The funnest marathon on earth? Marathon du Medoc, France


A marathon where you are encouraged to get tipsy, and it’s mandatory fancy dress – is it a dream or a nightmare?

For thousands, it seems, it’s a dream – and one that they get to live out in reality once a year near Bordeaux, France.

Marathon du Medoc, held every year in September, includes more than 20 wine stops along the 42km track plus offers specialities such as oysters, steak, and ice-cream too.

This year I got to head to Paulliac, the small village where the race starts and finishes, to experience Medoc for the first time – From the sidelines, of course! I had the cough very important job cough of being cheerleader to my fiance, Dan, that kept me much too busy to run it myself.

That, and the fact that I’m extremely unfit and the idea of a marathon gives me shivers…

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Incredibly grand AirBnB in Bordeaux, France


Paris France is always a good idea, right?


And the beauty of living in England is that I can pop over whenever I damn well please… Although, it’s more likely whenever my bank balance pleases… I think all of us here know the struggle to live on a ordinary salary with the extraordinary urge to travel.

In fact, last week I got to visit France for the first time since I moved to the UK just over a year ago, which I find astounding, as the land of the French is just so accessible to us here in Great Britain.

I just hadn’t gotten the chance yet.

But anyway, the point is: I FINALLY got around to going there (Again – I visited back in 2013 on my first trip to Europe) last week when my fiance, myself, and a few of our friends headed to the Bordeaux region for a marathon Dan and two others in the group were set to run (More on that next week!).

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Hiking the Korea Friendship Walk – The Cotswolds, England


One of the things I love most about living in the UK is the closeness to so many different places and experiences.

You can drive for less an hour from Bristol and be in Wales, for example, or just over two hours to London.

There are so many possibilities for day trips, and Dan and I have made it our mission to take advantage of this fact whilst we can.

One activity we’ve decided to do more regularly is to go on day trips to walk different hiking trails nearby Bristol, and – on longer trips – further afield across the United Kingdom.

We both enjoy hiking, and although Dan is more experienced at it than I am, I’m keen to step up to his level.

Hiking is great for many reasons, but two of my favourite are:

  • The exercise factor –  It’s great for both your physical and mental wellbeing
  • The nature factor – I love getting out into nature, and I know it’s probably related to the fact that being outdoors has been proven to enhance mental wellbeing as well.

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A wicked weekend at Alton Towers theme park

Alton Towers
The sun wasn’t out, but our guns were!

As a foreigner living in the United Kingdom, it’s almost a rite of passage for me to visit Alton Towers, one of the major theme parks in England.

Practically everyone who has grown up in the UK, or lived there for some time, has visited the park before.

But, after almost a year living in Bristol, I (an adrenaline junkie and rollercoaster lover) had somehow not gotten around to it yet!

So, to combat this problem, recently Dan, our friends Will and Elyse, and I headed to to the Towers for a weekend of fun.

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Celebrating Ethical Living and Pride in Bristol


Last weekend Bristol was inundated with rainbow flags, banners, decorations and fashion as the annual Pride March was held in the city.

Following a week of LGBTQ+ events across Bristol, the March and harbourside festival, held on the Saturday, was the headline event of 2018 Pride, as it is each year.

As if that wasn’t enough for me, another amazing event was happening in the city on the same day: The first-ever Viva!City Ethical Life Festival.

From the same creators of the Viva!Vegan Festivals (Such as the one I went to in Cardiff earlier this year), the Ethical Life Festival celebrated sustainability and green living alongside veganism.

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Learning how to make gin with Brennen and Brown’s Lab Experience


I must start this blog post by stating that I don’t really like gin.

Yes, I’m actually beginning a post entirely about gin by remarking that I don’t even enjoy the stuff. Good job, Marnie, good job.

But this point is very important to this story.

Gin, to me, is hugely associated with the English – and with a history surrounding English and Dutch soldiers, then it’s major rise in popularity over the last five years in the UK, plus it being my British fiance’s drink of choice, it’s no wonder I associate the liquor with England.

Being from Australia, where gin is not often a drink of choice (in fact, I only have one friend that I’ve EVER seen drinking it) I’d hardly been exposed to gin before meeting my now-fiance, Dan.

Since then, it’s been Dan’s mission to get me to enjoy the spirit, of which he has served to me with various mixers, a large array of garnishes and a number of different botanicals, but to no avail.

However, Dan and I were lucky enough to recently take part in a Lab Experience at Brennen and Brown Distillery in Cheltenham, England.

Despite my lack of fondness for gin, I know how much Dan loves it, so I organised it as a present for his 30th birthday (What an awesome fiance I am, I know! 😆)

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Lantern Parade and Fiery Finale lights up Lismore

Photo Credit: Peter Derrett. Sourced from Lismore Lantern Parade’s Official Facebook Page.

Once a year Lismore’s streets are lit up with hundreds of handmade paper lanterns, carried through the town to the collective sounds of awe and cheer, as the annual Lantern Parade brings together the region.

Running for over 20 years now, the Lismore Lantern Parade and Fiery Finale is a volunteer-organised and run event which celebrates everything wonderful about the Northern Rivers region, and marks the Winter Solstice (the longest day of the year).

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How to make a lantern for the Lismore Lantern Parade

Pic 2

The Lismore Lantern Parade is the signature event of the year in my hometown region, where thousands of people from across the Northern Rivers come together to mark the Winter Solstice, and to either walk in the parade, perform at the fiery finale, or watch as spectators.

Each year there are new lanterns created, to parade alongside ones that have been star attractions in years past.

Now in it’s 24th year, the Lantern Parade is a seriously fun event – whether you’re watching or participating.

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My Top Five Travel Tips

France, 2013

If you’re new here: Hi, I’m Marnie, and I LOVE travel.

Over the last five years, I’ve traveled to 36 countries, and I’ve learnt a lot along the way.

I’ve grown from a naive young girl on her first big trip, to a confident female traveler.

Here I wanted to share with you my top five travel tips, which you can find in the video below.

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Sustainable/Zero Waste Fashion and the True Cost of the Fast Fashion Industry

This gorgeous jumpsuit I wore to a wedding – Bought it for $5 at a secondhand clothing store!

For a while now I’ve been concerned about the pitfalls of the fast fashion industry – both the waste issues, as well as the humanitarian issues like sweatshops and low wage workers, and the environmental problems, like the high rate of pesticides used in the production of materials like cotton, and the harsh chemicals used in the creation of garments.

I’ve always purchased probably 50% of my wardrobe from secondhand clothing stores, but about 18 months ago, I decided to exclusively shop at secondhand stores for all my clothing from now on.

I always thought about it from a waste stream point of view – If I could purchase my clothing from the clothing already out there in the world, without contributing to the growing demand on the fashion market, I would be making a difference – however small.

But recently I watched the documentary The True Cost, and it got me thinking a whole lot more about the wider impacts of the fast fashion industry.

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