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What no-one tells you about a COVID test

COVID tests can be a scary thing these days. We hear so many opinions about them from friends and family.

It isn’t until we take the test ourselves that we know what it is really like.

Recently, I wrote about what a COVID test really feels like and I hope that within this current article you find that a COVID test is far more accessible and affordable than many people thought. Yet the most important thing that no-one tells you about a COVID test is how hard the nurses and doctors, and all people involved on the front line work to keep us safe.

The probe goes further up your nose than anything ever will

The medical professional who did it for us was very competent at what she did and warned us early on not to flinch, which proved to be quite hard once you had a probe seemingly tickling your brain. The process is in fact relatively painless but still extremely uncomfortable. I think that having anything poking around where nothing else has been will always be a weird experience. Once the first nostril is completed the second one goes by relatively painlessly, which was a massive relief.

The medical professionals work harder than you might expect

The lady who gave us a test was from Ireland and informed us that earlier that day a woman had found the COVID test uncomfortable and gone about abusing her. It really struck home that these nurses and doctors are working in a dangerous environment for hours on end dealing with people who are often unthankful and disrespectful. As Millennials it is our responsibility to make the staff feel thanked and respected. At the end of the day, these men and women are the front line in the fight against COVID.

Doctors, nurses call for safety to be protected on the coronavirus ...
Copyright: The Sydney Morning Herald

It’s free

I wasn’t necessarily aware of the situation around COVID tests and money. And it was to my surprise that at the MSAC testing site it was free to get a test. This is a massive help for University students and makes testing an even more achievable test if you have even the slightest COVID symptoms.

A car was extremely convenient

The drive through testing clinic made getting a COVID test extremely convenient. We waited for about an hour and a half for the test. This was made extremely easy by being able to wait and queue in our car. I recommend taking a book or a laptop and watching a movie as you sit and wait for the traffic to move.

Coronavirus updates Australia: Largest single-day jump in COVID-19 ...
Copyright: The Sydney Morning Herald

With everything going on around Victoria there is even less reason to get tested when you display COVID symptoms. I hope that you have learnt a bit from my experience of what no-one tells you about a COVID test. My experience in general was really positive. This, in part is because COVID tests are made as accessible and affordable as possible for the average Victorian. As always, stay safe and take care. Until next time Movers…

What a COVID test really feels like

COVID tests seem to have many mixed reviews… I have heard from friends that it feels like your brain is being scraped out by a long stick and, similarly, friends have also told me that it doesn’t hurt at all. So what should we believe? How should we feel after hearing these views on COVID tests? If we display symptoms, should getting a test be something scary or something that shouldn’t be stressed over? Well let me tell you about my experience of what a COVID test really feels like…

Coronavirus: Melbourne launches new COVID-19 test amid fears of ...
Copyright: The Australian

There are two parts to a COVID test

My experience of a COVID test was made up of two parts. This was the throat swab and the nose swab. The throat swab consisted of the back of my throat being swabbed as I said ‘ahhhhh’, and similarly, the nose swab consisted of both of my nostrils being tested with the same swab that was used on my throat. I’ll detail my experience of both below.

The mouth swab

For me, this was the easiest part of the COVID test. It is reminiscent of the doctors’ wooden paddle when you get a check-up. All it involves is for you to open your mouth and make an ‘ahhhh’ sound as the nurse or doctor swabs the back of your throat. It does tickle and feel slightly uncomfortable but isn’t anything to be worried about. It can trigger your gag reflex so be aware of that.

The nose swabs

These were the most uncomfortable and least enjoyable part of the COVID test. The swab which had just been used on your throat is now turned vertical and you are instructed by the nurse or doctor not to flinch. For me, the nurse was very professional and quickly administered the test. The probe goes into your nose and proceeds past the narrow tickly part and enters what felt like a really tender spot. When the probe is here it is moved around so as to gather up all the biological matter needed to realise either a positive or negative test. After the test is done it feels almost as if where the probe had been has become acidic. This test really wasn’t very enjoyable and felt very uncomfortable for the following hours.

Some other advice…

Take some tissues!

