True

Late one Friday night, a 23 year old girl lay in her messy childhood bedroom, hair in a top knot, pyjamas on, typing away on a Mac book which due to its temperature should be condemned,  listening to True by Spandau Ballet partially fuelled by white wine. Painted the picture? I know it sounds like something out of a rarely watched, but cult teen rom-com. But this, at present, is me.

Why do I find it hard to write the next line… well Tony Hadley I will tell you why. No one ever really knows whats going to happen or why or how. So many things have happened this week to make me feel all different kinds of things and I need to get them out of my head. I’m not going to pretend this was an extensively planned piece of writing, but sometimes things can’t be ordered or justified they just need to be noted. Documented that on that day and at that time I felt that way. Or whatever tense that last sentence needed to be in to make sense.

I feel angry at the world and how cruel and unfair it can be, how where you are born even in 2017 can be a life or death sentence. How some people can be so blinded by greed and fear that they start to lose their humanity. How they can fundamentally lose sight of what it is that makes us different from them, we should care, we should help those in need, we should stand up in presence and in policy. We can not, and I will not, be crushed by people that have already lost their humanity, have lost what it is to value a human life. I am not going to fear living my life or doing what I feel is right or standing up for what I believe in. I want to be thoughtful, kind and make a difference to other people’s lives both now and in the future when the next generations inherit this planet.

Now if you have stayed with this post thus far I can imagine your thoughts have strayed to… ‘oh my, it started so light and is she really subtly dissing trump and terrorists whilst listening to an 80’s classic’ yes, yes I am. But in other less politically charged news, I felt happy this week about my progress at work and that me and my family are getting on so well. I felt proud of my friends doing good and making positive changes to their own lives and other peoples. I also felt a pang of heartache when seeing an old couple holding hands walking in a super market aisle and maybe just a little sigh at at the sight of heart shaped paraphernalia.

Human’s are strange things, we have this unavoidable nature to not be alone. It is not just romantically or physically alone but the feeling that comes with wondering if you are the only one to be feeling a certain way. It is at that point the millennials, just like me, take to the internet to highlight their profound thoughts… hola! I suppose that is part of the reason I write some self reflecting brain babble on the internet, it is a search, it is unapologetically outwardly looking for some form of confirmation that your part of something bigger.

Apart from this ‘alone but not alone’ ridiculous non problem promblemness I am actually enjoying being a single person at the moment. I am finding a new level of respect for myself. It isn’t that I didn’t respect myself before, but I was definitely disillusioned as to how someone should be treated and feel about themselves in a relationship. So although sometimes its nice to have the confirmation that your not the only one, sometimes being the only one for a while is beneficial for your heart in the long run.

I know, its like an page long stream of contradictory thoughts. It has been an emotionally odd week.

 

And now bed.

 

Wayfaring Rambles

Well what better way to start 2017 than getting back on track with my own little corner of the internet.

I may have epically failed last year when it came to consistency and clumsiness whilst on my biggest adventure, but this time it is different. I am motivated and maybe even slightly more grown up than before, slightly.

2016 was a defining year for me, I conquered personal fears, did things I never thought I would and well and truly got my heart broken. More stomped on… but broken will do.

2017 is about taking back my happiness. I want to use all the lessons and experience I learnt last year to make this one even better.

So this space, I want to document my thoughts and adventures, I want it to motivate me to make more memories and keep doing things that challenge me. The content is undefinable and random – rambling if you will.

When everything in my life seems to have become more ordered I want to meander around my ideas and see where it takes me.

I want to have a voice in a world when things can sometimes be overwhelming. I need a creative outlet with freedom and space, thus the rebirth of wayfaring rambles.

Let’s go for a wander…

Week 3: Happy Heart and Rough start

After a very early 4.30 am start I headed to the airport to catch my flight to Singapore for the night. My next major stop is Cambodia but the only flight available had an 18hour lay over in Singapore, this initially was an inconvenience but turned out to be a complete blessing.

My grandparents-friends-son, his wife and their children had moved to Singapore a few years back from London. This was amazing as I got to stay with them for a night and have a little home from home experience.

I had such a good evening, their children are adorable, the little boy Charlie melted my heart as soon as I met him! The girls were amazing too! It was a lovely night spent eating pizza and beans for tea (my idea of heaven) and chatting about life. Caroline and I had such an intelligent, inspiring and entertaining chat that lasted way into the night – It’s amazing how you can meet people for the first time and instantly feel comfortable. It just all made my heart happy! I’m so lucky I got to meet them and wish them so much luck with their big move to Sydney!

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After saying goodbye, it was time to go back to the airport. They sent me on my way with a packed lunch which was lovely, little bits of care like that when your a solo traveller make such a difference! Singapore airport is amazing, definitely the nicest I’ve been in so far. Next stop Phnom Penh.

I arrived into a the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh just after a storm so the heat wasn’t to unbearable. I met my new co-ordinator Hong and we took a tuk tuk ride to the guest house I would be staying in for the night.

Cambodia has such an interesting atmosphere. It feels young and industrial in some ways but then bustling and alive with culture. I had dinner at my hostel and it was incredible – I may even go as far to say the best noodles I’ve ever eaten! At one point I ended up helping the owners family pull a rope attached to a massage chair he had won at the bank, they were pulling it up three stories – it was all very surreal! I met some interns staying in the same place so it was nice to have some people to chat to after the social craziness of Sri Lanka.

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The next day it was time for a whistle stop tour of Phnom Penh, me and Hong went to the market, where I ate a tarantula! Then we went to an awesome view point and drove past the memorial statue for the previous King and the palace on the river. After this it was time to travel for about 45 minutes to my project at the orphanage.

