Tag Archives: round the world travel

Looking up

2017 07 ROME ceiling IMG_0187

When we last left our furry friends on their adventure they were in somewhere called Vatican and had posed for a photograph surrounded by lots of people with a big dome building in the background.

Croc was quite relieved to be moving back inside where it was a little quieter. He loved the sunshine and the heat so could understand why everyone wanted to be outside on a day like today. Bertie had made Croc giggle as he had been desperately looking in the bottom of the camera bag for his hat. He didn’t like to go out in the sun for too long as he had heard you could get sunburn. Anything with burn in the sentence didn’t sound like a good idea to Bertie!

All Croc could see of Bertie at the moment was his paws as he laid upside down looking for his hat. Bertie’s little legs were kicking around desperately trying to wiggle deeper into the bag. He was wiggling so much that he managed to kick open the lid of the camera bag. Croc looked up in shock and it was then he saw the most amazing ceiling he had ever seen!!!!

Quickly Croc began to tug on Bertie’s leg. Bertie, thinking Croc had found his hat, pulled himself the right way up and then looked up at where Croc was pointing. They both stared mesmerised by the symmetry of the ceiling and the gentle glow of the sunlight coming in through the impressively high windows.

Little did they know, this ceiling wasn’t the most impressive one they would see on this trip!!!

Past, future and present

Reflect on what's behind you as well as looking at what is ahead.
Reflect on what’s behind you as well as looking at what is ahead.

This year I will aim to blog more consistently. This will hopefully be easier once my life is a little more settled. I feel the need to apologise for my lack of blog posts in the past month. Moving countries means your head is in two worlds. It is a surreal feeling having ties to two places.

New Years is a time of looking back and looking forwards. It is a time of reflection for most people. It is when goals are set and things which have been achieved are reviewed. It is the borderline of two worlds, the past and the future combining in the present moment.

Moving countries, to me, feels a bit like New Years. It is a time of reflection on what you are leaving behind, places and people of sentimental value. The familiar surroundings you grew up with. A place where your accent does not feel as strange and distinctive.

Moving countries is also a time of looking forwards, looking at where you could be, where you want to be and creating new dreams, goals and aspirations. It requires open mindedness, flexibility and above all patience.

2014 has taught me many things and cemented many life lessons for me to use moving forwards. 2014 was a year of adventure, excitement and all about embracing the new. For me, 2015 feels all about change, acceptance and adaptation.

Who knows what the future will hold for any of us. It is your path which you create and tread so create wisely and creatively, dream big and never stop learning!

Here’s to a fabulous 2015!!!!

Bertie’s tips for getting to Pai

IMG_0544 copyright Key Image

Yes, you read that correctly, Bertie is not talking about food and has used his spellcheck. Pai is a small and friendly town near the Myanmar border, in northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province. It is about 50 miles/80 km north of Chiang Mai and lies along the Pai River. It is well worth a visit, having a relaxing atmosphere and friendly feel, simple to navigate streets and amazing food stalls all of which add to the hippy charm and character of the place.

How to get there: 

Catch a bus from Chiang Mai. Be prepared for a bumpy road journey on a steep and winding route. Take a book or take a friend! Buses and mini buses usually take a break half way through the journey. Expect the journey to last about 3 hours and to cost in the region of 180THB (Prices correct March 2014) Mini bus transport can be arranged at many of the travel agents stores located within Chiang Mai.

You could choose to fly, which will take about 30 minutes and can easily be arranged online or in one of the many travel agents within Chiang Mai’s city. Or some brave backpackers will hire a motorbike and complete the journey themselves.

Leaving Pai:

To arrange a return is easily done at the bus deport in Pai itself. However, take note as most of the services stop at the Arcade Bus Station, located in the northeastern region of Chiang Mai. From here you will have to catch a red truck to your accommodation or next stop.

Coming next: Bertie’s top things to do in Pai

Common ground

IMG_0102 copyright Key Image IMG_0127 copyright Key Image

I always find it amazing how unique things, such as hobbies, talents and skills, can connect people and bring them together.

Every year an annual historic event is held a Pontefract Castle in West Yorkshire. The castle has significant historical value, like most castles in the UK. King Richard II is thought to have died there and it was the site of a series of famous sieges during the 17th century in the English Civil War.

The castle is mainly ruins now. However, Longbow Archers from around the country gather every year and shoot at a free Longbow archery tournament. Why? To unite together to celebrate the heritage of the Longbow.

This one event connects people from up and down the country. Different people with one shared passion in life. It is ironic that a weapon which would have caused people to gather on a battle field to fight and kill now connects people in a positive method of friendship and fun, with the only battles being fought being those with the stinging nettles when Archers are searching for way laid arrows.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if the whole world could adopt this approach. Rather than gather together to fight we gather together in celebration of shared goals and passions.

