Ocean Dreams

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I dreamt last night of the ocean. It was a real dream – one I know was sent as a messenger from beyond.

I was walking along the beach shore with my love, next to sanddune cliffs and became aware there was going to be a storm surge or a freak wave, and I was scared of a tsunami. I said to my lover, we need to run to the car and get out of here, but we were a while away and he said no we need to get to higher ground. So we ran, with all the people, and we found an apartment complex. We were climbing over the bannisters to rest and the wave had crashed into the shore and there was water below in the courtyard where there was once none.

We left there and knew there was another surge to come. It was raining. We came to an oval with a grandstand, standing on spindly metal legs – seemingly in the middle of nowhere. I wanted to keep running, but he encouraged me to get up on the grandstand. So we did. And we were there and the surge was coming and we were afraid but I remember thinking, as we kissed, that although I never imaged life to end like this, if it happened then it wasn’t so bad with you by my side. And the wave came, and came much higher than we’d thought and then it turned into lava. The rickety grandstand we were on that had been swaying, we suddenly tryed to get to stay steady with all our might.

The lava disappeared and became ocean again, and this time we swam. We swam through the city buildings, high. We were high. The ocean had come in metres and metres and metres. At least 20, if not more. I have the weird feeling to say 40 or 80.

Anyway, then my lover was gone (in dreamspeak) and there I was with a group of people in the middle of the town square and we knew that the tsunami wave was coming. We thought this was it. Then the spirit of the ocean, feminine, rose up looming large, but just for us. She told us to listen to what she had to say, and follow her instructions, and we’d be okay even if we were in the water when the wave hit. I remember dipping under to hear her message, but I can’t recall it… I know it was specific, but then there was the wave, and we were underwater, and she whispered to me about the group of snakes tangled up like vines below me, almost like clumped near a bannister? or something underwater. And she said that even if I drowned, or died, even though I was underwater because of this wave, I could save a snake. My death didn’t have to be for nought. And so I swam down and I released a snake from the pack and it was relatively skinny and green with spots, and it started to swim up to the surface and as it did it became much thicker, and turned darker with purple tones… it matured so to speak… and I swam up too and survived.

And then, part of the same dream but maybe not in the right order- but my love was gone, and instead I was there with my child, a daughter, around 10 or maybe a bit older. And we were running and making our way through this city, finding safe places to be when each surge hit. And I was twirling an engagement or marriage ring around my finger and saying to someone that although my love was gone, my daughter was the biggest gift I’d ever recieved and that it didn’t matter because life made sense with her (or something along those lines). And then we were looking, and we’d made our way onto this arc like boat, and it was also kind of like a church, and the end was coming – we knew the last wave was coming and it was big like armageddon big and my daughter and I had happened upon this boat like they’d been waiting for us because we were pairing people up, like in a marriage ceremony type thing. And the sunlight was golden and it was like the last hour on earth type thing…  And that’s the last thing I remember because I woke up then but wished I could fall back asleep to see how the End occurred.

So much message and meaning.

I felt like waking up and telling my love that our child would have been a girl.

I don’t know if that would help though.

Maybe that’s for me to know. And maybe it was my inner child?
But I really don’t feel so.

And the ocean – the messages. Wow. The serpent and the listening and the dying not in vain and trusting to guidance and following blindly because it is right and true and as long as I have that Faith I will survive. Releasing the serpent and seeing it ascend the clear waters, maturing with ease… Having purpose…

I am in love.

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Once Upon A Time In Iceland…

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“Brighter times will soon be here with fields of flowers, long and lovely summer hours”
– Halldor Laxness

Hey all, it’s been a while! I have a little not-so-secret to tell you. The time finally came and the overseas adventure has ended… and now I’ve been back in the beautiful land of Oz for five whole months!!

BUT… there still remaining tales to be told, and pictures to be shared of the two wonderful countries I visited to end my trip. Leaving Toronto back in the end of June, I arrived in the Keflavik International Airport in Iceland at 12am almost too tired to be excited… Combine a series-of-unfortunate-backpacking-mistake-events, which perhaps deserve a blog post to themselves, and a further 30 hours and I was finally in the most Northern capital city in the world (I think); Reykjavik.

