I’m staring into a fridge full of leftovers in a quiet apartment after four days of activity with friends. This may well be the first time I’ve experienced true solitude whilst being in Australia, other than camping in my sister’s backyard. All I can hear is the tapping of the keyboard and the gentle crashing of waves in the harbour outside. It’s peaceful and eerie at the same time. I’m rapidly shovelling quinoa salad into my mouth after consuming my fifth coffee for the day. I’ve decided it’s an anything goes kind of day. That’s also why I polished off a packet of pre-made popcorn, assorted salted nuts and the remaining beetroot dip in the fridge for dinner.
In two days I’ll be back on a plane to Abu Dhabi and 2014 will come to life. It’s weird as I’ve spent the last 4 weeks surrounded by friends and family, rushing from one place to another, and now I’m suddenly in an empty apartment for the next couple of days in complete solitude until my time runs out and I’m back in the air.
As 2013 came to an end, I felt a sense of relief that the book had finally closed on what has probably been the most intense year of my life. It’s been a year full of achievement, love, loss and life. When 2014 ticked over I immediately thought that this year would be one of no expectations. But as I sat chatting with a friend over coffee today, I realised that 2014 for me is the year to live. Not to say other years haven’t had that motivation behind them, but this year I’m really going to focus on taking in every moment of being alive and making full use of it. It’s also another year of unknowns, exploration and adventure; so I’m going to be conscious of being ‘alive’ during every moment of it.
There are a number of occurrences that often change my perspective on the world. Death is probably the most influential, when you realise how unimportant certain things are, but the start of a new year also has its way of encouraging reflection. I’ve been incredibly reflective post hike, as I’m sure many thru-hikers can relate to. Recently I discovered an entirely new way of looking at the world – underwater. Strangely enough just watching life occur in this foreign environment made me realise there’s so much going on around us that we don’t see. Maybe that’s another resolution for 2014 – always keep your eyes open!
Music: Memory Tapes, Swimming Field