A Break in Newcastle

*Written on Friday November 30th, 2012* 

Long train journeys always make me want to write. They give me the opportunity to gather my thoughts and order my overly-active brain.

As I’m writing this on my BlackBerry for lack of paper, listening to mumford and sons (my all time favourite band!) and the smell of beer from the guys in front of me making me even more excited for this trip, I’m on my way to Newcastle, England! To visit my friend Chloe, whom I met in Ghana where I caught the famous travel bug. It was with her that I backpacked through Australia and we haven’t seen each other for over 3 years!

So while I’m on this side of the North Sea, a visit had to be done. Not only am I excited to see her, I’m on the move again! The lenght of the trip doesn’t matter. I will be in a new city, exploring my surroundings and most important, out of Aberdeen! No bad word about Aberdeen, I love the place, I just need a change of environment now and then.

This weekend will be all about catching up, bringing back memories of Australia, having fun and forgetting about all the school work waiting for me when I get back. Apparently Newcastle is famous for it’s party scene so I have to do some of that as well of course.

As we’re nearing newcastle, the lads on the train are starting to feel the effect of the alcohol they have been consuming sinds Aberdeen. Beers are falling over, the “for fuck sakes” are being yelled and no matter how much I hate overly drunk lads, I can’t help myself but to smile at their accents. After the Irish accent, the Scottish accent is my all time favourite.

As my overly-active brain is ordered again, the train is pulling into Newcastle. With snow falling down outside, I know I’m up for an exciting weekend. Time to find Chloe.

First sea after 3 months on the farm

Chloe and my feet in the sea after working 3 months on a farm in the outback of Australia

Live Life

I commented on a post about loneliness the other day. About why it is that we think doing things by ourselves is so freaking scary! Yet it teaches you who you are, it allows you to focus on what you like and in the end, we are all alone, aren’t we?

I know so well, the feeling of arriving in a new hostel, you don’t know anybody and feel like everybody is staring at you. Thinking how sad it is you are by yourself and that they’re glad they’re not in your shoes! Think again. Most likely half of the people there arrived by themselves and has been in your shoes. And think about it again. If you saw somebody arriving by themselves, would you think: “That poor kid, all by herself, doesn’t know anybody here”.

Same goes for eating out by yourself. Ok, maybe not half of the people in the restaurant have been in your shoes but still, I bet they would like to have the courage to walk into a nice restaurant and eat by themselves. Reading a book while you eat, or sit at the bar to talk to the bartender are ways of making yourself more comfortable doing it. It takes your mind off wondering what people around you might think of you.

I have come across numerous situations in which I found myself alone. When I wonder how the hell I’m going to survive all by myself.  My mind starts going mental with all the possible thoughts other people might have seeing me there, until I give myself a little speech: They are not staring at you, it’s just in your head. Just do it, what do you have to lose? It’s not like they will kill you. You don’t know anybody here and they don’t know you. You will never have to see them again in your entire life. They won’t go home thinking how weird you are. Do you remember every person you have ever seen alone? NO! 

Another thing I always repeat to myself is this one quote an English guy I met in Australia wrote on my diary:

“You only regret the things you didn’t do, not the things you did do”

– Anonymous

I know the quote was not his and that many people have said it but it was him that taught me this lesson. A lesson I will never forget and am very thankfull of. It has made me do things I thought I could never do. As long as I keep repeating this to myself, I know I will keep growing.

As a closure to 10 amazing months I even got a tattoo on my wrist that says Live Life. A small reminder I see every single day, just to remind myself that life is short and you have to make most of it. I lived life in Australia and will never ever forget that.

Do you have any life lessons? Something you use/say to keep yourself sane? To force yourself to talk to a stranger? Live Life!

Flashback – Road trip

I left the office early today to prepare for my round trip here in Bali. 5 Days of travelling through the country I have been living in for almost 7 weeks now. In between packing there was some time for relaxing in the hammock. During those moments of rest, my mind started to wonder and suddenly I was in the outback of Australia again. Long time no see!

After working in a little town for 2 months, me and my friend met up in Cairns again to decide where to go next. The first few days consisted mostly of partying and lying at the pool. One afternoon, while we were walking towards the pool, we walked pass one of those backpacker travel agencies. Out of the blue, we started talking about renting a camper van and just go on a little road trip. It never occured to us before that we actually could  rent one and just drive somewhere. That somewhere being Uluru and Darwin. Within 30 minutes, we planned our trip, booked the van and were back at the pool again. That’s what backpacking is about, no plan, and seeing a country. It turned out to be one of the best spontaneous actions I had ever made.

A few days later, it was only me, my friend, the camper van and the outback of Australia. With its long streched roads, disappearing in the horizon, the heat of the sun, beaming through the camper van’s windows and not another car in sight. We could drive for a few hours without seeing another car and suddenly there would be a huge road train passing us by (if we went faster than 80 km/h, the engine would overheat!).

The picture says it all.