A Celebration of Women – International Women’s Day

 

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), and it is celebrated on 8 March every year commemorating the movement for women’s rights. First observed on 28 February in New York the year 1909, it was confirmed at the 1910 International Women’s Conference that 8 March would become an ‘International Women’s Day’.

Each year there is a different UN theme, this year it is The Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives. IWD is an official holiday in several parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Armenia, Cambodia, China, Russia and Turkmenistan. Countries such as Croatia, Romania, Bosnia and Chile celebrate the day, although it is not a public holiday.

team-motivation-teamwork-together-53958.jpegThis years campaign is heavily focussed on #PressforProgress – on global activism for equality for women – heavily fuelled by movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp (amongst others). The world is aiming for gender parity and shockingly, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings suggest that gender parity is over 200 years away!

#PressforProgress is a call for us all to motivate and unite each other, our friends and colleagues, our communities to act, think and be gender inclusive For more – read here.

There is no denying that the last year has been tumultuous in terms of the struggle for women’s rights. You only need to observe the inauguration of Donald Trump, the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, the rise of #MeToo & #TimesUp campaigns to understand the significance of this years IWD.

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A little snapshot of the IWD which I have found really interesting is below:

  • In 1010, Clara Zetkin became the first person to table to idea of an International Women’s Day
  • Later in 1910, 100 women from 17 different countries gathered to formally establish IWD and in 1011 when this occurred, more than a million people rallied in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland for women’s voting rights
  • It was officially declared by the UN in 1975.

So why do we need to keep celebrating it now? Surely women’s rights have improved? Could this really be as prevalent as it was 108 years ago? The answer is yes. We continuously need to mark this event because although huge progress has been made, much more needs to be done.

pexels-photo-567633.jpegThe income of female workers worldwide is predicted to continue lagging behind males for another 70 years and it has also been suggested that the gender pay gap will not fully close until 2186.

One in three girls in the developing world is married off before her 18th birthday and more than 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Two thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world are female and only 7.8% countries in the world have a female head of government.

For me, being a feminist means respect and an aim for equality – at the core of it it is the struggle to end oppression. I am fortunate enough to live where I do, be in an equal and loving relationship and hold both a Degree and a well-paying job. In 10 countries, women are legally bound to obey their husbands and only 76 countries have legislation that directly targets domestic violence; with just 57 of them including sexual abuse.

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This year I have donated to the UN Women National Commission of Australia – Link is here.

  • $48 you can help provide food for a woman living in a shelter for a month.
  • $98 can deliver a young woman’s leadership program.
  • $156 can ensure women have access to legal services.
  • $456 can provide financial and literacy and business training for three women to create sustainable enterprises.
  • $873 can support a safe hour to protect women from domestic violence.

IMG_8750This International Women’s Day, let’s continue to empower each other and work together to ensure women are safe from violence and have choice and opportunity.

Happy International Women’s Day!What do you wish you could change for women in today’s world? I would like to see everyone in this world have access to mental health care.

Some of the beautiful ladies in my life, at my Hen’s Night ❤❤❤.

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

x C x

Romance at the Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown

IMG_0653Honeymoon’s are a tricky thing, how romantic do you go? Do you lay on the sap? Do you hole up somewhere with nothing but food and wine, cuddles and kisses? Do you try to be super active – climbing mountains, jumping out of planes etc.,? OR – do you just play it by ear? We did a little bit of both. I even went completely out of my comfort zone and booked a couples ticket to the Onsen Hot Pools. This seems like an amazing choice for most couples, romantic hot pools, steam, swimming, bubbling jets, sunset etc.,

Unless you hate baths. I think baths are just people soup pots. You sort of just soak in your own…weird hot water. What do you do? Just sit? Let your hands and toes get wrinkly? I don’t know. It’s not for me. I get hot and faint-y pretty easily. I also get bored, I also need to take a shower after a bath. I know it seems like I am whinging about something pretty small – I am. To be honest, in the past four years I have been in a still body of water twice. Once in the bath at our Honeymoon Air BnB and once at the Onsen Hot Pools. Both ended in crying tears and ugly laughing from the both of us!

fullsizeoutput_421bThe Onsen Hot Pools are located within a boutique spa with private cedar-lined hot pools overlooking the Shotover River – which is absolutely gorgeous! They are completely private and there is a change area and shower near the hot tubs. You have the ability to lift the retractable picture windows so you can look out of the Shotover River.

We had private transport to/from Queenstown as part of our ticket, which was wonderful. We ordered the ‘Onsen by Lantern Light’ which is available in the pools from sunset and the rooms are set up so beautifully with candle-lights around the room.

