Today is my 28th birthday and I am spending it in Australia. To celebrate, I will swim with manta rays. My last birthday was spent in South Korea, camping on a beach on Jeju. From there, I headed to Norway and then to Iceland – the rest of the year seems to have disappeared somewhere and I don’t know exactly where it went and now I can’t have it back.
For once, I am formulating a plan about what I will do next in life. I will work – as hard as I can – while I am in Australia, and then I will head to Europe. Around this, I have dreams of Mongolia, of India, of Norway, of great forests. And many other things besides.
The (possible) opening line from my next book sums up how I have come to feel in life.
Guided tours, luxury hotels, technology that tethers us to society at all times of day. As people, we have become swaddled infants, overprotected and under-pushed. We are capable of climbing great mountains, of walking great distances, of surviving many days without takeaway food or a shiny kitchen, yet we praise ourselves for an hour in the gym or a short run. ‘Well done’ we say smugly, before taking a hot shower and drying off with a clean towel. Then we sit inside, turn on the television, and wait for tomorrow’s sweat. We have forgotten what it feels like to enter nature, walk in the rain without an umbrella, and sleep beneath the stars. The world is the most beautiful of places and waits for us with open arms, breathing awe and joy into all those who dare to embrace it.
Embrace it. Feel it. Learn to love it. If it is not for you, go back inside and live a comfortable life.
The story is a story about walking, about Iceland, about being a brother. It is a story of the past that shapes my future. [If you would like to read it, subscribe for email updates and I will let you know when it is ready. It is a follow on from my last book, but can also be read as a standalone.]
For my time in Australia, I have found a new home. It is green and has four wheels. I built a bed frame in the back.
Time to hang with the fish.
One little step at a time.