Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Change

My friend Jenny sent me the following quote. “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” It is very true. Sometimes identifying that you want to make a change in your life is the hardest part of making that change. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom before you can consider any action. But change is possible. It is hard. It may take years. It is a bit like jumping off a swimming pool. You know it is hard....the cold water will make you feel cold...but once you have jumped...you did it...

Over the last three months, I’ve been feeling a great sense of empowerment. For a long time, I’m doing something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. I’ve changed where I live, my job, my friends. I’m jumped into the big swimming pool. It was scary...scary to finally get to the edge. It was work...saving money, selling my apartment, packing my life away and saying goodbye. But it has been all worth it. I’m halfway through my journey of six months...three months down, six countries down, six more to...thousands of miles travelled...and a dozen new lifelong friends. I’ve learned Italian, had mind blowing sex with a Serbian water polo player, eaten kilos of pasta and drank raki until I past out.

I’ve learned a lot about myself. I can be alone. It is ok. I am a good guy. I can give love and deserve love. And men outside of Sydney find me sexy. I’m a catch. I feel like my broken heart is finally healed. I’m ready to fall in love again. I’ve got faith in myself. I’m ready for a new chapter.

We all need to make changes. Life is about change. Relationships end, jobs end...relationships start, friendships start...people die...people are born...people come and go into your life. We all change. We grow up. We learn...we feel...we love...we die. It is pretty simple.

I’m in the USA now. I realised that I belong in Europe or South Africa or Australia but not in the US. It is too busy. Too loud. Too medicated. I like to visit my family but I no longer belong here. I think I have a distorted view of life here...maybe I like to romanticize life when I was growing up. But I think I’m really more European on the inside.

I will take this time to reconnect with friends and family in the USA..and to loose the weight I’ve put on in Europe! Diet starts today - luckily I’m not a big fan of American food. Plus everything here is fat free!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eat, Move, Learn

Grant from Melbourne shared these videos from an STA Travel campaign. These guys spent six weeks travelling the world. Very inspiring!
f

Friday, August 26, 2011

Man Binge

So I do not need a man to be happy. But men and sex in particularly can be very pleasurable. Specially in the form of tall, tanned, muscular Serbian males with nice packages and who like to kiss.

My friends had warned me about coming to Serbia. “Homophobic, war criminals, aggressors,” were some of the things I had heard about Serbian men. But I have to say I am impressed by how friendly the gay men are here...and how sexy they are without the attitude. I was getting GRINDR messages from guys here that would never give me the time of day in Sydney. Frankly, I think Serbian guys just wanted to fuck...anything that was on offer.

I found myself feeling like a kid in a candy store. When in Belgrade, I figured life is short...and you should always try everything the local culture has to offer.

First up, hunky doctor. What is it with medical professionals this trip. Tall, chunky, hairy and a sex addict. “I have sex three times a day,” he told me. I was the second fuck of the day...lunch time. I guess I prefer being second than the night one! It was nice...but a bit selfish and vocal. “Open your mouth....” - dirty Serbian talker. I hope he does not talk to his patients that way. At 35, I’m really not into rabbit sex.

Second Serbian hunk - was a marketer. He’s a bit chubbier. But I have realised I like chubby...not obese but a real man. Nice smelling...solid and a great kisser. He was a bit more giving...but still it was all about him. He wanted to go again...but one ride was enough for me. “I love fucking. I fuck girls, guys..just love to fuck,” he told me. He basically is bisexual and will fuck anything that moves. Serbians have a reputation for raping thousands of women in Bosnia. Horny bastards.

Third and last is Mr cutie pie dentist. He had brackets. He told me he was 33 but he looked like he was 27. Very preppy and clean cut. He came to my hotel at 11 pm. Total booty call. He was a bit too skinny for my liking..he needs a bit of meat on him. I had promised to give him a massage - and so I did. He was not really into kissing even though we had talked about how much we liked kissing. He wanted to get right into it.

Normally, I love a nice long session but again Mr Dentist was a rabbit fucker. Ouch! There is only so much you can handle.

So I had a slutty day in Serbian...I needed to live in the moment. Do not worry - all safe - half a condom box gone. Serbian boys are very considerate - clean and into safe sex!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Man Hunt

I am in Serbia visiting a friend from Italy. My friends often ask me..why Serbia? “Why not, I answer.” The war is over, there are a lot of attractive young men and the country is halfway from socialism to a free market society.

