Over the last few weeks Mo and I have been taking it easy. I decided to switch off from my phone, get some distance from being constantly switched on, swapping small screen for the big screen and a bit of binge tv series watching (in between work of course). We watched a number of movies, one of the stand-outs being ‘Lion’, the Oscar nominated film based on the memoirs of Saroo Brierley.
If you’ve not seen the movie, it tells the tale of a five year old Indian boy who gets himself lost in Calcutta, thousands of miles away from his home after falling asleep on a train. After a series of potential life threatening events, he is adopted by an Australian couple and the second half of the movie addresses his plight to find his long lost family.
Watching the beginning is quite heart-wrenching, as it took us through the real life situations occurring every day on the streets of India. The dangers young innocent children face and the harsh reality of people being too busy to notice, or in this instance, care that a young child is fending for himself. The credits point out that nearly 80,000 children go missing in India every year, of course the reality is it’s probably far more as I’m sure many cases are undocumented.
Why am I telling you all this? There are so many great movies out at the minute (and by that I mean Star Wars of course) so why has this one become so etched in my mind…
I started a new job this year and I love it. It was made for me! And I can finally spend my working days using the creative side of my brain that has been bubbling away in the hope of one day being unleashed at full steam. I have my blog to thank for this shift in daily life too. If it wasn’t for the skills, the knowledge and the experience I have gained through writing and working on this online journal, I would not be in the position I am today.
Writing on here has never been an issue in the past I’ve always made the time, found the words shared the photos. But there have just been far too many instances in the last year where I’ve almost rejected putting up a blog because it’s felt, dare I say it, unnecessary. I travelled to Myanmar at the start of 2017 and it was a truly memorable experience.
I came back hopeful about their future (politically), knowing it wouldn’t change overnight but that in time the persecutions happening unnecessarily would be addressed and stopped… only to find that I was wrong and the situation for the Rohingya became much worse. Crushing any sense of hope I had for the country and stopping me from sharing the rest of my journey as the last thing I wanted was to inspire people to travel, and fuel money into the pockets of a country who’s government is quite simply, allowing a genocide.
It’s so hard to know what’s right and wrong anymore? Like the rich, high flying war lords on the planet of Canto Bight supplying weapons to both the First Order and the Resistance (yes, I’m talking Star Wars), how are we supposed to distinguish the good from the bad if they both use the same middle-man? How can I travel to America when there is a racist in charge? How can I comfortably visit countries in the Middle East when they are partnered with said American racist? How can we comfortably visit Eastern Europe when late last year there was the largest ever march of far right nationals in Poland?
2017 was definitely the year I accepted the world had well and truly gone mad. Sky News used one my images (well Mo’s image) on their news report a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t even enjoy seeing it on the front page because it sat right next to reports of protests and attacks in Palestine after the ridiculous US declaration about Jerusalem. I then realised that because of my new job and leaving behind the world of travel alerts, I was starting to lose awareness of world issues, I had become too busy to read what was happening away from the safety of my little bubble.
I was struggling with the writing because I was scared of putting something together that is somehow supporting a bad cause. A bad situation. Or even worse, neglecting an important situation for the sake of not wanting to write something bad or for my own personal gain… (can you tell I’m an over-thinker?)
Ok now what has all this got to do with my movie review?
The most beautiful component of ‘Lion,’ the part that really inspired me, was that it was the story of Saroo’s journey. His journey through life and the different stages that he went through. I loved that this movie, based on his book, told his story and he was able to trace back his steps through the memories and the feelings of his every day travels as a child.
And just like that, all the words started to float around. I spent the last week just going back and reading my own blog. I know damn well it’s not at all a sophisticated piece of literature but I love that it tells my story. I love that I have a place to share my journey. The good things, the bad things, whether I’m right or wrong, all of the pieces I share are my tales and experiences.
I recently found all my families old passports, my Dad’s in particular, pages and pages filled with stamps and dates and as I went through them with my parents they spoke of their travel memories… some of which I remember, some I have absolutely no recollection of, or they never shared up until now. Travel is like nothing else, it gives us these moments to share and it teaches us far more than we can ever learn staying put doing the same thing over and over again.
Now that we’re here on the first day of 2018 I have no real resolutions except to keep pushing myself and to not be scared to present my stories on here. For Mo and I to keep aiming for the top and more importantly, to encourage others to do the same. I pray that 2018 is a better year for some of our friends and family who have struggled through hard times. And I look forward to making much more use of my voice and not shying away from contributing my opinions.
Hope you had a good Christmas and enjoyed the celebrations last night and wishing you heaps of good luck and fortune for the year ahead…
Happy New Year 🙂