On Going to India

20160119_122445-02Well, a little while ago the Fedex man arrived with our passports complete with our tourist visas to India. This means it’s finally real. It means my husband and I will definitely be going to India in February and I can barely express my relief. I cannot wait to board a plane and lean my head against my husband’s shoulder while we decide which in-flight movie to watch together. I can’t wait to race through the airport in a rush to make our connecting flight in Ethiopia. I can’t wait to land in Mumbai and meet our first tour guide. I can’t wait to arrive at our first hotel and flop down on the bed for a minute before indulging in a shower and getting ready to start our adventure.

It’s silly, perhaps. These trips my husband and I have committed to taking. It’s only our second so far, of course, but we are hoping to make travel a regular occurrence. I always feel the need to justify this though. I always want to explain that yes we are not wealthy people, but travelling is so important to us which is possibly a ridiculous notion since in truth what we decide to do with our lives is irrelevant to anyone but us. Perhaps it is the small town girl in me still tries to steel herself against harsh judgements and gossip. How dare we do such a thing for ourselves! 

But then I realise: we are wealthy. Because we have the option of choosing to travel over choosing to purchase more material things like new cars or fancy toys or working towards owning our own home. We are able to live frugally on one salary while the other admittedly small salary can be saved for travel – albeit budget travel.

So instead of paying mind to judgements and subtle condemnations of my parenting, and instead of allowing my own guilt to berate me for choosing what I can only describe as a balm to soothe the many cracks in this otherwise hard life, I am going to indulge in this happiness. And I am somehow going to teach myself to focus on the happy stuff more often than I do the not-so-happy stuff. Because my God life is long, and the happy stuff at least helps to speed it up a little.

To my husband Ty….I can’t wait to go on this adventure with you. Thank you for being the kind of partner that has helped to make travel a reality. Thank you for being on my side and by my side and thank you for being such an amazing travel partner. I love you so damn much!

 

Spicy Love & Christmas Wishes

20151124_195645In the spirit of trying to not always be too political for the sake of extended family members who are starting to find me terrifying (*giggle*) I thought that I could talk about food today. Yay! Food…

My folks have a lovely lady from India staying with them at the moment. She’s been shadowing my dad and learning a bit more about how the Herbalifers on this side of the world do things at The Rink Street Wellness Club. I have loved having her around here. It’s always so 20151124_193714great having long conversations with people from different countries. There’s something extra special about it.

Of course, as happens to all of us when we find ourselves in foreign lands, our guest is struggling a little with the food that is completely different to what she is accustomed to. I, in turn, convinced my folks to take her to one of my favourite places to eat in Port Elizabeth: Raasoie. I then crashed their party because: Raasoie.

I love the way you get to eat in this place and I can’t help but think that I wish we could skip the whole rah-rah-rubbish of the usual Christmas fanfare which includes tons of work and even more mess and just hang out at Raasoie for the day. We could hang out around a huge table with bowls of korma and tikka masala and paneer and and and…yum… And then they have these awesome little table fire pit thingies that you use to cook your own kebabs on. I love this sort of social style of eating. Little bits and pieces all over the place. No stress just a lot of happiness and flavour. (more…)

Springing Forward

Photo on 2015-09-01 at 9.14 PMI had one “plan” for Spring Day today: see if my razor is capable of navigating through the forrest that I have been growing all over my body. Of course, that didn’t happen because it’s too damn cold today and I’m pretty sure all that fuzz is actually keeping me warmer than usual. Instead of the evening with my usual – tv/ipadding/tea – I found myself on Google, investigating costs for trips – sans tv! I reckon it’s time to plan a new adventure, even if I can’t take it anytime soon. I imagine that it is in all the not planning that all these things that we want to happen don’t. If that doesn’t sound particularly profound it is because it isn’t. And yet? Well…and yet the plans are hardly ever made because we’re always waiting for one bloody thing or another. Bugger it. My head is too buzzy for waiting. And so I’m making plans and checking out hotel prices and silly things like that.

But  even though I’m in the very dreamy stages of planning right now, what I want to know is:

Where are the weird places to go? The quaint and quirky and wonderful?

Where is the most interesting place you have ever been?

I’m thinking of Prague.

I’m thinking of Cambodia.

I’m thinking of Bhutan.

I’m thinking of Nepal.

I’m thinking of Colombia.

I’m thinking of Italy.

I’m thinking of Iceland.

Where are you thinking of?

