Soppy shit generally isn’t my thing. But today, I make an exception.

In the 7 months since I left the UK, my Nan was diagnosed, began to weaken and then suffered rapid deterioration before finally passing yesterday evening. Cancer can be so, so cruel.

It’s something that you rarely consider when you think about travelling, but tragedy strikes when it wants. It waits for no-one. And after feeling so helpless on the other side of the world as the rest of my family rushed around to help with everything, I now have to come to terms with the fact that I won’t be at the funeral, which absolutely devastates me whenever the thought creeps into my mind.

I was very close to my Nan. Our views on life and pretty much everything else were polar opposites, yet she was the only person who I could stand speaking to on the phone for more than 10 minutes! Her loss will leave a massive void in my life, and being on the opposite side of the world to everyone else affected, makes it ever more difficult.

Some may argue that whilst cancer is undeniably a cruel beast, it does allow us to prepare and ease us into these moments. But I can’t help feeling that it only adds to the sense of injustice, as I know that she had the mental and physical strength to push on for many more years than she has ultimately been allowed.

In terms of my situation, it’s admittedly tempting to just jump on a plane and head back to the comforts of home, but one thought of how annoyed my Nan would be if I did that and I soon realise that I just have to push on and continue to do things out here that I know would make her proud.

In a couple of months time, we will be travelling around the whole of New Zealand in a campervan for around three months. As much as I’d like to have my home comforts right now, I think the freedom and the perspective altering sights offered by this adventure will actually be the perfect way to reflect, to remember and to move forward.

My last picture with my Nan as she waved us off on our adventure, teary eyed. “See you in 12 months” she said. RIP Nan.

Yesterday, my Dad delivered this blog post as a speech on my behalf at my Nan’s funeral, allowing me some kind of positive contribution to the service. He assures me it was well received.

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