It’s that time of the year when we start to look back on the year that is almost over. At least I tend to do that.
It just occurred to me that this year has been very different from my previous years. Let’s list some of the things that has been new or different to happen for me this year:
- I received wings early this year after a two decade long struggle. I’m still reeling from it all. But I’m content and relieved.
- I lost a soothing friendship of half a decade. Sigh!
- I became a video director and editor and let my work be appraised. lol I’m just exaggerating. It’s nothing really, but to me it’s such a big deal. Amplifying positive things help deal with depressing stuff isn’t it?
- I started exercising. Gosh yes! I did
- For the first time applied for residency in another country. Nothing to be excited about though.
- I am experiencing the world of psychotherapy – quite intriguing, fascinating, mind-blowing, and yet quite simple. Learning quite a lot of new stuff.
- I am now able to eat anything I fancy (within halal diet of course). It’s such a big deal. Only someone who had been deprived of that luxury will understand my elation.
- I worked 3 months at a stretch with no day off. I was such a zombie. I still am, but at least I have a day off here and there to spend on studies.
- I am rooted to the earth – in other words, I didn’t get the chance to get on an airplane this year.
- I have not been on the Maldives’s soil at all this year – that has never earlier happened in my decades of existence. Almost two years now!
Those last two have much to do with travel. The others I am dismissing at this stage. But the last two are profoundly important.
I mean, traveling has become part of me in the recent history of my existence. I enjoy traveling, exploring new places, new sounds, new scenery.
My point for this post is that, I was taken aback and froze to realize “OMG I have not been on an airplane this year!” That cannot happen! How did it happen?
In the midst of work, I just had to travel down the memory lane to concentrate on the path of my travels. And here’s what eventuated
I know right! As if I have time to waste. 🙂
I simply had to put that chart together.The dots show the number of journeys I took that year. It doesn’t count the number of flights I had to change to reach the destination. For example to reach Bhutan in 2005, I had to hop on 3 different flights and then drive 7 hours on the road from Bagdora.
The first time I stepped inside an airplane was in 1995 and since then, I have more or less been a bird on the go. And most of the trips have been overseas, out of my tiny homeland Maldives. And OMG! I am now amazed at 2013. I feel so much more energetic looking at that. How did I pull that off? I’m asking myself.
The polynomial line shows an upward trend for my air-travel, and that’s understandable given the recent peaks around 2011 to 2013. I hope the plynomial is not proved wrong.
It’s so disappointing that this year I’m on the baseline. Who knows, maybe I’m finally getting grounded.
Grounded I say. Let’s now look at the grounds that I’ve been on.
That’s just a quick jotting down of the highest land elevation I have stood on, from the time of my first air travel. That’s not the altitude of the flights mind you! It’s the level of the land above the ocean surface. Those altitudes sitting so close to 0 are mostly for the Maldives.The tiny bulge in 2000 was Canberra. Sadly I didn’t get to go to any mountainous areas during that time. I was busy and I was poor 🙂
As if I’m rich now. 😀
The happiest I felt was at that peak in 1998 in Shimla (India), 2005 in Thimpu (Bhutan), & 2010 in Budanilkanta (Nepal). The 2014 peak in Mysore (India) was also great. But that was a stressful time and a very stressful trip with responsibility for a horde of adults. During the time of the other 3 peaks I was networking professionally and more or less had my freedom to be my individual self.
The ability to look down on the valley from high up the mountains always has had a calming effect on me. No wonder I choose Bhutan as my peaceful place when I am asked to name one. I should be planning another trip for myself. I still can’t believe a year is ending without a flight across the ocean.
I did have opportunities this year too. I could have been in Zadar (Croatia) in September had I been able to cope with my studies. It would have been the perfect opportunity to land myself in Europe for the first time. I have kind of managed to land myself in a few continents.
The Zadar trip was planned for in 2015, to be there in the week of 23 September 2016. And my plan was to take some time for myself and explore around in Europe. But early 2016 I had to give up on the idea as I knew I couldn’t come up with the necessary paper for that conference. Then there was the other opportunity to go back to Maldives in October also for a funded conference trip. I planned for it but later chickened out because of the prospect of the ugliness I might have to face on that land.
Ah well! 2016 was meant to be a flight free year and a year where I don’t see my birth place.
Here’s a quick look of my standing grounds over the years.
I say this is a good way to procrastinate on studies. Isn’t it?
If anyone is as crazy as me, here are the software I used to come up with those:
And now I’m thinking I should do something drastic and book a flight somewhere, anywhere before the curtain closes on 2016.