Monday, December 30, 2013

2014

That should about do it for 2013, minutes are slowly passing until 2014 presents us with a number of unknown future stories, events, tragedies and probably babies. 2013 was a solid year, have no major issues with it. Started out on a rooftop bar in Indonesia, finished up my time in Thailand, a one-way ticket to New Zealand that eventually led me to Hong Kong. I am not in a position to complain. I'm sort of into the whole New Year's resolution thing so let's quickly look back at 2013's resolutions and see how I did:


-Stay out of the hospital. Unsuccessful. I now know that roofs and active volcanoes are dangerous. Noted.

-No sunburns. Unsuccessful. New Zealand winters will actually get you. 

-Eating fresh fruit four times a week in Thailand. Unsuccessful but close.

-Write down everything I spend money on. Successful up until December because I stopped caring.

-Read a book for at least 30 minutes everyday. Again, unsuccessful. I am not in love with this post so far.

-Find an incredible job in or outside of Canada. I'd say successful. The dream was to work on a mountain in New Zealand and I made it happen.

Well, I didn't do great on those so let's try to improve in 2014

Stay out of the hospital

Visit at least one new country

I still don't know how to play chess so I will need someone to help me with this one.

Learn to tie a bow-tie


I don't actually know how to dive; I'm sure my dad is angry somewhere, probably on a lake, not catching fish.


Some of these have been taken from my Bucket List post, convenient that I already had a list made. The priority is staying out of the hospital. I hope that you had an amazing holiday season and have a life altering 2014. We are closing in on 3 years of writing here so thanks for putting up with me for this long. 
HAPPY NEW YEAR!



"The thing I like most about time is that it's not real. It's all in the head. Sure, it's a useful trick to use if you want to meet someone at a specific place in the universe and have tea or coffee- but that's all it is- a trick. There is no such thing as the past. It exists only in the memory. There is no such thing as the future. It exists only in our imagination. If our watches were truly accurate, the only thing they would ever say is "Now". That's what time it is. It's "Now". 
Damien Echols








Saturday, December 21, 2013

Falling in love on a chairlift


Imagine one day during the Christmas break you and a group of friends decide to go snowboarding. You decide to go snowboarding because skiing is for the elderly. You are all bundled up nice and warm, you have all the necessary gear, and you are all just having a memorable day as the snow falls down and creates softer landings for you inevitable falls. The last of your friends get on the chair in front of you so you patiently wait for the next chair to sweep you up and they place you next to another person. You sit back into your chair, safely put the safety bar down and exhale. You are on a beautiful mountain, snowboarding with all of your friends, life is good. You then look to your right and you notice the person next to you also snowboards because they are hip and into cool things. You make a comment about the weather, "cold out today eh?" Ask them where they are from, what they do and you start to think that maybe this person is pretty cool. You invite them to join you for a run down the mountain. They have some decent riding skills so you decide to invite that person to lunch, you share a delicious poutine, exchange numbers, and slowly start to think this might be the last person you want to "snowboard" with. Boom, you have just fallen in love and your life now is very different all because of a chance encounter on a chair lift.




What if you had come down the hill 1 minute later or earlier? What if your friends decided they wanted to go to the mountain on a Tuesday instead of the Wednesday? You never would have met them and would have no idea what you missed out on. Now, some people are of the opinion that that encounter was fate and if they didn't meet that day, they surely would have fallen in love another day. I tend to disagree in most cases and feel that in general, and way more than we like to think, our lives are a series of random events that we have little to no control over.

 (There is a website called wemetonaplane.com where people who met during a flight and didn't have the nerve to say something in person, describe the event and their flight details on this site and hope the other person reads it. If you like someone people, just get their number, you can do it)

While we love to think we are completely in control but we really don't know what is going to happen tomorrow, next week or next year. Try to think about events that have happened in 2013 that you would not have guessed this time last year from losing a job to changing cities and friends, our lives are unpredictable. For example, a one-night stand turns into a baby that turns into a marriage that might turn into 2 more babies and all because you both had too many jager bombs one Saturday night. 


