I’m not a huge fan of flying after the fire incident at Charles de Gaulle Airport when I was flying off to Africa. Thankfully the passing of five years has eased the anxiety that plagued future plane journeys to the point that I can now relax and enjoy the ride a little more, which is a relief because there’s something uniquely special about viewing the world from a seat 35,000 feet above land.
Perhaps it’s the lack of an internet connection that frees up some precious thinking time. Perhaps it’s the fact that there’s not a lot else to do. Perhaps it’s the view. Flying over The Dolomites as I type this, with one eye on the computer screen and the other on the window, it’s hard not to feel inspired by the planet we live on. Right now I want to explore every single bit of it.
To set the scene more fully, I’ve just spent four action-packed days in Thessaloniki, Greece having flown there via Athens earlier in the week. I’ve been part of the team of bloggers that make up this year’s ‘Young at Heart’ BlogTrotters Greece tour. I was part of the very first tour last year when I spent the same amount of time in Athens looking at street art, visiting the historical sights, spending an afternoon on the beach and eating my own body weight in food.
So that gives you a hint at what is to come in future posts when I write about the trip in more detail. I’ll be posting more once I’ve caught up on some sleep, had some time to reflect on it all and spent some time with IJ. I’ve missed her a lot, although the sun and sand certainly helped compensate, and thank goodness for WhatsApp.
Right now I’m doing what I always do on the return leg of a trip whilst sitting on a plane. Feeling calm, relaxed, without a distraction in the world and knowing I’m heading home to IJ – I’m reflecting on life a little and making some decisions.
Having just spent four days with a group of creative bloggers from the travel, fashion and beauty sectors, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the issue of age. I was acutely aware at the beginning of the trip that I was almost two decades older than many of the bloggers. I wondered how they viewed me, if they were aware of my age and if they were thinking I stood out as being different to them.
I found myself looking back with fondness to the time when I was young, keenly interested in fashion and photography and spoke with excitement about the places I’d visited in the world and where I wanted to go next. Then I mourned the passing of time a little.
But then I got a grip, realised the age paranoia was mostly in the head, and decided the attitude that I was too ‘old’ to view the world with the same young, excited mindset where everything is there to be discovered, wasn’t really getting me anywhere.
So the decisions I’ve made, inspired by the young creatives I’ve been around and the places I’ve visited, include taking the photography course I’ve wanted to do for years, continuing the children’s book I started writing last year, travelling more and exploring more.
As well as that I’m not going to view the childlike excitement I often have about the world as age-inappropriate.
Who knows where this will lead. Hopefully a lot more blog posts. How appropriate that the theme for this trip was Young at Heart. I’m sure there’s a part of us that never really grows up, nor wants to.
Flying over Paris and starting the decent into London Heathrow as I revisit this post and type a little more, the layer of cloud that previously looked like frothy whipped cream has become thicker, a little greyer and the gaps now nonexistent.
But it doesn’t matter. It can mean only one thing. And it has to be the best thing about the return leg of a journey you’ve made without your family: the realisation you’re almost home and they are waiting for you.
Let the adventure continue …