So after the test which swabbed the inside of the nose, we both had reflex reactions and started tearing up. We made a mad scramble to look for some tissues and, thankfully not long after our test as our noses started running we had tissues on hand. So long story short, please remember to take tissues as the COVID test is made even more uncomfortable if you have nothing to wipe your eyes and nose with!

Coronavirus cases revealed in Victorian paramedic and cluster of ...
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Wear a mask

As with everything that we undertake these days, please wear a mask to the testing location. From here the doctor or nurse can direct you to remove your mask during the test as they see fit.

So here you have it! This is my view of what a COVID test really feels like. Please stay safe and if you feel sick go get tested at one of the Victorian COVID testing sites!

Until next time Movers…

Best COVID recipes for University students

With the Coronavirus running rampant through our beloved Victorian suburbs, it can be easy to miss the amazing options that we have for eating out, whether this be at fancy restaurants or your favourite grab-and-go eatery. Here is my list of easy-to-make recipes that can give you a small reminder of the food that we are all missing out on. So, whether you are a university student or not, here are my best COVID era recipes for university students!

Dinner

Pesto Risotto

So, I had never made this until isolation, and let me tell you it is now my favourite recipe. It is extremely easy to cook and almost foolproof as I’m not an amazing cook myself. This risotto is creamy, tasty, and easy to eat. The broccoli gives it a healthy amount of crunch and the pancetta adds a bit of salt to compliment the cheese. We usually double or triple the recipes and eat the leftovers for days. So, enjoy!

Here is the taste.com.au recipe for pesto risotto!

Japanese Salmon Curry Noodle Soup

Japanese salmon curry noodle soup
Copyright: Taste.com.au

This dish is delicious! We had it recently and found it to be a really easy meal to cook. It was filling, healthy and left us with a warm feeling in our bellies. Definitely a big recommendation especially if you are a fan of Japanese food. I would suggest getting good quality salmon as this enhances the meal.

Here is the taste.com.au recipe for Japanese Salmon Curry Noodle Soup!

Chicken, Corn and Noodle Soup

For soup lovers this is an easy and tasty meal which doesn’t take long to cook. The sesame oil provides a unique flavour that is complimented by the rest of the flavours in the broth. If you enjoy leftovers then this is a great recipe to double or triple. Also as a tip I would recommend having some crusty fresh bread to dip in the broth!

Chicken, corn and noodle soup
Copyright: Taste.com.au

Here is the recipe for taste.com.au Chicken, corn and noodle soup!

Pizzas

Well, not much needs to be said! Add whatever you want to pizzas to make your ultimate meal. If you’re like me and you don’t want to make pizza dough, then grab the shelf fresh ones from the supermarket and get creating.

Pad See Ew

This easy to make stir-fry is a gem to cook and clean-up, and it goes down a treat. Super easy to cook and requires a minimum amount of sauces. I find that it needs a bit of extra sauce but that might just be me. Super easy and super healthy so a sure fire way to get a good meal into your system!

Pad see ew
Copyright: Taste.com.au

Here is the recipe for taste.com.au Pad See Ew!

San Choy Bau

Another classic and easy to cook recipe. This is filling, healthy and easy to cook after a long day at uni or work. Make sure you get Iceberg Lettuce as I find this is the best lettuce to use for San Choy Bau.

Here is the recipe for taste.com.au San Choy Bau!

Lunch

Rice paper rolls

This is an absolute staple for lunches and is super easy to make and cook! All you need is a set of rice paper roll wrappers and a bowl of water to get started. From there add whatever you want! If you are feeling healthy then go for the salad and chicken option and experiment with different sauces.

Breakfast

Breakfast Wraps

So, cook up bacon and eggs as normal and fry the wraps in the bacon fat left over in the pan to get them crispy. Add some relish and there you have a delicious breakfast meal!

I hope you enjoyed reading my list of the best COVID era recipes for University students! Until next time Movers!

Now that you are full go enjoy my hidden spots to exercise in Melbourne!

Best pubs near UniMelb for the money starved student

Going for a casual beer or drink after class is a past-time for University students. Fortunately for us UniMelb students, there is an abundance of watering holes located nearby and around Melbourne University. These pubs range from laid back staples such as the Clyde Hotel to more upbeat pubs such as the Shaw Davey Slum. So, dig and enjoy my list of the best pubs near UniMelb!

