What a girl wants.

Have you ever woken up one day and realised everything you’re doing is completely fucking wrong?

I’ve wanted to own my own house for about sixteen years now. It’s been a huge goal in my life – my entire being has been geared towards saving as much money as possible. I have minimal possessions because my rental unit is only my temporary home. My garden is non-existent, because one day I won’t be living here any more.

Yeah, good one idiot.

Three weeks ago I’d found the perfect house, in the right neighbourhood, within my price range. I had enough deposit. I went to the real estate agent, made a reasonable offer…then went home and had a complete breakdown. I was panicked. I was terrified. I knew I’d made a mistake. Thankfully, the vendor turned down the offer, and it’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.

Sometimes we’re so blinded by what we think we want, we never take the time to reframe and assess what our inner being is really screaming out for. As soon as I smacked down that $500 to secure my offer, the fog lifted. If I bought this house, I was tied down to my job indefinitely.  

So on Monday, I handed in my resignation for a position I’ve held for nearly a decade.

And it felt a damn sight better than bidding on my dream house, I can tell you.

I’m not anxious about finding another job. I have four months of annual leave and long service leave up my sleeve, because I never use up my holidays. I live in the second biggest city in Australia. I have a skill set that every single business in the country needs. I haven’t seen my parents for any significant period since I was eighteen years old. I’m taking a goddamn break.

So now I find myself in a situation both dubious and emancipating. I have a clean slate. I can do almost anything from here on out. The question is, what? I’ve lost my biggest life goal – well, not lost per se, it’s just been reallocated. I have to reassess everything, and have no idea where to start.

I figure if my goal posts are missing, the best thing to do is assign arbitrary ones and start working towards them. Training of some sort? An apprenticeship? A degree? Prostitution? Illegitimate baby? Spiritual enlightenment?

I made a list of all the things that interest me, hoping the magic answer would leap out at me. It didn’t. This is the list:

  • Plants
  • Alternative therapies
  • Nutrition
  • Counselling
  • Helping people
  • Cars
  • Wine
  • Feng shui
  • Farming
  • Josh Holloway
  • Green, eco, sustainability stuff
  • Writing

So tell me…What are you all doing out there? How did you get into it? Are you happy? WHAT THE HELL IS EVERYONE DOING WITH THEIR LIVES AND HOW DID I TURN THIRTY WITHOUT REALISING WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH MINE?!?

 

 

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Raro’s biggest resort

I’ve really enjoyed trawling through the Abandoned Places Livejournal for a year or more now, so you can imagine my excitement when Rarotonga presented me with its very own abandoned place for me to wave my camera at (albeit with much less finesse than the folks over at Livejournal):

I love what you’ve done with the place.

That would be the Rarotonga Sheraton.

While there are some nice medium sized resorts on the island,  in 1987 the Cook Islands government decided it needed some big, fancy accommodation to attract the big, fancy fish to the Cooks. To build the big, fancy resort, they signed a $52 million deal with an Italian construction company, which promptly went broke. In 1993 another Italian company took over, until the Italian government stepped in and put the kybosh on the project due to alleged mafia dealings and money laundering. By then the monstrosity had placed the Cook Islands government $120 million in debt – which is obviously a butt load of money for a country that can count its number of tax-paying citizens on one hand. Several false starts from several investors later,  still the poor old Sheraton sits unwanted, 80% complete and blighting the otherwise spectacular lagoon shoreline with her mildewed facade and weed-ravaged lawns.

The view from the balcony is stunning, dahlink.

Who said there was something wrong with buying “off the plan”?

I’ve stayed in worse.

Spa, anyone?

Ooh, complimentary loofah…oh wait, it’s a spider.

I just know Sawyer is around here somewhere….

I specifically asked for ocean view!

The locals will tell you the land is cursed, due to some fellow being shot there in 1911, and prosperity will not return to the property until it’s reinstated to its indigenous owners. I smell tourist propaganda on that one, considering the entire island is owned by the various clans, who merely lease out parts of their land to the hotels and businesses, using the remainder to carry out their island traditions as they have for hundreds of years.

 

One night in Raro…

The Cook Islands posse. Disregard giant beers.

For those of you playing at home who have no idea where the Cook Islands lie on the globe, here they are:

There’s a NORTH Pacific ocean?

 

It’s a very long way from anything. Even New Zealand. (Incidentally, despite their remote location,  NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world. High fives to you, my chilly-bin toting, jandal-clad sistas.)

You can tell it’s a long way from anything, because it takes 10 hours to get there, and once you’re there, you find out they left your luggage in frigging Auckland. Seriously, Virgin Australia, not cool. Fortunately there’s an elderly Rarotongan fellow playing soothing island music on his ukelele, which takes the sting out of the fact that there are now 3000 kilometers between you and your next fresh pair of knickers. Then some dude places a fragrant ei (or lei, if you want to be all northern hemisphere) around your neck, and suddenly you don’t give a shit about absent luggage.

We went to bed and awoke to find out it was Friday again. Rarotonga lies just over the international date line, so there’s a 20 hour difference between Melbourne time and Raro time. It confused and frightened me. We spent our Groundhog Day sussing out the public transport system (two buses, one labelled ‘clockwise’ and the other ‘anticlockwise’) and trawling through the shops in town.

We also booked in for the $25 Friday night Rarotonga pub crawl bus. I can clearly remember the first three establishments, but after that my memory becomes wildly unreliable. I know that we missed the bus back to the resort, and wandered down the side of the road until 2.30am when we waved down an airport worker named Kenneth, who kindly loaded all the intoxicated palangis into the back of his ute and dropped us back at the hotel.

This is when we decided skinny dipping swimming in the moonlit ocean would be an appropriate activity. You would think the cool saltwater and stonefish would sober us up, but instead half an hour later we were still squawking and taking turns down the water slide in the rather well lit pool area. Eventually we realised someone would alert security sooner or later, so we gave up the frolicking and tiptoed back to our rooms. I strongly suspect security had a very good idea what was going on, but was more than happy to leave us be.

Lil Wayne drops in to say hey.

 

This can’t end well.

 

The main street – not conducive to high heels at 2am.

 

Not a terrible place to nap off a hangover.

Kia Orana

Well I don’t know about you lot, but I’ve just returned from a brief sabbatical on the South Pacific island of Rarotonga. Woe is me.

The trip’s been in the works for about 3 years now, and is the final hurrah in my very extended 30th birthday celebrations. Hence my little hula girl in my sidebar ticker down there.

Words don’t do justice to the Cook Islands, so here are some photos instead:

As you can see, it’s a ghastly place.

I’ll post some stories shortly, once my brain arrives back in Australia.