Dear Lauren…

Oh hey girlfriend! 😉

How’s it all going?

It’s taken me a while to reply to you this time around I realise, for which I do apologise. It’s been a funny few weeks (and a bit busy too) and I finally feel my thoughts are clear enough for me to write them down!

I really enjoyed reading about your relationship epiphany – like you said I had my moment of that a year or so ago and it honestly is one of the most liberating things ever. I don’t mean liberating in the ‘YAY CASUAL SEX’ way that people tend to assume, but rather the many other benefits that come with it. Feeling comfortable in your own skin for one thing, having the freedom to explore and learning what is most important to you in life.

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I won’t lie to you, your post did also make me cry! In part because I’m really proud to know you and be able to call someone like you my best friend, someone who now isn’t afraid to take authority over her own life and tell others where to stick it if they try to ‘improve’ you when you’re perfectly happy just as you are. But also because it made me think of who I’ve left behind. I booked this trip as a singleton, but I guess it’s no secret that in the time before I left I met someone back in the UK who is now rather special to me. Reverting back to being single has been really hard, not only because I now don’t have the ‘I have a boyfriend’ excuse when unwelcome attention comes my way, but more also because this whole thing is circumstantial and we have no idea if this is a temporary or permanent separation. We’re apart because I’m on one side of the world and he’s on the other, and having only been together a few months a long-distance relationship didn’t seem logical. Timing’s a bitch, hey?! Needless to say in my mind it’s all temporary, but I guess no one can predict the future can they?!

And as they say, if it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be! Not that I know who ‘they’ are, but I’m hoping they’re wise! 😉

Aside from that slightly sad side to travelling, life for me over the past weeks has been about learning to accept people for who they are and doing my best not to judge others. Deep, huh?! Let me put this into context: on the morning I left Papa Bear gave me a letter with Tips From Dad for the year ahead. Tip #3 From Dad was:

Learn this from my all-time literary hero – “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Wise words huh?! They’re from ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, and they really helped me on my departure from Sydney a few weeks ago. Leaving was hard…I won’t go into too much depth, but what I will say is that I felt a few people there had made an assumption or two about me and my character that I believe to be incorrect. Upon learning this I got very upset and quite angry – who are they to jump to any sort of conclusion about me without getting to know all of me first?

Were they considering things from my point of view? No.
Have they walked around in my skin? No.

You, more than most, know I have not always been who I am today and what it took to get here; I am so proud of how far I have come in the last few years and do not feel like that is anything I should ever be made to feel ashamed of. And that’s really hard to write without sounding arrogant or up myself. (Maybe that’s because I’m British and that’s just not what we do?) But it’s true, and why should anybody in this world be denied the opportunity to truly like themselves and be proud of that fact?

This is when I had to remind myself of Tip #3 From Dad. Not everyone has received Tip #3 From Dad, because not everyone has read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. I haven’t read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’! Only a couple of weeks ago was I enlightened to the wisdom of Atticus Finch, and so a mere few weeks ago I could have been (and probably was!) making the same mistake as others – jumping to quick conclusions about a person without knowing the full story.

And so this, now, is what my travels are about. People. I love people. I love their movements, the way they speak, their similarities and differences, their way of thinking and most of all their stories. But I’m only going to get to know these things if I take an interest in individuals and get to know people properly, rather than doing what others did to me and judging from afar. It’s not easy – sometimes just because we are in a certain location with another does not mean we have to be friends, and it’s still OK to get along with some more than others. But I shall be doing my very best not to judge and to accept everyone I meet the way that they are, in the hope that others will be doing the same as myself. 🙂

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Until next time amigo, Kate xxxxx

Lauren’s blog: http://www.laurenhannahkiera.co.uk

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One response to “Dear Lauren…

  1. Pingback: WOOOOOAAAAAH WE’RE HALF WAY THERE…. | The Naive Traveller·

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