Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Traveler. Novelist. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Surfer. Artist. Crazy Cat Lady.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Rape, Slut Shaming, Victim Blaming

This is the best book I have ever read... and I have a lot to say about it and what it is about (rape, slut-shaming and victim-blaming):

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Island Girl

I guess I'm officially an island girl. 

For about a month and a half I've been sculpting out my new life on the island of Mallorca, Spain. It hasn't been easy, although the photographs I take will tell you otherwise. 

Not long after the passage from Italy to Spain on the 32m motoryacht I called home for a month of my new life and world, I quit. I'm not really at liberty to say what happened, nor should it really matter - it just wasn't where I was supposed to be. 

Quitting the boat was a combination of both the toughest decision I have ever made, and yet the easiest. On the one hand, the job was perfect for me. It was permanent, with a fantastic salary and it was (is) based in Mallorca.... so I would have been close to my man who is based here too. 
There were so many postives to the position but at the end of the day I had to make risky sacrifices for my overall happiness. 

As much as I miss the stability of a job with an incredible salary  both in summer and winter, money isn't a big thing to me. OF COURSE there's so much I want to do or buy that requires money (that mint green VW campervan....), but I had to to walk away.

In 2 months I had made more money than I had ever thought possible for me but even so the thought that at the end of June  there would be no more money coming into my bank account frightened me. I tried to take a few days for myself.. catch up on my tan, finish reading my latest book, do yoga... but I couldn't relax. 
I needed to find a job. 

So I got to work polishing up my CV, taking a ridiculous yachtie photo to stick on the front page and refreshed the Palma Yacht Crew facebook page about a million times a day searching for jobs as a junior stewardess on the yachts. I was picky though. One thing I decided had to be compulsory was that the boat must be based here on the island. My relationship was (and is...) to new for me to be away for the entirety on Summer. 
Like I said, sacrifices. 
I could have found a stew job on a boat offering a great salary, I could have been off traveling the Med and perhaps even to the Caribbean, but I wanted my relationship to work more. 
So, almost too conveniently, a job popped up onto the Palma Yacht Group facebook page in between my constant refreshing and it seemed that it ticked all of my boxes: based in Mallorca, family orientated with a few charters in between, a small and friendly crew and so so so relaxed to top it all off.

I think one of the main problems with my last boat was that I was thrust into the deep end way to quickly. Coming from a tiny village in South Africa where I literally didn't even know what a pair of Havinanna (did I spell that right??) flip flops were - to this grand luxury and downright crazy lifestyle.... it was overwhelmed me completely. 

I snatched the calmer job up in a heartbeat and although it is sadly only seasonal which means I am going to need to make some kind of a plan to survive on the island through winter - I'm happy. The boat gave me a bicycle with a little basket on the front and a bell I can use to warn the pedestrians to get out of the way (more often than not they ignore me anyway. Bastards.)
I cycle from home in Cala Major (possibly one of the most wonderful places I have been on my many traveling adventures, to Palma, every morning and evening. 
There's a special cyclists path which is such a great thing to have. It's just so different from back home in South Africa. 

My jon consists of making up the bedrooms, setting the table, food and drink service, assisting the chef, window cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, laundry, stock take, waxing / rinsing / shammying the boat, cleaning the fenders, putting the fenders on and taking them off, unclipping the clip and adjusting the handbrake on the Bow, lines and MORE that has slipped my mind right now.... I am sole stew and deckhand. The experience I am gaining is so beneficial and best of all, I am loving, it. 
It's SO different from my usual 9-5pm desk job.. it's a new world.
Yes it's tough. I haven't had a day off in 3 weeks and there isn't a day off on the horizon for the next few to come... it's exhausting. But it's also amazing. It's hospitality. You've got to be happy and smiley and chatty - and that makes my smile continue all the way back home to my boyfriend. 

After work most nights I dash down to the beach and rip off my clothes, crashing into the atlantic ocean in nothing but a pair of bikini bottoms. After the dip I get back to the beach bar filled with a bunch of South African friends and my boyfriend passes me a gin and tonic. It is absolute BLISS.
Like I said before though, it's not as perfect as it looks or sounds. 

To be very honest, my confidence has taken a ginormous knock. 
I am not used to relying on others. I am so appreciative to have my boyfriend and i know without him I'd be lost right now. 
I'm just used to the comfort of my job, my income, my own transport and flat. My own TIME.... 

A different life. 

The adjustment seemed so east at first but gradually it started eating at me that I've become so reliant on others. I know soon I'll have established a bit of savings and I'll be able to rent my own car (although learning to drive on the other side of the road is going to be a whole other story!!) and afford to do things like treat my boyfriend out to dinner or buy him little presents. He's done so much for me and he is truly such a wonderful man. One of the most generous, giving and kind guys I know. I just hope he, and everyone else that has helped me through this crazy life change of mine (mid-ish life crisis?!) knows just how grateful I am.

So that's me. 
The new me.
The new life I'm adapting to that is so polar-opposite to what I am used to and what I used to write about. 
It's different worlds.

I'm still struggling to write. 

