Today marks exactly 4 months since I left The Netherlands and began this chapter of the journey which is my life. In many ways, it was the perfect day. Like most mornings, upon waking, I struggled to remember what I had been dreaming, and like most mornings, I had no clue. Only that I had. I made sure I was downstairs on time, only to hear that both of my hosts were feeling ‘out of sorts’ and that we would not be doing any work today. The day had hardly started, and already plans were changing. Suddenly, I had a day off!

Well, not totally. I was asked and gladly obliged to vacuum the complete downstairs. Vacuuming, like washing dishes, is one of those household chores which I don’t terribly mind doing. Like washing dishes, it is an activity which requires little thinking and allows for more reflection. You could call it meditation. Yes, you can be Zen and vacuum at the same time! I felt the need to add music to the mix, put on some George Michael, and imagined I was vacuuming a dance floor. The result was ‘Flawless. Absolutely Flawless’!

The day was so beautiful and sunny. Far too warm for a mid-January day in this part of France. But just right for a little ride on the Gold Wing. The day before, I noticed that the 1000cc motor had burned through most of its oil, and needed re-filling. That fact, combined with what seems to be a steady decline in fuel efficiency, gave me reason to worry. However, seeing as this beast of a bike has never missed a beat in the last 4 months, I chose hopeful over worried. As I headed in the direction of Cognac, the Gold Wing did not disappoint!

The fact that I don’t actually like strong liquor, and am not much of a history buff, raises the question “What does one do in the city of Cognac?” So, I did what comes naturally…walking around aimlessly and taking pictures of the things that catch my eye. I am drawn to the play of light and colour. I marvel at curious combinations. I look in the corners which others have forgotten. I am drawn to places which feel neglected. I enjoy taking the mundane and giving it a reason to be. And every once in a while, I am presented with an image in which absolutely every part is perfectly placed…as if I had my assistants set everything just right, so I could simply walk up and trip the shutter. The Universe is my assistant.

I started by stating that the day was a perfect one to mark my 4 months on the road. How could it not be? Time off, sun, a reliable ride, new sights and sounds and iPhone in hand. However, already during my morning meditation, I could feel a tightness in my chest…my body trying to tell me something? And now, it was back, in the occasional feeling of loneliness. Yes, that feeling. The one which says “Sure, this is nice and all, but you have no one to share it with”. That feeling which at times gives you tunnel vision, only seeing couples walking hand-in-hand. The feeling which begs the question…once again: “Why did I leave it all behind me?” The job, the salary, the apartment, the relationships…all the people and things which gave me reason to exist.

At some point, I remember and come full circle, back to the reason I am on this journey: to find an answer to the question ’What happens when I leave it all behind and let go?’ In my case, the only way towards finding that answer was to force the situation. And today I apparently needed a reminder…just to make my day complete.

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