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Déjà Brew

Déjà Brew
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I’m back! If anyone has been wondering where I have been… I've had the most momentous three month adventure to India, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos and Nepal! It has been beautiful getting back into my old life but with improved vision and clarity.

I spent a month in vibrant, exciting, surprising, confronting and alluring India. We started in Goa and watched the super, blue, blood full lunar eclipse on top of a hill, immersing ourselves with the people we were going to call family for a few weeks. Then Hampi was a retreat full of magic, history and adventure. At the crack of dawn upon my arrival, I saw beauty like I had never seen before. Luminescent paddy fields reflected the shapes of the dramatic rocky landscapes on the horizon, pinpricked by the occasional billow of a brightly coloured sari. There, we traversed temples and tombs. In Karnataka, we found a beach off the beaten track, a patch of happiness where we lived for free. Secret paths and a jungle trek to reach where we wanted to be. We also enjoyed our most local experiences in the small towns where we were the only travellers. In Mumbai I began my adventure alone, my first view being filthy yet beautiful haze of the city on the skyline, which turned to colourful lights rippling in the river reflection. I was submerged in booming festivities and encouraged by locals to be part of it. Dharavi slum was my favourite place. Family homes the size of small rooms were clumsily stacked on top of each other like badly put together Jenga. I played Pokémon cards and chase with the children, cricket with the men and shared mutual tales of afar with the women. Feral cats lived in the trash and beautiful butterflies flickered like multi-coloured gems across the path. It was a sensational overload. I walked through alleys and shuffled through gaps for hours, with the air turning from thick to thin in seconds. It smelt like life; aromatic spices sizzling, detergent washing along the dusty street, tanners, incense burning, diesel fumes, handmade lemonade stalls, trash and fresh flowers being sold by the children.

I then flew to Singapore for two weeks to enjoy a starkly contrasting world that resembled a futuristic and impeccably clean city. It was amazing to catch up with close friends there, meet new creatives and rejuvenate before heading to Malaysia to stay in the jungle! Despite the roaring trills of cicadas, I found a profound sense of peace in the Taman Negara jungle of Malaysia. After a day hiking up the mountain and catching a boat past some wild boar, I crept out at night with a flashlight to find insects. What I found completely blew my mind. Spiders the size of my face, great venomous cave centipedes and a buzz of energy in the ecosystem that never sleeps, whizzing around and taunting me that I was a mere baby to the wonders of the world I had not seen. I met a lady with an equal yearning to discover what we had been so distanced from... the wilderness! So the following day we woke up at the crack of dawn and made our way to a section of the jungle that had been closed off. Years had it been since the tidy condition of man had swept the paths clean and gardened the surroundings. The leeches added a bonus thrill of danger that has been stripped from our ecologically estranged lives. Here, we found what I hazard a guess at being elephant footprints. Animal signs were abound! Fallen trees had trashed the barely visible pathways and any sign of human activity had been destroyed by raucous nature. It was tantalising. We found a cave with thousands of bats. Their piggy faces wobbled as they swerved round in their hanging positions to look at us. When I left this place, I felt a little heavy in my heart that I was leaving something so unexplored in my soul.

I then flew to Luang Prabang in Laos. The sun was falling over the sleepy Mekong river and I stepped into a nearly abandoned temple. The remaining lights hit the dynamic curves of the structures and made the mosaics of perfectly cut coloured glass psychedelically roar with twinkling. The crystal murals told stories of centuries past through a lens of a galaxy of stars reaching for your eyes with every step. The moon was gliding up the sky. A dozen geckos adorned the dormitory wall of the Wat Xienthong Temple, catching moths and slicing through gilded mandalas on the dark wood. A black kitten the size of my hand threw dainty shadows amongst the maze. The smell of sweet flowers and burnt spices rose with the dusk heat and the sound of the children playing cut through the silence and cicadas. I spent a month at Kuang-Si Butterfly park, in a village an hour from the city. The mornings before breakfast could not have been more idyllic; over two hours of lit hiking time, having the Kuang-Si national park to myself and the waterfalls empty to roam and swim in. To then watch the park warm from crisp, still mornings to raucous hot afternoons with clouds of butterflies fluttering overhead was stunning. Everyday felt a little like paradise. I explored the jungle with the dogs and laughed and danced with the Laotian staff. We were surrounded by the landscape gardens and the miracles of nature, whilst introducing visitors to some of the most beautiful parts of it. Some of the most special moments were teaching children Entomology, their young eyes wide with awe and fascination. When I was growing up, I remember meeting women informed about nature's miracles and longing to blossom into one of them. When a girl here told me she wanted to grow up to be a Biologist too, I had a sense of inverted déjà vu. I was invited into the sub-tropical lives of the hosts and I feel truly blessed.

My journey finished in Nepal where I met back up with my partner. We navigated the city of Kathmandu for a while, meeting inspiring people. Then we embarked on the most challenging and stunning experience of my life. We ascended 4500 metres. trekking Mardi Himal at Annapurna, the Himalayas. I still cannot believe that the views existed on this earth. They brought me to tears.

When I returned, I was dizzied with an overload of déjà vu with every step I took. It was almost like I had been without a past for three months, and then returned to be surrounded by familiar faces, places and objects I had collected to remind me of past events. I wanted to make an image to represent this touching, reminiscent and surreal feeling of coming back into your world from a new perspective. A deep sense of familiarity in England. My own déjà brew.
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Date: 2018-05-22 22:13:53


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Comments

superbe !
bedwir 2018-05-22 23:22:07
Sounds like the trip of dreams! Welcome back!!
vogelsbergkenneth 2018-05-23 04:08:32
Ana Librillana .. 2018-05-29 13:55:45

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