Travel

Maldives!!! (Sun Island Resort and Spa)

So one holiday destination I never thought I would reach (or not at least until I was “rich”) was the Maldives!! But we have just gotten home from an 8 night stay at the Sun Island Resort and Spa, in the Maldives!!

First thing I will point out – I have been pronouncing the Maldives wrong my whole life… So here I am saying Mal-dives (the dives as in “he dives in the lagoon”) where as it is actually pronounced Mal-deevs (rhymes with Jeeves haha). Still trying to wrap my head around that one! I feel so silly!

I am a sucker for natural beauty – and I don’t mean “oh her make-up is barely there beautiful”. Nature can be such a beautiful thing – I say can because nothing is perfect right? Now I say this under the assumption that no-one has imported sand (but given the spread of it I am assuming not!), but its literally white sand and such clear blue beautiful water. The lagoons are what cause that beautiful colour you can see on Google earth images, as the water is less deep and clearer looking. Now, all the water is like that, even where it gets deeper, it just goes a darker blue but still clear and you can see all the marine life swimming below.

deckwatermaldives

So much marine life! I fell in love! I could totally see myself being a marine biologist! I have snorkelled before, and seen such beautiful fish in Rarotonga, and beautiful fish and even a stingray and a reef shark in Fiji. This felt like it was building on from that.

There was reefs around part of the island that you could explore yourself (and a site near an Italian and seafood restaurant that had ladders down the side that literally just had hundreds of fish swimming around right there, you couldn’t touch the bottom but you didn’t even have to leave the ladder to see them!), and the hotel had separate trips you could do for different things. We went on a 3 site snorkel trip that they took you out to the spots where Sea Turtles, Manta Ray and Whale Sharks are known to be. Obviously, they can never guarantee what you will and won’t see, given that its the ocean and the animals are free to roam as they please lol. At the first site we saw two Sea Turtles (!) (they weren’t swimming together, and one of them the guide pointed out as it was just hovering above the reef and its shell was camouflaged into the reef and we almost missed it!). Other than fish that was all we saw on our trip unfortunately 😦 not from lack of trying by the guides to find the others. The said mantas they only see 50% of the time as they move through the ocean fairly swiftly so if you aren’t fast you will miss them, Sea Turtles they see about 80% of the time, and the Whale Sharks about 95% of the time. So we had accepted we wouldn’t see mantas but were hopeful for the other two.. Ah well, Whale Sharks we will hopefully see you another time. (Our underwater camera also decided it didn’t want to work anymore, granted after 7yrs its done good, so no turtle photos 😦 )

In our time there we saw fish, starfish, hermit crabs, crabs, sea turtles, a pod of dolphins, sting ray, sharks. I feel like the only thing we were missing were octopus!

The resort also did daily stingray and shark feeding, which was awesome to see! They did it around sunset, and close enough to each other to see both on the same night (although you had the potential to miss shark feeding if you lingered too long at the stingray feeding).

stingraysbeachedmaldives

sharksmaldives

The sharks were fascinating – some of them were fairly small (1m or less) and some were quite large (3-5m). And honestly, they were beautiful. I know I have used that word a lot in this post, but it truly was. I don’t know a whole lot about sharks, but you always have the fear of “being eaten/bitten by a shark”, but at those size they wouldn’t be biting any humans lol. I was surprised actually there were fish in the water around the sharks stealing, yes stealing!, the food that was being thrown into the water for the sharks and they just ignored the fish! I was thinking “Oh oh, you eat the sharky food fish the sharkies will eat you!”. But nope, didn’t give them any attention at all. The larger ones were mostly grey and the smaller ones were white with black tips on their fins.

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In terms of the resort itself.. It was nice. I would probably rate it 4 out of 5 stars? We had a Sun Room, and it was quite nice. They have overwater bungalows, Garden Rooms, Sun Rooms and Reef Rooms. The Reef Rooms, as the name suggests, had the best reef to snorkel on on the parts of the island that we did snorkel on. We had a large king bed, with a sun lounge in the room, and out the front of the room, and a tv (which we honestly didn’t use lol). The bathroom was the most interesting; it was partially outside! It was amazing haha

bathroommaldives

The shower is to the right in the photo, infront of the wall. The bath was concrete and really deep, we both used it. The staff were all very nice, and we took the half board which means we had breakfast and dinner included. It was a full buffet, and there was a wide range of food available. I don’t know how many days their cycle ran, but there was something different every day for dinner, including desserts. As well as running the day tours they had shops on the island that sold snacks and souvenirs, jewellery, sports gear, and an arcade, badminton courts, basketball course, golf course, gym, etc. They didn’t do day tours every day however, so if you were only staying for a short time (couple of days) you may miss the opportunity to do things.

