Well I’m finally off. As I write this I’m on Flight MH130.. about 2 1/2 hrs from Kuala Lumpur in the first stage of my trip to the UK (stopping over in Penang, Malaysia on the way).
I’ve had a lot of thoughts and ideas going on in the last 2 weeks, lets hope I can tie them together into something coherent.
The preparation for this trip has been an experience. An exercise in something, many things in fact: patience, planning, growth and most of all letting go.
Letting go of people, of places, of comfort,** letting go of all the things I ‘needed’ to do before I left.** And putting some faith in the universe, in things working out. In love and friendship being enough to keep a connection to people half a world away.
Knowing that while I hate to leave people behind, I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t go chasing these adventures. As Chris says: If being a part of something something meaningful comes with sadness, pain, and loneliness, so be it. It may come with all of those, but it also comes with love, amazing experiences, a closeness to others that’s hard to match and a feeling of peace at doing great work.
Its been a great experience working at Greenpeace, and I think the time limit on my stay there allowed me to really throw myself into the job.. nothing held back, making as much difference as I could.
It certainly paid off - both in having done some great things while there, having got into every bit of the organisation, and having made connections with some amazing people in a short time.
But at this end of things, leaving was painful.
A slight aside: I found that one of the hard bits was not having a way to express the love I felt for people, realising how deep the emotion for some of them went.. and that the normal ways to show that: a hug or a kiss on the cheek, didn’t quite cut it.
I wonder, is this just me? Do other people find this or not? How many things do we do, things we say.. that are an attempt to communicate ‘I love you’. We have expressions for love with partners/lovers, a simple passionate kiss. But for most cultures that’s off limits for anyone else. How do we show love? and do people recognise it when we try to express love?
I have at points in this process wondered whether we’d be better off if we couldn’t travel. Being able to see the world so easily is amazing… but it also means people do move more often. Whether you personally move or not, you will end up with friends spread around the globe.
And what if you didn’t travel? How do you shift your perspective? How do you know if all you hear about other places is true? how do you find that feeling of discovery and exploration?
What if you had just 1 flight left?
In time we may end up having less travel anyway, and people returning to more fixed close communities, gathering with the people closest to them. But trying to force it? I’m not sure. I do hope that as my closest friends settle down (IF they settle down) we mostly end up in NZ, close enough to see each other often.
But this all led me to a question: What would you do if you only had one flight left?
Just one long journey? and if everybody had the same?
Who would you see? where might you return too?
Who would you try to collect back in one place… what village would you build?
Note: It’s taken me over a month to finally publish this. It was originally written on June 24th while on a flight. I’ve now been in the UK a month. I’ll update more soon.