My Acne(lan) Journey

Acne.

That 4 letter word that insights more upset in sufferers than almost anything else.

So why am I even talking about it then? Especially when this part of my life is something I very rarely give air time too, and / or have spoken a great deal about – as I DO manage it remarkably well with my diet and lifestyle , but I know for giving you a proper and thorough read from my experience of the incredible treatment I recently had, Acnelan, at the MOST divine clinic in Perth, YouthLab, this is the part where I need to formally introduce THIS part of my life.

So here goes.

Hey you. I’m Anna and I have been dealing with Adult Cystic acne for 9 years (aka ALL of my 20’s).

Those that know or have suffered from Acne of ANY kind, at any age know how frustrating, upsetting and rage inducing it can be – which in itself is frustrating as I think all of those emotions only trigger it more.

But there I was, at age 22, with flawless, perfect, rarely even had 1 pimple during my teenage years skin – when my cystic acne started.

Granted, and very luckily, it wasn’t severe, as in debilitating and feeling like I can’t leave the house, like I have heard from so many other Acne sufferers – but infuriating and upsetting and painful nonetheless.

I won’t bore you with every tiny detail (although if you know me you know I LOVE a good chat) but below is a good quick important little surmise of the following years.

From the ages of 22 – 25 I just dealt with it with every topical cream and pill the Dr’s would throw at me and every “acne be gone” potion and lotion beauticians and stores sold me. And I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. There isn’t the highest level Vitamin A cream (compounded personally by a specific chemist with a special license in Perth) I didn’t try, an antibiotic I didn’t swallow and a Treatment I didn’t have to try to get rid of my Acne.

Almost every trip to the Dr’s resulted in the Dr trying to coerce me on to roaccutane, which full admission I have never done, but I personally just didn’t want to go down that road if I absolutely didn’t have to, as having to pee on a stick to confirm I wasn’t pregnant before they even consider you as it can “deform unborn babies” just always admittedly freaked me out and didn’t sit well. I want you to know though that if it was any worse – the debilitating kind I know so many sufferers deal with, I would have gone down that route. I’m no hero and I mean it when I say good on you if you have used it to treat your acne I so freaking get it!!

At 25 I found a system of products (my Isagenix products) which I purely just wanted for energy and wellbeing, cleansing and natural supplementation made sense to me, but within 2 weeks of being on the products my skin health had never ever been better. I remember Mum coming over and grabbing my face demanding to know what skin care or pill I had recently changed to to help my skin health so much and I just pointed to where the products were shrugging my shoulders saying they’re to ‘blame’. And p.s once I understood more of the natural ingredients and Science I now know why!)

HERE IS THE THING THOUGH and a big Disclaimer – although it has been THE best thing hands down to help manage my very long term Cystic Acne – it’s not a cure and so I still have always had bouts of breakouts I have just dealt with.

Fast forward to around September / October 2017 and l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y out of NOWHERE my Cystic Acne flared up the worst it had ever, ever been.

I was almost 30 at that stage, and had already been on an 8 year self love journey so it wasn’t a case of hiding in the house or shying away from social media, it was actually showing UP on social media that allowed me to find YouthLab and the divine treating skin specialist Alison and Acnelan treatment!!

HOWEVER – being *almost* 30 years of age, the absolute healthiest I had EVER been it just didn’t make sense. I was off booze at this stage in a 16 week challenge (something that can trigger it), I consume almost no dairy (another trigger), eat an extremely healthy diet of fresh vegetables and organic sources of protein, and of course had been cleansing and avidly using the Isa products for 5 years. And yet – here I was with uncontrollable acne that was literally taking over my entire jaw line, neck and encroaching up my cheek.

Thinking this time SURELY something must be wrong, I went straight back to the Dr’s, who again put me on the strongest topical cream (two actually) they had AND a round of antibiotics – I begrudgingly agreed to do the 4 week round and he convinced me this would absolutely knock it on it’s head.

He also wrote me a referral to see the leading Dermatologist in Perth who had a 2 month wait list that I booked an appt with.

4 weeks later, by the end of October, it was still aggressive and there. It had showed ZERO signs of improvement.

So off I went to the Naturopath (all usual things I had done over the years prior to finding Isa which had always then managed it). She ran hormonal tests – blood tests – the works, and EVERYTHING came back PERFECT. I actually DID burst in to tears at that stage because I was like WHAT is wrong with me?? I knew that they were going to come back perfect too as my period is clock work, my periods are ‘perfect’ and so hormonally I knew I wasn’t ‘off’.

The Dr tried a different set of antibiotics – whilst I waited to see the Dermatologist – which again, didn’t work. So at that stage I just stopped everything again because I didn’t want to / like pumping my body full of crap that wasn’t even working anyway.

The day came where I finally got my 30 minutes of glory with this ‘incredible’ Dermatologist early January who was going to ‘fix’ my skin which was worst than ever.

He spent 10 minutes explaining what acne was (yeah mate know what it is, managed it for 8 years, just tell me why you think I get it) – went over my face with a magnifying glass, went through my FULL list of everything I have ever done, sat back in his chair … and told me it was… genetics – even though I had told him my ENTIRE family have flawless skin, and prescribed me the 1 thing I said I still wasn’t ready for. Roaccutane.

I actually DID burst in to tears again at this stage because I was just so done.

And THIS is where the breakthrough occurred and my journey with YouthLab & Alison and Acne Lan begins.

I went home and did what any normal sensible woman suffering with the WORST cystic acne in her life does – I went on social media and talked about it 😉 (No hiding away here – no siree.

I explained I was suffering a really bad flare up at the moment, even being a HUGE ambassador of health and wellness – hashtag human, but never being one to shy away I talked about just accepting it and loving myself regardless of it and that it was just going to be a part of my face until it came back under control again.

{ My Actual IG Story talking about the “elephant in the room” with my flare up I just couldn’t get back under control }

And then, as fate would have it, a few incredible Perth babes contacted me, saying they know I had just talked about Self-Love and acceptance BUT if I wanted to take a look at YouthLab they had *JUST* posted about needing to trial out their new Acne Treatment “AcneLan” and I should contact them to be the babe to try it.

And with nothing to lose – and LITERALLY everything to gain – I emailed YouthLab.

Cue the start of YouthLab and Alison (the remarkable Skin Science Expert) and Acne lan.

When I used to look for different treatments to help / manage / cure (the dream!) my acne I just wanted photos (which is why that is the first thing I wanted you to see as I remember what it was like wanting to just know) and then blow by blow break down – which I am going to now give below.

I wanted to give the whole experience context though, as any acne sufferer out there almost NEEDS to know the other stuff – well what HAVE I done before, DID I really try everything, and how bad was my actual skin. I hope that’s all been addressed for you – and I really DID just want to share this knowing how much Alison, YouthLab and the Acne Lan treatments changed my freaking life.

