting the more than the two of us just yet but I loved getting in the kitchen making everything from scratch. They often say. You don’t enjoy the food as much if you’re the chefs but today we felt nothing but proud and totally got stuck-in! It’s safe to say. We’ll be eating Turkey for the rest of January but that’s fine by me! 

We finished our Christmas Day off with the new tradition of catching up with our loved ones over FaceTime as they begin their Christmas Days in the United Kingdom. Seeing the joy on my little cousin’s faces after they’ve opened all their presents is enough to keep me smiling into the New Year. No matter how far away we are family will always be the most important part of Christmas time for me.

Boxing Day – Bike Rides with a Sea Breeze

After the slow festivities on Christmas Day, it was only right we continued these onto Boxing Day. I felt so lucky to have both days off work this year which as a nurse is so very rewarding. Dave was also off which meant we really got to celebrate Christmas together fully. As the sun shone over Wellington there was only one thing for it, bike riding!

I’ve wanted to head out to Pencarrow Lighthouse for a while now but the wind that engulfs this part of New Zealand always puts us off! Despite the wind though on Boxing Day, we headed out for some fresh air and much-needed exercise! Since travelling Oceania I haven’t been able to get on board with Christmas in the sunshine but on Boxing Day it was welcomed. We rode beside the sea, our skin soaking up the sunshine whilst our legs went round and round.

It was the perfect end, to a perfect Christmas.

Taking Christmas into the New Year

This Christmas Day has been exactly how I want our life to look in the New Year. I want 2020 to be slower, more joyful, creative, full of love and most importantly I want to be more present. It’s something I’ve learnt to do this year and I’m getting better and better at it as each day comes. Less screen time, listening harder and being quieter, is exactly how I’m doing it and I must admit the difference to my mood and mental health is remarkable. Living life in the fast lane used to excite me and a year or two ago and was all I wanted. Thinking back to those thoughts reminds me how okay, it is to change my mind whenever I want to, about anything. 

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful Christmas whether your day was filled with festive family fun, or simply you and a loved one drinking a hot cup of cocoa. 

How we created a beautiful slow Christmas in 2019. This post chats about my new love for slowing down at Christmas and the traditions we created this year which will last a life time. #slowchristmas #slowliving #nurseschristmas #slowdown #christmas
Pin this post for later..or next year!

Love at Christmas and Beyond, 


Don’t forget if you want a more mindful start to 2020 then subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Mid-Week Check-in. You can find more about it here but essentially every Wednesday I’ll be bringing you a dose of inspiration as a prompt to check in on yourself and your week so far. I love writing them and I hope that you’ll enjoy reading them just as much. 

5 Habits I Want to Leave Behind in 2019

5 Habits I Want to Leave Behind in 2019

This is probably the first year that I’ve ever conducted a life reflection. I actually used the fantastic workbook created by Sophie Cliff, Reflect and Grow.  It’s a wonderful resource to really hone in on what kind of year 2019 was for you and what you’d like 2020 to look like. I have some pretty big ideas for 2020 which I’m so excited about. But I also know to achieve some of these big dreams there have to be some bad habits that I need to let go of and leave behind on December 31st. So, in true blogger fashion, I thought I’d share them all with you today, here are the 5 habits I want to leave behind in 2019!

I would also love to know if there’s any habit you’re leaving behind this year, let me know in the comments. 

Not Believing in Myself 

For some crazy reason, I’ve never been a big self believer. I say this is crazy because there isn’t anything that I’ve ever set out to do and haven’t achieved. Like honestly, when I make a list of everything I’ve achieved in my life thus far, it’s pretty incredible. So why do I struggle so much with believing in myself? Well, I think it has something to do with being a people pleaser and wanting to be liked by everyone. Unfortunately, I’ve learnt the hard way to find out that it’s impossible to be liked by everyone. I certainly don’t like everyone I meet, and you really cannot please everyone either.

But what I’m also coming to learn is that it doesn’t matter who else you are pleasing if you’re not pleasing yourself. 

We are taught by society that loving yourself comes with an ugly ego and I’m realising that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s time to start believing in my dreams because only I’m capable of making them happen. And I didn’t make this far in life by accident. I’ve travelled to Australia and New Zealand within the last two years because I made it happen! 

