Broken strings & Pretty things

The world, seen through a young girl's eyes.

Archive for the tag “travel”

The last few days. (August)

It’s always the last few days: they sparkle and glimmer like no others. Everyone is caught up in some kind of golden exuberance, dragging their fingers across this sepia-stained clingfilm, making sure they can feel every last second. Eyes are stretched as widely as they can go, as if we can somehow vacuum in every last speck of this place into a space that is fit for hand luggage. Even our breathing deepens, hyperventilating like we can somehow store this peace somewhere for the cold months, when Winter’s reality is too much.

These moments, they cling to you; cradle you in a golden canvas. We hold onto them because we know it’s not going to be the same tomorrow; that soon we will wake up in a faraway land, in a bustling city, and we will miss the sweet smell of pine or the crystal green of fresh water. Soon floral prints will fold in the face of wool tailoring and, soon, we will all just be grainy faces stuck on bedroom walls.

Soon enough, these present glories will become faded memories of a better time; a time when days were long and the sunshine was bright. Because none of this real, none of it was ever real. But that’s summertime: when the romantics finally get their chance to live life like they had always dreamed.

(image via incurablystircrazy.wordpress.com)

‘So happy I could die’.

Hurtling through the velvet skyline
this moment stretches, making us infinite.
Lungs too filled with air to cope
to even blink
to even mutter.
Here, I could lay my body.

Green crystal waters and lofty pines;
purple mountains eclipse Continental sun.
We soak our skin until everything floods out.
Letting the water pull us in
just enough.
Here, you and I could lay our bodies.

Glittered words and glowing lights
eyes wide in a fixed bloom
they speak words no one can hear,
dancing alone in a sea of pulsating figures.
Here, we could lay our bodies.

And if it weren’t for outstretched hands
and garlands of long-cherished names;
If I could just sink
without leaving an unexplained grave
I would lay my body here,
Drenched in this golden exuberance.

(image via tumblr)

Paris.

I know that parts are going to be tough, and by God I know that we are going to have to work every day at it,
But I know that you are worth it.

You are worth three years of a two hundred mile gaps; you are worth fears and sleepless nights and constant calendar-watching. You are worth difficulty and longing and missing parts. It will be tough; at some points it may even be too tough, but my God it will be worth it. And by God we will make it.

And with every return and every train ticket; with every kiss and overstretched goodbye, I will continue to wait. I’ll keenly pursue you until the days roll in our favour. Because no matter which city I may end up in, every crowd is faceless without yours in it. With the grace of God and his infinite mercy, we can make it.

By God it will be beautiful; and my God it will be right.
For in you my heavens, my stars, and my galaxies are shaped.

London.

You’re just another speck in the velvet skyline;
another blurred streak on a tube train.
And it’s refreshing,
because you can no longer pretend your life
is the centre of humanity;
you’re just another body
passing through a river flooded with history.
You’re forgettable, insignificant
and inexplicably ordinary.
And that’s wonderful.
It’s humbling, yet equally empowering:
Only you yourself
can shape and shine your own destiny.

An egocentric insomniac,
she never sleeps,
only shines.
She shouts her name,
stains your windows
slams your doors
with her presence.
She’s helplessly lonely,
yet constantly the centre of the crowd.
Rain or shine,
dusk or day
she’s there, gleaming as brightly
as the days, weeks, centuries before.

She’s the centre of the world,
and a red dot flicked away in the corner of an atlas.
She’s aged and grey
and yet forever young.
She’s cold and callous,
she’s bitter and crude.
But she’s warm. She’s inviting
and she’s everything you’d hope she would be.

She’s home.

A month to remember.

Uganda was beautiful.

Whether it was serving a rural village by building latrines, or meeting orphaned children, or climbing mountains, or swimming in the Nile, or teaching in schools, or seeing wild animals, or exploring remote islands, or visiting health clinics or simply immersing myself in the African culture, I have had the most wonderful experience of my life.

I saw the world with fresh eyes. I saw emotion in its most dazzling depth; I saw the purest glimmer of joy and the darkest shadow of helplessness. I tasted both the sweetness of joy and the sobering reality of poverty. I heard faith and content and the ripple of a disgruntled heart.
Because I saw reality. I saw that the world contains so much raw beauty, yet equally so much cold cutting travesty. I saw more than a lens could decipher and felt more than a stroke of piano keys could portray. Because the curtain of a comfortable life was torn and the act of being desensitised was undone; I could no longer turn a blind eye.

