Monday, November 21, 2011

Gracias

My brother and I just got back from Peru. I had always wanted to go to Machu Picchu. It was truly amazing. The Incas (or more correctly the Ketchuans as Incas were only the Kings) really knew what they were doing. Their civilization focused on the stars above...their gods were the Sun and the Moon and the stars.

Machu Picchu was more organised than some of the present day South American cities. Built on top of a hill surrounded by amazing mountains. It was truly the highlight of this journey...more inspiring than the ruins in Turkey or the modern marvels in Rome.

The Ketchuans never wrote anything done...no hieroglyphics were found in Peru. They were more verbal like modern day Latinos..verbalizing their everyday thoughts. Could explain why I’m so verbal! I like to think that I have a bit of Ketchuan in me..their civilization did stretch all the way to Colombia.

I’m back in Bogota with two more days before I head to the USA for Thanksgiving. This is one of my favourite holidays. Not because of the sales or the food..but for the fact that you stop and give thanks...for what you have...who you have....in your life.

I’ve been distressing things these last few months...terrible poverty in Africa, despair in South America..orphans in Colombia and violent protest in Argentina. There is so much inequality on earth...why do some have so much..others so little..some of us can change and improve our lives...others do not have access or tools to change our status.

I am so thankful for this journey..no matter what happens...or how much I invested..it has been the best thing I ever did in my life. The best investment...in me and life changing...this journey may change where I live and what I do in the future. The friendships and memories..will really last a lifetime..even if I lost all my pictures from Peru...I left my camera in a taxi in Lima!

No matter where I go...though..there are some common themes..that search for connection, meaning and happiness. It is reassuring in many ways that even though we are separated and divided by language, race, religion, gender, customs...there are some unique values that bind us as human beings...and sometimes you find common ground through humour or a hug.

USA, South Africa and India. Next stops...the journey and the year are coming to an end soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Time

It is the middle of November. Where has this year gone. Time never stands still. I am also done with my journey. It has been an amazing six months filled with new people, adventures a lot of food. Have I found what I am looking for? possibly. I have found myself. India and the USA remain.

I can see the end though. I can’t be the traveller forever. At some point, I will need to settle down, get a job, buy a house and live like everyone else. But I will always be better for it, for jumping into the unknown..packing a suitcase and traveling around the world. I’ll have no regrets...

I still believe something wonderful is just around the corner? a new love? a new job? a new city to explore...and many friendships to be made. The trip was not cheap but it was certainly an investment in myself. I read somewhere that the happiest people in the world were the ones that invested in themselves (education, travel, new car) not the ones who held cash in the bank or stocks in the market. Maybe I am just trying to rationalise it all.

I feel like my mission here in Colombia has been accomplished. I came to reconnect with my family and I have...I have realised that you can never really disconnect from family. They are always there...even if you are not around. I’ve realised the importance of family in my life.

I’m off to Peru tomorrow to Machu Picchu the land of my ancestors. Well...I guess they could really be all of our ancestors. I hear there is amazing positive energy around Machu Picchu, similar to that experienced at the Pyramids in Egypt. I am going with my brother. We have not travelled in a while and this is an opportunity to bond and have our own unique experience. Time has not stood still. My brother is no longer my baby brother...he’s got a serious job, a mortgage and a girlfriend. He’s a man who I have not spent time with in a long while.

Time never stands still even when you are traveling back in time...so make each second count and do what you want to do tomorrow today. You never know if tomorrow will come.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We are family

They say you cannot pick your family or your sexuality. After many years of not being happy with either, I feel that I am comfortable with both. I would not change either....It is month six of my amazing adventure. So much has happened, it is hard to find the time to write. I partied in London, swam in Turkey, studied Italian and drank delicious South African wine in Cape Town.

I am in Bogota now, the city of my birth. My father and my brother live here. My father is getting older and is ill. I wanted to spend a good month here. I find it really important to be in touch with my roots...my history. I’m an avid history fan. To me history is like one of those amazing stories that your grandfather tells you at dinner time.

When I was young, the lights would go out in Colombia. There still are electricity shortages at times. My father or grandfather would tell us stories about their youth...how they were very poor (everyone in Colombia was poor in the old days) and how they came from the country to the big city to find work. Both my father and grandfather were self made men..who had little schooling but managed to have their own businesses and do well.

