Tales of a Passport

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I am a person who can be described as ‘quite attached to’ her passport. I recently got a new passport as my old one expired and I wasn’t excited about this at all. This was not only because it cost me close to 450 Aussie dollars, but because my old one is just fine thank you very much. Sure, it’s starting to get a bit ratty and damaged, but so am I with 10 years and more than a few long haul flights added to my life. I was mortified when they cut my passport in front of me – so flippantly damaging a document I have protected better than I have protected myself or any other possession for the last decade.

My last passport was my first passport as well and you tend to think fondly of anything that was your ‘first’. Perhaps now it should be called my ‘inaugural passport’. I remember trotting off to Aussie Post during my lunch break as a 22 year old, making sure my hair and make up looked ok (I still ended up with lumpy hair!!), so I could get my application in and get myself off on my very first overseas adventure. Ironically and now hysterically I took myself very seriously and thought I was a bit too ‘old and mature’ for a Contiki trip, but nevertheless I was excited beyond belief about finally leaving the shores of our big old Island and jetting off to see how the others live.

It is amazing to think back now about how much has changed because of this one little 35 odd page book that came completely empty save for my lumpy hair and intentionally sour faced photo. It is now filled with stamps, visa’s and dates which are all memories and stories from adventures in different corners of the world. It more than keeps a record of the entry and exits, but represents the places I have visited, the things I have seen and learnt about the world as well as myself, the amazing people I have met, the weird and wonderful foods I have eaten and all of the places I have left a tiny piece of my heart.

I compare the inaugural photo with it’s successor (somehow STILL with lumpy hair!!) and instead of thinking about how excited I was about the anticipation of my upcoming adventure, the guy at the photo shop had to take about 5 shots because I literally could not stop smiling, laughing and looking around. This could very likely be because I am that kind of smiley easily distracted person regardless of the activity, but I think the fact that I love my life and that as the saying says ‘I will never be the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world’ is one of the reasons I cannot wipe the smile off my face and that the girl in my inaugural passport photo, could never have imagined the fun that was ahead and the adventures she had to look forward to. She would never in her wildest dreams have imagined a life so great, a life so full.

So, based on that, I now look at my new passport a little more fondly and think ‘oh the places we will go’.

First stop, Paris, because as Audrey says ‘Paris is ALWAYS a good idea’.14408994_10154973830031490_1019860392_n

 

The lovlieness of an unexpected bumpy trip

Anybody who’s been watching knows I’ve been to some places this year, some amazing places and I’ve planned a few quick trips. My most recent has been one of the most unexpected, strangest, quickest and yet one of the best so far.

If you’d told me at the beginning of this year that I would take a very spur of the moment drive out to Wandoan in Western Queensland in a bumpy, noisy old Ambulance AND that I would enjoy it, I wouldn’t have believed you… but then again, it’s just the kind of thing you need to do sometimes. a trip like this, to a place most people don’t even know the name of, heading west into the heat, with the windows down in a Troopy that squeaks and creaks really makes you feel alive. It’s a treat for the eyes as well, to stop, watch and listen to the land. They do say adventure is the best way to learn and appreciate.

To sit for a moment in a town with a population of around 400 people and watch local people go about their day is as humbling, invigorating and interesting as it was to sit as a stranger in a locals cafe in Paris, to stand on a midtown subway station in NYC with the people of the city and even as it was to walk in the wrong direction along the city streets of London’s banking district a 9am on a Monday morning. It reminds you how diverse we all are. We happily live in different places, want for different things, choose different kinds of lives and are all equally as interesting.

Sitting in the sunshine, with the window down and crusing along with your best friend beside you is one of the sweetest treasures in life, a lovely way to sit and appreciate living, love and my country. We drove for hours, without music, just chatting about what we saw and what an interesting and vast land Australia is. This is what we looked like as driver on the left (concentrating and unware he is meant to be posing) and a happy smiley passenger to the right.

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The coutryside changes significantly from the coast all the way through to Wandoan. The contrasting colours of fields, clouds, rain, sunshine and towns.

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There is some lovely architecture out west too. More of a feast for our eyes. We lunched in Toowoomba, drank with locals in the Criterion pub in Dalby and stayed in a country motel by Myall Creek. I’d recommend this trip to anybody.

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I went to bed last night feeling exhausted, happy, feeling incredibly lucky and more alive than ever. The saying ‘not all who wander are lost’ feels very true to me right now. (yes enough to make me fire up the blog again which I haven’t done in months!)

Life is what you make it.

It’s cliche I know.. but it’s true. Life is defintiely what you make it.

I have had so many lovely comments about my adventures of late, that it’s got me thinking. Am I lucky? I guess partly so, but at the same time, you are the owner of your own destiny, you make choices that lead you to where you are and for one final but equally true saying you control your own happiness.

I did however have a giggle when one of my friends asked me very seriously if I had recently won the lottery and was keeping it a giant secret… I had finished up at my job, dropped everything in an instant and went around the world not long after returning from a 2 week holiday, spent two weekends after returning from my round the world trip in beach front resorts and manage to find myself at the beach on a Friday, monday and even Wednesday morning… So I guess I know how it looks. This does make me reflect on how absolutely amazing the past few months.. well past couple of years of my life have been. I do understand that there are a set of circumstances that lead you to where you are.. the cards you are dealt have a big part of it.. BUT you choose what you do with them, you choose how to life your life. I choose to get my butt out there, make the most of every waking moment, find as many ways to get myself to the beach as possible, squish a tiny bit more happiness into each day and TRY with all my might to do it with a smile on my face (not quite every day, but as close to it as I can get).

oh and finally – time for me to stop ‘apologising for not posting more often.. I guess I never promised this to be a daily newspaper.. just a few intersting bits and bobs from my perspective.. if you want to hear about anything in particular, you are going to have to speak up and comment on the page….

So… off you all go -go and make your life amazing.