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You’ve caught the virus

the one they spread

of toxic thoughts

and social dread.

 

Your bright eyes heavy

dulled in vain

from all the insomnia

thoughts that stain

 

Your mind it’s anxious

a trembling thread

of wicked voices

you cannot shed.

 

Your body is weary

from sleepless nights

your thinning limbs

a pitiful sight.

 

Your lip it quivers

a trembling shame

hollow cheeks

depressions claim.

Working the World…

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I’ve become very aware that of late my social media has become some glamorised version of my life. Honestly? A lot of my travels have been pretty spectacular but I have spent 70% of this year working and I think it’s important to discuss that. My travels haven’t been handed to me, I haven’t just spontaneously boarded a plane to the other side of the world and filled my days with abundant adventure. Actually other than the marvellous first month of my Working Holiday Visa the rest of the time was spent working one to two jobs or worrying about getting work and staying afloat. I’m currently being paid very minimum wage on a blueberry farm,  where I’m constantly anxious about not having the money to pay my rent and eat. There was a point earlier this year where I was down to just $60 in my bank which may not seem very little but when you’re three months into your independent adventure on the other side of the world it’s super scary. Just last week I was stuck on 62 cents for four days, living on rationed cereal. It’s not ideal but its part of the adventure.

It would be nice to have unlimited money to fill your life with careless travels but there is no feeling quite like earning your way in this world. You appreciate what you work to afford so much more. It can be daunting when the people you meet have already achieved so many cool things. Everyone I know pretty much has already done the east coast and I’ve just burned through all my east coast savings flitting around Australia following farm work leads. It’s a very personal thing travelling and you can’t measure your “success” by other peoples standards. I haven’t done any long term travelling through the outback or week long road trips on the great ocean road but I will. In the meantime I’ve fallen in love with Sydney, created a little family amongst my colleagues and fellow city dwellers, experienced some amazing beach days and found solace in my adventure craving soul on day long beach walks and intercity getaways. I know Sydney pretty well, have come to call it home and I’m now in a desperate enough state to be able to charge on through 88 days of brutal, heated, back breaking farm work to stay another year. In the meantime I’m back to earning my way, advancing the boundaries of what I can cope with, giving back to the country I love.

I needed to put this out there because there was a point not too long ago that I thought travel was an impossibility, I was lost and uninspired in England. It has taken a lot but I’m here now and no matter how many hours I sacrifice to work I regret not one decision I’ve made this year. It’s been the best year of my life and I’m ever grateful to myself for making it happen. So if you’re reading this from a similar state of indecision and fear, here is your push. Give yourself into the risk because I promise it will be a risk worth taking.

N x

 

Words on my mind: Spirituality

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“Spirituality is rebellion; religiousness is orthodoxy. Spirituality is individuality; religiousness is just remaining part of the crowd psychology. Religiousness keeps you a sheep, and spirituality is a lion’s roar.” – Osho

Sometimes I become obsessed with words and ideas, things that make a big bang in the chaos of my thoughts. I’ll read a quote, a definition of a word, I’ll overhear a conversation on the bus and something in the deepest part of me just twinkles alive. Why are humans so scared of feeling? So scared of connecting with the heavy energy of our world. We reach out to each other everyday when our gazes meet, when we brush past a stranger in the street, when we like a post on instagram. But we never build on it, we keep it secret and brewing inside, we turn it into poetry, into a dream we have no control over. We are scared of what being human inherently means. To feel. We let other people dictate who we should be, what we should pursue, where we should go. We let our worth be weighed up by the people society has taught us to view as higher than ourselves. This pollution of power has always seemed to be such an intrinsic problem in religion.

Take, for example, this guy in Newcastle city centre who would stop you in the street and ramble about God, about his divinity, his goodness and his forgiveness. After this forceful speech of God’s righteousness he would move onto racist slurs and homophobic jibes. It was so backward. “Oh I’m such a devoted follower of this holy spirit full of light and beauty but shame on these people and the things they can’t help being. Judgment and punishment to anyone outside of this ludicrous assessment the bible has taught me. God has no room for them, but he has room for me and my blind hatred, in his master plan for a peaceful love centric world.” Come on now.

When I was in high school our religious studies teacher used to talk about how the church was an archaic memory, about how England had lost it’s religion. He’s right. Unfortunately for England and America people have taken judgement, unfair dictations and severe hatred and use a loose passage in the bible to justify it, they’ve just forgotten all of the goodness. We carry with us those archaic discriminatory views first implemented by the church and it’s such waste of what could be, and oftentimes is, such a pure kindness filled belief system.

With spirituality I’ve found the lightness of being, the intricate web that connects you with her and him and them. A deep energy filled existence that stretched out tendrils of knowing and connects you to a greater purpose. I toyed with the Christian way of life when I was thirteen and the Buddhist way in my later teens. But like everything, the labels are just labels, humans trying desperately to categorise a bunch of thoughts to make life less scary. But it isn’t scary it’s mysterious and we need to remember the core of all the hundreds of beliefs around the world, whether aboriginal spirit or the holy divinity of the church. We want kindness, we want unity, we want a fair place to live, let our light spark up and when we die? Well we’ll deal with that when it comes. Make your energy vibrate with kindness and forgiveness, with creativity and passion, take all you are, all you hope to be and push it out into the world. At the heart of every faith is love, act on that.

 

Kuta…

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Screeching of wheels, violent screams of horns, whizzing of scooters swerve through traffic and people precariously walk to avoid their urgent rampage onto the pavement. The roads are packed, jammed, a mess of loud overheating vehicles.

Lining these roads are ‘Warungs’ of harem pants in garish prints, faux Ralph Lauren polos and smiling shopkeepers with charming English enticements memorised for weak materialistic westerners. The people are friendly but do need to make a living, they tirelessly push with desperate grins and outreached hands. I smile and shake my head, a thousand ‘No Thank you’s’ as I follow on the narrow pathway behind my friend, stepping over happy religious offerings of flowers and sweets. Nothing seems real in these early moments, as an onslaught of voices and intricate architecture hound my laid back demeanour.

I remember one thing especially clear from our first expedition into the roads of Kuta. Three men netting up a stray dog out in the open, in plain sight of tourists and locals alike. My hands clenched into fists as I turned my gaze away, not nearly quickly enough to avoid seeing the poor creature move ever so slightly. The scene is haunting still now as I torment myself for not being brave enough to intervene, a self proclaimed animal activist who left a victim in pain and torment. But then my conscience was toying with what I viewed as right and what their world viewed as right. I guess that acceptance of being the privileged outsider is a bitter fact to accept but an important one too. It’s still not an excuse I should of stepped in. My role as the outsider would only become further realised as my trip continues.

After this incomprehensible scene my mind is momentarily cleared, my body relaxed as we make it onto the beach. By this point many a traveller in many a hostel have regaled tales of heavy parties, drunken stupidity and the splendour of Kuta beach to my eager inexperienced ears. But this is something you have to experience yourself. It’s covered in tourists, not quite a tropical retreat, the salesman are ever present with their surfboards, their chairs, their warm Bintangs but it’s part of its charm. The sea is crystal clear, frothing waves speckled with surfers, gleeful kids paddle in the shallows, the salt water calm sneaks up onto the almost white sand and bathes my feet, grounding and inspiring me. I nod my head softly and exhale, its been a couple of hard working months since I got to really enjoy a beach this way. There will never be anywhere I feel more at home than by the sea, soaked by the sun.