A few years ago, a colleague once said to me “I’m not sure how you can eat lunch by yourself everyday nevermind travel by yourself. I can’t do that because I think people will think I have no friends. Maybe it’s not true but that’s how I feel.”
This conversation over lunch was such an eye opener to me. A flow of thoughts suddenly flooded my head & I became speechless. I continued to listen, thinking & no speaking… Ok, I’m alone but also never alone! Too much freedom? Perhaps this is why my siblings & I went through a phase of being unfairly labelled by other adults as “bad influences”. Our parents had to give us the “talk”. Here’s what Mom & Dad always reminded us…
1 – Who cares what other people think? As long as we didn’t do anything wrong, we don’t owe anyone the life we choose to lead.
2 – You attract your own vibe. Building on what I discussed previously in the Women’s Wednesday Workshop, good people attract good people. Things can only get better.
3 – Don’t forget to have fun & enjoy the ride!
So, off I went by myself again to New Zealand for my mountaineering course to up my game & hopefully get some sailing action, too! Here’s a summary of the nicest & interesting personalities I’ve met along the way.
- Bob – The Poet & Sailor. He is the colleague of my family friend, Chong. Which random person you barely knew & have not even met yet in person, sends a voice recording of his poem to accompany a poem he wrote? I told Chong I must meet this guy when I get there! And we had a lovely dinner with him & his wife Angela. I got to sail his catamaran & we went on a road trip with more sailing.
- Yuriko – Uber buddy to the bus interchange. I met her at my backpackers’ dorm in Christchurch. She was going to do a morning walk of ~2km to the bus interchange but I offered my Uber ride. Then, she tried to change her bus to travel with me to Lake Tekapo but the plan was abandoned because it would cost $190 more!
- Seol – The Pharmacist in Seoul who enjoys travelling the world & would like to be an entrepreneur someday. She’s my roommate in Mt Cook Village. She broke up with her boyfriend & decided to walk alone to find what is the next. She feels that the pharmaceutical regulations in Korea is a key limiting factor to fulfill her dream.
- Matt – Previously, I found instant Karma in Nepal and in Mt Cook Village, I found an instant brother from UK but living in NZ! He is my pre-course classmate who also stayed in the same lodge as me on my 1st day. One of the most Zen individuals I’ve ever met despite his very sad & dark past. I’m so impressed by his personality & how he out shined his darkness today. He gave me a ride back & forth between the lodge & village & even the 5hr ride to Christchurch without expecting anything return.
- Lacie – Hi-potential guide & climber from San Diego. Currently a cave guide in North Island, living in a camper van with her partner. We were Team Hunny Bun with so much FUN in the mountaineering course, looking after each other everyday & making sure we were always safe. I trusted her with my life & vice versa. She jumped into the crevasse for me, tied on a rope to me for many days (12 hours on 1 day!), accepted my mistakes, helped fixed them & gave words of encouragement when things ain’t going so well!! Love you!!!
- Mike & Karina – The cutest most sporty couple I’ve ever met. A true example of life partnership & relationship – many things alike yet have complimentary skills to fill any gaps. There is the occasional bickering with a hint of humour & cuteness! I hope to join them in Canberra at some point to pursue an action packed holiday with them.
- Ash – A former soldier who served in Iraq. Now an adventurous Dad with a 20 month old son, aiming to reach new heights after the course. Kiddo is 1 lucky boy to have you as Daddy! The one who cooks, clean & always ever ready to help out in our hut!
- Crazy Uncle Roy – Our instructor & guide in the course with >30 years of experience. The man who used to climb in the mornings, then paraglided to work. He carries a small neon green sling bag containing soy sauce & hot sauce. Finally, how much do you trust your own students? This man was leading a climb up to ~10m… suddenly stopped, looked back, let go & fell backwards. He, then, yelled down “Just testing or I’ll land on you!” with a laugh. The ladies did well to stop the fall on belay. Imagine having Roy as your grandpa! WOW!
- Coach Jamie – Our instructor & guide in the course. The one that puts things into perspective for me. He pushed all boundaries just enough not to make me cry. The one that let me get very close to breaking apart but never let me give up! When I told him I was scared, his reply was “If it was easy, everyone would do it! Well done & congratulations!”
- Vikki – Skipper & The Lady of All Traits. I can’t count how many jobs this woman has nevermind the thought of fitting them all into 24hrs, 7 days a week like all of us. Owner of Astrolabe Sailing & I was privileged enough to have 1 wild Wednesday evening race onboard Wild Wood skippered by her. Such a breadth of fresh air to meet one hell of a woman like her! Girl POWER!
So there it is! I have met more genuinely nice people than yucky people. I have more positive experiences than negative ones. Every one of these souls continue to inspire & shape my outlook in life & define who I want to be in this lifetime. We may not speak or cross paths again for years but there have been ones who show up again & again. I know my angels are watching from near & afar… And what am I doing… I’m on my Starlight Highway just following my stars with lots of fun, good vibes & laughter.
Coming back to reality & normality in corporate life, I eat lunch by myself on most days because I am simply focused & determined on working & getting things DONE WELL 1st time RIGHT! Then go home on time to fulfill my other responsibilities & make my dreams come true!