Every Day I Wake Up, Same Thing for Breakfast

This post is from my new blog about living and volunteering in Jamaica: http://yearofjamaica.wordpress.com


“Why Jamaica?”

It’s usually asked with astonishment, accompanied by either eyes widening in alarm or head nodding in appreciation. And my standard answer is a flippant: “Why not?” From now on when I’m asked why I would choose to live in Jamaica for a year maybe I will direct people to this video instead. I mean, c’mon, who wouldn’t want to be intoxicated with hibiscus?

But the real reason is probably something much closer to the misheard lyrics of one of the best known Jamaican songs ever, Israelite by Desmond Dekker & The Aces (who knew the actual words were “Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir”? Then again, I doubt that will be the last time I totally mishear something due to a thick Jamaican accent.) To oversimplify things completely, I don’t want to wake up every morning and have the same thing for breakfast.

It’s scarily easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing day in and day out, week in week out, year in year out. We start to forget not only all the incredible places and people and things that exist beyond our own little bubble, but also the incredible things that we ourselves are capable of, if only we can gather the courage to step out of our comfort zone.

No one wants to look back and realise they have simply lived a blur of groundhog days, each so monotonous they cannot be separated from the day before. Because that is not really living at all. I think Diane Ackerman said it best: “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

So, in an effort to live the width of my own life, I’m going to volunteer in a remote village in Jamaica for a year, with no running water and sporadic electricity. I leave Sydney in three days and right now it feels like I’m not just stepping out of my comfort zone, but taking a running leap off the edge of it and crossing my fingers as I free fall. And along with all the other hundreds of unanswered questions, I have absolutely no idea what I will be eating for breakfast.

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eric Winger
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 02:11:30

    I do hope that we’ll hear how things are going during those brief periods of electrical connectivity, Cat.


  2. rekindlekindness
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 20:59:35

    Wow! What an inspiration to all of us. A theme seems to resonate from your post with me. Although you are setting off to do the ultimate act of kindness for other people, you are also getting something out of it yourself. A lot of people may not realise this at first, but doing kind things for other people essentially adds so much substance and happiness to your own life.

    Good luck on your adventures. I will definitely be checking in for some more inspiration!



    • happydancecat
      Nov 01, 2013 @ 06:21:38

      Absolutely, rekindle. There is no such thing as a selfless deed! But contributing positively to others definitely has a flow on effect to our own lives. Just so you know I’m not actually updating this blog anymore, but you can read more about my experiences in Jamaica here: yearofjamaica.wordpress.com. Thanks for reading! 🙂


  3. lovetheoneinfront
    Oct 29, 2013 @ 00:32:06

    Yes I totally agree that we so often get caught up in our own little bubbles and we don’t go for it for the world. Too often we’re closed off in Sydney or any well developed part of the world and don’t get to see what it’s like outside of these places. I’d love to go to Africa, especially Mozambique, just to see what it’s like and how I can learn from these experiences there.

    Good on you for going ahead and stepping out of your comfort zone!


    • happydancecat
      Nov 01, 2013 @ 06:18:44

      Thanks for reading and responding, lovetheone. I’m definitely way outside my comfort zone most of the time here, but I’m learning some big life lessons that’s for sure. You can follow my adventures here: yearofjamaica.wordpress.com. Mozambique would be incredible, I’m sure, you should go for it! 🙂


  4. Open Up Life
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 01:01:16

    You have won the Sunshine Award, congratulations! You can see the post here:


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