Tag Archives: philosophy

When travel and terror collide

www.travelola.orgBack in October 2002, two bombs went off in the midst of Kuta nightlife, killing 202 people, many of whome were travellers enjoying a bit of social time in Bali. Ten years on, survivors have returned to Indonesia to remember those who died in the blast.

I’ve met a few people on my travels who document their journeys, but often, like me, their writing focuses on foreign intrigue, on misunderstandings, on the quirks of being out of your comfort zone. Some travel writing goes deep and addresses the big ones, but so much stuff out there seems to only skim the surface of cultures and countries that would more than likely require a lifetime to properly understand.

And now as my own written journey looks to leave South America once again, I can’t help but think how fortunate I was during my travels throughout Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. No muggings, no violence, no hold-ups. South America, many people warned me, was still a highly dangerous place to visit, particularly as a solo female traveller. For some reason, I was undeterred, and I refused to buy into the scaremongering.

And South America showed me her beautiful sides, her warmth, generosity and a little dash of chaos. People opened their doors to me, invited me to socials, looked after me when I was sick and alone. And they encouraged me to keep an open mind and heart. I did at times feel uneasy, there were a few moments of military interrogation that shook me up, and in some places there were guys in the street shadows bearing batons. But no dramas for me, thankfully.

But of course not everyone is so lucky, I appreciate that. When I heard about the recent kidnapping of two tourists on the Ecuador-Colombia border, I stopped in my tracks. One of the captured women was my age. The girls were doing the same Cuyabeno jungle tour that I had done back in October 2011. And they described wading through the same mud that I vividly recall.

It could easily have been me. Not that that’s the point, but rather it made me reflect on travelling and timing, on coincidence and luck. These girls did nothing different to what I would have done. It’s not as though they could have been more savvy about the situation, unless you suggest that they should never have visited Ecuador in the first place (and the idea of never leaving ones home comforts out of fear would surely only serve to narrow our views on the world, to close off to different cultures and people? No, please don’t go there.). The girls were released, evidently traumatised, but alive.

Ecuador with its varied terrain and climate and wildlife remains my favourite South American country to travel in. This news won’t discourage me from going back, but it might make me more aware, more alert. Not that that would necessarily make a difference, though. The girls, having been through such an ordeal, may well feel very differently. I’d be curious to know whether it has affected their entire perception of the country.

Because how can such an event not impact on your entire psyche? On your attitude? Different people, I guess, will find different coping mechanisms for traumatic travel stories, ones that hopefully won’t quash their zest for adventure.

Returning to Bali in 2012, one girl who has worked towards finding some solace in the aftermath of the bombings is Hanabeth Luke.

In January 2012 I temporarily put down my backpack in New South Wales, Australia where I met Hanabeth, – a surf chick tomboy mixed with a good dash of feminine quirk and a twist of British. During chats I discovered that she was writing a book, something to do with the upcoming ten year anniversary of the Bali attacks, but I didn’t pry. It seemed too sensitive a subject for strangers.

As time has passed I’ve learnt more, although I’ve undoubtedly learnt more about the spirit of Hanabeth than the event itself. Being in the now is where we’ve been at, in some way as important as remembering. But I will read her book, and I will try to understand what surviving the Bali bomb feels like, what losing a love actually means. Right now it is beyond my comprehension.

The people returning to the place of the 2002 Bali bombings have had ten years now to try to make sense of what happened, ten years to grieve and reach some level of acceptance. I can’t imagine the process ever stops, and that for different people there will be different ways of working through the pain. Writing one’s journey, for example.


Filed under activity & sport, culture, dancing, ecuador, health, indonesia, random, solo travel, south america, south east asia, surf

13 ways to be childish


Kids playing in the plaza in Pucara

I met Adele* whilst she was beating a bug out of her system in Sucre, stole her friend when she left for Cochabamba and met back up with her in La Paz for some partying. Like me, she’d left behind her entire life to throw caution to the wind and see what life and travelling had to offer.

Unlike me, though, she was having a little panic about her upcoming birthday. And she wasn’t the first person I’d met who was worrying about the big 3-0.

For me, being 30 has been an incredible year, a real rollercoaster of emotions and experiences that have let me reconnect with what matters to me. My philosophy is that every year I get older, the happier I get.

How so? I am more comfortable in myself, I know myself better, I’m more confident to say no to things, I’m more open to life.

