Sunday, 5 October 2014

Life after travel

It's a been a while since I posted anything on here, and there's two reasons for this. Firstly, for the last three weeks of my trip, I had virtually no access to the internet [news just in - there are no internet cafes to be found in North America anymore because everyone has a smart phone....apart from me!] and also I was so busy, I didn't really have time to sit down and contemplate life, the way I usually do.

Secondly, even though I have been home for two weeks it's taken me a while to get back into my usual routine of writing every week, because my normal routine has undergone a lot of changes recently, and it's taking me a while to adjust. Besides, part of me is still in travelling mode; whilst I am glad to be back in London, [it's so lovely having my bed back for one thing] there are certain things I miss about being on the road:

1. Meeting new people on a regular basis

I do meet new people when I'm out and about in London, but not that frequently. When I was travelling, every day felt like an adventure because I never knew I was going to meet. Even when I was travelling with my friends, I still stumbled across a whole range of characters that I wouldn't normally meet such as an overly aggressive exhibition attendant or an exceptionally kind hostel receptionist. The longer I travelled, the more it seemed I came into contact with interesting people.

Just one of the intriguing people I met whilst on holiday...

2. Living in the moment

When you're travelling, you have to make a lot of tiny decisions throughout the day, and making these decisions can really help you live in the present, because when one is at home, there is a tendency to just do things on autopilot. It's invigorating deciding where to eat, what to visit, who to hang out with - each decision, whether good or bad gives you a sense of control over your life. You are doing what you want to do, you're not following orders. You don't have to be anywhere at a particular time, you don't have to do anything, the way each day unfolds is up to you.

This breakfast was a good decision!

3. Going Outside of My Comfort Zone

I tried a lot of new things this summer, some of which I absolutely loved and would do again without hesitation, such as jet boating, and some things that I loathed such as eating haggis, but either way each time I tried something new I was expanding my comfort zone a little further and it felt good to be pushing myself in this way. I felt like I was growing in confidence a little each time I tried something I hadn't before, and I look forward to that feeling of empowerment on my next trip, wherever that may be.

I love jet boating, even if it makes me look like a Teletubby

4. Seeing new scenery

I love to explore. I make a point to visit different places even when i'm at home or at work. In fact one of my most annoying traits is that I'd much rather go somewhere new than revisit the same places again and again, though I do have a few old standbys that I return to when I'm feeling lazy. When I was travelling, everywhere was new to me. I loved not knowing what was around each corner, loved that I hadn't walked the streets before, loved that I didn't know what was coming - I could only imagine what I was going to see and experience. it's the same feeling I get when I'm reading a new book; I don't know what's going to happen to the characters....I can only guess, and I like that element of surprise, though at times I did get homesick because nothing was familiar.

You don't get views like this in London...

Emotions are accentuated when you travel. When I travelled I felt frustrated, bewildered, curious, joyful, lonely, bored and uplifted, but above all I felt alive. I wasn't just living my life on repeat [although to be fair, there is a lot of variety to be found in my job and home life] and I was experiencing everything more fully than I often do at home. This trip showed me just a glimpse of what the World has to offer, and I'm hungry to go back out there and do it all again!   

No comments: