#MAKEMOOKIEFAMOUS

I’m pretty sure I’ve made some sneaky sly references about my obsession with my stuffed pink walrus named, Mookie. Let me tell you a little bit about her, and the other weird soft toys that I have a strange connection to, along with my plan to make Mookie famous.
Australian’s are known for being extremely nostalgic and love talking about the past. Sometimes, I feel like I basically still live in it. Either there or the future; neither which is a very healthy way to be, but eventually it’ll change and for right now, so be it.

My whole life I’ve been obsessed with my favourite movie, The Little Mermaid. That obsession extends to the character herself and has then blossomed to an infatuation with any kind of mermaid or under the sea creature, red hair, anchors, and the likes. I don’t really have a specific Ariel “thing” that I was attached to as a child, more just a collection. Like my toilet seat, my sleeping bag, my suitcase, numerous dolls and figurines etc.
While the interest with Ariel and The Little Mermaid is still, most definitely, the strongest and strangest connection I’ve had to anything, it’s not even apart of my soft toy collection. Okay, so that really didn’t have a lot to do with the whole “#makemookiefamous campaign”, but I felt like Ariel needed a mention if I’m currently talking about symbols from my youth.

My main soft “toys” (you’re probably going to get annoyed and frustrated, like many of my friends, because two of these items are not toys at all) are, Mookie (da walrus),  a baby Minnie Mouse, a squishy green pillow named Mogu (that’s where people get angry, “you can’t name a fucking pillow!”, I disagree) and what is now a few strings woven together, Blankie.

Minnie came with me absolutely everywhere; majority of my childhood photos consist of her and blankie. I obtained a strong connection with her character and owned many other Minnie Mouse memorabilia, including a towel, a diary and a lot more.
Mookie is probably just as old as Minnie, but she was sort of absent for a while. When we picked up to move to Australia, my Mum was fairly picky about the concept of shipping stuffed animals to a whole new country when her youngest child was turning 12.
My grandmother used to work for really good quality toy companies, so we did have a lot of great stuffed animals that mum couldn’t conceive giving away. She made us all pick out a few from the lot that we wanted in our future, and packed them in a box. We had a very large container of our things shipped to Australia and the rest remained in a storage unit in our hometown. When unpacking, and not finding the box labeled “stuffed animals” and mum’s reply of, “I don’t even know what I did with those”, I began to be very weary of Mookie and her friends’ whereabouts.
Seven and a half years passed, sometimes it would cross my mind and a wave of panic would come over me; surely I didn’t throw her away or sell her. Mookie was by far one of my favourite toys and there’s no way I would let that pink little freak out of my life for good, it just didn’t seem fathomable.
While in Fairfield last year, Mum and her good friend, Denise unpacked the storage unit and drove all of it’s fillings out to Boulder, Colorado where my dad works and my parents are currently renting an apartment. During the “sorting” and “unpacking” of the unit, there piled up high, was a small brown box, a black sharpie scribble in my mum’s hand writing, “stuffed animals”. I ripped off the packing tape, not so smoothly, and dug through dense fur, beading and plastic eyes until I saw the colour I was looking for; the shade of dusty pink that I would never forget. I held Mookie tight, squeezing her far tighter than what’s appropriate for an 18 year old, and I took her straight home with me.

So now, along with my return back to the country, my friends have had to endure Mookie’s presence. She’s a little in your face, she’s always held close tight to me and features in majority of my snapchats and other forms of social media. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of my distant acquaintances were aware of her existence. But that’s not really an issue for me at the present time, since I’ve decided to launch the #makemookiefamous campaign. Being realistic, she probably won’t make herself known outside of the Illawarra, however the goal is high.
It all began when I took this polaroid selfie with her;

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It then came to me; everyone needs a photo with her.

Everyone meaning the important people in my life and basically anyone that enters my bedroom and has an interaction with her. I might have gotten ahead of myself with whole “making her famous” scenario, thinking that one day she would star in a children’s book (I still kinda think this is plausible, but I may have been a little stoned when I came up with that idea).
After purchasing some more polaroid film, my idea had begun to blossom. Here are my current participants in the project;

Olivia and Mookie

They have a fairly good relationship, since Olivia is probably the most present in her life.

