In all honesty, I didn’t know what to call this blog post, but this sentence sums up my whole trip to Tanzania.
So it’s almost a week since arriving back in England and I’m sat in bed with suspected Malaria and a whole lot of ‘return-to-reality’ blues. I never expected Africa to have such an impact on me but I guess that’s what happens when you take a fairly sheltered westernised girl to somewhere WAY out of her comfort zone.
Not going to lie, when Hope said ‘come to Tanzania’… I agreed. But it wasn’t a fully committed yes. If you know me, you know I have some sort of phobia to commitment (in certain situations that is… give me a cake and I will commit to eating it, no problem). But all jokes aside, I didn’t really believe I was going until the day I was sat on the plane, listening to Ethiopian Airlines telling me where the nearest exits were and their annoying background music.
My problem with going was simple, I like to be in control (shock) and I like to know where I’m going. In this case, I was not in control because I had no idea where I was going, what to expect, or a set agenda.
I had no idea that I would love it as much as I did.
Here’s the thing… I went over there thinking I was going to help Hope and her charity (www.hopeandsoul.org.uk) and I was going to change and fix peoples lives. HAHA think again sister, YOU are not that special! I soon came to realise that I was the one that needed changing and fixing and that my whole mentality towards life was very wrong.
This is very personal, but here are some lessons I learned…
- I am very selfish and I care too much about the wrong thing… myself, and what people think about me. This is a very western problem due to the media etc, but this is something I vow to get shot of. I want to be pouring into people’s lives and loving/ building people up rather than focusing on my gains. Sometimes, the littlest thing we do for someone occupies the biggest part of their heart.
- Life is always looking at what comes next – for me it was what my next move would be to level up in my career, how much I can save for a house etc. Don’t get me wrong, these things are great to plan, BUT I will never get the same moment twice. While I’m focusing on my future, I’m ignoring the present. I want to be more present and live in the moment. The people I have in my life are precious and time goes so quickly.
- The thing that got me the most was that you don’t have to move mountains to show people you love them. Heck, before this trip I struggled with this so much and thought I had to do everything in the world to show people I cared. No. Time is the key ingredient. Just being available, and giving up 5mins to talk can make a huge impact.
This is just a general overview of the main things I got from this trip, but I will write a more detailed post about what we actually got up to when I feel a bit better!
For now, all I can say is this trip has made a huge impact on me in ways I never thought it would. I feel like I have come back a better person, even though I still have things to work on, but my perspective on life has flipped.