Post 3 of A Journey On Foot
- July 2nd 2013
Wayfaring enthusiasts among you are probably wondering who I am! Like many nomads, I have a rather mixed background. I was raised until the age of eleven in the undulating greens of Buckinghamshire, with summer caravanning holidays to the Gower Peninsula on the south coast of Wales. There I learned the joys of dipping around for shrimp in rockpools, and picking peas and strawberries from a nearby farm. The sea air, the screech of sea gulls, the endless walks for my little legs and the weary return to the whistling caravan kettle, perched on my father’s shoulders.
Then, all of a sudden, our suburban lives were translocated southwards to a much hotter, yellower place: Kenya. My father had a job opportunity there, and after much deliberation decided an adventure would be a good thing. Adventures are always good things. They may be challenging at times, but by pushing the boundaries of what you already know, you grow closer to yourself.
So it was planted on the fertile mind of an eleven year old, the many different ways there are to perceive this world we live in, and ways of being in it. That was an important lesson for me, and one that has given me the courage to stubbornly follow my convictions to lead the life I wish to, rather than one I feel I ought to.
I was blessed with the most incredible school trips in Kenya: caving inside a volcano, cycling across the Rift Valley, being told to look out for buffaloes if we went for a pee in the night! Later, aged 17, I went on a school trip to Nepal to hike in the mountains, and broke off from the group to travel solo to India. That was that. I was irretrievably a nomad. The thrill of not knowing what was going to happen, not having made plans, experiencing the miraculous turn of events and degrees of hospitality that can occur if only you give them space to. And that, in a way, is a lesson I have carried to the life I live, and one of the reasons I am now writing this blog.
Since, I have travelled in Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, India many many times again, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ethiopia, Morocco, Spain, France, Estonia, Norway, USA, and Iceland. And there’s probably more but it’s not really the point. The point is, I have done all of this because it became my way of being in the world, to be always looking forward to the next journey, open to what it may offer me. I have never been rich. People often ask, “How do you afford to do all this travelling?”. I think it is more expensive to stay still.
Having said that, as I grow older, I find joy and solace in getting to know my more immediate environs, and the mountains of my own mind. I find journeys do not have to be long to yield wisdoms, and I so look forward to sharing my close-to-home with you, as much as the new and further afield.
There is also the great journey of being married to an Icelander – a new adventure for me since last year. And now, as I pack my bag, cut my hair short and choose my boots, the hardest part is saying goodbye to my husband. He is working in Iceland this summer, from where I am sending this missive. He is my adventure companion and it shall be strange to walk without him, but in doing so I shall meet many new faces, and layer their stories upon mine.