Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Strangers to friends

Tuesday 17th june. Harrison, Maine

Wow days are so long here, i mean, they're filled with so many things, each day a saga, with internet and Facebook not playing any part. Freedom....real life. People are are slotting into roles, and bonds are forming. Last night we had a lecture on camp, a talk about all the directors, then watched the Fernwood Cove video...tears! We then had a talk about the 'Extraordinary World'. I love this bit, i love being there to go through it with the new people, watching their faces, predicting their thoughts. Some seemed over whelmed, like they had just joined a cult. It takes me to a new little world actually, its really feel good and refreshing. Doo good, work hard, feel good, make a difference to people's lives.

I had various meeting as I am head of studio arts! Then today has been lectures and team building exercises on the field. Serious name games, games where we had to make a machine out of our selves, we were a car wash.

I love this place.  EXHAUSTED... 22.25 pm....up at 7. Good night.

Flying High

June 12th 2014

Well crying at the wonderfully majestic conclusion of in-flight movie Frozen was not my proudest moment. New goal: to find a gay best friend snowman.

A lot of things have changed since the last time i wrote, I'd say I've skipped about 10 chapters. This year I've completely got to know who I am and its a kind of high I didn't think possible. Life has changed, A LOT, a new kind of wonderful. Letting your self do things or admit thing that seem daunting seems to release a new compartment of soul...too deep? Theres not such thing anymore. Ive learnt opening up, letting your guard down, letting people know the real you is so liberating and brings you closer to every person you open up to.

Im sitting on a plane, somewhere over the Atlantic, window seat, reflecting on leaving Leeds behind. I was pretty chocked leaving this time, but I need to remind myself of how lucky I am to have a life that makes leaving so damn difficult. Kitchen disco's, weekly gigs, friends I regard as soal mates, friends that in a life completely single I would still have everything I need. To me, humans are life. People are what influence ideas, who teach you who you are, who inspire you to do and who open up your eyes to new things. Its never been so evident as it has recently, just how much I live my life in possibilities, and run the opposite direction to anything or anyone that creates limitations.

America here I come.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Long way home

Written 6th March 2023
Soundtrack: Alt-j -Matilda

The date has arrived: March 6th. It's crazy how much your life can change in a day, to go from baking in the hot Melbourne sun, to arriving in white skyed London... 4°. Going home is so much more than just getting on a plane and seeing family again, it's the smell of England that once went unnoticed, the blue road signs, the familiar accents, the quaint pubs ( we do pubs best), the cups of tea and toast with lurpack, and adjusting to life without your trusty backpack. I'm excited about the simplest of things, like cardigan shopping, cuddling up with my cat, hugging mum, and being greeted by the neighbours. As you may tell I'm feeling quite nostalgic at the moment, with 14 hours thinking time before my next flight, to dwell on the amazing 5 months I just had, and how I may never be back to this country. But leaving somewhere is always difficult, and makes you think about your life and how, really, you can take it and live it anywhere in the world you wish. 

Highlights of Australia

Fraser Island, our 4 wheel drive family, card games at the campsite, white sands and blue waters. 
Magnums night club, Airlie beach
Whitsundays snorkelling, discovering a new world under sea level
Skydiving mission beach
End of the world party fun with Damien, Kelly and Pappinbarra locals
Christmas Eve BBQ and Christmas Day, sooo much cheeeeese!
Sydney- New Year's Eve all day in the park
Body boarding at Byron Bay
Australia Day, and stumbling into an Elvis gig
Melbourne city exploring; buskers, markets, street art and salsa
Climbing Kings Canyon, and Uluru
Sunset and sunrise in the Outback, with beer and champagne and new friends
Exploring the underground world of Cooper Pedi
Les Miserables at the moonlight cinema, Melbourne Botanical Gardens. 

Now I'm ready to go home, I just wish Clare, Laura, Hannah and Ray were coming with me!

