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Passport to Reality… The right time

This morning I think God decided He’d had enough of me whining about not wanting to leave Brazil!

And rightly so. I mean, I know he says I can talk to him about anything, but I forget that he has a trillion or so other voices to listen to. Like a spoilt child demanding what she can’t have, God decided it was the right time to shut me up once and for all!

I woke up as I have been waking up every morning for the past 6 weeks since being in Salvador Bahia. My body’s natural alarm clock gently eases me out of sleep at 5.30am and when I turn over to reach for the time, I see the first rays of sunshine through my curtain-less window, the rays painting my vision a soft gold, and I just smile a “Thank you” to God.

Waking up this way has obviously had some drastic mental effect on me!

I’m HAPPY 🙂

I’m MOTIVATED 🙂

I’m INSPIRED 🙂

and I’M GRATEFUL 😀

So in the mist of gratitude every now and again I manage to squeeze in a little moan about not wanting to leave Salvador and how it’s all coming to an end so soon. I categorised the latter as gratitude but no one can fool God! Not even those who think they have Him wrapped around their little finger!

Something triggered me to look for my passport. Not so out of place as I am leaving in a few days after all! So despite not having packed, I got the urge to make sure of all the books I brought with me to Brazil, my most treasured was in reach.

When I didn’t find it in the place I was sure I put it, I started convincing myself to make arrangements for plan B- panic!

I’ve lost my passport! What next?!

Without realising that this would in fact be the perfect opportunity to extend my stay if my passport was indeed lost or stolen, I continued to search like a dog sure it buried a bone in the spot it’s digging at. I was determined to find my passport and go home on the planned date.

“Even if I have to start walking from now.”

I convinced myself.

And there was my answer!

I am ready to go home… To enjoy the comfort of my flat, my family and my friends. Not to mention prepare for another term of university!

And right before my eyes it sat there. My little red book to reality, buried in the safety of my suitcase where I thought it to be all along!

God’s time is always the best. I’m learning not to ask too many questions, but rather just learn to say;

“Thank You”

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Praia do Forte and enjoying Acaraje!

Praia do Forte. Photo by Kai Lutterodtt

Praia do Forte. Photo by Kai Lutterodt

"Help me fly" tourists flock to the beautiful beaches of Praia do Forte

“Help me fly” tourists flock to the beautiful beaches of Praia do Forte. Photo by Kai Lutterodt

The former fishing village still holds much of its rustic charm and character. If sun, sea and sand are on your wish list, away from the overwhelming bustle of Salvador, then Praia do Forte is for you!

It’s definitely worth the short trip away from the capital of Bahia, where you’ll find other tourists seeking the same thing… Peace of mind without compromising on culture.

Be sure to try traditional Bahian street food snack made from beans ‘acaraje’ or the steamed version ‘abara’. Our verdict? We loved it!

Turtles being freed into the ocean courtesy of Tamar Project is a must see! Look out for my post on Tamar and turtles coming soon!,

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Comedy of Errors… When does it stop being funny?

telephone

telephone (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did. (Daily Prompt)

Considering how much I love travelling, just knowing how much can go wrong is enough to have me make some preparations before hand. But no matter how much I prepare, technology has a way of failing on me when I need it the most!

The irony that todays daily prompt is comedy of errors is enough for me to let out a little chuckle… If I don’t burst into tears… of joy (positive energy stay with me!)

What is luck if it doesn’t have a little fun by playing games every now and again? Besides I can’t have it all good. I need to have a flip side to my ‘amazing time in Brazil’ to jazz up my stories when I get home in a few days. So, where to start?…

Cut to few hours ago: Blackberry crashes on me (sounds like a tabloid heading)! I take my phone to the store to be fixed. Considering I didn’t use it besides when I had WI-FI in the house, its just bad timing as I’m due for an upgrade in a few weeks.

the jogs that ruined my phone!

the jogs that ruined my phone!

Cut to 12 hours prior: I promise never to squeeze my phone between my chest in my sports bra when use it to listen to music while jogging… I may as well have been dropped in a puddle!

Cut to 3 months ago: I block my iPhone (technically not even mine! A borrowed phone from a friend in NYC two years ago) because I forgot the password. No luck getting it fixed in Brazil.

Cut to 3 months prior: The little rascal kids in Addis Ababa memorised my iPhone password and stopped asking my permission to unlock my phone to play games on it. So I changed the password to show who’s in charge… Hmm.

Cut to 3 months ago: Friend comes to the rescue with an old phone to borrow (get the pattern?!)

Cut to 3 weeks ago: Old phone breaks down and can’t be fixed 😦 Borrow another old phone from another friend!

