Homeward frown

And just like that, my journey home was before me. The only peculiar thing was I wasn’t going home. For those who knew me, this was actually nothing unusual. I was just as good at extending trips as I was at going on them in the first place. The art of life procrastination and travel maximisation.

Ironically, the days before I was originally flying home I no longer felt the pull to travel. 8 weeks on the road had left me tired. My senses were over stimulated. I was over making new friends each day. Over moving. Why was my backpack so full? And my toiletry bag, don’t get me started on that. I was going to throw it all out I kept telling myself, yet my shopping seemed to have the opposite effect.

I’d spent 4 days on the spectacularly beautiful Amalfi Coast. Sleeping in. Lazing about. Lying on the couch at the hostel. Lying on the beach. Willing myself to be more motivated to explore, yet mostly just motivated to try my next pasta dish.

I’d been away for two months, yet no epic travel romance has taken place. I now rolled my eyes at couples passionately making out on the beach. Didn’t they know I was trying to enjoy my lone wandering time and they were cramping my view? Did he actually just take off her bikini top?!!!

And since when was everyone in hostels like so young? And irksome? Had I gotten old without realising it? And did this mean I should perhaps throw in the travel towel? I’d had a good run. 50 countries. Perhaps it was time for the next phase. How did one go about getting a Swedish husband?

Moving to Sweden, now there was an original idea! Or Berlin. Or just go h o m e… For some reason going home never quite excited me as much as I wish it did.

I’d have to decide what exactly it was I was doing with my life. Whether to keep pursuing the film industry. Or something more creative? Writing? A business? And where to base myself for the near future? Auckland? Australia? Or further abroad?

And faced with the prospect of so many big questions was precisely when the next leg of my trip got exciting. I needed more time.

I began to research fervently and with extra care. Looking for hostels not just reviewed by the 18-24 age bracket. Two 25-31 year old Swedish men had stayed there in the last week? Very interesting.

My new itinerary was relatively slow and comparatively unambitious. Three counties, one month. 3-4 days most stops. 3-4 hours travel between places only. Plenty of time to take in the new sights and the sounds. Laze in cafes, meander about and contemplate life.

My budget was €1000 for one month. Easy for those parts I was told. Shopping was officially banned. Deluxe ensuite small dorms a thing of the past. Private rooms out of the question. The much loved Balkans were back in the game.

My last trip before I snapped out of Peter Pan syndrome and grew up! (Although that’s what I told myself before every travel adventure) but yolo’n my way through my 20s had served me well thus far.

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Why travel?

My brother recently said to me, “Kesha, only young and single people travel — and you are now neither”

This kinda threw me and my pending solo trip to Colombia. Maybe my spinstering 27 year old self should settle down and get a nice white picket fence. But the very thought of this, at this moment in time, has me and my backpack fleeing for distant lands.

Is travel a form of escapism? What drives this incessant desire to travel? Am I merely making the most of opportunities while my life is still flexible? And as my brother so eloquently put it, if I’m always beach hopping with cocktails why not just do it at home?

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more” Pico Iyer

Savai'i, Samoa

Savai’i, Samoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For me travel is primarily driven by a desire for the unknown. The lead up is often as fun as the experience itself. I hire mountains of library books, and scour travel forums. I obsessively read about places and dream of the endless possibilities.

Yet once I’m there all my planning goes out the window. I like to soak up the atmosphere, and follow my nose and stomach. My curiosity is stimulated. I have nowhere to be but here — and I like that.

And there’s the people you meet. They are always so refreshing. Inspired by life. People discontent with the 9-5, success, and the picket fence. People who dream and yearn for more. These are my people. The dreamers, the soulful and the adventurers.

I can feel so at home on the road, soaking up new stimuli that sometimes I find it hard to return home. I become despondent and restless. But the true art of travelling is to take the experiences, the dreams, the lessons and integrate them back into your world at home. Then travel is not escapism, but a means to enrich our lives.

I love this quote:

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end” Pico Iyer

Here’s 27 other reasons to travel. You may even spy my photo featured in the mix.

http://www.gossipviews.com/33922/27-reasons-you-have-the-urge-to-hit-the-road/

kesha

kick the bucket

I’m not really a fan of the term Bucket List. I am into a bit of carpe diem and the so called wanderlust.

