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When It All Begins To Feel Normal!!

In the Beginning

Back in school I was the epitome of nerd, I loved school, was president of the Wildlife club, in choir, participated in the speech and drama festival and if that wasn’t enough was Head Library Prefect/Monitor. In fact, I actually won a trophy for service to the school in my final year. As a result I was bullied and suffered low self esteem. Thinking back most of my fellow classmates, and the teachers too in fact, would most likely have expected me to be married and settled fairly soon after graduating or completing college. After being accepted into the Horticulture program at Natal Technical College it seemed like that was a likely path. However, Fate had other ideas by giving us the opportunity to immigrate to the USA.

Alter Egos

Four years at Oregon State University ended with a 2 month trip to the UK. I believe this was around the time my alter ego began to emerge. For years I had had a plan, to find a good job in the environmental field and… well… save the world… But suddenly I was starting to explore the world… and so my organized responsible side now had a sister, the world wide traveler…. 3 years teaching English in South Korea fed that alter ego with numerous trips around Asia.

My alter ego allowed me to feel free and more confident while abroad and seemed to thrive among different cultures and fascinating history.

On the contrary, my responsible side followed society expectations and parents always feel more comfortable when their kids have a good job and are settled.

However, social situations still made me uncomfortable and my inability to come to terms with my dual personalities constantly made me feel guilty about traveling and yet stressed over not taking the opportunity to explore more.

Sanity

Lucky for me I have a great friend, mentor and fellow traveler. He always seems to be online in my darkest hours, when I feel like a stranger in my “responsible” job, and… when I decide to buy a ticket to somewhere new. (I can help anyone else buy a ticket but when it’s my turn I am completely indecisive). If I owed him a beer for every time he has calmed my fears over letting down my responsible side I would most likely owe him an entire brewery. It is his advice that has kept me sane year after year, and as others have got used to the idea that I don’t necessarily fit any mold and they can live vicariously through me, they too have begun to keep me sane.

When It All Begins To Feel Normal!!

This past year has really been a turning point for me. For years people looked at me as this confident world traveler but inside I remained that bullied library prefect, and my two egos were constantly at odds. But, at the encouragement of amazing friends and my parents, I completed my PADI Dive Instructor course in Thailand last July. The moment I was told I had passed I cried, became weak at the knees, and said “does this finally make me cool??”. I don’t think I had ever realized just how much I had been affected by those long ago bullies, how I still considered myself as always that “nerd who won a trophy for service to the school”… my confidence began to grow…

Then, while at a hostel in Bangkok, fellow travelers, many abroad for the first time, seemed to be drawn to me asking my advice of where to go and what to see, and surprised when they mentioned a destination I had not yet been to… and my confidence grew…

Returning home, I decided to return to the cruise ships for another contract, and instead of feeling embarrassed about working on a cruise ship, a job many would think a joke, I found myself confidently stating the fact, “I am a social hostess on a cruise ship in Europe”. Never once was I faced with a sneer, but rather genuine interest and envy… and my confidence grew…

I am not exactly certain when I came to terms with the fact that travel is who I am, at least for now, when it all just became normal for me and everyone around me… But for now it has… I feel at peace and most importantly confident… that is until I need to pack for this upcoming contract….. 😉

Dedicated to my amazingly patient parents, my phenomenal travel guru mentor and fantastic friends who have believed in me all this time …. I think I may finally have begun believing in myself!!!

 

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Where to go

Here is some background:
I was meant to volunteer in Sri Lanka and had my ticket sorted when it all fell through. Now I have to decide on my plan. The ticket cost $130 (US), it is non refundable and you can’t change location, only dates. There have been reports of some unsteadyness in Sri Lanka.
So my options are as follows:
I fly from NZ to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from there I can fly to Sri Lanka and then onto Nepal, or I can fly straight to Nepal and increase my stay in Malaysia. The tickets to Nepal from either place is the same. I really want to go to Nepal and am leaning that way. But tell me what you think…

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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To Cut or Not To Cut…. That is the question!

So my latest dilemma in planning my trip is the length of my hair. Yes I know to some this might seem trivial but to those of us who have long hair and have had short hair there are pro’s and con’s to both lengths.

So here is the list, all opinions are welcome:

Long hair – or hair long enough to put in pony tail or braids

Pro’s
1- You are able to pull it up into a pony tail
2- You can where braids
3- You can pull it completely off your face and neck
4- If you go out you can have an evening look
5- You can make dreadlocks

Con’s
1- You shed
2- It takes more time to brush
3- It takes more time and soap to wash
4- You have the threat of dreads
5- Sometimes its annoying to have a mane in hot weather
6- More likely the monkeys at the refuge can grab a handful
7- Being on the shorter side long hair is not always the right look for me

Short hair – or hair that is too short to pull off your face

Pro’s
1- For me the cute factor is rather flattering
2- I wear a lot of head bands so can pull the hair away from my face
3- Less likely to dread
4- Easier to wash and uses less soap
5- Is off your neck and you have no need of hair ties
6- You shed less

Con’s
1- Often have stray strands that fall in your face
2- Wearing a headband can be too hot
3- You can’t throw it in a pony tail or braids

Decisions, decisions! But short of going bald and wearing a wigs there is really no way to have the best of both worlds. While discussing this important topic at work one of the vets did put in his two cents. He simply said, while rubbing his bald head, “when I went to work in Sumatra I had a pony tail!” So I guess that would be the other possibility, go there with long hair and hack it all off if needed.

What do you all think?

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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