Five years ago I commenced a brilliant new phase of my life which has brought me to this point today. The last five years were full of angst and turmoil; soaring success and pits of despair; emotional change and personal growth; great friendships forged through fire and enemies who lurked under cloaks of amity to undermine and drive their own agenda.
In other words, life well lived in all its glory.
As parents we often use the time honoured tradition of “time out” to calm our children and give them some breathing space. I found this technique quite valuable in giving Mum some time out too! There were many times when we all needed some cooling off time to take a couple of deep breaths and let the emotions settle.
So it is with life.
After periods of great change and evolution, I have found there comes a time when the soul yearns for some space to let things settle. This time out can be presented to you in many ways.
An invitation to the theatre can provoke deep emotions and provide a respite from the turmoil of life. I have experienced some of my strongest feels in a darkened theatre, listening rapturously to a group of talented performers in full flight.
A weekend away in the mountains or at the beach can soothe frayed nerves and bring a sense of peace to fractious souls. There’s nothing like coming home, lungs full of fresh beach air, to ground you and once again help you make sense of the world.
A group of friends gathered around a dining table, full to overflowing on good food and great wine, laughing till their sides ache over a silly card game, can make spirits lift again after a week of urgency.
I’ve lived and loved all of these experiences, blessed as I am with good friends and enough financial resources to do this. Yet for me, the most effective way of re-discovering yourself and letting things settle, is through going somewhere you’ve never been before.
That destination I arrived at five years ago happened after an extended period of travel during which I learnt much about myself and the broader world. My sojourn in Turkey restored my sense of self and rejuvenated my soul after a period of great change. More importantly, it ignited a passion for travel and history that is truly the essence of my existence. Travel has become my one true love (after my family and my friends of course).
Thus, here I am again, on the verge of perhaps one of my boldest adventures. To be honest, I should probably count parenting as my most risky adventure but that, dear readers, was and continues to be a most rewarding labour of love.
I have spoken for years about rambling around Italy, suitcase and camera in hand, living la dolce vita, if only for a little while. I leave with no expectations, simply a heart full of love and gratitude that I have been afforded the gift to go off the grid for a little while to restore the soul.
Who knows what I will find? What I do know and believe in with all my heart is the quote below:
“Only when you are totally free, can you be the best of yourself” – Buddha