27 Years, 27 Countries

imageWell- I’m officially in my late twenties. Fan f*ing tastic. This has been one of those birthdays where I do actually feel officially older, as if in the span of a day I have aged a year; one of those birthdays that brings forth a change in perspective, a shift in attitude, and a slow burning fear inside me. Yep- happy birthday to me.

As you get older it’s difficult to stop comparing. Yourself to friends, to colleagues, coworkers, family members, celebrities, even your childhood expectation of what you believed you would be at this age. The grass is always greener on somebody else’s facebook page and personal satisfaction will never be fully reached in life, despite our best efforts. At least we can take comfort in knowing this fact is true for everyone.

I am incredibly proud of my travels. But satisfaction at my accomplishments in this regard highlight at times my lack thereof in others. Classmates of mine are getting married, having kids, and make shit tons of money. Coworkers are purchasing houses, cars and insurance plans. To each their own ultimately I say and I would not change any aspect of my past or present; that being said, it’s easy to focus on what you feel you lack and others have, despite not even desiring it.

I don’t mean to sound melancholy here- I suppose birthdays simply promote reflection and self evaluation. I’m incredibly lucky to have reached this age, and never will take for granted the gift of another year of life. Even more so I am blessed with my health, an education and a supportive and loving circle of family and friends. I’m eternally gratefully for everything I have in life, every experience I have had in the past, and the opportunities that lie in my future.

Canada, USA, The Bahamas, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Hungary, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia.

These are the 27 counties I have visited in my 27 years on this earth; a perfectly complementary number as compared to my new age. Having two immigrants for parents (an Englishman and an Irishwoman), both who have travelled fairly extensively, I can only blame the travel bug on my blood. It constantly lingers, festers if I don’t pay it enough attention, and ultimately erupts if I don’t give in to it- I think at this stage it’s more a disease than a bug.

Recent changes however, in part the ageing of another year, have brought alternate goals to the forefront. After leaving Ireland and moving back to Vancouver, I felt unsettled, itching to get away again. The adjustment to living back in my hometown was wonderful yet difficult; familiar yet strange. I felt my travel bug festering, unsatisfied, craving more and knew I ultimately needed to give into my ‘disease’ and complete this trip, perhaps to ever really have the desire to settle down somewhere.

I’m starting to feel that desire now; to plant roots, to belong to a community, to make a house a home. I’m looking forward to returning to Vancouver and pursuing various artistic goals I’ve set for myself, to actually stay put for awhile and steadily work towards accomplishing my many career objectives. Plans are in the works- I can’t wait.

That’s not to say I won’t travel again- god perish the thought. Merely that I feel satisfied with my international pursuits at this time and feel confident and inspired to pursue other life goals. Perhaps people I know back home will suddenly have the opposite urge and head off travelling for a number of years- who knows. As stated before, to each their own- everyone is on their own personal path and as much as humanely possible, it’s best not to compare yours to another’s.

My journey is my own and I’m loving it.

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