a new day
Monday, December 31, 2007
a new day
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I used to be upset about the thought of having my family spread out all over the world, however now I realize that I can almost go to any country and have a place to stay. So far, my family extend around this planet starting with; Australia, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, London, Paris and Los Angeles. Not to bad to have these places to visit and have free accommodation.
Christmas Day here was an absolute riot! I have not laughed so hard in my entire life. Everyone had to perform, sing, dance, play an instrument or act. One of the girlfriends is from China and she wins the award for best performance. She did a rendition of Mary had a little lamb, as deaf, dumb, blind Chinese girl. There is no way to explain how funny this actually was, but luckily I have the dvd of it. SNL can eat there hearts out, because she was funnier than anyone on that cast - and she's a lawyer. Oh my goodness....so wonderful. Luckily for me, I arrived late, so didn't perform.. Wouldn't be able to top this girl, that's for sure!
I've been catching up with a lot of friends which has been amazing. Going out and having a great time. Melbourne is such a dicotomy to LA, espcially the people. Everywhere I go, people are just being themselves. No one is being pretenious or trying to look good for anyone but themselves. I am sure there are people like that here, but not in the masses I find in LA. It's very liberating to see so many people just out to enjoy each others company, instead of "being seen, or 'scene'."
Today I drove around Melbourne on the wrong side of the road, in my head I had to say to myself, "stay to the left, stay to the left" and every time I got into drive, I sat in the passenger seat..ha ha...I was pulled over by the police, a routine check-point, and they checked my licence and registration. It was pretty humorous becasue, this morning when I left the house, my cousin threw me a set of keys and said, "take THE SAAB". (There are alot of people who live in this house and a lot of cars) so when the police "lady" asked me, who the car was registered to and address, etc. I had no idea who's car I was driving and no papers. I am glad she didn't book me for driving a stolen car! Luckily she believed my story and let me go saying "enjoy the rest of your holiday and hope you come back soon".
Melbourne is the most amazingly colorful and exciting cities I have seen for many years. Even though I was born here, today I went and explored. I walked around the city taking pictures all day long. I have never really stopped and noticed all the artistic architecture before and today I was amazed at how this city has incorporated the old buildings, with the new modern ones. Really something to see. There is art pouring out of this place. I don't think there is anywhere you can go and won't find some form of art...
I have eaten all the Australia food necessary to sustain me until next time I come, like: 4 and 20 pie, twisties, sausage rolls, pasties, chips, vegimite toast, chocolate and all the rest of things I grew up with and now I am completely satisfied that I will not need to eat anything for a long, long, time.
Can't wait to get home now. Only a few days left! Even though it will be lonely back in LA, I am happy to create a wonderful new life for myself and create a hub where all are welcome! Very exciting stuff...
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It's Christmas eve today and it is like any other day of the week. Christmas afternoon, I will leave Noosa and fly to Melbourne to see my other family for Christmas dinner. A jet set Christmas, but exciting to be in two places on the same day. Today has been like any other day in Noosa. Relaxed, people coming and going, lots of food, walks on the beach, shopping, coffee at the cafe, coming and going, relaxing....The thing I have enjoyed the most about today is that there is no fuss or muss over presents and gifts. Christmas here is more about, where are we going and what are we eating". I made my famous guacamole dish today and as usual, it was devoured. Love that.
I am really missing Madison a today and we have already talked on the phone a couple of times. For some reason, today was the first time since I left LA, I am really, really home sick for her. All of a sudden she sounds so grown up and we talk to one another as if we are friends. She is so cute and has a calendar that she has been crossing off with the days remaining until I come home - 7 days left! I have no idea where the time has gone...
Although I have had the most incrediable time and my journeys have been delightful and theraputic, I am starting to get the picture more clearly and understand that my life isn't waiting to begin....it has begun and there is no right or wrong path, only the path we are on. And the path is always an adventure!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Friday, December 21, 2007
We all woke up early this morning to take whats called ""the walk". The walk takes you all the way around Noosa's coast and forests. It starts out as a magical forest that leads to the nude beach, then winds up to Hells Gate and down to the shops for breakfast. The walk takes us 2 hours and it was hard work. We ate breakfast at The Deck and and came home. Now its time to relax and have a nap before my 3 cousins and aunt arrive from Edinburgh in about an hour. Then we have a b'que for Soph's birthday and watch the sunset with a bottle of champagne on the beach later tonight. I am to tired to write and the humidity and heat has my mind feeling numb.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I finally made it to Noosa Beach Australia after some delays getting out of Fiji. Noosa is a small beach community on the Gold Coast where the woman radiate natural beauty, the men are toned and tan from surfing, the weather tropical and warm, cockatoos and Rosella birds fly around in the hundreds, Koala Bears sit in their gum trees munching on leaves in the middle of town and the people are friendly, relaxed and not in a hurry. This place is a slice of heaven and I immediately feel HOME!