Since my engagement ended and my heart got broken in ways I am only recently realizing and remembering (back then, I blocked it out. All of it. The pain, the suffering, the humiliation..........). 
That's a big part of my confidence knock too I suppose.
I try to write - like now. But it's hard. I just can't bring myself to putting pen to paper anymore. Maybe I will one day, but for now its still too hard. My heart still has a lot of healing to do first. 

"Love is like a spiders silk... it is within us, and infinite. From the spinnerets of HOPE, we can weave love again, even after the web of our heart has been SHATTERED."

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: A Book Review

Wow wow wow! Just finished reading the absolutely incredible book, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

How do you actually sum up your favorite book??? How do you do it justice?

I had tried to read this book a number of times when I was younger and just couldn't get into it - although I'd thoroughly enjoyed the movie. 

I have no idea what took me so long to finally pick such a gem of a book up and enjoy it totally (perhaps because it starts with her being miserable about her divorce and lately I've been battling my way through my failed engagement) but I am so happy I finally did. What an inspiring piece of writing! It was fascinating to read about all of the places I have already been fortunate enough to visit like Italy and Bali. 
In particular, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bali section of the book and it was mind-blowing to read about the Balinese healer Wayan Nuriasih in Ubud who I actually visited during my travels there last year. If you are ever in Bali, please pay this wonderful woman a visit. I have linked my travel story on Bali down below which has a whole section purely dedicated to Wayan and my experience with her. She is unbelievably talented at what she does and I was overwhelmed and a bit spooked out at how accurate she was at diagnosing things that were wrong with me back then! I kid you not, I had a lump in my left breast and I hadn't told anyone about it. This tiny Balinese woman took one look at me, shook my hand and told me straight up, 'You have pain in your left breast.' They were her first words to me. Spooky!!! Read to find out more!!! 

Also just read Eat Pray Love if you haven't already. I wish it hadn't ended. What a book!! 

There are so many messages and quotes throughout these pages. It offered me so much closure and peace and calmness with my current crazy life situations. There are SO many lessons and situations / feelings to relate to. Elizabeth Gilbert will feel like one of your closest and oldest friends by the time you are finished with it. I look up to her like a sister now and can only hope and pray that one day I am lucky enough to really cross paths with her. She is definitely on the list of people both living / dead that I would want at one of those fantasy dinner parties... right along with Chris McCandless and Cheryl Strayed. 

One piece of criticism I would have to say is that I felt like the India section was too educational. There was a lot of spiritual history which yes is wonderful but I would have liked more of her personal story there instead of telling us so much about the history of what she was getting up to. This is possibly also because India is the one place from the book I have not yet been to and I really enjoyed hearing about her experiences in the places I have been to. While I felt that Italy and Indonesia also had heaps of history weaved into her story (which is great) I felt like those sections were more personal??? If that makes any sense at all. But that in no way reduces my mark of a freaking million out of five stars!! :) 

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

I'm Moving to Europe!!

The last month has been an absolute whirlwind. 

Right now I am supposed to be a wife. A barefooted housewife pottering around the kitchen preparing dinner for my hubby in a humble log cabin nestled in a tiny town in South Africa.
When I envision this, I am already one month pregnant. Probably a son. 
I'd have called him Maverick (no, not after the strip club which said hubby would more than likely frequent... after a wave. A very big wave to surf in California. There's the surfer girl coming out in me!)
Instead, I am more free than I have ever been.

"Don't ask her why she needs to be so free... she will tell you it is the only way to be."

I have paid off all of my debt, snipped up my account cards, resigned from my job of three years, given notice at my gorgeous flat where I can lie in bed and listen to the ocean roaring at night. I opened up my life savings and instead of doing what I normally do (buying flights to some exotic paradise like Siargao in the Philippines for a little traveling holiday,) I spent the majority of the money on training courses and medical examinations which I have now completed, leaving me fully qualified to go and work on yachts and cruise ships! 
I made some absolutely wonderful friends during the two weeks of training and we all became very close:   

From there, everything happened so fast that I am still trying to catch my breath. 
I landed a job on a drop dead gorgeous yacht with what seems like an amazingly friendly crew and the next thing I knew, my one way flight to Italy was booked. 
I fly out in exactly 21 days (whose counting?) and have to work at the gallery practically every day until the day before I fly. Hard work pays off though. Always remember that. 

Should it stress you out that at 25 your life is starting completely anew? 
Is it stressful that I now have no home, no address and will be living out of my suitcase as I travel the Med all Summer long (probably even indefinitely), working hard as a stewardess along the way?
Maybe it is. 
Maybe it should be stressful... 
But it's not. 
Because this is what I have always wanted. 

I am extremely excited to crack open the spine of my beautifully decorated travel journal and document my experiences both working as a stewardess on a yacht and also to focus my attention back onto the travel section of this blog. 
I adore sharing my travel stories and photos with people who are just as passionate about travel as I am.
I love reading other travellers stories and become so inspired by their words and moments captured through a lens. 

So I guess all I have to say is....
holy SHIT guys! I'm moving to Europe!!!

21 days and counting.

Bye bye South Africa.

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