Redefining Wanderlust

I saw this cartoon. It was last year and I can find it now, but it was a young boy, meeting his older self. The caption was “Would 5 year old you be proud of where you are now?
Naturally, it was a comic about wanking, as most things on the Internet turn out to be, but it did get me thinking…
Would 5 year old Becky be proud of where I am now?

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Make a wish!

I have vivid memories of watching Newsround when I was younger, feeling this overwhelming sense of un-fairness that I wasn’t there, I couldn’t help, that I was too young.
I kept seeing footage of Princess Diana holding these impoverished black children, of while children starving and crying in the midst of the war in Bosnia.
Fear, despair, they’re all colour blind and so was I. I just saw people in need and I felt burdened with this deep desire to be there. To help.

5 year old Becky wanted to change the world.

I think she wanted to see the world too, but the feeling that it wouldn’t be there if I didn’t do something.

Fast forward 20 years.

I wouldn’t say I’m no longer the wide-eyed 5 year old, hell bent on changing the world, but life changes you, changes your perspective, changes what’s important and which parts of the world you want to change.

15 year old Becky was consumed by this feeling of being trapped. Of feeling she couldn’t breathe, she didn’t quite belong, that something was calling her, but she didn’t know what.
She booked a trip to Fiji, decided to travel by herself and for the first time felt like she could breathe.
She flippantly labelled that feeling ‘wanderlust’.
A few more years, some more travelling and I thought I’d nailed it.
I had wanderlust, bad, that’s what 5 year old Becky was feeling, she just didn’t know it. There was too much world to see and my heart felt like it would burst at the thought of not seeing it all, at once, tomorrow.
Wrong again.

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Me and Amber, my first ‘real’ travelling buddy. I remember having a very ‘grown up’ conversation about love under this Fijian waterfall. As grown up as the notion of love is at 17.

Flash forward 10 years and I think, maybe, I just might have worked it out.
I’m not saying I don’t have wanderlust, I can think of nothing more exciting that planning, researching, saving up and budgeting for the next big trip.
But there’s something more, something that I didn’t realise I was missing until I found it.
That feeling.
That feeling of just being ‘home’.

The feeling of being trapped, of this clock just ticking away as you waste your life on a job you hate, in a life that’s good, but not great.
And I knew it was flippant, and maybe a waste of a year, but why not?
I landed in Melbourne and couldn’t work out why, but I started to cry. There was all this emotion, I was filled to the brim with a sense of calm and fear and knowing I was never going back.
Perhaps that’s just hindsight.

Melbourne is home. Australia is home.

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The 12 Apostles (not actually 12) for my birthday last year. Perfect!

So would 5 year old Becky be proud of where I am today?
I think she’d be upset I didn’t have a cape, or a pet lion, or even a puppy.
I think she wouldn’t understand why I hadn’t made a million and she’d probably miss still not having her own house, but I think she’d be just as excited as I am about living in Australia.

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One response to “Redefining Wanderlust

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