When I left London, two years ago, I had two great fears. The first was being forgotten, as they say out of sight, out of mind. I was scared and convinced that both my family and friends would forget me. I would become this nobody that they once spoke to, worked with and lived with. I had this irrational idea that my friends would no long stay in touch with me or be there for me if I needed them whilst in Vietnam. This fear remained for the first three months but soon after that, it began to disappear. My family and friends hadn’t forgotten me, they were still messaging me, calling and following my facebook posts. It took me a little longer to realise that I would never be forgotten. No matter where I went or what I did, they would continue to care about me and contact me. I would be able to share my journey with them and discuss their thoughts. Whilst are lives were no longer intertwined, whilst we were in different parts of the world, we could still engage and embrace each other’s world. I will always be thankful for all my friends back home and those that I met along the road. I’m also relieved to realise that I’m missable, I leave a mark on friends and people I met which ensures I will be remembered.
My other great fear was not finding my calling. I use to fear being close to my gravestone, not having learnt the purpose of my life. Why did god make me a human being, a women, a Indian and not a ant or a man? I didn’t want to be on my deathbed worrying that I didn’t fulful my life’s worth. That I was just a anybody, floating through without any real sense of direction or purpose. The crazy part was, I had long been living and fulfilling the purpose of my life but I was too oblivious to it. I never stop to realise that the ten years of volunteering back home and aid work aboard was all connected. I never stopped to think how I much loved working with NGO’s and people in particular. It was only over the course of my travels that I realised what was under my nose all along. My purpose was to serve others, whenever, however I could. It was to support and empower those that needed it. My passion to help others and make a difference will also be my legacy. This is how I wish to be remembered. Sure, I’m a rebel, a little crazy, a tree-hugging hippie and optimist but I’m also dedicated to working with others and helping them reach their true potential.
My inspirations come from a wide range of people. My dad is certainly amongst them, he was the key figure in my life who taught us to stand up for and fight for principles. Studying history open means to learn about all the freedom fighters and anarchists who fought and died for what they believed in. Sure, there is a element of controversy but I admire the likes of Che Guevara and Bhagat Singh. Then there are the politic leaders, those of whom who fought for equality or independence like Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Some of these leaders are more iconic and well known but I aspire to all such leaders who fought and died in trying to make this world a better place. They believed in eradicating injustice, encouraging independence and ending segregation. I, along with many others, hold similar beliefs and continuously try to make the world a better place. I’m not going to change the world over night, I’m not going to develop a country single handedly but I will be there, amongst others, in trying to make that one city a little safer, more educated, more empowered and on the path to achieving great things.
I don’t believe in regrets. I don’t believe we should hold back, instead, it is all about seizing the moment, the day and making the most of it. We don’t ever know if that opportunity will come back or if we will see that person again. So why not say what you have to say and do what you want to do? I would rather hit fifty and have a list of things, I did and regretted as opposed to not. I can live with myself for being a little too crazy or stupid. At least I know I had it in me to try. I haven’t always been like this, far from it. I used to be extremely shy and never quite managed to seize the day or tell someone how I really felt. Consequently, this changed over time, thanks to both travelling and the people around me. I know it’s not easy to dive in when you are scared shitless but it is an amazing feeling once you do, once you accomplish something you never though you could.
It took me a while to realise that I’m a part time introvert. I was aware that I’m no extrovert but it took me a while to embrace the fact that I’m a introvert at times and that’s okay. I’m not the loudest or most confident person in a room. I don’t always socialise and I’m not good at making small talk. I struggle in some situations and at times just want to enjoy my own company. I love people and have a great appreciation for them, more so now then I ever did back home. But that said, I love my own company, taking walks into the cities, listening to my music, researching and reading about matters that appeal to me. I need this time to think and reflect and to recharge. I’m not one or the other, I will never stop socialising or making new friends. In fact, it is one of the aspects I love about travelling; all the amazing people and the great stories you share.
Whilst I don’t believe in things being pink and fluffy, I don’t like arguments or confrontations. I never liked them. Sure, I can have discussions and debates but at the sign of an argument, I feel uncomfortable. Arguments can turn ugly, people are heated up and angry and sometimes say things they later regret. It’s a time when some people are no longer thinking straight and the irrational part of them takes over. I understand that arguments can’t always be avoided and some would argue that arguments are needed in healthy relationships but they still make feel uncomfortable.
As a result, I would rather blot, leave the situation entirely. I know the elephant in the room can’t be left and needs to be spoken of but I would much rather just leave the room. I know that doesn’t solve anything but it is what I know best. I would much rather run away then deal with certain situations. Again, some arguments become so heated that people aren’t thinking straight and the point of the argument is lost entirely. I was told by Seema and several others that I’m running away, that I have been on the road so long because I can’t face being back. There is a element of truth, when I left London, I was running away, away from family and friends. But as my journey continued, I would like to think that I’m running towards something. In terms of not going home, I will go when I’m ready. I believe the right time will come and at that moment I will know it is time to head back.
In the mean time I’ve learnt to embrace the spontaneous side of me. I flew to Australia on a work visa with no job lined up. Had this been two years ago, there would be no way I would have booked my flight. I would have spent time and effort in lining up a job or interviews at least for when I arrived. I would not be comfortable or happy about just rocking up. Part of this stems from me believing in things working out and from me being a free spirit. I found freedom along my trip and have held on to it and cherished it ever since. I don’t like being tied down with plans, expectations and social norms. I, like many others, crave and need freedom. Freedom to go where I want, to do as I want and live as I want. I blossom in such circumstances, I strive to achieve greatness and spread my positive energy. I love my independence, the more I can do by myself, the more it pushes me to do more. Again, back home, this was limited, sure I was living in London but I had a safety net, my family and friends. When on the road, you rely on yourself and it is up to you to get things done. Getting lost, getting mugged, being delayed, being stuck, being unemployed and having no place to stay, are amongst the few things I came up against but I overcame them all. I found a way despite the odds thanks to my inner belief, optimism, the universe and individuals who shared their kindness.
Never have I felt so free, happy and alive. These last two years have transformed me to go after everything I want and more. To never give up, to believe in the impossible becoming possible, to take risks and be prepared to fall and fail. Not every story has a happy ending nor does every encounter but I continue to look for the silver lining. I believe there is one for everything that has happened and all that is yet to happen.