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The Travel Bug

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 14 May 2013 | Views [1093] | Comments [1]

I gaze down at the opal ring I felt so drawn to buy in Adelaide. As the sunlight catches upon each of the 8 small stones, the light refracts colours which change from greens, to blues, milky whites and fiery reds. I realise this closely reflects this one year journey I have chosen to undertake. The same sun on each different country and yet my experiences of it are like those refractions, shaped by circumstance and perspective.

I like to think that within most of us there is a dream to travel somewhere new, to see something different. No matter how nearby or how far away it may be. Whether, like me, it is an insatiable thirst to visit the far flung corners of the world and integrate, absorb, experience and bombard the senses or something closer to home. Before starting off on my one year adventure, I was told how running away from myself would solve nothing. True that things had been far from easy, but I never looked at it as running away! With the wisdom of experience I would say that traveling broadens the horizons and makes demands on your understanding, patience and ability to deal with situations – familiar or unknown. Travelling alone makes you confront your strengths and weaknesses because there is no-one to hide behind. Certainly I have no intention of coming this far and then missing out on doing things because I felt too nervous or insecure to put my best foot forward and give it a go. I love the challenge each new adventure brings and I’m learning to pat myself on the back when I break through a new barrier which inspires me to meet the next one as it arises.

My trip was carefully planned. I felt that initially I needed to go back to basics, to the African childhood that shaped everything that I am today. From there I chose Australia as a place I have been to once before and thoroughly enjoyed - an easy place to travel, especially for a novice backpacker. Next, and the first new country for me is New Zealand, again not difficult but building up to the planned six months touring around Asia, somewhere that has remained off my radar so far.

As you begin to travel, you meet so many like-minded people. The itinerary that had people looking at me incredulously back in England could as easily be the local bus timetable once out on the road! Swapping information on exotic destinations becomes as common-place as swapping recipes at a mother’s coffee morning. It’s only a question of perspective, taking your comfort zone and expanding gently, a step at a time. If you have never cooked before, not many novices would sensibly start with a soufflé!

It’s not about luck either! Luck is winning the lottery, an inheritance from an unknown relative or a free holiday to paradise. It’s about wanting something and then doing everything you can to make that happen. Luck is the people we meet along that journey, those that inspire us to push our boundaries, encourage us when the going gets hard, dust us off and hand us a glass of wine when we trip up along the way. Once underway, those people who cheer with you as you turn a hurdle into an achievement, who dissolve potential loneliness by sharing your adventures as you blog and with whom you will catch up with eventually– somewhere, anywhere in the world.

It isn’t easy to sell up your entire life, but as I sit here on my first night in New Zealand, sipping my favourite Spy Valley Sauvignon Blanc with a platter of cheese, dips & crackers it occurs to me that it’s all about the price you are willing to pay in order to be able to fulfil your dreams.

Every time I hear that someone I know has taken that step towards attaining their dream, I feel so proud and pleased for them. I know how that feels and I would rather pick myself up again any time I may take a tumble than live in fear of ever taking that first step.

The world is full of breath-taking places to see, adventures to be had, things to learn, but nothing animates it more than those people along the way who bring sentiment and life to each situation.

It is indeed a beautiful ring although I have never known a piece of jewellery to have so much to say for itself!

 

Tags: adventure, australia, backpacking, inspiration, itinerary, opals, philosophy, travel, travel buds

Comments

1

A really lovely entry xxxx

  Gillian Seaton Aug 15, 2013 11:53 PM

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