So it feels like time for reflection. As we sit at SF airport awaiting our flight to London. I am depressed enough to cry about this journey coming to an end, though John is excited about getting back to the UK and seeing how we react and feel. I’ve already decided I will feel SHIT.
I’m only looking forward to two things – seeing friends and family and having all my hair lopped off by Karine Jackson.
I have already done the list of highlights. So here’s the list of what I’ve learnt (mainly about myself – we’re not talking cultural or anthropological insights folks, I’ll leave that to Bruce Parry) in the last eight months.
- I’m really quite lazy (physically not intellectually darling) and really quite impatient and this doesn’t look set to change.
- The best adventures are those done with locals. Hot springs, wine tours, temple celebrations, eating in people’s homes, impromptu parties. And most importantly FREE accommodation with things like fridges stocked with wine and cake and electric blankets and car usage thrown in!
- Always ask. Don’t be English. Be bold. Act like an American. We found so much to be had by asking. By talking to people, usually strangers but also friends of friends everywhere and asking them about themselves and their lives we got invited places and met people we’d never normally meet. This has taught me that most people want to help you if you ask and most people are really keen to show off their city/town/village. And it makes ALL the difference.
- That the universe is amazing. It helps you out if you let it. So I have learnt to trust that everything will be well and if things go ‘wrong’ it’s usually for a reason. I now meet everyone with the thought why has the universe thrown this person in my path? What am I supposed to learn or help them with. It’s a nice way of looking at the world.
- I always trust my instinct anyway. Ever since my mum told me some horrible story about hitchhiking in France when she was a teenager, her advice to me about listening to the voice in your head (not the one that tells you that you are fat but the one that tells you if someone’s psycho or actually quite nice or that you look slim and great today) has stuck and on this trip it has improved no end. I have conversations with that voice all the time now and it’s always telling me ‘yeah, this life rocks, keep going, all will be well. Now go buy that $30 lipstick – you need it.’
Now this was just the prologue. The next chapter begins tomorrow.