Call me a dreamer. Here’s my list of future endeavors…

https://keshafay.wordpress.com/le-bucket/

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the gal who’ll decide where to go.

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It came without ribbons….

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ‘till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?
— Dr. Seuss

ryangosling

The disappointment of the after

I’m talking about post school camp syndrome. The strange feeling of nothingness after an intense period of busyness or excitement.

When you finally stop. And breathe. And then you get bored.

I’m not sure this happens to all people. Maybe I just have deep psychological issues. It’s quite possible.

This is something I’ve always struggled with. Post travel. Post film jobs. Post school camp. Especially post travel.

Is it possible to live in a suspended reality where we moved from one excitement to the other? Never stopping and facing the reality of normality?

To live in a world of excitement, and entertainment, and people, and spontaneity — saturated in new experiences. Perpetual freshness.

Maybe my biggest fear is the known and the mundane.

But would this all lose it’s appeal? Would such an existence become a form of escapism and  devoid of meaning?

unnamed

Meet my friend Narcissus

Caravaggio's Narcissus

Caravaggio’s Narcissus

Narcissism goes way back to Grecian times, when we made stone sculptures to immortalise ourselves. As the Greek myth went, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, and died of grief as he refused to eat, drink or leave his own reflection*

Rather sad, gotta feel for the poor guy. I’m sure we all can relate to feelings of thirst, hunger and unrequited love. If self-love hasn’t lead to death you probably thinking you’re winning, but times are changing.

Today Narcissism is defined as excessive admiration of one’s physical appearance with a craving for admiration**

In our modern world of online media, I can’t help but feel the line between narcissism and self-expression have blurred.

We all know at least one chronic Facebook user. We cringe and groan in annoyance as they clutter our news feed with a never ending stream of selfies and posts.

Since upgrading to an iPhone, my love of photography has grown threefold. I like to post photos to Instagram and Facebook. I would argue this is a form of self-expression.

I like to capture beauty, I like to capture fun happenings, and I like to keep any selfies to a minimum.

I did have a lapse in self-restraint last week after a visit to the hair dressers. My shameless selfie received a whopping 68 likes and 27 comments.

This has got to be my greatest number of likes in recent times. Even bigger than me meeting Orlando Bloom. I find this rather perplexing. People should be discouraging narcissistic behaviour, not encouraging it.

And do such postings mean I am subconsciously craving admiration and affirmation from the masses? Or is it harmless to share my curly mass of hair gone straight once in a blue moon?

I haven’t died of starvation staring at myself in the mirror just yet, so I may be okay. But it definitely leaves me with a lot of room for thought — I just have to hope that the room doesn’t contain a rather large mirror.

*http://www.echo.me.uk/legend.htm

**http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/narcissism

Betwixt and between

Betwixt and between, neither one nor the other; in a middle or an unresolved position.

Such is my predicament. I’m a film professional attempting to work in an industry currently suffering because our NZ dollar is too high.

I’ve always escaped reality at such points in time by travelling, but it seems work is a prerequisite to travelling. Damn money. And damn the universe too, it’s been really letting me down this year.

But I’m not letting the door that’s forever swinging shut in my face unhinge me. Instead I’ve thoroughly grounded myself watching shows like HBO’s Girls and TVNZ’s Go Girls where the characters are “real” people, like me!

These characters epitomise the quarter life crisis. They too fear feelings of limbo, selling out and being something they’re not. I watch them and I get warm fuzzies, maybe it’s not just me perpetually in the land of in between.

In between jobs. In between travel. In between where I was, and where I want to be. Floating through this strange thing we call life, unwilling to settle, yet dissatisfied to float. Stuck in a paradox of sorts…

Having been told by countless friends and family, that I should stop wasting my “time and talents” and “get a real job” I still find myself unable to drop the bone. Whether it’s the fear of commitment to the 9-5, or merely the pursuit of the unattainable, the illusion is yet to fade.

And so, taking advantage of my perhaps too flexible lifestyle, I’ve temporarily relocated myself to our lovely capital Wellington. The dream of frolicking with Hobbits and Elves was real, yet short-lived.

I’ve now sold out and am doing a stint temping for the Government. And I’m not even in the Beehive!

But, I live in a beachfront demi-mansion with 4 men. I’ve taken up cooking, long beach walks and Instagram. I can’t remember the last time I felt so happy.

And so the eternal idealist has become optimistic again.