If you’re like me and you have a glass half full mentality to life, it’s incredibly hard to stay in the the moment, to be truly present, not thinking, just being.
Inspired by Greg Davies stand up show ‘Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog’ (trust me, sounds weird but you will belly laugh until it hurts), I decided to reflect on 5 moments in my life where I felt lost in time.
- Thailand, 2017.
I had just finished three months of traveling, in these huge group tours, which, while being safer, did mean I’d been surrounded by people and kept to someone else’s schedule for months. I flew to Krabby island for a week by myself and the second hotel I stayed at on the island was near the beautiful Railay Beach.
It was sunset. I had spent the day warm, by the pool, ordering hotel food and drink that they would bring to my sun lounger. In the moment where I lost my self, I was propped against a palm tree, on the beach to watch the sun go down. I had a beer and a book with me. I could smell the holiday smell of after sun on my skin, I could smell the sea and I could smell the amazing food from the restaurants that lined the beaches’ edge. There was the sounds of the sea, the sound of distant music and the sound of happy people on holiday.
And as the sun went down, the sea started to sparkle. The tide was so calm that it mirrored the sky and you could see the nearby cliffs reflected in the water. I grew up in suburban England, so it’s rare for me to experience the line of the horizon, uninterrupted. Before traveling I don’t think I appreciated how big the world is.
So I sat, mesmerised, watching the sea dance. The sky went colours I had never seen before. The deepest purple, pink, orange and blue. And I felt both tiny and huge at the same time.
It is the most peaceful moment of my entire life.
2. Halloween, 2019.
Around the time of this particular halloween, I was miserable. I was literally the most unhappy I had been in my entire life, for various reasons.
That year my friends and I decided to go big for halloween, so we booked a hotel opposite this huge club about an hour and half from our town. It was just one of those evenings which was so simple. We drove there, we checked in, we ate dinner and then we got ready. Literally everyone else at the hotel was also there to go out for halloween at this club.
There was no drama, no getting ready stress. Just good vibes all round.
The club is one of those massive, multi story ones with loads of rooms. Everyone there was just out to have a good time, it is literally the nicest atmosphere I’ve ever felt in a club.
The moment I remember was on the dance floor. One of my friends loves to dance on a night out, so it’s pretty much the only thing we do, apart from queuing at the bar or going to the smoking area. But because we come from a town that’s maybe not super progressive, a few of my friends don’t usually get to fully relax, especially when we literally run into most of the people we went to school with normally. This was a gay club, outside of town, which I think meant people felt a little more free, or at least, that’s how they felt to me.
There was this moment where a song came on that they loved and we ran further into the dance floor. There were these coloured spotlight criss crossing the air and I remember it being bright and colourful. I remember everyone (or at least that’s how it felt to me) losing themselves for a while.
It was just this pure moment of having fun with people I loved and, at the time, it was something I desperately needed.
3. Walking with Elephants at sunrise, South Africa.2015
I did the whole ‘voluntourism’ thing on this trip, before I knew that most of those sorts of schemes are a bit dodgy. I got very lucky in that I didn’t end up in a dodgy place.
Each day this site took their elephants out to roam the homestead’s land, from sunrise to sunset and you could join them at the start of the day.
I love elephants. So this was literally one of the main reasons I chose this place to visit.
South African countryside is unlike anything I’d ever experienced in Europe or the Canary Islands, having not been anywhere more exotic than Lanzorote or Ibiza. And, as the I said in story one, I had never really been anywhere I could see the horizon from end to end, as far as the eye could see before.
The sunrise that time of year was all dusky pinks and yellows but no less incredible.
And I was walking next to elephants.
Like, less than a foot away from me. Three beautiful African elephants. One grown mama, her baby and her adopted calf, an orphan rescued by this place.
We just walked with them, watching them dig around for tasty roots, or strip leaves from the trees. They had been hand reared, so they were incredibly friendly and would take food from your hands and let you walk right between their front legs (although I felt like a nuisance, so I didn’t do that bit more than once, it was much nicer to observe).
And that’s the moment, on a hilltop on sunrise in South Africa, watching some elephants munch on stuff.
4. Tenerife – 2019
My last job was particularly stressful and miserable, so I chose to take a 7 day holiday, by myself, to Tenerife. Now, when I tell you, the entire week was pure bliss, I am not exaggerating. I got up when I wanted, ate when I wanted and did whatever I wanted everyday.
The moment I wanted to tell you about was the day I decided to do absolutely nothing except lie on a sun bed by the pool and read. My hotel was on a clifftop overlooking the sea. They had beautiful gardens around the pool. I was pretty much the only guest because it was out of season, besides this lovely German couple who seemed to have dubbed themselves as my secret protectors (they were very concerned about a girl on holiday alone).
It was just warm enough to be comfortable but not so sunny I could get burnt, I’d just had some tasty food and I fell asleep to the sound of waves crashing and the pool lapping at the waters edge.
This is special to me for a few reasons, I’m not a good sleeper and I can never nap, so all naps are precious when they occur. Secondly, I had a really good dream, what it was about I don’t remember but I do know that I was so out cold, I definitely snored because I woke up myself up with it and discovered the German couple having a quiet little giggle to themselves about my snoring! When they realised I was awake, they explained they’d been waiting to go inside because they were worried about me and my stuff whilst I was asleep. People are adorable sometimes.
5. Laos, 2017
I had been traveling for about 2 and a half months by this point and the busy schedule was exhausting, I was pretty burnt out but you feel guilty for taking a moment to relax because you are so privileged to be seeing the things you are seeing.
On this day, however, we were taking a boat up the Mekong river and the journey would last an entire day. There was literally nothing to do except sit there, as there was no wifi, no tv and the weather was so bad, you couldn’t even enjoy the views. So I got out the new book I’d borrowed from someone else on the trip (The Martian) and I lay there reading the whole day. It was one of those rare days where you are able to disappear completely into a book because there was no need to rejoin reality
I was warm, there were the sounds of the river, the boat moving through the water and rain on the roof. I had a good book. I was in a beautiful place. It was such an amazing day in my memory.
So, there you go, those are the first five memories that jumped into my mind, where I was able to feel totally lost in that particular moment. I could get all philosophical about being in the moment, but I won’t do that to you.
I’d loved to hear some of your ‘lost in time moments’ however ->