Colourful Evenings

untitledA bizarre turn of events lead to the husband and I going out on Saturday night. I suppose for most there is nothing unusual about that, but to be honest I have been slowly slipping into extreme hermithood of late (thanks, but no, I don’t need “fixing”) so a bout of spontaneity, prompted by yours truly no less, can be considered quite miraculous. I kept seeing an event popup on my FB feed that told me that a bunch of my friends were going to “Dessa – Live in Concert“. Of course I had no idea who that was so I YouTubed her and discovered that she has kind of cool music. The event was free (this counts as something because we could not be more broke) so we figured we might as well go. We could, after all, skip dinner and afford a beer or two.

I am SO glad we did it. Being the hermit that I am I hadn’t actually been to Chapel Street Studios before and I couldn’t have been more delighted by the vibe of the place. It’s weird I guess but I walked in and immediately was “happy” to be there. This doesn’t happen to me a lot. I used to blame this on myself being uptight, which I am, but the thing is that I tend to be exceptionally sensitive to energy. Some energy flows with you though, like you’re floating in a calm sea, bobbing up and down as gentle waves move towards the shore. Other energies bash up against you, the suffocate you, they drag you down to the ocean bed and twirl you around a couple of times before they let you even think  about which way could possibly be up. On Saturday night, Chapel Street Studios  had a with you energy. It was pretty damn lovely.

We were treated to a bunch of incredible local performance artists (forgive me for not remembering any names – I had a bit too much wine – it was cheap) as well as the beautiful and enigmatic Dessa, from Minneapolis and all-in-all we just had a great evening. The event was put together by Creative X (if I’m not mistaken – forgive me if I am) and I must admit I am very curious to find out more about what they do. They seem to have gathered around them this beautiful sense of community, and with it a positivity that is electric. And my favourite part? There was enough colour in that room to paint a canvas. And maybe I just usually hang out in all the wrong places, but I found that kind of special. I looked around that room and thought, “this is how my heart knows South Africa to be”.

And the lesson? There are like-minded people out there. I won’t find them in the comments section of media outlets on Facebook. But they are in my back yard. Live in the flesh. And that’s fucking awesome.

Wanderlusting

DSCN8551I’m currently on a bit of a road trip through the Western Cape with my husband. We like to do this for ourselves from time to time. At the moment we’re a bit broke, but it was our anniversary on the third and I guess sometimes love needs to trump questionable bank accounts. As much as I adore being in my home (anyone who knows me well knows that I tend towards being a bit of a hermit sometimes) I do admit that combatting cabin fever becomes a delicate balancing act, which is best performed by leaving our fair city behind. These little road trips have healing powers. They have restorative powers. And to be a little too honest: they have marriage saving powers!

So my husband and I are road tripping, and we’ve been to an array of strange places over the last week. Letting my husband take control of the planning has lead to far stranger experiences than if I had been in charge. His relaxed approach to life is certainly more conducive to adventure than my uptight and systematic need for control is. Again, you see: balance. Last week we stayed in a tepee. This is a decidedly un-South African way to spend the night, of course, but it was a new experience nonetheless, and new experiences are the point. We even got to have the strange experience of stumbling upon a (possibly) biker bar in the middle of Prince Alfred’s Pass where the owner had a stuffed springbuck’s hind quarters set up on the wall (instead of a traditional hunting trophy head) and if that wasn’t bizarre enough, he had, for reason’s known only to the infinite cosmos, rigged it up so that whisky could be tapped from the poor creature’s lady bits. I learned of myself that evening that I am quite the prude and that there are some authentic experiences that I am happy to skip out on. The indignity of it all still haunts me, days later.

After the night of strange taxidermy and authentic American tenting, we spent the night on a lovely farm that is completely off the grid. This of course excited Ty no end because he just wants to live off the grid. Having a proper off-the-grid experience was a nice reminder of the possibility of it all.

We’ve actually been having a lovely time. We’ve driven through farm after farm. We’ve admired exquisite protea bushes and gasped at the beauty of the wine lands and marvelled at the brownness of the Cederburg area. I’ve taken a thousand photographs of clouds. And all the while I have been reminding myself: we are nothing without our farmers. These folks who make this all happen are our unsung heroes. We should thank them more often. I can barely grow tomatoes in my veggie garden, never mind feed a whole country.

