Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Travel Broadens the Mind

I haven't written in a long time and as much as I could give the longest list of excuses theres just no need to.
Writing is a passion of mine as is travelling. This time travelling and living took the lead.

As I write this moment I am 'travelling.' However this time I'm back in the uk and travelling to a job interview.

Since I last posted I've travelled in New Zealand, more in Australia, in California, Mexico and Texas. I love travelling;There's no doubt about it but living in Melbourne certainly had a profound effective on me. It felt like home. I guess it gave me an idea what I wanted for myself, an idea that I didn't have before.

But at least for now, I have to put Melb behind me and concentrate on the future. Right now I'm not too sure what I mean by that-the future. Hopefully on my return journey I'll have a better understanding at at least the immediate future could be.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Melbourne Chapters: The Characters

While nobody’s ever going to be quite like those friends that you’ve grown up with, those friends that you meet while your away from home are the ones you hold in your memories and talk about for years to come. So if your mentioned be honoured, for you will be someone I sharn’t be forgetting.

Calum and Fraser
Two brothers from Edinburgh (via Perth) I met while working at the Mt Erica.

Both very dry and sarcastic to the point that unless you know them you don’t know whether they are just being cynical and negative or joking or even both.

I met Calum when I first started at the Mt Erica. In fact he was my manager. When I first met Calum I actually thought he was rather good looking and sweet, not that I ever told him so. Of the two of them he is definitely the more whimsical. Well unless he’s around his brother that is. He idolises his brother, not that Fraser would really notice I don’t think. Calum’s the friend that you have that has a lot of random useless knowledge self admittedly learnt from Wikipedia, but would be very handy to have around in a quiz. He’s an idealist. He wishes away his days for ideas for bigger and better things. And with Fraser’s drive for wanting better things he might just get there. He just needs the push. Calum is dependable, which is a brilliant quality to have. He works hard and is reliable and I hope one day he finds what is that he really dreams about and gets it.  If it wasn’t Calum a lot of things that made being in Melbourne so good wouldn’t have happened so for this I am truly grateful.

Fraser, the drier and more sarcastic of the two, although mostly sounds bitter and angry with the world is really quite sharp and witty if you actually listen carefully. His outtake on the world although at times a little jaded, is unique and right on even though (I’m not sure he’ll agree) but believes the world revolves around him and that things happen to him rather than him going out and making them happen. I love the way he sees the world and unlike most guys openly admits to his love of cats. Very animal orientated, I always imagined that inside his brain pandas walked down the street carrying briefcases and cats served you in bars and monkeys worked in kitchens. I wished my brain worked like that too.  (I wrote this in March)

I lived in a shared house for around six months in the south of the city but most notable of the people I lived with was an Italian girl called Elisa. She was my roommate so consequently we spent a lot of time together and then eventually went travelling in Indonesia together right before she left to return to Italy. Elisa is one of those people that lights up a room when she’s in it. Her (very) Italian characteristics make her one of the most awesome people I’ve ever known. She has guts and isn’t afraid to say what she really thinks. Her willingness to work hard for two years to afford to jack it all in and head to Australia was inspirational. And even though she was here to get away from it all her loyalty to people she’d met at work in Melbourne made her continue to work hard over here too. She has a heart of gold and a very lovable animated personality.

Patrick, Dave and Ben (A friend I met in Budapest and his flatmates)
I would have been on the first plane back to England if it hadn’t been for these guys generosity and their hallway landing! I will be eternally grateful! And, you were the guys to introduce me to Community, you guys changed my life! haha

The Rest of The Mount Erica People

Marcin- Our crazy Polish manager. We fought like cat and dog but that’s only cos we got on so well. So many ridiculious drinking sessions and of course the unforgettable duck tongues and jellyfish night at the Supper Inn with Asis!

Collin Marshall Epstein! Texan graffiti artist extrodinaire… when I come to NY you better believe I’m looking you up J Optimist and all round good guy. He’s the best friend you wished you’d always had. Its people like Collin that make you like Americans. You can’t help but love Collin and even Calum admitted to having a man crush on him. So many nights drinking after hours and playing pool at the Erica and Lucky Cock! He has one super lucky very lovely girlfriend Kayla too.