The Clyde Hotel

This beauty of a pub is located on the corner of Cardigan St and Elgin St and boasts a rooftop garden and cozy seating spaces downstairs. The bar serves a mix of beers that include the usual must-haves and the occasional craft ale. Happy hour prices are an absolute dime for the money starved UniMelb student. These consist of $8.50 pints of Furphy and $5.50 glasses of House white or red from 4-6 pm every day. Their menu also boasts reasonable prices for an inner-city pub and the Wedges and Parmagiana’s are fantastic with a beer after a long day of class. The roof also has heaters so it is absolutely fantastic for those cold winter nights as well. The only downside is that the Clyde doesn’t have a uni night but is fantastic for a laid back drink nonetheless.

For more information click here!

Copyright: The Clyde Hotel

The Prince Alfred Hotel (PA’s)

This modern hotel boasts a big uni night on a Wednesday and is a staple for the residential college students. This pub boasts an upstairs and downstairs bar, a well stocked menu and an outside smokers area that has access to the bar. Wednesday night sees the pub overwhelmed with university students who seek to have a night off uni work. The DJ can be found blasting a mix of tunes that is sure to get you moving and the small dance space is usually packed. The toilets can be a bit feral but all around a pretty good place on a Wednesday night and for the rest of the week in general.

For more information click here!

Copyright: Prince Alfred Hotel

The Shaw Davey (Slums)

This funky retro style pub boasts some of the cheapest drink prices nearby to uni. Between its pool table downstairs and its open rooftop upstairs this is a fantastic place to grab a few drinks after uni, or after work with some mates. The weekly uni night kicks off with a bang on Wednesday and Slums is certainly the place to be. The music is a mix of 2000’s hits intermixed with some more modern EDM tunes. Definitely a massive recommendation for either a casual drink or a Wednesday night boogie. For me this is definitely one of the best pubs near UniMelb!

For more information click here!

Copyright: The Shaw Davey Facebook

The Provincial

A busy pub most nights! This pub has one of the best rooftop bar areas I have ever seen and is an awesome place to go to for a casual drink with friends. This pub is also large and can accommodate a big group of people. This extra space is perfect for birthdays or large gatherings of friends. Upstairs is also host to an array of sporting events on the big screen and it is the place to watch the footy!

For more information click here!

Copyright: The Provincial Hotel

Rooftop Bar

This bar is a bit further away from the usual pubs that I frequent yet it is still a bar that I recommend to all my friends. Rooftop Bar is located in the city at Curtin House on Swanston St and is easily accessed by trams from UniMelb. It has an aesthetic bar scene and has an outdoor cinema. It also serves a mix of beers that vary from your classic staples to the more out there and unique brews. Definitely the place that I would recommend heading to if you are ever in the city with your mates.

For more information about Rooftop Bar click here!

For more information about Curtin House click here!

Copyright: Curtin House

So here it is! The best pubs near UniMelb. So get out, grab some mates and enjoy a relaxed drink together. As always, drink responsibly and enjoy your time as a Millennial Mover. Until next time…

Click here for WAM booster subjects at UniMelb!

The University of Melbourne

WAM Boosters for the University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne, Australia - Australia's best ...
Copyright: The University of Melbourne

With the difficulties that face so many UniMelb students, especially during this current era of online University here are my WAM boosters for the University of Melbourne. Most of these are Level 1 subjects (First year subjects), however this list contains a mix of Level 1, 2, and 3 subjects. For those of you who don’t know a WAM booster is any subject that you find boosts your WAM with limited hard work when compared to your normal degree. So, take a look and peruse the links attached and share to all those who need this list!

