Back in the saddle

Walking alongside the Rhine here in Basel, Switzerland.

Walking alongside the Rhine here in Basel, Switzerland.

38 days. 912 hours. 54,720 minutes. 3,283,200 seconds. The wait is finally over.

Two years ago, that would have been a laughable opening statement. Bemoaning a little over a month’s wait to go away seems like a horrendous misjudgement of the situation.

But an age is, honestly, what it feels like.

I suppose travel deprivation is what comes with the territory when you have the travel bug. Belfast seemed like years ago when in reality it is nowhere near that extreme.

In a way, it’s funny. I can’t imagine going back to a life where I go away once a year in the summer to somewhere hot, with a beach – then wait 365 days to do the exact same thing all over again. It’s almost like an annual summer excursion to Spain, or the like, is ingrained into the British DNA.

Not that I am complaining about that. It’s what some people enjoy doing, and was probably what my parents wanted at the time. In all fairness I really enjoyed those holidays – especially when we went to Turkey in 2004 and Mauritius in 2007.

But 2016 is far removed from those days, and to sound as cliché as one possibly can, it’s the start of a new chapter in my life.

So to sit here in a hotel in Basel, Switzerland typing this out is as refreshing as it is exciting. And though I may have to go back to a degree of monotony on Tuesday, I know that I get to do this over again the following week.

As a matter of fact, the next six months will see me visit no fewer than 14 countries. If you’d had told me when I turned 20 (I’m now 22) that I would be achieving that volume of travel that I am doing this year, I wouldn’t have even thought it possible.

Yet it’s happening – and on a student budget, too. I guess it’s just a testament to how a thirst for a genuine passion, and an honest determination to pursue something can make things work out.

But while it feels good to be back out exploring, it’s probably a good idea to keep in mind that a slight wait is nothing major. 38 days used to be nothing at all.