“I dream in colour (What else?)
That’s too much flavor (What else?)”
When I think of travel I think of this line from Jay-Z’s stellar rap “I got the Keys”.
When about to embark upon our new journey abroad we begin to forget how big the act is and instead spend all our preparation on what to pack; on our parents’ infinite worries about safety despite going in a tour… In this mad speed up of time where days suddenly begin to leak into each other, it’s easy to forget to feel the bubbling excitement, nervousness and anticipation. All the best parts, that suddenly explode within our minds as the plane picks up its legs and heads for a less occupied world.
In this place of limbo, we can reflect upon our decisions of why we travel, if we want tea or a shitty wine ( because we secretly really want to see how quickly alcohol hits up in the air ) and our expectations or fears that are about to be confronted in a matter of hours.
I’ve always loved travel expeditions. Usually mine are sudden, spurred by something like a decadent tea-cup making me crave the divine unknown that is the Moscow Cathedrals. The top hats sit distorted yet glorious, stealing zealous eyes from the sun’s setting performance. Or the need for blindness in all of life’s uniformity that comes from seeing a flurry of letters, huddled together in packs of mismatch collaboration. Furthermore, tasting these chaotic clusters full of unknown purpose fly off your tongue. Almost always met with long stares or a monotonmous “we all speak English around here, what do you want?”
The sounding bell for this trip was 2016 and the string of shit that trailed on behind, otherwise known as life. Maybe it was a karma I.O.U we all had to pay for Trump’s triumph. Except one of my managers, she got engaged. Snapps for her ( she waited like five years.. )
But the shit I’m talking about is 2016 unleashing unexpected curve balls, which a lot of us had to endure all of life’s cruellest lessons all at the one time. For me, it was a year of firsts.
I moved out of the family home, I began the UNI chapter of my life, I gained my license, I had my first one-night stand, I went abroad by myself, I stood screaming in Beyoncé’s presence, I ended my first big relationship, I fell into the partying scene, I ended up in hospital, I tried tinder, I quit clubbing, I went snorkelling in Santorini, I totalled a car, I had my heart smashed by the only love I had known, I almost gained a tattoo or two, I watched my best friend go through unsavoury pain, I kissed a few girls and a few dozen guys.
2016 was a year I hope to forget, but also a year I feel rings true to writer Flannery O’Connor’s quote: “Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life.”
What we all should go to sleep with after thinking of tough times, is that we either get to keep the growth or the person that comes with that experience.
So, with all of those things firmly embedded into my mind I realised what I truly needed. India. More specifically a place full of people, culture and colour I had never before seen to such an extent. I needed to replenish my rose-tinted life goggles that every twenty-year old should own until they hit the second year of their office-jobs. Blind, exuberant optimism for life and love, before all our decisions backfire and we grow fatigued by the life we had chosen while wearing said glasses.
Now I am not the whole “Eat, Pray Love” cliché of a writer, despite having the DVD sit patiently on my coffee-table. No, I will have you know I watched it once a few years ago.
I also liked the idea that India was near to Nepal, a place beaming with the solace of aged mountains. Whenever a new wave of pain or a face-plant was imminent, I would visit those mountains. They were kept safely at the back of my eye-lids.
Perhaps this image had something to do with my intoxication with Bear Grylls’s biography “Mud, Sweat and Tears”, but I wanted something bigger than myself to know whatever happened in 2017, I did something true and deeply good for my soul.
So today marks the 9 day countdown until I take my first big adventure for 2017. I bought my first pair of Jeanie pants ( more a skirt gal myself but when in Rome.. ) and dyed my hair brown for the first time in my life.