A Desert Love Story

If you’re not interested in matters of the heart, and hate sentimental corny posts, do skip this one. Because today, I will tell you about my love.

You might have picked up on this in my previous post. I am in a long distance relationship. How did I end up in one? Well, let me tell you our story.

This time last year, I arrived in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. I had travelled and worked in Western Australia for five months, and just finished a one month roadtrip from Sydney to Melbourne and Adelaide, visiting the Snowy Mountains, Wilson’s Promontory, Wilpena Pound, the Great Ocean Road, and many more spectacular places, 4WD’ed straight through the red centre on the Oodnadatta track past lake Eyre to Uluru and finally to Alice Springs. What a crazy half year it had been. And in Alice Springs, I was back to the start: I had to come up with a new plan, again. Had to find a job, again. Had to make new friends, again. I bet you all agree, after a while, it gets tiring. But not for long. Because I had only been in Alice Springs for one day when I met the most amazing person. I had no idea at the time, but it became clear to me pretty soon.

You see, I was 23 years old, and I had never been in love. No no, let’s be honest. I had never even been in a relationship. I wasn’t looking for love. I didn’t know what it looked like. I was perfectly happy exploring on my own. Except for the tiring part. The part where you have to make new friends: where are you from how long have you been on the road for where have you been so far oooh that’s so cool yeah me too awesome. Same conversation. Every day. With everyone you meet. But with this fella, it was different.

We met in the hostel, just started talking, as you do. I noticed him before making calls applying for jobs. Ah, I thought, a likeminded traveller (and a rather handsome one, at that!) He was sitting next to the tap. As I went over to get some water, he asked me, not much to do here in Alice Springs, is there? And that’s it. That’s how we met. Not immediately the start of the greatest hollywood love story, I hear you think. I agree. Our story is so much better.

So we started hanging out 24/7, saw all there is to see in Alice Springs (not much, believe you me, but we kept finding fun stuff such as cycling through the desert to the telegraph station we never found, visiting the completely barren botanic gardens, going up Anzac Hill (which we keep calling Aznac Hill) for a pretty neat but scorching hot view of the city, enjoying the absolutely mental desert town party night life, and I can keep going). And we didn’t just have the usual conversations. We talked hours and hours, got each other laughing from the second we met, made wonderful friends together. Me and him, we were a “we” almost instantly. A package deal. And what a package it is.

It all went really fast. And so insanely easy. Nothing has ever been so easy in my life! None of the drama the hollywood movies and love songs had taught me! No “defining the relationship”. No playing games or being too scared to be honest about our feelings. No trying to make each other jealous. No hopelessly trying to impress each other. Seriously, who came up with that stuff?! Why did no one tell me movies are so unrealistic?

If there is one thing I have learned (and here comes the corny bit), it’s that loving each other is the easiest thing on earth. If it’s not easy, it’s not love. And to be fair, our situation isn’t easy. We’re not from the same countries. When our visas expired and the money ran out, we each had to go home. I was starting a job here, he was getting back into his old job there. And that’s where we still are now. But even though our lives have changed so drastically since we met, nothing has changed in the way I feel about him. Loving him is still as easy as pie. And I love him more every day. I have never been so happy in my life. Everything I do is so much better when he is around. I love talking to him, I love laughing with him, I love the stories he tells me and the jokes he makes, and the smile he smiles when he notices I’m not getting the joke, or not getting it’s a joke (I need some sort of a Bazinga alert, really). He has a thousand single smiles, and I know every single one of them. Corny again: his smiles makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Yup. Fuzzy.

Happy anniversary my sweet sweet baby!

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Ihaveasurprise-andI’msoexcitedaboutit!

I am so bad at surprises! I’ve known my boyfriend for almost a year (and we decided the day we met is going to be our anniversary date), and I ordered a present for him online that arrived at work today, and I’m so excited to give it to him I’m having the hardest time not to grab my phone to message him saying that I have a surprise, to then say what it is as well!

You see, I’m usually ridiculously bad at buying presents. So usually I don’t really want to do presents. I’m also quite bad at occasions that require presents. I tend to forget birthdays (including my own), mothers day, anything except Christmas because Christmas is extra fun. I guess it’s something I picked up abroad. I used to be quite good at birthdays, but when you’re travelling you never even know what day it is, let alone if it’s a special one. So you stop caring about special days all together, thinking your friends will give you a break because you’re half a world away and can’t join them for drinks anyways. And then you are back home and you realise you’ve gotten yourself a bad habit  from the travels!

But this time I had this really cool present idea (that I can’t tell you about because if he reads my blog before I see him, well, then my writing this to stay off my phone is a gigantic failure), and now I’m probably more excited about giving it to him than he’ll be about getting it :p It is three more days before I see him, ow boy, Yolaine, compose yourself!

I reckon it’ll be the first thing I’ll do when I get out of the airplane (long distance relationship, ugh, sucks big time): stuff a present in his face jumping around like a little kid on Christmas morning. Me jumping around. Not the receiver of the present. Me.

Hurry up weekend! I’m so excited!

Memory Therapy

One way to remember your travels fondly, is doing something with what you have left. Making a scrapbook with tickets and maps and photos. Writing a travel story. Or what I tend to do: making a movie. I love picking some music that takes me straight back to a particular moment, adding little videos of that particular adventure. Usually, going through my photos and videos makes me quite sad because I miss it so badly. But this is a good way to deal with it. You can see the beautiful sights and remember the amazing memories, but because you’re actually doing something with them, it keeps your mind of the sadness!

