Just a different post

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Whitsundays, Australia

Why? Oh why do I get attention from the people I don’t want?

It’s a strange world. People are unpredictable. Time is irreplaceable. Money is useful but not to be admired.

At the moment, I am travelling solo around the Philippines. Standard. However, this time it’s a little different. Just before I went away, I started seeing a guy. Admittedly only for a week but known him for about a month. I’m not the sort of person who needs someone or been in a constant relationship. I am such a single, independent woman.

Why then am I constantly waiting for a message or looking at my phone? This is not me. I’m on holiday. Am I just liking the attention? Do I actually like this guy?

I don’t understand. While wandering the streets in the Philippines, men are repetitively wanting to speak to me, saying hello. They tell me daily how beautiful I am. Even a guy I was hanging out with for the day commented on how much attention I get from everyone around me.

Random people on social networks are messaging me, again, not to sound big-headed, but remarking on my beauty.

It’s weird. I don’t want this. I just want that one guy to reply to my messages but I feel like he’s the person who is the least interested in me. Maybe I’m over-thinking this.

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Whitsundays, Australia

Today, I was talking to an older, wise man at a hot spring in the mountains, telling me the importance of spending time with people, living life, taking a step back to relax and to not worry about money.

This is true. It really made me think, wonder even. Most of the time I am living life but in a solo sort of way. I’ve achieved a lot on my own but again I’m making memories on my own. Not sharing time with others. Well I am but as a traveller, it’s little segments of time with different people. Not that same one or groups of ones that I cherish and have known for a long time. I wonder, what do I do next? Where do I go? Who do I need to contact? Who do I cherish? Who do I want to spend time with? Real time!

The Philippines: Travelling and Dumaguete

img_20160818_110919Off on another trip. About a week after I returned from my 2 month travel around Australia and Fiji, I booked a flight. It was a cheap flight so it justified. Plus I also wanted to go to The Philippines.

After several weeks of double, I took off 12 days to go to The Philippines. I boarded the plane late morning from Sydney without any hiccups. The flight was direct but also a decent amount of time. As I had bought a cheap airfare, there was no food or entertainment included. However, lucky, I can make time fly pretty quickly without really doing much apart from listening to music and writing.

When I landed, it was already dark. Receiving a new stamp in my passport, I passed border control with ease because I only took hand luggage. My first mission was to get to my hostel, which was meant to be in proximity to the airport. You would have thought this was an easy task but no. First, I took a free transit ride to a hostel which was apparently walking distance. It wasn’t so I thought the easiest way would be just to take a taxi which took me back through the airport with thousand of cars surrounding me. After about an hour of waiting in traffic, twiddling my thumbs, and directing the driver, I arrived at my hostel.img_20160818_084835

Next I banged on the door multiple times, where eventually a guy told me to wait while he rang up. Finally someone came down, asked for my name then closed the door ┬áin my face to return back up stairs. I didn’t feel like I was in the safest of place in the dark with many local hanging out on the street. The receptionist returned, let me in and I checked in. I found out I was sharing a room with a family. For me, it wasn’t a problem but it did feel a little bit awkward and I could tell they weren’t impressed.

By this time, I was super hungry and tired as it was late at night, so I popped outside to find the nearest food establishment: Jobilee, a popular Filipino fast food restaurant. After being stared at and ordering food, I decided to eat back in the tiny hostel. Once I gobbled the tasty spaghetti down, I decided to call it night because I was getting up early the following day.

With my alarm waking me up at about 5am, I had a shower then took my bags in search of a taxi to take me back to the airport. This time, it took about 10 minutes. I checked in to the flight, bought a coffee and waited to board the flight to Dumaguete. It was a pretty stand flight with no much to report on.img_20160820_195735

When I arrived at the tiny airport, I stepped out into the scorching heat, flung my bag on my back and hopped onto a motorbike to take me to my hostel. This was just lush with the wind blowing through my hair and the exhilaration of riding again. This is totally one thing I miss about living in Asia.

Once I got to the hostel, I checked in and placed my bag in my shared dorm. The hostel was great with a lovely outside area and a kitchen to cook for myself.

One reason I came to the Philippines was to go scuba diving so my first port of call was to book a day trip to Apo Island. After speaking to reception, they pointed me in the right direction to organise a trip.img_20160818_104448

I found out the best place was in the centre, only 10 minutes walk away. After booking a scuba diving trip for the next day, I wandered around the centre, which was nothing special: normal kinds of shops, heaps of traffic, friendly people, the dusty air with high humidity. Walking along the promenade area looking over the water with ferries awaiting people was beautiful and tranquil. There really wasn’t much to do or see.