And I care a whole lot less about what people think about me. Too much of my life I’ve tried to adapt to be how I think other people want me to be; so much effort gone into appeasing others and losing myself into a falsity. So yeah, I’m not scared. Bring on the ageing process.

But! Not at the expense of immaturity and silliness!

Travelling has taught me to reconnect a bit with my inner child. Not necessarily in some intense hippy way but more just reminding me: don’t take things too seriously.

During my travels in the last year I’ve helped out and hung out with toddlers in Sucre, volunteered at a school literacy fair, stayed with a young family in Australia, taken bus journeys with teenagers in Bolivia and sat in amongst a smiley school group on their way to Galapagos. These are some of the times where kids have reminded me how to live. Untouched by the trials and tribulations of life, they cut through all of the bulls***t and live life openly and honestly.

When you feel some adult heaviness creeping in, I invite you to try one or more of the following:

  1. When with a group of friends, chatter and giggle and whatever you do, don’t stop. Occasionally stick out your tongue or pull the other person’s hair or ear. They won’t be annoyed (if they too are subscribing to this childish therapy, or are indeed a child).
  2. Lie on the floor and just stare at the ceiling. Maybe hum to yourself, if you feel like it.
  3. Be affectionate with friends. If you like someone, hold hands and cuddle them. Simple.
  4. When you get up off the floor, put your hands in front of you, lean a little forward and lift your bum up first. Your hands and feet should both stay in contact with the ground. This doubles up as yoga practise.
  5. Put on some silly music and dance around, flailing your arms, bouncing on your legs, waving your hands and shaking your head. Don’t think about it, just feel it and let go. Completely.
  6. When on public transport, really enjoy it. Whoop and scream if you hit a turbulent spot in an airplane. Similarly, when taking off and landing, let your excitement spill out. Verbally and physically. When on a bus, clamber over the person next to you to look out of the window at the moon. Be fascinated by the little streaks of water slithering across the pane and follow them with your fingers, leaving smudges on the glass.
  7. Smell everything, including the clouds and sky. When people ask you what it actually smells like, come up with something obscure or silly. ‘Poo’ normally hits the mark.
  8. Stamp your feet and stick out your lip when you’re annoyed. Forget why you stamped your feet when you’re easily distracted by a passing airplane.
  9. Run to the window and wave frantically at airplanes.
  10. Be brutally honest. If, for example, someone makes silly voices in an effort to make you laugh, just go for it and say ‘Finola, you’re really funny… and weird’.
  11. If you don’t get your own way, lie face down and bash the floor with clenched fists. Check someone is watching you and if not, move to a spot and repeat where someone can take note.
  12. Blow raspberries and pull silly faces. At strangers is usually more fun.
  13. Finally, melt an adult with tired openness and affection. ‘Nola?’ ‘Yep?’ ‘Nola, I love you’.

*name changed to protect identity


Filed under australia, bolivia, ecuador, oceania, peru, random, south america, volunteering

Rock my world

I can never fully get my head around the connotations of ‘being someone’s rock’, whether it is a good thing or not. It sounds, to me, like it should be a compliment (‘he’s my rock’, ‘solid as a rock’), signifying security, sturdiness, strength.

But, I do wonder would I really want a rock in my life? Wouldn’t a bird be more fun and free? Or a grain of sand that drifts along on a burst of wind, forms new landscapes but is then blasted off again before any permanence can take place? Wouldn’t it stop me feeling weighted down?

Maybe it’s my own restless nature that drives these thoughts, my own inability to feel grounded and solid like a rock. But whilst strength is an attribute I can relate to, security and sturdiness smack of a bit of boringness to me.

On Day 3 of the Uyuni tour, however, I would encounter rocks that would make me rethink by being anything but boring. I love being challenged.

Bring it on.

It was gone 09:00am on a brisk April day when we stopped off at a collection of rocks jutting out awkwardly and obviously on an otherwise flat desert landscape. A few jeeps clustered at one end but the main rush of tourists had long left to do border drop-offs.

Not having any of our tour group transiting on to Chile bought us a couple of hours sleep-in, something my altitude tired body was seriously grateful for. The double beauty of this situation was that we also now didn’t have to share this rock garden with anyone else. Nearly.


Still busy despite rush hour being over

We climbed and clambered, photographed and peered through corroded spy holes. Shapes had emerged from these hunks of rocks, delicate curves and smooth edges, precipices of chiselled stone, all created by nature’s craftsmanship.


