You know what I fear?
Having a day off.
A whole day in the company of yours truly with no work to distract me.
But by God did I need it. The last few days I’ve taken the role of construction worker: lifting, mixing cement, lifting, getting unfortunate face-fulls of Dad’s builder’s bum… oh and lifting.
So my body is shot right now!
Still, I had the trepidation of one who isn’t a fan of his own voice (weird that I’m a blogger really).
So I gave myself a task. To finally clear my bedroom.
For those who aren’t aware, that’s a pretty big deal.
My room is a constant source of stress and embarrassment. Clothes cake the bed, the chair, the floor — which hide a carpet unhoovered for what looks like centuries. Cups, bowls, beer bottles clutter the surfaces, along with an assortment of homeless items, many of which haven’t been moved since my return from University.
I had to take a break halfway because of the dust.
And it shocked me really how every book, film, Xbox game on show I could easily dispose of — how many items cluttering the space belonged in the past.
Even my electric guitar with a thick film of dust seems part of another life.
I once heard it said (something along the lines of): you can tell a lot about a person from their bed covers. Life is a series of challenges we encounter every day. When you wake up in the morning, if you haven’t made your bed, then you’ve already started with a failure.
Combine that with the lack of change in my room and the progressive neglect and it’s no wonder I’m clamouring to escape.
There was something I picked up though as I sought to make my room livable again.
It was a diary.
My travel diary from 14 months ago. When I packed up and went travelling, all by myself.
And for the first time since returning, I decided to read it.
The goathair (don’t ask) pages were packed with emotion. The pains, the fears, but also the incredible experiences and the optimism which increased as I read through.
The first entries were wrought with awkwardness and self-pity, as well as a reckless hope for a return of the good times. But towards the end, I came out of my shell. I started meeting new people. I started winging it, travel planning on whims and using the advice of other travellers to make the best of (what was in reality) a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
And although cobwebs may have appeared since then, I dread to think how things would have panned out if I’d spent the travel money on a PS4 instead.
Instead of getting nostalgic reading my old travel diary, I’ve actually (if this is possible) made myself more excited for Thailand.
And it’s made me remember. Having time alone to think doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s something many of us need to learn to do — to love and look after ourselves more (do I need to clarify this isn’t meant to sound dodgy?).
I was thinking of posting up some of my diary entries. But some of them are a little cringe… As I anticipated.
Maybe in the future, when they’re not relevant anymore.
The good news is, my travel diary for the next three months will be right here on my blog. So keep an eye out for Thailand travel tips on: how to tell if she’s a man, when to avoid the street food and debating if Phuket has the best beaches in the world.