friendship

#19 – Live Abroad for a Year

‘Living in a foreign country is one of those things that
everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it
completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges
and transforming you into a citizen of the world’
– David Sedaris

Living abroad. The big one. Tell you what though, I’d have to disagree with Sedaris, I think I’m still a  little rough around the edges. Not quite a “completed” person.

Still, it was definitely something.

All in all I spent thirteen months in Australia; thirteen quite brilliant months I may add. The majority of that time was spent roaming and exploring Melbourne, with the rest split between Sydney and Western Australia (the East Coast I travelled back in 2015 and can be read about in detail here). (more…)

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The boy who came home

‘But there is room now in my heart for more memories,
carved by a letting go that I could find
only by coming home to a place I’d never been’
– Karen White

2018. Strange year right? Weird year to be honest, for me anyway. Football almost came home for the first time since 1966 in 2018. It didn’t though. However, in a plot-twist surprise to many, I did.

Like I said, 2018. A strange, weird year. Then again, when reflecting on my outline for 2018, I pretty much stuck to the script. After all, in my 2017 review The boy who strayed from his path, I wrote “January 2018 will mark 11 months since I last saw my Dad, so I am very excited to be spending his birthday with him out in Thailand at the end of the month. The exciting news is that, after spending 15 months away, I will be returning to the UK temporarily in the middle of February, before heading back to Asia in April. From there everything is up in the air as to what I do or where I go next, so I guess we will see what happens.”

Well, all of that happened. All of that and more. After all, I came home. (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

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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.

(more…)

Callum’s 2016 Adventures: South Island, New Zealand pt.1

‘There are parts of New Zealand that I absolutely fell in love with
that I will miss going back to,
but I kind of think that is the part that can continue and will continue on.
I don’t imagine I’ll stop going back to New Zealand,
because I feel part of the fabric there, really’
– Andy Serkis

Kaiteriteri: 29.11.16

Kaiteriteri is a common destination due to its close proximity to the Abel Tasman National Park.  In fact, it’s probably the main/only reason people would go there.

After leaving Wellington and North Island behind via a ferry, we were driven directly to Kaiteriteri, with a brief stop in Nelson. To then get to the Abel Tasman National Park, you usually have to take a water taxi – this is the case whether you are just going to walk around the park or if you are going to kayak.

(more…)