Level 1:

Famine: The Geography of Scarcity (GEOG10001)

For more information for GEOG10001 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Sports Coaching: Theory and Practice (EDUC10051)

Find more information for EDUC10051 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Principles of Business Law (BLAW10001)

Find more information for BLAW10001 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Food for a Healthy Planet (UNIB10009)

Find more information for UNIB10009 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Drawing, Painting and Sensory Knowing (EDUC10054)

Find more information for EDUC10054 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Level 2:

Australia in the Wine World (AGRI20030)

Note: Dookie Campus

Find more information for AGRI20030 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Food For a Healthy Planet II (UNIB20014)

Find more information for UNIB20014 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

Level 3:

Food for a Healthy Planet III (UNIB30010)

Find more information for UNIB30010 in the University of Melbourne handbook!

So that is that for my list of WAM boosters for the University of Melbourne! I hope you have all enjoyed this list! Please comment any suggestions so that this list can be updated. Until next time Movers…

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VentraIP – The best thing you never knew existed

To set up my website which you are reading (thankyou by the way) I used an Australian company called VentraIP. They helped me get my domain name for a good price and helped me if I had any concerns. Their free eTicket service is followed by a prompt reply and the guys who helped me were absolutely fantastic and lovely. Through their cPanel service you get access to WordPress and a host of other tools for your new domain. These guys are absolutely fantastic and I massively recommend them to anyone else who is looking to set up their own domain.

If you decide to use VentraIP for your new domain name (which I cannot recommend more strongly!) then feel free to use my referral link here!

Hidden spots to exercise in Melbourne

With the Coronavirus gripping our communities it can be hard to find places to exercise in and around Melbourne. Below is my list of hidden spots to exercise in Melbourne. Now more than ever it is important that we all find time to exercise. Please make sure that you stick to the restrictions in place currently. Stay safe and enjoy my list of hidden spots to exercise in Melbourne which range from walks along the river to strolls through vast ovals.

Fairview Park

This is one of my favourite spots to take my dogs. This park has hills, an oval and access to the Yarra River for the dogs to cool off. It also has a playground, public toilets and a barbecue. This park is located in the Inner Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn.

Pros: Off leash dog area

Cons: Limited parking

Yarra Bend

This park is amazing! It is filled with all manner of things to do and counts as one of Melbourne’s largest natural bushland reserves. I would definitely recommend going for a walk or taking a bike ride through here. There are sports fields to have a kick of the footy and a lovely walk to Dights Falls.

Pros: Has plenty of different activities

Cons: None that I can think of to be honest!

Find out more information here!

Victoria Gardens

This beautiful park is definitely the place to be. The small oval is surrounded by tall trees that catch and reflect the light when it is sunny. The park is also off-leash and has a walking path around the outside.

Pros: Very picturesque

Cons: A bit small for dogs

The Tan/Royal Botanic Gardens

Whilst this is a very popular park and not that well hidden it does host a lot of amazing walking trails. For the avid runner, the tan track serves as the Melbourne staple for running and a quick google search will tell you some times to compare yourself to. For those enjoying a more relaxed stroll, the walk throughout the gardens are spectacular and allow you to lose yourself in the splendour that is the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Pros: Visually stunning and a must do in Melbourne

Cons: Might become busy

Find out more information here!

Anniversary Trail/Outer Circle Rail Trail

The trail meanders through suburbs ranging from Kew to Hughesdale. This is a great trail to enjoy on a relaxed bike ride or a long walk and is easily accessible from a range of suburbs.

Pros: Easily accessible

Cons: Multiple modes of transport share the same path.

St Kilda Beach

Another place to exercise that isn’t exactly a hidden gem. St Kilda beach serves as a Melbourne exercise staple and is definitely a place that you should look to exercise! Enjoy the fresh sea breeze as you enjoy a run or take a walk and take in the beautiful views that adorn this stretch of the bay.

Pros: Honestly, that fresh sea air is amazing

Cons: Gets pretty busy

Albert Park

Well known for the Australian GP, this artificial lake boasts on and off-leash dog areas, sports facilities and is located approximately 3 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD. The track around the edge of the lake allows for running, walking or cycling and allows you take in both the beauty of the lake and the views of the city.

Pros: Great views of the city and close by

Cons: Can get very windy

Find out more information here!

Caulfield Park

This sprawling park is perfect for you to go for a run or exercise! It has large off-leash dog areas, multiple places to play basketball, a tennis wall and facilities for barbecues. It also has a stunning pond section which you can enjoy leisurely walks on.

