I feel sad, lazy, relieved, exhausted, dispirited and selfish. The jetlag is giving me a horrible tiredness behind my eyes.
On my flight back, I was excited to get on with all kinds of things - I even made a big long list! But I can't really be bothered with any of it yet. I know I'm prone to wallowing in self-pity, but I also know that I'll come out the other side of my wallow with an abundance of enthusiasm for whatever it is I decide to do next.
In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few things I learned on my trip, in no particular order...
1. I keep waiting to grow up and become an adult. I have decided that my idea of an adult (someone who is in control of their own destiny, content with their choices and knows their purpose in life) is a child's idea of an adult, which is a lie. I have sort of known this for some time - I remember lamenting my failed entry to adulthood when I turned 21 - but now that I'm 26, I think I have to start accepting it. I'm not yet sure about how I feel about the fact that I'm never going to grow up.
Incidentally, my Dad has tried to impart his knowledge on the matter for some years, but I guess there are some things you need to find out the hard way.
2. Going on an adventure is a scary thought. Being on an adventure is not.
3. Whilst you're adventuring, the thought of coming home is scary. Being home is not scary.
4. There are a lot of problems with the world, which means there are too many good causes to fight for! How does one decide whether to be a philanthropist or environmentalist, whether to fight for social justice, human rights or prevention of animal cruelty, whether to join a cause or start one, whether to use your time or your money to do so? Objectively, I think that the choice of cause, the method and scale of impact are all irrelevant, as long as you're doing something to change the world for the better. Having said that, I know I'm probably going to spend a lifetime trying to chose the 'right' path for myself. Who knew that being a good person was such a selfish thing to do? (Probably Dawkins and a bunch of other philosophers.)
5. My experience has been that most people are good, caring, lovely people who will go out of their way to help you if they can. I think the reason that there are so many people in the world who need help but aren't getting it because there are so many of them! If you know that one person needs your help, you can give it; if there's a queue of a thousand on your doorstep, you are more likely to turn a blind eye because the scale of the problem is too overwhelming.
6. Travelling gives you perspective. The world is as big or as small as you make it for yourself and you can think of your own achievements and experiences as important or insignificant because they are both.
8. You can do whatever you want to do if you put your mind to it. And you definitely should!
9. I resisted the urge to stretch this list out to ten items but have yet to figure out the significance of that fact.