The rock garden




Guys go for the climb


Girls on top


A rock tree

These soft stones, I realised, were in a constant state of change and would keep adapting until the last formation gave way to a crumbly disintegration, the final fragments joining other grains of sand in a desert sea, free to go with the flow of the whispering wind.

Who knows what timescale we’re talking about, but these ‘solid’ rocks were creating beauty, movement and stories; changing and adapting. They certainly weren’t ‘stuck’. They were, I realised, just stopping momentarily on a much bigger journey.

Later in the day the desert roadsides became increasingly strewn with sharp-edged rocks, density increasing until we finally stopped by the Valley of the Rocks.


Walking in to Valley of the Rocks

Created by volcano lava flow, the rocks here are tougher – individually and as a group – chunked together, stocky things with the odd touch of elegance thrown in to soften the overall visual impact.


Entering the Valley of the Rocks


Rock waves


Valley of the Rocks


Hanging out at Valley of the Rocks


Beautiful, crazy rock formations

And then I encountered the stone that sealed the deal.

Just before we left the Valley of the Rocks, Gonzalo, our guide, showed the group a rock on which grew yalreita*, a fuzzy, dry growth of green with a mossy appearance. Yalreita, Gonzalo told us, grew over years and decades until it died off. In death it became drier still. Locals sought it out, carried home hunks of the flammable cast-off and used it to fuel fires and keep some Bolivian cold at bay.


I love this rock!


Yalreita growth giving warmth to the masses

So a stone that provides an environment that gives life to a plant that gives warmth to humans? Rocks are far more complex than I first thought.

Maybe being called ‘solid as a rock’ or someone’s rock isn’t so bad after all (not that I can claim to ever having had those comments directed at me). For the time being, I’ll be my own rock. I feel pretty grounded in myself, just not settled in a certain place. As it turns out, complexity and solidity don’t have to be exclusive and being a rock, I realise, definitely doesn’t have to mean stuck and boring.

And when I’m ready to be rock steady, I’m sure I’ll be able to be solid and settled for someone else too.


*I’ve tried to research yalreita but with no success. If anyone has any further insight or an alternative plant name, I’d love to hear from you and correct this post.


Filed under activity & sport, bolivia, nature, south america, tours

In Search of Adventure Abroad and Community at Home: Thoughts on Being a Vagabond

An interesting discussion from another adventuring nomad who raises some points to which I can totally relate.

The Perpetual Vagabond

I am a vagabond; that much is clear to me. But I am also drawn to building creative and meaningful community at home. This makes me feel torn on a near constant basis and the process of fuzing these two realities together seems to be more alchemy than a hard science. At least I have yet to discover the secret. It seems that the life of a vagabond is lonely and isolated from stability, while filled with adventure and personal growth; while life in community is repetitive and predictable, but gives the opportunity to know others and a place intimately. Now these two realities are not necessarily mutually exclusive, or even reflective of what I describe above, but for me it feels this way. And of course while traveling I dream of my life at home and while at home I can’t stop thinking of getting back into the unknown.

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Filed under guest posts, random, solo travel, travel

How to piss off historians

I don’t really care too much for archaeological sites and museum full of excavated relics. In all fairness, it’s probably ignorance, although I also think it’s a lot to do with the lack of interactivity. I like to do stuff, not just see things.

But I was staying two and a half hours from Santa Cruz in the little Bolivian town of Samaipata where their top attraction was the nearby historical site of El Fuerte (The Fortress). To bypass the whole shebang would be wrong.

But first: a trip to the Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas y Antropológicas in Samaipata itself where I paid 50Bs. (US$7.29 / £4.50) for joint entry to the museum and the site.

The curator unlocked door after door for me to reveal rooms full of cased cultural artefacts dating from 200-1550AD. Fragrance burners, double handled bowls with faces, drinking vessels used for rituals and a host of ornaments didn’t hold my attention for long. I’m sorry. I really tried to study the pieces, read the accompanying plaques, appreciate the handiwork but overall it was only marginally more interesting than I anticipated.

Am I really just a product of the push buttons, flashy lights and visuals generation? Or is that too easy a cop-out? I want to be interested, I want to discover, I want to learn. So why wasn’t I in love with this experience?

