I don't know why, it's not something I get time to do often; but today I was drawn to my shelf of photo albums. You know, those albums of out of focus prints from the days before digital cameras and e-storage albums.
And boy have I been hit by how life has changed. Flicking through the album covering September 2003- August 2004 here are all the countries we visited, in order:
Ireland - scattering my Nan's ashes
Germany - F1 grand prix
Belgium - short break
Netherlands - speaking at conference/short break
Hong Kong - speaking at conference/holiday
France - short break
Canada - speaking at conference/holiday
France - another short break
South Africa - holiday & cousins wedding
Netherlands - holiday & friends wedding
South Africa - holiday and business trip
Botswana - holiday
Twelve foreign trips in 12 months!
I had forgotten how much we travelled. To be honest looking back I can't even imagine those days. We were so incredibly lucky to have all those experiences.
We used to say "we will always travel the world like this, take our kids off for foreign adventures.". And Rachel has been on many foreign holidays; but more and more we don't plan holidays abroad.
You know why?
Sure there's monetary reasons
And there've been health reasons
But mainly it's because I just don't need to search for the meaning in life anymore. We are content. I no longer live for my holidays, i live for the day.
Sure; I want to show her the world and share our love and marvel of different cultures; but I know there is time for that.
I think if my 2003 self could look at me now she'd be massively surprised at the change. But I know she'd also be thrilled to see what contentment looks like.