During my recent travels there has been one aspect which has consistently amazed me throughout, in fact, this aspect has become more significant with each stage of my journey. This aspect is distance, both in its temporal and physical form. I’m writing this from New Zealand, which is 13 hours ahaead of Greenwich Meantime and quite literally on the other side of the world.
I am the furthest away that I’ve ever been from my friends, my family and the country that is my home; so there is a negative distance, a sense of isolation where communication is restricted to just a few hours each morning and evening and there is inescapable truth that I can’t just give up and go home easily. However there is a sense of freedom as well; gone is the stress of organising my year abroad as even though I’m still very much in the middle of it, the pressure doesn’t necessarily have the same impact over here – every email sent from a foreign university and each post about a prospective flat share with a Lena and a Hans loses its urgency when I’m not even awake to receive it.
The distance has been valuable to me on a personal level too, particularly when combined with all the new experiences travel brings. This academic year has been and will continue to be incredibly challenging – living abroad is not easy! The time away has given me the opportunity to reflect on everything, and enjoy the bliss of foreign countries where English is spoken.
March will see the next stage – Germany. I don’t know what it’ll hold for me, whether it will be easier after France or perhaps a nasty bump back down to earth. But I think for the time being I’ll enjoy this distance a little bit longer.
As always please take a look at my other blog which I co-write with my friend Kizzy, Groovier Times Are Ahead.