Last night I sat with my beautiful aunt Dianne, and stunning cousin, Sophia drinking wine and gabbing on like old friends. I feel so comfortable here that I am already looking at property for sale. Well, maybe in my dreams, but can't hurt to dream right! The lifestyle here is so easy and the people so laid back and creative that last night I fell right into place and Sophia and I were tearing up and smiling because of all the beauty in the world - maybe it was the wine and the moment, but who cares..... it was magic!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
Another tropical storm passes through Fiji today. It is pouring and I mean pouring with rain, wind, thunder, and lighting, as I sit with my windows wide open, curtains flapping wildly, and the balmy heat flows through. I feel a sense of calm, yet sadness. Tomorrow will be last day in Fiji and the time as flashed past me. My next stop - Noosa Beach, Australia, where I will visit aunts and cousins, some of whom I haven’t seen in at least 17- years. I am looking forward to some family time now.
Today I have been reflecting on my reasons to come to Fiji - to heal wounds, escape a world wind of turbulence of a past life and the hopes that my journey will help navigate my way to my own place in this world. For the first time in my life, I am standing naked and free to explore myself, as a woman, mother, lover, creative soul, and free spirit - a terrifying moment in life, yet an opportunity to be brave and open.
It is unclear if coming to Fiji has provided the answers to the questions I have been searching for and today tears weep from my eyes, reluctant, yet expected. I have embraced this time alone to be an explorer of this beautiful place, and the freedom to explore my own mind, body, and soul, but realize that life is nothing if experienced alone. Fiji has reminded me that I have a lot to be grateful for in my life and although the journey may be bitter sweet, I will never regret yesterday and will always strive for a better tomorrow.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Today I boarded a small boat and traveled to Mala, Mala Island. This island is uninhabited and the only thing to do there is eat, drink, swim, snorkel, or lay in the sand.
I of course choose to do all of them. Firstly, I snorkeled along the coral reef that surrounds this tiny island. It was spectacular as the reef is relatively shallow, but the drop off is spooky. I keep looking down at this drop off into oblivion hoping a shark wasn’t lurking about. We saw a shark from the boat, so I know they are out there. I have an extreme fear of sharks and even when I am swimming in a pool I think that a shark might just pop out of nowhere. My braveness is stiffening since I have embarked on my journey and I am learning to face my fears, one-at-a-time. No shark appears as I snorkel, at least I didn’t see him if he was out there.
Then I eat, drink, swim, and lay in the sand. Surprisingly I did this for 6 hours. In Fiji, there is “Fiji Time” and “No Fiji Time”. Fiji Time of course means, there is no such thing as time and no need to rush, hurry or be somewhere. When you wait for a bus and it is late, the boys at reception smile and say “Fiji Time Ah!” -- No Fiji time means you need to be at the airport to make your flight. Most brochures for tours or excursions will be specific as to whether it is Fiji time or No Fiji time. Today – I am on Fiji time.
Everyone should experience Fiji Time - it is blissfully therapeutic, and my day on Mala Mala was just that.
Friday, December 14, 2007
As it turns out, maybe I should not have offered to drink the Kava. The night has been long and miserable. As I lay in my bed rocking back-and-forth, my stomach extremely mad at me. No need to explain the details, but this has been the longest and most miserable night of my life.
As soon as the sun rises, I call the front desk and ask if there is a doctor in the house? I explain how I feel and she informs me that I must immediately phone Dr. Raju and see him as soon as possible. She also informs me that he is the 'best' and 'only' doctor in town.
I force myself to shower and get dressed and drag my aching body to the lobby and ask for a taxi. I get in and ask the driver to please take me to Dr. Raju. No need to give him an address, as my driver knows where to take me. Dr. Raju sees me immediately, listens to my stomach with his stethoscope, feels my belly, and says, “My dear, you have a classic case of travelers, 'you know what'….and you will need anti-biotic to kill those bugs in your tummy”, and he hands me a brochure. I tell him that I drank the Kava yesterday at a village and he says, “Well then, no more Kava for you young lady”, and sends me on my way with anti-biotic in hand.
Ahh….the joy’s of travel….but I won't let this detour me from having another adventure, but maybe today it will be in the day-spa!
