My world for the last 18 months has been ‘The World.’ I did it…I quit my job, I sold my stuff, I said bye bye to security and I went travelling…on my own! And. It. Was. Amazing!!!
And do you know what…? Although I was obviously a little nervous to quit a job I loved, move out of my house, sell my car…I didn’t have Real ‘Fear.’ Once I’d made the decision to do it – all I had to do was help OTHER people deal with the fear of what I was doing…
When I thought about the journey I was about to take, I mostly felt grateful and happy with butterflies bubbling in my stomach. I never once felt FEAR. I never had a little voice in the back of my mind saying ‘Hey…what are you doing? ‘ ‘Are you really sure you wanna do this?’ and other peoples most popular one…” What will you do when you get back?” Never did that little devil sit on my shoulder filling me with fear…until now…
I don’t seem to feel fear about the same things as others close to me. I think all the crazy stuff like jumping out of planes, skiing off the top of a mountain and playing with baby tigers and snakes ( ahhh I love them snakes!) – are all just bloomin awesome – and how could I not be excited to do these things…fear never enters my mind! Pah!!!
Less crazy stuff too like eating on my own, starting conversations with strangers and travelling without a hair dryer or straighteners…all stuff that some of my friends would rather never ever face…and I can picture thier faces now if it was suggested…Oooo dear…Fear looks scary hey!?
But none of the above even give me the slightest jitters.
BUT… now I’m feeling fear. After 17 months on the road, travelling across 4 continents and 24 countries – mostly travelling solo…I’m now experiencing….REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK.
I’ve been back for a few weeks and I am filled with the fear of forgetting and fear of rejoining the rat race!
I don’t want to forget what I learned on the road. What I saw and witnessed, how it made me feel, the smells,the people, the honesty, the kindness, the hospitality, the gratitude I felt…for everything.
People keep asking me ” How does it feel to be back home?” and I always say”Weird” but the truth is, it doesn’t. It feels pretty much the same, apart from one or two situations like gorgeous new babies & new homes. Apart from the fact I have no home to move into, no job, no car and no money (I’m not complaining as I knew this would be the case) Its like I never left and I can see myself slipping back into “Life’ here quite easily…BUT I don’t want to forget….
I loved my life before. I didn’t run away from anything when I left, I didn’t have a gaping hole to fill with travel and I didn’t feel like I was leaving to ‘find’ myself…but somewhere along the way I kinda did. Its me that’s a little different not ‘being here’ that’s different.
I made the decision not to move back into my house (its rented out) months before I came home. My reason was because I don’t need that many rooms in a house. REALISATION…after living out of a rucksack for so long…material stuff is not what I NEED to surround myself with. However…fast forward a few weeks back in the UK and already I’m eyeing up my friends clothes, borrowing my parents brand new car and lusting after everything on Itunes!
On the road I experienced many things that made me start to question the way in which I had chosen to live my life.
I learnt about all the wars across Asia – their side of the story.
I was taught to meditate by monks and experience mindfulness.
I overcame a fear of dogs that only came about after I was bitten by a dog in the middle of nowhere in Burma – how else could I have continued to travel around Asia were stray dogs are the norm…
I understood how lucky I am to have been born into a country were education is free and we are encouraged to learn – not the other way around.
And the same goes for health care after I broke my ribs and realised I would have to pay a lot for any health care!
I am eternally grateful that I have and its my right to have a passport.
I have freedom of speech – can you even imagine what it would be like if you could not talk openly for fear of being put in prison!
And then there were the obvious things I knew about but didn’t really appreciate until I experienced them for myself…I have shoes, I have a bed (Someone would always put me up ) I have access to clean water…
And I don’t want to forget…
People don’t really wanna talk about all the brilliant things I’ve done travelling…(Actually all they want to know about is the Swedish bloke I met in NZ who I went to visit on my way home and he has been here too….but thats another story about Fear altogether…) and that’s fine because people have their own lives and things to talk about.
So slowly I started to build up a vision of what I wanted when and if I returned. And it came down to a few simple things. I want my work to be something that helps people. I want to do something that is flexible so probably on line. I want to understand how to use/change and add to my website (As I’m rubbish!) and most importantly….I don’t want to forget anything SO… I want to finish writing my travel tales….Could all this come together somehow? Could I earn a wage from putting all of this together…thats my New Dream.
Am I fickle? Can I really do that? I’m scared I’m gonna get sucked into the rat race..and into everything.
How many dreams is one person allowed to have come true? Does karma think I’m takin the piss? I want to believe I want to follow through but can I when I’m skint and living with my parents age 37??? Yeap…there it is…ta da…I give you my fearful adventure…not everyones idea but its mine…fear of the rat race…fear of taking the easy, well trodden, nicely squirted with perfume path or try to take the path that has no trail…
Whats gonna happen next…?