Today’s Guest writer and Travel Tip is from a dear, old friend.. form the KL social scene known simply as just, “The Movement days”. Those of you who are as old as us, will know what I am talking about. Say no more.. because we can’t. Not here on the blog anyway;)
It is with great pleasure that Cumi & Ciki get to share Naomi’s tale of Wonderlust with you, here on our blog. We feel totally enriched because of the tales of her travel experiences and the desire to share it with you folk out there who are kindred spirits is just so strong.. Without further ado, our friend Naomi.
Why do I Travel?
Well, I travel to live as many lives as humanly possible.
Discovery channel’s lonely planet series, that’s what started it all.
The wild way in which they travelled compelled me to seek the life of a vagabond. I started off as a flight attendant for Malaysia Airlines but after 5 years of slavery, I knew more promise lay beyond. I was up for the challenge; home held no more secrets and a nagging depression forced me to take action.
Some Aussie friends told me about The Working Holidaymaker Visa in 2001.The now defunct visa, gave all youths between the ages of 18 to 32 a chance to live & work in England for 2 years. SOLD! So after a brief 3 month stint in Australia, where I lapped up their wicked sense of humor and their one-of-a kind, awe inspiring brand of wilderness, I headed off to England after making a promise to myself that I would return to Australia once again to sample their way of life.
When the initial excitement of London died down, I asked myself if I was fulfilling my potential and I remembered another favorite program on Animal Planet about an animal rescue called The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. I quickly sent in my online job application and within the hour I got a call back to come in for an interview. I gladly accepted and fulfilled the dream job of my entire life. It kept me in London & I was beyond satisfied emotionally and physically. I then set forth to discover Great Britain and all it had to offer, my primary interest was to savor & relish the music scene. I travelled far and wide to all their festivals, such as Reading, Homelands, Glastonbury and the like. Along the way I saw the whole country and travelled extensively within Europe as well.
A year passed & I tired of the miserable cold, city life and decided to go down to Newquay which is a seaside surf town in the south-western peninsula of England with my girlfriend Meagan. We encountered the most beautiful sprawling lands we had ever set our eyes on. The cliffs & jagged coasts went on for miles, interspersed with fields of flowers in every color imaginable & green rolling hills as far as the eye can see, warmer weather and an array of beaches..It was bliss.
Summer came to an end and I returned to London, a past snowboarding Christmas holiday in France reminded me of a bone I had to pick with myself. I enjoyed snowboarding and since my visa was drawing close to an end I knew I had to get out there and hone that skill before the chance was taken away from me.
Accordingly, I booked a one-way flight to France considering it has the biggest concentration of world-class ski resorts in the world. I didn’t speak French but Meagan, my partner in Newquay held a job there and told me to come over. I armed myself with a French dictionary and off I went. I walked miles in the cold mountains day and night, I hitch-hiked from one mountain to another, asking around for jobs and speaking to everyone, nothing came up.
I felt dejected but not long after I went to visit Meagan, her boss offered me a job on another mountain. I was over the moon!! Paradiski it was meant to be!! I lived and worked with a team of Brits in a ski-hotel, we worked 4-5 hrs a day, 6 days a week and we were paid a pittance of €60 a week. We were provided with a shabby place to stay, no heating, insurance, food and more snow that you can imagine. What more could we ask for??Snowboard all day and party all night. It was epic!
When the season ended I went to Cote d’Azur in search of seasonal yacht work. I was the only girl who was camped out there , I ran out of money fast and was down to my last €20 when I got a job in Monaco aboard a 40m yacht. A new form of enslavement followed but I was paid €100 a day with tips. It wasn’t for me and luckily and old friend from Malaysia who was living in Milan, Italy gave me a ring and asked me to get my arse over there. I promptly quit my job, got on a train and arrived in Italy.
Italy. What a smorgasbord of beauty, culture, art, superficiality and arrogance. I lived with high flying friends who held top jobs in Louis Vuitton so I was very fortunate to see Milan the fashion capital through their eyes. I got a job as a nanny for a filthy rich family that took me on sailing trips around the crystal waters of the Island of Sardinia for a month and I also spent a lot of time in their never ending vineyard near Florence. Fruit trees everywhere, we ran around in the countryside & ate al fresco meals in the gardens prepared with produce that grew off the land we stood on. I saw most of Italy save for the South. I picked up the language and shortly after started teaching English since there is a huge demand for that in Europe.
Somewhere along the way, Italy started grating on my nerves & I went back to Australia to get my teaching qualifications. I lived in Gold coast and took full advantage this time to explore the entire sunshine coast. I fell in love with the country & vowed this time that I would spend my old age there. Marvelous it was but I found it to be isolated and the call of Europe was too great. Hence, I returned to Italy, I mesmerized myself at all the galleries, I saw as much as I could during the 3 years I spent there. I even lived next to San Siro stadium and got into the other religion they practice there-Football.
Another winter and another bout of despair arrived, so I decided to move to Spain in search of warmer weather. My first European holiday out of England many years ago was to Barcelona and I fell hard and fast for Spain. The Canary Islands located 100km on the northwest coast of Africa seemed like the best choice. A part of Europe but with an average temperature of 22 degrees all year round and only 2.5 hrs away from Madrid. I moved to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria which is the capital of the archipelago of 7 volcanic islands. The island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with its beaches; golden or black sand the color of obsidian, endless dunes of white sand, its green ravines, cacti & mountains. It’s a paradise for nature lovers, varied secluded beaches and volcanoes make for some spectacularly challenging & rewarding hiking trips. The beaches are famous for surfing as well as body boarding and a large number of international surfing competitions take place here.
Eventually, I found my own private “Utopia” the great weather keeps me happy and I am spoilt for choice when it comes to my favorite activity-Sport. Everything is on offer here! The ruling social democratic party that brandishes progressivism pioneers new ways to approach & support modern society and I am greatly in favor of that after living in so many countries and seeing how it actually works here.
I can see myself living here for a few more years but once a nomad, always a nomad. After all, it’s been so long since I’ve lived in an English speaking environment and I have yet to visit the Americas. The Caribbean sure does look good from over here….
About this week’s Guest Writer:
Naomi is a just an ordinary girl in extraordinary surroundings.
She lives by the motto “Why visit when you can live it.”
She teaches English & moonlights as a translator to sustain her lifestyle of wanderlust.An avid athlete and voracious reader who is currently writing a book on her travel musings.
Both Cumi and I know her as the girl who could dance the night away.. and then some. In a crowded room, she would be sporting the glitter eyemake up and over the top sequence-outfit. Thanks Naomi for having added so much color to our lives;)
All photos by Naomi.
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