Monday, January 21, 2013

Mister Pip: Papua New Guniea

I visited Papua New Guinea in the early 90's when there was rebels and fighting and danger. There was a sliver of hope given by a man who was the black sheep in the town (or was it the white sheep?). He used Great Expectations to mesmerize the village and take their mind off the awful and potential of more awful things going on. It is told through the eyes of a little girl. It was a wonderfully written book, and did not end in Papua New Guinea. I recommend it.
Off to Japan!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Zealand: Kiwi Tracks

On January 6, 2013 I finished my ebook trip to New Zealand. I completed this journey with Andrew Stevenson's book Kiwi Tracks. The book hit the spot. Ten years ago I was all-about going to New Zealand. I left my job, and was ready to go on an adventure. The problem was that my friend has some complications with travel arrangements, and then we never went. At that time in my life I was not ready to go to another country by myself.
Through this book, I traveled with Andrew from the South Island to the North Island. He mostly stayed at backpackers (hostels) and huts on the tracks (trails). It started off cold with sleet and snow and ended warm enough. I was hoping it would be a warm book, because of me experiencing winter here.
What I liked best about the book, is that he didn't spice it up. He seemed to tell it like it was. He also had a couple of clumsy or ignorant mishaps which was something I could see myself doing.
Overall, I got the sense of New Zealand as this:
  • Somewhere you could hitch-hike easily and safely.
  • Beautiful.
  • Rich in history.
  • Honest and easy-going. There is a part in the book where Andrew mistakenly leaves a bag of ribs at a grocery store. He goes back to the grocery store and they give him new ribs, and are sure that the person who picked them up behind him would bring them back. It turns back the person did.
  • There is some tension between North & South Island, and they have their rivalry with Australia.
  • They have some dangerous birds, and a lot of possum.
Off to Papau New Guinea with Mr. Pip.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mapped out- Filling up the Kindle

On January 2nd I mapped out my tentative Route starting in Australia and ending in the United States. I found a few books to start off my trek.

Australia- The Curse of the Travel Bug II- Read
New Zealand- Kiwi Tracks - Reading
Papua New Guinea- Mr. Pip
Thailand- Thailand's Sickest

I have given myself the freedom of changing the intinerary for reasons of the following:
 1. needing to change the country due to difficulty of finding a book
 2. wanting to read one book prior to another.

The good thing is I do not have to worry about changing airfare or taking long plane or train rides.

My trip started off a little rocky with a misleading book Jetting Away it was free for the Kindle,but it was about someone deciding to go to Australia. She never made it to Australia and there was another book by the author about going there. I opted out on buying that and read The Curse of the Travel Bug II. This book was okay. It was about a guy who was traveling Australia in a campervan with other backpackers and scuba diving. It gave a little taste of Australia.

Now, to continue my travel in New Zealand. I am tracking the best tracks in New Zealand. Now, where is my hut pass and passport?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Going on a Trip Around the World

I just celebrated another birthday. I was thinking about all the great things I have going for me and also things I missed doing. One of the things I love is writing and reading. One of the things I miss doing is traveling. I used to hike, drive, fly, bus, train a lot. Now, with lack of money and increase in family our trips usually consist of 3 hour drives. We will travel again. I am sure of it. Especially with a 10 year old EAGER to go across country, then to Paris and beyond. She asks for an RV every Christmas. She makes sure to write "An RV - a REAL ONE". She doesn't want some fat dude in a red suit getting all funny on her and getting her a toy one.
For 2013 one of my resolutions is to reconnect with old friends (beyond facebook). I hope that results in some road trips.
Then it all came to me while I was doing some marketing for my book. I went on Good Reads and stumbled upon a group Around the World in 52 days. Readers in this group were reading books from countries or by authors of different countries and traveling around the world that way. I never was part of a book club, but loved this idea.
Immediately I was taken back by the prospect of this. This combined my addiction of reading and downloading ebooks, love of maps, and my long-lost love traveling. A random point on the map resulted in New Zealand being my starting point. Lack of finding a New Zealand book I started with Australia.
I figured I would keep you up with my adventures through my blog.

My goal is tonight to map out my route.
I hope to read most of them on my Kindle.
I have already acquired 15-20 books from countries.
I hope to get free ebooks or ebooks from the library downloaded.
If I can't get for free, I will try to get an actual library or pay a small fee. (I hope to stay under $25.)

Now, where is my compass!?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Milestones & Competition

When trying to find out a way to get my old co-workers motivated on a new initiative, I suggested a competition. Everyone seemed on board but one of my co-workers. She had said that she never liked competition. It just was not her frame of mind to function that way. That floored me a little. Not that she had the opinion, but that I never considered that opinion. I don't consider myself over-competitive. I love to win, but I can take a loss gracefully. (I gracefully walk out of the room, and flop on my bed crying and flailing my arms. I am just kidding, that never happens until the company leaves.)
Competition is a way that I have pushed myself in life. It helped me become a better athlete, better student, and better employee. As I get older, (and when I say older I mean still really young) I realize that a lot of my motivation has be from inside, and then it becomes a competition against myself.

Competition and Milestones seem to go together. Milestones are important. My friend once told me that she hated running, but she would do so by trying to get to the next telephone pole, the next tree, and the next street sign. I can imagine running miles and miles this way, but it worked for her. I am a lover of milestones too. Graduation, anniversaries, pounds of weight loss, birthdays, new books, and New Year's all hold an important place in my heart. I think it is important to celebrate these events or else it is like going through life with one long life history with know blips on the screen.