Are you really ever ready to travel, it seems that there was always something or someone holding me back, even now, I'm working in a good position, have a great little house in the city, have great friends, a promising relationship, and an amazing social life, but after true reflection, that something was trepidation, and the someone, me. After years of procrastination it was time to bite the bullet, pushing all the things aside that were my excuse for waiting, I bought a one way ticket to London. I mean, all those things will be here when I get back... right???
I have a strong interest in Western Europe and Africa, but I have no solid plans other than arriving in London on the 7th September 2010. I have not researched the UK or the rest of Europe on places to stay, what to do, safety, climate, accessibility... I know nothing.
It seems that I am always on the move, unable to commit to one place, one job, one person, constantly feeling slightly lost and confused. Travelling has always been on the horizon; but It wasn't until someone very clever said "you will never be able to settle until you have travelled" that I decided it was time to send myself out on the solo travel challenge.
The blogs to follow will be a collection of not only just the places I've been and the people I've met, but how these experiences have affected me personally. They will be a true and often raw account of everything that shocks, scares, challenges, questions and defies me.
I am determined to find myself.
Lost Cate Countdown
September 24th 2012
I couldn’t stop myself watching the clock, I would do my best to force my eyes away and concentrate on which ever piece of work that was failing hopelessly behind, after what would feel like an eternity I would allow my eyes to flick back to the digital numbers. Each time my shoulders would sag, only 2 minutes? And 2 minutes was as good as it got. This is how time felt for 6 weeks leading up to my fantasy vacation. You know the one. Where the gentleman takes you to a romantic location, wine and dines you, strolling hand in hand, sharing soft kisses, wearing sun dresses with floppy hats, being THAT couple that everyone envies as you swap ice-cream, laugh at each other’s jokes and feel so obliterating happy they barely notice anyone else, ... read more
June 24th 2012
I had decided on a Greece island adventure well before I even left Australia. Greece was a destination that seemed to offer sun, sea and adventure in one glorious package with stunning beauty as the backdrop. Both of my parents had separately visited the Greek Islands surrounding Mykonos some 27 years earlier – and although their stories were distinctly different, they both spoke of their own experiences with the same excited twinkle in their eyes. Following extensive research into where, when, what and why, I booked a Sail Away Flotilla for myself, my sister and two close friends. I was sketchy on the details, I am sure the sales agent provided all the information at the time of booking, and I was sent copious Yacht, Harbour, Island manuals, maps and information over the coming weeks, regardless, ... read more
May 13th 2012
The layer of dust lined my skin, which glistened in the sun against the sheen of sweat; the combination resulted in a gritty exfoliation, a treatment available only in Egypt. We were greeted with a barely manageable heat, seeing as we arrived in the late afternoon we knew we were in store for foreboding temperatures over the next two weeks. After introductions to the rest of the group and tour leaders we had a quick wander in our area of Cairo and promptly returned to the hotel. Cairo is a filthy city, the streets are lined with litter, excrement, stray animals and dare I say... stray men. Doing your best to ignore the pedlars at Giza took self-control, which was easily lost with the almost abusive sales pitch and aggressive upselling. The locals were relentless and ... read more
May 3rd 2012
Just moments before, I had been contemplating a pedicure; did I want a pedicure before or after I bought the delightful orange leather travel bag I had been eyeing off the previous night? As I walked past the fast food store behind my family contemplating my dilemma, a small boy stood in front of me. I had subconsciously noticed he was ignored by everyone else and I took a step towards being just as dismissive. After arriving in Egypt a mere 4 nights earlier I was already accustomed to seeing past the unsavoury locals, the men pushing their cheap junk in your face, the dirty children with scum under their finger nails, holding out their hands in hope to receive money; in just 4 days I had already perfected the ... read more
April 24th 2012
Hi my lil nunu. I was sad to read your post and quite surprised, I have never thought my absence would have an impact on you, I figured you had your own life, and to have one sister constantly here and there would go unnoticed. I guess I was wrong. So here is a little story; Once upon a time there was a young woman, who felt lost in the world, she was unhappy and angry and didn’t know who to blame or what to do. She had the weight of the world on her shoulders, she had done awful things and the guilt was immense, to punish herself she allowed evil into her life and accepted the pain. One day it was too much. She ran away. She ran to the jungle and soaked up ... read more
April 16th 2012
I have a fear of dying. I guess all people fear dying to some extent, but when I think about dying, my chest constricts and my breathing is strained; I feel nauseous and fight the reaction to cry. I don’t know why I have this fear. This could possibly extend from my fear of missing out, that if I die, I will miss out on my own life, completing my own goals, standing triumphant over my achievements, watching my children grow, spending my life laughing with my most loved. Being privy to my bosses email, I just read a blog one of her friends had posted, a 28 year old man who has just been diagnosed terminally ill. As much as the blogs broke my heart I could not stop reading them. 28 years, that will ... read more
April 8th 2012
Most third dates take place in a decent restaurant, perhaps a long walk under the night sky, followed by the excitement of a gentle kiss. I had all of this; I had all of this and more. I had this in Stockholm. I had this in Stockholm with Matthew. This man who seems to have the ability to sweep me off my feet with the greatest of ease flew me to Stockholm for the Easter weekend. I arrived after a tearful flight and hand holding with my newest single serving friend Rita, I arrived in a modern, efficient and friendly city. The train from the airport to the centre was cleaner than most hotel’s I’ve stayed, either my hotels are poor or the train was immaculate. You decide. We had promised not to say a word ... read more
March 26th 2012
Diddly dee, Andy and me, off to Ireland, plenty to see! Andy and I had booked a 3 day southern explorer from Dublin during the winter travel show 6 months prior. With Andy due for holidays and my contract finishing, the timing was perfect. Off we went! As usual we did not research the area, we simply arrived with a small overnight bag, both already exhausted from the night before, Andy had been preparing her liver and I the less exciting task of serving her the liquor. Hardly a fair trade. The hostel was nothing exciting, plain and smelling of a men’s public urinal, pipes had burst in the main building and I gagged as I stored our bags in the lockers besides the bathrooms, I could almost taste the urine as the odour was so ... read more
March 2nd 2012
What better way to forget a past lover than to throw yourself into the dating game. Within two nights of returning to London I had been asked out to three dates, I have to admit this made me feel rather smug with myself. Date # 1 Chris the funny man was someone I had met a few months prior and we had kept in casual touch over facebook, he contacted me upon my return and we met at a small bar in Kensal Rise for open mic comedy night. Chris is a really relaxed person and I found the conversation to flow easily. He works in Marketing for a local Italian chain and moonlights as an amateur comedian. As interesting as I found him, I was not attracted. Not tall enough, small mouth (though very big ... read more
February 21st 2012
The plane races across the tarmac, swaying from side to side, my heart beat racing just as quickly, my eyes are wide and full of fright, wanting desperately to be shut firmly. My hands clutch my book which I had been enjoying moments before, now my knuckles turn white from the tension. The plane begins to lift and my stomach falls, a soft moan escapes my lips and I feel my body shudder. There are too many people on this plane, too many bags, too much weight. I am certain the plane will struggle to reach altitude and will plummet to the earth, a sickening scream as metal, fiberglass and fuel slices through the sky. The tears are silently falling down my face and I am able to force me eyes shut, though with every shudder ... read more