If you ask most people what they would do if they won the lottery, I think some form of travel is on the top of most peoples list. Whether it be travelling the world or just ticking off locations on a bucket list, seeing the world and experiencing new places is desirable to most. For Nick and I, this has been a long term goal and something we’ve wanted to do since we were young. December 8th will mark our 6 month travel milestone, so it seems a perfect time to sit back and reflect on our time away. And more importantly, ask ourselves if the high expectations, glamour, freedom and adventure we all associate with travel has lived up to expectations?
It would be a very short blog post if I was to answer that question, as for me, it’s a very easy question and the answer is a big fat yes. If you get the chance to travel I’d recommend grabbing it with both hands. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and opens your eyes to just how much there is outside of your comfort zone and the place you call home. To avoid a tiny blog post, let me delve a bit deeper into the high and lows of travelling for me personally. You’ll notice the list of highs is a little longer 🙂
The highs of travelling
1. Having no routine
The days of waking up to a 7am alarm, dragging myself out of my warm bed, opening the curtains to darkness and then setting off into the cold for a day at work are gone. Unless we have a trip planned, we get up when we wake up now, and if we want to laze around in bed all morning watching TV series we can. Likewise we can pop to the pool or beach for a few hours if we choose. Life is no longer controlled by a clock. For me this is one the most enjoyable things about travelling.
2. Experiencing new things
We’re only 6 months into our travels and are yet to visit India, Australia or parts of South America. But even so, in just 6 months we’ve learnt so much about other countries cultures and traditions, their ways of life and what’s important to them. It’s changed our perceptions, opened our minds and made us question what we previously considered as ‘normal’.
I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest sites such as Niagara Falls and The Great Wall of China. We’re also lucky to have made some amazing memories that will stick with us for the rest of our lives.
3. Not having to work
Fortunately, due to our investment in property, we’re not having to work during this trip. I didn’t hate my job before we left, far from it, but I’ve always found it hard to comprehend the point of working for someone else. I don’t understand how anyone can be happy giving up 8 hours of their day, 40 hours of their week and 65 years of their life to work and make someone else richer. In most jobs, you’re just a number, a cog in a machine, a small piece of a bigger puzzle and therefore under appreciated and replaceable.
I have nothing against a hard days work but I think where I differ is that I believe a hard days work should directly impact my own life and future. A pat on the back from my manager or a payrise (that often fails to meet inflation) doesn’t benefit me in the long term. Working hard to invest in property and build an income generating portfolio on the other hand is something I can get excited about. So to cut a long story short, I am not missing the 9-5 slog at all.
4. Time with Nick
It’s been 6 months and he’s yet to ‘accidentally’ leave me at an airport and I haven’t thrown him overboard on a boat trip, so we’re doing pretty well. On a serious note though, it’s been really nice to spend time together away from the usual daily routines we had back home of working and property renovations. We’ve had time to just relax and enjoy new places together, it’s been a bit like a 6 month holiday.
A lot of people travel alone but I don’t think I’m cut out for that. I’m glad we’ve done it together and made so many memories we’ll treasure and there’s nobody i’d rather see the world with.
5. The weather
If you know me, you’ll know I hate the cold with a passion. Waking up early, braving the cold and getting freezing fingers from scraping the car before work is my idea of hell. So as I write this in Thailand under the blistering sun I am a very happy girl. Fortunately we’re following the sun on our travels so it’s been 6 months of lovely weather and the only time I’ve been cold is when we camped in Banff, Canada.
Another thing I love about the weather is how quick it is to get ready. My straighteners are gone, I can’t be bothered with make up and I don’t have to spend ages deciding what to wear. Instead I’m up, showered and out the door with wet hair, a pair of shorts and flip flops within 10 mins. Only to be met with blue skies and that lovely feeling when the sun hits your skin, perfect 🙂
Nick should be grateful I mentioned him before food.
I have to mention the food as we’ve had the opportunity to taste some of the most amazing meals on this trip. I’ve always been a fan of Asian food but there’s definitely a difference between what you get in the UK and how the locals cook it. Whenever possible we’ll try something new and I think this is a fun part of travelling if you’re foodies like us.
The lows of travelling
This will be a short list..
1. Missing friends and family
Although we have each other 24/7 and are not alone, we obviously miss our friends and family hugely. Thanks to ease of access to Wi-Fi it’s been very easy to keep in touch with everyone but obviously it’s not the same as seeing people in person.
We can’t complain though as Nicks parents came out to see us in Canada and we’ve just seen them again, along with my mum and her partner, for a week in Thailand. Next week I’m seeing a friend in Thailand and then in January we plan to meet my Dad and 2 more friends in India. We were also fortunate enough to stay with my family in Canada for 3 weeks so we’ve probably seen more of our friends and family than the average traveller 🙂
2. Comforts of home
I’m scraping the barrel a bit on this one as it hasn’t been a major low but I can’t just have one thing on the list! We do miss some of the comforts you get at home such as a washing machine and an oven. Having to hand wash our clothes every few days is a bit of a pain and being able to chuck a pizza in the oven rather than eat cold food for lunch would be nice.
Reliable internet is also something we miss. We rely on the internet for all of our travel bookings and to download new films/tv series etc. You would think in 2015 internet in hotels would be decent enough, but sadly everywhere we’ve been, bar Japan, it has been painfully slow.
So there you have it, my highs and lows of travelling so far. Roll on the next 6 months! I’d love to hear what other travellers find to be the good and bad sides of travel, please leave a comment.