Using Negative Language Towards Myself 

I’m getting rid of the ‘I can’t’s and replacing them with ‘how can I learn how to do this’. I’m replacing the ‘people like me don’t do things like this’ with ‘I am capable of anything’. The ‘I’m not good enough’s are turning into ‘I am worthy’. Get the picture? I’m certainly guilty of talking negatively about myself to myself. Even for the simplest things like bumping into the chair by calling myself clumsy instead of thinking ah maybe next time I’ll walk a little slower through the stock room that resembles a death trap. 

The words we use about ourselves can have a harrowing effect on our mental health. I wouldn’t dream of calling one of my friends or colleagues ugly, stupid, an idiot so why do I think it’s okay to call myself it? Well, it isn’t. 

Toxic Relationships 

As I get older my friendship group gets smaller and smaller. Probably because I refuse to keep company that doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve had a habit of doing this in the past and holding onto toxic people and friendships. Anyone who doesn’t believe in your dreams or cheerlead you on isn’t a friend. People have a funny way of showing us they love us sometimes but at the end of the day, I only want people in my life who cheer me on, believe in me and make time for me. Being a friend, wife, daughter, a partner is a two-way street. I’m so done with making efforts with others and not getting the favour returned. Brutal, I know! 

Impulse Buying 

I’ve always been a bit of ‘sod it, why the hell not’ type of gal. This, for the most part, is a great personality trait to have and something I cherish often, however, one area of my life I don’t need that attitude is impulse buying! I have a terrible habit of wanting something and just buying it often with very little thought. I’d love to spend a little less and save a little more next year so I’m going to make a conscious effort before buying things/spending money.

Self Sabotage Stories 

I often tell myself and others that I have a vivid imagination. This comes in pretty handy when I’m writing blog posts or creating other types of content but it also means I create some crazy situations in my head too. My mind often goes into overdrive when I think I might have upset someone or done something wrong. For example, I see that someone hasn’t replied to an email or message and of course that automatically equals pure hatred from them to me right? When in actual fact they probably just haven’t looked at their phone or simply forgot! The negative stories we tell ourselves often never come to light so in reality we just worry about a whole lot of nothing! 

So there you have it. The 5 habits I want to leave behind in 2019. Perhaps this time next year I’ll let you all know how it went. One thing is for sure though, 2020 is going to be filled with a whole lot of love, joy and smiles. 

If you’re reading this when it goes out then I hope you have a wonderful Christmas! And for anyone else I’m just glad you found your way to this page no matter what time of year it is! Remember, It’s never too late to try and swap out some of your life long habits for healthier ones. I hope that you enjoyed this little post if you did let me know and of course, please share it with your friends if you think they might like it!

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Love Alicia x 

5 Habits I Want to Leave Behind in 2019. I've been doing some real soul searching this year and I really want to make some changes come 2020. I've already started making these changes but a new year is always a great excuse to really dive in deep. So, here at the 5 main habits I want to leave behind in 2019! #selfimprovement #nursingtips #nursingselfcare #selfcaretips #selfcarefornurses
My Favourite Books of 2019 & My 2020 Book Challenge!

My Favourite Books of 2019 & My 2020 Book Challenge!

I think this is the first post I’ve ever written for Alicia Overseas that’s not related to travel or nursing, isn’t that crazy? I’ve decided I definitely want to inject for of my personality into this blog and a huge part of what makes me is reading. I love to read. I’ve had an amazing relationship with books since I was a child and now I’d much rather be curled up with a book on the sofa than watching a movie! Which Dave hates by the way because he’s much more of a movie guy than a book guy! Anyway, I’ve always read despite a few years in high school when reading was apparently ‘uncool’. It’s my ultimate form of escapism so many books that I’ve read have inspired my travels! 

 I love getting stuck into a good dose of fiction and getting sucked into the lives of the characters. My favourites are when you find yourself wondering what happened for the characters next! My favourite author has to be Paige Toon – if you love a good romantic novel then you have to check all of her novels out. Before we moved to Australia I was immersed in all of her books as so many of them are set down under. I must warn you though don’t expect to read one of her books and not come away teary-eyed! 

In this post, I want to share my favourite reads from 2019 and introduce a new challenge I’m setting myself for in 2020! Just click the headings to be taken to the books 🙂

If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon 

Paige’s latest novel is heartwarmingly brilliant. Angie has lived in the Australian desert all her life and when her circumstances drastically change she sets off on an adventure to Italy. It’s packed full of adrenaline, love, family and an unlikely romance. It’ll have you planning your own Italian adventure in no time. Hands down my favourite fiction novel of the year and yes I cried. 

