Tag Archives: place

Change is the new black

This year has been a year of changes for me. One of realisations, discoveries and learnings.

I have realised the strangeness of my past and accepted those things I cannot change. Rather than dwelling on what was not, instead I am looking towards what can be in the future and how I can change the patterns of the past.

I have discovered strength in myself that I never knew I had, as well as several professional strengths that I sort of knew were always there. Clarity of, and confidence in, these strengths is what will lead me to my next adventure in the New Year.

I have learnt how to be flexible and change my approach. A different path forged can sometimes be lonely, but prioritising what is important to you helps lead the way.

I have realised the greatness of people around me once again. Conversation, human nature and the desire of the majority to be friendly, helpful and kind.

I have discovered the joy of a little growing person who I actually get a kick out of spending time with. Going to the movies, the zoo or just being at home.

I have learnt a new appreciation of the city I live in. Drinking, dining and boating on the harbour. Date nights, work outings and hanging with friends.

The biggest change has been the discovery of exercise. That’s right, you heard it here first, this non-gym goer now has a personal trainer and loves it!

This year has also been a year of domestic travel. Back on the wine trail in Tasmania, the Barossa and the Hunter Valley with good friends and my small family of three.

Next year I look forward to more of the same, plus hopefully more international travel to destinations unknown. I can’t wait to realise my own potential, discover the value of a mentor and learn more about other people and places.

I have definitely achieved my end of year goals from 2014 of trying to appreciate the little things and dream bigger about the big things, beyond even what I had thought was possible.

Yes, change has definitely been the new black for me in 2015 and may 2016 continue this exciting trend.

Catch you in the New Year, and as always, thanks for reading.

Disclaimer: I can’t take credit for the title of this week’s blog post, but it got your attention didn’t it?!

P.S Thanks to all the website owners that have published my 2015 travel tales from Barcelona, traveling with kids, Sri Lanka and closer to home.

Related posts: Work, work, work, To Belong, Having it all?, Reinvention, Sydney vs MelbourneNew beginnings, Nostalgia, Pride vs The fallPeople vs PlaceDiscovery,  It’s a Sri Lankan Thing, Kid at Heart, Dreams vs Reality, Happy Holidays 

Memory

Memory is a funny thing.

As a positive thinker, I usually only remember the good things about a place I’ve visited.

I forget the hours that we waited for a bus or how sore my feet got walking to a place, and just remember the wonderful monument that we saw when we got there or the cold drink that we consumed at the end of a walk.

The inconveniences that happened along the way become funny travel anecdotes that add humour to the story.

Perhaps there is a danger in always thinking the best of places. I often have to keep my expectations in check so as not to become disappointed with a return trip to a destination that I have visited before.

But almost always, the place is as good as I remember it to be and often better.

The times that it has not been so, is usually when key people have been missing. You know- the ones that made the place fun to begin with, or the people that were there for a pivotal time in your life.

Time and people can’t always be recreated, but a place can always be re visited, even if the place has changed. And this can prompt happy memories along with the creation of new memories with new people.

Maybe only remembering the positives is idealistic and blocking out all the bad stuff is bad for your mental health, especially if it all comes back later to haunt you. But I would rather remember the good times and the fabulous feeling of a place than be sad that time has moved on places have changed.

Returning to a place that I remember is like opening the first page on a book I’m re reading. I know the plot and the gist of the story, but I can’t remember the details and how I got to the end. I feel at ease, but enjoy discovering the little bits that make up the whole and discovering new journeys- kind of like a choose your own adventure book (children of the 80’s will remember those!).

At the end of the day, nobody can tarnish your memories unless you let them, except for yourself. They are your own personal memories and wouldn’t you rather have good ones?

Related posts: Nostalgia

People vs Place

Discovering new places is always a big drawcard for me when I am choosing where to go to next.

I try to go to a new place every year and love discovering new towns, cities and countries.

I have more places on my want to see list than I have seen, as my Pintrest boards will attest to.

There are the places that are higher in priority like Japan, Cambodia and going on an African safari. And those I know I won’t get to for a while like Portugal, Malta and seeing the Northern lights. Plus places I don’t even know exist yet that I want to see.

Then there are my favourite places that I always want to go back to like Paris, San Francisco and New York.

So, why do I keep going back to places I have already been?

To discover new areas in places I am familiar with of course; and have new experiences.

Wherever you go and no matter for how long, there is never enough time to fit everything in. I missed Mont St Michel when I went to France and Rio de Janeiro in South America; plus all the other places in America in other states than the ones I got to.

But a lot of the time, I find myself returning to places because of the people.

I am fortunate enough to have family and friends in a few of my favourite places- London, Vancouver and Barcelona. There are more in Belgium, Singapore and Sri Lanka; plus other areas of England, America and Canada. Even around Australia if I feel like a domestic trip.

Perhaps part of the reason they are my favourite places is because of the people and the unique experiences they have given me (as well as a reason to come back). They have shown me places that are not in the guidebook or on my to see list, but turned out to be the best fun.

