The Amazing Race Canada: Matt Edition

Tonite I’m on a bit of a high. I’m going to take a page out of a completely different book and spend a little time being a bit “braggy”. I’m not an egocentric person and I don’t brag about much, but right now, I am feeling pretty damn good about myself. So be prepared for a mild departure from my regular personality.

Tonite, a secret me and my friend Ken have been keeping under our hats for 7 months, was revealed. As you can see by the photo above, I participated in part of The Amazing Race Canada. The geocaching website I help run, Cache Up NB, was asked to build one half of the detour for this leg of the race. Me and Ken had several meetings with the shows producers and on May 19th and 20th of this year, we shot our part of the show. Unfortunately, none of the racers chose our task (which at the time burned us) but despite that, I’m feeling pretty damn amazing myself right now. And here’s why…

I started Cache Up NB. It was an idea that I conceived in my own head and executed what I needed to do to make it happen. That happened about four and a half years ago. Something that didn’t exist before that I created in my head, became real, and became something that has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of geocaching in New Brunswick. The involvement of CUNB with The Amazing Race Canada is the ultimate form of validation of what I have been working on these past four years. It’s pretty hard to say that CUNB is just another geocaching website or group when Canada’s highest rated TV program came to us and asked us to help them. We didn’t seek them out. They came to us. If that doesn’t tell people about what CUNB is about, and the kind of quality I have strived SO hard to show in our projects, then nothing ever will.

Judging by the amount of Facebook comments, retweets, emails, and other feedback, it seems the community agrees with my opinion.

For me, this experience is a definitive way of showing that when you do things the right way, good things happen. There have been times where people might have wondered why I chose to do things on CUNB a certain way or have chosen not to do certain things. It’s those kinds of decisions, and the specific “mission” and mandate I have stuck to over the last four years, that has made it successful. If CUNB was just another cookie cutter geocaching website, we would likely have never seen this kind of exposure. The lead producer was very clear on why he came to us and it’s our unique take on geocaching that seemed to impress him. The proof is in the pudding folks.

I don’t dive deep into something and do a half assed job. I am ridiculously anal about some of the things we do, but it’s because of how I steer the ship that Cache Up NB has become a name that people respect and know can accomplish great things. What aired on TV tonite is proof of that.

No, I didn’t get to where I am now with CUNB on my own. My good friend Ken has been there from the beginning and has helped out more than anyone will ever know. Ken has been my partner in crime in all of my biggest projects and my biggest supporter on CUNB. He’s been so great to work with. Something people wouldn’t know is that the moment we found out we would be doing The Amazing Race, the first thing Ken said to me was that I would be the one giving out the clues. Yes, we didn’t have an awkward conversation about that. He deferred to me knowing that we are truly partners in the work we do, but that I’ve always been the one to steer the ship and to put us on course to the bigger things. I don’t take ownership of Cache Up NB very often as I have always felt that it is more than just me and that it is a sum of our community and our volunteers. But this is a case where I’m not ashamed to lay claim to the fact that Cache Up NB is something I started and something I continue to be the driving force behind.

So, for me, right now I am reveling in the success of my work. I’m feeling immensely proud of what I have been able to accomplish through my own actions, and through the actions of my friends. And for the next little while, I’m going to be on a little bit of a high. It will pass eventually but I wanted to record it here for myself so that I can remember later on how I felt in the moment.

And right now, this moment is f*cking awesome.

Categories: Geocaching, Rants, Television/Movies, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany + Jordan + Israel = A Memorable Trip

It has been a long time since I sat down and added a trip to my “adventures” list. Today, I’m taking some time to write down all of the biggest things I can remember from my trip this past November. Be prepared. This is going to be a long post but with lots of detail to share.

To make it a bit easier, I’ll break it out by country, and by destination. Here we go.

Pre-Trip Info

The original intention for this trip was for me to make my lifelong dream of seeing the pyramids in Giza for the first time. However, because of the civil unrest that was going on in Egypt at the time, our tour was cancelled because of safety concerns. We opted to make Jordan the larger part of our stay instead of Egypt. We would not be disappointed.

Frankfurt, Germany

Germany-20131108-100_2693This particular location was actually never on my list of places I wanted to go visit. In fact, truth be told, I didn’t have a lot of interest in seeing much of Europe at all as I am not really a history buff and I know a lot of people go see Europe for the history. Frankfurt ended up being a stop simply because it is a major transportation hub in Europe and our flights were connecting through it. Tamara made the suggestion that we stay a couple of days to see what it had to offer, then make our way to Jordan. Tamara was responsible for figuring out what to do while we were there and I think for the most part, she did a pretty decent job.

We arrived on a Friday morning and went directly from the airport to our hotel, dropped off our bags, then went for a walk. A long walk. We actually took a 2-3 hour walking tour of the downtown Frankfurt area. We saw a lot of the history of the city, some very cool churches, memorials, and an awesome bridge. But after having just been on a plane for something like 6-7 hours, we were pretty tired, and honestly, the walking tour just went WAY too fast. It was great to see a lot of things and have someone put it in context but because it went so fast we really never got a chance to enjoy it as much.

One funny story about the hotel room. I brought a transformer to change the voltage on my power bar and when I plugged it in, POW, the power went out. We managed to get someone to come up and flip it on and they gave us a special plug to use on our stuff. Never had the issue again.

We did however revisit one spot that was definitely both fascinating and sad at the same time. It was a memorial for a large amount of Jewish people who had been killed during the war. It was very creepy in some respects and very nice in others. I had never seen anything quite like it.

Once the tour ended, we rested up a bit and then went exploring some more. We checked out some local food spots, some shopping areas, and just generally explored the area quite nicely.

Germany-20131109-100_2853Saturday, I thought there was supposed to be a geocaching event going on in Frankfurt and I had brought a PILE of trackables from Moncton to drop at the event. We went to the other side of the city and did a little geocaching and discovered a really nice park. We saw a lot of wild swans and took a ton of wildlife pictures. We did not expect to encounter that in the middle of the city. Turns out I had made a mistake and the event was actually on Sunday. But, as luck would have it, the host of the event was actually there and I gave all of the travel bugs to her, and we headed back to our hotel.

Germany-20131110-100_3108Sunday morning, we ventured out on a tour bus to a place called Heidelberg. There was a really nice old castle there that Tamara had found which is why we did the tour. Despite it pouring rain, we saw the castle and a lot of cool things there. It would have been nice to spend more time at the actual castle itself, but it was a single day tour, and we kind of got the impression that the guy running the tour wanted us to see more of the city than the castle.

