I have learned many interesting things in my 6 years of studying and 46 years of life. Learning about poverty is a core focus in social work studies and all the different theories. One of them is by a Chilean man called Max-Neeff who identified 10 fundamental human needs. A lack of any of them is recognized as a poverty and causes us to act to fulfill that need. He has the obvious ones like poverty of subsistence and freedom but then he also has poverty of idleness as well as of transcendence or spirituality which he places of equal importance.
I am typing this while on my magical little holiday on my bed with my big mozzie net all around. Like a little tent. Sadly the back of my thighs are on fire as I did not reapply my sunblock while snorkeling and now I can hardly sit. Hurts like a bitch! But back to my point: Before my trip I had my hair done and my hairdresser remarked it was the first time she had seen me without my laptop or textbooks. I am always working and always busy trying to fit in the 100 beans in my 80 capacity jar. Sometimes they spill over and sometimes the pressure of all those beans threaten to crack that jar. I knew I just had to hang on till the 30th of October this year. I had planned a road trip with my dog Goose as my reward to myself. I was going to be deliberate and take some time out after literal years of being busy. Somehow the road trip became a beach holiday and I looked at Vietnam, Bali or Thailand. With just 7 days the prospect of a 24 hour journey didn’t appeal plus I did not have lots of moola saved so I found Zanzibar. Another good word…Zanzibar.
When I booked my trip my dad was still doing well but has deteriorated since then. I had such angst about going. What if, what if…?? And then just before I left Frances lost her mom who was diagnosed 2 months before my dad. We have travelled this journey together finding solace and comfort and understanding with and in each other. I also got really sick but my trip was booked and paid for and so I went. And now I sit albeit gingerly with my bright pink thighs but even after such a short time, I feel myself heal and breathe again. My anxiety and sorrow and exhaustion was over whelming. I felt broken. And now I feel like I can exhale. I am so so grateful. To myself for recognizing what I needed and being brave enough to go off alone. For my sisters and brother and mom who basically pushed me on that plane never considering I need to stay. And Gary for understanding and my kids for being so excited for me.
Under the layers of busy and mothering and studying and grief and worry is a person who has this enormous capacity for joy and I found her again. I am known as a HSP. A highly sensitive person. I feel everything with great intensity and I am a total empath so others pain becomes my own. I can’t drink coffee due to the caffeine or take an advil or any meds. I am allergic to the hypo-allogeneic tape the physios use and micropore tape and the tape they use under my eyes when I have my lashes done. My entire system is so finely wired but the plus side, is when it’s good, its very good. A simple swim in the ocean every morning is a source of enormous delight and I literally grin as I swim up and down so frikking happy. I know real life awaits me back home and the girls write exams but this little trip has been amazing. Like washing my dirty windscreen so I can actually sit back and drive and not hunch over trying to peer through the window. I won’t allow myself to get so poor again re time out. I can take weekends off now and read books and journal and watch crap TV. I can swim and beach and hike along with my busy life. I don’t regret studying for a single second but I do wish I had done a short course instead of a bloody 6 year honours degree. What an arsehole? And every year I was in too deep to stop.
I have loved chatting to people who I would never normally talk to. The locals are genuinely friendly. Not the tourist ‘have to be fake’ friendly. My fave barman Shehe and I talk for ages about our countries and cultures. Meeting the Israeli young guys was definitely a highlight. We laughed a lot and spoke shit and had fun. We will probably never cross paths again but life threw us together for a tiny moment in time and all barriers of age, language, culture and gender melted away and we were just tourists hanging out. Today I was alone on the trip so 2 guys from the tour company joined. The one guy is 19 and we could park off on this little boat and talk about random stuff. That powerful human connection we so often miss because we have our people around us.
I have 2 days left and done all the tours I want to so I plan to savour them. My last few swims in the early morning ocean. Hanging at the pool reading my book. I might do another bike ride if my butt and legs stop burning. I am not bound by any schedule or the wants, needs and desires of others. Being alone is so vital. Liking your own company. I was not sure what to expect but I know this week has been an absolute gift from God/the universe/karma. Just life in general putting back so I can stand up again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My gratitude knows no bounds for this precious little trip.
PS: It’s my last night. I can’t connect to the wi-fi on my laptop for some reason so I will post this at home. What a magical week and what a difference it has made in my life. I found what I was seeking but that’s yet another post for another day.