Sunday, October 23, 2016

Planes, Luggage and Thailand

NOTE: PICTURES POSTED! I wrote this during a 3 hour bus ride on my iPhone. Please excuse me if there's more grammatical errors than usual (well, usually there many without that excuse).

Well, shit. My start of another grand adventure began less than ideal. I ended up staying in Beijing for 24 hours after our plane was grounded for more than 5 hours on the Tarmac, while still in Canada. With a combination of poor whether, and rumour has it, a nasty exchange of words between Air Traffic Control and AirChina's pilot, it took a total of 15+ hours in a plane to get to Beijing.

Jetlegged and hungry, I'm informed my flight to Thailand was missed, as was my luggage: missing. No, not missing, delayed. They never say lost. malaria pills, extra underwear, shoes and all. shit.

So, I spend a night in a hotel room with an photographer, named, well Guy from Whistler. Don't worry, separate beds of course. I tried making best of a crazy situation, for instance the following morning I hung out with a girl from PEI as we wandered around Beijing, and when I got into Phuket, Thailand I tried not I cry when I was still wearing the same clothing for the last 72 hours.There were emails with my mum who was faithfully calling AirChina/AirCanada regarding my luggage status, and my niece asking me, via FaceTime, how my sister, Shawna is expected to help me when I'm so far away (to which I responded with a laugh and a cry). After that conversation I understood that there's a lesson I needed to learn in order to get my luggage because, goddamn it, everything happens for a reason.  I needed to make best of this situation. I needed to become okay with not having my lifeline: my backpack. And I needed to get the hell out of this expensive and depressive  accommodation before I became a part of the room or ended up poor, whatever came first.  So I did. Through searching lonely planet's Thailand guide, I took a cab to Old Town Phuket and so began my travel adventure in Thailand.

I started off small: checking out  the Bohemian coffee shop and used bookstore, roaming the streets of Phuket (getting lost regularly) and eating local, authentic street food. Suddenly I was enjoying my time. Torrential rain mearly meant seeking coverage under a random honing and listening to The Lumineers on my iPhone. Taking the long way home meant having my first taste of Thai Food at a lovely shop, to which The Lovely Amber was right, ruined my food pallet, as I've never had such flavourful, savoury vegetarian food. By the time I was organizing things to do for the following morning, day six of the same clothing, my mum iMessaed me to tell me my luggage arrived.

And suddenly I found myself headed to the Phang Nga province to begin  volunteering on the Healthcare Project.

When I met my bunk mates it all of  30 seconds to get invited to a weekend away at an ocean town called Crabi Thailand. Without hesitation I accept the invite. And suddenly I realize how amazing how beautiful it is to really Really live.


A World Traveler ;)

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Cold Feet.

I had a meltdown today in the Walmart parking lot and resorted to calling my sister (who just had Heidi a week ago) to talk me off the ledge. I’m not talking about a bad phone call, I’m talking about ugly crying and streaky tears as soon as she said hello. This is a pretty solid outline as to how my pre-departure gitters are going.

She reminded me that despite the weeks of preparing, the constant updating of to-do lists, I’ll never be ready for this adventure (I, too, was surprised by this realization). But haven’t I been ready for this adventure since I got off the plane and entered Bolivia three September’s ago? Isn't this what essentially live for? I work to travel, literally. And now I’m traveling and it’s taken a lovely Nurse at the Pretentious Travel Clinic and half a bottle of wine to make my anxiety calm down. I’ve just learned what a tension headache really is – as it’s been residing in my brain for the last three days. 

I love my life. I really do. Sacrificing reliable cars, a house to call my own and even relationships is something I just do: for the love of traveling. Who cares that the boy who has forever circled my life just told me he’s twitterpated over anther gal and I’ve just put my down payment on a non-refundable trip to a developing country. He’s found his soul mate and I’ve opted for a solo trip to Asia. What the shit? I suppose that’s why I felt so nauseous after eating my veggie dinner,  because I can’t help wonder what the hell do I do if I end up hating Asia. What do I say to people when I tell them I’m second guessing my badass lifestyle and I’m wishing that perhaps I’m back in the ‘hoof with my easy-peasy job and that suppose I really, finally did ask out that dreamy boy who runs the Bearhead (so what if he doesn’t drink?).

Truthfully, I’m worried about what people will say if I die on the Annapurna Circuit before spending all my savings or I get abducted on the taxi ride on the way to the hostel. I’m terrified they would whisper to one another that this is simply the consequence of living a dream and going against all North American standards of the conception of normality. People who live hard get what they deserve: a life of solitude because no one can quite keep up and/or relate to such recklessness, am I right? They sure will tell me so when I end up unsatisfied by choosing a life of continental adventure and journals rather than a life of comfort and unnecessary kitchen amenities.

But, if we’re being truthful here, which I try to on this Blog, I would admit that I’m wondering if I’ve made the right choices: the flight rather than the boy, the international food rather than the local job and the good time rather than the long time. I fly out in twenty four hours and I’m questioning everything I’ve ever worked towards and everything I’ve ever sacrificed to make that happen. For once I'm questioning my norms and not societies. Would it had been better had I sticked to the Odgen house and the corporate job? Would the outcome be more on my side if I talked about The Ring rather than The Trip?

So when they ask you what to get the girl who has everything, which means she’s doing everything she could ever hope for, instead of getting her more of the same, perhaps try getting her a sticky note reminding her that she’s made the right choice, the hard choice. 


One very scared girl.

Sometimes the fear won't go away, so you have to do it afraid. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Being The Girl

I’ve become undeniably attached to my work-life here, I’m reluctant to admit this because, although they refer to me as The Girl, I never thought I’d be That Girl. That girl who takes work home with her on the weekends, and who is more than capable of paying over 300 employees, but questions her ability of mailing out legal documents that must, must, must get there before Tuesday. That’s crazy, I’m well aware of this.

But here’s what they don’t tell you about being The Girl and on being oh so invested in your job: They don’t tell you have a work-life and a personal-life, which sometimes the lines blur, where you have inside jokes and you can swear as only one can while working at a sawmill. I get made fun of for being the hippy and the gypsy, but they still make me veggie burgers and ask me questions as to where I’m off to next. And with an office position where you assist everyone, suddenly you’re nice to most and most are nice to you, which is really, well, quite nice. I remember driving home with my lovely supervisor (and Bushbabe) friend, where someone waved at me in my yellow car and my friend asked who it was who greeted us. I responded that I had no idea, but I know I’m well known. People see me walking with my piles of papers throughout the Mill and know to keep an eye out for me, with my clean vest and clean shoes, I may just get lost.

And oh, the friends I have made! I’m going to miss many faces, including the Bean Counter and The Other Girl (who is now simply The Girl), my manager and his boss, too. I’m going to miss them terribly. It’s surprising the connections and support systems one can build in such a short amount of time. I’ve been allowed to learn where the line is through trial and error. I’ve been complemented on my intelligence and teased for my silliness, supported despite my mistakes and even comforted the day I cried at work.

I think most remarkably I found a position where I can be The Girl, and I get asked my opinion by important people and it’s actually taken into consideration. I feel my ideas are valued, which is something that hasn’t really happened work wise before. 

I’m starting to become someone I’ve didn’t really recognize: I’m valuing my job. I truly appreciate my company allowing me to grow as a human in a safe environment, with the support that a person with my level of crazy actually needs.

So, I drive away from my job with my sunnies on and Hugo in the backseat, still in a denial, thinking I’ll be putting up postings and doing Payroll next week, but alas, I’ll be moving on to my next adventure. I know that truly, this world is small, and I might be a little pragmatic, but I think I’ll see those familiar faces and perhaps even that site again. I can only hope I left a mark on that company as much as they left one on me. 


The Girl

I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say "because of you, I didn't give up".