The plain and simple answer is no. Do I kind of have to stop… the answer is yes. After spending the past 8 months abroad adventuring throughout Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia I am ready to recharge my batteries and plant myself in one place for more than a few days. I know I will tell myself this and arrive back home to Sydney and within a few weeks I will already be mapping out my next adventure.
To be honest this last adventure has been the most taxing on myself with the amount of moving around that I have been doing. The promise I always make to myself for when I arrive to a new destination is to take it easy and relax. However the excitement of wanting to explore always trumps this. I will admit it physically I am drained I feel like I need to sleep for at least a week. This adventure has brought me to this point and the consecutive late nights don’t help. I mean when a beer is cheaper than a bottle of water back home and you’re in great company then you’re going to make the most of the experience. You’re crazy if you don’t.
Emotionally and mentally I am exhausted after the countless stressful moments I have had to deal with throughout my travels. From the crappy airlines, double booked hotels, over priced border crossings and many scamming antics used to rinse you for all your worth. However these are all things you will never see unless you travel for an extended period of time. The biggest piece of advice I can give to anyone undertaking extended travel is to ‘DO YOUR RESEARCH’. The amount of people I have crossed paths with on this journey that have no idea of where they are, what they are doing, what they can see here, the local customs and how to not get ripped off is madness. This is no word of a lie I have met some really ‘bad travellers’ who have left home underprepared with no real plan of what they want to be doing. I struggle to make sense of this however these people make for humorous conversation at time as I feel like they don’t even realize they are abroad.
Financially I am starting to hurt as the past 8 months of adventure have of course come at some cost although South East Asia is a much cheaper option than venturing throughout Europe. I would say with all my flights, accommodation, tours, transfers, motorbike rentals and spending money for the past 8 months has cost me under $10,000 AUD. Your dollar definitely goes a lot further here than elsewhere in the world.
I am definitely looking forward to spending some time back at home with my friends and family. With my eldest brother and his wife due to have their first child in the coming days, I am about to become an Uncle. Am I prepared for this responsibility… of course! I look to my brothers that are both happily married, with stable jobs, a home to come back to and this makes me think is this what I am searching for? Is it really time for me to find a real job and slowly begin to settle down? I believe I have convinced myself of this over the past few months of travel however there are no promises on how long this will last. The desire to travel is too strong to be in one place for too long.
When I reflect on the past 8 months of travel through South East Asia I consider the good and the bad moments that I have experience that have got me to this point. The countless memories and newfound friends I have met along the ways that have impacted on my life in one way or the other.
What I will miss most about Asia:
- The cuisine
- The people
- The culture
- The smiles
- The price
What I won’t miss about Asia:
- The scammers
- The language barriers
- The delays
- The frustrating moments
- The hard beds.
To believe I am a few days away from leaving this paradise and stepping back into the real world is crazy. The past 8 months has taught me so much about the world, myself and how I can make a difference to others’ lives. My goal has always been to motivate others whether in the classroom as an educator or through my website. I try to show people that stepping out of your comfort zone is absolutely okay and travelling can be one of the greatest times in your life. I want everyone to see that they can do what I do and travel for an extended period of time it just takes that first step of booking a flight.
Top 5 things I miss most about home:
- A home cooked meal
- My bed
- Operating in dollars not monopoly money
- Silence (no constant beeping horns or hasslers)
- Friends & Family
Top 5 things I don’t miss about home:
- The cost of living (housing, car, food & bills)
- Negative people
In less than 72 hours I will be back home on Australian soil, immersing myself back amongst my friends and family. I always hope on return that I can uncover a change although this never seems to be the case. Everyone seems to be operating in the same way and conversation seems to flow from where I left it when I first boarded that plane in Sydney.
What I will take away from the last 8 months in Asia:
- Don’t be quick to judge people.
- Life is too short to deal with negativity.
- Stay cool, calm & collected.
- Friends & Family are always there.
- Embrace the time we have and make the most of every opportunity, no matter how big or small.
- Happiness is key.
- We don’t always need to please others.