He took us into town, showed us a couple of nice spots, then sent us off to do our own things for an hour or so. We checked out a pretty cool bridge, this weird monkey statue, and a ton of really cool houses and other buildings. Tamara picked up a few small bottles of Absinthe which she then later drank sometime after Christmas. No, she didn’t see anything weird but it is apparently quite strong.

Germany-20131111-100_3339Monday was our day to catch our flight but it was in the evening so Tamara had found this large cemetery she wanted to visit. It was huge. I have never seen so many gravestones in my life. But this was not like any regular cemetery plot you’d see back home. All the stones were quite large and very impressive. Quite a sight to see. We finished up there, headed to the airport and caught our flight to Amman Jordan that evening.

Madaba, Jordan

We landed in Amman, Jordan which is the capital city around 2am. After getting through customs, obtaining our luggage, and finding our ride, we headed off to our hotel which was located in the nearby city of Madaba. Now, just the ride alone was an interesting experience. We got into a car with a man who had been sent by the hotel as per our arrangements when I reserved the room. He very quickly got us out of the airport area and took some side road on his way to Madaba. No street lights to be found anywhere and given that it was about 3am maybe, we couldn’t see anything, anywhere. We saw a couple of dead animals, broken down cars, a small fire or two, but other than that, it looked like a barren wasteland. We didn’t know quite what to expect.

Jordan-20131111-100_3465We got to the hotel and checked in and were quite surprised by the room. Small, three single beds, and not quite what we were used to but we really did just want to sleep. Our plan was to get up, see Madaba, and then make our way to the Dead Sea hotel reservation we had later that day.

When we woke up, we could now see outside and at first it looked ok. A lot paler than I had ever thought but we went and had breakfast, and then decided to go for a walk. I had brought my GPS and had a vague idea of where the visitor’s center was so we went on our way. Once we left the hotel however, we really started to see how dirty the place was. Garbage was all over the streets. There were dead cats, all over the place. We must have saw three or four of them while we were just walking around. While we walked to where we thought the center was, we both were a little concerned about our safety. We were foreigners in a foreign country and we didn’tJordan-20131112-DSCN2055 really know if Tamara should have her body covered up more than it was. The stuff I had read said she was fine but we really didn’t know judging by what we saw. It was kind of unsettling as we walked around and got some strange looks from the locals. When we finally did hit the visitors center, it was actually women working there who helped us to realize that there was no concern about it being safe, or Tamara having to cover up. Once we were pointed in the right direction, we were fine.

We did get to see some of the amazing mosaics for which Madaba and Jordan in general is known for. Talk about amazing to see. We did a little walk around town then came back to the hotel to check out, store our bags, arrange a drive, then went back out. We visited a church with an old mosaic floor which had been uncovered years ago. Pretty amazing stuff to see. We also watched a guy fill a Jordan-20131112-DSCN2102bottle with sand and draw artwork using coloured sand and glue to put our names in the sand with a nice sunset. Very cool to watch. We then had some food where I ate some sort of weird chicken dish with a white paste sauce that was not to my liking. I somehow managed to muddle through.

We took some more photos and then headed back to our hotel where our ride to the Dead Sea was waiting for us. Turns out we’d see a lot more before we got there.

Museum & Mt. Nebo

Our driver knew we were just seeing the sights so he made a stop or two on the way to the Dead Sea. He took us to some sort of Jordan museum where there were a lot of replicas of famous biblical things that were known about the area. We didn’t have to pay to get in and honestly, it was kind of tacky. It was nice to see that they had put this together, but it really was just a bunch of fake people set in some of these scenes from early times depicting earlier days of Jordan. Yes, neat to see, but very tacky.

Jordan-20131112-100_3566The cool part of the museum was a spot where we got to actually put in a few pieces of stone to a large mosaic that is being submitted to be the largest in the world. We put our names on a couple of stones, and glued them into place. Very cool.

The driver then continued on his way along the road towards the Dead Sea. Now, it was just desert on either side of this road and the filth and garbage that we saw in Madaba didn’t stop at the city boundary. We saw this everywhere which was very unfortunate. He made another stop for us at a place called Mount Nebo.

Jordan-20131112-100_3592This is apparently where Moses looked out into the desert and saw the promised land. We took some photos of the nice area, and I even cracked a joke about Moses using the pipes there to bring water to the locals. We didn’t stay too long but we did manage to see a pretty nice view of the valley from there.

The Dead Sea

We arrived at the Holiday Inn Dead Sea resort right around suppertime. We heard that the beach closed at sunset and Tamara really wanted to get into the water before that happened. So, we dropped our bags in our room, and went off to the beach to see what the big deal was about.

Jordan-20131112-100_3641The water was cold, but you could very clearly see on the surface of the water a sort of film or something. We knew the salt content was high but it was interesting to see that you can actually SEE it in a way. We walked out just a bit and before we knew it, the salt was lifting us up. It is not like anything else you will ever experience. As someone who has lived near the Atlantic Ocean for 75% of my life, I can tell you that floating in the water back home is nothing like this. You have NO control over NOT floating. In fact, at one point, I stood in the water, straight up, not able to touch the ground because the water just pushed me up. You could roll around without issue and would never sink. It was truly surreal to experience this. The sun went down and we went to the pool where we kicked back with a regular swim for awhile and then headed in. But not before we’d enjoy some nice dinner entertainment.

We opted to have dinner outside at one of the restaurants at the hotel. What we had seen after arriving there was that stray cats were actually the norm. We saw several of them while there and when we sat at our table, a few came over. As cat people, me and Tamara didn’t mind it. We did not however expect that after a few minutes there would be more. At some point, I think there was 5, 6, maybe 7 cats around the dining area. We smiled and just took it all in as part of the experience of being somewhere else. One of the staff told us that the cats are just part of the area and that they have tried to get rid of them but they just keep coming back.

Jordan-20131113-100_3679Now, the funny thing was that these cats are hungry. They are strays and are looking for any food you might have and they are not afraid to ask. We had a couple of them paw at us and meow but nothing serious. However, for a few select other people, the cats jumped on the chairs, the table, and even swatted a couple of the other guests. It was even more entertaining because the cats seem to sense which guests liked cats and which ones didn’t because they only went after the people who hated cats. Me and Tamara sat there and laughed as this one older couple near us got pretty mad and was yelling at the animals. The food was not anything spectacular but the entertainment was awesome.

