OK so I have slacked off writing my blog for the last 7 months, but with good reason. Anyway, I am catching up and reflecting back on past experiences, starting with last year….
Back to Sept ’15, returning to the UK after 4 months in Europe and Morocco living in my campervan.
I remember driving back into my home town after 4 months travelling in my campervan last year and I was just thinking, ah man, it all looks the same, nothing has changed (why did I expect it to?) and my phone rang….it was my friend Danny saying hi and asking what it was like to be back. I explained it was just like returning from a weekend away kitesurfing in Wales and he wet himself laughing along with a comment along the lines of “I knew you would say that…..welcome back!”
If I am honest, I struggled to get back into any kind of real routine at first. Coming back to my old house, my old belongings, old memories, jobs to be done, was more of a challenge than I had predicted.
It was like I had started to move on, but I dropped myself back into all of my old habits. It was great to see family and friends (never to be underestimated), but I struggled to feel genuinely settled.
I expected to be in, clear my stuff, fix up my campervan and house, and be gone again in 6 weeks, 4 months later I was still there…..
Dec ’15 – moving on
Anyway, I did clear my stuff out, did fix up and sell my old campervan, managed to rent my house out, and managed to persuade my parents to let me live with them for a few weeks before planning another trip. Which interestingly was harder than I thought – somewhere between too much choice and being unclear on what I really wanted to do and why.
I figured a few things out from this time that I wanted to share quickly, perhaps someone somewhere will find it useful for their own journey / mission / adventure:
– when you travel you do in some ways move on (grow / develop / whatever) and travel can be (some kind of) therapy, but you cannot expect things ‘back home’ to be fully in tune with you when you return, and that’s just the way it goes. This completely caught me out.
– coming back to an old space is not always the best choice, especially if you are trying to ‘move on’, it may be comfortable, but not always (mentally) beneficial. This also caught me out.
– it’s great to tell friends and family your stories and catch up with people. Even if people don’t fully understand what you are on about, if someone takes a slight interest in what you have been doing, it’s just plain nice and sharing the stories helped me relive and remind myself of some of the things that easily get forgotten!
-a transition into normal life (whatever that means) is easier if you have a project / job / purpose to throw through yourself into (mine was a triathlon, and then a campervan restoration and house rent project). Even though they may not have been pleasant, the purpose definitely helped. I think everyone needs some kind of purpose.
– I also started to follow ‘the minimalists’. I can’t confess I stuck to their programme exactly but did try to implement some of their philosophies. For me this meant reducing as much of my material possessions as possible and life hacking my current situation (renting my house out to cover mortgage costs thus freeing up money responsibility and gaining freedom of location). Not exactly big things, but I was swamped with old things I just did not need, and letting them go was very therapeutic plus the feeling of freedom is quite liberating.
There is actually a lot more, but thats to come later!
NEXT POST – TBC – EITHER A SNAP SHOT OF TRAVELS / ADVENTURES / LIFE IN SOUTH AFRICA, OR, COMING HOME AGAIN AND WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THIS TIME. OR BOTH.