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About darwin

 3am wake up! light on, bright idea, find paper!
I scramble to find a pen and something to write on, my eyes still adjusting to the light. My body jarred with the sudden jolt of cold, muscles locked as if any sudden movement would let in more cold. A Christmas card sits on my desk, i study it to see if it has sufficient amount of space, I'm happy and grab it and jump back into bed quickly, a shiver rushes from my spine and floods body, my muscles relax and settle back in for the night. My mind on the other hand is wide awake and raring to write, i begin...

This was a frequent sleep pattern for me, as i  have found that my most creative thoughts come to me in my dreams and i have become accustom to this ritual of waking myself mid dream to write. Why i never put a pen and paper by my bed, i don't know but i guess the interesting array of notes i have from Christmas cards to toilet paper, to the inside of the latest book I'm reading or those cardboard inserts that come inside takeaway meals on trains, make it all the more interesting for me.

This night in particular i had a strange feeling, a feeling at the pit of my stomach, a feeling i knew had been stewing for a while but hadn't known quite what to do about it, and tonight i felt the feeling was coming to a head.

You see these last few months Ive been a little lost, which is ironic as my nickname is 'Lost' , the problem is, is that i was named lost for another reason, a reason i had quite happily accepted, that being the last 11 years of my life travelling, a traveller with no real destination, i go where the wind (a little cliche i know) takes me or where a new found friend invites me, or where an experience awaits me.

It has taken me across the sun scorched roads of the outback where dingos roam, wilds cats can be seen feeding on the carcasses of kangaroo roadkill,  whilst eagles circle in order to be next in line for  leftovers, Ive canoed in crock infested rivers, shared hot-springs with local children showing off there water bombing skills and laughing at my Lilly skin and sky coloured eyes, Talking in a  language their great ancestors had passed through generations and on to them.

Ive babysat for Asian mafia (quite obliviously i might add), had my apartment stormed by gun yielding policemen, nearly gotten into a cult thinking it was a job interview!, fallen in love with a Thai boy with an Afro called Bob, painted a long boat in the Andaman sea at low tide, watched the sun set in Richmond park, as the silhouette of a stag watches me photograph him as he cautiously guards over his doe .

Ive made friends, beautiful, and amazing friends, friends of different cultures, different ideas, and completely different ways of life, but all with something in common, such warm hearts, loving and open, all willing to let me into their lives and  let me be a part of it with them.
Ive been incredibly lucky to experience all of this, and be free to do so, I have made changing countries yearly a kind of custom and I've never been happier! Until now.

Now I'm at a cross roads, I have begun to question my carefree decissions. I'm 28 years old and have not alot more than about 15kgs worth of belongings,   which include,clothes, diarys, photos, my camera, a laptop and up till about three days ago i also had a wallet,untill i was pickpocketed whilst moving again. All this and the Memories of my life so far have always been enough, but as the daunting age of 30 creeps into sight, the age where being all grown up is somewhat expected i start to wonder  maybe i need a career, do i need a career? or is it just society that expects this of me? or do i need to grow up a little and get a job that lasts longer than the few months i am there before its time to move on and see more. To be honest I'm not sure,and I'm not sure how to decide... the easy going, relaxed, carefree, happy go lucky part of my brain the part that realises life is short and theres sooo much to see and experience has started a vicious tug of war with the other side, the  more responsible, somewhat stiffer part of my brain, the part that agrees with society and frequently questions why the rest of my brain is not listening and wont grow up! the other part usually off with the fairies at this point when such topics arouse.

I decided i needed to research this decision as i had no real clue, if i was to choose a career, what it was going to be, or really what a career in tailed at all, I had been so oblivious to this concept, my world so wrapped up in other people, there worlds, there cultures and there amazing hospitality towards me i didn't really care to think about it. But it was time to give it a thought.

As i sigh, a sigh that was familiar to me and  mainly used when i was a child and my dad would crouch down beside me to lecture me on a new issue he felt i needed to understand in great detail, usually due to my bad judgement of course, like when i didn't realise he was around the corner and i was trying to be cool with my friends and said Fuck, that time the lecture also involved a tedious amount of time in my room and a lecture that was given in a much louder and angrier tone. Lesson learnt make sure father is definatly not around when saying fuck, But like he would always say when the storm calmed and the red faded from his face, you need to know this stuff Nicola, I tell you this because I love you and you need to understand.
so i sigh and get started on my quest to do right by my father and understand.

 I remembered something good friend had once told me, hes very successful in what he does and also very happy, so that made it easier for me to listen to him, he told me..."its easy just figure out what your passion is and focus on what you can do to make it a career".
Great! i thought, OK i can do this, right so passion...crap what was my passion??, i thought i was meant to be researching on careers and now my homework had expanded considerably! how and what was this?. "write a list" he had told me, "of what you love, what you think about and love to think about constantly and see where that takes you".
I decided now was as good a time as any  to take his advice if only to calm my nerves and ease the pressure the tug of war was putting on my mind so i could go back to sleep. I scribble on my Christmas card...

4. People and there amazing cultures!

I felt considerably better but I still had no idea what or where this list was going to take me but i felt like i was making progress, slowly my brain relaxes and i drift back in to sleep.

 I decided to get up early  the next morning and transfer my scribbles on to my computer, something i did occasionally as not to loose my notes.
As i opened  facebook which i do automatically with out thinking or not really even realising, like its second nature, like brushing my teeth or drinking my morning cofee, two things that these days actually come after facebook! i then open my email... Travel Writing Scholarship - Go to Turkey with Rough Guides. was there staring back at me! My eyes lit up!, the butterflies danced excitedly in my stomach how weird to recieve this today?  was it a sign?, was it meant to be?, is travel writing going to help me on my quest to a decision about a career?, was travel writing going to be my career?, or was i over thinking everything  ...It was just an email sent at a strangley apropriate time?I decided not to over think it anymore and i began to write.