Time just dissolves, and I have found it whizzes by faster as I get older. After much planning and anticipation we are currently two days away from a big adventure to Thailand and Laos. It is our first proper international sojourn since Covid struck way back in March 2020. We have another more regional trip to Tasmania for my 45th Birthday as well, but today we are gonna talk about the farm and our fast approaching Southeast Asian tour.
Both trips are a mix of b’ness and honeymooning as we are now officially ensconced in the tourism industry as owner/operators of a working 50 acre regenerative farm and eco-tourism venture called Matakana Retreat. That means we LITERALLY HAVE TO visit other such tourist and regenerative ventures to learn and perhaps share knowledge in return. I can confidently say it is the most rewarding and generally enjoyable job I have ever had.
Here’s a picture of our beautiful banana circles taken yesterday,
Despite being seriously satisfying it has not been smooth sailing or simple by any stretch. We’ve been hit with countless curve balls, an unrelenting cleaning and maintenance schedule and ongoing tough decisions and precarious but important prioritising of time and resources. We are at the mercy of so many factors, but somehow we’ve managed to imagine, deliver and nurture an immersive experience that delights us, our team and most importantly our guests, visitors and customers.
Delighting people in an all too often not delightful time for humanity and the planet is our cherished modus operandi. We fervently guard and honour this calling, along with our privacy and mental hygiene. Damon and I have seen a barrage of less than delightful personal and professional battles, and emerged filled with equal parts gratitude/optimism and fear/trepidation. At this stage in our evolution, we do not suffer fools and we know our own worth and the importance of our efforts and vision, and we simply don’t have time or bandwidth for anything that may threaten our trajectory.
There is a strange but notable down-side to all this purpose, comfort, safety and contentedness that needs to be acknowledged. My capacity for creativity has dried up considerably. I don’t crave validation and feel connected and appreciated by my tried, true and chosen friends. I see and speak to some people regularly and others far more rarely, but feel socially safe and secure, which has the strange side-effect of almost lacking ambition and missing that spark of creativity that comes from having ongoing emotional torture as my muse. I don’t feel like I have much to share or work through that would be of any interest to most people these days. Being miserable and surrounded by mean terrible people wasn’t fun, and I never care to go back to that dark pit, but those days I was a prolific story teller and wordsmith.
I tried to give myself an achievable list of 23 blogs to write in short order, but I stumbled at the first hurdle and found my writers block so crippling I couldn’t complete the second instalment about being aware of my own shame and desire to assuage my guilt as a climate criminal.
So. Rather than make excuses, I am going to just share, even if it isn’t what I once might have considered up to scratch.
Let me start with string with you some of the exciting places and spaces on our itinerary.
- Dentist in Bangkok – I am middle aged, and my teeth hurt. Seeing the dentist in New Zealand has cost me thousands and I know that there’s work to be done on my chompers that will likely add up to as much, if not more, than a trip to Thailand. So, in true pragmatic Dianna fashion, we received a sum of money from a tenancy tribunal settlement, and that resource is being spent on my teeth and some time being delighted by the madness and wonders of Thailand’s largest city .
- Shompoo Cruise – One day, when I am all grown up and have lots of cash in my bank account, I hope to take a luxurious low carbon river cruise in an air conditioned suite with my beloved second husband Damon. At this particular point in my journey this is currently a pipe-dream, Most of our time, resource and income is dedicated to our new business, we cannot currently drop the substantial chunk of change to cruise the mighty Mekong in luxury. Far from depressed or defeated, we have booked a two day open air slow boat tour instead. I hope to share our experiences with you as the adventure unfolds! We travel from just inside the Laos border from a small town called Huay Xai up to Luang Prabang
- Bullet Train from Luang Prabang to the country’s capital Vientiane – fast efficient low carbon transport? Yes please! I enjoyed the Japanese bullet trains very much, and am excited to try this out.
- Street food and Foreign Culture – Several dozen of my trips to exotic and exciting locations were made while I was gestating one of the four humans I have grown in my body. That meant street food was sadly off the menu. I can wholeheartedly guarantee my body is very much no longer geared to be an incubator, so street food is back on the menu (has been for nearly a decade, but I haven’t been through Asia much in that time). While a self confessed poor practitioner, my husband has maintained Buddhist leanings, so we will likely be offering alms and visiting temples in earnest for two weeks solid and I am very excited to have someone who has a deep connection with the cheerfully nihilist and generally gentle religion.
- Honeymooning – This is our first year as a married couple, and we fully intend to thoroughly milk our status as honeymooners, possibly far into the future, but definitely for any of our journeys up to and including our first anniversary.
So that’s my blog for today. I still love writing, despite the distinct fear I currently have that reading about my life lately is simply not that interesting. Calm, yes… Interesting, possibly not. And that’s okay I guess. Been fun to jot a few thoughts down though, so I will keep writing as long as you keep reading.
Thanks for popping in and have a great weekend.