Let’s Get Naked!

Madame Tussauds Austria

Okay now be prepared, this isn’t one of those cheeky titles just to get your attention, alright let’s just jump right into the middle of this. So there I was completely nude sitting in front of about four much older men, who I can only assume were staring at me, although I had my eyes closed so I could pretend no one else was around. As beads of sweat started rolling down my torso, from heat, nervousness and knowing they were naked also…okay wait maybe starting in the middle of the story isn’t the best place, let me back up!

So my cousin in Austria, invited me last Friday to go the the spa/sauna with her, a very popular activity there. If anyone knows me I am all for a spa or sauna day, any little bit of pampering is right up my alley. So we got there checked in at reception went in to change and I realized that all the rooms for the various treatments, such as the Finnish sauna, Bio sauna, UV light, herbal steam rooms etc. all prohibited clothing! Alright I was a bit shy at this news but whatever, that’s not unusual plus I’m in a different country and we are all women here right? Ahhm no! There are no separate areas for males and females, this was a whole new world for me. This was like a nude beach on steroids, as I entered the sauna areas with my wrap tied around me, first thing to catch my eye was the very nonchalantly strolling old men with all there withered parts exposed for all to see. We found a sauna room that was empty and I very shyly slipped into it with her and sat legs crossed in the hot room. Only seconds later in walked one, then two, then three now four men. All I wanted to do was grab my towel and run out!

Okay now I must say not only was I unusual because I was probably the youngest person there, but yeah we were the only two black people, needless to say the piqued curiosities were in full effect. Any time we entered an empty room it didn’t stay empty for too long. So there I was, naked, feeling totally awkward with my eyes closed to pretend that I wasn’t sitting butt ass naked in a room with four also naked men. I was so happy when our time was up and we got out, only to walk over to the showers with no doors on them that also housed a bunch of other naked men beneath the rain heads. At one point when showering after one of the steam rooms, there was one guy who kept walking back and forth in front of the shower I was in and I just turned and looked him square in the eye. Then he, a bit embarrassingly, sat in the lounge area without passing by again.

I must say however, I was probably the only one feeling as awkward about this as I was, because otherwise everyone else men and women included all walked around slowly and calmly as if they were just strolling the aisles of a supermarket on a Saturday. So as the time went on my own anxiety about the situation began depleting. When in the UV rooms I was unsure how to use the equipment and what the benefits were, so a lovely older lady sitting across from us just wandered over to explain a bit, as if the fact that her now sagging large breasts, that have probably seen better days, weren’t dangling in front of my face, I made sure not to have my eyes venture any lower. After about two and a half hours we left the treatment complex and were back to the pool area with our swimsuits on and funnily enough feeling weird being so covered now.

This was definitely something new for me and even though I became increasingly comfortable there was never a moment that I wasn’t aware of the nudity that surrounded me, especially my own. However, I would absolutely do that again! You know when I had said to someone that I really wanted to work on being more vulnerable and exposed, I meant emotionally, but the universe however thought it was more fun to manifest this one literally!

Categories: Austria, Europe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Long Term Travel is Like Prison

Langkawi, MalaysiaThis may sound a bit harsh, and as far as being confined and restricted well, this is one of the areas where they differ entirely. As there are few pleasures in life that can offer the same freedom and expansion as travel does. So then where and how is this line of comparison drawn in my mind, especially having never been in prison before? Well here goes, I have been on the go now for just over two years and although I am constantly having new experiences life back home is kind of on pause for me. So what exactly do I mean by that? Well things and people are remembered exactly as I left them, not necessarily as they are.

So here is the comparison, you know when someone goes to prison for a while, or many years even, they remember the outside world as it was when they were last apart of it. Upon release it may be a shock to them to see that people, places and things have evolved, transformed or even ceased to exists. Long term travel I feel has had a similar effect on me. Just because I left, everything didn’t just stop, waiting for my return in order to resume again (the audacity, I know!). Life goes on. Friends get married, divorced, have children, lose loved ones, have career changes, misfortunes, land dream jobs, relocate, you know, things change. Now don’t misunderstand, it is not out of selfishness that I want things to remain nor do I even really want things to remain. I mean I know I am having a grand time touring the world and happiness is not fun if it is limited to me. The point is the detachment or distance you feel from the life and people you once held near (literally) and dear to you.There is no love lost but surely a feeling sometimes of not being apart of it.