The film screening, again to a solo audience of me, was thankfully subtitled (any curious information in the museum was written in Spanish where I could just about pick out the odd comment but missed the flow of discussion and full meaning).

The film was actually pretty interesting, outlining El Fuerte’s strategic position between Asunción, Paraguay and Lima, Peru, and talking through the different occupations of the site from the Chané people of the Amazonian time through to the Incas and the invading Spaniards.

But it was still a lot of watching and listening and I wanted to be doing.

(Okay, I confess. In truth I was glad to gain a basic understanding before seeing the actual ruins. And actually, I only wish that I’d had a guide with me to translate and retell the stories of the various museum pieces).

I hoped, then, that the site itself would inspire some history love in me. Positioned 8km east of Samaipata, UNESCO certainly thinks El Fuerte is worth the hype having awarded it with World Heritage Site status back in 1998.

Time to get strapped into well-worn walking shoes, hike the rugged hill and find out why the place is so popular.


Filed under bolivia, culture, museums, south america

Travel tired after eight months? Happy to keep going?


Waiting for the bus back home? I don’t think so. Not just yet.

There’ll come a point where you’ll just want to stop’, said my friend Jim. I was chatting to him about another friend who had hit the travel tired moment that most backpackers experience at some point, if not at many points.

I had taken time out of whizzing around South America and New Zealand to be based up in Byron Bay, Australia for just over a month. This in itself was a bit of a challenge after an otherwise very nomadic lifestyle with different places and beds every few nights.

Whilst it was wonderful to unpack my bag, hang out with people that knew me and meet a new group of fun, active and interesting people, I knew I hadn’t yet hit that point of wanting to stop. I was thirsty to return to South America and continue my journey there.

The language, the culture and the simpler approach to life over in South America all somehow felt more comfortable and welcoming to me than the gloss and riches of developed nations. Luckily for me, my ticket was easily reversed so rather than continue on to Asia or stay in Australia, I headed back across the Pacific and landed in Brazil to continue my South American adventuring.

But I’d be lying if I said I haven’t hit travel tired moments. During one of the lows I decided to bring together experiences – mine and others – and put together an article of sorts. You can read it here.


Filed under australia, brazil, new zealand, random, south america, travel

Favela tourism. Really?

Rocinha favela Rio de Janeiro 2010

Slum tourism, poverty tourism, poorism, call it what you like. Gaining in popularity, it´s an area of travel that is debated regularly, a topic that is complex and full of emotive response.

On my way in and out of Rio de Janeiro I drove past many, many favelas. Some just looked like rundown villages, nothing unusual when I compared them, for example, to places in Peru. Apart from this is Brazil, rich in resources, rich financially (Brazil, for example, overtook the UK economy in 2011). But whilst Brazil may well be developing at quite a rate, the disparity between rich and poor is still very apparent, both financially and healthwise. And many millions of people still live in extreme poverty.

By definition a settlement of jerry-built shacks lying on the outskirts of a Brazilian city, slums and favelas are realities of developing countries, neighbourhoods where the most desperate fringes of society try to survive life by whatever means necessary whilst living in cramped, cobbled together set-ups rife with feuding and criminality.

Various movies including City of God and Slumdog Millionaire have drawn the world’s attention to the harsh realities of favela and slum life and have been said to encourage ‘slum tourism’, much to the disgust of many.  Rio de Janeiro is visibly tapping into this trend with hostels in the city inviting middle-class travellers to spectate at favela football matches, take favela tours, go to favela parties. Favela hostels are also starting to make an appearance.

But how appropriate is it really to make favelas into a tourist attraction? And why the intrigue? Do we really need to see extreme poverty, taste a little danger in order to feel better about ourselves? Is it not voyeuristic and intrusive and a little sick to want to observe and capture other people´s misery? Is it not disrespectful?

Can slum tourism, however, actually be a good thing?

If you learn something about a different way of life, if it makes you more tolerant and understanding of other people, then that´s obviously a positive, and if your money gets to the right people and isn´t hijacked by the criminals and drug lords who run some of the slums, then maybe there is some good that can come out of all of this. Exotic Tours, for example, suggest that ´Your visit will help a local school.´ The idea of creating employment for the local community is undoubtedly another upside to favela tourism with companies such as Favela Adventures claiming to be run ´100% by residents in the favela of Rocinha´.

