Attached to the bottom of the computer screen on my cluttered work desk is a little post-it-note that bears some exciting news. It is Monday the 21st of December and I only have five days left before I board my flight for London.
Everyone I know is geared up for Christmas, but for me it’s all about Boxing Day 2015 – departure day.
But with the surge of excitement comes a slight feeling of panic.
Have I booked everything? Do I have all the receipts and tickets I need? Am I going to get incredibly lost because I have no clue where I am going?
Well, let’s face it. I am directionally challenged, sometimes I still get confused in the shopping centre I’ve been going to for the last four years and I often forget where I parked my car… so there’s a definite possibility that I am going to find myself wandering down strange streets with names I can’t pronounce that could lead to anywhere and everywhere. I am going to have to ask strangers for help, for direction. I am going to try and trace back my steps and undoubtedly make a wrong turn. I always find my way in the end, though. And because of this, inevitably, I am sure that I will stumble across some of the best experiences of my life.
I think that, if you never find yourself a little lost, you’re never going to find anything new.
It’s all well and good to have every step planned, to have the whole city mapped out and every major sight-seeing opportunity in it’s proper place. But it’s the hidden gems, the city secrets that only the locals know, that reveal the heart and true culture of the area.
If I take a wrong turn on the way to see Buckingham Palace and find myself somewhere else, I’m okay with that. This trip isn’t about ticking off the big names, although I’m keen to see them, it’s more about the experiences on the way.
I want to meet the locals and hear their stories. I want to find out about their lives, the way they live and their background and the history of their hometowns. I want to absorb their history and their culture. And yes, I want to get the classic picture holding up the leaning tower of Pisa, too.
I feel like now is the time for adventure, for exploration. Hell, I’m quitting my safe accounting job and jetting halfway across the globe and coming back to begin studying English and Anthropology.
This Christmas signifies big change and big adventure and I have never been more excited to get lost.