Things are easier today with social media keeping us in touch but its still not the same. Seeing a video of your friends wedding doesn’t compare to having been there.Sending a letter of condolence doesn’t compare to a hug and tears shared. So okay, you cant have everything some might say, you don’t get to see curious corners of the earth, whilst also still being apart of the day to day events back home. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, but like my brother once said what’s the point of having cake if you can’t eat it!

A close friend who during the time that I have been away, has gotten engaged, married and had a child, sent me photos one night of her new bundle of joy titled “Hello Auntie Jodi”. Having missed so many important events in her life, I told her that I felt I was missing out, to wish she replied, “You’re not missing a damn thing!” She continued to express what a dream the life I was experiencing was and something many would never be able to imagine much less experience. A similar sentiment an ex colleague shared with me in an email. So I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. Don’t for a minute think I would actually have traded what I am doing for any other thing, I am grateful daily, but I am curious to see how I will respond upon my release to the “outside” world.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A video clip of Tasmania

Okay so I know it’s been forever and a day, and believe it or not I have a post from Christmas day that I wrote and never uploaded. Please don’t think I have abandoned you guys. So as I begin to grovel for your forgiveness enjoy this little video from Tasmania. My friend though has made and even better one that I will put up on my Facebook page.

Love you guys and promise to keep in touch now xx

Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Come On Down!

Currumbin Wildlife sanctuaryI have been in Australia for quite a while now and have yet to formally introduce and/or invite you to the land down under. So finally without any further ado welcome and come on down!

Sydney Australia

Park in Sydney

When I first arrived in Australia I came to Sydney, which by the way is not the capital as I thought (that would be Canberra), and I spent five days there. The first two nights in a hostel and the other three nights couch surfing. Let me just tell you I have never experienced jet lag before as I did when I first arrived. I was falling asleep by 6 or 7pm and up at 3 in the morning, it probably would have been worse had I come directly from the States rather than the slight buffering being in Europe had offered. Well first on the agenda was of course the Sydney Opera House, the most internationally recognized structure in Australia.Sydney Opera House

Sydney, AustraliaMy friend that I met in Thailand and stayed with in Finland, was now in Australia for a few months so she we met up and off we went through lovely parks and then off to the harbour to see the Bridge and the Opera House. I gotta tell you I really was expecting to have my breath taken away a bit more, I mean it looks so spectacular on TV not to say it isn’t but I perhaps had my expectations a tad too high. A lovely sight nonetheless. The next day we took a few miles stroll along the coast from Coogee to the famous Bondi beach. This was a great day. The weather was beautiful in the days with just a slight chill in the evenings, I did arrive in their autumn after all. I must tell you though, all I wanted were to see some kangaroos and koalas, typical I know, but hey!Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach, Australia

Bondi Beach

After my few days in Sydney I was off to the Gold Coast to meet up with another friend. I had never even heard of that area before nor did I know at the time it would end up being home to me for the next few months. I arrived at night, which I love when traveling to a place for the first time, because when you wake up its like getting to experience it all over again since everything is so different in the daytime. All I remember were beaches, which if you know anything about me, you know I love. I had originally planned to only stay for a week and then head to Brisbane, which all the locals questioned with a confused look. So I stayed! The best part, I got to see my kangaroos and koalas, even got a membership to the wildlife sanctuary. I was a happy camper, and the apartment across the street from the beach with the amazing ocean views and glorious sunrises, Icing on the cake!

Kangaroos

Kissing kangaroos

Koalas

Koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Now there are the people, for the most part I have really found Australians to be very friendly people and I’ve said it before but you gotta love that accent. Although to be fair I am unfortunately becoming a bit immune to it now. What excites me the most about Australia is just how much there is to explore and all the natural wonders this place has to offer, I can’t wait to really begin to dive in and bring you guys along.

Aboriginal Didgeridoo

Aboriginal music on the didgeridoo

Love Jods

Categories: Australia, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thailand take two!

So you read the story, now watch it!
Love having you guys along for the journey so much fun traveling with you friends. Where do you want me to go next?!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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