One of the best things about travelling is it gives you time to reflect.

You reflect on the person you once were and the life you left behind.

You reflect on how far you have come to be the person you are now.

You aren’t the same.

You will never be the person you were when you stepped on to that plane, boat, train or whatever means it took get to where you are today.

You will most certainly have learned many life lessons.

Not that there ever was or will ever be a checklist for that type of thing. There couldn’t be.

We are all different. We seek out and undergo various experiences, but ultimately, we end up at that same crossroads. Figuring out and deciding what we want and who we want to be.

I’m still trying to work that out. Some of us will be lucky enough to really know what we want.

In a way, I envy those seemingly content people or the types who have run with it and know how to just be.

For some, we will continue to be indecisive, restless and want to do as much as one can in this short amount of time.

But after spending some downtime or “me” time, you will be more in tune with your emotions.

It would become clear to you what you do and don’t want out of life. Sometimes it is those rare light bulb moments of realisation and sometimes it is something you slowly fall into or stumble upon.

It has been a bit of a struggle to realize that something I had dreamed of for many years, high on my bucket list of things to do in life and am currently achieving is actually not at all what I envisioned it to be.

I wanted it for so long, but here I am and it isn’t what I expected. I guess sometimes after a gruelling, patient wait, when you have finally climbed that ladder, whether it be a career or a personal goal and you are at the top of your game, it hits you. You question it all. Now you are at the cusp of a powerful change.

I feel like sometimes we put this pressure on ourselves to seek out go out and achieve that particular thing that has eaten us up inside just because it has been a desire to for so long. But one can only wonder if it is worth fulfilling just because the chance is there, it is within reach or just because it is a comfortable and (now) an easy route to go down. You question yourself what level of happiness does this all bring to you or if any. It’s in those moments when we can figure out what we really value and what we want to experience in our careers and life in general. Sometimes the answers are tough to confront.

Travelling — as much as it is an asset to help self-reflection — helps to reassess the relationships in your life.

What I have realized is I give too much of myself to everyone.

I have put energy into relationships that are ultimately one-sided or “dead wood,” as my mother would say. That isn’t to say I don’t have a care in the world for those people.

We’ve just moved on.

It happens and it’s hard to accept, but that is life.

People move on and people change. Relationships evolve. Sadly, some relationships dissolve.

It makes me think if my friends from back home would be friends with me now or if I would be friends with them knowing that I have changed and my outlook on life will be quite different to theirs.

You can’t be friends with everyone. Everyone is busy, and as much as we are digitally connected, we are also more disconnected.

I feel like I have a swarm of friends around me. I do, but not in real time.

As much as I continue to travel, it gets harder with the people you leave in each place.

People become busy, and I’ve realized this now more than ever before. People are getting engaged, getting married, pumping out babies and buying houses. Here I am just with my suitcase and living on a budget.

As I am getting older, I feel like to some degree I am going backwards and it makes me question myself many times over about what I am really doing with my life.

I am lacking routine. I don’t have stability. I am having people constantly come in and out of of my life. As much I love meeting new people, for the most part, they are friends out of convenience and not my true friends although I have made some lasting friendships from my travels. This extended time of travelling aboard does not have the same pizazz as it once did when I first left home. It isn’t to say I am not enjoying my travels anymore, it just has become physically and mentally challenging the more time goes by.

I admire those who really take on the world and stretch themselves out as much as possible, despite where they are in the world.

I am coming of age.

I never used to not like a place. I kept falling more and more in love with the world and with every city and town I went to.

But when you actually base yourself in one city, that’s when the rose-colored glasses come off, and you see the city and its realities.

I have now realized not all places are for me.

I also realized there is a power to where you physically base yourself, and whether it brings out the best or the worst of you.

It is exciting and daunting to be able to start afresh in a new city, be whoever you want to be and run amuck. But it can also be lonely at times, and that is when you have the “grass is always greener” outlook.

Throughout the year, I have endured an emotional roller coaster ride by moving to different cities and starting afresh.

But if I had not endured all the sh*t that comes with the good, then I would not be the confident, strong person I am today.

I have learned to take on what life throws at me and deal with any situation with the best of my ability.

One thing I have also learned is to never settle. This was extremely apparent with my last job that I took, as it was the first job offered to me in my new home town.

Quite simply, it didn’t bring the best out of me. And like with everyone else, you want your strengths to shine through. It doesn’t have to be the ‘best day ever’ everyday because reality is, it won’t be. Above all, you want to enjoy your working life as it cuts into a lot of your time here on earth and for it not to be a daily bore or the bane of your existence.

More than ever before, I now realize the power you have over your life choices and the risks you take.

Then again, if you are caught in a desperate situation, you take whatever you get. But by any means, don’t get caught in it and keep striving. Just don’t settle.

And here I am.

I am not the same person who once had that one dream and is living it now.

I am closing the chapter on one dream and about the chase another.

It is because I have unexpectedly fallen in love with something new, and I would like to see where it takes me.

It is changing me for the better, including my relationships and outlook on life.

And that is exactly what I want.