“And His Heart Grew Three Sizes that Day”

Theres nothing quite like the thought of the future for inspiring both overwhelming excitement, and gut wrenching fear.
For me, the fear of everything I have ending and I being left with nothing is weighed against the desire to move to a city and audition and try my hand at ‘making it.’

I’m at a crossroads at the moment deciding what I want to do with the next year of my life, I’m confident that very soon it will no longer include Disney.
I’ve been around the world with Disney for the past three years, this company has given me all the skills I’ve learned, all the money I’ve saved and all the experiences I’ve had.
I’m really grateful to Disney for what it’s given me, but I can feel within myself that I’ve gained and given everything I can. I’m done.
I think we all know deep down when we’re done with what we have, and it’s useless to continue to force yourself through the motions of the job once you’ve reached that point.
I vacation to Australia in just under three weeks, then I’ll probably return for a couple months in Alaska, then return to Australia and start again.

Never one to risk starting from scratch without at least a few casting directors around the world reading my cv and re-watching my audition tapes, I do have a few possible jobs I’ll discover the results of in the near future.
The one I’m most hopeful for is for a role with Disney’s director competitor in Asia, another is for a much smaller company in Europe and another for a role within casting in my home country of Australia.
Asia is of course the goal, I’ve made no secret of my constant craving to be there, particularly in China. I still have a plan to go to China again this year, but it’s now postponed to November instead of April so that I can go for longer. Hopefully two months this time, half of that time spent in Kunming learning Mandarin, tai chi and calligraphy (total dream come true).

The test is going to be how effectively I can leave my relationships here at Disney Cruise Line and face a future of potentially not seeing these people again. It was tough leaving Disney World for this reason, and I found myself pining for a few of these relationships for quite a while. The added challenge of leaving a cruise ship is the proximity you spent with friends while you lived on board. You spend all day and night with these people, and depend on them for everything. Emotional support systems that use to be carried by 20 friends and your family are now being carried on the shoulders of 5 friends and no family, be assured these friends become family very quickly.
I can count on one hand the number of people that will rip my heart out when I leave them, and it’s gonna be hell to go from seeing them constantly and relying on them for everything, to losing them entirely. I have always put career and travel above everything else, including people, and I’ve always been very open about that priority order. 
This way of thinking has cost me friends and relationships in the past, both of which I’ve given up for the sake of ambition, and even now I don’t regret it.
But now I find that I can think of two people alive that if they asked me to give up everything and immigrate to their country, I would probably do it. This change has either come with age, a change of thinking, an increasing ability to love, or a new discovery of how strongly I can attach to people.
Luckily neither of these people know who they are, and if they do they don’t know that I would give up everything I have for them.
Right now I’m formulating a plan that I’m calling ‘Plan B’, and it’s basically the plan for the next year that will exist if everything I audition for falls through.
It’s a rather morbid plan in that it contains nearly no earning, but it’s fun.
It contains two vacations (that combine to be more that three months of the year, three very expensive months).
It has a few acting workshops in it, plenty of travel, and a lot of cafes, eating and no less than 8 cities in which to do this.
If I come out of this year with any assets or free cash at all I’ll be both very lucky and happy, but hopefully at least one casting director alive will take me on and I’ll be able to have a non-Disney adventure.

I’m still working out what to do with my growing problem of gaining less disposable relationships, but I’m growing as a person and I’m sure the answer will reveal itself someday soon. Or maybe I’ll pack my bags and relocate to where the love is, I’ve done crazier things 😉

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Learning to Talk and to Worry