What did I have? And Why?

If you want to know WHY Acnelan – or what it is essentially, go and read what the babes at YouthLab themselves say about it as its how I learned a brief enough overview to know that it was going to be a hopeful solution for me – read that here.

I ended up having 3 Acnelan peels including 3 Crystal Fiber masks, AND got the take home care products for the duration of my treatment – and can I absolutely say here, and I know I probably will repeat this, I truly believe my impeccability with my at home care was fundamental to my amazing results as well.

The first treatment

My first treatment was in February 2018 – and I will NEVER forget how lovely and welcoming and professional all the ladies were who I dealt with at YouthLab – from their gorgeous receptionist through to the Owner Dr Kate, and then my own Dermal Specialist Alison. Alison warned me very accurately that it IS going to sting, potentially quite a lot, but that she would make sure she’d put a cooling mask on as soon as she was done with the treatment so it was all going to be ok.

Did it sting? YES, for sure. It was hot, and stingy but was incredibly fast as each area of your face is done separate and the entire ‘peel’ was done in I would say less than 3 minutes. I still laughed and chatted with Alison the whole time.

The post peel crystal fiber mask felt INCREDIBLE and it did cool it all down so I walked out feeling absolutely fine.

After the first treatment

I definitely had peeling (which I LOVED because I was like YES peel away and reveal that new skin puh-lease) and I was red and had some sore areas – these photos below are 2 days after (first day there wasn’t really much of anything) – and within 4-5 days this was all clearing up.

After the second & third treatment …

My 2nd treatment was 5-6 weeks later and I would be lying if I said that it got easier – The 2nd peel was hands down the most painful and by painful I mean absolutely still bearable BUT I did have tears in my eyes and I couldn’t talk through this one, but as soon as that crystal crystal fiber mask was on I was my usual chatty self.

VERY sadly I don’t have photos from this one as we were also vlogging this (but Mr Richards lost the footage on a thumb drive in our move across Australia) but I did absolutely peel quite heavily and IF I didn’t work from home like I do, and I was at an office, I would have actually taken a day or 2 off just at my skins ‘peak’ healing as it was quite scabby from the peeling and sore.

The at home care was phenomenal though and I felt safe and comfortable the entire time knowing this was exactly how it was meant to be and progressing well.

The 3rd treatment was then 4 weeks after that, and in fact the easiest!! It was the most ‘pain’ free (I put pain in ‘ as pain to me is so subjective!) and I really was laughing and smiling and ok the entire way through. By that stage, Alison was explaining, my skin had alkalised – as the peel had been doing its job and moving my skin from it’s more acidic state to an alkalise one. Happy days.

I will say as well, after every single peel, my skin was returning more and more to normal and as I walked in for my 3rd treatment I was actually quite emotional and grateful as NEVER did I think anything was going to work as well and powerful as Acnelan had.

I think I even hugged Alison (sorry not sorry Alison!) and repeatedly told her how life changing it was to have my skin back!

Where am I now?

{Left: Completely make up free – how I always LOVE to be a few months ago // Right: Sitting at my computer TONIGHT writing this very blog post with make up on – but as you can tell, make up less or make up on – my skin remains clear, healthy and flare up free }

It’s been almost an entire year since I had my 3 acnelan peels / treatments at YouthLab (so you could say me sharing this with you has been a long time coming), but I also believe that everything is divinely timed so a year on is a PERFECT time to show that my skin health all this time later is still thriving.

NOW – have I never gotten another pimple or break out again? I would love to say No I haven’t, but that’s not my reality – I do still have some breakouts but they’re just that, a breakout, I haven’t had another cystic acne flair up since my very first peel (and of course any good skin specialist will tell you skin health and health comes from the inside out so my usual healthy diet and lifestyle play an incredibly important role as well).

Once I had finished all my treatments and my skin was the absolute best it had been in years I also treated myself to a session of Skin Needling by Alison too so I could start dealing with the scars I have always been left with, and THAT is also when I found my skin just went that next glow-ey level again.

I have moved across Australia now which was hard after just finding what I believe to be the best clinic (for everything skin & beauty) in Aus but credit where credit is always due and being treated by Alison, getting to know Dr Kate on my visits, and just being around the Youth Lab clinic was an incredible experience and one I am eternally grateful for – healthy radiant glowing skin gives me FAR more confidence than any make up could and my treatments with YouthLab gave me that gift back.

After investing THOUSANDS (and thousands and thousands) over the year in Acne related ‘cures’ and management I honestly had given up hope that I could ever get it as under control as I had it after Acnelan (and still today) and I remember saying on my very first consult, if this DID work, I would scream it from the rooftops for other Acne sufferers knowing myself what I have gone through. So this is for YOU – the person who has also spent thousands, does everything by the book in terms of acne management, but still can’t get their skin or a flair up under control – It was the BEST thing I could have ever done at the exact moment when I needed it most.

So thank you YouthLab – Dr Kate, for having the vision to start such a divine clinic and have world class services and products, and thank you to Alison, you appointment by appointment – allowed me to step even MORE in to the confident woman that I know I was born to be!

p.s I’ll pop YouthLab’s details below for you in case you are ever interested in checking them out or booking them in, just like those social media angels lead me to them all that time ago.

WHERE TO FIND THEM:
1 Richardson Street, West Perth
Perth, WA 6005

EMAIL: hello@youthlab.com.au

WEBSITE: https://www.youthlab.com.au 

PHONE: (08) 9324 1604

NOURISH, don’t punish your body…

I need to get something off of my chest, and that is this;

YOU CANNOT OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET….now, apologies I had to yell that, but I just needed your attention.

I am somebody who loves fitness. I L.O.V.E to move my body. I do it in ways that always feel good to me, and it’s about nourishment, not punishment 100% of the time.

BUT as much as I know that one size or program doesn’t fit all, I also know that our results are always, always 80% what we actually put in our mouth – and only 20% how we move it (and of course 100% of our mindset and our thoughts of course).

I am getting an increasing amount of women come to me about their weights or fitness routine, telling me they’re sooo frustrated at their results … but when I ask how they’re nourishing their body, are they naturally supplementing, or what does their food day to day look like the answer is usually “oh it for sure needs work, but” they say..”I am in the gym 6-7 days a week so I just don’t understand why.

Food beautiful woman. Food. That’s why. I have never counted a calorie in my life, and to this day, I still couldn’t tell you what a macro is and how many I am meant to have a day – what I CAN tell you though is I eat whole healthy foods, multiple times a day, and I supplement beautifully deliciously with my Isagenix.

