Monday, 26 December 2016

to make a comeback...


I got overwhelmed, I started drowning from information overload. I thought I had to be something I was pretty sure I could never be and wasn't even sure I wanted to be. I lost sight of why I even started in the first place. 

I got lost in a sea of terminology that made no sense to me... of Facebook 'support' groups and blogging courses that had a mould I wasn't sure I could fit or could be bothered to fit.

I was reading blogs that were of no relevance to me and loosing hours of valuable time doing so. It wasn't that they were boring  they just weren't where my life was out but I was reading them anyway out of a sense of obligation. I was linking up to link ups and feeling overwhelmed with rules and regulations but did so because that was the right thing to do, the 'blogging' thing to do. 

Don't get me wrong it definitely had its benefits. I met some amazing people, some I've even managed to meet in real life and now I call my friends and for that I am grateful.

For a while there I thought that was the life I wanted. I started focusing more on travel blogging, writing articles about my trips, sharing photos, hoping to inspire others. Watching from the sidelines as other travel bloggers were getting fully paid trips from travel companies for exposure, making a living off of travelling and for a while I wished that was me! I wanted to be the one jet-setting off to exotic destinations first class on fully funded trips and really thought (somehow) I could make that happen, but that it would somehow find me. I knew/know it's bloody hard work and not every one who tries makes it and after a while it dawned on me that I was never going to make it, partially because I didn't really know how and didn't have the time to learn while working full time but mostly because I didn't really want to. 

So after some time away I've decided to come back... sort of. I'm going to blog on my terms. When I want, how often I want, about what I want and not get caught up in what I think I should be doing but enjoy what I want to do and hope that some of you out there will also enjoy it! 

So... what have I been doing since I stepped out of the blogging world all those months ago... here's a brief update...

I applied for what I thought was going to be my dream job and was super excited at the prospect of what may lie ahead, but jumped the gun a bit and was bitterly disappointed when I didn't get it.

I signed up for a health and fitness challenge and kind of failed miserably. I felt I gave it my all within the boundaries of my abilities at the time but was not overly happy with my results. I started a new Instagram Profile to share my journey as well as general things from my life as my It's Time one has become more about my travel.. If you want to stalk my life away from my travels you can check out my second Instagram Profile here.

So feeling like I had failed at two things that I thought I wanted so badly, I took up a contract doing my old job, High School Guidance Officer, but at a different school, I felt I needed some certainty and consistency in my life for a while and while it was good to have that it was also the perfect reminder of why I walked away in the first place. 

However, it gave me the chance to save some money and I decided to follow another path I had been poking my head down for some time... if you've been following along on my Instagram or FB page then you'll know that in a whirlwind of events I up and moved to South Korea with about 2 weeks notice! 

I accepted a six month contract teaching English in after school classes and was on a plane before I knew what had happened. And here I am.. still here but almost at the end of my contract and it's almost time for me to hop back on a plane and head home! 

It's been an amazing six months that has given me so much joy. I've explored the beautiful country, met amazing people, had so much fun (and craziness) teaching English in a Korean school, attended all manner of festivals, fallen in love with hiking mountains, eaten foods I never thought I would and had time to reflect on my life, my goals and my dreams! 

So standby as I slowly re-enter the blogging world. Share my travels and whatever else is going on in my crazy world! 


Monday, 28 March 2016

til next time...

I must confess this is my second attempt at writing this and I am frustrated beyond belief! I had more or less finished my post, drafting it using the blogger app, walked away... app closed... draft gone...

Really just links in with what I am blogging about today anyway.

Today we are confessing words that makes us cringe... Here goes...

Monday, 7 March 2016

New York regrets

"Research Things to do in New York"

"Write out your Must do things in NYC list"

 "Plan, plan, plan, you'll need a plan"

These were all great pieces of advice I was given when talking to people about my trip to New York City. And despite listening and taking this advice fully on board, I still have regrets and things I wish I had of done! 

Monday, 29 February 2016

to remember..

I am revisiting an old post for this week's I Must Confess prompt because I don't understand how 10 years can pass and it still feel like yesterday. Today is a day that only happens once every 4 years, meaning that it didn't happen 10 years ago and it means this year we get an extra day, a day between remembering the day you left us, and the day we celebrate what would have been your birthday.....


I remember the day as if it was yesterday....

The day started like any other, It was a Monday, I got up I went to work, I was on autopilot like I am most days. I was teaching an early years class, year 1/2. For the most part they had no idea of the inner struggle I was having with even being there. My mind often wandering, wishing I was some place else. We had started the day just like any other following our usual routine, I had set them up for our Literacy Rotations and was just making a start when my mobile phone rang. I had forgotten to turn it on silent and by the time I got to it, it had rung out. Within minutes the Principal had entered my classroom, (this never happened so I knew something big was going on) I was pretty sure I knew what he was going to say before he even said it. "Miss Hooke, you need to leave now" I knew what he meant, I knew where I had to go. From memory I don't even think I said anything to the kids, I just grabbed my bag and left, leaving him to manage my class. 

I drove home and packed a bag, not really giving much thought to what was going in it. I was four hours from where I needed to be and I was wishing I had never left. I drove in a daze, trying hard to stay within the speed limit but desperately wishing I could get there quicker and begging her to hold on, I would be there soon. A phone call from your boyfriend along the way eased some of my anxiousness.

