New Resolve

Oh Melbourne. How you haunt me so.

My southern hemisphere friends are posting pictures of beaches and bikinis. Glorious warm summer nights filled with food, wine and laughter.

I scroll through these pictures and am filled with an immense feeling of longing and loss, so strong that I frequently dream of Melbourne.

I dream of the friends that I have made, I dream of memories but last night I dreamt of leaving and I woke up feeling extremely sad.

I often wonder when this haunting will end. I am after all in London. There was a time when I would walk the streets and feel this bubble of pride that I was a Londoner and that I lived in such a glorious city.

Talking to a friend of mine, I had said that the ownership of feeling happy falls to me. I can chose to be sad about living back in London, or I could accept that, yes, it’s not quite what I wanted but there are so many good things about being back.

When I was travelling, most days that I had off, I would plan little trips to see things, or I would go for walks.

I’m not sure what it is about London, perhaps it’s because I’m a Londoner that I don’t make a conscious effort to try or explore new things. This is home.

But if I look through my travelers eyes, no doubt I would have already booked a small trip somewhere. I have friends all over the UK, there is nothing stopping me, money aside, from booking a cheap bus up north. Or going to a market, which is something that I’ve always enjoyed.  Why must my curiosity stop, just because I am now home?

The adjustment has been tricky, and I have spent many minutes thinking “If I was in Melbourne, what would I be doing now?”

But that’s not going to help me. If I continue the way that I am thinking, there is a huge chance that this time next year, I’ll look back and think “Damn, I wish I had done more”

My aim of 2015 is not to let that happen, and to explore, to still be curious.

In other news I’ve unfortunately been having tests on my liver. Something is wrong but the doctors are not sure what, and there is a high chance that it is related to my IBD. However, it’s all speculation at present, and I’ll update you once I have seen my Gastro. Joyous. I thought the IBD journey had finally come to some sort of close. Not to worry, I’ll keep on trucking, just like I always have done because IBD is a part of me, it does not define me.

I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and an even better start to the New Year.

Until next time, keep smiling.

 

Growing Pains

“One way or return?”

Only then did the tears begin to fall, in front of the bewildered gentleman at the sky bus kiosk.

“One way” I finally managed to say.

It wasn’t saying my goodbyes to people that started the tears, extremely hard as that had been, it was realising that I was getting a one way ticket to the airport, that I wasn’t coming back to Australia for a while, and that I was being torn apart from the life that I had carved out for myself.

Of course I could visit, that’s always an option but it’s not the same as living there.

I had found some incredible and inspiring people on my journey. I found this insane love for food, coffee and wine that I never really explored because I was so sick all the time. I found that I really enjoyed riding a bike, no matter how bad I was at it, but most importantly I found my health and I found me.

I’ve always been me, obviously, but through illness and operations I had lost a lot of myself. In Australia I got back to myself and then some; I had never felt more me than when I did in Melbourne. I wish I could explain to you what it was exactly, it could have been  because I was allowed the freedom to just be, with no back story or preconceived notions of my character. No one really knew me. Or it could have been that I felt I belonged there.

photo 1

Graffiti in Brunswick

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Rooftop view of Melbourne

Whatever it was, all I know is that I had never felt more comfortable and able to express myself.

It’s hard to give that up when you’re not ready to. It felt as though the Australian immigration was ripping a piece of my heart out, setting fire to it and stamping on it.

Totally dramatic, I am aware.

I know that I have made some life long friends and that those connections won’t disappear but its sad to know that I won’t be sitting at my kitchen table talking complete shit with my housemates. That I won’t be inviting people round for a cuppa and an in depth chat about life, or finding new places to have amazing breakfasts and an awesome cup of coffee.

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Grain salad at Touchwood where I used to work

Side note, Melbourne has taken breakfast to a while new level, I have never experienced anything like it – which is why my Instagram has been predominantly food based- Melbourne, you’ve set the bar which is simultaneously amazing and soul destroying.

So in September I left Melbourne to start a new adventure in Auckland. I was hopeful that it was the right thing to do. New Zealand after all is a beautiful country and I thought what I needed after Australia was a little bit of down time. Time to reconnect and get used to my “new” me.

