I’ve been back in Switzerland for just over a week. It’s nearly been a month since I finished my time with Bhubesi Pride. Time for a little reflection then.
“So now you’re back, how was it? Was it amazing? Did you just love it?”.
My response is, without fail, “it was an experience.” A bit of a non-answer, if I’m honest. Not through ignorance, but simply because my time out in Africa is not easy defined. At least, not by me. There were times when I was happier than I have been in many years. There were times when I felt that I was back at school and suffering the worst of all that living with a multitude of bitchy girls can bring (except, in my new reality, they were boys!) I was exhilarated, I was frustrated, I was amused, I was in despair. A wild rollercoaster of emotions that I find very difficult to describe.
Am I glad I did it? Yes.
Would I do it again? No – it’s called a once in a lifetime trip for a reason! Seriously though, there is no need to do it again. I did it at a time in my life when I needed to. That time has now passed and I’m moving on with the next thing.
Would I recommend it to someone else? Absolutely. (For more information, you can apply here)
As you would expect, I have a couple of final things I’ve learnt and pondered over the last few weeks. So here we go… for the final time.
Never underestimate the restorative powers of a hot shower
I think one of the biggest things I realised was those little things we take for granted in our day to day life. Whether it’s a hot shower, a sharp knife, clean sheets, Jeremy Kyle, or simply sitting on the balcony putting the world to rights with friends in the summer sun. I missed all of these things. And every morning I wake up and feel blessed that I have them back and pledge to make more time for them (and myself).
Make up is over-rated
I think I’ve worn make up about twice since I’ve been back. And even then, it was a swipe of eyeliner and some mascara. Now, before I went, I was never a ’50 minutes in front of a mirror applying the perfect shade of foundation with additional contouring (how do you do that anyway?)’ kind of girl. But you know, I spent about 15 minutes putting on some slap. Not anymore. There’s more to do with my time. That said, toenails do look so much prettier when they’re painted.
Human nature is a complicated thing
So this isn’t much of a revelation, obviously. Being in close contact with a bunch of people who, I think it’s fair to say I would never encounter in my “normal” life, has opened my eyes a little. Not only to the intricacies of different personalities but also the foibles and limitations of my own character. I have seen myself through other people’s eyes and sometimes I didn’t like what I saw. I wouldn’t claim I have “found myself” in Africa (c’mon, I’m not an 18 year old travelling for the first time) but I have been pushed, and realised my weaknesses and areas I still need to work on. Sobering stuff.
And so we come to the end. The end of travelling (for a while), the end of my reflections, the end of this blog.
Thank you once again to all of you who took the time to sponsor me on my journey. I hope that you feel it was well worth your support. You can see more about the work I did in the video below:
So that’s that. I’ve already started on the next thing. I’m drowning in a mountain of paperwork as I wrestle with Swiss bureaucracy and endless to-do lists. In the next couple of months, however, I should be in position to start making some money. My own money. Earnt through my own hard work. It’s make or break time.
I’m stepping up.