Being somewhat stationary for the last few months, I’ve sort of fallen back into a coma of stability of late. While debatably needed every now and again, purely for sanity’s sake, it can be the devil to the traveller that exists in the very depths of me. Before I left on my great journey of discovery, I was trapped in a job I didn’t really want to be in, doing work that opposed the very essence of who I am, on the fast track to a cookie cutter life I never chose. I’d wanted to break out of the packaging; to go rogue for so long but couldn’t ever unwrap myself from the blanket of false safety and security. Until eventually, knowing if I didn’t close my eyes and let go my soul would wither and die; I sold almost everything in the world I owned, took a leave of absence and stepped into the unknown. In the last few weeks I have been feeling the familiarity of that devil blanket creeping over me again. I knew shortly after arriving here that this wasn’t really where I wanted to be. I could hear my own words echoing back at me, ‘I don’t know where I’ll end up, all I know is that I won’t move somewhere I can’t stand’. And yet there I found myself. Stuck again. It was only when I went to Derry, got a taste of the sweetness of travelling again that I could make the decision to go. In the last week and a bit since calling it quits here, I’ve wavered between excitement at my impending move and wanting to stay here with the people I’ve bonded with and the familiar.
I know my posts of late seem to have a similar flavor but it was only this week when a few different people have reminded me of a few things about myself I seem to have misplaced, that I realised the ways in which travelling has changed me. A few new friends have made comments that made me realise how my values and attitudes have changed since I made the road my home and I’m glad for it. I’m now in my new home (the previous paragraph was written before I left Henley) in the Scottish Highlands, having arrived yesterday after a nightmare 10-hour journey and I’m already settling into my new home. It was remarkably easy for me to pack up everything and leave; I felt so at ease navigating the complex connections of my journey and I realised that I will never fear letting go again. It was quite a comforting realisation really. So many people spend so much time holed up in the little boxes of their lives, walled in by fear and it’s such a waste, life is too short.
Having said that though, I experienced a moment recently that reminded me how much a mental effort I’m making to let go of that fear. You all remember that 90’s movie Sliding Doors right? That cheesy rom-com with Gweneth Paltrow, where it all comes down to one moment, where she either makes the train or doesn’t. My moment was exactly like that. In fact, it was so much like that that I’m convinced somewhere out there, there is an alternate Yarni heading on a different path, having not paused at the door, where I did. I only had a moment, a single moment but I hesitated and then the moment was gone, the opportunity snatched away from me by a stranger completely unaware that he had possibly changed the course of my life forever. I knew I shouldn’t have hesitated, that I should have gone for it, not let fear hold me back but it did and now I have to become the Yes man to ensure I never hesitate again. This could get messy.
Thankfully, my decision to leave the midlands did not come down to a single moment and now I find myself here, in the middle of the Scottish highlands surrounded by sheep & deer & hairy coos. I caught the megabus from Birmingham to Inverness for £26, which was about £130 cheaper than flying and I thought that leaving at 2:35am, the bus would be deserted. Honestly, who would catch a bus from Birmingham to Inverness in the middle of the night? Umm…yeah, apparently everyone. I liken it to one of those buses you see in movies set in India, minus the chickens (although they could have been underneath, who knows!). I ended up with an isle seat, next to a young guy who thought the best way to sleep was to have tinny dance music blaring so loudly in his ears I could hear all the words perfectly clearly and across from a guy who had a unique smell of BO combined with curry. Despite all of this though, I jammed my travel pillow around my neck, my scarf behind my back and, holding onto my bag for dear life, managed to get some sleep thanks to the fabulous eye mask I purchased in Hong Kong. In fact, I woke only briefly to let the techno queen out (and then move into the window seat – score!) and then again when they kicked us out in Buxton to change buses. Oh how sweet it was though, to be woken by the enjoyable tones of the Scottish accent of the driver! I decided to enjoy the passing Scottish scenery after that though, instead of heading back to the land of sheep. When I arrived in Inverness, I had an hour to find an adapter (my other one broke) and get some food before my train so I dumped my bags in the left luggage at the train station and headed out. I was freaking out a little about not having an adapter, knowing I would soon be in the middle of no where and also, from not having found one when I went looking the day before but my fears were eased when I saw the bevy of outdoor stores in Inverness. You would think it would be easy to find an adapter right? Wrong. All the adapters here seem to be to convert UK plugs to international ones, not the other way around, so an outdoor store was my only chance really. I grabbed an adapter an headed over to grab myself a pizza & the paper for the journey, collected my bags and was on the train in no time. An hour later, I was in Achnasheen where my taxi was waiting to whisk me away to my new home. I haven’t really gone into detail here with the connection but the series of events in Inverness went so swiftly and were timed so perfectly that I could only feel as though it was all lining up for me, assuring me that this is the right move for me right now.
It is so beautiful here and everyone is so lovely – it’s definitely been the right move! Hopefully I’ll buy a new camera soon and post some pics for you!
Till next time,