And yet…there is something that is missing…

Please don’t get me wrong. I love our country. Our country is beautiful and magnificent and we probably have the best weather in the whole world. We have this beautiful diversity, which makes me smile. We have great food. We have our odd colloquialisms and our specific brand of humour. I love all of those things. And I miss them when I go away.

But when you’re road tripping in your own country you never really properly feel like you have left home. You never experience that exquisite spark of fear that is brought about by being faced with the unknown. You never get to stand still for a moment, look around you and tell yourself, “I have absolutely no idea where I am”. I must admit, I am addicted to that feeling.

I tried to tell myself the other day that I need to stop having lofty and impossible dreams about trips overseas that I cannot afford. I should just be quietly content to explore my own country. Exploring my own country is doable. But my other self only started to laugh at me. Because as much as I do love exploring the wonders of right here, my other self knows that there is something far more empowering about that feeling of not knowing where you are. Of feeling un-findable. Of being no one in the midst of everyone.

If you’ve ever read The Alchemist you might have noticed that there is a quote by Madonna on the back. It says “The Alchemist is a book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find on our own doorstep.” To me this is a gross misinterpretation of the book. To me, The Alchemist is about how you should seek out adventure despite the fact that everything you need might be on your doorstep.

My own interpretation of the story sticks with me and causes my mind to scheme constantly. It is why, even though I am not wealthy, I have begun to stick small amounts of money away in a “flight fund”. And it is why I am constantly on websites like webjet checking out what it costs to fly where. Because it is important to know these things. It is important to know that if you don’t get yourself the latest iPhone, you could actually afford to purchase a ticket to Vietnam. It is important to know that if you save x amount of money for y amount of months that you could give yourself a trip to Prague.

Because you know what? As healing and restorative and marriage-saving as a road trip through the country might be, a plane ticket to anywhere holds within it a thousand times more power. And yes, everything I need might be on my doorstep, but the world outside of my doorstep is calling me. And I will keep checking on those ticket prices. I will keep working out how much to save. And soon I’ll be on a plane again.

 

 

Loving the Elephants

candyAfter seeing a post from the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force on how a whole bunch of elephant babies have been taken from their mothers and sold to zoos in China, I once again find myself thinking heavily about these giant but often gentle creatures.

When I was in Thailand in 2013 I was lucky enough to stay at a pretty swanky hotel in Laguna beach. I went along as my bother’s “plus one” on the Herbalife holiday that he had qualified for. Every day, after breakfast, the most beautiful elephant called Candy, came to visit the patrons of the hotel. She was such a gorgeous creature, and despite me having a broken knee at the time and therefore being very limited in my mobility, I played happily with this baby elephant and never felt endangered by her. ellieHer owner was a sweet man as well, and after being horrified by the sight of those bullhooks that they use on the elephants when we went elephant riding, I was exceptionally happy to see that this man did not carry one. Candy, it seemed, was quite happy to follow him around like a puppy without intimidation. At least no visible intimidation. It seems silly, but to me she seemed like a happy thing. And she was cuddly and loving and she seemed to really enjoy the attention she was getting. I was completely mesmerised by her.

Last year when I went back to Thailand with my husband we skipped the elephant riding. I had enjoyed meeting those elephants before, but I  kind of felt like I knew better. I had since learned about how elephants are broken in order to be useful as workers. As much as I can appreciate that it is simply part of how a culture different to mine does things, I still cannot help but find the thought unsettling. Those bullhooks are especially good at making me feel a bit nauseous.

Just before we left Phuket, however, we ended up doing a quick (and cheap) tour of a few last minute places. If I remember correctly there were two lookouts and a trip to a big Buddha (there are so many big ones!) and there was an orchid farm (ie: three orchids hanging fro ma wire with one flower between them) and a baby elephant petting session.

Well, this baby elephant broke my heart. She didn’t want to be there. She was anchored with a chain around her ankle which was not long enough for her to move at all. I remember wondering if the concrete she was standing on might not be burning the soles of her feet. She was nothing like Candy. She was sad. And meeting her broke my heart. I realised then that it was possible that Herbalife might have made sure that the elephant that visited us at The Outrigger was well taken care of (they do strange “little things” like that – though please note that this is an assumption on my behalf) in a non-cruel manner. I so wanted to hug this baby, but she didn’t want me to so I did not even try. Instead I placed my hand on her forehead and whispered “I am so sorry” in her ear, hoping that if nothing else her instincts might sense the deep regret I felt for her state of life.

