Lost for words

26 comments

I have spent all evening typing, deleting and retyping this post, trying to find the right words to share with you how I have been feeling lately. Then it dawned on me that the mere act of writing this could serve as a perfect analogy for the last couple of months of my life.

I type a little, I hit backspace, I pause…

I type a little, I hit backspace, I pause…

I type a little, I hit backspace, I pause…

I am lost for words.

If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.
– Unknown

I never really stopped to consider the impact deciding to travel the world would have on my life. I had a dream and I focused on it with unwavering determination without ever once, not even for a second, stopping to think it might not come true. I knew I would make it happen.

And yet here I was, struggling with the process.

Even though I knew with absolute certainty that this was my path, I still found it a difficult one to walk. But rather than embracing that, I shrugged off my doubts and fears. I kept telling myself that, come September, as I basked in the warmth of the Indian sunshine, it would all be worth it. But what about enjoying the NOW?

I had forgotten how to do that.

Between paying off my debt, saving to travel, and working 80-100 hours a week, I forgot how to enjoy the moment. Every day was endured on the promise of tomorrow. Instead of striding forth towards my dream, I was forcing myself out of bed every morning and trudging through the days until finally I came across a hole in the road and, too weak to jump over it, I fell in.

When I landed I found myself in a crumpled heap beneath my bed covers, tired, depressed and utterly confused. How could working towards my dreams have turned into such a nightmare?

I didn’t have the answers, or the energy to look for them, so I pulled the duvet tighter around me and went to sleep for the next six weeks.

Or at least that is what it felt like. That is the length of time that has passed since I last posted here. I honestly can’t believe I haven’t written anything for six weeks. I haven’t checked my emails, comments and tweets have gone unanswered and I ignored phone calls and texts. I indulged in my tendency to wallow, and boy did I wallow good. The (self inflicted) pressure of the past year came flooding in around me, and I decided to stay and swim in it for a while.

Either you sink or you swim.
– Proverb

I guess it was the break I needed to get my head together. It was self indulgent but healing and I do feel like a weight has been lifted. Now I know that by the time our adventure finally begins, I will be in the perfect place to appreciate every second of it, without having to deal with any emotional baggage that might have inadvertantly sneaked its way into my compact 40l backpack.

As I stand here, rested and self-assured, I can once again see my path stretching out before me. It’s beautiful and exciting and fills me with the type of joy that trickles into every cell of your being. My path. Who knows where it will take me or what untold adventures await. And who cares? I don’t need the answers… I just need to put one foot out in front of the other.

I’m ready.

break

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Monica April 18, 2012 at 21:42

Welcome back! Every good story has it’s share of struggles:)

Reply

Hannah April 18, 2012 at 21:49

Thanks so much Monica! It feels great to back 🙂

Reply

Carmel April 18, 2012 at 22:18

We are on the journey now. I have to remind myself of that (daily)…the things I am doing now are all part of the journey of long-term travel. It’s tempting to think of it being somewhere off in the future, but as I’ve reflected to myself in my journals many times, if I can’t be present NOW, why do I think that will change when I leave the country?
It’s hard to imagine not fulfilling your dream, but it is a possibility. I figure if I do everything within my power to make it happen, it will. There will be (and definitely have been) major obstacles to getting me there, but like I told my husband, I’ll only feel like a failure if we don’t honestly try. And we are, despite many many setbacks–both financial and emotional.
I’m glad you gave yourself the time to reflect. But I’m also glad to have you back!

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 20:54

“If I can’t be present NOW, why do I think that will change when I leave the country?” THAT’s IT! You hit the nail on the head exactly. Why didn’t I just email you six weeks ago and save myself all the duvet time? Mind you, I do love my bed! Thank you so much for your kind words and support. I’m back on track now, and my dream is almost in reaching distance – just like yours will be not too much further down the line xxx

Reply

Carmel April 23, 2012 at 21:28

Someone along the line has probably said something similar, but you weren’t ready to hear it or absorb it. Now you are! And just remember, you’ll be missing that bed in no time. Good thing you spent some quality time together. Much love!

Reply

Kim April 18, 2012 at 22:34

Hannah, welcome back!!! I agree that every good story has its setbacks- you’re moving again and that’s all that really matters. Sometimes we need to stop and clear our heads, no shame in that at all.