20130110-094344.jpgYou probably think I’m going somewhere on the theme of phones which I was, but I’d just like to add to the works that my little digital camera stops functioning on the first night I arrive in Rio 3 months ago! Exactly on the Selaron Steps in Lapa after a night of salsa and caprinhas- an odd but wonderful combination.

To cut a long story short I’m coming home with 2 faulty phones and a broken camera (more irony is that the camera store I have my insurance with went bust last month!!)

above image from blogote.combelow; recycle.co.uk

above image from blogote.com
below; recycle.co.uk

So much for technology eh?! Hey Murphy, lemme know when you’re done!

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Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors: Make Your Own Luck! | A YoungEmt’s Blog
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NaNo Fragment-Never Fails | Tommia’s Tablet
Murphy picked on me just the other day… | Hope* the happy hugger Sod Off, Sod | The Daily Dilly Dally
Nihilism: nothing is wrong, nothing is right | Phelio a Random Post a Day
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I Didn’t Make Parole | The Jittery Goat
Comedy of Errors | The Nameless One
Out of Gas | Cheri Speak
Worst day of my life! | Master Of Disaster
Ten Years of Shock and Awe | Cheri Speak
The notepad | Paul Scribbles
Murphy is my creeper | theloneshewolf
I Surrender Murph! | Life With The Top Down
Late Night Wonderings | A Beautiful Epiphany
What can go wrong, will go wrong. | Getting away
Murphy’s Law or Perfect Timing | A Short A Day
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Daily Prompt: Comedy of Errors (dailypost.wordpress.com)

To my friend in sorrow… beyond condolences

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How do you deal with the delivery of bad news while on your travels?

Does signing for it on the dotted line with the standard cliché apply to all packages of bad news- big or small?

A few weeks ago I received sad news that a dear friend was grieving in sorrow. I didn’t know how to handle such a delicate package besides offering some comforting words of encouragement and my condolences.

But is that ever enough?

How do you tell a friend in sorrow you may not understand exactly what she’s going through but you feel her pain- or at least a part of it? Is sending condolences enough or is it another cliché to add to her wounds?

For someone who loves to write, I’ve been short of words to extend my sympathies to my friend besides to use those exact words. So I’ll write it as I simply feel it…

Dear friend in sorrow, I’m not there with you, but you’re constantly in my thoughts. I just don’t know the right words to express beyond my deepest sympathies for your greatest loss… x

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I entered your humble home as a stranger, and left as part of the family. Thank you for your kindness. x

Daily Prompt: Cliché (dailypost.wordpress.com)

Jewel in the heart of Pelourinho… H.Stern

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You may be familiar with the Brazilian jewellers H.Stern which has stores located internationally, including world-famous Harrods in Knightsbridge London.

If you’re a lover of all things beautiful, don’t be surprised to find yourself in drawn towards the H.Stern store located in the heart of Salvador’s historical district, Pelourinho.

Bahia’s influence has proudly found its way into two collections exclusive to the region.

One inspired by Indigenous Tupi-Guarani tribe, “Purangaw” meaning “beauty” and “happiness”. Delicate detailed prediction of highly skilled-crafted feathers in 18 carat gold pieces show on display. The staff are on hand to offer explanation behind each piece. Feathers are symbolic to the Indigenous people of Brazil meaning ‘to be closer to God’ and ‘lightness’.

The other collection which sought its source of inspiration from right outside the of the door of the store; “Orixás” symbols of Candomblé. Orixás are a strong representation of Afro-Brazilian culture with strong links to Africa in syncretism with Catholic Saints. Discover which symbol best represents you.

For more information collections visit the store in Pelourinho:
H. STERN
LGO Terreiro Jesus 17 – Pillory
Salvador, BA | CEP: 40026-010
( 71 ) 3322-7422

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The staff offer excellent costumer service with a warm smile.

Fears of a Travel Addict: Beyond the Fairytale

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My own hero… Until Prince Charming finds his way!

“… And they lived happily ever after…”

Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? (Daily Prompt)

How do we value the simplicity of happiness when negative obstacles in our daily lives strip us free of this? Like with airmiles, if I’ve earned it, I’ll gladly claim it to get to my destination; Happiness!

I present to you the realitytale of the Travel Addict!

But first, I must distinguish a Travel Addict from a leisure Traveller. It’s quite simple.

A leisure Traveller seeks; “Happily Ever After…”

After I get a promotion, after the I’ve saved enough money, after the kids have left home, after I’ve lost some weight… After, after, after!

A Travel Addict seeks; “Happily Ever NOW!”

Without shame, Travel Addicts have thrown back into the face of society everything its ever taught us about creating the perfect fairytale ending. Why wait in the tower for Mr. Right to come along when you can visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa… and find Mr. Right Now on your way there?

Why settle for happily-ever-after when you can switch the script without the end? You could potentially happily have new experience, after new experience while on a journey around the world.

