In a nutshell, I chose to pack up a life in London and live as a nomad for the foreseeable future. You won’t be surprised to learn that I can’t go long without horse riding and travel – the further away from a city the better. When I’m not luxuriating in the outdoors – not an oxymoron – I read obsessively, write increasingly, and nourish my extensive book and film collection.
What made me call it quits on life as I knew it in London? I was doing something – a PhD in Literature – that grew to feel utterly pointless, mostly due to the intellectually vacuous environment in which I was trying to do it in. This particular UoL college in New Cross, Goldsmiths, was not turning out to be anywhere near worth the tuition I had paid. A medical doctor by training, although not working as such currently, I came out of Kings College London in 2010 and was watching the NHS slowly (and sadly) collapse into itself amidst a frustratingly inert public. On top of that, London life was becoming increasingly stifling. The only modicum of joy I derived from being ‘there’, in that life, was the horse riding I was doing at a nearby stables. Long conversations with a confidante rank up there too (of course) but more often than not we found ourselves talking about London in terms better suited to a bygone city, one that had seen its best days behind it somewhere and was currently crumbling all around us. Best to avoid going down with the ship; good to visit perhaps but not somewhere we particularly envisioned ourselves in the Future. And what was that Future, anyway? And were we going to be the same people in it? I knew I was no longer enjoying my dwindling visits to the BFI or the National, and without the cultural tap London seemed empty of appeal.
Once I made the decision to withdraw I immediately threw myself into planning mode; with a job search in Asia – where I was born and lived the first 17 years of my life before moving to London – being one of the top priorities. But I soon found myself going down the rabbit hole of things I did not want to be doing, applying for an ‘office job’, being one of them. The thought of continuing the daily routine of ass planted on chair and fingers typing away at a keyboard while my mind had only itself to ‘debate’ ideas was …..not what I wanted to be doing with my life. Three years of the phd living out that particular lifestyle – if one can even call it that – was more than enough. A last minute horse riding trip to Mexico in January helped throw a much needed wrench into my attempts ‘to plan’. I soon found myself packing up the contents of my adulthood, and leaving to ride horses around the world in March for the next year, if not, the foreseeable future.
So, what’s in store for me after all this is over? I’m not sure, and that’s alright. After all, that’s the whole point of this journey.