Pros: Has a variety of exercise options

Cons: The ovals are mostly all being used on the weekend for sport

Fawkner Park

This sprawling park is perfect for a walk and is located nearby to Melbourne CBD. It maintains well kept walking paths and plenty of large ovals. On some certain days you may be treated to university teams playing Quidditch (from Harry Potter).

Pros: Close to the city

Cons: Limited parking available

Yarra River Trail

This trail runs from the city to the suburbs and offers spectacular views of the city. I recommend going for a bike ride along this trail as it makes for an easy and relaxing ride. If you choose to run or walk be aware that bikes move along the trail very quickly. Specifically, on your approach to the city there are some amazing views offered especially from the Southern bank.

Pros: Pretty flat gradient, great views of the city

Cons: Bikes zooming past

All in all, with these restrictions in place, it is so important that we all make time to exercise. I hope that this list of hidden spots to exercise in Melbourne may help you find that little spot to take some time out for yourself whether this be on a walk, run or a bike ride. As always, please pay attention to local restrictions and stay safe. Until next time movers…

Not satisfied… For more on travel and backpacking click here!

What no-one tells you about travelling to El Chaltén

Patagonia is an amazing place where you will be amazed by the sheer size of the landscapes that surround you. As an Australian, we are not naturally used to towering mountain ranges that make you feel tiny standing next to them. Patagonia is both amazing in its beauty and in its vastness. It stretches from just under Santiago to the bottom of South America and covers just over a million square kilometres. Patagonia also stretches two countries, namely Argentina and Chile. Within this vast wilderness is the small town of El Chaltén. This is located nearby to the Fitz Roy mountain range and is used as a base for people to trek the local area. When I backpacked there with my friend we started the Patagonia leg of our journey in Santiago and travelled to El Chaltén before turning around and heading back to Santiago for our flight home. There were some amazing places which will be covered in a post soon. Whilst we were immersed in a cultural and natural experience that we had never known before there was also a massive shock which no-one tells you about before travelling to El Chaltén in the Southern part of Patagonia.

Everything is expensive

When we were there, we found everything to be extremely expensive. What had so far for us been a cheap trip had just turned into an expensive nightmare.

Transport is expensive

We had consistently travelled on long haul busses for under $20 AUD and now we were faced with prices from El Chaltén to Bariloche of around $180 AUD. And to make matters worse we found it very hard to find a suitably timed bus for us to travel on our way. On arrival to El Chaltén we entered this part of Patagonia from Chile and we hiked the short stretch over the border which is about 20km. This is amazing as you get a ferry from Villa O’Higgins to a small stretch of land and then embark upon another ferry to El Chaltén. We found that whilst this border crossing was expensive it was worth the money.

The hike between Chile and Argentina

Accommodation and food are expensive

Unlike the rest of our trip, we found accommodation to be a lot more expensive and a lot harder to find. At past towns in the Patagonia region we had just door knocked seeking accommodation, but we found that when we arrived at El Chaltén that most of the accommodation was booked out. I recommend door knocking to find cheap hostels that can accommodate you especially if you have been unable to make a earlier booking. If you have the ability to cook on site, then make the most of this. Eating at restaurants in El Chaltén is very expensive and can be a big hit to your travel account. The supermarkets in El Chaltén are well stocked and we made the most of the cheap pasta, delicious sausages and the pasta sauce that was available.

The Fitz Roy Mountain Range

All in all, despite the expensive costs associated with getting too, eating at restaurants and finding accommodation, El Chaltén is in a beautiful location and is unparalleled in its ability to offer some of the most amazing hikes I have ever been on. So, keep in mind that it is expensive and look for ways to save money and you will have an amazing time!

If you are backpacking to El Chaltén you can find all you need to know here on How to pack a backpack and What to pack!

7 Tips for Packing the Perfect Pack

So, you have learnt what to pack from the last post and now you want to know how to pack. Here are my top 7 tips for packing the perfect pack!

