I hadn't thought about this recently. There's a faint recollection of dreams as a kid, wanting to see the snow, the mountains, especially the
Himalayas, of getting lost in a forest, diving into a waterfall. Maybe the way of the vagabond was in my blood ! But many years after, during a break from work, found myself in a small village in the Alps in , near the Italian border. No one spoke a word of English and I was the only brown man in the village ! Girls in their teens would look up , whisper , giggle and then go back to chopping wood wheneverI passed by. It could have been my first "non touristy" travel. The first day I woke up and looked outside the log cabin to view the dazzling snow covered Switzerland Alps. There was nothing to be described. My misty eyes said it all. Nature had never moved me that way before or maybe I had never allowed her to...
After returning to work, something that I enjoyed immensely then, I began to wonder. What if.... I travelled......maybe, just for some weeks?! What if i dared to chase my childhood dreams? Too far fetched? I dusted off all the idealistic plans i made in college with friends for trekking, mountaineering and aimless wandering. So crazy , so not practical and so not easy! Slowly the realization dawned that this is what I REALLY wanted to do,for an extended period. And then in between, I saw the movie 'Into the Wild' , and that was it. No more doubts in my mind. It still took me another year to have the guts to quit my job !
Now it seems so easy typing this, but at the time there were endless insecurities. Life , encouraging at first, seemed to be teasing me at the final step. A foreign country, a fat paycheck, the best work colleagues I could wish for ! But there was a strong conviction, that it had to be done now,no more dawdling. The flight tickets were bought, the suitcases ready!
10 days before my planned exit to vagabonding, I met an incredible woman. One of those you feel you've known forever. It was still not too late to stay on. The people at work were sad to see me go and they would have been more than happy to welcome me back. And then there was her, who materialized out of thin air and who ticked all my boxes, except for the fact that she couldn't travel with me.
Well a couple of more years at work and I could still travel. Again the same questions, what did I want from life? Was I prepared to make a huge personal sacrifice?Looking back,if she had asked me once , I would have stayed back. Hell, I told her that. Ask me to stay back and I will ! She rightly said that I wouldn't be happy , if i called everything off now. That even if we had the perfect relationship, I would still always wonder, 'What if...'
Now, I don't have a clue how I got the strength to leave, everything. Maybe it was the high of taking a totally reckless decision that got me through it... Right now, it seems so natural, so easy, so right. It wasn't. I guess she knew me better than I did myself. Funnily enough, I never think about what would have happened if I stayed on...For the view on this side is so much the better...