Last year I read a book called The Click Moment by Frans Johannson that talks about how our lives and our success is largely outside of our control. Yes working hard is important, but there are lots of people who work hard that catch a few bad breaks and aren't in the best position. Frans writes how spending 10, 000 hours practicing a certain skill is only a real advantage when dealing with environments that don't change much like tennis or playing the piano. Business, trends and people are constantly evolving which means rules and ways to succeed are also expanding. That's a big reason why Richard Branson can start an airline without spending years in the aviation industry or how Mark Zuckerberg can become a billionaire by starting a website. He demonstrates how rules can change with the story of Nokia. At one point it was the dominant cellphone maker. When the iPhone hit the market in 2007 and Google soon followed with its Android operating system, Nokia saw smart phones as niche products and paid a heavy price. Another story features the Google founders who tried to sell their search engine for a measly $1 million only to be told no deal by Yahoo and others. In both cases all their experience with cellphones and search engines did not help them see how things were going to change.


He also notes that you can’t follow trends and expect success. For example, the relative success of lawyers in the past has lead to an over supply that has reduced the chances of success for new graduates. Anything exposed to market forces needs to be different in order to rise above the competition. Success in the future defies logic and prediction and is therefore somewhat random. He cites the success of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Vampire series as an example that defies logic. The author was inexperienced and not a talented writer. None the less, her work broke the Hairy Potter best seller longevity record. When she started writing she knew little about vampires and broke all the rules, no fangs, no coffins. We also hear the story of best selling author Stephen King who tried to publish under a pseudonym to pump out books faster. What he found out is that his initial success caused his other Stephen Kings books to sell well thanks to the brand identification of his name rather than his writing skill.


Should the news that our lives are what they have become due to a series of events that are largely out of our control scare us? It might give some people comfort that if things haven't really turned out, it isn't entirely their fault. What I think we should get out of this is a sense of excitement that the world is an incredible place and that if you are open to opportunities, change, people and new experiences, you literally have no idea what might end up happening to you. 

No one remembers these nights


“There are patterns because we try to find them. A desperate

 attempt at order because we can't face the terror that it 

might all be random.” Lauren Beukes


A song that might do a better job of explaining this:
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNU3k_poj_Q

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Life in Hong Kong

















I'm just about to hit the one month mark living in Hong Kong. I haven't been writing much because I doubt that posts about me applying for jobs, eating kebabs and sleeping in would have much value to you. I'm living with two of my best friends in the world, Jake and Emma. Without them living here, I for sure would not have considered moving here, mainly due to how expensive living is here. So I'm staying with them in their incredibly convenient apartment near Central Hong Kong until I figure out my life. I went on an interview, got the job and now I am waiting for the paperwork to get processed so I can start working. The last post I wrote about how much I loved Thailand and how I wanted to stay. Well, while I was in Nakhon, I interviewed for a job teaching Math to grades 4-6 as a backup plan. While at the interview, I knew I was going to be offered the job once one of the Thai teachers met me and told me I was handsome. Handsome=job in Nakhon. So while I was looking for jobs in Hong Kong, I was also waiting to hear back from Thailand. I slowly started leaning towards Thailand. While I ended up getting offered both jobs, I think that we must embrace change and try new things. Nakhon will always be there, Seth will always be desperate for me to stay at his crib, I can always go back. 2014 is about moving forward, so let's do that. 


















Hong Kong is great. Tons of people, things to do, restaurants, bars, beaches, hiking and cheap flights to other amazing countries. I did an incredible job of having no expectations for Hong Kong. Just before I left Thailand I was asked if I was excited to go. My honest answer was no because my heart was still in Nakhon. While my heart still might be there, it is slowly making its way by cargo ship to the ports of HK. The amount of English spoken here is fairly high, the weather is warm but a nice break that it isn't as incredibly hot as Thailand. The air pollution is for sure a major problem due to all of the cars, boats and airplanes. And the taxis! Guess for a moment how many taxis and taxi drivers there are here. Think about it. According to the very nice Chinese man who drove me somewhere last week, there are over 18 000 cabs and around 40 000 cab drivers. SO MANY TAXIS! But like most things here, you need to form a queue. 




