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Everybody is now aware that I am leaving this country. The dust has settled. The plan is building. But why on earth is everybody being so nice.

Not a day passes without hearing people say “It is a brave move”, “Good on you, break away from the corporation”, “What an opportunity”. Pats on the back and encouraging words are the norm. Even Company Directors that would not normally give a toss are suddenly interested in where I am going, and dare I say, who I am.

A vale of tension has been lifted. Everything is becoming clear. But then here lies the problem. Even within my job I actually feel positive about it. Maybe I do provide some service,  greater than just being a number, or a cog, or a numbered cog to that matter.

Maybe this though is the pangs before the question that any soul in this position must ask itself: “What the bloody hell are you up to”. 

It is the test phase. When I am forced to question my own existence and come up with the answer “You know what, I’m doing alright, why do I want to change anything”.  Why not stay in my normal safe existence, and if I worked hard at it I could be cynical of all things foreign, I could become a Bigot so that everything has a position stabled nicely below me and why not even become a racist and join some nationalist party with better flags than the flags of other nationalist parties. Why not just stay at home and have a cup of tea and wear jumpers.

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Some people say that that was the quickest mid life crisis they have ever seen. Hit fourty and quit my job to go travelling, bang just like that. Well I actually handed in my notice two days before my birthday, so I guess it was just, slightly, pre mid life crisis. Furthermore, I believe that I will live to 93 so that pushes the crisis well into the realm of pre pre mid life crisis.

What is more, lets face it, life is full of crisis – the type of crisis that is easy to deny. Crammed on public transport as we suffer a job we don’t really want to do, only to pay for our overpriced existence. Violence in the papers, war, death and plague spurting from televisions, bread going stale etc.

Crisis is everywhere. We can hide this crisis and place it under the banner of “Not my problem” or “It is the way that it is” or “Things will get better”. We can accept that crisis is not part of the crisis. Most importantly we have to question, does it make me feel good?

So every good plan needs a plan.

Quit job and work out 3 month notice. This will allow the company plenty of time to re structure itself and figure out what on earth I did for them.

Carry out one month TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign Language) course. It’s always good to have a safety net as fall back. Also it makes my English betterer and will aid in learning something foreign.

Move to India. Everything about the country facinates me. Plus, I love curry and yoga.

In India I intend to carry out atleast 3 months charity work. Not too sure of the reasons behind this yet. Whether it is: maybe I am a good person or maybe I need the impression that I am a good person or maybe I do these things and become a good person. This I am not sure of.

After the charity work, for whatever its reasons, I intend to travel. I want to see as much of India as possible, spend time in Ashrams, travel to Nepal and go to Everest base camp, travel to Myanmar (Burma) and catch a boat to the Andaman and Nicobar islands. 

Carrying out Yoga, photography, writing and getting close to the people and culture are essential to the plan.

Over the coming months this plan will evolve. Place names, time and goals will hang off it like a brightly decorated Christmas tree. Eventually there will be a structure to the plan where all its integral parts will exist in symbiotic to one another with enough space to grow and be fluid.

Planning the plan builds the dream in the head. The dream becomes the future and ultimately becomes the past.

On February 11th 2008 at precisely 11.45 AM I, Colin Laidlaw, handed in my notice at my regular job.  

Regular work, regular money, regular friends, regular faces, regular conversations, regular annoyances, regular habits, regular sandwich at the regular sanwich shop, being a regular at the regular’s place at the regular bar.

Regular as I knew it will never be regular again!

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