It’s a gorgeous city, one that I am sad I didn’t get to explore much, full of European cobblestone streets, no litter, and a gorgeous big park smack bang in the centre of downtown. That morning, I met up with the people who I was to spend the next six days hiking and camping with in southern Iceland. As a country not originally in my ‘plans’, I absolutely adored Iceland and hiking the Laugavegur track… From Landmannalagaur to Þórsmörk we went… I went through a company called Trek Iceland and would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to hike in the wild land of Iceland… We were lucky to have an amazing tour guide, who truly loved and shared with us what the Icelandic landscape is all about… Although to this day I am still not entirely sure of his name.

The Iceland language is a tough one; the only word I managed to learn was ‘takk’ which is thank you. Asking ‘how are you?” was completely beyond my abilities. But, it’s an interesting language, and Iceland has several awesome bands and musical exports; namely ‘Of Monsters and Men’ and ‘Sigur Ros’ (whom I’ve come to adore). Rather than wax lyrical, I’ll share some photos with you of my time on the Laugavegur trek… I met some awesome people, did a lot of character building in the form of river crossing, and enjoyed the amazing diversity that Iceland has to offer. Such an incredible, diverse land full of marbled mountains, snow, raging rivers, moss, faeries and myth… and of course – 24 hours of daylight… (during the Summer 😉 ) … Enjoy! 😀

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The massive valley full of winding rivers where we camped the first night, before starting the trek. 

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Hot springs!

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As ‘sunset’ as Iceland got…

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The windiest lake I’ve ever camped by.
I remember dozing half the night in an almost constant low-level state of anxiety wondering whether I was going to go flying across the plains as my tent detached from the Earth. The noise of the tent flapping was so incredibly loud and I was a bit jealous of everyone sleeping in the hut that night…

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Water, water, water.

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Another day… another amazing camp site under the watchful eye of a glacier. It’s a hard life.
This glacier, called …. oh I can’t recall – ask me if you’re interested and I’ll have a look around my notes…  but it actually sits atop a caldera which hasn’t erupted for years (!!)… and the last time it did, the water melted and spread throughout the valley with such force that it created these incredible, deep canyons that are awe inspiring… in just three days…

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The incredible glacier-carved valley near Thorsmork.

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Full of beautiful flowers…

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and countless trails to explore…
This day I’d actually rolled my ankle the day before and had attempted to follow the group to the last sightseeing spot out of Thorsmork, but my ankle just wouldn’t allow it so I spent the afternoon snapping photos of flowers, messing around with my camera and playing on the strategically placed swings in the valley! Bliss.

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With a landscape like this, does it come as any surprise that around 50% of Icelanders believe that faeries and mythical creatures roam the land?

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MASSIVE GLACIER!

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Gorge big. People tiny. Life good.

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Happy hiker.

After Iceland, I boarded the plane to head to England for just under two weeks… But I will leave that for another time, another blog post, and another day where I want to escape into the wonderful memories and places my mind now holds…

Sat Nam & Namaste
Kelsey ❤

 

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Jack Braeur

Dreams of international departures, of meeting a friend to go backpacking and being quizzed on why we think we’re good travel partners… Laughing because there were so many reasons… We’re both adventure seekers, once travelled around the states for three weeks together in a tiny van, and are rock-climbing buddies. We legit trust each other with our lives. We would be bad-ass travel partners.

As of now, I only have a few trips to Sydney planned for the year for yoga teacher training… But I need more. I have vague plans to head off in 2017, but I need to make it concrete. I need a second job. Let’s get this damn show on the road!! Bring on Patagonia!! Torres Del Paine Costa Rica!! La Amazona!! Ireland!! Spain!! Germany!! Nepal!! India!! Let’s get cracking…

I Love This Sunburnt Country.

