None of my posts are in chronological order so this may seem a little strange coming almost 5 months into my trip. But, it was an important time and something I would like to share.
Leaving the UK was full of contradictions. Equally both exciting and terrifying. Equally sad yet uplifting. I felt split down the middle like two people, two minds, inhabiting the same body. Part of me, a big part of me, just wanted the desire for self exploration and feelings of wanderlust to just disappear. It would have been so much easier.
I will probably be gone for less than a year. A micro-moment in time and for the lives of people back home but for me I am hoping they are some of the most impactfull of my life thus far.
I decided to travel alone so as to fully embrace the experience. So I left family and friends who no doubt are getting on with their daily lives as normal whilst you read this. I also, left my relationship of three years. Without doubt one of the most painful and definitely the hardest decision, I have ever had to make. She had been a driving force behind my decision to travel, my chief organiser and she even found enough love in her heart to accompany me to the airport to wish me a final farewell. She stole a last kiss which I happily returned as love does not simply disappear overnight. In that kiss was a goodbye, a be well, a sorry, a thank you, a good luck but underscored with an element of futility as the die had been caste and I was leaving no matter what. I am not known for being romantic but it was a bitter-sweet moment that will not be forgotten. In fact it will cherished as one of the few moments I have shown complete vulnerability allowing my fear and confusion to be on the surface and completely seen. I am eternally grateful for her being in my life and her support.
I had been through 3 of the most stressful work months of my career. Helping organise a Gala Dinner with The Queen herself. Stress, long hours and the short turn-around period had left me burnt out. It was an amazing success (definitely worth a post) but I was frazzled. Organising such a high profile event whilst packing my life into cardboard boxes and planning the big trip led to insomnia, general moodiness and inability to focus on anything other than Netflix.
But, the wheel kept turning and the date drew nearer. So a leaving lunch and drinks with work, goodbye nights out with friends, leaving lunch with family. Packing, repacking and packing again. I didn’t feel at all ready but this was happening and I could feel myself being pulled on to a new life path.
Airport, check-ins, security checks and tears. I take one last look at her beautiful face. Soak in that familiar warmth that comes from her eyes. The warmth of a person who wishes everyone well and a special part of that warmth I know is reserved wholly for me. She turns away. Leaves. It’s done and I am alone.
I finally make it to the gate. I feel like I need someone to push me from behind to step onto the plane. It feels like I am about to bungee jump of a bridge or throw myself off a skyscraper. The push comes, but comes from within. I take my seat and think shit what have l done?
Then my new life begins.
(me after just 5 months in India)