All my bags are packed

A young man who seemingly has it all, finds himself on the brink of suicide as he can't contemplate another day of living in a city which has sapped all the life out of him. To add to his stress, his relationship with his father who he once and still does idolise, has all but crumbled. There's not many options left and on the brink of his 30th birthday he decides to travel abroad in order to escape the madness and restore his sanity. Where shall I go?


2. What's happenig

The next day my mind set was different, i suddenly felt i had to see and do things with my life. With what happened to Richard, i became aware that no good comes of sitting behind a desk waiting to make that sale. There were and are more important things to life. Other than being obligated to work six days a week i had no real obligations, no kids, no rent, no money and no girlfriend. I had a love affair with Italy and so i decided to look into what it would take to move there for a life changing opportunity. I still wanted to work in the design industry however i needed to have a clearer business understanding. i wanted to elevate myself from a salesman to a business man and so i enrolled in Italian lessons in Covent garden on Wednesday's for a 12 week course and coincided it with a 9 week business course every Monday night at Islington university. It was my first significant step into changing my mind set from my family business to a world that wasn’t so easily accessible, i wanted to get out there and grab life by the balls instead of just sitting behind a desk waiting for some fat Greek bird called Maria to "give it large" waving her two grand in my face and expecting a 30 grand kitchen for it. I completed both courses and learned quite a bit from both; i also realized that Italy is the type of country that is built upon corruption. You cannot get a job anywhere in Italy based on merit alone, you have to know someone or be related to someone in order to even get to the interview stage. My idealistic view was now tarnished and so i decided to look further afield. Every time i turned on the television i seemed to be bombarded with shows like 'a place down under’ or ‘pomms in paradise.’ I watched these shows from time to time and was taken aback by how these ‘Jeremy Kyle’ type of people, who never really amounted to much seemed to be living the ultimate lifestyle for a fraction of the cost as to what we pay here in the U.K. For £300,000 in London you would be lucky to buy a two bedroom flat in a place like Barnet, your street would be littered with rubbish, your local school would be teaching English as a second language and your neighbour would be living next door completely free of charge due to political asylum, or some other nonsense. ‘A Place Down Under’ on the other hand showed that £300,000 would buy you a 4/5 bedroom property with swimming pool, sea view, social neighbours and a local school that produced better grades than the £5,000 a term schools, that parents bust their chops to get their children into here in the U.K. It all just seemed too good to be true. Every website i went on or every Australian related programme i seemed to watch gave me more impotence to reevaluate my destination from Italy to Australia. After all it was an English speaking country, the sun shone most days of the year and people seemed very social and outdoorsy, right up my street. I completed an online application point’s test which i passed with flying colours, i soon found myself in a situation where i had sold my beloved Rang Rover Sport and had parted with £150 for a working holiday visa. My leaving date was booked. How to tell the family? I kept dropping subtle hints that i was leaving however i was renowned for being all talk and no trousers. One day a fight broke out between me and Natalie and so i decided to let it be known that i would be leaving at the end of September, little over eight weeks away. In those eight weeks i finally stopped sleeping around with my ex-girlfriend and so put an end to any likely hood that she would be coming to Australia with me, i managed to fly to Athens to see my dad’s side of the family who i hadn’t seen in about four years, i stayed with my cousin mark, aunty Vikki and uncle Keith on a caravan site in north Devon and finally drove to Scotland with my mate Ahmet (aka Turk) to deliver some furniture. Every one of these things i am glad i did before i left. I had never spent quality time with my aunty Vikki and Uncle Keith and finally realized after 29 years i was able to converse with them in a care free adult fashion. Here were two individuals who were genuinely happy doing the simpler things in life. As long as they had each other, their dog to walk and the open air, they were over the moon. They didn’t need the Mauritius’s or the Caribbean’s of this world to make them happy and no more was this more apparent as they lovingly referred to each other as 'babe' and 'honey' throughout the duration of my stay. They were able to have a laugh with one another; they shared common interests and above all seemed to still be very much in love. It was nice to be around. The following week in Greece i also experience a similar thing in how my dad’s family would all get together and have basic yet grand dinners. There were no Marks and Spenser £15 steaks to be seen, neither were there any £180 bottles of champagne flowing freely. Instead they had invited the neighbourhood to their home for no other reason other than it was a nice evening. All the neighbours came clutching home made salads, bottles of wine or kegs of beers. After the food was finished and the heated debate on the current state of affairs was concluded, the guitar would appear and all 25 people around the three, pushed together rounded tables, would break out in song. There was no coyness to be found, neither was there a lack of participation, instead a simple evening of home cooked food was topped off by a night of song and alcohol. I’ve grown up with it and it always seemed natural however this time round it seemed more poignant, i was surrounded by people who probably didn’t have £5,000 collectively but for some reason, they were happy. I asked myself the question, does a simple lifestyle mean you have to sacrifice the materialistic demands put upon you by society or are the more humble of us in fact the richer? I would have to say the latter.

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