Morgan, the self-deprecating sweetheart with a heart of gold, the emotionally charged drama student, full of knowledge beyond her years and insight you wish you had too.  I very much enjoyed our trips to the art gallery and our girly catch ups!

The Pas Crew

Emily- I’m writing this the day after the night at the GB where you made me cry. Your insane, your happiness is infectious, your positivity is inspiring, your fiercely private but the little things about your life that I felt you told me as your confidence in our friendship grew made me feel truly honoured. You’re a brilliant person, someone who made me feel so happy during my time in Melbourne- the things you said to me that night, I don’t think anyone has said before and it was the nicest thing to do in the world. Your intentions are so sweet and you are the kind of paramedic the world needs, I know you will kick ass at it so don’t give up your dream!

Gill- When it comes to you, I don’t even know what to say- in a good way. You have the biggest heart. I don’t think I know many people who match up to you in that way. There are some days I don’t think I would have got through if you and your hugs weren’t there. I love your compassion for your friends and for animals and makes me admire you in so many ways. Who am I going to have conversations purely in cat noises with now?

Arthur- Where do I even begin? You have got to be one of the most caring big hearted people I have ever met in my life. I have lost times the amount of time I have fought about you paying for stuff and lost. You may say that you aren’t emotionally but I don’t believe that for a second. The countless times that I’ve seen you look out for your friends and stories I’ve heard about your family is very admirable. You would do anything for anyone you care about and this is the best quality in the world. Since you started at PAs every shift got 1000X better. I have so many good memories of being in Melbourne and since I’ve known you, you’re almost in every one. Who am I going to geek out about Community with now?!

Sophie- You make me laugh so much. The way you phase things always brings a smile to my face, oh hell! I will miss you a hell of a lot and can’t wait to catch up back in the UK!

Kate- Although I only actually worked with you for a few weeks, I enjoyed every minute of it. The hangover shift from hell after the night at the casino will not be forgotten! The reunion with you me and Soph is already being planned!

Jess- You such a head strong, confident, organised and endearing person. I love it when you say you’ll come for one drink and end up being out with us till 6am! I will catch up with you again my friend in Queensland!

Vanessa- Your smile at work makes me laugh and always brings a smile to mine no matter what I feel like. That shift after Calum’s birthday would not have even been possible if it wasn’t for you! Your always organised and on top of things it really makes everyone elses lifes so much easier! Plus you know how to party! Mexico is going to be sooo good!

Team Back Bar!... Ollie and NG most notably. You two are awesome. You are such characters in your own separate ways and it was a pleasure working yous and catching up at our Sunday sessions.

Tim- My Roommate from Queensland

We were destined to meet to over and over in our travels in Oz and Melbourne was no different! Lots and lots of food even when we didn’t plan to get food, trips to ‘Treats from Home’ and drinking and of course that ridiculous night at the Neighbours Trivia Night, and no I still don’t want to know what I was saying to your that night! haha

Emma- Family Friend

The daughter of one of my mum’s close friends in the UK, Emma is one of the sweetest people I know. We hung out countless times. We went to that ridiculous Hungarian restaurant on the hottest day of the summer and had goulash! Was a pleasure spending time with you and we’ll catch up again for sure!

There are more, too many to mention but these are the most memorable  :)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Melbourne Chapters: The Plot

Where do I even begin right now.

I feel like I’m breaking up with the world best boyfriend. I feel like I just shot Bambi’s mother. I feel in Sophie’s words like I’m in ‘hell.’

This last year in Melbourne has without a doubt been the best year of my life. Fact.

Back last year I had decided that I was going to leave at the end of May. At the time there were a few reasons which would keep me here till then so it felt a good time to leave. None of these actually ended up happening so in fact I was free to leave at any time, but in my head I was leaving then so I didn’t even rethink it.

