Sunburn and inpiration

Simon and I went for an early morning walk along the beach today. We left the kids asleep in bed and crept out. There are a handful of people out walking and it’s a tranquil and romantic stroll along. We stop to examine some of the beach kill along the way. There are 5 or 6 jellyfish washed up and they vary from the size of a dinner plate to about 4 times bigger. We also see a baby shark and some starfish. The shark and some of the jellyfish are still alive and I want Simon to put them back into the sea but he wouldn’t touch the jellyfish and the shark was apparently some fisherman’s catch and had disappeared by the time we came back.

I swap my book for a new one, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. This is Aron Ralston’s true life account of how he became trapped by a falling boulder whilst hiking in Utah and subsequently amputated his own arm in order to free himself and save his life. I read really quickly and soon get into the story, it is a compelling read and I admire his strength of character that enabled him to do that.

Someone told me I was inspirational and amazing for following my dreams with this trip. I’m not sure whether I agree with that, to be honest in some ways I feel like it’s almost a cop out, running away on a huge adventure for a year. One thing I think I have learnt from the trip already though is that most things are possible if you want them enough and are prepared to be brave and work at it.

In his book Aron Ralston talks about a fella whose book he read who dropped out of mainstream society to travel around the US. He wrote that “Many people live within unhappy circumstances but won’t take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which might appear to give you peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the spirit than a secure future.”

I’m hardly going to become that type of mountain climbing adventurer myself so perhaps shouldn’t comment too much! But one thing I hope is that I have become a bit braver and have the balls to take a few risks. I think that’s important and a fantastic quality that not everyone has.

All that said I have done nothing braver or more adventurous today than brave the fierce sun. I asked the sunbed fella to pull my bed down by the waters edge and lay reading and listening to Duran Duran and The Scissor Sisters on my MP3. The sun is too hot to go out in for long and I stayed under my umbrella all day. Despite this I have still got burnt and my lips and cheeks are really sore. Simon said I look as though I have been skiing as I have got panda eyes where my sunglasses have been. I also have the perfect Angelina Jolie pout.

Everyone including us is short of money, the visa system on the island has collapsed and no one has been able to access any cash for 5 days. We decide therefore to eat at The Delta Motels Restaurant, the food is pretty basic and cheap and chicken fried rice is probably the best they have to offer but it will do and goes down ok with a few Tigers. Usually a lack of money would completely freak me out but I am more relaxed about it than I would have thought possible. Maybe finally I am listening to the words of The Serenity Prayer that I know so well.

Its 11.15 and I’m sitting on the bed. There is so little to do here that I feel very lazy. I have decided Langkawi is a place for reading, listening to music and thinking and not much else. Today has been one of those perfect days that nothing could spoil and I can’t wait for tomorrow.