January is my birthday month. 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year so for this year, I want to focus more on the positives and good things. I thought it would be nice to look back on my highlights so I thought my birthday month and the first month of the new year would be a great start.
I actually did a lot of exciting and fun things in January so I’ve compiled them all down below.
I really didn’t want a big fuss for my birthday this year and I wanted complete relaxation. So I booked us a staycation at a bush chalet. I found the Tui Bush Chalet on Airbnb and it was the perfect place.
It’s pretty much being in a cabin in the woods. The chalet was private, there is wifi but it barely worked so I didn’t go on my phone. All you hear are the birds and nature just outside your window. It was amazing. The weekend was rainy and gloomy so it was the perfect place to be.
We felt so relaxed there. It’s a place to unwind, get away from the hustle and bustle of work and the city. In the morning, our breakfast got dropped off in a cute little basket and we had a lovely breakfast outside just enjoying the view and nature. I highly recommend this cute little place.
For my actual birthday, I had lunch with my family then had dinner at Tokyo Bay restaurant as I wanted some good Japanese food. Pretty low-key and just what I wanted.
We like our adventures so one weekend afternoon, we decided to go for a nice walk. We ended up at Okura Bush Walkway. Please note that the Okura Scenic Reserve entrance is currently closed but the Stillwater end is open.
It started out as a walk but on the way back, we decided to go through the rocks but we realised halfway through that the tide was going in. I ended up with half of my body in the water, shoes, socks and shorts all wet and slipping down the cliff at one point. We survived though and we got back just in time. It was quite an unplanned adventure.
We got gelato from Takapuna Beach Cafe afterwards so it was all good!
If you’re ever in Takapuna, you have to go to the Takapuna Beach Cafe to get gelato. I love their gelato so much. I’ve been going there for years and the quality has remained the same. My faves are the lemoncurd yogurt, chocolate honeycomb and salted caramel. Their seasonal flavours are also good like the peach sorbet.
Another great thing that happened in January is I got to hang out with my dear friend Antonia before she went back to the UK.
We went to the beach after work, had a swim, had dinner at Kyoto, another Japanese restaurant in Takapuna, binged watched Bridgerton and I sadly had to drop her off at the airport after a brunch and walk around Cornwall Park.
I’ll put this as a ‘highlight’ but I started jogging again. I restarted the Couch to 5k app and started going for a jog before work.
I can’t say I’ve kept it up since coming back from holiday but I’m trying to figure out a schedule with work, reformer pilates and jogging.
My favourite part of January is our Northland camping trip. This was towards the end of the month and we came back on the 1st of February but I’m still putting it over here.
We stopped by Whangarei Falls on the way and I found it amazingly bizarre that there’s a hole in the ground and a waterfall in the middle of suburbia. It would be cool to be close to it though.
We stayed at the Whangaruru Beachfront campsite and we slept in the green machine again (just like our Hokianga Harbour trip). We had such beautiful weather that long weekend.
Waking up and spending the whole day looking at this view was amazing.
We spent it swimming, sunbathing and eating. I also tried paddle boarding for the first time ever and surprisingly I was pretty good at it! I didn’t fall off the board. I thank my great balance to reformer pilates.
The sky at night time was also amazing. There were so many stars.
Max also really enjoyed paddle boarding and I really enjoyed reading my book looking at this wonderful view. It was a great camping trip. If you told me years ago that I’d enjoy camping and sleeping in a car/van, I wouldn’t believe you but nowadays I’d happily do that exploring around New Zealand.
On the way back home, we stopped by Helena Bay Cafe.
The view is amazing. The food was good too. We got the burgers and the serving was quite large. They also have a gallery next door which is full of amazing things. They feature amazing NZ artists. This place is worth a stop over. Plus, they also have a massive cute dog (if you watch my Instagram stories, you would’ve seen).
Overall, January 2021 was pretty great. I’ve spent most of this summer by going for swims, reading, exploring and adventuring. I am so tanned especially my legs which shows how much I’ve made the most of this time and I’m really happy about it.
I’m currently writing the ending of this blog post during the third week of February and Auckland is in alert level 3 lockdown due to new community cases. I still wanted to finish this blog post though because regardless of what happens and how February / March pans out here in NZ, I still had an amazing start to this year. I’m not sure if I’ll do a monthly highlight but it was nice to look back on the past month.
I hope wherever you are, you’re staying safe and well. xx