A Travellerspoint blog

Countdown begins...

Whose idea was this again?

rain 8 °C

12 days to go! Thank God for Christmas is all I can say - preparing for that is distracting me from the hundreds of butterflies (that seem to be breeding at an alarming rate!) in my tummy.

I suppose it helps that I can't wait to finish work! Just two days left and I'm free. The thought of not having to come back in here on 03 Jan like all the other suckers (sorry, I dont really mean that ) is uplifting to say that least!

I am a little regretful maybe that I didnt give myself a week on the other side of Christmas to get organised and relax before heading off. It's been a hectic few months recently and now its going to be a hectic Christmas saying goodbyes, packing, and all the rest of it.

I'm having all the usual doubts - Did I do the right thing? Am I nuts? WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING ACTUALLY???!! I'M NOT BRAVE!, etc..etc.. but I'm hoping everyone goes through these and they just disppear pretty quickly.

So, to New York first. And now there's an all out transport strike I hear! YIKES! Not liking the sound of that! I'm all set to go with my subway map that Anne sent me! Fingers crossed that gets sorted quickly.

Lima next 3 days later. This is where it all gets a bit scary....

Sometimes I wish I was a boy!

Posted by samsara_ 02:34 Archived in Ireland Tagged round_the_world Comments (4)

Dead arm

Ow! Got my vaccinations - ow. :(

Posted by samsara_ 09:27 Comments (1)

A cog reflects on what it means to be free....

12 more weeks of this insufferable grind. 12 more weeks and I am free! :)

I'm trying to get my head around what that's actually going to feel like. Have I ever really been "free" before? I think not.

In the beginning, there were play-pin boundaries and childlocks. Then came primary school (a welcome relief, its true, but a form of captivity nonetheless). Following this, began 6 long years of concentration camp-like internment, otherwise known as SECONDARY SCHOOL. Many people look back on this period of their young life with a certain degree of rose-tinted fondness. Not me, oh no! I remember....nuns..lots of nuns...and rules. I was told who I could or couldnt associate with, what career path I should choose, how I should look, and how I should speak. I've committed those times to the darkest recesses of my memory, where they remain smouldering, only to be stoked every now and then by a brief encounter with one of the aforementioned tyrants or school bullies.

The start of univeristy life heralded a period of feckless abandon, the illusion of having thrown off the shackles of secondary education, and the beginning of MY life. Ha! What a green little freshman was I! In the short space of a year, not only the bank but also the university owned my ass. Exams, resits, deadlines, account balances, overdrafts, contracts, duels at dawn.....no I was certainly not free, but I did love college. ;)

I emerged from university as a butterfly from a cocoon, shaped, moulded, employable (snort), and up to my neck in DEBT! After a brief and ill-advised spell working in a doctor's surgery (because despite what my college tutor told me, no-one actually really wants an ARTS student. ), I was successful in applying for a position as a Technical Writer.
Now I shall certainly experience true freedom, I thought. Where do I sign? Let my star-studded career commence!

Almost a year later, I have become not even an important cog in an important machine. I'm just some crap old cog, buried away in the back of the machine, trundling along, breaking down unnoticed every so often, but yet just necessary enough to have around in case one of the TOP cogs craps out. No, this is freedom neither.

So, what am I do when I am suddenly launched out into the big wide world with little or no deadlines, a healthy enough looking bank balance and no one to tell me what to do? Will I be overcome? Will I go nuts altogether? Will I realise I'm just meant to be an old cog after all and turn around and come back? What will be the outcome?
What does it feel like to be free?

Posted by samsara_ 09:05 Comments (3)

Writer's block in Madrid

Too busy having a good time...

I had a episode of writer's block while in Spain. I brought along my journal fully intending to document all the sights and sounds at the end of each day...but when I sat down to write anything, I found that I was a bit...well....stuck. During one particularly acute episode in Madrid , all I could muster were banal notes like "Went to the Reina Sofia today, really enjoyed it". After a half page or so, I read back over it and realised I hadn't captured anything even remotely close to what I was experiencing. In the end, I gave up, resolving to get down to it properly when I got home to Ireland.

The conclusion I came to was that when you are travelling with other people, you really just don't have the time to write, because you're too busy chatting and planning what to do next, and even when you do find yourself with an hour or two of your own to spare, it's difficult to really settle down to the task at hand because you're wondering what they are doing and looking fwd to hearing about what they've been up to in your absence. Travelling solo affords the sort of time that is more conducive to stimulating the creative process.

Since I've returned home, I still haven't managed to actually write anything much about my time in Spain, due to being back at work and evenings being taken up with giving piano lessons. At least, that's my excuse. Maybe I still have writer's block

To make matter's worse, I arrived back to work to discover that my boss sneakily moved me from my advantageous back-to-the-wall, birds eye view of the room position to a new desk right beside him. Fan-bloody-tastic! My blog entries will be few and far between from now on, it seems. :( My dossing days are over!

Anyway, back to the trip itself. We never actually made it south to Ronda or Seville as we'd initially hoped, but it was a pretty ambitious plan to begin with anyway. We ended up doing a city tour of Spain with one or two stops in smaller places along the way.

I fell in love with Madrid and, if I wasnt committed to my round the world trip now, I might even consider moving there immediately! It's supplanted Rome as my favourite European city. The city is absolutely alive, and what was even better about that was that it was not thronged with tourists.

Dancing in the street.jpg

One of the best nights we had there was meeting Steff. We arranged to meet her outside on of the main Metro stations near where we were staying. Had no idea what she looked like, and there was one or two almost funny/embarrassing moments where I nearly walked up to random people and asked them if they were Steff.

You always feel a little weird when you meet people for the first time, but after 5 mins with Steff you felt like you'd known her all your life. We had a great night, spent most of the night in stitches laughing. First, she took us to a little bar (I forget the name..) where they served this yummy white Basque wine.

Blondes on the town!.jpg

Later on, we went to another bar in La Latina which played flamenco music and we had a few beers and some tapas. We got a fit of giggling at the barman because he had red-hair - he looked more like an IRishman than a Spaniard.

More bar-hopping ensued, and we eventually met up with Steff's Spanish friend Eva who was great fun! Steff ended up as an interpreter for the rest of the evening, but it didnt matter. We all managed to make ourselves understood, and most of the time the conversation just descended into riotous laughter.

Late night.. Latina.jpg

One of our better nights out in Spain, it has to be said. ;)

Anyway, I'd be here all day if I tried to tell you everything that was great about Spain, and none of us really want that. And what with the bad dose of writer's block, and the boss looking over my shoulder, and the laziness, it'll just have to wait. Lol!

Posted by samsara_ 02:36 Comments (3)

9 days to go!

sunny

Only a week and a bit left to go until I can say "Adios!" to this office for two weeks!!

Just booked a car for Spain. Got a 5-door A/C Renault Clio for €189.99 for 10days. Not bad!

I have to do this trip on the CHEEEEEEAP! Absolutely no luxuries..
But we're gonna bring all our camping gear and pitch a tent when we can to save some €€€€€ :)

Can't wait! I'm so looking forward to going back to Spain and just chilling out for a week or so. I really need it at the mo! :(

Yipeeee!

Posted by samsara_ 07:03 Archived in Spain Tagged preparation Comments (3)

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