There was a moment many months ago (or what feels like many months ago), in which I was on a bus heading towards Cesky Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
I nearly fell over backwards
I had never seen such an empty town. Ever. It completely shuts down for the winter; the only people who wander the beautiful streets are the lone tourists, occasionally bringing out a camera to catch a forgotten glory.
I remember the faded cobblestones and the dying red paint across the houses; the way the river twisted and turned, before disappearing behind the buildings that glowed in the fading light. As I looked across the strange town, the deserted streets, the closed shop, I felt strangely lonely, as though I had just realised how far I was from home, how much I missed it.
I recall seeing the sun setting behind the steeples of the churches – a beautiful sight – the red sun bleeding into the endless horizon. I couldn't take out my camera. I felt entirely empty, like all the beautiful sunsets in the world could never be as wonderful as laughing with my best friend, or walking down Acland Street, or hearing the sound of the church bells on a Sunday morning float through my window.
If we could bottle time, how would this moment look? How could I describe this feeling, this feeling that there was no one in the world but me, this feeling of insignificance? I'm missing out on three beautiful places, people and moments. There's a point of time when you realise you are a tiny part of a huge world – life ticks on, no matter how much you miss home, how much you sleep in.
I suppose the answer is not to regret. Smile, capture the present with two hands and run with it. Travelling is about going off into the world in search of something – coming home having found it.