ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER DIRECTION…
2016 has been a roller coaster. I had a lot of good things happening earlier in the year, then I hit a speed bump a couple of months back and I’ve been taking some time to sort my shit out.
If you have spent any time on the internet, you will have been inundated with a plethora of captioned images telling you how you should be living your life. They contradictorily advise you to love what you have, to be happy with who you are, yet also better yourself in every conceivable way, from the way you look to the way you think. Whatever you are doing, someone thinks you’re doing it wrong.
You have seen them, shared one or two, then started ignoring them and the people who spam them on Instagram because they’re they’re usually shared by assholes who talk about doing things more than actually doing them.
I’ve found you can sum most inspirational quotes up with three basic rules:
- Move forward, generally.
- Do cool shit that makes you happy.
- Don’t be an asshole; to others or to yourself.
So in the interests of moving forward, and doing cool shit, I had been stuffing my free time with new experiences, things I have either always wanted to do, or never wanted to do because I was too much of a chicken.
I packed a a bunch of travel into my calendar, spending time in Scotland, London, Paris, and the Philippines. I’ve also been on a few trips around Australia and over to New Zealand. All of which I loved.
I did my PADI, which I was nervous about doing. I have always had some fear looking down into the unknown darkness of the drop off. No matter how many times I worked through the statistics, there was always the nagging doubt in my ability to fight off even a medium-sized Great White. How did I get past this? By singing Mr Ray’s song from Finding Nemo and having to focus on pronouncing mesopelagic, bathyal, abyssopelagic in my head. No joke. I also wonder about my mental state.
“Oooh, let’s name the zones, the zones, the zones. Let’s name the zones of the open sea: mesopolagic, bathyal, abyssalpelagic. All the rest are too deep for you and me to see!!” — Mr Ray
I’ve been calling myself a rock climber for a while now, though as one of my friends rightly pointed out, recently I have been talking about climbing more than actually climbing. So it is time to dust off my harness and shoes, and get back on the crags. Anyone who has been moderately competent at a sport will know what it is like to take some time off and then make a less-than-triumphant return. There is a mountain of frustration as you realise how large the gap is between what you could do and what you can do now.
If only I’d known French when I went to Paris, I could have been laughed at by Parisians.
I also started to teach myself another language. Why not? I have the time and everyone needs to be able to say “my hovercraft is full of eels” in seven different languages, apparently. The main problem is deciding between learning French or Spanish. I recently met three or four french natives, so that would be a massive help, if I could ever get them to stop cringing at my pronunciation. What can I say? I grew up in New Zealand. I don’t exactly have the most refined enunciation. Yeah nah, sweet as bro. Chur.
Then as I said, I hit a speed bump in that my rather long term relationship ended. I spent a few weeks considering what was to become of me, in the mildly pissed off attitude of a typically sulking male, and started reevaluating my general life plan. By this I mean I took all the plans I had and threw them out my third floor window, along with a large amount of stuff I had accumulated during my time in Sydney.
This left a rather large hole in the rest of my life, a hole I could potentially fill with anything, or anyone, or a combination of things, people, activities, travel, places, love, memories and adventures. The fact is, I have already been having one of the best years of my life, and that shit is going to continue, whether I like it or not.
So with a future full of potential, I started adding things back into my plan again, this time based around what makes me happy. First off, this blog gets to stay. I will keep sharing my stories for as long as people are willing to read them.
Of course there is a significant amount of travel too. I doubt that will ever change. However now my travel will revolve around solo trips, which I haven’t had to do in a while. I’m excited about the opportunity, but also super nervous about it. As your typical introvert, I’m not great at meeting new people, much less in a foreign country. However, I will stumble my way through it.
I have wanted to see the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis, for as long as I can remember, so I have booked in a few weeks in Iceland, stopping off in London to see some friends and a week or so in France to watch some amazing people get married in April! I called it a late birthday present to myself. Convenient excuses are my favourite excuses.
I’m hoping to get a few diving holidays in this summer in the southern hemisphere. The Great Barrier Reef is a weekend trip for me, so it has to be done.
I think I might start sailing as well. I have been promising myself I would learn to sail properly instead of just standing on the deck, pretending I have my sea legs, and pulling whatever line I get told to, before sitting back with a drink in the sun. It is about time I did something about that.
I also want to learn how to ride a horse. I’ve been on horses, but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a rider. I think there are some skills that every man should have. One of those skills is “kinda pointless but still awesome shit that looks cool and impresses girls”. I think riding a horse like a boss would be one of those.
So the next year is looking rather interesting again. You may see me sailing around Sydney Harbour, or riding a horse, or maybe sitting in a cafe, drinking copious amounts of coffee and tapping away on my laptop. Either way, I will have something planned.
And I have made up my mind. I think I’ll learn French.
À la prochaine!