We headed back to our room which was quite nice for a Holiday Inn. In fact, the entire resort was really amazing and quite high end for something I sort of expected to be on a lower scale. I’d definitely go back there.

Jordan-20131113-100_3750When we got up in the morning, we knew we would be leaving by noonish so Tamara wanted to get in another float plus a mud bath. We went down to the beach again and did a bit of bobbing in the water. We also took a walk on the mud where Tamara snagged a bit of mud and salt to bring back home. We finished it all up with Tamara getting covered by me from one end to the other in the famous Dead Sea mud. Didn’t feel any different than regular mud but it was pretty neat. We cleaned up, checked out, and then started on our ride towards Wadi Musa where we’d have our encounter with Petra.

The Drive To Wadi Musa

Jordan-20131113-100_3820Getting from the Dead Sea area to Wadi Musa and Petra was going to be about four hours by car. We knew the drive would be long but it was the only way to get there. The same driver who had driven us to the Dead Sea came back and picked us up to drive us to Petra. He was awesome. Plus, he took us to a few cool spots along the way.

Some of the more memorable spots along our journey was to a “cave” motel. There was this little shop along one of the small little villages we drove through that was actually a store, built into an old cave. Tamara and I checked it out. While she was looking at the jewelry, I wandered around the area a bit and found an actual motel that was inside of the cave. Stone beds, but still very neat to see.

We then were taken to a “castle” in the middle of the desert. I thought it might have been Karak but it was some other lesser known castle. We were greeted by a friendly guy who wanted to be our guide of the castle. We paid him and he took us around the castle showing us this very long and dark deep hole where they used to get water, places where the hung criminals, and all kinds of otherJordan-20131113-100_3863 cool stuff. My biggest problem with him was he didn’t seem to want to keep his hands off my wife. Everytime I turned around he was putting his arms around her, holding her, and it made me very uncomfortable. But, we got through it and made our way out of there.
We made several stops along the highway to take pictures of the desert and views. Quite amazing to see actually. So pale but so beautiful at the same time. Enroute, our driver made arrangements for us to get tickets to see Petra @ Night. When we finally pulled into our hotel, the stuck his hand out the window and two tickets were put in it and that was it. We were done our ride and would begin our adventures in Petra.

Petra

Jordan-20131113-100_3945Of all the places we saw in Jordan, Petra was my favorite. Tamara said that Wadi Rum was her favorite but for me, Petra was the absolute best part of the entire trip.

After we got checked into our room, we opted to go for a little walk. Across the street from the hotel, we found the entrance to Petra. There were a pile of little shops there with folks trying to sell you pretty much anything. The Indiana Jones Gift Shop was a notable spot.

We walked by one of the shops and a guy insisted we come in and dress us up. He proceeded to put one of the head wraps on me and Tamara and took our picture. It was a little tacky but still kind of neat.

Jordan-20131113-DSCN2357After waiting for a little while, we started to follow the crowd into Petra for the Petra at Night show. We walked, and walked, and walked, and walked some more through a long walkway and passageway lit by candles. I am sure it took at least 30-40 minutes to get there but when we did, wow.

It was pretty amazing to see the Treasury at night. We parked ourselves at a picnic table and waited for the “show” to begin.

It’s hard to remember exactly the order of how things went but I do remember a man playing a sort of flute instrument that seemed to go on FOREVER. I mean it was really nice to enjoy the local music but I am sure he played one song that lasted at least 30 minutes. After awhile I was getting bored and just wanted it to be over with. At some other point they had a man come out and tell us a few stories about the history of Petra and what we would see. Eventually, the music and lecture ended and we wandered around for awhile.

After that, we headed back to the hotel where we really did crash for the night. The next day would be quite busy.

We woke up bright and early, packed our small daytrip bags, grabbed the hiking poles, and headed off to see Petra. I fired up my GPS and wanted to track exactly where we went and how long it took us. According to the track, we hiked about 15.5K over 8 hours. Now keep in mind that a lot of that time was also sight seeing as well. If it was pure hiking, we would have covered a lot more territory.

Jordan-20131114-100_4044We started down the same path we had been down the night before but this time we could actually see things. It was a long path with cool stone caves on either side, and a “lane” for horses. We eventually came to a sort of turning point where we entered the “Siq”. This was basically a very long and narrow passageway between tall rocks that we had to follow until we would hit the start of Petra itself, known as the Treasury.

We walked and took pictures and admired a lot of things. The size of the Siq and the rocks around us were pretty breathtaking. We did see a few donkey’s and carriages carrying people but we kept on foot. We also spotted some little kids playing, and even trying to sell the tourists some little trinkets.

Eventually we came to the end of the Siq and the Treasury peaked out behind it. I got really excited as I knew we were getting there and just as I was bouncing, it all came into sight.

To see the Treasury in the day is quite something. There’s nothing quite like looking at a Jordan-20131114-DSCN2594structure like that that has been sitting there for more than 2000 years. I took a pile of photos and just soaked in as much as I could see. Me and Tamara walked around a little bit but eventually we worked our way past the Treasury to some of the other small tombs and made our way towards the main part of Petra.

There were a lot of people around and a lot of tourists and lot of people trying to sell you horse or camel rides. We said we would stick to being on foot until we couldn’t no more. We also checked out a few of the small little vendors who kept insisting that their prices were the best. “Only 2 dinar” we heard many, many times. (Dinar is the currency in Jordan).

Eventually we opted to climb the steps to the high place of sacrifice which is basically on top of the mountain. Tamara was going to take a donkey up as she didn’t think she could do the hike. She paid a local for a donkey and they started up the steps just behind me. Within 5 minutes of getting on the donkey, Tamara almost went head first onto the ground and almost slipped off the side of the animal. That was enough for her to say no thanks to the donkey and try the hike anyway.

11239200574_4f96852476_oThe hike up for me was hard, but not too bad. The hiking poles really helped and you just took your time. Before you knew it you were up high enough that local merchants on the mountain were trying to sell you stuff. Tamara was slower than I but she took her time and like a real champ, she made it all the way to the top.

Once there, we had a pretty amazing view of the entire area, including down where we had just come from. We headed on to the place of high sacrifice which was an area where many animals were sacrificed and their blood would drain off. Creepy to think about but very cool to see. Tamara made friends with a local woman there who was quite fascinated by Tamara. When we finally came down off the spot where the high place was, there was a sitting area. The woman showed Tamara her baby and they talked for a bit before we moved on.

