Mind The Gap

first_imgClare Barnard on how finding yourself isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be On entering my interview, bottom had not acquainted itself with chair before I was impatiently probed: ‘So you’ve applied for deferred entry, will you come in 2006?’ Utterly unprepared for this question, I managed a stubborn ‘No’ as I dropped into the crusty armchair. I’d always wanted that gap year. You know, the one that everyone talks about, the one that’s ‘Soooooo amazing!’ whether it’s spent digging a well in Africa or lying on a Thai beach. As a matter of fact, I did have a week on a Thai island, and for the duration of my stay I seemed to be magnetically adhered to my beach towel; I was never to be found in my beachside hut. Despite how awe-inspiringly beautiful Thai beaches are, this was largely due to our toilet being blocked and the resulting smell being amplified by the 40C heat. But that’s not the angle I usually give when people ask ‘So, how was your gap year?’ with such fervour. Once you’ve experienced the pleasures and pains of travel, you’re unavoidably caught in a tricky dilemma when answering this question. My experience in foreign lands last year was the best experience of my life to date, but it did include many blocked toilets, mild illness, and suddenly being evicted when working abroad.With this in mind, I shall now attempt to give an accurate portrayal of what my gap year really entailed. I’ll begin with the office job I did for six months in order to fund my explorations. This may seem a banal detail but it needs to be said that the casual work required to raise the necessary £5000 is painfully dull. Yet each hour, I calculated, financed me for a day in India, and thus the trade off was definitely worthwhile.With funds raised, we can start on the packing. It may seem obvious that this is not in the slightest bit glamorous (although I did manage to find a gorgeous pink Karrimor rucksack to transport my life in), but the extent to which what you pack matters cannot be overlooked. Although weight is an obvious issue, packing light really hits home when you’re struggling along the gutter of a Malaysian road in ninety percent plus humidity and you’re fully aware that it’s at least another mile to your hostel. The first thing to be noticed upon reaching your initial destination is that everyone is staring at you. Constantly. You realise it’s not going to stop; have you suddenly become a voluntary zoo exhibit? In some cases yes; on a beach in Thailand no, as you would be one of over fourteen million tourists that swarm around the beaches of Bangkok and Chiang Mai each year. Where the stares do not cease, you quickly learn to ignore them. This becomes hard, however, when locals insist on running ahead of you in the street and taking photos as you walk you by. This happened to me in both China and Thailand. Ultimately you have to take to heart that stoic British saying, ‘It’s all part of the fun!’ as you fix your eyes back on the pavement. As well as being an object for fixated eyes, being alien to a land means you’re subjected to much stereotyping. These prejudices change from country to country, and you must acquaint yourself quickly with what is expected of you whenever you border hop. In Hanoi, Vietnam, you’re dubbed as an outsider pretty quickly and therefore sitting down at that street stall for coffee might not be too easy. In China, this is complemented by the likelihood of being offered toilet paper whenever you try to communicate with hospitality staff or shopkeepers. Problems occur closer to home too, and in Southern Spain, where I spent my Summer living and working, I felt quite uncomfortable being so close to ‘MarbeL-LA’, and my compatriots holidaying there. It was at times hard to get across that although I am English, I don’t follow football or drink copious amounts of lager.In many ways, my time in Spain was the toughest part of my travels, but there were many other adventures along the way. Having my debit swallowed by an ATM on arrival in Hong Kong at 2am wasn’t great, but arguing with a man at a Chinese bank was nothing compared to finding a new home and job in a foreign land. Rural Andalucia became my home, in a little village where all the families gathered together to chat in the central square. It was delightful. Being evicted with less than 48 hours notice was not delightful. Nor was being obliged to walk away from a job thanks to it being potentially very dangerous. With these disastrous events, a culmination of the various factors of alienation occurred: I couldn’t speak the language fluently, I didn’t understand the social or workplace conventions, and I had no clue what had made me think this was a good idea!Confidence in my decision to travel returned gradually, first with meeting two new flatmates, a Spaniard and an Argentinean. The night I moved in, we had the first of many evening meals together, where each of us would prepare a dish as a contribution to what often became a feast. Then slowly I also learnt how to express my emotions more in Spanish. Being able to swear effectively was especially useful. But psychologically, not being understood by most of people around you, potentially for months, takes its toll. In Spain, as I looked over the orange grove every morning, waiting to catch my bus out of Tesorillo, I realised I was beginning to develop many of the things I felt I was lacking in all those months of backpacking; the interaction, the integration and the dissolving of isolation.And there I was. The place I had always wanted to be. I remember lying on top of a wall, which dropped down into the sea, having reached the top of Malaysia, and wishing I was at the stage where I could say I’d done it. I visualised recounting stories: people would laugh, and the mental grappling with the isolation and the unknown would be long gone. This is something a lot of travellers refuse to admit; idealising is necessary to commit to travel, but those contrived scenarios simply don’t materialise as you expect. I had replayed my departing flight over and over again in my head before I left – the profound thoughts and feelings I would experience as the wheels lifted from the runway, breaking my habitation with England for ten months! Instead, as the plane heaved itself into the sky, I was being offered crackers and being talked at in Gujarati by the elderly couple hemming me into the window seat. They were very thoughtful but didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t understand Gujarati; I was going to be hearing it for the duration of the flight regardless. What now seems a great story – my introduction to India being an intense eight hours of unintelligible jabbering – was, at the time, hopelessly painful. Truly, this is the traveller’s mantra: ‘No pain, no gain.’last_img read more

