It has been over a year since I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. Whether you are a brand new subscriber or a long term reader I would like to take a moment to share a personal perspective.
Those who have not changed while travelling are either lying to themselves or have refused to engage with the foreign element surrounding them. Confronted with the prospect of relying on only myself, I had no choice in becoming completely independent. Self reliance is the most freedom I have ever felt and it has given me sovereignty and the capacity to go anywhere I so desired. This steered me to a new found sense of resilience and resourcefulness.
Being on your own in a new environment makes you battle hardened for life. Truman noticed a change in me when he was in Brisbane. “When I knew you back in Wales,” he started, “you had a false sense of confidence. Now you appear much comfortable with who you are”. This was a pleasant surprise but it was way too early to rest on my laurels as there is always room for improvement.
The absence of a security blanket makes life that little bit more exciting.
There have been plenty of hardships on the road. There is the loneliness factor when you arrive in a place where you know no one. You become comfortable in your own company. It also enables you to speak to strangers and put yourself out there. Just like every day life, you are going to have bad days. However, these are magnified when away from your family and friends. I have heard extraordinary tales of how backpackers were on the brink of going home but due to the support of their new comrades on the road, have stuck it out.
The Story Bridge of Brisbane burnt brightly in the darkness of night. I was surrounded by former strangers, that where fate would have it, were now my closest pals. It was my Australian leaving party and amongst all the madness of the shindig I took a minute to reflect on what I had been through to get to this point. Moments of triumph. Gasps of wonderment. Tears of parting. Screams of adrenaline. Sighs of accomplishment.
“C’mon Ryan,” one of my friends shouted to me. “Where are we going next?”