Monday, February 27, 2012

Its Been A Long Time, My Friend.....

Well, this is it. My first post in just over eleven months. Thats nearly a whole year of keeping my mouth shut. You know something is seriously going down when I keep my mouth shut. More on that later. On a lighter note, there are reasons why I am now blogging again.

Firstly, lately I have been reading some wonderful blogs for fun. You see, I now have a lot of time on my hands, now that I am not (1) killing myself slowly to death as a career woman; or (2) killing myself slowly to death by travelling the world; or (3) in total, killing myself slowly by being someone that I am not. Anyway, there are so many great blogs out there that I cannot mention them all, but my favourite ones are: - Eden is hard, edgy and f*cking awesome. A redhead too. - Witty and self deprecating. Hilarious. - Heartbreaking but full of hope. - Great info, great chick.

Its strange. Technically, they are "Mummy Bloggers". I am not a mummy. But I love their blogs. I have been doing a fair bit of commenting on these and many other blogs because I've enjoyed conversing on a range of issues that, for a long time before, I never really cared to think about (refer back to (1) - (3) - note: I rarely thought about anything other than myself back then).

Anyway, to comment on these blogs, I need to sign in so lately I have been using my sign in for this blog - its just been easier to do that rather than set up another account. So, people have been referred back to this outdated blog. Its a bit embarassing. Its like going to a car show and arriving on a bicycle.

Secondly, I am slowly becoming inspired again as a result of these blogs. I feel like I am ready to blog again. I have had a huge writer's block for a year now, because my life has changed so dramatically since "KateOnTheBike" was up and fully operational. Back "then", this was the blog that I used to write nearly every day for nearly three years. It was the place where I used to show off to everyone what country I was in, what adventure I was experiencing, it was where I would talk about how wonderful my life was. Dont get me wrong, I am still very proud of this blog. I'm proud of the photos and the stories, the adventures that took me to places I never dreamed of seeing. However, I also look back at the adventures and realise that they were part of a very chaotic lifestyle, a lifestyle that nearly buried me at an early age.

I don't lead such an exciting life now like I lived before. But if you are new to this blog, please, go back and enjoy the amazing adventures I experienced but as you do, know that while it was a very exciting way to live, I was leading a pretty unstable and lonely life where depression was only one step away from where ever I went. Oh how looks can looked as though I had it all, when really, I was not very happy underneath the surface.

I don't know what this blog will be about now. It may, or may not, continue. I don't know. I just had the urge to write something today - to those people who are coming to see my blog, only to find it outdated.

If you do come and visit, leave me a comment, say hi. Who knows, if I receive enough encouragement, I might make blogging a regular thing again.

K x

Repost from April 2010

For those who have joined my blog recently, this post was an important turning point in my life. I thought that I would repost it to give you all some background insight into my own journey over the past two years.

Dear all,

(My family say I share too much personal stuff on this blog, but sorry guys, this is important)

Over the last four weeks, I have had to embark on the scariest of journeys. I don't know whether any of my readers can relate to this, but I reached a point where I found myself both physically and mentally realising that I simply could not go on like I had been.

It was completely and utterly normal for everyone to look at my life from the outside and see that I had just about everything my heart desired. An incredibly prestigious job, one that probably should have been performed by someone well beyond my years. I had a good looking boyfriend who I travelled the world with. I had a luxury apartment in an exotic foreign country. My bank account was being piled with money. On weekends I would stay at the most luxurious hotels in tropical locations. I had my photography and blog and I was able to communicate across the world to anyone remotely interested in my life just how wonderful life was.

The truth is that, over the last 12 months, I have never felt so empty, confused, robotic and disconnected from my life. I could not see where my future was heading. I was attempting to create a future but I couldn't see the next steps ahead of me clearly. For every negative emotion I felt, I was able to intellectually rationalise it - "you're just away from home", "you're just lonely", "its just because you are growing up", "its just because you haven't integrated into life here in Singapore", "oh, it was the horse riding accident", "its just a tough time at work at the moment", "its just that you are carrying extra weight"..... on and on and on came the excuses.

You see, when you are an intelligent person, you can rationalise your way out of just about everything - except what it is that you are feeling deep down to the core of your heart and soul.

You can buy yourself just about every self help book imaginable so that you can improve "this" or "that" and if you highlight enough of the important passages in the text, you may come away with a little bit of enlightenment and a little bit more confidence. However, no book, no motivational quote, no pay rise, no new job offer, no new boyfriend will EVER hide whatever it is that your heart and soul is really trying to tell you. And for as long as you turn your mind away from the truth, by reading books, or taking a path that "kind of" gets you there, you will remain restless and unhappy.

I had become deeply unhappy and I had become numb to absolutely everything around me. Even coming home to see my gorgeous little nieces didn't incite that thrill or love that I wanted so desperately to feel for them. And sadly, as much as it pains me to say it, seeing my boyfriend, my international man of mystery no longer filled me with love and passion. I was laying in Egyptian cotton hotel sheets and feeling like I was sleeping on a bed of nails.

