So my two weeks on the farm have drawn to a close and I’ve made my way back to my parents in Dorset. The ride from Exeter across to Poole was tough, East Devon and West Dorset are quite hilly. The hills of Yorkshire are individually brutal, the hills I rode yesterday were more a war of attrition. The highest points reached weren’t great but each time you conquered a climb you then dipped back down to almost sea level only to start again. A continuous roller-coaster eastwards. Luckily it flattens out a bit after you pass Dorchester and I managed to reach my destination just as darkness was falling.
I enjoyed my time on the farm but I was ready to move on again. The work was interesting and I learnt a lot however the scale of the operation meant that tasks lasted just longer than I wanted them to. This gave a level of monotony to the jobs which meant the novelty wore off after a while. I would highly recommend people go and work growing food though if only to see how little we know about our food and what is involved in getting it to your plate. If I go to another farm in the future I’ll probably try to find a smaller one.
My time on the farm was also fun because I realised that I knew more people in Exeter than I’d previously thought. For the whole of the trip so far I’ve been finding that I’m either totally on my own or surrounded by people. I’ve grown accustomed to being alone and enjoy the solitude, conversely any trip into an urban area with all the trappings of modern society generally does not fill me with glee. However it has been nice to spend time with friends and meet new people.
Sometimes I feel very detached even from friends, relatives and the social scenes I mix within. I don’t see myself as a particularly happy, positive person and a lot of the thoughts and feelings I have at the moment differ quite heavily from what is considered the ‘norm’. I’m increasingly not bothered about being alone in both the physical sense and also in an emotional sense, be that friendship or something more than that. I am aware that there is a part of me which does naturally trend towards being social or forming bonds with people but I guess I’ve suppressed that and promoted a certain level of disconnection. However talking to old friends and meeting new people recently, I can see that maybe I’ve been taking too negative a view.
We are all unique in our personality, experiences and outlook on life, yet there are common threads. So life is almost like one big Venn diagram, we all have thoughts and feelings which overlap and sometimes those overlaps are greater than you might think. I’ve been yet again reminded to not judge people too quickly which I am definitely guilty of far too often. In addition we are, as people, at different stages of our journey through life. I’ve spoken to people who hold future aspirations to do things or alter their lives in certain ways but don’t want to act on those thoughts quite yet. Whilst I know that as a person if I have an epiphany I want to change things up now.
I know it’s been said by many people that we travel to learn about the world and other people and in doing so we also learn things about our selves. I would add to that that as with most things there is a balance to be struck between the space given by solitude and the knowledge/experience of interacting with other people. I can see now that I have to a degree been forcing myself towards isolation. I need to make sure I seek out social experiences on occasion to better address the balance and if I do that then in the future anything is possible.
(Jonesin’ – ‘Lone)