I spent an afternoon with my grandmother who is 82 trying to trace back our family line. So much has changed in her generation. She now uses her mobile phone and still lives alone. She’s adapted to society - she was the type of person who used to look down on women who lived with their boyfriends before marriage. Now, she’s open to having a gay grandson and having grandchildren who have children without getting married. Times changed and she has changed with it.

I went out with grandmother the other day. We went for dinner and to drink wine. She’s so wise and never misses anything. She has been widowed since my grandfather died a few years ago, but she seems content and happy being alone. She married very young and raised six kids, never really had anytime for herself. After she cared for her children, she cared for my grandfather who had al. What a remarkable woman...a real inspiration...and someone who loves me and supports me unconditionally.

I never know how far I can push the boundaries with grandma. We never talk about boys or sex...but every once in a while she’s make a joke or comment...and I’ll think..she definitely knows what is going on....I think she reads Cosmopolitan.

I hope she’ll live for a long time. The clock is ticking and living abroad away from family makes me miss them even more. I’m trying to cherish each and every moment.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Oi! Brazil Calling

I’m back in the continent of my birth. It has been a long time since my last post. I guess I’ve been living my life to the fullest each day...instead writing about it. I’m the type of person that worries a lot about life...I usually spend my day reflecting and in thought about everything I do...everyone I meet. But lately, I’ve just been living...doing...not thinking...not worrying but just in the moment. My shrink used to say that if you spend all your time worrying about the future...you are not living in the present. He is right. Although I can’t help but worry that something bad is happening....I am never this happy...life is never this good (not for me)...so the pendulum will swing one day....maybe I’ll get cancer..or my plane will crash but until then..fuck it. I’m gonna enjoy it...and probably write a bit less than usual.

So much has happened since my last post. I sit here on a cafe at Avenida Paulista...pondering life. Avenida Paulista is the Avenue of the world....it is where all the beautiful people in Sao Paulo come out to see and be seen. Brazilians are just HOT! You can feel the sensuality in the air....I like the bustle and hustle of the city.

But the truth is that I left my heart in Cape Town. I had an affair to remember. Ten wonderful days with a wonderful man. I have not had those feelings since two years ago..when I was with my ex partner. I like Sven. I have not told him that....after all I was leaving...but I do. He is sexy. He makes me laugh and we have wonderful chats. He’s a great kisser...cuddler. We went for walks on the beach..great coffee chats...wine..romance...all with the background of Cape Town, the most beautiful city. We enjoyed every moment.

“I do not want to have my heart broken,” he told me. I think we both hesitated about jumping in...he lives in Cape Town...I live in Australia. But we both knew there was a connection. What will be..will be...so I’m here and he’s there.

I started this journey because I was looking for something....trying to find myself. Maybe what I was looking for was Sven. Maybe things will not work out..but I found that I could fall in love with someone. I let someone else into my heart. It is healed. Mission accomplished.

I’m flying to Colombia on Monday. I am going to spend a month with my father. My brother has moved to Colombia earlier in the year. My father’s health has been getting worst - and I need to spend time with him. I’m not sure how long he’ll be around for...and I have this feeling that it will not be long. I like to think I live my life without any regrets but I probably regret not working on my relationship with my father. I have a great relationship with my mother but with my father - there have always been issues.

I am seeing Sven in December - another 15 days to figure out if what we have is for real...I need to make a decision about where I’ll be based from 2012. That’s when I’ll start worrying again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Out of Africa

It has been a while..I have been too busy living life to have time to write. Where to begin...New York...forget America. I’m back in Africa. I’m in Cape Town, my most favourite city in the world...I’m having an affair with this magical city....it keeps calling me...drawing me back.

When I was contemplating moving to Australia, I also considered South Africa. Fate would send me to Australia twelve years ago. I always wandered what would have happened if I had come here. What if... I came to South Africa for the first time last May and even though it was winter I fell in love with Cape Town.

There is something about Table Mountain, the coastline, the mix of people - cultures and energy. It is European, African and beautiful all in one. I need to live here..somehow..sometime.

