Lori Gone Wild

Countdown to Borneo- Seven Days.

by Lori Dwyer on May 13, 2013 · 2 comments

Countdown to Borneo: 13 days to take off.

Anxiety Level: Increasing

Organisation Level: Low to Moderate


I keep reminding myself- I’ll only be gone for nine days. In my mind it feels likes some kind of forever, an indistinguishable eternity of change.

Fueled by my children’s obsession with death, perhaps, or maybe the other way around (whichever). The thought of dying in a horrible plane crash or ingesting some variety of flesh eating parasite exists in my mind as though it’s already happened. There’s a nagging, uncomfortable anxiety at the edges of my consciousness. 

I really don’t want to die. That’s a thought is both unfamiliar and comforting. I find the universe’s inherent sense of irony alarming in it’s extremes- it would fit, horribly, if I were to find some kind of happy, begin to feel ‘normal’ again, only to cease existing altogether at the crux of it.

I put that thought out of my mind, away in a compartment marked ‘Impending Doom’. There’s not much else to do with it.


I’ve never been away from my children for such an extended period of time before, and I will miss them.

I’m existing in a heady mix of terror and excitement I’ve never felt before. It’s as though every time I inhale I’m reminded of how very scary this is (this is my first time overseas, I’m effectively going all by myself, I am far too f*cking old to be doing this for the first time…). But for every inhale, there is an exhale. And every exhale is a fizzing excitement akin to rapture (I am doing this, I am going overseas. I am terrified and I’m doing it anyway).

My bigger-picture consciousness runs on the same undulating, up and down waves. I bounce from maniacal organisation- packing, sorting, photocopying, planning; to lazy apathy- smoking cigarettes, drinking copious cans of V, randomly surfing longform reads on the web. I’m thinking it’s a kind of self-regulation; my mind effectively shutting down the Big Preparing To Go Overseas process at regular intervals. Lest it overwhelm me and I begin to feel as though I’m drowning in it completely.

Deep breaths. Just seven days to go.


Sometimes weird stuff just happens.

I had the pleasure of taking my mum on a BridgeClimb for Mother’s Day (more on that coming soon, and you can check out the video on YouTube).

It wasn’t until the end of the climb that we really got chatting to our instructor, Nicole. As it turns out, Nicole’s dad runs a tour company in Borneo. Working with orangutans.

Nicole’s dad is Garry, the owner and organiser of Orangutan Odysseys, the company that’s taking me to Borneo.

I like to think these things happen for a reason. I’m not sure what that reason is, as yet. But what are the chances, of a coincidence like that?


Countdown To Borneo: 13 Days

by Lori Dwyer on May 7, 2013 · 3 comments

Countdown to Borneo: 13 days to take off.

Anxiety Level: Moderate

Organisation Level: Moderate to High


I’m existing in a bubble of my own self-inflicted anxiety. The things I’ve been meaning to do before I left for Borneo are piling up, one atop another, in a heap marked ‘Later’. (Visiting both the shrink and the dentist, toilet training my daughter…. all the best of good intentions that can certainly wait).

I am going overseas for the first time (kind of) in less than two weeks. The days are toppling onto one another like a pile of dominoes. A clicking, sliding house of cards that disappears flat into itself with such startling rapidity you barely have time to catch your breath before the next rows fold into each other.

Don’t think about it, just do it. I’m terrified. But, if nothing else, I’m an expert at just putting one foot in front of the other. And that’s how I’m choosing to approach the next thirteen days. One thing at a time. One task at a time, as it becomes important. Try not to forget anything. Especially breathing, in and out, and reminding yourself you will be fine.

I’m in a good head-space for it. I know this feeling- it’s bizarrely nostalgic, reminiscent of a another time when I was so terrified all I could do was one moment at a time, one task as it became important. But this time around, it’s laced with magic and adventure and excitement. I’m focusing on that- the exquisite, exciting apprehension of it. Because if I don’t, I may just find myself paralysed with crippling fear. And that won’t do, not in this situation. Not at all.


“”You are exactly where you are supposed to be, in this moment, right now,” Our yoga teacher said to us. My racing mind immediately came to a screeching halt to digest this new and profound information.”

Paula’s Story, published at Carly Findlay’s blog

“You know, I’ve been thinking, everything is…just comes together. It’s me. I chose this. I chose all of this. This rock…this rock has been waiting for me my entire life. It’s entire life. Ever since it was a bit of meteorite a million, billion years ago. There, in space. It’s been waiting, to come here. Right…right here. I’ve been moving towards it my whole life. The minute I was born, every breath I’ve taken, every action has been leading me to this crack on the out surface.”

127 Hours

I like to think sometimes the Universe presents you with tiny nuances, recurring themes to remind you that the world is much bigger than you can conceive. Signposts, perhaps. to tell you that you’re on the right path. To present you with tools you may need to do what you have to do.

Or maybe I just look too hard and put far too much significance in the blog posts I read, and the movies I watch.


I am exactly where I need to be, right now.

Things roll out the way the do for a reason.


Operation: Borneo

by Lori Dwyer on April 24, 2013 · 6 comments

Every time I remember that I’m going overseas in less than one months time, I panic slightly. I am not ready for this. As usual, I’m disorganized, not really sure what I’m doing, and running just that little bit late.

Yesterday I got four needles, two in each arm. It seems trekking into Borneo requires vaccinations for typhoid and rabies (two shots down, another one to go); as well as boosters for tetanus, MMR and hepatitis (one blood test to see if I need them- I did- and one hep shot done, two to follow). And there’s malaria tablets to be taken, too.

I’m on my third course of antibiotics to ensure my burst eardrum is well and truly healed before I get on an international flight; and I’m taking a ‘practice’  flight domestically in a week, just to make sure I’ll be okay.

My mum, being worried about me, as mothers generally are, has managed to make me a million kinds of paranoid about getting sick while I’m overseas (in a country where I don’t speak the language and the medical care is probably not quite what I’m used to… fair call). With that in mind, I’ve taken it on myself to get all health-kicky. Water, good food, walking four kilometres whenever I find a spare child-free hour.

Passport photos. Flattering.

Passport photos. Flattering.

I’ve (finally) gotten my passport and the photo is traditionally awful. Thanks to a reader of mine name Lisa, I have a comprehensive packing list of everything I should take (such a huge thank you to you, Lisa). I’m using Lisa’s list as a master spreadsheet and adding the gear I’ll specifically need for this trip.

I don’t actually possess a lot of the things on either of the lists (and I’m still trying to figure out what a lot of them are… voltage stabiliser, anyone…?). But I’m working on it. A massive thank you to Manda, another reader of mine, who sent me my very own super-tiny-but-packed-with-everything first aid kit.

It’s both strange and lovely, the way the littlest things– like being able to cross ‘first aid kit’ off a list of one hundred or more items– make you feel as though the entire task is more manageable.

I’m planning to blog as much as possible while I’m in Indonesia, but, realistically, that depends on my Internet access. I’ll be MIA when I’m in the jungles of Kalimantan, evidently. So prepare yourselves for an orangutan overload upon my return.

Any fundage you can throw to Orangutan Odysseys are muchly appreciated– click here or on the widget below.

And I’m still most definitely up for travel advice, especially regarding international flying, internet accessibility, local customs of Bali and Borneo, packing tips, and anything else I haven’t thought of yet. Cheers.