I Spend at Least $1 Million a Year on My Body

first_imgNo days off! Russell Wilson has been going to extreme lengths to make sure he’ll be able to continue playing in the NFL for at least another 10 years.During a recent interview on the “Bill Simmons Podcast,” the 31-year-old quarterback went into detail about his workout and recovery regimen, revealing that he spends around $1 million each year — over $2,500 per day — to keep himself in peak physical shape.Russell Wilson Says He Spends at Least $1 Million a Year to Take Care of His Body Wants to Play Football Until He's 45 1Russell Wilson Jennifer Stewart/AP/Shutterstock- Advertisement – “I have a whole performance team. I got a whole group,” Wilson said when asked if he was concerned about the time he spent away from the field during the coronavirus pandemic. “I have a full-time trainer that travels with me everywhere [and] works with [my wife] Ciara too. … I have a full-time mobile person that’s working on me, that’s making sure I’m moving the right way and everything else. I have a full-time massage person [and] two chefs.”The Seattle Seahawks player has kept to his strict routine for the last five years — and has spared no expense on hyperbaric chambers, physical therapy and personal training.“I get treatment every day. … I’m in between 363 and 365 [days a year],” he continued, noting that he sometimes gives himself a break on Thanksgiving or Christmas depending on his schedule. “I’m trying to play until I’m 45 at least, so for me, my mentality is that I’m going to leave it all on the field and do everything I can [to] take care of myself.”- Advertisement – “It is a balancing act. … We have to remember that teamwork is part of it and communicate with your partner,” Ciara during a September interview with Tamron Hall. “When you have tough moments, communicate. Russ and I, we talk about everything. We always say communication rules the nation, so we have an open line.”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! The Ohio native was drafted to the Seahawks in 2012 and has remained with the team for his entire career. He started in two Super Bowls and led his team to victory over the Denver Broncos in 2014.Russell Wilson Says He Spends at Least $1 Million a Year to Take Care of His Body Wants to Play Football Until He's 45Russell Wilson Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/ShutterstockWhen he’s not pulling out all the stops on the field, Wilson also makes an effort to be an all-star player in his personal life. The athlete shares daughter Sienna, 3, and son Win, 3 months, with Ciara, 35, whom he wed in July 2016. The Grammy winner also shares son Future Jr., 6, with ex Future.Though Wilson can’t be home as much as he’d like during football season, the “Level Up” singer still has plenty of helping hands when it comes to raising their family.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

NBBF celebrates Arizona Women Basketball player of the Decade, Ibekwe

first_img Loading… Nigeria Basketball Federation has showered encomiums on Ifunanya Ibekwe who was recently voted University of Arizona Women Basketball’s best player in the last 10 years. Ibekwe, who became the first-ever basketballer to record fifty-five double-doubles was announced the winner after days of voting by fans across the world. In his congratulatory message, NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said, “We are very happy for this deserved recognition of the hard work of this worthy Nigerian and we are proud of what she has achieved. “Looking back at her career, you cannot but recognise her special talent as well as her desire to be the best amongst her peers”. During her illustrious stay in the school, she was voted as part of the All-American team twice while emerging Three-time first-team All-Pacific Coast Conference. In 2011, the member of the 2019 FIBA Afrobasket team was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year after emerging first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman in 2008.Advertisement Promoted ContentMagnetic Floating Bed: All That Luxury For Mere $1.6 Mil?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?10 Inventions That Prove Humanity Is Failing Badly10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?11 Most Immersive Game To Play On Your Table TopSan Francisco Runner Makes Art With GPS-Tracking8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Network’s Greatest Shows On HBOcenter_img Ibekwe also scored 1,653 points in her career, the fourth-most in school history as her 1,194 rebounds till today remain the highest in the history of Arizona women basketball team. With the 2020 Olympic Games less than one year away, the federation is optimistic that Ibekwe who till now is the second all-time University of Arizona block leader with 166 blocks will play a vital role in the D’Tigress’ quest for a medal in Tokyo. read also:NBBF commends IOC for 2020 Olympics postponement “We are optimistic that these recognitions will spur her further to push to the limit and achieve more. “She is already an African champion at her first time of asking. With the plans already put in place for the men and women teams ahead of the Olympics, impossibility is nothing.” The recent honor thus added to her recent induction as a member of the prestigious Arizona Ring of Honor holder. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Deputies investigating after body found near Loxahatchee Groves canal

first_imgPolice are investigating a body that was discovered Friday afternoon on the bank of a canal in Loxahatchee Groves.Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 14500 block of North Road at 2 p.m. and found a person who told officers he was fishing in the area when he discovered the body.Investigators said there were no signs of trauma found on the body.The victim was later identified as Daniel Lehnert, 36.last_img