Thursday, October 14, 2010

A interruption to our normal viewing...

Happy Central Park Day - Last full day in NYC 

As we were chugging along today on our very long drive to Pennsylvania I had a few ponderings that I might like to share...  and some photos...  which may seem a bit vain but I will explain ... especially considering how much I hate being in front of the camera...  
Birthday Day

My counsellor suggested when I started to start to take self-portraits of myself and look back on them in a year and see how they change and how my expressions change...  Even some of my wonderful friends on Facebook have remarked on how happy I have seemed in my photos... since my non Facebook friends don't get to see I am going to share now ....  ok i need to have a few voddies first ...  and will then post
Me at the end of August
It appears I have lost my old drive while travelling... somehow deleted the file from my portable drive so I will just do the holiday ones :)

A break in our normal programming…
Capilano Suspension Bridge Day 3
As I have now officially passed the halfway point in my trip of a lifetime adventure… I wanted to share a few things…  about me and what I have discovered about myself. 
Me at Stanley Park on Day 5

I travel relatively well by myself… I am comfortable walking around cities at night and during the days.  Which I have been surprised how safe I feel I feel.  There were a few dodgy spots walking back to the hotel in Toronto.  I actually enjoy my own company more than I thought. Happy to wander around the cities and do things at my pace my speed etc...  
Day 6 - 3 Valley Gap - on the
way to the rockies sooo cold
I am intrinsically a happy go lucky person while that person has definitely been lost in the past 18 months and especially the past 12 months in the haze that is the blackness of depression.
Me in Banff on Sulphur Mountain 
Day 7 the day the camera broke
A few people have commented on this trip how happy I am and how I always make the point to say a very cheery Good morning to every one every day.  Also the wonderful crazy older ladies that are sitting near me have remarked they can tell when I am tired…so they have gotten to know me pretty well. While I loved getting to know all the people on the eastern cities tour as well because they have been so wonderful to me - it was our tour guide Christina that really made that trip for me. We just clicked and she has been a constant support and bad influence :)
Day 8 - Columbia Icefields
While I am happy and accepting of people more so than ever on this trip, Apparently annoying according to my roomie;  I don’t hide these facts … I have made no secret that I am like that I did tell her on our first night together.  
Day 9 - Mt Edith cavell

I don’t travel light and tend to fluff around in the mornings but quite often it is the only time I get to talk to my sister as she is the only one that makes a point of doing of it.  So when I can I make the effort for her because to me she is so worth it.
Day 9 - Mt Edith Cavell - 
Being snowed on dressed in 7 odd layers 
But it is good to see that the old happy go lucky Eileen has been able to shine through and brighten some peoples day and I remarked this to someone recently if they only knew the real reason why I am here and where I have been the past year that most people would be quite shocked.
Me getting snowed on for the
first Time at the Malinge Canyon
By the way everyone on the bus knows my name…  I have made more of a point in getting to know everyone’s name on the bus… better than last one….  But I am great with faces but bad with names…
Day 12 - Me in front of the 
Victoria Parliament Building
My support has come from interesting sources and my constant reminder my life isn’t that bad.  Firstly Family my sister…  we have developed our love of photography together and 4wd driving together.  My wonderful parents who have time given me the courage to carry on when sometimes it seems very black.
Day 14 - Me at Butchard Gardens
Also to a couple people on Facebook who are friends in real life as well.. Fi and Ness…  you have made me laugh and cry at times….  Especially Fi..  I don’t know how you do it every day be a mum to 6 kids and give them all equal time and love and now expecting another one on the way….  To Daisy love you to bits you crazy woman… you make me laugh all the time. To my old school friends it is always funny to see how many of you comment on a regular basis and these are the people who I was GENUINELY friends with in school both high and primary.  So thank you guys … your support has been invaluable.
me in NYC at Times Square Day 19
The Explore girls especially Sheye, Fran, Jodi, Marsha and Blythe the constant support and encouragement has helped me through.  There were some weeks especially towards the end when I really struggled with myself to produce the work I thought was as good as everyone else but the constant love and support came at a time that was perfect for me when I was struggling with real life.
Me in Quebec - Day 23
My friends that I have made online Shari, Alison (no longer just online) and many others but you know who you are. The reminder to keep going and the prompting if I haven’t posted for a couple days reminds me to keep going and that I am actually missed and appreciated somewhere in this world. Those who knew the days when i had only put up how many sleeps to go knew that I was having a bad bad day and it was a reminder to myself that I was going to escape the unhappiness that had been plaguing me and hopefully find some happiness again while I was away.  
Day 25 - me in Ottawa ...
having a bad hair day but this is a fun one that our fantastic tour director took
My real life friends…  Kelly, Jules, Carol, Maree, the boxing girls, Belinda and Michael…plus the many others that I catch up with from time to time.  I am grateful that my life is filled with you all and the days when I am feeling lazy and needed some love you are there for me.  That is what about being a true friend is all about…
Day 26 - Lunchtime stop (aka photo stop for Eileen)
at Kingston Ontario
To the person that has been checking in with me nearly every day …  yes you know who are…  I am so very grateful while it is not your job you still have done it and made me laugh and other days want to strangle you for the flip attitude towards some of the challenges that have happened along the way.  You do rate a special mention because you do know me so well at times and other times you only see the Eileen you want to see…  which is very you.  But you have always been there for me despite your not so hidden agenda… but all I am going to say is Karma and I am worth more than that.
Day 27 - Enjoying the Toronto sunshine...
I think i almost look rock chick cool...  LMAO
To my wonderful rockies friends…  I don’t know what happened to me on that trip…  but I think I fell in love with the mountains and therefore the real Eileen started to show and because of that I have made some really great friends especially in Pete and hopefully Tania …  she is probably glad to see the back of me after living together for almost 2 weeks.
Day 28 - At Niagara Falls...  I am so uber cool ...  LMAO 
Pete and I well we just clicked… laughed and poked fun at each other…  called me a hydrant whore and skank which I would never allow normally but it worked for us.  Also I reminded him of his niece and he loved it when I wore pigtails and stirred Pete up. Even when we caught up last weekend we were exactly the same...  even though he was tired we have a amazing fun day together despite lancie the laser letting me down.  
Day 28 with the Horseshoe Canadian Side of the falls

