The 10th of October 2011 was a typical day in my new home of Krakow. The weather was overcast and was not particularly cold until a gush of wind whooshes up behind you and sends a chill throughout your entire body. That is when I grit my teeth and wonder whether or not getting on a plane and going back to the heat of Brisbane would be considered a cop out.
As it was a typical day in Krakow, my friends Peter, Liz and I have coffee and some variety of cake in one of the many cosy cafes that appear on every corner. After some causal chit-chat, Liz excitedly exclaimed that she was going to Majorca; an island off the mainland of Spain, from Thursday- Sunday. She then asks me if I want to come and stay with her and her friend Corey. Instinctively and without hesitation, I say yes.
This three letter word may not seem like a big deal for most people. However, I am the type of person who would normally go home and check my schedule (which is colour-coded of course), and then meticulously ensure that I have enough money in my bank account to finance such an adventure. Normally, the most prominent thoughts spiralling through my mind would consist of a list of excuses to not have to do something so spontaneous.
However, at the moment I realised that all my biggest regrets featured scenarios where I over analysed every opportunity presented to me. This neurosis has stopped me from engaging in so many exciting, scary and potentially life-altering experiences. This one second was the instant when I decided that I was not going to let my life be dictated by the fear of uncertainty.
After a brief and sleepless stopover in London,we arrived in Majorca which was the polar opposite of my beloved Krakow. While sunlight in Krakow is an elusive entity that you silently pray will be kind enough to grace you with its presence, the heat from Majorca’s sun hit me the instant I stepped off the plane. And I felt like I was home.
Once we arrived at our hotel, we were all speechless when we saw the incredible view that welcomed us. The ocean was crystal clear and with the sun beaming down on us; truly enticing. Our hotel being located right next to the ocean with a private access pathway to the ocean further emphasised that this was our own little slice of paradise.
Of course, we sunbaked and attempted to absorb as much of the culture, weather and beauty that Majorca had to offer. This culminated in us sitting on the steps perched just above the crystal clear water of the Mediterranean. As we sat above the water, we discussed whether we were going to jump in. In my mind, I listed all the reasons I should not jump in as a wave of nerves circled in my stomach. This was my chance to stand up and walk away back to the safety of our hotel room. But instead of doing that, I swallowed the lump that had developed in my throat and dived in.
Once I hit the water, I knew I had made the right choice. The water was so warm and calm and I instantly felt all of the tension that I was carrying wash away. I can not write the few sentences that I screamed when we were first splashing around in the water. It is not really appropriate for an academic blog so I will just say that what happens and is said in Majorca stays in Majorca.
However, after three days of relaxing, sunbaking and partying, we had to return to the realities of life which included university assignments and the crisp, cold winds of Krakow. And once I returned to my apartment, I automatically checked my colour coded timetable and made sure that I had not blown my budget while I was away. I guess these habits are hard to break but I think I have made some positive steps towards shedding my deep-seated lifelong neuroses.