This past weekend I was lucky to celebrate my 29th birthday at home. Most of my adult birthdays have been spent away with the Army so it’s a treat to spend one with Lucia and Cleo.
In the evening, Lucia and I had an amazing meal at a Lebanese restaurant in Limassol. Like clockwork, Lucia fell asleep the moment she got into the car on the way home.
Whilst I was driving through the humid night with the windows down (the air-conditioning is broken on our 10-year-old Renault Megane) I started thinking (dangerous, I know). It dawned on me that I have just over 360 days left of my 20’s. Crazy! Where did the years go?
I don’t feel any different to how I did when I was 18.
Or do I?
Who am I trying to kid?! My priorities have certainly changed over the years. Experiences, both good and bad have directed me to this point in life. 29 years old with responsibilities and other serious sounding things to worry about. Without even realising it, I have become a full blown adult.
A lot of things change as you get older. Most of it subtly. No longer do I feel socially comfortable in a nightclub, surrounded by people that were born in 1999 or even the year 2000. I don’t understand snapchat. I happily prefer an ale to an alcopop. Do youths even still drink alcopops? I have grey hairs, joint aches, wrinkles on the face and a preference for Radio 4 and utter disdain for Radio 1. The new episode of Desert Island Disks is a highlight of my week. I can no longer drink alcohol and go to work the next day. My friends are no longer just my age. Instead, they range from 23 – 50.
Over the past year, I’ve had so many amazing experiences, professionally and on my adventures. My 28th year was probably the best to date. With each birthday I like to reflect back on my most memorable moments from the last year. My highlights have been:
- Moving home from the UK to Cyprus.
- Had a rewarding year professionally. Worked as an instructor in the Specialist Weapons School and spent 4 months travelling the UK to recruit future Army Officers. Now I’m working in Cyprus and I’m setting in well.
- Went on not only 1 but 2 ski trips to the Alps for my first ever experience of skiing on a mountain.
- Raised over £2000 for the charity Walking with the Wounded by walking 220 miles from Wiltshire to Yorkshire.
- Went trekking in the Himalaya for a month.
- Had a brilliant week away for New Year’s Eve in Cornwall with great friends.
- Went to 3 good friends weddings.
- Cycled around the coastline of Cyprus.
- Started to embrace minimalism which has lead to me being generally happier and more content with life.
- Started this blog.
The last one was probably the toughest. Starting this blog was something I had intended to do for years. Putting my thoughts and words onto the internet with my name and face for all to see was a daunting decision. I hesitated and initially, I didn’t at all feel comfortable with it.
But I went and started it anyway. Whenever I am faced with a tough decision, the Yorkshire Regiment motto always comes to mind; Fortune favours the brave. Seven months in and the blog is still going strong. I’ve met some fascinating and interesting people through starting this website. I hope I’m improving as a writer and I’m definitely becoming more comfortable expressing my thoughts. Hopefully, some people also find value from my posts.
To the future
I don’t know exactly what these last 365 days of my 20’s hold but if they are as exciting and fulfilling as this last year, I have a lot to look forward to.
Adventure will always be a huge part of my life. Over the last year, just as I started this blog I have strongly considered what my future looks like. I still don’t know exactly where I will end up but in a strange way, I like that. Flexibility and freedom offer opportunity.
At the moment I am plotting a huge project that will hopefully keep me focused for years to come. It will be a series of adventures, linked but without requiring me to quit my job and live off ramen and tins of tuna for a few years. For me, the balance of having a job that gives me purpose and an element of stability and at the same time being able to live a life of adventure is part of who I am. Things may change in the future but for now, I am content.
I’m not quite ready to go public with the new project as I am still working on the details. Once it’s gone public that’s it, no backing out. You will have to wait…