As it was so wondrously put in Lee Marvin’s “I was born under a wandering star”. I was, uh, born, under a wandering star, and this is something about me, and my wandering star.
Something about me – Un-appeased by the hopes and aspirations that had seemed the only way forward in life for so long, my girlfriend and I packed our bags, sold our home and all the toys that had failed to keep us happy, and bid adieu to a world no longer suitable.
My life has been marked by constant moving around, from house to house, school to school, and country to country, I was born in South africa and alternated between there and Zimbabwe for the first half of my life. For one reason or another, we were always on the move. Life was a blur of new faces and new places, some great, and some shockingly not so great.
Something else about me,To London!
School never suited me, and after giving up on the whole thing at 16, I decided to get a job and start pulling in the big money. So I found work as a forklift driver, and spent a year counting the “wads” of cash, watching my dreams flicker into reality. That is, until rent and bills had to be paid, and the wads of cash flowed out as quickly as my dreams, I had realized something about me, and about life’s “limitations”.
Upon realizing that my dreams of world domination would never materialize while driving forklifts, I decided that it was time to leave Africa behind, and move on to the promised land to make my fortune. At 17, my mum helped me organize a holiday visa for London (by “helped”, I mean did for me), and I found myself in a bizarre, freezing landscape, where people talked funny and they called soccer football.
On the wrong visa to get a job, and too shy to do the only work available to me, bar tending. It was off to Scotland, where a young lad can disappear in the system. The system was a fish factory in a tiny town called Fraserborough, where sailors come to get high, and everyone else is trying to escape. 12 hours a day gutting fish and trimming salmon for $6 an hour, and it seemed that perhaps my dreams were better suited to, well, anywhere else.
From Scotland to Ireland, for a few weeks. When the land of leprechauns seemed as ill fated as the land of heroin addicts, I decided it was time to get a proper visa, and give London another try. I landed a job making props for Hollywood movies, and worked on such classics as “Tomb Raider” and “The Mummy returns”. In fact, every time one of “my” movies comes on, Sarah is treated to proclamations of “I made that”, followed by a detailed analysis of how one makes a fake sword, shield or pile of cow dung.
I worked 6-7 days a week, long into the night, and after 6 months had saved about $15 000. Then it was back to South Africa. I grabbed my mum and sister, and dragged them over to London. My brother had already been in London for a few years, but was shortly to leave for New Zealand. This was the last time we were all together, but I hope we can be again someday soon.
From movies, to security Guard, then personal trainer, and back to security guard. I didn’t travel out of London for about 8 years. While working night security for The London Stock Exchange, I taught myself Photoshop and began making pretty pictures, this would stand me in good stead years later when I started working as a graphic designer.
Yet Something else about me, The Travel Bug Bites
Then I met Sarah, and my travel bug came back. We hit the somewhat local spots, Paris for a weekend, Switzerland for snowboarding, Egypt for pyramids. One after the other countries added themselves to my repertoire, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Austria, Portugal. Eventually Sarah had to leave London, and decided to take me with her.
In Australia, I managed to find a job as a graphic designer, eventually working for myself. I can and do anything digital, for print or online media, and hope to keep this up as I travel. Have a look at my web and graphic design website, eyepudding.com, to see what I can do. It is my passion and I am lucky enough to earn a living from it.
While setting up a life for ourselves, Sarah and I did as much traveling as we could, a few holidays around Australia and out, Nepal and Everest base camp, India and Indonesia. It wasn’t enough.
We had bought the house, 2 in fact (or rather we bought 2 mortgages), we built a life with T.V’s, cars, computers and Nespresso machines. We did all the things you’re meant to do, but it didn’t feel right.
I had had an idea for some time (that luckily Sarah shared), that it would be wonderful to pack it all in, and go see the world for a year or so. But there was always a reason to delay,
we don’t have enough money,
work is going well,
I just broke in the couch, and so on.
And so we procrastinated and deviated, until we could neither procrastinate nor deviate anymore. Life was not working out the way we wanted, the house took endless work to maintain and pay for, work was becoming tedious, weekends weren’t long enough, and, the T.V. was too small.
Eventually enough was enough, it got to a stage of do or die, we both felt discontented with what our individual and collective worlds had become.
The last Something About me, So we did it
From making the decision, it took about three months to sell everything, quit our jobs, and get started living. We had been saving for years, and although you can always wait a bit longer, and have a bit more, there is no time like this time, in fact there is no time but this time.
So here we are, traveling the world, experiencing another lifestyle, how other cultures live, what makes people different or the same. Basically finding out what the world has to offer those willing to have a look, and of course, what we want from it. So far we have been to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Mexico, India and London, with lots more to come.
We have no real plans, and are taking it as it comes. It has already been a blast, better and easier than I could ever have imagined, every day is an experience, every day is lived by us, for us, and it feels more satisfying, more right, and more real, than even the 52″, 3D, Hi Def Television and 7.1 surround sound that would have been its substitute.
And that is Something About Me