IMG_0606We also purchased the ‘Tandeki’ (Japanese word meaning indulgence) and it included towels, Gibbston Valley wines, chocolates and ice creams. This really made it extra romantic!

Sitting in the pools, overlooking the Shotover River was really nice, the temperature of the pools would be really nice for anyone who enjoys baths/spas but I ended up standing half-in, half-out because I can’t handle the heat ha-ha. At one point I was overwhelmed by the heat (I’m soft, what can I say) and I became faint and G hit the emergency cold-water button (designed to top up the pool and level the temperature of the water), but I happened to be sanding directly in front of it and copped a face full of streaming cold water – cue mass hilarity and laughter all around.

Look, it is a romantic place to be but I can’t say we had a romantic time due to heat sensitivity, human-bath awareness and the shot of water to the face. It is a beautiful place to visit and I highly recommend it if you are into romantic spa baths, actually it does not even need to be romantic because you can book up to three people in any one pool. Unless I have completely misinterpreted the purpose of that ;).

IMG_0644The price for two adults with the Tandeki package and the Queenstown pick-up cost us around $100 AUD, which I think was really worth it!

Onsen Hot Pools

Queenstown New Zealand Website

Enjoy!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, please ‘like’ or share the post so I can see!

Please note, I am not paid any sponsorships at all, I only ever talk about my own personal experiences and adventures, places and locations which I love and think you will too!

To follow me on Instagram click here – courtneygaye_travels

x C x

A love for travel <3

One of the most amazing things to occur after you have been planning and saving for a trip after many months/years is when you arrive at your destination. You are no longer glued to that photo somebody else took and which you downloaded or screen-shotted many moons ago. You are there. Finally.

And you know what? Nothing is more beautiful than that moment. I say this a lot, but honestly the most breathtaking moment I have ever had whilst travelling was when I was in South America and I saw Machu Picchu. Anyone who knows me, will vouch for the fact that I am rarely without words, but Peru…Peru silenced me. I had planned the trip for almost two years with my girlfriend Jemma and to finally be there was just amazing.

The first time I knew I wanted to explore the world, I was not quite six years old. I had the most vivid dream. I was exploring waterfalls and caves with my Dad, I think we were in Africa or Asia (or whatever combination my brain had concocted at such a young age). When I was telling Dad about our adventure and he told me I had just been dreaming, I actually thought he was having me on. How could I have dreamt something so detailed? Also, how was I going to deal with the disappointment that I had not been there?

I became obsessed. I WAS going to travel the world. One day. When I was six we went on our first overseas family holiday, to Bali. I have really lovely memories of this trip. Catching the plane with my family, coming across people who neither spoke English or Anindilyakwa, as was spoken on Groote Eylandt where we lived. It was one of the most exciting weeks of my little life – so many beautiful things to see and smell and taste, people to meet. Amazing!

I came home with braids in my heart, a hundred new stories to tell the kids at school and a burning desire to travel. Being a mining brat, I had the ability to see a fair bit of the top end and east coast of Australia, because we typically moved every two years for Dad’s job. I used to pour over and harbour any travel articles I could get a hold of and I wished for a subscription to the National Geographic magazine for years and years.

Then puberty happened. High school. Jobs. Wagging School to go to the beach. Parties. The usual. Sure enough, by the time I was 17 I had planned my next big adventure, I was going to live in London and work in a pub, like nearly every third or fourth Aussie at the time. I went to uni instead.

Then I dreamed of teaching English in Japan, which then changed to working in a ski field in Canada, then back to possibly landing a job in the UK. Then I changed jobs, changed degrees and decided to travel on leave instead.

I must have planned three or four big trips which never came to fruition. I always had friends with the best of intentions, but when it came down to the crunch, they just were not willing to part with ever spare dollar to save it for a holiday. My friends didn’t want to wear the same clothes all year, miss out on parties and dye their own hair. Which was completely fine, my dreams didn’t need to be my friends dreams!

Eventually at 23 I decided to bite the bullet and just go away on my own. I had my sights set on South America. My Mum gave me a firm and resounding “NO” to her 23 year old daughter running off overseas on her own. So instead, at the pleading of Mum/Friends/Employer, I booked myself onto an arranged Contiki tour instead.

This would turn out to be one of the best decisions I ever made, I met some amazing people, experienced the high of travel I had been seeking and knew that every sacrifice I had made in the past was worth it :).

I am pretty sure I would have had Dad over my shoulder (who had since passed), carrying me along my journey – remembering the five year old who animatedly “remembered” an international adventure all those years ago xx

When did you know you had fallen in love with travel?

x C x

Our 2018 European Adventure

Hello everyone!

First of all, a massive thank you to you all for your continued support and interest in my page. This page was started many years ago, as a form of a travel diary. A place to share my past adventures and connect with other like-minded bloggers.

