I have been back in the UK for just over 2 weeks, having returning from a first time trip to Sri Lanka.
I only planned to go for a few weeks with the idea to progress my kitesurfing, do a little travel, and make headway into a book I have started to write about the past year of changing decisions and attempting to live life on my own terms.
I think its fair to say I met 2.5 out of 3…..
On returning for a third time….
This is the third time I have returned from an extended trip on this (ever extending) journey, and a few close friends recently asked me if it is getting any easier returning back to ‘normality’ (and when am I going to get a job).
At first I said no, it’s horrendous, but then I gave it some thought, and in some ways it is getting easier. Partly, I think, because I have found ways to cope with the transition by throwing myself into things I can do here as well as half way around the world. This definitely helps.
As does returning when the sun is shining, such a rarity in the UK, and what can we moan about when the weather is good 🙂
I am also fortunate (as unsettling as it can be) to have an open-book in terms of what to do next. Not that I am rich, or will never need to work again, but I have health, a little money, and choice…..and I’m sure choice is a key factor here. I could go back to a similar job, and move back into my old (now rented) house, but I don’t have to (yet) and thats quite liberating.
I also believe you adjust yourself to whatever circumstances you are surrounded by, and it is then a decision if you stick with them or make the change, depending on what your options / choices / desires are.
I guess there is the old saying ‘that you take yourself with you wherever you go’, so travelling to escape will never be a long term fix, and the other (slightly bewildering) idea that you should be able to be happy wherever you are in the life, as you have a choice how you react to situations, but that’s going down the emotional intelligence route, and whilst super interesting, is beyond the scope of this blog and me, at least for today (I wish I could master this one!).
Finally, I realised that there is no perfect fit, no magic answer, and as amazing as the travel and freedom is, it does have its downside, and nothing is perfect al the time, wherever you are.
So, thats a long winded way of saying yes, it’s getting easier (but not any less unsettling), and as a friend once said to me ‘what is normality anyway’.
A few lessons learnt…..
I learnt lots from this trip, especially as I only planned to go for a few weeks and return to the UK, and finding myself in the immigration office extending my visa, and then changing my flight 3 times (!) led to a few things becoming obvious for future plans:
- Don’t make decisions when tired and burnt out from 5 hour motorbike trips in intense traffic, as it will not be the most sane choice, just chill, sleep and come back to it.
- Book a one way ticket if you can, thus not committing yourself to a return date (with an expiry date AND a NO SHOW FEE of £300…….seriously, who does this – Sri Lanka Airways apparently!). I spoke to 3 people who managed to get into SL on a one way ticket, despite all the rumour of not being allowed in without onward travel.
- There is something to be said for slowing it all down, staying in one place, getting to know people and the area, and really giving it chance to soak in. Slow travel is the way.
- With visa extensions, always go for the longest option. Why wouldn’t you? Why didn’t I? I was tired out and not thinking straight.
Next posts…..coming soon
My kitesurfing coaching experiences wth CK performance clinics ‘coaching is not just for professionals’, why didn’t I do this with these guys years ago?! So so good!
- Travelling around Sri Lanka by bike, not for the faint hearted, but what an experience (in survival tactics).
- Slow travel, kitesurfing lots, and just staying still for a change