A week back into working in the urban jungle that is London. Things feel different – I guess largely because I’m different.
One difficult thing that I’m still coming to grasp is my hunger to do everything. When I’m out backpacking in the beautiful landscapes of SE Asia, I miss the mammoth menu of things to do, see and eat in London and cities. When I’m here, I miss the wilderness, the anything-goes attitudes and the pushing limits and horizons. I want it all; it’s incredibly hard to reconcile. I think it’s the main reason that I’ve never been able to specialise and focus on one thing. Because to focus on one thing means sacrificing the breadth of your experiences. This has always never been an appealing trade-off for me historically.
Being back has led to some interesting questions being asked internally. Do I want a focus? Is that why life feels lacking? If so, what is it? What is important to me? Money – I don’t need much. Success – completely subjective. I’m good at what I do, but reaching the top doesn’t appeal to me – it’s too egoistic to me. Family – don’t really want for one. Relationship – I’ve never met a person who can quite keep up. So what should I seek? When I think through all that I’ve done, I want to create a life where I feel the most alive, at peace – that makes me the most happy.
I don’t subscribe to the mass-prescribed modern life template. Be educated, go to uni, get a good job, find a partner, settle down, buy a house, have a family – in varying order but nevertheless the same milestones. Once you blow the template out of the water, then what? You get to decide what you want to do. 80 years of life where everything you choose to do is accountable to your decisions. And that’s terrifying – too much for some people. I still have trouble grappling with it but it makes the most sense to me.
Question everything. Why do you do the things you do?
Went away for a short weekend trip with my friend S as we both just wanted to get out of London and breathe in some fresh country air.
She suggested it about three weeks ago and it was pretty easy (and relatively cheap) to sort out accommodation (airbnb) and transport (rental car). Logistically, we could’ve been a bit more organised with the timing of our journey out there as we ended up right in the middle of rush hour traffic – it took us two hours to get out onto the M4.
When we eventually got there though, we were warmly welcomed by our host Richard who was friendly and accommodating throughout our stay there. It was definitely nice to have a warm lit fire to return to after a long day’s walking and exploring!
Crickhowell is a tiny village located within the Brecon Beacon national park in South/Mid Wales. We chose it because it was situated within the national park but also a close enough drive to a slightly larger town called Abergavenny which we did so to go to the supermarket (Crickhowell only has local grocers and prides itself on not having a corporate branded supermarket) and to stretch our climbing muscles on an indoor wall.
Being in that area of the world, everything is scenic anyway but our walk yesterday up to Table Mountain (not an actual mountain) was absolutely breath-taking.
We were blessed with the perfect weather and although it was about 4 degrees, by the time we had started on the steeper parts of the route, we were down to our baselayers. The top of the hill was still sprinkled with residue snow from the day before and gave a very serene quality to the landscape:
Lots of sheep
Nearing the top
The view from the peak
It was a lovely walk which took a meagre 3 hours. Certainly worth a walk to experience some amazing views!
Today we decided to do a short hike up Sugar Loaf, the hill next to Table Mountain, before heading back. The route we followed (found online) felt shorter and less effort compared with the one up Table Mountain, although it did say it would take only 2 hours. We did get lost in the woods near the peak and subsequently was a bit clueless as to whether we actually made it to the peak or not (there didn’t seem to be a clear peak point as there had been on Table Mountain) so I’m of the opinion that we may have missed the actual peak… This route started off through woodland which was a nice change of scenery from the route yesterday. We went through an unusual forest of stunted oak trees which looked rather peculiar.
Stunted Oak Forest
The View from the Top (maybe)
It was a great weekend. I fully recommend anyone looking for a short walking trip to head towards Crickhowell way.