So, the date is set. Drumroll please………………. Du dum du dum du dum ‘Unlucky for some’ 13th September. I’m not the superstitious type at all and very much like to capitalise on those who are. In my experience, flights tend to be cheaper on the 13th of the month as people aren’t as keen to fly on the 13th. The job doesn’t start until October 1st and we weren’t busting to put little man through school from September 1st so this just seemed a sensible day to up sticks.
Once the visas came back granted and the flights were paid for it all suddenly became real. The same can be said about lots of things I suppose. Once you know a date or an ultimatum and the proverbial clock starts ticking, we suddenly think of all the things we need to make time for. I have heard it said before that we often drift through life with plans that we think that we will have time for at some point, things that we’ll get around to at some point. Sitting here reading this you must also have those sorts of plans. If, all of a sudden you knew the exact date and time you were to die, even if it is 80 or 90 years from now it is still a countdown. Imagine for a second that you were given a watch or small clock with a countdown in years, months, weeks, days, minutes etc. If you had the ability to literally watch your life disappear before your eyes. Would you begin to act differently? Would you still spend half an hour scrolling social media channels before bed or binge-watching Netflix until 3am? You may suddenly feel an urge to actually do all of those things on that list of things. You may choose to structure your life a little more. It is a rather harsh analogy but true nonetheless. Time is the ultimate and only currency that matters. It is the only thing of any value that once spent we can never get back. That’s not to say we can’t learn from time ‘wasted’ or already spent but we cannot get it back. Financial wealth and health come and goes and we can make money in the future but despite our wishes time never returns to us.
Ok so that may have all got a bit over dramatic. Those of you who know me personally must be well accustomed to my melodramatic tendencies. But there is a serious message. ‘Do some of the shit you’re thinking of doing one day’ before it’s too late and life just happens.
So the to-do list now has deadlines for us. Jabs etc. and anything else we can think of. The obligatory good byes and last pints with close friends and relatives. Grandparents are a must. I live in the West country and my grandparents live in London and despite being ridiculously healthy and well for their age, you never know what might happen in the next 12 months. A mildly morbid thought I admit but it’s the brutal truth I’m afraid.
The overwhelming emotion now that a date has been set is excitement. Apprehensive excitement but excitement nonetheless. I am excited about telling everyone I know. I’m excited about wearing nothing but shorts and flip flops for the rest of my life. The apprehensive bit can wait in the wings for now.
There is part of me that suddenly feels a huge responsibility for Becky and Jay. I’m taking them away to a far away land and Jay will be without the comforts of his grandparents with who he lived with for 2 years when he and Becky returned home from Bali in a bit of a messed-up situation (long story for another day). I suppose I bloody should some heightened sense of responsibility should I not? I also feel nervous about the place. I mean I have been to Goa before, albeit a number of years ago and remember such a beautiful idyllic place. What if it has changed? What if it has become overrun with clubbers and gangsters? I’m also aware that Becky has travelled a heck of a lot and being a surfer has seen some pretty amazing places all over the world so I am slightly nervous that the simple beaches of South Goa won’t wow her in the same way that they did me a few years before but we are going to find out aren’t we!
After a few weeks of packing and buying essentials along with selling my car, and most of my clothes and tools and anything else of value I had to my name online we were nearly ready to go. There was something incredibly cleansing about emptying the cupboards in the house and the garage and it was surprising how much we made from selling it online. Maybe there is something to be said for living a minimalist lifestyle. De cluttering the house can also de clutter the mind? Who knows? Plenty of pairs of running shoes only worn a handful of times from my days of thinking buying new ones would definitely make me run faster – ask any runner – it 100% works.
So the day itself. Passports and tickets last minute check. Just like you would before a holiday but somehow this felt very different. My father picked us up from home as he was keen to be the airport chauffeur bless him. We loaded the car and headed for Heathrow Terminal 4. I have been working for my fathers business (T shirt printers and embroiderers) for 10 years full time and there was an unspoken assumption that I would one day take the reigns and carry on the business after he packed it in and I had in the last few weeks told him “thanks but no thanks” and also that he needed to replace me. I love my father and knew he would happy for my and pleased that I chosen to follow a path that called to me but it was still incredibly moving a beautiful to hear him say this to me as he dropped us at the airport. Tears were shed and hugs were hugged. Seeing him nearly every day for the last 10 years had been great and when he pulled away from the passenger drop off area and I turned to see Becky and Jay waiting for me to walk into the terminal with them I thought shit.
Ok so this is actually happening……