The more we travel and the more we experience a number of different places, I am realizing that our impressions of place are largely defined by the people we happen to interact with. That people and place are so intertwined in my mind when trying to categorize how I "feel" about a place that I don't often realize that is how my opinion is being defined. The short time we spend in each place then becomes a not very accurate representation of the place itself. But that is ok. I can share with all of you my small observations and feelings and you all know that it is entirely subjective, right? Good :)
Right now we have really gotten settled into our apartment in Melbourne. It feels like we live here, and maybe that is why I have been struggling with the feeling that I need to be "doing something" important with this gift of time I have been given. I am doing yoga almost every day, writing at the cafe, meditating, reading, working on some songs, yet I still feel like I am not "contributing" enough to the world around me. That I am take take taking and not giving in return.
When you travel, it is hard not to feel like a lazy voyeur. You can develop rationales for yourself like, "I'm taking in all of these experiences so I can grow as a person due to the exposure to other cultures" or "I'm spending money in these other locations, that is how I am giving back" or "This is my opportunity in life to just BE. It is an enormous blessing to observe, feel, think, experience without any schedules, responsibilities, or commitments hanging over my head. I deserve it after working non-stop for 18 years." Hmmm. I thought I would be much better at this point on our trip with just "being". Why does the guilt creep in? Don't I deserve to have this experience? And why waste time feeling like this, this is a once in a lifetime thing here, don't blow it Katie! I think part of what is going on is that we are settled in this large city and there is a buzz all around us and it is like a chorus I want to join in. The good thing is, I don't feel like this all the time, but I am trying to work on the times I do.
So some updates:
The other day Brian and I did a cool alleyways tourist walk throughout Melbourne. We must have walked down 10 or 12 hidden little alleyways full of cafes, bars, and cute little nooky type places.
I also had my first Spontaneous Broadway show with the company here. It was really fun, and for part of the show, David Bridie, a famous Australian musician, was called onstage to perform on the piano one of the songs in the first act. I had never heard of him, but absolutely loved singing to his moody, dissonant, beautiful piece.
We also had a music show at the Chandelier Room here on a Sunday afternoon which was really nice. It is family oriented so parents can bring their children to see live music during the day, and there is a play room in back for the kids too. What a great idea! If Brian and I ever open a music venue this is a must do....
We are off to see a number of lectures at the Sustainability Festival today. Environmental issues have really been on my brain a lot lately, I'm working on another post about that.
I hope you all are well out there!