From the 23rd of June this year I will be leaving Sydney and travelling for a year.
I have been looking forward to this trip for months but there is one thing I am not looking forward to: having to say goodbye to my fiancé Trav.
In the past eight years we have travelled together for 13 months through North, Central and South America, for four and a half months on a round the world ticket, as well as taking numerous shorter trips while we have been working. We have lived in four countries together and have travelled to 35. He is my favourite travel partner.
But this time around he will be staying behind in Sydney to work on his career.
I can’t blame him although I wish he was coming with me. I am lucky that he travelled with me for so long when I know that getting ahead with his career and buying a house is so important to him. It just shows how much he loves me.
I know that I am the one that isn’t ‘normal’. Most people want to carve out a life, have a rewarding career, buy a house and start a family when they are our age. But I don’t really want that, well not in the normal sense, and not yet. We plan on having one child in the future and building a tiny home, preferably a treehouse, on a piece of land in New Zealand or Canada. I would also love a career in Eco-tourism, something I am passionate about, but have been putting it off as it is so easy to work a contract for a while, make good money then travel again.
I love having a base that inspires me and Sydney has been amazing. I love having my stuff around me and my bed to come home to. I love having a group of friends to hang out with and familiar places to visit. But I’m not done with long term travel yet.
I caught the travel bug bad when I moved to the UK back in 2006 and it has only got worse over time. The more I experience, the more I want to experience. I don’t think I ever will be done but I do see myself settling down to some extent in the next couple of years.
But first, I need to do this trip. I feel the need deep within me and I can’t ignore it.
Trav knows this, he knows how important it is to me and he is fully supportive. I couldn’t go a whole year without seeing him at all, that would be torture, so during my seven and a half months in Asia he is flying out to meet me twice, for two-three weeks at a time. I will also be back in Sydney for three weeks between the North American and Asian legs of my journey. The longest stretch of time during the year that we won’t see each other for is 3 ½ months. It’s a long time but we have been apart longer before on a couple of occasions due to visa renewals.
In a lot of ways I am excited. The longest stretch of time I have travelled solo was for two and a half weeks backpacking Italy back in 2011. I was terrified before I left but I had such a great time. I enjoy my own company and relished the alone time but I also met so many great people to hang out with. It was a great balance of social and loner time.
I am still scared but I think that’s a good thing.
If I am scared it means that I am challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone. I haven’t done that in a while. I am not the bravest person.
During this year of travel I will be travelling solo for the first three and a half months, through Hawaii, Alaska and British Columbia. That’s a lot longer than two and half weeks. It is also the longest I would have spent away from Trav for over five years.
I know I will miss him but I need to do this for myself.
I’m scared. I’m nervous. I’m exhilarated.
But that’s normal right?