One very convenient aspect of living here is having an octopus card. This card pays for your subway and ferry rides, bus and mini-van rides, 7-11 purchases, restaurants and rumour has it that you pay for your hospital bill when you have a baby with your octopus card. What an amazing place. I arrived on November 14th and my mom came to visit on the 17th for two weeks. Had been almost two years since I saw her so it was great seeing her for such an extended visit. We did a bunch of tourist things like going to see the Big Buddha, going to beaches and islands, watching the Symphony of Lights Show, went to a music festival, got lost a few times and other general mother and son things. Seeing your family is certainly good for your soul and I should be doing more of it. We also went to Macau, the gambling capital of the world and I turned $100 HKD ($13CDN) into $500 HKD ($60 CDN). No big deal, only high limit tables for this guy.




People in Hong Kong love horse racing like people in Canada love hockey. Every Wednesday night there are horse races at this gorgeous facility. The amount of money that people have that gamble there is disgusting. They have done a good job marketing horse racing as a party to the general public but also still appealing to the hardcore gamblers. I was there for two hours and you could easily not watch a horse race and just drink and eat as much as you want. Any sort of event that is outside, watching some sort of event with your friends, food and drinks is a winning combination. And people dress up when they go out places, wearing suits and beautiful dresses. It is nice living somewhere with so many different fashion styles and trends. Makes me think I need new clothes...





The picture about is of LKF, a main party district where there are pubs and clubs but it is just as much fun to grab a cheap beer from 7-11 and walk amongst the crowd and people watch. Hong Kong very well could be my home for the next year or two so if you would like to come visit, there are more than enough hotels around that would be more than happy to accommodate you. Hope everyone has a great holiday season and I plan on getting a few more posts in by the end of the year.





"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." –Maya Angelou

"Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart." – Ancient Indian Proverb


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bomkgXeDkE





Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why do we hold on?


It has almost been a month since the last post so I will try and shake some of the cobwebs off and try to get my irrelevant points across. Since leaving New Zealand, I spent 3 days in Singapore hanging out with people I met while living in NZ. Singapore is a nice spot, a little crowded and expensive but worth checking out for a few days. After leaving Singapore, it was off to Thailand. Have spent the last 17 days here and if you can imagine, I have absolutely loved coming back. I ponder a lot but the thought of loving it here so much and having the urge to stay never crossed my mind once since I booked my flight in July. I figured two years was enough, time to move on but would be great to see everyone again. I just love it. Admittedly, I might like the attention I get a little more than I should. I've really missed random strangers telling me I'm handsome or a group of female workers staring at me before their business opened. The amount of friends that are around, how cheap general life is, the food and the weather. Just really, really great.


I have also come to the conclusion that having a limited amount of time with a place or a person will alter the way you perceive that experience. If someone told you that you had only 48 hours in New York City, knowing that you only have two days will make you yearn for the things you missed out on and what could have been. The possibilities could have been endless. On the other hand, if I told you that you needed to spend the next year in New York, your perception and idea of New York would probably be different, good or bad. I think it is the same thing with people. If you meet someone one night but find out they are leaving the next day for Madagascar, you would probably only see the good things in that person, want more time with them and wonder what could have been. But if you had to spend the next 8 months travelling with that person, you would certainly feel different about them.


I feel like we always want more. We want more money, we want more time, we want more love. And who wouldn't want more things that make them happy? One thing I think that is wrong with Facebook is that it keeps friendships alive that should probably just die. It's great that I had really good friends in high school and maybe I keep in touch with a few of them. However, at some point both parties need to realize that they just aren't going to see each other again. And that's okay. Things don't need to be forever. People fall in and out of love. You shouldn't be forced to stay together just because at one point you both believed you would grow old together. People change. Meeting people while travelling sort of toughens you up when it comes to goodbyes because you just become accustomed to it. Maybe some people are just meant to be in your life for just one drink, one dinner, one weekend or one month. I don't think this is something we should fight. You can't fight against the world. The world takes us places and gives us opportunities. Maybe instead of fighting the randomness and trying to control everything, maybe giving in and just going with the natural flow of things is best.

