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Diary

Evolution of Heartbreak

November 27, 2017

A tonne can happen in just a year, as I have just discovered living in Canada!

Its been almost a year since I left the beautiful state of Western Australia on a one way ticket to Canada. In the last 365 days I have met some of the most incredible souls, and spent most of my time skiing, ice skating, fishing, and exploring the great province of Alberta, Canada.

It began when the person I spent a huge chunk of my adult life with, shared with me that they were no longer in love with me. No longer in love with my laugh, nor my touch or my spirit. Someone I saw a future unfolding with, saw their future without me. My world fell silent, I started to decay. I thought I could fix it, bring it back to what it was, become who I thought I ought to become. Trust me folks, it did not work. Within a week of accepting what I interpreted as ‘it’s not me, it’s you’, I felt my world cracking and rapidly eroding around me. I became a lifeless shell of a human but it was not allowed to last long. Mothers. Boy can Moms manage crisis like pure Queens. My sweet and harsh mother visited me between her work contracts, and started asking too many questions about why I was being so damn emotional. I burst, and told her everything I had endured the last 6 months leading to this point. I never tell her a thing, but heartbreak tends to bring the most rational of people down to their knees. She ordered me to pick myself up, wipe those stupid tears, and pack those goddamn bags. And that is exactly what I did. I had 6 days to pack. I quit my incredible marketing job at an international company, and boarded with a one way ticket to the other side of the world.

I had nothing but doubt… but heck, I’d already lost my world as I knew it, how could it get any worse, right?

I spent 3 months finding my feet. 1 month of tackling adult hood alone- things like, grocery shopping alone & what foods do I actually not like? 1 month of finding courage to try new things, like going to the bar with a group of drop dead gorgeous gal pals, talking to cute bois and dancing in ugly outdoor sandals. My final was a month of exploration- catching the train to the city, finding shady parks and walking the trails through woods as the seasons changed. Those three months were healing, but I needed to work. I landed a gig as a Night Audit in the mountain town of Banff, Alberta.

“You’re the least qualified but the most enthusiastic so I guess you got the job” – boss man, 2016.

It feels like when you come out of a relationship you have to figure ‘you’ out again. Its exhausting and scary. Who the fuck am I? I still don’t know. The winter went on and I started finding confidence in myself. I made some friends, a couple of kindred spirits, and was able to giggle for the first time in many years. I missed friends. Companions. People that were brutally honest and kept things adorably real. Never let these type of people slip from your life. They are the gemstones of your being, regardless of where you roam, these souls will have your best interests at heart, more so than any romantic partner could ever give you.

 

The winter came, I fell in love as the snow fell. In love with skiing. It became my universe. I would work 11pm til 7am, race home and throw on my gear, then waddle down the ice path to the bus that would whisk me into the mountains. I would ski all morning, mostly solo, people tend to be hungover every goddamn day in the mountains. At 1pm I would make my way to the bar to see my pal Alex and taste whatever juicy shot/s he decided I needed, before blindly finding my way back to town and into bed. Eat Work Ski Sleep Repeat. Skiing is freedom. Its the ability to carve your lines, move til your muscles shake, freeze your teeth from smiling as you whizz down hills and through trees and eat shit over and over again. Its a feeling hard to describe, but one of pure undiluted joy. If it were a juice, it would be called “Joy: 200% Concentrate !consume with caution!” and you would be warned not to feed it to children or those of unsound mind.

And so, the seasons changed, I moved to the next town called Canmore, purchased a shitty car, and worked 10-13 hours a day. I lived in temporary accommodation and rode my bike into stationary sign posts at night. (ok that was just that one time, and it hurt.) I wore myself out. 4 months of work, sleep, work. I just wanted to ski goddamnit.

That’s when I got the call. “You should come and make some real money.” It was the carrot dangled before my eyes. I guess you could say I spend a lot of time on indecision, so much so, that sometimes, just sometimes, I jump and yell, “yep thatll do lets do that sure thing why not what the heck lock it in Eddy” and I had 10 days before my flight back to the land down under.

 

Diary

Finding Nowhere

August 27, 2015

As soon as the sun rays lifted above the horizon it set fire to the earth, bringing swarms of flies. My sweat pooled in every crevasse. It was 5 a.m and as I unzipped the swag, a lone fly came to greet me, the first for the day. They stuck to every surface on my salted body- eyelids, lips, nose, and inside your ears- everywhere they shouldn’t go, they did.

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The camp stove was on, and the coffee brewed. I managed to pester my then-boyfriend enough to rise and rig the boat for our day of exploring and fishing. We only had a brief window where the tides would allow us to launch and retrieve the boat from the shore, so timing was important. As we drove over the crusty red dirt and into the white powdered sand dunes, I couldn’t help but notice the pristine coastline stretching as far as the eye could see. Not a soul in sight but each other.

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He backed the car to the edge of the water as it lapped peacefully against the trailer tires. I unhooked the tinnie and started the motor, throwing in a stupid attempt at a little donut before picking him up from the shore, and off we went, into the bluest of blue waters, towards a glistening horizon, on a journey for finding nowhere. It was at this moment I felt truly ‘alone’- at peace. Just us, the only humans for as far as the eye could see, alone with the big ol’ blue. I thought of how some might call this moment one of ‘calmness’ but it couldn’t be farther.

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The ocean tides were strong, gushing out of the bay and towards the horizon. Birds overhead were screeching to one another; fish were flapping about as sharks pushed them to the surface as their morning meals- this place was ALIVE. There was even a vicious looking sea snake cruising by, and turtles appearing to be mating on the waters’ surface in the distance.

