Overcoming the Mental Pain of Ghosting

This month is R U OK Day and next month is Mental Health Awareness Month, in light of this I’m writing this piece to share some of my story, but more importantly a few of the techniques, articles and videos which have been a tremendous help for me over the last year. Ultimately, the key piece of advice I can give is to seek professional help if you are overcome with thoughts or emotions, it has done me a world of good.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Ten: Calgary and the Rocky Mountains

The final weekend of my trip was spent visiting a friend who lives in the cowboy town of Calgary. During the weekend we headed off to Canmore at the base of the Rocky Mountains and did some hiking in the mountains immediately behind Canmore and then up to Big Beehive and on to The Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House at Lake Louise.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Nine: Vancouver

I flew to Vancouver, Canada after a week and a half of visiting friends across the USA. Although I usually love time to myself it was quite a shock to be travelling alone in a city where I knew no one.

Many of my friends had told me great things about Vancouver, however, on arrival I was shocked at the number of beggars and those less well off. After walking along the waterfront, through Chinatown and Gaston I ended up traversing through a very rough few streets between Chinatown and Gaston. This was not the first impression I was expecting and suggested to me that although Canada is considered very progressive there is still work to be done to look after those in need.

The following day I walked through Yaletown, caught a ferry to Gainsville Island, where I had lunch and explored the markets, before hiring a bike to ride to Stanley park.

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2017 – The Roller Coaster Year

2017 has been a roller coaster of a year, there have been some big highs but also some huge lows. At the start of this year I set myself some goals which I mostly achieved:

  • Continue to build savings through regular contributions
    • This I achieved, and then spent on a laptop and a holiday. Unfortunately Sydney house prices continued to increase by far more than I can possibly ever save.
  • Halve the amount remaining on my student loan
    • I paid off 47% of the loan, before interest was applied and 45% if you include the interest accumulated across the year.
  • Read 18 books
    • I read 14 books, which is fewer, much fewer than previous years.
  • Travel to the USA/Canada or Europe or Both
    • I went to the USA twice (once leisure, once business), Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand

In short 2017 has been a year where I found love, lost love, lost loved ones, got glasses, wrote, had papers rejected, hiked, travelled, saved, spent, read, and watched. I’m still a bit behind in writing blog posts on some of these events but they will come over the next few weeks.

Overall, this year has had some very rough low patches and was a roller coaster of emotion. Rather than doing a month by month highlights, I’m happy to say that at the end of this year I’m happy, I have some new things happening in my life and further new things to come in early 2018.

Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Eight: Lake Superior’s North Shore

While visiting my friends in Minneapolis I took a day trip to Lake Superior’s North Shore.

My friends and I built up a big appetite after spending the morning driving north from Minneapolis so we stopped for lunch at the New Scenic Cafe which is a few kilometers north of Duluth. The food here was excellent, especially the Salmon Burger.

Salmon Burger at New Scenic Cafe

With full stomachs, we then continued further north to the Gooseberry Falls State Park.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Seven: Minneapolis

After a week in California, I flew across the country to Minneapolis. On arrival in Minneapolis I checked into my hotel and then headed straight to the Mall of America. A few hours later I left with a few new pieces of clothes that I had picked up for some really good prices.

The following morning I headed into downtown Minneapolis which unfortunately was filled with construction around the main shopping area and much of the shops were closed. As I had the entire day to myself I decided to walk across from the downtown area to the Walker Art Museum.

After a few hours I then headed back across the city to the Store Arch Bridge which crosses the Mississippi River. Continue reading “Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Seven: Minneapolis”

Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Six: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and a Californian Sunset

My final day in California was spent visiting the NASA Ames Research Centre, the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and then watching the sunset over San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.

The NASA Ames Visitors Centre was a disappointment, it looked like it was either temporary or extremely rundown.

In contrast after driving through most of Silicon Valley, we arrived at the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom which was a lot of fun.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Five: USS Hornet Museum and UC Berkeley

My best mate took some time off work to show me around the Bay Area during my visit to California. On one of the days we didn’t really have much of a plan other than that we may go visit the area around UC Berkeley. After playing around on Google, I stumbled onto the website for the USS Hornet Museum. Not really knowing what to expect, other than some fun exploring an old aircraft carrier, we set the car’s GPS navigation and drove across the bay to Alameda.

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Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part Four: Alcatraz

Visiting Alcatraz was one of the highlights of my trip. My friend and I were fortunate to get some last minute tickets as I was not aware of just how popular it is and how far in advance it sells out.

Once we arrived at Alcatraz we wandered up the hill to the main prison cellblock. Inside we picked up audio guides and began the self guided tour. Although the tour at times got you slightly lost and was a little boring it did a good job at explaining the key events and history of the Alcatraz Prison.

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