I´ve read so many different reports on favela tours and have a number of conflicting feelings about the whole debate. I didn´t take a tour or attend the eardrum bursting parties. For now, it didn´t appeal, didn´t feel right.

Slum tourism, poverty tourism, poorism, call it what you like. But please, don’t romanticise it.


Filed under brazil, culture, random, south america

9 reasons why solo travel is great


Enjoying the solo wanderings

To me, really travelling solo is not when you latch on to a group or another person (although this inevitably happens when travelling alone, and often it’s great, sometimes just convenient) but rather when you travel and experience things solely by yourself, whether that be climbing a mountain, watching the sun set or crossing borders.

For many people the idea of true solo travel is a real challenge because we’re not used to our own company. It can make us uncomfortable; bring about too much thinking time; make you face yourself and your fears alone. But wow, once you step beyond that, there are a whole host of reasons why you should give solo travelling a go. At least once.

  1. You can go where you want, when you want. This is probably one of the biggest reasons people like to travel solo: not to have any restrictions on one’s route, destination or timescale. If you truly stick to solo travel then sure, it can work, but moments when you meet up with others quickly brings in the need for some compromise. It’s about balancing your needs, I guess. After a lot of time travelling alone, I’m now looking forward to doing some travelling with others again. But it’s on my terms. If I get along with some people, then great, we’ll travel together. If not, I’m happier by myself.
  2. With no interruptions, you can really be in the moment. When you travel with others, you spend a considerable amount of time looking at them and listening to them whilst you chat and do whatever it is you’re doing. When you’re by yourself, you have no distractions and can really enter into the moment and fully observe the sounds, smells, sights as well as and other people’s social interactions. I really experienced this when I was in Plaza Foch in Quito after I’d been tipped off about a flash mob dance. I heard excited chatter and the music suddenly kick-in, I saw people prickling in anticipation, I watched smiles spread across faces, and I felt the surge of the crowd. Would I have been so fully in the moment if I was with others? I don’t think I could have been.
  3. It’s a better way to meet other people. Think about it. There’s a small group of friends or a couple at the next table. They look like they’re close and having loads of fun. How likely are you to join them? Or there’s a solo traveller propped up at the bar leafing through a guide, occasionally looking up and chatting to the barman. More approachable?  The majority of us do want to share time and space with people. That person is probably more open to meeting others, to chatting to strangers. So yes, travelling by yourself makes it easier for others to approach you, and easier for you to approach others. Is anyone sitting here? So where are you heading? Easy peasy.
  4. It’s easier to arrange things last minute, whether that be tours, bus tickets or hostel rooms. When there’s just you to think about, you can be totally flexible and fit in with whatever is available. It can also mean cheaper deals.
  5. Your self-confidence will improve. You learn to put yourself out there. In Raglan, New Zealand I was walking home from a night out with some friends when I heard some music and spotted a little gathering on the beach so I wandered over and crashed the party. They didn’t mind at all. I met some lovely people. Never saw them again but it didn’t matter. It was a fun night. In Byron Bay I invited myself along to some surfing sessions with someone I hitched with, he introduced me to some of his friends and as a result my time spent there was even more social and local. Grab opportunities and don’t be shy. It’s key. And it then becomes natural to talk to strangers and access things you might never have otherwise come across.
  6. You’re less likely to be put off of doing random stuff. I know for sure that if I had been travelling with some friends, particularly male friends, the idea of belly dancing would have been met with an absolute ‘no’. Because I was travelling alone, when the opportunity arose, I just went for it without being persuaded otherwise by anyone else. I felt a bit silly, of course, but had such fun too.
  7. You feel an immense sense of achievement. When I left South America for the first time, I thought ‘yep, I got on a plane by myself, turned up in Quito with little idea of what I was going to do and managed to safely survive over three months of crazy bus journeys and random experiences’. Not everything was solo, but a lot of the big stuff was and I managed it alone just fine. It felt great. On a smaller scale, climbing up to the Virgin Mary statue in Baños, Ecuador after a weakening bout of parasites also felt like an achievement. Had other people been there to gee me along, it would have undoubtedly felt different. In a bad physical state, my mental strength pushed me onwards and upwards. And again, it felt good. I guess it’s the sense of not needing to rely on others.
  8. It gives you the space to think and deal with your chatter. Find me someone who doesn’t have the odd niggle, self-doubt or emotional baggage to sift through. I want to know their secret. Most of us have some stuff that we push to the deepest recesses of our mind whilst we’re busy getting on with normal life, but every now and then something triggers a thought or a memory and we realise that there’s some unfinished business. Time by yourself can give you the breathing space to confront some of that crap. It’s not like it’s a good thing to keep lugging it around through life. (Too much time lost in your thoughts, however, might just drive you mad.) I remember one moment walking along a section of the Inca Trail in Peru where I went on ahead of the group to give myself that space. The beauty of the place and the physical action of walking all helped me to process some stuff. And I could let it go. Result.
  9. It’s great catch up time. Time travelling alone is the perfect time to do whatever it is that you’ve been putting off forever. When I’m travelling by myself I feast on books and movies that I’ve been meaning to get around to in ages. I write in my diary, update my blog and put together articles. And sometimes I write letters.

And a few reasons why travelling alone isn’t such a sweet option? There is no one special to share and remember those moments with, no one to care for you when you’re sick, hitchhiking is more dangerous, going to the toilet with your backpack is a bit of a chore and, particularly as a female, you may get approached by some right weirdos.

Overall, I love to share experiences with other people and I can get pretty flat when I’m too isolated. But equally, I value moments by myself. It keeps me sane, helps me to feel balanced, gives me space to think about and question what’s important to me and whether I’m on the right path.

At some point in your life, if you haven’t already, give it a go.


Filed under health, random, solo travel, travel

Travelling and living in the now

Cover of "The Power of Now: A Guide to Sp...
Not my usual choice, this found me.

I met a guy at a sober yet beautifully random gathering in Byron Bay. Let’s call him Paul (he was a bit freaked out that he might feature on my blog, so let’s cloud him in a pseudonym and all will be well). I asked Paul where he was from. ‘I’m from….,’ and then he stopped. ‘You know, it doesn’t really matter’, he said, ‘I’m here. I’m interested in the now, not the past. It’s so long ago. Who cares?

I looked at Paul. With his long, curly hair and tight, bright blue leggings, he cut an intriguing figure. He had a rock musician’s face, one that placed him anywhere between twenty and thirty. He was fascinating and elusive with an air of experience, and now here he was, waxing lyrical about being in the now.

Strangely enough, a few days earlier I had finished a book – To Kill a Mockingbird (I’m keen to finally catch up on some cults and classics) – and my friend gave me two follow up options: Einstein for Beginners or The Power of Now. Neither offered fictional escapism or elegant discourse, but maybe, as when Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist made an appearance a few months back, these options turned up at precisely the right time in my journey. I started on the Power of Now.

When you’re travelling, you could argue that you have nothing but the now: new friends, new experiences, new places, often on a daily basis. Life is full and varied; last week feels like an eon ago. It’s easy to forget ‘back home’, easy to lose contact with people who matter, not because you don’t care but because you are living in the here and now, drinking up these new experiences.

But I had stopped for a little while, stepped off of the backpacker trail, taken a month out of travelling, so to speak. I was staying a five minute walk away from a stunning stretch of beach. I was meeting some lovely people, and finding time to write and relax and look for work. I was attempting something similar to normal life again, but then my mind started to play tricks on me.

Wouldn’t my friends in England be hanging out together at cosy open-mic nights around the licking flames of a pub fire? Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to do that again. I missed them. Didn’t I meet some fantastic people in South America? What are they doing now? I missed some of them too. Maybe I could meet up with them again? I thought about the point of my own journey. What shall I do next? I wanted to plan something, to get excited about the next step, because stopping felt strange. I would look over photos from my sister’s wedding, from my travels, of times with my ex, and I would think: yeah, they were some good times. Past, future, past, future.

And then it was time to re-enter the now. Paul and Eckhart Tolle showed me the way. I had tickets lined up for my next travels, so let that be. I had people to potentially meet up with in the next few months, so let that be too. Unlike Paul, I do care about my past. People and experiences have helped me to grow and become who I am today. Similarly, I do care about the future. To me, the future is about hope and potential. But now it was time to shift focus. Time to enjoy my surroundings and the hot, sticky Australian heat with the sweet relief of regular heavy rainfall. Time to smile and talk and laugh and dance with strangers who may or may not become friends. Time to run on the beach and surf in warm waters and ride a bike with the wind in my hair. Time to just be. The time is now.


Filed under australia, beaches, culture, random, travel