So if you’re looking for a health transformation, or some results, let’s start there. I would love to chat to you about your health goals and share more of what I do and see if it IS a fit for you, but seeing and feeling my own results, I am almost certain it will be.

You can find me on my Instagram at; annarose_richards.

Or send me an email – info@annaandmorgan.com – to connect better and tell me, if you could change one thing about your health in the next 3 months, what would it be?

An open love letter to my future daughter …

An open love letter to my future daughter – when I sit to write on certain subjects, I just start typing, and for this particular post, this is what spilled out – if it so resonates with you and your own daughters / nieces / cousins / little ladies in your life, then this is for her too…

Dear future daughter,

Where do I begin? I am writing this to you before you’re even born because as much as I am hopeful for your bright and beautiful future I need you to know these things before you’re earth side with me (and you’re amazing dad).

Right now it’s 2017, a pretty crazy time in terms of natural disasters, let’s just say senseless world leaders and threats of nuclear war (but baby girl, don’t you worry about any of that as this world is always going to be safe for you to come in to, I know I don’t even need to tell you that however).

There is something else going on in the world though that I need to rule out of your life before it’s even a thought in that divine intelligent mind of yours – and that is this obsession with social media and self.

This mama always wants you to know that you are not your looks or your body or your likes or your ‘following’.

By the time you’re earth side with your (hilarious and handsome) daddy & I, I can’t promise you what the state of our planet will be in or how much ‘worse’ this obsession to be “liked” and “followed” will be. But know right to your core, that you should never become more concerned with likes on a photo than you are concerned with who you are as a person and how much kindness you bestow to every single person you meet.

It doesn’t matter how many “followers” you have online, what matters is you had the courage to follow your heart every single day and you remained true to who you were.

And my darling heart please, PLEASE don’t you ever think it’s your boobs or your bum or your body you have to put all over your social media to gain attention. No. It’s your brains and your intellect and your compassion you show to humanity in every single moment.

Know that you deserve to be in any room and deserve to hold any company, be it crouched on the floor feeding the homeless, or introducing yourself to the Prime Minister of Australia (your mummy did that so I know you will too). But here is what I want you to know most, is that both of those people deserve the same level of respect and attention and care from you. You need to Love and respect and revere those that have nothing the same as those that (seemingly) have everything.

My commitment to you is reminding you that your worth is not measured by your bra size, or botox or the fact you are an “influencer” online – your worth is measured in the size of your heart, the depth of your love and the reach of your sincere care for just doing your best for yourself and this planet.

My sincerest wish is that you know what real friendship, love and adventure is long before you worry about how popular or liked you are.

My goal for you is that you hear words like how intelligent and extraordinary a spirit you have long before you’re told how ‘beautiful’ you are (although my sweet girl, you are the most beautiful girl on the planet. Fact).

I want you to learn the word phenomenal and contribution before you learn the word ‘pretty’ and ‘gorgeous’ or ‘snapchat’.

The day mummy took this photo to go with this post I had been online and watched back some videos I had taken of myself that morning .. It was 6am, I had been on my run, so looked tired, pale, had greasy hair, no make up on and … well I suppose the word here is … real.

And the thought crossed my mind – “wow Anna, you were brave putting that up!!” And in that moment right there I caught myself, and realised that was the craziest thought in the WORLD to have, and knew this letter had to be written to you angel.

Never do I ever want you to think ‘brave’ is showing up online OR most specifically OFFLINE aka in the real world exactly as who you are. No make up. Greasy hair (because guess what hunny, your hair is going to get greasy), pimples sometimes (because well, hormones babe) and being allowed to just be deeply authentically you.

The real you always deserves to be shown and never deserves to be second guessed.

Life isn’t perfect and you don’t’ have to show up in it perfectly ever.

You just have to be real and do your best.

I won’t ask much from you little one and I promise to always ALWAYS let you dance to the beat of your own drum, but one thing Mummy will insist on is just staying true to who you are, being Compassionate and having courage to be who you were born to be – before the world (or social media) tells you who to be; You’re a super woman not determined by her body or looks but your brains and capacity to love.

No matter who you do become though or what path you take, just know your Dad & I are going to love you madly and unconditionally and always, ALWAYS have your back.

I want you to always know that you are stronger than you’ll ever truly realise, more powerful than you could imagine and being happy hunny, is far more important than being pretty (so ditch feeling like you’ve got to put on the make up if it means you’ll miss the start of a sunrise or sunset)…

And last but not least, I promise mummy will try her BEST to live in to the example I have set out above.

Love you with all my heart and can’t wait to meet you one day (in this lifetime or the next).

Mummy xxx

It’s not always going to be perfect, and neither are you

I want you to know that I get life isn’t always going to be in flow and peachy. It just isn’t. I have to always even remind myself that to experience joy, I have to still experience the sadness and to be in the light I can only know that from standing in the shadows.

The key I have found though is NO MATTER WHAT to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To move forward even when you’re unsure or hurting or feeling like giving up.

Feeling like sh*t so sleeping in, won’t make you feel better. Getting up to move your body will.
Feeling sad about any certain situation so burying yourself in a series of tv binge watching won’t make you feel better. Getting outside & going for a walk and creating an action plan will.
Feeling lost and unsure so downing a bottle of wine won’t make you feel better. Calling your most trusted friend and having a good chat to clear your energy will.

I have ALL of those feelings, not regularly sure, but I do experience them, and don’t ever think even people who seemingly have their sh*t together don’t have the same crappy feelings like the next human.

What helps me though is one.foot.in.front.of.the.other. Getting up even when I feel like sleeping in. Moving my body even when I have every excuse to not. Calling a friend or speaking to Morgs to clear away some confused energy. Going for a walk and being out in nature when I am disappointed or hurt. Writing on the beach when I need to work through a change or transition.

THIS is what poured out this morning when I sat to write so I know many of you needed this little love bomb in your life. Just remember above all else though, the pain or hurt or confusion or frustration will always pass when you get in to action for yourself and just put that next best foot forward.

And as always, I will be over here cheering you on every single step of the way

Change your language, change your world

Since I was a little girl, my mum has always instilled in me the knowledge that I “speak things in to being” – if us kids ever said anything negative about ourselves (or others) mum would literally make us “take back our words” and replace them with something positive.

I remember when I then got my first full time job in an Accounting firm as a junior administrator, and was responsible for answering and transferring calls. There was an exceedingly wealthy and successful business man who would always call to speak to his accountant and the first time I was ‘lucky’ enough to answer the phone the conversation went a little like this;

Me: “You’ve called Acute and you’re speaking with Anna how can I help you”.

Him: “Hello Anna, it’s <man> here, how are you today?”

Me: “I’m not bad thank you for asking, how are you?”

Him: “So you’re terrible then are you?”