Hello again!
Guess what! Some of you will be glad to know that I have begun my Chinese language training again, using the Pimsleur Chinese Mandarin system that I was using before.
Unsurprisingly I have forgotten a lot of what I had learned and have had to go quite far back in the course and work my way back to where I was.
I’m pretty ashamed at how lazy I’ve been the last few months, but I realised that if Im one day going to spend thousands going to China and learning the language at Keats School, I’m not going to pay all that money to learn the basic easy crap I could be learning from a CD at home. I wanna go to China and work with an instructor on intricate stuff you can only learn from a patient native speaker. Im also gonna take tai chi while Im there, Im so excited!
This dream can’t become a reality really for probably at least a year, but that means I have plenty of time to get good enough at it to begin needing that patient instructor!
So where am I that I can warrent spending thousands on learning this Asian language? What must I be doing?
Im performing English speaking shows in Mexico and the Caribbean. I know. I am the most Chinese person here, and Im Australian.
But I see this as enjoying a hobby, not building an almost useless skill for my current life situation. Some people have drinking, books, knitting or friends. I have me in my bedroom forcing myself to listen to my language CD’s instead of rewatching 30 Rock.
I don’t know why I rewatch so much TV, there’s probably some emotional issues there. Best not to read into it.
However despite this being a totally legitimate hobby, it may come in handy some day. Translating for a lost Chinese gentleman perhaps, or dialling 911 for someone and the operator only knows Mandarin? You never know.
I’ve been back in the Caribbean 3 weeks now and Im enormously missing the cold of Alaska. Why am I the only Australian alive who hates sun, surf and beaches. Give me cold, rain and snow any day.
I’ve been spending the last week battling a mental war with myself, part of me wants to return to land life, but part of me worries that land life sucks more than I remember.
Being rooted at home means simple luxuries like walking to the shops, hanging out with family and friends, doing whatever I want.
But Id give up travel, and the ability to be wherever my friends are.
I have someone very important to me living in Orlando, how would I see her? However would I fund a trip to China, or have the vacation time to do it?
Right now I travel around working for 4 months at a time then get to do whatever i want for 6 weeks traveling where I please.
I can’t leave, but I can’t stay forever. Right now I get to have my family in Australia, my precious China, and my important relationships in America. If I become grounded I lose out, but I get a life back.
Just keep swimming I suppose.
My shares have taken a bit of a dive lately and it freaked me out today, I had a heart attack.
Combined my shares took a 9% nose dive and seeing all that money in the red made me sweat bullets.
But then I read Warren Buffets quote that says “if your not prepared to lose 50% of your stocks value, don’t invest in shares.” These things happen! But their gonna bounce back. 😉
I’ll write another financial post another time, in the mean time keep traveling! And if your anything like me, try to worry less!
Everything can be perfect and I’ll still worry haha.
If your in America sweet dreams. 😉
See y’all soon. Bye.

Moving Abroad Skittishness

Hey guys sorry for the gap, I’m back on the ship!
For those who don’t know, Im an entertainer aboard the Disney Wonder and I travel while performing Disney shows for kids.
Every time I come back aboard I fall behind in my writing and blogging as Im swept up in sudden work and scripts and pressure. Its a never ending onslaught of things to do and worry about, and there never seems to be enough time in the day.
Luckily I have plenty of time to get off the ship in various countries and enjoy new experiences in new places.
Right now were spending time around the south of the US and in Mexico. I love being in Mexico for the wonderful food and amazing ruines, but I can’t stand the searing heat. Recently I was in Alaska for three months so Im missing that climate, more recently I was in New York which is the perfect temperature for me.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but new immigration standards are being considered by four Commonwealth countries to allow for easier passage between these countries. After an Australian teacher was forced to leave England because of an expired visa, the British Prime Minister came up with the idea to relax the rules for certain countries.
The four countries are Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK.
If this goes through in about a year it would be easier to move between these countries perminantly, without needing an exceptional circumstance.
This would be wonderful because I could see loving living in London, although I’d have to begin again there financially because I’ll die before I convert all my worthless Australian dollars into British Pounds and more than halve the savings that I have built up. So I’d have to move there and start modestly and live with a friend until I got on my feet.
Some people are worried though, most of which live in Australia.
We are a country with very few people and a lot of land mass. Australia is roughly the land size of America, but with the population of Texas. England has far more people than us, and is a tiny island on which everyone is squeezed in. Australians worry if we open the gates we will be overrun.
I think this worry is ludicrous because countries grow and improve with population. Look how awesome America is with all those cities and towns, driving through America must be awesome because there are a ton of populous places to explore.
Driving through Australia, you can drive for ages and see nothing, we have far to much space. Id welcome a healthier population level that forced us to build more cities, perhaps its time for our own Vegas? We definitely have the desert for it.
For now I’m gonna stay in America and Mexico, let me know what you think of people moving around, and where you would live if you could live anywhere!
I’ll be back within a few days, talk soon 😉

