In the early hours of tomorrow morning I leave the UK behind and I embark on the first stage of my adventure. It has been hard saying goodbye to my friends and family but I am looking forward to finally setting off.
Tomorrow we take the Eurostar to Paris and from there swing south and follow the sun for the next few months. I will return to the UK briefly at the end of August and I will be around again to regroup in October before heading off across the Atlantic to South America.
I have been dreaming about this for a long time and I can hardly believe that little old me has actually had the bottle to go ahead and resign from my job and that I will be living out of a rucksack indefinitely.
I will be joining the band of travellers, nomads and wanderers who roam the planet as free-range humans with few material possessions, but with a life brimming with experiences.
I am sure that there will be times when I get homesick or I am ill, times when I am cold and wet or hot and thirsty, times when I am lost in a strange city or marooned at a remote bus stop, but goodness, I could be behind my desk working on the same old problems day in day out.
I shall need to find work as I travel and I expect to stay in some very basic accommodation and dine on street food, but I hope to get fitter, meet amazing people and have some fantastic experiences.
Deep breath……… here is the news that you have been waiting for. The decision is made, wheels have finally been set in motion and I am now in a position to go public.
I have handed in my resignation and I have given notice to my landlady on my flat. I have begun a course of travel jabs and some legs of my adventure are already booked.
Within four weeks I will be leaving a permanent, secure job that I enjoy, and just two weeks later I will move out of a home where I have been safe and happy. Just three days after that I shall be on board a Eurostar bound for Paris.
This is an emotional roller coaster. I am excited beyond belief as this is what I have been leading up to for so long, I am nervous about the experiences that I know are around the corner and I am worried that I may have a made a huge mistake and that I will have left a nice job and flat for some dream that won’t work out. However, I am not afraid to dip my toe in the water of the vagabond life, test it and come back to ‘normality’ if it is not quite what I expect. And if I do come back sooner rather than later, then at least I will have tried and I can have no regrets about what might have been. I have two other friends who are about to set off on their own similar personal adventures this summer, both for very different reasons and I know that both are also experiencing a huge range of emotions.
Now that it is time to pack up the contents of my home, I realise quite how few personal possessions that I actually have. I moved into this flat three years ago, with not much more than the contents of a couple of suitcases. Friends and family rallied around and donated much to me and whilst I have also collected a few bits and pieces on my travels, I have consciously not built up much in the way of material goods. Always at the back of my mind has been the desire to move on, but there has also been the memory of what it was like to lose all of my possessions. I initially believed that my identity was wrapped up in the lifetime of possessions that I ran away from and I actually grieved their loss. I suspect that people who lose everything in a house fire or a flood must go through those emotions too, but rather than build up another hoard of ‘things’, I have questioned the validity and necessity of each prospective purchase and in the majority of cases I have gone without.
What I have gone through over the last few years has made me stronger and has given me the confidence to give this a go. I know that some people are a bit worried about my personal safety whilst travelling, but for me, that is the least of my worries. I worry about missing my friends and family, but will keep in touch and who knows, some of you may even arrange to meet up with me somewhere on my travels