I just arrived in Edinburgh after a few hours journey on the bus from my home town of Aberdeen. I had been here before many years ago, but only a few memories had stuck of where things were, so it was all new to me once again…
Since travelling to the other end of the world and back, I’ve come to realise that you really don’t have to travel so far to experience and appreciate an amazing destination.
Last night I ventured out with a bunch of friends with the excitement in me knowing it would be a great one. But I think the over excitement and expectations of the night worked against me and resulted in me feeling my ultimate worse.
To begin with I was having a great time, despite being in clubs I would never venture to – but I’m always up for trying things so why the hell not?! Drinks were coming in, laughs were heard and dance moves were shaken. But somehow, in the mass of faces I felt out of place and very alone.
I wasn’t used to the atmosphere, and apart from my workmates, I was surrounded by pretentious people with enough ego to bring the ceiling down. And with that, my confidence shrunk even more than it was before I stepped foot in the club.
Not that I was comparing myself to others, but I really felt I didn’t fit in. And I hate to admit that. I’m not someone who changes for anyone. I want to be myself, and not be someone who isn’t the real me. But somehow, I found myself looking at others and telling myself I wore the wrong outfit, or did my hair wrong, or should pose different in photos.
It wasn’t something I normally do, but I somehow felt compelled to do it and it made me feel awful.
When I was travelling – yes I looked at others and wished I could be a little more like them – but it made me realise more that it’s great to be different. I was a free bird and some of these people would be long gone by the time I would let it really get to me. I felt like a free spirit and that was more important than anything to me.
For some reason, last night I felt trapped. As everyone was dancing together and chatting amongst themselves I felt like the odd one out. More than ever. I didn’t like myself because of other people. I don’t even know why I was like this, but by the end of the evening I found myself in tears.
Perhaps a little intoxicated I’ll admit, but the tears confirmed that this wasn’t me and in some way I was upset with myself for trying to be this other person.
All of what happened in those few hours confirmed to me who my friends are and how much I appreciate them and love them. Not just for being my true friends, but for loving me for who I am and not making me feel like changing into something else. They love me for me.
And also my boyfriend for liking me as I am. As much as I criticise myself and lack in self confidence, he still tells me he wants me. He still pushes through the tough times of a long distance relationship and wants to travel with me for as long as possible. I can be me, and not feel the urge to change it to please others.
The revelations of last night have also pushed me even more for travelling. I can be myself even more when I’m out in the big bad world because out there everyone can be different and be accepted for who they really are. I’m not squashed into a tiny space and made to feel like I need to slot in with all the other identical manikins. Travel is what makes me – ME!!
That’s how it should always be, and even if I am the laughing stock of the gossip, I couldn’t care less. I’ll be myself thanks, cause otherwise – what would be the point in us all being here?
It’s still as fresh to my memory as if it had happened yesterday.
Exactly 10 years ago I was 14 years old, and the only memory I can recall at this age is the day that would forever be titled “9/11”.
Ask me now what I had for dinner a week ago and I’d struggle to find my memory.
I’m now 24 – a whole 10 years on – and the image I saw repeatedly on the national news is as fresh as it always will be.
The images I recalled over and over again on numerous news channels will forever be within my mind, and without a doubt – it forever sticks in my mind as the moment that changed the world.
The moment the world came to a standstill.
The moment our nations came together to form as One.
The moment we All knew our world would be a different place.
And a place that formed a difference.
A difference in ourselves.
To come together.
We will always… unite.
I’ve come to realise more than ever in these past few months that time is either at a standstill when I want it to be speeding up, or its flying by when I want to savour those precious hours.
I’ve found myself saying those dreaded words that the older I’m getting the faster these years are going past me. Even though I’ve been travelling and still intend to – it still feels like I’m standing still and the train of Time is speeding past without picking me up.
But I’ve especially noticed in the past few months or so how important time really is.
In matters of wishing my time away – since I stepped back onto UK soil after my year away in Australia – I’ve been looking ahead for my next journey. Wondering where and more importantly when it’ll begin, praying for the days to flow by so I can get on a plane again and explore just that little bit more.
When I arrived home back in October of 2010, the dread that filled me knowing I’d have to stay in the country for a year at least killed me! But when I looked back over my shoulder at my year in Australia, it made me realise… those 365 days will be gone in no time.
Even though I think about Australia every day, I still have to remind myself that I was actually there. Not because it felt like a dream come true – mostly for the fact it almost lasted the length of a dream I have while I’m asleep! One minute I’m trekking through the Outback, riding on camels, tasting wine in the Borossa Valley, the next minute I’m leaving Byron Bay for the final month of my trip squeezing in as much as possible before my visa (and money) run out!
Before I knew it – I had left the country I had fallen in love with after 12 months, and my boyfriend who I had spent 10 months of my trip with was now on the other side of the UK! So not only was I wishing the days away to go travelling again, I also had the added wait to see my boyfriend again… whenever that may be.
And this is when I realised how much I wanted time to slow down – the very little time me and the curly boy have together just isn’t enough! I find myself counting down the weeks till we’re together just so I can get in his arms – only for those few days to disappear in the blink of an eye. Suddenly I’m home again and wondering if I did get that hug!
