When I landed in Bali, I just knew, heck, I knew before I landed. My heart knew ages ago! It was calling for me and I can’t explain it. I feel like I’m home. It’s just the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. Full of trees and vegan food and yoga studios. The perfect place to finally develop my daily yoga and meditation practise…
She said just a few days in to her adventure in Bali. A week later and it’s a completely different story. I’m going to be honest. I’m having a hard time. I am in paradise, but my head is somewhere else entirely. You can glamorise anything. And being in the jungle in a flat by myself seemed like a great idea, but I think perhaps I was wrong. And I may be ill and it may be a bit rainy and there’s a good chance I’m hormonal, but it’s got me asking myself, what do I truly want? And it’s kind of heartbreaking because all I’ve ever wanted since I was 16, and saw the then awe-inspiring video ‘Where the Hell is Matt’, is to go traveling and now I am literally living my dream and I’m miserable. BRAIN WHY!?
I thought it would make me happy, and there have been some great moments, but ultimately, it feels kinda… empty. I finally understand why people say experiences mean nothing without someone to share them with. For example, I’m currently a 15 minute scooter ride away from the actual place that is the picture perfect background on my phone, the one that kept me motivated to save up and travel to Bali in the first place and am I excited to visit? Scarily, no, I’m not, because I have no one to share the excitement with, that’s crazy to me! And hence, I’ve decided that I don’t like traveling solo. I think it’s an incredible thing to have accomplished and it absolutely fills you with self belief and the knowledge that you can take care of yourself in any situation anywhere in the world. And I really love the fact that if I wanted to, I could just leave my home town for a weekend in Barcelona (or wherever else) by myself and have a wicked time skating and meeting people in hostels as a short break from daily life. That’s amazing, that’s an amazing feeling to have, but would I rather go with my skating buddy, partner in crime and best friend in the whole world, Poppy? Abso-fricking-lutely. So in conclusion, the idea to travel indefinitely on my own, with non-stop unfamiliarity and without a single constant, doesn’t appeal to me anymore.
It’s actually a revelation! See, I have always loved change, the aforementioned Poppy will tell you that the only consistent thing about me is my transitory nature. I’m a Pisces, a dreamer and I run away. It’s a pattern I’ve been stuck in for years. The longest I’ve ever stayed in one place since I was 18 was three years and that was because of university. After uni, I just fluttered around, 3 months here, 6 months there, a stint in Canada, a stint in Switzerland, I rarely had friends closeby, I relied entirely on whatever boyfriend I was with at the time and I tried my hand at everything. From sales, to jewellery making, to fine art, to visual merchandising, to graphic design, to photography, to modelling, to promo, to acting, idea after idea, business after business, each one failing to turn into anything substantial. And the funny thing is, I prided myself on it, I strived for non-conformity and I couldn’t understand why anyone would want a full-time job. Why spend all your precious time doing something you don’t want to do when you could spend all your time doing what you do want to do?
It was a blessing and a curse. I learnt a hell of a lot about myself in those 6 years, I developed an impressive set of hobbies and I embarked upon an incredible spiritual journey/awakening, which I will be forever grateful for. But with so much free time, I also struggled with depression and anxiety, feeling isolated and lonely a lot of the time and most of all, feeling aimless and unfulfilled. I hadn’t laid down any roots anywhere because I always thought I would leave the UK and become an expat somewhere hot and sunny. But since living in a tropical, undeveloped country, I have realized how bloody great we actually have it and how easy it is to live in my home country! I am so excited to embark upon a new life in England with a brand new perspective and much more gratitude. For the first time ever, I actually want a job, a ‘proper’ one, as my mum would call it, in a design studio, with a salary, so that I can buy a flat and own animals and afford to go on holiday (what a novel idea). It is conforming in every way I always loathed. But screw it, I don’t care, I may no longer be the non-conformist I identified with for my entire adult life anymore, but I will always be a creative, quirky hippie with loads of hobbies and one foot in the mainstream. And that, my friends, is perfectly fine with me.