A huge lesson was learnt in this, you can think and expect all you want, but you won’t know until you are there.

There where signs, when I spoke about Auckland to people I would say “If I don’t like it, I can always go home” “I’ll give it through the summer” “I have to give it a chance”

My heart was already telling me that it was going to be a struggle. I didn’t tell people “I’m really excited to go to Auckland and see what its like” “Maybe if Auckland doesn’t do it for me, I’ll go somewhere else in New Zealand”

I was already focusing on the negatives, which is most probably why, after 6 weeks in Auckland I felt the most insane relief when I booked my tickets home to London.

As beautiful as Auckland is, something just wasn’t sitting right. People gave me a weird look when I said that I was moving back so soon. Their replies of “But you never even gave it a chance” stung slightly because I know that I could certainly have given it longer.

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Auckland city

 

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Whites Beach, next to Piha

But when you know, you just know.

I felt at home in Melbourne within the first 2 weeks of being there. I didn’t have many friends, I didn’t have a stable place to live, but I just knew that I was meant to be there.

I don’t have even a hint of that in Auckland.

The next chapter of my life is insanely terrifying but extremely exciting. I have no idea what my next steps are. Sure I have a few avenues to explore, but it means that I get to have the time to figure out what it is that I want on a professional and personal level. I’m really looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and most importantly spending some quality time with my family.

I have really missed writing, and though I won’t go into the ins and outs of why I stopped or decided to continue again, I’m excited to be using the space once more.

 

 

Keep on going

Motivation.

Noun
The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.
The general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

What to do when this magical word evades you? I wish I had the answer. I’ve been a bit poorly recently, migraines, tummy pains and this weird thing where my arms and legs keep going numb/pins and needles.

A visit to the doctor is most definitely needed but when you’re a traveller with no stable address it can be a little tricky.

Continue reading…

Epiphanies on the toilet

Yes, you read that correctly.

I spend a lot of time in the toilet and as most of you know, the toilet is where I do the majority of my thinking. However this was a different kind of epiphany.

This time I was cleaning said toilet and I won’t lie, I was not happy.

Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do to get ahead in life. No, I am not talking about anything of a sexual nature, so get that out of your filthy mind 😉

I have spent the last two, nearly three years just putting up with things in the vain hope that things will indeed get better.

“It will be better after my second op, just need to hold out and I’ll be closer to my goal”

“It’s okay to be in a job I hate because soon I’ll be in Australia, I can just put up with it for now to save my money”

“I know its hard right now but things will be better in the future”

I have learnt the hard way, and its taken me a long time to get here, but it is not true.

Sure, you may have to put up with some crap initially, for example, I need to do three months regional work to extend my visa for another year. Three months of poopie work and I get to stay in Australia for longer. That’s fine, but when you’re constantly looking forward and thinking “Its okay I only have to put up with it for x amount of time” that’s when something is wrong.

So here I am in Australia, finally getting to the goal that I have wanted for so long and I thought things would be dandy.

WRONG.

A three year relationship came to a close. I used all the money I had to buy a car and then I crashed the car, had to borrow money for my insurance and had to move out of the place I was living because I couldn’t keep up with the rent.

People, life will unfold however it wants to and sometimes the shit just keeps on coming. You don’t know that things will be easier, or better, or happier in the future. You just have to live in the moment and keep yourself happy for that time.

No, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t save for that rainy day or be conscious of the things that you want in the future but dammit, I was on my hands and knees cleaning toilets and I just thought, this is enough.

My intention was to stay a the backpackers and work for my accommodation until I could get to bamboo land to finish my regional. It would mean that the little money I earned would go towards travels.

But in that toilet, as I scrubbed the bowl where someone had decided to take a poop and not clean up after themselves, I just snapped.

I can’t guarantee happiness in the future, the only way is to make myself happy in the moment, right now.

So I moved out and now I live with a lovely lady for the next month. In a proper bed, where I won’t be scared that someone is going to a) steal my stuff b) appear over me at 4 in the morning breathing heavily c) or clean up after messy, gross backpackers.