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It was uplifting, the thought of it being just the two of us, completely alone in this giant blue world. It was liberating. The gorgeous weather upheld and the day drew on, as we found reefs and rocks leading us to some spectacular blood pumping, tight lined fishing. Ocean fishing is new to me, quite a contrast from the usual estuaries and freshwater creeks, but even with the wrong gear I managed to score a decent catch throughout the day. Watching the enormous tides turn from our tiny tinnie was a breathtaking experience. We were simply fluff in a washing machine, being thrown around as waves broke in every direction. Not a lip of wind yet we were flung across the big blue like a dandelion– it was time to get out of there.

Returning to camp as a sunburnt cherub, I was a changed soul. My mind was opened and from that day on the water at Cape Leveque, I became scarily addicted to the feeling of being without humans, and oh what a glorious feeling this can be.

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Only in solitude do we find ourselves; and in finding ourselves, we find in ourselves all our brothers in solitude -Miguel De Unamuno

Diary Road tripping

Finding Peace – Making My Australian Van-Life Home

August 17, 2015

Making Australian van-life home and finding peace

Nothing. Nothing is what I had, and yet ‘nothing-ness’ was what I searched for most. I had dreamed of empty space, and had decided that the land of vast open plains- Outback Australia- had to become my home.

‘Home’. My suburb was a sparkling speck on the glowing orange horizon. The window was down and my feet dangled in the humid Queensland breeze as we drove as far as we could away from everything we knew. The first few days were tormenting, traces of humans stalked us at every camp we made. From the low hum of ACDC blasting from a shitty ute across the fields in which we pitched, to ciggie stubs and XXXX cans littered on the croc riddled river bed. We needed to go further, we needed to find Australia- the land, the wilderness, and the outback.

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Anxiety and frustration tangled with excitement and curiosity as the first few days flew by in a heartbeat. I had my tasks –swag set up and damper prep, as did he- fire, chairs and wood collection, and without exchanging words we worked like ants at each glorious sunset.

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North-West Queensland was unlike any country I had seen before– the land was harsh and dry, the dirt was a patchwork of rich red that pierced through fields of sharp rocks and dead grass, and the sky was a dull blue haze with not a cloud in sight.

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He drove in silence, simply following the highway, as I was lost in my mind daydreaming about what great discovery lay ahead. We camped in dry creek beds and at the edge of fields off the highway, constantly aware of a human presence lingering. With every dirt track, we veered off the road in the hope of driving to ‘nothing’ but were continually met with fences, closed aboriginal land and sacred grounds in which we could not cross. Where was this vast land we dreamed so much of?

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As I sat, defeated, on a derelict park bench overlooking the Gulf of Queensland, I realised that my expectations had drowned my experience. It felt as if my great adventure had consistently been so far from my reach, and that whole time I had been simply chasing my exploration of a lifetime. That was it, the last straw- this was not the life I wanted yet I had nothing to go back to. Maybe it was the bottle of Chandon I was drinking, or the fact that I turned 22, but that day I let go of all control and expectations. I was already on my journey, and it was goddam magical. My great Australian van-life home is complete.a

 

Diary Travel Tips

Flying Free: Travel after University

August 17, 2015

So, all your friends have already flown the coop while you slave away for your fourth and final year of studies. They’ve managed to score ideal post-grad jobs already, or started travelling to places you can only dream about. Finally, its your chance, classes have finished and you’re done. Free. Only, by choosing to live without a housemate in your last year your bank account resembles the crumbs of fluff in your empty pockets. This is how I found myself. How could I possibly itch the bug of travel after university?

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Throughout my childhood in Far North Queensland, Australia, I dreamed of working on the dive boats – a simple and pure life, in the water and under the sun, and now my chance has come. I’ve packed up my entire life, said farewell to the closest friends I have ever made, and convinced my boyfriend to follow me back home to the Northern Beaches of Cairns.

One tiny hatchback stuffed to the brim with homewards, clothes, trinkets, eventually a bike, and a heart full of ambition to live out simpler days of no exams or assessment pieces in sunny Far North Queensland.

The next day, I landed a job with a highly reputable company doing day trips to the Great Barrier Reef, and my job was to ensure every single person on that boat got in the water and had an incredible time. I would take non swimmers, non-english speaking swimmers, and somehow convince them to grab hold of a floaty and let me guide them through my back yard of vibrant corals and curious fish. It was an amazing experience with a wonderful crew, but the days were long, really long; and with a fixed amount of pay for the day, it didn’t matter what time we mored up at the marina, it would still be another hour of cleaning, stocking, and filling up ready for another sunrise start the next day.

A few months passed and I began to get restless. Days off were scarce and my bank account wasn’t appearing to reflect my hard work and passion for this dream job, not to mention my relationship was hanging by a thread. Turns out, sleeping every chance you get doesn’t make a nice environment for romance.

Restlessness turned into rage as I realised I was once again, stuck, unhappy. Then it hit me- my mom was on the West Coast and we had never been. Both of us, Luke and I, had a raging desire for adventure and getting off the beaten track, so we decided to pack it all in and head across Australia to reach the West. 18 months later we arrived in Perth. 18 sweet, incredible, life-changing months and unfathomable experiences later.

If you’re lost, confused, and your friends seem to be the only people with their shit together, maybe its time to look for your own future, and realise nothing is permanent. Every decision you make can take you closer to finding peace with your life. Many nights were spent curled up in a ball regretting everything and comparing my world to everyone else’s, and even now I wonder if this is right for me. Don’t let comparison confuse your goals and dreams. Graduate, get your piece of paper, and do what you love until you find something else to love. And if travel after university is all you want, then get a job (or many jobs) in the industry to make this happen. Figure out the rest from there 🙂