So it’s hard to believe that it’s been 60 days since I packed life into a backpack on my shoulders for a second time within the last year to embark on yet another journey with no expiry date.
As I stated in my “Life back on the road and feeling at home” post I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous and unsure that the choice to once again forsake a place to live, routine and a stable job, friends and family to once again live the life of a nomadic traveler was a little scary. But I knew it was something I had to do. After my first 4.5 month trip through Latin America that ended in March 2013 I had gotten a taste for the freedom and excitement that travel can bring, and even though I was happy to reconnect with my family and friends in Australia, I just didn’t feel at home.
The best and nerdiest way I could convey how I felt was relating to the way Frodo felt at the end of “Lord Of The Rings” when Frodo decides that he can’t go back to just living a simple life in the shire and must continue on. While I certainly haven’t gone on any trilogy-worthy quests trying to stop an unspeakable evil (yet :P), I can still relate to the idea that once you have stepped outside of your own little bubble and seen so many new and interesting parts of the world and experienced new things, it is really hard to go back to living the life you once had.
So 60 days ago I decided to leave Australia once more. Unlike my last trip where I had no working visa and was just planning on travelling till the money ran out, this time I was armed with a UK working holiday visa so I can legally work in the UK for the next 2 years and won’t have to return home when the funds run low.
The last 60 days have been some of the most intense and rewarding couple of months of my life. As many of you know who read My amazing Asian travel plans. I spent 3 and a half amazing (party-fueled) weeks in Thailand. I fell in love with the Buddhist culture and got to experience things I never even dreamed I would be doing: trekking through the jungle on an elephant, hanging out with tigers, driving a minivan full of fellow travelers, 18 hours from one side of the country to the other, and participating in one of the biggest beach parties in the world full moon. It certainly was the most action-packed 3 and a half weeks of travel that I have done and by the end of it I was physically and emotionally wrecked.
However it hasn’t all been highs. During the last 2 months I also experienced the most unlucky and worst 2 weeks of my entire time travelling–health and equipment wise. The following events all occurred within a 2 week period at the end of September:
- Someone fell on my day pack on a boat in Thailand smashing my laptop screen
- My Waterproof Camera decided to well… stop being waterproof while doing some snorkeling in Thailand
- I accidentally dropped my 50mm camera lens smashing it in Ireland.
- I managed to get 3 back-to-back colds
- I picked up a staph infection in my foot and had to visit a doctor twice, and take antibiotics and prescription pain killers for 2 weeks. (This is the first time I’ve ever had to visit a doctor while travelling)
However, despite all these misfortunes I still have been having an amazing time, which is a testament to just how much I am enjoying myself. Plus that’s what travel insurance is for,right?
But I really have fallen in love with Europe, I had an amazing Blogtastic 3 weeks in Ireland connecting and properly joining the travel blogging community. I stayed in a castle where “4 days in a castle changed my life” at the Bloghouse training event, I attended my first travel blogging conference, TBEX, in Dublin, and I went on my first free sponsored tours and press trips around Ireland.
Things really have been moving forward fast on the travel blogging side of things. After Ireland, I decided to ride the travel blogging conference wave and booked a flight to Italy to take part in Travel Blogger Destination in Rimini. And it’s not over there, after my time in Italy I am bound for London for World Travel Market Conference at the start of November where I will continue learning, networking ,and spending time with this great community of travel bloggers which I feel so privileged to be a part of.
So what comes next?
After the travel conference in London I am planning on slowing things down a lot. While I have really enjoyed the amount of awesome experiences I have had in the last 2 months, between the complete information overload from the last 2 travel conferences, constantly having to re-pack my bag and plan accommodation and transport and places to go every few days, I feel exhausted.
It wouldn’t be so bad if this was just a holiday and I knew I was going back home to a house with all my furniture, friends, family, and a job, but for me that is not the case. This is a lifestyle, I still don’t know where I want to live or exactly what I want to do career wise. All I know is I really want to do something travel related and if I want to do that I need some time to sit in one place for a while and give myself time to focus on this blog and some other exciting projects I am working on.
I’m not sure where I am going to take a break at the moment or what that is going to entail. But at this stage I am looking for some hostel work or, if that doesn’t work out, I might just spend a couple of weeks in a cheap hostel somewhere in the UK while I figure out my life and budget. Ireland and Italy have been amazing places but have not been friendly to my wallet.
Lastly, I want to thank all of my amazing readers. It’s great sharing this amazing journey with so many of you and I can’t wait to share with you all the crazy experiences I have had in Thailand and Europe in the last 60 days over the coming months. There certainly are some interesting posts to come.