I learnt so much, just from those few hours. Patsy truly is an inspiration. She is 57, and has been travelling for 10 years. She’s an English teacher and uses her profession to keep her in the places she loves the most. She volunteers, she teaches, she‘s living and embracing everything life has to offer. She sees opportunities as they come along and takes action. She goes with the flow of life and is one bubble of enthusiasm, energy and life. Maybe once a year she goes back to England to visit, but it’s always a “truckstop”, as she calls it. She goes back not knowing exactly how she’ll be leaving but knowing that she will be leaving.
This was so interesting. It’s what I’m “struggling” with most at the moment - or it’s not so much a struggle, but I’m in the process of making an adjustment to my mindset: Going back home, doesn’t mean staying there. I’m not stepping backwards. Instead I’m stepping forwards to experience the world at home again, through eyes that have witnessed and felt an extremely different way of living.
Patsy and I spoke about expectations and judgement from those back at home. We spoke about the pull that you can feel from time to time, to fulfill that need to see those amazing people at home, who are hoping to see you soon. We spoke about how easy it can be to get back into the way of living that takes place in your home but that doesn’t fit with what you want from your life - even when you don’t want it. You can, most times, know in your heart that it’s not for you. Being away from home supports that feeling. Being in a place that makes you see magic and mayhem all at once and therefore forces you to seek balance in your life, gives you strength to remain unaffected by potential expectations or judgement. I don’t know if the expectations and judgement happens, but if it does, then I try my best not to let it effect me.
This leads me to a question: do I ignore or switch-off to what the home front or to what society wants? No I don’t. I can be aware of what others have in their lives and what others think about how I live and what they want for me, and still remain unaffected. I’m not running from anything and by returning home and facing the challenge of being surrounded by influences of a different way of living and still remaining true to what I want, will only be confirming what I know I truly want in my life and what always makes me happy. It’s simply putting into practice what I can doubt (now and then) to being able to keep in my life; which is the desire to keep on travelling. By going home, I’ll only become stronger in knowing, maintaining and following that feeling of amazement I instantly get by being the traveller, by being independent, by being and STAYING in-tune with what I want. This alone will change my mind-set.
Instantly voices come into my head, that were once upon a time said to me and influenced my decisions: “You can’t live a life like that! You’ll have to settle down! You can’t keep on putting it off forever! Life is not a dream Niamh and you need to come into the real world!” These are things I’ve heard before. My reaction used to be: “Yes, of course” and it led me away from the magic. But now my reaction is: “who says I can’t have a certain lifestyle for however long I want? Who says that this isn’t reality?” Stability, a house, a regular income: that’s reality? Not mine. Mine is this. I’ve created my own reality and it will be so effortless to keep this real, if I don’t let those voices of “rationality” and of the past, influence my actions and decisions. Having experienced a life so different and knowing that it can remain my reality, makes me question why I should choose to be driven by other forces, which aren’t my own? If I was to stick to my old way of thinking: going back home is stopping the flow and will lead me to getting stuck; is setting myself up for experiencing all the things I don’t want in my life. And that would mean it’s nearly impossible to go back and wholeheartedly embrace the experience.
After speaking to Patsy, everything became so clear. My visa ending, doesn’t mean my travels are ending. It means it’s the beginning of something new, once again. It means other doors will open. My travels will continue, first towards home and then beyond once again. But I’ve also realized that I can be beyond, wherever I am. I spoke with her: A woman 30 years my senior! We were totally on the same level. I could suddenly see that I can do so much of travelling, if that‘s what I want, for however long I want and in whatever way I want. Nothing is stopping me, not even voices from the world that can come to mind telling me I don’t have the means, I don’t have the finances, I don’t have the chance. On and on these voices can go. But I know they are lies. Because, look at me now. Look at where I am. I did this, I made this happen. I got myself here and I’m being given so many options for me to return to the land of magic, if I want. I know this will happen wherever I go. I know I’ll always be led to the right person and the right situation at the right moment in time. It’s already what is happening, and therefore it will continue. This is now my life - driven by something other than the society in which we live. I’m not being rebellious, I’m just being me.
What an amazing afternoon. I got a new lease of life and, once again, I felt like this really is only just the beginning. And I was so excited. I was suddenly properly seeing where I am, on all levels. The opportunities are endless and always will be, no matter where I am. Going to this interview, was obviously the best thing I could have done. I don’t know if I’m going to take the job or not. I have a few days to decide. But, even if I don’t, meeting Patsy was the best! Everything is so clear..