So, this morning I wake up early to catch my bus to the dock, where I will board my vessel. The journey will take many hours as we stop at other islands to pick up and drop off other passengers. Some of these islands we stop at are so small you could probably walk the perimeter less than 30 minutes. We finally arrive at a small island called Mana and board a Schooner, which will take us to Modriki. Aboard our vessel, the “Sea Spray’, are 10 couples and me, the oddity…
First our journey will take us to a Fijian island village. The Sea Spray anchors and a small boat takes us ashore to a small village. We are told by our captain to cover up and remove our hats and he asks us if there are any volunteers to drink the Kava as a sign of trust, which will allow is to trespass upon this village. I raise my hand, but it goes unnoticed and two men are chosen to do the honor. Kava holds a very significant tradition for the Fijians, and you can never enter a village without it. Kava is a pepper and has been used as a stress reliever. Its properties combat depression, reduce anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
We enter the village and are taken to a ceremonial room, where the Chief sits along side some other villagers. The two men drink the Kava, clap their palms three times and we are welcomed to their village. The Chief asks us if anyone else would like to have the Kava. I move forward, feeling a sense of obligation and respect and a small boy stands before me, claps his palms three times, and hands me the Kava juice. I drink it and clap my hands three times as a sign of respect. Other than myself, there are only two other men (no woman) that take the Chiefs offer. I am not sure if I am stupid or, just being respectful. Oh well….I don’t feel any effects at all. None…It doesn’t taste very good, but I feel good that I honored the Chief.
I walk through the market and purchase a salt bowl, and now I feel I have paid enough respect to walk around the village and take some pictures. We only have 20 minutes with the villagers, so I hurry to take it all in.
The 10 lovebirds and me, board the little boat that takes us back to the Schooner and we are off to Modriki Island – also known as Castaway Island. We anchor and the Captain asks if anyone would like to jump overboard and swim ashore. I raise my hand, walk to the gate, my snorkel, and flippers in hand, and jump overboard. I assume there will be others that want jump overboard; however, I am the only one. So… I swim alone to Castaway Island, while the ‘lovebirds’ take a dingy.
I love snorkeling. There is an entire other universe under the ocean that is like being on another planet. I could very easily get lost floating around for days looking at all the amazing fish and coral. I love the way my body feels floating carelessly and the sound of my own breath and spying on the unknown universe below.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Today I sit under a palm tree with my book, i-pod and journal. I think about getting up and doing something, but I feel content to be here for a while.
Here are a few words I wrote about nothing and everything…
Life is a journey to experience
To learn, grow and be yourself
To look at the world with eyes wide open
Life is a journey no matter where you are
A journey of constant change
The thunder beacons and the clouds roll in
I sit alone in paradise
Will it rain or will the sunshine again
I sit alone in paradise
The wind blows harder, it blows my hat away, and I chase it
The thunder gets louder but I am not afraid
I feel you near me and feel safe again
Two thunderous lighting bolts light up the sky
I sit alone in paradise
The thunder continues to boom
but the sun always shines in paradise
Sorry to bore…but that’s all I did today…….
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
This morning I woke up and decided I would rent a car and go explore Fiji. I set off in my little Thirfty car with no direction in mind and as I drove away from my hotel, a smile appeared across my face for no apparent reason, or maybe a sense of freedom overcomes me.
As I drive thru the little town of Nadi, I realize how impoverished Fiji is. Cars are blowing fumes and there are very few tourists about. This morning over breakfast I heard that Fiji is suffering right now as tourism is their number one source of income (second to sugar cane) and due to internal fighting and a recent Cyclone miss, Fiji is baron of tourists. This is obvious as I drive thru the town of Nadi.
Once I get on the only road in Fiji, there is a very distinct change in scenery. It is tropical and green, with rolling hills and countryside, but along the road, there are brightly colored tin sheds, with freshly washed clothes hanging to dry, cows tied up along side the road and occasionally a man or boy carrying a machete. I become strangely intimidated by this scene and wonder how these beautiful, happy people live like this. I would have stopped and taken photos along the way, but somehow I thought it would be rude or imposing, or maybe I simply felt too vulnerable doing it alone.
I drive for maybe 2 hours and the scene hasn’t changed very much. I pass through another little town and see a sign with an arrow, which says, “To the Fort.” I decide to head up the road and have a look. It takes me about 20 minutes to drive up this little dirt road there isn’t a soul insight, no cars, no people, nothing… except for a horse, a stray dog and some chickens. I wonder if I should turn around… but I am being brave, so continue up the road. Once at the top, I discover that this is a “tourist attraction”, except there are none. This place is called, Tavuni Hill Fortification. The history says that it was established by a Tongan Chief named, Maile Letamani. He left Tonga to avoid dispute in the reigning Tui Pelehaki Family. He established this fort as a place of love and peace for his family. The surrounding area is still occupied by his descendants today.
