Sunday 27 May 2012

Roadtrip 2012: Last Day at Home

Last day at home

So my dinner plans got cancelled for tonight – and in a way that’s a good thing. Still so much to get done here – its quite daunting, and now at least I have some extra time to do the items on my checklists. That is, if I don’t get distracted by… oh look, there’s a sale on leather…. I wonder if that’s made of rubber… Oh – sorry – what was I saying?

New wallet has been filled.  Why is it so hard to find a wallet with a compartment for change these days? Trying to ensure that I don’t over-pack here – have a 40x20x66cm suitcase and a bag to take with me – and that’s it. Of course, the issue is that I don’t physically have the suitcase here – wont get it until I’m in the city tomorrow. I can see myself having to leave some stuff behind.

Also – was going to bake some cookies etc for the trip – as well as some special treats I had planned for the pup, but – seems I have managed to break my oven. So there goes the baked treats and goodies idea. Can you spell frustration?!

This will probably be my last blog post until I arrive in Calgary, although – I may update later on today. We’ll see how much of a panic mode I am in. Will be writing a journal of my trip and will upload it once I have settled. Hopefully with pics :)

Still accepting donations!!! PLEASE if you can help towards the cost of the incidentals,  click the donate button!!! EVERY penny helps!!

Saturday 26 May 2012

Roadtrip 2012: 2 days to go!

2 Days left

YIKES!!!!!!!!!!! Ok – this is going way faster than I had anticipated. I feel like I’m not ready suddenly. I want everything to be perfect. And I know it won’t be – but am I wrong for trying? Today the whole thing started becoming very real. My friend who is looking over my apartment came by to pick up the keys and instructions, and I have been sorting through things I am taking with me with the pup over Skype.

I have a slight sense of urgency and panic in me right now. Is there enough time? Have I thought of everything? What have I forgotten? Will I have enough cash for the trip? Will the bus transfers go ok? You know the usual. And of  course things like what if the bus break down? What if there is a problem in Calgary? What if the sky falls? Yes, perhaps I’m over thinking all this.

Also, its times like these I miss having reliable income. I miss being able to spoil those I care about. I know it will happen in time, I want to protect and look after and treat those I care about. I keep having to remind myself to be patient. This is the first step in the process. Calgary offers many opportunities and this is phase one.

Again – still no donations  If you are in a position to help – even just $ 20 will help – please donate by clicking the paypal donate button below!! EVERY donation is appreciated!

Another post tomorrow – last one before I arrive in Calgary!!

Friday 25 May 2012

Roadtrip 2012: 3 days to go

3 Days to go...

So I know I didn’t blog yesterday – but I did do a youtube video, which is about the same thing. Is that good enough? You can find it here:

Its Friday and its 3 days to go until departure. It’s hot and humid here. Feels weird to be packing long pants and leather at this point, but I have to prepare for all weather I guess. Of course, the toughest thing right now is deciding on exactly what clothes to travel in. So YOUR suggestions welcome there!!

I can feel the excitement growing as I prepare. I’m making lists of contacts I may need, emergency info and so on. Im’ making lists of things to remember to pack and do. I now have lists of lists. Perhaps I’m just over analyzing this all. But here’s the thing. I dislike disorganization. I like to know what I am walking into – and – this is pretty unknown for me. Travelling alone, into strange new places, and I have never done it on a great big bus either. So lots of firsts.

Again, not having cash in my pocket is a concern. I have some – but – well when one is forced to eat at whatever is closest to the greyhound stop, you have no way of telling how much that is going to cost!! If you are able to donate, please do!! You can do it right from here by clicking this button:

I have determined that I will be adding pictures to this blog when I arrive, as well as a bit of an update whenever I can, but so many methods!!  Best check here first if you want to stay updated.

So  now… back to checking things off my lists…..

And im packing my towel, for Douglas.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Roadtrip 2012: 5 Days to go

5 Days to Go!

So 5 days until I leave. Since my post yesterday, I have had a number of queries from people asking where and why I was going to Calgary. So, although this has been said already, I will say a little more about it.

Firstly, the main reason I am going is to meet up with a pup who has quickly managed to capture my attention. He is adorable, kind, and desires to be the human pup someone like myself has been looking for. And the majority of my trip will be spent with him, getting to know him in person and seeing how we get along with an eye to my collaring of him as my pup.  That will mark the “official” ceremonial start of my own leather family, separate from the other families which I find myself a happy member of, and which I will be at the head of.
Secondly, I get to see my bestie again, who moved out there a few months back, and I miss him, and we’ll get to hang out some, and I can meet his new boyfriend. I am also truly looking forward to seeing another very dear friend when I take two days away from Calgary to Vancouver to visit my bud there, who I have not seen in person since about 2006, so that is going to be awesome!