In October of last year, I decided to start a separate instagram page Courtney Gaye Travels. This was my little space to share photographs and moments from my past travels. I am really pleased with the way it has gone. I have connected with some amazing people, found some incredible accounts and have had the amazing opportunity to find this incredible community of people with whom I have been able to seek inspiration from.

IMG_9206At the moment my page mostly shares older posts and photographs, however I am hoping this will continue to develop and to grow. I love sharing and connecting with others.

I am a proud Brisbane girl, I have lived here for over half my life and I cannot see myself living anywhere else. I was married on my beloved Brisbane River in 2016, work in the Brisbane CBD and try to spend as much time as possible exploring all that this beautiful city has to offer.

My Husband and I met when we were both away for a weekend, we took our first overseas trip together in 2014 and became engaged in New York City. We spent the first six months of our relationship findings pictures of places we wanted to explore and sending them to each other, slowly but surely building our bucket list.

This year we will be ticking off quite a few of these bucket list destinations, during our European adventure. I have decided that I would really like to share these adventures with everyone.

I hope to hear from you on this platform, or through instagram and even via email. I have a facebook page as well, if that is more to your liking. Either way, I am here to connect with people and I am so excited to see your journeys and learn from each and every one of you.

Thank you for your follow, see you out there :).

Courtney Gaye

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TSS Earnslaw, Lake Wakatipo & Walter Peak Dinner, Queenstown

When we were researching our honeymoon activities, we stumbled across a cruise on a vintage steamship and dinner over at Walter peak High Country Farm. We knew instantly we had to participate in this activity.

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The TSS Earnslaw is a 1912 Edwardian vintage twin screw steamer and is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Central Otago, spending her days in the waters of Lake Wakatipu. It is actually the only remaining commercial passenger-carrying coal-fired steamship in the southern hemisphere. Named after Mount Earnslaw, this ship was known as the Lady of the Lake; until 1968 where she was almost scrapped. Thankfully she was rescued and taken for a makeup in 1984 and in 2012 celebrated her centenary.

 

When we boarded TSS Earnslaw for our 90 minute cruise across Lake Wakatipu and the bar was open, and the weather was beautiful and we were feeling particularly loved-up because we were on a steamboat (!!!) and it was our honeymoon! How can you be anything but over-the-moon excited?! There was a gorgeous engine room you are able to see from inside the ship and there is also a series of historical photos available to view.

IMG_2670Lake Wakatipu has a sense of magic to it, its name comes from the original Māori word Whakatipu wai-māori and is 80km in length. At New Zealand’s longest lake it is also the third largest in the country. It’s sea level plunges to a maximum depth of 380metres and it is surrounded by absolutely beautiful mountains. The Remarkables mountain range lies along the south-eastern edge. You may have seen Lake Wakatipu as the Scottish Loch Ness in The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep and was the backdrop for several scenes in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

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Walter Peak is a mountain located near Queensland and the TSS Earnslaw steamship takes you across the very beautiful Lake Wakatipu to the Walter Peak Country Farm. This Colonel Homestead is absolutely gorgeous, as the ship arrives you see the beautiful gardens, we were arriving on sunset and the view back across the Lake and towards Queenstown was so phenomenal.

The dining experience was also excellent, I am absolutely daydreaming about the food as I am writing this. We had a gourmet bbq dinner, the spread was amazing and it really highlights the New Zealand and local produce. There was also an amazing selection of desserts, cheeses, tea and coffee and a huge selection of drinks which you were able to purchase. You have assigned seating, we really liked having a table just for the two of us.

 

IMG_2678You then have time to explore the gardens, check out the shop or the art gallery before your journey back along the lake towards Queenstown. I went into a mild food coma and rested on G for the journey back across the lake. It was definitely one of my favourite nights in New Zealand. I would highly recommend it – it provides you with an amazing view and perspective of the lake as well. At one point we ended up with a very excited group of tourists who thought we had gotten engaged on the boat, we were celebrating our honeymoon though, so we took the congratulations and rolled with it!

You can book your Walter Peak Farm trip through Real Journeys:

https://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/tours/walter-peak-farm-tours/

IMG_2690We purchased our Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Dinner with the TSS Earnslaw Cruise for $260NZD ($235 Aussie). It’s not overly cheap but it is three hours on a historic boat with access to a bar and a visit to one of the most beautiful little homesteads, the food is great and it is a really nice date-night out. We saw many couples, families, people with their Mum’s and large groups over there and honestly everyone appeared to be having a really nice time!

You can’t beat good food, good wine, a lake view, pretty gardens and twilight! Plus – have you ever seen a steam boat this beautiful?!

x C X