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang 

Goodbye Australia. You did me proud

Friday, 15 March 2013

Off Outback

Febuary 9th- 15th
Soundtrack: Awake My Soul- Mumford & Sons

Miles of empty land,  vast red grounds  sprouting brittle yellow bush, and towering orange rocks claim most of Australia's central land, a space bigger than Europe. I said goodbye to  Edward and Clare, and it was time to discover it for myself, by myself!

I was picked up from Alice Springs at 6.45 where I met tour Guide Julian and the first of my tour group Kim from Germany. Followed by Manon (Dutch), Alex (English), Facu ( Argentinian), Keimo (French), Liz ( French) and Jean from Canada. A lovely little collection of people and new friends to share the trip with! 

At times I felt like I was discovering a new planet; a day trip to Mars, ( only.. with a lot more life!) Camels roamed around freely, wild horses dashed off at the sight of our vehicle, there were eagles, kangaroos, wallabies, spiders and brown snakes; the most poisonousness in Australia. And despite all these dangers we still came across 2 female hitch-hikers alone on a 10 hour stretch of road. It blows my mind how 'care-free' they were, when realistically  the danger of them dehydrating was very real. Plus, any old crazy person could have picked them up! Luckily, we passed at the right time. That night we drove all drove to a camp-site near to Kings Canyon, shared Spaghetti Bolognaise and a crate of beers.
4 of the 5 nights, we slept in swags; a canvas sleeping bag on the ground, without cover or shelter from any of the creepy crawlies. The first night Facu climbed into his swag, and out crawled a hand sized centipede, 'aaah so many legsss!!'  

The 4a.m starts were quite a struggle, and by day 4 I was ready to sleep for a week, but instead we just had pizza and got very drunk! On day 3 I woke in the middle of the night to find 4 dingoes circling our camping area, and somehow managed to tell my self to ignore it and go back to sleep. I seem to be a bit braver than I imagined!

Kings canyon, Uluru and Cooper Pedi were a highlight. Cooper Pedi is an Opal mining village, where a large portion of the residents live underground, to avoid heat and sand storms, it was like Hobbiton, but without the greenery!

Heat robs you of energy, and flies attack from all angles, so why do we actually pay to go there? This is why- 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Markets, Shop Windows and Buskers

Rudimental- Feel the love feat. John Newman

Discovery Melbourne. When we told people this is the hostel we're moving to they looked concerned, shared their negative stories and wished us luck. But I think they're mental; I love it. 

 To me, a factory of backpackers spells FUN! It's like Halls of Residence for travellers with its own bar and competitions, and me Clare and Becky have made so many friends! Scouser Jonny, Blind Date Dave, Chris, Liam, Dec, Jay and Isla to name a few. I will have fond memories of this hostel, and this 16 bed dorm, I know it. 

Yesterday me and Clare ventured out into the city with no actual aim, other than to explore aimlessly. What a day! We may not have a penny to spend but we have all the time in the world, and so, we strolled into every alluring shop, prodded things, imagined what we would use them for, looked at every food menu, 'fell' into a toy shop, watched a busker for 45 minutes, watched an outdoor salsa class, took photos with statues, 'fell' into a pic'n'mix sweet shop, took photos swinging from trees, and admired every pleasing view. I think it was my most perfect day. 

On Thursday we went to the hostel bar for free wine and cheese night, as soon as I saw they were hosting a competition to win free accommodation I marched over and signed my name up. (Even if it was Blind Date!) so me Clare and Bex went into the side room with our host and enjoyed (downed) a complimentary bottle of champagne and several free shots whilst planning our answers. If you were a film what would you be? ' Titanic, because if you let me down tonight I'll have that sinking feeling!' God it was embarrassing, but it seems i'll do anything for a freebie at the moment! We ended up with friends in a casino until 6 in the morning, and woke up around 6pm the next day. We partied until 6a.m the day after, then on the 4 th We enjoyed some goon on the top floor of Becky's hotel, sky top views of Melbourne whilst in a hot tub, then a free comedy night! Hello world!