Finally, the job prospects in a city such as Calgary are entirely better than they are here in Ontario at present. The SW Ontario region has seen a very sharp decline in the job market and economy, like many other places in North America, but the economy here seems to be far more sluggish in recovering. A comparative job search of bother areas, reveals more than double the amount of job postings for Calgary (which, granted is a bigger city, so that’s expected) but there were a number of interesting, and fundamental differences too.
Firstly, the requirements for identically categorized jobs: In my area, the requirements say for experience, were 3 to 5 years; the same job in Calgary – no experience required. This shows that here, employers hold the market, and can be pretty darned picky about who they choose to interview, and indeed, hire. Furthermore, the starting wage scares were vastly different for the same job too – starting at $ 11 an hour here in this area, and starting at $ 15 an hour in Calgary. So this all looks hopeful that my prospects for employment there are indeed better in Calgary than they are here.

Otherwise – packing is going slow. I discovered my Epipen is not expired, and wont until November, so that’s a bonus. I’m also trying to consume all perishables in the fridge before I leave too. Funny how there some stuff you just can’t get enough of, but other stuff – once in a blue moon is enough – and then it just sits there. Working on things to make to take with on the road to eat too, as well as sorting some of the treats and stuff for the pup.

Will I have enough ccash to last me? What if the power goes out while im gone? Who is gonna take care of my plants? Do I leave a key with someone?

I’m starting to wonder if 5 days is really enough time now!!!!!

Until tomorrow!!!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

RoadTrip 2012: 6 Days to go

6 days to go: Roadtrip planning.

So 6 days to go. I just mapped out the outbound trip on a new site, and have put up a travel page on my webpage. I’m starting to get more and more excited and nervous. And a little part of me is panicking. Leaving things I know. Going on an adventure across the country is exciting and daunting, stepping into the unknown as it were.

If blogspot allows, the map of the journey will be above this paragraph. 20 stops from departure to destination, spanning a total of 2 days and some 14 hours, if my calculations are correct. That’s a long time on a bus. Plenty of reading material is ready to go. I have pulled out a large  bag to start packing in. But what to pack? I’m going to be lugging this around at some point, so I really can’t pack too much. But my leathers and boots do need to go, as well as ‘street’ clothes. Weather in Calgary is quite different from Windsor, I am told and can fluctuate on a dime, so packing for all seasons is hard in a confined space.

Having now pulled out my bag, I’m starting to think I may need something bigger. I’m not going overnight here – this is a 3 week adventure – possibly longer. Maybe I’m over thinking and over planning here. I usually travel pretty light to begin with – but – often find myself short of things that I should have brought with me. Which brings me to my other concern.

This trip has been generously given to me by two people who dug deep into the wallets to pay for the tickets. And that is so awesome and truly is appreciated. My next concern though is spending money. I mean, it’s not like my webpage is supporting me right now, and lord knows my governmental allowance doesn’t go beyond rent and bills. So I have managed to get a little something in my back pocket for the trip, which will buy me food and refreshments while on the road, but what about while I am there.

I hate not being a man of means, as it were. Having been officially out of work for as long as I have is incredibly harsh on ones’ self esteem. I have been fortunate that many people in the past have managed to help and support me in truly rough times, and now I find myself going to a strange city practically penniless. I’m not concerned for the day to day necessities, which the pup is happy to provide while I am there. It’s the creature comforts to which I am accustomed, and sometimes even at home struggle to get. Cigarettes or tobacco products, soda, and that bar of chocolate at the cash register. Those sorts of things are impositions upon the pup I do not wish to make.

6 Days to go and I can only hope and pray that certain people who owe me money come through to provide some of that. We’ll see. Feel like donating or sponsoring me? Feel free!! My webpage has donate buttons everywhere!!!!

Other things on the go and on my mind right now. I’m planning some small surprises for the pups when I arrive. Good things, small, but, to my mind anyway, significant. I should imagine though that the first day of being there is going to be trying to catch up on sleep – as I truly don’t know how well I will sleep on the bus. Some things the pup expects, but some he doesn’t I don’t think. I’m excited and nervous for his reactions.