I don’t think I am one who puts the welfare of animals before the welfare of people. I understand that one of the biggest heartbreaking truths of the world is that so many humans’ livelihoods depend on the exploitation of animals. It is how children are fed. It is heartbreaking. Take the abused little elephant chained to the ground away, and it is possible that several people will go go hungry. It sucks.

It makes all the sense in the world that people who care, in general, care more about animals than they do humans, but it seems to me that the only way to save the animals is to save the humans as well. How? Of course I have no idea.

It is easy to bemoan the idea of Zimbabwean baby elephants being shipped off to China without their mothers. It is easy because it is bloody awful. But is it possible that the exploitation itself is an act of desperation in a desperate country?

And the same can be said for Thailand. The exploitation of these animals feeds children. It’s not ok, but it is the reason. Headway is being made as far as Thai elephants are concerned and that is wonderful news(see below). But I cannot help but wonder what happens to all the people who have been using these animals to feed themselves. IS there someone helping them? Is there an organization showing them how to feed their families without selling interaction with these creatures in the streets?

 

Dear friends and all animal lovers. I would like to update you about some positive animal news here in Thailand. On December 26th, 2014, the Thai government has passed the first law to protect animals, in which the animal including elephant will now be protected. It has been a long time for the animal rights group that work and join hands together to fight for years and many governments.
For more than a decade, we have gathered groups to protest for animal law in Thailand; we have held too many demonstrations in front of the government house , and government officials over and over to voice and get the law to protect the animal. Our organisation has gathered many hundreds of thousands of signatures from people all around the world to help to voice for the animal and elephant , especially the street begging elephant.
It is now your voice that we can hear , even if the law has not yet reached what ever we want , but for the first start and first step in Thailand , it is still good news and we can see the future for the animal.
About the elephant: from now, Street begging is illegal, including who ever supports to buy or give money, you will be implicated in an infraction of animal law in Thailand.
Old elephant , pregnant , handicapped and sick elephants cannot be used to service tourists any more . If any of you see any animal get abused, you can complain to the authority of Thailand. I will update you regarding the details and address soon when the law begins to take effect within this year.
I would like to thank all friends, and animal organisations in Thailand who joined hands together to work in the last couple of years. Special thanks to the braveheart woman, Khun NuNa Silpa-archa, and her background supporters, who walk through the big wall and make the law success. With her strong heart and love to the animal she stood with us to fight for the animal. Thanks to all friends and supporters and Elephant Ambassadors from all around the world for your voices and your education to others . Your voice can make the difference and victory to the animal . Never give up !
Darrick Thomson Lek Chailert, Alan Ourworldnottheirs

On Staying and Going and Thinkery Things

DSCN2424I’m too zen. It’s weird. I’m not usually “ok”. I’m pretty much usually a mess. Lately I’m ok though. Obviously there must be something wrong…

(I’m kidding: yoga, better eating and a little meditation have gone a long way. I’m allowed to make awkward jokes about myself though.)

I guess it helps that our Thai trip is behind us now (pity the debt incurred during the trip is still very much in front though) and I am no longer overwhelmed by all the planning and wondering. For now we kind of have a vague-ish idea of where we stand and it feels like a good place to be. (more…)

A Conversation About Crime *sponsored*

After four weeks in what remains one of my favourite places, I find myself back home feeling rather evolved. I realise this must sound trite and perhaps a little too Eat Pray Love but it simply is what it is. Since returning from Thailand I find myself a little more peaceful and at ease, and for me that is kind of a big deal.

There is something perhaps a little eye-opening about being somewhere else. Again: that sounds so silly. And yet it is true. During our travels, my husband and I met so many wonderful people. The best thing about Thailand is that you don’t only meet wonderful Thai people, you meet people from all over the world, and I cannot help but feel like these sorts of interactions make for a particularly satisfying plate of soul food.

A recurring thought that I have had over the last few weeks was a surprising one: Being South African has somehow prepared me for far more than I have ever considered. In some ways this is a good (sensible) thing, but I admit in some ways it is also perhaps a little disturbing.

As much as I would like my parents (and friends and loved ones) to believe otherwise: Thailand is not the safest place. Actually, the world is kind of not the safest place…

Before jetting off to a foreign land, it’s always best that those who love us are able to watch us go without having to worry about our safety. Of course this is almost impossible because love and worry go hand-in-hand, but I realised that as a travelling South African, I have been indirectly equipped with something that not all travellers seem to have: vigilance. If nothing else, this almost automatic vigilance should be a source of comfort to those who might be invested in my wellbeing.