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero 

This year I’ve read a lot more non-fiction books than I usually do. If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll know that I’ve been on somewhat of a personal journey this year. I’ve been learning how to take responsibility for my own happiness instead of blaming everything around me. 

It’s been a journey that’s involved reading all the self-help books. I must say that out of the ones I’ve dived into this has been the most rewarding. Jen’s writing is bloody brilliant. She’s raw, authentic and just plain hilarious. Her book is easy to read and not particularly academic. – now I don’t mean that as a negative as she’s a highly intelligent lady but what I mean is that her content is easy to read, understand and digest. I like things to be simple and easy and this book is certainly that. 

If you’re looking to make any changes in your life from relationships to career then I highly recommend reading this book –  more than once! 

Twas the Night Before Christmas by Adam Kay 

I’m probably the only healthcare professional in the world who hasn’t read Adam Kay’s debut book ‘This is Going to Hurt’. This international bestseller is at the top of my reading list after I finish my current read. Twas the Night Shift Before Christmas is absolutely hilarious. Adam shares his stories of seven Christmases as a junior doctor working Obs and Gyne and he captures every moment superbly.

As a NICU nurse, I think I loved it so much because it’s so relatable. It’s also. Incredibly sad in parts and draws real attention to how much the front liners (like me) do for our community during the festive period. 

If you’re a healthcare professional or not you have to read this book.  Why not make it one of your reads this December? It’ll also make a perfect gift and I think it’s only 5 pounds in the UK – what a bargain!  

Oh Shit I Almost Killed You by Sonja Schwartzbach

A book of all the things that nursing school didn’t tell you. This book is perfect for any anxious nurses out there. Though it’s aimed at new nurses it’s still extremely helpful and hilarious if you’ve qualified a little longer like me. It is set in the states but the principles can apply no matter what country you trained in. This book would make a wonderful gift for any of your friends or family that are studying to become a nurse –  I wish I had read it sooner! 

All This I Will Give To You by Dolores Redondo 

This gripping fiction novel is completely different to the reads I usually opt for. I actually downloaded this on world book day when kindle were giving away books from different countries for free. This is a tale of a widowed writer who finds out his late husband had a totally secret life that he had no idea about. As he discovers more than he bargained for about his husband he finds himself amongst the most influential families in Spain. He finds himself on a mission to discover who his husband really was and how he really came to die so suddenly. 

Ask Me His Name by Elle Wright 

My favourite real-life book of the year is written by the truly inspirational and remarkable lady Elle Wright. After losing her son Teddy at just two days old Elle tells the story of how she managed to carry on her life after a loss greater than most of us can comprehend. Elle started the blog Feathering The Empty Nest as a way to write about her experience of baby loss and raise the awareness about a subject that’s still rarely talked about in society. 

She tells the story of friends she lost, the family that came together and bond developed online greater than she could’ve ever understood. It’s completely moving how she talks about finding the strength to carry on after Teddy’s death. I follow Elle on Instagram and honestly, she is one of the most inspiring women that I’ve ever come across. I think that I was moved by this book so much due to my role as a NICU nurse it certainly felt extremely close to home. I urge all nurses to read it because I think we can learn a lot from Elle’s wise words. Despite the heartbreaking circumstances, it’s a really lovely book to read with a great deal of humour! 

A Year and A Day by Isabelle Broom

This gorgeous romance novel sparked some much wanderlust in me it’s crazy. This story tells the tale of 5 strangers whose stories are about to intertwine forever. They all get more than they bargained for as they head off on a winter getaway to Prague. It’ll warm your freezing toes this winter and stay with you for a long time. It’s light-hearted and deep with the right dose of each. A  perfect read for a weekend curled up by the fire with plenty of hot chocolate!

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod 

I’m definitely late to this party. But until I started this blog I honestly didn’t have an interest in personal development. I mean my life is great or so I thought. Being away from home and really having to spend time with myself has seriously made me question a far few things. Reading this book was pretty life-changing like so many people say it was for them too. Getting up early was never my strong suit but now I’m on a journey where all aspects of my life are changing having a morning routine is pretty incredible. 

If you’re looking for more balance and a way to change your life so that you can achieve all of your dreams then you have to read this book! 

There you have it. My favourite books in 2019. If you’ve read any of these books then I would love to know your thoughts let me know in the comments below! 

My 2020 Book Challenge! 