11239216326_553b2e323b_oA point of interest here as well is that I managed to find two geocaches while in that particular area. Tamara’s new friend helped me find one and the other one was stuck in a rock wall overlooking the backend of Petra. Very cool.

We started down the back way and going down for me was easier than going up. Before we knew it we were looking at an old garden tomb and many other tombs on the ground. We came to a spot where we had to decide which direction to go but it wasn’t entirely clear. So for us, the GPS came in handy.

11239269973_9364f75a18_oThe track showed that we should go right and not left but there was no clear path as to where to go. So, we winged it. A little weirded out, I tried not to think about it and just kept following the GPS until it showed us getting closer to the track line we had already been on. Before we knew it, we could see down below where people were and then we spotted some familiar spots from where we had started. We made our way back to the road and took a pause.

Tamara was feeling a bit sore but I had a few more tombs I wanted to take some photos of. So, she sat and rested while I made my way over to a few more tombs. Again, Tamara made some new friends who insisted on getting their photos taken with her since she was the one who looked different to them. Kinda funny.

11239197896_c73a4f6b75_oAfter I got back, we worked our way back to the Treasury and made one more stop at the Theatre. This was the last thing I wanted to see while I was there. Took a few photos, then we started the trek back to the hotel, through the Treasury and the Siq.

By the time we got to the hotel, we had spent a whole 8 hours out and about hiking. We were dead tired but man, the things we had seen would never compare to anything else, ever.

Wadi Rum

When we got up the next morning, we had breakfast and made our way to Wadi Rum. Wadi Rum was something I had never heard of but one of the guys I work with had been to Jordan before and recommended it as something to do. It’s a protected part of the Jordanian desert and many people go out there to see the mountain areas and desert and camp out under the stars. This seemed like a very relaxing way to experience the desert so I signed us up for a night there.

We actually took a taxi from Petra to Wadi Rum which was quite a long drive. When we finally got there, we got on an open back “jeep” and set sail for the desert. Now this jeep was not a jeep but a pickup truck with a sort of half-canvas on top of it. Not great for coverage and not great for all terrain driving but is apparently the norm in that area. We were driven to a sort of shack which was our first stop. Tamara had some tea while I snapped some photos.

11312953933_0c0bcb6a04_oFrom that point forward, we went from point to point with our guide, Rakahn. He took us to a wicked sand dune which we climbed up and took some photos. He also brought us to a couple of places that had ancient writing on the rocks. At one point, we ended up at another dune where people were using a snowboard to “slide” down the side of the dune. It was pretty funny to watch. While we sat there and watched them try to go down the hill, our guide was trying to get his truck fixed as it had died.

Once the vehicle was mobile again, he took us exploring some more to a small canyon rock which was pretty cool. Eventually we ended up having lunch in the desert and then heading onward to our camp. Just before hitting camp, we stopped at this “cow” rock. Our guide showed off his climbing skills as he got up to the top and waved down to us. We took some photos, 11312825205_5f81cce08a_oand then went to the camp.

Turns out our camp was not just tents in the desert. We had a little hut with two beds where we stashed our stuff. We then had supper with our guide, his friend, and two other folks who were staying at the camp.

The other local, I want to say his name was Omar but I can’t recall for sure, was telling us stories of him and his dad hunting. Turns out they hunt with machine guns. He showed us a few pictures and it was pretty funny to see someone with a machine gun in their hand while trying to hunt for the Jordanian version of a deer. At one point, one of the other visitors said “Omar, you look like a terrorist”. My eyes jumped out of my head thinking that was something you just don’t say. But then sure enough, he laughed and said he did kind of look like a terrorist.

11312797395_da25dfb8a3_oThey finished the night off by going outside setting off some small fireworks on the ground and on the top of one of the rocks. Me and Tamara took a walk around one of the big hills and enjoyed the sunset in the desert. It was so quiet and so peaceful that it was weird not to hear much of anything. Add to that the fact that there was NO light except the moonlight and stars that you really could see everything. It was pretty amazing.

We crashed for the night and woke up in the morning ready to go. Our bags were taken for us and we were put on camels which we would ride back 11312877403_fc12cc9737_ointo town. Now here’s the thing about riding a camel. It feels kind of cool for about 5 minutes, and then afterwards, your ass starts to hurt. It is not comfortable to be on for very long. I sat criss-crossed on the camel and switched positions often to try and be comfortable but it really didn’t help. The ride took about 2 hours but the funniest thing about that entire experience was the fact that here we are riding camels in the desert, and our guide is talking on his cell phone. Seemed so funny.

From there, we snagged a ride over to Aqaba where we would spend our last night in Jordan before working our way back to the capital on our journey home.

Aqaba

11312549656_b76352631a_oAqaba itself was just a sort of beach town. Not a lot to do there but we did wander around a bit and get some food. The hotel was pretty nice but security was a bit of a pain in the ass because of language issues. We had gone to Pizza Hut for supper and brought back some leftovers. When we tried to go through security, the guy wouldn’t let us bring the food in. So I said fine and put it on the machine. After I went through the metal detector, he starts yelling at me in Arabic about the pizza. He said I couldn’t bring it in but he didn’t tell me what to do with it. I tried to explain that if I can’t bring it in, what do you want me to do? The disagreement got a bit heated and then the hotel bellboy came over and talked to him and the security guy just barked something at me and told me to take the pizza.

DCIM100GOPROWe took the bus down to the beach to do some snorkeling. This was pretty awesome. I had not been able to do snorkeling before because I kept panicking when my face was in the water. But this time, I took my time, and managed to figure out a way that worked for me. Once I got it, it was easy from there on in. We spent a few hours snorkeling the reefs and enjoying the sun before heading back to the hotel. Just as a side note, we could almost see the border of Saudi Arabia from where we were. Very close.

That night, we took a taxi to the Aqaba airport and caught a flight to Amman which is the capital of Jordan. Now, a couple of notable things about that experience. For starters, I wasn’t allowed to have the carabiner from my GPS in my carry on bag. Very weird. They really dug through all of our luggage and asked a bunch of questions but we were eventually let through. But the most interesting thing about that flight was what I saw while in the air.

