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Published: January 16th 2013
Sometimes you've got to experience everything going wrong to get to where you want to be.
Today, that has to be my motto. Ok so my Spanish is a little poor, but I do think I speak and understand enough to get to where I need to be - except for the fact that no one knows where the hell I'm going and want to send me in the opposite direction! *this could be a good motivational life quote if anyone wants to turn it into one of those 'Pintrest' thingies.
So Uruguay. After 1 month here I think I realise what I'm here for. This feels like the place where I put all my lessons learnt to the test - and so far, I'm failing miserably and am falling flat on my face! But that's ok, the first step of change is recognition 😊
After a very tranquil lifestyle of coconut trees and barefoot-bikini living in
Punta del Este
Sunsets over the harbour
Itacare (Brazil), I've come back into a world of shopping centres, Gold Coast/Bondi like tourist beaches - and of course, money.
Wow - how I forgot everything so easily when I started working in this new country, 60hrs a week working nights in a bar all for the idea of saving money. My declaration to myself to live a more balanced lifestyle went straight out the window and I felt like I was 21 again, working in an Irish Bar in Melbourne and working my arse off for some cash at the end of each night (although I'm also being told I look 22 here so that does work fine me!) . You can regularly hear me replying, "No, I'm not on my 'GAP Year' - I am way past that age, but thank you!"
Going to bed at 8:30am in the morning and sleeping until 4pm in the afternoon - until now, that is really
'Cottage-esque' style in the city
all I can tell you about my month's experience in Uruguay!Valentina, my Uruguayian friend who lives 5mins bike away, I only see once a week on my 1 day off where she bundles me into a car and says "Let's go - you need to see more of Uruguay!". This I know, so we zoom off to Jose Ignacio beach, 40 mins from the city, which reminds me of the barren beaches South-East of Melbourne on the Mornington-Flinders Peninsula. Here we lay on the beach (for me for the first time in 2 weeks) and I sleep. And god it felt good to have the sun on my skin again!
And what about Uruguay? Honestly, it is so similar to Australia that they even have gum-trees (Eucalyptus) here! When I first got off the bus I felt like I was stepping out into the countryside in Oz! The sights, the smells - wow did I ever feel a little home sick! And the people here are beautiful. Ok, so I've had a couple of rough experiences like my house being robbed, losing all
So I was a little excited when I first arrived to find Uruguay have a fresh deli!! Ah......Bahia....
my photos and camera, plus a couple of other incidents which can easily be left out! My impression so far is culturally Uruguayians are a mix of the laid-back, bbq'ing, beer drinking, holiday beaching Australians - mixed with an Italian culture of food (a lot of pizza!) and wine and beautiful family values. So for me, it feels like home with both of my cultural heritages mixed into one country.
But now I hope this exhaustion of working nights and sleeping days is going to change. And i've realised I'm not that person anymore. That was an old me which I've long grow out of.
So now I have just picked up work at a surf school teaching kids how to surf! Majority of kids so far speak English and when the parents find out I'm Australian they tell me they want them to
practise English. So it's a little mix of surf/English teaching and a lot
of swimming to catch the kids and paddle back out again! I know, perfect for me, right!?! ;o)
Today it's day 2 of the new job and after 2 hours of wrong buses and a lot of money (there's that word again!) I'm going to spend the afternoon back in the water again - where I feel at home! Swimming and laughing and playing and exhausting myself in the water - I get to be a big kid again :D
So, my lessons learnt from lessons learnt? Don't let the past year be a waste of living if you're only going to go back to the way things were... You shouldn't have to work hard for a balanced lifestyle if that is what you want. Choose what feels good to
9:30pm on the way home from the beach
you at the time and makes you happy. Don't worry about the future, enjoy now. It's your life. Live it.
Ok Uruguay - thanks for the reality check! Now let's go have some fun!! 😊
**photos courtesy of my dear old BlackBerry phone**
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