What remains of emperor Hadrian’s wall is today a UNESCO World Heritage site and can be seen in Northern England. Historians are divided when it comes to the reason as to why the wall was built. A third believe that it was built as a defensive wall. “To separate the Romans from the barbarians” wrote Hadrian’s biographer. The barbarians he was referring to were the Picts – a tribal community living in modern day Scotland.
Another theory is that the wall was built to control the movement of goods. The check points along the wall provided points of entry and exit into the Roman empire and thus would have formed a ideal location to levy tax. Something had to fund the many wars in the many places that the the Romans had gotten themselves into!
The third belief is that the wall had no purpose but to make a political point. The white washed walls reflecting the sunlight would have been visible for miles and a constant reminder about the vastness of the Roman empire.
The ruins of Hadrian’s wall
The original wall was about 117 km long and was wide enough for 2 guards to stand side by side for sentry duty. The engineers of the Roman army designed and built this wall. Along the wall there were hospitals and granaries and other necessities to ensure that the men of the Roman army were comfortable.
The stones that have survived the attacks by picts and by nature lie today surrounded by green fields and guarded by sheep, lots of sheep.
When I was in my mid 20’s I was an unemployed graduate living with my aunt in the most beautiful place in the United States , San Diego. Lehman Brothers had crashed rather inconveniently a few months prior to my graduation.
Everybody told me that things were going to be ok; I would find a good job; God was working things out;- You know the drill. But for my mid 20 year old self it was the end of the world! Here I was with a Master’s degree from prestigious Georgia Tech and nothing to show for it. I remember struggling to fight back a bout of depression that was in turn attempting to engulf me. I was lost. I had no clue what I wanted to do in life; what I wanted from life. Soon things started working out. I moved back to India, found myself a job, a good job that I enjoyed and all was well once again.
But I had this gnawing discomfort that I really did not know what I wanted from life. I read on BBC Travel, on multiple blogs on WordPress about people who quit their jobs and traded everything they had for a life on the road. Being a person stuffed in and out with wanderlust I wondered if that was something that was written for me? If it was when my call came would I have the guts to leave it all?
My aunt who was my angel in time of need once told 5 years back that I needn’t worry about what I wanted from life at that moment. She said that by the time I am 30 I would have it all figured out. She could not have been more right. 2014 saw me turn 30!!!! And like my aunt said I have it figured out ( most of it atleast!).
I know a life on the road is not on my cards. I know I will travel to places throughout my life and at the same time I am also sure that I will always have a one constant place that I will return to after each and every single trip- home. Figuring this out has made a huge difference in my life.
So on this the first Wednesday of 2015 here is my message to all my readers who are still figuring out life :- Don’t you worry. When the time is right you will have all the answers. In the meantime “Experience everything. Be Fully Alive!“