11312620843_86c65c1124_kAqaba to Jordan is only an hour or so by air. Quick and easy. It travels from the southern most point of the country north. I was on the right (east) side of the plane at a window seat. It was midnight when we left so everything was pitch black. As we are flying, I start to see these flashes of light off in the distance. At first, I didn’t think anything of it but after awhile, some of them were pretty big. I then realized that these were explosions. From everything I could tell, it looked like weaponry of some kind that was going off in the middle of the night. I got pretty freaked out as I had never seen explosions on the ground from the air like that. I have no idea what they were or where they came from but it was kind of freaky to see.

We got to Amman, snagged a cab to our hotel, then proceeded to crash for a few hours before our last day of sightseeing.

Israel

Given that Amman was less than 50km from Israel, me and Tamara opted to take a day tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem just to be able to say we were there. I may not be a Christian, but to be that close, you kind of have to go see it just to say you were there. Well, let me tell you, THAT was a bad idea. Here’s how it went.

11668726705_2b310535fd_kWe had arranged a tour, so we got picked up at the hotel and driven to the Allenby bridge. This is a bridge that goes between Jordan and Israel. When you get to the Jordan side, they check you in, and TAKE YOUR PASSPORT. They don’t just look at it, they take it. They then load you onto a bus, and once on the bus, they give you your passport back. You then cross the bridge, and in the process go through I believe it was 5 or 6 security checkpoints on the bridge. Once across the bridge, you go through two more sets of security screenings. One for your luggage, and one for immigration. Once out, our guide was there and picked us up for our tour but it seemed to take FOREVER to get there. Not a great experience.

Our guide was fantastic but the overall experience in Israel was very disappointing. For that reason, I won’t go into a lot of detail about every little thing we saw. The biggest thing about the entire experience was that me and Tamara only knew of the biblical Jerusalem and Bethlehem which is a far cry from the real thing. Both places were excessively over crowded, and VERY busy. It was kind of insane how busy it was in that part of the world. So many people there to see so much of what it had to offer that it kind of turned us off.

11669251374_890c172f81_kWe did get to see the supposed birthplace and deathbed of Jesus. We also saw the Sheppard’s fields which was kind of cool. We took some photos but a lot of the interiors were hard to capture on camera. Plus, with so many people around it was kind of crazy. A big part of what sort of freaked me out was how so many of these people were so emotional about being there. There was a stone tablet of some kind that Jesus was laid on or his clothes were on or something, and many people wanted to touch it or pray on it. The tomb where Jesus was buried was also another spot with a huge long line of people just waiting to get inside. It was very unsettling to me.

11669029175_5855286af9_kAnother interesting thing was that we had two guides. The first one couldn’t take us to Bethlehem because that’s considered part of Palestine and he wasn’t allowed to go there. No security but we did switch vehicles. The second guide was ok but not great. He really tried to push us on souvenirs at some shop he either owned or was involved with.

We finished the day off with a ride back to the bridge where we went through the same sort of long hassle about getting back into Jordan. We hit the hotel and crashed, and then headed to the airport for our 2am flight. Before we knew it, we were back home and it was all done.

Conclusion

This was a trip that was supposed to be one thing but turned into something else. For both me and Tamara, it was an amazing experience. It’s been 8 months since we were there and it seems like so long ago.

If you ever have the chance to see Jordan, go. Don’t hesitate and just go see it. It was truly an awesome experience.

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Is Sharing A Form Of Gloating?

A few years ago, me and Tamara helped my mom finance the construction of our new cottage. It was something that was important to us and to her, and we knew it would be a good investment in our future. Ever since I was a teenager, I can remember going down to Pointe Du Chene every Sunday to have supper at “the cottage”. The cottage was my grandparents place during the summer but it was always a place for family. Eventually my mom and step-father bought the cottage beside my grandparents and that became part of our life.

I never gave it much thought about “going to the cottage”. But then Tamara mentioned to me one day about how it made her a little uncomfortable to talk to her friends about “her cottage” because she thought it made her sound a little snobbish or perhaps a little “better off”. If you know Tamara, you know that’s the farthest thing you would ever call her, and yet her talking about our own property made her a little uncomfortable. I kind of knew what she meant but I never really understood it until recently.

Since 2012, when I switched to becoming a full time software trainer, I have had a lot of travel included as part of what I do. Previously I had traveled a little bit for my job but it was not as common as what I do now. The general rule is I’m on the road about 50% of my time. It varies over the course of the year where I might go a couple months and not travel at all then have a couple of months of a lot of travel. It all averages out.

Now, I have been very fortunate with my work in that it has taken me to some pretty amazing places. There are times when I can’t even believe that I have had the chance to do these things. Now I’m the type of person who loves to share my experiences. Whether it’s road trips I did as a younger man, being in a band, interviewing my favorite band when I was younger, or even talking about the places I have visited.

Recently I’ve started to wonder if I should even bother talking at all about my travels. For many of the people I work with, going to New York, LA, London, and other parts of the world is just a normal thing. It’s part of our regular conversation we have because it’s part of what we do for a living. We talk about places to eat, hotels to stay in, and cool spots to check out. It seems pretty normal to us.

But when it comes to my friends, some of my family, and even just people I know on Facebook, I’ve started to wonder if my talking about places I go for my work comes off more as bragging, than it does just wanting to share my experiences. If you know me well enough, you know I’m not the bragging type. Yet I’m always checking in at airports and hotels and snapping pictures of places I have visited and part of me now understands what Tamara meant.

It’s not that you don’t want to share these things you have or do, but sometimes it might feel like you’re flaunting something you have or something you have had the chance to do, in front of those who may never do it. It’s this part of me that sometimes wants to just not tell anyone anything about anywhere I have been unless it comes up in conversation.

For me though, I get so excited about some of these places I have been to that I just want to share all of it with the people I know and care about. What’s the point of experiencing all of these amazing things that the world has to offer, when you can’t share that with anyone? Especially when most of the time I am traveling solo, sitting in a hotel room, and writing blog entries like this.

And honestly, there’s also the part of me that kind of doesn’t care one way or the other (although obviously part of me does care if I’m writing about it). This may sound a little snobbish but the reality is, I’ve worked pretty hard in my life to get where I’m at today, so I don’t think I should feel guilty about being given opportunities when I know I have worked hard to get them. It’s just that I like to think of myself as being pretty down to earth and I want to stay that way.

So to those of you who may think I’m showing off or bragging, sorry you feel that way. It’s not my intention, but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. I love sharing my life with others and it kills me when I can’t talk about the things I am most excited about. I’ve got a pretty big one (non-travel related even) coming up in September and it’s killing me to not talk about it.

