I left England in December 2011, and went travelling the globe with my other half (who I pretty much dragged along but who quickly got very much into the swing of things). I am currently back in England after 22 months of travel. This is not the end of my adventure. This is a lifestyle for life, not something I had to get out of my system.
Having worked since my teens, gotten a mortgage in my early twenties I spent most of my adulthood with responsibilities. I never had a gap year or student years with long periods of free time. I fell into my career in IT but have enjoyed it and take pride that I am good at it. I’ve attained most of the things you strive for – nice house, nice car, nice things, nice holidays. I had a good time and had enough spare cash to do lots of fun things – fancy restaurants, gigs, festivals, mini-breaks abroad, multi-location holidays. Life was good, but there was always the sense that something was missing.
From my late 20s I became obsessed with finding my vocation. The notion that there was some specific career out there that would bring me fulfillment. Years later and I was no further closer to finding that elusive thing. Of course there are things I like to do but the practical side of my brain would always shout out about the practicalities of what money would be coming in to cover the bills. In the meantime, the constant working and long, hideous commutes were dragging me down. I had always wanted to go travelling and was certain it was something I would do one day but with my other half Mark, not keen on the idea and my underlying need for financial security meant it never happened. And then… one day it did. I can’t even think how it happened really. I just decided it was now or never.Particularly when I stumbled on the concept of digital nomading and saw people who could be travelling for 6 months, on the same budget we would be spend on a 2 week holiday that we were exhausted after.
The economy sucked so we were working just as hard but everything was getting more expensive and more difficult. Mark was also having a particularly unpleasant commute he was looking to escape from. So, he finally agreed to the idea and the plans started to take shape. In all honesty, I don’t think he ever believed it would actually happen despite the planning and was a little shell shocked when I booked the tickets.
It was a big scary thing – neither of us had ever back-packed, despite having travelled quite a lot. And we weren’t the bravest, toughest of people (or so I thought). 22 months and 20 countries later and we had learnt a lot, adapted amazingly and had a completely new view of life and way of life.
So I may not have found a vocation as such, career wise, but I’ve found that my vocation is definitely to travel as much as I possibly can. I can’t imagine a time I won’t want to spend much of my year in different countries and cultures. It can be tiring, it takes a lot of organisation, things can go wrong, but there’s nothing like it and it’s definitely filled that void in my core and I can say ‘yes – this is who I was meant to be’. Travel is and will always be a huge part of my life and I’m really enjoying helping other people out with the knowledge I’ve gained from my experiences. I’m a real travel cheer leader!!
5 facts about me…
1. I am in my late 30s & I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up – but I do now know what I don’t want to be – trapped!
2. I am from Brighton (England) – not my original home but definitely my spiritual home. It is supreme seaside living!
3. I have curly hair that is so messy I got away with not having to have it cut for a year.
4. I take about 3 days to acclimatise to a new place – no matter how familiar or how much of a culture shock or scary it seems.
5. I can make even the dankest accommodation homely and create little routines quickly.
5 things I love…
1. travelling (obviously)
2. anything retro or vintage or kitsch
3. noodle soup – esp pho and ramen
4. learning about people’s stories
5. the smell of my little ponies/new shower curtains
5 things I don’t love…
1. tinned tuna
3. bad manners
4. tabloids & trolls
5. that I will never get to fly on concorde
5 things I am scared of…
1. the dark
2. polar bears
3. anyone in a Scream mask
4. the woods
5. being in the woods in the dark with a polar bear in a Scream mask
5 things that make me hopeful…
1. there are way, way more good people out there than there are bad
2. there will always be colour
3. there will always be dreams
4. there will always be something to laugh at and someone to laugh with
5. i will find better things to do with my time than write a bunch of stupid lists
My partner in crime
Mark is my other half and travel companion. Although he loved to travel, he never had the ambition to do a world trip or long term travel. He fancied moving abroad but not so much the notion of moving around. But I convinced him (and harangued him) and of course he never regretted that decision. His many talents include music writing and making and scuba diving.