My Internet Dating Experience: Part 2: What it taught me?

heart computer
This is one of those questions that seemed a lot easier until I actually started writing an answer, but I shall give it my best shot.

I have ended up chatting with friends a lot about relationships lately (which I think may have something to do with the fact that I’m getting married in three weeks…probably should go back and fill that whole thing in given that I have been engaged for two years at this point oops.. but for now, back to my learnings) and I have have come to a pretty simple understanding of dating – it’s half luck and half skill.

Let me explain that a little further:

The half luck is the tricky part because its basically a matter of meeting a person you click with, and there are certainly things you can do to increase the chances of this happening but in the end luck is luck.

The skill I am talking about isn’t about pick up lines or the ability to pick the correct outfit, it’s about admitting that we aren’t all naturally good at dating (pretty sure I am still in this camp, I was just lucky enough to meet someone who was attracted enough to me that they overlooked the awkwardness and endless chatter) and that just means you need to PRACTICE. You need to date A LOT – this does not mean that you should go out with someone you are not attracted to, but it does mean that you should say yes to opportunities. This (three paragraphs in) is where we get to the point of this post – internet dating lets you ‘meet’ more people to say yes to going on a date with, particularly if your current life set up doesn’t lead to meeting a lot of new people.

Because, you see, the aim of all this PRACTICE is so you are ready when lady luck smiles upon you. Ready to recognise when the right person enters your life, ready to feel a little sure of yourself and ready to jump in. I think they got the term ‘falling in love’ a little wrong. See, in my mind, before the falling begins there is the all-important, often scary, but always necessary, need to jump.

Internet dating is a tool, there are many others, but I think it’s a great way for those who are a little rusty or have never ventured into dating before to start meeting new people and get some practice in.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.



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My Internet Dating Experience: Part 1: Top tips

heart computer
Prior to meeting the boy (because who really thinks that while on exchange in Scotland (aka the other side of the world) on a bus tour of the local attractions is the time you will meet the love of your life?), I made the (slightly daunting) venture into the world of internet dating. And while I can’t say that it was successful in my case, it taught me a lot about myself and about dating in general (at least a portion of which is what allowed me to see what I had, and have, in the boy).

Luckily at the time, I had a friend who passed on some excellent advice, and it is that advice I would like to pass along to you. Now, I am no internet dating expert (not that I’m sure there is such thing as an internet dating expert, but either way I’m not one), but I found it helpful to get some advice other than that which the sites themselves offer, and maybe you will too.

So here goes:

1. Allow yourself a maximum of 5 must-haves and 5 deal-breakers

I’m sure we have all been guilty of constructing the perfect partner in our minds, from looks to profession, the list can be endless; but such a list is not going to see you get very far in the quest for love. Here’s the thing: you’re not perfect (there I said it), because no one is perfect, and expecting the person you’re dating to be is not just unfair, it’s guaranteed to end badly.

That said, having some (reasonable) expectations is a good thing, particularly in a dating environment where you will be sorting through two-dimensional descriptions of people before you get to meet them face-to-face.

This is where the 5 and 5 comes in – they allow you the comfort of system while leaving you open to possibility (a critical aspect of successful dating, full stop).

2. Never chat online for more than a week before meeting in person

This one is probably a little bit controversial, but hear me out. In my mind, the aim of internet dating to introduce you to people you would not other wise have met, who you then quickly meet (and if things go well) then start dating in the three-dimensional real world.

No matter how detailed a site’s matching system may be (and thus how many hours you spent completing your profile) nothing can replace the instant YES or NO you get from meeting someone in person.  Hence, the one week rule.

If chatting has been going well, you need to make sure that your idea of the potential for the relationship meets the reality, and that means meeting in person.

3. I highly recommend coffee dates as first dates

Given the new one week rule, you may need to go on a few first dates before you find someone you gel with. So, do yourself a favour and keep things simple.

Arrange a coffee for mid-morning at a nice public coffee shop (safety is still important here people so make sure there are other people around), and put yourself in the perfect position. See, an 11am coffee leaves you with plenty of options – if the date goes well, you can stretch it into lunch, and an afternoon activity, or frankly as long as you like; if it doesn’t go well, you can always have ‘arranged lunch plans’ at 1pm, allowing for a smooth get away.

Bonus tip: Some may disagree with me here, but I haven’t seen it work any other way. If the first date isn’t good, chances are the second date won’t be better. If you not feeling it the first time you meet,  it’s likely not meant to be. So, thank them for their time, wish them luck in their search for Mr/Mrs Right, and move on to the next profile. Love definitely evolves and changes over time, but if on date one the sparks aren’t there, love is very unlikely to follow.

Stay tuned for Part 2: What it taught me?

