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.

road tripping happiness

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!)

The R Word and interesting jobs

What’s your favourite R Word? Romance? Ritz? (sun) Ray’s? At the moment, I’m a bit focused on two R words. Sadly, they are not my favourites, but they visit from time to time. Redundancy and Rollercoaster.

Well, they are calling it a Restructure. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, it’s Required. It’s a good change for the Role and I’m excited for them. I’ll stop with the R thing now 😉

It’s important to remember when these things happen that it’s not personal. They have done it the fair way to make the change that they need to make. They did not single people out and it’s not a reflection of performance. There are positions there which I am welcome to apply for, which are similar to my role, but with a few things tweaked. BUT I see this as an opportunity!

I can 100% honestly say I love my job and I am very grateful to be able to say that. I come home knowing that the work that we do contributes to the lives of real people and helps to save their lives. It’s also wonderful to work with the kindest, selfless members of our community. People who give up their time to give to somebody they don’t even know – it’s goosebumps stuff and I’m proud to say I’ve worked hard for the past 2 years and been very blessed to contribute to that.

Sometimes it’s good to be given a reason to jump up and get moving. To have a quick look left and a quick look right and take another step. It’s exciting times, hop on the rollercoaster and see where it spits me out. (hopefully a tiny bit closer to home, because I can find a number of more inspiring and creative things to do above staring at and following the back of somebody else’s car twice a day!).

A quick sub note on the Rollercoaster word. Although I am totally ok with what is happening and I am optimistic as always, there are a few minor downs. It’s a bit stressful and tiring and exhausting and it’s ok to be a little bit sad and frustrated with it for a bit, but that’s also what motivates you to do something about it – there is the silver lining!

I have found some funny jobs in my searching. This morning it was ‘Professional Tree Climber’, ‘Lifestyle Advisor’, ‘Fan Development’. Wonder what kind of fun job title I can get myself?

If you are reading, I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever been made redundant? I’m sure it all turned out ok for you – so please share your experience and help keep me on the up of my rollercoaster 🙂 Also, wish me luck with my interview this morning – hope I like them and the feeling is mutual 🙂

Here’s Cheers

Heres cheers

New Years is a time for reflection, lots of people are talking about how they can’t wait for the new year to come, so they can forget about 2012 and onwards and upwards for 2013 – it’s their year they are saying… Well I agree with half of that – 2013 is going to be a great year.. but so was 2012. I was sitting doing my NY Reflection and there has been alot to celebrate…

In 2012 I…

  • Climbed a Mountain (Mt Warning to be exact)
  • Cycled further than ever before
  • Hand fed a (lovely) dolphin
  • Moved house (not just house, but moved Town!)
  • Learned alot about my friends and family
  • Helped loved ones through tough times
  • Travelled to (and loved) New Zealand
  • Ate a Cheese Roll for the first time
  • Fell more in love with my beautiful kind generous Partner
  • Fell more in love with my wonderful, interesting, busy, exhausting, fun life
  • Travelled to Bali
  • Drank my body weight in Cocktails
  • Learnt traditional Balinese cooking
  • Went Camping (more than once – arent I lucky?)
  • Saw my first Volcano
  • Had a monkey take a bite out of my shoe
  • Got to surprise one of my family with a surprise interstate visit
  • Was happy
  • Was Sad
  • Laughed, cried and laughed till I cried
  • Missed somebody(s)
  • Read books
  • Started to ‘enjoy’ red wine
  • learnt about myself
  • Overcame a fear
  • Started a blog…….

I really could go on.

So, here’s cheers to the New Year. I hope you bring in the New Year surrounded by loved ones (either new or old loved ones) and like me celebrate bringing in another amazing year.

hers to 2013