Daily Prompt: Blogger in a Strange Land

What’s the strangest place from which you’ve posted to your blog? When was the last time you were out and about, and suddenly thought, “I need to write about this!”? Photographers, artists, poets: show us STRANGE.

Hello dear friends

When I decided to blog every day for the year in 2012, I did not stop to ponder for any length of time, what this would actually mean in terms of logistics for travelling, or what a bout of sickness would do to one’s ability to write coherently. Or what if the internet failed when I was away at the beach in our van? Or what would everyone else think of my challenge?

I knew that I would be spending a week in Fiji with the family, and that Geoff and I would be taking a 14 day cruise around the top of Australia for his 70th birthday. It seemed easy enough. I’d take my laptop to Fiji and use the WiFi that was advertised on their website. I also knew that cruise ships have satellite to guide one’s blog posts out into the universe.

No problem. Easy peasy. Yep, no trouble at all!

Oh, how wrong I was folks! There were times when I thought my challenge would fail. But no, this did not happen and for whatever reason, I managed to overcome all the obstacles that came my way (and there were many) and finish my challenge 366 days after it began. A leap year just happened to add an extra day to my challenge thank you very much!

Fijian Dances minus the fierce Chieftan

Fijian Dances minus the fierce Chieftan and bongo drums

So what strange places did I blog from, you might ask? Well, they weren’t exactly strange as in “on top of a mountain” or ‘while riding the bus’ or anything of that kind, but they were ‘strange’ in that I was forced to blog in ways and places that I had not planned, due to things going awry.

The first one incident was in May 2012 in Fiji. After a night spent travelling, we arrived in Fiji to discover that the battery for our lap top had been forgotten! What now? Off I went to the Reception point to discover that there was ONE desktop computer for the whole of the Resort!

How could I guarantee that it would  be free for my use every afternoon? And it was antiquated as well due to people bringing their own equipment.

Every day around 4pm I headed to Reception to write up my blog for the day and yes mostly, I was left alone. However, as it was Reception … and it was Fiji … a Chieftain would arrive at the same time, looking and sounding fierce with war paint, a grass skirt and a bare chest. He was scary! Bongo drums and a dance group were part of this routine. The Chieftain kept howling and yelling in his own language.

It took me five whole days before I realised why this was happening every day; it was the customary Fijian greeting ritual and I was always there at the time that people booked in … after 4pm. Therefore, every day, I blogged accompanied by Fijian tribal music and dances, which was meant to welcome visitors to the Resort. Oh, it was funny … and just a little distracting as I couldn’t hear myself think … but I did it!

The next ‘strange’ time occurred when I was on the cruise in July 2012. It was going to be a lovely holiday and once again, I had brought my lap top (this time I had remembered to pack the battery) and I also had a number of free internet hours because I had cruised a few times before.

All good. This was going to be much easier than Fiji as I could stay in my cabin and use the WiFi. Simple.

Satellite on a ship can be slow, so would the free hours I had been given last for the whole 14 days? Otherwise, it was VERY expensive to use the internet on a ship and I did not want to end up with a $1000 bill at the end of my trip. To counteract this, I brought with me an external pre-paid ‘Telstra’ stick with internet access on it, hopefully it would work when we were in port in Australia.

The ship berthed at Airlie Beach

The ship berthed at Airlie Beach

Well, the satellite was so slow I eventually had to abandon putting photos on my blog (which I love) and I used up all of my credit far sooner than I thought I would.

Option 2: the Telstra stick would not work while we were in port … drat! By the time I was on Day 8,  my credit limit had almost been reached. By Day 9: I took the laptop into the Cruise Terminal in Darwin and blogged there as fast as I could. Yes, it worked there. Only four days left on the cruise.

Day 10 ‘At Sea’: I used what credit I had left on the ship account.  Day 11: I took the laptop to a cafe in Port Douglas where we berthed all day. I ordered a coffee and used my Telstra stick to write up my blog. Geoff went off on his own. Another blog accomplished! Three days left.

Day 12: I was able to use the Telstra stick whilst on the ship berthed for three hours at Airlie Beach … it actually worked! Day 13: ‘At Sea” so I had no choice but to buy internet access from the ship. A quick blog post cost me about $20. Phew … I’d got out of it pretty lightly by careful planning and much ingenuity!

This story folks, is how I blogged in strange places when it seemed that my challenge was about to fail. What did I learn from all this? That when you take on a challenge, you have to be willing to do EVERYTHING you can to achieve it and plan it very carefully. Do NOT leave your lap top battery behind either!

I was like a fox terrier who wouldn’t let go of the ball even when everyone else tried to convince ‘her’ that she should. For instance, everyone else  thought:

That it was too hard … that the blogger was a pain in the neck going off to blog every day … that said blogger should BE sick and rest, not sit in bed with a lap top writing … that the blogger was mental … and more …

And that, dear friends, is how I managed to blog every day for 366 days … by being a pain in the neck to everyone else but ME!! Oh, how glad I was that I ignored all of the naysayers and continued on until the end. It felt so very good!