As I strolled back to the hostel covered in sweat, I stopped off to get a bite to eat. I rested a little before taking some more time to explore, where I went to the beach in the opposite direct, but it was disappointing with dirty sand. There were Filipinos just in small hammocks, where I felt I was intruding their space so I turned back.
On the way, a guy on a bike stopped to chat with me and invite me to his bar but I felt a bit awkward so didn’t end up going.

For the rest of the day, I just chilled, scoffed some food and have a nap. I was placed in a 4 bed dorm with the bed being thin and uncomfortable. The outdoor space looked onto a large gardens and the cabins of toilets and showers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future Plans

picture-travelInitially I wasn’t planning on staying in Australia for this long. It just sort of happened. I had a friend in Sydney, who was leaving in February because of her visa. However, I decided to stay as I loved my job, made friends and settle in to a house pretty close to the centre. I was thinking about staying in Sydney for 6 months but now it will be a year.

My time here in Australia is coming to an end. Whizzing around my head is multiple thought, new plans and time to make a decision.

I haven’t got anything in stone yet but I will slowly reveal my next step on this on-going world adventure as a travelling teacher.

My thoughts is to stay in Sydney to work to save up some more bucks then travelling for 2 months: maybe New Zealand, more of Australia, visit the Great wall of China, South Korea and possibly other places. Then, and here goes… Return to my home town, England for Christmas. By this time, it would have been two years since living in the UK. As I ponder this, excitement grows inside me from the thought of seeing, spending time and hugging my family and friends. I may even be an auntie by then.

Peace out!

Beachcomber Island and last days of travelling

DCIM104GOPROWith our stomachs filled with breakfast and our bags packed, we were transfered early morning by minivan then jetty to Beachcomber Island. After arriving on Island, we did our standard check-in procedure and chilled on the beach. For the rest of the  afternoon, we ate a buffet lunch, played volleyball and went snorkeling. Again, in the evening, there was some live entertainment of dancing and singing. it was good but not as good as the first show we saw. A few of us decided to play some volleyball after the show while drinking beers but not for too long as we were feeling sleepy.DCIM104GOPRO

The following day, four of us hired paddle boards and canoes, where we splashed around, failing to balance and smashing into the clear water. I wanted to go paragliding but unfortunately there wasn’t any wind. We also walked around the tiny island, taking photos and scraping my feet against to stones. After scoffing some food down, I left the group to return back to the main island. Everyone else was continuing onto some of the other island but I was coming to the end of my travels.DCIM105GOPRO

I caught the boat back to Vitu Levi Island and was taken to my hostel near the other hostels. I arrived early evening, where I struggled to find my room but did eventually. I took a shower then walked to the hostel I first stayed at to eat the traditional Fijian meal of steamed fish and rice.  I spoke to a few people and joined the kava ceremony before heading back to my hostel to sleep. DCIM104GOPROHowever, when I returned to my room, I realised I had no sheets or pillows so I had to speak to reception but eventually got some sleep.

I can’t believe I was going back to Sydney after 2 months of travelling. It’s insane! Where has the time gone? I absolutely loved Fiji and was so tempted to cancel my flight and start a new life here but in the end I decided to go back to Sydney to see where life would take me next.

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On my last day, I ate some breakfast then strolled down to the beach to relax and get the last of some rays. I bought a sandwich from a cafe place and went back to my hostel to lie by the pool. It was time to leave! Being picked up at the hostel and taken to the airport was pretty uneventful. I checked-in, dropped off my bag and waited to board the plane. I was soon back in Sydney in my old house. It was exactly the same as before I left. It’s weird this concept of travelling and returning with everything the same. All I can say is that I had an incredible two months exploring new places, meeting some amazing people and experiencing some new cultures. Until next time…

Touring Fiji, Viti Levu: school, bilibili rafting, cliff jumping and fun all round

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The next day, rising early, we scoffed down our buffet breakfast, packed and got ready to leave. I bid farewell to the dutch girls and hopped on to the jetty. On the other side, back on the mainland, we drove along the main road, through towns and hills, to our hotel on the south of Viti Leva. After checking-in, we had a bite to eat at the beautiful resort, which over looked the beach.img_20160620_134548

We put our things in our dorm room, which was a huge cabin. Then headed to do the Biausevu trek, where we got dropped off at the bottom of a hill. First, we walked uphill on a stony path, passed a few houses. Next, walking through a man-made trail with bushes around us and trying to avoid standing on a snake, we saw a stunning view of greenery. On the walk, I slipped on the stones to cross a river and then along a hilly, muddy path, I fell on my backside, where I couldn’t stop laughing.DCIM104GOPRO

At the end of a hike was a beautiful waterfall, where there was a 10m jump into the fall. And of course, I cliff jumped. It was such an exhilarating feeling of falling. Majority of the group did the jump, even though some were frightened. We chilled in the water for a while before take the short cut back to the van, where we drove back to our resort.
In the evening, we relaxed in our room then went to the restaurant for dinner. There was an acoustic band bringing us entertainment as we chatted.DCIM104GOPRO

