Not to sound dramatic, but… It’s over. Continue reading 30 Before 30 – THE END
Lucy was a young, bubbly, tall and sufficiently built Kenyan woman.
She walked tall, with her chest puffed out, shoulders back and her head pulled back even further, somehow oozing a cool nonchalance, even with such a rigid physical stance.
If she had something to say, she said it and she said it loudly, often with a laugh; an infectious laugh, but with a twist of an evil cackle under the surface. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether her laugh was at us or with us. Continue reading Part 11 – Not the Western Way
Our coordinator was way ahead of us and met us from the bus to walk us into the grounds of the children’s centre, through the front gate and along the temporary pathway. Is that an old toilet bowl just there on the ground? Continue reading Part 10 – Mzungu!
The bus came, as expected, at 8am on Tuesday. Naturally, most of the girls were not yet ready.
Not my group though, we were fresh, new and still total geeks – we were first on the bus. Continue reading Part 9 – The First Group
The tiny, gated community of Brakenhurst was the most picturesque little corner of the world I’d ever visited. Small huts and cottages were dotted around a steady green hillside, each separated from the one next door by rows of perfectly trimmed hedges and beautiful flower beds. A thick woodland lined the driveway to the village and beyond that, lush green fields in every direction. Continue reading Part 8 – Limuru
The journey from central Nairobi was an interesting one. It was the first time I’d set foot outside of my hotel since arriving two days earlier, and the absolute first time on the city streets in daylight.
Nairobi is an insanely busy city. The rush hour I travelled through felt like it went on for days and I’ve never seen so many people entering and exiting buildings at one time.
The roads were so hectic throughout the city, I can’t imagine how anybody ever reaches their destination. But there seemed some order to the chaos. To the untrained eye this was an absolute circus, but I could tell that everybody around me knew their next move in this city-wide morning dance routine. Continue reading Part 7 – Onwards
It’s almost here!
One month, 31 days. Continue reading 30 Before 30 – August Update
It hadn’t crossed my mind that since my charity weren’t expecting me for another 24 hours, neither would my hotel.
The agent who had helped me with my travel arrangements had done a mostly wonderful job of setting me up with beautiful charities, hotels, tour companies and generally life changing experiences, with only the small minor mistake of booking my very first flight 24 hours too early for everything. Nobody in this country was expecting me. Continue reading Part 6 – Bookings
After some time, and several more phone calls, it had become clear that this woman, this helpful stranger, was my only hope. In hindsight, I probably could have been a little more confident and independent and selected a trustworthy taxi driver from the crowds of men shouting “Taxi? Taxi!” in my face.
But I wasn’t confident.
I didn’t feel independent.
I was totally alone.
I was starting to question whether my charity was even real. Continue reading Part 5 – Westgate
Three hours after my flight had touched down in Kenya, I was relieved to be sitting.
Sat on a knee-high wall at the exit to the airport, I had finally given up and removed my backpack, resting it safely upright between my knees.
Still no sign of a pick-up. Continue reading Part 4 – Stranger
The first time alone away from home can stir up a lot of new feelings and emotions.
As I strolled through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, my first feelings were of apprehension, sadness and frankly, surprise, at how shoddy the airport looked. The entire building seemed to be made of canvas, as though it wasn’t meant to be there. I vaguely remembered something about a small fire in recent months, but even with tents and canopies in place of the permanent building, the crowds around me were overwhelming and disorganised. Continue reading Part 3 – Pacing
Five nervous bodies squeezed into the family car, parents in the front, three sisters in the back, a 9kg bag in the boot. Three and a half hours of in-car (almost) silence ensued. Continue reading Part 2 – M4
On August 7th 2013, at approximately 4.30am local time, a raging fire broke out inside the main terminal building at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi. The fire destroyed two of the three units within the building and incoming flights were diverted to alternative airports in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Thankfully, there were no fatalities as a result of the blaze. Continue reading Part 1 – Beforehand
I’m that absolute cliché of a traveller.
I started travelling, started a blog, posted a couple of things with no real direction, came home and now I post daily pictures of the life I once had on my Instagram account. Yuk, right?
Well, maybe. But I’m ready to change my ways, I promise! Continue reading A New Beginning – The Full, Troublesome Journey…
Well that month went quickly. A little too quickly. I’ve hardly covered anything since the June update.
I could make all of the excuses, but the biggest excuse is I finally have a job again, which has slowed down progress on my personal goals slightly – but still, yay.
But not to dwell on the bittersweet realities of life, I have at least managed to focus on quality over quantity in my progress this month, so here are my updates since 8th June towards the most important list in my day to day life at present. Continue reading 30 Before 30 – July Update
It’s been a month since the last update – that means I only have 3 more months to the big deadline. Concerning. Continue reading 30 Before 30 – June Update
“How was Australia? I bet you’re disappointed to be home!”
