The phantom huggers

China can be a very strange place sometimes…

  

For example today, I was on my lunch break and in the space of about three minutes I got stopped and asked for a hug twice, I thought this was very odd. Well it turns out every so often some of the offices come out to do a team confidence building event where the idea is to go up to random people passing by and ask for a hug. Obviously being China, logic went out the window today and they thought ‘oh look a foreigner who doesn’t understand us, what a great person to try to hug’. 

 

So there I am walking across the square and running towards me is a Chinese man with his arms open wide, seeing the confusion on my face he took the opportunity to embrace me in a hug. I had just about recovered and along comes another person doing the same thing. I turn around confused and all their co-workers are cheering and high fiving them. 

 

Just as I thought it couldn’t get any weirder I turn the corner and a lady runs up to me ‘hello you are so beautiful’ so I said thank you and tried to carry on walking, she then got very close because personal space isn’t a thing in china and tells me I’m pretty. I look around in panic that I’m never going to escape this strange lady and her boyfriend is videoing the interaction! Then this random lady hugs me and once again tells me I’m beautiful and skips off down the road. 

 

So that was what happened to me today, I think I’m still recovering. What a strange lunch break. 

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I miss the sunshine


When I arrived in China a lot of people said beware of the three month dip, everyone gets it. Maybe that’s what’s happening now, I’ve been in China just over three months and I’m feeling a bit down. I’m questioning myself, is this job really for me? Is this making me happy? Is this what I want to do? 

 
I’m not sure if this is the dreaded three month dip. As a whole I quite like China in general, living by myself, the culture. It’s the actual job that’s frustrating me. The independence of having my own apartment, being able to cook what I want, do what I want, even have take away every night if I want to is wonderful. This city though has little to offer, there is little to do on days off other than go to a mall, which there are many of in China. I’m sure you could go to a different mall every week for a year here and still not visit the same one twice. I mean I do love to shop however just visiting a mall every weekend gets a little boring. 

 
The job I’m doing is also not entirely what I expected, I thought I was going to have my own cute little classes to get to know and watch them grow and improve their english. However what I’m actually doing is a completely different story, when we arrived no teachers were leaving which meant the centre was entirely overstaffed and it feels like they are pulling teeth to find things for us to do. It feels like we are being treated like the interns, and we aren’t on the same level as the other teachers, when I was hired as the same job role as them. It’s frustrating that I don’t know what I’m doing each day, I come into work not knowing if I’m going to have to sit around all day or if I’m going to come in and find out someone has called in sick and I’m going to have a teach their class in five minutes. I feel pretty useless and don’t know what to do about it, if there’s anything to even be done about it. 

 
I had a great time on a last minute trip to Hong Kong, I got to catch up with old friends and have a magical time at Disneyland, that’s about the only excitement I’ve had in the past three and a half months. It’s not easy to get places out of Chengdu, flights aren’t super cheap as it’s not a major airport, places of interest are also quite far, too far to get to on a weekend, and with five days holiday a year it’s not easy to plan to see many places.

 
I miss excitement, I miss my old job where I was in a new place more or less everyday, where I felt appreciated and was busy all the time, so even if I felt slightly unhappy I didn’t have large amounts of time to dwell on how I was feeling. I miss how no matter what time of day there was always someone to hang out with and do something fun. I miss blue skies and sunshine, instead I’ve got smog and humid days. I miss going to a restaurant knowing what I’m ordering, rather than having horrid situations like the other day when I was told I was ordering a chicken and potato stew and I fact ending up with a steaming bowl of mushrooms. 

 

Here’s hoping this is the ‘three month dip’ and in a month my feelings will have changed and I won’t be searching flights home multiple times a day, wishing I was on a beach with my friends enjoying real sunshine instead of smog.  

Everything happens for a reason

Everything happens for a reason, I’m struggling to find the reason. 

Nearly three months ago I left ship life to move to china. Two months ago I fell down the stairs and ruptured a ligament in my ankle. Yesterday I went back to the doctor who told me I need surgery to repair the ligament. 
This will require seven days in hospital and then three more months of recovery time. Why me? Why has this happened to me? 
Just over a year ago I had surgery in a foreign country to remove my appendix, which albeit wasn’t an enjoyable experience but atleast it was America and they spoke English and I was flown home to recover. Here people don’t speak English and I don’t know how I am going to get by for that long with nobody here. 
I am torn between staying here because I am quite enjoying living by myself and I like my job. A part of me wants to go home. I can always not take the surgery but then I will be stuck with ankle pain and instability for the rest of my life. 
Why me? What is the reason? I always try to look for the positive. You’re never fully dressed without a smile. Right now I am struggling, I am terrified to be honest. I just don’t know what to do. 

Well, It’s been a while!

It has been a while since I last posted … Almost two years to be precise! A lot has happened in two years, I have traveled around the world and visited over thirty destinations, experienced things I never even dreamed of and learnt so much about myself.

Some of my highlights have been:

  • Skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef, terrifying but incredible.

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  • Spending a weekend at Ellerston, James Packers estate, those views were insane.

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  • Diving in in the Great Barrier Reef (I saw Nemo!!).

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  • The sunsets while I was working at sea.

