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Indie Butterfly

Live. Travel. Create.

The Before 30 Bucket List

I’m 23 and a half.

I’ve done a bit with my life, but most of all it feels like I’ve been prepping for the big leagues. Falling and getting up and learning and falling and doing it all over and over again. Now it’s come time to take the kid’s gloves off and tackle the world head on. Booyah!

So here’s my Before 30 Bucket List. Let me know what ya think.

Continue reading “The Before 30 Bucket List”

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Honesty is a Responsibility – Ambition, Anxiety and Awesomeness

Ever been so tired that the only thoughts in your head spin and sear with overwhelming anxiety?

It’s been about 24 hours since I left South Africa for the second time. After 8 months away I decided it was time to get some good old home vibes right in my face. And a good idea it was. My 4 weeks back in the Rainbow Nation was a whirlwind of excited faces, good food, love and laughter. I had forgotten what it felt like to be safe, to be surrounded by people who really care for you and have done for years. I feel so blessed by the reaction of my loved ones, all the people that seemed even more excited than I was about my spur of the moment, secret return home. Even my sister, who had no idea I was about to arrive on her doorstep and reacted with a simple and eloquent, “What the fuck?!!!”, before proceeding to make her cheese sauce for dinner. It was 28 days of happiness, mixed in with the occasional heartache that comes from missing home before you’ve even left.

Loony People I Love
Loony People I Love
Now I’m back in the UK and about to start the next leg of my journey.

Continue reading “Honesty is a Responsibility – Ambition, Anxiety and Awesomeness”

Distracted as the World Implodes

We do nothing with our lives, We must be waiting for death

So let’s just party. Who care’s about the rest?

Let’s spill oil from tankers & burn down the sea

Doesn’t mean anything to you or me.

Plug in your i-Pod, put your X-Box on,

How would we know if something was wrong?

There are children worldwide with no one to mourn them,

when they are raped, battered, beaten; We simply ignore them.

Sold into slavery across the globe everyday,

millions of souls have withered away.

But what do WE do, with our technology, our education?

Nothing.

If I were God I would have changed the station.

poverty

Apparently we’ve forgotten what it means to be human;

to show love, community, kindness & compassion.

We’ve forgotten what it means to be a Sister & a Brother,

NOT just by blood, but with the Earth as our Mother.

I’m not a “hippy”, I’m not “New Age”, I’m not stupid, & I’m not crazy.

I guess I’m just sick and tired of being lazy.

Of watching the world I love fall into the flames

While we sit back, getting fat, playing video games.

The bees are dying, our crops are mutant,

our FUTURE here is NOT SAFE. Get used to it.

We’ve run out of fuel? Just keep digging deeper,

as we pull out our smartphones & wait for the Reaper.

valdez

Instead of running from a world that’s so damn “bad”,

escape virtual reality, appreciate what you have!

Open your eyes, make a stand, take a chance

& set the world on a different path.

All the problems we have are caused by ourselves

– poverty, war. How deep can we delve

into what we accept as ‘OK’ behaviour?

Chemical bombs in Syria & Asian child labour?

What the hell is our problem, that we can just sit,

chill & text & watch humanity slip?

It’s happening right now, before our eyes,

& we’re lying when we say “I didn’t realise.”

At which point do we remove our focus from our phones,

turn OFF the TV & ignore the moans.

At which point do we, the youth, stand up

together

to tell them,

This is fucked up.

We are tired of your greed & commission based wars,

we are tired of your government & all of its flaws.

We are tired of ALWAYS needing your permission,

when we know we are making the RIGHT DECISION.

We are tired of the pollution, your simple idiocy.

And we are tired,

really tired,

of your obsolete bureaucracy.

We gave you our future, & we gave you our trust.

All you did was make fools of us.

It’s time now for us to take our spot,

because you have all clearly lost the plot.

child-poverty-rates-rise

A message to those who think they are free.

A message to the youth, to those like me:

Happiness is one thing, it can bring satisfaction.

But the price you pay is that of distraction.

Turtles in Turkey – One on One

“CARETTA CARETTA!”

The boat almost tipped over with the combined weight of 100 tourists rushing to the right-hand railing. ‘Caretta Caretta’ is the scientific name of the Loggerhead sea turtle – and the name which Turkish people make use of.  A few metres away a mini Loch Ness head peered around, bobbing up and down in the warmth of the Mediterranean – probably wondering what all the fuss was about, as turtles do when humans get a tad starstruck. A moment later and the little face had gone.

We had just docked in Simena, a sweet and quaint (I have misgivings about that word) little village nestled on a craggy hill between Demre and Kekova, with a castle at its head and the bright blue sea at its feet. Mothers and daughters selling cotton dresses and Turkish jewellery, all turquoise and evil eyes, stood in the shade of the stone wall buildings, whitewashed and heavy with the weight of centuries. Guests flung themselves off the boat’s upper deck with squeals of excitement, ending abruptly with a splash and a giggle. My lovely Australian friend Emma had come to visit me -with work in the Pirate Bar an evenings only affair we had more than enough time to join the Sunken City Boat Tour, run by a Captain friend of ours; hours spent basking in the sun, sipping cheap white wine and simply revelling in the natural beauty of the Southern Turkish coast. It was with Emma’s hesitation however that I pulled my diving mask on and jumped feet first into the azure waters of the harbour.  Maybe she had a slight fear of turtles, maybe it was her unwillingness to be left alone with the young Turkish holiday makers who had all but offered us marriage. Either way I had to go – that turtle was mine.

turkey
Simena

A young Dutch family followed me out, white blonde heads luminescent as pearls in the radiant light, children splashing and playing in innocent joy. Legs bicycling underneath me, remembering all the moves from my water polo days and wishing I’d made an effort to stay even a little fit, I searched for that little Nessie head. Thinking I had missed him and about to swim back to the boat for a good old rinse, suddenly yet ever so quietly he popped up beside me, a short paddle away. “WOOHOO!” I yelled in my mind, figuring as I did that this turtle (like many turtles before him) would not be a fan of loud noises and wildlife groupies.

With my mask on, my one-time swimmers lungs prepped and full of air, I waited as he sunk down to graze on the sea grass that sprouted and swayed across the harbour bed. Slowly I followed, watching the patterns on his shell ripple with dancing light from the sun above, a light that turned my underwater world into a kaleidoscope of fractal diamond. My turtle friend simply tuned out to his lunch, and had no problem with me watching him munch from an arms length away. Much bigger than I had first thought, his little head out of proportion with his smooth oval shell and flippered feet, he was one of the most beautiful creatures I had esperienced that close. Even though there were anchors clanking and engines whirring in the water all around us, in that moment all I seemed to hear was the soft clinking of rocks against sand, gently moving along with the calm and subtle tide. I looked into his eyes, and spent about 6 minutes just relaxing with him while he ate – popping up twice for air because despite all childhood dreams I never developed the ability to become a dolphin at will. I am fairly certain that Sea Grass is part actual ‘grass’ though, because he was far too chilled out for someone being so obviously stalked.

As I swam down for the final time, turtle buddy chomped his last chomp. Long flippers stretching out slowly he began to move off, back in the direction he had come and away from the prying eyes of crazy tourists. Lost in the moment I kicked off after him, gently resting my hands on the curve of his shell and feeling more connected to myself and the real world than I had done in too long a time. For a few magnificent seconds we swam together, before he headed under the keel of our boat and I let go.

Back on deck I smiled at Emma while she avoided making eye contact with our young gentlemen ‘friends’, not desiring  to illicit any further declarations of new found love. The pearly heads and voices of children still bobbed below, and splashing laughter surrounded me. I stretched out in the warmth on the deck, wine in hand and peace in my heart  – after a couple of challenging weeks the swim with my turtle buddy had given me reason to remember the bigger things in life. Most striking how serendipitous and natural the entire occasion had been.  Then as I turned my face towards the sun I saw a little head pop up … maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the heat, or maybe it was the sea grass, but as he swam out to sea I could have sworn my turtle buddy waved.

Caretta Caretta!
Caretta Caretta!

Images courtesy of my lovely Emma.

Why I only Blogged 57 times in 8 months – The Perils of “Perfectination”

Trying to be perfect will kill you.

8 months of travel. 3 continents. Hundreds of amazing, interesting, compelling experiences.

A measly 57 posts.

