Category Archives: Travel

1 Week To Go

1 week to go… The countdown is now in single digits…. feels weird saying that. This is probably going to be the longest weeks of my life. Then again, the last few days before something big you’ve being looking forward to usually tend to drag and this is will probably be no exception.

I do have some stuff to take care of over the next week, some loose ends to tie up, some final nick knacks to buy, some packing to do and of course, ticking more people of my list of saying goodbye to ( if I haven’t done so already. )

It STILL hasn’t hit that this time next week, I’ll be on a 16 hour flight to Kuala Lumpur ( the second leg of the journey. ) I mean, I am looking forward to it but I just don’t know how to feel…. it’s weird. For now, I’m just carrying on as much as possible with my normal routine because that will be going completely out the window next week.

The thing is, this ‘ normal routine ‘ is one of the reasons I’m leaving to begin with. I know that I’ve generally stagnated growth wise because of said routine. So, I’m going to change things up a little, you get me?

My thoughts seems to be jumbled a lot right now but I’m OK with that because like one wise man said, it’s OK to not be OK at this stage.

Hopefully the next week won’t drag so much.

2 Weeks To Go; Not Knowing What To Feel

Last Saturday  I had my going away party. It was long day for me because not only did I say goodbye to many friends and family but earlier the same day, I also said goodbye to my friends from the local fighting game scene as I attended my final local tournament. So you could say the last weekend was a weekend of goodbyes and I’m not even finished yet!

To be honest… right now I don’t know how to feel. I mean, I’m happy that I have so many who care about me ( as well as finding out who my friends were…. let’s just say a LOT of people failed that test! ) That people are going to miss me but right now, I’m not sure how to feel about it all.

I’m entering the final countdown, so to speak. There is only 2 weeks to go now. I’ve still got a few things to do before I go ( apart from packing, obviously! ) I’ll sort most of that out this week. It hasn’t really hit me that I’m actually going to Australia. A part of me is half expecting some disaster to happen that will prevent from going!

I don’t know why I’m thinking like that. Maybe it’s because it’s such a huge step into the unknown for me that my brain isn’t able to comprehend it yet. Maybe I’m experincing what one may call ‘ Graduation Goggles ‘ at this stage. It could be the negative part of me talking, trying to imagine random crap like how North Korea is going to start World War 3 within the next 2 weeks or some other fantasical reason that I won’t be able to travel!

Then I think about more morbid reasons that could either prevent me from traveling or make me return early like the death of a close relative. I guess I’m not OK and that is OK with me. It’s normal for someone to feel nervous and unsure when they are about to make a big transition in their lives – I’m about to make one myself after all. They think about all the nasty shit that could happen or go wrong. They somehow think that they don’t deserve it and maybe even WANT something happen to prevent them from actually making the transition!

I’ve fought with similar feelings in another area if my life before and was able to eventually overcome them ( that is for another post, though. ) So I can overcome this feeling I’m having right now – It’s a weird one, a happy kind of blues – you could say. You happy that you’re going but you’re sad at what you’re leaving behind in order to do so – a part of you doesn’t want things to change, so to speak.

However, I know that as much as hate it, change is a part of everyday life. I would nearly say it is an ESSENTIAL part of everyday life. Without it, life would be stale and boring. People will endless complain about change – especailly if it’s a large website that likes to change appareance every other week! The human being is a strange cookie, alright; We hate change but in order for u to grow – then we MOST be willing to embrace change in our lives.

I accept that change is a part of life. I’m making a change for myself. Sure it is scary as hell but you know what? That is what makes life worth living. I know that my current life isn’t going to get me anywhere which is why I am making this change for myself.

I’ll leave you with a song that pretty much sums up my mood right now;

The Australia Adventure Video Diary 1 – 3 Weeks Before

The Australia Adventure Part 2 – The Most Expensive Part

Hello everyone, right now, I am little hyper. You wouldn’t really be able to blame me though. This has got to have being the most hindering part of the whole process so far all because of money issues. It has resulted in this being delayed by several months BUT I had reached the stage, where funds were sufficient AND if I didn’t do this now, I NEVER will as I would keep finding excuses not to say!

Anyway, as you can guess by the title, today I finally booked my flight to Australia! Truth be told, it was almost surreal actually doing this after looking at this particularly set of flight options for quite some time but alas, things are now officially set in stone. In fact, here is a brief screenshot of my confirmation email to prove it;

aus_flight_booked

And with that, I can now officially announce my date of departure – I shall be leaving Ireland for the pastures of Australia on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013! This is a major step for me and I can’t wait for the date to roll around. Also, I booked some initial accommodation for when I get over. Nothing too fancy, just a hostel after all. Then we’ll see where I go from there.

