Although the first plane I jumped on to leave was delayed by several hours so I didn't have the smoothest memory of leaving...
Regardless, I really felt incredible in the steps I was taking. Leaving my friends and my life behind. Proving to myself that I can hack it for four months on my own.
Well it turns out that I definitely can do four months and I know most of what I'm going to be thinking about when I'm sitting at Singapore airport in a few days is all the destinations that my plane could be heading to instead of mine back home.
I think four months is a reasonable amount of time to really get a sense for what travelling long term is really like. The sense of detachment from the lives of the people you were attached to and what your life was before you left.
For instance, I haven't gone to my job back at home in four months. Sounds amazing doesn't it? But it's actually a strange feeling to come back to when you realise you have to go to work again this time next week. Also been the longest time I've gone without seeing my family or my friends on a regular basis. Which is strange when you first set off, but the marvels of technology these days mean that communicating isn't as hard as it would have been in the days before we all had phones.
But this trip has opened up so many avenues and so many ideas for me to ponder over before I get on the road again.
I've met so many people, from very different places around the world who are doing amazing things in their travels and in their lives. It's made me realise I want to be one of those people who really maximises the potential travel can give me for the rest of my life.
I still want to learn languages. Hopefully my skills will improve enough and I can follow the plans I have to get a working holiday visa for France, and spend a year teaching in Japan... Spending a significant amount of time exploring the lesser travelled areas of Eastern Europe, traverse through more of Asia... Eventually get to central Asia. I know I'm never going to see everywhere, but my dreams about where I want to go have only grown since I started seeing more of the world.
Funny how that works.
So by going home, I'm getting that completely ridiculous fear of not getting on the road again. Which is completely down to my own desires to extensively travel. Slightly selfish really.
"What happens if I never get to go to Japan again and get into the JET programme?"
"What if I only manage to get to travel when I get my 21 days of leave a year?"
"What if I get an amazing job and never want to quit it for fear of never finding another?"
All of which are completely ridiculous. Although me being rejected from the JET programme could happen, but there are always other ways of seeing Japan. Also, these plans that I have might completely change direction. Who knows what I'll want to do in a year. Or three months. Or even next week. Humans are incredible fickle creatures who can change their minds quite quickly given the moment.
This post overall is just a summary of my jumbled thoughts about returning home. A mixture of fear of never going back overseas, the resentment at myself over having such ridiculous fears, how riduclous I'm being in general and the excitement I am going to have on seeing everyone I care about again.
But I'd like to know how other people have dealt with the whole 'going home' scenario when they feel like they're not ready yet. Let me know in the comment section below...
~ Olivia (WM)