Cat Lady, Travel & Wanderlust

New Project – Hotels With Cats

June 27, 2017

I’ve been busy away from My Meow working on a new project, Hotels With Cats. It’s been keeping me awake day and night with ideas and energy. I’m in the flow. Which hasn’t happened in a while. So I am going with it while my curious takes me there. The idea came to me the last day of my holidays in Bali, after the excitement of staying in two hotels with resident cats before we left. I get so excited when I stay in a hotel with a resident cat.

“What if cat people could find cats wherever they go?” I thought. So I am building a travel directory for cat people. A collection of Hotels With Cats, Cat Cafes and Sanctuaries. Think Villa Kitty in Bali or Lanai Cat Sanctuary in Hawaii. I want to tell the tales of quirky cats, as well as highlight fantastic destinations and hotels. You’ll be able to search by continent or by theme. Longer term, I am thinking postcards, a beautiful photography book and all the rest. This will be my passions for cats and travel giving birth!  Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

Moving Forward And Being Grateful That It Happened

June 23, 2017

How do you explain to someone who isn’t a freediver that you’ve spent the last six weeks in Bali trying to hold your breath under water? Those in the know would know that freediving is more than that. That deep under the water, if you’re not feeling great, anxious, tired, it just wont work. Your body will say no. Or your mind will. You spend a lot of the time looking at yourself. Why did I feel uncomfortable on that dive? Why did I turn? Why wasn’t I relaxed and felt that the bottom was soo far away. I spent the last six weeks looking in and not out.  Continue Reading…

Daily Life

Homecoming

June 7, 2017

When it came to leaving Bali, I didn’t want to leave. I cried when the car pulled through Amed for the last time, going over those mountains, looking over the rice fields. I think somewhere in Asia is my soul home. I’ve written about it before. I feel like I am home when I get there and I cry when I leave. I’ve had this feeling from the first time I travelled to Thailand when I was 22. How can you explain to people back here what your journey was when you were gone? (Even weirder when it was spending a month figuring out how to relax and hold your breath under the ocean). I describe it  to people who have not tried freediving is that it is like underwater meditation. Anyway, it was a journey of sorts but not a time-to-figure-out-my-life type journey. I dived 24 out of 30 days and was so exhausted every night I didn’t even read a book or hardly blog. Excuse the weird format of my blog by the way, I will get to it now I have better wifi and time. Plus all my delayed travel posts that are in my head!

So now I am back in the cold, with my cats and my love, and my new job. I missed some things about home. My bed. My exercise routine, normal food, a shower with water pressure and having something to get my brain ticking. If I lived there for longer I would need a business or to ramp up the writing.  My new job is great as far as jobs go. Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

30m Freediving Reflections – 42 Days of Summer

May 22, 2017

I didn’t come to Bali with a set number in my head for freediving, or to become an instructor. My only wish was to relax and improve. When I heard I had to do 30m for my Level 3 I silently freaked out. I had done 22 and 25m dives a couple of times last June, at the end of my course, but on previous trips my ears had given out day three and day four preventing me from further deeper dives. I progress a lot slower than other freedivers because I had so many problems with equalisation at the beginning of learning this sport. It is hard to not compare your progress to others but it is so individual, and such a mental process. Everyone is different. I guess I am still scared of pushing my ears because of the pain I have felt in the past. When I arrived in Bali to train I still had to do my constant weight from my AIDA *** to 25m. This trip, of course I wanted to pass that point but overall I wanted to focus on equalisation and make sure that I could actually make it to the end of four weeks without ruining my little sensitive ears.

 My instructor Dan from Apneista Freediving & Yoga Amed, did a smart thing. He didn’t tell me all the requirments for Level 3 so I wouldn’t think about them at the beginning, only relaxation. During the week with Frederic, I had made 27 or 28m dives easily, both finning down (constant weight) or pulling down the rope (free immersion). I could see the tennis ball at the end of the 30m line, but literally freaked myself out from going that extra 2m. In my head all I think about is that I’ve never been that far before. And that extra part is the best fun of all if you remain relaxed. In freediving, the magic happens at around 15 to 20m when you become negatively buoyant. Then, you don’t have to do anything else but enjoy as you freefall to the bottom of the line. When you have a nice freefall, you tuck your head in and chill, and it feels like you’re flying down the line through the water. It is a really relaxing feeling if you can close the demons in your head telling you that you are so far away from the surface. You just focus on your equalisation and enjoy the ride. Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

Day 24 Reflections – 42 Days of Summer

May 15, 2017

And so it is after about three weeks of chill I think that the big questions start to come. What am I doing with my life? What is it all about? Is Sydney life really it? Am I really meant to sit in an office? I’m not sure what the answer is, but I know if I was a digital nomad, I’d have to have something to sell, and I’d have to have more decent wifi. It’s taken sooo long, two beers and three different locations to write this post. So it will be back to the office for me for now.

A holiday this is not and I have not even touched the sides of all the things I wanted to read, because the training has been so hectic! Amazing but hectic. I have really improved my diving feeling super comfortable  and increasing my depth each day. I have met a new family of freediver friends here in Amed to come back and visit, my original fears of changing schools were really unfounded.  Last week rounded up the end of a five day workshop with Frederic Lemaitre. I was sooo exhausted by the end of it, and so were the instructors.

A shot from Freediving last week with Frederic Lemaitre. Credit Kwabana.

They gave us three dry days out of the water, so today we did some fun diving to the USAT Liberty Shipwreck today. USAT is 104 meters of shipwreck that was pushed off the beach and covered in volcanic ash. The bow is in about 5 meters of water and the stern goes down to about 20 meters. So many fish and fun swim throughs. This time I could get the courage up to do the 15m ones. Plus… Ginger Hunk! Here is some footage from today.

Ginger Hunk arrived on Friday and we had a great weekend chilling with friends who were up visiting from down south.

Continue Reading…

42 Days of Summer, Travel & Wanderlust

Day 20 Reflections – 42 Days Of Summer

May 11, 2017

I can’t believe tomorrow I would have been away from Australia for 3 weeks and it will be the arrival of The Ginger Hunk. The time has gone really fast for me but I know it’s been hard for him at home in the cold. I am so excited to see him and show him my new underwater tricks. I’m at the half way point of my course now, have sorted my ears and am well into the swing of my freediving training. A holiday it is not, I can barely keep my eyes open to read a book. Mind you, everyone in the course must be 25 and I am the elderly nanna of the group. It’s great though, a mixed bunch of humans from all walks. This week, I have been lucky enough to join in a five-day physiology workshop run by Apneista and Frederic Lemaitre, a freediver and scientist who has written forty something papers on apnea (breath hold). I am at day four and utterly exhausted but utterly happy. The workshop has consisted each day yoga, 3 hours of diving, followed by two hours of theory, and another hour of yoga and meditation to end off the day. I’ve been falling asleep at 8pm every night into a deep, deep sleep. Not really looking forward to sitting in an office again. Continue Reading…