 

Categories: Friends & Family, Travel | 1 Comment

The Degrading Perks of Business Travel

If you know me at all, you know I’m not the type to brag or show off or talk about being better than others. It just isn’t who I am. But today, I’m giving myself a bit of permission to be a bit of an ass. Here’s my story.

Flashback to about 6-7 years ago when I started doing a lot of travel for work. I got status with the airline and started to experience some of the perks. Free upgrades, lounge access, priority boarding, and the odd other item here and there. It was nice to enjoy these things when they were relatively new to me and I was just getting used to frequent travel.

Here I am today, a changed man when it comes to air travel. And the more I travel, the more I am beginning to notice that I have less and less tolerance for some of the things that have now become commonplace. Specifically, the lounge.

At one time, the airline lounge was a place exclusive to frequent travelers and those who flew first class. You’d enter the lounge, be kindly greeted, and enjoy the relative quiet nature of the lounge. Since only first class and business travelers were in the lounge, it was so quiet and really peaceful to be in compared to all of the loud noise of the regular airport gates. For those who travel a LOT, this was a very nice perk. Yes, some lounges have free food, and free booze, but for me, the quiet was always nice. I have a hard time dealing with a lot of noise sometimes so the quiet nature of the lounge was so appealing.

Now it seems that the lounge is no longer just for business travelers and first class passengers. I have seen more kids and babies in lounges in the last year than I ever have in all of my travels. And on top of that, it seems that the parents of said kids seem to think it’s a free for all where they don’t have to pay attention or mind their kids. Screaming, yelling, kids running around, and general panic from these little ones is more common than ever.

When the hell did this become the norm? Where did my quiet lounge go? How is it that everyone and their dog (in some cases that is literal) is now allowed in here? How is it that us who keep the airlines in business now have to put up with this racket on a frequent basis when at one time, it was nice and quiet?

Yes, I’m sounding a bit elitist but the reality is, us business travelers keep the airlines in business. If it weren’t for us, there would be far fewer flights, and they would be FAR more expensive. Is it that much to ask that we have a place where we can relax without the worries of some 1 year old kid screaming while his dad points and laughs at him thinking it’s funny. I kid you not. I sat in a US lounge last year and watched this with my own eyes. The kids scream was audible from the other side of the airport and his dad thought it was just funny. I left the lounge quite pissed.

It would seem now that the lounges are no longer for us who earn the right to be in them, but for anyone who can smile nice enough to get in. Makes me want to spend less time in them.

Then comes a second, albeit much smaller qualm. First/Business class.

I rarely get the chance to fly first class because my clients don’t want to fork out that kind of money. But I do get free upgrades from time to time. Part of flying first class is the extra special treatment you get, and that it’s somewhat “above everything else”. It varies from airline to airline but you expect far better service and a quality of treatment that you never see in economy. Today, flying from Toronto to Houston, I had a business class ticket. I was looking forward to sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the flight.

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way. For starters, I forgot my tablet at home so I was forced to watch what the airline had. Not a big deal but annoyed. Then came in not one, not two, but THREE kids who were all seated in business class. Add to that a VERY loud SCREAMING kid just behind the first class cabin. Between the racket and commotion the three kids made and the screeching noise coming from the baby, it was very hard to relax at all. Thankfully, once we were up high enough, noise cancelling headphones cranked up solved the problem.

I have never seen that many kids in first class. And yes, I know all kids are not bad. I have two of them and I know exactly how they’ll react when they get on a plane. They will be excited, blah blah blah. I get it. But as a business traveler who deals with dozens of flights a year, the less commotion for me the better. This just made it worse.

As a result of this trip, I find myself turning to the dark side and becoming more and more of an ass when it comes to air travel. I’ve never thought of myself as a snob or stuck up in any way but I think I have become that way with air travel. My tolerance for bullshit is at an all time low. If I have to spend 8-12 hours on planes and airports, I want and need less bullshit to deal with. Noisy kids in first class and the lounges needs to go.

But since it’s never going to happen, I’ll simply vent my frustrations here, get on my next flight, plug in my headphones and hope I can drown out whatever terrible noise is happening this time.

Categories: Rants, Travel | Leave a comment

Why I Refuse To Participate In Movember

It’s November 6th and the Movember has begun. People all over the office, the city, and likely the world, are taking the month of November to raise awareness regarding prostate cancer. For guys who participate, they are encouraged to grow a mustache/beard/facial hair during the month and collect donations to the Movember charity. It’s going on at my work and I’ve started seeing the posts on Facebook. I however am not participating and here’s why.

As of today, I have received 11 requests either via email, Facebook, or via someone directly asking me, to participate in Movember. Not one or two. 11. ELEVEN! I have never been asked to donate to any other charity as much as I am asked to donate to Movember. For me, 11 times counts as harassment. I feel like I am bombarded everywhere to participate in this one charity fundraiser. Yet there are thousands of them that go on every year and I am never nagged to death about them. But when Movember rolls along, I get nagged and nagged and nagged about participating. Last year I had an employee corner me in the office and nag me about joining and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to participate. This year the nagging has been worse.

I understand that people are passionate about their cause and they want people to participate. But ELEVEN TIMES?!?!?! Seriously? Enough is enough. As long as I continue to be nagged about this, I will never participate. If I got asked once or twice, maybe I would consider it. But 11 times to me is harassment. I will be steering clear.

If you want people to join in your cause, understand that nagging the hell out of them is not going to be an effective way to get them to join your cause. If the cause is worthy, and a person is so inclined, they will join up on their own. A nudge on something you are passionate about is fine but don’t go too far.

And lastly, remember that not everyone is interested in advertising to the whole world that they donated to charity X. For me, donations are something that I do rarely because there are so many out there and it’s hard to pick one. So when I do, it has a special meaning to me and I’m not really keen on telling the whole world and asking them to do the same.

 

 

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Egypt, You Finicky Little Bitch

In case you hadn’t heard, me and Tamara were supposed to go Egypt this November. But given all of the political crap that’s been going on there, we were a bit unsure as to how things were going to play out.

I had booked us a tour to see most of Egypt. We were going to finish our trip with a jaunt over to Jordan to see the Dead Sea and Petra. But when the political situation over there got bad, I started hearing that the tours in Egypt by GAdventures were being cancelled.

Several calls later and they still haven’t cancelled November’s tours but everything up to the end of October has been cancelled. They basically said I will know one way or the other within the next week or so.