While engaging in conversation with some of our new friends, I discovered that the topic of crime is a relatively universal one. That is kind of obvious, of course, but as much as we all love the stories about folks who live in neighbourhoods where they never have to lock their cars (unheard of in SA!) and about places where you can leave money lying out in the open and know that it will still be there when you get back, that is not exactly a common reality. Folks all around the world have dodgy things happening in their neighbourhoods. As South Africans we often have all sorts of weird ideas about crime. We sometimes think bad things don’t happen in other places, or other places’ bad things are different to South African bad things. Of course we are wrong. I am getting better at exploring the things that I am wrong about.

It’s strange perhaps, but during conversations about the botched investigation of the murder of the British couple in Koh Tao, and discussions about how tourists in Thailand are such easy targets for muggings and pickpockets, I found myself thinking about crime and the role it plays in my own life. While some of my new friends seemed to have found themselves in a place weeded to implement a slightly stricter routine of self preservation, the “scariness” of Thailand didn’t affect me at all.

Why?

Because I’m South African. And I’m a girl with zero upper body strength. I pretty much always assume that someone is about to mug me.

I hardly knew I felt that way until it came up in conversation. I am careful, and I am careful in a large part because of where I come from, but I have always been one to laugh off the doomsayers when it comes to South African crime. When folks ask me, with genuinely concerned looks on their faces, how I cope with South African crime, I always laugh it off. The perception of South African crime always seems more dire than the reality. I do not live in fear. I recognise that crime is an issue, and that it may touch my life at some point, but I don’t live in the kind of fear that other people seem to expect that I should.

This, of course, begs another question: Am I wrong?

So far, I have been lucky enough to have lived a life largely untouched by crime. But just because my experience has been one thing, I can’t really expect that experience to be a real reflection on the reality of what crime is in this country. I may happily stick up for my country and the beautiful people living in it (criminals aside, South Africans are great people!) but perhaps I am not so accurate in my defence.

As I was going off on one of my defensive tangents the other day, I started to list the few times crime that had actually touched my life. I expected the list to be short, but as I continued, I realised that the list was way longer than I thought it was.

Let’s take a quick look:

  • a.)   Grabbed on the vagina by a man who passed me in the street when I was a teenager (thankfully I was more infuriated than traumatised by the event)
  • b.)  Wallet lifted from my handbag while washing hands in a public restroom
  • c.)   Cell phone lifted from handbag while shopping
  • d.)  Cell phone lifted from my desk at work
  • e.)   My house has been broken into twice
  • f.)    Washing stolen from the line on various occasions over the years

These are massively irritating things and were quite upsetting at the time but they haven’t caused any long-term damage. I have learned to close my handbag properly and to hold it closer to my body. I am good about setting the alarm when I leave the house and not leaving any windows open. We have household insurance, which makes a huge difference when it comes to the trauma of discovering that your house has been broken into and half of your belongings are missing (although the violation of having a stranger in your house can’t really be fixed by a cheque). These are just simple things that are no big deal and eventually don’t really feel like a big deal, but when you list them I guess you kind of have to admit that it’s a little iffy…

And then I look at articles like the one I recently read on Hippo’s Blog about ‘The Real State of SA Crime’ and can’t help but wonder if I am exceptionally naïve to feel that way. If these are the kinds of realities that face South Africans, why am I not a constant nervous wreck? Nervous wrecking is, after all, what I am so exceptionally good at.

Should I be proud of myself? Or is it perhaps that we just kind of get used to these things? Perhaps they become part of our scenery, our psyches, our day-to-day. And they become almost invisible.

Is that bad?

Are my usual habits just good sense or have they been born from this place where I live?

It seems sensible that I don’t use an ATM unless someone (preferably male) is with me. It seems sensible not to take my camera with me to the park unless my husband is able to come too. It makes sense not to walk to my dad’s office down the road with my laptop in my bag unless I am not alone. It makes sense to never let myself get publicly intoxicated enough to make myself an easy target (although I admit that I kind of don’t really like being drunk anyway so that one is easy).

It makes sense not to walk alone at night, ever, with or without valuables on my person.

Doesn’t it?

 

 

 

 

Home & Happy

It’s Thursday (I think) which means I have been home for three sleeps now. I still feel a little high.

