So, blogging (the beginning)

Image

So, blogging – the modern phenomenon. Like keeping a diary and instead of having it securely hidden away you share with people that you hope will hear you without judging – warmly chuckling and shaking their heads (perhaps) at your silliness and idiosyncrasies, but with you and not wishing you harm, while thinking ‘what an idiot!’.

I had a very quick Skype chat with my parents this morning before leaving the house. They just wanted to let me know that they’ve been following my blog (such as it is so far) and that they found it interesting and are learning new things about me. Dad, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this 🙂 I loved hearing you say that! x

Mum and dad live in Tasmania and we are in Esperance, Western Australia. Travel-wise that’s about three flights and a car drive OR an eight hour drive, two flights and a drive OR one flight or eight hour drive, another flight, a 14 hour ferry trip and another drive to visit them OR (as Mum and Dad did) a train trip across Australia, then a ferry trip and then another drive. Many hours and some days later – depending on mode of transport and need, occasion, mojo and time available – you find each other!

This does mean that there’s not a lot of meaningful contact and catch ups tend to be about the mundane, the everyday – kids, weather, TV or movies (you get it). Opportunities to say ‘Oh, so that’s how you think or feel; that’s how you are like or unlike me’ are rare; life is busy, demanding and complicated. “Life is full of interruptions and complications”, Karl in Love Actually. (I was so disappointed that this relationship was unresolved!”.

Whatever ‘work/job’ I happen to be doing, I tend to work at it until I’m a zombie – only good for the sofa and vaguely coherent mumblings (luckily with no gratuitous people eating or moaning!). So, developing deep relations outside of the marital relationship does not happen!

So, blogging! If I’d ever thought about it before I might have thought that ‘bloggers’ were seriously in love with themselves; self-absorbed, self-involved – all the ‘self adjectives’ that we (society) typically frown upon.

In fact, when I asked my son Mathew had he accepted my invite he said something like “Oh no, Mum – as soon as I saw the word ‘blog’ I was over it. I’m pretty sure I’ve deleted the invite”. My immediate feelings were embarrassment (because the word ‘blog’ incites similar feelings in me) and some hurt, because he wasn’t supporting me.

So (I know, I use ‘so’ a lot 🙂 ) first instinct at hearing ‘blog’ (for some) might be negative on the whole – but these days people blog for all sorts of positive reasons. To tell stories of strength in adversity, to support causes or people in need and to highlight concerns that need attention.

So, I’ll refer to my travel blog as ‘the Story’ – and the story so far has lead to me sitting in a coffee shop for an hour writing this – on my day off – with the pink Parker pen that Becky gave me to ‘note all my great writing ideas’. THAT is a positive outcome.

Lots of love xx

P.S. For those of you who have only very recently become friends and may be thinking ‘What? I thought this was a travel blog’ please don’t feel pressured to stay with me! The idea did start off as writing specifically about our trip to Spain; in the meantime it has morphed somewhat to a story of life and a long introduction to our ‘hopefully amazing’ holiday adventure! xx

So, why do we travel?

One could travel for freedom, education, a challenge, doing something new, getting perspective (the grass is not always greener and our way isn’t the only way!) personal growth and developing skills you never knew you had – like learning a language!

For me – it’s a combination of all of the above – particularly to take a break from the routine and as a transitional thing. Eric and I can spend more time together, instead of spending most of our time with other people, at work.

I’m hoping that we’ll be more active every day – because at the end of a day in the office the last thing I make myself do is exercise. We’ll be walking and perhaps cycling – we’ll be swimming and in fresh air for many hours of the day. Also, we are hoping to help some way in the community.

We’ll read (like we always do) and we’ll go out to local music venues (like we don’t now!). Where do you go in Esperance (or indeed in regional Western Australia) that isn’t the local pub – and our full-on drinking culture?

The original idea of this extended holiday was to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Then we realised that David was still at school (Year 11) and what crazy timing that was, so we’ve made it 2013 when David is in his first year at Uni.

It also happens to be the year of my 50th birthday – so there is the flavour of a mid-life reassessment! Perhaps I’ll be more creative, be braver and talk to more people – coming out of my shell a little. The kids are grown and don’t need me as much and I’m bored with working in admin and am looking for insight.

Talking about being bored with Admin – straight after I finished the Cert IV in Travel last year, I signed up for a double Cert IV in Frontline Management & Business Admin. Pretty much immediately I thought ‘why have I signed up for another dry and uninteresting course?’. Well, of course it was a ‘practical’ decision – related to growth in my work skills (these days, everyone wants you to have a new certificate!). Nothing to do with spiritual or creative growth.

After much fighting with the College,they’ve thankfully let me transfer to something else. There wasn’t a lot I was interested in truly and I’ve ended up enrolled in a travel writing and photography course! At least it is not Admin related and I do want to write and I am going to be travelling – BINGO! Perhaps a step in the right direction! 🙂

So, why have we chosen to spend such a large block of time in Spain? Well, we’ve travelled a little in Europe – a 2 week bus tour in 1994 a couple of visits to Paris over the years. I was born in and lived in Ireland and Eric and I have travelled extensively through the UK – 2 months in Edinburgh and several weeks based in Wales and Scotland – as well as a 2 week bus tour of England.

We’ve also done 4 weeks in Canada, 2 weeks in South Africa, had holidays in Mauritius and Fiji and a week each in Hong Kong and New York. Apart from New York, I’m not interested in America at all!

In our European travels though we never got to Spain. And with its combination of Christian and Moorish history (particularly Andalusia) it feels like somewhere that we can really explore and delight in. For a long period of time the Christians and Muslims lived quite happily together – the Moors ruled the land, but were quite tolerant of their Christian neighbours. Something to aspire to really!

Chuck the Greek Islands in for 10 days and 10 days in Morocco and you’ve got the best of all worlds – ancient Greece and North African heritage! Sounds like magic to me!

So why am I travelling? Personal growth, adventure, culture, escape from the ‘real world’, potential writing fodder, time for quiet and many days and hours in my beautiful husband’s company! Muchos gracias!

Why do you travel? Where do you travel to? When are you travelling again? The daily grind can wear you down and escape to where nobody knows you and there are no demands on your attention, other than what you sincerely choose to pay attention to, can be so rejuvenating. Why humanity likes to holiday, yes?

Bye for now xx