  1. Put shoes at the bottom

As discussed in my article on The Ultimate Backpacking List for Beginners you should have around three pairs of shoes. These are easiest to put at the bottom of your bag. I find this easiest because shoes are easy to be dropped on the ground and sat on when you are waiting for transport as they do not easily get damaged. Also, the bottom of the pack is usually the dirtiest and this is ok for shoes. You definitely would not want to put your underwear at the bottom of your bag. I recommend pushing your shoes together and if you can find rubber bands then use these to keep them secure. I find that if you must, then putting wet shoes at the bottom limits the spread of wetness and dirtiness to the rest of your bag.

  1. Heavy and flat stuff against your back

The idea behind this is that the closer the heaviest items are to your back the better your pack will feel. Imagine if you had put a 5kg weight on the outside of your back vs directly against your back. Against your back, the weight will feel as if it is a part of your body whereas the further away it is the more it will cause strain on your shoulders and give into unwanted rotation as the pack hinges off your hips.

  1. Underwear and socks in a dry bag

This one is pretty simple and about hygiene and comfort. If something unfortunate happens to your pack, the last thing you want is for your underwear and socks to become dirty, wet and all around filthy. I recommend grabbing a dry bag as they last longer than just a cheap garbage bag. These can purchased from most outdoor shops.

  1. Roll your clothes and find gaps

For clothes that don’t need to be pristine and folded, try rolling them and finding gaps within your pack. I find that this saves space and keeps pack size to a minimum. This is a very handy technique if you have a waterproofed pack as you don’t have to worry about putting all your clothes in dry bags.

  1. Have the medical kit easily accessible

This is an important one! I have found that medical kits are used much more than they you would ever want them to be used. Make sure to have a well-stocked medical kit that can be pulled out of your pack at a moment’s notice.

  1. Have cards handy

For all those times when wi-fi is scarce and the waits are long…

  1. Keep the raincoat at the top of your pack

Most packs will have a zip at the very top of the pack. I recommend putting your raincoat in this compartment as it is easily accessible. Make sure to definitely have a raincoat if you are travelling throughout the tropics in the rainy season.

I hope my 7 tips for packing the perfect pack come in handy when preparing for your next adventure!

Phillip Island – An Untouched Wonder

Nestled on the southern coastline of Victoria is the untouched wonder Phillip Island. This beautiful little town boasts beautiful beaches, fantastic food, and spectacular wildlife. As Victorians we have the pleasure of being close to this untouched masterpiece of Australia. The island is located around 2 hours from Melbourne CBD and takes major highways with well paved roads. Phillip Island may appear small on a map, but it makes up for this size with its hearty fish, cheap meals and hammering swells for the avid surfer. These are my best tips for you to enjoy your time on the island.

  • Arrive at the Nobbies entrance well before sunset to enjoy last light of the day

As the sun nears its close, the park rangers will close the entrance to this part of the island. The view of the sunset is spectacular over the Westerly facing cliffs and it is a sight not to be missed. Remember to drive carefully along this stretch of road as it is home to some amazing wildlife.

  • Head to Pyramid Rock before sunset to see some amazing wildlife

You need to drive slow down this road as the wildlife – especially the wallabies – are unpredictable. This road is unsealed and has some potholes so drive carefully especially if you are in a smaller vehicle. There are some amazing spots along this road and at Pyramid Rock to view the sunset.

  • Find a good spot at Smiths Beach

Perhaps the most popular beach on Phillip Island, the pristine environment boasts solid surf conditions. If you are arriving on a warm day be sure to arrive early to get a good spot. The sunset is amazing over the Western cliffs when it is a clear day.

  • Head to Cape Woolamai to do the Beacon Walk

This walk is spectacular, and the longest route takes you along the edge of the cliff to the beacon and then meanders down to the white pristine beach that overlooks Woolamai Waters. I recommend doing this walk on a warm day with less wind as the exposed sections of the walk can get quite windy and cold. Also take care when the path walks next to the cliff as there is not much safety.

  • Grab some fish and chips and eat them on the pier

Most fish and chip shops in Phillip Island are very good in my opinion. So, grab a takeaway from any of these and head down to the Cowes Pier to grab the last rays of sunshine and wish away the day.

All in all, Phillip Island is an untouched wonder especially if you can avoid the more touristy spots and the crowds. Use these 5 tips to get the most out of your time down on the island!

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