Let me know your thoughts





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Bec Reviews: Frozen


I don’t think it’s any secret that I am a lover of Disney. The Lion King was the first movie I ever saw in cinemas, and it’s still one of my favourites, so it would be fair to say that I went into Frozen with high hopes. To say that my expectations were met would be an understatement, Frozen is the best movie (and definitely the best children’s movie) I have seen in quite some time. Brave is probably the movie that has come closest (I told you I like Disney) but Frozen, in my mind, was a step above.

So what was this step above – a true return to magical, epic, completely addictive and highly sing-along-able Disney music! Think Lion King level of story-telling music; with clever, well written lyrics and tunes you will happily listen to over and over again (or at least I will, I downloaded the album off iTunes and now have it on my laptop, my phone and a CD in my car). Now it’s true that not everyone likes musicals as much as I do, and some people (i.e. the boy) don’t enjoy listen to Disney music on repeat as much as I do – but if you like Disney and/ or musicals it’s fair to say you will LOVE Frozen.

With all of that said, I should probably give you a quick plot summary (no spoilers, promise). Frozen is an animated Disney movie loosely based on the Hans Cristian Andersen fairytale The Snow Queen. It follows the story of Anna (Kristen Bell), Elsa (Idina Menzel), Kristoff, Sven the Reindeer and Olaf the magic, talking snow man. Anna, Kristoff, Sven and ring-in Olaf set off on a quest to bring back Anna’s sister Elsa. Elsa is princess of Arendelle, whose icy powers have accidentally sent Arendelle into an external winter. Adventure ensues, great songs are sung, and a message about what’s really important in life comes across load and clear.

So, if you have seen Frozen yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a fantastic family feel-good film (yes to all the alliteration) that will be loved by kids and adults alike; and has raced it’s way to the top of my favourite Disney movies.

ttfn, Bec

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Into the great beyond aka life after uni

On December 10 of 2013 I graduated with my undergraduate university degree, a significant achievement to be sure, but as quickly as the excitement around graduation built it was met by a single reoccurring question – what comes next? For those who have chosen a study route with a clearly defined professional end point (i.e. a teaching degree makes you qualified to be a teacher), this may seem like an odd point, but for those whose path is not quite so clearly defined, you may find my situation a little more relatable.

Let me explain a little further. Schooling life (i.e. the years we spend attending formal educational institutions) to this point, flowed clearly from one to the next. In Queensland, Australia; this process now consists of two distinct phases – primary school and high school – and then an array of options beyond that, or so it would seem. I guess the difference for me, as I am sure it is for many people, was that undergraduate university was always the defined third stage in the educational plan. So it is now, at the completion of this third stage, that the world of endless possibilities opens before me. Is it exciting ? Yes. It is also slightly terrifying and a little overwhelming? Yes and Yes. Now throw into the mix that as the best (be it a very unplanned) part of educational stage three, I met a completely amazing man on the other side of the world, feel hopelessly in love (see links here, here and here) and am now incredibly lucky to have in Australia with me; and things get a whole lot clearer (personally) and a whole lot fuzzier (professionally) all at the same time.

So where are things at right now? I am applying for a lot of jobs, becoming more and more familiar with selection criteria and interview processes, and work hard to ensure the uncertainty never overwhelms the brilliance of possibility.

Where to from here? The boy and I working to solidly stand on our own two feet and figure out where we want to head next on this crazy adventure called life. Things are sure to not go according to plan, but that’s half the fun, right ?



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We should all want to be Hufflepuffs: Part 2

This post has been a long time in the making, but one I felt was too important to just skip over. So, without any further ado, here are “The reasons we should all want to be Hufflepuffs” (based on the life experiences of Bec).

I guess I would class myself as weird, not eccentric in a hipster kind of way, but just plain odd. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think badly of myself for this, in fact I embraced my oddness, made in my badge of honour in fact, many years ago. That’s not to say that being yourself (whatever combination of odd, ‘normal’ and numerous other factors that may be) is easy, but it is most certainly worth it. But what does all this have to do with being a Hufflepuff I hear you ask – nothing and everything is probably the best answer.

See, to me, the main aims of life should be to do the right thing WHILE being yourself. See, both missions require courage, but not the big, flashy Griffyndor kind; the internal kind the pushes you through adversity and struggle because you know better things lie beyond. It’s also true that this two part goal requires brains, but not the ‘memorise the books’ Ravenclaw sort; an intelligence that is as much about understanding yourself as it is being able to accurately assess the situation. And finally, it requires a sort of pride, but not the boastful Slytherin type, a pride that comes from being as proud of your achievements as you are of the lessons you learnt from the challenges you’ve faced.

I guess then, in the odd mind of Bec, being a true Hufflepuff is taking the best quality of all the other houses and adding a large splash of humility – the result is a wizard (or muggle) who strives to be as good to themselves as they are to others.