As you probably know from reading these posts the last while, I don't really know anything and I am probably wrong. For instance, everyday around the world, people meet and fall in love. One day they are going to their job at Sears, the next day they are making plans to live in South America with the person who took their order at Harvey's
(how great is Harvey's?). The idea of a guy (or girl) meeting someone and not taking no for an answer is also incredibly great and romantic. Maybe there are times when you go toe-to-toe with the world and only accept the outcome you seek. I think that those times are few and far between but putting up a fight for what you want is to be admired and respected in my opinion. So if you find that a job, person or place just isn't working and another option seems like a good, easier, safer alternative, don't fight it. Embrace it. Embrace change. On the other hand, if you are 200% sure that you have the right business idea or met the person who could change everything, you should believe that you know what is right for you and what you want in life. These are the things I think. See you in Hong Kong.





"You only lose what you cling to."



Friday, October 18, 2013

New Zealand report card


I did a report card for Thailand (http://bertbrandon.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/thailand-report-card.htmland thought it would be fun to do it again for New Zealand. While I spent quite a bit more time in Thailand than I did here, I still feel that I 'get' New Zealand and been here long even to have formed an honest opinion. Final grade is done by my own Math skills and not all categories are weighted equally.

Food: B
New Zealand is renowned for its beef, lamb and wine. They also export all of these things so getting them in your home country isn't that difficult. Main food staples here are pies and fish and chips. No complaints about food, not outstanding either.












Price: D
I'm not sure how people live and save money here. Rent and food at my lodge was $820 a month to live in a national park with nothing other to do than go up the mountain. Living in Queenstown or Auckland would be even more expensive. Internet isn't widely available and costs a lot. I also understand that New Zealand is an island very far from other countries and they need to import many things. This would be my biggest complaint about life here.

Location: C+
You can look at this one of two ways. New Zealand is far from the rest of the world, is remote and adds to the small country charm. Beautiful islands are only a short flight away to places like Fiji or New Caledonia. The other side of the coin would be New Zealand is extremely far away from the rest of the world, excluding Australia but who would want to go to Australia? Going on vacation will obviously cost a fortune if you plan on leaving the country. I find it somewhat endearing but couldn't possibly live this far from the rest of the world.


Weather: B
This winter season has been the worst for snow and skiing conditions apparently in the last twenty years so I can't just base it on this season. I like that NZ has four seasons and was nice to experience winter again.


People:A
People that live in New Zealand are great. Similar to Canadians in being very polite but people here are much more approachable and will invite you into their group more easily than in Canada. The people are definitely one of the things I've enjoyed most about life here.


Safety:A
The only time I had a problem was one hobbit of a man wanted to fight me in Queenstown. Never been robbed or felt unsafe while here. Murders I have learned happen more frequently than I thought but no country is free of crime.

Activities: A
Taking money out of the equation, there are tons of adventure activities to do. Bungee jumping, sky diving, scuba diving, mountain biking, rugby, snowboarding, hiking, fishing, climbing glaciers, white water rafting, tons of things to keep you occupied if you can afford it.



Transportation: A-
The best way to get around NZ is just to buy a van for five thousand dollars, drive it until you leave then sell it. Flights are pretty easy to get and aren't priced that high. I use a bus company called Naked Bus that will take you almost anywhere around New Zealand. Also have many tour companies that take large groups around to the more popular destinations.


Beauty: A
No question about it, it is breathtakingly beautiful.


Nightlife: C
Yes there are parties in Queenstown but even there it wasn't anything worth writing home about. Auckland is average and no parties to speak of in my village. Definite weak point.

Health Care: A
I'd rather not know that NZ had a good health care system and that when you get hurt ACC covers everything for you. Being sick or getting hurt here, you will be taken care of/

Environment: A-
New Zealand is very clean, has tons of rubbish and recycling bins. Seems like keeping hiking trails and the mountains here in good condition is important to the government. There was just an oil spill on the other side of the mountain that just goes to show that accidents will happen anywhere especially when dealing with fossil fuels.

