I am nearly there. I am so very close.
Bhutan has always felt so far away – distant, elusive, obscure – though each day I have found myself a little further along the way. Would I ever actually make it? Did I ever need to? Plenty of hardship, plenty of doubt. . .still even now. . .to be this near doesn’t feel altogether real. My journey for happiness is coming to its end.
At last – relief. After 16 months – tired. Soon to be no more – a sense of sadness. Ready. Reluctant. Excited. Anxious. I feel whole, yet somehow lacking. All of the things I did and all of the things I didn’t. Was it enough? Did I make the most of my experience? It went too quick, yet it feels like several lifetimes – countless cycles of resurgence. A desire to prolong.
With the end in sight each moment now seems that little more precious, more precarious. Soon I will be onto something else. There will be no more cycling through foreign lands and being welcomed as I pass through with a swift smile or an invitation home – just ever distancing memories. I tell myself to make the most of what I have now, and to be as fully present as I am able, as if somehow I wasn’t before. I have always been present, and with the end in sight part of my present is to fantasise about finally returning home.
Somewhere there is happiness. There has to be. Surely. At the End. I hope. But perhaps not. Doesn’t need to be. Plenty along the way – through purpose, freedom, connection, overcoming, acceptance, and development of self. More happiness than I could ever have expected. It was my path, not another’s. Probably lots more to come too when I come home and share. A new beginning. . .
*** At the time of writing I sit in a hotel room in Siliguri. I am just over 50 kms away from Bhutan. That is about 150 kms of road. I am that close. Though in an effort to arrive for World Happiness Day on the 20th March I am ahead of schedule. That gives me a week or so to relax and explore the region.