The rockies....The majesty, the colours, the amazing glaciers and the snow-capped peaks, the ever changing faces as we progressed through.  I didn't let the bad weather get me down despite letting me down when it came to Lake Louise but it gives me a reason to go back.
Day 31 - ohhh shining hair again ... White House
I just loved the mountains and how amazing it really was. It is not really easy to put it into words how amazing that particular part of the world is.  But while I had a rough couple of days there I really loved it.
Day 30 - First Day in Washington just before our dinner
Still right now I can’t thank Salena enough for coming to my aid when it came to the camera…  It saved me otherwise I think I would have moped and missed the whole thing.  I was so devastated when it broke. The sole reason behind me buying the camera was the amazing pictures of the rockies….
Day 31 - Me at the Washington Monument
 But my experiences in the rockies…  I feel like I really found me again up on the beautiful snow-capped peaks which was predicted funnily enough.
Day 31 - the Group photo

Didn't really believe about the predication until I realised on my last day in Jasper that I really didn’t want to leave.  I had some amazing experiences in the rockies…  the snow on sulphur mountains, the ever changing scenery  up there, being snowed upon the majesty of walking to a glacier.  Rafting down a river so peaceful and clear was beautiful with the mountains surrounding us. 
Day 35 - Inside the Crown of Statue of Liberty
On the eastern cities tour it was so much fun to get to know everyone especially the Aussies, Vicki, Kim, Welsh crew, Christina S, Heather, Sandra, Dorothea, Hilda and our Tour Director along with the bus driver who was a quiet soul but I got to know really well.
Day 35 - Ellis Island
I had some amazing experiences such as seeing the Falls, Riding in a Helicopter, Fall Colours, seeing the white house and many many more.  It was a great tour and especially loved the fact that i was rooming by myself along with the lasting friendships that i have made.  
Day 36 Birthday in Central Park
While I didn't have the same personal experience as I did in the Rockies I think it just enhanced it. I am willing to look people more in the eye than I had previously, and more readily willing to talk to me and smile as walking down the street.
Day 39 - Wicked
I have become the ultimate dag … hair not done … no makeup some days…  but willing for people to actually see that side of me.  But it is all about the comfort especially when you are on the bus for hours and hours at a time…
Day 42 - Central Park - The Mall
I am not scared of heights … I thought I was but nope if I can climb mountains and go up on gondolas, driving on the other side of the road, driving in New York City being able to haul by luggage across NYC, also deal with rude Americans, French Canadians to riding in a helicopters I can do most things.
Day 46 - Me on the Gaveston Bridge
It was funny in a city like NYC that I was so incredibly comfortable at being me.  Willing to meet people easily and make friends in random places. Actually ride the subway with Confidence, walking around the city with ease so much with myself. I was so happy like I was in the Rockies which i hadn't really expected. I love the atmosphere and the city of contrasts with the different neighbourhoods. The diversity of the cultures and how easily they are embraced into the day to day life. I really didn't want to leave...  I was so sad about leaving. I feel like even 2 weeks after being at home that I don't want to be here and I left a part of my heart and soul back in NYC.
Day 47 Awaiting to Leave .. bye bye USA
So I  can only hope that I hold onto to this feeling when I get home. This is my way to remind myself not to let myself down.


  1. So lovely to see such a happy smiling face through these photos! You really are having the time of your life! I am so glad that this trip has been as wonderful as you anticipated(and perhaps even more so!!!) xx Maree

  2. hi eileen
    it sounds like you are having an amazing time, and i hope you can stay this happy for a long timexxkathy

  3. What a great post Eileen, I love your blog and so glad to hear you had such a wonderful Adventure over here in North America. Hope everything worked out ok with your camera. I love all your self portriates.
    Take care

  4. When you said don't read, of course I had to!!! OH Eileen, it makes me sad that you have been sad, I am sorry that you felt depressed, to be honest I've always thought you were a pretty upbeat positive person, goes to show don't judge a book by its cover! These photos really do show a light within you. And its true as your holiday progressed your smile became so much brighter. I just adore your self portraits. Hard to pick a fav but I really do love Day 35 one! I am positive you will return to NYC one day. And that part of your heart you left behind will be waiting ...

  5. Well I didn't want to make you cry. You should have a text I got shortly after I published it. I have tried to remain as positive as one can be... and there would be days when I would put nothing on Facebook because I tried to keep it hidden from everyone. Only the people was so close to me actually saw how bad it was. The last few weeks of the explore course it was really bad so I did put in a massive effort to stay positive because I wanted to enjoy the course fully. Hmmm My fav. is the very first one ... Happy day ... Sunshine and sitting on the bridge in Central Park...

  6. Eileen, I have only just found this post, so, so lovely. I am sorry it has been/was so bad for you. I am so glad you had a wonderful time on your trip of a lifetime, you embraced it so fully. xx

  7. The trip helped heal me that is for sure... It is funny how people warn you that certain trips will change you and this was one of them. Also the warning that things would be the same when I got back and it will feel like a distant memory. The redundancy the first week definitely put pay to that and made me face up to the fact that things needed to change. Also i get to relive it all again when i write the blog and go through the photos :)