On Friday Kasia and I packed up and left what has been our Spanish home for the past 3 months. Other world travellers will know that every journey has a new significance. L’Ametlla de Mar in the Catalan was certainly no different for me.
Getting here was years in the making alone. To know how to travel with my disability, to have a business allowing to work remotely, to find a suitable location, among many other factors, involved years of experience and graft. I’m so proud we did it.
Soon after we arrived Kasia’s family visited us. Halfway through our stay, my family visited. Finally my uni friend, Rico, came last week and Kasia visited her friend in Seville. We’re lucky to have amazing family/friends. To share such moments and make such lasting memories with all of them.
Despite our visitors, we spent a lot of time without a familiar base, people, language or culture. I took a little while adjusting to this, especially being such a social butterfly and a busy-business-bee. Thank god for social media and Skype!
Somewhere amongst the tranquility I felt quite down. Very unusual for me, especially with a sunny seaview and my beautiful Kasia here. However, I learnt a while ago to not ignore or suppress negative emotions. After digging deep, spending hours of philosophising, beating myself up a little for having the audacity to be sad, and finally reaching self awareness; I reached great realisations and conclusions.
Very simply put, I had reached all of my life goals and was scared what to ‘aim’ for next. Furthermore, upon reaching some of these goals, I realised they brought new consequences and different pressures.
The life goals I fought hard for and achieved were; getting a good education, living independently, having an active social life, working in London for a large organisation, leaving to start my own business, living abroad, appearing on TV/radio/newspapers, and meeting my soul mate.
These achievements are awesome but left questions and anxieties. Some of these were;
– how do I maintain health, happiness, close relationships, the ability to live independently and carry on changing the world?
– when should we ‘settle’ with a ‘proper’ base and family?
– will my government support for wheelchairs, cars and care support always enable my ambitions?
– what do my blog and Disability Horizons readers need/want going forwards?
– how can I deliver it with fresh, innovative and creative ideas?
– what business model will give me a regular and sustainable income, without going against my morals?
The questions just kept coming. No wonder I felt down and despondent!
Eventually by talking about my fears with trusted people and then just switching off from the worries, answers came… I’m lucky to have Kasia, my parents and a couple of close friends to bounce thoughts like this with. I channelled myself into reading new books, listening to music, writing poetry and appreciating how spectacular our life is. Each and every single part of life!
The final answer was this: only deal with things that you can influence. Forget the rest.
Thanks to reading ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher: I’m now concentrating on my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. None of this is mumbo jumbo stuff. I’m just sleeping, eating and exercising better; cutting out negative people and engaging with people I click with; feeding my brain more information and brainstorming new creative ideas; and living in the now (not having so many past regrets or future fears).
As a result we have an awesome few weeks ahead, both as people and professionals:
– Kasia and I are off to the SMA Support UK conference in Stratford upon Avon to facilitate the young people’s workshop this weekend
– we’re then checking in with our respective families and friends in Cambridgeshire
– through an exciting partnership Srin and I have been working hard on with GeoCast TV, I’m presenting on 3 Accessible Tourism videos (in Plymouth, Exmoor and the New Forest)
– then we’re back to Barcelona to film our international pilot video with the Catalan Tourist Board. Plus to get our car.
– this is followed by a drive to Montpellier, Genoa, Brescia (staying with one of my blog readers), Prague and finally Poland to see Kasia’s parents and grandma
– we also are attending Woodstock festival where I spoke to 500,000 people last year on stage. Plus we have press tickets for Reading festival (the Kooks and Arctic Monkeys are playing and are my favourite bands)
– finally, not yet confirmed, but a potential and very exciting project is a trip to Africa to present on a charity video!
Beyond this dreamy summer, Kasia and I are progressing with our wedding plans. We also decided that we’ll ‘settle’ when it feels right, not when people think we ought to. There’s too much world to see and life to live.
As you can tell, I’ve had a really tough time about a lot of different things. By knowing it and feeling it, sharing it with close people, letting it run its course and concentrating on the things I have influence over; I’m happier, healthier, stronger, more prepared and ready for what should be a great next chapter in my life.
Whether you’re disabled or not. A travelling type or not. An entrepreneur or not. I hope you see some of my experiences in yourself. I hope even more that my approach to overcoming them are useful to you.
I’d love to know about your goals, strategies and outcomes.
Despite my ‘project planning’ ways (especially for my logistical needs of being disabled) sometimes we have to simply let go and do as the Spanish song says:
“Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be”
P.S. If you’re interested in our Spain trip from a travel or disability angle, I will be appearing on a video and writing about this in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…