Now onto my book challenge. Since we moved to Australia in 2018 I definitely didn’t make as much time for reading as I used too. I was immersed in my travels and travel blog. I often forgot to leave time for those extra things that bring me joy like reading. Although I’ve certainly made time in 2019 mostly in the last six months I want to challenge myself to read more in 2020.

As someone who gets easily distracted and can be a workaholic I’m learning how to inject more and more mindfulness into my life and reading is certainly one of those things where I completely get lost in what I’m reading. So in 2020, I’m challenging myself to read 52 books.  Yep, one book a week and by telling you all I’m holding myself accountable – I’ll add all the books I read into a highlight on Instagram so. Make sure you’re following along over there!

Happy Reading! If you’ve read any of these books then make sure you let me know your thoughts in the comments below! If you enjoyed this book list then don’t forget to share it with your pals 🙂


Taking Responsibility for My Own Happiness in My Life As a Nurse

Taking Responsibility for My Own Happiness in My Life As a Nurse

Welcome, welcome, welcome! You have no idea how pleased I am that you’re reading this post right now. It’s a little different than the rest of my posts and a little taster of what’s to come. Most of you know that aside from blogging, travelling and all the rest of it, I’m a Registered Children’s Nurse. I followed my desire to help sick children and their families through the hardest times of their lives. 

Now I want to help the nurses taking care of them. 

I’ve always thrived from helping others, it’s what I love doing. Even by writing my travel blog I’m offering advice about travelling, it’s through and through in my nature.

But what I’ve realised over the last twelve months is that I’m very good at looking after everyone else but not so much myself. I’m not embarrassed to say that at 25 I still had little knowledge of how to take care of myself until not so long ago.

Now I’m not talking about putting on a face mask and having a hot bath (although those are great things too) what I’m talking about here is getting to know myself, what lights up my life and sets my soul on fire. I came to realise that I wasn’t sure that I knew myself very well at all. 

Since starting my training to become a nurse somewhat seven years ago it’s been anything but a walk in the park. There have been some rocky roads taken and I almost completely gave up nursing on more than one occasion. I even jetted off to the other side of the world (read more about that here) in order to try and fall back in love with the career I worked my ass off to achieve! 

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘running away from your problems is a race you’ll never win’ and whilst I wasn’t particularly running away from anything my nursing woes certainly followed me to Australia. I remember the very moment that I knew something had to give. I was due to go to work and found myself uncontrollably crying at the sheer thought of going in. Like shoulder shuddering, squealing noises kind of crying. I honestly had no idea how it got to this point. 

It still took me a little while after that to do something about how I was feeling about nursing at that time but I knew that I couldn’t look after others well whilst I was feeling like this. 

Shortly after this moment, I made the momentous decision to go down the road of self-discovery and really try and focus on the root of the problem. I dove into all of the self-help books, listened to all of the podcasts, Ted Talks and even sought out help from a professional. 

It was during this quest that someone said something to me that really stuck and honestly changed my mindset forever and it’s this: 

“Blaming puts other people in charge of your happiness. 

Accepting responsibility empowers you to create your own” 

I don’t know what it was about these words but they changed my outlook on my life completely. I’d spent the last almost four years blaming so many external factors on my unhappiness at work instead of looking inside. 

Some things we nurses tend to blame for our unhappiness?

Working twelve-hour shifts, being underpaid, being overworked and understaffed, working in unsafe conditions, being exhausted from picking up extra shifts, being exhausted from switching from days to nights, being fed up of working around nurses who don’t pull their weight, feeling unhealthy due to lack of exercise which of course was due to bad shift patterns, not getting time off with my partner, being too exhausted to enjoy my days off, oh the list could seriously go on. 

These are just some of the reasons that I was blaming for my unhappiness as a nurse. But after a lot of hard work and home truths that, at first, left me feeling embarrassed and honestly feeling like an unworthy person I realised that to alter the external factors we first have to work on the internal. 

As a result of working on myself and my outlook on life, I’ve kind of come full circle. I’ve gone from being a pretty negative person to a much more positive one. Right now, I feel the most confident that I’ve ever felt, I feel the happiest at work I’ve ever felt and feel truly empowered to make any changes in my life that I feel are right and you know what? It feels absolutely fantastic! In fact, I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the power of positive thinking and the power of really getting to know myself. 

