The comfort of home and the awkwardness of leaving
24.01.2013 - 24.01.2013
So here we are again, at the brink of another long trip, over 3 years after the last one finished, I let my blog die and tried to live a conventional life instead. Or the brink of something, certainly. Why? Because for a long time, my life hadn't quite felt like my own. All the pieces of the puzzle fit, but the picture made no sense; I've often thought life to be a Monet painting- sometimes you need to step back quite far to see the bigger picture. And going away was my chance to make a break with circumstances, and quite frankly, I had been slipping away for months before I decided to go- reading books about the Amazon and conjugating Spanish verbs, so much so that the decision to leave fell somewhere in between the chapters of my books.
And so my fickle-ish decision took on a life of its own; I'd been sitting in the same old traffic light, staring at the red that never changed, and I was relieved to be lead. And when everyone around me started to get excited about my trip, I thought they were talking about someone else; so much so that I envied this person who was going to take on Latin America (or wherever else her fancy took her). So I packed bags for this person, I searched internet sites and guidebooks; reviewed the best travel towels online, cancelled her direct debits and packed her shoes into neat storage boxes. I ate cereal for dinner so this much-envied woman could afford her trip, I walked to work, declined invitations to go to the pub, I duct-taped my old Nokia together. I watched the steady increase of pennies onto a savings account which I'd never had before, and felt more removed from the trip than the people who were listening to me go on about it. So when January finally came, I felt like a novice soldier sent to war- perfectly kitted and emotionally lost.
Oh well, such first-world problems. Like a friend of mine said, she knows no one who evokes as much pity and envy simultaneously.
But I also felt a bit rebellious. I am, as a 33-year old woman, frequently being told to start living in the real world, much to my amusement. The real world, which doesn´t, obviously, involve talking politics in a tiny cornershop in Shiraz with an elderly Iranian, sharing a meal with a Cuban family or sitting alone at the top of a Cambodian mountain. Real life has nothing to do with letting three giggling little girls braid your hair at an African village, racing a drunken gaucho at the Andes or skydiving through a circular rainbow. Oh well. I went travelling again because I wanted to delay the onset of real life as long as possible, and because I like racing drunken gauchos almost anywhere in the world.
So lets see how it goes, shall we?