It’s all to do with choice. Which would you rather choose?

Balancing Act!

IMG_1060 copyright Key Image

Procrastination and Reality!

Bertie had noticed that he possessed a particular skill. It was not necessarily a useful skill and one that he had never associated with himself so far. He had discovered that when it came to making decisions or changes in his life he was the master of procrastination!

In fact, if he had been give a decision to go travelling he would have probably procrastinated about it for a while. Thinking it all through and going over every little detail.

He also realised that the opposite of procrastination is reality.

They first introduced themselves to him as the conflicting voices in his head. Procrastination would provide him with excuses as to why he should not do something. It was really helpful in giving him alternative things to do, to focus on and tasks to complete so that he could avoid thinking and proactively doing what it was he was procrastinating about.

Reality was the voice of reason. Reality argued against procrastination and reminded why he needed to focus on the thing(s) he was avoiding. Reality gave him real time scales to work towards and brought him back to what he should be focusing on. Reality reminded him of the truth of the situation whether he wanted to face it or not. It also pointed out when procrastination had taken over….

Bertie began to observe the two voices quietly arguing and manipulating in his head were not so much fighting against each other but striving to reach a balance. The balance where priority was given to what needed to be completed for that moment in time, to not use the time to dwell on worrying and “what ifs”. Procrastination helped distract from the what if questions and reality kept the balance by helping him to regain focus when he needed to.

The trick was, firstly, not to get too concerned that Bertie was hearing voices in his head. Secondly, was to identify when the balance was tipping and adjust accordingly.

Bertie decided that neither of these tasks were easy ones and may take some time to accurately implement. The reality of the situation was that he had observed and noticed what he was doing, his task was to no longer procrastinate at taking action to maintain a balance of the two.

Caged

IMG_1372 LR copyright

When Bertie was exploring through the north of Thailand, outside Chiang Mai, he came across a disturbing sight. A teddy bear, stuffed in a confined cage with no room to move. Alone. Head bowed. 

Bertie wondered what this teddy bear had done to desire such a cruel punishment. Then he noticed that the cage was unlocked. If the teddy bear really wanted to escape he could do, but he was trapped in his own thoughts and negativity. In fact the teddy bear was so obvious to everything else but the negativity he blocked out the sound of Bertie calling to him. He didn’t realise that if he chose to reach out that others would be there for him. 

Bertie felt a deep sinking feeling. There was nothing to be done. He could not help the teddy bear whilst he was in this state. All he could do was walk away and continue on his journey. It seemed so sad but then Bertie realised that he had once been that teddy bear, buried at the bottom of a basket, unable to see or do anything to change his situation because of the negative thinking he was embraced with. He began to consider himself lucky, that he had found the courage to embrace this journey and was accepting the opportunities that were coming his way. Hopefully, in doing this, he could inspire others to do the same. 

Bertie felt like he was lighting the path for more to follow and that gave him an immense sense of fulfilment and positivity.

Follow your dreams

Poppy & me after facing and conquering Mount Snowden
Poppy & me after facing and conquering Mount Snowden

For years I have been telling people that I want to travel. I have longingly watched people fulfil their own adventures and felt a yearning to do the same. I have told myself that I can’t, its not practical, I don’t have the finances, I don’t have someone to travel with, what about my house? etc.

The more and more I have thought about it the more I have decided that I know what I need to do and now I am, eventually, fulfilling my dream.

What started off as a month in Australia has snowballed into a fantastic adventure. I have rented my house, quit my full time and secure job (that I wasn’t happy in anyway) and I am all set to leave the UK next week.

I plan to travel, on my own, to Thailand, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the USA.

The morale of my story is, whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right either way. 

I will be continuing with my blog and will post my photographs and write about what I continue to learn about myself, other people and life in general.

By far the hardest thing I will have to do is to leave behind my little companion who has devoutly followed me where ever I have gone. She has taught me about friendship and unconditional love and brightened every day I have spent with her. Poppy, my Jack Russell, is staying with my parents and will no doubt be having an adventure of her own in my dad’s allotment!

In leaving her behind she has taught me another valuable lesson: Sometimes in life we have to follow our own path and do what is right for us. This may not be in line with those around us and we may have to part ways with people who are close to us. So many times this causes anger and frustration because people don’t understand, feel rejected or are operating from some other ego based feeling. However, if we can choose to part ways with love, and they are strong enough to allow us the freedom and space that we need in order to do what we need to do for ourselves, there is a new found appreciation, respect and caring for them which can only nurture the love and the bond we already have. This also leaves the door open for us to return to their lives in the future.

I dedicate this post to Poppy 🙂