Whoa One Young World

October 25, 2012

The official OYW Pittsburgh poster by local artist 
Most of us are familiar with the uneasy niggle of a looming essay - it's a feeling that won't leave you alone. I'm comparing this blog post to said essay because I've been putting it off due to the overwhelming emotion involved and the million and one thoughts going through my mind. Please bare with me - I've been losing a battle with jet lag for a while now whilst clearing my thoughts and making sense of this past week.
I returned to Amsterdam on Tuesday and wanted to curl into a ball and cry as soon as I landed - I couldn't believe that the week had whizzed by and I was suddenly on my own after being surrounded by so many people every day. And not just any people; some of the most inspiring, heroic, intelligent and gifted people I had ever had the pleasure of coming into contact with.  I'd read about these kinds of people and seen them on TV but shrugged them off by thinking that they were born to Gods and lived in a different realm to me; I'd never actually met normal people who'd done such incredible things. What really struck a cord is the fact that most of their actions are aimed at helping those around them, about enriching their communities and making this world a better place. So here I am, back in the Dam and willing myself to put into words this incredible experience so that others may be inspired to join me in Johannesburg next year.

Kofi Annan 
Bill Clinton
Bob Geldof with the other OYW Counsellors behind him

 I can see certain friends rolling their eyes whilst reading this (I would too) so I'll try to calm down with the clichés and overtly cheesy references.
It’s proving to be a pretty difficult post to write without sounding like a complete loony toon...I want to stand on the rooftops and scream that I've just come back from One Young World and I want everyone to know about it.
 I haven’t completely lost the plot, I promise. 
I’m just really, really excited about this.
So how do I start? Do I break it down into days and bore you with the details of my every move? Or should I talk about the main themes of the summit? Or what about my favourite speeches and quotes?

This is what I’m dealing with here. There is SO much to write about and I’ve drafted so many posts already, only to feel like I’m missing things out which are just as important.
How do you summarize something like this?

I've decided to stop stressing out about it and just write and post as I go along. Better to have spat out verbal diarrhea than nothing at all, especially as it's a true reflection of my chaotic thought process. This is for those of you who want to know who, what, how, where and why I’m going on about this.

Image 1, 2 & 3 via OYW.

Back in the Dam from the 'Burgh

October 23, 2012
I've just gotten back from the One Young World Summit in Pittsburgh and can't wait to share the stories, photos & videos of this unforgettable experience. Until then, I thought I'd share these words by Wilfred Peterson, which sum up the past week:

Beauty & a Beach

October 22, 2012
Instead of listing off the reasons why I miss my little island in the sun I thought I'd show you instead. Here's a visual round up of the great time I had at home :)
Ps: Subscribe to my brand spankin' new YouTube Channel! Woop woop! Taking my video tinkering to a new level.

One Young Whirlwind

October 17, 2012
The last 24 hours have been chaotic to say the least - I left Barbados on Monday afternoon bound for London, where I had a 2 hour layover before flying to Amsterdam. I then spent the night in my former apartment, had dinner with friends and lots of homemade tiramisu, followed by a deep, yet interrupted sleep of about 6 hours. You know that feeling of exhaustion coupled with excitement? I kept tossing and turning because I just couldn't sleep - I was too excited about my next move.

I boarded the flight for Detroit at noon the next day and made friends with delegates from 6 other countries before I arrived in Pittsburgh 10 hours later. We were all here for the same thing - to represent our countries and companies at One Young World 2012 and discuss ideas, giving delegates the kind of media platform and access to world figures ordinarily afforded only to those who lead countries and corporations. There are over 1,500 people from 196 countries attending this summit.

As I type this, I'm battling crazy, sporadic thoughts due to sleep deprivation and my tummy is full with the most disgusting, calorific sandwich I've ever eaten! A group of us had dinner and beers at Primati Brother's Bar & Grill, dubbed 'A Pittsburgh Tradition Since 1933' who declare that 'Man Does Not Live By (meat, cheese, tomato, cole slaw, fries and) Bread Alone.' My sandwich had all of the above in it and it was a struggle to eat half of it - I'd weigh a tonne if I lived in this country. Let's just say this is the best I've eaten recently - I will dedicate an entire post on the food I've consumed these past couple of days.

