Wanderlust: Another trip ends… Now what?

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I took this photo in January, as the sun went down in the late Bangkok afternoon as husband and I were approaching the airport to begin the trip back home to Melbourne. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I get to go back to Melbourne. Life is damn good there, and I can’t imagine permanently living anywhere else. But that final trip from the hotel to the airport to fly home, at the end of any trip, I find is always tinged with a little sadness for me.

There are a few factors at play here;
– I have an incurable case of wanderlust and an insatiable thirst for knowledge about this big, wonderful world I live in.
After an epiphany is Egypt, I know now that travel doesn’t have to just be a dream for me. If I want to make travel my life, I can.
– I’m one of those weird women who are very happily married, but have absolutely no desire to start a “family” (read: I’m not interested in being a mother).
– I read. A lot. Always have. Because reading is a way to escape to another world, and depression is something you need an escape from.
– I’m incredibly easily distracted because my work doesn’t challenge me.
– I’m a planner, a lister, a strategy maker. And I’m damn stubborn. Translation: Once I’ve decided I’m doing something, be it a holiday or a new pair of shoes, it’s happening. I’m immediately writing lists, timelines and budgets that will ensure that my dream becomes a plausible reality.

As I sat in the back of that car, staring out the window as it wove it’s way back to the airport, I wasn’t just my regular brand of sad. I was genuinely hurting. I felt a real dis-ease in my soul. Something had stirred during this trip. It really drove home what I realised over our four weeks in Egypt and Europe 9 months earlier; that I was made to move. My raison d’etre is to get back on the road. My motivation for getting out of bed in the morning and making my way to my mundane 9-5 job is to earn enough money to fund my next adventure. While our friends are starting to discuss baby names and hospital options, husband and I are excitedly flicking through at atlas with a marker, drawing out future itineraries, happily chattering away about what we think we’ll see in Iceland and eat in Morocco.

The end of this trip got me because I wasn’t ready for it to end. I’d spend two weeks eating street food, shopping at local markets, exploring areas off the beaten path, and loving every second of it. It’s like a drug; every trip I take, the stronger the pull is to stay away for a little longer, to immerse myself into another world a little more. And the harder it is to go back to the “real world.”

So, what next? Actually, it was a pretty simple answer for me. Keeping travelling. Get to where ever I can, however I can. I’m sure there are more of us out there who want to do the same. And some of the big obstacles to this?
– Travel buddy: I got lucky. I married my best friend and we’re both on the same page. We’ve already done a lot in the last almost 10 years, and we’ve got a lot more to see. I’ve also got a pretty cool baby sister and a rock star best friend, both of whom would be ready to take an adventure with me at the drop of a hat. No travel buddy? No problem. Go it alone. I’m planning to take a solo trip myself next year, actually. – Money: AKA the biggest roadblock for most people. I believe that you should never judge another person’s relationship, religious beliefs or financial situation, so I won’t presume that the same advice will work for everyone. What I do know is that we’ve had a mortgage for 4 years, and paid rent for almost 2 years before that. In that time, we’ve managed to afford trips to Sydney (two 4 day trips), Fiji (2 weeks), Egypt and Europe (4 weeks), Thailand (2 weeks), and a wedding. We also have a 6 week trip to America/Canada/Mexico coming up at the end of this year. It’s not been without sacrifices, and it’s not always been easy. But it’s not impossible. We’ve said no to some big nights out, but when we were standing before the pyramids in Egypt and sipping on sangria in Barcelona, it was more than worth it. We’ve made travel our priority, and once we did that, saving was actually pretty easy.
– Time: This is a bullshit cop-out, in my opinion. At the end of your days, I’m pretty sure you’re not gonna be lying on your deathbed smiling about the fact that you turned down three weeks in South American because you felt like you had to work instead. You only life once, so put that time into the things that are important to you.

As for me, I’m gonna keep living the dream; as you’re reading this, my baby sister and I are getting ready to board a plane to Vietnam, where we’ll be spending the next 10 days cycling through the outskirts of Hoi An, doing yoga on the beach, navigating the markets and learning to cook from the locals, and floating along Ha Long Bay. She’s my soul sister, she gets what’s important in life, and I cannot wait to take this adventure with her! I’ve packed a travel journal so I can record every little part of this trip, and I look forward to telling you guys all about it when I get back! In the meantime, follow me on instagram for all of our international adventures and delicious food – I’d love to take you along for this ride!

But for now, we must fasten our seat belts, prepare for the road ahead, and be thankful for this wonderful opportunity. And when it’s all over, then what? Do it all again, of course  : )

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11 thoughts on “Wanderlust: Another trip ends… Now what?

  1. I share the same feeling for travel (I mean wanderlust) with you. How I love to pack things and go somewhere, learn something, realise that there are so many good ways I can make my life more meaningful 🙂

  2. Wow, once again you’ve summed up my thoughts absolutely perfectly! I really enjoyed this post 🙂 Have a brilliant time in Vietnam! Can’t wait to hear about it.

  3. Hey Jess, just curious–are your professional traveler? How do you have enough funds to always be carousing the world? I love travel too, but most of my planning is financial-based (as well as timed on the corporate calendar 😦 ). There’s something you must be doing right! Your adventures sound amazing and your upcoming Vietnam trip will most likely be amazing as well. Congrats for living your dream!

    • Haha I’m definitely not a professional traveller although it’d be my dream job! Thank you for the congratulations though, it’s been hard work so that means a lot 🙂 I worked as a travel agent for a few years where I had some great opportunities that really woke my wanderlust, but the hours & wage weren’t very good. I left that job almost a year ago for a job with better conditions.
      I’m very lucky to have my best friend & husband who enjoys travelling too, so we’ve made the decision to make some sacrifices to enable us to put a big chunk of our earnings into travel. It’s hard work while paying off a mortgage, but for us, it’s worth it.
      It’s funny, I always thought it was so hard to save money to travel so much, but actually when you make it your priority, it’s pretty easy!!
      I hope you find a way to make your dreams come true too 🙂 xo

  4. Firstly, it takes lots of guts to share your feelings here and to acknowledge what you have written here. Bravo to that! And looks like you have found a perfect soulmate! Like you, I am ‘struggling’ to make the most in traveling. Since the currency (money) here is not as strong as some part of the world, i need to carefully plan out the travel wishlist. But dont worry, thats not gonna stop me from seeing the world. Would love to hang out with you guys when I am in Melbourne one day! Till then, looking forward for more of interesting posts from you…

    • Thank you so much Cammal – having a dream to travel seems so “stupid” and self-indulgent to some people, so it’s really nice to hear from someone else who gets it 🙂 I am really lucky to have found a soul mate who shares that love of adventure, but even if I hadn’t, I don’t think it would have stopped me – even with him, I still travel alone and with other friends! And you will definitely need to let us know when you finally make it to Melbourne, it’s always nice to be able to catch up with international blog friends!!

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