Live each tour as if it were your last!!

‘Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til its gone…’

We are always told to live every moment as though it were our last. It is a cliché. But god dam it like all good clichés and life lessons that are crammed down our faces by every feel good poster, status, novel and book…it is true, but so easily forgotten until the unexpected moment when you get slapped in the face with a cold fish…

Now don’t worry, thankfully nothing as dramatic as losing a loved one has happened to me recently. And I am still alive and well – maybe this is a slight overstatement given I have just put my body through 3months of solid drinking… but I am still here nonetheless.

However once again I find myself coming to the end of a pretty freakin spectacular chapter of my life, and I am wondering where it went and whether I have made the most of my time?...

As always I have got myself into another beautiful dilemma. Yes there is a boy involved. But this is a story I can’t bring myself to write yet, because I am still in the middle of the storm, and honestly it all seems so surreal – like the movie ‘Stranger than Fiction’ where Will Ferrel’s character starts hearing someone narrating his life, only to discover that his life is actually being written by an author somewhere out there; 

I can truly imagine someone sitting at a desk as we speak, bashing away at a typewriter, extremely chuffed with themselves over the incredible plot they have dreamed up. Watch out Hollywood, here comes the next notebook… well actually I doubt this has a fairy tale ending, probably more like a modern day Romeo and Juliet – if history dictates anything, its that when it comes to my love life, the ending will be more tragedy orientated than your typical happy ending... So if for some reason I end up at the bottom of the ocean, you will all understand why. Ok that last statement is a bit extreme, but ridiculously enough it is not as far fetched as one might think (but you will all have to wait for the release of my book to discover what on earth it is I am talking about). 

Again I digress. So, like every other episode in my life, the close of this chapter was not really foreseen (my life has a tendency to run at 1000 miles per hour, so while others plan their next move, and what it is they are doing, life has a tendency to launch me from one phase to the next, a quantum leap if you will; and  only after the leap has occurred and the dust has settled do I have a chance to reflect over what the fuck just happened). I was always planning on finishing a little earlier, but due to a number of reasons (not all boy related, a few boat politics too) that I won’t go into (just yet...), I have unknowingly had my last tour.

I can’t remember exactly how I felt last year, but this year, every tour seemed to go faster and faster. I would finally love the group by day 3 (it normally took me a couple of days to get over the previous week, then love a new group again – some were the exception to this rule though), then all of a sudden it was the last night and I constantly found myself asking where the week went – did I do enough, did I spend enough time with everyone, have some real conversations, did I make a difference?... Every week I was left feeling like maybe there was something more I could have done, seen or just relished more of the smaller moments.

I don’t know if it is everyone or just me, but I always seem to put things off until the last minute too. When living in London, there were so many things I didn’t do that I wish I had; and again in Florence. While I definitely live life, I am not an explorer like some – I haven’t visited every street, church, monument in every destination like maybe I should have. And again here, I have been visiting the same destinations every day for the last 3months, have I really appreciated every aspect of every day or have I just let this summer slip me by?...

It was funny, in my last tour, I had this niggling little voice that kept saying – “you should really be doing more…” a slight intuitive voice if you will, that kept trying to hint that it was maybe my last tour; but I kept pushing it aside - mostly because I was actually really sick, so spent a lot of the time trying to get better. I had such an amazing group, and wanted to do absolutely everything with them, but couldn’t bring myself to spend every second with them or stay out partying hard every night because I really was dying a little.

That Friday afternoon (the tour finished Saturday morning) I got an email saying that it was my last tour…As you can imagine I was absolutely devastated (I still thought I would do 2 or 3 more). I broke down a little and felt absolutely gutted that I didn’t know at the beginning of the week, because maybe I would have done things differently, given a little more of myself… I have absolutely loved the season, and all of my groups, I really do feel blessed to have met all of the incredible people that I have; but all season I held back a little. Maybe I did this because for a starter I thought I would finish the season in October, so wanted to save myself a little – 5months of drinking, partying and constantly giving part of yourself to others is a lot more taxing than people give it credit for. So to come to my last tour unknowingly, I of course feel like I could’ve given more of myself during the season. Just like when I did my last half marathon, the whole time I kept thinking “you can push a little harder…” but the sensible me said “no save it for the end”; then all of a sudden it was the end and I wasn’t absolutely f’d – I definitely had more in the tank to give!

It’s strange, maybe a bizarre coincidence, or one of life’s beautiful phenomenon; but even though I was sick, it really was a perfect week. The group were amazing, and everything just worked naturally. I had a lot of firsts too. My first passenger left behind (everyone has been asking me all season if it has happened to me, and I have kept saying – it does happen, but not on my tours, so my perfect track record was broken… *thanks Jess*), I have been wanting to do a flash mob all season, and it just naturally evolved that we did the ‘nutbush’ as a group everywhere – including in a day bar in Makarska – did I mention I love day drinking and have been wanting a day session all season… Oh and yes Craigo you get a mention here – my first fabulous Gay of the season! (Couldn’t resist). But seriously, I have loved every single one of my groups, but if I had to finish with one it couldn’t have been more perfect. Of course part of me will always think, but what groups am I missing out on… yes I always get a chronic case of FOMO; and this is definitely no exception to the rule - because I love meeting people, and god dam it I am good at what I do!

There are so many moments and people that I will absolutely treasure from this season; and like everything I do in life, I can only hope that I made an impact or a small difference on all of those I came into contact with, no matter how big or small. Even though I feel like maybe I have taken it for granted a little, when I look at it, the truth is I have appreciated numerous sunsets, people, conversation, laughs, songs, sunshine, swims…

I know I can’t change anything, and I wouldn’t take back a thing (even given the predicament I am now in). I am not only walking away with so many amazing memories (and new friends), but as always – given how cheesily optimistic and philosophical I can be about life… I am walking away with more incredible life lessons. Once again I am about to turn the page into a new chapter. I have given a lot, but have received a lot more. For the good, the bad and particularly the ugly (behind the scenes stuff that not one of my passengers would ever know), I am so much stronger in the person I am, and the person I want to be.

I do live life, and I can honestly say that I don’t think I have ever lived a dull moment in my life; this is just another good story to add to the collection and this chapter particularly has been a spectacular explosion of colour and light amongst some of the greys, blacks and white.

I will always try to remember this feeling and closing moment; and that whatever the next chapter brings – I will strive to live each ‘tour’ as if it were my last!!

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