So, my journey today led me to a special historical place for love, peace, and family…mmmmmm
Monday, December 10, 2007
After going through all the checkpoints, I make my way to the waiting area at gate 104. All the different types of people waiting there surprise me. I guess I was expecting tourists, but very few look like tourists. Most look like native Fijians returning home. Some resemble newly weds embarking on their honeymoon. None resemble a blonde white girl from Brentwood going on a sabbatical, alone..
I start getting nervous and worried that I am making a bad decision. Maybe I should walk right on out of this waiting area, gate 104, and go straight home -right now. What am I doing? I say to myself…just sit tight and be brave, breathe, relax. But, I cannot – I am all nerves and my stomach is doing back flips. Why am I going to Fiji anyway? I can’t remember my exact thought process now. It seemed so logical at the time, and now I am crying in front of all these strangers for no good reason. Nevertheless, I pull my bootstraps up and I board the plane anyway.
Now I have flown 8,886 miles from LA to Nadi. I Step foot in Fiji at 6:30am. It is absolutely beautiful! The weather is tropical and the people are lovely and full of smiles. This place is stunning. I am ushered to a bus by a man named Bobby, who will be driving me to my hotel. I am wearing my boots (literally), because it was freezing in LA when I left and now I wish I had not.
The bus arrives at the hotel, and many “Hula’s” exchanged. A man named Sam shows me to my room and has already figured out that I am traveling alone on holiday. He says to me, “Maybe you meet a nice Fijian man and never leave”. I smile. Then he says, “Someone like me!” I smile and say “Thank you Sam and good-bye.”
Now I am starving, so quickly get something to eat, put on my bikini, and head out to the beach, and low and behold, my hammock awaits me, hanging between two perfect palm trees. The sky is blue, the water is perfect, and a slight breeze blows to ease the heat. I had better work on my tan a little bit, because I am the whitest person on this entire island. The sounds of birds chirping, wind blowing, and the ocean make me feel like I am in a Corona commercial. I am starting to relax…a little…
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Today I finally depart for Fiji. Yippy! My flight takes off at 10:30pm and I land in Fiji at 5:15am (2 days later). It is already tomorrow in Fiji. It will take 10 hours and 45 minutes to fly half way around the world. The other side of our earths equator. Ten hours is a long time to sit in an airplane, I have flown to Australia many times and that flight is 14 hours, so maybe this one won’t be so bad. I dislike long flights, but that’s all part of the adventure.
As usual, I’ve packed way to much stuff, especially since most of it will never even come out of my suitcase and I’ll wear the same thing over and over again. Oh well…this is one of my idiosyncrasy’s. The most important items, I am carrying in a backpack: my camera, my journal, my passport, my toothbrush, and lip-gloss.
When I step foot in this beautiful place called Fiji, I will smile and say, “Bula!” (Hello) and if someone asks me, “Where are you going?” I will say, “sega, gaade gaa.” Translated this means – “nowhere special, just wandering around”.
Oh….how fun this all is! Stay tuned. I will be posting everyday. I'm gonna have plenty of time!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
This is my auntie Jenny - my dad's sister. Last night we went and had a glass of wine at Casa Del Mar, which overlooks Santa Monica Beach. Jenny and I usually have our daughters running around when we are together and our conversations are often left midstream and later forgotten because we are interrupted to repair a scooter, or settle an argument. Tonight we had each other’s company exclusively. We gabbed until almost 2am. Way past our bedtime.
I remember being a complete brat at Jenny’s 21st birthday party...I was responsible for the keg and making sure each and every beer had the ‘perfect ‘head ‘ on it. I took this responsibility very seriously. I was 7 years old. (All Australians teach their young to pour a good beer). Back then our age difference seemed like an eternity, but now we sit and talk like old high school friends.
This brief moment made me think how important it is to take the time to know your family on an intimate level. To know ‘who’ they are as individuals, separate from holding the title of auntie, sister, or mother, but to know them as a fellow human being and love them.
So, today I indulge in this moment and tomorrow I will indulge in Fiji!
Friday, December 7, 2007
NADI, Fiji - A powerful cyclone packing wind gusts up to 155 mph pounded islands in northern Fiji on Friday (today), and officials feared many of the flimsy thatched homes of farmers and fishermen would be blown away.
"It's most likely going to be one of the severest cyclones to hit the country in recent times."
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Last night I could not sleep, as random thoughts were dancing around in my mind like a leaf on a windy day. As I lay in my cloud thinking one thought, I would say to myself, “oh..that’s a very clever thought, I must remember that in the morning”, but the next thing I know, I am already thinking about something else and ‘poof’, my very clever thought has disappeared into the wind.
