Saturday, 31 October 2015

Travel Diaries: Papeete

I've heard the phrase "It's a picture postcard setting" a thousand times before and I'd never really appreciated what it meant.

What does a place need to have in order to qualify to be considered "Picture Postcard" worthy? 

What does it mean to be like that? 

Where can I find a place like that?

I didn't think these places actually existed.

Until the day I woke up in Papeete, Tahiti.

After completing six weeks of rehearsals in Los Angeles myself and the cast boarded a plane who's next destination was Papeete. 

Eight hours flew by and we arrived at our hotel around midnight Papeete local time. 

Exhausted  and deschevelled from our fligh, we decided it would be a great idea to drop our bags into our room, throw on a bathing suit and go for a midnight swim in the hotel pool.

The pool itself was an infinity pool that backed straight on to the ocean.

As we swam, the pool was illuminated by the full moon and the stars that were lighting up the clear night sky above us. 

Not a cloud could be seen and we swam underneath an idillic twilight.

To top it off, a shooting star went whizzing by as we looked out over the infinity pool into the calm, inviting and somewhat terrifying black ocean that was twinkling with the sparkles from the moon.

I didn't think this place could get any more beautiful.

Then the sun came up.

As we excited the plane, I over heard a man saying to someone "Welcome To Paradise" and I could not agree more with him.

There is no other way to descrive this place other than paradise.

The pictures I have taken don't do just how phenomenal it was.

To be standing in tropical heat, looking out into the ocean, seeing beautiful mountains towering above the skyline way up into the clouds is just something I never thought I would get to experience.

I sat on the edge of a little wooden dock that was located on a small island attached to a walkway from our hotel, my feet dangling over the edge mere inches away from the ocean and I just stared.

I didn't make a sound. 

I felt at peace. 

There was a light breeze which soothed the heat from the sun. 

And I looked out into the ocean and thought to myself, " So this is what it means to be in a picture postcard setting. This is what it means to experience paradise. This is what it means to be at peace."

I am so far away from home right now but being in paradise gives your mind and you sould a sense of ease that I have yet to experience anywhere else.


I can't believe how fortunate I am. 

Next Stop: Bora Bora


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Travel Diaries: Los Angeles

I arrived here emotionally destraught.

From the moment I released my boyfriend from my grasp is the moment that it all hit me.

This was actually happening. 

I spent the next 12 hours from checking in, to getting my seat on the plane, from take off to landing, to arriving at my apartment or "new home" feeling every single emotion possible. 

My brain and my heart were fucked. 

I didn't know where to place myself.

When you up and leave an old life to pursue a new adventure, you don't know what's going to happen.

I didn't know what to expect at all.

I didn't know whether this rollercoaster ride was going to be all I had thought it would be, or whether it would be just another carousel journey. 

I didn't know how incredible it would be. 

My time in Los Angeles is coming to an end and I'm due to leave for Tahiti on Monday where I will board the ship (or new new home for the next couple of months), the only thing I feel that is appropriate to blog about is my LA highlights. 

These past six weeks have been phenomenal. Never in a million years did I expect to be waking up in Los Angeles and going to work. And not only that, to actually be waking up in my dream job is just insane.

I have been so fortunate to be blessed with some experiences I will treasure forever.

To make it even better, this is just the first part of my adventure. For the next few months I will travelling to some of the most phenomenal places in the world.

And so here begins the portion of my blog for the next couple of months that I have chosen to title as

"My travel Diaries"

Chapter One

Los Angeles

Adventures In Hollywood

I arrived here on a Sunday. I worked from Monday straight through to Saturday learning routine after routine whilst simultaneously battling jet-lag.

On the Saturday night, I ventured out with a big group of people who I had only known for a week to West Hollywood. I would love to be able to tell you in specific details exactly what West Hollywood was like but, unfortunately I was too blind stinking drunk to remember the majority of it. So my experience of West Hollywood goes as follows:

Limo Ride
Vomiting in a bag of crisps (chips)
Ending up in a club called "The Abbey"
Then being home

So a great night all round.

The next day, as I battled a severe hangover, I ventured into central Hollywood with my cast mates to see the walk of fame, the Hollywood sign and to just generally see Hollywood in all it's glory.

I got to meet two drag queens who I had watched on Rupaul's Drag race, Laganja Estranja and Alyssa Edwards and I got them to record a special birthday message for a special friend of mine who is back in the UK.

My adventures in Hollywood have been nothing short of amazing. 

Half Day? Let's go to the beach

One day, my cast & I were fortunate enough to be given half a day off of work because of an event that was being hosted by Princess Cruises that all of the staff who are operating the rehearsal spaces were invited to attend.

On this extremely gorgeous day, myself and a couple of my cast mates ventured to Santa Monica beach.

The beach itself even though fairly crowded, was a stunning beach. (Remember i'm from the UK so anything with sand and no immediate signs of rubbish and/or public sex acts is a bonus).

The sand was the perfect temperature where it didn't feel like you were walking across hot coals to get anywhere. The sea was a crisp chill-to-the-bone temperature that perfectly complimented the blistering heat from the sunshine.

We ventured on to the Santa Monica Pier. A 100-year-old landmark attraction that has been featured in multiple films, music video, video games and television programmes.

To accompany this beautiful half-day off, we returned back to the apartments and I cooked a big fajita  meal for my cast.

It might just seem like a day at the beach and then a group meal but, these experiences mean so much more when you are living your dream.

