After a year of travelling, and reaching my mid-twenties this year, I have come to realise that life is pretty overwhelming. I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want, choose who I want to be. That’s incredibly exciting, but also pretty scary.
I landed back in my home town in Essex just over three weeks ago, and I’m still in the process of getting back into a fresh routine, but with a much larger perspective on life itself.
Sometimes I need to remind myself on how much I actually did in the space of twelve months. When people ask me how it feels to be back, I simply say ‘It feels like I’ve had a five minute daydream, then all of a sudden here I am, back to reality.’
Occasionally I get this sinking feeling that life really does travel too fast, but at least I know that I really am living my life to it’s fullest and making good choices, creating countless memories along the way.
The fact that I managed to travel solo has given me a sense of freedom and confidence that makes me feel like I can conquer anything that gets thrown my way. The world seems much more accessible now, and I’m more than ready to explore it!
KEEPING UP THE SPONTANEITY
Two days after I got back from my travels, I scraped up the last of my money I had left and went to Download Festival for three days! Why the hell not? In the last year I’ve said YES to pretty much every adventure opportunity, and I wasn’t going to stop now!
It was my first ever rock festival, and my god it was definitely worth the heavy rain and the mud!
I now have this urge to try so many new things, visit so many new places without the worry of money holding me back. Yes I will be sensible, but I’ve now come to realise that money will come and go, but our time on this earth is limited.
When we die, our memories, character and passions will last forever. I want to be remembered as someone who grabbed life by the horns.
MY ROUTINE PLAN
(Apart from getting itchy feet looking at the occasional travel posts for more inspiration.)
- Join fitness classes on my days off. I’m excited about starting pole dancing and yoga again!
- Spend quality time with my loved ones. I’ve noticed that when you’re gone for a year, you realise how much you mean to people, vice versa.
- Appreciate that I have a full time job back at the hotel I worked at when I was 16. It’s not my dream career, but it’s something I’m good at for now and it’s only a drive round the corner. And I must say it is rather nostalgic! It’s had a wonderful refurb recently so it doesn’t really feel like I’ve gone backwards since returning from my travels. It seems that everything is much more convenient at the moment!
- Make the most of living with my family while I’m saving money for my own place.
- Know that more holidays are round the corner, so best start saving! Basically, there’s a lot of saving going on here…
- Look after myself. My wellbeing is important, and turning 25 makes me feel old and wanting to get my shit together. I’ve also started anti-aging early… Talk about a quarter-life crisis.
When I have alone time I tend to get anxious about my future. I’m like ‘SHIT, what do I do now?’
Do I take a dog-grooming course and open up my own business? I love dogs! But I have no dog-grooming experience… Do I become a Yoga instructor? No…Not enough money. Shall I carry on pursuing my magazine journalism graduate/career path? Should I have quit theatre school those many years ago? Do I just work anywhere as a waitress and gather up more money? Do I really care about what job I have? Because all I want right now is more money to enjoy life and to travel to as many places as possible! What is my purpose in life apart from the constant desire to travel? *pulling hair out*
After those crazy scribbles in my head, I’ve realised I need to look at the simple things in life that make me happy, and I must take a step back.
I’ve learned that life is extremely spontaneous. Therefore I’ve stopped thinking so far ahead and have begun to narrow it down to taking each day/week as it comes.
I’m trying my best to enjoy me-time on my days off. Right now it’s hard. For example, I just spent five hours cleaning the house and being pro-active so I don’t just sit here procrastinating and over-thinking. I feel like I always need to achieve something…
APPRECIATING THE SIMPLE THINGS AND REALISING HOW LUCKY I AM
- Not everyone gets to travel. So instead of moping about the house, I take a moment to embrace the little things and keep hold of the holiday memories of a trip that made my life that bit richer. I can look back at myself when I’m older and feel proud, as well as telling many stories to my grandchildren!
- A BED! A huge comfortable bed! With my own pillows! No more hostel sheets and bumpy mattresses with strange looking stains scattered on the material.
- A long pampering session in a hot bath. Where I can spend as much time as I can in there without other travellers wanting to use to bathroom.
- Knowing where everything is: A trip to the doctors, dentist and the bank have become a breeze. (Free NHS health care is seriously underrated.) My personal belongings being safe in one place, my local supermarket/bar, enjoying local cinema dates with siblings/friends/the significant other. Planning spa days with friends to have the ultimate catch up. The relief of getting in my car and driving wherever, whenever.
My parents’ food cupboard…Always there to be raided.
- My friends/family are now only a tiny distance away. I can just jump in my car and pop round! Instead of being on the opposite side of the planet. Social media has always been there however, so I never felt too far away from anyone when Facetime was involved.
- Being reunited with all my pets again, wanting to take my springer spaniel, Maisie out for a walk regularly. Carrying my pet parrot Ozzy around with me on my shoulder. Cuddles with Minweenie my Burmese cat. I just want to cuddle everything and everyone!
- Relieved that my current job is just a five minute drive rather than an hour and a half train journey every day when I worked for Lush. But I took that train journey as an opportunity for valuable thinking time.
DON’T BE A TRAVEL BORE
The most important thing I’ve done whilst I’ve been back is not bombard people with my travel stories. I understand that people don’t really care about ‘That time in Bali…’ or ‘when I was looking at the sunset across Ayres Rock…’ as they weren’t there to experience it, and words simply cannot describe the feeling you had when experiencing that breathtaking adventure…
So my stories just happily play over and over in my head and I can sit back and feel content and proud that I achieved a whole year of travelling.
This is why I’m trying to keep up with this blog, as friends and family can choose to read/share it. I also care more about what they’ve been up to in the last year, as they’ve already seen my many posts on Facebook so I feel I don’t need to repeat myself.
But if they ask about any certain experiences I had, then I’ll be sure to answer in detail!
“SO WHAT’S YOUR PLAN NOW?”
The most annoying question on the planet. And I’ve already been asked this about ten times.
Not many people have a plan after travelling – they just try hard to not get the post-travel blues and jump on a plane straight back to the life of escapism.
Luckily I came up with a very simple one whilst sitting in my caravan during my farm-work in Bundaberg picking cherry tomatoes:
– Save up, enjoy life, create new challenges, fill each day with love, don’t panic, just live your life and continue to explore the four corners of the world.
Does anyone else have the post-travel blues and want to share their stories/ advice with me? Feel free to comment below and I’ll check out your site!
Love and stuff