Touring the surface of the sun

I’m in Columbia and this is the hottest I’ve ever been in my life.
So I’m gonna be honest here, I took a tour of Catagena purely because of the recommendation of Gloria from modern family. But it was a ridiculously beautiful city, separated down the middle by a river just like Shanghai.
Also like Shanghai one side was the old city, and the other side the new. The old city was stunning and full of history. All of the he castles and fortes are still here, cannons still set up as they were 300 years ago, statues and everything still here.
Even the buildings have been protected by government for all this time, so that even though the insides have become shops and restaurants and such, the outsides have not even changed the paint color on threat of prosecution.
So we’re traveling through what is literally a medieval city armed to the teeth for the threat of invasion from Spain. The art galleries are literally converted medieval jails, the doors to the gallery are jail bars.
Plus with flowers hanging off everything it completed an ancient town look I’ve been craving since I saw that movie that had an old town in it. Remember that one? Russell Crowe or someone was in it I think.
Anyway, just had lunch and the BEST coffee I’ve ever had. We literally all chugged down the coffee in 5 seconds and demanded more, we couldn’t believe it.
Then she gave us a fruit smoothie made up of literally only fruit and water, but had been blended so much it was frothy and delicious. I was in heaven. The food was great too, full of spices and flavor, but the coffee was like my mouth was dipped in a river of endless happiness and joy.
I sound kinda weird, possible because of the heat stroke I’m no doubt experiencing, but if you can get down to South America, get your butt here.

We paid some money and got what I’ve never had before, an English speaking tour guide, and he gave us a lot of insight and history. Who knew this place was invaded so much for its sapphires? There’s a lot of gems here, the jewellery shop was the best stocked jewelers I’ve ever seen, simply dripping in gems. Think the cave of wonders from Aladdin. But the prices are astronomical, but that’s mostly because of the worthlessness of the Columbian peso. Literally it converts at 2,000 for 1 US dollar. Ca-razy.

Anyway I’m going to leave the wifi and get something to drink before I die. I’m almost in Panama so an update will land soon. 🙂 Subscribe and come along! Sia Jien!

Down-playing Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Today I’m in Mexico! And though it’s a big deal in America, apparently not so much here in the country where I assumed it would matter most. People here don’t find it all that special, although still put on a big party for all the locals and push booz on you while your trying to order breakfast.

I’m here in Rock n Java, a super awesome little cafe right on the water and for once it’s not very hot. I think I’m beginning to piss off the waiter though, because even though it’s not busy, I’m only just beginning to write this now and I’ve been sitting here an hour and a half.
It’s weird, every-time I’m here there will be like 3 tables being used in like 20, but once I’m done eating they will begin the not-so-subtle waiter push out the door routine. Who am I inconveniencing here?

I almost made a grand mistake, I ordered a glass of water and shunned the bottle they brought me. “No no!” Says I, “a glass will be fine.” To that my friend whispers “take the bottle……….”
It’s called ‘Montezuma’s curse’ apparently. It’s the name given to the individual who drinks tap water in Mexico, then spends the next three days camping on the toilet. Yuuuuk.

So I’m sticking with my mango smoothie and freaking enormous nachos that I ordered from the appetizers menu.
I’ve begun to understand that while I’m in America, when I order from the ‘entrée’ menu, I’m actually ordering a main course. Because Americans call main courses the entree.
But in Mexico I’m beginning to suspect it’s the same thing, except they are calling main courses ‘appetizers’, because I’m a big eater, and I can’t finish this.
That, or this cafe is still perfecting it’s English menu.

I’m debating going to Mega after my meal (think Mexican Wal-Mart).
Mega is a giant store that sells everything, and sells it very cheaply. One time I only bought a coke, but I encountered a tender problem. I had a one dollar note, which they accept, but she didn’t have enough change to accept it. It was literally far to valuable. So I bought a chocolate aswell, Mega is amazing.

People come to Mexico and swim with dolphins, go to the beach, go to bars. I hit cafés and super discounted massive stores. Doing Central America the right way. 😉

So starting tomorrow I will enjoy 4 straight days at sea (argh) before hitting Columbia. It’s a disgrace (because I hate the undeserved popularity ‘Modern Family’ has received) but I almost entirely want to see the country because of Gloria. Gloria talks about Columbia so much in that show (how do I know? Because I watch it. I’m part of the he problem. Boo me). And when she talks about it she projects so much pride in her country, it’s made me really want to visit.
I wish I had that much pride in mine! But I don’t haha, all my jokes are at the expense of Australia.