My mother, bless her soul, is concerned that I will be lost without friends over there and is urging me to contact the people I know over there before I leave. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s something I’m going to do anyway but I don’t want to be totally babied either or end up spending all my time around other Irish people! I want to expand my horizons and meet other people as well.

At the same time, I am aware of the challenges ahead but I reckon I’m more than up for it. Stay tuned – a bold new chapter in the life of Adrian Collins shall be beginning soon!

Thoughts On A Bad Week

Hey everyone, how have you being? It’s being a while, I know. Lack of motivation on my part ( hey, at least I’m honest! )

The last week has frankly… not the being the best of weeks in the Adrian Collins camp. I’m not ill or anything like that, thankfully. It’s just some things didn’t work out for me, that’s all.

Firstly and regretfully, I am announcing that I will be missing my ‘ Project Getaway ‘ deadline that I set last November. There is really only one reason; Money. I know that many people adovcate that money doesn’t mean everything but I still believe in at least having some sort of cousion when I do get to Australia.

On that topic, the new date of departure will be early next year, probably something before Mid-Feburary. Truth be told I’m rather disapointed in myself that I will be missing the deadline, I built myself so much up for it only to miss it over something as petty as money! However, there is a minimum required to enter Australia ( Yes, I know they hardly check but better safe than sorry and it always helps to have something of a cushion to land on. ) I would be barely scrapping it as it is if I went in November.

On the other hand, at least I’ll be at home in case the world ends on December 21st! :P

There was also another event that occurred this week that made the suck even worse. However, I don’t think I should talk about it as a mark of respect to all those effected. I will say it was one of the worst things I’ve ever had to endure.

What To Make Of All This

The last week sucked, there is no denying that. I was a bit down in the dumps over eveything that occurred but my world hasn’t ended. I’ve come out on the other side in one piece, maybe feeling a little sad but I’m still here.

I accept that these things happen. Maybe it’s lifes way of kicking me up the hole, so to speak. I’ve also learnt a bit about myself; I’m more resilliant than I’ve ever being. The same series of events would have broken me if they happened when I was 16. Now, while still upsetting, I knew that I would get through them and come out the other side, a better person for it as well.

Life has a way of throwing a spanner in the works at times. Each and everyone of us has to endure these kind of challenges in life. It’s how we react to them is what will define us. Will you fall to pieces or will you rise up and become a better person?

The Australia Adventure: Part 1 – Getting that Visa

It’s being a while, how has everyone being? Anyway, last weekend, I was in Dublin to attend an all nighter to watch the finals of EVO 2012. For those of you who are wondering what EVO is, it is basically the world’s biggest fighting game tournament and happens yearly in Las Vegas. The finals happen on a Sunday night and like last year, the Irish scene organised an all nighter in a gaming cafe to watch said finals ( and play some games while we’re watinig as well. ) It was a good night, though to say the least, I was pretty bushed the following day for obvious reasons!

However, with the end of EVO 2012, I now had to follow through on something I said to many people I would do the ‘ Tuesday after EVO. ‘ Well, yesterday was the Tuesday after EVO. So, it was time to finally do it.

For those who follow me on Twitter, I tweeted about this yesterday. Posting the following the image:

I was finally applying for my visa to go to Australia!

I had being all talk before but now I was going to make things more solid and certain. I took my time filling out the form, paid the fee and then sat back and waited it to process, checking it several times before I went to bed later that night.

I woke up to this email this morning;

Yup, the visa had being granted! And with that, the first step has being completed. The next step now is to book the flights and inital accomadation, though I’m gonna leave that until closer to my chosen date of departure ( Mid – November, shortly before the deadline. )

Hopefully, nothing bad will happen between now and then that will prevent me from going. However, having taken the first step, the whole thing is now real with this. Stay tuned for future updates on this.

Failure & Success

I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I know that. The reason being, apart from me completely running out of ideas, I also kind of fell flat on my face in the past 6 weeks or so. It wasn’t a pretty site to behold, if you ask me and it’s only the past week or so that I feel I am getting back up onto my feet again.

Unfortunately, as a result, I have some bad news to report. I have already written about how I broke the year of no drinking thing. Yeah, things went to crap afterwards. It was a bit messy ( no, I haven’t turned into an hopeless alcoholic but still. ) I guess I was too ambitious with the time scale I had set myself. Well, I can least say I went 3 months without drinking, even though it’s a bit of a cop out.

