When I started telling people about my travel plans, many asked where this whole travelling idea came from. I thought that’d be a good place to start the story.
My answer could really start and end here. I’ve always been curious – about other people, other places; habits, flavours, sounds, stories that are different from mine; about people and their lives and what they think about and how they feel. I want to see different trees, sunsets and trains. I want to see what a civilisation that wasn’t built by the Romans under the banner of Christianity looks like. I want to eat lots of new things, taste flavours I don’t even know exist, spend my savings for that mortgage I won’t ever be able to afford anyway on a couple of top meals whose cuisine is miles away from what I know. Mostly — mostly I want to learn to make bread however the locals make it (no jokes). I can go on for ages (especially about bread). There is so much that’s different out there and I want to see as much of it as I can.
I’m a journalist by trade. Words are my currency and stories are how I make a living. And I found/find it hard writing stories when I have so little material to use as inspiration. My literary vocabulary is already limited when it comes to words because I choose to write in a language that’s not my mother tongue, but I feel like my sentient vocabulary is even more restricted. I want to be able to use examples that reach outside of my the bubble of my experience, to tell stories of people that you and I haven’t met, to have more experiences to bring into my writing.
Taking a break
Going through years at school and university (or even later, by that matter), did you ever feel like it was all going a bit fast and you didn’t really know why you were doing what you were doing and whether you really wanted to be going in that direction? I need some time out to go figure out what path I want to take and what I want my priorities to be.
I like pushing my limits. Challenges give me motivation, and I get a kick out of completing them. I know it’s a fine line to walk between a healthy challenge and a painful, masochistic trial – and I’m sometimes on the wrong side of it – but I’m hoping this one turns out to be the former. Travelling is very much a challenge, seeing as I am used to a life of colour-coded diarising. This should be interesting.
Because I want to (and I can)
Ultimately, that’s the only one that matters. It’s a little bit easy to forget already. Travelling doesn’t need a reason or a goal. I don’t really know why I’m going. I just feel like it (and I can).