Me: “no no, you might have missed heard me I said not bad”

Him: “no I heard you perfectly fine you just have horrendous language around trying to tell me you’re well. Next time Anna someone asks you how you are, instead of saying two negative words, ‘not’ and ‘bad’ why don’t you try saying ‘well’.

Me: “I absolutely will, and transferring you through to <name> now.

I remember actually being quite shaken after that call – interestingly, because he wasn’t trying to be mean but to a young impressionable (albeit wild) 18 year kid being schooled on language was so far out of my usual and I knew forever more “not bad” would be stricken from my vocabulary. In fact, working my way up in that company to then Receptionist and Office Manager I would train the new junior administrators on that exact language and what not to say.

Language has always therefore been so huge for me, and as I’ve gotten older and read more books, it’s gotten even MORE important to me.

Then, as I’ve written about countless times before, I picked up my first personal development book, Awaken the giant within by Tony Robbins and there was a whole chapter on language and speaking to the power of our words and how they truly shape our whole reality.

It was like a slap across the face in the BEST of ways again.

I then went from formalities of saying things like “well” and “fine thank you” when people asked how I was, to saying words like “I’m exceptional” or “I’m amazing thank you!” or my favourite “I’m extraordinary thanks for asking how about you” …

I learned that even in the moments that maybe I wasn’t those things (I get you can’t be lickity schmick all the damn time of course) but saying “shit house” or “not bad” or “yeah ok” was FAR worse and going to attract much of the same bad, ok or shit house feelings and things in to my life. Where as exceptional, amazing and extraordinary – well, guess what I then get to attract more of in to my life. Bingo.

I have practiced bettering my language consciously now for 8 years, and I STILL every single day beam ear to ear when someone (without fail) replies back to my “I’m amazing thanks for asking” or “ I am phenomenal” with “oh gosh that is just the best I have not heard a response like that in years (or ever). So even on the days I maybe don’t feel thatttt phenomenal but I say it, I immediately DO feel phenomenal because a) I am manifesting those emotions and feelings in to my life, and b) I immediately do feel phenomenal because of the response it illicits back from those I am connecting with, and what a gift that is.

Then something profound and cool happened just yesterday; whilst reading my current book, ‘You are a bad ass at making money’ by Jen Sincero, I was yet again reminded of how much BETTER even I can do. This particular chapter was on watching your language around money as obviously the Universal Intelligence (God, the universe, aliens, unicorns, allah – whatever your jam is) is ALWAYS listening and providing you more of what you want.

Now, you’ve just heard I have been consciously working on this ‘stuff’, on my language and ensuring I choose my words carefully every single day for 8 years now so you’d think I would have been pretty across this idea but I was slapped in the face AGAIN (best slaps ever though right) and woken up to the fact that in actual fact, when it comes to MONEY my language isn’t where it should be.

In the book, Jen listed out the following. She said we need to be aware of when we (and those around us – because you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with don’t forget that) say the following;

I want (because it means you lack).

I wish (because its saying you’re not in control which is disempowering).

I need (saying you don’t already have it = lack again).

I can’t (well, that one is obvious!).

I’m trying (and trying isn’t ‘I’m committed now is it).  

I hope (showing you lack faith, as it might not happen).

I should (sooo maybe you will or maybe you won’t).

I don’t know (spoken as truth, slams doors shut on finding the truth).

Brilliantly though, Jen then went on to also list MAGNIFICENT replacements though .. so instead of the above the book offered up to try saying instead….

I have  

I create

I’m grateful for

I enjoy

I can

I choose

I LOVE

Put super simply and cleanly because everybody loves it laid out as obviously as possible we need to follow the table below …

INSTEAD OF SAYING THIS …. SAY THIS INSTEAD ….
I want I have
I wish I create
I need I’m grateful for
I can’t I enjoy
I’m trying I can
I hope I will
I should I choose
I don’t know I’m trying to work that out

So instead of saying;

I can’t achieve that as I honestly don’t know how I’ll ever get there…

We can say instead;

I enjoy that I am learning every day on how I AM going to achieve xyz as I know I will get there.

Instead of saying;

I want < insert business or personal goal here > ..

We can say instead;

I have all that I need to achieve < insert business or personal goal here > and am so grateful that abundance is all around me.

Whether you believe it or not the truth is, we truly are manifesting and bringing about our reality every single moment of every single day with every thought we think and word we speak, and I know that I know that I know, even these small little changes at the start of my sentences can and will drastically change the course of all of our lives.

We have the decision every single day to choose, choose what we are thinking, choose what we are saying and therefore choose what we are manifesting and creating, and I as of this day, I am committing forevermore to getting to that level of specificity with my language, and if you’re so called to as well, I think it’ll all just help in consciously moving this planet forward to LOVE that little (a lot) more.

Hi I’m Anna and I just want to clear a few things up when it comes to what I do.

All day everyday I am grateful and genuinely adore answering women’s questions in my inbox about what I do, the profession I am in and sometimes the misconceptions they have about both. So I thought I’d bring some of my answers out of the ‘shadows’ and in to the ‘light’ in case YOU have always wanted to ask these questions also but never had the courage … Here we go….

And if you fist pump or go “huh that is literally what I have wanted to ask” then it’s time you & I had a chat gorgeous … so dive in to my inbox and let me know which question! xo

I’VE ALWAYS WANTED INFO BUT I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO ASK..

Awesome, you’re one of many women who feel that way don’t stress! Just reach out and say hello, that’s a great start, and I can always ask you some questions from there and will know what info to guide you to.

I DON’T WANT TO WASTE YOUR TIME IN CASE I END UP SAYING NO THOUGH, AS YOU SEEM REALLY BUSY…

Biggest misconception. This is what I do. Full Time. And I am more than happy to chat to anyone sincerely interested in learning more, even if you say no that’s completely ok, you need to be happy and ready to give this a go and how will you ever know that if you don’t at least reach out.

I WANT TO TRY THE PRODUCTS BUT DON’T WANT TO DO THE BUSINESS…

And that is totally totally cool as there is 0 pressure (I mean that) to do the business, never has been, never will be (certainly not in our team anyway). This is about your health first and foremost and THAT is my main focus coaching you over the first month & beyond. And besides, you have to LOVE these products before you even look at doing the biz.

OK BUT THEN WHAT IF I DO WANT TO SHARE WITH SOME PEOPLE DOWN THE TRACK?

That’s perfectly fine too, and that’s when I can help you share those rad health results you’ve just experienced in an authentic and organic way.

I HEARD I AM LOCKED IN AND HAVE TO ORDER EVERY MONTH?

One of the most common myths in Isa & I am exceedingly pleased to dispel it. You aren’t locked in to ANYTHING. Ever. That “auto” shipment you might have heard of, is controlled by YOU and you can turn that off or not even start with that if you don’t want.