Theme Park Fright Night 

The first day I arrived here I walked out of customs and I was greeted by a sign that said my name on it attached to a woman. She took my bags and I got in her car and she drove me to my accommodation.

Just before we took the last turning on to Magic Mountain Parkway, she turned to me and said "On your right just here, is the theme park Six Flags. If you get the chance to go I highly recommend it."

Obviously I responded "Oh yeah that sounds awesome I will totally try to go."

I kind of said it in a throw-away-just-making-conversation type of way and I never really intended to go because I thought I wouldn't have the time.

A few weeks passed and the next thing I know is I am waking up early on a Sunday morning and jumping in a car who's destination is Six Flags.

It was an extremely hot, extremely sunny and extremely humid day. One of those days that is so hot that all you want to do is nothing.

However that didn't dampen our spirits and determination to ride as many of the rollercoasters as we physically could.

Not only were we fortunate enough to be able to ride so many of the rollercoasters and have an amazing day, but at night the park turns into a halloween fright fest attraction.

There are zombies and creatures galore running around the park trying to scare you and scare mazes open for you to walk around and essentially get shit scared.

We spent almost twelve hours in that park getting the most for our money and having an all around great experience.

Not a bad way to spend a day off is it?

Leaving LA Richer

When running a blog it's easy to forget what you have actually written about. You focus so much on the most recent post and the content within that you often forget what posts you have written several weeks or months ago.

One post that I remember writing (and when I say remember writing I truly mean I actually remember the time and place I wrote it) is THIS ONE . To summarise, it's basically my philosophy on how talking to people you have never met before is one of life's greatest gifts. The ability to talk o a stranger and make a genuine connection with them without the pressure to do so is amazing.

For example a lot of people would just make connections with the people they work with, just because they are forced to make these connections because of the environment they're in.

You make connections with people in a class because you're forced to within that environment.

However, when you open your mind to being able to make connections with people who you have literally no ties with and you don't find it "weird" or "creepy" then a whole world of possibilities opens up.

Here's my story.

I arrived here and suffered with jet lag. I was awake and ridiculous hours of the morning and no matter how much I tried, I could not get myself back to sleep.

And so what do most people in today's day and age do when they're bored? They turn to social media.

It's 4am and I'm wide awake in a completely alien environment.

And so I begin talking online to a stranger.

The conversation flows and with each notification of a new message, we learn a little bit more about each other.

It turns out that this individual I'm talking too is actually in a relationship.

Suffering from jet-lag for a couple of days this tending to repeat. He'd be up for work on his commute and I'd be up from jet-lag and we'd just occupy each other.

It felt nice.

Eventually, I Facebook friended both halves of this couple and we spoke on there as a group.

A few weeks past and they went on vacation so I wasn't able to talk to them as much as I had wanted too.

Eventually, when they came back, it occurred to me that we had been speaking for a couple of weeks and I felt like I knew them relatively well and they knew me relatively well but..... we'd never actually met each other.

And so....I went and met them.

And....I couldn't be happier that I made that decision.

We spent several hours just talking, getting to know each other, having a few drinks, laughing and just generally having a nice time. I felt good. I felt happy. I felt like these two people who were essentially strangers had the potential to become very good friends of mine.

I felt this strange sense of comfort from them both.

In terms of personality and relationship dynamics, the parallels that they have to my own relationship were uncanny.

It came up in conversation that whilst I was out here in California, one thing that I had wanted to do was to visit DisneyLand.

As fate would have it, it turns out that one half of this duo worked for Disney and was able to sign us all in to both DisneyLand and Disney California Adventure on one of my days off.

I couldn't believe it. 

Two people whom I had no ties too were offering to provide me with an experience that I had hoped I would get to do. All from the kindness of their hearts.

And now I get to leave LA not only rich in experiences but also rich in the sense that, I have made two hopefully life long friends and it all came from talking to strangers and being open minded enough to give meeting them a chance.

If anything, this is the one thing I will treasure above anything else from LA.

Next Stop: Papeete, Tahiti


Friday, 9 October 2015

Another day another dollar

So it's been a while since I last posted and to be honest I have kind of struggled with the "bloggers guilt" of not posting. 

I feel bad because I haven't posted anything in a while and I feel like I have almost let people down. Which is ridiculous because realistically, I haven't.

But I thought I would give you a little insight in to why I haven't posted anything and what life has been like for me for the past month. 

I arrived here and the day after, with jet-lag and all, I was in the studio learning the first number of our first show.

I say "First Show" because we have five to learn. For the six weeks that I am in LA, I learn one show a week. On top of all of that we have to learn five other extra little numbers or shows. 

It's a lot of lyrics to learn and an insane amount of choreography to learn. 

From Monday straight through to Saturday I am in the rehearsal studio from 8:50am to 5:30pm. 

We get one day off a week to do whatever we want.

A lot of people have asked me "So what is LA like? Is it amazing?!" and I'm like 

"Well yes obviously LA is amazing and obviously I'm having an amazing time but, the reality is I pretty much see the inside of my apartment and my rehearsal studio for the majority of the time I have been here"

So, as much as I have wanted to blog about all these experiences I have been having the truth is I'm here to do a job.

Just like anyone else's job, I wake up, I go to work and I come home. 

Yes it's the job I have always wanted and yes I am in an amazing place and yes I am soon going to be travelling all around the world whilst simultaneously doing the thing I love.

But for now, I'm just a boy doing his job.

However, I get to wake up and say I love my job, which is what I have always wanted to do.