A Travellerspoint blog

Arrived in Macau!

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Just a quick blog to let you all know that I have arrived safe and sound in Macau!

35 hours (including layovers) of uneventful travel (thankfully), I have arrived in the land of casinos, hot weather, and tall buildings. I was lucky enough to meet up with a couple other teachers that were on my flight so the layovers were a little more manageable with people to talk to!

The administrators picked me up from the airport in school decked out vehicles (pretty cool!) and drove me to my apartment. That evening myself and 6 other teachers went out for Indian food. It was so good and the company was great as well! Maybe it was because I was used to unidentifiable plane food that included "aviation radishes" and a mixed plane veggie breakfast, but the Indian food was so great!

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Todays feats have included unpacking and grocery shopping. Grocery shopping has been an adventure all in its own! Trying to figure out what all this new food could be is quite hilarious. All though chicken feet is readily available, I opted for the microwave popcorn and pasta today!

Work starts up officially on Monday, until then it will be just getting settled. I haven't ventured more then a couple blocks from my apartment yet as getting lost is a very real possibility right now! Im excited to learn more about what Macau has to offer and will keep you posted when I venture a little farther in the next few days!

Interesting Facts I Learned on Day 1

  • People carry water bottles around to wash their dog pee off the grass and trees
  • Babies poop directly onto the streets (move their onesy to the side and let them do their business)
  • The only thing taller then me is the buildings

Hugs to you all!

Posted by kaitlynmitchell 03:06 Archived in Macau Comments (1)

This Heart of Mine was Made to Travel the World!

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" I was on a train on a rainy day. The train was slowing down to pull into a station. For some reason I became intent on watching the raindrops on the window. Two separate drops, pushed by the wind, merged into one for a moment and then divided again- each carrying with it a part of the other. Simply by the momentary touching, neither was what it had been before. And as each one went on to touch other raindrops; it shared not only itself, but what it had gleaned from the other. I realized then that we never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. Our state of being matters to those around us, so we need to become conscious of what we unintentionally share so we can learn to share with intention'.

I sit here briefly for a moment, taking a break from all the last minute packing to write a quick blog prior to taking off to Macau on Monday. I've had a chance to reflect upon my summer and I began to realize just how lucky I am to have so many caring and thoughtful people in my life that span across the world. Over this past month, I have had visits, phone calls, and packages from all across Canada and even Australia. People flying from Toronto for a few days of visiting, others driving 5+ hours just for the evening or weekend, and packages sent from Australia and camp filled with a lots of love. On top of that, I've had many great dinners with neighbours and family celebrating upcoming adventures....for all of you people, I am grateful!

The next adventure of life is just around the corner and I couldn't be more excited! Im sure it will be filled with challenges but challenges push you to grow. The administration and teachers from the school that I will be working at in Macao have been so welcoming, helpful, and overall amazing thus far in the process...Im excited to spend the school year with them!

I hope that you all will stay in touch with me over the next year or two! I'm very interested in staying up to date with all of your lives and will miss you all dearly. Thanks again for everyones support!

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone".

Huge Hugs
Kaitlyn

Posted by kaitlynmitchell 12:06 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Superhero for a Day!

Flyboarding on Whitefish Lake

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I am on the crazy countdown to my departure to Macau, China where I will be teaching elementary PE for potentially 2 years. This summer has been about spending as much time in the outdoors with friends and family as possible and truly living in each moment. I can honestly say that this has been one fantastic July that will make me miss North America lots! One thing that I wanted to cross off the bucket list during my last week was trying flyboarding. Its a sport that I didn't even know existed until this summer but I knew I had to do it! So off my parents and I went to Whitefish for an adventure.

I began the lesson a little nervous but it didn't take long for the adrenaline to kick in and the fun to begin! You are hooked up on a wakeboard type board with jets on the bottom. There is then a hose that is attached to the board and also to a sea-doo. When the instructor hits the throttle the water shoots up through the hose and out through the jets on your board and up in the air you go. It was so much fun! It was unlike anything I had ever tried before.

Part way through the lesson we started even trying out tricks. 360's and such. I did take a handful of wipe outs during the lesson but they were worth the pain associated with a 15 foot bellyflop! The flyboard probably goes to about 20 feet in the air...such a cool view from up above.

All in all it was an amazing day to remember! I can't wait to try again next year!

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Posted by kaitlynmitchell 20:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Life Lessons Learnt from Travelling

Reflecting on my 2 1/2 months of travel!

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Coming up on 2 weeks from which I returned from my travelling adventure. It has taken some adjustment to get use to the "real world" but I have had a chance to reflect upon my trip. Here are the top 10 things that I have learned from travelling abroad.

Everyone everywhere essentially wants the same things in life

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Everyone just wants validation, love, security, enjoyment and hopes for a better future. The way they verbalise this and work towards it is where things branch off, but we all have the same basic desires. You can relate to everyone in the world if you look past the superficial things that separate you.

The unknown isn't as scary as you'd think

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Travelling is so full of unknowns and it really started to grow on me! At first it was slightly unnerving to not know what bus to take, what could be lurking in the grass, or what meat you were ACTUALLY getting with your meal, but it is the unknown that keeps life exciting! Never once did I feel in danger while travelling but rather felt more alive then I have in a long time!