One thought that I do remember is what a novice I am with words and as a writer. I read a book a couple of weeks ago called: The Four Agreements, an enlightening little book, with a powerful message. One of the Agreements is, “Be Impeccable With Your Word.” This concept had my mind racing all night long. “The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life. The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you.”
This concept seems so sheepishly simply, yet I think it has many connotations. I won’t share all my thoughts about this passage, because it would be very long and arduous and kept me awake all night (and I am too tired). However, it did give me a new purpose, which is to become more educated about words and the expression for which I want to use them. Maybe in the near future, I will be able to articulate and share all my thoughts about this simple little concept, called the WORD.
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Los Angeles is already in full swing…. the twinkle lights are up, Santa’s house is everywhere, and the Christmas trees are sparkling. The malls are jammed with a vortex of shoppers carrying brightly colored bags that make us want to purchase something.
Requests for my wish list are already beginning to roll in. So….. here it is:
If it’s handmade, by you - I want it
If you created it - I want it
If you painted it - I want it
If you wrote it – I want it
I will be just as happy to have nothing at all
For I am giving myself the very best gift….. 8 days in Fiji and 14 days in the Beautiful Land Down Under…where people eat vegemite sandwich’s, drink beer before noon, never pronounce the letter ‘R’ - as it takes up too much time and they always know how to smile and say “G’Day Mate”!
So, my dear friends, this year I am giving you the chronicles of my journey and if you’re lucky, I’ll bring you a sea shell from Fiji……. Or maybe a vegemite sandwich…yummy....
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
“Five Sleeps” until I depart and I can already tell, they will be the slowest five days of my life. My desire to get away is pressing heavy on me, but also questioning my sanity.
When you’re questioning your own sanity, you should always talk to an Angel. So, last night I called my friend and we talked about the meaning of life, new journeys, and the roads less traveled. I am forever the optimist and dreamer, which can sometimes irritate her, but she is always so encouraging and understanding of my quirky views. She loves to laugh at my quick wit, and even in my despair, I can make her belly roll. I love this about Angelina. Last night I told her that I am feeling guilty about leaving for 22 days over Christmas, but my heart is telling me I am making the right decision – should I listen to my heart. My Angel says, “Honey…...22 days is a crazy long time, but go with purpose. Make decisions about what you want for ‘yourself’ and only ‘you’. Then come back and live your life exactly the way you want to live it. You always get what you want – I am behind you all the way.”
This is the true meaning of friendship
Monday, December 3, 2007
On another note, this day is also.....well....another day on the journey of life.
Have you ever met someone and discovered a kindred spirit? I have. It is a very profound feeling that overcomes you with knowing you feel understood, or having a commonality that bonds you, or feeling like there is no effort to put those Lego pieces together, because they just fit.
A friend put it simply to me one day. “Imagine” he said, “that you are born an Indian, but raised by a white family in the city. All your life you feel out of place and don’t feel quite at home. It’s not that you don’t like it. It just feels wrong. Then one day you find your way back to your Indian family. You make it back to your tribe, people that are your kind – you’re understood, because they are your tribe.”
Happy travels Renaissance Man.......to new chapters, journeys and loving how beautful life is!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
These words sum up all I am feeling tonight.
Hold on to yourself
For this is gonna hurt like hell
Hold on to yourself
You know that only time will tell
What is it in me that refuses to believe
This isn't easier than the real thing
My love you know that you're my best friend
You know I'd do anything for you
My love let nothing come between us
My love for you are strong and true
Am I in heaven here or am I...
At the crossroads I am standing
So now you're sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you'll be strong tomorrow and we'll
See another day and we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile across your face
Oh god if you're out there won't you hear me
I know that we've never talked before
Oh god the man I love is leaving
Am I in heaven here or am I in hell
At the crossroads I am standing
Hold on to yourself
For this is gonna hurt like hell
Before I say what it said, here are a few things to know about the Ram. They are:
Restless. Reckless. Impatient. Temperamental. Opinionated. Lustful. Impulsive. Blunt. Irresponsible. Impetuous. Over Confident. Quick Tempered. Jealous. Self-Indulgent. Competitive. Argumentative. Volatile. Head Strong.
So, today when I opened up my email here is what it said. I find it especially fitting today.
"Although you might not go anywhere today, you will likely be thinking of journeying to faraway lands and distant galaxies as Mercury in your 9th House activates your inner explorer. Watching a travelogue or trying foods from other cultures could be enough for now to satisfy your wanderlust."
Need I say more?