I’m back in the North. From 35 degrees in Manila to 13 degrees on landing in Manchester where it’s: pissing with rain, incredibly grey, very windy, filled with ill-looking and annoying English people, and is certainly a harsh drop back into reality. I can firmly say these are only a few contributions to the gap year blues I’m suddenly having right now. This is kind of the end I guess, SHIT. My two major planned events, completing a ski season and visiting The Philippines are over. Just a summer left to earn some $$$, go on a very chilled holiday with friends, and see if I can actually get my bank account to become a talking figment of my imagination and persuade me to Interrail somewhere as a big finale before getting into £50,000 of uni debt.
But, despite the realities of having to come back to England, I feel like I’m a different person to the naive guy who finished sixth form in a comprehensive school in a small town in Cumbria last year. I mean, I’m definitely still a closet alcoholic, Netflix addict and massive fan of fried food and Full English Breakfasts, but I do feel more mature and like I’ve genuinely experienced the real world now. Resisting the pushing from school and urges to go straight to uni I haven’t regretted once. Literally not once. In fact the only thing I regret is not saving more money earlier, so I could have had more at my disposal now to endlessly search Skyscanner, and take spontaneous weekend city breaks when I get utterly pissed off with working in a dysfunctional Britain in once again, Tory reign. (Sorry, I try to stay away from Politics on hta)
Another positive: I’ve met some amazing people during this year of adventure, and made some amazing friends mainly whilst skiing but also exploring in Manila (thank you to everyone over there in the Philippines who made it brilliant (especially my incredibly generous auntie who organised my life there and put up with me lodging for a month). With these people and on my own, countless times I’ve been out of my comfort zone; hiking to gnarly places with skis on my back, throwing myself of cliffs off piste on powder days, hitting big kickers on a snowboard in slush as a beginner, hiking up to volcanoes on my own, becoming a diver and immersing myself 20m underwater, helping children in poverty, and visiting slums. The list is endless: and all memories I will cherish forever.
I’ll keep it short, but finally, as a firm believer in taking every opportunity in life, I really think this is just the beginning for me, and with this blog I want to inspire you/keep inspiring everyone to get out there. Push yourself over boundaries you wouldn’t usually surpass, travel a bit, and do something/go somewhere you wouldn’t normally think of. It’s priceless, and invaluable consciously and subconsciously in more ways than you can list. I’ll leave you with my own quote. (Who knows, I could become famous and this ends up on an arty canvas in the Tate Modern in 50 years.)
Take every opportunity without hesitation, having regrets is simply unforgivable