‘Can someone take away my name

And let me go back to the start

I would give to you my story

If you let me keep my heart’

Sometimes the incidents that you’d never wish for are the best motivators. Somewhere along the way you realize that not everyone who seems polite and respectful means well. Sometimes the twenty-something year old college dropout-turned-bike-mechanic may be a far better human being than a dignified 54 year old journalist with numerous accolades to his name. As a woman, it’s hard finding safe spaces in unfamiliar countries. Over two decades of living in Asia, almost seven years of living in India, one of the most notorious countries for rape crimes, and I still find it surprising that the most unsafe situation and one of the most awkward scenarios I’ve been in, took place in the first world, in Europe nonetheless.

I plan to travel solo around Europe. This incident was the pushing factor. I feel I have something to prove, to myself. But before I leave I’ll buy myself a knife and some pepper spray.

‘I’ve been walking, walking for hours

so long that I forgot my home

And I’ve been dancing

under the oak trees

and I danced like I’ve never danced before’