learning

(Untitled thoughts of one who strongly dislikes saying goodbye)

I haven’t posted in a while I know. That isn’t due to a lack of possible content, but more because I feel there hasn’t exactly been anything to post. Until now that is.

What you’re about to read won’t be pretty, elegant or eloquent – after all, it is part of my ‘Untitled’ collection – but it will be brutally honest about my opinion/feelings on goodbyes, drawing on personal experience with the odd observation added in.

First of all, I would like to make one thing clear, goodbyes suck. At least, in my opinion they do. The dictionary definition for goodbye is: “an expression of good wishes when parting or at the end of a conversation”. To be honest, I think this is pretty weak. I believe that J.M Barrie hits the nail on the head in Peter Pan when he wrote “never say goodbye, because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”. It is a poignant line that has stayed with me for many a year. Why? Well, because it is true.

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The boy who moved away

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re doing something’

– Neil Gaiman

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Sitting atop Mt Ngauruhue with my mascot, Khaleesi

In my 2015 year review, the boy who started to live, I finished my post with the above quote by Neil Gaiman. If anything, it is more relevant for 2016 than in any year previously.

Why? Because over the course of this year I have made mistakes. Some were negative, but others did lead to positive outcomes. That is just on the surface though. If we look at it as some sort of checklist then;

  • Making new things? Check
  • Trying new things? Check
  • Learning more about the world around me? Check
  • Pushing yourself? Check
  • Changing my world? Check
  • Doing things I’ve ever done before? Check

If we measure 2016 against this then, without doubt, it is my most successful yet. That shouldn’t come as a surprise though. I may be extremely fortunate to have ended up in my current situation, but it didn’t come without sacrifice and hard work. So, as the year pulled into its home strait and the emotional goodbyes were had, there I was. One a plane bound to New Zealand. Now here I am in Australia, my home for the foreseeable future.

When I say it that way, it just seems to cap off a very strange year. Not so much for me, but just in general. Those working in the newsrooms have certainly earned their keep in 2016, because when there wasn’t tragedy striking at the heart of Asia, Africa or Europe, then there has always been another high-profile death. There was no such thing as a slow news week either because, if there was nothing new to report regarding the above elements, then the various forms of media outlets could always fill their boots with Brexit and the rise of Trump.

As I said, 2016? A very strange year. On a personal level though, I have to admit, it’s been pretty great… which is probably an understatement.

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Callum’s 2016 Adventures: North Island, New Zealand pt.2

‘There’s a real purity in New Zealand that doesn’t exist in the states.
It’s actually not an easy thing to find in our world anymore.
It’s a unique place because it is so far away from the rest of the world.
There is a sense of isolation and also being protected’
– Elijah Wood

Hobbiton: 20.11.16

Without doubt, the Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tour is a must see for any LotR and Hobbit fans. Not only do you learn some amazing behind-the-scenes information, you also discover the insane attention and care that was put into ensuring every detail of this set was absolutely perfect. If that isn’t enough, then there is also a pint of ale or cider at The Green Dragon thrown in for good measure!

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

‘There is nothing in the world worth of exploring more than nature’– Nikola Tesla

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is set between Zagreb and Zadar at the heart if northern Croatia. It became  a UNESCO National Park in the mid-1970s in order to keep it protected and pure. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the world with ‘its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species’ (quote taken from visit-croatia).

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 9 Zagreb, Croatia

‘Don’t take life seriously, you will never get out of it alive!’ – Anonymous

Day 20: Zagreb 04.09.15

Plan of Action:

  • Explore Upper Town
  • Visit the useum of Broken Relationships
  • Wander down to Zagreb Main Square

Zagreb is a city that I didn’t see enough of. It’s a shame really, because it has gathered an unfair reputation of being one of the more boring Croatian cities for a traveller to visit. I would dispute this. In fact, if I was to go back for a leisurely few days I can imagine it being a city that I could easily count amongst my favourites.

Looking back on it, there are two things about my time in Zagreb that stand out for me. The first is that we did everything in the wrong order, the second is that I regret not taking more pictures.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.8 Budapest, Hungary

‘If you come from Paris to Budapest you think you are in Moscow
but if you go from Moscow to Budapest you think you are in Paris’
– Gyorgy Ligeti

Authors Note: This post is going to be slightly different from the ones before, because my experience in Budapest was one that left me feeling a mixture of emotions. In part this was down to the extreme heat and the location of our accommodation, but also because I found myself in Budapest at the height of the 2015 Refugee Crisis where the international train stations were closed. I know how the BBC reported it, but what I saw differed. All of which will be touched on below.

Day 16 – Day 17: Bratislava – Budapest 31.08.15 – 01.09.15

Plan of Action N/A

A mid-morning train from Bratislava brought us into Budapest early afternoon. Having heard so many great stores and having been told about so many places to go, I was eagerly anticipating what Budapest had in store. Unfortunately, for a multitude of reasons, I found myself feeling more deflated than I did after Vienna. During the time we were there it was a complete disaster, it’s only looking back on the visit that I feel any sort of fondness for the city.

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Decide that you can instead of thinking that you can’t

‘The road to success is not easy to navigate.
But with hard work, drive and passion,
it’s possible to achieve’ 

I am not one for New Years resolutions. In fact, I disagree with them. Why would you make a promise to yourself to do something on only one specific day of the year?

Everyone comes to a decision in their own time about what they do or don’t want to do. It’s those decisions that are more likely to stick, rather than something rushed because of this “new year, new me” nonsense. I mean, the amount of regular gym-goers I have heard saying that they can’t wait for January to finish so the gym get a little quieter is near ridiculous.

Anyway, today I worked out some goals to work towards for 2016:

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The boy who started to live

‘Open your eyes, look within.
Are you happy with the life you’re living?’
– Bob Marley

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At the start of the year I wrote a post titled the boy who began to grow up, which reviewed my 2014 and outlined what I hoped to achieve by the time 2015 came to a close.

The focus for 2015 was to forge an environment in which I could reclaim my life as my own, creating a plethora of stories and memories along the way. This is something I truly believe I have managed to achieve. I would argue that 2014 provided me with a disjointed roller-coaster ride, replaced by a 2015 which – for the most part – was relatively smooth-sailing and ended with a trip of a lifetime.

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Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt. 5 Prague, Czech Republic

‘In Rome the statues, in Paris the paintings, and in Prague
the buildings suggest that pleasure can be an education’
– Caleb Crain

Day 11: Prague 26.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Find our hostel
  • Bungy Jump
  • Visit Prague’s Cathedral

06:40 wake-up calls are not fun. Especially when they come after an awkward sleep on a night train. Still, despite our tiredness, we found our way tot he hostel with ease as there was a tram directly from the station. The place we were staying was a beautiful hostel called The Czech Inn that was everything you would want from somewhere and more. Plus, the prices were unbelievable!

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