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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Losing Yourself in the World

Lake Tagimaucea, Fiji

Where would you be sitting right now if you'd said "yes".
What would you be doing? 
Who would you be?

Wilson's prom, Australia

I had everything to lose. [Or at least I thought I did].
I lived in a perfect home with amazing housemates {and even owned some of the the furniture]. 
I was semi-self-employed with more random, yet exceptionally fun, work contracts than the amish have children.
I had great friends, and my family was just down the street. 
I was young and free and, by my own standards, I was a success.

Drinking toxic floats with a brother.
Joburg, South Africa
But did I want to travel the East coast of Africa with some of my besties? YES!
Was I prepared to move out of my perfect home? 
Not really.
Could I sacrifice 3 months of my life to do it?
Probably not.
Was I willing to leave other people to look after my work contracts?
No way!
Did I have the money to do it?
No chance!

The safety and beauty of the homelands
Dietary alterations, Malawi

I'm not sure why I did it.
I'm not sure how I broke myself free from the comforts of life.
I was young. 
I was naive. 
I had determination and adventure. And a brand new backpack.
The world was mine for exploring!  
It wasn't an easy descision, but it was the best descision I ever made: I said "Yes."

Cliff jumping, Aling Aling, Indonesia

Every jolt of every bus, ferry, truck, and car  knocked wisdom and sense into my life. I changed from a Joburger to a citizen of the world. I had no idea how intoxicating wanderlust could be and before I  knew it; I transformed from a tourist to a traveller: a student of Earth.

Ijen volcano, Java

Kudat, Borneo

Stone Henge
I found myself lost in some of the most beautifully remote places on Earth. Every day was a chance to reinvent myself. Every day bought with it new lessons, new cultures, and a new [dirtier, scruffier, more care free] me.

Perth, Australia

I started chasing challenges. I found myself setting unrealistic goals. If something was deemed "impossible" I would try it. If a destination was "too difficult to get to" I'd aim for it. I stopped taking busses and started travelling by thumb, bicycle, horse, motorbike, sailing boats... I forgot motorbike, sailing boats... I forgot about deadlines. I forgot about comforts. I forgot about time.

Kioa, Fiji

Pnom Phen, Cambodia

New wheels, Cambodia

Suddenly I wasn't a scrawny, naive 22 two year old anymore. The [meant to be] three month trip had somehow spanned 9 years.

I still live out of the same backpack (although you can barely recognise it now). The contents have been overhauled countless times and there isn't even a remnant of fancy outdoor gear left. My body is a mangle of souvenir-scars tattooed on by the greatest artist of all: adventure herself.

The first significant scar acquisition, from falling into a volcano in Kenya

Today I'm sat in Fiji, a somewhat tropic paradise ravished by a recent cyclone.
I'm about as far away from South Africa as I could possibly be - but looking at the smiles of the people around me. 
The welcoming spirit.
The generocity.
The sense of humour.
The hugs, and the acceptance... I'm home.

Nawakalau, Fiji
Yes, if I'd stayed behind I might have a big corporation, I may be a home owner, I might even have a family of my own... Hey, I could be president (if Trump, Jacob, and Keates can do it, anybody can!)...
Instead i have a dismal bank account and almost nothing in the way of material possessions, but traveling taught me so much... in fact it made me rich.
Man am I glad I said "Yes"!

Still the most disgusting place I've stayed (that's poo dropping down the walls behind me) and it was a "luxury hotel". Kazakhstan


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