One thing I like about the Facebook ‘On this day’ app is that at certain times of the year I am reminded of and get to relive some of my travel adventures. This time of year, a couple of years back I was en route to Dubai to celebrate my 30th birthday at the top of the tallest building in the world. Scroll back far enough on this blog and you can read about it.
As my 32nd birthday draws closer, I’m naturally thinking about the year that was and what I’ve achieved at this particular age. 31 has been both difficult and kind, much as most years are in their own way. The impact of which is purely down to perspective.
On my last trip I wanted to explore my mind in terms of love and relationships. I wanted to take time to prepare myself for love and understand the things getting in my way. I also wanted to take time to heal from past relationships and dating experiences that were continuing to haunt me. Dating exclusively outside my culture has also meant that I needed to take time to understand dating/social norms within my own culture before trying to connect with another.
The year of 31 has taught me many things. Firstly, no amount of psychoanalysis will prepare you for love. You will meet the right one or you won’t. He will accept you for who you are or he won’t. No amount of analysis will necessarily prepare or assist you in this. He is out there and when you meet him, it won’t be as a result of your overthinking.
Secondly, I am stronger than I think. I’ve been to some challenging couentries in my time but nothing compares to my time in Oman (this is due to a certain someone(s) and not at all a reflection on the country as a whole). I learned that my values are more important than my available opportunities and that I will always find a way to deal with the challenges that life presents me with.
Thirdly, I can be a solo traveller as well as someone who travels with a close friend (or one day with my significant other). I used to think that I was only capable of the solo part… turns out I can have both without complication.
Lastly, I am too hard on myself and it’s not helping anyone. I have a beautiful life here in NZ where I can afford 1 month out of the year abroad whilst chasing my career goals, completing my degree and now maintaining a loving relationship. The f$&# is wrong with that?! It’s time to be kinder to myself.
My next trip is booked for April next year. This time I’ll be exploring Brunei and Myanmar. I may not live life by conventional means, but I sure am proud of the life I lead.