So yeah, it’s being a bit of a failure.. hence one where I was aware of making the choice and as I wrote in my previous post, worrying about letting my audience down too much is a bad sign and is almost peer pressure in itself ( not saying it’s a bad thing unless it starts effecting you negatively. )

On that note, I’ve also got another failure on my part to report. Damn, this is like a double whammy and is making me out to be someone who can’t succeed at anything! Anyway, this failure concerns my fighting games hobby. Yeah, I failed to win a tournament and May is almost over. Hell, I haven’t managed to get past group stages in any tournament this year! What the hell is wrong with me!? Then again, there is only so much online play can do as I live no where close to someone who plays these games like I do. That in turn means practice isn’t as practical as it should be and I just get bored of beating up a dummy in training mode.

Maybe I’m just not meant to be hyper-competitive. I’m more content to hang in the background with the community. On that note, I’m actually going to be running the local tournaments myself for a while as the guy who has ran them to this point is leaving Ireland soon. That in itself will pose some interesting challenges for me. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to win. I followed up and asked others what I did wrong that caused me to lose at the last tournament so that I could improve in future.

However, I actually do have some good news to report; In less than 3 weeks, I will be doing my Stage 10 speech in my local Toastmasters club, thereby completing the Competent Communicator manual and achieving certification as a Competent Communicator :D I won’t say any more about that until then but it’s a big deal for me, considering I’ve being doing a speech practically every month since last September ( not including the speech competitions and the time I went to the fond-raising Speakathon event in Marymount Hospice ) I’m pretty burnt out in that department! Well, all I need to do is one more and I’ll be done with the CC manual!

As for Australia, things are still going to plan. Just slowly saving for up towards it. As long as the Euro doesn’t go to crap before I leave, I’ll be fine. Looking forward to it, being honest and it won’t be that long coming!

So that’s an update on me. As the future of this blog, I’m not sure. I’ll keep things up to date but I can’t promise anything. I’ll need to rethink a few things, though. Till then, keep up with whatever good you’re doing!

People Who Inspire Me – Niall Doherty

No Self Promo ChallengeThis post is a part of a series of posts I will be making every Thursday for the month of February as my contribution to the No Self Promo Challenge. Despite the title, we can decide our level of involvement. As part of my contribution, I decided to write a series of posts about people who inspire me or have otherwise have a positive impact on me and I feel more people should be made aware of.

Well, this is one person who needs no introduction but I am going to give him one anyway. Niall Doherty is the person behind Disrupting the Rabblement. Niall, unlike so many other people, actually got to live his dream, which was to go to New Orleans and be able to report on his favourite Basketball team, the New Orleans Hornets. He would eventually earning a media pass and all the benefits attached to it owing to his work on a fan site he had created.

Having lived this dream, he has since moved onto a new one: Lifestyle Design. Now, I used that term loosely as ‘ Lifestyle Design ‘ can mean anything you want. Though there is one universal theme that goes with it: Abandoning the standard life mindset and living life on your own terms.

Niall has done, and continues to do this in droves. He is a vegan ( though not of the lecturing ‘ oh, meat is bad, save the animals, man! ‘ type ) recently finished a year long stint of no drinking and has decided he doesn’t need to drink ever again ( which served as inspiration for my own year of no drinking challenge. )

At time of writing this, he is on a round the world trip without flying and is about to enter Iran in order to get to India. Many people are worried that he might end up in harms way and get hurt or killed, be he seems all right with this.

Niall has also shown that is more than willing to stretch his comfort zone, having done a series of challenges called ‘ Random Acts of Courage ‘ in early 2011. The idea being that he would have much stronger courage muscles by the time he was through the week of challenges.

Niall is also not afraid to call out others. As I detailed late last year, I got called out in one of this blog posts, which prompted me to respond immediately and also showed me that he is not messing around and is for real! This is something that I like very much.

This is Niall Doherty and he inspires me to break through my comfort zone, challenge myself and make myself a better person.

Me & Niall after meeting in Cork last September ( 2011 )

Me & Niall meeting up in Cork last September ( 2011 )

The Goals & Challenges of Infinity

Challenge Accepted

Hey people, how are you all keeping!? Well, after getting called out by Niall last week, I said that I would make a follow-up post to my impromptu one from last week and well, here I am!

As I said, I was going to be listing a few of my goals. This goals will be for the next year from today ( Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011 ) I will start with the one I posted about last week and work from there.

Goal 1: Win at least 1 Fighting Game tournament by the end of May 2012

This one is I mentioned last week. I need to work on my fighting game skills to bring them up to a level that is acceptable, possibly change characters in the process in order to do so ( sorry Juri ) but alas, I’m hungry and want to achieve this whatever it takes!

Goal 2: Find a source of income

I won’t lie, my current source of income is social welfare! Before all of you breath down my neck going ‘ get a job you lazy fuck! ‘ don’t, I’ve heard dozens of times before it this stage and I’m only on it about 6 months! Anyway, I’m no waster and have being saving most of it every week with intentions to travel.