You're never to old to play

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I have been saying this for a long time but you are really never too old to play! Play was universal in all countries that I travelled to. Whether it was the "old" vietnamese ladies learning hip hop in the streets of Hanoi or the Fijian men having a good game of Rugby...play surrounds us and unifies us as people. It is a language we all speak.

Becoming "unplugged" is essential to clear our heads and prioritize

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When I am at home I seemed to rely so much on technology. Carrying my cell phone at all times, checking my emails 10 times a day, and watching t.v in the evenings. I realized travelling that I really don't miss it when its gone. It takes up so much of my time when I could be making memories, out exploring, or doing something productive. Technology does make our lives easier (and Im the first to admit I love the internet) but its not essential to our survival!

The importance of taking the time to get to know people

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I met so many interesting and friendly people on my travels and it reinforced the old saying of "don't judge a book by its cover". Take the time to ask questions to people and get to know more about them then just whats on the surface. From our good friend "Hue" that we met on the vietnamese sleeper train to the friendly Fijian pilot that gave me lots of good travel tips, people have been nothing short of friendly on my trip.

You don't know what you've got till its gone

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WATER!! Never take fresh clean water for granted! I realized how lucky Canadians are by being able to turn on the tap and have fresh water available. In Vietnam and Thailand you had to purchase bottled water for everything and in Fiji you drank bottled or rain water. Water is the simple example but when travelling to 3rd world countries you begin to realize how lucky you truly are! I am extremely thankful for my great family, my freedom, and for the ability to travel.

Getting lost is "okay"

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I got lost so many times on my travels that I lost track. I would be walking the streets of Thailand and get lost so many times...they do say its more about the journey then the destinations though. I have learned to take the "detour" in stride and usually it leads to sights or sounds that I wouldn't have normally seen if I hadn't taken the wrong turn. Getting lost is really okay!!

Relationships are crucial

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Building positive relationships with people makes travelling a lot easier! If you can learn to joke with the vendor who is trying to rip you off rather then yelling at them they respond so much more positively! Between the muffins being made for us from the Thai hostel lady, the free drinks and cookbook from the south african who worked in vietnam, to the wonderful Australian lady who helped me find my way around the city...I hope one day to be able to repay all the nice gestures from these great people!

The most important lessons in life cannot be taught but rather have to be experienced

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I have always said that I have learned more by travelling then I have ever learned in school and university. Experiential learning is very powerful. Its something you don't easily forget. I have learned many life lessons that will stick with me forever!

The world is beautiful

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I travelled to 4 different countries (with layovers in 3 more and 15 flights) and every place that I saw was absolutely breathtaking. The scenery, people, culture, and landscapes were all something that could have been taken out of a national geographic magazine. Could I pick a favourite country that I visited? Absolutely not! Each one was incredible in its own way! The world is truly an amazing and beautiful place.

As I sign off from this blog, I challenge you (everyone reading this...even people I don't know!) to post a comment to this post on what YOU have learned from travelling. Everyone experiences different things from travelling and I would love to know what you believe travelling has taught you.

Until the next adventure
-Kaitlyn

Posted by kaitlynmitchell 14:20 Archived in USA Comments (8)

Officially Infected by the Travel Bug!

Back home in Canada!

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I sit alone at dusk at a remote bus stop along the Fijian coast line. The sun is setting beyond the horizon and the surroundings are so quite that you can hear the waves crashing from nearly a kilometer away. All of a sudden I hear this high pitch screetch that makes the hairs on the back of neck stick straight up! Then out of the blue this man comes emerging from the thick bush covered head to toe dripping in blood. My eyes slowly take a look at his hand which is gripping a massive machete. At this point I am sweating bullets and wondering if I can outrun this crazy bush man. My eyes then wonder to his head and that is when the pieces come together. He has a giant wild pig on the back of his neck! Dinner for the evening! Two dogs trail behind him covered in blood as well looking quite proud of their fresh kill. This is something I could only imagine in a movie...why didnt I have my camera handy!! Well I am sure glad the squeal came from the pig!!

Spent the last 4 days of my 2 1/2 month adventure soaking up the Fiji beaches and oceans along the coral coast. The Fijian people were some of the nicest people I encountered on all my travels. All of them were so very friendly...always offering up their email or phone number in case you needed help with something. The 4 days past quickly with not much happening besides a lot of lying in beach hammocks and kayaking along the coast line. A great way to wind the trip down.

During these 4 last lazy days in Fiji I really had a chance to reflect upon my travels over the past few months and realize just how lucky I have been to experience the people, culture and adventures of Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, and Fiji. Each place that I have travelled to has been so incredibly unique in its own ways and I have learned a great deal from each country I have visited and also learned a lot from each person I have encountered (expect another blog on what I've learned from travelling!). These are learning experiences that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I was hoping that doing a bit of travelling after university would get the "travel bug" out of my system when in fact in has just embedded itself even further into me! Although I love Canada, I cannot wait until I get to see somewhere new and experience something different!

The real world is starting to slowly sink back in but at the moment so much is foreign! What is this thing called a cell phone and a television? Why do Canadians drive on the right hand side of the road? You mean I can have a hot shower when I feel like it? The things we dont even think about!

I hope this travel blog is not coming to an end but rather has just begun what will turn in to many adventures to come in life!

Will write another blog about the things I have learned soon!
Cheers!

Posted by kaitlynmitchell 20:11 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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