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I have been thinking of travel a lot lately, so last night I went in search of some photos from a trip in 2008. I plugged in my external hard drive where I knew I had stored them from my old laptop when it broke that same year, and started searching through the dozens and dozens of files within files, within files. After about half an hour of looking through random files I still couldn’t find my old photos – I started getting heart palpitations! This is the only copy of these photos I have (apart from a handful I’d put on Facebook). They just had to be there!

Luckily I’m not one to give up, and I finally found them after about another 30mins – what a relief – by this time I was almost frantic to find them. However, what I found wasn’t just photos from my trip, there’s photos there from as far back as 2005! Of course I spent another 2hrs looking through them all… Wow, what a blast from the past!

There are so many memories contained in these random, unorganised electronic files of photos; so many happy moments captured forever. Birthdays, weddings, dinners and nights out, housewarming parties, graduations, achievement ceremonies, and travelling overseas. And seeing the people who are with me in the photos – old friend, new friends at the time who are now old friends, old friends who are now not friends, friends who’ve moved overseas and interstate to live, old flatmates, old workmates, new babies who are now growing up so quick and are already going to school, and three grandparents who’ve now passed on. The memories which seeing these photos have provoked in me is such an emotional mix: happy, sad, joyful, wistful, and so much more which I can’t even put words to…

Those emotions include amazement. Amazement at just how much my life has changed in the last 6-7yrs. If someone had told me back then some of the things I’ve done since, I simply wouldn’t have believed them.

In that time I’ve found the courage to step away from close friends who were toxic. I’ve found the courage to travel to 12 very different countries, and to try things I would’ve only wistfully dreamed about previously. I’ve found the courage to study at Uni for the first time. I’ve met people who’ve forever changed how I see myself. I’ve experienced things which have changed how I look at life in general – good, bad and amazing. And while I’ve lost three treasured older members of my family, I’ve gained four very precious new members too, through marriage and birth.

In short, while I had no idea all those years ago this is where I’d be with my life now, I’m pretty damn happy to be here! And I wouldn’t change a thing – each and every one of those moments captured in those photos, with all those different people throughout my life, have helped to make me who I am today. I’m so incredibly grateful to have found those photos!