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  • Luke Dowding

To The Journey

Those familiar with Star Trek: Voyager will know that this is a line offered as a toast in the series’ two-part finale – it’s also the title of the upcoming documentary of the same show. However, Star Trek nerdery aside, it’s also an apt mantra for me at this reflective moment in time.


Earlier this week Holly and I launched the fourth season of the Worldly Wellbeing podcast – which is a wonderful landmark for us. We began this as a “lockdown one” project and charting its evolution from those early twelve-ish minute episodes to our thirty-plus instalments today, it’s fair to say that we’ve learnt and changed a lot.


As we mention on episode one of season four the average podcaster gives it a good go for about ten episodes and then fizzles out; for Worldly Wellbeing (including recorded episodes yet to go live) we’ve surpassed that with twenty-nine episodes in the bag – and more to come. That’s not to claim bragging rights, but rather to indicate what we’ve put into this and our sense of direction for what lies ahead.


We also begin this season talking through some reflections and playing around with words that hold significance for us right now. Unsurprisingly (especially if your listeners of the podcast) “balance”, “flexibility” and “kindness” all popped up – and so did “journey”.


It’s a significant word for us, and perhaps for you too, as it’s likely we’ve all been on a voyage of our own one way or another these past eighteen months’ or so and perhaps even longer. For me it prompted me to look back on my years as a Londoner, especially as I’m marking a whole decade in the British capital this month.


I look back at the twenty-three-year-old that first moved in with his best friend (Worldly Wellbeing’s very own Holly, of course) and wonder how he survived? How on earth was he motivated by some of the things that pushed him? Why did he cut his hair like that? Yet I’m encouraging myself to look back on him with kindness, not judgement. As I talk about in this week’s episode: thirty-three-year-old Luke is this person because of twenty-three-year-old Luke; I’m grateful for growth, I’m grateful for the journey, and I don’t resent or dislike that very different human.


I believe there’s a lesson there for many of us – the value of kindness to one’s past self, a respect for their journey so that we may continue in our own today. I do not like, behave, watch, eat or do in many of the ways or with many of the things that I used to, and that will likely be the same in another decade – but I am grateful for it, and for the process that brought me here to this moment in which I am typing these words.


Whoa. Existential moment.


So I’d like to propose a toast in the spirit of voyagers past, present, and future; fictional or otherwise: To the journey.

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