I can travel all across the world keeping everyone updated about my adventures, but I come home and I can barely get near a computer except at work.
It’s been just over a month since I headed back to the UK, jet lag growling in my brain like some unearthly winter animal. So you come back from this experience you travel across half the globe by train, what can you tell us oh displaced Yorkshireman? what of life outside this island?, what lasting spiritual conclusions did you come to out in the desert night with only shootings stars and camels for company? Are you different for it?
I’m going to have to give a terribly ambigous answer to that I’m afraid. Yes I feel different. I feel like the first time you put on a new coat. I’m wearing this new experiences inside my head and I’m still processing them. I saw the sun rise over the biggest lake in the world in the heart of Siberia, I saw street children on the streets of Ulaan Batar and nomads crossing deserts on camels. These pictures are now part of the way in which I see the world. It cured my writers block at least.
I’ve recently started reading Douglas Coupland’s new novel ‘The Gum Thief’ and there is a chapter in that about how you can pass through all lifes experiences but they won’t matter unless you allow them to change you in some way (it’s the moral of most of Douglas Couplands stories). I think my biggest fear is that all my changes might be temporary rather than permanent.