Salsa in the streets
Tonight we went to mingle amongst the crowds of Brunswick Street, and the Night  Market,  and tomorrow we have a free Salsa class. I have a feeling there will be more women than men and I'll be left dancing with a possum or something. It was another lovely day, apart from when a homeless man told me I smell like shit. 

Living on this tiny amount of money is both challenging and rewarding (i can afford shower gel!) We spend $15 for 1 weeks food between us, we use Macdonald 'monopoly' vouchers for free burgers, free breakfast, and we never buy a single drink when we are out. ( I need to stop eating McDonald's before I actually die). We spend our days saying ''ah if only, ah it smells so good, oh I want that skirt, can we afford to share half a beer tonight, can I last until dinner time without eating?'  I officially now hate every item of clothes i packed in october, and only want to eat what i can't have. But I'd say its all character building, and I know when I do have money again, I will appreciate every last sausage! 

Happy birthday BeckyBecky Smart!

'You know I said it's true, I can feel that love, can you feel it too? 
I can feel it Ahhh aaah! '

La la la

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Happy Australia Day!

Written 29th Jan

Same love- Macklemoore and Ryan Lewis 

There's something about listening to this song that makes me all appreciative about life, it makes me all reflective and, well just completely happy. 

I'm excited about life. Excited that some of the best days of my life haven't happened yet, although one of them was lived yesterday. Clare, Becky, wine, botanical garden, picnic blanket, music; what an appealing little concoction and a recipe for a memorable Australia Day. The genius who brought a sound system along to the park in a shopping trolley needs to be knighted. Triple j's radio station played the top 100 tracks of the year as voted by the Australian public, what a relief that all the trashy chart songs were filtered out, leaving us with tasty selection. Happy ears=happy me.

Getting lost added to the experience, how else could we have stumbled across an open door with music and cheering spilling out of it. We popped our heads round and next thing we know Elvis Presley takes us by the hand and we are dancing with locals at an Elvis impersonator gig. Getting lost and being nosey really benefit as a traveller, it allows 
for spontaneity and a string of extra friends. Australia Day we partied, drank and socialised for over 12 hours, and didn't spend a single penny. A new habit, and I like it. 

Our week in St Arnauds, Melboirne has been most lovely, full of home comforts, a dog sized cat and 2 cat sized dogs- Sooty, Scruffy, and Princess. We had a chocolate powder fight, multiple backgammon games, read Green Mile in the park, sunbathed in Botanical Gardens, chased off a giant swan, ate Brumby bargains, had lots of film nights(the Hills have Eyes!), and sat on the balcony of our 6 bed dorm. 

Melbourne is my favourite city in Australia!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out

Friday 18th January 

Sountrack: Sun - Two Door Cinema Club

The road sign upon entering Byron Bay was the first of a hundred things I love about this place.  The 2nd thing I liked was the sign on the doorway of our hostel 'This Is Not A Public Walkway To The Beach'. 
3rd- The first glimpse of a pool, picnic benches, hammocks and volley ball pitch
4th- The wonderful lady on reception when my Visa card didn't work; 'No Drama's Darl! :)
5th- The fact our 9 person dorm had enough floor space to rehearse a dance routine
6th- Everyone that passed us smiled and said Hello
7th- The retired and overgrown railway track on route down to the beach. 
...Don't worry I'm not going to list 100, although I could. 

Day one 
We claimed our beds within the room, and instantly made friends. Coincidentally it housed a girl from Wiltshire who also shared our room in our 14 bed dorm in Surfers Paradise. We spent the day at the beach and turned into children, we made 4 sand castles and a moat! We finished off the day by the pool before playing drinking games with our 5 litre box of wine, and partied the night away at Cheeky Monkeys. 

Day 2 
What better way to get rid of a hangover than spending the day on the beach Body Boarding. Ah the thrill when you catch a wave! The first time I tried it I winded myself, it bloody hurt. Later we turned into prunes in the pool, Clare carried me around like a baby. 

Today there were many instances where I looked around and thought, wow, life couldn't actually be any better.