I’ve been on the road for a total of nine days now. I’ve hustled and bustled in Bangkok, I’ve snoozed on an overnight train to Surat Thani and I’ve long-tail boated it to paradise in the shape of bright blue seas and white sandy beaches.
I’m also sunburnt, covered in mosquito bites, my feet seem to develop new blisters everyday, I’ve got me some painful earache and I’ve recently had the worst diarrhoea I’ve had in all of my 35 years. Over the last week and a half I’ve felt homesick, more than a tad lonely at times and I’ve spent a serious amount of time considering whether or not I might have made a huge mistake.
Just before I left the UK I was interviewed by Cigdem Kobu, creator of the wonderful ‘A Year with Myself’ program, for a module titled “Fearless Living: How to Understand Fear and Work Your Courage Muscle”. In the interview Cigdem asked me: What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes people make when attempting a big life change? I answered the question weeks ago, not really qualified to do so, as I hadn’t at that point gone through my own big life change.
However, sitting here today, my answer isn’t all that different to the one I gave. I think that often people underestimate how hard it can be to undergo a big life change. Change can be stressful, unsettling, overwhelming, disconnecting, confusing and at times downright difficult to navigate through. If people aren’t prepared for it, and sometimes even when they are, the tough times can come as a real blow. Sometimes I think it can be all too easy to see such challenges as a signal that perhaps they took a wrong turn or made a mistake. People start to tell themselves that perhaps things weren’t all that bad before and they start to back pedal, like crazy.
After such a huge build up to this trip, with months of preparation and lots of lengthy and teary goodbyes, I lay on top of my hostel bunk bed just over a week ago and considered my life before this change. I considered the savings in my bank account and thought about how easy it would be to jump straight back on a plane home and do something else with all the money I’d saved.
But I hope you know me better than that. Travelling the world is a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl and I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to get here. One thing I’ve learnt in life is that good things don’t always come easily. All of my greatest moments have come after hard work, sacrifice and in some cases dealing with huge amounts of fear. I only have to think about running the London marathon, jumping out of a plane at 12,000 feet, creating this blog, travelling solo around South America and much more besides.
Travel for me is about the beautiful moments that I know I’ll remember forever, the random and wonderful connections I make with the people that I meet and the way in which my eyes feel permanently open to the wonder of life.
So do I have any regrets about my decision to sell everything I own and leave behind everyone I love to travel around the world on my own? Nah not one, because I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, challenges and all.
Have you ever undergone a huge life change? Did you find it difficult or easy? If you have any tips to share I’d love to hear them. Or are you planning a big life change and feel worried about how you’ll deal with it? Please share your comments below and if you liked this post don’t forget to share it by hitting one of the buttons below.