I sit here on Friday 7th December 2018. It is 7:30pm, and I am kicked back on my bed (fresh sheets of course), whilst sipping on a glass of non-alcoholic wine, and grazing on my vanilla custard vape.
Rewind to March, and all the other Fridays dating back to 2000, and I would have been doing something completely different. Some would say ‘colourful’, some would say ‘dark’.
I am entering my 8th month sober. During this journey of life, I never thought that I would have taken this excursion, or in other ways, kicking off those worn out shoes, and trading them for more appropriate footwear in order to walk ‘in a straight line’. No doubt I will ‘pop the cork’ on this subject in more depth throughout this journey.
This blog is not about alcoholism, nor is it going to be about the best hostels to check out whilst trekking over the globe. It will probably entertain conversations detailing these experiences of mine, because, they are going to be the subject of some pretty important details. I mean, sober travelling?! Hellish right? But, the spine that holds this blog together is all about journeys. The physical, the emotional, and the self. My ‘self’.
So on this festive Friday, as I sit here typing away, questioning my intentions for creating this concept, I stare on and off at the book next to me; ‘The Solo Travel Handbook; Practical tips and inspiration for a safe, fun, and fearless trip’.
Fearless? I breed fear.
I currently work as a primary school teacher in Northampton. After three years of training, and working bloody hard may I add, I have now been in this profession for nearly two years. I love working with children. I admire their curiosity, and their risk taking. I relate to it. I envy it.
I have been unhappy in my job for quite some time now. The children’s love for creativity, play, and risk taking is mirrored by my own passions, but these passions are somewhat decaying. I feel like I am decaying. So, I have made the decision to go travelling. Why? Because that’s what we all do right? We go travelling.
I am not going travelling to escape. I am going travelling to arrive.
I feel guilt. Why? Because I cannot sustain a relationship. I cannot sustain money. I cannot sustain gym memberships, I cannot sustain a career, and clearly, I cannot sustain satisfaction. I can hear so many voices and opinions interrogating my head, most of which I am pretty sure I have conjured up myself, but nevertheless, I am deafened by these voices. I want to listen to my own, but which one is mine?
Do I take the risk? Do I give up a job which offers financial security? Do I give up a room (which I rent from my best friend; who is actually planning on letting her flat out to someone else due to her successful career upgrade) that I have made into my sanctuary? Am I prepared to risk coming back to nothing, again? What for? A great tan and some amazing selfies? The voices sigh, siren, scream and shout.
One thing that I have not heard yet, clearly, is my own voice, and the sound of silence. Can both of these work in harmony? I want both; Self and Peace.
I sit here on Friday 7th December 2018, and I plan on going travelling. Whilst others (including myself) may view my current status as non-existent; no home, no relationship, no savings; I can take this opportunity to exist. If I have nothing of value, how can I possibly loose anything valuable? So if not now, when?
This journey is not about where I am going, and what I am leaving behind. This journey is about what I will experience along the way, and what I find once I arrive; IF, I arrive.
We are all guilty of streaming stories and images of people that have escaped society’s clasp of the conventional and admiring their gust; envious of their wanderlust and carefree modus operandi. Looks easy doesn’t it? I want to document and divulge my journey before the journey, exposing the worry; the sacrifices, the exhilaration (we hope); and the emotional and physical process leading up to the blue skies and coconut water. I am hungry. Right now, the steps that I have made are simply walking into this cafe of carpe diem and saying; “Travel for one, please”. The rest is unknown.
First stop; self-help. I am off to see a holistic therapist next week. Think of it as just another vaccination in preparing me for my journey.