If not now, when?

Two things to know about me.

I am very, very impacient.

I am never, never satisfied.

This is a hell of a cocktail. It’s not easy to keep up. Not for others, not even for myself. It is also a very lonely place to be in. Thankfully, being alone, travelling alone, doing anything alone has never scared me – and that’s great. Because as I said it’s hard to keep up and I have no patience to wait around.

And for me it is hard to think that my dreams, by life goals were depending on others. I’ve learned the hard way trusting people often brings you disappointment and pain. Depending on others is just too risky for me. Especially when it comes to my own goals.

All I ever wanted from childhood was to get to know the world. I assume that is where my passion for books and reading comes from. For years and years the pages of a book were the plane for foreigner lands.

Everytime my impatience comes to the surface, I am often told, as a young woman, to be patient. To keep calm. “You have time”, they keep telling me, “you’re still so young”. But time goes by at the same rate for everyone right? I am not getting any younger at every second, and I don’t when my expiration date is due.

No one knows. We all know from the moment we were born, we are going to die. There will be a last time we breath. And yet, we have no idea when will that moment come. Death affects all living beings. Regardless age, race, ethnicity, social status, bank account…. time does run out.

And the expression of having time, as if it was something you can truly possess. Like an object. Something that when runs out you can just go and get more to the grocery store. We can be so idiotic – we don’t really know time, how much more time we’ll be living and more, knowing this, we still insist on saying to each other how much time you still have.

I am very aware time is fleeting. I know I won’t be young forever. I am living now. The time is now. I won’t be living in a future I don’t know if exists. And I really don’t want to live in a past that I did’t have because I was living in the future.

I want to live now. Because if not now, then when?

No one reacted well to my decision of travelling alone to Mexico. Most people really though I was crazy. They wanted me to wait to have company to go, and I couldn’t wait for company. Especially because not all companies all welcome when it comes to travelling together, and I am the least luckiest person when it comes to get it right.

Mexico was a dream. Mexico was goal. I could do it now. So why, not?

If not now, when?

Some my thing that I am irresponsible. That I am not aware of the dangers of travelling as a solo female. But believe me, it’s the exact opposite. I am very much aware of the dangers, the risks. I take precautions. And of course, I was scared. Of course, fear was dominating my nerves a few days before my flight out of England. But would I stop just because I was afraid? If that was the case, I wouldn’t even be here in the first place. If I had let the fear for the unknown stop me, I would have ever left the little village where I grew up in Portugal.

I am fearless, therefore I’m powerful, wrote Mary Shelley in Frankenstein. I wouldn’t say I am fearless, but I have learnt that what makes me strong is not not being afraid. It is acting, despite of the fear. Overcoming it. That’s where courage comes from.

So, if not now, when?

Just ask yourself this question. No matter what your dreams are. Make them reality. Dreams are amazing, but if that’s all they are, then what’s the point?

Ask yourself.

If not now, when?

Cycling in Tulum to the beach I felt such freedom, such happiness, a state of bliss I don’t often feel. And then I saw this sign. In my last stop in Mexico, I saw it and it was like a summary of everything I had lived in those two weeks. And I decided to make it as hymn, a rule to live by, now, and forever.


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