BUT…. I want to see if I want to find a source of income that is better than that. Even if it means in the short-term working some god-awful job with antisocial hours then so be it. That said, I’ll also see if I find other ways to make some money before resorting to that.

Goal 3: Finish the Toastmasters Competent Communicator Manual

I have being a member of Toastmasters since June of this year. For those who are wondering, Toastmasters is an international group where people come together and give speeches with the aim of improving themselves and all that jazz.

I am currently working my way though the initial Competent Communicator Manual at a good pace and hope to have all 10 projects done within it by the end of the 2011 / 2012 season.

Goal 4: Become more frugal

Closely tied in with my source of income goal, this one simply involves me learning to make do with less money. I fully believe it will be possible for me to live on 30 Euro or less a week while I save. This will involve some sacrifices but it will be worth it in the end.

I plan on having one last blow out for the month of December this year ( with presents, some clothes and going out ) but come January, I will be in full-time frugal mode.

Goal 5: Get rid of Possessions

I am not talking minimalism here: I simply wish to downsize to a manageable amount of possessions. This will involve clearing out my wardrobe, throwing out and / selling / or giving away stuff I don’t use any more to create less clutter in my life.

Goal 6 – The Big One: Go to Australia aka Operation Getaway

This is the big one. The grand finale. All of the other items on the list lead up to this one. The core goal that merits me taking inspiration from Man Vs Clock and setting a public timer on it. All of the goals above lead into this one. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time ( talking like at least 5 years here ) and now I am determined to finally do it. This also explains the timer I added to the blog recently.

The aim – Be either in Australia or on my way there by November 22nd, 2012 at the very latest. Swap the shitty Irish weather for sunshine, beaches and all that jazz. It’s not gonna be cheap but should everything go to plan, it will all be worth it in the end!

And so there you have it, 6 goals. One year. I believe they are all perfectly achievable. This is only the start. Again, inspired by Man Vs Clock, I will be setting myself comfort zone challenges with set time limits. I already have one in mind but I won’t be posting that one until early in the new year.

Until then, lets bring it on!

My Barcelona Adventure

The Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, my own photo

Hola!

Seeing that I wasn’t bothered to make people aware of my recent goings on, I was recently on a short trip to Spain, Barcelona specifically. The reason I did it was simple, because I could. I also wanted to test the waters and see what would happen if I was exposed to another culture, even if I did have to filter through tourist nonsense to get there. I just wanted to let myself go with the flow and see what I would get from it.

The short answer is – a lot. The long answer, well, sit down and relax, this might take a while.

I literally only booked this a little over 2 weeks before I went. While I like the idea of planning ahead somewhat, I don’t like doing it too soon as I tend to be a spontaneous person and would probably read up too much if I did and spoil it for myself. That said, the most of read about Barcelona was a load of scaremongering articles about pick pockets. My thoughts after being there, yes, there is a problem with them there but its vastly exaggerated. If you ask me, if you go around with one of those front pooches – your just making yourself a sitting duck for them. I never had any trouble with my wallet or other belongings – and I walked back to my hostel on my own – steaming drunk from a pub crawl!

Of course, I did some tourist things, like go on some walking tours ( The Gaudai one is to be recommended if at all possible ) bus tours, visited some places of historical interest ( not recommended doing so with a hangover, I thought I was going to drop dead in the Catalan History museum after going there following a night out before! ) as well as the more fun, like the aforementioned pub crawls and meeting with random people in the hostel and drinking cheap booze. There was also the beach, which was right next to my hostel which was a plus!

Of course, I sampled some Spanish cuisine, Tapas were nice and Paella was excellent. Sangria smelt like vinegar when I first sniffed it but is actually a really nice and sweet drink – hits you hard like a motherfucker, though! Truth be told, I was expecting to spit out at least something because it tasted foul – I did – but it was based on conventional cuisine I’m used to at home! Man, I’d gobble the Spanish cuisine up, it was that good!

If there is one thing on a personal level that I brought home with me its that you should keep hope alive. I mean on a level of relationships. I met someone who I felt on a level we like kindred spirits, too bad she had a BF already though ( FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU… ) but yeah, it gave me the impression that there really is someone for everyone out there and also reinforced the notion that if I am to find that someone for me, I will have to up and leave Ireland to do so.

Now, before all the Irish women get righteous on me, don’t. I could easily meet someone tomorrow that will blow me away and change my mind in the process, I’m just saying what I think based on my experiences but that’s another topic for another day.

Anyway, twas a good trip, an eye opener for me and I would return again – maybe even to live there!

Sunrise over a Barcelona Beach

Photo of the Sunrise over the Barceloneta Beach the morning I arrived

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