Well, the travelling part of the journey starts now. The preparation and emotional journey started months ago, and I am now ready to really get started.
Well, I am not sure if I am ready, but I am prepared as possible and now need to get started on the difficult parts of this journey. Until now I could have pulled out relatively easily, whereas sitting here on the plane the reality is becoming more and more inescapable.
Some good friends came to visit me in the last couple of days, and to see me off at the airport, one of them a total surprise. This really brought it home to me how much we need our ‘village’ around us, and I’m lucky enough to have that ‘village’.
Communication has changed so much since my first travelling adventure, around Europe in 1988. A couple of very brief and expensive phone calls home, and postcards, were the only means by which I could stay in touch. Even in 1995 when I left the UK for my so-called one year trip (!) the situation was largely the same. Now, we have FaceTime, WhatsApp, relatively cheap capped overseas charges, blogs, email … for which on this trip I am very grateful. I will be needing to maintain contact with my ‘village’.
I enjoy traveling, and even this journey is exciting, with more risk but far greater reward than my normal journeys. In the words of Alain de Botton, and I am sure I will quote more of his words through this journey;
“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are as conducive to internal thought than a moving plane, train or ship. There is an almost quaint relationship between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places.”
“If we find poetry in the service station or motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomfort, in spite of their harsh colours and garish lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world. ”