“Your trip in Africa looked amazing, I’d never come home after something like that”
“Don’t come back here, nothing’s changed”
“How can you find a job like this rewarding when you’ve done something like that in Fiji?”
These are just a few of the comments about my return home, some from friends and family, one from an interviewer, but pretty much everybody says the same thing. They’re right. Continue reading How To Give Up Your Travels for Home
Here in Borneo there is a growing concern for the well-being of local forest dwelling species, due to the rising demand for a substance called Palm Oil. Continue reading Palm Oil – Why DO We Care?
The following post describes the experiences of ten volunteers working on the same project over a twelve day period.
No two people are the same, maybe one of the characters below will be able to inspire you to get involved… Continue reading Same But Different – A Volunteer Review
For some, travel is not just about discovering new places, but escaping old ones that have had a negative impact on our lives.
But what if the negativity in your life isn’t coming from your past? What if it’s following you around, bringing down the day? If you’re carrying it with you, you can’t run away from that. Continue reading Travel, Mental Health and You
If you had only 24 hours to spend on the East Coast of Australia, and some kind of epic, futuristic teleportation machine (something like Jeff Goldblum had in ‘The Fly’ but with less dismembered ears, gross body goop and weird mad science vibe), where would you go?
Here are a few suggestions for your time in Queensland and New South Wales – One for every hour of the day! Continue reading A 24 hour guide to Australias East Coast
I interrupt this slowly progressing upload of travel related posts to bring you an important announcement – news of a new game for The Troublesome Traveller for 2017! Continue reading 30 Before 30
As the plane touched down on the tarmac for the third and final time and the roar of the wheels on the ground commenced, signalling that the captain was in control of the high speed aircraft, my heart slowly returned to my chest and I managed to tame my breathing to an acceptable rhythm. It was only then that I realised the Indian lady sitting in the center seat was gripping my hand to the arm rest, as well as her husbands in the window seat to her right, eyes closed, quietly praying. Continue reading Rebuilding Fiji – Constructing, Volunteering, Learning…
Online, that is…
Wow, 3 months is a long time for a talker like me to stay quiet. To be honest, I’ve been suffering from a little bit of a bloggers block while travelling.
I left you in November, in my final week in New Zealand, and I jetted off on my adventures with promises that I’d keep in touch. Well shit, I do apologise, better late than never!
If anybody has been watching, I have posted one update since I flew out of Auckland, asking for help from anybody who could offer it, to build a house in Fiji. But it seems that was my last post – what a rubbish keeper-in-toucher! I ask for your help and tell you NOTHING about progress.
I’d love to bring you up to speed on that, but the story so far is not a short one, so I’ll break it up into bite-sized chunks and I guess I’d better start at the beginning…
I’m building houses in Fiji!
visit my facebook page to see how you can help!
She’s not even subtle about it. I can’t really tell if she’s trying to be subtle, but if she is, she’s failing. Continue reading Irresistible Me…
While I have every intention of continuing this blog, this is going to be the last post in this series, for no other reason than the simple fact that I know no more than I’ll have told you by the end of this chapter. Continue reading 1 Week – The Final Chapter, Maybe
It’s a belated post and for that, I’m sorry. You were worried, I can tell…
It seems the appropriate time, with Halloween upon us, to tell you my dark secret:
I am so, so scared.
Don’t say I never give you honesty.
In Malay orang means “person” and utan is derived from hutan, which means “forest.”
The Malay words for the tree-loving sun bear mean “he who likes to sit high.”
It’s been a couple of weeks since I mentioned it and I’m sure you’re all… not even vaguely moved by my lack of updates, but I thought, what the hell, I’m going to write you another one anyway! Continue reading 6 WEEKS – The Countdown Continues
Don’t you just hate when somebody lives their life a certain way and wants to make you ‘just like them’. Vegans who feel the need to put you off your food, and city centre preachers who damn you to hell for your sins. Continue reading 25 Reasons to Avoid World Travel
BAM! Another crack to the side of my face and I feel my entire body slide like a rag-doll across the kitchen floor, effortlessly, out of my control.
Every hair stands on end as he bounds towards me for another lashing, as though I fought back in some way and needed to be punished further. I can see the excitement in his eyes as he towers over me, his arm raised behind his head, ready to strike another blow. This one knocks me almost out of his reach. Continue reading Under the Kitchen Counter
Is it exciting to float through life without any plans? Does that make a person spontaneous, or is it just a good excuse to never commit to anything? Continue reading Planning – A Game for Winners or Losers?
