The boy who started to live

‘Open your eyes, look within.
Are you happy with the life you’re living?’
– Bob Marley

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At the start of the year I wrote a post titled the boy who began to grow up, which reviewed my 2014 and outlined what I hoped to achieve by the time 2015 came to a close.

The focus for 2015 was to forge an environment in which I could reclaim my life as my own, creating a plethora of stories and memories along the way. This is something I truly believe I have managed to achieve. I would argue that 2014 provided me with a disjointed roller-coaster ride, replaced by a 2015 which – for the most part – was relatively smooth-sailing and ended with a trip of a lifetime.

‘Wherever you go, go with all your heart’
– Confucius

Whilst the first seven months of the year were relatively uneventful in comparison to the final five, they are filled with many happy memories. The first memory was actually forged in the first week of January, with someone who would become a consistent and much welcomed presence in my life until we parted ways at the beginning of September. Despite this, I wish her all the best and plenty of success.

January also saw my first little adventure of the year when I went skiing with my Dad to Portes du Soleil. It had been several years since I had last hit the slopes and being back out there again was absolutely fantastic!

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Fast forward a couple of uneventful months and the next major thing that occurred was my first ever paid photography job, courtesy of Bath Spa Univeristy and their former Head of Drama, Ian McNish. As I hadn’t been involved in theatre since graduating in 2014, being back on campus and seeing the work created by the graduating class of 2015 brought back great memories.

‘When the traveller goes alone
he gets acquainted with himself’
– Liberty H. Bailey

As July came to an end, so did my time in Bath. The end of an amazing four years. My house-mates and I went our separate ways; Anna flew out to Australia, Scott and Amber moved into their own place, and I returned to Milton Keynes to prepare for my upcoming travels. And that is when my year really started to kick-off.

Travelling was something that I was extremely nervous about doing. As I have repeatedly mentioned to many people, I am very much a homely person. I enjoy my home comforts and the safety blanket provided by it.

From August to September I went Interrailing around Europe, visiting 13 cities across 10 countries in 29 days before flying out to Australia at the start of October to visit my family in Melbourne and travel up the East Coast. If the first trip didn’t quite live up to the billing I had given it, then the second excelled in every department.

I don’t regret my Interrailing experience though. Despite the negatives there were an overwhelming number of positives, none more so than being able to prove to myself that I could do it. I could put myself through something that scared the hell out of me and come out the other side absolutely fine. It filled me with confidence and really helped when it came to flying out to Australia on my own. I may have made mistakes during that first trip, but I regret none of them.

‘Sometimes you must dare to jump’
– Unknown

On the other hand, Australia. Wow. What a country. It was here I really felt that I started to develop as a person. I challenged myself and found out that I was capable of doing things that I had never – in a million years- expected to participate in. From bungy jumping off a 50m tower to skydiving from 14,000ft and riding a horse across the beach, it was an exciting time, gifting me memories and stories that will last a lifetime.

It was also out in Australia that I began meditating and, I have to be honest, I am so glad that I did.

This titbit of information may come across as quite funny (or odd) to some of you, but it leaves me with a clear and focussed mind, emotions in check, and ready for the day ahead.

‘For once you have tasted flight
you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been
and there you will long to return’
– Leonardo da Vinci

After leaving Australia and returning to England mid-November, my original plan was to return to Bath. However plans change and I find myself back living in Milton Keynes, beginning a job with BP as a Trading Retail Assistant, and saving money for my next expedition; a visit to New Zealand during the final third of 2016.

2015 really has been my best year to date but I am not going to rest on my laurels. Instead, I am going to use 2015 as a springboard to greater things. I want to make next year even greater and even more memorable than this. I am working towards something special and when this time next year comes around, I hope that that special something will have begun.

2014 was all about taking that first step and 2015 saw me prove to myself that I can “walk the walk” not just “talk the talk”. I am really intrigued to learn what 2016 has in store for me.

And with that, I leave you all with these words;

‘I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things,
trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself,
changing yourself, changing your world.
You’re doing things you’ve never done before,
and more importantly, you’re doing something’

– Neil Gaiman

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