Today I cannot help but to reflect upon my life before, my life now, my wanderlust, my passion for diving and my future. I am going home to Oslo in five days and it feels natural to spend some time thinking about well, this thing called life.
When my mind gets carried away and I start feeling overwhelmed and restless, it helps to try to somehow structure and organize my thoughts. Today I have done exactly that. I often end up with a lot of lists, tables and numbers, which do not always make sense (to anyone, but sometimes me), but at least it calms my mind down. Another thing that helps is writing, so here I am, writing down my thoughts – at the end of this post, maybe it all makes some (kind of) sense, or maybe (and probably) not.
I have spent the last six months travelling the world, doing what I enjoy the most. There is no way around it, I am fortunate and privileged to be able to do so. Earlier I have written how I do not always feel that I deserve such fortune and privilege, and that I often feel I should invest both my money and time in a different manner. Those thoughts still cross my mind, and I still do not know how I truly feel about it all. Is there a right way? Is there a wrong way? Or is there only my way and your way? The way of the heart and soul? The way of the mind? And which way should we choose?
Besides fortunate and privileged, I am also passionate and determined. I remember saving all my child support (my mum was so kind to give some of the money to me directly!) during high school and spending it all on summer holidays and weekend trips with my friends. When I started diving I spent two years worth of student loan on dive gear and dive trips around Norway, Croatia, South Africa and Australia. Since I finished university and started working as a dietitian in 2007, pretty much all my savings have gone to (first and foremost) dive gear, breathing gas (helium is pretty darn expensive!), dive courses, dive trips, hiking, hiking gear, sports gear, sports related courses, travel gear, plane tickets and so on. Today I actually calculated that I pretty much would have zero mortgage if I had put all the money in the bank instead of travelling the past five years. So, am I passionate and determined, or just plain silly? Sure I am following my heart and soul and living out my dreams and desires, but does this make me sane or insane?
This is my sixth trip off «travelling», meaning that those trips have not been normal vacations you go to when in high school, university or at work. With that in mind, I am not sure what a normal vacation really means; since 2001 I have been either hiking or diving during all, except four of my holidays (although two of those involved a serious amount of walking through New York’s streets and one of them a serious amount of walking through Morocco’s desert). All my six big trips have been unforgettable experiences; my five girls inter-railing through Europe in 1999, my first solo travels through Eastern Europe in 2001, my crazy four back to back liveaboards plus countless boat dives tour around Australia in 2004, my study abroad year in Cape Town in 2005, my insane 17 months long around the world adventure in 2014, and now my 6 months long completely out of this world dive expedition this year. The amount of knowledge and experience I have gained through these trips is irreplaceable. Who would I be without them? On the other hand I sometimes wonder, what I am seeking and looking for? Have I found it yet? Will I ever? Am I searching at all the wrong places for all the wrong things?
I do not seem to have many answers in this post, but here are some of Dijana’s useless fun facts:
- This trip has yielded exactly 85 dives and almost 200 hours of underwater time. 65 of those dives were done in a cave or a cenote/sink hole. The other 20 have taken place in either a lake (Vinkeveen) or the (Adriatic) sea. All in all we have visited 10 different wrecks (Croatia), 23 cenotes (Mexico) and 5 sink holes (Florida). There are still at least 10 cenotes in Mexico and around 5 sink holes in Florida that are on my «I really want to dive them soon» list. My (diving related) bucket list is somewhat shorter now than a few years ago, but it is by far completed. I love that list, even though it is very paralyzing and preposterous. It contains around 40 dive destinations around the world and it would take me at least a year of daily diving to tick everything off.
- So far in my life I have been to 38 countries, which is 17 % of the countries in the world. It sure does not sound like many, does it? There are countless places also on my non-diving related bucket list. If I am ever to live out this list, it would take me at least five years of traveling to do so. It would probably cost me only a fraction of the dive trips above (which I by the way will never be able to afford). I am actually pretty sure I can pull this five year plan off if I ever decide to do so (not saying I will, just that I think it is possible). It would add close to another 40 countries to my «I have been there» travel map (and I would probably end up traveling forever!).
Where am I going with all of this? I actually do not know. Like I wrote in the beginning of this post, I am trying to sum it all up in my mind. To somehow make sense of it all. But maybe making sense is not a necessity. Maybe it cannot make sense just yet, because this is not the end. Even after this trip I still do not feel I have all the answers to life. Funny enough the biggest questions in my mind still remain unanswered. But it is time to go home to Oslo now. I feel it. I have been restless lately. Not unhappy, but not calm and serene enough. I miss my friends, my family and my work. I miss waking up in the same bed, going to the gym, eating foods I am used to eating and in general just settle down my mind a bit more than I have been able to when constantly moving around. It may actually be that the answers I am looking for are not out in the world, but inside of me, and that I need to calm down in order to find them. It may be…I guess I will find out soon enough, and if not, well, the world is out there waiting for me, right?