pathwaymaldives

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My Mental Health Journey

Secrets

I used to think when I was younger if I didn’t speak about something… Not that it was less true, exactly.. But almost like if I didn’t talk about it… I was going to say it wasn’t real, but even that isnt right..

Some people bottle their problems up and just expect them to “go away”. I have never had this mentality. I actually get annoyed by people who ignore their problems thinking if they do so that they will just go away. Sure, I bottle my shit up too. But not in the expectation that it will just magically disappear if I don’t look at it directly. I put it on the shelf to deal with at a later time (when I have time to deal with it properly, or when I am able to actually mentally process it, etc), or I hold it in to not hurt others, or because the consequences of acting on certain feelings just is not worth it, pure and simple.

But. I really don’t know how to word it lol. So I will just give an example I guess. About 10yrs ago (I’m guessing, and man has that time flown! And it doesn’t really matter exactly when it happened anyway) I got a call in the middle of the night, literally, from my social father (who at the time I believed was my father). My middle step sister had made accusations against him. That he had “taken advantage of her”. She wouldn’t elaborate as to what that meant exactly, but its not hard to imagine where it was aimed. This was in the first week of January. I knew something had happened, as Christmas had half of my family not talking to each other, and I was the only one in the room who didn’t know what was going on. And no-one would tell me. My stepsister had moved out with my older stepsister (they would have been like 16 and 19, roughly, I would have been 20), and I knew that, but again not why. Until like a week after Christmas, like 2 months after it had all happened, did they deem it worth telling me. But whatever. Excluding me is a fine art they have been practicing for most of my life.

But as much as I hated them for not telling me, I didn’t tell anyone but my mum. Even though 4hrs after I got off the phone to him (and I would have gotten like 2hrs sleep, after crying myself to sleep), I went away with my best friend for like 5 days. It was a 5hr drive to get to where we were going, and it was just the two of us. But I did not breath a single word of it to her. Or any of my other friends. Why? Honestly, part of me felt shame. I don’t know why. But I did. Another part of me was embarrassed. I was confused. And shocked. And honestly overwhelmed. But I felt like the least amount of people who knew, the less it was a thing. I knew it was real. I felt its realness. Everyday. But it was just less.

But then it was like one day I realised, whether I talked about it or not didn’t change the fact that it had happened. And people weren’t going to judge me for it. And even if they did, doesn’t really matter. Thats on them, not on me. So I talked to my best friends. And you know what happened? I felt better. For just letting it out. For someone else (other than my mum!) to know what was going on in my life.

And since then? Its not like I go around spouting my life story to everyone I meet, but “secrets” mean less to me. Not secrets that others share with me; if someone tells me something in confidence it stays that way. Other peoples business is just that; theirs to share with whomever they choose. But my own? I’m a lot more open now. Obviously, there is a time and a place for everything, and I’m not going to share intimate details with you if I don’t know you, or don’t feel comfortable with you, but you get the gist.

I have anxiety. Whether I talk about it or not, its there. I’m overweight and want to lose weight. Whether I talk about it or not, its true. I’m a sperm donor baby. Whether I talk about it or not, its a fact. You get my point. Not that I think the whole world cares about my “problems”. I could probably count on both hands the amount of people who legitimately do care. But I think thats part of what makes it so freeing; everyone has their own problems. They have their own struggles. They aren’t judging me. Or blaming me. Or thinking any less of me. Or spouting my “gossip” to everyone. We are all just getting through our day.

I recently discovered a song called “Secrets” by Mary Lambert. And honestly? It makes me laugh, it makes me happy, its my jam! Besides a line about her loving her butt lol I’m happy for her but don’t share her sentiments about myself haha. Listen to it if you can, its quite good. And some of the lyrics “They tell us from the time we’re young to hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves, inside ourselves. I know I’m not the only one who spent so long attempting to be someone else, well I’m over it” are just so, so true.

