Looking at my finished blog gives me such an amazing feeling of accomplishment. I don’t know which of the two things I was more nervous about – people judging me for going travelling, or people judging me for writing a blog about it. Obviously I was an idiot to care about either of those things cus they’re both pretty cool in my books. I haven’t got the best track record with sticking to things, so actually completing this thing – even if it is 7 months late – is quite an achievement! An amazing record of my 19 month trip will forever be preserved online, complete with my own photographs, my memories and of course my own opinionated musings from the time. Seventy-five posts from the day I left the UK in October 2014 to now. Go me!
So as I mentioned, I actually got back from this trip 7 months ago. Aha. And now it’s January 1st of 2017, meaning all of my travelling happened last year, and is becoming more and more of a distant memory. To be honest, this makes me feel pretty sad when I dwell on it. For all its ups and downs, the 19 months I spent away from the UK were undoubtedly, definitely, 100% the best months of my life. And part of me wonders if I’ll ever have as much fun again. On the other hand, something you’ll oft hear me telling people is that I wouldn’t want to travel for that long in one go again. And it’s true. My trip was in some ways overly ambitious, flawed and excessive. But at least it was exactly what I made of it. I’ve come a long way from the kid that boarded that USA-bound flight in 2014. His motivation for travelling and his outlook on the world contrasts hugely from mine now.
Journal entries from just before I left show how terrible my state of mind was. I had come out of university really, really unhappy. The way I see it, I didn’t just ‘see the world’ on this trip and have a fun time. It gave me distance and solitude, exposure to people with differing ideas to my own, and an opportunity to really be myself for the first time. It was a time of healing to be honest. Even the first few months back where I readjusted to life in the UK and started a career were very testing. But these last few months… well they’ve been wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier. And my trip obviously plays a huge part in that happiness.
The most obvious thing is that without having gone to Australia, I never would have met Jake. Nothing would be the same without him and every day I’m so grateful for his company and influence on my life.
One of the other things that’s blown me away is that I half-expected to return to the UK to no fanfare and half of my friends to have forgotten about me. You know, people move on, they grow apart, etc. But I underestimated everyone. From the surprise party thrown for me that first weekend to the excited messages from people to catch up coming in every week since I returned… it’s been amazing. When I’m talking to my old friends it feels as if no time has passed at all. Honestly, what do I have to be sad about?
My life was all about travelling for several years… now that I finally have the wanderlust out of my system, it’s time for the next challenge. And I’m ready for it, honestly. I regret nothing about my trip, and it will forever be a part of me. Really, I’m just brimming with happiness right now! =D