This is why I really want to channel everything that I’ve learnt and am still learning on this journey to help other unfulfilled nurses! I’m going to be busy creating brand new content and I’m so excited about this opportunity I have to help other nurses just like me! If you can’t wait to get started on changing your life then I highly recommend reading ‘You Are A Badass’ by Jen Sincero – it’s one of the many books that has seriously altered my thinking during this journey!

Nursing is a hard gig, there are challenges constantly from sickness to staffing. We care with huge hearts but it’s vital that we nurture our own if we’ve got any chance of sticking around in this profession. 

I’m going to be channelling so much of what I’ve learnt to reshape my own life to hopefully help you with yours!

Wish Me Luck!


PS. If you usually follow me for all of my travel content then don’t worry it’s not going anywhere I’ll still be writing about my musings on the road. After all, I might be a nurse by career but I’m so much more than that and travel is a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t be here writing this if it wasn’t for travelling! If you know a nurse who might benefit from some tips in taking better care of themselves then be sure to send them this post!

Taking Responsibility for our own happiness can be tough especially as nurses. There are many external factors working against us like inhumane shift patterns. I've been channeling my energy into creating a happier life both on the hospital floor and at home and funnily enough I had to start with the internal work to see how and what needed to change in my external environment. Take a look at this post to see what I'm going to be up to. #nursing #nursingselfcare #healthcare #happynurses #nursesinspirenurses
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Moving from Australia to New Zealand: A Little Reflection Five Months Later

Moving from Australia to New Zealand: A Little Reflection Five Months Later

Holy smokes, I can’t believe it’s been five months since we were packing our bags getting ready to start moving from Australia to New Zealand in search of a new adventure!

Moving from Australia to New Zealand has been a complete whirlwind. Somehow moving to a country just a three-hour plane ride away (we left from Brisbane in case those of you from Perth are reading and screwing your nose up at that one) is so very different. 

The last five months have kind of gone by in a blur. I want to be honest with you, it’s taken us a lot longer to get settled here in New Zealand and to think that we’re halfway through this current visa is crackers. So I decided to reflect on our last five months. The good, the bad and the windy!

On Finding Somewhere to Live in New Zealand 

The biggest struggle here in New Zealand has been finding somewhere to live! Last year in Australia we moved to 5 different houses pretty easily. We would give ourselves around 10-14 days in an Air BnB and have somewhere snapped up soon before our time was up. 

Either it just isn’t as easy in New Zealand or this girl is a lot fussier than she thinks! I think it’s possibly a mixture of both but a lot of the latter! 

If you’ve following my blog for a while then you’ll know I’ve been hustling hard at this travel blogging business. In fact, in just one short year I’ve managed to grow an Instagram community of over 3000 and somehow Alicia Overseas is gaining over 4,000 page views every month.

Not so long ago I was dreaming of travelling non-stop full time. Can you think of a better way to live? Turns out I can. 

When we first arrived in New Zealand we spent our first 4 months jumping from hostel to hostel spare room to spare room and it drained me. Emotionally, physically I couldn’t have felt more disconnected to everything that I love from travelling. 

The past 2 weeks in New Zealand have been the best so far. Dave and I are finally in a lovely house-share with a gorgeous little room. It might sound materialistic but it has honestly done wonders to my mood and relationships. 

Here’s what I’ve realised: 

  • Nothing beats being able to cook in a real kitchen 
  • Having a window that floods the room with light is life 
  • I love nothing more than sitting down with my book, a cuppa and candle burning at night 
  • Having an actual desk to work on at home is now non-negotiable  
  • Decor matters – sorry but it really does. 
  • How lucky we are to have a place to call home that we can make our little sanctuary. 

So even though it took longer than I would’ve liked to have been settled in a permanent home for the rest of our time in New Zealand, it has made me so much more grateful for it now.

On Finding a Job in New Zealand 

Luckily this was a whole lot smoother than finding somewhere to live! Dave snapped up work the first week we got to Wellington! Luckily the hospitality scene is big here and they are always needing extra staff, especially those with experience! 

For me, it was pretty easy too! New Zealand like the rest of the world is crying out for nurses and just as we arrived in Wellington a job advert in my area of nursing expertise was put out. 

Coincidence or fate? I’m not sure but it was perfect. I was lucky enough to secure the position and found myself working a few weeks after Dave. From securing a nursing position to being on the floor can take a little time as you imagine there are thousands of checks that need to be done! So this meant I got an extra month off to enjoy being in Wellington which was wonderful. 