AND WHAT IF I JUST DON’T LIKE IT IN THE END?

That’s ok too – sometimes people don’t but you wanna know the raddest thing about our company? They have a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can try all the products you get and on day 30 with empty tubs if you still decide it’s not for you (which I would never be upset over) you just send the tubs back and get a FULL refund. So it really is quite literally, risk free.

And lastly…

I ACTUALLY REALLY WANT TO DO WHAT YOU’VE DONE .. BUT I AM SCARED OF WHAT PEOPLE WILL SAY / THINK…

Beautiful. I so hear you. Louder than you can imagine. But the problem with not doing something that could change your life because you’re scared of what people will think is going to hold you back in EVERY area of your life (not just this). Just remember, people’s opinions aren’t going to pay your bills (try it, next phone bill send it to the friend that is negative about people trying to make a go of their life and see if that opinion will pay that bill  ) .. The advice I have though is just try it, quietly at first if you have to, get the results I KNOW you will get, and then go from there. But just know if that friend doesn’t support your decisions that you’re making to improve your health and lifestyle then it’s time to re think who you’ve allowed in your life. The other thing is, you will gain a hundred new friends who WILL support you & have your back with our extraordinary team of humans all there to cheer you on. So just know, NOT doing it because of that is going to get you nowhere but feeling the fear and doing it anyway – is going to get you EVERYWHERE.

I would SO love to work with you beautiful or just help answer any of the above questions if you’ve got them, you need only reach out on either our Facebook (found here) or on email at info@annaandmorgan.com

My second favourite F word

Freedom.

Hmmm. A 7 letter word that can mean SO MANY DIFFERENT things to so many people.

And you know what? I get some people even cringe when they hear that word these days because it’s almost so overused. And granted, us network marketers are a little to blame for that.

Here is the thing though, just because you haven’t aligned with other people’s version of what freedom is to them, doesn’t mean that you should switch off from the word. You also absolutely shouldn’t think that a version of Freedom isn’t available to you, because it is.

I live a pretty public life (happily). You will regularly (if you follow me over on Instagram) see me share our day-to-day lives, working from home (or cafes, or from wherever and whenever), being at the gym, us travelling the world, and the general musings of what happens in our life.

That, all of that – just the very basics of how I live, day-to-day, getting to choose where I work from, who I work with, when I work, and then getting to travel the world – is my idea of freedom.

And although that is MY version of Freedom, it doesn’t have to be yours.

(Full disclosure: I have been told by many mums in my team working from the beach doesn’t interest them at ALL. Point is, I get it.)

What I DO want to encourage you today to do however is know what Freedom DOES mean to you.

Is it your exact current reality? How beautiful – how can you then help more people find their own version of that though.

Is it being a stay at home mum that is the best baker & homemaker of all time? Perfect.

Is it actually owning a bricks and mortar business but that you get to CEO the pants off. That’s completely rad.

Is it being able to wake up when you want and earn passive income from investments you’ve managed to build up? Boomshakalaka. Fist bump.

Is it never having to worry about a bill again. Goosebumps, I feel you on that one.

Or maybe it’s travelling the world working from every infinity pool that you can find in all of your favourite countries (cocktail in hand of course). Can I come?

My point is,  my version of freedom, or other people’s versions of freedom might not resonate AT ALL with you and that’s ok. All I ever want is to inspire you to know what YOUR version of freedom is and start to move towards that, by living by example with my own.

My version of freedom is the life I get to lead every single day.

{ The view on my run this morning from Bondi to Bronte – and back }

It means that I get CHOICE, every single day, of where I want to be in the world. It’s how I move my body (but more specifically WHEN – 530am weights session? Awesome. 10am run? You bet. 1pm Pilates class? Why not. ). It’s working from wherever I want, with the hours that I want with NO BOSS (shout out to all my other soul sisters & brothers who have problems with authority). It’s earning an uncapped income that is tied to my EFFORT, not an income a corporation sets. It’s not stressing about bills, ever, because I found the power of residual income (that still blows my mind to tears every single day). And it’s knowing that when I become a mum, I still get to do all of the above with ease.

That’s freedom to me.

This morning, I woke up in a beautiful apartment in Bondi where I am staying for the week for a beautiful mix of business and pleasure. I woke up because my body was ready to wake up (I am an early riser by nature). I went running along the coast line, stopping when I got to a beach (Bronte) I sat at and just watched the waves for a good 30 minutes at. Why? Because I didn’t have to rush back to get ready for a j.o.b. I ran back towards the apartment when I felt ready for a coffee, and sat in a window in the sun people watching for another 30 minutes slowly finishing my coffee and organic breakfast smoothie. It’s now 11am and I am working from another gorgeous café by myself, writing this blog post, with the day ahead of me to do as I please.

Travel, and working from cafe’s and exercise may not be your jam AT ALL. Sleeping in and being home and having a boss may be your version of freedom (extreme opposites but you get my point).

{ Finding gorgeous cafe’s to work from no matter where in the world I am – is freedom and happiness to me }

I think the most important thing to ‘get’ from this though, is that it’s more important than ever to work out your own version of freedom. What does that FEEL like for you? What does that LOOK like for you?

And just know that you can have that. You really can.

Of course, MOST versions of freedom come down to need more time and more money, which I completely understand (as time and financial freedom IS my version of freedom) and getting to that stage takes work, of course, I know because we have done that and continue to work hard (on things we love) for that as well – but it’s WORTH IT.

I know as well that what Morgan and I do in network marketing isn’t for everybody, it IS however for a LOT of people and maybe you’re that person.

Maybe you’re sick and tired of working for the man or living pay cheque to pay cheque – or bigger than that, maybe you’re sick and tired of not living your version of Freedom. Or maybe you don’t even KNOW what Freedom would look and feel like for you as you’re so far from that (we get that too, we help lot’s of people who are at that stage as well).

But either way, getting to live our own life on our terms is only fun when we get to do with others who are doing the same.

And we’re ready to help you.

So if you are inspired, and would like to know if maybe, just MAYBE we can help you on your own version of Freedom, you can always get in touch with us over on our “vision” page. 

Either way – my own vow to you is to keep showing up to inspire daily, and just know, the day you ARE ready, our door is always open.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured Image: Instagram image by @chloe_bh

 

 

How to plan a perfect trip to Lisbon

Whenever I know Morgan and I are headed to a new city, I initially stay away from Trip Advisor (although it really is a phenomenal website) and I head straight to Pinterest. I am such a visual person you see, and you can tell me to go somewhere or talk about how magnificent it is – but I want to SEE what you’re talking about. So Pinterest to me is how I visualise and set up our trip or the main parts of it before we have even left.

