Life is a rollercoaster with its uphills, downhills, curves, loops and occasional stops.We're on a cart where we only have brakes that only work to the extent of slowing down the cart a little. There's no chance of accelerating into uphills, no full stop before going downhill. You can't avoid going into the loops and neither can you look back on the curves you've passed. You just have to keep on going with the cart under your own body.
I have a strong need of fulfilling myself and the destinations I have set for myself. I have not yet gone much into the travels of my next year in this blog. I have written some texts on dreams, dreams-come-true and other speculation on what can happen, might occur and could be possible. This is the first time I feel like sharing something about my journey abroad in detail. And when I mean in detail, it means a lot of speculation, mazes of words and some facts hidden somewhere in between.
The Single Step
"Every great journey begins with a single step." -Chinese proverb
A wise man has come up with that statement but I do wonder if the man ever took on a great journey himself. For if he did, he would know that there are multiple steps to take, in fact. In every direction and with so many feet that you can't help but to struggle with the only two that you've been given grace to have. My journey did most likely begin with a single step as well. I have no idea when I took this step though. After I had told my parents about my travel plans, they speculated that my yearning for foreign countries must've come from the way they raised me. So, have I taken the step in early childhood or have my parents taken it for me? The second possibility for my first step could be falling in love. Sometime during last autumn I fell in love with a girl who was going to travel abroad next year. At that time I was hopeless in love and thought how one year apart from her would tear me apart. I had plans for travelling to Iceland at the end of this summer and of becoming something in the board my student organization. I ditched these plans and thought that I couldn't take it, me being here and her being there somewhere. So, I decided that I would travel abroad too but not to the same place as her - Mexico, Kenya, Madagascar, Bali, wherever. I remember thinking: If I can't be with her, then I'll be without her somewhere else in this world. I have not told her about these thoughts because I've been ashamed of how in love I was back then. That I let my love guide my judgement that naively.
I never ended up going to any of those places I mentioned. I ended up taking the third possible first single step, which was saying 'yes'. The girl above asked me to join her on her travels. The fallen-in-love me would've said instantly yes but I actually needed some time to think it over. I would be sharing my dreams with someone. I was about to embark on the greatest journey of my life with someone. It could end up as a disaster - that's the reality of it - or it could end up being something out of this world. I chose to go with her, called her on the phone and told her I would be coming along. I decided to take a risk, raise my fist, shout and jump off my cliff.
Where The Spirit Leads Me
With the final decision being made the preparations started almost instantly. And the first preparations are not getting a new passport, fixing up your insurances, booking flights, or applying for a visa. The first preparations for a year abroad are discussions that seem to last longer than the journey itself. My travel companion is one of the most emotionally intellectual people I know. She is also self-determined, independent, strong and more organized than she gives herself credit for.
We started talking about where we want to go, what we want to do, how we want to be and all other things imaginable. When two mature people collide there's no stopping the amount of words. We had conversations lasting for days, sometimes even literally. We had conversations that ended up in smiles, laughter, tears, cries. The curves on the rollercoaster needed to be straightened out for it all to work out. Our aim was to be able to hold hands during and after each hard discussion and we managed to do so, as true, caring friends do.
I mentioned the actual preparartions in the beginning of the last paragraph. I think my travel companion summed the preparations up quite well with her innocent, joyful statement of: If going on a journey around the world is this easy, I should go more often. I laughed. If you're planning a trip of your own, establish a basis for your personal needs, wants and dreams first, then take into account your possible travel companion and finally do the material preparations. Prioritize things this way to achieve a safe journey, in an emotional way and a rational way.
The hardest preparation for the journey so far has been raising enough money. I've gone to all extremes in job hunting and yesterday afternoon was one of the most hideous moments of my life. I realized that with my current job I wouldn't be able to make enough money. I failed to get another, a better job and I got another job, which ended up being far worse than they had promised. So, I was stuck in a situation where I knew that I would not have enough money to support my travels independently, which is really important for me. This is my thing and I want to do everything I can myself.
I was desperate, on the verge of tears and homesick as well. When I was bathing in pity and sorrow, I decided to give some companies a call or two. Nothing. Yet, I had refused to give up. And then, my phone rang. A job interview over the phone, a job, which I had applied earlier in the morning almost by accident and never thought they would even reply me. The recruiter told me that I would have a group interview this week with 10 candidates for the job and out of those 10, most likely everyone would be recruited. I'm still not certain about the job but I feel confident. The interview is tomorrow and this seems too good to be true, so I'm a little cautious but I pray that I will have a good job after tomorrow. The struggle could be over soon.
I can't say I wouldn't be extremely hyped about my travels. I've been keeping the excitement partly to myself but I've learned to share it with the people I care for as well. The feeling has been rising up to the skies the closer the departure date (28/09/2011) creeps. I know there are lots of preparations yet to be made, and most likely conversations to be taken part in. Writing this text sparked a feeling of writing more about my future travels. I haven't written nearly enough, considering how much there is already to write. I think my next travel text will be about the concrete things I have at the moment, how I acquired them and how I will put them into use.
At the moment I just glad for three things in particular regarding my journey:
I might have enough money to go around with after all. All is not lost.
I have a strong support group back home, waiting for me and rooting for me.
I have the most special travel companion who has realized before me how amazing our next year abroad will be: I'm glad you're going with me.
.let my song be filled with me.