Just over 3 months ago, I set off on an adventure. I had bought a car (Lancelot) and loaded it with my puppy (Lumi) and quite a lot of other luggage, and drove off.
There were many reasons for this journey. Partly to get away from the distractions of London to focus on my next business ideas, partly to experience first-hand the problems driving my business ideas and thus build my own gut instinct around this new space, partly to escape and try to deal with some personal pain, partly because I felt stuck in a pattern that made me feel I was drowning, and partly just because… why not?
The answer to so many of my problems over the years has been to escape for a while. The process of “the journey” is a salve for countless ailments.
A few weeks into the journey, I didn’t know if it was working. If anything, I felt I’d burrowed myself even deeper into a dark place. I hadn’t escaped as many of the negative patterns and dark clouds as I’d hoped, and on top of that, I had isolated myself from all my nearest and dearest, and was engaging in what turned out to be quite stressful travel admin. Turns out moving every few days, with a car laden with belongings and a little dog, incurs quite a lot of tricky planning and irksome admin.
But then, I took some chances. I took a few risks, and they paid off. I made some decisions, and stuck to them. I meditated every day. I hiked in forests. I took long walks. I played with my puppy. I read really good books. I was mindful of opportunities as they popped into my periphery and took advantage of them. I encouraged myself kindly to stay open to paths that initially made me uncomfortable, but turned out to be fruitful.
Yes, I know I’m being vague. Writing a blog doesn’t mean I have to share *everything*.
It started to work. Slowly, I started to feel the heavy blanket of melancholy start to lift. I started to feel joyful, for no obvious reason. Just because. I became clear in my ambitions and expectations, and it gave me a feeling of excitement and fulfilment. I felt like a light had been lit inside me once again, and people noticed, and commented in surprised tones.
It is such a cliche… go on a journey, find answers. But there is a reason some things become cliches: they are generally the truth. And lo and behold, so many answers have become clear to me. What are they?
- Learning to be content and joyful alone is a highly empowering skill.
- Starting businesses is my passion, but I don’t want to follow a conventional path this time.
- I love getting away to nature and the countryside, but cities are where I want to be based (though not necessarily London).
- I am onto something with Flown. But I am truly starting again, which is both heady and terrifying.
- Getting a puppy was one of the best things I’ve over done in my life.
- Running businesses makes you very in your head. Do it too long and you forget there are other parts to what make you you.
Each of these could be its own blog post, and I probably will expand more on all of these learnings. But for now, it is good to be back in my home, in my bed, in my routine, in my city, around my friends. I am choosing to find joy or find growth potential in the things I encounter, rather than focus with disappointment on the subset of things that are imperfect or not yet attained. I am trying to balance myself, so my busy mind is calmer, and is complemented with my full heart and grounded body.
This is why getting *away*, to beautiful places, with time alone to think and dream and plan, is so important.