Lisbon was no different. Before we had left I had ensured visually I knew what I wanted to go and marvel at myself and the kinds of beautiful pictures I wanted to pap to remember our trip by.

We ended up spending 4 full days in Lisbon and if I got to re write my whoel itinerary again I would still do the exact same. It was long enough to really get to spend quality time in the city that completely stole our heart without thinking for a moment we were ready to move on.

{ Walking the hill that the Santa Justa Lift takes in the gorgeous Bairro Alto area }

I was so very grateful for every single blog I read before we left from travellers that had gone before us (that I found via Pinterest photos) so I wanted to repay the favour and write my own piece on what we did and saw in our 4 days.

Here is the thing though – an itinerary that works incredibly for one couple or solo traveller might not work at all for another, so although I am going to share what we did, where we ate and the tours we did, the best time you will have is treading your own path and dancing to the own rhythm of your travel drum, remember that.

For those that just want a bit of inspiration so you really do feel like you saw and did a lot of what Lisbon had to offer, read on compadre read on.

If you are someone who doesn’t like reading and just loves or wants a good clear itinerary of what to do in a city so you can pick and choose (something that almost all blogs lack) then you’re in luck, as I am just going to plainly post out exactly what we did and where we went below. If you don’t mind devouring a good ole travel blog though I encourage you to read on as I go in to more detail in the continued part of the blog.


LISBON ITINERARY 1.0.1

DISTRICTS TO EXPLORE..

Alfama district

Chialdo district

Toured the Bairro Alto area

Drank coffee / ate Tapas in Mouraria

FOOD / RESTAURANTS TO EAT AT..

Eat custard tarts from Manteigaria Fabrica

Drink sangria from rooftop bar – Topo

Have lunch / drinks at Time Out Market

Drink Sangria + Japanese food at Silks (also a rooftop bar)

TOURS / ADVENTURES HAD ..

Walked the Praca do Comercio square

Walked the Tagus River

Toured Torre De Belemr

Watched sunset from Miradouro look out (highest look out in the city)

Food Tour in Lisbon (we did this one and HIGHLY recommend it)

Day trip to Sintra (Walked up the mountain, Castle of the Moors, National Palace of Pena. And ate at: Saudade, Tascantiga)

Now for those who want to read on, and indulge my new found passion of this city I would love to take you on a bit of a longer journey of what to do, see and eat!


So I feel a trip to this gorgeous city can be distinctly broken down in to 3 core areas, and when you do a little (or all) from column a, a little (or all) from column b and a little (or all) from column c – you have yourself the perfect Lisbon adventure mapped out ahead of you.

{ Stumbling across my favourite little area in Portugal; Mouraria – loved every corner and turn, especially art like this }

Those 3 areas are;

  1. Districts to explore
  2. Food / Restaurants to eat at
  3. Adventures / Tours to do

Lisbon isn’t a small city (like say Porto) and there are a lot of phenomenal places to explore. And here is the thing, when I say explore I MEAN explore. I don’t mean, get on a crammed tram, hope for a window seat and then half hang out of it with your camera to (hopefully) snap parts of the city as the tram whizzes by. I mean explore…by foot.

Morgan and I clocked up over 70km in 3 ½ days by foot and it truly was the best way to see the city.

One of the most famous things to do in Lisbon and what you’ll read on every other blog of ‘to do’ is to catch the Tram #28. It’s an institution of Lisbon and takes you on some beautiful routes. Thing is, Morgan and I didn’t step foot on it. What we DID do however was learn where the tracks were, and follow them on foot. That way we avoided the crowded trams (and the pick pocketers who wait for tourists to let their guide down) and instead got to see far more of the little sights you’d miss on an otherwise crowded and moving tram.

But back to the areas to explore.

Districts to explore

{ Walking around the beautiful and vast Praca do Comercio square that is on the border of Alfama & Bairro Alto }

The main ones we stuck to, went back to, fell madly in love with and know you will too were;

  • Alfama
  • Chialdo
  • Bairro Alto
  • Mouraria

If you have only a day or so, you can still hit them all easily. Even by foot. Alfama & Chialdo AND Bairro Alto are all next to each other in terms of areas and Mouraria isn’t too far away either.

Bairro Alto is such a vibe’y gorgeous area but is best once the sun starts to go down, that is where you’re absolutely going to want to go for a drink in the evening and just get lost in the crowds and music.

My favourite little hidden gem though that I loved the most was Mouraria – no other blogs I had read had talked about it and we only found it as our guide on our food tour took us through this area. We walked past the entrance so many times, literally a small ally that you would never even notice if you weren’t paying attention, but it was my favourite little oasis in all of Lisbon. Tiny holes in the wall (we had some cherry wine in a little bar with a man who owned and worked in the bar for more than 30 years) and there was great history, art and cafes to keep you occupied for a good few hours.

FOOD / RESTAURANTS WE ATE AT..

The list condensed…

Ate custard tarts from Manteigaria Fabrica

Drank sangria from rooftop bar – Topo

Had lunch / drinks at Time Out Market

Drank Sangria + Japanese food at Silks (also a rooftop bar)

Watched Fado at Fado na Morgadinha

Before we had left, I had read on every blog site that Pasteis De Nata’s were the most famous dessert there and that I just had to try one. So our first morning there we got to do just that as our amazing air bnb host had left us one each as a welcome gift, and honestly we were immediately hooked. So take my advice (not that you need it – HA) get a Pasteis de nata in to you as soon as possible after landing. And then have as many as you feel like a day.

The most famous place or best place we had one from was in Bairro Alto at a place called Manteigaria Fabrica – they pump out over 7,000 of them a day! Morgan and I may or may not have had 3 each from this place but at €1 each how could we not!

My advice; get there when it opens and avoid all the ques!

{ Eating our weight in Pasteis De Nata’s at the famous Manteigaria Fabrica }

Morgan and I also LOVE a good rooftop bar / restaurant so we sniffed out the best ones whlst in Lisbon also – our picks and where we went for drinks and food were:

  • Topo

  • Silks

{ Taking in the delicious view with an even more delicious Aperol Spritz from the Topo Rooftop }

{The exact view we got to take in whilst devouring our delicious wine + Japanese food on the rooftop at Silks }

Topo was AMAZING for an afternoon drink, watching the mood and weather change in Lisbon from that high up, and then we taxi’d on to Silks to watch the actual sunset and have some dinner. We booked at Silks and you want to ask for outside as the views really were and are spectacular.

Another amazing ‘must go see’ place was the Time Out Market, we were recommended it by a tonne of locals whilst there and we are SO glad we did actually end up there.

