I’m going away for six months. Getting away from the London I’ve become embedded in, which is a place of amazing people struggling hard and creatively and teetering on burnout and screaming more eloquently than I ever can. Running away from the mess that is my relationship with working in education. Escaping post-Brexit, Jez-we-not-sure-if-we-can politics. Putting distance between myself and the Calais eviction.
The plan for 2016 was get out of London, and not to work in schools. I’ve had a lacklustre few months after getting stuck back in my family home, recuperating from illness, and I didn’t quite feel like picking any vague Europe wooff/helpx based ideas. Instead I’m picking up old plans I had lying around to return to a community I stayed with in 2008: Chinimp Tuna, Ecuador. And I’m doing it while I am still disembedded and uncommitted in the UK, and while I still have some money for it. I committed to this in my head while I was not quite able to feel excited about anything, partly due to mood-stabilisers.
Returning to a place I was in eight years ago is going to be surreal. I’m happy to be honouring an intention that I made. I don’t get to be my enthusiastic 19yrold self again, fully absorbed in processing a new place. I was wary then too of the postcolonial white-saviour tinge to volunteering in a global south country. I didn’t aspire to do more than learn and have a self-developing good time. Finding the emails I sent home made me cringe. I was so jolly, high on personal growth, enjoying unfamiliar food and work, and listing the various things I did – basically well annoying.
Now on the other hand … I’m even more angsty about my position in the world, and still don’t have any greater reason to travel than to take a bit of perspective (both on this messed up neoliberal world and on my life). Guess I’ll see how I (don’t) fit into an old shed skin of myself.
Anyway, if I have anything that’s fit to share with people other than family and doesn’t belong on facebook I’ll stick it up here. Maybe. Tbh not sure this blather should qualify.