My Thoughts: Fighting doubts about long-term travel

So, why are we doing this?

Why are we going?

Why are we heading to the other side of the world?

Why have I resigned from my job?

Why have I halved my belongings, twice, and stored most of them in my parents' loft?

Why am I about to say good bye to my family and closest friends for six months, maybe more? Why did I leave that flat in Shepherd's Bush that I loved so much? Why?

Well, because it's the right thing to do. For many reasons. I will not share all of them with you but it is fair to say that we're also doing it because we can and of course, because we want to.

That's right, we. That's an important point. I am no longer just a me, myself and I. And this was NewMan's doing too. Possibly for the first time in my life, I'm in an adult relationship. One where we enjoy sharing and experiencing life together and for one reason or another it didn't feel like we were achieving that as fully as we could in London (as crazy as that may sound). In the future we (or I) may not have the same freedom to explore and have adventures so we're grabbing them now while we can.

I've been scrambling around in my mind for the right composition of words to summarise why; why this trip, why now, why why why. Although my conviction is strong, the all-important sentences I string together sound weak.  I should have known better than searching for my own. I should have known that a much wiser individual from years gone by would have the words, as is often the case. On this occasion it was Mark Twain who answers the question "Why?" perfectly.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain 

My searching for words wasn't completely in v ain. I often kept landing at the doorstep of the song "If Not Now" by Tracy Chapman. For the last few months, maybe longer, as NewMan and I would discuss ideas, plans, changes, this song would sometimes without reason play in my mind answering my fears and anxieties with another simple question; "If not now then when?". These words and

If not now then when

If not  today then

Why make your promises

A love declared for days to come Is as good as none 

You can wait 'til morning comes

You can wait for the new day

You can wait and lose this heart

You can wait and soon be sorry 

Now love's the only thing that's free

We must take it where it's found

Pretty soon it may be costly

If not now then when

We all must live our lives

Always feeling

Always thinking

The moment has arrived 

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before starting a family with her Australian partner. Frankie is the author of three short story collections, and is a freelance writer for travel and creative brands. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her two young sons around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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