Time Out Market was an initiative from the Government years ago to put all the best of the best of Lisbon in one place!! So although it attracts a lot of tourists, its where all the locals eat as well. You have stalls and stalls and stalls of food or wine to choose from and sit at a table share style getting to listen to the conversations and mayhem go on around you.

{ We absolutely adored eating and drinking our way around Time Out Market and you absolutely will too }

The last but absolutely not the least thing you really must do in Lisbon is see a Fado show. The best way it was described to me (and once I witnessed it I thought it was the perfect description) was Fado is about the music as Flamenco is about the dancing.

We asked our air bnb host for the recommendation as there are a LOT of Fado restaurants to choose from but we weren’t looking for tourist we were looking for traditional. And we got that in spades with the one recommended to us; Fado na Morgadinha. You’re not there for the best food of your life (be mindful of that) you’re there to see Fado performed so although we LOVED the food and felt like it was like your grandma’s cooking, the French couple next to us were rather dismayed. The food, wine, and Fado to us though was excellent.

Everywhere else in Lisbon, just stop when you find a view you love, a pumping hot spot full of locals (always the best clue) or when you find a gorgeous spot you must people watch from.

TOURS / ADVENTURES HAD ..

The list condensed…

Walked the Praca do Comercio square

Walked the Tagus River

Toured Torre De Belem (aka the Tower of Belem)

Watched sunset from Miradouro look out (highest look out in the city)

Food Tour in Lisbon (we did this one and HIGHLY recommend it)

Day trip to Sintra (Walked up the mountain, Castle of the Moors, National Palace of Pena. And ate at: Saudade, Tascantiga)

{ Taking in the beauty – away from the crowds – that is the Tower De Belem }

{ Stop #1 of the Food Tour & we already knew we were going to love it }

By far the absolute highlight of Lisbon for me was the Food Tour we did called “taste of Lisboa” (this is the one we did that I have already link twice, but honestly, it really was the highlight for both Morgan and I’s Lisbon trip). I even recommend even if you have 2 days in Lisbon, to do a food tour as we drank the best wine, ate the yummiest (and most traditional food) and saw quite a lot of Alfama and it’s surrounds by foot learning about the culture, people and sights along the way. P.s can I just say that nothing I ever promote or recommend – including this food tour is a paid promotion, i just will always sincerely recommend places and things I have loved.

The other thing we knew we had to / wanted to do (especially with quite a few days in Lisbon) was take a day trip out to Sintra, and I do think its worth it. It was about an hour on the train and a return ticket cost all of €4.30 return so it’d be rude not to.

Like the ‘tour by foot’ people we are, we walked a LOT in Sintra (aka up the big mountain to the Castle of the Moors and the National Palace of Pena) but if you’re a) not up for walking or b) want to see a lot more of Sintra, here is where I recommend you take a tuk tuk around.

We ate some of the areas famous cheese cake at Saudade café as soon as we got off the train (highly recommend you do the same) and choose Tascantiga for lunch which again, we absolutely recommend for some delicious and traditional Tapas.


And that’s it. We really did fall so madly and deeply in love with Lisbon and have vowed to come back. I totally see why it is becoming the hotspot for Europeans and if you have never had Lisbon or Portugal on your ‘to visit’ list, I absolutely assure you it’s worth the addition.

When it comes to all things travel though, always just follow what feels good, where your mood is taking you and remember to dance to your own rhythm at all times and you truly cannot go wrong.

Hopefully we will bump in to you somewhere around the globe, but for now….

The Adventures of Portugal

I feel like the trip to Portugal was 5 years in the making.

You see, when Morgs and I spent just under 5 months travelling Europe back in 2012, we had it on our list of places to visit but fate ended up keeping us from it. Whilst in Spain we got an email from the airline at the time letting us know the flight we had booked to Porto was cancelled, but they could put us on another flight to … somewhere North in Spain (so random, thanks for the consolation prize airline but no thanks). We tried to then re book other ways in to Portugal but it was really expensive or was a full day of travel (2 things us back packers weren’t keen on) so we ended up decided to just stay in Spain the extra few days and explored Madrid instead.

So whilst booking our month away this time, knowing 2 of the weeks would be spent in Europe, Portugal was quite literally at the very top of our list.

And oh me, oh my – it truly and wonderfully did exceed every single one of our big and beautiful expectations.

{ People watching our first morning in Lisbon. One of our favourite past times to do in Europe }

We had 7 days to explore whatever parts of Portugal we wanted and we actually spent quite a lot of time looking in to areas to know where we’d most like to go, and that’s how we ended up booking 4 nights in Lisbon and 3 nights in Porto – and if doing it again, I would do it the exact same.

We could have added in an extra town in – say, Lagos, but we actually wanted to ‘settle’ in the city, and I am so glad we decided to just do 2 cities in the 7 days as we really got to just see it at our own pace in our own way, the best way and the only way we know how to travel.

Landing in Lisbon the evening of our first night we didn’t get to see any of the city other than what we saw whizzing by us in the Uber to our apartment but we kept saying to each other from what we did see “ohhhh we are so going to like this city” and I almost think waking up the next day to explore it brand new was a bonus gift from the universe.

Whenever and wherever possible when we travel, Morgs & I will always opt for an Airbnb (we book the whole house / apartment however) over a hotel, and for a good few reasons.

  1. Hotel rooms feel stuffy and clinical to us. We want to be and feel like a local, with the hosts art on the walls and their books in their bookshelf, if I am in a brand new city around the globe I want to see and feel how they live, not be in a 4 walled hotel room with room service at the other end of the phone.
  2. We love having a kitchen to cook in if we need / want and washing machine to do our washing! You can’t beat those home’ly feels when you’re missing your own creature comforts.
  3. You get to stay in cooler areas than most Hotels are situated. Case in point, the air bnb we stayed at in Lisbon. When we looked at what area to stay in the Alfama area was one of the top areas to ‘visit’ and explore – so we knew that’s where we wanted to stay, problem was, there wasn’t many if any hotels in that area – they were all more in the popular tourist area of the central city. Finding our Airbnb rightttttt in the heart of Alfama is what made our stay feel all the more special. We were amongst the locals, drank our coffee with them in the morning, and got the history of the area from our host when we arrived.
  4. You have the hosts local knowledge to give you all the restaurants and places that not all tourists know of and aren’t on Trip Advisor. Of course you can get this at a hotel with the concierge as well but I have always found they still lead you to the main tourist places.

So there we were, in our groovy and home’ly Airbnb right in the heart of Alfama and the first morning, walking up the first of what felt like a thousand hills we’d walk, we sat and drank coffee with the locals as we soaked up the fact we were back in Europe, and were in a city we had wanted to visit for years.

