Monday, November 29, 2010

Planning begins.

As a self-confessed Vagabond-wannabe, I've always had a desire to travel to remote parts of the world and really explore certain regions. Places like the Amazon jungle, the Moroccan desert and the plains of Africa all make me giddy like a school kid. I have clashing passions though, as a semi-professional career as an SANFL footballer demands that I am in Adelaide for around 11 months a year. This doesn't leave a lot of time year by year to really take off and explore the world like I've planned.

That is why I've decided to save all my travel for a rainy day, although I would prefer not to have poor weather every day I travel! Well my big travel plans anyway, I might have a few short holidays to subdue the travel bug within for some time but eventually it will get the better of me. In the mean time I am making an effort to save money, which is obviously a vital part to the whole travel goal; as well as some up with a rough travel plan, that would obviously be very flexible. Currently that is what I find myself doing whenever I think of traveling and to some extent it does satisfy me. I know though that I won't truly be satisfied with my life until I take off for foreign shores on an extended vacation, with or without friends. Until then though, I've learned a few techniques to help me get through, which I will share over the next week. Stay posted until then!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

New Zealand Mourns

Despite being an Australian-born New Zealand citizen, I have a strong connection to the country. On my Mum's side of the family, majority of our family have been born and are living in New Zealand. This meant I was able to partake in numerous trips across the Tasman Sea to spend time with family. I find a inner connection to New Zealand that I am unable to explain, considering I have lived in Australia all my life. Proud is one word I would use. Proud of what such a small nation can do in this bad-ass world. It is the pride I have in my country that makes the news headlines from November 19, 2010 and the followings weeks so hard to swallow.

On this day, the Pike River Mine near Greymouth, on New Zealand's West Coast, was rocked by a powerful explosion which resulted in 29 miners being stuck inside the mine. The news spread across the world within hours. It was a tragic moment for New Zealand and the mining industry in the country. It was assumed there would be no survivors. Hope was being clung on to by families and friends though. After all, hope was all they and the rest of us praying for the safety of these miners could really hang on to. Dangerous conditions in the mine combined with a number of other setbacks slowed the recovery process considerably. Reports coming out early on Wednesday, November 24th stated that authorities believed there was a chance that there were survivors and everyones hopes began to lift. Unfortunately, as oft happens in life, things don't always go to plan. When a second explosion unexpectedly ripped through the mine that same day, everyones worst fears had instantly been confirmed. All the miners were dead, there would be no survivors. The tragedy ripped at the heart of the nation, and throughout the world as well.

If we learn anything from this, let it be that we are not here forever and that at any moment, your life or the life of a loved one may be taken away without notice. So don't wait for life to come to you. Be bold. Chase your dreams. Have no regrets. You've probably heard it all before, I know I have. Take a second though this time to actually take it all in. We only have one life so make the most of it.

Each of the brave miners had a life story. Wives, Children, Parents, Friends. A history of past events, good and bad, that made them who they were. One of the miner's was still only a child, having just turned 17 years of age the day before the mine collapsed. He died chasing his dreams in the mining industry, as he had always wanted to do.

 I am dedicating this post and my efforts for the rest of this year to be a better person in respect for them. 24 New Zealanders, 2 Australians, 2 Britons and 1 South African. Let us work to make sure their deaths aren't in vain. May their souls Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

127 Hours - based on a true story!

It's not often I find myself truly excited to buy a ticket to a newly-released movie at the cinemas. Sadly I'm one of those people who often wait for the movie to be released on DVD before I make an effort to see it. I even did it with Avatar, one of the highest-rated movies possibly of all-time. So this post marks some kind of a rarity, a special event on my calendar.

I remember hearing the story about Aron Ralston and the climbing accident that truly changed his life forever. If you don't know the story, I won't spoil it for you here. Simply put, he gets stuck between a rock and a hard place (this movie and story really shouldn't be joked about, but I had to slip it in). The subsequent 127 hours throw a number of different challenges Aron's way. It's best if I just leave the rest of the explanation to the trailer attached. Please though, be sure you make an effort to see this movie in the coming months - I have no doubts it will blow you away!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm sitting at the computer at home. The clock in the corner of my screen reads 4:07 PM. I've been busy all day but feel like I've achieved nothing. Who would've thought cleaning my room would really have taken this long? It doesn't matter now anyway.

 I find that by the time I keep hearing the sound of the vacuum cleaners humming over and over in my head that it's time to stop. I'm at that point right now.I'm going start the relaxation period of my weekend by cracking open some form of alcoholic beverage. I cannot wait for tonight's formalities.

Ps. If you get a chance, have a go at at the Traveler IQ Challenge on Facebook. The highest I've scored yet is 378,983 pts.

Africa (De-constructed)

I was searching the archives at World Hum and came across this wonderful video featuring Steve Almond, an American short story writer and essayist. A clever and humorous breakdown of the song 'Africa' by Toto.