The other day I went to visit my great-grandpa in hospital. He’d had a fall, as a result of his increasingly worse dementia and leukemia. I was more upset than I bargained for, and so my feet lead me out of the house, into my car, and down to the beach. I kept driving when I got there, to see beaches I’d never visited. I kept going till I reached here… Taperoo beach. Here’s some photos. Man, I love this place sometimes.

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unique beach customs… portadelaide13portadelaide15sand dune flowers!

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the beauty of the light dancing on the waves…

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portadelaide46Just 30 minutes from my house! Ahh I’m a lucky girl. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Culture Shock, Travel Burnout & Learning Curves.

Up there on one of the top tips I’d give someone heading off an a long-term backpacking trip is this:

Always think carefully when transferring money.

For instance, I was back in Toronto on Friday and noticed my funds getting low, so I thought to myself, “what the hey, I’ll just transfer the rest of my travel money over to my travel card and go buy the extra clothes I’ll need for Iceland”. The ice cold feeling that descended in my gut a mere five minutes later told me of my foolish mistake. It was a Friday afternoon. Meaning? It was Saturday in Australia, and I wouldn’t have access to any money (bar $30) til Monday.

So I’ve been in the airport for… 24 hours so far. I feel like I’ve been here forever. I’ve barely slept, haven’t showered, when I did sleep it was in a toilet cubicle on the floor covered in clothes because there are signs all around the terminal saying no sleeping. I even got told off this afternoon for napping in an armchair. Put that on top of the fact that it’s midnight and it’s still light outside (hello Summer in Iceland), I’m suffering travel burnout and reverse culture shock to the nth degree – will someone please fill my bank account and fly me back to Central America, please? It’s been a whole week but I’m still throwing toilet paper in the bin, saying hola and gracias, and every ten minutes or so I think, “Why does everyone look so stressed?”. I don’t want to pay $10 for a sandwich, when I could spend that on a feast complete with cocktails by the beach in Mexico. I want to wake up and stretch, eat fresh fruit, go swimming in ceynotes, read a book in a hammock and dance salsa with people I’ve just met.

Take me home.

Or at least, let me sleep. I have to walk 10km, ascending 1000m this afternoon. I get to ;). I just have to get through today… til my money comes in. I don’t even have money to buy a water bottle bigger than 500mL, which is an issue as we don’t have any access to free water til tomorrow’s camp. So I’m going to need to ask…

Funnily enough, I picked up a book at the last hostel I was at called ‘Ishmael’ – about the construction of modern day society. Look how ordered we are… look how we can defy nature… look how we can turn away from all this is ‘primitive’. Why is primitive wrong? Primordial… to the roots… connected… at one with the Earth. We weren’t born to rule this planet, we were born to live in it, harmoniously, as another species.

I don’t feel happy and shiny today.

Un Día Las Olas Me Dijeron…

 “Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow. And he answered: Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.” But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced. When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”

– Kahil Gibran, ‘The Prophet’.

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“Hola!” I say cheerfully to the customs officer when I arrive in Texas. We proceed in basic conversational Spanish til I becomes apparent, from both my vacant stare and my tired mumblings, that I speak only English and not, in fact, fluent Spanish (I wish). I was in Houston airport for about two hours and speaking in English to people in stores and cafes felt really, really strange. I don’t think I’ve said “hello” to another human being for close to six weeks.

Man, what can I say – it’s a strange feeling to be on the road again. Alone again, heading to the next phase of the adventure. I’ve just left Guatemala; a country covered with lush rainforest and jungle, where the definition of ‘free-range chicken’ surely must have arisen, where the indigenous Mayans dress in astoundingly colourful clothes and speak many different languages. Mexico and Central America were magical, and the sequence of events that took me there were entirely bizarre and random… but at some points I think, they weren’t at all 🙂

