About the FOT

The Festival of Tina (FOT) is for anyone who wants to choose their own adventure. It’s the ongoing story of a crazy Aussie called Tina, having adventures all around the world, making it up as she goes along. Instead of letting life happen to her, she’s having as much fun as she can, in the second 50 years of her life. Stick around for the ride.

A few years ago when I first started thinking about what to do when I turned 50 and my kids left home, I came up with the FOT – the Festival of Tina. For some reason the local children call me Tina and this name has stuck. The FOT was conceived before Covid came and rained on everyone’s parade. My original plan for the FOT consisted of going to every Disneyland in the world the year after I turned 50. All my friends were invited to come to any or all of these adventures. In case you don’t know where they are, there are Disneylands or Worlds in Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and of course Paris. I probably would have thrown in a Disney Cruise and a stay at the Disney Resort in Hawaii. Because it’s my birthday and I can do what I want.

There’s nothing like an exciting idea to bring out the naysayers. I would tell people about the FOT and they would smile and wave like the penguins in Madagascar. I could see them thinking “yeah, yeah, as if she will do this? What a strange person. Disneyland is for kids.” The list goes on. 

We’ve already discussed in chapter one that I don’t have ideas. I have plans. Along the way the FOT expanded into more than just a year. It became the launch pad for my New French Life. The story goes that once I had been to Paris Disneyland at the end of the FOT, I would then stay in France and begin my super fun life there. 

Covid 19 has proven to be fertile ground for both germs and naysayers. Now when I talk about the FOT (minus the China Disneylands for now) the “yeah yeahs” have been replaced with “you won’t be allowed to leave the country”. Followed by “you won’t be able to get back into the country.” These statements don’t actually make sense together but let’s put that aside for now. My other favourites are: “the French don’t like outsiders” or “the French are arrogant.”

I pause here to talk about all of the reasons why we don’t do the things we want to do. There is always a reason to put things off. You have to put the kids first. You don’t have enough money and don’t speak the language. You’re scared. You want to renovate your already renovated house.

Perhaps the main reason why we choose not to do things is because we don’t actually want to do them. Like a lot of fantasies, some are best left as just that. We like to dream but we have no intention of taking real action. There is nothing wrong with that. 

But for me the worst thing ever is being a gunna. “I’m gunna do this” or I’m gunna do that”. I once said I was gunna write a book three times. And then I wrote one.

So I’m not gunna change things up. I’m doing it.