Life is what’s happening to you while you’re busy making other plans

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John Lennon’s legendary lyrics still resonate in a world that has change a lot since his passing more than 30 years ago. I remember hearing this song for the first time when I was young as my Dad played Lennon’s album on our new CD player. The fact that I could skip to a particular song without having to rewind or fast forward a tape was remarkable… I remember thinking, “How will technology possibly get any better than this?!”

I turn 30 in a number of weeks and have recently found myself becoming more reflective than usual. I look back over the years, at what I have achieved, the friends I have and how lucky I am to have lived so much in such a short period of time. I am baffled as to where the last 10 years have gone but in the end I am happy.

The one thing that I have realised is that my life is driven by plans. I have never been one to live to work. Long ago I came to the conclusion that I worked to live, not the opposite. I enjoy my job, the people I work with and the money I earn but what really gets me up every morning are the plans I have, the little things I have in place to which I can look forward.

For those of you who know me, or at the very least have read a few of my posts, you will know that travel is my number one drug in life. I am completely addicted to the anticipation of a trip, the feeling of freedom that can only be attained by throwing clothes in a backpack and hitting the road. Like all addicts, I suffer greatly when my drug of choice dries up and the withdrawals set in, sending my mind into overdrive where nothing else matters apart from packing a bag and boarding a plane.

As I look back over my adult life to this point, I cannot remember a single point in time where I was not travelling or planning the next great adventure. My morning bus ride into work is more often than not spent staring out of the window bleary eyed as I remember the months spent in Asia on a beach in the middle of nowhere, or riding my bicycle to the beach in Mexico with nothing else but my thoughts to keep me company.

Even as I type this, I am thinking of my next adventure. I can almost feel the tropical heat on my skin and smell the incense and street food that only exists in Asia. As I grow older, and hopefully wiser, I have realised that I need to keep reminding myself to sit back and enjoy the little things that are happening in between the adventures and the planning. The joy of spending time with family and friends who are happy, healthy and living fulfilling lives is something that I am starting to realise is a privilege. Most of us take this for granted and only realise how precious it is when it is gone.

tulumTulum, Mexico

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