noun. an act of travelling from one place to another.
verb. travel somewhere.
Journeys we have been on… Journeys we are on… Journeys we will go on…
Physical journeys, mental journeys, emotional journeys, virtual journeys and metaphoric journeys are a theme of our lives.
Journeys we have been on:
Places we have been, paths we have walked and adventures we have taken conjure up so many memories for me. Facebook reminds me regularly of my trips – today’s memory is of Croatia 3 years ago, a few days ago it was Thailand 6 years ago and the last few weeks it has been bringing back memories of my travels in South America last summer. Going on journeys has always been a carrot for me: I work hard to travel far and wide. My summers have always been about escapism and seeing the world, discovering places I have never been before.
Journeys we have been on also include the paths we have walked, the relationships we have had, and the things we have accomplished. My career journey was linear for a very long time, it was a ladder that I climbed methodically to get higher up each rung. Last year I flung myself off the top of the ladder and held my breath until I found out where I was going to land, how safely I would land and who would catch me to prevent too many breaks. I was bruised, but those bruises have healed.
Journeys we are on:
For me, journeys are fuelled by wonder, awe and curiosity. For someone who is a planner and a bit of a control freak, I enjoy the sense of adventure of going on journeys where everything is not planned. I know where I am going, when I am arriving and when I am leaving, but I leave the details to unfold. This for me is part of the adventure.
The journey I am currently on is unexpected in many ways, but it feels like it is right at the same time. Since going independent on May 1st, there has been a feeling of momentum propelling me forward. The irony of lockdown is that physically this journey is all taking place in my house, in my head and my heart, through my laptop and my phone.
I have been on a journey through coaching this year too. I am soon to qualify as a Resilient Leaders Elements coach. Training to coach involves being coached too, and the group coaching model, buddy coaching model and 1:1 hinge conversations has helped me process everything that has happened and is changing in my life. I was self-aware anyway, but the model of seeing ourselves through the lens of ‘who I am’ and ‘what I do’ has heightened my sense of self awareness and made it more acute. The journey we walk with ourselves internally, is as interesting and insightful, as the journey we walk with others externally.
Journeys we will go on:
Lost of journeys have been cancelled in the last few months as a result of the pandemic. A belated trip to Paris with a friend for my 40th, a trip to Krakov with another friend took a hit. My best friend who lives in Canada was due to come and visit too, I have missed our annual catch up. I hope to be able to rebook all of these journeys in the future.
This summer is the first summer I have not been away. I miss the ritual of packing, going to the airport and getting on a flight. There is something magical about airports and something cathartic about flying that restores me. In August I was due to be in Rwanda and Uganda for our next Action Aid project, and I am hoping that this journey will now take place in August 2021 instead. In the Spring I am due to travel to the UAE to do some work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I am hoping those journeys will take place too.
I do wonder sometimes if we become more focused on the destination than on the journey we are on. One thing I have definitely learned and reflected on in the last few years as that there is not one path laid out for us – life is a series of crossroads and options, each option is a choice. But when we make these choices they are not finite and we can change our minds.
So today’s theme for our first #MonthlyWritingChallenge is an opportunity for us to reflect on the journeys we have been, the journeys we are on and the journeys we will go on. We look forward to reading your reflections. Perhaps that first step is leaning in to putting pen to paper, fingers to key pad and to journey into our heads and hearts to share our stories.