Since being in this job, I’ve spent most of my time on the road. The thing is, though, that when I’m on the road, it’s hard to keep track of office things – I get to spend time in person with my staff, and get to know the communities that my program works in, but then I don’t really spend time at the computer. This month is my busiest work month, so I’d already decided to stay home for a few weeks. I’m really lucky that I get to work from home, but I’ve been working most days for about 9 hours, and all on the computer. The work isn’t hard, and I don’t mind the hours, but it’s fiddly and annoying and makes my head hurt. I can’t wait until next month, when my job is to travel and hang out with kids all summer!
This morning, I was woken up by a phone call at 7, and I stared at a computer screen until 5pm. By the time everything was under control, my first thought was to go to bed, but I was feeling too restless. Based on the state of my kitchen, I knew that I wanted to get pizza for dinner, so I forced myself to get out of the house and go to the beach on the way to the pizza place. That’s right, I had to force myself out of the house. I’ve been inside for five days, and I always feel like the longer I spend time inside, the less I want to do anything.
This is what happens when I bake while I work at home.
Well, I’m happy that I went out – a sunny day and the sound of the waves reset my brain to a more restful place, and I know what I’m doing tomorrow – more beach!
Here are some pictures of the place that I’m lucky to call home. I can’t believe that I forgot how nice it is to get out there.
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I didn’t love, or not love, Nicaragua. But I do love the beach, warm weather (boy was it ever hot in Nicaragua that week!), and sunsets. Today feels like a ‘post a picture of a sunset’ day, because I feel like being on vacation. You?
Today has been a grumpy day. My work bestie has just found a new job, and that leaves me feeling a bit lost and lonely. I just changed all my car insurance over to BC, and found out it’s going to cost me $250 a month to insure my car. It’s raining. I had to do budgets at work. Wah wah.
I’m getting on my nerves, and probably on Facebook’s nerves also.
So, this put my recent post about positive reinforcement to the test – what am I going to turn to to feel better? It’s too cold and rainy for the beach, and I’m tired of my own company. I’m also tired of screens – computer, tv, cell phones. Also also, I’ve decided to make this a ‘buy nothing’ month – I need to get my finances in order, if I’m going to be paying that much for car insurance. So, I need to find free activities that’ll cheer me up. I’m not sure what I’m going to do this weekend, but I’ve written off this workday, and I’ve decided to make bagels. And take pictures.
One of the questions was ‘Who or what do you turn to for positive reinforcement?’ I had a hard time answering it, especially as everyone was talking about friends and family. It’s rare, when I’m down, that I turn to anyone – I usually try and sort things out by myself, when I’m not feeling 100%.
Today, I was feeling good – work is busy and going well, I’m happy to be home after a long trip, and it was a beautiful, sunny 10 degrees on the Sunshine Coast. The days are getting longer, and I was able to go to the beach after work. That’s when it hit me that yes, I need time alone to feel positive again, but the beach definitely helps as well.
And the beach is even better when you’re already feeling good. Plus, I came home from the beach to an amazing smelling house – I made muffins this morning and forgot about it! Win!
I took this picture this afternoon with my iPhone. It doesn’t even come close to doing this place justice. Go here and see the most amazing pictures of where I live.
Seven years ago (Seven! Where has the time gone!) I spent 3 months backpacking around Peru, Bolivia, Coast Rica, and Nicaragua. Everything I owned, I carried in my 36 litre backpack.
The goal of this was twofold – obviously, I needed to be able to carry everything around with me from hostel to hostel. But the main thing, which I never would have thought about before being there, was to avoid having to put my backpack under the bus when going from city to city. This way, I didn’t have to worry about getting my bag stolen at any of the stops (scheduled and unscheduled – being stopped by the army, who wants to see all of your belongings, is not uncommon). I also didn’t have to worry about having my bag peed on by animals also kept under the bus (Trust me. This happened to a friend of mine.) Every time we took the bus, my bag came along with me. I would put it on the floor in front of my seat, and curl up with my feet on top of it
So, how was this possible? Here’s what was in my bag :
1. I had no ‘beauty’ supplies. In my backpack, I carried a plastic bag that contained a toothbrush and toothpaste, a bar of soap which I used on my hair and body, one stick of deodorant, one bottle of sunscreen, a disposable razor, and my contact lens solution and a couple of pairs of contacts. I could replace all of these things (except for the contacts), in any village. I had dreads back then, so I didn’t use any hair products, and I never wore makeup.
2. Clothing wise, I had one pair of jeans, one skirt, three tank tops, three t-shirts, one pair of hiking shoes, one pair of converse, one pair of flip-flops, one zippy sweater, and one long-sleeved t-shirt. I had a bikini and a sarong, which I used both as a beach cover-up, a skirt and a towel. Accessories? Not really – I had two scarves, which I wore on my head when it got really sunny. The one luxury that I afforded myself was two weeks worth of underwear and socks. I’m no stranger to washing clothes in the sink, but I prefer to avoid it.
3. I also always carried, in the top zippy bit of my backpack, juggling and poi balls. It was always the best way to meet people.
And that’s it. As well as my backpack, I carried a large cross-body purse, that I could wear while wearing the backpack. (Which you can see in this photo. This trip happened with my buddy Marina, on my right. See her small backpack, and purse? That’s all she travelled with, for three months.)
This bag contained my journal, my point and shoot camera, my wallet, a book and my passport. I think that this was made easier because I feel like this trip happened before technology really did. There was no facebook, no smart phones. Now, when I pack, I have one or two laptops, two cellphones, my kindle, charging cables for all of those, and my DSLR. Ugh.
This post also reminds me that it was easy, and much less stressful, to travel for so little. I’m hoping to go on holiday in September, and to put that backpack back to work. And to go back to no technology.