But the post is not really about Belgrade. It is about a conversation (more like an email exchange) I had with a fellow blogger. He is happily partnered (as happy as a gay man can be) yet he is still searching...he’s still playing with fire...he’s flirting...pushing the boundaries...trying to fuck it all up. I am not judging him. I do it all the time. We all do.

Not just gay men...humans. We fear getting what we always want or we are never really happy with what we have...we want a bigger car, a bigger house, more money, bigger dick. When we get the boyfriend...we still wonder if there is a better model out there. Maybe a younger one? Relationships break up because we keep searching...we get bored. Society is about change...newer...better...bigger. So we trade up.

I was lost...unhappy in Sydney. My life revolved around a man hunt. I figured that if I found a relationship...a man who loved me back my life would be complete. It was the magical words I needed to hear. “I love you.” That would fix everything. The search would be over. The truth is probably that would not make me happy. I’d be thinking if he was the right one...if I could do better...I would try to fuck it up.

The last three months, I’ve been looking inward. I’ve been in touch with me...building a relationship that does not revolve around another man...finding a man...dating....and I’ve never been happier. I’ve also met more potential partners in three months than I did in three years in Sydney. Why? Cause I’m doing things that actually bring my pleasure and satisfaction. I’m studying..learning... I am doing things that bring me joy, passion, love...travel, food, history, museums. I’m taking chances....being alone in the world is not so bad. It is not so scary.

I’ve also learned to count my blessings. Seeing other people in other countries...living differently to me has taught me that I’m very lucky. I get to see the differences...to be thankful for what I have...which I never did before. The glass is always half full....I need to stop focusing on what I lack and see what I do have...

In getting lost I found myself. And it is a great feeling. To know that I can be alone...and still be happy. To find pleasure in little things...like eating pasta or learning a sentence in Italian. That life is more than the next shag (nothing wrong with that) or finding a partner..or the next dance party... I realised I was in a toxic cycle of man hunting that was just leading me nowhere and making me depressed.

So now I need to find out how to keep that going...a change of scenery is very important. The next is to keep doing those things that I am passionate about - without focusing on the gay dating- manhunt aspect.  Time changes everything..but sometimes you have to speed up those changes. Jump in the hope that everything will be ok...and if you have faith in yourself everything will be ok.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turkish Love Making

“I think I could fall in love,” wrote Turk #2. It was the sweetest text message I have received in a long..long time. We had just met last weekend and he had told me never to trust what Turkish men say, but still sweet. I need those kinds of messages.

In Sydney, I was just lucky if the guy told me the time of day.

Many gay guys here want to show me how to make Turkish Love. I”m not sure what that entirely means...but I think it involves me giving pleasure to them and them thinking they are with a woman. I’m not sure I want to find out. I’m happy with Turk #2. He’s coming up from Ankara for the weekend so hopefully we will get to see each other.

He says he wants to get married to me - could be the visa even though gay marriage is not legal either here or in Australia. Turks seem to be expressive...even if they are checking out another guy while they tell you how much they like you.

I found the best co dependent t-shirt today. It reads “Never leave me alone.” I had to buy it. Yes. I’m needy. And no, it is not all bad. We all have needs. I’m just more up front and honest about them. Ok. I’ll start going to codependents anonymous when I settle down.

Time for my idea of Turkish Love making. Some kebab followed by Turkish delights - no need to involve a man. Although the guy on left (who is a Turkish male model) would be just as good - a lot of guys look like that by the way. Plan your next Turkish holiday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sinners and gypsies

In Catholic school, the nuns taught me the point of live was to suffer. Human beings were sinners and we all had to pay for their sins. Happiness, joy, freedom...all bad. We all had to carry a cross...and deal with it..otherwise we would also be punished after death.

Words like “suffering,” “sacrifice,” and “duty” were the favourite words of the nuns. Don’t get me wrong, there are some positive beliefs in the Catholic faith - the idea of helping others and social justice. I always felt like Catholicism really failed to “empower” me. It taught you that you had no control over your life - it was all decided by God and if it was pretty crappy you just deal with it.

I now feel as though my life has been divided into two: pre-trip and post trip. Pre-trip, I was depressed, sad, lost and was settling. Post-trip (or during trip) - I feel empowered. I feel like I am making my own decisions. You really can do what you want - provided you plan and save money.

