Week 3 of August Break photo challenge, with Susannah Conway.
I decided these two prompts deserved their own post…
Day 18: One Regret and Day 20: I Love
I love to travel – I have done since the first time I went abroad by myself, at the age of 15, to stay with my German pen friend’s family for a month. I was so far outside my comfort zone when I arrived. I could have gone to the moon, and it wouldn’t have been more scary. But I adapted over time – and even thrived.
That experience literally opened up a gateway to a new world for me.
When I was 18, I decided I wanted to be a journalist. I had in mind travelling the globe, taking photographs, and writing for National Geographic magazine. But I was put off the idea of being a journalist by a careers lady who told me: “That’s far too competitive. Choose something else.”
I don’t really do regrets. We make our choices in life, and although we imagine that things might have been better if we had made different choices, we don’t know that for certain – and I’m happy with the choices I’ve made.
But if I did have one regret… it would probably be that I listened to that careers lady, and got thrown off course – and that I’m still listening to her.
There’s nothing to stop me from writing about my travels – but I keep putting obstacles in the way: most of my travelling was done over 20 years ago, so is it still relevant today; my photographs are all transparencies / slides, so how much will it cost to get them digitally scanned…
But there’s a sense of something unfinished – something I’ve been skirting around for a long time. Something my soul won’t allow me to let go of.
Yesterday I visited a church for an art exhibition that hasn’t started yet. I was feeling tired, so I sat down for a while on one of the stackable chairs to recoup my energy for the journey home, and to enjoy the sanctity of quiet after enduring the bustle of a Saturday afternoon in Kingston.
As I sat there, looking up at the carved angels in the clerestory, I said quietly: “I want to be a travel writer.”
Instantly, tears pricked my eyes, as though my soul were saying “AT LAST!”
Perhaps my travel stories have been waiting to be heard. These are the stories of my life, of how I interact with the world. Stories that have formed my philosophy on life.
Perhaps it’s time to let them take flight.