Making plans not excuses.

Making plans not excuses.

We all need plans. Making plans and following through on them gives us a purpose in life, but so often we have no plan, we’re meandering through life or at least through the next few months with no goal, no aim and therefore no purpose. And I’m not really talking major life plans here, just what gets us through the next few months or years, just something that we really want to do or achieve or try. For a long time now I’ve been an advocate of the school of thought. Particularly when it comes to travel and adventure, getting out there, having fun,  exploring and experiencing … making memories. In the contest between material possessions and memories, for me, memories and the making of them wins out every time. Stop making excuses. Last year around this time I got somewhat peeved by the amount of comments I was getting in response to my posts on travel and adventure. Many of these people were around my age or younger and they were coming up with all sorts of reasons why they couldn’t travel, why they couldn’t explore, go on adventures, challenge themselves to experience other cultures, other lifestyles. All of theses reasons were just EXCUSES. The problems, as most perceived them, always seemed to centre around financial constraints, family needs, lack of a travelling partner and then the big one – AGE. They were coming up with reasons why they couldn’t rather than figuring out how they could. No, you’re not too old! I countered all of these arguments in a blog post but that last one, ‘I’m too...
Sisterhood – the value of the women in our lives.

Sisterhood – the value of the women in our lives.

Last weekend I spent a couple of days with a very good friend who I’ve known for several years, today I had lunch with my daughter and tonight I’m having dinner with another good friend who I met relatively recently. Next week I’m heading off for a weekend of relaxation to celebrate the birthday of another friend who’s the same age as me and definitely on my wavelength. So what? You ask. Well – these ladies, and others like them, are my lifelines. Earlier in the year I gave a talk in a country town here in Western Australia to celebrate their 2015 Day for Women, the theme was Embrace the Sisterhood, and in preparing the talk it really brought home to me the importance of the women in our lives. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the women in my life. Those who came to stay and who will be around forever and those who were in my life for only a short space of time but who were so instrumental in getting me to where I needed to be. Some know they played a part, others have no idea how fortunate I consider myself to have met them. Those of you who have been around my blog for a while will know what I’ve managed to achieve. How I returned to study in my 40th year and somehow, after fifteen years of part time study while still dealing with the dramas of family life, I came out of the University of Western Australia with a PhD in my hand and a bewildered look on my...
Going back – revisiting the Himalayas.

Going back – revisiting the Himalayas.

I don’t know about you but there are so many places in the world that I’ve visited that I’d love to go back to. I’ve been there once … or twice … or several times, and still there’s a pull that they exert on me to keep revisiting. The pressure to go back. I want to go back to Paris for the pastries and the sheer Frenchness of it all. I want to go back to Rome for the ancient monuments and the quirky streets, to Florence for the art and the architecture, to Crete for the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle, and I’d love to go back again to England and Scotland, for the history, the Roman ruins and the beautiful countryside – and the list goes on … Switzerland, Cairns, The Black Forest, Antibes, Broome …… In a weeks time I’ll be touching down in Kathmandu ready to head off on my trek into the Everest region – AGAIN! But my reasons for wanting to revisit this area and this type of holiday (okay – some may not call trekking at altitude a holiday) are different and a little hard to describe. The pressure of life. As I sat in a café today with my flat white and white chocolate and Raspberry muffin – because I’m going to be burning it all off over the next few weeks – I looked around me and saw so many people with so many things to do and so many places to go. They’ve made time for coffee with family or friends but they don’t seem relaxed, it’s more like an obligation in their lives, having to schedule...
Countdown to Kathmandu: the philosophy of it all.

Countdown to Kathmandu: the philosophy of it all.

It’s 128 days till I head off on my next big adventure – my second trek in the Everest region of the Himalayas – and I’m counting the days. It was a big decision to make. I remember how difficult the Everest Base Camp Trek was the first time round – the hardest thing I’ve ever done, both mentally and physically, and I have to ask myself why I’ve chosen to do it again. Guess what? I have no answer to that question. I’ve tried to figure it out. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, a lot of talking to myself, getting all philosophical and questioning the whys and wherefores of this strange concept called life. Why do we make the decisions that we do? What propels some of us to explore the boundaries of our mind and break through to a world that stimulates and excites us? What impels us to broaden our horizons, leave our comfort zones behind and barge into the realm of travel, adventure and exploration? Why don’t we just bask in the comfortable cocoon that we sometimes allow society to build around us? As I sit here today, making lists of things to buy and things I mustn’t forget to pack for my trek next April, and places I want to visit while I’m in Kathmandu, I’m excited. I’ve got that buzz back, that frisson of elation and intoxication, that tingle of anticipation that comes when you’re planning a trip. So, whatever it is that makes me keep wanting to travel and explore and push myself on these adventures, I hope I never lose it. It’s...
Ditching those holiday calories!

Ditching those holiday calories!

I’ve just spent two weeks on holiday. Yes, I stayed with my daughter in Melbourne but I still did what we all do on holiday – I spent far too much time eating and drinking and piling on those holiday calories. With my daughter at work and my granddaughter at school I took off most days during the week to do some sightseeing – I’ve finally got the hang of Melbourne’s public transport system, which was a mission in itself. But, all of this sightseeing required the input of a fair amount of energy inducing calories. Coffee and muffins mid morning (so extensive was my research that I could probably write a thesis on muffin tasting in Melbourne and where to find the best raspberry and white chocolate ones) and lunches with wine in scenic spots. During those two weeks there was a birthday to celebrate (with cake obviously), when we could we had dinners out and on the weekends lunch took us to the Dandenongs and the Bayside suburbs and it was great and that’s what we do. It’s part of travelling – eating and drinking in scenic spots, experiencing gastronomic delicacies, local produce and regional wines. When we’re away from home something in us says ‘we’re on holiday, calories don’t count,’ and I don’t think there’s too much wrong with that, it’s part of the enjoyment of seeing the world, as long as when we get home, we deal with the consequences. And that’s what I’m trying to do now – cut the calories and get back into the exercise and training for my upcoming trek to Nepal, to Everest and the Cho La. This is how I’m trying to do...
International Day of the Girl 2014

International Day of the Girl 2014

Today is the International Day of the Girl – a day to celebrate the amazingness of girls everywhere;  A day we get to appreciate what the girls in our life have, to understand how lucky we are and to attempt to spread the word and try to redress a few injustices. This is my eldest granddaughter Bethany who turned sixteen this week. She’s healthy and happy, she lives in a nice house in a nice suburb and she gets three meals a day with snacks in between. She goes to school, she plays sport and she sings with the school choir. She eats out in restaurants and she flies across Australia each year to spend Christmas with the rest of the family. She’s never had to fight for her education or her rightful place in society. This is Sabita, at 16 she had an eight-month-old baby boy. She was married when she was 14. Sabita said, “When I was 14, my family started talking about my marriage which I couldn’t deny as this is the tradition in our village, it was a kind of pressure. “We are poor. My mother and my brother used to work as labourers. I had to drop out from school when I was in grade two. During my first pregnancy, I wasn’t feeling well. I vomited and couldn’t eat anything except milk. Now, my baby boy isn’t very healthy. I realise my life has been negatively changed after getting married at early age.” This is Emily, she’s  my youngest grandchild and she’s eleven years old. She loves to dance and has lessons several times a week. She takes part in dance competitions and concerts...
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