Ever since I could read and write, I always knew what I was going to do with my life. Unrealistic as that sounds, it’s true, as anyone who knows me can attest, I had a plan. I had mind maps, colourful charts and vision boards all pointing inwards toward the same goal. That big and scary dream known as University and I know many of you can relate.
The Seychelles Islands, where I was born and raised, is a fantastical corner of paradise with crystalline waters, abundant greenery and a vibrant, multi-ethnic people who, for the most part, live together in harmony. I have the most wonderful and supportive family, an annoying little sister (who I miss very much) and a dog that I love but always complained to bath. I have the cool mountain air during the weeks and the crisp salty breeze on the weekends. In my opinion, there’s nothing like the feel of the sand between your toes and the sight of the formidable ocean stretching as far as the eye can see. Being human however, nothing is ever enough, even the most beautiful corner of the world wasn’t enough to satisfy my desire for adventure.
So, wonderful family: check, a few precious friends: check, island paradise: check. Yet, I ached for the day when I would leave. What could you possibly be complaining about Vadz? Well, here it comes.
Sometimes in life, as I have come to learn, things happen that we could never have expected. I never anticipated that I would have gone through half the things I have gone through at this point in my life. And before you say it, no this isn’t me throwing a pity party and I’m not here to talk about what happened because that would bore you to death and you wouldn’t be surprised to find that whatever it is that I’ve gone through, you’ve been through it too. Or that when I say that, a specific moment pops into your head. You know what I’m talking about. I digress but it’s a point that has to be raised none the less.
I wanted to leave because I was convinced that I was missing something. We’re always trying to better ourselves, to grow and to fulfill our greatest human potential. And I knew that that just wasn’t going to happen at home. Now, if you know me personally you’ll say, oh please Vadz you were always going to study abroad that wasn’t even a question. But that’s not the point. The point wasn’t that I was going to go at all. But that the closer the time came to leave, the more I just wanted to take my bags and go. The islands became so small, the trees too green and the sea too blue. I shared this experience with a few of my friends, who despite our love for our country, had become exhausted by the demands of such a small society and by the limited options available to us that we knew existed only a few plane rides away.
When the day came for me to leave, I hugged my mum and dad and realised that the faces that I had been seeing every single day for the past 19 years, would no longer be a constant appearance in my life. The next time I was going to see them was a few months from now and although time goes by incredibly fast, I don’t think my heart has ever broken as hard as it did that day. I said goodbye to everything that was familiar and comforting and set off on this adventure that I’d been planning since I knew what it meant to go to University. For those interested, I’m currently in my first year of University in London, studying for my Bachelor of Law.
Do I miss home? Yes of course. Do I miss home? Not really. Fresher’s week has come and gone and if you’re reading this at the time that I intend to post it, then you’re either getting ready for exams, starting a new term at school or you’ve just started your university life as well and can’t help but wonder what this adventure is going to bring. We have so many questions. What happens if it doesn’t turn out to be everything we thought it would? What if we don’t make friends? What if we don’t fit in? What if it’s too difficult? And the most important question of all; what on earth am I going to have for dinner?! I can’t help but realise that these questions don’t just apply to the situations we’re in right now, they’re questions that we’ve always been asking and will continue to ask as we go through this funny little thing called life. The questions never change, but I suppose the way we decide to answer them evolve as we make mistakes and learn from them.
So here are my answers to the questions at this point: It’ll be okay, everything happens for a reason, you’ll figure it out, you’ve got this and finally, pizza obviously. Be kind, be positive and be open minded to what the new adventures have to give. I’ve told myself that I’m going to go for every opportunity that is thrown my way, no matter how scary or daunting it may be, even if it makes me shy or cringe or nervous, as long as I’m not doing anything dangerous or potentially life threatening that is! I want to make the most of everything, with an open mind and an open heart. I have the blessing to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And I spend every day being awed by the very fact that I’m here. And wherever you are in the world, you should be too.
So sit back, grab some Cheetos and let’s see what life has to offer us next!