Off we pop, then.
So I’m writing my first blog post on the plane from Brisbane to Auckland. I wanted to have already written several posts about the bits and pieces of travel I’ve already been doing in Australia and getting prepared to go on this adventure… but I’m sure this won’t be the only thing about the trip that doesn’t go to plan.
I plan on writing this blog for a few reasons. Mainly it’s for my self and my mum (Hi Mum!) - a memory for me to look back on, and a way for her to keep track of where we are and what we’re doing. I also want to use my brain for something other than converting currencies while we’re away, which is why I hope that more than just a log of activities, I will write about what I’m experiencing as a person - the changes I find myself going through, my relationships with myself and others, my struggles and my achievements. Beyond all that, I hope when we get back to start making writing a part of my career, so I might as well start now. There, I’ve said it. Now I have to do it.
To begin, I thought I’d give a little explanation of the trip we’re embarking on. Set the scene, and maybe it’ll be something to look back on if (when) I feel disillusioned at any point.
WHO is going on the trip: I’m Jen, currently 29 years old. I have travelled plenty before, and lived in more than 7 cities. I haven’t ever done a trip this long, and have mainly travelled to see friends or to work. Sometimes I’m not the greatest at relaxing and letting go of plans, so I’m foreseeing a bit of a challenge there.
My travel partner is my boyfriend Neil. We have been in a relationship for over 6 years. We’ve travelled together a fair bit, and we work well together on the road. I’m good at planning, Neil is good at executing, pretty complimentary skills.
WHAT am I thinking: I’ve come to accept in recent years that I am a pretty anxious person. Nothing too debilitating, but my anxieties can set me in to unproductive, irrational thought spirals that I have to work hard to get out of. The things that I am most anxious about for the trip are money and regrets.
I have worked hard and saved up a considerable amount of money to take on this holiday. I also have additional savings for emergencies, credit cards, insurance and wonderful parents who, if I get really stuck, I imagine would be willing to help me out. So really, I have nothing to worry about. But I have been fretting about money in a way that probably isn’t healthy. It’s not rational, it’s not helpful. But hopefully it has prepared me be cautious with my money, which will make it last longer. Or make me a scrooge who doesn’t experience all the things I want to because I’m too worried about spending money, not embracing all the opportunities that come my way. Oh god, it’s happening again.
I’m nervous that we are travelling to too many places. I feel like I might get too exhausted and need a holiday from my holiday. I’m worried that this is a once in a lifetime trip, and there’s some major error that we’ve made in our planning that means it won’t be as good as it could have been. I’m worried that there might be a place in Mexico that sells better tacos than the place we end up getting tacos and we’ll have missed out on the best tacos we could have ever tried. See what I mean? Irrational.
Hopefully by writing my worries down and publishing them on the internet, it will make my brain say “See Jen, you’re being an idiot. Go to sleep.”
WHEN will we be back: We have bought a round the world ticket from Flight Centre (not an advertisement, but we have had great experiences with them so far, 10/10, would book again). The way our ticket works is that we have planned a route and booked flights, but the dates are completely flexible. We plan on being away for about 12 months, but that could change. We might run out of money sooner than we thought. Or we might get sick of travelling and just want to be at home in our bed. I’m trying very hard not to put any pressure on myself about anything, but especially that if we have to come home earlier than anticipated, there’s no shame in that.
WHERE are we going: Brisbane > Auckland > Wellington > Queenstown > Auckland > Santiago > Buenos Aires > Bogota > Mexico City > Chicago > New York > Los Angeles > Black Rock City > Los Angeles > Tel Aviv > Jerusalem > Istanbul > (now I’m going to change to countries, as this is about where our plans aren’t as set…) Greece > Italy > Spain > France > United Kingdom > Kenya > India > Thailand > Cambodia > Vietnam > Brisbane (And maybe more in there… To be determined!) If you find yourself anywhere weird in the world in the next 12 months, send me a message, because in all likelihood, we could be there! Let’s catch up!
WHY the hell: Why the hell not? We planned on doing a big trip a few years ago, but when a great job opportunity came up for me in Sydney, we decided to take it. That was the right thing for us to do at the time, but it made me realise that there is always something that could get in the way, always a reason that right now isn’t the right time. So we bit the bullet and quit our jobs. I don’t think we’ll regret it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t waste a lot of emotional energy worrying about whether it will all turn out to have been a huge mistake.
The other main reason for me is that I am very nearly 30 years old. I thought that was as good a reason as any to make a big fuss, change things up and mark the milestone in a big way. I’ve never liked staying in one place for too long. I felt ready to challenge myself by getting out of a very comfy comfort zone.
So that’s the long and the short of it. Stay tuned for more neurotic musings, reviews of bed-bug ridden hostels and pictures of breweries. Lots of breweries.