How you often have to go in a circle, to end up where you're meant to be
7h of April, 2016, Melbourne Airport, 10pm
My airplane seat belt buckle has clicked shut and I am sitting on the Tarmac at Melbourne airport awaiting the take off to London - my first stop on an upcoming 7-month backpacking journey. Immediately, I begin to think of the family and all of the loved ones I am literally flying away from, into an unknown world- full of adventure and fun but also...who knows?
I look around and realise I am very much alone. This excited me for the months prior during the planning stages, but now I am starting to freak out. What have I done? Why have I booked such a long trip? 7 months? Am I INSANE? What the HELL am I going to do every day? I wish I were making that up or being melodramatic, however, I have proof in my journal entry that I am not!
At the exact point of change and at the choice of a fork in the road, I was thinking twice about my decision to go. Once takeoff had subsided I went into the bathroom cubicle looked into the mirror and cried. Why am I doing this?
After my bathroom cry, I sat back down and began to furiously journal how I could plan it; how my trip could be cut shorter and then I could only travel for a couple of months and then return home! My pen was furiously scribbling away; it was as though I had to finish writing the last installment of the Harry Potter series by the end of the flight.
At the end of my freak out, I began laughing to myself. A break-through! This is ALL part of it! These are the internal challenges that make all of this journey worthwhile - and I was still in the air! I relaxed and said to myself, "take it day by day and if you really feel this strongly at any point you can always come home". I gave myself a dose of reality and SNAP out of it medicine. "You are so lucky to be doing this, it is a privilege, not a right, so start acting like it!" (This message and pep talk to myself would come in all too handy on numerous other occasions from my world journey from April- November 2016! It's a good message to carry with you).
A few days into my time in London, I would often think about that plane journey and laugh. Starting the trip was difficult when you say goodbye to people you deeply love and it doesn't get easier. What does get better is your wider understanding that any shift of reality needs an adjustment period and it is normal and ok to feel sad sometimes.
It's extremely difficult to put into words the things I saw, people I met and deep changes within myself that occurred throughout varying experiences in those 7 months. There are small windows of opportunity to "pick up and go" in life and I really felt on this occasion I undoubtedly took the bull by the horns. I proceeded to do and see many crazy things on my journey - some I will honestly never forget.
Many lessons were learned, but the one that really overrides all others is just how much you grow up when you befriend yourself entirely and rely upon yourself for the next move or the next source of happiness. It's a very empowering thing to be sitting in a random airport (let's take Ushuaia, Argentina as an example) and be there with ALL of your belongings to get your ass moving and go, as no one else is going to do it for you!
I have been home in drips for a few weeks here and there, as I cannot stay away from family for too long, but have since been living and working in London the past year after my 7 month travel journey came to a close.
I'm finding though as the days continue and I proceed to thoroughly enjoy every minute of what I'm doing, I feel like initially what was pushing me out of Melbourne is now calling me back. I craved adventure and spontaneity. I wanted to roam the world and meet new people and set my eyes on different sights every minute of the day. London working life is a different type of excitement but an excitement nonetheless! It's a crazy hustle and bustle city with endless things to do every minute! I adore my time here and found it a natural place to live after my backpacking.
But now home is calling. One cannot live in two worlds and I am finding that living away from my family forever was truly never an option - no matter what other forces came into play. What one does in these pivotal years will impact time to come! I must choose wisely.
On my last visit home I was driving back to the area I live from the city and I passed a huge sign; "the next move you make is the most important". Now, I'm not one for reading too much into things but this was some sign! Granted it was an advertisement for some spunky new drink, but I couldn't help but read a little too much into it. It's the truth!
Upon walking endless streets around the world, talking to a plethora of strangers (some now I call good friends!) to seeing sunrises and sunsets over mountains and buildings I would never have dreamed as a kid, I am drawn to the fact that at night laying in bed, my eyes cloud over with happiness from my trip, but also the people I love greatly who are at home. Sometimes when your eyes and heart take in so much of the world for a long period of time, all you want to do is set them back on those that make your heart burst with love.
I will always be an adventurer and know this is simply who I am. I have happily run and run for so long that I have undoubtedly come to realise and appreciate the corny phrase that truly, home is where the heart is.