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Travel Advice

Travel, Travel Advice

Why the biggest challenge of travelling is the return home.

February 16, 2015

Before you leave home the idea of travelling for an extended period of time can seem petrifying to some. Leaving your friends and family behind and exploring a whole new country with a completely different culture is a huge step for anyone. Yet for most people, a few days into your trip, you wonder what you were ever worrying about. You realise that travelling is amazing and something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetimes. Your Instagram is suddenly full of incredible photos. You meet new people all the time who you form such close bonds with that you find it hard to believe that you have known them only weeks, not years. Before you know it, you’ve been away from home far longer than you ever imagined and seen more than you ever believed possible. Then by choice or not, it’s time to return home. Return to the life you left behind. But for some reason, adjusting to life at home is even more difficult than everything you went through whilst you were away. This is the part of travelling no one told you about.

At first life at home is a whirlwind of emotions, hugs and catching up. Your friends and family have so much to tell you and you have so much to share with them. You hear about what has changed for them but when it comes to the time to share your travel stories, you find the words don’t come. How do you put your experiences into words? It soon becomes clear that it’s hard to share what has happened with people who haven’t been travelling themselves. You have been surrounded by like-minded people for so long that your home life seems alien to the life you have been leading.

The life you left behind has changed. There’s been promotions, babies, engagements and new houses. It can be hard to see where you fit back in. Your sweaty trek across South East Asia is unimaginable for those who have concentrated on careers or family. They have changed from when you left and it has taken until now for you to realise just how much you have changed as well. You’ve grown in so many ways and feel you can handle just about anything life throws at you now you have negotiated travelling the world. Home life can seem almost dull in comparison and you easily feel detached from everyone.

Essentially, travelling is like living in a bubble and reality hurts. For months you have been living ‘without rules’. Time has no concept and nor do days of the week. The contrast between your travel life and your home life is hard to comprehend. It’s good to see your loved ones again but you crave to go back to your life on the road. The feeling of being in a new country is so magical that you struggle to think of a reason to stay at home. For some, they put this feeling to the back of their minds, settle into new jobs and before they know it years have passed since their adventures. For others, their feet start to itch and they realise that their heart belongs elsewhere. So they give in to that wanderlust feeling and leave home again. Deciding which path to follow when you’re at home is tough. My advice would be to make sure that whatever you decide to do, don’t regret it. So even if only a small part of you wants to go travelling again, go. It doesn’t have to be this year or the next, just make sure you go. Don’t be that person sat at home in 30 years time wondering what would have happened if they had gone.

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Travel, Travel Advice

How to pack for a year.

February 8, 2014

How do you pack for a year?! The easiest way is, don’t. Pack for an ‘extended holiday’ instead. I’m talking three bikinis, not ten and remember to take clothes that can worn day and night.

The biggest mistake I made last time was to just pack for summer. Apparently it rains in Australia, who knew?! So this time I’m taking a pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket. I know I’ll still buy winter clothes as it gets colder but I like to feel a little prepared.

Anyway back to packing, living out of a backpack is not fun but Ikea sell these genius packing bags which are an absolute dream for keeping your bag organised.

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They hold so much stuff and fit perfectly in my bag. I love knowing where everything is and I never have the trouble of tipping everything on the floor to find a pair of socks. As you can see they come in 4 useful sizes and the mesh material means you can see inside them. The best thing is that they are so cheap! Thanks Ikea!

I’ve filled one of mine with toiletries. I know some people say to only take mini shampoos etc but I think if you have the room to take full size you might as well. I realise you can buy everything once you’ve left but Australia is a expensive country and I would rather save as many pennies as possible i.e spend it on goon instead…

Travel, Travel Advice

To Plan or not to Plan?

November 25, 2013

How on earth do you begin to plan a round the world trip? Well I think the best thing to do is to plan the very beginning of your trip and then leave the rest until you get there. You have no idea how long you will want to stay somewhere and where you will have to stop and look for work when the funds are low. I realise the thought of landing in a foreign country with only a few nights accommodation booked probably strikes fear into control freaks but imagine if you had every night booked up and then you made friends with a group of people who were travelling in the opposite direction? Being flexible is the key to having a good trip.

If you’re planning a shorter trip, then you should have a bit more structure to your itinerary so you get to see the sights that you want to. When I went to Australia earlier this year I had 7 weeks to do the East Coast so I had everything planned just so I could get to Cairns in time! I still had an amazing time but it did feel rushed at times. Next year I plan to do things a bit more slowly so I can spend more time in the places I loved and visit the places I had to miss on the way up.

So there is no right way to do it but if time is on your side, the less planned, the better! Even if it does worry your family back at home!

Travel, Travel Advice

Memory Lane.

November 17, 2013

You’re guaranteed to make some amazing memories that you will treasure forever from your trip but I still think it’s really important to document those memories. I made sure I kept a diary on my last trip and obviously took hundreds of photos!

However when you get home lots of people put that diary away and rarely look at those photos. You really should make the time to print off the photos and I think the best excuse to do this is to make a scrapbook. When I was away I stored away lots of random things like leaflets and receipts (even the stickers you get on the overnight bus in Thailand!) and now it’s all in my scrapbook.

I’ve been adding to it today and it’s getting me really excited for my next trip!

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