Rather than marching out into the world, planning to make a change, I soon discovered that it would be the world that would change me. It was the essence of seeing that our lives are not as simple or as easy as they seem; that they are not as efficient and flawless as we do our best to show. Rather than speaking to others, it was they who spoke to my heart. It was their kindness, their faith, their joy, their misery and hopelessness; it was their laughter and their curses.

I found meaning at the top of a mountain rather than surrounded by the four confines of a building.
And it was beautiful.

Away.

I’m going away. Far away. Yet it’s so soon.

Maybe it’s not the distance, or the time, or the separate continent which scares me. Maybe it’s not the bare essentials, or the small group of people or the many dangers it may bring. Maybe it’s not even the faces of people who live a much humbler life than myself.

Maybe it’s the uncertainty.
Maybe it’s the fact that this is not just a sun-drenched visit to a warmer climate, but an experience that will mould and shape me. It’s the fact that I will come back and see the world in a different way; that after I have seen what is out there, I cannot go back; it can’t be the same.

Or maybe it’s the separation.
Perhaps not because of the feeling of being homesick, but the sickness of being completely unattached and separate from everyone I love for a month. Because although travelling is thrilling and beautiful and exciting and that I will have the time of my life, I won’t know how you are. I won’t know whether your day has been okay. I won’t know whether you are lonely or happy or excited or worried. I won’t know where you are or what kind of exciting things you are up to.
Because this trip means knowing that life goes on whilst I’m away, but believing that everything will still be there when I return. And that whilst I am gone, everything will be okay.

Because this is the first time that I have truly been able to make that leap. This is the first time that I have ever been so far from everything that I’m used to and everyone that I know. It’s the first time that I haven’t been in control and not felt secure. But equally, this is the first time I will truly be free. This is the first time where I can finally be away from anything that once held me down. For a month, I live and breathe in a different atmosphere in a world which is so far from the one I know.

Because when I step on that plane, I leave everything behind. And though the coming weeks may be filled with uncertainty and ambiguity, it may just possibly be the most sure of myself that I have ever been.

When dreams become reality.

As I’ve previously mentioned in other posts, this past month has offered me opportunities of a lifetime. In fact, one of these opportunities is something which is helping me achieve a combination of many dreams that I never thought I’d achieve this young. I’ve been waiting a few weeks for plans to finalize before telling you, my dear readers, but now plans are official I’m delighted to tell you all:

I’m going to spend a month in Uganda. Next summer, I’m going with a small group of people my age as part of an expedition, where I’m going to be able to see life changing things. I’m going to spend time camping in the jungle, travel to small islands, climb mountains and go on a Safari. I’m going to grasp this whole new other world that I’ve never experienced.
But it’s not the physical side that I’m so excited about.I’m going there to help people.
Although it’s undecided what exactly we’re going to do as aid work, I have the opportunity to work with street children, orphans, teach children in a school or even help build wells and villages. I might even have the chance to help in HIV clinics. Working with and helping people who need it is my passion. I want to be able to give shelter to the homeless, and give hope to the helpless. Having the chance to help people’s lives has made my own. I’m so thankful and blessed to have this adventure, and I couldn’t be any happier to live out my wildest dreams.
Though raising all the money is going to be so tough, it’s going to be so worth it. It’s all going straight to the most amazing causes and I’m so excited to raise it all and be able to give it to the Ugandan communities personally.

This kind of situation has also shown be that when a door closes, God really does open a window. (And this is a pretty huge window.)
Had this opportunity arisen over a month ago, I may not have accepted it. I would’ve put others in front of me, and would feel too scared that if I chased my dreams, I would’ve lost people who were close to me.
That’s why I’m so passionate about to never let go of my dreams. I never want to be put in the position of being too scared to step out because of somebody else.

I can’t wait to finally experience the world in the ways I’ve imagined. I can’t wait to actually live out my dreams.
Please, never forget how you can really achieve your heart’s biggest desires. Dreams aren’t something you only think about at night, they’re something tangible, and something that can actually happen.
So stop thinking that “I’ll never be able to do that” or “those things would never happen to me.”
If I, the most ordinary girl in the sense of the term, can live my dream, why can’t you too?
Go on, step out.

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