I just had a look at some of my videos from my year in Australia last year. I have so many, but I decided to use only the ones from Western Australia, and only the ones where I was doing some sort of travelling, as in, being on the road, in a boat, on foot, etc. Of course it did turn out longer than I had hoped, and I can imagine for people who weren’t there with me, it might be quite boring. But for me, it is therapeutic 😉

I hope you like it!

Let me know what artsy craftsy things you do with your memories, maybe I can find myself some new therapy!

What To Do On a Day Off From Life: How Boring Can Be Great Fun

I’ve been ill the past week. Or over-stressed. I’m not sure. What I am sure of, is that I didn’t feel good and that work is getting the best of me. I stayed home for a week with a doctor’s note saying I have a bad flu. I played Sims 4 non-stop, it’s been over 10 years that I have played Sims! I watched my series and movies. I slept loads.

And today it is time to feel better. It is Saturday. No, I am not going to catch up on all the work I didn’t do. I had planned a crafts day with a friend. We do one every month. The last two months we worked on photo frames. This is one with some of my pics from Australia.

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We also cook up some food together, and indulge in our guilty pleasure: trash television. Yes, (I should be ashamed to admit this), I like to watch shows like Jersey Shore and The Valleys. These people are simply so dumb and living in some parallel trashy universe, it makes me feel sophisticated and smart … and it makes me laugh!

Anyways, we were gonna make candles this time at my place, I’ve been saving all my empty jars and tubs for weeks now. But my friend had to cancel because of family problems. (I hope it’ll all turn out allright! I burned a candle for her and her family.) So suddenly I find myself with another day of doing nothing ahead of me. Difference with the last week, I actually woke up feeling better, showered, did groceries, and swore to not use my computer today (at least not for games and series).

So, What to do! Like I said, games and series are not an option! As much as I enjoy them, they do not make me happy! Weird that, don’t you think? I enjoy it, but it drives me crazy. And at night I go to bed feeling really upset and annoyed. No more of that this week! Soooo … Uhm … Now what?

When I was travelling, this was never an issue! There’s always something to do! Or some place to enjoy. Even if it’s just the pool with a good book. Or a bench with a nice view. Or an exhausting hike. But of course the weather is shite and I live in a small and boring city.

And when I’m home, I’m usually working my ass off or doing laundry or shopping or cleaning or sorting out and being worried about my finances or rushing from seeing one friend to another or trying to fit in a gym session or just being stressed out about all the things just listed. Now, after a week of being ill and absolutely not wanting to work, I am left with, like I said, an empty day.

And I’m loving it.

I read the newspaper, not just the headlines. And the weekend magazine.

I put on a cheerful Spotify playlist. Totally Stress Free, that says it all, doesn’t it.

My boyfriend just messaged me saying that he bought a new book for me. Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins. Can’t wait to read it. It’s the kind of book that is read on a towel in the park. Bring it on, summer!

I’ve got some nice food in the fridge, I’ll be making chicken korma tonight!

And now I’m blogging. And in a good mood for a change! Put on the playlist I told you about above, you’ll know what I mean.

Once again I realise I cannot get working life get the best of me. I have some awful habits that can really drag me down. Like the hours and hours of watching awful tv shows, postponing everything that needs to get done. Let’s be honest here, have you ever felt happy after watching tv? Really? Now compare: have you ever felt happy while travelling? Why do I even ask. There’s no reason why we can’t get some of that vibe back in our generally quite boring post-travel lives! Boring can be fun! All you need is leaving your bad habits behind for a day, and doing things you used to do. Remind yourself or how life can be. Maybe we’ll keep it up!

Read. Draw. Listen to music. Play music. Sing along as out of tune as you can without knowing the lyrics. Cook. Eat. Write. Enjoy. Cheers to that!

Just sayin’

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Or maybe we’re so worried about what’s ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are?

Or maybe we’re so busy missing the past that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are?

Or maybe we’re so busy and worried about the past just ahead of us and the future in the worries?

Or the worries from the just ahead missing in the past of the future?

Or the future pasts in the

Uhm

Or maybe I should focus on Calvin and Hobbes My Heroes and stop philosophising so I can enjoy where I am right now 😉

Facebook Jealousy

The worst part about having your travelling on hold? Jealousy!

I am currently at work (At Work?! Get your ass back to it! Yeah, I know) and for a quick break in between all the thinking, I went on Facebook. Just for like, one minute! Bad idea, I am completely distracted and in a weird mood now. Some of my Facebook friends liked some competition so it ended up on my newsfeed. You could win some citytrips or even an around the world trip. Not that I can actually take time off for that, but hell yeah I’d give it a try! So I click the link and what do I see?! It’s one of my friends who is on a crazy around the world trip organised by the university for some kind of publicity stunt! She keeps a blog that is a lot more interesting than mine, and asks a question or two a day to keep the competition going! Whoaaaaaaat?!

Haha, don’t get me wrong, I am very happy for her, and I am definitely looking forward to hearing the whole story once she gets back. She is now in South-Africa, and tomorrow she is flying to Brazil. It’ll be so sunny, *sighsmiledreamdriftofftobetter* … But I just cannot help thinking, damn, I wish that was me! And also, this has completely ruined the good work vibe I had going on before I got sidetracked to Facebook, oops.

Tell me, fellow travellers-on-(temporary)-retirement: what throws you off the most? And how do you manage not to turn green and only be happy for your friends’ adventures?!

I guess my trick would be: stay the **** off Facebook! But let’s be honest, can I really.

(If you want to check out her blog, for those of you that speak Dutch: http://www.ontdekdewereld.be)

Now back to work!