I’ve been planning my trip to Fiji for a few months now, sometimes I think I’m no closer to making my final decisions that the day I started. It’s taken me such a long time to find out everything I need to know to organise my time there. I thought it might be helpful to put this all you’ll need to know in one place. This post includes most of the information you’ll need, the fun stuff and the serious bits you’ll need to consider before you go, along with links to the best places to find further information. Continue reading Planning Your Trip to Fiji
It’s a bumpy ride down to the base of the falls, but so beautiful and so worth it. Unmissable. Continue reading A Picture of Happiness
I promised some interactive travel planning and I intend to deliver. Continue reading 10 WEEKS – Planning Fiji
It was exactly like the nightmare. That one where your mouth is wide open and you’re emptying your lungs, giving it everything you’ve got, but nothing comes out, no sound, not a peep. It feels like there’s no air inside of you and however much noise you think is about to come out, there’s just… silence.
You see these stories all the time, it’s almost common for this to happen to somebody else, but not to you. You just read about them, you’ll never be the subject of the drama, the main character. Continue reading Dust in the Light
It’s been a good life, for the most part.
There aren’t many out there who can say this, but I truly mean it: I have served my purpose.
I don’t mean to be morbid, but I’m ready. There was never really a better time than now.
I’m going to end this. Continue reading Admitting Defeat
It’s time. We are officially inside the 12 weeks mark and now I can talk about it.
Let the countdown commence to the next leg of my trip. The scariest and most exciting part so far, because this, my friends… Is the home run!
It’s been 6 days. I feel deserted out here, alone, forgotten.
That last, fateful day, I could tell she loved me. Could tell she would do anything to keep me safe. Continue reading Forgotten
Similarly to diagnosed depression or anxiety, if you have not experienced it yourself, the chances are you will be skeptical that this condition truly exists.
I have heard no end of people who suggest that people who suffer with depression just need to “cheer up” and those with anxiety should just “chill out”, but encase you’ve ever used these phrases towards somebody who’s suffering with an ongoing invisible illness, I will clarify for you right now that although they may have turned the corners of their mouth up at you, or possibly just ignored you and continued with their day, their internal monologue absolutely, definitely, 100% called you a dick. Continue reading Happy to be S.A.D.
He stirred and watched as she straightened her arms to push up her body. After a quick “Upward Dog” to stretch her back (a phrase he’d learned from the occasional yoga class she invited him along to), she pushed herself up onto her knees, hovering provocatively over him on all fours for a brief moment and, with a swift and smooth motion of her left arm, swept up her sunglasses on her way to her feet. Continue reading Observing The Girl
If you work, or have ever worked in an office environment, you may well have met Janet.
This post pays tribute to the woman who manages to surprise me daily. She crosses boundaries and far exceeds the expectations of those around her from one day to the next. She is, without a doubt, unrivaled, absolutely and stupendously THE most negative human being I have ever met. Continue reading Sh!t Janet Says
I have had an epiphany and I’m making some changes. Continue reading The Power of Positive Communication
And even then, I’ll probably want to compare notes about them…
A Troublesome Travel Review
I regularly receive messages from friends and acquaintances who I’ve met along my way, who seem to think that I permanently live the life they see on social media. I won’t lie, I love that life, it looks like heaps of fun. But mostly I’m spending the days in between those posts, just sitting, waiting for another cool thing to happen.
So here are a few confessions to remind people that I am just a human who travels, and frankly, I’m not really all that good at humaning.
I am ridiculously lazy. I’m actually not even sure how I hold down a job…
THIS POST CONTAINS AN OPINION ON THE UK’S EU REFERENDUM OUTCOME
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
48% of British voters were today disappointed with a decision from the UK voter majority to leave the EU. Heck, I’m not even mad, that’s amazing… Continue reading No Backsies
Somebody come away with me.
Somebody who wants to be free. Free from the chains of the modern day world we’re living in. Free from social media. Free from social norms. Free from judgement. Free from the perceived personalities that are forced on us to live in a modern day western society.
Come with me to another place. A place where everybody lives within their means and money is no object, because everybody lives day by day on just what they have available to them and money holds no true value.
Let’s pay a visit to the past and never question the future.
Come and live in the forest, away from suits, away from technology, away from traffic, away from home décor and beauty magazines.
Let’s live near a stream and fish for our dinner.
We’ll live by the beach and spend the days making pictures in the sand and our nights making fires.
Let’s live in a small community of like-minded people, where nobody is competing with anybody else. Where everybody is just who they are. Where nobody feels the need to put their neighbour down in order to make themselves look superior.
Let’s just be free.
Come travel the world with me.