In January I went to the Telegraph Travel Adventure Show in London. I had hoped that I might get some useful travel tips and ideas but I got so much more. I came away buzzing with excitement at the possibilities which could be open to me. There were people there from all walks of life and of all ages but all with a zest for life and the need to explore and to travel.
I chatted to the experts manning the stands and I went along to four talks/presentations. Before going to the show I had thought that my plans to travel were unusual and unobtainable, but I soaked up the stories and enthusiasm. I have so much to look forward to this year, and since January I have already been to Cuba, Milan, Brighton and London. Now however, we are already a quarter of the way into 2013 and I know that I have some big decisions to make.
Life is good. I have amazing friends and family, my home is in a fantastic location and I have a secure job which I generally enjoy. I could continue to travel during my time off from work and I could continue to write at weekends, but I want more. This is not a selfish whim because I firmly believe that everybody has a duty to live the best life that they can. There are usually constraints – children, partners, dependent parents , a mortgage or the biggest constraint of all,conforming to the norms of a society. If most or all of those barriers are no longer there, what reason or excuse remains? The final, hardest barriers to overcome are your own fear and your voice of reason.
That inner voice can chip away, dissolving your passion and enthusiasm, replacing it with fear and apathy. At some time we have all used phrases such as ‘I had the chance but…’ or ‘I would have loved to have done/been…but’ (insert your own ambition here). We all know people who constantly make excuses and everyone of us is guilty of doing this many times in our lives however I am differentiating here between those who dream and those who grumble and build their own obstacles even though their paths are open.
I have come to a crossroads in my life with wide open paths in each direction. I can continue on my current path – its not a bad path and it is familiar and safe, or I can branch out on a new path. That new path looks just like the other in that there are no longer any boulders or obstacles blocking its entrance but shimmering tantalisingly in the distance are my dreams. I know that once I set foot on that path it will be full of new experiences which will be both scary and exciting, yet I know that even if I only dare to follow the path for a short while the rewards will be tremendous. I feel that something vital is waiting up ahead for me and if I choose to reject that path, the ghost of what could have been will forever be gnawing away at me. I have to take that path. I will take that path.
I am waiting for one more piece of the jigsaw to fall into place which will enable me to set a timetable for my plans and then there can be no more excuses. I will hoist my rucksack up onto my back and stride out purposefully onto that road.