Anyway, I digress. The coming weekend is packed full of speeches, break out sessions, workshops & networking events and I can't wait to soak it all up & spit it back out on this ol' blog. There are so many inspirational people attending (and a few celebrity crushes inbetween) that I can't help but name drop: Bill Clinton, Kofi Anna, Arianna Huffington, Bob Geldof, Fatima Bhutto, Imran Khan, Jamie Oliver, Jimmy Wales, Joss Stone, Muhammad Yunus, Natalia Vodianova, Oscar Morales, Pete Cashmore & Rahul Gandhi, to name a few. phewww!

Can't wait, can't wait, can't waittttt! 
I promise a more coherent post after the weekend.

Manic Monday: The things that connect us

October 15, 2012
A celebration of the social network that connects so many of us all over the world.

It's my blog & I'll post if I want to.

October 13, 2012

I've recently been questioned about this little ol' blog of mine and why I do this in the first place.
Friends have asked me why I haven't taken my blog to the next level and whether I'd be interested in making money out of it. The answer to that is no because I feel like I'll lose myself to financial gain and end up trying to please too many people at once. This is still a learning curve for me and I haven't quite figured this all out. I fell into blogging, realized I liked it and plan on keeping it up as long as I can.
I blog because I like to.
It's a digital diary of my life and the things I've experienced.
 I write posts exactly when I feel like it, when I get a spare moment or when I'm just bursting to share something. 
I love reading other blogs & getting a glimpse into the life of someone on the other side of the world, or even someone who's living in the same city as me but offering new ideas and places to discover.
I like to share with those who care enough to read about my little life and things that interest me.
I like to keep relationships going with friends all over the world by offering them a dose of myself, written in the same way I would tell it to their face.

On the other hand, as much as I love to read certain blogs that are very personal and intimate, I've tried to shy away from revealing TOO much about myself, my relationships and my feelings on certain issues (social, personal and political). I have to keep in mind that there are hundreds of people reading this blog every single day, half of whom I don't even know personally and this thought freaks me out a bit.
There's a fine line between developing your personality online and simply giving away too much information or forgetting what you're blog is about.  At one point I got a bit caught up in trying to figure out what my followers preferred to read about, checking my popular posts, trends & tips on creating a 'better blog'. I'm not doing this to show the world every inch of me but rather to give a glimpse, share ideas and start a discussion.
I know that makes me a boring blogger and I'd probably gain more followers by sharing more personal details.
But I'm not quite ready for that yet and I don't know if I'll ever be.
 But I'd be kidding myself if I said I really knew what I was doing. It's become more sporadic purely because that's how I am in real life.
At the end of the day, if I'm unsure about something that I want to post, I weigh it out by asking myself whether I would stand up on a podium and announce that exact same thing to a room full of hundreds of strangers:
And if my answer is no because they could care less or won't be able to relate, then I won't write it.

Aaron the Turtle

October 10, 2012
My mum and I butted up on this friendly turtle whilst snorkeling yesterday so I had to get snap happy. He didn't seem to mind me stroking him either and kept coming back to us, probably expecting us to feed him his third lunch.
I'm trying to better my video taking & editing skills so this was perfect footage to play around with, though I was so excited to have my camera with me that I nearly passed out a few times from holding my breath too long under water. Gotta give my Mum props for her mad filming skillz.
This is another beautiful reminder of how lucky I am to call this place home.

MIA & the feeling is sweet

October 9, 2012

It's been bliss these last few weeks - I love being at home and knowing that I won't be back for at least another year makes is making me appreciate it that much more. I'm soaking everything up, from spending quality time with friends & family to beaching it hardcore and snapping away like a loony toon.  
There's no place like home.
I'm currently blogging from a beach chair so my formatting may be a bit off, please forgive me. 
Plenty of pics & surprises to follow in the coming weeks.