Which, whilst I’m on the subject. How is it that you can leave home, book flights, accommodation,  travel for months by yourself navigating a city and sometimes a language that you don’t know AND NOT CLEAN UP YOUR DISHES ONCE YOU HAVE USED THEM?

Do I look like your mother? How are you so handicapped that the process of cleaning dishes is foreign to you?

Oh I see, its because this isn’t your home and your mentality is that someone else will do it for you.

Well that someone is not me. Not any more!

So here’s to happiness peeps! May you strive to be the happiest you can be.

Much love

x

Am I fighting a loosing battle?

I will never forget the moment when I decided to travel to Australia.

My house mate and I were sitting outside of her room, on the floor of the landing. As a house hold, we all took to sitting in inappropriate places, the kitchen, the hallway, stairs, we’ve even had conversations whilst we were washing our feet in the bathtub, but that’s a story for another time.

I remember my friend saying how much she wanted to travel to Australia and I off handedly said that I would visit as I wanted to do a bit of travelling myself.

A light bulb moment was born and we decided that together we would travel Australia.

I had gone from wanting to travel for a few months to deciding to come out for a year, and all my energies went into making this happen.

Then I became sick and my travels were put on hold. It took me nearly 3 years from the date I actually decided that I was going to go to actually make it to Australia and in September 2012 I finally made that happen.

The road has not been easy. It has not only been a massive struggle to get here but at the moment, it seems its a massive struggle to stay.

Sometimes you need to know when you are fighting a loosing battle and right now I am not sure.

Is there a higher power trying to tell me that this is it? That its time to throw in the towel and stop fighting?

Or is the higher power throwing me these obstacles to test me, to see how much I really want it?

A few days before the crash happened I let it be known to my friend Luke that I would really like to stay here and was thinking about getting sponsored so I could live here. Then I had the crash and have pretty much lost all my money, and hope for that matter!

The easy option is to leave. To go home where my friends and family are, where my support system is and continue on with my life.

But I know that I won’t be happy if I do that. I haven’t finished travelling, I haven’t finished seeing Australia yet, I haven’t met all the people I am supposed to and I sure as hell haven’t had the experience I know I am meant to be having. I know in a few months I will really regret not sticking it out.

So for now I’m going to put in one last fight and see where it gets me. All I can do is enter each situation with an open heart, an open mind and allow life to unfold before me.

Trust that you are right where you are meant to be. That this moment is exactly how it should be.

Life Update

It’s been a while hasn’t it folks! I’m sorry for my lack of posting, I’ve been a tad busy. That and I had a bit of writers block.

Sure, I had ideas about posts but when it came to writing them, I’d look at the screen in fear, go to type and just draw blank.

I know, a cup of tea. That will sort me out nicely and I can get on writing the post.

One cup of tea later and the inspirational lightening bolt that I’m waiting to strike has eluded me.

Hm. Maybe tomorrow.

Before I know it, days have become weeks and I’m starting to feel frustrated.

I wrote a few posts but they just weren’t what I wanted to say and so I have decided to take a few steps back.

I used to love writing my blog because I would tell you all what I was doing with my life. It wasn’t just about having IBD and issues that arise with having it, it was about how I coped on a day to day basis with having IBD.

Some posts weren’t even related to IBD but I enjoyed writing about my life and so, that is what this post is about.

My life.

What am I doing at the moment?

Well I’m in a small town called Hervey Bay with a good friend of mine doing my regional work.

Regional work? To extend my visa for another year I have to do 3 months specified work in a certain area.

I, my friends, am working in a bamboo nursery! Day to day jobs include weeding, potting plants, moving plants and trying not to be ambushed by spiders and mozzies.

Today I found a small spider that jumped. Er, hello? As if Australia didn’t already have enough issues with their spiders, I have found one that jumps? What is with this country!!!

Being in a small town means I’m completely out of my comfort zone. Its pushing me to experience life in a different way and I am most definitely growing as a person.

Coming to Australia has been such an amazing experience for me already, I’m excited to see what the future holds.