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Lent has now begun…
In previous years I have thought long and hard about what I could give up for Lent that might help me better myself in some way. I have come up with some truly bizarre ideas such as giving up procrastination, giving up the use of non-words (such as erm, err and ‘like’) and giving up being late for things.
I now know that it’s nearly impossible for me to give any of that up. A few years ago my sister once said to me, “Sarah, you are an ideas person; you are not a completer-finisher!” Liz is spot on. Therefore this year I plan to give up giving up and aggressively pursue some of my personal goals.
One of these goals is that I aim to be paid only by doing things that I truly enjoy. Obviously a big hobby of mine is travel – last week I completed my first On Board Courier mission to New York and I’m on standby for more. In the meantime I am working part time with a florist (I am learning loads already!) and I am propagating my own plants at home with a view to designing and creating some living art. I’m still running my little jewellery business (Darby London for anyone interested) however im currently in limbo what with waiting for my new online shop – very exciting!) My other official current income is via agencies for promotions and tv extra type roles.
So across all my very flexible jobs, I somehow seem to be winging it quite well, without being too tied down to anything (a desk in particular) and my fear of commitment is not being tested too greatly which is perfect for me right now. No two days are the same and I am currently really happy and excited for the endless possibilities that could come.
I know a lot of people who could not live the way I do, and there are days when things seem so tough, but the highs most certainly do justify the lows. This year I aim to make sure that The Darby Diaries will be mostly full of highs.
I would love to hear about anyone else’s ideas on Lent and whether you have decided to give anything up… or not?!
Traveller of the Week: Helpful Locals, Labouring in Laos and Staying Young
Name: Berkan Öztürk (friends calls me ‘Turkish’)
Time on the Road (this trip or general outline): 11 years
Funds (saving/working/’freegan’/mixed): Working
What initially inspired you to travel?
Getting out of my comfort zone. Initially, I was travelling for a self-oriented growing experience, to raise my awareness of different aspects of life. It was a case of self-inspiration.
Before travelling, I used to do the same things, experience the same emotions, the same behaviours. Depending on the day, I might have done things in a slightly different order. I used to get those habits, emotions, movements, and thoughts which were growing into me and making me very comfortable.
The first time I took myself out of my comfort zone (in other words, the first time I travelled) I realized that I was doing new things and creating new connections – which felt to me like it was keeping me young.
How have your inspirations to explore the world changed since you began travelling?
The selfish beginning eventually evolved into a style where now I am constantly looking forward to contribute to the places which I visit (especially in poor and rural areas).
What has been your most memorable experience abroad?
I will never forget the help I received in South Thailand. Thank you guys. You are awesome! I had to catch my flight which would bring me back to Europe. I arrived to the city where I was supposed to get a bus to the airport but the bus was not there. Local people told me that it would arrive in 2 hours. I asked them if it would be possible to catch my flight with that bus. They said no. The bus company people were very friendly to offer another solution. The lady working for the bus company bought me a minivan ticket, leaving from Surathani to Phuket. I asked if it is possible to get a ticket for the minivan which was leaving in 10 minutes. She said it was full. I thought I could try to ask people on the bus if maybe there would be one person who would be willing to exchange their ticket. Five minutes before the departure of the bus, I went to the minivan. I explained my situation. There was a Thai woman who looked about fifty years old. Spoke perfect English. She explained my situation to people in the minivan. Suddenly, three people wanted to leave the bus to make a space for me. I tried to tell them that only one space is enough. But those three left. I thanked them. Everybody was smiling. Had a very entertaining minivan trip where I was showing pictures from my trips. Words are not enough to tell how much I appreciated what they did for me.
What would you say has been your most difficult or testing experience whilst travelling?
In Laos, I was labouring in an organic farm during the day and teaching English to the children in the evening. I am a knowledge worker and I realized that being a farmer is very difficult work!
It is incredible to see how many people have to care before they can bring food to our tables. My mother and father used to work in the tobacco fields for living until they were 18-20 years old. They were always telling me stories starting with something like “When I was at your age, I was picking this and that…”. To me, it was always some kind of story. I never actually tried to understand what it meant until my time in Laos. Now I understand how difficult can life be on some people. The good news is: this is the challenge of our generation. To make things better and fair for everybody!
Where are you right now?
I am working in Berlin, Germany.
Do you have any survival advice for new travellers in this country?
Germany is probably the most organized country ever. Not much can go wrong.
If you had to recommend one place in the world to visit, where would it be?
Goa, India. All you need there is: Tent, sleeping bag and a scooter to explore remote places…
Where do you plan to visit next?
I am planning to be in South India in December 2013.
The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.
Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints
– travelers philosophies
Live in the sunshine
Swim the sea
Drink the wild air
– R W Emerson