Me and Tamara had sort of decided that if they cancelled the tour, we might simply extend our stays in some of the places we would be connecting through. Cairo would actually be one of those spots so we thought maybe we could just spend a night there, go see the pyramids the following day, then fly out again. This was what we were planning until last night.

Last night, I did my daily search of Egyptian news and came across this article. It indicated that police had raided a village beside the pyramids. This was basically a giant huge sign in the sky to me and Tamara that basically said, “You need to stay the hell away from here and figure out something else to do”.

I have been literally waiting 30 years to see the pyramids. It’s actually a lifelong dream I have had since I was in grade school. It’s one of those things that has been on my mind for three decades and I was really looking forward to finally being able to go. Oddly enough, I have sort of settled with the fact this isn’t going to happen this year and for some reason, it’s not as bad as I thought.

I think the worst part is I haven’t been sleeping well and I think this trip and the stress of knowing that it’s kind of a mess is seriously playing games with my head. I can’t remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep and felt good the next day and I’m pretty sure all of this thinking about my trip is a big part of my problem.

So, I am now somewhat expecting that GAdventures will be calling/emailing me within a week or so to let me know this tour has been cancelled and want to know if I want to switch tours, or take a refund. They offer Jordan tours but unfortunately the tour they have that I would like to take is actually full the week we are supposed to be in that area.

Thankfully, after doing enough digging, I found this tour which I think pretty much covers all the great stuff about Jordan. Dead Sea, Red Sea, Petra, and plenty of other cool stuff.

I could opt to simply go somewhere else but our flights to that area are already paid for and cancelling them to book somewhere else would result in about $1,000 worth of penalties. A change in schedule is a lot cheaper so I think the option to do Jordan alone is our best and most economical option.

I haven’t completely lost hope that the Egypt part may still happen but after reading what I read last night, I’m pretty sure it’s a goner.

I am sort of feeling a little confused about the fact that something I wanted for so long slipping away from me doesn’t seem to be bothering me as much as I thought it would. Perhaps its the fact that I still will get to go somewhere cool, and I get to share it with Tamara who is probably the best travel companion ever.

Let’s see what the next two weeks bring.

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Apple has lost their mojo

The first smartphone I ever owned as an Apple iPhone 3G. This came out at a time when smartphones were still pretty ugly and basically useless. Apple had really taken the smartphone market and turned it upside down with what it was doing. The first time I saw the phone I was completely blown away by how it looked and the way it worked. I became a fan of the product very quickly.

As time passed, I got more and more used to working with my iPhone and really came to like it. I upgraded to the iPhone 4 and it was like night and day as far as usability. The speed difference was awesome and I was quite happy with it. It was also around that same time that Android was starting to get better and become somewhatr useful. The early iterations of that OS were horrid but by the time the iPhone 4 came out things were looking better.

Earlier this year I upgraded to an iPhone 5 and was less than impressed. The truth is, it seemed pretty much like my iPhone 5 with a slightly bigger screen and Siri. Big deal. Then this week, Apple announced their latest phone, the iPhone 5S and the only big thing I see with it is a fingerprint scanner on the home button. Really?

I’ve written before about the Apple vs Android thing so I won’t get into the debate again but I will say that I have become less and less impressed with the “new” items coming from Apple. I mean, I really like and enjoy my iPhone, but it would be nice to experience some of that “holy crap” excitement from a new product again. Instead, it seems that Apple has decided that more of the same is now the norm. Instead of trying to find innovative ways to use technology, they really do seem content to milk the customers with the same tech they already have.

This isn’t going to instantly make me switch to an Android phone. I’m on my iPhone 5 for at least another year, but it does make me consider, at least a little bit, about what else is out there. I have a lot of money invested in my apps, but I’m no longer razzled and dazzled by their tech. Instead, I shrug my shoulders and figure it’s just easier for me to keep what I have and wait until something really amazing comes out.

However, I do suspect that in the world of phones, that is unlikely to happen. I think phones have been pushed as far as they can go as far as new and cool features. Until I see something that makes me go “holy crap” again, I’ll likely just stick with what I have and shake my head at the lack of creativity from a company who was once so innovative.

Categories: Computer Stuff | Leave a comment

Enough with the bilingualism signage BS

I read an article this morning about how apparently some French people are upset at the new Starbucks because their menu is almost entirely in English. You can find the original article here. The article goes on to say that the Green party is suggesting the government should step in and force bilingual signage in our city because we are supposed to be “bilingual”. I read these kinds of statements and honestly, it makes my blood boil in anger.

This entire thing happened awhile ago in Dieppe. Now there are literally language police who’s responsibility is to make sure signs are done right so that French is first and English is second. If you don’t have a sign done the correct way, you’re fined $140 in violation of the bylaw. Dieppe is primarily French so if they want to promote that identity, I get it. I may not like it or agree with it, but I get it.

Now a political party is suggesting that signage and menus and whatever other things in private businesses should be in both official languages. Is this really what the government wants to spend their time on? With a mass exodus of people leaving here, crappy health care with long lines and major job losses, unemployment higher than it’s been in a long time, and countless other issues, THIS is what the government wants to work on? Are you f*cking kidding me?

When Dieppe made this proposal before, I started thinking about the consequences of multi-language signs, menus, ads, and other types of print media. If this same sort of thing were to happen in Moncton, let’s take a look at some of the other cultures who choose to live here and do so just fine.

Imagine for a moment that you have a man who was born and raised in South Korea. There he’s spent a good portion of his life preparing and serving food to his locals in his own Korean restaurant for years. He then decides after living there for long enough to move his entire family to Canada, specifically to Moncton. Now, the only thing he’s known how to do for most of his life is make Korean food. So he decides to open up an authentic Korean restaurant in Moncton. Now, he is fluent in his native tongue, but speaks very poor English but he manages to get by. In wanting to keep his restaurant authentic, he puts all the signs and menus in Korean with English on the menus for the locals to understand.

Now, he knows that most of the people in Moncton do not understand Korean, but that there are Korean locals who do. He also wants to preserve the authenticity of his restaurant by doing as much as he can in his own native language. His staff is comprised of mostly his family. When you see this restaurant on the street, it looks very nice and very authentic because he’s replicated what he had back home to the exact detail.

Then the government steps in and says, well, you’re in a bilingual province which means all of your menus and signs need to have French in them. First of all, no one in his family understands French at all. Secondly, and this is the one that bugs me the most, by placing French on the menus and signs, it implies that people can be served in French at the restaurant. No one there will know how to speak it, but people will think they can because the signs are in French.

