So, we made it. Fourteen months after returning home to our friends and family in London we are on a flight heading 14 hours and five minutes to Jakarta, where we connect for our final destination, Bali. Though, we then have to embrace a two hour taxi to Tulamben, our final, final destination – a little fishing village in the East coast of Bali. Currently flying somewhere over the Indian Ocean we are ten hours, two meals and three uncomfortable attempts at sleeping into our flight as I write this. It’s still more than a little surreal to think that we have once again packed up our lives into bags and boxes, put it away for an unknown amount of time and left with 30kg of belongings each, a dream of making something more akin to a lifestyle from our hobbies, and of course, each other.
OK, OK… Closer to 50kg each if you count our dainty hand luggage – jeez, don’t be so judgy.
So, as I was saying, we’re flying to live for five months in a country neither of us have ever visited before, not to mention I’m gluten free and partial to bouts of vegetarianism – which is never an easy option when you’re not even sure how to pronounce ‘Thank you’ in the native tongue – please God, tell me the avocado smash craze has made it to Indonesia.
Surreal? Yes, completely, and not just since we got to the airport but the week spent at home trying to figure out insurances should the worst happen. It’s something I think we all take for granted, but quite frankly I would like it to be known know that all insurances are confusing, exhausting and have way too much small print, of which I cannot fathom. Even when I tried to figure out what would happen if I twisted my ankle in an ill turn of fate it seemed hopeless, insurance reads (in snooty man from Chelsea voice): well, the thing is, you were wearing yellow socks, it was actually raining in the UK and it was the third Sunday of the month between 12.00 – 15.00 – sorry, your policy doesn’t cover it. Then there’s the clothes and the diving gear, not to mention the all the photography gear and our new DJI Spark. It’s a lot, and it’s hard to rationalise between what you want to bring and need to bring. How do you fit your life into a bag?
Well, our friends, you don’t. Life is not made of things. Though undoubtedly they can spark memories and feelings, ultimately, they don’t own them. So for me, it was a case of clearing out and without being wasteful, starting a fresh – new adventures, new perspectives and nothing to hold on to, well – aside from the 8 boxes in storage, don’t look at me like that, I couldn’t throw away everything.
Belongings are not what make our home, it’s the people we love who make our lives whole and saying goodbye to them was incomparable to that of an old faithful pair of jeans. So much so, that I couldn’t allow myself to think about not seeing them for so long. When you have a gorgeous 14 year old sister and mischievous 7 year old brother time is precious because they change so incredibly quickly in a few months and well, your mum is your mum and in my case, a best friend. Not to mention that there are babies due and big birthdays we will miss. Friends who have been the framework of our social lives in London for the past 14 months. Where there were many, now there are two.
But don’t go crying just yet, it’s not for long, we will have a social group soon enough and only so much as physically there are two of us, we have phones and we’re not venturing too deep into the wilderness that we can’t catch-up over video calls and messages. Best not to think on it too hard, else I truly don’t think we could’ve left. The point is, we are only ever a plane journey away and life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
We owe it to ourselves to embrace the unknown, dive in to our passions as if we were still fearless children and take a few risks, very few things in life are for certain even if you decide to play the safe card. Allowing ourselves to plunge into the unknown allows us to grow, to learn about our limits, our skills and our passions. And if we believe that because we are fully grown adults that we have reached our maximum potential, that we have definitively decided on what we do and don’t like, then we leave little hope for us to understand each other better, the world better and reconnect with the possibility and potential of anything. I’m not talking grand gestures like packing up your life and heading to the other side of the world per say, but jump on a trampoline, get on a rollercoaster, try a different dish on the menu or go totally wild with a new cuisine all together – connect with the world around you, don’t limit yourself to what you are comfortable knowing. (Now, brace yourself for another cheesy-but-we-all-know-it’s-true kinda quote, wait for it, here it comes…) Life is on the other side of fear and good things never came from comfort zones. (ok, that was two but they were both totally relevant).