My name is Amy and I thought I knew what I wanted in life until I got it, turns out that it was never mine too have. I had built such expectations, wasting pointless energy, stressing about getting what I thought I wanted and trying desperately to fit in this box that was never meant for me, my box is not a box but a backpack. For the first time in my life I was going to be brave and say F**k it! I packed my bag and went, not to find myself as I know who I am but to remember who I’ve always been, without the constraints of my own expectations and society’s beady-eyes glaring down on me. This was not how I expected my 30s to be but there’s no time like the present to reclaim your life back and give yourself a lifestyle.
I was given this blog as a birthday gift by a dear friend of mine as she seems to think my travel stories are worth reading. I’ll be sharing with you stories from my journal, short ones, serious ones and hopefully funny ones, along with my thoughts, feelings and passions.
In 8 months I have travelled 11 countries, my current location is New Zealand where I am on a working holiday visa in an attempt to save some money to travel further and for longer. This last 8 months have certainly been varied that’s for sure. I have travelled in small groups, large groups, solo, on a tight budget on a big budget, to cheap destinations and expensive ones.
Today’s story I share with you is about a monk, Dr Seuss and me.
I was in Yangon airport in Myanmar waiting for my flight check-in desk to open, a monk on the next bench approached me asking if I could help him to read a book. I jumped at the opportunity to help someone that was until he pulled out a Dr Seuss book, have you ever tried to read Dr Seuss books out loud? It’s really difficult especially if your dyslexic like me. I am full of admiration for people who can read these books out loud.
As it turns out he really wanted to practice his English by having a conversation with me and with a sigh of relief I obliged. He seemed very impressed when I told him I was from England, telling me with absolutely certainty that “England was very far away”, he then asked me what I was doing in Myanmar and I told him that I was travelling, a concept that he did not grasp so I said “a holiday” he said “oh nice, you like Myanmar” “very much” was my immediate reply. Looking around as though he misplaced something he then said “Where is your husband” I thought oh dear here goes, like a lead ballon this is going to go down really well. To say he was astounded is an understatement “no husband, how old are you?” He said shell shocked “31” was my reply “and no husband” his mouth actually fell open and it took every ounce of me not to fall about laughing at the baby-faced monk.
I swiftly asked him questions in order to distract from the awkwardness. It turned out he was 15 years old orphan which is why he is a monk, the monastery took him in after his parents died, cared and look after him, teaching him the Buddhist way of life. I asked him if he liked the teachings of Buddhism, his reply was “yes, in Buddhism everything is a cycle, it makes sense”. He went on to tell me that he hoped to become a teacher and his favourite football teams were Manchester United and Real Madrid and of course his favourite footballer was Cristiano Ronaldo. “Who is your team?” He asked eyes lit up with intrigue. I’m still not sure if he was more dismayed by the fact I was in my 30’s and unmarried or by the fact I am Liverpool fan. We said our goodbye as his flight checked in before mine and even to this day I find myself thinking and hoping for him, that one day his dreams come true. During my travels I have learnt that people genuinely have a impact on you, even if you’ve only spent minutes with them, some of them will have a lifelong impact on you, remarkable.