world traveler . digital marketing specialist . rule breaker
It’s hard saying goodbye. Or even cya later as a friend recently corrected me on. Whether you’re talking to an expiring relative or taking an extended leave from friends – it’s never easy to say goodbye to those you love and care for.
For me, this has never been truer than it has this past year. So let me bring you up to speed with one of the downsides of traveling – the all important, goodbye.
I remember road tripping through the USA with my buddy Dave in 2012. It was my first substantial period away from anyone really, nearly two months with just each other. We realised after just a week or so that it was sadder than we expected leaving our new friends. In every city we went to we’d make friends, some closer than others – and every 1st, 2nd or 3rd day we’d have to say goodbye to them; as we never stayed in one place more than a few days.
Until October 2014 when I parted with England, that road trip was the worst goodbyes I had experienced. Which brings us to October, when finally, it was time to say goodbye to the people I love the most. The ones who have helped grow and nurture me to the person I have become. The ones who have supported me, taught me and kept me afloat when my head was going under.
That’s not easy, let me tell you. From my brother, to my best friends at Luke’s wedding – which was especially difficult for me. Watching someone you care about share the happiest day of his life, with the happiest girl in the world was truly an honour. And, knowing that was going to be the last time you saw them all together made for a truly ambivalent experience. Equal parts happy-sad… read more…
After the overwhelming response I got to my car crash story a while back, I’ve been meaning to write about another intense situation I found myself in; and only now have gotten around to writing it.
This happened about three weeks after the crash too, it was just another in a series of rather unfortunate events.
This was an incredible journey. I’d finished up in Vegas and decided I’d head to Jamaica for a week before returning home, I mean… its $200 to get to Jamaica how can I pass that up? For us Brits it’s closer to $1,300 for your average ticket to Jamaica so I wasn’t going to waste the opportunity.
Anyway, a drunken mess I arrived at the airport at 6am straight from my last night out in Vegas; nearly missing my flight due to falling asleep at the gates I wake up to the sound of the final call – “Mr Chaarrraaa…laaaammm…booo? Do we have a Mr Michael?”
Looking around, I was amazed at two things: the first being that I was the only person in sight and the second that the lady couldn’t come and ask if I was Michael? I was the only one there! Anyway, I wake up and board my flight sleeping all the way through to Jamaica – ace, recovered.
Arriving in Montego Bay
Upon arrival I was feeling really good about exploring a new place, experiencing a new culture, and let’s be honest… sharing a joint with some locals. There’s nothing I love more than trying to fit in with the local culture, you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and appreciate what others have to offer; sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, but always for the lessons to be learned.
Feeling rather overwhelmed by the forceful nature of the cab drivers. I ended up sharing a cab with this young lady who’s hostel was very close to mine, minutes apart. We both felt a little safer and agreed it made sense financially too. Although, pretty sure it still only cost about $4 for a 25 minute cab ride, winning.
Upon arrival I was greeted by the biggest of grins you could imagine. You know, we’re talking a big black round face with florescent white teeth. And this was a big boy too, bear-like almost. He stood tall over me like a tree and yelled unnecessarily loud considering how close I was – “Weellllcommee to Montego Baaaayyyyyy. Ya’ gonna lov’ Jamaica!”
I digress. He shows me to my room, introduced me to some of the other *ahemm* hippies, and offers me a few words of local advice; where to get cabs, water, local stores etc. The fact I’ve not arrived at the actual topic of this story yet shows how much I have to tell. In the interest of not boring you, here’s a listed round-up of the events leading up to my story… read more…
On 18th April I began road trippin’ through Western Australia with a Canadian, two Finnish and three German travellers, now friends – Will, JP, Pepi, Benjamin, Andreas and Anna respectively.
As I write this it’s only been a few days since we began. It’s already been a blast. It’s not easy to find a group of people you get along with well enough to be around 24/7 for weeks or potentially months even, let alone seven of them.
The assumed route is as such…
Perth > Exmouth > Broome > Darwin
Naturally, we’re hitting smaller towns which most people have never heard of in between. Most of them an untouched paradise only spoiled by the sickening amount of bush flies constantly swarming around your face. You know how at service stations across the world they advertise petrol, bulk deals for water or whatever else it may be you need. Well most places just sell fly nets to where around your face. I’m confident I’ve swallowed at least three.
Here are some pictures to enjoy… read more…
“Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out, because honestly, I wanna see you be brave” – Sara Bareilles
I wanted to write a quick one on making decisions and simplifying thought, my way.
I’m often labelled too; harsh, direct, brutal – some form of direct negative association with being a bit cut-throat. I believe this is because people are too caught up with emotion instead of logic. I’m one of those, that’s why I work on it.
Personally, I think you’re thinking too much. And that’s coming from someone who struggles to switch off even to sleep.
What’s the worst case scenario?
One of the ways I make decisions quickly (unless it’s surrounding food or something, hehe) is to simply work out the worst case scenario of taking the action. And then find a solution and or result to that problem.
So we’re not using metaphors the whole time, let’s use a few real life examples… read more…
Indonesia is the first country I have visited upon leaving the UK for good. It was an incredible experience and this could have easily been a 20 minute video. However, keeping in line with one-song per video, I have kept it to just my most visual experiences.
Looking to take that next step too? Take it, I’ve paying off for me.
“The more we focus on our own personal happiness, the more it eludes us. In fact, it’s only when we’re otherwise engaged, you know; focused, absorbed, inspired, communicating, discovering, learning, dancing for heavens’ sake – that we experience happiness as a by-product, a side effect. Oh no, we should concern ourselves not so much with the pursuit of happiness, but with the happiness of pursuit.” – Hector and The Search For Happiness
I’m not chasing happiness. That doesn’t make sense. Happiness supposedly comes from within.
Whilst I agree, I also think circumstance and context do factor in. For example, I’m someone who likes the coast and sun. So in cold hidden away cities I may not be as happy with my pursuit. That said, this doesn’t make me unhappy, at all, not everything is going to take you to the peak of ecstasy. For that you go to nightclubs and talk to that dodgy looking guy with big pupils and enough sweat to fill a pool… I joke, I joke.
Trying to get your head around being unhappy, sad or depressed is not easy! I’ve struggled with balancing my emotions for a very long time, on and off – maybe I’m just normal? Even now as I sit on this plane thinking… why the hell did I just rush through Hong Kong to get to Australia, I’m not pursuing Australia, I’m traveling. I tunnel-visioned myself all the way there, rather than slowing down, opening my eyes and taking time to appreciate the opportunity. I rushed through it as if getting to Australia quicker would somehow make me happier. Sometimes a chill pill is needed to remind me, it’s the journey that matters, not the destination.
Which leads onto my next, yet, same, point… read more…
About Mikey Charalambous
"Mike is probably the most talkative guy I've ever known - if he has an 'off' button, I haven't found it! Commonly referred to as 'Chara', he has an uncanny ability to talk passionately about practically any subject. His energy and positivity is infectious. Expect to see him shredding up the dance floor, particularly when Michael Jackson drops. A lover of travel, adventure and meeting new people." - A Close Friend