I am living with two crazy gay guys in a bed and breakfast in the middle of town. Everyone calls John “Mama” as he likes to take care of everyone else. Mama is in her mid 50s and is from the UK. He seems to not work but lives a fabulous life. I still do not know what he did back in London but he seems to enjoy the most of Cape Town. He chases after younger boys and drinks from breakfast until sunrise. He reminds me of Patsy in Ab Fab. He never seems to eat but is always smoking a ciggie.

His business partner is my friend Daniel. He’s a bit older than me and also lives in the guesthouse helping Mama run it. Daniel and I shagged last time I was in Cape Town. He’s become a good friend - but the attraction is no longer there or maybe it was never there.

Capetonians are very friendly. And I’ve started dating. I’m having a bit of an affair with a Kenyan born South African named Sven. His family is German. I’m really into him. I like him and we have had a few great dates and nights. I think he’s worried and hesitant as I am leaving in a week but we both know we have a special connection.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Arrivals and Departures

When you are a traveller...there are always arrivals and departures....a bit like in life really. Ends and beginnings. I can’t believe my month in DC and the USA has come to an end. Time seriously flies when you are having fun.

I think I accomplished everything on my mental list. I spend time with my family, I experienced this city like I never did when I grew up here. I applied for jobs, wrote and met some amazing people. I dated a great guy - and had hot porn sex with a black guy. My batteries are charged, my suitcase a bit heavier...(and I am too) and I’m ready for my next stop...next continent.

I ate my way through Washington DC. I think I know why Americans are so fat. There’s just so much food available. And yes, everything comes with French fries...and a salad and a five litter cup of Coke for only 2 cents more.

I’m not sure if DC is the place for me..but it is definitely a special place for me. I got in touch with a lot of memories and friends from the past. I feel like my relationships have been reinvigorated and with it..so has my soul. I got my self esteem back...I feel good..sexy (could be all those donuts)...even if I could loose 4 kilos. There is really someone for everyone in America. No matter what you’re into..what your scene is...there’s someone who’s into it.

Start spreading the news...I’m coming to New York. A good city to end my American adventure. More food, friends and museums.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Those who can't do....teach

I saw DC boy. He called me. He knew it was my last weekend in Washington DC. We went to see a movie (Contagion). Not very romantic “Don’t touch me!”.... it is about a killer plague that spreads through body contact. But what followed was romantic - dinner and drinks at Poste - the original post office building that has been turned into a trendy bar/restaurant.

It was a muggy night in Washington DC. The sky had this pink colour to it. Poste has a indoor courtyard surrounded by the old post office building (white and government looking). The pink sky made the whole thing seem surreal - or maybe it was the fact we lived through the movie.

Wine, cheese platter and antipasto. It took me back to our first date back in Roma. I really miss Rome. I dream about it. This was the best summer of my life. I often forget how good life is...really. I have everything that I need and want - living it minute by minute.

I got to know DC boy a bit better - he told me he was in a bad once - had long hair and lived in Boston and New York. We lived in Boston at the sametime but funny how our paths never crossed. I told him about Australia and South Africa and how one little decision (accident actually) had taken me there - and changed my life. Funny - how sometime live turns out.

Earlier in the day I had bumped into old work colleague from Sydney on the Metro. He’s gay too. I was shocked. So random. The world is so small after all. He too had taken time off to travel - told me I had inspired him. We worked in different floors and projects - but I saw him from time to time at random work functions. 2011 really is the year of change.

DC boy is a teacher. I told him I thought everyone really was some sort of teacher - I’ve learned so much the last few months - from random strangers to friends to family - everyone and every connection can teach you something - teach you to love, to be patient, to be yourself - Italian, to cook, to paint...to mourn....to be a better person.

We went back to DC boy’s place. We definately have a connection - no labels...there just is..I know and he knows. We see it in each other’s eyes. It was a magical connection - night and day. I forget that you can really connect - two men can... in the now...not worrying about what it means...where it is going...what will happen next. Tonight we’ll be lovers..tomorrow...who knows. Who cares.

I feel good about myself. It is not because of a man. I think being happy makes you feel good - look good. I have never gotten so much attention before. I do not need a man - but I am connecting with them. Three months down and three more more to go - South Africa, South America, India...more learning..and hopefully more teaching.