It’s a terrible thing to wish your life away.
Life is beautiful, precious and fleeting; every day should be lived to the full and recognised for the priceless gift that it is. We should be grateful. Every. Day.
I truly believe this, and yet I suck at it.
Every day for the past 18 months, I have lived and breathed for the future, and wished my precious days would blend seamlessly into one, until the day arrived.
Our departure day.
With less than twenty weeks until we finally leave for India, I am finding it increasingly difficult to remain in the present. The many milestones that marked the long journey to that magical moment have almost all been passed; paying off my debt, building my savings, selling all of my possessions, buying our tickets… I feel like I am home free, sprinting towards the future.
In my head I’m already at the airport, tickets in hand, excitedly waiting to board my flight. I’m almost there, save for the 3,264 hour long wait at the check-in desk.
The once twisted and mountainous road leading to that blissful moment now appears wide open and smooth, and I can see clearly all the way to my destination. I’ve survived the storm and now the sun is bursting through the clouds, slowly dissipating the remaining wisps into nothingness. It’s all plain sailing from here on in.
Now that the major hurdles of our travel preparation have been cleared, I feel free – free to dream and plan and surmise new ideas and experiences that change daily.
Because the dreaming is almost as fun as the doing.
Today, stuck at work in an interminably boring staff meeting, the obsessive dreamer in me took over, lifted me from my seat and whisked me away to the golden shores of some tropical island. I felt the sand beneath my toes and the warm, fragrant breeze dancing across my skin. A huge surge of joy filled my chest like a ball of heat gently glowing inside of me, and goosebumps ran up and down my arms. I was completely transported on the wings of my daydream, and it felt wonderful.
I consider this ability a gift. Sometimes, when being present is too much to bear, wishing my life away gets me through.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
Our travel plans are largely un-plans, which leaves plenty of room for this kind of brain activity. Every day I design and redesign our adventures, and paint new experiences onto the canvas of my imagination. I can picture my future-self so clearly; barefooted and carefree, my skin peppered with sand and my arms wrapped tightly around Lee as he drives us through the hazy streets of Goa on our trusty moped.
In this moment, I am the happiest person alive.
Every day, thoughts of the future fill my head and make my heart swell, and though I may not be present exactly, I am certainly enjoying the moment.
I dream of all the places we will travel to over the course of our indefinite journey, of visiting Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos…
Inch by inch, minute by minute, we are edging ever closer to a life of endlessly wonderful experiences, and an abundance of freedom to make our own choices. Left? Right? Train? Bus? Air conditioning? Sea view? If I can dream it, I can do it.
The possibilities are limitless. And the wonderful thing is, no matter how many different versions of my dream I might conjure up, I know that I can make any one of them come true. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”
I have spent the past year and a half dreaming, and wished a large portion of my life away, but for a good reason. I know that the new life I am creating is the one I am supposed to be living, and to me, it was worth the sacrifice.
And eventually I will make it to the front of that check-in line.
This is the life I choose.