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Tenaya and Mookie

Tenaya isn’t very impressed by Mookie, she’s told me on more than one occasion that she doesn’t like her tusks. She has a super weird obsession with her stuffed crocodile though, to the point that croccy has his own Instragram; @croccy_saltwater. So, she kinda gets it.

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Harriet and Mookie

Harriet is convinced that Mookie is a boy and just genuinely confused by her existence.

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Marcus and Mookie

The first blood relative who I’ve gotten to partake in this unusual charade (I can’t wait to see what my parents think). Mookie’s head got stuck like this for a while after, and I become very frantic while Marcus continued to laugh.

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That’s all on that for now. Maybe you’ll see her in a children’s book or possibly Vogue one day, but until then, you’ll be sure to see Mookie on here and my Instagram page.

 

NOT YOUR TYPICAL LIBRARIAN.

Thought I’d share my major assignment for my JRNL102 class on this blog. It’s originally posted on http://www.ataguejrnl101.wordpress.com where I usually post majority of my university assignments in order to separate them from anything posted on here. BUT, I had a lot of fun doing this one and the following is exactly what you would see on the other site:

When you think of a typical librarian, whether it’s at your local town library or the selective one in your high school, she is usually older, grumpy and sporting a knitted sweater and glasses. Her understanding of technology is limited and her priorities seem archaic. This, however, is not the case for the librarian at my old high school. Danielle Ornelas is a mere 31 years of age, but seems even younger and refreshed to most of her students.

After chatting with her about the decision crippling road that was her previous career path, Danielle told me how she came to realise that being a librarian suited her passions the best. At first, studying to be a teacher, but then realising through her practices that it wasn’t really for her, “I just found that disciplining was something that really worked against the grain of who I was… I couldn’t find how to do it in a pleasant way”.

Luckily for Danielle, she was able to pursue her passion of reading and literature in a way that she can still pass it onto children; through being a teacher librarian at a local high school.

Chatting to two of the current senior students, they didn’t have a negative word to say about Miss Ornales. Most students might have taken the opportunity to express their true feelings about an authority figure, but these girls said that “everybody respects her” and “everyone follows the rules”.

Danielle works hard to try and maintain somewhat of an interest in young adult fiction, or at least remain an advocate for that type of genre. She is aware of the ways that she pushes the boundaries on the different types of literature that she allows in her library, but there are many other local school librarians that Danielle has used as a guide for what she considers acceptable for students.

Despite some of the shock that people express when she informs them of her career, Danielle’s passion hasn’t waned. While she keeps all future prospects open, this isn’t just something that she does to get by; it’s how she enjoys her way of life. For Danielle, it’s priceless to pass on her love for something and listening to kids gush about books and reading in the very same ways that she would.

Twitter @annikatague #jrnl102

Music by Grace Potter
Interviwees: Danielle Ornelas, Imogen Bakewell, Vanessa Sporne
Interviewer: Annika Tague

SAMANTHA JONES TO NICKI MINAJ.

