Posted by: Nick Ward | 24 July, 2014

Taking Stock

As I approach a significant anniversary of my birth, let me indulge in a little reflection, and a tiny bit of looking ahead.

If the key to happiness is to live in the moment and love what you have – and not hunger for what you don’t – then perhaps I need to scribble down some observations on this life I appear to have signed up for. Being the quintessential E-type, I will of course share these private thoughts with the world, as one does.Reflection

I was talking to my friend Warrick a little while back and he reminded me that my life sounds pretty great to a lot of people. Freedom to travel and come and go as I wished. I reminded him that it didn’t actually feel that great a lot of the time and I’d give my right arm to have a husband and child as he does. Turns out said child had been energetically resistant to going to bed that night, and Warrick made an observation about the apparent greenness of grass in each of our camps.

So let me look at my life of travel.  It’s true, I travel more than many of my friends. Alright, most of my friends – but to be absolutely clear, not all of my friends, and that’s even when you exclude the ones who are airline pilots. I work in the travel industry. I have visited all seven continents and travelled through countries from A to Z. That’s not true, I haven’t been to the Z’s, it would be A to Y. You could almost say I live and breathe travel.

I believe that travel is a fundamental lifeforce for many of us, as basic a need as food or oxygen. The first Australians discovered the need to Go Walkabout, while indeed they only themselves arrived in this great continent as a result of the trans-migration which saw humans populate every corner of our globe. Travel is in our DNA, and even more so for Aussies and Kiwis than people from other countries.

I’ve always been intrigued by peoples’ resistance to change, when in fact they choose to change their activities and environment many times each day. Work a while, eat a while, work a while longer, play a while, sleep a while. We can’t keep doing the same thing or we go stir crazy. And so we are in the most part energized by travel, by it’s defeat of boredom and repetition. I for one am also energized by the ‘higher purpose’ which I believe travel can deliver to this world we live in, changing people for the better through their travel experiences and the people they meet.

I like to travel, I like it a lot. The view from my desk changes almost daily, and I get to have favourite coffee shops where the baristas know I have a Large Skim/Skinny/Trim Latte in half a dozen cities. I have a good relationship with a number of airlines and usually get an ok seat, although intriguingly it seems I get the best seats on the airlines on which I have the lowest frequent flyer status. Why are airlines so often good at flying and bad at business.

It has it’s down sides too. Disruption of sleep is a biggie (he says through stinging eyes), both through early starts and sleeping in unfamiliar beds, although I’ve got used to the latter far more than the former. Missing people, events and routine (such as regular swim squad) is annoying. And I’m sure spending a lot of time at altitude can’t be all that good for you: between thin atmosphere, increased radiation exposure, reduced physical activity and that bizarre fluid retention thing, you don’t feel like a well oiled machine when you leave an aeroplane.

All in all however, I’m a fan of travel and it’s central position in my life is welcome.

There are other good things to reflect on too. I live in a great country, and that’s a big plus. We’re in a mess politically at the moment, and as bad as the current government is (and it is a shocker) I must admit I have had serious misgivings about the three Prime Ministers before this one. We will, however, come back from this hole. We are not the mean and nasty country we may appear to an observer at this moment, we are a fair and caring people, we are clever and we are resourceful, and we will return.

I have a great job. Amadeus is a fantastic company with a fantastic future, it has a central role to play in this rapidly evolving world of travel. The people I work with are second to none. No complaints there.

I live in a pretty cool apartment in a pretty cool suburb. I have friends, although most of the really close ones are a long way from where I live. Note to self: expand your friendships, Nicholas. E-types need to be around people.

Which I guess brings me to the elephant in the room. The sparkling excitement of being gaydom’s most eligible bachelor has worn off, yet I find myself pushing people away who might remedy the situation, only to be attracted to guys who are never serious prospects. I’m sure I’d be a psychoanalyst’s dream. It is not a situation which brings great joy and happiness.

The other elephant in the room (and two elephants in any room is pretty uncomfortable) has been my hopes of one day becoming a dad. In fact, with my best friend Mel we Babyhave been exploring the possibility of having a child for some time. The road has been a long one, and we’ve learnt a hell of a lot. And next April we are having a baby.

So, life is going to change a lot, and I can’t wait. Time for a new chapter, one in which a little human being is the centre of my focus and energy as I work to create an environment in which she can grow and learn and become the best person she can be. There’s plenty to take stock of, as I move into a bold new world.

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Responses

  1. Congrats Nick. On being a cool dude and doing cool dude things. You’ll be a cool dad. xxx

  2. Nick, I really admire your honesty in this piece, I can almost hear you speak as I read. I am struck by your thoughts around travel serving a ‘higher purpose’. I would love to discuss that further with you one day.

    Regarding being the most eligible bachelor and trying to find true love… from my experience and observation, cliched as it sounds,…… it generally happens when you aren’t looking or least expect it. Sometimes, you just need to let that yearning go, for it to come to you. Deepak Chopra covers this well in his Law on Attraction (I think that is the one anyway). So just keep focused on those areas of life that you are passionate about and… well who knows!

    Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your daughter, that is really big and dare I say life changing! So very exciting.

    Finally Nick, happy birthday to you and congratulations on making it to 50 and on being happy and healthy, it’s a great age. Kari x


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