I can’t make up my mind!
You may (or possibley not) of noticed that I havent blogged for the whole of August this year. Mainly due to the fact that I felt like having a break from writing, just chill and not think of something remotely interesting to blog about! I’m more of a quality over quantity girl 😉
And guess what? August FLEW past!
In two days it’ll be September, and so the descent into winter begins and the year will slowly come to its last days… or maybe it’ll go fast? Who knows! Time will come and go as it pleases after all.
In the next few months I’ll be purchasing my RTW ticket with the curly boy, and my countdown will officially begin for jumping on that plane. The countdown to Christmas will also be just round the corner and at some point before then we’ll all be dressing up on that eventful night and no doubt getting drunk with some spooky concoction of alcohol!
But in the meantime I may as well savour these moments; the countdowns, the saving, the Skype nights with the boy, the feeling that I’ll never get on the road again… cause at the end of those long long days I’ll soon be calling myself an OAP and the confusion of where that Time disappeared off to will hit me even more.
A thought occurred to me while I was talking about future travel plans with Chris the other day. A thought that never crossed my mind, till I considered all the money I’m saving from my monthly pay cheque towards hitting the road again.
What would I be doing right now if I weren’t planning my RTW?
Out of all the questions that could be asked, this one really stumped me for answers. I couldn’t think what on earth I would be doing if I didn’t have the travel itch. If I wasn’t saving every last pound for my travels, what would I be spending that money on?!
Every month I put aside as much money from my pay as physically possible. My savings account is building and it gets me so excited for what’s to come. All the places I’ll see, faces I’ll pass or meet, and footsteps I’ll leave behind as I work my way around the world. There’s nothing else, at this moment in time, which I would rather be doing.
But what if things were different? I guess I would need to look back to where the Travel Bug first nestled itself in my brain and began my journey – in the summer of 2008. ‘08 was a crazy year for me, crazy in a good and bad way. I’ll give you in the gist;
I was turning 21 – Yay!
I was graduating from 3 years of college – Yay!
I had my final Fashion Show (big stressful event!) – Yay…ish
My boyfriend dumped me – Noo!
And finally I was starting Uni – Yay….?!
Might I just add… all of these bar the latter subject of Uni happened in the month of June. So you could say June 2008 is where it all began. I had just finished 3 amazing years at college and my Aussie boyfriend decided he wasn’t ready for a relationship… and if I’m honest, it was his decision to end things that triggered me to get up and go.
My urge for a Uni degree disappeared and my urge to travel blossomed.
But if he hadn’t of dumped me – would I have stayed with Uni? Well yeah, probably. He told me he loved me, and I loved him. Looking back I remember saying I was more than happy to stay here in my hometown and be with him. Which would mean by now I would’ve just graduated (hopefully!) from Uni and have to think what to do with the rest of my life from here on out!
In which case I’d probably find myself a full time job to pay for some kind of accommodation – overpriced of course – and get by like everybody else, paying bills, complaining about aforementioned bills and the lovely weather we’ve been having and of course not forgetting those little 2 week holidays here and there.
That thought makes me shudder with dread!
Of course, at some point I might actually have to join the brigade of 9-5 jobs and mortgages, but thankfully for now I’ve delayed this nightmare to pursue my dream while the iron is still hot. It’s all been fate. Fate that I met this boy, fate that he dumped me, fate that I discovered the world of travel and fate that I’m still doing it!!
So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is – thanks. Thanks to Bob* for dumping me. If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have done half the shit I had done in the past 3 years and I certainly wouldn’t be planning yet another trip with my curly headed surfer. You did me an awesome favour 🙂
It’s the nations favourite. Something you turn to when you’re in need of hug and there’s no one around. It’ll never fail to cheer you up when you’re feeling down and just want to relax. And it takes a matter of minutes to rustle up in perfect timing for your favourite tv show to begin.
I’m talking about Tea :).
Good old fashioned – hug in a mug – cheer me up – Tea.
I don’t know about you, but I just adore tea! Who doesn’t?! You can be watching an upsetting scene on a show and I can guarantee that one person will break the silence with “I’ll go put the kettle on”. And you just know what will follow – that lush cup of English Breakfast. It never fails!
People other than those who live in the UK wonder what our fascination is for tea. I can understand it doesn’t appear overly exciting – but when you live in a more-often-than-not grey rainy country, surrounded by a fair amount of people who like to spend the majority of their day moaning about the aforementioned grey weather or the soaring of this price and that – we just NEED that pick me up… and instead of heading for the bottle – we head for a teabag!
You’ve just had a busy day at work and all you want to do is sit down and relax when you get home, what would perfectly finish that stressful day… apart from a bottle of red?! Tea!!
You’ve just spent the day out shopping but you’re now drenched from that looming cloud that you prayed wouldn’t release itself. But it did. A cuppa is much needed.
You’ve been away on holiday for two sun filled weeks and the dreaded thought of going back to work after doing that mountain load of washing hits you like a slap in the face – get the kettle one now!
Ah tea what did we ever do without you and your toasty sensation as you full up our belly’s!
Now if you don’t mind… I’m gonna put the kettle on, anyone for a cuppa?