Wow, here I am 7 months after I initially set off on a 3 month adventure, and I have a few more months of action planned. I read a lot of travel blogs and talk to a lot of travelers, and a lot of them start off with something like “I originally planned on traveling for a couple months but that turned into 18 months…” and I always thought, “No that will never happen to me, I will be so tired after a couple that I will want to go sleep for a week and then go back to normal life”. Well, it’s happened to me. I totally intended on going to Europe for 3 months, then coming home and trying to find a job in California and getting on with life after getting my extended vacation out of the way. Then about a month in, the thought occurred to me that maybe I didn’t want to just see Europe. I started to see Europe as sort of an indulgent place- you aren’t faced with many harsh realities of life in another part of the world. It is great because there are so many things to see in such a small place, and travel is a breeze from country to country. However, I was kind of craving something grittier than that. I started to dream of where else I could go. I had decided I was going to do it, but just had to decide where to go. I started to think about going to Africa, maybe going to India, maybe Asia… Then Ebola was all over the news in Africa- and my friends and family pleaded with me not to go. And at that same time I was thinking of booking my trip there anyway, I met my boyfriend and we talked about traveling together elsewhere. He had been to SE Asia, so that was out. So suddenly the idea bubbled up in my head that maybe we could do a little road trip across the States and possibly Canada, then head on down south to Central and/or South America. I brought up the idea to him and boom- a plan was born. We mapped out all the places we would see, it would be epic. We talked about how long we would be gone for and a couple months suddenly turned into 7 more. Suddenly I was nervous, feeling like I had to get back to the real world and start my life again, but at the same time excited with all the possibilities this could bring and what would happen with Tim and I? I didn’t want to let this newfound love and happiness of mine go so easily, and neither did he. So we set about making our plan a reality. Though there have been a few twists and turns in the road, I am sill planning on traveling till April and I am so excited with all the plans I have!
Here are some of the main reasons that helped me decide to keep on traveling, and if you are thinking about doing the same thing, maybe this little list will help you make a decision!
1. The time is now. When would I ever get this opportunity again? I hate to think maybe I won’t be able to do long term travel again, but I may as well carpe that damn diem while I can!
2. I have little to no attachments and responsibilities right now. Well, except my little fur baby, Linus. I am so lucky to have a friend and his family watching him though and he is in the best possible place he can be, and happy as a clam I might add. I almost feel bad taking him back with me when I get home, but there is no way I can live without him again. And this by the way, is the hardest part about traveling. I miss him so much. I have no apartment, all my stuff is in storage, no job, pups being cared for… what else would hold me back?
3. YOLO???!!! Yes, I said it. You only live once. Might as well.
4. I’ve got the money saved, and I can’t take it with me when I die.
5. Live now, worry less, enjoy my life and each moment that this journey brings. The real world will be there for me when I get back, so I want to squeeze every drop of happiness, adventure, excitement, wonder and experiences out of this trip as I can.
6. I am only getting older. I am already at least 5 years older than most of the people doing what I am doing, and sometimes I really feel it though everyone tells me I don’t look it. The hangovers hit me harder, the lack of exercise catches up to me quicker, the crankiness settles in faster, and damn it I need a lot more beauty sleep to feel normal than most of these kids. Man I sound old, I’m really not that bad am I? Plus, there only so much living in a dormitory and hostel life I can take. Thank goodness for ear plugs and my eye mask.
So that’s my list. Next up on the journey? New Zealand, Thailand?, and India. Stay tuned folks. It’s only going to get more interesting from here.