I reached what is known as a 'Growth Fork' - two mutually exclusive paths ahead of my and my challenge was to firstly, have to courage to acknowledge the two paths, and then to decide which path to take. Growth Forks can cause your personal growth to stall, sometimes for years, they say. People sit, absorbed for hundreds of hours to figure out the right decision, and still feel unsure about what to do. You can use all of the different diagnostic and analytical tools to help you decide. You can consult your intuition. You can ask for advice. You can think some more. And at the end of the day, you can end up with ambivalence.

I have often been accused of being too impulsive, but it was first my impulse to get up and get home to Australia, and then it was some space to clear my head, that assisted me to make a decision as to which of the mutually exclusive paths I needed to take.

I needed a break from my career. I needed a break from the everyday world of material existence. I needed a break from my own selfishness. I needed to reach into my heart and soul and truly ask myself what mattered to me right now, right this minute. I decided that I needed to set myself free from my own expectations, and to some extent, the expectations of others that had built up over time.

Choosing to leave your job, your boyfriend, your life and risk yourself financially is not an easy decision to make. And believe me, I have gone through each and every consequence of my decision, over and over again, and I am well aware that what I intend to do over the next 12 months is a scary, daring and ambitious thing, particularly at an age where many of my friends are settling down and marrying, having children, developing their careers further. I know that what I am going to do will have consequences and I am not going into this without considering those consequences. Yes, it will financially set me back. Yes, it will stall my amazing, growing career as a powerful legal counsel.

However, for every consequence that I recognise that I face, I reach into my heart and my soul and I realise that no matter what, i will be okay. Its called having trust and confidence within yourself to know that regardless of whatever challenge comes your way, you'll find a way to make it out.

Deep down, I have known for a very long time that I needed to reach one of those mutually exclusive forks in the road and I have known for a very long time that I would choose the path that I am taking now. It just has taken me time to reach a point where I could recognise that the Growth Fork had arrived.

Accepting this path is giving rise to some interesting emotions. Relief, that I've finally made the decision, that the pressure that I've carried for over eight years is now off my shoulders.

I may not know what is ahead, but I can at least now say that I can see my path a lot clearer than when I was searching for it in amongst the Gucci shops and Hilton Hotels.

I know that this has come as a shock to many people. I know there are some people who do not agree with what I have done. I know that I may be disappointing a lot of people who believed that I was far better off continuing to climb the corporate ladder. I may resume that climb in a year or two, but for now, I ask for support and faith that whatever happens in the next 12 months, I will be okay - in fact, for the first time in almost 10 years, I may actually be happy.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Entering The Famous Kakadu Flood Plains

One of my favourite parts of the trip was entering the Kakadu Wetlands.

The reason Kakadu is named on the World Heritage List is for both its outstanding cultural and natural universal values. The flood plains of Kakadu illustrate the ecological effects of sea-level change in northern Australia. The park features great natural beauty and sweeping landscapes, as well as internationally important wetlands. The park is extremely important to Aboriginal people, and many communities still occupy the region. The Aboriginal art sites of Kakadu National Park are a unique artistic achievement that provides an outstanding record of human interaction with the environment over tens of thousands of years.

Kakadu is one beautiful national park.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kakadu - Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Centre



Entrance into Kakadu National Park

We entered into the World Heritage Listed Kakadu National Park after lunch. Unfortunately, we were greeted by some rain but it didnt spoil our day, as the rain didn't last too long.


Next Stop - Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park

Next stop was Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park. No swimming this time.

Here is the reason why!!!

This sign explains the way in which they monitor crocodiles in the area.

Given the inability to swim, we did some walking instead.
I did the walk to the viewing platform.

The first of the waterfalls at Wangi Falls.

There are actually two water falls in wet season. Both were pounding down due to the sheer amount of rainfall that had occurred over the previous 3 - 4 days. This is the second of the falls.

You could feel the force of the water spray just standing on the platform.

I took a look at the local flora as well - here in a Native Ginger Plant.

A clearer view of the smaller of the waterfalls.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Litchfield National Park - Florence Falls

We were then back on the road, the next stop being Florence Falls, the second of the two swimming areas that were open to the public and that were safe to swim in.

Florence Falls from the viewing platform.

And then it was swim time!

And then it was lunchtime!


Litchfield National Park - Buley Rockhole

Next stop in Litchfield National Park was Buley Rockhole, where we could swim. My of the waterholes in the area were closed due to wet season (and crocodile risk) but Buley Rockhole is one of only two in the area where swimming in risk free - but that said, the current was pretty strong!!!

Me sliding down the waterfall. I fell down all four levels of the waterfall on my backside and ended up with a nasty bruise on my bottom.

Me at the bottom, after hurting my bottom!

We enjoyed the swim in the amazingly fresh water. I'm on the right, trying to stay upright because the current was so strong.

I'm second on the right, in the rockpool which was about 4 metres deep.

The spectacular waterfalls from the bottom.

Another spectacular shot of the gushing water.