Runaways

 

It is so exciting to be here on this boat. Who would’ve thought that I would end up helping Jim run away! After all the troubles I’ve caused him I guess this is the least I could do. But what an opportunity to go down the Mississipi river. I’ve always wanted to but I would have never imagined that it would be under these circumstances. I wish this trip will never end! Although I am helping Jim and Huck, I do want to stay on this boat forever, just flowing with the river. I want to become one with the river. The river is me and I am the river. It’s amazing how nature works, how the river is flowing, how it goes from night to day and day to night. You don’t think about these things on land; there is always more to do on land than on the river. When you don’t have those things to worry about you start seeing all these things. Like how bright the moon glows at night, how beautiful the stars are as you’re moving along the river. It’s breathtaking. I’m glad I decided to tag along with Huck and Jim.

Advertisements

Peer review #2

For this week’s peer review I’m reviewing Josh’s blog Travelling down the Mississippi River. 

Hi Josh,

Firstly, I love the theme of your blog, the black and red really do compliment each other. I love your post about travelling with the runaways, it really does put you in a beautiful mindset of travelling down the Mississippi river. How wonderful and exciting would it be to help two runaways along the river and as you said if such an opportunity arrives you just have to take it. I’m glad that you got the opportunity to write about this journey and hope that one day both of us get to see the Mississippi river in person.
Keep up the good work and I would love to read more of your writing.

Regards,
Prathu

Clarity

“I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. Not having the clear mind unobstructed by opinions and criticisms. My actions pure and unmonitored. Every action I have today, I question myself. Is it me who is making these decisions? Are these my actions that I execute? Do I even know myself anymore?

I try to remember; a time when my actions weren’t doctored by a mind that was molded by society and the people that surround me. Do I even recognize my actions anymore? Have I lost myself trying to please others? Everything seems such a blur, my actions are led by interior motives and I am left seeking a purpose. A purpose other than to please people.

The fault in our millennials

You hear the term ‘millennials’ a lot these days. This generally refers to the people born roughly between 1982 till the early 2000s. This is the generation Y that grew up with the internet. When I was growing up, the internet was just starting to become big. I remember starting with a dial up then being upgraded to ADSL and then finally getting a wireless modem. I used to own a phone that didn’t even have WiFi; how crazy is that? Now that you look at the next generation, they can barely fathom not having a phone without WiFi or any access to the internet. Raise your hands if you had the Nokia brick phone and were super excited you could play the snakes all night long. Yepp, it was wild.

But what is the biggest flaw in being a part of this generation? These are my personal opinions and some people may agree or disagree to this, it is completely fine. As a part of this generation, I feel like the people who get the short end of the bargain are the ‘average’ people. And by saying ‘average’ people, I don’t intend to offend anyone, there is nothing wrong in being ‘average’; let me define the term ‘average’ before elaborating further. The word average to me means a mid-point. Something that is in the middle of everything, it doesn’t exceed anything neither does it deceed anything. It’s pretty basic. And with the term ‘average person’ I’m referring to the people who aren’t overly successful or overly frowned upon. In the age of the internet, anything can push you towards either end of the spectrum and you are only recognised if you are a part of either of the spectrum.

I grew up reading Anne Frank’s diary, by the time that I could make sense of anything I was on facebook and getting to know about Mark Zuckerberg and I was this very average girl, who wasn’t really good at anything. I was okay at a lot of things but never really great at anything. I have always been ambitious but ambitions alone doesn’t get you anywhere, you need some talent to take you to places. Throughout school grade 10, I always thought I was good at English, and I was so proud of it and guess what, I’m still good at English, but just as much a person whose 1st language is English. Let’s just say that I’m not Shakespeare or anything. I’m just an average millennial. I’ve been given examples of great people but I don’t think I’ll ever be great at anything, I’ve been told I have potential but I don’t think I’ll reach my full potential. Not because I think I’m incapable of anything but because there are so many benchmarks before I’ve even tried that it’s easier not to try.  It’s like expecting someone to discover gravity again, or to write Romeo and Juliet. It’ll always be compared to the benchmark that is already there. The stakes are too high and if you don’t make it you make a fool of yourself.

You need a degree, you need a job, you need a house, you need a reputation, you need a social life. You just need too much and for the average person like me, it’s too hard.

Nothing prettier than a full earth sky

 

Every time I turn around and see you, it gets more and more grey. Some say that change is good but I can’t get used to this. Your beautiful shades of green and blue keep getting duller and duller. I don’t know what is happening to you, my love. Are you trying to be more like me? Although I do like my appearance, I don’t think it suits you. You are my glowing goddess of green. Every shade more beautiful than other. I don’t know why you’re changing and I can’t do anything to stop it. All I can do is just stare at you from afar. Am I wrong to want to keep you from changing? Our life long relationship of admiration; don’t know if I’m also changing with you but I don’t see it.  I see all of these fleas running about you, having their own way. Are they hurting you? They’ve tried to come to me but I’m trying to keep them away. I’m scared. I’m scared of what they’ve done to you but I’m more scared of what they might do to me.