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 20:56

Thanks Kim. It feels good to be writing and thinking creatively again 🙂

Reply

Alexej April 18, 2012 at 22:41

Hold on, stay strong. Exactly the same happened to me while hustling for the same dream you want to live. I forgot how to live, how to enjoy the now and postponed everything to a future date that i couldn’t see anymore at some point of the fight. I think it was round 8 or 9 and i had almost given up.
And now i’m on the road, in Krabi / Thailand since 5 days and have to realize that this is actually happening, that this is my life now, not just a holiday vacation that has to end at some point. What i know already and want to say to you wholeheartedly, is the fact that everything, i mean literally every second of stress and fighting was worth it. You’ll see! I wish you all the power in the world!

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 20:58

Thank you so much for your lovely comment Alex, I really appreciate it. It’s good to know other people have felt the same, and made it to the other side. Congratulations on realising your dream – I wish you all the best on your travels 🙂

Reply

Claire April 18, 2012 at 23:02

X x x x x x x x x x

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 20:59

Right back at ya xxx

Reply

Jeremy or IHeartTravel April 19, 2012 at 14:21

I’m so happy for you hannah!
The path always brings unforeseen challenges we cannot expect, but taking the time needed to face these challenges and overcome them, always does the body good.
Welcome Back!!!!!

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 20:59

Thank you so much Jeremy 🙂

Reply

Patricia GW April 19, 2012 at 16:40

Hannah, welcome back! This journey is a hard one, especially when you’re still on the cusp of the beginning. You understand better than anyone what you need to do in order to grow and achieve your dream of travel and living your best life – take as much time as you need, every time, so you can take two steps forward for every one you need to stand still.

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 21:00

Thank you so much for your kind words Patricia, they mean a lot x

Reply

Lindsay April 19, 2012 at 20:19

Hang in there! Remember “Nothing important in life happens without a cost,” and know that all your hard work will make your future self extremely happy. When you’re sipping a cocktail on some stunningly beautiful beach somewhere, you’ll feel like you truly earned that special moment.
That being said, I definitely feel for you right now. I know that feeling of working and saving– “slaving” for tomorrow and feeling like you’re cheating yourself out of today. I went through a similar roller coaster of emotions over the last year … My advice– cut yourself some slack every now and then. Splurge on fun stuff with my friends every now and then. I planned a “mini vacation” about 5 months before I left, using saved airline miles–a week of doing absolutely nothing visiting family in Florida 😉 Cost me almost nothing–but the opportunity to recharge was invaluable.
In 2 weeks I’ll finally get to use my one-way ticket to South America 🙂 Your time will come too, and faster than you can ever imagine….

Reply

Hannah April 19, 2012 at 21:03

Thank you so much for your comment Lindsay, and for your kind words of advice. It sounds like you have a great attitude towards all this travel planning mayhem! I just read some of your blog and am really excited to follow along as you start your adventure – only 16 days to go – wow! I wish you all the best x

Reply

Therese April 20, 2012 at 06:12

Yes, WELCOME BACK!
“It’s beautiful and exciting and fills me with the type of joy that trickles into every cell of your being. My path. Who knows where it will take me or what untold adventures await. And who cares? I don’t need the answers… I just need to put one foot out in front of the other.”
Beautiful… and I feel the same (SO grateful to “be back on my path,” and so grateful that you are too). This calls for celebration!
Cheers!
🙂

Reply

Hannah April 24, 2012 at 21:05

Yes, yes! Let’s celebrate! I’ll raise a glass to your new and inspiring adventure. Cheers indeed xxx

Reply

Sarahsomewhere April 20, 2012 at 08:54

Wonderful to hear from you again, Hannah! It sounds like you are learning so much about yourself, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s what we’re on the planet for. I love Carmel’s comment, and can assure you that whilst travel itself hasn’t changed me, having the space to follow a path that is true to me is definitely worth all the sacrifices. Love ya.

Reply

Hannah April 24, 2012 at 21:10

Thanks Sarah, you are so sweet xxx

Reply

janet April 20, 2012 at 10:11

great writing 🙂
i too get anxious about the future but it’s all about (trying to) stay in the present. and yes, one step forward at a time!

Reply

Hannah April 24, 2012 at 21:10

Thank you so much Janet. This being present thing is definitely a hard one to master, but I’m working on it 🙂

Reply

Savvy Scot May 1, 2012 at 10:07

GLAD YOU ARE BACK!

Reply

Hannah May 2, 2012 at 21:53

Thank you, that really means a lot 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge