‘You’re So Brave Travelling Alone’

So 7 times out of 10 (i’d say 9 is a little too high and even more cliché) i’ve told someone i’m going travelling it’s gone a little something like this:

(Them): Aw wow you’re going travelling, that’s so exciting! Are you going with your boyfriend?

(Me): Nope.

(Them): Friends??

(Me): Nope, I’m going on my own.

(Them): Oh wow you’re so brave, I could never do that!

And, every. Single. Time. It feels like someones let a wild pack of dogs loose in my head. The thoughts start to bounce around, the doubt, the worry and everything else. Why are they concerned, should I be concerned? Am I really doing the right thing? Am I brave enough to do this?

To be honest with you, I’m not the bravest person and honestly, never in my 22 years of living would I have thought i’d be doing this, going travelling on my own. But I think the main thing that is keeping me going is the benefits i’ll get from doing this on my own.

I could go travelling with a friend and that would be great, but I feel like I need a push in my life – the push to experience the unknown, stepping outside of my comfort zone, forcing myself into situations i’ve never had to be in before.

I’d say my life has been pretty comfortable, i’ve never put myself out there and done something on my own. I mean even going to University I went with people I knew and had two friends from college living in the block next door. I didn’t go there just because they were but, that’s the way it happened.

Obviously i’m SO excited for the experiences, seeing the sights, meeting new people, trying new foods. Yet I think i’m most excited about how this is going to change me – change the way I handle situations when I get back to my ‘normal’ life at the end of the year. I’m excited to make mistakes and learn from them, learn how to be myself, by myself, take every little thing that I do in my stride and just learn how to live in the moment.

So no, I wouldn’t say i’m being brave, brave insinuates that i’m scared to start off with. I’m not scared or worried. I’m positive. I’m excited. I’m AMBITIOUS. It’s not bravery, it’s ambition.

It’s Not As Easy As You Hoped It Would Be.

When you’re going through the education system you have this cliché idea of what your road map is going to look like from here on out. It’s all bright and hopeful, you finish High School, go to College go through the stresses of getting into University and then once you graduate thats it – career time. It’s when you think your life starts. You get a job, you start to work hard to save for a mortgage so you’re able to have dinner parties with friends, begin to accelerate your career and work up the ‘ladder’ and be a REAL grown up.

The reality of all of this, is that when most people come out of university you’re in your early twenties. This was the case for me anyway (and i’m not saying how it went for me is how it goes for everyone) but I know I’m not the only one who’s felt the ways I’ve felt over the past 2 years and I feel like more people should be open about it.

So, my experience. Aside from the odd stress melt down, University was the best 3 years of my life. I made friends, I had fun (admittedly, sometimes too much), I learnt a lot and I met my man. It was a blast.

Then that all finished and I was so excited, I had an amazing job lined up, I got to explore where my career was going to take me and I was ‘growing up’. My life was on track to be just how I imagined it was going to be and I would be following that path on my road map.

It all started wonderfully, I was so absorbed in my job (which I absolutely loved) but about a year in something just didn’t feel right. When I took time to take a step back and really look at the bigger picture it wasn’t all I thought it was going to be.

If I had the chance to go back and talk to my younger self, my advise would be ‘Don’t Rush’. There is no real rush in life, your life is really all you have and you need to make the most of your time on this planet. It’s SO cliché but it’s SO true. It’s always a constant competition, whether thats with other people or with yourself. We strive to get the best grades, and the best jobs so everyone will be proud and impressed with what you’ve achieved. But a lot of the time along the way in doing that you lose yourself, you lose the aim to truly find what YOU want in life and you find that you’re doing what you think you’re expected to do.

At this point in time, I can say the full time job I had is something I want a career in and I can imagine that being the rest of my life – but, I haven’t had the opportunity to go out and actually test that, see what else is out there and find out if that’s what I really want to do.

If I stayed on the road I was on, I can see the great career I would have had, but I know that in the back of my mind I would be wondering. Wondering what else was out there, wondering if this wasn’t actually what i’m supposed to be doing. There’s a whole world out there and people will tell you that you can end up travelling with work, or travel when your older. But it wouldn’t be the same as it will be if I do it now, to be truly free.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m a baby, I have so much time ahead of me and there is no need to feel like I need to settle down and ‘grow up’ right now.

I’ve taken a detour and what lies ahead of me right now, looks so different to what I thought it would and honestly that scares the sh*t out of me. But I am so excited to go and do as much as I can and try as much as I can and meet as many new people as I can and do all of these things. So if and when I do get back on that road, I won’t feel lost, I’ll know that I’ve been out and tried and tested the world before I decide it’s time to settle down, not because It’s what other people are doing or anyone expects me to do it, but because I know it’s time.

I’m Terrible at Introductions…

I have a head full of things i want to say to someone new, but i usually end up talking about the weather. How British.

I have good days and bad days when it comes to confidence. Sometimes i can walk into a room full of people, walk up to a stranger and just start talking. But it’s not always like that, sometimes i walk into a room full of people and feel like the world is falling in on me.

The last few months have been strange and unexpected. If you would have asked me, a year, heck, even 6 months ago that i would have quit my job, be moving back home and planning a solo trip around Europe i would have told you to go away (but in a slightly more expletive way).

But here we are… in my last two weeks of work and feeling not at all ready.

I’m starting this blog to keep my brain ticking over whilst my life undergoes some serious changes and i go from working 9-5 in an office, to being unemployed – savings in my back pocket and a whole lot of ambition to travel as much of the world as humanly possible.

I’m going to log my travels, the highs and lows, the good and bad and everything in-between. If none ever reads this then honestly, i don’t mind but it will be nice to have something to look back on and be proud of everything I’ve done.