Listening to: Plumb “Cut”
Attire: wrapped into my merino wool Cynthia Rowley over flannel PJ’s
Smells: Twinings Apple, Cinnamon & Raisins tea with loads of milk and honey (best tea ever)
Out the window: Gray
Mood: Flu-ish, but Nyquil-happy

Home with the flu. Climbing the walls. I’m not good at being sick. I can’t sit around in bed all day and keep myself occupied, especially when I’m feeling so shitty, I can’t read, concentrate on movies or turn on the laptop. Those were the worst three days in a long while.

But the migraine subdued, and the laptop no longer serves as lethal threat to me, so it got turned on again.

And I found this over at Peejay Josol, a pic-blog:

Things to do

Funny thing is, this pretty much encapsulates everything I want to do in life. And number 10 is what I’m having the most problems with.

It’s an infinite loop, and number 1 – Go abroad – is always the instigator. In my life, “Go Abroad” is like the bell to Pavlov’s dog – it makes me drool, because I automatically know I’m in for a treat.

I’m not a foodie, food to me is fuel that keeps me from falling over and stop functioning. Because if I fall over and stop functioning, I’ll pretty much be dead, and then I can’t go abroad any more. But food abroad is so much more… fun! Going out to restaurants you’ve never been (my favorites are the hole-in-the-wall where you only see locals and can’t tell one item from another in the non-English menu), trying food you’ve never had before, share a glass of wine or a beer with friends or locals… yum!

One of the greatest parts about traveling, besides seeing new things, is meeting new people. Because every single person has a story you haven’t heard, and that you can learn from, that will enrichen you and make you a better person. And whether you only talk for a little while, or you become lifelong friends, it doesn’t really matter, because they have left their fingerprints over your heart.

I live with my camera permanently stuck to my face. Just got a new macro lens that set me back some financially, but aside from traveling, photography is my only vice. And they go hand in hand, because I love documenting my trips to the very point where I have to remind myself to just be and experience instead of photograph everything. But, after a few thousand frequent flier miles, I think I’ve got the correct balance in place.

If you see someone with big, bright yellow headphones on, it’s probably me. If there’s a Canon Eos strapped to the face, and the person in question is wearing high heels in the middle of the jungle – it’s definitely me. Music plays a huge part of the travel experience. I make sure my iPod is always fully juiced up before boarding a plane or hopping on a tour bus. Because with city sights flashing before your eyes, and your favorite music in your ears, you are creating the soundtrack to your life, one trip at a time. Later, while you go about your daily life, all it takes is for a certain song to come on the radio, and you’re back in Mexico, or Cyprus, or Sri Lanka, or… I take my music with me, but make sure to add some local flavor to the mix while abroad. Experiencing a culture through it’s music must be the very best way of getting under it’s skin.

I have never had excess baggage, but that’s more due to the fact that I travel light and instead spend a ridiculous amount of cash on location. For things to use there, but also for things to take home. If someone has the same dress as me at a party or at work, my day is ruined (yes, I am that shallow), so shopping abroad more or less eliminates that possibility – only problem is the chain stores that are present everywhere, and you can’t buy an original piece of clothing to save your life. But then my money goes to folkloristic art and sculptures. I can’t help myself when it comes to art…

There’s no place like under a straw parasol on a sunny beach somewhere where you don’t speak the language to make you unwind and just read. Often, I go through five or six books per week while abroad, and that taken into consideration I also dive, over-activate myself in volleyball, archery, dance classes etc. I never get enough reading-peace at home, there’s too much to be done for me to sit down and just … read!

I don’t actually make art, more than write a short story or an excerpt to my new, never-going-to-be-published novel. But I do enjoy art – in museums, in folkloristic shops, on street corners where people sit and carve pieces of wood, or dances to live music – in all its forms.

I often forget to do this – number 9 – breathe. Not just oxygenate my brain, but really breathe. Take a moment and take it all in. Deep breaths. It’s one of the things diving taught me – the importance of breathing steadily, deeply, calmly and most importantly, continuously. But in the every day life, I tend to forget. Because deadlines are ganging up on me and fiscal reports don’t match and budgets needs to be revised and salaries needs to be prepared…

Repeat. Because it makes me happy, it lets me breathe and read books and take pictures and just be. For a while. While meeting new people and experiencing new food and taking loads and loads of amazing pictures. Repeat, often!

But life, as so often, tends to get in between. Here’s a healthy tip – if you can’t make your job your vacation, treat it as a mean to go on all the travels you want.

Home with the flu, feeling my entire body ache, I use my time on planning my next loop. Go abroad. Eat good food. Meet new people. Take pretty pictures. Listen to nice music. Go shopping. Read novels. Make art. Breathe. Repeat…