Nursing in New Zealand is similar to Australia and the UK, of course with some cultural and practical differences but very similar which makes me happy. 

I’ve also gone back onto a permanent rostered system instead of choosing my shifts as I did in Australia. I must say I have some strong feelings about which I’ll go into a whole other post. I could talk about nursing shifts and roasters and pros and cons until the cows come home! 

All in all, finding a job gets a big thumbs up from us! It makes even more grateful that I can take nursing all over the world with me! 

On Travelling the North Island 

New Zealand is breathtaking. 

There are no other words to describe it. It’s the quietest country I’ve ever stepped foot in and in the countryside I can sense how clean the air is. 

You don’t have to be far out of the cities to be surrounded by mountainous views and lush green fields. We’ve seen the whole of the North Island so far and have just got the South Island to explore. As I’m writing this we actually go on our first trip to the South Island in 2 weeks time. I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful country and I honestly don’t think we’ve seen anything yet! 

My favourite destinations on the North Island of New Zealand 

We still need to see Mount Taranaki and I can’t wait to spend a few days hiking around Egmont National Park!

Moving from Australia to New Zealand – On Feeling Homesick 

To my surprise, I’ve felt so much more homesick since moving from Australia to New Zealand. I can’t decide if its because we’ve not been home in over a year and I’m craving some time with my family and girlfriends or if it’s because New Zealand is so similar to the UK. 

If I’m honest since my mum left Australia the homesickness didn’t really leave (hi mum, please don’t start crying, I love you)! 

Homesickness is hard and completely normal whilst travelling the world. But as much as I love my home (which I’m only just realising now by the way) the experience of travel is certainly worth being away for a little while. I’ve adopted a few ways of dealing it. I’ve also had my fair share of tantrums and have been certain that I was booking the next plane home! 

But, one way I deal with it is by embracing this new country I’m in and making plenty of time to catch up with friends and family. I actually love these tips from Mollie over at Where’s Mollie too!

Time differences suck but it’s easy to keep in touch if you really make the effort. 

On the Weather 

After living in Brisbane and Sydney we arrived in New Zealand in the middle of winter and boy was it a shock!

Being from Northern England we are used to the cold but just one year Australia has turned us into complete wimps! 

I’ve only just taken off my woolly hat five months later (it made for a great accessory). I have no idea if we’ll ever be warm again after living in Australia but we did have our first beach day in New Zealand where I braved my swimsuit at 20 degrees! I’m sure when we one day get back to the UK we’ll be ramping up a huge heating bill even in the summer months but I’m it won’t take long for our bodies to re-acclimatise!

On Earthquakes 

About three months into our New Zealand adventure I experienced my first ever earthquake. 

It only lasted about 5 seconds but it isn’t an experience I’m likely to forget. I’m sure most New Zealanders probably slept through it and would be rolling their eyes reading this but coming from somewhere with zero natural disasters (although as I write this in November 2019 our home town of Sheffield is currently experiencing torrential flooding) it was so scary. 

We were living in the hostel at the time and the bed was wheels and it shook! Dave was on his way back from work and I honestly had no idea what was going on! Luckily it was fine and stopped but holy moly I had no idea how common earthquakes are in New Zealand! I certainly didn’t do enough research where that’s concerned. 

A tip for those looking to spend some time in New Zealand, research all about the earthquakes so you know the processes to follow should you ever need to. 

All in All…

So, moving from Australia to New Zealand has certainly been an epic adventure so far. Filled with highs and lows, all the ingredients to make a wonderful adventure. 

New Zealand is definitely the definition of ‘Middle Earth’ it’s so far away from anywhere else in the world but boy is it beautiful. If you’re thinking about travelling to New Zealand then I couldn’t recommend it more at this point and we haven’t even locked eyes on the South Island yet which is supposed to be even more beautiful! 

If you have any questions about New Zealand, moving here or about life here then let me know but here are a few facts about the country we’ve discovered so far: 

  • Earthquakes happen every day 
  • It’s normal not to see anyone else in the countryside all-day 
  • Wellington is the windiest place on earth (not statically true but I’m rolling with it) 
  • New Zealand has a teeny tiny population of just 5 million! 
  • The worlds first commercial bungee jump was launched in Queenstown 
  • Half the population own a car – literally! It’s hard to navigate without one!
  • Rugby is HUGE. 

We’ve got plenty more of this country to enjoy and I’m excited to experience more of it! Here’s to our next set of adventures down South! 

Happy Travels,