Going away for three months, getting out of every day routines and comfort zones, is highly recommended. It’s so easy just to keep things the same because “that’s how they’ve always been”, whether it’s an ornament on a shelf or a way of doing something. Over the last few years I’d got into certain habits that going on the trip kicked me out of, and now we’re back, it’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at my life and decide where I want to make changes.
I knew there would be things I’d really miss while we were away; big things like Olivia, and little things like wearing my wedding and engagement rings. I also missed some random ones like drinking water from the tap, being able to do exercise when I wanted to, cooking for myself, and a decent cup of coffee. But there were also things I was convinced I would miss that actually, I barely even gave a second thought to. Like my hairdryer, and watching TV, and having an unlimited wardrobe. And in not missing things I realised that there is so much extraneous stuff in my life. I’ve always been a packrat and have worked hard over the past few years to curb this tendency and curb the sheer amount of possessions I have. Coming back from just carting around a small rucksack of the essentials has made me desire even more a streamlined, clutter free life.
So once back in our house, with our clothes out of the loft and our possessions unpacked, I’ve gone round assessing my things with a ruthlessness I never knew I had. If I hadn’t worn it for a year, it went. If S didn’t like it, it went. If it wasn’t making me happy, it went. With this attitude I sent four bags of clothes, books and ornaments to the charity shop, plus another to the cloth recycling. The house will be William Morris-ified by the end of the year!
When we finished the Salkantay trek in Peru I was in the best shape, fitness wise, that I’ve been for years – walking 30km a day at 5000m altitude will do that to you. Sadly this went rapidly went downhill afterwards, due to a massive lack of organised exercise – in India it was hard to even walk around, let alone do anything more strenuous. A few surfs, a few swims, that was it. So I made a vow that I’m going to take my fitness more seriously now, and get into a better routine, no matter how hard I find it. I’ve decided to pick an event so I have a goal to work towards and a purpose to my exercising. Taking up running and working towards a 5k or 10k would be relatively simple, but since a) I hate running and b) my chiropractor once said I have the worst possible body for running, I’ve decided cycling is the way forward. Having a cycling fanatic in the house makes this a lot easier, as he’s already come up with some possible races for me and is keen to get me started on a training programme. I’m also swimming more and following an endurance programme to build up my fitness in the water too.
This trip not only furnished me with some amazing memories and photographs, but also a lot of food for thought for 2013 and beyond. That phrase about travel broadening the mind certainly holds a lot of truth.