thoughts

(Untitled thoughts of one who doesn’t say thank you enough)

“You don’t know what you have got until it is gone”. A common phrase that everyone will have been told at some point or another. It’s applicable to pretty much all walks of life as well, from the unsung hero, to the all-rounder at work, to that friend who may fly under the radar but will never let you down when you need them most.

Most importantly, it’s a phrase that should resonate strongly when it comes to your family, especially your parents. At least, it does with mine. All three of them. And it is especially prevalent when it comes to social media interactions. (more…)

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

img_3926

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.

(more…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is flying away)

It’s 368 days since I landed back in the UK after a 6 week excursion to Australia’s East Coast.

I said then that my goal would be to return within 12months – I never expected to come close to completing the feat however.

I’ve had such a great time back in Milton Keynes though, creating a lot of fantastic memories along the way. I’ve made new friends and re-connected with old ones. More importantly I’ve spent a lot of time with my family.

(more…)

Leaving Nostalgia Behind

Definition: A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past.

‘Nostalgia is a seductive liar’ – George Ball

I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic recently. For events from both the recent past and from beyond. Social media and, in particular, “timehop” has been rather responsible for that. Every day I am seeing – and remembering – about events I have forgotten. In some of these instances (such as today) I have felt overly nostalgic for those moments, wishing I could re-live them all over again.

But then again, nostalgia isn’t always the healthiest option. Spend too much time there, spend too much time in the past and you could fall victim to it.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Callum’s 2015 Adventures: Interrailing pt.7 Bratislava, Slovakia

‘Enjoy Bratislava. It’s good you came in summer, in winter it can get very depressing’

Day 15: Vienna – Bratislava 30.08.15

Plan of Action:

  • Find our accommodation
  • Explore Bratislava
  • Visit the ‘UFO’
    • Take some long-exposure photos

After coming to the realisation that Vienna wasn’t what we wanted it to be, we decided to “cut our losses” and head over to Bratislava a few hours earlier than planned. I’m glad we did too. Slovakia is a completely new entity to me, a country I had never been too before, and I was excited to see what it had in store.

(more…)

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:

(more…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is drunk on New Years Eve)

Tonight my best friend’s 5yo cousin told me she was going to marry me without a hint of uncertainty in her voice. How precious is that?

It’s a sort of rash boldness, a sort of certainty that we lose as we get older. With each coming year we become more bashful. More shy. The straight talking occurrances become few and far between and that is disappointing. It’s almost like becoming more aware of things – such as consequences – becomes more detrimental in relation to our lifestyle.

On the other hand, I felt a sort of peace tonight. Whilst I was in a taxi drinking a beer on my way to my friends house for New Years Eve, I felt contented. Honestly. Thoughts of the entire year raced through my head and I was at peace with everything.

(more…)

The boy who started to live

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

IMG_1167

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.

(more…)

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!

(more…)