So I’m in Toronto for the moment – a city that I was overwhelmed by when I visited from little all Guelph all those weeks and months ago, but now… I went for a run this morning and not one person smiled back at me. The city smells of burnt sugar and urine, and there are no trees around. Everyone is dressed in suits and rush rush rushing. To what? Where is the joy… the smiles… the connection. All I see is stress, concrete and caffeine (I say sitting in a coffee-shop, haha). Everyone speaks English… It’s strange. I feel almost not myself, because at this point a cheerful ‘Hola!’ feels a whole lot more familiar than my native tongue. Enough grumbling – it is a weird feeling to be back in Canada, and it’s a weird feeling because it almost feels like a second home. Then again, so did Mexico. Bear with me, because I feel this post is going to be pretty mammoth. I’ll try and break it up by posting some pretty pictures along the way 🙂

So Mexico, Belize & Guatemala… What can I say? Lands of beauty, mystery and magick. Lands of synchronicity, travelers and amazing food. The first two weeks I spent traveling around the Yucatan and Quitana Roo regions with friends were awesome – an intrepid little family that I will always hold in my heart, and am forever grateful for.

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In Playa del Carmen…

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Crazy flying men having the time of their lives…

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Chiken-Ha ceynote… Sacred natural pools full of such incredible energy and beauty!!

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Chilling on the beach en Cozumel… and getting very burnt.

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Our rusty, trusty jeep for the day… taking us all around stunning Isla Cozumel.

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Visiting Chichén-Itzá with the gal-pals…

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Beautiful Mayan murals in insanely humid Mérida…

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Chilli love en los mercados de Mérida!

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Girls night out, being the only foreigners in the club haha 🙂
Why don’t they have clubs like this in Australia? Hell yes to dancing TOGETHER not alone!!

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La bonita Playa del Cancun

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Clubbing in Cancun… is nuts.

DSC_0047My awesome, intrepid, international family…

So originally the plan was to head back to Canada to visit the Rockies with a few of this crew… but I ended up really, really liking Mexico and feeling so at home that I decided to stay and explore a bit by myself. So the day they left, I hopped on the bus to the coastal town of Tulum… with all the intentions in the world of tramping around the coast a bit more but the Universe had other plans for me and I ended up staying for close to two weeks… In part due to the amazing hostel I stayed in, Chill Inn Hostel, which is relatively new (and owned by such a gorgeous and loving family!!), and in part due to a reluctance to leave the coast, the ocean, and the people I met each and every day. I had headed to Tulum with the vague intention of trying diving, and maybe getting my certificate, and lo and behold when I arrived at the hostel I met a group of gorgeous South African people who wanted to do the same thing. So I spent about four days with them getting my dive license with Acuatic Tulum, who I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area! Diving… man. Being at the bottom of the ocean and being able to look up at the water and sun above… Just magical! Truly one of the best experiences of my life.

tulumdivingyayWherever you beautiful South Africans are, I hope you’re enjoying your travels!!

cobaloveMet some awesome people in Tulum… a highlight was visiting the nearby town of Akumal and exploring the ocean, seeing turtles, sting rays and coral reefs… Rocky foreshores, abandoned houses and having cold tree-top beers watching the sky rain down.

DCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPROSo I left Tulum yet again feeling as if I was leaving a piece of my heart and a new home… Only to meet up with the people in the tour I was going on through Belize and Guatemala. Such beautiful people that I’m very glad to have met and created some awesome memories with. We headed first to the island of Caye Caulker en Belize… where the predominant language is English!! After four weeks in Mexico, it felt forced and almost rude to say hello to waiters and shop assistants, but it was lovely to spend three days on a tiny Caribbean island… I got to experience an incredible tropical storm, where I did have thoughts of being wiped off the face of the Earth, awesome beach bars and incredible waters. As it happens when traveling, I found out a friend I’d met in Tulum was there, so she helped me to celebrate my (two-day) 21st birthday, along with the crew I was with. Such a special time! In the morning of my birthday I went scuba diving, fittingly to 21 metres, and then spent time swimming in the sun and eating good food… heading out later that night for drinks, dinner and dancing. All in all a total success and I thank everyone that helped me celebrate! 😀

IMG_0611The incredible ocean of Caye Caulker…
I loved sitting here watching people learn to kite surf in the crazy winds.

