The very first time I went solo-travelling I did much thinking beforehand about whether it was the right thing to do. I wanted to go but ‘what if’ thoughts started to dissuade me. A month before I was due to leave I got some news of a school friend that had passed away. It shook me, it’s not something I had experienced before. Although our friendship had never extended beyond the school walls it affected me greatly and I continue to think of her often. Whilst at school, if she had known what would happen in her early twenties would she have done anything differently? Would any of us?
I shouldn’t have needed the reminder that life could be short. We might not get time to do the things we want to do so we should grab every opportunity to do them while we can.
It’s a thought that is very much at the forefront of my mind this week given the horrific events in Manchester. The people affected had no way of knowing that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were healthy young people with everything to live for. Young people with plans for the future; plans to see more of the world. People living, like so many of us do, like we have so much more time to do all of the things that we want to do.
I don’t profess to know anyone affected by the events of Monday night in Manchester. But I’ve been thinking about them all week and will continue to do so for a long time to come. Assuming I have a long time to come. Either way, events like these remind me to stop putting things off. To stop being so bothered about… stuff. It really isn’t important. What is important is the wonderful spirit of the Manchester community and those further afield. You have my greatest admiration.
To Manchester: my thoughts are with you. Always.