I find it a little curious to watch a football game and to describe a player as old, only to realise that they are younger than me. Many players are approaching retirement towards the tail end of illustrious careers spanning over a decade when they turn 31; I too find myself transitioning from one life to another. But it’s important not to compare oneself with others; we should strive only to be better versions of ourselves.
For the best part of a decade I roamed nomadically, volunteering, exploring, and working (as an English teacher, a ski instructor, a chef, a digital marketer) before finding my way to Malta. Whilst I have loved every never ending adventure and am extremely grateful for the experiences, the six month hitchhikes across Europe and the five month cycle, raft, hitch adventures are a very happy part of my past.
This is not the end of adventures. Rather, it is a transition. Instead of going on expansive, non-ending journeys, I would like to focus on shorter explorations – such as walking across Iceland with my brother which took just eleven days but will stay strong in my mind forever. And then long term adventures of a less nomadic sort. I hoped The Donkey might be part of these, but sadly it is no more.
My home, Malta, is a small country and incredibly crowded. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that anything other that parties and holidays occur here. Yet even here there are exciting opportunities if you take the time to look for them. I could walk the entire circumference of the island, paddle to Gozo in my inflatable kayak, or take the time to sleep outside under the stars, just as I did to mark another successful journey around the sun this past weekend.
There is an old story I like to recall at times, told in many different ways:
A traveler came upon an old farmer hoeing in his field beside the road. Eager to rest his feet, the wanderer hailed the countryman, who seemed happy enough to straighten his back and talk for a moment.
“What sort of people live in the next town?” asked the stranger.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer, answering the question with another question.
“They were a bad lot. Troublemakers all, and lazy too. The most selfish people in the world, and not a one of them to be trusted. I’m happy to be leaving the scoundrels.”
“Is that so?” replied the old farmer. “Well, I’m afraid that you’ll find the same sort in the next town.
Disappointed, the traveler trudged on his way, and the farmer returned to his work.
Some time later another stranger, coming from the same direction, hailed the farmer, and they stopped to talk. “What sort of people live in the next town?” he asked.
“What were the people like where you’ve come from?” replied the farmer once again.
“They were the best people in the world. Hard working, honest, and friendly. I’m sorry to be leaving them.”
“Fear not,” said the farmer. “You’ll find the same sort in the next town.”
We get out of this world what we put into it and we choose whether we find positivity or negativity in any situation. From my little rock I will search to find more adventure, heading outside and sleeping under the stars when I can, and taking advantage of the cheap flights to explore nearby parts of the world I haven’t yet had the chance to experience. On this site I will offer advice from my experiences so that others can do the same. I opened an online shop for a couple of days, then closed it, but will share more advice on what you need to undertake long term adventures in the future. Hint, less (stuff) is more (fun).
Life is moving in a new (static) direction for me, and I aim to make the most of it. I hope you can do the same, whatever your situation. 31 years young.