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Look at the wind!!

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Kayaking and paddle boarding 😀

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Beautiful Debbie helping me to celebrate 21 years!

DSCN0167Birthday swims against the current with beautiful Emma 😉

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Did I mention the amount of loved dogs that roam the sands of Caye Caulker…?
Some people (myself) would call it heaven…

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Birthday celebrations

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If you like Piña coladas…

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and interesting reggae bars…

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After Caye Caulker headed to the inland town of San Ignacio… If ever there’s been a place full of deja vu, it was there. Explored the amazing ATM cave; entered the underworld and saw some Mayan sacrificial skeletons and incredible rock formations… but no pictures 😉 If you want to see then click here!

After San Ignacio we crossed the border into Guatemala… and again into the land of the Spanish! I could have cried with happiness; I felt like I was home again.

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Guatemala was full of beautiful lakes, rain forests, jungle, people, culture, food, music, drinks, rivers, trees, temples… I have so much to write that I just can’t type fast enough, think fast enough – so perhaps some pictures will have to do. I shall have to put these all on facebook this week sometime… but if one photo shows how much I loved Guatemala, how at home I felt, I think it is this one…

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The beautiful temples of Tikal…

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Ghostly dawning of the day at the top of a temple in Tikal

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Being a goober…

DSC_0081Isla Flores…

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Rio Dulce…

IMG_0719Antigua! Full ofobblestones, volcanoes and mojitos..

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Staying in a small Mayan village near Lake Atitlan…
Spot the shoes.

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Lago de Atitlán

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Okay, I think I’m done… Thank you to all the beautiful people I’ve crossed paths with, my travels wouldn’t have been the same without you. Cheers to the Intrepid crew, you guys are awesome 🙂

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Now I’m heading back to Guelph for a couple of days before heading off for some trekking in Iceland, and over to the UK for the last stint before I head back to the land of Oz… Back to wearing shoes and speaking English!! I’m enjoying traveling still, but am looking forward to heading home soon… You know what they say; I still call Australia home 😉 I posted the poem at the start because it’s been on my mind lately… traveling means you are constantly left and constantly leaving people you love and develop trust with so quickly… It means love and sadness and joy and sorrow and realising that everything occurs for a reason, and that these emotions stem from the same place, the same place of LOVE ❤ Well, I’m off to go buy some jeans 😉

Much love, much light!! Kels Xxx

Siestas, Fiestas and Guacamole.

Hola amigos, how’s it been going? I’m writing to you from Tulum on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, where I’ve been …for a while. I arrived here exactly two weeks ago and despite the best intentions of travelling a bit more around Quitana Roo and Yucatan areas… I stayed. It’s so relaxed, chill, and a home away from home – a holiday from my holiday in a sense.  There’s been endless opportunities for underwater adventures. I know I haven’t updated for a while, so I’ll fill you in about all (some) of the going’s on in the past month…

Four whole weeks ago I left the States to meet seven mates I met on exchange in Canada to travel a fortnight around South East Mexico. The flight here to Mexico… Ah!! I don’t even want to talk about it. I didn’t sleep a wink. I wish I could show you photos, but unfortunately the town of Tulum is on the edge of the beach/jungle so the uploading of photos… can’t really happen. But listen to this song instead; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpMaRkc3hJc 🙂

Arriving in Cancun the humidity hit me in a wave. So different to the dry heat of the States. We spent a few nights in Playa Del Carmen, partying by the ocean. The hostel we stayed at was called 3B, owned by two absolute chillers but a word of caution – don’t stay there if you don’t want music blasting till 3am. Definitely stay there if you like awesome music, a rooftop pool and chiled people.

