The thing about travel and perspective on life
A slight interlude in my road trip posts… figured it was time to share a big change in my life.
I purchased a bed for the first time in about 10 years.
I’m awaiting the delivery of furniture in a few weeks.
I finally have ‘stuff’.
As much as it scared me to accumulate ‘things’, it has finally become necessity.
Why did is scare me?
Because it felt like I’d be stuck. I wouldn’t be able to pack up and leave. This is it. My future. No more moving to another country or leaving whenever I feel like it. I felt doomed… okay I was looking at accumulating stuff in a slightly negative manner. Truth is, things come and go. Nothing is permanent. Including me and the way I live my life.
Just over a week ago I moved into my first home.
Yes it’s in Auckland, New Zealand, a city I never thought would be possible to own a home in. Long story short, different events in my life in the last few years aligned and meant it was time for a change and with a little help from my late father, it was made possible sooner than I thought.
I brought a house back near the suburb where I was born (yes the dreaded 360 degree return) but I’ve moved to a slightly nicer area, with a reserve next to my home and quiet neighbours. It’s miles away from work, but near public transport. It’s on the right side of the city to escape to the mountains for winter snowboarding weekends and to visit family.
I’m not excited. I’m not overjoyed. I’d rather have my dad here.
The house has many things wrong with it that have only become apparent upon moving in. It’s been overwhelming… hence the reason you’ve gone a few weeks without a blog post about my recent travels.
The ‘to-fix’ list generally grows each day, but I’m finally starting to check a few urgent items off the list too. The leaks are reducing. The cosmetic and ‘nice-to-haves’ will have to wait. It’s not like my dad can come around and help me with any of them.
I’m currently sitting on a beanbag in an empty living room with my small camping table and chair acting as desk, dinner table and dumping ground, but that’s okay.
The boxes are unpacked and some re-packed. I finally have my beautiful hand-painted mugs from Poland out. My Venetian masks finally hang after being in boxes for 11 years. My travel photography books have a home below the TV. The mortar shell vase from Sarajevo sits by the door.
I have reminders of my travels in small spots around the house.
The thing is, I know I’m lucky to be able to have done this. I’ll get a tenant at some point once things calm down and the ‘to-fix’ list will eventually reduce bit by bit. A lot of people never have this opportunity. I worked hard and made it happen.
I think back to my travels and all the places I visited where people have so little and they are so happy. It makes me really wonder what makes them tick. Is it the people around them? Is it the little things that bring them happiness and joy? Is it making the most of the here and now?
Either way, when I get too down I feel like I just need to think back to my travels and those times, thinking about what some people I met have been through to even survive and be alive. Africa. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Bolivia, just to name a few spots where the people and their lives hit me hard. When I return to my life, post-travels, thinking of these people puts things in perspective a bit more.
I’m lucky to have what I have. It doesn’t replace those that I’ve lost, but it’s a step into the future. Whatever ‘the future’ actually means.
Perspective can be a powerful thing.