Rough Riding

Since my last post about the wonders of one week I had a month or so ago in New Zealand, life has been a little tough. I had a series of unfortunate events in the space of one month that included a health scare, two bed bug infestations, visa issues, some matters of the heart and getting robbed.

I’m not someone who deals all too well with stress and when it’s one thing after another in such a short space of time, I feel ill-equipped to cope. Little things frustrate me and when I’m frustrated I want to cry. Big things terrify me and when I’m terrified, I freeze. In short, life can all become a bit too much. I’ve spent the last few weeks yearning for home. I nearly panic booked a flight back to Heathrow and if it hadn’t have been for the fact I had no debit card to do this with, I would be back in the Siberian winter the UK are apparently experiencing as we speak. But a few wise words from the right wise people convinced me to ride it out. They told me I would regret it if I just gave up because times are tough, and they were right.

Over Christmas, I had a rather emotional glimpse at what life might be like if something really bad happened and things were put a little into perspective for me. And now, coming out of the other side of this rough patch has made me view things a little better. When you travel on a long term basis, it stops being a vacation and becomes day to day life. Sometimes life is hard. Stop agonising over the little stuff and realise how lucky you are to be here. To be alive and able to travel. I’ve spent years wasting my life in a state of complete turmoil, never present, always with the little voice in the back of my head ticking over; stressing, worrying, asking what if.

This morning, it was a New Zealand accent that grounded me. And nothing more. When the bus driver greeted me I couldn’t help but smile. “Shit”, I thought, “I’m in New Zealand”. And as if he read my mind he said “you’re a long way from home!”. “Yes”, I smiled, “I am”.

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