September to December 2016.
Sometimes, instead of traveling to other countries, I wish I could travel back in time.
Nostalgia. I don’t like to say this, but I miss how easy life used to be. Before social media. Before smartphones and cameras, when we didn’t feel the need to record every little thing that looked or felt like it could be remotely interesting. Before even cell phones. When you couldn’t be tracked outside and didn’t have to worry about phone calls, texts, emails and all that stuff that now seems so important. It’s so noisy, and it gets in the middle of important things.
I realize it’s extremely arrogant of me to be so harsh about technology. I use it all the time. I’m part of this. But it’s like an addiction. Trapped in a hole and I’m not even alone, it’s so crowded in here.
One morning I met with my friend Bel to have coffee and catch up. She told me I looked happy. I was so glad to hear it, but not surprised. I was real happy. I had been feeling that way for a while after a journey of several months to finally feeling like myself again. Confidence was recovered, and so was the joy.
I have a friend, his an old dude a little crazy and a little wise. His jokes are quite terrible but he can give some terrific advice in life. Once he said to me that one of the most important things in life is to have “knowledge of yourself”.
One of the best things about traveling and living abroad is the people I get to meet. Like the time Al and I drove up to Surrey Hills to pick up an old beautiful dresser. The lady who gave it to us lived in an old house just as charming as she was. A beautiful home filled with old junk, with an enormously fat cat and two hens in the garden. She was very welcoming and asked about where we were from and our travels with a huge smile on her face. I remember thinking how cozy everything was, and I felt like we were all characters in a film, and I wished I had my camera with me.
The opening night of the Another World exhibition was magical. I felt so proud and happy to be part of it. I had a great time talking with a lot of different people. I even had bids on some of my photos, which was great since I was insecure thinking nobody would care about my work. The money was for a really good cause, which made everything even more exciting. I know I had a really great time because I didn’t even take the camera out of my bag until the evening was about to end, when I realized it was getting dark and people were starting to leave. And normally I’m taking photos all the time, wherever I go.
That night I reunited with Aislin, she came to the exhibition. We had only met once in Berlin when she was traveling Europe. Now she had just moved to Melbourne and even though she said she would come to the exhibition, I saw surprised when I saw her face. We talked for so long, it felt like we’ve known each other forever.
During the flight to New Zealand, I took a quick look to the airline magazine and while reading the articles I couldn’t help but start dreaming of new adventures for 2017.
There are so many places I want to go, too many. But it’s a goal. And every time I feel lazy or sad about having to take jobs I don’t quite like (or hate), and I feel down about the life I chose, I just try to remind myself of all the wonderful things I want to achieve. And that some life choices require sacrifice. That’s the only way to turn dreams into memories.
“Sometimes you need to lose balance in order to keep a balanced life.”
The last month of the year was all about that. After being so tremendously happy the months before, I didn’t know what to do when things weren’t coming my way. But somehow I was ready for it. During the months of immense happiness, I prevented that things would go down at some point. Things can’t be perfect forever. So I kept calm (sort of) and thought about times like that as a challenge and an opportunity to learn.