“The more I get of you, the stranger it feels the air” – Seal.
On the five year mark of the meeting in a Bucharest hostel kitchen, I just couldn’t help but get overtly sentimental, nostalgic and I plunged into a week of unusual dreams, unforeseen joys, draining pain, feelings of love and emotional ups and downs. Indeed on the evening of 15th November 2014, I had the misfortune to meet fellow tourists to Romania, Kylie Farbie and Helen O’Kane. It was that chance meeting and ensuing fake friendships which caused my depression, which caused my suicide bid and ultimately which forced me to give up backpacking back in July 2016, while I was hostelling in the Polish city of Gdansk.
15th November 2019 was the five year mark of that atrocity, and I headed to the north Warszawian suburb of Łomianki with four friends for a night of rock’n’roll cover versions in the local Lemon Tree Pub there. The fact that it was five years of mid-life crisis and depression didn’t escape me. But there was something odd here.
Bouncing along in front of me on the dancefloor of said Lemon Tree Pub was a young lady by the name of Katarzyna. Her flair, her emotion, her spirit caught my eye.
The biggest problem was I glanced at my phone and the time was 21:58. This was the exact 5 year mark since that misfortunate moment in Bucharest. Here I was having fun.
But the saness wasn’t gone. The misery continues. The last five years were forgettable. They went by so fast, I feel so old now. Nothing good happened in my life.
In fact, around 15th November 2014 my first proper travel book, Backpacking Centurion was virtually finished and expected to be released in 2015 just after I clocked the 100 country mark, in March 2015 in Tunis, Tunisia.
Yet here, five years on, the same book sits lonely in my laptop, bored, unreleased and hardly a priority. Backpacking the world is not a priority anymore either and I’ll probably try and crack the 200 country mark at the age of 40 just because I promised I would do it. I will not be doing that for any other reason or incentive. I have 14 countries left before I hit 200 (from my list of 627 real countries).
But the song at the top of this post by Seal just emotionally gets me everytime. It must have been the song from the 15th November 2014, the night things went wrong. It reminds me of that night, in the dorm room with Kylie Farbie and company.
“Love Remains The Drug That’s The High, Not The Pill” – Seal.
It just seems that the deeper I got into that mess, the worse I became. My life is a mess right now and I must pick up the pieces somehow.
“There will be an answer, let it be” – The Beatles.