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  • Travelling up the east coast of Australia in a camper van made for four people, but there actually being five of us sleeping in it. (I don’t think I have ever been so hot in my life!)

  • Bathing in the mud baths of Nha Trang, Vietnam.

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  • Drinking Guinness in Ireland.

  • Exploring the Wicklow mountains in Ireland.

  • Trying pulled pork poutine in Canada.

  •  Sleeping in a raft house in Thailand. (One of the most beautiful places I have ever been!)

  • Everything about Hong Kong.

  • Trying a Singapore Sling in Singapore.

  • Drinking the best apple juice I have ever had in my life in Malaysia (Yes that is a sandwich bag with a straw in, that is how ‘to go’ drinks are served in Asia).

  • And who could forget the wonderful 3D time tunnel in Malaysia!

These are just some of the incredible things I have been lucky enough to experience. I will hopefully (maybe) post about some of them in more detail at some point (not promising anything). Thank you to everyone who has been reading this and those who have encouraged me to start blogging again.
Ciao for now.

I love you Orlando

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Orlando, the place where dreams come true, the destination of many family vacations and the place where I like many others like to call my second home. Orlando will always have a special little place in my heart.

I don’t even know where to begin with things to say about my time in Orlando, I have so many amazing memories and made friends that will last me a lifetime. I am so lucky to have been on vacation to Orlando a couple of times and spend two summers living and working and enjoying all that Orlando has to offer.

When I arrived in Orlando this summer, we had to attend various orientation events, we found out our job and location, I was placed at Cabana Bay Beach Resort as a Lifeguard.

I then had training at Cabana Bay to become a qualified lifeguard and I passed everything with flying colours.

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We then had the weekend off so a last minute trip to Miami was planned and we went the next day. Miami was an adventure, it was the first time I had stayed in a hostel, which was an experience, but it was a fantastic weekend and I’m glad I went!

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I spent my days off hanging around the pool in the accommodation, drinking, there was a lot of drinking. Hanging out at DisneyWorld, my favourite place on earth, or at Universal. I also went to Aquatica a lot which was so much fun and a great hangover cure! Aquatica was also the place I broke my Iphone for the first time ever R.I.P :'(. The Mall of Millenia and the outlets were also fun to spend my wages in.

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I will be back sometime Orlando, I just don’t know when.

Miss you, Love you xo

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How it all started.

I often get asked ‘how do you find these work abroad things?’ 

The first time I participated in a working holiday program was in the summer of 2011.

It was around the time of university applications being sent and I remember being at college and discussing with my class what our plans for the future were. A girl in my class said she had been looking at this program called Camp America where you get to go to America for the summer and work at a summer camp teaching a skill to children and the best part you get payed and have time to travel after. So when I got home that day I told my mum all about this and was like I HAVE to do this it sounds amazing so my mum agreed and I applied online. I ended up getting placed at a camp in Wyoming and Montana with the Girl Scouts.

I travelled after I had finished working at the camp and then started my first year at Uni, I decided I didn’t want to have a boring summer of doing nothing and I wanted to see more of America so I applied again to try a different camp, this time I ended up getting placed at a private camp in West Virginia to teach drama. After camp my best friend flew out to meet me and we went to DisneyWorld together, I got talking to a Cast Members and he asked if I was doing the ‘DCP’ I had no idea what he was talking about.

When I returned home and was sad about being back at Uni and in England, I thought about the conversation with that Cast Member and thought, maybe this ‘DCP’ thing is how you get to work at Disney! So I did some research and it turned out that DCP stood for Disney College Program, my childhood dreams were about to become a reality. First was to get through the tough hiring process, which I managed to do and so I was off to the land of magic, pixie dust and princesses for the summer.

I got back to England just in time for my third and final year of uni, and I thought to myself I will not go back to America this summer, I wanted to do the DCP again but my Uni didn’t finish for summer in time (boohoo). So I tried to make travel plans with friends, they either didn’t have the time off work or the money or whatever. I thought to myself I refuse to spend my last summer holiday stuck at home bored then Yummy Jobs who do the hiring process for the Disney program, started a new program with Loews at Universal in Orlando. This sounded perfect for me, so I quickly applied and waited for the outcome. Luckily I got offered a place on the program and off I went the day after I finished uni. I am so glad that I decided to do this as it turned out to be the best summer I’ve ever had and saw me travel to so many places and meet my best friends!

So this is how I ended up doing my summer work and travel programs. I guess I really have that girl at college to thank for it all, as without her bringing up Camp America I may never have discovered it and opened myself up to these windows of opportunities. If you’re reading, thanks Naomi!

xo

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Travelbug.

Wanderlust: [Noun] A strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

So I’ve been back in not so sunny England for a little over a month now and I’m already counting down the days until I jet off again. First stop Egypt for some winter sun (35 days to be exact).

I need something to keep me occupied so I don’t go crazy with nothing to do whilst I’m at home. Then I thought, why not start a blog.

So here I am, I’m going to post about my previous travels over the past summer and all that jazz, then continue on with updates on my current travelling antics so you can all see what I am up to whilst I am travelling around the world. Hi Mum and Dad!!

Enjoy xo

#wisewords #quote #marktwain #travel

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