Of course fun times eating, drinking and going out are much better if you have some local friends to guide you. And sometimes the fun in a place is just seeing the people you love in the place that they love.

And there are always those people that I met on a trip to a place that may inspire a trip to a new place. The unknown element is one of the great things about meeting people when you travel to new places.

So I guess the perfect scenario is a mixture of both place and people. Or even better, you can meet up with people in new places to both of you and all have a great new experience together.

Who’s up for it?

Related posts: It’s a Sri Lanka Thing, It’s a French Thing

It’s a Sri Lankan Thing

It’s the people, it’s the place.

Welcoming faces.

Tasty tropical mangosteens.

Unrivaled hospitality.

Old colonial leftover hotels with kamikaze cocktails.

The locals love for children.

The lethargic heat.

Respect for the ferocity of the sea.

Whitewashed walls and stupa’s.

Joy and jubilation mixed with enthusiasm.

Busy bustling markets.

An easy going attitude.

Short eats and orange Kandos chocolate.

The way that everyone wants to do something for you.

The cool breeze and beautiful clear blue water of the Indian ocean.

The acceptance of the foreigner.

A peaceful temple oasis in the busy city.

Where the locals go.

Their willingness to go above and beyond.

Members only clubs.

The genuine wish to make your trip better.

Homemade margarita’s and little girls dresses.

Their sense of humour and camaraderie after years gone by.

A fortress by the sea.

Polite service staff.

Fancy restaurants in renovated dutch hospitals.

Their persistence and patience.

Orderly school children walking in a line.

Dining on the beach with the added danger of the strong swirling currents of high tide rising.

A Rastafarian brothers greeting.

Listening to the crashing waves as you drift off to sleep.

Early morning exercisers and sunset surfers.

Palm trees aplenty.

The familiar tune of green sleeves as the bread seller passes by.

Friendly tuk tuk drivers.

The largest roti in the world made while you wait.

The elephant on the side of the road and the monkey on your balcony.

Crashing waterfalls.

Dogs with a death wish daring elaborately decorated trucks.

Windy climbing roads.

Their craziness about cricket.

Hillsides of tea above rocky rivers.

Tranquility, peace and quiet.

Flower sellers following you up and down mountains for a sale.

Showing me what is not in the guide book.

Speciality hand rolled white tea.

Cooling afternoon rains

Egg hoppers and fresh coconut sambol.

A private tea taste testing.

That Singaporean couple we bumped into 3 times before we finally exchanged details.

Stone crafted to look like wood.

Drinking out of coconuts.

Dizzy display of Kandian dancing.

150 Buddha’s in a cave.

Feeding an elephant and then watching the herd bathe.

Seafood platters and long island ice teas.

It’s all this and more.

Thanks to all my family in Sri Lanka for making my family trip a delight. Hope to see you all again sooner rather than later.

Related posts: Sri Lanka, 1998, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, 1994 , What’s your obsession

The NEW Amazing Race Australia

The new Amazing Race Australia premiered last month and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on this season.

As you know, I am a fan of the American Amazing Race. I love the travel around different countries in the world- seeing places I have been to and places I would like to go. I also like watching the silly contestants not even knowing how to pronounce the name of a country, let alone where it is.

I actually wanted to enter in the Amazing Race Australia myself, but was told by my peers that they would never let me in as I had travelled too much. It’s true that naïve travellers make the show.

This season on Amazing Race Australia, they are pitting Australian teams against New Zealand teams in an age old grudge match between us and them. The series even opened with a tug of war between the two countries. I wonder if the rest of the world is aware of this country rivalry?

I thought it was good that they went to Christchurch in New Zealand as the city has been devastated by earthquakes and is going through recovery and revitalisation. Thay are also going to really cool places like Africa and Russia.

But I thought that the sheep challenge in New Zealand, the Thai massage in Thailand and the Russian dancing in Russia were all a bit cliché. And making a fire as one of the challenges is very Survivor.

I like the funny Australian colloquialisms like “shot at the title”, “aura faffery” and “team Lorna Jane”. I wonder if watchers around the rest of the world will get them?

We are half way through, and the teams are continuing to make several rookie mistakes:

  • Checking in luggage
  • Not reading the whole clue
  • Giving up too early
  • Not buying a map
  • Helping other teams
  • Not waking up on time
  • Using an express pass too early and before giving away your second express pass
  • Being at the wrong bus terminal
  • Running past the clue box
  • Fighting with your team mate
  • Not finding the clue, not reading the clue, missing something really simple and then not back tracking straight away to fix it.

Tiredness also seemed to be getting to the contestants in the very early days by episode two.

My wish pick  just for pure niceness alone are the Foster Parents- Cat and Jesse. I don’t think anyone deserves to win more.

However, I suspect the winners will be Team Jesus- Dan and Ryan- they may not be the physically strongest team like Best Mates- John and Murray- but they are definitely smarter. Team Jesus are also cool under pressure making them the team to beat, but it could be a close battle towards the end as Best Mates are very competitive.

A final thought- you can never pick your cab drivers and sometimes, that’s all the difference between winning and losing in the final leg.

Stay tuned…

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