RAW: part 1.

April 9, 2015

I wanted to give you all a little background on how I got to where I am today. 

The beginning

People like me, those neglecting their base, roaming, from one place to another, itching to explore an empty forest or immerse themselves in foreign culture, are not this way due to sheer luck. Rather, we have a common understanding, that life can be altered or taken suddenly. Whether from personal experience, or from the witness of someone else’s, we have truly learnt to appreciate the present moment.


Personally, I can thank teenage illness. Not an ear infection or the common cold, but a disease that rips you apart. It starts with your physical self, creating intense pain in your legs, a pain you are unable to describe and which nothing relieves. It strips your energy, leaving you unable to wash your hair or hold a simple fork. And then, it moves into your head, creating unpredictable mood swings to rival a pregnant woman. It has you giving up on modern medicine and pushing away the people you love. And just when you think you have overcome it, it rears its ugly head as a reminded that it is still, 5 years later, undefeated. But those sporadic reminders, are almost necessary. They take you back to the darkest times of that first year, allowing you to see exactly how far you have come, a reminder to be grateful of every good day and to appreciate the small things.


So what are these small things? As I travel I meet amazing people, each with their own unique story. I watch their faces light up as they speak of the most magical sunrise they just witnessed, or they recall the smell of a coffee roaster they walked by. With each story shared I learn how personal this answer is. For me, it is not fancy shoes or new make-up. It is not 5 star hotels or giggling in day spas. It is simply fresh air and open spaces. It is my puppy licking my face or the smell of a horse on my hands. It is meandering through markets in Marrakech or conversing with hand signals over chai in Rajasthan. It is anywhere I could not be, while laying in my own bed, watching movies in 15 minute intervals- the extension the disease allowed my concentration.
Today, almost 5 years from the beginning, I reflect how far I have come and recognise my gratitude for the disease I hate. It is thanks to Ross River Fever that I believe, everything happens for a reason.

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