I’m finishing up this ridiculous year realising I might have made a bit of a mistake. I’m sitting in a terrible outer-London hostel room, escaping the top-40 party going on downstairs and quietly feeling bad for myself.
But that’s okay. That’s part of life. We make mistakes, we deal with them, we learn from them and then we move on. Now I know Greater London isn’t exactly the place for me. Now I know not to rush into accommodation or parties to quickly. Now I know to appreciate what I have, remember it and embrace quaintness while I can.
And I think that’s a good way to start summing up 2015. It’s been an absolutely mad year for myself, trekking around Europe, finding a fantastic job, beautiful friends and really quite overwhelming challenges. It’s been a truly transformative year that has seen me go from my absolute lowest point, to some of my highest.
But just because one year wraps up doesn’t mean things immediately change. Tomorrow I’m going to get up and still have some 2015 demons, still have the friends I made during the year, still be in a shitty backpacker’s hostel. No New Years is a completely clean slate, but I still aim to make 2016 one of the best years yet… By embracing both the positive and the negative that comes along.
My main resolutions, if I have any, are to be more present, less obsessively connected with the digital and more appreciative of the little things in life. I want to learn to love to be alone again. I want to build up confidence in myself on top of that I already built this year. I want to be free of the desire to be “normal”, to embrace the weird and creative and unique and ultimately make a name and a world for myself. 2016 will be the year of reconnecting and repairing, a year of moving forward into bigger and better things and, hopefully, more travel!
Auld Lang Syne
Twenty-fifteen, running on from twenty-forteen was, unfortunately one of the roughest starts to a year I’ve ever experienced. It was a period of massive upheavel in my life. Things were falling apart, the future becoming clouded and depression reigning absolutely supreme. It was a time of death, really.
But out of that, comes new life. Removing or being removed from people who weren’t right for me was painful but, in the long run, I know it’ll be for the best. After a few long months of absolute pain and suffering, a time when I was seriously considering forgetting about exchange to wallow in comfort and pity, I was lucky enough to meet one of the most special people currently in my life. This change of fate rapidly turned me around, allowing me to focus on the present more, find happiness and confidence and basically the light inside of me. And that’s what changed it for me, knowing that I was capable, respected and loved, that I plucked up the courage to move forward with my exchange plans.
Leaving my job at a fantastic Aussie wine company, at least for a bit, I began to sort things out and pack up for my exchange to Mannheim. Of course, this wasn’t without it’s stresses and pains, in fact, it was probably one of the most stressful and confusing periods of my life, but I couldn’t be more glad I did it in the end.
Saying see-ya to family, friends and lovers was hard, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I had a bright horizon to look towards after all. Since then I’ve managed to venture halfway across Europe and all the way across the world. Some of the most amazing experiences I’ve had have taken place in Amsterdam, Budapest, Prague, Barcelona and even humble Mannheim.
And the people… Don’t even get me started, you’ll make me blubber. Everyone I’ve got to know over these past months, I’m sure, will be friends for life. As I said a few nights ago, there’s no way that goodbyes are final if you don’t want them to be. I love you all, you crazy beautiful souls, and I’ll see you again on my travels, somewhere, somehow, some when.
Writing this blog in the meantime has been another great part of the year. It’s given me a chance to keep up my writing practice, try new things and form my experiences into words and images for the enjoyment of others. I’ll be keeping it going, for sure, even if I’m not going to be travelling again for a little while. I mean, all life is a journey anyway, so I’m sure I’ll have a few more words to say. To all my followers and readers, thank you so much! I know this blog hardly registers in the global world of travel blogging, but I’m happy you enjoyed reading my patchwork insights into the world and the cosmos and all that good stuff.
But anyway, I think that’s enough sentimentalising. As much as its nice to remember the good times, its dangerous to live in the past. It’s equally dangerous to fret about the future aswell.
With the coming of a new year, the clicking of one numeral over to the next, new challenges, new adventures, new friends will surely come along. I’m just going to wait patiently for them and love life as it comes my way, at least as well as I can.
Happy New Year, everyone. Peace out and good vibes to all!