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Thursday, 1 August 2019

I am now looking back at a very unique month of July:

Today I do feel like falling back into some old “and bad” habits of mine by greeting all you amazing ladies and gentlemen out there on this online world welcome to a brand new post here on my blog. I do see this as a very special event. Not just the fact that a new post is going up, but its also time to celebrate the late month of July and welcoming August as it comes in the door. On top of all of this its also my birthday month. I am turning 44. Yes, I am born in August, but at the very end of the month. Have to say that I do love to flip a page in the calendar. For me, it's like a mini new years eve in many ways. It gives new life to old hopes and dreams.

As mentioned, today is all about celebrating the late month of July in all its glory. Have to say that it has been one amazing month. It has been a highly productive period, but that fits perfectly for both June and July. The sad part is that it hasn't been in favour of my blog, but my job. Things have been hectic throughout these winter months. Not a quiet moment, just one long stream of things to do, but I am not in any way, shape or form complaining about it. A lot to do at work means more of that valuable and needed silver, but the sad part is the fact that my blog especially has been suffering under it. I haven't been able to publish as many posts as I have wanted to do.

You know how it is, you make all kind of plans for a set period and at the end, you notice that not even half of it has been done. For July I had made plans for about 10 posts but stopped at four. The one post from this month I am the happiest about is the one about my first experience with the Azores (The Azores, first and last charterholiday experience). Has nothing to do with how many who read it or anything, for me its about the content of it. I do feel its the best post that I have written so far this year. Later I followed up with a series of photos from the same holiday experience. I do have plans to follow up with another series of Azores photos, from my second stay.

The month of July has been amazing despite low productivity on my blog and some of my profiles on social media, but I have plans for the month ahead. Especially when it comes to content for my blog. The first post out after this one will be my top 5 favourite restaurants here in Huaral and no there will be no Chinese or Japanese ones among them. To be honest, Asian food isn't among my favourite cultures when it comes to food. There are more planned posts, but based on the experience I do not dare to talk that much about them. Who knows, I might get run over and stuck at work, for the most part, this month as well. Anyway, I am as always optimistic and aims for a perfect blog month.

All I wanted to do with this post were quickly look back in July and welcoming month of August. Something is telling me that we are heading into the best month of the year and this is not just because of my birthday. Usually, I don't celebrate it. I might have a piece of cake and a good dinner with the family. I prefer to celebrate other peoples day of birth. I do not like the attention that follows. I have never been that guy that seeks out attention, but the one that always tries it outmost to hide from it. Anyway, I guess its time for me to wrap this post up and get it ready for my blog. I do hope you enjoyed it and that you are just as optimistic as me when it comes to August.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

I have recieved some amazing photos from home, #3:

To be completely honest with you guys, I shouldn't really be working on this post at the moment, should be in bed and get a full night sleep. The case is that I have had the worst possible day I could have and its all my own fault really. Yes, I have managed to ruin the day all by myself. The way I did it was by “oversleeping”. Yesterday were like every other day for me, I worked until 2 in the morning and just laid back and watched a few videos on Youtube, went to bed around 3. The thing is that for some reason my cat or kitten started to go crazy, climbing and running around like there was no tomorrow. Of course, that prevented me from sleeping. Not sure when she settled down, but I would guess sometime between 5 and 7 in the morning.
Guess what happened next, I woke up at 3 in the afternoon in full panic and with one horrible headache that took me most of the day to deal with. It wasn't just the fact that I had overslept by 4 hours, but I had in the process messed up my entire work schedule in such a way that I was unable to catch up or work it back in by the end of the day. One major issue that I struggle with is that if I fall asleep too late I won't get any decent sleep and the next day is ruined in a big way, pretty much what happened today. Well, this has been my day, but at least I am sitting here working on the text for my next post and that's a good thing. Yes, it is actually a good thing, because today is a huge day for me in my life as an expat.
Today it's three years since I arrived in Peru after a long and rough trip from the Philippines back in 2017. At the airport, my entire family were waiting for me and wow what a joyful day it was. Things have been very up and down since then, but all in all and despite the darker days it has been one amazing adventure so far. If I am going, to be honest here, I have to say that I never expected it would last this long. Three years is a long time to be away from home. When I say home, I do mean your home country and I have had times with the expat blues, but that is to be expected. Feeling homesick is one natural emotion. It is at least in my book. Would be unnatural not to feel this way from time to time.
There is one thing that I have really been missing and that is more of the travel or tourist adventures. Going to different cities or countries in the region, but this is something that needs to be changed. Not just for me, but for my entire family. All of us wants really badly to go out and do some exploring together. This is something we really haven't done since our adventure to Tumbes back in the spring of 2017. So the thing that is highest on our priority list now are Arequipa, this is something that really needs to happen, but it can't happen until a few things fall into place. The most important detail that has to fall into place for the trip to become a reality is my visa.
No, my visa situation hasn't been resolved yet. Things here in Peru move really slowly, especially when it comes the public services and it has been a problem for me. Anyway, my lawyer told me that this will be solved this week or at the latest next week. Yes, I have hired a lawyer to fix this issue. Mainly so I don't need too. Trust me, immigration here in Peru is confusing and reminds me more of the jungle than anything else. It's like playing the lottery, you never know what number comes next. In this case, it would be answers and advice. This is something that messed up my visa process last time, we got faulty advice and answers on the questions we asked. Never the same answer on the same question.
The good thing in all of this is that it seems like we are finally getting a solution on this within a matter of days. At the time of writing this post, I do not have the slightest idea about the outcome of it. For me it has only to outcomes, I get the visa we want or I get the notice that its time for meg to leave the country. Let's just say that I am prepared for both of them, but of course, only hoping for the one about getting it approved. This is just the life of an expat. You have to run in circles with immigration and sometimes and without any real reason they can decline your visa application as they did with me. Actually, I got my visa application declined on false grounds.
Anyway guys, I just wanted to ramble a bit and let you guys know how things are going in my expat lifestyle. It's with me as with everyone else, having both good and bad days. Today has been one of the bad ones, but it got better as the evening progressed. When it comes to the photos that I am using in this post, it's my friend (Lena Andreassen) that own the rights to them. So if you enjoy her work, runoff and check her out on the world of Instagram. In my eyes, she is a really talented photographer and I wish that she could teach me how to improve my rather low skills in this area. So remember to check her out and tell her that I sent you, or not if that's what you want. Anyway, have an amazing weekend, just stay safe.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

