- Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different? -
Last month I was invited to contribute to the January issue of Edinburgh-based, Crossroads Magazine talking about 'Changes'. I was pondering upon it for while because changes can be such a wide topic. Eventually I decided to focus on my personal experiences during the last 12 months of my life and some of the ups and downs of 'constantly changing'.
On January the 1st 2015 I made a personal resolution to see more of the world. I even wrote it down on a piece of paper and pinned it to my bedroom wall in Edinburgh; “Make 2015 the most adventurous year of them all”. I’m not sure if it was wanderlust, or if it was the gloomy days in the library writing essays that was taking its toll on me. Perhaps it was both, but either way my mind was constantly dreaming about a next destination.
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been there - going through the motions of life, slightly lost in ourselves and wondering what’s beyond our comfort zone. They say the shortest way to yourself is around the world, and I must admit that I’m guilty of the clichéd belief that travel is one of the things that helps us discover our purpose and our passions. Thinking that maybe a trip to a new place will help me reignite my creativity. That new friendships along the way will inspire, or dare I even say change my perspectives on life. So there I was, hooked onto the idea that travel would perhaps lead to a personal revolution.
Before I knew it I was accustomed to the fast life. I found myself packing my suitcase about twice every month. By August I had crossed seventeen city borders and as of today I’m lucky to count myself fourteen countries richer in experience within the time span of a year. Not to mention that my recent move to China for my exchange year abroad has been nothing short of life-changing.
But with all the travels and the moving comes the inevitable change - leaving, always leaving. It made me realise that time is my most precious commodity. Sometimes l feel like I don’t have enough of it, as I'd catch myself wondering why all of a sudden the time spent with my family and loved ones is so scarce. Why too often home is the next destination on my wish-list, considering how eager I was to leave it in the first place. With all the travels and the moving come all the friendships. From the 'good-byes for now' to my friends in Edinburgh as I set off for a year exploring the far East; to knowing that too soon I will be saying good-bye to the amazing friends and connections I’ve made here in China - uncertain about when we'll meet again. It’s the bittersweet truth, that friendships on the traveling road are a celebration and letting go. And that the only constant about life is change.
So on January the 1st 2016 I made a resolution to always enjoy the present moment no matter where I am in the world. It sounds cliché, but my last year's life in the fast lane of has proven to be just that: Fast. And before I know it my days in China will be over. So I have learnt that change is inevitable no matter what you wish for so why not just trust the journey and enjoy the ride. Day by day nothing might change, but when you look back everything will be different.
Thanks to Crossroads for unlocking my inner poet. Check out the full publication here.