Browse Category: People

What I Learnt While Travelling

So I’m back in Australia after receiving a summer job (If you’re in Melbourne and want to hang out, let me know).  As my trip takes a break to raise some money before I inevitably go out again, I wanted to look at the things I learnt while travelling and if I actually achieved what I set out to do.

 

Before leaving I set myself four goals.  I wanted to meet people, collaborate and create, resolve issues about my late father and change jobs.  I achieved all these goals to various degrees.

 

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Stories of Old

My dad used to be a great storyteller, especially the stories of when he was in his youth.  It didn’t matter if they were exaggerated and they almost always were.  Here are a few of those stories

 

Learning about Women

 

Growing up in Aigaleo, Athens my dad was a street kid.  He’d often be playing in all sorts of places.  He told me that he used to play in the ruins of the Acropolis.  He was well known throughout his community and would make friends with everyone.  He would often visit the local brothel and make friends with the women who would look after him from time to time.  One time whilst talking to the courtesan a John paid a visit to the brothel.  As there was no one else around to look after little Andreas he got put in the wardrobe.  There he found a primary source to aid him in his sexual education through the cracks of the shutters.

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What It Means to be Greek

The other day my friend in Bangkok asked, “What are you?  Australian? Greek?”

 

To which I replied, “I am both Australian and Greek.  I am a citizen of both countries, but I don’t really associate with the Greek-Australians from Melbourne nor the Greeks in Greece”

 

“So you’re a third culture kid?

 

“No, that’s not quite right.”

 

It’s a little more complicated than that.  To understand why you need dive into my family history.

 

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Dad’s Life with Mental Illness

I’ve been struggling all day to write this post.  In fact I’ve been struggling all year to express myself.  You see a year ago to the day my baba died from terminal brain cancer and although I mention that part of the reason for this trip is to deal with the death, I haven’t really done any reflection or acknowledgment.  I am aware that these emotions may come out in undesirable ways in the future and if I don’t deal with them I may be setting myself up for a bigger fall.

 

A brief overview

 

My Baba was born in 1951 in Thessaloniki, Greece.  He moved to Athens when he was six after his parents got divorced.  He started working as a painter when he was 14.  My dad came over to Australia from Greece in 1977 when he was 24 because he married my mum (a Greek-Australian).  My dad in the 80’s and 90’s had his own painting and decorating business that had its good times and bad times.  I was born in 1988 and along with my two older brothers, we had a happy upbringing.

 

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Halfway Gone and Halfway To Go

Today marks the halfway mark of my 6-7 (originally 6-12) month journey.  So let’s go through some of the highlights and statistics of my trip.

 

First, let’s start with the most important one, how much money have I spent?  It’s kind of a complicated answer but in short, I’ve spent approximately $950 (AUD) a month excluding initial flight ($200) and travel insurance ($400 for 7 months).  The way I’ve calculated this number is quite inaccurate as I haven’t been diligent enough to keep a spreadsheet.  I started by calculating $12000 minus the remaining balance in my Asia 10k Target account and then I added the $800 I have in cash and added $1000 from my ING Everyday Account (good for transactions inside and outside Australia).  I took that number and divided it by 3.5 months.

 

That number doesn’t include the $5000 in baht that I have in my wallet and the amount also doesn’t include any other money in other accounts that I may have used for various reasons but on the whole, I’d say it’s a pretty fair representation of what I have spent (this includes my credit card).

 

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Inspiring You To Do Your Thing

It’s been a wild ride the past 4 days in Bangkok, hell the past 3 months traveling.  Today’s post isn’t going to be about the past 3 months and what milestones I’ve achieved (hello 100 posts!).  Today’s post is going to be about Lia, my first official fan.

 

Lia was searching for some sports apparel online when she typed in Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It”.  It just so happens that I have the same blog post title and apparently I have been ranking on google for that search term.  So she found my blog and realised that I was in Indonesia.  She also saw that I’m a Couchsurfer.  So she jumped on Couchsurfing Hangouts and saw that I was in Bandung (her home city).  She then went a step further and sent me a message asking to meet up and we met the next day over some food.

 

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Dancing with Hippies – Ecstatic Contact Dance

 

Jason! You’ve got the hair, you’ve got the look, when are you going to do some hippy shit, or play in a band?  Well, today is your lucky day.  This post is about how I joined the hippy community and did some weird hippy shit.

 

It all started when I did a free life coaching session (I was the client).   I got the word from the life coach that there was an Ecstatic Contact dance class at Paradiso, the local community space, and she was going.  With very little information I decided to give it a go.

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How I Got On To Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – Part 2

For part 1 click here.

 

So it’s game day and I am nervous as hell.   I get zero sleep and I wake up before dawn.  My buddy Geoff comes to my house and we take the train to the city.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the city before 8 am.  The light hits the buildings in different ways and everyone is rushing off to work.  Not me though, I have plenty of time and I am soaking it in.

 

As we enter Channel Nine studios, I am separated from my buddy and get told to sit at my allocated table.  I am going to be on show number 6, the last show for the day.   Yes, that’s right folks, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: Hot Seat isn’t filmed live, neither are any of the other game shows for that matter.

 

There is a person missing from my table and the producers are scrambling to find the person on call.  Whilst they are doing that, they make us sign a contract saying that we can’t say anything about what happened, not even to friends and family, until the show is broadcast.

 

If you want to see the show you can view it here on this link.

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White Girls with Local Boyfriends and Jason’s Theory of Cool Places

There’s something in the water at Kuta Lombok.  This small surfing village, famous for its glassy waves in the wet season, has another thing it may be famous for, European girls and bad boy locals.  I stayed for three nights and partied for three nights.  I couldn’t get over the disproportionate number of girls, especially from The Netherlands and northern Europe.

 

I couldn’t quite understand it.  Where were the Australians?  Where were the guys?  Could this be part of Jason’s Theory of Cool Places?

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Living in Poverty and Coping with Realities (With Pictures!)

A week ago I spent a couple of nights in a village and it was the most eye opening experience I’ve ever had.  I had gotten the contact through Couchsurfing and on his profile, his English was pretty good and he had 6 references so I was pretty trusting that I’d have a good experience.  However, good probably isn’t that adjective I would use.

 

As I approach the house, if you can call it that (the place didn’t have any doors), there was a commotion between the local villagers.  Kids just started appearing out of nowhere.  There were free range chickens everywhere pecking rubbish for food, talk about organic.  Everyone was looking at me, from the children to the old ladies.

 

My contact, Ruslan, doesn’t have a good a grasp of English as I’m lead to believe.  As we talk I discover that he is a father of two small boys but he seems to be somewhat of a father figure to other boys in the village.  He is poorly educated and works in construction.  That is when he has work.  He says his favourite hobby is to work.  And as I enquire further he tells me he only works about once a month for $15 a day.

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