Hi. Can I join you?

 

Hi. Can I join you?
Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia


When Ellie-gate happened, Rikki decided to jump ship. I would be on my own. I thought it would be an excellent liberating experience – I could hear Yasmin singing in my head..

#And although the road is frightening, I’m gonna make it on my own.#

Cue some poignant uplifting music playing in the background as I gazed out across the field of trees, contemplating life.

As it turns out.. no.

In fact, if I’m honest, when I realised I had to decide on what to do with my life in like, a few days, I probably looked a bit like this..

http://25.media.tumblr.com/326765959ac4 68cd2e2e4adb383eec8b/tumblr_mrfu1jPy5J1 ran7b9o2_500.gif

Then maybe I looked and felt a bit like this,

http://24.media.tumblr.com/eef2775c97a7 c2317bfaf4756372a9b5/tumblr_mrfu1jPy5J1 ran7b9o4_500.gif

My head was so tangled up. Imagine excitedly opening the box of Xmas decorations at the start of December, and then remembering that you had just thrown the whole lot in without any consideration for your future self – 15ft of tangled Xmas lights. That. That’s what my head has been like for the last few days.

“Would you not consider a round the world trip?”

“Go and knock on the doors of farms, see if they have any work?”

“Go to Sydney and see the girls.”

“Book a tour.”

All those suggestions were from my dear and closest friends – as much as they meant well, all of their voices chattering all at once in my head – NOT helping me (some were by text, but that’s not the point) and I was starting to feel like I had made a huge mistake..?

So I spent the next few days walking around in a fugue state, wondering what my next step would be..

I knew I had to decide soon – as lovely and hospitable as Liz and Dan have been to me, I didn’t want to overstay my welcome, even though they had insisted it would be OK. A 3 course meal at the Dragon Palace City restaurant voucher is on the way to you guys, by the way, as a massive thank you for being the perfect hosts.

I had finally decided! I would go to Darwin to see a friend.

But then again.. a three months train ticket – unlimited train trips all over Australia sounded great. That was settled.

Actually.. A 25 days tour from Perth to Darwin, learning all about the Aboriginals culture, etc.

I just couldn’t decide.

After a lot of shouting and swearing with Rikki, (that’s our normal way of communicating, don’t worry) and some gentle coaxing from Liz, I had decided.

Cairns.

“Book your flights. Book your hostel. That way, you can’t change your mind, so do it now. Do it. I SAID DO IT!!” Rikki shouted at me, like a coxswain.

I knew I had to do something. So.. **** it. I booked it. I booked my flights. I booked my hostel. Done.

Yes, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, I admit. But there was something niggling at me. My confidence.

“Pfft. Confidence problems? ********.” I hear you say. “This is the girl who without a moment’s hesitation, took her top off and sat in her bra for a good 5 minutes at Burlesque, simply because the dancer told her to.” “Yes. This is the girl who went up to a Horse Guard and gyrated her booty in his groin just because she thought it would be a fantastic photo opportunity.”

Yes, yes.. I know.

But you see, on the day I flew off, I was fitted with brand new Oticon hearing aids. The last time I got new hearing aids was in 2006 – an upgrade was obviously needed. The quality was amazing – I could hear the tiniest details in voices, the pneumatic drill from 50 miles away (OK, slight exaggeration), the ******* birds chirping and many more. A cacophony of sounds.

What seems to be the problem then? Some of you may say. You can hear everything. Brilliant!

No. Not so brilliant. I have been used to hearing in a certain way all of my life. Now, I have to teach my brain how to process different sounds. Yes, the sounds are much more clearer, but what are they? The audiologist said it would take me a while to adjust to it and I would probably feel overwhelmed.

Brilliant. I always have to make life difficult for myself, don’t I..?

So, the last week, I’ve been trying my best to familiarise myself with sounds, accents and so on. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m trying. Hence, my confidence problems. When you’re not able to understand someone, asking them to repeat themselves repeatedly can knock your confidence.

Which is why I’m sort of dreading Cairns. I have to throw myself into a situation where I know nobody, might not be able to understand them, and not worry enough to amuse myself.

As a particular smart aleck said to me in a text today.. 😉

‘You’ve literally got the world as your oyster, and you’re not sure what to do with it. Lol.’

At first, I thought to myself, ‘I doubt you’re actually laughing out loud.’ and then I thought.. “She’s right. I have the world at my feet – why am I scared?” This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (well, twice for Rikki) not many people get to experience, and I’m spending it worried about whether or not I’ll be able to understand some dude banging on about how he took some ‘shrooms at a full moon party and had a threesome with two awesome chicks with great racks. Actually, I’m not sure his motor skills would be functioning adeptly under the influence of magic mushrooms enough to have a threesome – I suspect fatigue would be caused by over-arousal..

ANYWAY. So, yeah.. travellers. There’ll be people from all over the world. English may or may not be their first language. Understanding and being open-minded is vital if you want to become a traveller.

So.. I’m taking the plunge. I’m flying off tomorrow. I’ll arrive at the hostel, drop my bags off and go to the bar and say..

“Hi. Can I join you?”

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