I’m waiting for my next episode of Sex and the City to load and just giving Carrie Bradshaw’s character a bit of a mental analysis (mental on my part). I look at her and can’t decide whether I love her, hate her, love to hate her or hate to love her. Most girls play the game “Which SATC character would you be?”- we all have the one that we are, the one we want to be and then the one we don’t want to be. No one wants Miranda- everyone takes that as the biggest insult. Whenever I bad mouth Miranda, my father is the one person who really gets up me about it- “Miranda is a really strong female role and she’s career driven and raises a kid on her own- you don’t really know what you’re talking about, you’re selling her too short.” And I always laughed, because this wasn’t my mother sticking up for a strong fictional role, saying I should idolise and look up to her- it’s my dad we’re talking about. I’d shake my head and tell him he was a stronger feminist than most of the females I know. Which is completely true, but now I’m starting to see his point about her. Apart from when she’s whining and doesn’t really take her life in her own hands, she’s actually a lot of fun. I can’t believe I’m even saying this- don’t quote me, this doesn’t mean she’s the character I want to be most like. I want to be Samantha. Independent, sexual, strong, charismatic and confident. Most women want to be like her, or they shame her and call her a slut. Now, I think she’s a great role model, particularly in terms of feminism. I, obviously a woman (would I be writing and analysing SATC so much if I wasn’t? Ok- I take that back, I did give the example of my dad earlier), am all for equal rights in terms of access, political representation etc. I’m not one of those girls who hold the slogan “I don’t need feminism” because, we clearly do. Without all of the feminists from our past, how would we be where we are today? Modern day feminism has taken a whole different path and there’s a lot of things I like about it, and then a lot of things I don’t. I’m not into man shaming. I like boys too much. They’re too pretty and too emotionally controlling (not always on purpose) for me to rule them out of a significant role within my life. The thing I love about this modern day empowerment is the boost in sexuality. Samantha Jones might’ve been one of the firsts to do it, but now we’ve got women like Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj completely engrossing female sexuality and that is so something I can get on board with. After travelling, I learned a few things- try not to pass too much judgement and who gives a fuck? Most people can do anything and it doesn’t phase me too much anymore. My opinions are extremely strong and I feel that I have a firm grasp on what I hold to be right, wrong and the truth, but then again, it’s a wide world and each to their own. Whether her ass is fake or not, she rules it and she owns it and I standby when I say that NM is a woman I truly look up to.
In my PHIL106 class we had a discussion topic on pornography and a girl went on to say that most music videos these days are basically not far from porn (well, that is just not something I agree with, but uh, okay.) and Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video was one of the most disturbing, explicit and degrading that she had seen. Students mmmm’ed and nodded in agreement, and before the teacher responded or anyone else made any further comments, the room was fairly silent and I said “Shhyeah, it’s awesome”. There were no further statements made about the video, otherwise I would be reporting on the extremely heated dialogue that would’ve soon followed.

K, I’m gonna get back to Carrie Bradshaw now. She’s not who I want to be, she’s not who I don’t want to be- she’s just the one that I am. A writer, a fashion lover, an over thinker and sometimes a drama queen. I watch her live her life, questioning every little detail of it and regurgitating all of her thoughts and questions into a column that she puts out to the people of NYC, hoping to find answers along the way. Is this something I should do? Look at every aspect of my life, question it and turn it into a piece of writing? Because if that’s the case, I have to wrack my brain more daily than I already do. There’s benefits in it though. My friend Harriet told me I should write about my love life on here, because hey! People love love… “And then maybe whoever you’re writing about will read it and they will take some serious action because they’ll know exactly what you’re thinking!” She got a little carried away. No way am I spouting it out on here for people to accidentally stumble across and then be like, “hey, so if you really felt this way, why didn’t you just tell me?” Rejection is not something I’m super fond of. So, I’m not gonna go babble on here about how what I think was once a mutual feeling has now turned into deep, unrequited love. And I’m not even entirely sure if that’s what it is now, because it’s too god damn awkward to ask.
This is turning into an explosive oestrogen filled diary session, goodbye.

LACK IN MOTIVATION EQUALS GUILT.

So, when I’m feeling guilty about not studying for my INTS120 exam tomorrow because I’m too busy re-watching Sex and the City (I’m up to season 6 and she’s dating Burger and apart from the fact that he dumps her via sticky note and their sex life doesn’t start out too shabby- he’s totally my kinda man), and I can’t even bring up the courage to write something of any interest (but hey, this is kinda just flowing, isn’t it? Or is it?)- I’m just gonna share some silly wittle things.

Yesterday, I decorated above my desk with a few of my favourite things. Photos, polaroids, post cards, a Ravenclaw house sticker and my two favourite poems. Why not share those poems with y’all? They’re too fabulous not to read over and over again. At least I think so anyways.

Firstly,

THE MERMAID

A mermaid found a swimming lad,
Picked him for her own,
Pressed her body to his body,
Laughed; and plunging down
Forgot in cruel happiness
That even lovers drown.

– William Butler Yeats

And secondly,

BLUE

She had blue skin,
And so did he.
He kept it hid
And so did she.
They searched for blue
Their whole life through,
Then passed right by–
And never knew.

– Shel Silverstein

Ok, so I was going to explain why I love those two particular poems so much, however I feel as though the emotion received from them is pretty self explanatory. But- I will say, they bring me back to earth, in the way that they remind me how badly we all want love, and how easily it can be destroyed, pass you by, or not found at all.

