I’m sitting in Brisbane airport again with an hour to spare before my flight to Fiji.
I used to run around like a headless chook to make the plane on time but now I arrive an hour early so I can sit quietly amid the airport announcements and savour my good fortune. Coupled with the ritual subway six inch, a latte, the newspaper and the prospects of the assignment ahead, this – for me – has become a blissful moment.
I have eight more assignments scheduled over the next six months, with South Africa to go to three days after I return, so life’s grand.
It isn’t for everybody – travelling up to eight months a year – but it’s a lifestyle I’ve chosen and one I continue to enjoy as I’m drawn by the variety of experiences, the people I meet and the associated challenges (and pleasures) of arriving in a new destination. On top of that, I have a purpose – to produce winning photographs – which, again, suits me as I’ve sat under enough palm trees to realise that paradise without purpose just ain’t paradise.
So, leaving home for me is as much a pleasure as it is returning. The fact that the extremes are so close together merely enhances the appreciation I have of both worlds.
And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Anyway, boarding shortly; time to set the away message on my phone: “Sorry, you’ve missed me. I’m away on a cruise assignment photographing Fiji’s remote Lau Islands. Back in two weeks.”