My very own personal photos from the Azores, 2007:

In my last post (The Azores, first and last charter holiday experience) I loosely told you guys about my experience as a charter tourist in the Azores and how much I ended up loving this Portuguese community, but at the same time, I did avoid to use any of my own photos. Instead, I did choose to use a few that I found on their Wikipedia page. I kinda felt that these photos represented the raw and natural beauty that you find as a tourist but at the same time, I had plans to do a follow up where I actually showcase from my own personal archives. The thing is that my photos are very old, 12 years to be precise and all of them captured on an old Nokia phone. Yes, I do love to use my phone to capture photos.
This time around I am not planning a lot of text, just a few paragraphs to fill out some space between some of the photos. Anyway, the truth when it comes to me and this European paradise is that there was serious love at first sight and long-lasting romance. My ex-wife is stilling returning to enjoy the experience with her new husband. Yes, I am a divorcee and has been that for many years now. No, we did not end on bad terms, we are still in contact and best of friends. The reality of adult life is that sometimes people are more connected as friends than life partners. It was the case for us, at the end of our marriage at least. We are better off as friends than partners now.
I kinda derailed myself here, but the fact is that if you first set foot on any of the islands that make up the Azores, you will leave part of you behind at the last day and you will keep on returning for many years to come. That is what happened to me and that is what has happened to most of the people I have spoken to who has been on a visit, usually through a travel agency of some sort. The only thing that has stopped me from returning now is the fact that I am living here in South America and its kinda unpractical to go on a short vacation to a destination like this, but I am strong in my faith that one day I will return, but when I do my son will be there with me to experience it.
The one thing that you have to keep in mind if you are considering the Azores as a holiday destination is a fact that fish and seafood plays a vital role in the food culture. If you have a thing about eating seafood you might want to reconsider your plans. Because of the hotels on the islands fish plays a big part of their menu. I didn't have any problems with it since I do love these types of dishes and I had the pleasure of trying some new ones while staying. Things like shark steak or meat, something I haven't tried before making the trip. Yes, I have had Chinese shark fin soup, but is there really any sharkfin in that type of soups back home in Norway? Highly doubtful.
There is one thing about the local Azorean people that I have to praise and that is the fact that they are genuine inclusive when it comes to strangers. They will invite you into their home if they get the chance to do so and they will fill up a bag with fruits if they have a garden of any size. The second time around, me and my ex-wife were overwhelmed by their extremely positive attitude towards strangers. This is something that might stem from the fact that there is no crime to speak of on any of the islands. At the time of my last visit to the Azores, they haven't had a murder in something like 20 years and this wasn't even committed by a local, but an American naval officer or something in that direction.
So you can with ease make the Azores your next holiday destination if you are travelling with kids. It's more likely they will be swarmed by some massively big flying ants than something bad happens to them done by the locals. I never noticed anything negative happening throughout both my stays there so, not that I was looking for it either. A fun detail is that we were actually thinking about moving there, that's why we made the second holiday happened, just to see how it would feel like. Sadly we did kinda change our mind and went to Canada for some time instead. I am kinda having regrets on the desition now. Because I felt like home there and by staying gave me such personal peace and quiet.
Anyway, I guess its time for me to start wrapping this post up and get it ready for my blog, I didn't intend for it to get this long and full of text, but this is just typical me. I set off just to showcase some photos and end up with a short story like this. That's life right, at least I hope you enjoyed my post and that you will check out the rest of the blog as well. If you want to, you can always check me out on social media. You will find me on Facebook through (Beyond theHorizon) and (Jack Bowler Sr), on Twitter (Beyond the Horizon) and on Instagram (Beyond our Horizon). You can also e-mail me for questions or comments through (Jack Bowler Sr). On Twitter and Facebook, I do my very best to update every single day.