This week marks four years since my flight from London to Dubai took off from Heathrow Airport. What followed was three months of non stop adventure and good vibes.
I’ve said it multiple times and i’ll say it again.
Travel is my ultimate therapy.
This week marks four years since I set off on my first backpacking trip when I explored a rapidly expanding Dubai, took a road trip along Australia’s east coast, fell in love with New Zealand’s North Island, made my debut in America’s West Coast as well as switching coast to see the monuments and museums in Washington DC before finishing in familiar surroundings of New York City, somewhere I had visited four years earlier.
For so long that trip was a pipe dream. The booking of it actually came as a real turning point in my nine months therapy process, it showed that I was taking control of my life and committing to something I wanted for so long.
You’re probably expecting this post to be all about the amount of fun I had on that trip and the mental health benefits I gained from that trip and subsequent others, but that isn’t the case (My travel blog that ran for three years did that)
This post will talk about a couple of features from that trip i’ve never really looked into with much detail before.
Anxiety Surrounding Travelling Solo
A lot of people would find the thought of travelling around the world solo quite a nerve wracking experience. Although there are a lot of things in this world that make me anxious, travelling solo has never been one of them which is something I think surprised a lot of people.
To the untrained eye I was always a person that would go to West Ham games with his Mum, whose first proper job was with his Dad and was always spending free time with his friends, i.e. I was very rarely alone. So when I put a post on Instagram saying I would be travelling alone for three months eyebrows were raised. However, I had absolutely no anxieties around it, and here’s why.
I booked all three of my backpacking trips through STA Travel, and the best thing about their service is by far getting the whole thing printed on one itinerary. If I have that I know where my flights take off from, on what day, at what time, as well as the check in details, and if I have all of that I have what I need to go out and take care of myself and have fun during the days in between.
That is something I like to apply to my every day life, it’s similar to if you gave someone a 3000 piece Lego Millennium Falcon. If you took away the instructions there’s no chance they’d be able to build it, however with the instructions as guidance they’ll be just fine.
The same goes for our jobs, people aren’t born with the knowledge of how to be a solicitor or an accountant, it all starts with the guidance which is the foundation towards starting a new career. And for me, with my travels, that foundation was the itinerary.
That success that came with my travels installed the belief within me that I could achieve what I set out to achieve, all I need is the correct tools.
The People You Surround Yourself With
I’m on a mission in my life to identify parts of my life that make me unhappy and cast them aside, and one of the biggest is interactions with people who are negative.
When you surround yourself with people who are living their lives with a positive attitude it effects you mentally, it becomes a form of motivation to keep living your life with positive energy, it’s almost as if people are fuel and they become an inspiration for you.
When i’m surrounded by happy and inspirational people it makes me feel better about myself and where i’m going and if I can work with that inspiration i’ll feel more fulfilled with my life, and this isn’t just inspirational in terms of financial success. In this specific case we’re talking about a round the world trip that didn’t pay me a penny, but fed me the wealth and the knowledge that I could live my life in those situations I had never found myself before.
As for the moments from my travels that I will never forget, well if you are a regular to this blog you will know how frequently they come up. Whether i’m highlighting how cuddling a koala made me feel at the time or creating a metaphor out of taking the leap of faith at a Bungy Jump as a cure for life as an over thinker – it’s all there.
The inspiration to attack the big moments from the trip the way I did wouldn’t have been there if I wasn’t surrounded by some of the happiest and inspirational people I have ever had the pleasure to meet who motivated me to do so.
Post Travel Blues
The infamous post travel blues are the worst thing about a big trip, normally during the last few days of a big trip i’m ready to come home, see my family, friends, dogs etc, but it’s really not long before the blues kick in.
One thing I think is worth noting is that this feeling isn’t unique to travelling. I also get a similar feeling after an amazing concert or festival and most recently, the days following on from my brothers Wedding just last week, unfortunately, it’s a part of it all.
The term I feel inclined to say is that it’s all an escape, but thats not right, because an escape suggests that it’s not real, when it is, it’s what we’ve chosen to make of our lives given the situation that we find ourselves in.
What I would describe them as is a break from our normal lives.
That may sound like a very pessimistic way to describe it, but that’s exactly what they are. The fact that there is a ‘normal life’ to return to is what paints something such as a three month backpacking trip in gold. And it’s also why coming back to the ‘normal life’ is hard to get to grips with.
The only way to get over the post travel blues is to start working with a routine again, once you have that routine things begin to fall together nicely and you can identify the parts of your life that need changing/improving.
Add the motivation gained from your travels and all of a sudden you have new foundation to build your life around as you enter the next act.