When you’re travelling you move around a lot and although your (mostly) having an amazing time you never really feel any attachment to anywhere you go because it’s not home, it’s just some amazing thing you’ve done which will become an awesome memory in a whole heap of memories you have stored away that you can recount to your friends later.

This is not an awesome snippet of life I’ve enjoyed and stored the memories of to recall. This is a whole year of my life. A WHOLE YEAR OF AWESOMENESS.  Now how do I even begin to tell you about that?!

This has not been a fling, this has been the best relationship of my life and I could get married but instead we’re breaking up.

So as heart-wrenchingly awful I feel right now about leaving the city equivalent of the love of my life, I’m trying to look to the future and at least distract myself from this break-up.

To me goodbyes are probably one of the worst things in the world. Saying it never feels real. Even though I’m saying goodbye probably forever, it sounds and feels like a casual, ‘See ya later’ when it’s really a ‘See ya…. never again!’

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to really close friend of mine, which if it wasn’t for him, so much of the best moments would have never of happened and then today I’ve had to say goodbye to three people that mean the world to me. Oh hell. One last major goodbye tomorrow, how I feel right now this one might just actually kill me.

I felt this way leaving a place only once before in my life, on the bus driving to the airport in Prague back in 2010.  I didn’t want to go home so badly that I was probably actually depressed. All I wanted to do was jump off the moving bus and run back. That does not even compare to how I feel at the moment.

I don’t even particularly want to leave, I’m doing it because I think I should. I’m trying to think with my head and not my heart. Hopefully one day I’ll look back and thank myself for that.

There’s just one last thing I need to say, Melbourne I love you with all my heart. There I said it.

The Melbourne Chapters: The Setting

If Melbourne was a guy he would be that tall dark and handsome one, sat in the corner of some trendy run down bar playing the music that everyone should be listening to.  He has a quick witty sense of humour and easily relaxes you like you’ve known him all of your life. He rides a bike and owns a dog. He eats Japanese, and Thai but his favourite is Mexican. He runs and takes yoga classes. He listens to all kind of music, jazz, dance, techno, indie and rock. He’s read all your favourite books and suggests one you’ll love too.

Effortlessly cool and from the very first time you meet him you know you’ve met the love of your life.
Melbourne is majestic. Melbourne is enchanting. Melbourne is exciting. Melbourne is homely. Melbourne is diverse.

You can be sucked in and spat out but you can also be cradled comfortably.

I once heard a man say that it’s the North V the South.

“The north is full of hipster vegetarians who ride bikes and dress like it’s the 80s,” and he’s not far wrong. Unfortunately I didn’t hear his summary of the south.

In the daytime Melbourne bursts with electric excitement. I never got bored wandering around the city. There was always something new to discover. Another alley way to find. A new graffiti painting to admire. A new bizarre street entertainer. A man painting on the path with a mop, a penguin playing the bagpipes, a man dresses as Mario, a man with a keyboard or someone drawing or dancing. Flinders street station towers above the St Patricks cathedral and Federation square. The beautiful south bank along by the river side an ideal place to watch the sun set.

By night, Melbourne was a flurry of excitement. The sparkling twinkle of the city a light from miles away. The towers in the centre and the buildings gradually descending outwards. The bars in cubby holes, down laneways, in freight containers, on roof tops and in basements. All playing the latest sounds and beats. Restaurants spill out onto the streets, serving food from all over the world. You can have it there, take it away, pick it up, sit at a bar, sit on a couch or at a table. You can have a three course meal, or just dessert, or even eat a seven course banquet on an old tram circling the city.

You can see a play, a comedy show, the opera or a film. A live band or a singer or even a DJ. You can spend your night in a crowd dancing the night away or you can stroll down the beach alone.

In Melbourne you can do what you want. You can drive a car, or a bike, a scooter or a skateboard. Take the train, the tram or a bus. You can take a class, join a gym, visit a museum or a gallery.

In Melbourne you are living in one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. If you don’t love it you need to wake up and open your eyes, for you are truly blessed to be living in such an awesome place. 

