So I’m half way into my first big solo trip! It is October 2015 so I’m 7 months in and I’m currently in Tully, Queensland, Australia. Here for the next few months to complete a large chunk of my second year visa regional farm work. It is a place I quickly felt settled, where I’m currently quite enjoying the simple life, here I plan to catch up on my blog!
So since I’v been away from home, I’ve had quite a few emails from people back home asking how iv done it, how I’m finding travelling alone, and has it cost me an arm and a leg..?
All’s I can say is it’s the best thing iv ever done..and I still have both sets of arms and legs. In spite of this there are a few things I have learnt, felt and decided upon, and thought it would be wise to share them..
So despite having travelled alone now for 7 months, I still feel nervous when checking in alone into a new hostel, despite the fact I know I will have friends by the end of the night. That first moment of scoping everyone out, smiling at everyone who looks your way and building the courage to initiate friendship is always something I will need to challenge my secretly shy self to do.
I still feel excited when I’m on yet another bus to a new location, even if that location is just 2 hours down the road (a short journey in Australia!) I’m not yet bored of the “where you from? where’ve you been?” conversation which is initiated in every hostel, because I’m still a new excited traveller, despite the fact I’ve started to stay in one place a lot longer than before…for example the past 2 months of my trip have been spent living in Sydney.
In terms of travelling alone, I’ve not really been alone… Maybe the odd day, and it’s generally out of choice, I do quite like the odd bit of time alone, to catch up on errands, skype home and just do nothing. Australia especially has given me a bit more downtime compared to Asia, as many of my new friends work, I work, and it feels more of a day to day life. I have felt that in Australia I need to remind myself occasionally that I am travelling, to keep myself motivated to get out there and see everything.
In terms of some of the friends I have made, I hope our friendships last a lifetime. They are people I would never have been able to meet, but now cant imagine not knowing. I truly have met some of my best friends away from home. Together we have spent all day everyday, living together ultimately; relationships are heightened, trust is gained almost instantly, and extreme memories are created forever.
The only hindrance is saying goodbye.
There have been people I have met, spent a day or a week with, really had a good time, and became instant friends. The next day their bed is empty, or I am running for a bus, knowing I will never see them again, and all’s I have is their first name and the memories. I find it hard to say goodbye to people, and generally avoid it if possible, just to keep the memory as it is, short and sweet.
When I think of the people I have left behind at home, I do feel sadness and miss them, even wishing I could fly back just for a few days to see them all. To have a bit of routine back in my life, but then I know that they are there, that they want me to finish my trip and return back to them when I am ready, when I am who I want to be, and have done what I need to do. Iv cried many a time throughout the past 7 months, for missing them, missing family parties, a best friend giving birth to a beautiful little girl and important birthdays..it breaks my heart that I’m not there, being apart of the memories. I have struggled occasionally to keep in touch, the weeks fly by without me even knowing what day of the week it is, where I’m going to be tomorrow and even what time zone I am in. Thanks to technology it has been made slightly simpler, but I do cherish the moments I get to see peoples faces and hear their voices. It is hard to not question if you have been forgotten about back at home, if you are missed at group outings, conversations and parties, and what it will be like when I return home. I have been told by many travellers that after a few weeks of being home, I will be craving again to get away, to find somewhere new. In my opinion this is up to the individual, you can go home after travelling and slip back into your old life, being who you were before, or you can create something new, aim higher, live somewhere new…whilst obviously planning your next big trip!
In terms of cost, yeah I’ve spent a bit of money, splashed out on things I shouldn’t have done and scrimped on things I should have just gone for, but all this money is being spent in the best way, what else would it bring me at home…a spree in Topshop, a daytrip out or just saving towards something static. Spending the money on activities such as snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, ziplining through the jungle and the opportunity to sleep in different hostels throughout different continents is rewarding enough for me, so I don’t mind that I am spending my money on it. Australia, where I currently am, isn’t a bad place to try and earn some cash back either!
And finally, when I think about going back home, in another 7/8 months I feel excited. Not just for seeing everyone, celebrating and finally having my own double bed back, but for the opportunity I now have, my eyes are wide open and I want to tick everything off my to do list in England. I am excited to work as a nurse, rent my first apartment, wherever that may be, and save up again for my next big trip…India anyone?