The Art of Long Term Travel, and Why I'm Over it
You get to travel all over the world, and you chose to give it all up and live in grey, rainy London?! You are crazy!
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this in the last couple of months. That, along with the other annoying statement I seem to get these days -- "What's your plan?"
I don't mean to be a whinge bag, and that isn't the overriding vibe of this post, honest. Seriously, please don't stop reading. A few months ago, my home was the other side of the world to where I am now. I was footloose, fancy-free, and my tiny little island was home to monkeys, sharks and some kick ass sunshine. Fresh coconut cost me less than a quid and I never had to cook.
So, why wasn't I happy?
When Oli and I set off for our six-month trip over two years ago, we were giddy with excitement at all the adventures we would have, the friends we would make and to be frank, the banging tan I would get. That trip turned into a lifestyle choice and when we discovered we could sustain our travels through freelancing, renting our flat out and a career change for Oli. We came back to the UK a couple of times, and each time - we had already planned our next trip, packed our bags and were back on a plane quicker than you could say "what happened to MH370?".....
So, what changed?
Koh Tao was always a really special place to us, and we loved living there as much as we loved living in London. For a few months. The reality of living on an island that takes less than 10 minutes to circumnavigate is that it gets boring, real quick. Not for everyone, but for this London loving girl it did anyway.
I made amazing friends, who I know I will keep in touch with and I had some epic, epic times. Sitting on the beach with my toes in the sand, a 50p beer in my hand, watching the insanely beautiful sunsets never got old. I still miss those now and I know I will go back one day.....just not to live.
Living out of a backpack was one hell of a rollercoaster too. I have written pretty extensively about my choice to go carry-on only and I would always recommend it to other travellers, but when you are based in a place for longer than 3 months, it is wholly inappropriate to have 3 outfits. It's more than an annoying bugbear, it affects your entire self-esteem.
I totally lost my confidence, my motivation and my sense of humour! I put on weight, lived unhealthily and drank way too much. What's even worse, is that I started to resent my digital nomad lifestyle. I mean, how ungrateful! I am so privileged to be able to travel all over the world, to up sticks whenever I fancy and to be able to do it with my main squeeze too ;)
Not everyone is as lucky as I am, and believe me, if you think I am a spoilt brat: I get it.
The thing is though, everybody is entitled to change their minds. We thought we could live for almost a year in Koh Tao, but the reality was; we changed. We both realised we were a bit tired, a bit bored of Asia and very much ready to come home, recharge and decide what we wanted to do next.
Coming back to London.
Well, that was a game-changer. If I had any doubts as to whether I wanted to come back to London, they diminished within a few hours. Hopping on the tube after 24 hours in transit, I was giddy with excitement. Even at midnight, after a coach journey to Canterbury, tired, hungry and more than a little bit smelly, I was elated to be home.
I thought the feeling would wear off, as it had done in the past, but over 4 weeks since I left Koh Tao and i have absolutely no desire to return. None.
I've visited less than 40 countries, and I have a little space left in my passport and to be clear, there is no chance that I will ever stop travelling. I just want a home base for now. The blog will still cover travel, beauty and lots more of these overshare posts, but I think there will be a little less Thailand, and a lot more Europe, you know?
I know I will still travel, and have plans in the works for 2016 but it will not be more than a month....no freaking way! Anyway, I've got something kind of important to be around for next year. It's just a wedding, no big deal :)
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