Project 52: Home, your heart…and where you are…

In case you all think I have a jet-set lifestyle, may I correct your assumption. A week in New York – for work – followed by a fortnight in South Africa – for family – can seriously mess with your melatonin levels, and your mindset. Jets, notwithstanding.

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Image: © Chiromancer 2018

Both trips were welcome, but having spent exactly one night at home with The Belgian, swapping suitcases and clean underwear to hop on the overnight from Brussels to Cape Town via Dubai was somewhat dislocating. Even the cat was upset!

Which got me thinking. At the ripe old age of 52, being asked where I am from, or where I live is more complex to answer than you might think.  I can legitimately claim ancestry from at least 3 places (hence the triple passports) but I also find myself living somewhere I did not choose, with someone who I most definitely did.

So where is home for me? Heading back to the Mother City was a revelation, and yet I felt apprehensive.  Not to see my family  – I love them and we come together far too infrequently – I felt nervous because I wondered if I still belonged to a place I had left decades ago. Would I fit it? Would I feel comfortable in a city, a country, a continent that had changed so radically? Was it home?  Or just homesickness?

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Image: © Chiromancer 2018

It might have been both. Sometimes your soul itches…Driving through landscape that captures the light as much as it captures your breath, I felt somehow whole. As the desert flowers shared their beauty, my soul stretched. When I saw the ocean…I wanted to cry with the loveliness of it all.  In that moment…I realised that family, fynbos and familiar landscapes all reminded me of who I really am.  And perhaps of where I truly belong. In my heart, in my soul.  Here. My heart.

But here I am instead. Northern Hemisphere. And according to people who know, the most boring country in Europe. Well, it is rather flat. Geographically speaking. Emotionally speaking. Sometimes your soul contracts…

This week’s lesson is about expanding your universe. That only happens if you choose to ignore your emotional geography and go exploring anyway.

 

 

Project 52: Curiosity, Korean face-packs and the right question…

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Image: © Chiromancer 2018

Last week, I travelled to New York on business.  Lately I’ve been there more often thanks to a super client who is based in the centre of Manhattan.  I get to stay local, which means I can walk to their offices. A rare treat given the miles I usually do for work.

You’d think that my good intentions would go out of the window since I was working and living in a hotel, but I decided that my philosophy for week 1 of Project 52 was…to be curious.  Open about trying things differently. A bit zen about which side of the road to cross. Which is why on Tuesday, I found myself in a fabulous Japanese place off 54thStreet.

Now I’m no stranger to Japanese cuisine. The Belgian makes his own sushi at home, and my very favourite restaurant in Bruges is Japanese.   I could tell this was the real deal since I was the only white girl sipping plum wine at the bar!  I soaked up the atmosphere while snacking on sashimi. Delicious, and all because I felt curious enough to take a walk after work.

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Image: © Chiromancer 2018

The Asian theme continued on Wednesday and Thursday.  One of my rare pleasures when travelling on business is putting on my pajamas and watching trash TV.  This is not because I am curious about the lives of Real Cows of Connecticut, but simply because it is a chance to order room service and switch my monkey mind off for an evening.

To add to the ambiance I decided to try a Korean face-pack. That was because I’d read about them in my in-flight magazine and was curious to see if soaking my skin would actually help with the jet-lag. Cue incomprehensible instructions and hilarious Nonglish (English, but not English) translations on the packaging. Which way up is this thing supposed to go? It felt really good, despite the fact that I looked like a serial killer with a serious moisturiser habit.

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Image: © Chiromancer 2018

Friday finished with a familiar cab ride to the airport, but the wrong terminal. Curious to see how I would get home, I asked the assistant for help.  No problem, he said, there is a shuttle bus that goes between the domestic and international terminals. You can drop your bags here as security is much speedier than the main international terminal at JFK. It really is. It took me 10 minutes to get through US Border control instead of the usual 45. Bonus!

Of course, all this has got me thinking. Sometimes being curious is as much about asking the right questions as it is about taking the road less travelled.  Face-packs not included.

What did you discover this week?

Project 52 is my personal journey of discovery. You can find out more here, and if you’d like to join in, please post on the blog.

Age is just a number…

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Illustration © Vladvm – Dreamstime.com

This weekend marked my 52nd year on Planet Earth.  Which probably makes me old school to anyone born in the Snapchat era, but which doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Gravity induced frown lines and fuzzy felt jawline? Now that’s pesky.  The opinions of selfie-obsessed snot-noses? Not so much. One of the perks of maturing is that some things just aren’t worthy of your worry. Which got me thinking…

52 years. 52 weeks in one year.  If age is just a number, then I’d like this to be my lucky one. Instead of waiting till 2019 to craft a New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided to make this birthday a year of revolution. In short, I’m beginning my Autumn by turning over more than a few leaves. 52 to be exact!

I’ve decided that each week from now until September 2019, I’m going to pick something positive that I do consistently for the week, and then blog about it. Some things may stick, others may flop. I won’t know until I try, but I’m curious to see if I’ll be the same person this time next year.  I’ll be sharing my adventures and experiments here under the guise of Project 52.  You can join me if you like…