I would love your thoughts on whether this makes any sense outside the oddness of my mind 🙂



P.S. For the Hufflepuff-themed back story look no further than here

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We should all want to be Hufflepuffs: Part 1

As I was catching up on my Youtube subscriptions (yes I am somewhat of a youtube addict – if you have channel or video suggestion please leave them below), I came across a video that it me much harder than I expected, and harder in an inspirational not saddening way (which I think you will agree is even more rare), and so I felt compelled to share.

The video was by Alex Day (sometimes known as Nerimon – link here) and was a short clip paraphrasing none other than J.K.Rowling (link to her clip here) – to cut a long story short, both Alex and J.K.Rowling argued that we should all want (and I will extend it to say try) to be Hufflepuffs. But why, I hear you saying, Hufflepuff has forever been presented as the place for misfits – the house you go to if you don’t fit any of the others – so why is it something you would choose to be in? The answer I am going to present is two fold – firstly, the J.K.Rowling reason that I will get to after a brief background for those who have never (I hate to admit you exist but still) read Harry Potter, and those, like me, for whom your peak Harry Potter reading period was sometime back. Secondly, I shall give you my extension of the support of Hufflepuff-ness, based on my own life experience (Part 2).

So, without further ado, a short description of the Hogwarts Houses (now you all of course know this is school that Harry (and Ron and Ginny and most other Harry Potter book characters attend) but I am explaining it just in case you are one of the above mentioned people). I will keep it brief, just: the house badge, a few character traits of house members, and the names of a few well known members.



Traits: a quest for power and/or greatness, traditionalism, being of pure magical blood (there a few rare exceptions), and as Albus Dumbeldore said “a certain disregard for the rules”. Notable Slytherins: Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape, and the Black and Lestrange families (with the exception of Sirius Black).


Traits: intelligence, creativity, a certain level of individuality and wisdom. Notable Ravenclaws: Luna Lovegood, Cho Chang and Gilderoy Lockhart.


Traits: bravery and daring – Gryffindors always rise to a challenge. Notable Gryffindors: Harry Potter, the Wesley boys (including Ron), Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom.



Traits: dedication, kindness and largely impartial. Notable Hufflepuffs: Tonks (Nymphadora), Cedric Diggory and Professor Sprout (Pomona).

So why should we want to be Hufflepuff’s?

To paraphrase both J.K. and Alex: in the final stages of the final book  the four houses (and all their members) are giving to opportunity to rise to a final  and somewhat world-defining challenge. Slytherins (with some understandbale reasons, admittedly) decline, only half of Raverclaws partake, and while the majority of Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs rise to the challenge, their reasons are very different. As J.K. says, while Gryffindor is a house of bravery, it is also made up of a fair few “fool-hardy and show-offy people” and while both houses stayed to fight, in is the reasoning given for the Hufflepuffs staying that had me so intrigued.

The Hufflepuffs stayed because it was THE RIGHT THING TO DO, a statement both simple and incredibly complex all at the same time. And there in lies the root of J.K. and Alex’s reasoning behind why we should all want (and in my opinion aim) to be Hufflepuffs. Being a Hufflepuff, fundamentally, is about choosing to do the right thing, however scary or complicated that path may be, and to me, that is the best life guide there is.

So what about my personal reasoning, that, my amazing readers, will be in Part 2 (I shall add the link here when it is up).

ttfn, Bec

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All house images from:

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The pre-graduation slump

From extensive research (talking to a bunch of friends and family about graduation related things) it seems that the pre -graduation slump seems to be a common experience. But what is this slump I speak of? It’s a feeling of being unsettled; of wanted to be done, move forward, start the next chapter; and it’s a feeling that is not confined to graduation – but really any time you near the end of a long term goal.

For most people this pre-graduation slump seems to come part way into the final stage of something, such as the final semester for university students. For me it seems to have come a little early i.e. at the beginning of my final year of uni. This is where things get a little more complicated in my case. See, I don’t think mine is purely a case of pre-graduation slump. Instead, I think it’s an odd (or maybe not so odd) combination of factors that lead to an overall feeling of discontent that plays out in a bunch of ways (e.g. going a month without blogging because I feel like nothing blog worthy has happened). I think it’s part “the man I love is on the other side of the planet and I miss him”, part “the interny stuff I am doing right now is far more interesting than uni, so I want to finish uni and get into seemingly more fun job stuff”, part “I have a more solid idea than ever before of where my life is headed and I am excited to start moving in that direction”, and part “settling back into normal life was more difficult than expected after 6 months away”.

