After being on the road for half a year it feels appropriate to give you a general travel update. Beyond the stats, this will only be interesting for those intrigued about the realities of travelling for a while and how it makes you feel.
Countries visited: 16
Stamps in passport: 22
Overnight buses/ferries: 8
Distance travelled (according to polarsteps): 10,357 miles
3 pieces of advice for people setting off on longer-term travels
My main piece of advice is to work out what you’re wanting to get out of the trip. This will make decisions throughout the trip so much clearer. My second piece of advice is to relinquish all expectations and truly just go with the flow. Be super flexible. Amazing situations and opportunities pop up whilst travelling and you can (a) only notice them when you don’t have tunnel vision on certain expectations, and (b) only take them if you’re flexible enough. My final piece of advice is to pack a food item from your country that you can share with other travellers. I always carried tea bags and now have marmite too, and sharing these with people from all over the world brings everyone a lot of joy.
Does travelling get tiring/boring?
Quick answer: no. Longer answer: If I were to travel in just one way I’m certain I’d get bored and tired, but I mix it up whenever I feel myself nearing that point. By this I mean I vary between fast-paced city travel where I’m visiting lots of museums or historical sights; slower stays in nature where I’m hiking and enjoying interactions with locals; and finding routine when volunteering on a workaway and learning new skills. There’s also variation on a smaller scale, I don’t spend all of time and energy on ‘travelling’. I spend time socialising, writing my journal and blog, doing online courses, practicing yoga, and lots of the things you generally do in normal life. But this is to say that I do get tired of sightseeing! I arrive in a new place and having to research what there is to see there and then going to see it feels like a chore. When this happens I book a few extra nights and take the first few days to slow down. I’ll go and sit in a cafe and read for a morning, wandering around blind, doing any errands I need to do. Once I feel like it I’ll return to researching the place and will go to the sights that appeal to me. After visiting a lot of new places, I’ve found that I really don’t need to see everything and I’m happy being picky about what I do see. Travelling is definitely less tiring and boring than my life whilst studying!
How am I feeling after being away from home for so long?
I feel the most settled and steady and sure that I’ve ever felt. I chose to go travelling because it’s what I wanted to do, so it’s really cool that it’s made me feel so good. The six months has absolutely flown by, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been away from home for that long at all. I haven’t gotten seriously homesick yet (maybe it’ll come over Christmas…). The thought of returning home now makes me panic, I’m having too much of an important time travelling and am definitely not ready for it to end yet! I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and have noticed fairly big changes to my attitude and general being (I’m not saying I’ve found myself I promise…). Of course it’s not all highs, and I still have doubts over the trip and I sometimes miss my life in England. When I speak to friends who are moving forward with their careers and lives it can make me feel like I’m being left behind, like I should be working on the same things. Basically, I want to say it’s normal to compare your life to others, and everyone has doubts over the path they’ve chosen. There’s also no rush in life. Take time to work on yourself and have fun, adult life with its proper careers and relationships and everything else will still be there waiting.
Things I miss most about home are my friends and family (of course), cooking, my clothes and being able to wear nice outfits, having a routine, and being able to have a bath. I really thought the thing that would bother me most about travelling would be having to live out of a backpack and unpack and repack constantly, but it really isn’t an issue. The actual thing that bothers me most is having to constantly think about accommodation - booking, or at least finding, somewhere to stay.
Here’s to another 6 months (and more) of happy travelling ahead! Thanks for still reading my silly little blog, it means a lot :)