Monday, 13 May 2013

Not so much writers block...

I think the fact that I haven't written anything in so long is a testimate to how much I value writing.

I don't want to write for the sake of writing, I want to write and for it to mean something to me. If anyone else reads it and appreciates what I've done then that great but I write mainly for myself first and foremost.
How this blog usually works, at least for me, is that I go to a place I live there or just visit and I form my opinions good or bad and I write how a place makes me feel, firstly because I love travelling and secondly because I love writing.

But as you know I haven't really done either for the last year (although of course I recently spent two weeks back in Indonesia that I'm yet to say anything about.)

Melbourne for me, hasn't just been somewhere I've stopped off looked around a bit and formed an opinion about. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that I came here and I was blown away by this place. I remember writing gushing first impression posts about this place, and have written very little since... Well thats what you think. Perhaps a month ago even two I started to write a series of blog posts, that I will publish in time about what this place means to me. I couldnt write in one post everything that I needed to say. With anything that you've fallen in love with there are so many different reasons and elements that make you feel the way you do and it wouldn't do any justice not to share the three things that made me not only want to visit here, but make me not want to leave.

I have travelled so much. I've visited 32 different countries, and yet it is here that i've spent 11 months of my life. It won't do it justice if I didnt finally write about the all the reasons why I stayed here so long.

These blogs with come in time. One I've fininished and one is almost done and the third, and possibly the most personal is one that has only just been begun and won't be really finished until I have left and can look back on my time here.

When I left the UK which now feels like an eternity ago, I never imagined in a million years that would not be getting on the return flight in November 2011 from Bangkok to Heathrow. I didn't imagine not spending christmas back in my hometown with my family and my best friends. I had no idea of the decisions I would make that would completely change my life. As much as I love and miss my family and friends so so much, the decision to not go home was the best decision I could have made for myself. My head was a mess when I left the UK. I wasn't unhappy but I felt so goddamn lost I didn't even know where to begin. Seeing my friends with such clear ideas made me put pressure on myself to work out what I was doing but I just didnt have a clue. I just felt life was passing me by and I was none the wiser even where to start.

So bare with me. Thats's all I'm asking, The mess of a head of mine, is beginning to make sense. Doing something I love so much, travelling, has really given the prespective I wanted to find back home and things are slowly making sense.

Its not that I haven't wanted to write but I just wanted to find the right words to say about a place that means so very much to me.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

One of Many Lists

I was having coffee with a friend of mine the other day. We are both eternal optimists. We both have so much we want to do in life. So many places to go, so much to see and so much we want to accomplish.
We spoke about our plans and ideas and of dozens of lists of things we want to do. These lists are infinate and very much contrast each other, but there is a few things that I want to do upmost of all. Here is a few, this is my bucket list:

 Right now at 17:57 on the 17th March 2013 here in my bedroom in South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia...

1. Ride the Trans-Siberian Express
2. Write a book
3. Own my own flat
4. Live in Florence
5. Salsa dance in South America
6. Bake an elaborate cake from scratch
7. Get married in Vegas
8. Visit Satanyanda yoga ashram in Calcutta, India
9. Learn a language
10. Sing karaoke in Japan

Sunday, 3 March 2013

It's All in the Corners

Today I finally thought of the way I want my story to end.

The brick wall that I had been banging my head against wondering ‘what would happen to Erin?’ has started to come down and I think I can see through to the other side.

I feel as though I have got all the corner pieces to my puzzle now, a fair few pieces of the border but still a huge great hole in the middle of it. I’m getting there though and I have some clues to what the picture will be in the end but still have a lot missing and a lot of work still to do.

The hardest bits are done though, and now it’s just a case of filling in the frame piece by piece. It’ll be tricky and I’ll find more pieces that don’t fit than pieces that do but when they fit it’ll be another piece of the puzzle done and there will be less and less gaps to fill and it’ll be downhill journey from there.

Just like life really.

Start with your corner pieces, then a boarder, and then it’s just a matter of filling in the picture.

I think I almost have my corners.