The month leading up to April 1st 2022 was complete chaos.
I was trying to clear six years of accumulated stuff out of my flat so it could be rented (I had deffos underestimated how much time it would take to clear each room, sell or donate half my belongings, and find somewhere to store the rest). At the same time, I was also getting my entire bathroom gutted and rebuilt (the inevitable delays meant this only got finished on March 31st which was a real nail-biter). On top of this I was trying to spend as much time as I could with my mum who I was seeing for the first time in 2.5 years. I was running nearly every day to try to manage my anxiety. Oh, and I was desperately trying to avoid the COVID wave sweeping through the UK. This meant that I didn’t see anyone outside of the fam and the builders in the weeks leading up to my departure and cancelled my own leaving party.
It all got done.
My pre-departure COVID test came back negative, my bathroom was finished, my belongings were trimmed down to what could fit in a locked cupboard and, on April 1st 2022, I boarded the plane towards adventure.
What followed for the next 12 months was the year of my life so far. Those 365 days have changed everything. I am amazed at how much can happen in the space of a year.
Since April 1st 2022, I’ve visited ten countries (and 5 US states). I managed to get to my biggest bucket list destination. I’ve met dozens of people. I lost some friends and I reconnected with others. I even made brand new friends. I took a risk and got back together with an ex only to re-break up with lessons learned. I met someone new “when I was least expecting it” which is annoyingly clichéd but also quite a good story. I soaked up quality time with my family after being deprived of it for so long.
I scuba dived, zip-lined, kayaked, walked 117km across Northern Spain, ate fresh fruit on the beach, watched sunrises, watched sunsets, climbed a volcano, snorkelled with sea lions, jumped off boats into crystal clear water, saw bizarre Fringe shows, glamped with kangaroos, laughed in hot springs (yes, multiple hot springs).
That’s all been amazing fun, but it’s the invisible stuff that happened on the inside that has been the most profound. Those bits are much harder to sum up. I trusted my gut and I got so much clarity. I chose myself.
I was brave, I was happy, I was free, I was self-indulgent, I was patient, I was grateful, I was introspective, I was reconnecting with myself in a way that I hadn’t since childhood.
And on April 1st 2023, I am restored.
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