It’s here – friends, loved ones, we are a Goa! Today, I fly to India on a British Airways flight full of kindred souls in high spirits, destined for Chennai and the Dumball 2016 “Bantomime” (©mattox), with one difference: this time I have a one way ticket and I’ll be away for “some” time. There are some significant omissions of course – Caz, Addy and Ang, you will be sorely missed xxx
It might look all fun and games right now, but its not been easy getting here – deciding to quit my job in March, officially resigning in May, working out an 8 month (self-extended) notice period till Christmas Eve, saving a **** load of money, liquidating most of my possessions, dealing with never ending paperwork/admin, having a few meltdowns about the magnitude of my decision, decision paralysis, brain fog and head in the sand-itis mixed with intense excitement, moving out of my flat with help from my amazing Mama and fabulous friend Bec, realising just how much shit I own (and how much stuff I DON’T need) leaving some amazing friends behind (for now) and reducing my life to one very tightly rolled rucksack, is really every bit as stressful as you can imagine. I know – poor me right?
People have asked “what’s the plan?” and “are you excited?”, and my answer is yes, of course I am! just as soon as I’ve stopped freaking out, finished filling out this form or packing yet MORE stuff into a box. Always packing… Endless packing.
Thankfully, the packing is now over and I’m on the flight! What I don’t have now, I don’t need and I can live without. I’m already a little (a lot) envious of those who’ve managed to pack very light, and looking forward to dumping “the unnecessary” immediately upon arrival at the Dumball 2016 start line in Chennai, the palatial Leela Palace.
I’ve been doing the Dumball since 2007, and it’s no exaggeration to say it’s changed my life – I’ve met some marvellous human beings, done a good thing for charity, and driven through some spicy countries – so I know a little of what to expect, but then the Dumball wouldn’t be fun if it was all predictable, would it? We’ve taken over most of the plane, and obviously the “inside voices” are out in force.
It is, however, my first time in India, and I can’t wait! The food, the culture, the vastness of it all… You can follow our progress via the Dumblog, and stick a few quid for the teenagers coping with cancer via our fundraising page Where Seagulls Dare at the same time. Jolly good, what what!
When the Dumball finishes on 18th January, I’ll be staying on with a few others. The route/plan from there is loose, deliberately – taking myself out of my comfort zone and letting the adventure unfold as I go (with a few countries on the hit list).
For the first time in a long time, I don’t own any keys. I’m officially homeless. I intend to make it count, collect experiences and useful skills along the way – the kind of things you just don’t get the time to do when you have a job (no job – ✅) – and not forgetting to enjoy the hell out of it.
Do I know what I’m doing? Probably not. Do I know why I’m doing it? Hell yes. Have I ever gone on holiday with just two pairs of shoes, (that includes flip flops) – never. Am I scared? Obviously. Do I intend to kick the ass out of it? Always. Must I document all of it, all of the time? Noooooooo!
I decided to leave my job and colleagues behind in search of something else – it’s all to play for, and I’m not even thinking about that right now. But why should you give a shit? Because something extraordinary is happening to the world, and I’m excited to be grabbing on to the stray threads fraying from the coat tails of it – I’ll go first, and take notes.
In the meantime, there’s a Dumball to be had! There’s no Chennai’ing it!