Ever since I made this announcement I’ve been going through a range of emotions varying from absolutely terrified to stupidly excited on a daily basis. One day I’ll be scraping the ice off my car and I’ll imagine myself sitting in the sun on a beach wishing I could bring my flight forward, and other days I’ll curse myself for my decision. On those days I try to re-read posts like this or this, but it’s not always easy.
I know these feelings well as I was going through exactly the same thing last year before I left for my last trip. I also know that any major decision in life is bound to come with doubts and that it wouldn’t be natural for me not to panic, but it can still be emotionally draining to have so much on my mind at one time.
I know it will be worth it and deep down I don’t doubt that it’s the right thing to do, but the problem is that it’s only when you leave somewhere that you start to realise how good you have it. Or at least that’s the way it seems. It’s that ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome that happens when you know you won’t have something anymore. It’s the same thing that would happen to me if I wasn’t going away – everything would seem boring and mundane in Birmingham and I would fantasize about travelling again. Annoyingly, the option you leave behind will always haunt you. Sometimes leaving everything and everyone I know when I’m actually pretty happy with my life here doesn’t seem like such an easy thing to do.
One thing is for sure though and that’s that solo travel doesn’t scare me any more. I’ve conquered that fear and lived to tell the tale – I know that crossing into the departure lounge on my own won’t seem anywhere near as daunting this time. But now I have a new fear in place of that which is stepping into the unknown. Last time I knew that in 3 months time I would be returning to the same job and the same life – this time that won’t be waiting for me and that’s pretty terrifying.
When people ask me about my plans I might seem confident and nervously ramble on about my many reasons for going but deep down it’s also me I’m trying to convince. Luckily I’m pretty good at doing that and I realise if I wasn’t going that would eat away at me way more than it will to leave Birmingham. I know I would never shake the desire to see as much of the world as possible and that if I didn’t take this opportunity now I would always regret it.
So that brings me back the positive feelings that come with an experience like this. I now have plans for the first 6 weeks of my trip, and planning that reminds me of what positive experiences I have to come. I’ve always enjoyed that part of a trip away – researching the accommodation and where I want to go, to me it’s all part of the fun and at this stage it’s the best thing I can do to work up some excitement.
Of course I still have less exciting things to plan such as my visa, travel insurance and a long list of ways to get my portfolio and CV up to scratch, but for now I think I’m just about on top of it. Tomorrow I might not be so sure – it just depends what day you catch me on. For now I’m trying to remind myself that stepping into the unknown is daunting but it’s also one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done, and I’m doing it for very good reason.