My Mental Health Journey

Is it just me?

So I recently changed dosage of my anxiety medication. I started out on the lower dosage when I first starting taking it, about 3years ago? About a year and a half ago I had the dosage upped as I was going through some struggles… I have had a change in environment and was working myself up to drop my dosage. No one (I assume here) wants to spend their life dependant on medication to get through their day. Myself included in this.

But when I went to the doctor about a month ago, I couldn’t get in with my normal doctor. So I had to see someone else. I told her I was thinking about doing another 3 months on the higher dosage and then dropping down. She suggested I just drop down now. And I was a little nervous, but at the same time, I want to drop down. I want to get off it. So I thought, “Why not? I can do this!”. And honestly, I am glad I did it. Its weird, but I almost feel better now than when I did taking the higher dosage? I don’t even know if thats a thing, that my dosage was too high and affecting me the opposite way its meant to do? (I will at this point also take a moment to say the dr advised me if I “crashed” that taking two tablets instead of one was equivalent to one of the higher dose, and that it was safe to do so and re-book and she would up the script again).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do still have the occasional moment when I feel down. I feel sad. Or I feel mad. Or hopeless. But you know what? I think I need to re-learn that it is “normal” to have all of those feelings and emotions. Its literally human right? When you have a mental illness, its so easy to tell yourself that your anxiety is making you paranoid, and scared. And that your depression is making you feel worthless, and sad and alone, even angry. That its almost irrational that you are having these feelings, and that if you didn’t suffer from that mental illness you wouldn’t be mad/sad/angry/scared etc. Coz normal people don’t have that, right?

But thats not right, is it? Every single human being on the face of this earth has feelings. But thats what mental illness does; it tells you that things that are “normal” (sorry I hate that word, just completely lacking to find another word which fits), are wrong. You have to learn to accept your feelings. That it is ok to feel upset when something “bad” happens. That it is ok to feel anger when someone wrongs you. That its ok to feel weary, to feel joy, to feel competitive and strive for more. Like everything in life, moderation is important. And its all how you choose to respond and use your feelings. But it is normal to have feelings.

Today, I didn’t feel the best. I was feeling “low”. I just didn’t want to interact with other humans. I was tired. Everything felt like an effort. Everything was hard. People were annoying me. I wanted to shake it off, but I also just wasn’t feeling it. I pulled together and had a few good hours at work, but then when I left I just felt low again. Down. Just so bone deep exhausted I wanted to cry.

But everyone has bad days right? Everyone has those days that they just want to have a pyjama day away from the world? But this is where I do wonder, when other people have these days, do they know why? Has something specific and identifiable caused it? Coz I don’t always. Sometimes I just have days like today for seemingly no reason. At least none that I can identify. And today was just one of those days.

Book Reviews

Freeks, by Amanda Hocking

Amanda Hocking has quite a few books, but this is the only one of hers I have read.

Mara is part of a travelling circus. Which is in part a “freak” show if you will. Travelling from town to town, wherever they are able to find paid work. Mara doesn’t have any “special” talents, but her mother and some of her friends certainly do. Some of these special talents include being able to communicate with the dead, super strength and the ability to make fire.

Mara has grown up in the circus, and they are her unofficial family. Mara and a few others may not have supernatural talents, but they contribute to the smooth sailing of the circus in other ways.

Things start looking financially bad for the circus, when they get an invitation from a previous member to come to his town. The invitation promises a 10 day job with a good payout at the end. How could they turn this job down? They cant, and don’t!

The cute little country town however quickly becomes unwelcoming, and Gideon, the circus owner, and the rest of the troupe, find themselves in quite the bind of a situation. People of the town throwing around subtle, and some not so subtle, hostility toward them, is nothing new to them. They have grown used to people calling them “freaks”.

The usual taunts are nothing out of the ordinary for the troupe, but things become more perilous and confusing for the whole troupe the longer they spend in Caudry. But their penniless state virtually keeps them as prisoners.

Amongst this Mara finds herself building a tentative relationship with a “townie”. Gabe seems like the perfect guy. Funny, smart, caring. But Gabe has his own secrets from the world. Not everything in this town is as it appears to be.

