Friday, 24 January 2014

Luffing up

Life is like a sailing race. 

As the starting gun fires we jostle for position, steadfastly focused on our ambitions for the course ahead. The line is only so long and few will cross it ahead of the fleet. The first tack is everything, nothing can be left to chance. A flapping sail or limp sheet equals time and distance lost, places that may not be made up. As the breeze strengthen and the waves build the pressure continues to mount. Staying on the wind, keeping up the pace is imperative. 

A fine line must be sailed. Don't push hard enough and you may as well be out for an afternoon cruise. Aim too high too early and the wind, and the race itself may be lost. The timing of turns is vital. We all need a change in direction, a new groove to follow, but miss timing it, or heading the wrong way can spell disaster. 

And then its on with the race. The windward mark's not yet in view and there isn't a moment to lose. 

But maybe there's another way. 

Perhaps, just once in a while we can move our gaze from the horizon, let go of those lines, hear our world up close, and bear away for a different destination. 

The world wide web abounds with travel blogs, and I can't claim that mine will stand out from the rest. I've tried blogging before, but whilst I love to write I've often set my sights too high, and failed at the first hurdle. Maybe I lack self discipline or perhaps my life simply isn't sufficiently dissimilar from everyone else's.  Whatever the reason I've never kept it up for long, and resolutions have quickly fallen by the wayside. 

But like my sailing analogy above there may be a different way. Rather than setting out to post every day, to constantly think up new and interesting topics only to run out of steam and feel bad for failing again, I will accept my place as a sporadic sailor, casting off when the sun is shining and the swell is slight.

So, to set out my stall. 

Bearing Away is about me. It's about me, my friends, the places we've visited and those we're yet to see. It's about a break from the norm, a pause for reflection, a different perspective on life. It's about the things we take for granted and, the prejudices we hold, and the way in which both can be shattered by picking up our passports and heading for somewhere new. 

This isn't a blog about home, but nor will it report solely on abroad. The mundane and the ordinary may feature, but only in the context of the different. Today and tomorrow will be important, but yesterday, last months and preceding years will feature too. Charting the here and now will be its purpose, and so will reflecting on time already passed. 

If this sounds like the read for you then you're very welcome. Writing can be quite a selfish activity, spending time thrashing out one's feelings, committing thoughts to paper or screen to preserve memories or liberate regrets. But it is also about giving: relaying experiences, conveying information, and inspiring actions. Hopefully I will discover worth and fulfillment in writing on these pages. If you find something you like, or which encourages you to come back for more, then it will have been even more worthwhile. . 

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