Almost 2 years ago to the day this blog began its life. Regular fans of this page – and I use the term loosely – will remember that I was gearing up to spend, what was supposed to be, a year backpacking my way around the world. I expressed a wish that I would achieve some of the things that seemed so alien as I sat on a cold October morning, I wanted to do those truly ‘once in a lifetime’ things, to live life to the full, improve as a person and really, truly have the time of my life.
Which I did. Among many many other things, I swam with sharks, narrowly avoided running over both a kangaroo and an emu, drank cava with locals in Fiji, fell in love and got convinced I was going to be murdered – twice. And when I arrived home, to a wintry England last October I made a promise, to myself at least, that I would continue to live life to the full. That I was going to be a more open, kinder and generally better person because of the things I went through.
Which I also did. Sort of. But then within just a few days, that horrible lurking figure, Reality, arrived. No longer could I wake up in the morning and make that awfully difficult decision of whether to hit the beach or the bar. No, now I was back living at my mum’s, in deepest rural Surrey, without a penny to my name and lack of job. But things soon picked up. I moved to London, got some work and life seemed to be getting into some sort of order. And if this was a Hollywood script it could have ended there. The protagonist gets the job, the girl, the life he always wanted and walks off into the sunset. Except, as we all know, life doesn’t always, if ever, work that way. And within a further 6 months or so, all that had turned on its head.
I still had the job, but it had become tedious; I was no longer living in a good house with mates(anyone who visited the infamous Crack Den will realise the term ‘good’ is a touch generous, but that place will always have a special place in my heart) , but rather a damp, dingy bedsit in an area of East London that, I swear, I heard occasional gunshots from, and the relationship that I had thought at one point, would last forever, had broken down. Lord knows, I’m susceptible to the odd case of hyperbole, but not in this case. I was close to depression. I moped around for weeks, struggled to get out of bed some days, and drank far too much.
But, and I apologise if this is a bit ‘self improving’, I was well aware that it was only me alone that could change my situation. Fortunately, fate threw me a pretty good hand and I moved into a nicer place in, if not a nice part of town, the sort of place that you at least weren’t called a ‘f*cking c*nt’ for having the audacity to share a person’s pavement space. But I still had the problem of the tedious job (and any Wedlake Bellers reading this, let me assure you that it is by far the friendliest place I have ever worked and somewhere that I will always look back on incredibly fondly, and I mean that with complete sincerity, but I was/am hardly doing a job that brings complete job satisfaction) and the heartbreak of a break up.
So what did I do? Well, I decided I would run away. Not in the whole rebellious teenager way, but in a way that I could combine something I love, travel, with the added bonus of getting away from what had been a pretty poor few months. I make no secret of the fact that I took the first job that would allow me to get away from London as quickly as possible.
So, finally to the point of this rather long entry. In January next year I will be taking off again, back on the road, doing what I love. I am heading first to Malaysia for a few weeks, then onto Indonesia to begin, what may or not be, a long career as a teacher in a private school.
It is only in recent weeks that I have thought about the decision to take this job. Yes, my motivation about doing it in the first place is hardly ideal and perhaps not deserving of the people I will be teaching. But having had time to reflect, and get a little practise of teaching in, it is something I genuinely think I will enjoy, take serious and be naturally gifted at.
So I hope to use this as a blog to keep friends (‘fans’) updated with what will be a challenging, hilarious, moving and, at times, downright catastrophic experience.