Judgement Day

So here it is, judgement day has finally come when I give in and declare to myself ‘well this is it, I have done all that I can’. I look at my travel savings and a sense of disappointment always dominates. Not to worry. I am now free of the shackles of modern life which is drenched in routine and set working hours, I am no longer temping! I am ready to roam the world on my set budget. Nervousness creeps in, I can imagine it’s a bit like Messi stepping up to score a penalty in front of 100,000 people or myself being asked to bowl the last over of a cricket game to win (not conceding more than 20 runs, easy, sort of). I know I could have saved more but life gets in the way. I quickly forget this and the excitement hits me when I realise I am travelling the world for 18 months, pretty good I must say.
The contrasting mentalities of preparing for a long trip are strange and opposite to one another. You save your hard-earned cash for weeks on end, saying no to things you want to buy, limited nights out, even weekends are committed to overtime. Then you switch to spending it all in a matter of months and the process starts over again. I must admit I am addicted to it. The planning started when we booked that first flight, I then proceed to look at the calendar and work out how many weeks I have left, how much money I can save and most of all how long I can travel for before finding my next temp job, in New Zealand.
Planning a trip of this magnitude requires a lot of admin but you can’t plan or book too much, as my website proclaims you must wing it sometimes. The key to any trip is requiring that little bit of bottle and pressing that button to pay for your flight, then you are committed like when you jump off that ledge for your bungee, no going back. Excitement settles in when we start looking at activities in each country we want to visit and analysing the hostels that fellow backpackers have recommended. Before you know it 5 flights, 7 hostels and 2 activities have been booked and you are knee deep in backpacking territory. Oh wait, we need to tell some people. Never easy.
The hardest and worst thing about backpacking for a substantial amount of time is the goodbyes. Explaining why you want to go for that long can be hard. Justifying can be difficult but the essential truth is that there is always a reason for not going and you can’t wait on people because this is the one and only life you have. Regretting not going would be hard to swallow later in life. Some people are genuinely not interested in travelling or the idea behind it, they are harder to reason with. ‘Oh, you don’t want a career, house, marriage, car or kids at 28??’ You quickly realise after a few days, people accept it and get back to normal life. A mentality which I will touch more on later down the line when I get back from this trip but let’s not think about that yet.
I can never work out why people wouldn’t want to go and see the world, visit as many countries as possible, speak to as many different types of people as possible and get those awesome experiences in the bag. I firmly believe there is a time and a place to travel and that is when you are young enough with no ties and responsibilities. You utilise that free spirit. Get the stories, experience the unknown, get out of the comfort zone and go and push yourself to the limit as much as possible. Nothing beats that anxious excitement the morning you get up to go the airport to begin your journey. It’s like the equivalent of an adrenalin rush you get when you skydive, score a goal or get aces in poker. It certainly is like a drug, and they say once you get that travel bug you are infested for the rest of your life.

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