And yes, I know I am the only one to blame. But today I’ve decided to tell the truth about why I’ve been putting off writing. It’s because I’m shit scared.

Continue reading “Why I only Blogged 57 times in 8 months – The Perils of “Perfectination””

2014, Travel & Me – A ‘Not So Recap’ Recap

2014 was an odd year.

Even though I left home, spent time in 3 continents over 8 months, lived in a tree-house and almost died at least once, it didn’t feel that different…

Because I wasn’t.

Despite what the internet may tell you, travel is not magic. If you are sick, packing up and heading off to a Greek island will not cure you, neither will a working holiday in Thailand. If you have problems at home, travel isn’t going to resolve the tensions or financial woes. And if you’re hurting on the inside, if anything is wrong and needs fixing, the simple fact that you’ve gone travelling is not going to do a darn thing to fix that – it sucks, but the only person you can’t run away from is you.

Life has had it’s ups and downs, just like it does for everyone. Unfortunately, something in my personality made me take it personally. Depression, eating disorders, addictions – these are things I have been well acquainted with. Getting ‘better’ seems to have been slow progress with many setbacks, but becoming older, wiser (don’t look at me like that) and learning that with time comes healing has done amazing things to push progress ever onwards. You see, I think that’s one of the hardest parts of being young – we have yet to gain the assurance that time heals whatever is broken, whether it be the heart or mind.

2014 was a year of demolition, adventure, love, fear and joy. I found myself in the most beautiful places with the most sincere, authentic and happy people I could’ve hoped to have meet. I was blessed with support from my amazing family – whom I’m sure have turned completely grey- and love sent over 1000’s of miles from friends. I had a serendipitous swim with a turtle, danced by firelight to Turkish reggae and made a Pirate Bar my home. Yet I also wasted far too much – time, money, emotion. I found myself distracted and stressed, caught up in the old worries, the old insecurities and traps and triggers. I was lost and confused and found myself moving from one goal to the next… travel for years, be a writer, run a bar, make money… it led to an outpouring of anxiety in some unhealthy ways. There were times where I was so irresponsible that the simple fact I’m still around and typing this tells me that Someone is watching out for me big time.

2014 was a strenuous year. Physically I don’t think I’ve ever been injured as much by one place as that fucking Pirate Bar. Mentally put through my paces by bad personal experiences and arseholes who think it’s OK to push women around, being broke at least 4 times and and lost on the streets of London with no phone, keys or wallet- there were times where I felt the old crap sinking back into my brain, and even though I had the world to explore I spent entire days in bed. Because, well, I just felt trapped inside my own head. I spent NYE watching Glee, by myself. Yeah… I know.

But, you know what else? 

2014 was amazing.

I have never been able to see myself so clearly before – I’m an introspective person by nature, but the alone time I had over these last few months has been like a spotlight on my psyche. I got a chance to dig right down and take a long, hard, uncomfortable look at why it is I do what I do. Especially the past three weeks. Just prior to New Years I lost my job in Soho, and from then until now I’ve had all the time in the world to think. Yes, I have DEFINITELY done far too much of it, but when I’ve managed to focus on aspects that will help me understand myself and grow it’s been like finding a flowing river of gold where I thought a nugget of silver might be.

Travel helped with that.

As I said before, swooping off to a place far away isn’t a magical fix for life. But travel can definitely be the catalyst for many wonderful (even though sometimes painful) changes. The individuals you chat to on the bus from Ankara to Antalya, the Greek communities that embrace you, the times you were insanely happy and the days you were incredibly sad – combine this with the challenge of living with new cultures, unfamiliar customs and even new stereotypes and you really get to ask yourself, “Who am I, and WHY am I like this?” Maybe even more importantly, “Why do I think like this?” – or as I like to say, “WTF is my past making me do now?”.

So, what does 2015 bring?

Last year I answered a lot of those questions. Even though I’m certain to be in for a lifetime of self discovery, I feel as if I’m definitely, finally, on the right track… and rather far along. So even though travel by itself isn’t enough to fix your life, it certainly provides you with the some of the opportunities to do so yourself. And this year, with even more expeditions ahead, I simply cannot wait until I get my hands on them.

I say CHEERS! To 2014 – a year of intensity – and to 2015 – a year of transformation and adventure!

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