….but we are all fabulous.
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
This 11 week trip has felt like a miniature version of a life. In the early days I was a bit nervous and unsure, finding my way and figuring out how to live in new environments. Mid-way I felt comfortable and had enough headspace to worry about things a bit, felt a bit under the weather and struggled with working too much in non-ergonomic positions. Later in the trip I felt happy and more confident and figured out how to work more effectively. Then as we wound down to the holiday portion, I was able to see work for what it is again – not an emergency situation but just one part of a larger, richer life. In the last couple of weeks I have had some sadness about things not achieved or time wasted over silly things but most of all I have observed how quickly time passes. Less than a year ago we planned and booked and planned some more for this trip. It seemed like a distant dream. At the start of the trip I didn’t even read guidebooks for the 2nd half as it didn’t seem possible those days would arrive. Now they have been and gone and we are back in our normal everyday lives again.
We have come back with new ideas and fresh perspectives about work and about how to live and I look forward to implementing those ideas over the coming weeks, months and years. We want to declutter and live more simply. We’ve learnt how much we enjoy each other’s company and how undermining social media can be to being fully present with each other. I’ve learnt about the impact of different types of housing on day to day life and I’ve learnt about how easy it can be to increase exercise by walking around more and how eating out can become a chore and you yearn for a simple salad. I’ve learnt that health and lifestyle choices are just that – choices – it really is up to me. I’ve learnt that sightseeing is wonderful but you can’t see everything and downtime is essential. I know what it feels like to be truly welcomed by new people and how that contrasts with a less generous welcome. I’ve learnt so many things and as my wonderful OH said to me – I seem to have grown up on this trip.
But more than anything, this wonderful trip has shown me that time moves fast. Life is short and should truly be savoured.
“Time is swift, much is to be done” (quote from the sundial above in Napier, New Zealand)