I must admit, as much as I love my home (being the introverted little hobbit that I am) this time being home feels particularly good and I’m struggling to grasp why. Usually coming home has a little bit of sadness attached to it. A bit of oh-here-we-go-again let’s-get-back-to-reality kind of thing. I don’t know. The sad part is missing this time.

A week before we left for Thailand my pastor from Molteno (the man who has been at the head of my spiritual wellbeing for most of my life) came up to PE for a visit and he spent almost a whole day with me. I must admit: I spent most of that visit with tears pouring out of my face. Again, I can barely express why. I suppose this has been an exceptionally overwhelming year in almost every way. From considering massive changes like moving countries, to (still) trying to get to a point where stepmom and stepkids can happily co-exist in the same space, to heavy financial burdens made heavier by losing previously reliable clients, clients who just don’t pay, and an unfortunate drop in financial help as far as two of our children are concerned – this year has been a challenge.

Then, of course, Thailand started experiencing its crazy strict military coup and all sorts of things started to go as pear shaped as possible.

During week three of my vacation (aka: week two of hell-on-earth TEFL course) I sent my pastor a message which said something like this:

I don’t know if it counts as a miracle, but I hate teaching English so much that the degree thing is no longer a problem. I will never ever consider doing this as a career.

I also admitted that even though feeling this way is technically a disaster in the face of our plans, I am feeling quite content about it and not panicking at all.

He replied that peace in the midst of the unknown comes from God.

I have to wonder if that is what it is then: just peace.

I have absolutely no idea what we are going to do from here. We’ve talked about it a few times and the conversations have all branched off into quite extreme directions. I’m not even sure which ones were serious ideas…

But for now? For now I’m just going to enjoy this peace.

Later I might tell you all about why I think that TEFL (in Thailand at least) is a farce.

But for now? Peace.

I’m not even going to think about all the credit card payments I need to be making on a non-existent salary. That is future Nadine’s problem. Present Nadine is unpacking and playing with her kids.

Why I need to learn to speak Thai ASAP…

NO-I-DON-T-WANT-A-F--K-N-SUIT,-TUK-TUK-OR-MASSAGE-TopsIt occurs to me today that there is an increasing number of stuff that I need to be able to express while I am out and about in this country, and my inability to do so is creating a bit of a wobble for me.

One of the main reasons that I decided that English teaching is not for me is this: English is my thing. I love English. I love communication. Communication, in fact, is my superpower. And when you put me in a classroom full of people with whom I cannot communicate, I kind of feel as though I have been stripped of my superpower. This leads to unhappiness. And the whole point of anything really is to not be unhappy…

So…here I am in this country where my snark and sarcasm mean nothing. My ability to express myself means nothing. I cannot even so much as order more than one thing off of any menu without being almost 100% sure that the wrong thing is going to arrive at my table. I will then not be able to communicate the mistake because in Thai culture it is considered the height of bad manners to embarrass someone by pointing out their error… *sigh* (more…)

Perspective… (Alternative title: Let’s not freak out just yet.)

Photo on 2014-10-08 at 9.10 AM

I’m sitting in the breakfast nook of the Holiday Park Hotel in Lamai Beach, Koh Samui at the moment, drinking coffee and talking to you, while there are 21 braver-than-I-am souls currently on their way to a school, whose name I can’t pronounce, in order to teach a (large) group of children to speak English. At the moment I can’t really remember ever being happier.

Pure relief is highly addictive…

Some of you may know that Ty and I are currently in Thailand. We’re into the third week of four and we are doing a TEFL course and trying to establish if we really really would like to move here for a while. Correction: Ty is doing a TEFL course. On Monday evening I tended my resignation for this course which I paid way too much money for because honestly – I just could not deal! (As a quick side note: Ty seems to be enjoying it and has said he can see himself doing this one day if we decide to still move here so at least there’s that! He’s on his own though!)

For the last ten months I have been so lost in preparing for this trip that not once did a very pertinent question did not occur to me: What if I hate it?

And I do. I hate it so much that not doing it right now has been the most insane source of happiness. I almost feel bad for the others because they are all having a miserable time of it as well (something which the course administrators seem to find baffling…ok then….) but my guilt is most definitely being overshadowed by relief. (more…)

Underwater Selfies

I just kind of felt the need to share my absolute love for my new camera with everyone. My God it’s been a long time since I’ve had so much fun. And I’m so glad I married my husband. Spending time with his is the best. Our trip so far has been awesome! I can’t wait to use this camera while snorkelling! I’m SO glad we were lucky enough to find it!!

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