We were in Lisbon the other day and, over dinner and drinks with my sister, we ended youtubing music videos from “the good ‘ol times”. Everyone got to share their favorites and, of course, we ended up listening to bands I used to love. Songwriters like Alanis Morisette, Anouk or Spanish band Dover where not only my musical references – I used to dream of becoming like them one day. That day never came. That made me nostalgic and got me thinking…
I was never certain of many things things in my life, and that didn’t really use to matter. But one thing had always been a constant since I was a kid: I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to dedicate my life to making music, using it to sing about stuff that matters and spread good vibes. Ever since I was 14 (and until a year before we quit a regular life to travel around the world) I had been singing in rock bands. I’ve had my fair share of local scene music events in Portugal and in Dubai, but I never had what pros would call a career.
Now I understand how different phases in life
have different highlights. And that is OK!
This is not a “I am defeated and finished” kind of speech. I still love the things I used to spend my time doing. But I have come to embrace the thought that it is important to keep it fresh and interesting – and this doesn’t necessarily involve pursuing the same things. In life you must have priorities. And following those priories normally involves making choices. More often than not, you can’t have everything you wish for at once. I could have never been traveling around the world as I pleased if I was performing with a local band, for example.
Now I don’t sing in bands, I am not a rock chick. I am not even worried about looking, acting or being cool. Still, this is probably the one time during my entire life when I am actually cooler. I get to go around the world and meet new people all the time. I don’t get tired of a new place and I am already moving to the next. My brain is flooded with new exhilarating experiences all the time. I know what it feels like to be breathless climbing a volcano in Ecuador or skydiving over the incredibly blue sea off Dubai’s coast. I know what it is like to purchase a comforting $1 bowl of noodle soup in Vietnam after exploring new surroundings for hours. I know what it is like to end up the day in comfort, when you turn on the heater in some hostel at the “end of the world” in southern Patagonia. I know what it is to love and be loved and, even more importantly, share all the things that fulfill me with the love of my life. I might not sing now-a-days, but I have never had so many things to sing about!
I might not be doing all the things I used to. But I am far from being bored. And I am proud that I had the chance and balls to ever leave my little corner of the world. To have expanded my horizons and realize that this is always going to be “work in progress”. I know many things I wouldn’t have known before if I didn’t travel. I know what it feels like to lie on the floor and observe the incredibly starred sky on a dark night at the Atacama Desert. I know what the smell of the air is like in San Francisco. How spicy spicy really means when you’re in Mexico. I know how easy it is to feel privileged beyond a measure I hadn’t think possible before coming to India. I know many new things and I am also aware of how difficult it is for some people around me to relate to them (and, likewise, for me to relate back to many aspects of their lives too).
No matter what, my point is:
Don’t let your life become monotonous!
Don’t let the spark inside of you die. No matter how hard life gets at times (and, hey, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns for yours truly here on Backpack ME either!), try and do something new. Keep your life exciting, even if it’s not in the ways you once would have imagined. Fulfillment won’t come your way if you don’t work for it. Sometimes it might take a little step back to go forward like crazy. Keep on moving. Keep on doing things. LIVE!
For us, a new phase starts now.
Over there, Ashray is going to be working with a start-up. And having Santiago as our base, we shall be exploring more of South America too. A piece of our hearts was left in Latin America when we traveled around back in 2012. It’s time to re-visit Chile and pay Argentina and Colombia a visit that has been due for quite a while! Tonight, we’re embarking on a journey that will take us almost 2 days… and soon enough South America will be our home. I am excited. And also a little scared.
For the first time in over 2 years, we will have a place to call our own. A home to return to when we travel. Our own kitchen to cook at. Our own bed to disconnect from the world in comfort when the night comes down. It will be a different life than the one we’ve gotten used to for the past couple of years. But, once again, we keep on doing new things so that the spark stays alive, so that our days won’t ever get monotonous. And if you happen to be reading this sitting at work, or bored at home, I urge you to think about your life too. Go do something new. Even if it’s just around the corner…
Novelty is what keeps the spark alive.
See you on the other side!