The good news, this slump will soon get a temporary reprieve as I prepare to head back to the UK for 3.5 weeks – there are no words for how excited I am – in fact I leave in 6 days! Plus, when I get back I will be on track for a normally time decent into graduation slump, but able to do all the normal futurey things that pull you out of it!

I feels so nice to blog again.

ttfn, Bec

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P.P.S. Late to the game I know but I am now somewhat addicted to Pinterest

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My New Zealand travels

For my 18th birthday, my Dad took me on a trip to New Zealand – awesome gift right? My Aunty came along too, so it was three of us for two and half weeks of adventure across the South Island.

The South Island of New Zealand (and maybe the North Island too but I haven’t been there yet so I can’t reliably comment) provides some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable. Bright green fields, crystal blue lakes (some are more of a jewelled aqua tone), soooo many sheep, and renown south hemisphere endless blue skies (to be clear, I am not at all biased by being Australian).

Over the course of our trip we covered a big loop starting and ending in Christchurch. We took the cable car to the top of Mount Cook where had an amazing buffet dinner (I realise buffets are not usually an amazing thing, but seriously, amazing is the best description), and watched a Maori cultural show.

From there we travelled (in a hire car) to Dunedin, through some beautiful scenery – including the aqua green water of Lake Tekapo. Dunedin was a town of tours for us, specifically the Speights Brewery and the Cadbury Chocolate Factory (yes it is as awesome as you are currently imagining). On a beer related note, this trip was the first time I ever drank alcohol in front of my dad, except for a maybe a glass of sparkling at Christmas, it was quite an odd experience –  I also discovered at this point that I am really not that big a fan of beer, something that has very much lasted until now.

Anywho, back on track. From Dunedin it was onto Queenstown, an incredibly gorgeous place (please note: I do not use this term lightly – the scenery is completely stunning and the people are really friendly –  though that can actually be generalised to the whole of New Zealand I think). We went white-water rafting, which was awesome, even if dad was absolutely convinced that I couldn’t hold myself in the raft – I freely admit that I am very challenged when it comes to coordination, but seriously. Jet boating was also awesome fun 🙂 From there we made our way back to Christchurch. But not before an amazing helicopter ride onto Franz Joseph Glacier  where I made a snow angel – word to the wise, soaking wet jeans that result from snow angel making take FOREVER to dry in the cold – and yet, still completely worth it 🙂

Other highlights of the trip included a pony ride (to me they are all ponies no matter how big they get, visiting the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch (a must see), and did I mention the stunning scenery ?

I think we can all agree my dad is an excellent gift giver 🙂

ttfn, Bec

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Jet BoatingHelichopperRafting!SNOW!

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More Tanzania pics

Tanzania is one of those places where it is almost impossible to take a bad photo. I don’t think the few it my last post (My Adventure in Tanzania) really did it justice, so here are a few more 🙂

Masai childPretty treeMasai menTired hippoThe everyday

I would love your feedback on these 🙂

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ttfn, Bec

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Do we ever really grow up?

BabyAs far as I can see, at each stage of life it seems that the next stage is the one in which you become a grownup, even before the next stage in any way makes you a legal adult. But the question I have is – does this feeling ever pass? Do we ever really grow up?

For me being a grownup is solidly linked to the notion of being in the real world. The trouble is I can’t quite seem to define what this real world is. I have, however, identified several factors that I think are involved – parts of a checklist if you will for recognising whether or not you are in the ‘real world’.

1. Working full time rather than studying (this may be biased by the fact that my desire to be done with uni is growing on a daily basis)

2. Living away from home – think: paying rent or a mortgage, having bills arrive in your name, knowing that if you want food you will have to make it yourself

3. Be responsible for things – this can be living or not living – a mortgage, a puppy, a plant (a bad Bec example since planes don’t seem to stay living around me but it may apply to some people), and even little people (other people refer to them as children)

4. Having life in general pretty figured out – you know where you are going and what you are doing

So I thought I had this model pretty well figured out, but the more adults I spoke too, the more I came to understand that no-one ever feels like a real grownup, even if they feel like they are living in the real world (at least according to the criteria of my first three points). The fourth point seems to be the one that really gets people – people don’t feel like they have it all figured out – I have heard it described as “everyone is always pretending they know what they are doing).

As far I can see, there seems to be an agreement that we become grownups (at least in the sense that we turn 18 and can vote and drink and watch all movies released kind of way), but don’t necessarily grow up. There is no point when you figure it all out – to quote a highly overused phrase – maybe life really is about the journey not the destination. I don’t know about anyone else but I find this to be a very positive thing – it means that you are allowed to keep making mistakes (it is after all how we learn) and attempting something new is more than half the battle. It also means there is no right way, just the way that seems right to you.

With that all in mind, I shall hold onto my stuffed Yoshi toy with pride.

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ttfn, Bec

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