As I write this, I’m halfway over the Atlantic. Heading through the lounge to my gate to catch my flight to Canada, I grabbed a free copy of Sunday Times Travel and Conde Nast Traveller to compliment my already-borrowed copy of Wonderlust. Combined I thought they would make good reading material for swatting up on the travel industry, which in my new job I have been thrown into.
There was a moment a few days before when I opened my first copy of Wanderlust and saw a double page spread of an enormous, snow-covered mountain in black and white, small figures swarming over it like a few tiny insects. I saw this picture and I just thought “wow”. It took my breath away. In that moment I realised just what a phenomenal opportunity working for this company, in this industry, is.
And if I didn’t realise what it is then, perhaps it’s slowly hitting me now. Now that I’m 36,000 feet in the air.
I’d always used my career energy to try and get into fashion, theatre or the arts. I mean sure, I’d flirted with the idea of travel, but I’d always seen it as something separate from where I wanted to go. An interesting ideal, if you like. Even when I took a class on travel writing shortly after coming to London.
But as I look through these magazines, reading the features and drinking in the stunning photography, I feel like something amazing has happened. That perhaps me falling into an area which only existed on the peripheral of my awareness was the best thing which could happen; the opportunity I had prayed for.
One of the lessons of meditation is that sometimes we need to let go of our goals, and rather than fighting the world to obtain them to simply embrace passivity and let the universe take care of the details.
I prayed for a new opportunity to come my way. Through a chance opportunity through my housemate, one did. It wasn’t what I expected. Not even what I initially thought I wanted. But now it’s here I’m determined to make it work. It’s like a whole new area has opened up to me, and I’m just now discovering what an incredible area working in travel could be.
If anyone out there is working in the industry now, I’m all ears.
I’ve tried many areas of work, hoping to find the one which suited me. Poker, fashion, film, music, technology. They all had their lessons to teach and their sectors of interest. But as someone whose train of thought never really stops, I need something which never really stops evolving. It’s why fashion was ideal in a way – just when you thought you had it, it changed.
Travel feels strikingly similar. There’s more of this world than one could ever hope to see in a asingle lifetime. And rather than have to get excited about next seasons shirts or jackets (believe me, it didn’t always work), the thing I have to get excited about now is this. Our planet. Seeing it, exploring it, preserving it, and encouraging other people to do the same.
Now, I can only hope I’m up to the challenge.