Today’s been one of those days when realisation kicks in as to where I am, what I’ve been through and where I’m heading. One of those days that seems like a never ending emotional rollercoaster, one that I can’t wait to get off!
If you’d told me two years ago that I would be sat in a hostel in Cairns having dived in the Great Barrier Reef, swam under waterfalls and jumped off cliffs in the past week – I’d have laughed. I’ve always wanted to travel but never thought I’d have the guts to do it, I mean I went to university in the city next to my hometown.. you can’t get much closer than that! I’ve always been one to keep myself to myself, but at the same time, so close to my family. I keep my emotions in for as long as I can until I reach breaking point, and by then, there’s no going back. That was me today but then I realised just how far I’ve come, what I’ve achieved in the last week alone, and who I am today.
I left home three months ago to escape all the troubles of the past year. When everything happened with the court case, I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t do anything unless it truly made me happy. Sounds silly to some, others will understand what I mean, but it’s so easy to go along with things in order to please others, to make those around you happy when you’re just putting on a brave face yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I like more than to make others happy, but you should never put your own feelings at risk. Recently, I felt like I was going against my own pact. Don’t get me wrong, I have been extremely happy at times, but not all the time. I came travelling to escape my problems, some might call it running away, but I see it more as fixing them. I came here to enjoy myself, be carefree and be happy in myself but recently I’ve found it hard to learn to be happy again. A lot of emotions and words have been thrown around that have made everything hard to see. I lost sight of why I came travelling and who I had grown to be. I’ve had an amazing three months in Australia, spent with some incredible people and I wouldn’t change a thing, I’ve just got to remember to do everything the way I want to do it. I’ve got to do what I want, and what is best for me because I may never get a chance to do this all again.
I’ve always been one for independence, a lone wolf, whatever you want to call it, but travelling has encouraged me to break that barrier. When everything happened last year, I become more closed off than before, and not going to lie, I still am. I push people away. Those that come close, I can’t help but panic and steer off in a different direction, it’s not until afterwards that I realise what I’ve done. I’m not great at being close to people, but travelling has forced me to be. It’s forced me to spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with at least one person at a time. While I’d do anything for a bit of space at times, it has done me wonders of good. It’s encouraged me to be more forward thinking, more inclusive and has brought the old Lauren back out in me. There are still moments when there’s nothing I want more than to be sat outside by myself, but then there are days like yesterday when I loved being with people and sharing the experience. There are some things in life that are better shared and travelling has opened my eyes to that.
While I’m still trying to work out who I am, what I’m doing and where I’m heading, I’ve come to realise that none of that matters as long as I’m happy myself. Each day is different to the next and no one can truly say otherwise. Everything is unpredictable, and I’ve come to learn and love that. Why worry about tomorrow, when tomorrow never comes?