Samoa – Bus

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This jewel coloured bus was enough to pull over to take the photograph but as I framed up the kids all came running out from church.

These two stopped for a moment to watch me. Their gorgeous expressions, tagata ese; the frowns say it all.

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Streets of Seminyak

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I want to be on the road again.

Waking up early in a country I’ve never been to before. Walking the streets as they wake up, in the half-light of the early day, with the smell of smoke and flowers I don’t know rich in my nose.

As I walk I’m wondering whether I’m safe, if this is a good idea. I love pushing against that thought, challenging myself to explore. Feeling the raw edge of life and feeling as if I’m actually living.

For a few moments on the trip to Bali I escaped work – the constant sense of being with a group, of having to wait, to catch up to fit in – to go wandering by myself. This photograph isn’t pretty, its a reminder.

Post travel blues

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I’m sure I can’t be the only one that experiences the post travel blues? Do you know what I mean? That sense of boredom or the overwhelming feeling that right now your life isn’t enough?

Thursday morning I landed back at Auckland – 4 hours sleep on the direct flight from Bali did not magically get rid of any lag I was feeling – and decided it was a day to sleep and eat. Friday and Saturday I worked. Saturday night dinner out with friends (yay look at me having a steady social life and all that). Half way though today (Sunday) and I’m wishing I was on the road again.

I’ve had two major let downs with getting back home. 1: It’s currently winter in NZ. The weather is definitely not helping me out here and I’m missing the gorgeous warmth of Seminyak. 2: My partner is currently overseas with his own work so I don’t have him here to annoy.

So how to beat the blues? Here are my top tips!

  1. Make home somewhere you love to come back to. This is a really interesting concept for me and something that has taken me a long time to figure out. I had a defining moment when I brought my first car. From then it was a matter of have wheels will travel. I was working hard to save for my first house but I always made sure I had money for a tank of gas. Once I had moved into said house I was always off on adventures. For the longest time it’s seemed that anywhere is better than home. Now, funnily enough, renting  in a city I’m not entirely sure I love in a house that I can’t renovate or remodel, I’ve found a certain sense of peace in where I live. I know when I walk in through the door that this is where I belong. And I believe the reason why belongs in the little things.

    For example, in Bali there were lots of swimming pools but none of the hotel rooms we stayed in had baths. The moment I was alone in my home again, I had a bath running.

    I feel like it’s in the little rituals you set up as part of your home life too. Do you buy yourself fresh cut flowers? Curl up on the sofa with your favourite blanket and a good book? Or is it sipping a coffee as you look out over your favourite vista?

  2. Plan your next holiday so that you have something to look forwards to. Even over the last couple of years where the ultimate goal has been saving rather than spending, we’ve still travelled. Whether it was for work or fun knowing when you are next off exploring or heading to the airport helps relieve the post travel blues.

    This doesn’t have to be a big trip overseas that blows the budget. This winter my partner has done a half marathon at the start of each month. Rather than staying with friends or family, we’ve booked hotel rooms (pet friendly of course) and have had lovely mini breaks. The budgeting/saving habit has been hard to break, but these little holidays have improved our quality of life immensely.

    For me, another fun part of knowing where I’m off to next is researching where I’m off too. I just can’t stand not knowing at least a little bit about where I’m travelling to, the countries history, traditions and where I need to visit. With our trip to Europe in December I’ve already got some decent “sightseeing” lists, but it’s that kind of trip. By being organised, I’m saving myself a lot of money and I’ll make better use of my time while I’m away.

  3. Have an adventure! I’m yet to find a town where there is absolutely nothing to do, however even living in New Zealand, a travellers dream, sometimes we forget what an amazing country we live in. I went through a bit of a dark spot last year where I found myself spending far too much time at home and even the dog had cabin fever. I took a good hard look at myself, loaded the dog into the car and set off in search of adventure. We ended up about 2 hours from home at a beautiful hiking spot and it completely turned my winter around. Now, when I get home and realise I’m getting bored and frustrated with life, I think about what I can do locally. When was the last time you went to the local botanical gardens? Or went out to see a movie? When was the last time you tried a new restaurant or coffee shop?

    If that’s sounding too easy and uninspiring, challenge yourself. Write a list of as many things to do in your area (within 100kms) for less than $50 per person? How many have you done?

  4. Wear yourself out: AKA the fallback position. This is a bit of a last resort for me but it’s a great option for miserable days where you don’t really want to go out or if you are trying to save money. It’s just not necessarily the most pleasant. I’m not a super tidy person so for me, if I’m trying to wear myself out with busy work, I usually just pick a room in the house and clean in from top to bottom. When I’ve finished, I either move on to the next room or switch to something I’m procrastinating about. Often I’ll set my alarm on my phone and do half hour “missions” until my “to do” list is considerably shorter and the house smells like bleach.

I know that last one isn’t for everyone, but it really does help me! What do you do when you’ve got the “post-travel blues?”

 

Modernisation

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Kualar Lumpur, Malaysia

We were on an Urban Adventure foodie tour through Kualar Lumpur when I spotted this old beauty. She looked stubborn, refusing to move despite or in spite of the development crowding in around her. A traditional Malay house that had been spared. Surrounded by skyscrapers.

Looking into the photo just to the left of the house was an unfinished stretch of motorway soaring well above her roof top. High above you can see the ongoing construction works where you’d expect to see the sky.

They say of so many cities now “oh, it’s a mix of modernity and tradition” but when you see it so starkly, don’t you wonder at what cost?

 

Home

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A golden moment as the sun sets down behind the pine tress across the road. Have to giggle to my self a little as my partner walks in while I’m editing “where are those trees?” and I have to wonder whether it’s easier to explain, or just pull the curtain and point.

Who's A Pretty Boy?

A gorgeous Crimson Rosella coming in for a closer look! Hand feed these bright birds at O’Reilly’s in the Lamington National Park – Queensland – Australia.

One of those days

One of those days, 

When you feel like all the photographs have already been taken, 

Where each path that ever converged has been thoroughly explored, 

Each beach has been visited by commercial fishermen, 

Where every waterway is polluted. 

One of those days, 

When you’re glad the mists cover the hills, 

So you don’t have to see the machines working them, 

Where a rainbow in the city just makes you sad, 

Because the biggest storm can’t wash it all away. 

One of those days, 

When microadventures feel like a good idea, 

Where you want to follow the twisting tarmac, 

Even though you already know, 

What you’ll find at the end of the road. 

Laughing at Myself

Ah, how the mighty have fallen. 

Before I started this post I re-read my last post, about how I was working regular hours, loving my life and my job and exercising as well as writing blog posts on a regular basis. 

We’ve just moved again. So two moves since I last wrote. I’m now living in a house I absolutely love, doing a job that completely fills up all my day and working on making new friendships and a new life in a completely random town. 

I’m not in control of my life at all really. There is no more exercising daily (and yet I’ve dropped the 5kgs that I’ve been struggling to move for the last 6 months), I have a kitchen with an oven and big old cupboards and I’m able to bake my own bread, make my own gnocci and roast a chicken when I feel like it. It’s almost bliss all on its own. 

Best of all the wild dog is happy; that makes me happy all by itself. When he gets home from work he tears upstairs, out the door and on to his own back yard where he bounces (there really is no other word for it) around being a complete nut case and happy as could be. 

Unfortunately my blogs and my photography have slipped. They’re still an all encompassing passion, I’ve just literally got to find the time to do it. Plus my stress levels are back through the roof. 

What’s a girl to do? Maybe take some of my own advice? Yeah right!

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