My first impressions were that the place was beautiful, and the kids were really welcoming and friendly. I was shown around and then taken to my room above the office. There was one other girl here for the first night but then she was leaving – this is where some problems began.

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Before starting this project I was told that there would be at least 3 volunteers at the project with me for the duration of my 3 weeks in Cambodia. This is not the case. I would be here by myself. This was quite difficult as I had just come from a volunteer house of around 22 people to just being me in a room from Monday to Friday.

I decided to just take it in my stride and give it my best effort. I began planning some lessons and started teaching properly on the Tuesday. Teaching is so hard!! I have a mixed ability class of children from 4-14 so it proved quite a challenge.

I muddled through for the rest of the week but I did find the nights quite lonely. I am really enjoying travelling but when you get too much time by yourself the distance between you and your loved ones feels a lot more real.

I gave the children a test on Friday and it was awesome to see that they had actually taken in some of what I had taught. On the Friday afternoon I headed back into the city to have some well deserved social time!

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Me, Hebe, Elina and another volunteer who I have only ever called higher but I’m sure his actual name is different, went to an incredible rooftop bar for some cocktails and then into the night market for some more delicious noodles. Hebe and I were heading to Siam Reap for the weekend so we chilled at the guest house before getting our night bus at 11pm.

I can’t wait to write all about the weekend!

Again well done for finishing! if you got this far, I’m sending you an invisible high 5 of appreciation!

Week 2 (2): I wish I could stay

So after the first night, moving into the bigger volunteer house was awesome. It was great to get to know so many amazing, friendly, kind and hilarious people that completely made my time in Sri Lanka.

On Monday me and the girls from my room Imogen, Lucy, Molly and Anna decided that we all wanted to get a bit tipsy. It was born out of a kind of man hating, we deserve a drink chat, once one person suggested it we were all on the same page and off to the wine shop we went. To buy any sort of alcohol in Sri Lanka you go to these wine shops which are basically like a bar but you just order and take away your drink. Like how people used to shop in the olden days.

We had an amazing night. I’m really so glad I met those girls and everyone else because we just clicked and were exactly what each other needed at the time! Dancing on the rooftop and stumbling into bed all to feel like death the next morning was so worth it!

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The turtles continued to be so much fun and rewarding as I got to give a few more tours this week. It has also been good exercise for me to be lifting turtles into their feeding tanks everyday! The girls have been awesome too and I will miss my little turtle team so much.

There is a statue less than 100m from the hatchery to commemorate the lives lost in the area when the 2004 tsunami hit. The statue was donated by the Japanese and the flagstone laid down a year on from the disaster. This area is close to the site were 1700 people lost their lives on a train that was destroyed by the second wave after people had taken refuge on board after the first. It’s beautiful and peaceful. Even 12 years on the scars on the landscape and people are still visible. It’s a testament to the Sri Lankan people’s unwavering kindness and strength that they continue to work with nature and rebuild their lives the way they have.

On Wednesday we had a beach party for Esme’s birthday. After unsuccessfully trying to get pizzas ordered to the beach me and the other girls from my room went for a fancy-ish dinner at restaurant in town. It was so strange when we walked in because we were in beach party clothes which aren’t overly acceptable around the locals! We got taken to the gold room and after a few minutes of traditional music they put on Eminem. It was kind of like they googled white music and that was the first artist that came up. The food was nice but didn’t sit too well with us all for the rest of the night, if you catch my drift. I also had a moment with the waiter when he dropped his pen and we both reached for it haha!

We all had such a good night, it all ended rather dramatically though. Lucy tripped backwards and fell in to the remains of the fire. After getting her back to the house and seeing the damage Molly and Lucy (nurses in training) said she needed an ambulance. Lucy is recovering at home now and I wish her all the best – definitely on my list of people to see when I finally venture into Scotland!

Thursday was a recovery day for everyone. The rest of the turtle team went to see Lucy in the hospital so I manned the fort with the turtles. They also let Dianne from another program come and join for the day which made it a really good morning!

After checking everything was okay with Lucy me and some of the girls headed to the tsunami photo museum. After seeing the statue earlier in the week I really wanted to look further into the impact on the local area.

The museum is located in a former house that was destroyed by the waves. The woman who runs the musuem used to live in that house. Talking to her about what happened was extremely emotional, you could see the pain in her eyes. The way she spoke of the day was haunting and the photos and stories contained in the rooms were hard to view. It’s so important to see them though and to show your support to the people.

Thursday night was meant to be the night I got to release baby turtles back into the sea. However, the owner didn’t show up so one of the co-ordinaries let us hug some puppies. All though the word RABIES was flashing in my head I couldn’t resist the cuteness and i totally fell in love!

Friday was my last day in Sri Lanka I said goodbye to my turtle family and had a celebratory King coconut!

The team have been a pleasure to work with and I would recommend PMGY in Sri Lanka to anyone. After chilling with the girls for the rest of the day we all got ready for a birthday party for the CEO of PMGY. On the way me and team turtle got to release the little babies back into the sea! It was amazing, I felt really proud that we had given them that extra fighting chance of making it in the big old blue!

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The party was a wonderful end to a brilliant two weeks. We had delicious food, cocktails and then danced like idiots with the local Sri Lankan’s until the early hours. When we got home I had to say goodbye to everyone as I was leaving at 5 am on Saturday morning. I wasn’t expecting it but so many tears were shed! I have met the most incredible group of people that I know I will stay in contact with, genuinely feel so lucky to have gone at the time I did and couldn’t of wished for more.

I would like to say thank you to everyone I met in Sri Lanka for making it by far the best two weeks of my life, love you all!

Right this is ridiculously long, I will stop waffling!

Next stops Singapore and Cambodia…