Well… I was single in my mid-thirties, and having already done a couple of bits of solo travelling I did a crazy thing and set off on a round the world ticket for a year, for many, many reasons.
At its simplest, I had the money (just about! Lucky me), the freedom and the desire to go. I love love love going to new places, learning about new things, meeting new people and challenging myself. However, I also find that these things are easier to deal with for me than just settling into everyday life, working on existing friendships, getting control over my ever-growing self-imposed to-do list and non-stop obsessive thought patterns, self-doubts, dark places and loneliness versus independence…
So in one sense I was absolutely running away from it all for a bit, wanting to get a sense of distance from all of those issues, to think about how to make my life simpler and be more content and mindful. But knowing how amazing travelling can be, I was planning on also just trying to relax and enjoy myself for a bit, helping some other people along the way as much as I could and finding the lighter side of life because I was giving myself the chance to!
I know plenty of people (for a long time, especially myself!) who aren’t really smiling enough because of various pressures, and I want to dig deep and find ways to be happier and help other people to be happier within their situation. We only get one life, and many of us are extremely fortunate; sometimes we just genuinely don’t know how to appreciate it!
Oh, and I have a tendency to experience depression and decided that I wanted to be able to talk openly enough about that. So I’m trusting you. Yes, you. Close family, distant family, close friend, distant friend, work colleague – this might be news to you. If you have no experience of or compassion for depression, I respectfully request that you stop reading now!
As I travelled, I had stories to tell about the things I was seeing, but I frequently tried to link it back to the lessons I was learning, the stuff that was going on in my brain, as a result of having the freedom to spend time focussing on it. Over time, the places I was seeing around the world became far less significant than the places I was seeing inside myself and I began to truly feel the benefit of that. Since returning home to the UK I’ve therefore decided to attempt to find a way of life that supports a healthy mental state and a healthy amount of introspection; an ongoing task with its own challenges and insightful rewards!
For more information about my latest endeavours, go to intrepid intentions.