“The beginning” of something is rather difficult to define.
When does a day begin?
When did your life begin?
When does a dream begin?
And when does it become a reality?
Gazing out of the large bus window at a distant sillhouette of Table Mountain, I am en-route to the start of a life-changing expedition. An expedition I have called Six Million Steps, because that’s how many steps I estimate it will take to walk the length of South Africa’s coastline. To be honest I think it will be a lot more… But who’s counting, right?
Step One is now just a day or two away. But if I haven’t started yet, why am I so tired already?
Months (read years) of dreaming, thinking and planning have finally culminated into something tangible, something real. Is it exciting? I’m sure it’s supposed to be. But it feels more like a relief. All the admin and anticipation has left me mentally and emotionally exhausted. So somewhere along the line the journey must have already begun.
Was it the moment the idea was born towards the end of a 23 day sojourn?
Was it the day I started researching the possibility a few months later?
Was it the first time I told someone about the dream?
Was it when I sent out the first sponsorship proposal?
Was it when I handed in my resignation?
Was it the day I packed my life into boxes and dumped them in a garage?
Was it as I said goodbye to my family at the airport?
Or was it when I stepped onto this bus and left everyone and everything I know behind?
The day’s end has been signalled by the sun-kissed cirrus clouds, whipped across the sky by the Cape’s infamous South-Easter (a foe I will become well acquainted with over the next month or so, as I march straight into it). But does this mean the night has begun?
I’m not so sure it’s that simple.
Perhaps this journey began during the solo road trip undertaken by a recently graduated civil engineer?
Maybe it was as the sun’s rays reached over the horizon to awaken a student from his night’s roost in a cave above the ocean.
Could it have begun when a teenager went exploring on a paddle-ski, blissfully unaware of the frantic search his “disappearance” had sparked?
Or was it when a young boy’s parents signed him up for the zoo club?
Perhaps these are all beginnings. Beginnings of new chapters of a story; new stanzas of a poem; new beginnings amidst the continuum of life.
Hereafter follow the accounts of my journey around South Africa. Join me as I discover what new beginnings it will lead me to.
But for now this marks the beginning of a long overdue nap…