Alright this waiter looks about ready to physically throw me out, so I’ll go. I’ll post again in a few days so keep an eye out! Please subscribe to keep up with the journey, and comment to be part of the conversation. 🙂

Till next time, buenos nachos!

The Others are coming…

I was looking back through my photos today and marvelling at all of the moments I’d forgotten, isn’t it crazy how even the best stuff gets filed away and lost? Then you can just find a photo and it all gets unlocked again for reflection.

One of my favourite things about traveling for Disney is visiting their private island. Disney owns an island in the Caribbean called ‘Castaway Cay’ for the privilege of exclusivity for their guests. It’s a stunning island thats been dredged so that the ship can park right up against it (none of this ferrying guests across in little boats nonsense). Besides that it’s got beaches, shops, places to eat and even little huts for hire. Other things I love is the in-freaking-sane weather that is ‘end of days’ Noah’s ark storm lightning death weather one minute, and searing hot the next. But I think the biggest thing I got out of that place was chatting to the folks that live there.

Theres a tribe of roughly 80 – 90 people that live on the island to maintain it and work on it when the guests are there to enjoy it, and it’s fascinating hearing about their lives. There’s very few women so relationships are a struggle for the men, very little to do, and very poor internet. But this little beachy paradise island reminds me so much of ABC’s ‘Lost’, I can’t help thinking it must be so much like Lost living there!

They have a little community of houses right behind the guests view, I’ve never seen it, but in my mind it looks just like the ‘others’ camp. I’m imagining it being run by Ben, and they send people to infiltrate the guests and learn what they can and bring intelligence back at night. From what I hear though their living quarters are really little, not like on the show.

But if they wanna live like the show they can! Wake up each day on an island, go catch some fish, explore for a bit and look for Jacob it sounds like crazy fun. Although you’ve gotta feel crazy cut off, the same small group of people and nothing to do it must get lame. I’m someone that loves the city and I barely survived living in a beach town let alone a tiny island.

So as good as Lost was, that’s one job I’ll never do, not even for Disney. Could you manage it? Let me know 🙂

P.S If your a fan of Lost, and you visit Disney’s island, try and find the cursed numbers, I hid them somewhere 😉

This One Time, at Band Camp

Ok so

I was suppose to start blogging ages ago, while I was still on the ship and my life was still interesting. However I didn’t, and though I will be returning to the ship there will be more than a few bloggable days until then.

So I thought I’d share a few stories over the next few days and reminisce over some of the better experiences I’ve had in some of my favourite countries I discovered during my contract.

Mid January it was time to fix the ship, so we dumped the guests and headed the ship to Freeport in the Bahamas for a ten day dry dock. Over the course of the dry dock more than 600 vendors came on-board and while they were there it was difficult to find anywhere they weren’t to relax.

So as many nights as we could we hit the town and went absolutely wild, some lost their senses entirely. These clubs were the absolute best way to party, outdoors with enough wind and humidity to ensure the crowd sweated themselves into a unified mass, and cool enough that you could breathe through the stifling thickness of people.

Unfortunately I’m not much of a party animal so like many things made available to someone my age in a foreign country, it was wasted on me. I turned up to the crowded dance floor for one main reason, if you could wade into the middle of the throng and hold your phone high enough into the air, beautiful wifi could be found.

In countries such as this wifi is like water in the desert, and after being starved of it for long enough, finding an ounce can start a gold rush. To anyone else there seeing a bunch of people treading water through the dance floor looking for wifi on brightly lit phones would look very strange, but to us its a necessary forage for sustenance.

Besides the wifi, the club offered a beach with a roaring bon fire, and across the road offered a restaurant that served the best damn fish this worlds ever seen. Freshly caught, roasted over an open fire until blackened and thrown onto a paper plate. It was then served onto your plastic table for your enjoyment with your disposable cutlery. But for what the restaurant gave up in flash, it more than made up for in real food. Why is it that the further you head towards more developed civilisation such as my country, you give up some of the foods quality. Then when you move up the awesomeness scale to America, the quality is lost entirely.

One day I think I’m gonna review food properly, I do love food so much.

Tomorrow I’m gonna think of another story, until I think of something else to focus on. 🙂
If you think of anything you want me to talk about, please ask 🙂