I owe an apology. I am sorry for the duration of time which has passed since my last entry of this around the world blog. I am sorry not only to the handful of followers who find this blog remotely interesting, or to the viewers to this blog who stumble across its words for a few minutes of distraction, but I owe that apology also to myself. Please allow me to explain why.
So it has been a pretty long time since I was active with this Around The World Tour. Not because I haven’t wanted to continue, but because I have allowed so much of “life” to get in the way. This simulated tour of the world was something I was thoroughly enjoying. It was providing me with a wonderful education about the world. Not simply in geographic terms but also in culture and diversity. Understanding how different humans can be whilst embracing that we all share the same planet and same basic desires from life. Knowing how important this tour was for me I should have made more of an effort to continue.
Whilst everyone has their own responsibilities and goals in life to pursue, it is important to find time – nay, MAKE time, to allow yourself to do things purely for the enjoyment. Life should be enjoyed. If life is spent constantly in the pursuit of reaching goals to the detriment of happiness in the expectation that “someday” in the future you will be happy, then clearly you are missing out on what life has to offer you right now.
It has taken me a rather rough couple of years to appreciate that happiness shouldn’t be sacrificed for the possibility of reward in the future. We work ourselves hard and put in graft and determination into progressing through the stereotypical stages of life, getting that work promotion, earning more money in order to treat ourselves to more possessions all the while hoping that our efforts do not go unnoticed by some other person with only the projected ability to make our own life better. This technique for happiness does not guarantee a positive result at the end. I personally have spent far too long of my life wishing it away. I have sat for too long at uninspiring desk jobs promoting brands or luxury products which I no longer had any faith in nor would I recommend to anyone away from my desk. I had sold out in return for a monthly salary. – A storyline far too familiar across the world.
I was grateful for the salary as this went some way to ease the pressures of paying over inflated rent prices. I was able to budget for food, groceries and utilities. If had a little spare cash each month I would be able to put this towards hobbies, days out or travel. I had a comfortable life on my days off although the idea of spending 71% of my week being miserable was not something I could sustain. Whilst spending such a majority of my waking life wishing so deeply that I could be anywhere but there, the increasing dissatisfaction I felt towards my work place and role within and the desire to escape the monotony of a job I hated grew into its own beast. The ends were no longer justifying the means as they say.
Putting up with misery in the present, believing that the suffering will result in some kind of karma balanced happiness in the future, in my opinion, is a misdirected endeavour. There are no true guarantees that reaching your targets or life goals will bring you that satisfaction you desire. The answer I have found is to simply enjoy the present. If you are lucky enough to enjoy your work and the thought of Monday morning encourages you to throw back the duvet and start the day with enthusiasm then I sincerely ask you to appreciate how lucky you are. Being able to live a life with happiness day to day should not be taken for granted.
I had found a great sense of achievement upon reaching Australia on this Tour. Not because I had overcome difficulty or uncomfortable situations, but because I had actually enjoyed every moment of the tour from the planning and organising, writing and blogging, to the actual time spent in the simulator.
Flying from Edinburgh, UK to Darwin, Australia really was “half way around the world” and seemed to be a natural place to take a break. Hind-sight can be wonderful as only now can I understand that putting work life and other commitments first was ultimately the wrong choice for me. I was living a life I was deeply unhappy with. Following a dramatic evaluation of where I was in life, I left the City of Edinburgh I had been calling home for the past 8 years. I left a long term relationship, left my friends and most importantly left the job and working environment which had driven me to such extreme action, all in favour for starting a new life at the opposite end of the UK. The beautiful South coastline of Dorset and Hampshire.
Taking a look back on the progress I had made across the globe as well as being proud of my achievement so far, I consistently had the desire to continue with this tour as originally intended.
An erratic snake of red now weaves its way across a large wall map showing the route already covered. It is wonderful to see the pure distance covered as well acting as a catalyst to spark memories of everything I had learnt along the way. From the deep mountain valleys found in Switzerland and Nepal, home of many towns and cities blessed with such amazing views of snow-capped peaks. The majestic wonders of ancient Egypt and its life source, the river Nile painting the flash of green through an otherwise arid desert land. The desire I felt, and still hold, wanting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to experience desert heats, jungle humidity and the chill of snow all within a 5 day hike. African choirs promoting their contagious happiness through music and dance despite having comparably little in material commodities. Which goes some way to show how materialism is far from the answer in the pursuit of happiness. The mind boggling array of strange and wonderful flora and fauna able to evolve on remote islands such as Madagascar and Socotra in contrast to the epic, man-made marvels of Dubai, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The disappointment in humanity I felt when discovering places of intense conflict and violence such as Mogadishu, Johannesburg and Karachi. The natural beauty and diversity of planet Earth’s environments whilst looking out over the bright turquoise blue seas of the Maldives, the awe inspiring heights of Mount Fuji or the thousands of islands creating the fantastical Hay Long Bay.
I’ve also enjoyed learning about the little things. Sion, Switzerland is home to a monastery which includes the oldest working organ in the world. The tiny shack built museums detailing the lives of cattle herders dotted along the precarious walk way leading from Lukla to Everest base camp. Seeing how a number of dam projects are reshaping the landscapes of India and the difference made to small communities when new airfields are opened in parts of remote Africa.
To look back on so much is only encouraging me to progress further. To say that I have reached half way around the world on this tour already may be roughly correct in a geographical sense although I am still fair way off reaching half the number of planned flights and destinations. I am very excited to discover what more lays in store as I continue around the rest of the globe.
I shall be taking the small Beachcraft Baron 58 aeroplane across the wide expanses of Australia and New Zealand before pushing the distances possible as I island hop across the Pacific Ocean. Many destinations are planned for a rather detailed tour of the Americas taking me to Alaska, the most Northern point on the journey, as well as the most Southern point on Antarctica itself!
I am especially looking forward to seeing ancient wonders such as the Inca temples of Mexico, lost worlds in Peru and the infamous Nazca lines. I am already intrigued by the various tribes which might be found along the Amazon and the mysterious lore behind Nordic Gods of Iceland and Scandinavia.
So with so much to look forward to I shall appreciate the opportunity I have through modern technology to take part in an adventure which is bringing me as much joy and entertainment. I shall continue to write in the hope that I can somehow bring a little more joy into the lives of any readers who are drawn into my worldly education found within these blog posts.