There’s some old fashion pessimism to really ground you for the week. You’re welcome.

On a side note- here’s my outfit for Melbourne cup. You could’ve probably worked that out given the whole snapchat caption, but Ima pretend you’re all stupid. Like most people.

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I also bought those shoes in black- 2 for $50, you could say I’m feeling proud.

Àdios

A HAWAIIAN LUAU IN BUDAPEST.

My friend Tenaya is super strange and hilarious and her life (the trivial aspects of it) are constantly on joke within our friendship community. On Facebook, we have a closed group called “Tenaya’s Wise Words” in which we share the utterly confusing statements made by Tenaya herself. One of my favourites has to be, “I thought that all lions were boys and all tigers were girls”. She is one of the most intelligent people I know, just generally perplexed and not afraid to voice her shower thoughts or life questions.

A while back for my JRNL101 class, we were practicing writing 100 word captions for images. We were allowed to choose anything, and so I chose a funny photo of Tenaya and brainstormed up a short caption for it. I shared this with her on Facebook and since many of our friends found it enjoyable, Tenaya herself suggested that I share more things like this with the cyber world. I created http://www.portraitsoftenaya.wordpress.com and reposted the image and caption to this site. I vowed to make postings a regular occurrence, but have failed to follow through until tonight.

I sat on my bed and thought about how much study I needed to complete for my upcoming exam this Thursday, but then I thought about how much more fun I would have recounting one of Tenaya’s most famous adventures. Here is exactly what I posted on her original site, and you can be sure that I will continue to share those posts with this site, as they are something I tend to be quite smugly proud of.

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It was a Tuesday night in Budapest and all were dressed in bright floral patterns, flowers emblazoned across foreheads, coconuts covering  breasts, and phrases such as “gnarly” or “right on” floating in the air. Tenaya Wright, was dressed in a fluorescent orange dress, a plastic weave of pink flowers around her head. She was content, but with a sheer and bright goal in mind. Tenaya had promised herself she would finish her standard bottle of rosé before leaving the hostel. Time was getting away, the makeup party in the kitchen was slowly coming to end as girls capped their mascaras and lipsticks, topping up a small glass of champagne to quickly enjoy upstairs while the evening’s speech was doled out. As everyone stood, ready to make their way out the door, Tenaya informed her friends that she wouldn’t be joining. Now, at first everyone was utterly confused; concerned even. Until it became obvious, the true meaning behind her delay; Tenaya, must of course, finish her bottle of rosé. A bottle, so cheap, but so flash, that she manages to pop open, using not a cork screw, but the power of her index finger.

Her friends left in doubt; would she make it to the bar? How lost would she get? The answer soon became clear as the guests followed the staff members around corners beyond corners, for what seemed like quite a while for such  drunk crowd. Surely, there was no way Tenaya could make it to this particular bar alive. It was as this thought was crossing most people’s minds, that she proved everyone quite wrong. With a loud HOOT and a blinding swish of long dark hair, enters Tenaya, so wasted that some might call her a “white girl”.

For most, the rest of the evening becomes a haze of events, but there are some most memorable, so significant that not even the blinding and deafening effects of alcohol are able to erase our memories.

She asked us group of girls how many shots we had completed upon her arrival, to which she replied with a smug and slurred, “You’ve done two… shots? Two shots? That’s fine, ok cause I’m gonna do three, so I’m one step above allllerrr you!”. It was at this point, that everyone knew she was already many steps ahead of the rest.  She spoke of burritos, that she claimed to have found and was able to eat for free. She spoke of new friends made along the way to her present location. All of these incidents have neither been verified nor investigated.

Many of you might be familiar with the powerful and entrenching Facebook video entitled, “Tenaya Wright falls into the karaoke booth and shit gets real”. It was this particular event that makes this night so extremely memorable. Attempting to describe and paint a vivid picture of that very moment would not only do that video injustice, but it would go against the grain of my very being. What happens in the video is clearly depicted in the title, alongside the soulful voice of Aretha Franklin and featuring the shocked and petrified screams of many many bystanders.

This fateful event, not only lead to the threat of a $400 fine, but to the 30 minute disappearance of Tenaya Wright. Frantically asking witnesses of her possible whereabouts, she seemed a lost cause. If she had made her way to the bar, through the streets of Budapest, finding burritos and making lifelong friendships along the way, there was always the possibility that she made it home safely. Out front of the bar is where she was found, her head peeping around the corner of a wall, shushing us, but beckoning us over. She asked if she was allowed back into the bar, to which the obvious answer was of course, no. It was at this moment that Tenaya asked us to do something most surprising. She said she was going to become a new person in order to be allowed back inside, meaning that we would need to cut off her hair for this plan to be carried out properly. Tenaya once told her own father that her hair was her best friend, so to risk it’s life just to be let back inside a bar, to be able to sip on at least one more beverage for the evening, truly proves that alcohol holds a more precious and permanent place in her heart.

Somehow, and still no one knows, Tenaya was allowed entry back into that bar. Her hair was draped across her face, further impairing her vision, so it’s extremely possible that the Hungarian security guards truly didn’t recognise this new and improved woman. The night continued on, followed by 200 forint pizza and long strolls back to the hostel. The last I saw of Tenaya that night, she was guzzling down carbonated vodka shots.

A SLIGHT CHANGE IN MY ABOUT ME.

I don’t know if any of you have heard of the genius that is Sir. Stephen Markley (Yeah, I always refer to him as sir, and I feel like he would thoroughly appreciate that, and also have a good old laugh about it, so I’m gonna continue that notion), but whenever I decide to sit back and read a few chapters of “Publish This Book”, I immediately feel a rush of creative guilt that screams at me, “Annika, why the fuck aren’t you writing hilariously inappropriate anecdotes on your blog for your father to shame you for later!”. Now, I’m not going to do that, because yes, I’m fairly sure I once mentioned this URL to my dad, and while I know he appreciates my prose, I’m far too terrified of broadening his knowledge on the fact that my friends and I are all sexually active (we’re 20, it’s not wildly inappropriate at all, but no one wants their dad, or any other family member for that matter, to read about their friend having sex with a random in Byron Bay).

Anywho, after reading about 50 pages of Markley’s book, consciously constructing my fan mail that borders from a vague infatuation to a strong sexual attraction to, “I’m going to stalk you until you love me and provide me with millions of children that I’m not sure either of us really want”, I opened up the webpage to this very blog. “Annika Tague. 19 year old uni student and book worm”. All of a sudden, I blinked twice and realised that the lyrics to “Teenage Dirtbag” didn’t really apply to me anymore, because as of 8 days ago, I joined the club that is 20. And while I’m not as bothered by this increase in number as I lead on, I just feel vaguely disturbed. At the age of 11, when my eldest brother was at this point in his life, I recall thinking to myself “dang, you is old”. So, now I’m sitting out on my balcony, my feet covered in socks and shoes, yet still numb for some confusing reason in the middle of an Australian October, and I’m questioning which link on wordpress will take me to the “edit your info” page.

While blogging is fun and therapeutic and something that most aspiring journalists/writers, and any other creative souls for that matter, basically are forced to participate in, it also makes me feel like a sad 13 year old girl, writing in her journal about the curly-haired boy who decided to make her best friend his girlfriend, as her tears roll off her chin and onto her stuffed minnie mouse that she grasps tightly to her budding bosom. I’m quite happy to talk about my love for great novels or the hilarity of shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Bob’s Burgers”. Or my iron strong opinions that I’ve learned to hold back, because sometimes arguing with someone on Facebook, who comes from an extremely privileged family, and merely holds their political views because they overheard Mummy and Daddy agreeing with Abbott’s immigration laws, is not always worth your breath.

Then, there’s the things I can’t talk about, but have a feeling I’m going to anyways, because they’re the sort of hilarious anecdotes people want to hear. They’re the kind of things that, as Markley has showed me, need to be embedded in your writing for, not just comedic value, but to prove that life is real, raw and not as serious as most people in your PHIL106 class like to make it seem. I was one of those anxious morons at the age of 16-18 who took life far too seriously. This was the age when I should have spent more time drinking, less time studying and more time kissing random boys at parties whose calves were still skinnier than my pony tail. I can’t really say I hate myself for not engaging in this type of behaviour, because I’ve made it to university (that was the overall goal of being a super lame dork, right?) and am now kissing random boys who have wider backs than me and manage to kiss and grope at the same time without stopping to look where their hand should go next. Maybe I took my time getting here and maybe I’m slightly hating myself for writing such a quizzical and existential piece of blatant banter, but let’s blame Markley. Markley made me do it.

And as I write that, it becomes my number one fear that he’ll somehow find the link to my blog because, “Hey man, I read some chick’s blog from Australia who really wants you to impregnate her”, and he’ll scoff at my nonsensical writing, tell me that I’m a basic bitch and laugh about it with his buddies, who I secretly all want to be my friends as well. Sick one, Annika. Maybe next time you should write about the boy you’re in love with but too scared to admit anything to, and subscribe to all other female teenage blogs who post about the same trivial bullshit. Oh, but wait, you’re not even a teenager anymore…

It’s about time I did some time-traveling

A journalism student at university and I feel like a complete idiot for never writing down my experiences and posting them on the big bad web for people to read. It’s not that what I have to say is overly important and that I’m in need of avid readers, but I’ve done a fair share of traveling and why not share that with y’all? It will at least force me to raid my brain for the good and bad points of roaming the world, and hopefully I’ll take note next time I decide to jet off into the unknown.

Six months I was away from home, but for three of those months I reverted back to twelve-year old Annika, living in Fairfield, CT with her cousins and watching all the people she grew up with morph into these adults with their own agendas, attending prestigious universities, joining sororities and living the life I may have been majorly apart of, had my family not decided to uproot and move down under. I really did love being back home, summer in America has a completely different feeling; it’s full of country clubs, traveling to summer towns and consuming cookie-dough ice cream at least twice a day. During that US summer of 2013, I sent myself into NYC as much as possible. It was like a test for me– I remembered the city well, but I had to be sure that it was still living up to my dreams and expectations that shows like Sex and the City and Friends set for me. I wasn’t the nine year old, walking around the blue crisp city at Christmas to see the Radio City Rockettes anymore. I had my own plan, my writing goals that loomed far into future careers that only publications like Vanity Fair or The New Yorker seemed capable of holding.

Lost in the radiating concrete-dense heat, down in Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park and past the NYU buildings, I felt nothing but nostalgia for the life I never got to live and imagining every possible way that I could broadcast myself into the version of the person I wanted so badly to be. I’d get home, start and finish my four-year double degree, saving as much money as possible– enough to to pay a year of graduate school studying at NYU and chasing down mean editors in the hopes of a pathetic freelance writing position.

These three months moved like the heat- slow. It wasn’t something that bothered me, it was something that was sort of required and I wasn’t even fully aware of it at the time. The god damn beauty of hindsight. I visited my parents in Boulder, Colorado and my mother was quick to remind me on a daily basis that I was nothing short of the yank I always had been, and to not be offended when all my Australian friends might not be able to afford an overseas wedding– Thanks for the reminder, Gillian.

I shouldn’t really be overly surprised that it wasn’t the familiarity that made me see clarity, it was the unknown. I’d done America, I’d lived and visited many times, so why I thought it was the answer to my future and all my problems really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (I’m not really full of problems, but we all kind of act like we are, don’t we?).

The places I hadn’t seen, and didn’t even belong to, were calling my name. I traveled Europe for an abrupt three months (due to a lack of funding– whoops-a-fucking-daisies), and it wasn’t even until my plane landed back in Sydney that I understood the notion of the “travel bug”. While it was all happening– the rush to make flights, the extended bus trips, the constant expenses, they seemed like nothing but a downer on what was supposed to be a fulfilling experience. Hindsight, you motherfucker, I had the best three months of my life and only the last few weeks and the depressing arrival home allowed me to see this.

This is me, just over a year from now– leaving for everything I just told you about.

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10 kgs lighter and terrified of saying goodbye to my Ma and Pa. So by looking at travel pamphlets, brochures from the Gucci museum and reading my extremely rushed and mediocre travel diary, I’m gonna reverse back the clock and write down anything and everything worth sharing– a pretty good excuse to relive it all, dontcha think?