I really enjoyed Freeks. It had the right blend of plot-line and story, without being over the top. It was equally involved as it was simple. Very easy to read, and had suspenseful moments leaving you wondering what was going to happen next.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

*featured image taken from panmacmillan.com

I Dont Understand The Human Race

A List of Small Things

So, I’ve been thinking about starting this category for a little while. So I’m just going to jump in and do it. This first post will be a small list of things, rather than a whole post for each topic.

I do not understand the human race. I repeat, I don’t understand human beings. There are so many things that I honestly question every day. Human beings baffle me. They blow my mind. I don’t get them.

So, here we go! (Please note, these aren’t necessarily in order of confusion)

1. People who don’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom;
So many of the worlds diseases are caused from lack of person hygiene. It literally makes my internals quiver. I feel like this will never leave my brain – one day I saw a lady and her daughter in a public bathroom. The daughter, who I would guess was 4 or 5, went over the sinks and told her mum she was washing her hands. The mother told her not to. Yes, you read that right. Told her daughter NOT to have personal hygiene. About 10mins later I saw them eating. With their hands. And I spent the rest of that afternoon hoping that that little girl didn’t get sick.

2. People who think that they are better than everyone else around them;
There seems to be an increase in self-entitlement. And I have no idea where this has started. But I cannot stand it. This can be so obvious, or really “subtle” as well. Can be anything from direct hostility and bullying, or all the way down the scale like pushing in front of people in a line/queue. Its downright disgusting. No one person is better than another. We are all people. Which means we all have thoughts, feelings, emotions. We all think, we all feel. We all have hard times in our lives, and struggle with things, have bad days, down moods, the list goes on. So how dare you look down your nose at others, or put others down, or push in front of people when it isnt your turn.

3. People who are rude to those who work in service industries;
This one kinda ties in with the previous point, but slightly different. This is for all the people that treat people in service roles as if they are not a person. This again could be a multitude of jobs; restaurants or fast food, retail stores, petrol stations, libraries, public transport, literally even members of the emergency services. Yes, you are a customer. We all are. But you know what? The customer isnt always right. Yes, I said it. The customer is NOT always right. And you also have no right to abuse and threaten people who are trying to help you. And you know what? Maybe they aren’t giving you the exact answer/response/solution that you want to hear – BUT, one they do NOT make the rules if they are on the frontline, and two you have NO right, I repeat NO right to speak to them inappropriately. They are just trying to get through their day like you are. They are people with feelings too. You might be frustrated, but its not that persons fault. Do not treat them like it is. Somewhere alone the line (and I really don’t know where this mentality came from) people got it into their heads that they not only have the right to personally attack the person “behind the counter”, but that it is essential for them to do so to have their issue resolved. Wrong. Ever heard the saying you attract more flies with honey? Its true. Be nice, and they are likely to go MORE out of their way to help you.

4. People who have no sense of personal space;
This one kinda speaks for itself… I’m sorry, but if I can feel your breath on my body anywhere, or you are making the hairs on my body stand up – you are too close. I don’t have issues with touching other people, but other people that I know. If I don’t know you, I don’t want you touching me. Simple as that. Respect peoples personal space.

5. Parents who let their children act like brats;
This one is a very fine line. And one that I am sure parents feel that people who do not have children can have an opinion on. But we do. You are not doing anyone any favours by allowing your child to behave like a diva. You are bowing to their every wish, and your child then gets this sick sense of entitlement. They will go through life being the assholes mentioned in point 2. Not to mention watching kids in public throwing tantrums, abusing others and being inappropriate.

6. Racism;
This one again is pretty self explanatory. Guaranteed if you are starting your sentence with “I’m not racist, but..” there is like a 95% chance that the rest of your sentence is in fact racist. People who have a different skin colour/tone, born in a country different to your own, speaks a different language to you, has different cultural and religions beliefs and traditions to your own, does not make them a bad person. It makes them different, yes, but not bad. No two human beings in this world are identical. So how about instead of being racist and discriminatory and hateful you view it as an opportunity to expand your horizons and learn something new. It won’t kill you. You may even like it.

My Mental Health Journey

I’m Not That Girl Anymore… Or Am I?

So today is my “baby” sisters birthday. I put baby in parenthesis as she turned 19 today. Hardly a “baby”. But my day has been filled of memories of her since I met her when she was 3yrs old (she is my “stepsister” – being that her mother is married to my social father). So many memories in that 16yrs.

