My flight from Rome to Lisbon just got cancelled. I’ve been in Umbria for a week, checking out a potential yoga retreat space. Consequently, I am trapped in the terminal 3 of Fiumacino for more hours than I care to turn my full attention to, filling my time with Espresso and my belly with Baci and pizza slices.
When I was a child, an airport was one of the most exciting places I could think of being. It’s an international playground catering to a cool and diverse crowd, that bubbled over with bustling tourists and business people alike, and practically burst at the seams with an expectant sense of adventure.
Early family holidays fuelled my love and longing to discover the world. I dreamt of traversing all four corners of the globe.
My Ambitions Have Not Gone Unfulfilled.
Nomadic has become my normal. At 32, I’ve backpacked and bungeed all over – been bewildered and blinded, seen beauty and brutality – but, a new feeling has begun to sweep over me.
Packing a bag and heading off solo into the sunset was utterly thrilling, and provided me with a sense of unparalleled freedom that was so sublimely self-empowering…it was liberating. Of course, it’s tragically typical for women of my generation to say, cliché even, but as I got lost on foreign shores, I found myself.
The trouble is, going from place to place, blowing in the breeze like that, is ungrounding. And I grew up amidst very flat land, with very conventional parents. Sensibility, stability, and being careful were at the core of my upbringing. Being carefree is not something that has come naturally to me, but rather learnt and practiced behaviour.
When Feelings Of Liberation Are Replaced With Isolation.
But I’ve started that what once liberated and inspired me, can sometimes feel isolating and dare I even say it – dull. Plus, it gets exhausting always having the same conversations with someone else that you just met, even if they are really awesome.
The thing is, there comes a time for all of us when what once inspired us no longer serves us. And I think, I might have tamed my travel bug- just a little. Enough to consider it might be time for a different way of life.
When all of this began I was on a quest to explore the quirky side of life, to seek out the extraordinary. I relished in revealing previously reclusive sides to myself. I liked witnessing the quiet revolution that started to occur on the inside as the experiences I racked up changed me.
I would revel in a lavish escape plan as my eyes feasted on unknown landscapes around me, and even pitied others with commitments and those with a ‘regular’ lifestyle. I never feared casting off life as I knew it, the way others cast off dirty socks.
Then I hit my thirties and something happened...
I Got Comfortable Being Me.
The insecurities fell away. The uncertainty diminished. And my relationship with the emotional, spiritual, physical and geographical course of challenges I used to push myself through shifted. It no longer felt necessary. Occasionally, I even felt a pang of envy as friends (now scattered all over the world) overcame their own twenty-something struggles, became more content and confident as their careers took off and children and caring life partners appeared on the scene.
Coffee in my own kitchen, the Sunday papers, sleeping in, picking up my favourite produce from the organic market so I can make friends an amazing meal…all these simple and often overlooked pleasures available in everyday life fill my dreams now, much more often than stamps in my passport and exotic experiences in far-flung places.
Perhaps because I now know that those will always be part of me; the ones I’ve had that have helped shaped me, and the ones yet to come.
Once A Traveller, Always A Traveller?
They say, once a traveller, always a traveller. But I’m beginning to crave a sense of home. Even though I recognise that home can be anywhere.
Just like in yoga when we seek to find balance, comfort and stability on our mat, perhaps it’s time to translate that into everyday life. It could be time to stop clinging on to freedom for fear of containment, and stop shedding everything there is to shed. I am not a wandering Sadhu - and accept that contentment could be waiting for me.
I often say I trust if something is intended for you, life will silently guide you to it, and unite you with what was meant for you. So here we go – I’m letting go of everything that came before to see what could come next.
Watch this space...Current status: searching for a place to call home.