Girls:D
I'm sure there are beautiful girls here. I just have only seen about 10 in five months and they were probably tourists. If you come here to fall in love, I wouldn't hold my breath. Not a NZ strong point and let's leave it at that.

Overall quality of life: B+
Raising a family here would be great. Growing up here would be amazing but living here as a teenager until the point you want to settle down wouldn't be ideal to me. That is why tons of Kiwi's go to Australia for work and to live a bit faster pace life. You could do worse that have to spend the rest of your days in this beautiful place, I just find it too similar to life in Canada and Canada holds a special place in my heart.

Final grade: B



If you came here with more than ten thousand dollars for about two months, you would certainly have a different perspective than I do. However, I'm just a normal guy doing normal things in different countries and this is how I saw NZ. I'm glad I came here and got to experience it. I am also glad to be leaving to a hopefully more exciting lifestyle and getting back into teaching. I can't help comparing NZ to Canada and the edge just goes to Canada. Thanks for having me New Zealand!



"Move to a new country and you quickly see that visiting a place as a tourist, and actually moving there for good, are two very different things."

Tahir Shah


Monday, October 14, 2013

Do we choose to be afraid?



The mountain has been closed most days lately so I have had an abundance of time on my hands. On Sunday, I watched the entire season on An Idiot Abroad: Bucket list. Basically, Ricky Gervais gets one of his friends to travel around the world, completing other people's bucket lists. Some of the things he does are pretty spectacular like diving with sharks and visiting tribes in the jungle. Some events he refuses like bungee jumping while completing more dangerous looking tasks like standing on the wing on an airplane while it does tricks thousands of feet from above.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEByl5TU3As


In one episode, he goes to Russia to do the Trans-Siberian Railway. Along the way, he stops off to 'relax' by digging his own grave, getting a plastic sheet wrapped around him, putting a tube in his mouth while he is buried alive. Apparently this is a thing. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rceKHTTGaI
http://www.thisis50.com/profiles/blogs/wth-group-in-russia-burying?xg_source=activity

 When he wants to get out, he blows on the tube 3 times consecutively and people dig him out. This idea terrifies me. Like anyone, I try to imagine how I would react if I was in that situation. I understand that it is good for you to live outside of your comfort zone. I understand that fear only holds you back and in most situations you aren't in any real danger. While I was thinking about how I would get out of getting buried alive, I thought of another question: Are we only scared of things because they use to scare us and we are just so use to living with a certain fear that we just accept it? What if we just decided not to be scared anymore? I'm somewhat claustrophobic, possibly from being locked in a trunk when I was a kid.

But that was like twenty years ago. Do I really want to be afraid or miss out on experiences because I was scared once twenty years ago? Do we act a certain way only because we acted like that in the past? I can only assume that these fears will just get progressively worse as time goes by.
I don't know the answers to anything really but I'm just curious to find out what would happen if I just 'decided' I wasn't scared to go talk to that beautiful girl eating my favorite type of bagel? What if jumping out on an airplane strapped to a parachute was exhilarating and not terrifying? Is being afraid merely just an option that I can chose not to control my life? Or is it just part of being human? Maybe doing things we are afraid of and conquering those moments are the times that we are actually really living.

















"Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation."

"Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it."




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Drinking and driving



Canada and New Zealand are very similar in many different ways. They are both extraordinarily beautiful countries, polite and helpful people, each are a part of the monarchy, both countries have great reputations and are respected around the world. Obviously there are differences between the two such as some of the vocabulary kiwi's use, they drive on the other side of the road, don't find it necessary to wear shoes and other small intricacies. There is one difference that has stood out since the first day I got to New Zealand and it is somewhat controversial.


Let's say it is Saturday night and you are going out downtown with a group of your friends. You've eaten dinner, showered, dressed up for a big night out and start drinking. Maybe play some beer pong or flip cup, listen to some music and be glad you aren't at work. In Canada, you might call a cab or a sober driver would drive, you down your last drink, have a loud chat with the cab driver/your friend and get dropped off at your destination. Closing time is 2 am so maybe you get home around 3 and probably had a great night.

