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Published: July 28th 2009
Davina me and Andrea
The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land.
Flying home from Bangkok was full of some very extreme and mixed emotions. I simply didn’t want to be doing this, and yet, I really did. These extremes of thoughts and feelings were foreign to me, this, the last of my journey perhaps. So many things lie ahead, so many things lie behind. It feels to an extent that I’m walking away from the last two years of my life. But even though memories fade, can we really ever walk away from the things we have done? And of those things, places, people, they will all remain a part of what has unquestionably been the best two years of my life.
And what of the 2, amazing years. I wonder, what has influenced me, changed me, if anything? Do I feel different now from when I left home? Well, certainly happier and somewhat more content in life, and blessed by the experience of this journey. But of changes? I think I’ll have to leave that one up to the individuals that I see in the coming months. Those months to come I hope should be very interesting. I am to surprise a close friend,
Andrea, in London in a few days for her 30th, see a handful of others, just as close a group of loved ones, then for the next two weeks, family, my nephews, and friends. John’s wedding will be a day worth coming home for too, which was actually always the reason for me to come home, his wedding with Maria. And not too soon as it will be about 4 days between then and when I actually arrive home in Scotland.
This journey has been many things for me, I only hope that I remember to continue with some certain ideologies in life that I left with, and have picked up along the way. But as this door closes on travelling around the world, for now, another one opens for me back home. I thought before I was walking away as the Jeweller, the Silversmith and looking to find something else in life. Well, whatever zest I have found, my past still clings and holds on to me. What I wish now is to throw my hand at teaching that which I used to make, to beginners and intermediates to start, then to follow some more advanced classes. I
Sing it Andy!
am still keen to study and have been thinking about various masters degrees in the time ahead. Either staying within the Silversmithing or changing tack to Creative writing.
One thing I have taken from these last two years, which I have always enjoyed, is writing. My heart wishes to follow that road less travelled by me as of yet. But I am in no hurry, if its truly a passion to pursue, it will still drive within and push me forward again in the future. But for now, I look to open my studio, kit it out for up to 8 people and have a few taught/untaught workshops each week and a class every second weekend. I feel there is so many ideas and inspirations I have picked up since travelling and feel I can bring them to people and influence them in a unique way to create some really great things. This in place and a few other part time jobs applied for, I believe I have the makings to come home and settle into an income that will at least, pay the bills for now. This will bring me as far forward as December, when I will
Giann and Elliot
be joined by the most wonderful woman in my life, Saoirse. What we plan from there, well, that’s just going to be another epic adventure… Canada sounds pretty good just now …
Since leaving home in 2007, I have swum with dolphins, sharks, octopi and other fascinating sea life. I’ve seen rare natural phenomenon, sun rainbows, silent lightening nuclei and a huge slow moving fireball in the night sky in Buenos Aires. Ancient temples in Mexico, Peru and Cambodia. The mind blowing waterfalls of Iguazu. Flown in a stunt plane. Seen whales, walked on glaciers, caved, seen horrific tragedy and poverty, risked life and limbs with alligators, piranhas, cycled Death Road and seen the most surreal tour of a prison that money can buy, in San Pedro, La Paz. Toured from the stunning salt flats of Bolivia to their very own killer silver mines. All these things and much, much more, all in this blog and diary. Which is, I suppose, isn’t just a way of keeping my friends and family in the know, but been more of a memento and diary for me. A documentary of my time away. Something to look back to later in life. I
Cuda Vs the Crab
This was so funny, but i think the crab won!
wonder if this is why some of us feel the need to travel, explore; to look back and say “I have led a fulfilled life?” to try to be satisfied or at peace when our time comes? If, I suppose, we are fortunate to of sane mind. I can only speak for my self, but I think this may be at least partially true.
All these experiences can help me look at the world with new, questioning eyes. What I choose to do with this new outlook now is up to me, can I hold that fascinated and inquisitive traveller to keep looking at what was before to me, mundane? And for how long before the routines of the past begin to own you again? All the things in my attic, that’s going to be a fun spring clean! Travelling out of a bag for 2 years, makes you wonder what need is there for all the clutter I packed up and left behind.
I hope I will always see life as a journey, always travelling, settling here or there for a while and then, on the road again. But this can be done philosophically at all times,
Duncan and John
Best man and groom
when it might not be possible physically. Life the journey, mind, body and soul.
As I look to head home to my family in a matter of days, it feels, well, very difficult to describe these emotions and feelings. Is it possible to feel so excited and saddened, yet calm at the same time? I feel that I’m in just another different country. There is no feeling of home here yet, again I feel like a tourist or traveller, just this time I am in the UK. I hope this changes the closer I get to my folks home and seeing those close to me.
* * * * * * * * *
The last few days have been a gift to come home to. I know from past experience and from communicating with friends already returned home, that it can be a very difficult transition. Seeing those that I have missed while being away. Surprising Andy for her birthday, Anna, Gianni, Ben, Simon, JP and Anna and catching up with so many amazing people has been a fantastic way to come home. I sit now, on a very packed Virgin train, heading for Glasgow.
This, the last of my solo trips in a reflective serene mood, excited about Johns wedding and all else that lies ahead. Setting up my workshop in Edinburgh, following various teaching options for now and the future and asserting a routine. Living out of a home instead of a bag. Being at home this very night, Mum’s cooking, Dad’s drinks, the dogs, my old room, things forgotten and those unchanged.
* * * * * *
And there we have it. The reason I came home, fulfilled. John's wedding. What an amazing day, just increadible. The best wedding I have ever been to. John, Duncan and I started the morning a little worse for wear by walking ohns dog down the beach. Even on his wedding day, John was finding fish, starfish and crabs under rocks! We even had Cuda fighting with the crab, so funny. Then dressed into the black tie, couple of whiskies and off to the pub. We met the rest of the ushers there, had a few more whiskies, ate lunch and I was impressed we actually managed to stomach food! Me terrified that John and Duncan were going to make me laugh
John and Maria
The happy couple
during my reading fromthe prophet, John a nervous wreck about getting married and Duncan crapping it about thebest mans speach! It all went perfectly. The weather was amazing, the scene and setting over a stunning loch and village church. A group of brilliant and friendly Danes with wonderful traditions that help make the day so good. A fly over in a Tiger moth with acrobatics, lanterns set off into the night sky, Scottish reels and an amazing band. My best friends wedding. The perfect homecoming.
And what can i leave you with? This, my last blog this final chapter in my first chroicle? There are lessons to be learned at every step of life. I know there are many I have learned over the time spent away. To be less dismissing of life’s clichés. To pay closer attention to what you would consider mere coincidence. To plan with the knowledge that everything changes. To do things now to avoid disappointment of not having done them later. That everything is possible and nothing is certain. That courage is an accumulation of small steps and success is an accumulation of courageous ones. That time is the most valuable thing you can spend. That Freedom often comes at a price, and of every thing that has been said and done, there is one thing, one piece of learned advice, above all that stands out clear head and shoulders above the rest for all travellers, so read carefully, and remember that I am peaking from experience, no matter where you are, or where you go, always, absolutely always, make sure you have some toilet role… ;-)
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