And not all of her. Some of me. When our relationship was at its closest. When we both lived under the same roof. When I was 14 -16yrs old. My step mum kicked me out just before Christmas the following Feb in which I was to turn 17, and insisted I live with her before the Christmas the following Feb I was to turn 15. She did potentially save me from potentially being raped,  but thats not what we are talking about right now. I was in pretty bad shape for probably the first 9 months in which I lived there with them. That I will never deny. But my baby sister became my rock. My reason for living. My everything. Yeah, it was distraction and diversion as I would put all of my focus and energy into everything about her for as many of the hours of the day as I possibly could. When she was at school was the hardest. I had dropped out of school, I couldn’t be there anymore. Because the rest of my day literally orbited around her; her breakfast, getting her ready for school, getting her to school, getting her from school, making sure she did her “homework”, reading with her, colouring with her, making sure she ate all her dinner, showering her and teaching her to shower herself etc you get the picture. If I slept 4hrs a day that was a good day. I couldn’t eat much, I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t want to do anything, I didn’t want to be anywhere. Most of all in my own head.

I would read when I couldn’t sleep because lying there not being able to sleep whilst one of my other sisters snored away peacefully on the other side of the room – I could literally feel my sanity slipping away with the hours I was not sleeping when I “should” have been. Sometimes she would wake up and “read” with me for 10mins before she would be snoring again lol.

I literally shut out all my friends. They were immature bitches anyway. But occasionally I wonder what would have been different in my life if I hadn’t have done it. Probably just more drunken nights with other people, rather than alone. But in all honesty, I couldn’t have stayed friends with them. They were so ignorant to everything. But hey. 15yr old girls; who can blame them right? We all mature at different stages and times in our lives, and lucky them for having a longer childhood than me. Right?

I hated myself. Hate is not even a strong enough word. Don’t get me wrong, I have never once been suicidal. I do not judge people who reach those lows. But it does amaze me in all my lows that I never once went there. I did self harm. In more ways than one.

Neither of my parents were really around much when I was growing up. My mother moved back in with her parents/my grandparents when I was three and we stayed with them until they moved interstate when I was 9. My mum was working fulltime, but all of my memories in that time, and in this house, she isnt in any of them. In fact, the one memory I do have of her in that time; my nan always dropped me off and picked me up from school. One day no-one showed up. There was a park next to the school, and a boy in my class lived next to the park. We decided to play in the park and wait for me to be picked up. Just as it was getting dark his mum wanted him to come inside, and he then told her no-one had come for me. Right then, my nan pulls up. She had just done the groceries, and taken them home. And found my mum home, but not with me. My mum had told my nan not to pick me up, that she wanted to pick me up to surprise me. And forgot all about me. Until my nan came home with the groceries and asked where I was.

I have this weird, obsession, is the only term I can think of. I cling to people. Normally women, normally older than me (even if only by a few years, but when I was a teenager it was like women old enough to be a parent, whether my own or a younger Childs), and I honestly cant help to wonder if thats why. Because I spent most of my childhood from the age of 9 alone. I would see my social father every fortnight (most of the time) and my mum was always at work (average 60hrs a week I think) and the rest of the time I wasn’t at school or work I was alone. Most of the time I didn’t mind it, actually came to prefer it, but surely in those developmental years its not healthy.

But I still do it. And I still drink sometimes when I have had a shitty day, because I have had a shitty day. I am still so good at beating myself down, and not that good at building myself back up again. I’m back on anti-depressants for anxiety. (Although I have a 8 month plan for that!).

As much as I would like to think I have outgrown all my issues, I don’t think I have. What if I never do?

14 Week Health "Challenge"

Day 20

It was hot again this morning, so I thought here we go another day too hot to go walking with my puggy, and low and behold as the day progresses it rains and drops the temperature to a beautiful 21 degrees Celsius. So I’m thinking sweet I can go for my evening walk in the cool and everything will be wonderful. Except the rain comes back half way through dinner. And it doesn’t stop. If I have time in the morning tomorrow (or if not I’ll do it when I finish work) imma drive by this gym so I know where it is and if google is correct in saying it is 4mins from my work lol.

Today’s Stats;

> “Move”: 1,641kjs

> “Exercise”: 6mins

> Steps: 6,364

> Total distance walked today: 4.73kms