I’ve been home for three weeks now, and after all the usual questions about which country I loved most, and did I have the time of my life (India/Thailand/Vietnam and YES), the other question people keep asking me is “how’s it been, adjusting back to ‘real life’?”
In short, I’d say I’m adjusting to ‘real life’ pretty well. But it’s more complicated than that.
One thing that’s helping, a lot, is that whilst away I realised I didn’t want to go back to a ‘desk job’. I’d had one of those for years since graduating, and quite frankly, had never been truly happy with it. I know we all have to work, and I have always been a hard grafter – from digital marketing to serving pints, I always give a job my all. But I realised I wanted to try my hand at working for myself. Turning my passions into a career. I’ve got a way to go before it’s a roaring success, but the career break made me think long and hard about the life I want to lead. So I’m now braving it and taking steps towards it!
That good weather we had about three weeks ago, and copious invitations to join family and friends for meals/drinks/bbqs/parties have helped too. A LOT.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed eating the food I missed (was gasping for a proper brew!) and spending time with loved ones.
The best thing about taking a six month break, I have to say, is truly experiencing ultimate freedom. The only things you really need to worry about are; what adventurous activities you’re going to do that day, and trying not to have a motorbike accident (trust me, you don’t want to be THAT person).
I can’t describe how good the feeling was when I first arrived in Indonesia knowing that, for the next six months, I didn’t have to worry about a thing. It’s so good for the mind and soul, and if you can afford even just to take one month off work to detox from the stresses of day-to-day life, I highly recommend it!
One major thing that’s changed since my trip is this; I’ve completely re-evaluated my life and set myself some new goals. Admittedly, personal goal-setting is something I’ve never really done before. I guess I was too stuck in the daily grind to make time.
But when I got back, with a fresh outlook and attitude, I did the cliched task of sitting down and asking myself the frank, honest question: what do I actually want out of life?
It turns out, I want quite a lot. So my tasks now revolve around starting a new career, spending time doing the things I love and learning new things; like how to speak Spanish!
I also now have a bigger-than-ever travel bucket list, which in the first instance is focused around Europe and I can’t wait to get started. Backpacking showed me how small this world really is; I’m excited to see even more new places and eat even more amazing food!
A new appreciation for the planet
Finally (and arguably, most importantly), I developed a new found appreciation for our beautiful planet 🌏🌎🌍. Seeing plastic in the oceans in Indonesia, Vietnam and India really made me realise that it’s not all paradise like the travel sites will have you believe.
Seeing heaps of rubbish everywhere and no real systems in place to recycle used materials, and breathing in endless fumes and emissions from cars and bikes in places where they don’t even have plans in place to reduce them. Really made me think – are world leaders actually doing enough to make sure our planet lasts as long as possible?
It’s a tricky concept to get your head around, I know. And I struggled at first, as a deteriorating planet seems worlds away. And we’re all so used to living strictly in the ‘here and now’. But since getting back I want to do something, anything, to help preserve the planet’s pristine-ness. I just haven’t quite figured out what it is yet – but watch this space!