From Spanish sunsets to second degree sunburn, who would have thought I’d end up here…
I am a serial non decider.
There, I said it.
A simple question like ‘What would you like for breakfast?’ can turn me into a tailspin of anxiety where the decision between eggs and cereal is comparable to figuring out the meaning of life, and by then it’s already lunchtime.
I am probably the world record holder for the phrase ‘I don’t know’, so trying to sort out what it is I wanted to do with my life was a series of ‘umming’ and ‘aahing’ until I settled for what any reasonable, rational human would do; take a year off to avoid the responsibility of deciding.
To quote Sir Edmund Hillary, ‘It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves’, and I spent a year conquering many things; snow storms in England, tourists in Paris, pickpockets in Rome and a sea urchin sting in Croatia, just to name a few. But after all the countries I visited, people I met and cultures I experienced, I was left even more confused than before.
“My journey of self discovery transitioned from one of answering questions to one of raising them.”
The thing with travelling is that it is a paradox in itself. You meet people whose faces are now a blur, but whose memories shared are as vivid as a picture, or you stroll down the cobbled streets of a city whose name you can’t pronounce, yet it immediately feels like home. My journey of self discovery transitioned from one of answering questions to one of raising them.
Suddenly the all impending decision was upon me after having spent exactly 354 days asserting that ‘I’ll sort it out tomorrow’. Tomorrow was here, and it hit me as hard as the blistering heat as soon as I stepped foot back into Australia, or as I decided, reality.
So, you may ask, how did I get where I am today, sitting at my desk 5 hours from home with the rattling of the fan drowning out the coughs of my housemates who have undeniably caught the ‘freshers flu’?
One thing I realised as I endured the jet lag and climate adjustment (going from -4 to 40 degrees really takes its toll, especially on someone who’s complexion matches that of a tomato after approximately 4 seconds in direct sunlight) is that I relished documenting everything I discovered. The pages of my travel journals, tattered and torn as they are, hold stories that I will tell for centuries, stories that I will enjoy telling.
I’m no Shakespeare, but I believe that the power of words is often underestimated. Media has the ability to drive change, to shape policy, to fuel debate, and why would I miss out on an opportunity to become part of one of the most diverse yet influential tools of the modern world?
I am here because I stumbled upon something I enjoy, something I can make a career out of, and something that has the power to make a difference (although living near the beach is an added bonus).