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A little time in my hometown for Christmas and New Year

img_20170103_153351After travelling, working and volunteering for two years in various countries around the world, it was time to visit my home country. In the last few days of travelling, time seemed to slow down as I was anticipating my arrival back home.

I was so excited to see my friends and family, and with only two weeks back in England, I had to plan and pack my days in. This wasn’t the easiest thing to do as it was Christmas and New Year and many people were busy.

At the London airport, I collected my bag and walked through the arrival gate. As kind of expected, my mum and sister wasn’t there, but it didn’t take took long before I saw them. I had the biggest grin on my face. I gave them the biggest hug. It was so strange seeing them in person and not on skype.

During those two weeks, I did as much as I could, loving the fact of spending time with friends and family and just appreciating my hometown again. Some of the things included:

  • spending Christmas day with my Mum, younger brother, sister and her boyfriend
  • having boxing day round my brother’s house
  • seeing my nephew for the first time
  • having New Years with my best friend, pub crawling
  • visiting London with my mum and seeing a theatre show
  • going to Bristol for a few days to see family
  • wandering around Brighton, exploring the laines, shopping, seeing the beach
  • going to the Marina with my old housemate
  • having coffee with friends
  • spending time with jan
  • enjoying take aways with friends
  • seeing a Uni friend in winchester
  • having lunch with my sister
  • having a final farewell with family

It was an incredible two weeks at home, and it made me realise it was the right time to visit. It also felt extremely odd as everything felt familiar but also distant. I felt like I just didn’t quite belong there anymore. I have changed and maybe so have others. I don’t know my future in the long term but right now I love travelling.

My next plans is to fly to Bolivia in South America. This will be my first time in this part of the world, ticking off a new continent. I’m going to travel Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador before settling in to a place in Colombia to teach. At the moment, I don’t know where I will be travelling in these countries or for how long as i’m waiting for the Colombian government to confirm my start day. However, I am extremely excited to be moving on but also sad to say farewell to my friends and family.

Mixed bag of emotions: one downside of being a traveller

received_10153837839346759I have never really experienced the downside to travelling. I have been travelling for near two years. I’m not saying that it has always been all fun and games, but when things don’t quite go the way you planned, you just have to face the problem. Once the whole time I’ve been away have I felt homesick. I’m usually just as hard as a rock.

However, on Friday, I was completely overwhelmed by everything. To get the back story: I’ve been living in Sydney for nearly a year, and I have to leave here this week due to my visa conditions. No big deal. Well? I’ve just been feeling really weird: I know I don’t want to stay here, I know I have new and exciting opportunities coming up, but, somehow, I must have more of a connection to here than I thought.

My heart just feels like it’s dying. A piece of my heart will stay here. Maybe, it’s because I know I can’t stay here again. It is the other side of the world to my home country. I’m never going to live and experience Australia again.

It’s weird… when I first arrived I had a huge culture shock from living in Asia and didn’t even want to be here and now, I don’t feel ready to leave.

Friday was just the final straw of all my emotions piling up. Basically I told my jobs two weeks in advance that I would be leaving, which is pretty nice of me as I legally only had to give them one hour. Anyway, I found out in an unprofessional way, two minutes before my day class that it would be my last time teaching them. I just didn’t know what to say to them. I was in shock. To make things worst, I arrived at my evening school and the manager sat me down, and again told me the exact same thing.

Emotions were filling my eyes. I just couldn’t move or think.I wasn’t ready to be saying farewell. It really meant I was leaving Sydney. It actually started to kick in. I have so many questions in my head and no fixed feeling. I know my plans for the immediate future. Am I worried? Am I scared? Why have I done this to myself?

They never tell you in the book of travelling this hard part. I’ve known and experience other bad parts of travelling but never this feeling. I can’t even express into word. I kind of feel like a steam truck has flattened me, not able to breathe. Or everything around me, including the surroundings, my friends, jobs, people are just like bubbles that are bursting, disappearing from my sight slowly.

I keep telling myself ‘It’s not goodbye… It’s see you later’ even though it’s hard knowing there are friends I will unlikely see again.

I miss living in Asia: visiting The Philippines

philippines-mapSince being back in South-East Asia in The Philippines, I’ve realised there are a lot of things I miss about living in this part of the world:
– The easy living, relaxed lifestyle
– The cheapness of transport, food and accomodation. For example, a meal costs about 70 pesos (2 AUD, £1), to get a tricycle anywhere in town is about 10 pesos ( 30 Australian cents or 15p).
– The chaotic traffic with no lights and winding between vehicles
– Driving a motorbike easily and freely
– The friendliness of people wanting to say hello or have a conversation
– Unfortunately (or maybe for some people fortunately), I do receive a lot of attention for several reason 1. I’m foreign 2. I’m a women 3. I’m young 4. I’m blonde. Walking down the street, I get a beep or a wave or a hello or a wolf whistle or a comment about how beautiful I am, literally every minute.
– The hot, humid climate. I love this sort of weather.
– How early the day starts and finishes
– How things change so quickly. For example, I was meant to get the only ferry to another island yesterday and it was cancelled due to ‘big waves’.
– Being able to be in dresses and flip-flops everyday
– The on-street food establishments at the side of the road
– The scenery
– The dirt track roads
– No safety rules
– The lack of jay-walking fines
– The lateness of everything (this use to annoy me but now I just embrace it)
– The different currency
– I would say the food but The Philippines doesn’t have the best food
– Just having no plans and seeing where the day takes you
I mean the list could go on and on. I hope one day, I will be able to live in South-East Asia again. For now I will just embrace this beautiful country!

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!

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