Kenya 5: The realisation I’m not good at relaxing

We are generation busy. Doodle polls are needed to be able to get a group of friends in the same place at the same time and that time is normally six weeks away, if you’re lucky. We’re busy with work, we’re busy with socialising – whether with people we actually want to spend time with or those we feel we ought to network with, we’re busy doing life admin, we’re busy doing various hobbies. Spontaneity is dead to millennials.

That was part of the reason I initially wanted to take a break from the career ladder and go to Kenya and volunteer on a horseback safari lodge. It turns out though – I’m pretty bad at enjoying not being busy.

Being on a farm in the middle of nowhere with an incredibly crap road between you and a something resembling a main road with tarmac, and no form of transport to get from A and B that doesn’t involve trying to sweet talk a lift from the owners of the lodge or forking out for hire cars and drivers willing to brave said crap road does not suit me.

Maybe my brain has been addled by our generational notion of wanting everything now. Or maybe I can’t compute the idea that I’ve travelled halfway around the world to just sit and watch movies on my laptop or read because there is literally nothing else to do on the farm I’m stranded on. Either way, I’m longing for the busy to come back!

Believe me, I long for more spontaneity amongst my peers and people who tell me they are genuinely not free for several months I tend to write off with the thought ‘ah you can’t be bothered to see me for several months, fine, I won’t bother either’. But, I am genuinely flummoxed by people who like a quiet life and genuinely think their one commitment a week outside of work means they are so stressed. How are they not longing for a hyena to enter their tent at night (that has no zip because the owners haven’t found time in the last five months to fix it) and chomp on them and put them out of their bored misery?

I am absurdly more productive when I’m busy. Put me under pressure and I’ll get more things done. Give me endless unfilled time and my brain will turn to mush as I mindless scroll through social media feeds trying to get some fast interaction with the wide world.

I am back in London at the end of the month and resuming work at PLMR in October. I look forward to being so busy I dream of having some free days I can just read and watch movies. Isn’t that ironic?

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