On the the 13th July 2016, I graduated from my degree at Brunel University with a plan to have a year out to travel. My plan was to go InterRailing with friends for six weeks and then go to New Zealand for six months. Plans, and circumstances, have changed slightly since then.
The latter half of that plan has morphed from just New Zealand for six months; to New Zealand for six months and the US for two or three weeks; to New Zealand for five months, Australia for one week, Canada for one month and the US for two or three weeks!
I am extremely excited to get this mad world trip underway! I’ve booked my flights and my bus round New Zealand, I have my first few accommodations sorted. I have New Zealand dollars, many travel gadgets and brand new camera accessories.
The anticipation of this trip isn’t without a small amount of apprehension, I am worried about having enough money (I have a working holiday visa for New Zealand and will need a job if I want to do anything but live somewhere and eat). I am worried about being lonely as I will be alone until I arrive in Canada and meet up with my wonderful sister.
I have a quote on my wall which has become quite relevant to me recently:
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
This trip is certainly pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.
By taking this trip alone and with less funds than I would like, I will have to motivate myself to find work and make friends in a new place in order to fully enjoy my time there. As cliche as it sounds: this will help me discover new things about myself and empower me by showing me my strengths as a stand alone human being.
Hopefully I will have enough internet to keep up the blogging, post to Instagram and Skype all my wonderful friends and family (who I will of course miss very much).
I am aware that I am very lucky. Very lucky to have the people around me that I do, who are excited for me, who have encouraged me to go and see the world and who have offered to send help if I need it while I am away. I am also very lucky to be able to do this trip in the first place, although I may not be as well funded as I’d like, I can still afford to fly halfway across the world to enjoy myself.
2017 will be a year of adventure for me, the first half and a bit will be adventures in far away places and the second half will be adventures upon returning home. I love coming home, it’s always great to be back somewhere familiar, with my own bed and the people I love nearby.
One of my favourite quotes about travel comes from the incredible Sir Terry Pratchett:
“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
For me, travel is not about the nomadic lifestyle. For me it is a chance to experience something new, to learn something about yourself to take home again.
But for now: New Zealand – here I come!