On getting lost: even when you know exactly where you are.

let's get lostSo I was standing in the middle of an Australian street, sweating in the 35 degree heat, with a map in my hand and a puzzled look on my face, when a lady – a total stranger – bothered to turn her car around in busy traffic, pull over beside me and ask where I was looking for.

Being a newbie to the country, I had no phone, no internet, and absolutely no sense of direction (though the last bit isn’t technically the fault of the whole new country thing.)

So, the lady – Cindy, FYI – googled the address on her phone for me. She even called the location to check the address details. And THEN she offered to drive me there.

No sooner had I hopped in, we’d arrived at my destination and she was wishing me ‘a great day!’ before smiling, pulling away, and continuing with the rest of her life.

My first thought: I hope she doesn’t notice that I sweated all over her seat.

My second thought: That would never happen in England!

But then, what if it would?

See, while I was praising the kindness of Australians (obviously this one kind act was a reflection of the entire population) and cursing my hometown for its apparent rudeness and ignorance, it got me to thinking that actually:

I’ve never let myself get lost enough to find out.

Back home, in my little town, in my little bubble, everything is in the same place it’s been for all of the other 25 years I’ve been there. My car would get me from A to B and sometimes C and then back to A again. And I’d never get to speak to strangers (mainly because that was the NUMBER ONE rule of life according to everything we were ever taught from ages 1-18), but also because everyone was so familiar, and I didn’t need to.

(OK, so there was this one time where I picked up a hitch hiker called Len because I was having a ‘why not’ moment. And, although Len was a very nice chap, with funny ‘on the road’ stories that he seemed delighted to share, it was such a spontaneous trip in such close proximity to a stranger that it turned out feeling more weird than exciting. And my friends and family have since informed me that it’s just not the done thing.)

BUT, how about, without necessarily having to let any strangers into any cars, we just start popping our little bubbles from time to time.

Why don’t we get a little bit lost, so we can discover the kind people or pretty places or quirky things we mightn’t have known otherwise…all the way back.

And who knows, you might even get to meet Len!

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On saying ‘yes’ to…oh just a LIFE CHANGE!

Remember how I started to say ‘yes’ to life? Well, I may have gotten a little carried away and decided to say yes to quitting my job and travelling the world!

Oops.

Deciding to pack up my desk and spend life on a beach for a year might seem like the easiest decision in the world to make, but ducking out on a great and more importantly safe career, well that’s just crazy isn’t it?

I mean, to go from living at home with my family, a ten minute drive from work and my best friends, twice weekly date nights with the boy and a familiar face at every corner of my little world, to the other side of the big wide world, where everything will be different, is madness right?

At first I definitely thought so.

But you see, now that this is ACTUALLY HAPPENING, I’m beginning to wonder if it would be even crazier for me to stay exactly where I am.

Whilst I do love a routine – work, gym, friends, shopping, date night, drinks, staying in with a good book, repeat – I also love to be spontaneous, to meet new people, to be curious about the world, to do as little as possible for hours on end, to try new things and to be completely inspired, but my lovely little routine just has this habit of getting in the way.

So I’ve just gone and said ‘yes, go on then!’, and now me and the boyf will be heading for hot springs in New Zealand and island hopping in Fiji, for a cruise along the Australian coast without a single routine in sight. Sure, we’ll be in a tiny hot campervan for a while, just the two of us, every day, on a budget, where there’s snakes and spiders and scariest of all a suitcase for a wardrobe (OK, can I change my mind now?) But the thought of doing something I never thought I would or could? Well to put it lightly, I’m so excited I could bloody pop!

I know it’s not for everyone, HELL it might not be for me, but I’ll never know unless I give it a try. That’s why in 60 days from now (nope, not counting) I’ll be jumping on a plane for a big adventure down under, and hey, maybe even out of one too! (Sorry Mum.)

And, apart from the time I turned up to a hotel and I’d actually booked it for the previous night, oh and the one where I left my suitcase on a train and had to buy face wipes, pants and a toothbrush from the station, oh and that time in Paris where the tube doors shut on me before I could leap on to my friends and I had to wait for them to come back and get me, yeah, apart from those things, I’m all set for travel!

10 bikinis - that's enough, right?

10 bikinis – that’s enough, right?

Any words of support would be greatly appreciated – I’m sure you’ll agree I’m going to need them!