Life Part Five – not retirement, not a mid-life crisis, just a different way of doing things.
It all started with a trip to a tiny, magical island in Cambodia, five years ago…
Lying in a hammock, recovering from a debilitating bout of the flu which came with me from the UK, I decided I needed to make some changes. At that point my husband and I were living in London, both working in television and caught up in the wonderful maelstrom of London life. There were many things we loved, but there were times when I couldn’t shake that feeling that things weren’t quite right. I might be walking down a busy street, my mind a whirl of ideas or work logisitics, when I’d be swept by a deep sense of longing. I couldn’t tell you what for exactly, but something was nagging at my mind, a sense that something important had been forgotten and some part of me was deeply grieving the loss. For all the fabulous, messy magic of London, the intensity of it, rather than inspiring me, started to wear me down. I longed for quieter spaces to think, greater connection with the mud and bones of the land I called home. Cambodia gave me the space to think, and over those quiet, still days we hatched what would become the Life Part Five plan.
Not long after returning home I negotiated a four day week at work, which helped, but also served to feed the fire of my longing for change. Things were quieter for a time, but then, as sometimes happens in life, external forces suddenly began to accelerate our plans. The ‘Norns’ had heard my whispering heart and now the threads of fate spun inexorably towards a new destiny.
Spring 2017 we passed the point of no return. Suddenly we found ourselves wonderfully, terrifyingly free – no jobs, no house and the road unfurling in front of us.
So this, then, is the journey. Several years in the planning, it is a conventional one in many ways, of the body to far flung places, but it is also a journey of the mind, of the spirit. Who will we be when we return, where will the path lead…?