I’m currently writing this high in the air, above the white fluffy marshmallow looking clouds taking breaks now and then to glance out the window on my right at the foreign but familiar lands that I hope to visit again soon. I couldn’t think of a better way to clear ones head than to make last minute plans for a three day work trip to Croatia. The trip was needed and would no doubt be beneficial, but it also meant that I could increase my level of responsibility on a professional and personal level. I had never travelled further than home on my own before unless you count the one time I drove over three hours from Dover to Kings Lynn when my friend Sinead was living up there. I had taken one train to London (one way) and one flight (one way) on my own before, and even that was only in the last few months. No, it was time to be brave and find my independence before I hit the big 3-0.
I never sought independence prior to the age of 29. It’s just the way I was. I stayed at home when attending university. I never liked to live far from my parents. And I liked being in a relationship…… Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret those decisions. At all. There is nothing wrong with it. Everyone’s life is different and individual. But for me, time is looming on and the years are passing me by so I want to make the most of it. It was the main reason why I changed career paths in the first place.
Over four years ago my life took an unsuspected turn. If I were I book I would call it a ‘plot twist’. Others if were in my situation would consider that their ‘life had been ruined’ or their ‘life had been turned upside down’. But for me, it took a slight detour. My friends say I handled it well. Although some maybe suggest a little too well. My parents often tell me how proud they are that they raised a daughter who didn’t lash out through revenge or use social media to their advantage when so many others don’t think twice before posting something obnoxious only then to delete it hours later (people still would’ve seen it)! The past is the past and I’m still a strong believer that things happened for a reason, and sometimes I feel thankful for what ‘occurred’. Certain people would say, ‘oh just get over it’. Oh but darlings I have. This isn’t about you, this is about me. I harbour no feelings, no animosity and just well…. Nothing.
What did I want to accomplish?
So I was at a point in my life when I didn’t know what to do. I felt consciously content but ultimately stuck. I thought back to the innocent me…. Back to before I was fifteen and discovered boys and booze. What did I want to do? What did I want to accomplish?
Well, I wanted to travel and I wanted to take photos. Simple as that.
So I quit the bank job.
It was boring and safe.
I got a job in the travel industry starting small, worked hard and was promoted a year later doing a job that required travelling.
So here i am on a plane back home, running low on energy and caffeine but high on what I achieved in just 3 days……
I have driven a total of 14 hours, 10 of which were in a foreign country, on foreign (opposite) roads, in a foreign left hand drive car.
Spent 8 hours sitting on a plane (when it should’ve been just 4).
Taken 2 ferries.
Stayed in 2 hotels and visited several.
Hired 3 cars.
Had 1 punctured tyre.
1 breakfast. 2 dinners. 1 lunch.
2 new spots.
4 broken nails.
A million cups of coffee.
And copious amounts of adrenaline.
Did I enjoy it?
Not only did I get to feel the heat on my face but I got to experience. I experienced what it was like to drive on the other side of the road, I experienced the sunrise at 6am over the rocky horizon whilst listening to the waves beat against the ferry I was on. I experienced towns, an island, endless culture and met some wonderful people. I travelled many hours through many states without getting (seriously) lost, and what’s more I felt proud! Proud that I had no help, proud that I had accomplished something for myself and my own. I felt independent plus I never felt scared or unsafe. I swear Mum and Dad if you happen to read this I was careful. Naivety can often be associated with me as I like to see the good in people. This has its faults which has led to certain people taking advantage of me. I’m also used to letting others look out for me resulting in me becoming a little lax in responsibility. But when its just me, i’m looking out for number one. Alert and sensible. (Honest!)
Others at work have been doing this job for years so this kind of thing is now second nature to them. I enjoy listening to their stories of driving down the road side of the road, hitting pot holes, getting lost, damaging the hire car amongst other humorous (to others not them) and embarrassing stories which they hope to scare me with. Their nonchalant attitude to traveling is what I aspire to one day adopt and keep.
Here’s to many more adventures.