Ahhhhh… words will never be able to describe just how wonderful it felt to step onto the sandy beach and put my feet in the ocean. Four and a half months it had been, and it was four and a half months too long. I never realised how lucky I am to live on the coast back in Australia. After that, we headed to the island of Cozumel, an island famous for diving access to the Mesoamerican Reef – the second largest in the world (behind the awesome Great Barrier Reef in Oz). One of the days we rented a couple of jeeps and drove round to the other side of the island to enjoy the beaches, which were so beautiful. On the last day we were there we jumped in a boat and went out to the ocean snorkelling, following the reef.

After Cozumel, us girls headed to the inland town of Valladolid; a very quiet, relaxed town where we based ourselves for just one night in order to beat the crowds getting to Chichén Itzá, the largest Mayan ruin complex, the next day. Chichén Itzá was pretty cool, it’s so massive and the acoustics of the complex are absolutely bonkers. The guides clap their hands when they’re straight out in front of the three door openings of the temple and it sounds like a bird squaking. The hostel we stayed at was gorgeous, and I really recommend staying more than one night in the town if you get the chance so I can live vicariously through you 😉 There’s so many ceynotes and things close by to explore easily by bike.

Next we headed to Merida, another inland city. Man, was that hot. We stayed there for about four days and I have never sweated so much in my life. However, being Mexico and the start of rainy season, not an hour after we’d all been complaining of how hot it was there was a torrential downpour for an hour. I’ve been in Mexico for three weeks now, and I’m getting used to the sweat. Maybe even loving it. Maybe. There were a few highlights in Merida; Visiting this… I’m not even sure what it was, but it was a large plaza full of murals and information about the Mayan history and the Spanish invasion of Mexico. It was sick. So was the Irish dancing the girls were practicing in the lobby 🙂 Another highlight was watching a recreation of the old Mayan Ball game. I have no idea who would have come up with such a sport; you can’t hit the ball with your feet or hands – it’s hit using knees, thighs, elbows and such – trying to get the ball to bounce high enough to go through a hoop. And last but not least, the Merida food market was sweet. It reminded me so much of home; the smells, the people, the stalls, the produce… There is nothing quite like a trip to the markets to buy fresh food for dinner (in our case most nights; salsa, guacamole, refried beans, tortillas…), some fruit for dessert and breakfast… I must say that is one of the best things about here. The food, the fruit, is so unbelievably amazing. Papaya… I never liked till I came here and realised this is how it’s supposed to taste.

Then we went and spent a week in Cancun lazing about on the beach, celebrating a mates birthday, going out to a few clubs and just generally chilling ouuuuuuuuuut. It was nice, but Cancun… I don’t think I’ll be going back. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that for tourists, which I believe. The beach is beautiful; white sandy beaches, awesome clouds, crystal clear water with only un poco seaweed… But it’s lined with hotels, there’s no culture or community vibe to the place and there is a lot of people going on their vaaaaycations. Anywho – I was glad to leave, despite being a little sad about saying goodbye to the seven beautiful people I’d been traveling with. So I’ve been on my own for two weeks now in Mexico, which wasn’t in the plan. Originally I’d planned to go explore the Rockies but I came to the Mexican Caribbean coast and just… fell in love, I couldn’t leave even if I’d booked a flight. So I’ve been here in Tulum for two weeks and I head into Belize/Guatamala tomorrow!

I came here to Tulum to see if I could do my scuba-diving certification, as it’s been on my mind for months, and lo and behold I met a bunch of awesome South Africans who were keen to do the same thing. So, as of a week ago I’m an Open Water Diver ;)! Under the ocean…. It’s amazing. Swimming, flying, gliding… Looking up at the volume of water above with only the sound of my breath going in… going out… going in… going out… What an incredible experience, but I think I may have accidentally stumbled across a very expensive hobby. Just writing this makes me realise what an amazing three weeks it’s been since I left the States, and then again what an awesome, crazy, illuminating five months it’s been since I left home. It’s only T minus seven weeks till I head back! On that note, I think that’s enough for tonight, I’ll chuck some photos up when I stumble across good internet… Which at this point could be two and a half weeks away when I get back to Canada!

Love and peace, Kels.