It’s no secret to those who know me that I absolutely adore reading. Growing up, I was always that child you could find engrossed in a story and as I’ve gotten older that has never changed. For me, reading was always an escape with a desperate dash to reach the final chapter and complete the journey.
Whilst I may not have known it at the time, this mad desire to reach the point where all the loose ends tie up wasn’t just limited to the books I read. Looking back on my teenage years and early twenties, I can only say that I was consumed by an extreme sense of urgency to reach the point in my life where I had ‘made it’.
Now at the grand old age of 26, I look back on the younger me who was consumed by feelings of inadequacy and wonder why I wasted so much time. For years I worked in jobs I hated, with people I had nothing in common with, spending every minute of my spare time looking for a lucky break and beating myself up when it didn’t happen.
When I walked out of De Montford Hall as a fresh-faced graduate, I pictured life at 26 very different to the reality. I imagined my own swanky apartment overlooking a picturesque river, a job that would require me to wear a smart suit and my spare time filled with catch-ups in classy cocktail bars. This could not be further from the reality. In actual fact I still live with my Mum, rock up to work in the comfiest clothes I own and struggle to afford a night out down my local pub.
I guess what I am trying to say with this post is that things don’t always go the way you plan but that’s okay. In fact, it is better than okay, my life is nothing like I imagined it would be when I was a teenager, it’s better. If I had got the corporate job and flashy apartment, I would never have been able to go see the world and grow into the person that I am now. Don’t put yourself on a timeline and compare yourself to others.
‘The race is long, but in the end, it’s only with yourself.’ – Baz Lurhmann
So how does all of this philosophical stuff relate to travel I hear you ask? Allow me to explain. I spent a large portion of my life obsessing over the goals I wanted to reach. I wasted so much time worrying about how I would get to where I wanted to go that I forgot to enjoy life while it was actually happening.
By all means, have goals and strive to achieve them but don’t let them take over your existence. Remember to do what makes you happy because life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. Seeing how a story comes together is great but never more satisfying as when the lead up is exciting and fulfilled. It is the same with life. It should be about challenging yourself, connecting with others and opening your eyes to the world around you. Life is more than just the things you own, it is about who you are and what you do. If you are reading this and can relate, remember that only you can change your journey. Life is too short to be unhappy: get on that plane and start living.
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