I’ve always found that travelling offers so many opportunities to reflect, to re-evaluate the direction of my life. Unlike the routine churn of home life, travelling allows time and space, a new angle from which to view the world, new experiences to teach you, and different challenges to remind you that there is always more to learn.
Encountering other people and cultures around world is, in many ways, like turning a mirror on your own lifestyle and behaviours; it prompts you to compare, to realise potential and acknowledge that we are all essentially the same. It also illuminates parts of history, faces of humanity, stories of community, that can inform decisions, stabilise values and crystallise opinions.
This year, with five months of travelling already under my belt, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to reflect. I’ve realised and re-realised many of those clichéd movie themes that sound so sturdy, but are slippery in reality: life is short, people are generally good, love is the answer, the world is wonderful, you can be your own best friend and own worst enemy, and, dreams come true…
I’ve also stumbled across a growing gratitude for the person that I am, for the family that loves and supports me, for my health, and for the honour and ability to explore this delightfully complex sphere of ours.
So, with a young but grateful heart, I offer you a photo essay of physical reflections in some of the amazing places I’ve seen this year during my travels. This is my little way of recognising the value in the not-so-physical reflections that deepen the joy of both travel and life.
Driving in a mini blizzard in Tromso, Norway while hunting the Northern Lights.
Eating Semlas on an icy day in Stockholm, Sweden.
Seeing the famous lights of London reflect from the River Thames, England.
Taking in the sights, sounds, smells of Brick Lane Markets, London, England.
Laughing with my fella as we learn to cook in a campervan in winter in the United Kingdom.
Being inspired by the scenic calm at Westport, Ireland.
Appreciating a sunny spring day in Dublin, Ireland.
Being overwhelmed by the size of Istanbul, Turkey.
Learning to just keep on walking along the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
To read more about my adventures through Europe this year, have a look through the monthly archive in the site footer. You’ll find recent stories about Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, Turkey and Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Croatia and Slovenia, plus many more about my earlier travels through Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
Also, stay tuned here and at www.facebook.com/NicFreemanTravel for updates about my one month walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago.