March 15 2010 – the day I was sat in Heathrow Airport scared out of my wits waiting to get on a plane to Japan, the first stop in my 3 month solo adventure around Asia.
March 15 2011 – Japan is in ruins after the horrific earthquake and tsunami; I’ve been glued to the footage on TV and the tears haven’t stopped flowing.
It’s amazing to think that an entire year ago today I was in Heathrow Airport crapping myself at the thought of spending 3 months backpacking solo around Asia (if you want to armchair travel, just check out the archives to your right). Japan was my first stop for ten days. If I hadn’t have listened to the Universe when it kicked my butt and told me to go traveling despite Mr Officer and Sweetpea then I could have been flying out there today; that’s not such a comforting thought. I’ve managed to contact friends and I know that they’re safe but my heart still breaks for them. It’s far different that the Boxing Day tsunami. Back then we could only imagine what really happened but with phones, satellite and video cameras so available in Japan we can see everything from the quake to the tsunami and even the nuclear explosions; I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to forget the images that have panned around the world. Jeez, how close I came. An earthquake/tsunami/whirlpool AND nuclear problems on my first solo journey? Yeah, I’ll give that one a miss thanks.
It’s also pretty weird to think how much I’ve changed in just those 365 days. A few months after I came
back to hell home I had a huge clear out of my territory room and realised that I’d become a traveller. Not in the I-smoke-pot-and-have-holes-in-my-jumper kinda way but the I-never-want-to-stop-travelling-EVER-again way. The cartoon figure collections went, as did the kids DVDs and all the shit that I’ve paid way too much for over the years stuff I no longer needed or wanted; I grew up. I had forgotten what it felt like to sit on my bed watching TV and not have crap all over the floor, sofa or, well you know, any surface available – it was so relaxing. If only I’d come to this conclusion when I was 12/13 – it might have saved my mum shouting and my auntie needing to come over and sit in my room as a drill sergeant making sure I didn’t get distracted.
And speaking of staying calm, this weekend I’m going to stay with one of the girls I traveled around Bali with an I cannot wait! I’m already thinking about all the memories we’ll be thinking about and me talking about my next adventure which I’ve already booked and paid for! Guess where I’m going? Go on…