The silence in the office is deafening. I have just made my way through the most delicious chocolate chip muffin – breakfast of champions – which they make on site. I have never been much of a muffin person, finding them rather bland and inferior to the standard cake. I do however take it all back since working here. They are made to perfection. The top has a slight crunch while the inside is soft and full of chocolate chips. Even better is the fact they are always warm so the chocolate is in that delicious melting state. I wash it down with a double espresso for the ultimate sugar and caffeine rush.
I am not usually so unhealthy but looking outside at the drizzle I feel an urge to start layering the fat in preparation for winter hibernation. I must resist as I have far more important things to be doing with my time. For example I have taken the plunge and applied for the Celta course running in Bangkok. My two weeks of teaching in Italy lit such a fire in my belly but already all that remains is a burning ember. I knew this would happen. I felt myself physically deflate into my chair the moment I was back at my desk in work. I feel my drive diminishing and the thoughts of giving up and staying put are overwhelming. That is why I feel I need to act fast, before the insecurities set in an gnaw at what is left of my hope.
I should proceed with caution. My track record of spontaneous and somewhat irresponsible decisions have left me slightly worse for wear. When I was 20 years old I made the decision while at summer camp to travel to Beijing and teach English. With very little money in my pocket I picked up my flight ticket in New York and boarded the plane to a place I had never been and to meet with people I had not spoken to. In hindsight I was high on life and with the possibility of not going back to university and student life. I felt invincible and that the world was mine for the taking.
Needless to say my time in China shook me to the core. I fought with crippling loneliness and the culture shock experienced was overwhelming. I had no idea how to teach and the depression that was building day by day made each small task seem like a tremendous effort. I remember that a slept a lot and ate a lot. Other than that it was a blur of self-hatred. I also found myself desperate to prove to everyone that I could hack it with images of myself going home, tail between the legs spurring me on. I couldn’t hack it though and crumbled after 8 months. I arrived back in Wales 2 stone heavier and deeply disappointed with myself.
I also sadly remember that one of the reasons for my travels was the hope that people (boys in particular) would find me so much more interesting. This was not the case and very few people asked about my adventures. It was probably for the best as my experience had left me with a sour taste in my mouth.
Now eight years later and other adventures (some great, some less so) under my belt and I am at that cross-road once again. Do I stay or do I go? That is the question.