A gap year. One year of travel. One year working ,travelling, experiencing life in places you have never been. I have just spent one year in Australia.
I have also just booked a one way ticket to fly back to Australia in January.
People are asking why? Why are you going back so soon, you’ve only been back a few weeks? I will have been home 6 weeks when I come to leave.
My friends and family were shocked I booked my ticket so soon, and of course I will be sad to leave them again.
I am therefore here to tell you why one year of travel just isn’t enough. No where near enough.
Travel changes you.
Yes it is a cliché you see on every travel bloggers Instagram, sprawled across an inspirational t-shirt, at the heart of any good travel film. Of course you don’t see it at the time, at the time you’re just doing you, just making friends, working, driving across an entire country, the usual.
But when I came home, back to little old Wales, I realised it in myself. I am different.
In a good way, maybe in some bad ways. Personally I see things differently, I have different opinions to a year ago. I have always been open minded, but I feel I am more open minded. I understand more peoples way of life, different communities, cultures, ideas.
You know when you can’t quite put your finger on it? You just feel different. Cliché as fuck.
Well if one year of travel has affected me, then I want more.
I want to learn more, change more, evolve more as a person. Good or bad.
The main bad part…I know I don’t want to live back in the UK, for a long time.
Fuck the 9-5 life.
I may not know what the fuck I want to do with my life, but I do know that I cannot settle back into ‘normal’ life. I know I can’t do it.
Why do I have to do it?
One year is meant to be ‘enough’ a ‘gap year’. A year between study or work to ‘figure’ shit out, go a bit crazy, then head home to continue your life. A gap from what though? That’s what I want to know.
One amazing fulfilling incredible year is the ‘gap’ you get before you ultimately have to return to the 9-5 hell hole, living for the weekend life, saving to die. Sorry, a bit morbid yes.
Well no. I refuse. I’m not doing it sorry. Actually, I’m not sorry..or ‘sorry not sorry’, whatever people say.
I don’t want to sit in work and be watching the clock, waiting to run out of the office.
Living for the weekend? Nah. I want to go to eat delicious food on a monday night, have a few shots of tequilla and crawl in at 5am thinking ‘WHAT a night!’.
This year I have realised, I am not made for that life yet, maybe I never will be. I appreciate all my friends who work hard every week, who can afford nice cars and are buying houses. I am soooo proud of them. Yes I do get it, but the idea of that scares the shit out of me.
Being stuck in one place terrifies me. ‘Stuck’ sounds like a horrible way to describe it and I don’t want to offend but that’s how I feel.
Life is too short.
Again with the clichés! But it’s just too true not to mention.
This past year has been like no other. The world has seen it’s fair share of trauma and death. From people close to me, to my favourite singers. Death happens.
What is now ingrained into me, every time I think about death, is that I need to make the most of life, we all do.
Death close to you really shakes you, it makes you reevaluate your entire life. It makes me feel sick. But the good to come out of a tragic experience is that it allows you the chance to always be mindful. To always remember to make the most of experiences, opportunities, life.
Because I am 22.
YES, that is a reason
You can travel at any age. But your twenties are a special time where anything fucking goes. You can party 3 nights in a row and still go to work the next day, you can sleep in the cheapest packed hostels, you love £1 drinks, you will talk to anyone. Your twenties are amazing.
So to me it would be stupid, nah, ridiculous, to not carry on travelling at this age.
Your hometown will always be there. Your friends and family will always love and support you.
There are no excuses.
There is no rush to settle down. Some people might want to, and that’s fine. Others, like me, don’t want to settle down. There are things we are ‘supposed’ to do in society, and we don’t have to do them. Get a good job, buy a house, get married, have children. Nah. Those things might be nice one day, but definitely not today.
Don’t feel guilty or wrong for not wanting to follow the traditional route.
What I have learnt from my so called ‘gap year’? I want to live a life I don’t need a gap year from.
So, here’s to travelling for more than a ‘gap year’. Here’s to making a life that you love, filled with travel, new experiences, new cultures and new people. A life you don’t want to take time out form.
Here’s to travelling for the foreseeable future.
‘Til next time. ✈
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