Tag Archives: No day but today

What I Love About Travelling.

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The thing I love, and sometimes hate, about travelling is the impermanence associated with it. There is absolutely nothing that you can be sure of: you could be perfectly healthy one day, and then the next moment find yourself slumped over the toilet bowl puking your guts out; you could be used to waving to the man dressed in a Santa Claus suit selling chocolates in the middle of the road but yet still be surprised that Santa Claus suits come in yellow and green; you could meet an amazing bunch of people, do ridiculous things like parade down the city in animal suits and flamboyant headdresses, but not know if you will ever see them again, or even be able to have fun with them again once you’re taken out of this common context. And here’s my favourite: you can almost be sure that the combi bringing you to school will come, but whether you end up levitating by the force of 5 squished bodies combined, exposing your butt to the possibility of catching fire whilst sitting on the bus battery or watching women attempt to breastfeed surreptitiously, is really up to fate (and whether the combi driver is a Grand Prix- wannabe). Every moment in a life of impermanence is just that- a moment to be enjoyed and relished before it vanishes.

There are some things that have come close to the essence of permanence. Take my routine here, for example. Spanish classes from 8 to 10 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; teaching at the school everyday from 3:30 to 5:30 and then Salsa class for an hour on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. But just as it was starting to become second nature, BAM. Somehow, 5 weeks have passed. Time to leave and try something different.

I love the impermanence in travelling because it ensures that there is always change, and it necessitates the need to treasure everything that you see and experience. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be extremely painful at the same time, since falling in love and becoming attached is often inevitable. Still, as they say nauseatingly, better to have loved (and left) than never at all.

So to all the travellers (not tourists!) that I’ve met along the way, thank you for making this journey so magical. I wish you impermanence in life.

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Raving Rapids.

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Having been white-water rafting twice before (once in Costa Rica and once in upstate New York), I must confess I wasn’t too excited about white-water rafting in Arequipa since, you know, how different could it be? Well, that just teaches you never to be complacent about things, because this trip sure turned out to be one helluva exciting.

We were rafting down Rio Chili, a river 30 mins away from downtown Arequipa that weaves through gorgeous plantations, volcanic rock and peek-a-boo waterfalls. My raft had 5 of us including the instructor: Allie, Mesi, Weibiao and I, which basically mde it the lightest boat of the three. So anyway, we were just about to tackle this rapid called The Goal (and right before we did it, prophetic WB said, “Dont own goal ah!”) which involved us navigating the rock through two big rocks. Sounds simple enough right?

This is what happened next:

X marks The Goal.

Oops. Missed the goal but landed on the goalpost instead.

It's amazing that WB still has time to smile for the camera.

GOOAAAALL = GG.

So basically right when we were in “The Goal” itself, the raft got stuck on one of the rocks and our instructor Salvador, shouted “All left!” But just as we were all moving to the left, the raft got shifted thanks to the rapids INTO the goal and because we were no longer on the rock, all the weight on the raft was on the left and it tipped over. Mesi was the only one who managed to grab onto the raft but I floated away almost immediately. I was trying to remember what the instructor said about lying on your back and not standing up, until my butt scraped against a rock and I think I sat up in the water instinctively. And then, the raft that was about to rescue me must have swept over the rapids because suddenly I was UNDER that raft and struggling to swim as fast as I could to get out under it. I swear, it was THE SCARIEST three seconds of my life because I was trying to breathe under water but I couldn’t lift my head up cos the darn raft was above me. And I didn’t know how long more I could hold my breath for. So I was just kicking as hard as I could (can’t even remember if I had the paddle with me now), thinking it would be damn ironic if I died drowning since I’m most confident in water, until finally their raft must have moved sideways and I came up above the water gasping for air. Then someone extended their paddle to me and I grabbed it and I was then heaved up onto the boat. And this is the funny part: before I could even sit up and regain my nerves, TWO more people were thrown on top of me. So, I was just lying at the bottom of a giant heap of people, gasping for air (and feeling rather forlorn), hoping that I didn’t survive drowning to get suffocated to death. Anyway, it turned out to be WB and Allie! That rescue raft had a good 9 people on it before we went back to our original raft.

The swimmers survived!

We did several Class 4 rapids after that that had 1-3 m drops but wa lau, nothing was more exciting than that ‘goal’. We also took a little rest and did a ‘cliff’ jump from one of the rocks. That was quite nerve-wracking for me too cos good things generally don’t happen to me when I jump (e.g. rope burn at OBS) but it all turned out well in the end. Just felt like one of those things we all had to do and experience (:

Really raving rapids.

Leap of faith!

So there you go, my most exciting rafting trip to date. The landscape probably felt the most natural of the three times, simply because we always came very close to the rocks (had to duck several times plus the instructors seem to take perverse pleasure in making us smack into the boulders), and at certain points we were just rafting through white volcanic rock, which was amazing. Also helped that we had the Volcano Chachani smiling down at us in the background, and random waterfalls just popping out from the corners. It really felt like we were rafting in The Land Before Time.

Volcanic rock.

Peekture Perfect.

Third time’s the charm indeed.

How to be good at dancing badly.

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I DANCED REALLY BADLY WITH MATT HARDING IN TIMES SQUARE TODAY.

Watch our video and vote for us!!!

Many of you have probably seen his VISA ‘Travel Happy’ commercial on TV or in the cinemas. You know, the one with the seemingly crazy guy who’s dancing  everywhere; in front of the Merlion, in Harajuku, on a Vietnamese boat that looks like it’s about to capsize under his weight.. Yup, I’m a bit of a fangirl just because I think it’s amazing to be paid to travel around the world to dance badly with people. I mean, that’s a job I would be awesome at. Especially the dancing badly bit.

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