With so much on earth to see, contribute towards, experience and explore, it’s no wonder why the bite of the travel bug is so powerful- even if you’re not in the jungle. Once bitten- twice careful rule does not apply to a Travel Addict. The vermin only keeps addicts hungry for more no matter the circumstances.

Travel Addicts are either the free-spirited protagonists in search of discovery through travel, or the unstable antagonist vagabonds roaming the world aimlessly. Our families have been jeopardise and our relationships put on hold. Not to mention the added pressures of friends living vicariously through us, and on top of that, society chooses to envy us!

But would you be so envious of a Travel Addict if you knew about the other T at the end of their tale isn’t Travel or even Therapy but was rather- Troubled!

Yes that right. You’ve been envying a troubled person! More messed up in the head than Sherk believing he could ever be handsome Prince Charming (but we’ll settle for a charming Sherk)! Beyond the fairytale of the Kingdom of Far Far Away, there is a Travel Addict planning an escape from their own reality by doing just that; getting as far far away as possible.

There are obviously some serious underlining problems when a person decides leave the comfort of their surrounds to travel the unknown for an indefinite period of time. And how can one not be troubled when year after year they disappoint family members by choosing to spend special occasions with someone else’s family, in someone else’s country? And you know for sure you’re a Travel Addict when your family have given up inviting to family gatherings, because the ‘short notice‘ excuse has long expired.

Travel Addicts could possibly be the only types of addicts that go unnoticed through the tightest of airport security undetected. Even the latest modern technology scanners cannot read us. Our country’s passport control is happy to see us leave, while another country’s immigration staff welcome us by stamping our black book of troubles. “Have a nice stay.”

It’s interesting how Travel disguises ‘addict‘ to make it sound… Like a fairytale! Does drug addict sound like a fairytale? Didn’t think so. It’s socially inspiring when someone announces they’re selling all their provisions to ‘up and go travelling!’

But if an alcoholic did the same to feed their addiction, wouldn’t we frown with disapproval and suggest they seek help? Like any addiction, there are serious side effects that come after the high- no matter how short or long lived the experience.

With the weight from carrying our demons; the burdens of emotional incapability or unstably to face reality and a longing for our next fix, tucked deep in the heavy backpacks on our shoulders. Plus the pressures of many living vicariously through us, how can a Travel Addict seek help the way an alcoholic seeks help? Can a Travel Addict turn up at the doctors surgery seeking a way out of their addiction to wanting to find a distant reality without being mocked? What’s the doctor going to prescribe anyway?!

A plane ticket?!

Like any addiction, there are consequences and sacrifices that have to be made. And lets be frank, mental health isn’t out of the equation when one chooses to not to live with the setting society has handed to them, but rather create their own unheard of ‘happily ever after..’

So next time you choose to envy a travel addict, stop and wonder if you’d sacrifice your stable surroundings to enter the mental institution of the big wide world?…

Will “Happily Ever After…ever be enough for you?

Any travel addicts out there? We’re literally on the same flight!

Would love to hear your opinion.

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My 100th Blog Post!

Wow- what a journey!

Creating this blog is possibly the best therapy I could have awarded myself!

Thank you for following me, advising me, and encouraging me! Your presence hasn’t gone unnoticed!

Here’s to the next 100th post!

Travel Making Kai x

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Some of my best bits! 😉

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Food for thought… A generous helping of inspiration

Writers Block!

How do writers manage to overcome it and still maintain inspiration to continue their craft? When the brain has decided, without notice, that it’s on strike, what’s the next available option? Wait it out or find other routes?

Is it the case of any strike- ‘life goes on‘?…

When tube workers are on strike- take the bus.

Or if bus drivers are on strike- walk!

I’m on the path of discovery to negotiate a deal to end my strike and get back some inspiration! I don’t know any another routes of gathering inspiration than my general well-being working together to absorb it. When one unit shuts down, is it down to motivation to be co-captain and run the joint?

Despite starting my blog in June 2012, I found true inspiration four months later, when personal circumstances lead me to pack up and go to Brazil to find myself.

Inspiration has flowed with ease since then, and the results, like anything that requires hard work, have been visible. I’ve been writing a blog post regularly, steadily gaining a small but dedicated readership in less than two months of being in Brazil.

With little or no warning, yesterday my brain decided to cease processing any inspiration- a vital component towards writing my blog posts. It took me a while to realise, like a child that says ‘I’m ok’, sometimes there’s a ‘untruth’ about the simplicity of just being OK.

So I turned to food to boost her up, to get my mind on a roll of thoughts again. Raiding my cupboards with my eyes to suggest offering she might like. And you know desperate times call for desperate measures when even motivation offers to help by going to the shop with me to buy chocolate- at 11pm!

