life

(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…)

(Untitled thoughts of one who is feeling inspired)

Inspiration truly can come from the most unlikely of sources when you least expect it. It’s not like I have been in need of any inspiration recently, because I feel more focussed and more driven now than at any point since leaving the UK. But it’s always nice to find something that will push you just that little bit more.

Which brings me on to something I came across this morning, which hits home harder than it may have done this time last week, due to the events in Manchester.

Whilst scrolling through FB to see how my friends back home and across the world are getting on, a trailer video for a Ch4 TV show – “First Dates” – popped up (odd premise in my opinion but hey, I don’t get reality TV at all). Anyway, this video focused on a first date between an older gent and lady. The gent was discussing how he’d lost his wife 7 years previously, as well as one of his children who had been in their 30’s. This was then (more…)

#30 – Get a Piercing

I wouldn’t say getting a piercing was a mistake, or a regret. It was something that, at the tender age of 18 I needed/wanted to have done.

Both ears. One piercing in each. A second piercing added to the left ear during the Olympic Flames tour through the UK in 2012.

I don’t wear them anymore of course, I removed them in the autumn of 2013. It was time.

Still, it’s one of those things isn’t it? They are still open mind you, if I ever decided to stick some metal back through them again.

 

To see my complete bucket list, click here

#20 – Visit Hobbiton, New Zealand

‘I picked up The Hobbit. And I began to read.
I was swept off to a green, green Shire in a far, far land, and my soul has never returned.
I suppose it never will’
– Steve Bivans

Back when I was a  young boy, my Dad took it upon himself to introduce me to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. A special limited edition release of The Hobbit was gifted to me, and very quickly became one of my most favoured possessions. Being at an age where reading such a comprehensive piece of work was a difficult task, I have memories of my Dad reading it to me, bit by bit, every night I would stay over at his. This went on for months, and was the beginning of a long-standing love-affair with the world Tolkien depicted.

Naturally, once Hobbiton was created in real-life for the filming of both LotR and The Hobbit, my desire to visit grew ever stronger.

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#15 – Bungy Jump

‘Jump and you will find out how
to unfold your wings as you fall’ 
– Ray Bradbury

Ah, bungy jumping. You’re a special one aren’t you? Me and bungy jumping, we have a special thing going on these days. It’s love. It really is. To date I have completed the following bungy jumps:

And the plan is to, at some point, complete these ones too:

  • Last Resort Bridge, Nepal – 160m/524ft
  • Vidraru Dam, Romania – 166m/545ft
  • Kolnbrein Dam, Austria – 169m/555ft
  • Niouc Bridge, Switzerland – 190m/623ft
  • Europabrucke Bridge, Austria – 192m/629ft
  • Sochi 207, Russia – 207m/679ft
  • Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa – 216m/708ft
  • Contra Dam, Switzerland – 219m/720ft
  • Macau Tower, China – 233m/764ft

I would have the Royal Gorge Bridge bungy in Colorado included in this list, but it is no longer open to the public.

But this post is about my first bungy jump. The Cairns Tower Bungy in 2015.

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(Untitled thoughts of one who has been away for six months)

‘The two impulses in travel are to get away from home,
and the other is to pursue something’
– Paul Theroux

On Wednesday of this past week I celebrated my six month ‘travel-versary’. That’s right. Six months ago I left my family, my friends, and my country behind in order to start afresh. To go on an epic trip abroad. To see and learn as much as possible of the world around us that I can.

Like many others, it’s a trip I decided to do alone, but not a decision I made lightly. Yes, I am having an amazing time in a country and culture that I continually learn about every day, but being so far away from the people you love and care about isn’t easy. Still, thanks to various forms of social media, it’s easier than ever to stay in contact and even though it might not be as frequent as some of them would like, every conversation satiates me and helps me push on.

Creating goals has helped as well. Of course, these goals have taken form in some sort of extended bucket list which, in turn, is going to become a new extension of this blog page.

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(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: South Island, New Zealand pt.2

I was in New Zealand and met this girl. Her sister dared me to bungee jump, so I did!
It was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
I wanted to impress the girl, and it worked!
– Theo James

Queenstown: 07.12.16 – 08.12.16

Queenstown, adventure capital of the world. Home of endless activities, mountains of food and hours of drink. Queenstown should come with a warning really, something like ‘beware, once you arrive you may never want to leave’.

My time in Queenstown was split by a day trip to Milford Sound, so I’ll split up my writing about it in a similar fashion.

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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.

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