"... Make the most of your time on Earth..."
It was way back, on a rainy day in March 08, when I first read the above quote. It got me thinking ... How do you make the most of your time on earth? I suppose it depends on the person; some people might think having a family is making the most of their time on earth, others might think it's getting their dream job, or a few might think it's in what they do for others and not themselves. However that is irrelevant, the important thing is, what does it mean for me?
I have to be honest; starting a family terrifies me ... I'm sure it's something I want to do in the future but there is so much I want to do before then, like getting a decent job.
However, even that doesn't feel like it should be my next step; I still think something is missing, something before the above two situations (hopefully) occur in my life. Then it hit me, which I'm sure at this point you're all shouting 'about time!’ travelling. To travel parts of the world and see different cultures, cities and landscapes. To get lost in unknown places without knowing the local language and pulling yourself through it. To take a leaf out of my dad's book and when every travel programme comes on ITV I can say "been there" (much to the annoyance of everyone else in the room).
Don't get this confused with package holidays, where you have a set itinerary and see things the tour guides want you to see ... I'm talking about travelling, where decisions, locations and outcomes can change on a whim ... where you meet locals, travellers and new friend’s purely by accident. To travel and to see the world the way you want to ... now that's what I'm talking about; surely this is making the most of your time on earth?
I've had a good life so far, though most of it can be described in two words, 'safe' and 'boring'. At the age of 16 I started work for my local council, a safe institute (of which, in the current economic climate I'm very grateful of) however its not really 'leading edge'.
At the age of 20 I started, at the University of Derby when, 4 and a half years later, I came away with a 2:1 Ba (Hons) Degree in Business Studies (plus a HNC and HND in Business Management). Even though I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in my course I did decide not to go for the total 'student experience' of spending three quarters of you're life in the student bar, trying to withdraw £3.71 from a cash machine and getting a part-time job in Morrisons. No instead I decided to do my degree, part-time, whilst at work (still at my local council) in my home city. Living at home and getting my employer to pay for my course meant that I came away with no debt, which was a very safe decision, but at the same time a boring one (hell, even the subject was a safe choice but rather bland in parts ... economics anyone?).
Even my first car (which I still own and love) is a 1.2ltr Volkswagen Polo because Volkswagen have a reputation for being well made, it's very practical and safe ... however it's not a Mazda MX 5.
So I suppose you are all wondering how I'm still alive. Well there has been a period of my life which was fantastic, and you never know it may return, however at the moment that has faded away. I've also taken part in the 'Three Peaks Challenge' (http://www.thethreepeakschallenge.co.uk/) and the 'Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge' (http://www.merseyventure.com/yorks/) plus I am also a black belt (1st Dan) in karate ... however these moments of 'recklessness' are few and far between (and lets face it; there not very reckless).
So on that rainy day in March I decided, there and then, I will do something about it; no more shall my life be filled with words such as 'safe', 'practical' and 'boring' ... no now they shall be transformed to 'adventurous', 'excitement' and 'adrenaline rush'. It's time to make the most of my life on earth ... it's time to travel ....
... what do I do now?