 

The UK Visa – Traveling around Europe on Peanuts

Visas are a pain. Anyone who has ever had to apply for a visa knows the struggle. But it is more of a struggle when you have a Nepalese passport. I love the Nepalese passport, let’s be clear. It is one of the prettiest passports there is; one Norwegian air hostess even stopped me and told me about it. But when applying to travel to Europe, a Nepalese passport is not the best.

I knew all about it and I knew it was going to be super hard so I started planning in January. I researched all about the UK tourist visa and the Schengen Visa and I was R-E-A-D-Y! YES!

Alas! Life is not as easy as it seems. I was flying to the UK from Sydney and returning to Sydney from UK because that is where my boyfriend’s mum was. So in order to travel to Europe on my beloved Nepalese passport, I had to plan everything out beforehand. So that meant paid trips and accommodation and paid flights. And the flights aren’t cheap, my biggest dilemma was, do I pay extra and make the flight cancellable or pay less and keep more money in my bank account so that I can spend more when I travel. When you’re backpacking, of course, you’re going to pick the cheapest flights and the cheapest accommodations. We had most of everything booked and planned; I say most because I had no idea how much money I was going to have left by the end of the trip so I had some days empty so that I could bludge around and just travel around.

You can only apply for a UK visa 3 months ahead of the date of arrival. I started filling out my application in February – knowing all of this and also knowing that I need to be on top of all of it, I started filling it out. I was PREPARED! I booked my “interview” in for March, which was more of a documents handover than an interview. I booked it just on that brink of 3 months. So that I would have all the time in the world to prepare myself for any setbacks.

I submitted my payslips, my paid for tickets from Sydney and back to Sydney from London and let’s get this straight they were not cheap! When I got to VFS, that is how the UK processes their visas, the very kind lady told me that I cannot submit the application because I had started the application in February and I was planning on getting there in June and the gap was more than 3 months. I was furious – I tried explaining to the lady that I thought the day that I submitted the application would be when the 3 months would be counted for. She said that she can’t promise or advise me anything but if I really wanted to submit it, I could but it might get rejected on the sole reason that I started it earlier than 3 months. I decided to not take the risk and cancel that application and start another one. I mean can you believe it? I hadn’t even submitted my application and it was considered too early. TOO EARLY!

Almost two weeks later, I went back in again with a new application this time. Paid the $169 for the visa application and paid another $20 to get it delivered to my work. I was so excited. One visa down another one to go. I had already started researching about it and filling the application. They said that I need to call in a few days ahead and then book an “interview” in and then submit my application. Easy. I would be living my dreams sooner than I would know it. LOL!

Most of this whole planning is just a blurred rage because of all the anger and sadness and anxiety it caused me. It took 21 working days for me to get my passport back, that is roughly a month. I open the letter and the application had been rejected. Crushed and devastated are understatements. I could see all of my planning just going down the drain. My tickets, my accommodation bookings. What was even worse was the reasons that they gave me:

  1. My payslips didn’t show that I still held the job or I had approved leave to go away.
  2. They don’t think I have sufficient funds
  3. There was no evidence that my bf was willing to support me or if he even existed. Even though we had tickets flying together.
  4. They didn’t think I was returning, even though I had attached a return ticket and my enrollment into uni.

The UK embassy really does think highly of themselves. Why in the world would you think that I would rather be an illegal immigrant in your country than hold a valid visa and stay in Australia, a country which has better weather and better beaches than them! Nonetheless, I was devastated. Actually devastated is an understatement. I was crushed I had decided to drop the whole plan. There was no way that I could afford to spend another month for the visa and still have enough time for the Schengen visa. I mean 21 working days for a rejected visa. I could’ve just killed someone then. Then I found out that VFS does an express visa thing for an extra $300. I would get a decision in 5 days. So instead of sending my passport to Manilla, Philippines where the UK embassy is, they’ll send it to the UK consulate in Canberra and send my supporting documents to Manilla and it would be prioritised. What a scam! The even greater problem was that the rejection letter said that unless I had a dramatic change in my application it would still more than likely be rejected. So was I ready to sacrifice another $469 for a visa which was possibly going to get rejected? I mean I needed to take a chance.

The even greater problem was that the rejection letter said that unless I had a dramatic change in my application it would still more than likely be rejected. So was I ready to sacrifice another $469 for a visa which was possibly going to get rejected? I mean I needed to take a chance otherwise, all of my bookings and flight tickets would go down the dump. I didn’t even know if I could refund it at all.  I had my mind set on proving the jerks who rejected my visa wrong. So I gathered all the evidence I could. I got a letter from work saying that I had paid leave and that I would still have the job when I came back, I got my boyfriend to write a letter and get his mum to send us a letter and a photocopy of her passport and visa, I also got my bank statements, proving that I had enough money. If this wasn’t enough to prove them that I was coming back I don’t know what would. So I booked in another interview for the fourth time. $638 and 5 days later, I got my passport back and this time with a Visa. But, I wish that was the end of all my problems.