Now that my time in London is coming to a close and I am about to write a new chapter for this journey of mine, I find myself reflecting on the last two years.
Every step I have taken thus far was fraught with uncertainty. I’ve always set out from a point of not knowing what I wanted or where I wanted to go and finding my way as I went. When I left home eight years ago I only knew I had to go. I had no expectations of what I might find and simply hoped that I would find the answers I was looking for somewhere ‘out there’.
Well, I did. And many more questions.
I learned more than I ever could have hoped for. I’ve grown in unexpected ways. My horizons are infinite and I have come to the conclusion that I can do just about anything I set my mind to. But my journey is far from over and perhaps never will be. Because I also found that I’ve barely scratched the bottom of the barrel.
Every step I have taken thus far has served a purpose. And it usually became clear when I was about to take the next step. Perhaps it was all merely happenstance and I am reading too much into my experiences. But in Australia I learned friendship in its truest form. In New Zealand I learned love and loss. In Canada I was allowed to heal. And when I was ready to grow and explore and become, I found myself in London.
Clearly I had no way of knowing what things I might learn in all these places and on my travels in between. But in a nutshell, that is it. Each of these places provided exactly what I needed. Hindsight is always 20/20. And that’s okay. If you can look back and give your experiences meaning, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
As I go forward, I hope for the same things everyone hopes for but rarely voices. I am leaving a city behind, a home, a life that served me well for two years and all the friends I have made in this time. What I want to leave behind are footprints.
I was here.
We scratch these words on wooden benches to leave a mark in this world. We were here. We lived. We breathed. We touched another’s life.
In a very real way we trample all over the hearts of others, leaving our footprints on them. Friends, family, lovers. They’ll keep our footprints, their memories of us, no matter where we go. And vice versa.
My heart certainly feels trampled on today. I said goodbye to friends this week. So long and thanks for all the memories. I’m not quite done yet. One or two left before I am leaving. Somehow I am always incredibly lucky to work with people that become friends. I find it to be the main benefit of working in a large company.
I need to go on this trip. But for the first time I know that I want to come back. I don’t want to keep moving towards the horizon to keep searching for the unknown. I know that in about seven month I want to be back here and ping everybody on Facebook to catch up over drinks in a pub in London.
I am looking forward to that.
In the meantime I have an adventure waiting for me. The horizon will never stop calling my name, but I do need a place to return to as well. Everybody does. Even though I won’t be the same when I come back and I don’t want to return to pick up where I left off. That’s not the plan.
My journey now is a different one to what it was when I first set out. I’m not just looking to uproot myself, because I was stuck. I now have a purpose. I know exactly what I want to achieve during my travels. I won’t just be on a sightseeing trip, taking tours to some of those wonders of our world. I will be writing, every single day. I am going to find freelance work, because I want to have an income and be able to keep supporting myself, instead of burning through my savings on a six-month trip.
And nothing is going to stop me.
I will leave my footprints on the shores of the seven seas and maybe on the hearts of some people. Ultimately, like all of us, I want my life to mean something and leave footprints on the sands of time.
I was here. I lived. I breathed. I had dreams and I ran after them.