In New Zealand, the night would progress pretty close to the night in Canada. In Canada, we might pre-drink to hockey, they pre-drink to rugby. They also have a rule with your friends that if you spill a drink on the table you suck it up with your mouth. Table suck. If you spill it on the floor, well that's a floor suck. Savages. Then it is time to get into the car. While in Canada you would finish your drink because it is illegal to have open alcohol in a vehicle, in New Zealand all of your friends could be drinking as well. Which I view as a positive because it isn't hurting anyone and makes the trip more fun. But, New Zealand takes it to another level. Not only can the driver's friends be drinking, the driver as well can have a beer or two as long as he or she isn't over the legal limit. This would be unheard of in Canada. Cab drivers will make you pour out your drink before getting in. Here, you could give him one as a tip.


So instead of grabbing a coffee from Tim Horton's before a long trip, you can crack open a Heineken, take a drink in front of a police car, get pulled over and not get in trouble. On the one hand, it isn't that different from being allowed to consume a few drinks before driving as long as you aren't over a certain limit. On the other hand, it might encourage someone to drink while driving who eventually becomes impaired and gets into an accident. Really not sure how this is still a law, many people here aren't aware that it is in fact legal and it isn't publicized that much. The best policy to avoid confusion would just to have a zero drinking and driving policy. Simple and to the point. But maybe I'm wrong. I looked at stats to see if there was a major difference between drinking and driving stats between the two countries but the sheer number of Canadian to New Zealander's is so big that it is hard to compare. This is what I found:

Assistant Commissioner Road Policing Dave Cliff highlighted Ministry of Transport figures that showed drinking and driving killed 1463 people and injured 24,789 others in road crashes between 2000 and 2011.



Police estimate that each day in New Zealand, approximately 5,923 compulsory breath tests and 2,743 mobile breath tests are undertaken and 100 people are charged with drink driving (New Zealand Police, 2010) - See more at: http://www.alcohol.org.nz/research-resources/nz-statistics/road-traffic-crashes-and-deaths#.dpuf

In 2008, driver alcohol/drugs was a contributing factor in 103 fatal crashes, 441 serious injury crashes and 1156 minor crashes.
These crashes resulted in 119 deaths, 582 serious injuries and 1726 minor injuries.
- See more at: http://www.alcohol.org.nz/research-resources/nz-statistics/road-traffic-crashes-and-deaths#.dpuf

Figures show that during the past two years a total of 9703 teenagers were found guilty of drink driving in New Zealand. Fifteen teens have been convicted at least six times in that period

In 2010, it was estimated that 2,541 individuals were killed in motor vehicle crashes in Canada. MADD Canada estimates that at a minimum 1,082 of these fatalities were impairment-related.

http://madd.ca/madd2/en/impaired_driving/impaired_driving_statistics.html



To sum up, don't drink and drive. It's fairly simple. And to add the Thailand perspective, they do have road blocks set up to stop drinking and driving. However, in my town, 95% of the time when I would drive through one of those stops, they would see that I was white, couldn't speak English so they would just smile and let me through. Probably not the best way to enforce the law.






A designated driver helps you party another day.






Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Life on an active volcano


Mt. Ruapehu is one of only a handful of active volcanoes that have a ski field built upon it. All around the mountain there are signs warning of possible eruptions and telling you to go to higher ground. I learned that a lahar is a volcanic mud flow and will usually follow one of three paths on the mountain. Unless there is a complete eruption, then were in trouble. Death trouble. A big bonus of working on a volcano is that you can hike to the summit in just under an hour from one of the T-bars. Then you ride down. People also come here in the summer and walk up the trail. Here are some pictures from the crater:



The coolest job on the mountain is by far ski patrol. They are the best skiers, can save your life and can basically do anything. Next time I have a life problem I'm just going to call them up and they will sort me out. Somewhere down the line is being a lifty. We essentially help people get on and off lifts, make sure ramps are all good and help customers with anything they might need. I wouldn't say it is a hard job. It can be boring standing at a lift all day telling customer's the same thing a hundred times but if the weather is nice, the day can fly by. The best thing about being a lifty is riding on your days off and riding when you get breaks at work. Going for a one hour snowboard on your lunch break makes everything else worth it. Random mountain closed days due to poor visibility, no snow or high winds are also a welcome surprise. Living in a National Park does limit the amount of fun things you can do if the mountain is closed so there is definitely a pretty massive drinking culture. Not uncommon for people to start drinking beers shortly after breakfast.


