When I was little I dreamt of being a world explorer, a master of mysterious jungles and an expert in all things adventurous. That feeling has never really gone away and it’s safe to say I have had the itch to jet off all over the place for a while now. But in the last 3 years I have well and truly caught the travelling bug and so for the last 12 months I have been saving furiously for my trip. And here I am: 35,000 ft above the earth, traversing the clouds somewhere above Eastern Europe as I embark on what will (hopefully) be a glorious journey that my 6-year-old self would be proud of.
As I tuck into my “special dietary requirement” meal and consider the vast array of films to watch (definitely not Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), it dawns on me that this is probably one of those “once-in-a-lifetime” moments that people always harp on about cherishing. Although, having said that I really do intend to cherish every moment; the good, the bad, and the down-right ugly… Admittedly hopefully a little less of the ugly but, given where I am heading off to, I can’t quite imagine how any of it will be anything short of breathtakingly beautiful.
I am fidgety with excitement, so sleep is an unlikely option (there’s that 6-year-old within me again, feeling like it is Christmas Eve and I’m about to get the best presents from Santa ever). I am reminded of all the times I have watched planes soaring above me, knowing that way up there in the sky are many individual people sitting side-by-side in some sort of magical object made of metal, each one heading off on a trip or indeed returning from one. I always wonder if they had a nice time, or where they might be off to and wish them the best for whatever is coming next. And now it is me way up here in the sky, above hundreds of teeny tiny people all tucked up in their beds or merrily chatting with their friends in their local down the road.
Maybe it is the altitude, but I do think that during such turbulent and, to be perfectly honest, terrifyingly hateful times it is so important to remember that each of us is an individual person and we are all living on our shared Earth together, or indeed flying above it if we are lucky enough to get the chance. So we should be kind to one another and we should be grateful always.
Although I no longer believe in the kind of magic that my 6 year-old self did, back when my garden was heaving with fairies who lived amongst the flowers and made sweet smelling potions out of nectar and blew glitter on us as we slept to make our dreams nice. This was back when I saw the unmistakable beauty in a sparkling snail trail and renamed all of the flowers in my garden after the type of animal they reminded me of. It is saddening that I have somewhat lost that level of amazement in my surroundings, but I do think it is important to remember that there is a little bit of magic in everything going on around us.
Anyway, I digress (there’s a surprise) but back to business. I am jetting off on a trip to Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Australia and last by quite certainly not least, I will be stopping off at the lovely Singapore on my way back home. Initially I will be (quite literally) flying solo but will be meeting up with my girlfriend, Liv at some point to exchange stories and photographs and then continue to roam around and explore together for a few months!
First stop: Hanoi, Vietnam.
Wish me luck