Category Archives: The Recesses of My Mind

They say not to let your mind wander, for it is too small a creature to be out and about on its own…. I explore my inner thoughts in these posts.

Upcoming: a jaunt around the world

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The UK in February!

I still can’t quite accept the fact that I am leaving sunny Australia for a few weeks to experience winter in the northern hemisphere for the first time in three years ….

Yet, it will be worth bundling up and braving the cold as I am venturing to the other side of the world to visit my family. I cannot wait to see my Mom and sister, and catch up over a pint! (Well, in my little sister’s case, a tall glass of Coca-Cola will have to suffice. She’s the only one in the family that I know of who can pass a pub without going in.)

Ohana

Ohana: all of us crammed into the tourist trap that is a New York City pedicab.

I’ll see you soon!

Reflections on “goodbye”

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Ripple effect

Photo courtesy Google Images

When traveling, people often make a sudden splash, and the ripple effect continues long after parting ways ….

People come into my life for three days, two weeks, four months, one year — I never really know for how long and I’ve learned to anticipate short stays — and we share an adventure or commiserate over failings that have led us to a particular place.

To be honest, some people I have met on the road are as short lived as a May fly — just a conversation on a ferry, a plane or a bus ride. Yet, they shared a remarkable story from their life or some magical pearl of wisdom fell from their lips, and I’ve locked these precious bits away in my heart for safe keeping.

Every once and awhile, I do look back and wonder why I have crossed paths with certain people. And I always find they appeared when I needed something. I needed a new piece of the “life puzzle.” I needed a shoulder to cry on, a lesson, inspiration or a good laugh. And I suppose that maybe I gave them something in return even if I will never know what it was.

Saying goodbye to these “splashy” people is always bittersweet because the adventure we’ve shared is over. And while goodbye is often just “see you later” in disguise in the traveling world, sometimes, and usually you know when this will happen, people who have left a mark on your heart slip back into the chaos just as mysteriously as they emerged, never to be seen again.

Still, the ripples go on. And the things I have learned continue to shape who I am as I move forward.

* I always prefer to say “see you later” as life is beautifully unpredictable.

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After an amazing journey from Darwin to Alice Springs, I have said fond farewells to new friends who I hope to meet again someday. For now, I return to Byron Bay to jump back into “normal life” in paradise.

Of “Fooluru” and life lessons

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Fooluru

Mount Conner

Perspective, perspective, perspective.

The practical applications are endless ….

I find it funny how often we deceive ourselves with stories we create about events, people, and places; these narratives are always shaded by our own perceptions and experiences making them tricky by default.

For example: upon approaching a massive rock in the Red Centre, my heart flutters with glee — I have finally made it to Uluru!

Wrong.

There is more than one hunk of rock in the desert, and I am immediately embarrassed when I discover the one pictured above is commonly known as “Fooluru” due to its frequently mistaken identity. So, how could I and so many others make this mistake?

Well, I know in my mind, I built up Uluru as the only significant rock/landmark for vast distances. It’s the iconic image pictured on travel brochures and a highlight everyone buzzes about in passing, thus it’s not difficult to see how perception can be skewed. While this proves to be another occasion to laugh at my own silliness, it is a simple commentary on what we do every single day. The stories we create are often more complex, however, and sometimes we get trapped in them for better or worse ….

While a “good” story is a good story, who wants to be taken in by the Foolurus or give up on dreams because of false narratives with demons too powerful to slay or distances too far to reach?

And so next time, I will challenge the narrative my mind has created — perspective defined in my book.

Welcome to Alice Springs!

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Alice Springs, oh Alice Springs —

Not quite what I expected, though I can’t be sure what it was I had pictured before landing in this small town. Desolate red earth, cowboys, saloons, and horses? Another strange and anachronistic image conjured from pure lack of information.

Referred to as the gateway to Uluru, Alice Springs, for me, is a brief stopping place before continuing to this iconic destination I have dreamed about visiting for longer than I care to admit ….

With an evening free, it’s also an opportunity to catch another sunset. So, I march up a hill recommended by the hostel for this purpose.

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And here we have it. I’m stood on a hill. Waiting. Waiting for intense color to draw across the sky.

These are the moments I catch myself reflecting on “my old life.”

Sometimes I feel close to those days. Upon leaving the States, I didn’t exactly morph into a carefree butterfly or a majestic macaw. I will never be far from the daily struggles — procuring food, clothing, shelter, and striving for social acceptance — which characterize survival.

Yet, I have left the “rat race” in so far as I am no longer worried about climbing the career ladder to earn more money to get a bigger house, or a better car, or designer shoes.

And inevitably, there is no richness in this pursuit.

I am aware now that these will never be the things I wish I had sought. I will never wish I had spent more time chained to a desk, or more time living alone in a three bedroom house, or more time wearing ridiculously expensive and stylish heels that hurt my feet ….

Curiously, there are other times I find I can hardly remember that life.

A life spent pursuing “upgrades.” Waiting for the day when some invisible force would finally grant the charmed and exciting reality that always seemed possible yet somehow just out of reach. A life where everything would be perfect and potentially gilded in gold ….

And then one day I stopped waiting.

And on that day I started living.

I chose now.

I chose the world.

And while I always feel like I could be doing more, that fuzzy sense of what life could be is now reality.

It’s not perfect or gilded.

But it is charmed. And exciting.

It is with this knowledge that I am propelled forward as I endeavor to take in Uluru, King’s Canyon, Kata Tjuta and all the magic each moment offers.