I flew into a car park and got up to the room as quickly as my shaking legs would take me, what would I be faced with when I walked through that door? I met Dad in the corridor and I saw the relief in his face when our eyes met. I was there... I went inside to see you sound asleep. Your pain was being managed and sleeping was a regular occurrence. When you did wake, and saw me there you looked slightly confused "What are you doing here?" you mumbled, It occurred to me that perhaps you didn't realise what was happening.... Trying to make light of the situation I returned with "ahh The kids were giving me the shits, so I walked out". 

Day turned into night and we never left your side, still wearing the same clothes the sun rose on a new day and you were the only one that really slept. Too scared of what might happen should we dare to close our eyes or walk away. More and more loved ones were arriving as well as medical staff fleeting in and out.

The sun set on another day and you were still holding on, your breathing was become difficult, often taking long deep breaths and occasionally gasping for air. No one really knowing what to do but be there. Now it was Tuesday night, the TV was on. We were all quite absorbed by Dancing with the Stars. Jennifer Hawkins was on dancing to James Blunt's song "You're Beautiful" and I sat beside you holding your hand singing (very badly) the words of the song in your ear. We knew it wouldn't be long, we knew we had to let you go, we knew you had fought as much as you could possibly fight. Fifteen months of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy had taken it's toll on you and it was time to tell you it was ok to go. I had been with you for many of your challenges, your surgery in Sydney, your first dose of Chemotherapy, countless specialist appointments. You'd fought a good fight, amazing us all with your strength and determination with even Dad asking how someone so little could take so much and fight so hard. 

Then it happened, at around ten to ten on Tuesday the 28th February 2006 you took your last breath surrounded by many family and close friends who could do no more but hold each other and cry. For reasons we still don't understand the date of your death as written by your doctor is the 1st of March..we could not accept that... that day was your birthday. You didn't quite make it. Over the following weeks I helped plan your funeral, travel with your boyfriend to your home to gather your things and sort through them, and try and work out what life without you was going to look like. 

When it came time for me to return to 'my life' 3 weeks later and four hours away, I cried the whole way 'home'. People tried to be helpful and say the right things but I have learnt there is nothing that can be said. People end up saying things that could not be further from the truth in an effort to make you feel better, "It'll get better/easier" being the one I hate the most. Hours turned into days, days into months and months into years but the pain has not eased. I think one of my friends summed it up nicely when she didn't try to cheer me up or sugar-coat the situation when she said... "It doesn't get easier you just move further away from the time when your life turned to shit".. 8 years on and I don't think that my life is shit but I do always think of how different it would be if you never left us. 


It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
The death tore the pages all away
God knows how I miss you
All the hell that I've been through
Just knowing no one could take your place
Sometimes I wonder who you'd be today
- Kenny Chesney

You will always be my little sister, you will always be missed... you will always be Forever Young...
KLH 83-06 xx
 
Picture courtesy one of my other sisters, Linda
 
Here's hoping you are resting in peace by beautiful sister.
xox


***This post is part of the following linkups*** 

I Must Confess

Monday, 22 February 2016

Confessions of an extroverted introvert traveller

Introvert... Extrovert... I always thought you were either one or the other. 


I always swore I feel into the introverted side of things but recently I became aware of a new term the extroverted introvert and I think it suits me, almost, to a tea...



Monday, 15 February 2016

Must have handbag items when flying


Whether is a short trip or a long haul, there are a few vitals that must be packed and taken on the plane with you. 


When choosing a handbag to take on the plane I always go for something on the bigger side. Each airline has its own restrictions as to what you can carry on, so be sure and check the allowances for your airline. If you aren't checking any luggage in, then you will need to choose wisely, as, if you find yourself on a full flight, you may end up having your carry on weighed at the gate and if you find yourself over the limit, your luggage may be checked in with no guarantee it will make the same flight as you! 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Why I love Melbourne!


There are so many things to do and see in Melbourne, which is just one of the things I love about it!


I have never claimed to be a lover of big cities, give me the wide open spaces and red dirt roads any day but there is just something about Melbourne that has captured my heart and often finds me saying 'I love Melbourne' to anyone who'll listen. 

Things to do in Melbourne


Monday, 1 February 2016

for the Australian Open

I must confess that for 2 weeks in January I am glued to one channel (ok, so they've added a few more now and you can watch any match live on the app) and waste spend countless hours watching one sport.....yep, The Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam is my January guilty TV pleasure!





I have been a big tennis fan from way back when I used to swing a racket in primary school and every year since I have dreamt about attending the Australian Open and this year I ticked it off my bucket list! 



I started my morning early, heading down to the banks of the Yarra River where the Sunrise crew were broadcasting live. This area is such a hive of activity even as dawn is breaking.

Monday, 25 January 2016

A guide to visiting the temples of Angkor, Cambodia




Visiting the temples of Siem Reap is a must do when in Cambodia and if you are pushed for time then you have come to the right place. When most people think of the temples they immediately think of Angkor Wat, the most famous, but there are so many more beautiful temples in areas to visit.

I was in Cambodia for a month on a volunteer project and was assigned to a child care centre in Phnom Penh. We worked from around 7:30 in the morning until around 4:30 in the afternoon which left only our weekends to explore. On one of the weekends two of the other volunteers and I travelled from Phnom Penh via an overnight sleeper bus to Siem Reap. The sleeper bus was perfect as it meant there was no time wasted during the day. 

WANT MORE: Read my post about Volunteering in Cambodia here

Monday, 11 January 2016

Goals and plans for 2016

So... Here we are... 2016... Another year is upon us... 366 blank pages ahead of us to fill with memories, hopes and dreams (well technically a few less now but this sounds better).

So what has it got in store for me, or what have I got in store for it.... read on to find out.