The Wind nearly blew my rings off as I marched along the ridge of a hill marking one of the boundaries between Georgia and Azerbaijan last week. As much as the sun was beating the wind was winning and even for this seasoned Wellingtonian the experience left me rather weathered and satiated.
For nine days I travelled in two countries which I knew and know very little about other than they were handy enough to arrive at quickly and cold enough for me to enjoy a lot of long walks along streets, up and down steps and over snow ridden railway sleepers as they wrapped around Lake Sevan like a good friend.
There were a gallon of reasons why I booked this Trip and although a couple had dissolved by the time I arrived at departures, the fact that I needed a reward for stinking away at my desk for weeks on end stood still. As I paraded old Europe over cobbled streets and beside statuettes I missed my Skype (whatsapp), coffee and beer friends a little more than I expected. I missed my sons exactly as much as I expected to. There were not times when I felt alone as I was busy and my mind was packed. It was a trip of happiness. I lied about my age more than once because the translation I had in my head was either thirty nine or thirteen nine so I went with the big four – nil; sorok.
I bumped into countless mirrors; people and situations which forced me to look at myself. Beggars, wrong busses, poor food, delays, remont infrastructure and more often than not my own tendency to be a dick sometimes all winked back at me expectantly. I make no bones about who and why I am. My friends take me on an as is where is basis which has kept me out of the fire more than once or thrice.
Only a dent was made in some of my compulsive habits (which I must shake) yet it was enough to show me that my year ahead, in some ways, will be freer and more empowered than ever before.