My friends think I have turned into a gypsy. Originally they all thought I would only travel for four months. That has been extended to six..possibly eight. They use words like “when are you going to settle?” and “when will you face your reality?”

I have one friend who is from China. I think what I’m doing is hard for him to understand. He’s unemployed at the moment and would give his right arm for a job. I had a great paying government job and and I gave it all away. Now...I’m just traveling...spending my savings. He thinks I’m mad. Maybe I am...but that’s the joy of being gay. You can break all the rules. You never have to settle...or do what everyone else is doing...or settle down..or face reality.

The reality is as homosexuals we have already broken most of the rules - no marriage, maybe no children, no adam and eve. So really...why do we have to follow the rest of the rules.

I’ve decided not to settle any more - not to do things just because I’m expected to do them or because it is what I should be doing. I’m going to start doing things because I want to do them...life is not about suffering...or sacrifice...it is short and special and exciting. There’s no dress rehearsal and no time to waste.





Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ankara

I am in Ankara, Turkey’s capital. There is something about capital cities...history...power of government. I grew up in Washington DC. I lived most of my life in a capital city..maybe that’s why I enjoy them so much.

I came to see a famous Turk..the most famous Turk actually...Ataturk (see his mausoleum on the left). He was the father of the modern Republic of Turkey. He gave everyone last names, made them wear hats and western clothes, did away with the Muslim courts and laws and made Turkey the country it is today...so everywhere you see his picture...his statue and most cities have an airport, train station or bridge named after him.

I love studying modern history - my history professor in college used to say by knowing the past we can know the future. And in history like in life, sometimes we keep repeating the same patterns over and over...or repeat history. Turkey is facing some of the same issues that were dealt by Ataturk.

I found a tour guide - a very cute one. Actually he was one of the reasons why I decided to come down to Ankara. We chatted a few times on Skype. He works for the government and is an urban planner. Let’s call him Turk #2. He’s coming to Istanbul later in the week. We had a very deep conversation. He himself also suffers from depression and we talked about therapy and medication and shrinks...very New York.

We had a wonderful three days together. He even showed me where he studied at University. I’m very fortunate that everywhere I go I seem to meet wonderful people...who go out of their way to tell me their story. Like SBS TV in Australia says, 3.6 billion stories....everyone has a story. I’m lucky to be able to come into contact with these strangers...who I connect with.

I forget how amazing the world is...that you can connect with people from different backgrounds, who speak different languages and who have different values. The more I travel and interact with people..the more I realise we are all deep down the same. We have the same insecurities...needs...hopes and dreams.

The Turk is depressed because he’s stuck. He’s me back in Sydney. He’s unhappy with his work, getting over a relationship...not going anywhere. I do not even remember that me...it seems like I left him so long ago...far..far away.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

35

I am a little bit older but probably not much wiser. I spent my birthday in Cologne in Germany with my friend John. It was a special birthday. I’m officially old...in gay years. I did get trashed from too many tequila shots...and did grind with a 28 year old chemist from Dusseldorf. Yes. I still got it.

I’m not where I thought I would be at 35. But when is that the case? We all have life plans...checklists and very few of us end up where we thought we would be. I never thought I would be spending my 35th birthday in Germany dancing to 80s German pop music and downing tequila shots.

If your friends can’t get you drunk...then who can?

I left Italy..a bit fatter (4kgs and counting) filled with amazing experience and more proficient in Italian. I learned the art of doing nothing and living la dolce vita. Germany provided a transition for my return to Turkey.






I am realising that you can do what you want in life. I do not need to settle (well, I will eventually when my savings run out). The world is my home. 85,000 kilometers travelled: Bangkok, London, Istanbul, Brodrum, Rome, Naples, Milan, Torre del Lago, Cologne. Next stops: Istanbul, Ankara, Belgrade, Zurich, New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Cape Town, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota....?

I left my heart in Istanbul. I’ve decided to come back to further discover this amazing city. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lost

I know I have been slack. It has been a month. So much has happened. I have not found love but found myself. I feel alive. Instead of writing about life, I have been living it. That’s what I have learned in Italy. My Italian sucks, but I have gained some passion and have met some amazing people along the way. I’ve have time to think...to ponder..to eat....to drink...to laugh and to stop and see wonderful things. La Dolce Vita. I’m in a space that I can write again. But then again, is anyone reading this?