After finally returning from India, followed by a brief stint in the south of England sandwiched between a few days resting at home in Glasgow and annual leave to go do some coverage of World Pride in Toronto along with a few days sightseeing and partying in New York, I once again find myself back at home in Scotland. The last few months have been busy and I haven’t had much time to catch my breath, let alone have a serious sit and think about what my next move is. On top of that I find myself with no work to do (yet still am employed with a salary), since it it a quiet period at the office. Returning from the USA was surprisingly stressful – my lack of direction, be it work or leisure, in tandem with nowhere immediately obvious to go, left me agitated and restless.
In the end I found myself back in London, meeting up with old friends and connecting with some of my amazing Instagram followers (if you don’t follow me on Instagram, my handle is @engineerontheroad), which was refreshing and soothed my irritability at not knowing what to do with myself. After a brief meeting with my boss it looks like I’m going to have a quiet summer, and the option to be location independent until some new projects start in the autumn. We also discussed my future plans – those close to me know that I’m actually coming to a stage in my life where I don’t want to travel 100% of the time, despite what my frequent travels would suggest; I’m ready to settle down in one place (while still maintaining the option to travel, for business or pleasure).
What looks to most likely be my next step will be to start my doctorate, likely in the area of environmental chemistry, with a leaning towards policy and/or international development. I’ve got no idea where I’ll end up doing that, but I know I want to leave the UK – I’ve spent 26 years here (short term expat periods aside) and I’m ready for a change and the opportunity to start over somewhere new. I’ve got no idea where I’ll end up, but right now I’m looking into Germany, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and ideally I’ll end up on mainland Europe, Southeast Asia or maybe a city I know I love like Toronto or Rio de Janeiro. I can apply for doctorates left, right and centre, but ultimately it comes down to the waiting game…
While I’m waiting, I’m going to be making the most of the opportunity to enjoy life in Glasgow, meet friends, go on dates and do some of the things in Scotland and Europe I’ve not had the chance to do yet. Already I’ve made some new friends, gone out on Glasgow’s gay scene for the second time in my life, joined the new gym in town (and almost passed out from low blood pressure on my first visit) and gorged myself with some rather tasty food, both at my favourite restaurants and cooked by my own fair hand. On the horizon are the Commonwealth Games kicking of in Glasgow, which I may or may not attend, and my upcoming trip to Iceland at the weekend. The bottom line: life is good, and even though I’m not entirely sure what is going on during this transitory period, I’m going to enjoy it regardless.