An odd memory: in long-ago days when I would play PC strategy games like Civilization, Dune or Warcraft, one of my first priorities would be to map the edges of my virtual world. I’d navigate straight out from wherever my “center” happened to be until I’d hit the limits of shore or world, then move tile by tile until the outline of my game’s universe emerged.
Then, and only then, would I start navigating inwards to map out the rest of my universe’s terrain, filling in the edges until the whole picture emerged.
I find this strategy mirrored curiously (yet unsurprisingly) in my life. I’ve spent the majority of my early adulthood exploring the boundaries of the world and my capabilities (hence the rambles through countries, continents and careers). Now, I’ve begun the long—and possibly more fraught—voyage inwards, looking for that postmodern version of Shangri-la we all call “home.”
Curiously (yet unsurprisingly) this leg of the trip has turned out to be far more alien and exotic. Leave yourself long enough, and you turn into a strange and marvelous thing even to yourself.
And this time, unlike before, I’m determined to enjoy the journey.