The following day, we hurried down for breakfast early as the food was just meant to be the best with pancakes, cooked and continental brekkie.Once packed, we got in the road again around the island, where we stopped in the capital. Suva was a huge town compared to the other parts but relatively small in contrast with other capitals in the world. There was nothing special about it and just had a shopping area with unexciting shops. We did, however, stop in front of the government house where there was a guard standing out. we hopped off the minibus to take some selfies with the guard and the area. as we were driving through the rest of the city, Amy talked about many other parts and a little about the history of Fiji.DCIM104GOPRO

Our next stop, several miles on, was a typical Fijian village, Nasutoka. On the way, our group was told about the kava ceremony we were going to experience, making sure we were respectful but know the agenda of it. When we got off the bus, we had to make sure our shoulders were covered and that we were wearing a long skirt (even the male among us). A chief from the our circle was appointed. At the door of the large, open, simple room, we were given a necklace made from banana leaves and a flower. The ceremony was very interesting, with a chief at the front, three others facing him and us sitting on the floor at the sides. After the initial speeches and giving of the offerings, we all had a taste of the kava.img_20160620_155834

Once the ceremony was over, we walked out the room, had a mini tour of the surrounding and waited for our traditional lunch to be set up on the floor like a picnic. The food spanned from meat, fish to fried aubergine, fritters and plantain. It was so delicious but also extremely greasy.

Next of the days activities was the bilibili rafting, where we changed in to our swim gear. As three of us sat on a bamboo float, a Fijian guy paddled the boat up to the river back to our bus. The scenery was stunning with a cool breeze blowing through our hair. We were able to stand on the raft and take pictures.DCIM104GOPRO

The last part of the day, we were taken to the village school, where they had just finished their lessons. Assembled together, the primary school children performed some songs and dances to us while we just introduced ourselves to them. Towards the end of the day, we chatted to the children and took photos with them before jumping back on the bus. As we drove through the villages to the Golden point Resort, the sun slowly set.

When we arrived, we were all feeling tired so we rested in our dorm while waiting for our dinner to be served. In the restaurant, we ate our food, where I ate a tasteless curry. img_20160620_133621Next, to our surprise with lack of interest from the group, the staff put on a show of dancing and singing. It was entertaining but in terms of funny and not too good compared to the other shows we had seen. They were so full of enthusiasm and energy, pulling us up to join them with the Fijian Macarena. Tiresomely, we all parts of my body aching, we followed the moves. Soon enough though, the entertainment was finished and we were able to rest our head for the day ahead.

Waking up for the toilet early was a bonus this morning as it just happened to be when the sun was rising. And, I can definitely say what an incredible view over the peaceful water. Once I had a little more time sleeping, I did my normal travelling routine then I sat around a table in the restaurant for my breakfast. It was a slight disappointment but it did fill a hole. In the morning, there was about an hour to spare before leaving the resort. The owner had organised a fish feeding session over the rock but it was literally watching a guy in the distance giving some food to a few fish.img_20160621_100855

On the road, we travelled through scenic Indo-Fijian sugar cane belts to the second biggest city, Lautoka, where we wandered around and grabbed a bite to eat. So… it wasn’t my choice but we ended up eating in McDonalds but as with every McD’s I go to, there is always a slightly different menu but I went with my standard choice.

A little further down, we turned off to have a stop off at the Sabeto hot pool. They were outside in the fresh air with no official building with a mountainous view in the background. Striping to our swimwear, we smothered thick mud all over our bodies including our faces. of course, we had to take some picture of the momentous occasion.

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With all the mud dried with the sun’s help, we lowered ourselves into the warm mud pool to relax. The squelching mud in between my toes did freak me out a little but after a while I got used to it. We must have looked strange to the few locals in the pool. Imagine a group of young foreigners screeching and squealing in a large bath full of mud. Strange.

When we were ready, we transferred to the hot spring, which was all naturally heated to about 65 degree. Luckily, the water flows through a tube lowering the temperature to about 40 degrees for us to bathe in. It was lush. It felt such a treat and well-deserved after all the travelling and walking we had done, plus I just love hot springs.DCIM104GOPRO

Later in the after, we were driven the last leg of our journey back to Nadi, where we stayed in a different hostel to the one I was in before. Once we had dropped our bags in our room, I had a shower before heading to the restaurant next door for a cheap pizza with some of the others. Then, we grabbed some beers from the shop (mainly because we were cheap travellers) and sat on the beach near our hostel. chatting and laughing, we moved to the kava circle to experience and taste some more kava as well as listen to the locals playing the guitar before heading to bed for an early start.

 

 

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