Helloooo and welcome friends, family and the curious!
I’ll be honest with you, sh*t is about to get deep.
In just two weeks I’ll be embarking on the biggest adventure of my life, and while I’m totally aware of how cliché that sounds, it’s completely true!
I’m going to be spending five months in a foreign continent ON MY OWN.
I know that may not sound like a big deal to many, but up until this point, I’ve lead what can only be described as a “sheltered existence”.
I’ve been extremely fortunate my whole life; I’ve never faced adversity, seen struggle or dealt with hardship. I’ve always had a roof over my head, food on my table and the best of any material possession you could think of.
And I am so grateful for my upbringing and everything my parents have done for me, but for the last year I’ve struggled with the concept of comfortability.
It was just over a week before my 23rd birthday when I was informed that someone I had known, who was only a year or two older than myself, had passed away.
He was beautiful. But not just in a conventional way. In all honesty, his physical appearance, was completely irrelevant.
It was his contribution to the world that made his light so bright. We’d never spoken but there was something about his energy that drew me in.
I like to think he had that effect on more people than he would ever realise.
Maybe that was his purpose in life.
His death created a void in me that I had never experienced before.
It wasn’t as if I’d never had a loved one die. Over the years, I had suffered the loss of a few close family members and friends, but for some reason, the absence of this complete stranger left me more broken than any of those that had passed before him.
I think his passing represented a missed opportunity.
How could someone so young, who had so much life to left to live, not be able to anymore?
The very next day I decided that I was going to go on this trip.
I’d often heard the adage “dead at 40, buried at 80” and I didn’t want that to be me.
I had finished uni, taken up a full-time position in the company I had worked in for the last five years, and things were easy for me at home. My days were predictable. I had most things figured out. But in some weird, real-life oxymoron, the comfortableness left me unsettled.
I want more.
I want my existence to touch at least one other person. I want to make a difference. I want to meet new people, experience new things and live like someday I won’t have the chance to.
Growing up we’d always been taught the importance of giving back. As a family, we’ve volunteered in India, held community events to raise money for worthy causes and dedicated time to helping those less fortunate.
It’s something that genuinely brings me a lot of joy.
I’ve always wanted to go to a foreign country and voluntarily teach English.
I’ve thought about it for years.
However, until recently this is where a lot of my ideas would drown;
in my own thoughts.
I’d think about something I wanted to do, and then I’d think about it some more. I’d think so much about it that I would eventually think about reasons not to do it.
When Andreas died, I knew I was done thinking.
I’m going to begin my trip in London, doing mostly touristy things for a few days. The real adventure will begin in Spain though. I’ll be based in Madrid for a month, teaching English through IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ). They’re a great organisation that offer many people the opportunity to explore the world whilst making a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. After my time in Spain, I’ll be spending the next four months travelling as much of Europe and the UK as time will permit, solo.
This trip isn’t a personal mission I’ve taken on to save the world. The voluntary work I’ll be doing is going to make me happy, but I’d be lying if I said it was the sole purpose of my trip. This journey is just as much, if not more about self-discovery and pushing myself beyond my limits,
“a comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there”
So, here’s what I promise to you;
1. I will say “yes” to every (non-life-threatening) opportunity that presents itself to me.
2. I will give you my uncensored opinion (because Lord only knows I’ve got a lot of them) of all my experiences, always.
3. I will live every day, because I can.
I hope you enjoy my journey.