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1. Intro
2. Itinerary
3. Travel Reviews
4. Social Interaction
5. About the Photos
6. Other Photos
7. Afterward
8. Site Navigation


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1. Intro

I approached my trip as if it were a creative project. I chose each hotel or alternative accommodation individually, to represent or express different parts of my personality, places that in themselves I would find interesting or stimulating even if I couldn't go outside, perhaps with the idea that it was possible to somehow connect with those who possessed the creativity and daring to provide such spaces.

I have been speaking for years about travelling. I have finally seen more of the world. I would like to try to share my experiences, but it may take time until I am able to process what it all means and to translate my tangled impressions. I have jokingly referred to my trip as a Socialphobe's World Tour, but in reality that description is not so far off the mark. While I don't actually think of myself as socially phobic, I do experience a high level of anxiety in living, and I was effectively housebound for almost two years before my trip commenced. Hotel Chaotica is a way to laugh at myself, my anxieties, and to try to see something more in it all.

I showed up at airports on time, I found my way to each of my chosen destinations, I walked through the streets of (most of) these cities, I had some contact with people in each of these places, I ate new foods, I drank wine. Sometimes I walked for hours, sometimes I took public transport, sometimes I took taxis, sometimes I got lost, sometimes I hid out in my room for days at a time. In my own way, I experienced more of life.


2. Itinerary

It was a somewhat daunting task to narrow things down. My trip was to last for approximately 2 months, and in the middle I left an open period of approximately 12 days with no plans. I left that open period to challenge myself, to see if by then I was capable of spontanaeity, if I could be strong enough to work something out on the spot. I ended up heading to Marrakesh, where I spent 10 of the 12 days. The Coochiemudlo Island trip was added not long after I returned to Brisbane. Everything else had been planned well in advance.

International Destinations:
Singapore (6)
London (13)
Berlin (1)
Prague (8)
Paris (3)
Marrakesh (13)
Paris (13)
Bangkok (13)

Australian Desinations:
Casuarina, NSW (16)
Sydney (2)
Melbourne (4)
Coochiemudlo Island, QLD (8)
Cradle Mountain, TAS (12)

[The Cradle Mountain trip occurred in early September 2008, and my second 2008 trip to Melbourne began in late September 2008. I spent most of June, July and August in Brisbane.]

I have lived in Brisbane for approximately 8 years. (9)


3. Travel Reviews

I didn't know beforehand that I was going to create a travel review section. I don't have as many photos for some places as others, and my reviews are somewhat erratic and often more of a brief description than a review. Thumbnails appear with the reviews, but often more accommodation photos can be found in the city sections. None of my reviews are highly critical. This is because I was not disappointed by any of my choices. Each place was unique, and either lived up to or surpassed the idea of it that had formed in my mind when planning my trip.

International Destinations:
Singapore: The Scarlet Hotel
London: Stylotel
Berlin: Art Hotel Luise
Prague: U Tri Bubnu
Paris: Hotel Mayet
Marrakesh: La Maison de Marrakech
Paris: Attic Apartment
Bangkok: The Shanghai Inn

Australian Desinations:
Casuarina, NSW: Villa Drift
Sydney: Medusa
Melbourne: The Prince
Coochiemudlo Island, QLD: Lamina Amour
Cradle Mountain, TAS: Highlanders Cottages


4. Social Interaction

Most of the social interaction was functional rather than personal, but sometimes when people smiled, or we had a brief exchange, I perceived warmth, kindness, thoughtfulness or some intriguing quality. There was some flirting which did perhaps boost my ego somewhat. Through interacting with people in different countries, I began to perceive myself differently than I do when I am not going outside much, and I became aware in a less theoretical way of different approaches to life.

I spoke broken French in Paris and in Marrakesh, and found that the more I spoke, the more my high school French came back to me, such that I was at times even thinking in French, and began to automatically reply in French even when someone spoke to me in English. My German was atrocious, and even a Turkish taxi driver in Berlin laughingly abused me for it. In the Czech Republic, I spoke a few Czech phrases I had learned, and found this seemed to produce a feeling of goodwill even when my pronunciation was poor.

It will take time to process all the different impressions that I absorbed about people's values, struggles, hopes, etc. For example, in Morocco circumstances are such that it is a way of life to ask foreigners for money. This can feel like a constant pressure, and it can be difficult to know how to handle it - sometimes I handled it better than I did at other times.

Throughout the trip I had mp3 conversations with my Imaginary Friend, and this contact was significant to me. I also heard from a long lost friend I had been hoping to hear from for many years.


5. About the Photos

On previous trips I had planned on my own, I experienced too much anxiety to take photographs. This time I was at least able to take some, although at times it felt utterly wrong to disturb the flow and whip out a camera. I found it particularly difficult/intimidating to take photos in the streets of Paris. There are still pictures in my mind that perhaps over time I will figure out how to translate in some other way.

GK joined me for a couple of days in Casuarina, Melbourne and on Coochiemudlo Island. We are divorced, not a couple, but remain good friends. Photos contributed by GK: Casuarina section: the black bunny and the bandicoot. Melbourne section: all the photos (the Prince and Cushion photos). Brisbane section: the pink tufted flower tree, Queek (possum eating a pink flower) and Leena (possum on the last page.)

GK again provided html help, as well as support and encouragement. His contributions are much appreciated.


6. Other Photos

Some, but not all of these photos appear in the main album:

Tweaked Photos (9)
The Many Faces of (18)


7. Afterward

When I had completed my trip, I felt that I had tried my best to face the world and do some of the things I had wanted to do, and as a result I felt more relaxed about who I was, I felt more accepting of myself in certain ways. I had seen myself and others in different surroundings, in different lights, angles and mirrors, I had taken in different personalities, ways of life, values, perspectives and responses. I saw more of an overview of life. My focus changed such that more of a balance may have been restored to my perspectives. I think that my mind began to open up to potentially allow more in. I felt that I had changed, or that some kind of change was essential.


8. Site Navigation

I have decided to let people wander as they will. I have not provided detailed instructions or completely clear navigation options. I don't know if the setup will prove frustrating, but as I mentioned previously, it may be in keeping with my Hotel Chaotica theme.


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