Knowing we had 4 days – or 3 ½  full days allowed us to not feel rushed to go see everything as fast as possible and so day 1 we just said we would have no maps and walk, just see where the city took us and what adventures came from it, and as fate alwayssss has it, we actually ended up stumbling across almost all of the top things ‘ to do’ on that faithful trip advisor list, without meaning to of course.

One of the best things I think I did though for the consequent days was stay OFF trip advisor and use our hosts local knowledge  and Pinterest! But what do you MEANNN Pinterest I hear you ask.

Before I left I had been on Pinterest pinning pins for each city we were visiting, Portugal and Marrakech (& even London). I am, I think we all are, visual people, and I don’t want to just read about places, I want to SEE what they’re like and Pinterest is the best for that. I pinned stunning things and places to see and eat and each picture on pinterest generally is linked back to a site, and in travel pictures, they’re generally linked back to Travellers blogs, and Travellers blogs are what I want to read! They’ve walked and travelled the path I generally want to also.

So our whole Portugal trip just felt like a Pinterest vision board coming to life.

Here is the thing about that though – because of Pinterest and all of the beautiful pictures and all of the amazing advice I read off of those travel blogs sites (not just trip advisor) I wanted to honour the NEXT traveller to Portugal and write up my own ‘version of events’ – give a list to future travellers of where we went, what we saw and how we managed to see so much of beautiful Lisbon and Porto in 7 days.

So our journey dear reader ends here, and over the next 2 blog posts I am going to actually list out where we went and what we saw (and tours and places we did) in the humble hope that one day my own words and way we explored Portugal inspires another travellers adventures.

Tchau (goodbye) for now – and read on in the next 2 blog posts to cover off our full adventure.

Europe Part II here we go

So here we are. 38,000 feet up in the air, 14 hours of flying in to the 21 hours of flying we have to do to get to our first destination of Lisbon, Portugal, and I am found again in my happy place. I’m not sure about you, but I have always and feel I will always, find flying to be my absolute muse.

I come up with more content in a couple of hours flying than I do any time or any place else.

It’s funny though, because even when I know how much I love to write in the sky, and even though I have had thus far 14 hours to pull out my laptop and put finger to key stroke, I have resisted. Until now. So, it’s time you and I beautiful reader had a date.

I must say I have been more excited for this trip than I have for any other for a very long time. Most long-term readers know that back in 2012, Morgan and I spent just under 5 months travelling Europe & the U.K and I blogged about the whole experience in this very space you’re reading this post from now. We swam in the fairy pools in Scotland, drank Guinness in Ireland, danced on rooftops in Greece, I left part of my soul in Santorini in fact. We Sailed the coast of Croatia, ate our way around Italy, walked the Cinque Terra, got lost in Prague, historied ourselves out in Germany, played in snow in Switzerland, ate Nutella crepes in Paris – the list goes on, and on, and on. It truly was and always will remain the greatest trip of our lives. Why? Because it was the first taste either of us really got of travel and we came home 2 completely different people. Since then though we have never been back much to my desire to.

And sure, since then we have been on huge trips annually, and I have ticked so much more off my bucket list like honeymooning in Maldives, Swimming with whale sharks in Tulum, exploring all Japan had to offer, dancing our nights away in Mexico, having our breathe taken away by the Grand Canyon, eating $1 slice pizza in Times Square New York…nothing compares to me the FEELING that I get in Europe. It’s a sense of familiarity I will never quite be able to articulate, and above all else a feeling of like I am HOME.

You could drop me in an ally way in Venice or a plaza in Spain, a rocky beach in the south of France or next to a donkey in Santorini and that same feeling doesn’t go away.

So, knowing that as of right now, we are headed back to that place of familiarity and home, a place I haven’t returned to in 5 years (that feels even crazy to say) I am B.E.Y.O.N.D excited. MORE than excited.

This trip we will be gone a whole month. 30 days exactly. 2 weeks being in Europe. 2 weeks being in the U.K. With a divine mix of business and pleasure, but like I always say, when the lines of business and pleasure are so blurred you don’t in fact know one from the other you know you’re where you’re exactly meant to be and that is where we are right now.

{ If there is one thing I can nail, it’s packing. 1 month though + 3 major countries + 3 different cultures was admittedly a little hard }

Here is the thing though, and why I did pull my laptop out to write this initial piece. Feeling all the nostalgia in the world the day before we flew out, I made myself a cup of coffee and retreated to my office to read back over some of the blogs I wrote whilst we were travelling Europe back in 2012. I wanted to capture that feeling again and get re inspired to document this trip.

Because recently, and too regularly, I have been talking about how regretful I am for NOT having documented all the other phenomenal trips Morgs & I have been on since 2012 that I haven’t documented. You know, like exploring Japan or swimming with whale sharks or travelling for 6 weeks around the states + Mexico (yep we did that 2 years ago and I didn’t even share ANY of that on here – hashtag regretful).

Writing is what fills my whole soul. I honestly couldn’t care if another soul ever read another word that I wrote. It’s not about that for me. It’s the art of sitting in my own vulnerability and showing up with my story with my whole heart. I write by myself and FOR myself. The fact that people then like to pour their own cups of hot tea or coffee and devour my words humbles me so damn much – but really and fundamentally this space has always and will always be my online journal.

So NOT documenting the last trips over the years has been in fact a regret of mine – but far from living with regret (fuck.that) I made the commitment that this trip, NO MATTER WHAT, I would pull my laptop out as we went city to city and commit back to the sacred art of writing of our adventures as we travel this beautiful expansive globe.

And if anything, I hope to one day be able to simply read back all of Morgan and I’s adventures as bed time stories to our future children instilling in them the same adventurous spirit we have been lucky to cultivate.

So here I am. And here you are. And together, we both get to go on this journey together.

The next month will see us visit and devour as much as Lisbon as possible. I’ll see us do wine tours from the origin of Port in Porto. It’ll see us explore and navigate our way around the beautiful old city of Marrakech. It’ll see us camp out under the dessert stars in the divine Sahara dessert. It’ll see us then have no agenda in particular for 2 whole weeks as we go where we’re called to go around the U.K as our business and team grow there.

To say it’s the world’s greatest and biggest of gifts to mix business with pleasure will always be the biggest understatement but here we are living that life.

Some posts might be short and sweet and literal diary entries from me sharing a crazy day or phenomenal unexpected adventure had that day – others may be tips on how Morgs & I manage to navigate a happy marriage whilst travelling the world (take it from us living, sleeping, working, shitting, travelling together can be TOUGH), and other days – well other days who knows, but that is the magic of this space for me, it just allows me to show up how I need to for myself, when I need to.

I can’t wait to take you on this vicarious ride though and get ready for some fun, some truths, some ups and no doubt downs and everything in between.

They say travel truly is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer, and there isn’t a trip that goes by where I don’t fall more and more in love with that concept than ever.