Tuesday, 3 June 2014

TRAVEL: The Journey

I write this towards the end of my 14 hour flight from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, listening to a song that holds memories (for several reasons) and really sums up my trip and my state of being over recent years.I have just finished watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a film I didn't give a chance on the first watch, but his life of playing it safe, finally taking on the words his magazine lives by going on a big adventure - I can relate to that. Sometimes it takes a big experience, a leap of faith and a delve into the unknown to truly get to grips with life, what's right for you and what isn't.

I made a very last minute decision to leave Australia and come home. Many have voiced their opinions but it truly is the best thing for my happiness. I love Australia, my life there, the places I've seen but as I've said recently, between now and the end of my visa, I wouldn't have chosen to travel anymore. Why? I have seen so many wonderful things that I want to savour those memories. I want a little reality for a while to earn some money, plan my next trip and truly appreciate the experiences of life as a backpacker.

Am I excited to be returning back to England after 9 months? I am. Nobody knows apart from my best friend collecting me from the airport and one or two others (I'm a terrible secret keeper!) Life at home will be different - for one, I will not be commuting to and from Sheffield daily and tiring myself out, I won't be living with friends - I will be in my house, with my room, with less darting around. Home holds all sorts of new, unknown possibilities for me and that is very exciting.

Do I plan to travel again? I do. My boyfriend and I have discussed it - even if it's a few short hauls to begin with, that's still exciting. There is so much of Europe I want to see and I'm determined to get to Morocco in the next 12 months. We've spoken about returning to New Zealand to see the South Island too, something I definitely need to do over a summer and the winter - sunshine and skiing!

On reflection, I may not have seemingly changed to other people but in myself, i have had a shift of thought, a hunger to be a little selfish, to do and see the things I want to. Over my travels I have realised life truly is too short; I lost a good friend of mine during my time away - she was too young and I still can't get my head around the whole thing. I remember her face the day I told her I had left behind the things that were making me unhappy and I had booked my one way flight to Bangkok. I even remember what she said.

The world is a big, beautiful place and I intend to see as much of it as I possibly can.

I have another flight Abu Dhabi to Dublin, Dublin to Manchester (god knows why, Etihad's crazy flight) until I meet my best friend in arrivals. 

I left New Zealand two weeks ago to return to Melbourne feeling deflated and a little lonely as I was leaving my boyfriend and the person that had managed to make me come out of shell again. I leave Melbourne to England full of anticipation for what the future holds. I know it won't be necessarily easy - adjusting to 'real life' will really take some time and I know there will be moments I wail 'Why did I leave Australia?!' but I return with the support of somebody I know will be with me for a long time, my family, my friends, memories that will stay with me forever and a better sense of self than when I left - a broken and confused little girl, now slightly patched together and a little more 'fixed'. I've been on an adventure I can't possibly explain to everybody in detail.

Explore. Dream. Discover. 
This life is what you make of it.


N.B. posted after my arrival home (couldn't risk spoiling the surprise now, could I?)

Over the next few weeks I will be telling you in detail about my adventures. If there are any posts you would like with any advice I can give you about planning your own trip, please contact me on Twitter or Facebook.

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