All this guy wants to do is have his authentic restaurant for people to enjoy, but because the government is stepping in and telling him how to write his menus and put up his signs, he cannot afford to make the changes, or hire bilingual staff, so he goes out of business, collects welfare/unemployment, and becomes another statistic to add to our mass unemployment problem.

This is a simple example of how a business owner should be able to decide for themselves how they want to conduct business. If that person knows that they may be excluding a certain portion of the population because of the way their menus are made, or signs are displayed, then that is at the discretion of the owner, not the government. What’s next, telling the same guy that he has to put fried chicken or steak on the menu because his food items aren’t appealing to everyone? It’s like the lady who complained about the fact that McDonald’s didn’t have enough “healthy” food items. Uhm, hello? If you want healthy food, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!

At the end of the day, if you don’t like what you see in a business, or don’t agree with their practices, THEN DON’T GO THERE! How is that a problem? You walk into a Korean restaurant and no one speaks French so you’re going to throw a fit at them? You walk into a Starbucks and there’s no French but it’s in the middle of a city which is primarily English and somehow you’re shocked? This exact same thing happened when the Casino opened. There wasn’t enough French staff so certain French people threw a fit about it.

When I am in Dieppe, I expect that most things will be in French because Dieppe is primarily a French city. I know that and expect that. I don’t like it because I don’t understand French, but I respect the fact that they have chosen to make their majority their highest priority. It’s the exact same way in many other cities around the world. I can be in the middle of Mexico where everything is in Spanish with a little English here and there. I need to accept the conditions of where I am. In doing so, it leaves me feeling a bit excluded, which is I’m sure what the French customer at Starbucks felt. The difference is that they were in Moncton, not Dieppe, and Moncotn’s primary language is English, not French.

I believe that if you own a business, you should have the right to operate and execute that business in whatever language you choose. It is not for the government to decide how you should print your signs, your menus, your advertisements. It should be up to the business owner.

Seriously folks, the government needs to stay the hell out of private businesses and let us run them, legally, the way we want.

 

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Enough With The Autism Propoganda

There’s an article currently circulating across Facebook regarding how a court has “confirmed” that vaccinations cause Autism. I’ve seen several people post it and assume everything they are reading is true. Honestly, I read it and it pisses me off to no end.

Andrew Wakefield is the guy at the center of all this. He was the one who supposedly made the link between the MMR vaccine and Autism. Since then however it seems that everything this guy did was questionable and no one has been able to definitively prove that his results were in fact correct. All of his research has been disproven time and time again but once the cat is out of the bag, that’s sort of it isn’t it?

Whether he was right or wrong doesn’t matter now. It seems that with the proliferation of the internet, and celebrities like Jenny McCarthy who insist that these things are real, people go ahead and blindingly believe whatever they read and hear on TV. Oh well Jenny McCarthy’s famous and she was on Oprah so what she says must be true. I read an article online that says if I drink apple juice while standing on my head, I’ll gain X-Ray vision. It was written by a guy named Dr. Von Dorstick so it must be true. Seriously people, stop and think about what you are doing.

You are perpetuating a myth which has never been confirmed or reproduced by anyone and yet people consistently believe this crap because of the over hype it gets from others. But the reality is, this happens all the time with plenty of other things. Does any intelligent and rational person actually think that some guy built a giant boat, put every animal from the entire planet on it, then sailed for 40 days? Despite the fact that there’s absolutely no trace of any word flood having ever happened, people believe this story to be factually accurate. And this was LONG before the age of the internet.

As far as I am concerned, if you have a concern about your health, your children’s health, or someone you love’s health, don’t go online and look something up and assume everything you read is accurate. It’s fine to do a little research, but don’t just blindingly assume people have all the facts when it comes to your health. THAT’S WHAT A DOCTOR IS FOR! Go see an actual physician with all of your questions and get real answers. Do not rely on the internet to provide you everything you need to know.

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Changing Yourself

Tonite I am in Miami Beach, Florida. It’s our yearly user’s conference and tonite was the final night with the big party blowout. Lots of people drinking, dancing, and having a good time. I found myself yet again, sitting at a table, watching people, and doing very little. In fact, I was kind of bored.

It got me thinking. At one time, I used to go parties, have fun, laugh, and enjoy myself a lot more than I seemed to tonite. The party started actually with a “mixer” of folks standing outside the main ballroom, drinking and talking. You know where people introduce themselves to new people and mix and mingle and “network” to make new connections. All something I am horribly bad at.

I can’t seem to strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know, or even get up and dance with someone when I’m invited to. Why is it that I sit at a table, staring at my phone, or a glass, or simply watching everyone else have a good time while I’m counting the minutes before I think it’s ok for me to leave.

I want to be that guy who has a good time and gets out and dances and acts silly and enjoys himself. Didn’t I do that years ago? How many times did I get dragged to a club and ended up dancing on stage. Spushing at countless parties, or making an ass of myself doing just the dumbest or funniest things around. Where’s that Matt?

Sadly enough, part of me thinks that if I was drinking alcohol, maybe it would be better. Maybe somehow those things that hold me back would be let free and I’d be able to enjoy myself a bit better. But yet I sort of have stuck to this no alcohol thing and at this point in my life I’m not even sure why.

The funny thing is, for my job, I have to be a bit more outgoing than I am in social situations. Everytime I have to deliver a new class, I have to meet new people, introduce myself, start conversations and be friendly. But as soon as it turns social, I become this very awkward and shy person. I mean even tonite, I’m still thinking about how a co-worker was inviting me to go out and dance and I just shook my head and said no, and then sat in my chair wishing I had gone out. But instead of doing anything, I sat there and did nothing.

In reading up on Introversion, it would seem that indeed this is what I am. I think perhaps I have always been this way but when I was younger I just went to the excess to try and cover that up.

I don’t like it. Tonite I’m sitting in a hotel room when I could be downstairs partying with people and enjoying myself but I have no idea how to do that. The psychological analyst part of me starts thinking that perhaps all of that bullying and teasing as a kid made me feel like an outsider and hence it’s stuck with me my whole life. When you spend almost 30 years acting and behaving a certain way, is it even possible to change that?

Do I need to go out and get hammered?

After tonite, I’ll go to sleep, get on a plane and come home tomorrow, and return to my normal life. A life I love, but I do wish I could find a way to change the things about myself that I’m not too fond of. I just don’t know where to start.

Categories: Boredom, Flashbacks | 1 Comment