Where was I?
When I left the UK in November of 2000 I had almost no idea on how this journey would turn out and where I would end up.
My past trips had always ended in the same way; returning home broke, jobless and homeless.
This experience became extremely discouraging and depressing.
I had gone through quite a few changes in the year previous to my departure. I had given up drinking and drugs, which had controlled my life for some years. It was this decision that dramatically changed my life.
I slowly realised that life and adulthood wasn’t actually that bad and actually I could live it the way I wanted and not the way I thought I had to.
I knew that many around me disapproved of the decision to leave my job, my now stable life and head into the unknown decadence of Asia once more.
However I felt very strongly that this was what I needed to do for me. If I had stayed I would once again be living the way that others expected me to live.
In order to raise funds I took on a second job in the evenings serving tables, spent as little as possible and moved out of my flat and crashed with a friend to save on rent. Within five months I had around £2,000 in my pocket.
Where am I now?
An unbelievable amount of great things have happened in the ten and a bit years since that decision was made and I left the UK but I will go into that in later posts. Today I just want to focus on where I was and where I am.
This morning as I sat on the terrace with a cup of tea, playing with my daughter and looking out over the paddy fields I began to remember where I was back in 1999 and where I am now.
I think the reason things worked out for me was that I stopped being afraid of life and just got on with it.
I lowered all my expectations of myself and kept it extremely simple – put your own well being first and stay away from negativity as much as you can.
I now run a small retail business in Cambodia which gives me a fairly decent income. I built my own house that I paid for in full with no loans or mortgages and I get to go on some great holidays every so often.
So can this last?
I’m not sure. At the moment I am happy with my choices but I am aware that life and circumstances change.
Living in the third world can be hard and you need to exercise a great deal of patience at times.
Last year we had a great three week trip to England and for the first time since I left I felt that living there again may not be quite as scary as I had always thought. However, a few months later when I was reading hundreds of tweets and Facebook updates moaning about the snow and the British winter I rather went off the idea.
We also have a two and a half year old daughter who at some stage will need to attend formal schooling. Presently we have a small preschool set up in our town with a total of ten kids attending but if this will last and develop into anything more we don’t know.
Today we are simply enjoying this gift of living as we choose to.
Maybe tomorrow all that will change but the great lessons I have learnt in the last ten years are:
- That everything will probably always be okay whatever life throws at you
- That each new challenge brings with it a new adventure.
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