After indulging in a few moments of pleasure, much to the delight of my mouth, my brain stubbornly decided to remain in an unproductive mood! Self pity was knocking at the door but I refused to let it in. Instead sat in silence and tried to workout why after almost three months my brain was acting this way.

Nothing good lasts forever (chocolate included! The sensation was gone in 5 minutes)!

This is the hard part.

I’m at preparation stages of gathering my equipment together for a skydive fall to earth. I’ve never actually tried skydiving (though it’s on my bucket-list!) but the anxiety of facing reality is already kicking in. And I can’t guarantee a soft landing!

My journey in Brazil which has seen me from finding myself to making myself is coming to an end. With less than a week before I’m back home, this is perhaps my body’s way of saying;

“I don’t want to leave!”

So with empathy, I explained that my work here if done. It’s time I took the raw materials of what I’ve learnt on this journey back with me for processing. Back to my home. Where I hang with pride my memories on my wall of fame. My haven for refection. That’s where the real journey happens. Survival in the real world!

Each trip, good or bad has taught me something new about myself and gained me a set of essential survival skills to use in the jungle of the city I live in! Being scared to go home, is like an apprentice being scared to gain a promotion.

This morning I woke up early with the sun rise. My team is back to normal, each unite breaking its fast by processing the beautiful sight.

I helped myself to a generous portion of inspiration to start my day…

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As the sun sets… Salvador, Bahia

How do you overcome writers block and gain inspiration?

Sugar and Spice and all things nice… Seconds!

There’s always room for more delicious foods!… I revisit some of my favourite travel food moments!

A moment on the lips- a life time on the hips but always worth every bite!

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Enjoying a typical Ghanaian dish of Grilled Tilapia accompanied by fried plantain, chopped vegetables and a variety of spicy sauces

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Acai or creme papaya… why choose just one when there’s room for both?! SP, Brazil

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If it’s that ‘fast’ it’s probably not ‘that’ healthy… but it sure tastes gooood!

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Apple picking in upstate NY. I might just be a country girl deep down!… Apple sauce anyone?

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Discovered a ‘whole in the wall.’ Home cooked latin food that doesn’t leave a ‘whole’ in your wallet!

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Typical Czech dessert which we attepted to make… The best part was the first bite!

Humble Italian hospitality at its best!... Keeps me going back for more year after year!

Humble Italian hospitality at its best!… Keeps me going back for more year after year!

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My first ‘pot-luck’ dinner experience in LA! Cut straight to dessert and a group photo!!

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Enough food to make my eyes full! Florence, Italy

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My ultimate favourite dessert- cheesecake in my ultimate favourite restaurant dedicated to the art of the rich dessert- Cheesecake Factory. San Diego, USA

My ultimate Cheesecake Factory moment… Ummmm!

Stay regular… Does size really matter?

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Long and detailed or short and sweet? Hard and concentrated or loose and abstract?

And just how often a week or even a day (coz lets face it, sometimes I can’t wait another 24hrs!) should I be preoccupied to my new found means of stimulation?…

Blog posts I mean!

Tut-tut! Well, since you’re prepared, I warn you it may be a tad bit filthier so keep your hand sanitizer near by!

But on a serious note, the issue of the size of the matter and regularity has been on my mind way before the WordPress dailypost decided to give out free innuendos for our private subjects!

Quick tip: Stay regular.

“A healthy blog is like a healthy colon; if you put crap in, you’ll get crap out.”

Well I’m sure I’m not the only blogger that’s eaten a healthy salad for lunch and what has come out in the end has been a sad mass of waste too embarrassing to share, and without a second thought, been flushed straight into the trash-asphere!

I’m no expert at sifting through my waste like former TV personality of “You Are What You Eat” Doctor Gillian McKeith advises we should do! However if I took McKeith’s advice and rummaged through before eagerly clicking the button to get ride of all my crap, I might find chunks of healthy remains still in tacked!

So what’s more important? Size or regularity? If I write a huge dollop of a piece will readers actually have the time or interest to read every word (because I hate to see good words go to waste). Admitably even I skim through long articles to get to the gist of what the writer is saying. If I wanted 1,000+ word essays to read in my spare time I’d stay in the lecture room (says the travelling student)!

How do I cut to the chase in a subject without compromising on length or matter?… What’s a healthy size to excrete without getting stuck or suffering from word constipation?

If I’ve learnt anything in my short time as a blogger about producing a healthy blog, it’s that exercise and a sprinkle of linseed works wonders as natural laxative for getting my posts out on a regular (because a healthy body… ah you get the idea!)… I’m not fortunate to be one those that has the natural gift of producing great posts all the time. So I need all the help I can get!

I guess in it’s own time, I just feel the urge… And I rush to my laptop to write something!

I’m learning to work with the outcome!!

What are your recipes for producing a healthy blog? Please share!!

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Photo courtesy Alison Holland

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