Last week I had a pretty rough week, and found myself experiencing a number of emotions – sometimes all at once. These included immense sorrow, and sense of loss, as well as a significant amount of homesickness. I realized I have now not been in South Africa for 12 long years. I guess watching movies like “Invictus” didn’t really help. If you haven’t seen it, I invite you to. It shows very much what South Africa was like during the period in which it was set. I remember being there. I remember living that. And I know what that incredibly feeling portrayed at the end of the movie was like. I can’t describe it – you truly had to be there.
Some people reached out and asked me what all I was going through last week. To be honest, there is/was so much it was insurmountable for a day or two. A lot has to do with me building up my walls again to protect myself. Walls I had willingly allowed to be taken down before, but can no longer leave those areas exposed – it is just too painful to allow myself to be hurt, and sometimes, one has to put up walls and keep things to oneself so as not to go ‘over the edge’ as it were.

I’m actually ok, though – I mean – I am still struggling with some things, but my overall outlook is better, and I’m focusing on the trip now in earnest. Looking ahead and working hard to not over analyze myself, something which I know I do entirely too much of.

Well I should end this post – there will be yet another tomorrow, and hopefully every day until departure. It’s going to be a bit weird having NO access to the internet while I travel – I don’t own a laptop or a cell phone – and yet – in some ways that is also mildly comforting!! I’m sure you all will be glad to get a break from my random ramblings by then!!!

Till tomorrow….

Monday 7 May 2012

Trust Issues

I’ll admit to being rather angry at the betrayal of trust and the twisting of words by people whom I consider friends. I rarely confide in others because I have learned how quickly people can take and manipulate your words and opinions to create a drama of epic proportions for their own benefit – or, apparently, amusement.

In this world is hard enough with all that life throws at us without feeling even more isolated because we don’t know who we can trust. Once again, I find myself feeling like half the people around me have a hidden agenda and that instead of being the open person I am and trusting them, I need to guard everything I say and keep my opinions to myself.

And damn that hurts. It takes a long time for me to trust people, and I don’t open up like I used to any more, and, apparently, this is with very good reason. And now I find that some people I have trusted and opened up to can’t be trusted, that they have their own purpose and that having ones’ own opinion is not something one is allowed to express, even to friends.

On some kind of base level, it appears that people do not have the integrity to know that saying things about others, even the opinions of others – be they true or false – is wrong. Ultimately this means that I have to now guard what I tell people, what I share with people, and what I allow people to know about me.

Sad when one feels the need to walk on eggshells around those one thought of as friends. And trust is one of those things that, rather like a vessel made of glass, once its integrity is compromised; it doesn’t hold much water for very long, no matter how much glue you add to the cracks to hold it together.
To say I am disappointed would be an understatement.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

26 Days to go.

Technically there are 27 days to go. But I’m going to count it as 26.  This is because my “/endtrans” will be on the day before my adventure begins. I guess I have built up a little curiosity from those of you who know me on Facebook, and the excitement is building in me, so Perhaps it’s time to just let it out there.
I’m going to be travelling to Calgary Alberta on May the 29th. Call me insane, but I’m actually going by greyhound! It will be a journey of 2 days and 15 hours or so. In a bus. Across Canada. With a camera, an ipod-like device and a lot of reading material. A friend very graciously has sponsored the ticket, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make this journey!! And it’s a daunting journey, but there are a large number of reasons that this trip is exciting for me.
Firstly, I’m going to meet someone I am very interested in. It’s a puppy. He is a puppy. The 2-legged human variety. Sexy and cute and sweet and – ok ok – I will stop gushing. He represents a lot of the things I am looking for to start my leather family. And I’m truly looking forward to meeting him in person – or should that be Bear-dom?
Secondly, I have never seen anywhere of Canada other than Ontario. And, while a bus may not be the ideal way to do it (if my car wouldn’t die a short distance from my house, I would drive it), I will get to see some of the country, and there are a number of (brief) stops along the way to take in a little of other Canadian scenery. And to take pictures. I like taking pictures.
Thirdly, I get to visit 2 friends (all going to plan) who mean a huge amount to me. One is my friend who recently moved to Calgary, and whom I miss terribly. The other is a wonderful friend who lives in Vancouver. So that’s going to be amazing in itself.
Finally, unlike the SW Ontario region, which is stagnant and wilting, Calgary is thriving and growing, with an expanding economy and job market. I’m going to be seriously looking for employment opportunities there, with the view to moving out there in very short order if all goes according to plan, and I don’t see much which will prevent that. Those of you who know my story know that I have struggled for a very long time in this region, and it looks truly hopeful that the Calgary region will present a wider range of new opportunities for me.
So there it is. Now you know. Yes, I’m excited, and scared for all sorts of reasons (some of which have been explained in previous posts), but the overwhelming sense of a wonderful future keeps growing in me, and I’m truly starting to feel that perhaps that light I thought was a train at the end of the tunnel is, in fact, the Sun. that would be nice. I think the universe owes me at least that at this point.
Just saying….