Other jobs on the mountain are ticket checking, rentals, food and beverage, road crew, drivers, snow makers, trail groomers, customer service, maintenance and HR people.The drama level has been pretty low this year but so has the snow. Apparently it is one of the worst seasons for snow in the last twenty years. In the last 18 days, I think I've worked one full day. On the plus side, you get paid a minimum set of hours so that at least covers my rent. And the place I'm staying at I get free hot chocolate and that is priceless really. A trend I've noticed is people get addicted to the snow. After this they either go to Japan, America, Europe or Canada to get their fix. I can see how it can become addicting. The people are laid back, you get to travel and ride whenever you get the chance. Downsides are lack of pay and limited career mobility.


One of the other lifties here made a video with his GoPro that does a much better job of showing what my life is like here.Thanks for reading and will have more posts coming up in the next few weeks because I will actually be travelling instead of working like a commoner.Very excited. Enjoy your day!



"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant."






Thursday, September 19, 2013

What's the worst that could happen?





Sometimes it's hard to keep our priorities straight. Small things become big things and we tend to lose sight of the most important things. Examples are endless. Let's take a look back at the classic movie Home Alone. Christmas is right around the corner, the house is filled with people and holiday cheer. The family is in a rush to catch a flight, one thing leads to another, and BAM they forget Macaulay Culkin. They lost track of what was important (their child) but were sure they had all of their bags, the house was prepared and other arrangements were made for their trip. I think we lose track of what is important and end up ruining what we value most. 

Let's take a real life example. The mountain I work at has random drug and alcohol testing. If they think you are drunk, they can breathalyze you and they do random drug testing for marijuana and other things. So really, the only way you would essentially get fired is for smoking weed or going to work drunk. You would think being gainfully employed and making money would be near the top of peoples priorities and would take a break from smoking just in case they get caught and lose their job. Think this stops people? Of course not. A guy who worked here still smoked everyday, had no money, no flight out of New Zealand but wanted to keep travelling. What would stop him from doing that? Losing his job. Did it stop him? No. Randomly got drug tested and got fired. I guess I just don't get how getting high can be a higher priority than moving forward with your life.


Another real life example that baffles me is the grandson of the man who created Red Bull never had to worry about money the rest of his life. He is a billionaire and can essentially use the world as his playground. What's the worst that could happen and ruin everything? The list is small. Dying and going to jail are the only real things that could ruin his life. What happened? Ran over a police officer in his Ferrari, possibly while drunk, and the police followed the blood trail to his mansion. That is losing track of what is important and not thinking about the future.



The point I am trying to make is I think that it is important for us to re-evaluate what the most important things in our lives are and make a list of things that could ruin it. Then avoid doing those things. Simple. For example, say you are about to go on a one-way flight to South America with someone you hope to marry. It is imperative you don't mess this up. The only ways you could really ruin this trip is by a) losing your passport b) missing your flight c) cheating on this person, them finding out and breaking up with you. So after thinking this through, you make sure your passport is in a safe place, you set three alarms and you don't cheat on them, ever. Crisis averted. What I hope you take out of this is to think about what is important to you, list the ways you can lose what you value most then avoid doing those things. That is all. Thanks for listening.

two-kids-under-a-banana-leaf-in-the-rain-indonesia


Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnU9pBclC5M


http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2KxC1c/:9TZ$ut5.:aOThIdOg/media-cache-ak3.pinimg.com/736x/51/92/7a/51927adf0874a6047200d650f2aacb3e.jpg/