Friends that had travelled had warned me: “You’ll never want to stop”.
I believed them to a degree but how hard must it be to get over it? My experience of it has been slightly different. I’m now looking for work and I’m OK with that. I’m looking forward to re-engaging that part of my brain again. I look forward to meeting more people, more locals and having money come in to essentially experience more.
What I found the most difficult was bridging the gap between adventures.When travelling you are “out”. Whatever out means for you – of the city, of the country, of your comfort zone, work . . . your significant other. Whatever it may be for you, it’s a sense of escape. For me I was out of my comfort zone, I was out meeting new people and learning news skills. I had something to aim for. It was always hard to leave an adventure behind but it also meant I had something awesome and new to look forward to. The difficult thing was having to wait a week or 2 to do so. I would fill my time up by planning and buying the extra bits that I needed. But that would only take so long.
I have mentioned a lot of times in my previous blogs about relaxing. I found relaxing difficult because I felt having a lie-in was wasting time. I should be adventuring, travelling, experiencing new things! This is what I am here for, and I only have so much time (Visa, Money, SUMMER!). Here I am walking around downtown Vancouver to kill the time before my next trip.
This was most prevalent when I didn’t have a planned adventure waiting for me. Bowron and the bike tour were the only properly planned trips (booked with dates set). Rockies with Loz was loosely planned which was organised nearer the time (Loz did all the work actually whilst I was out and about riding).
I was like an excitable dog staring outside the window, looking at all the cars to chase, I just hadn’t worked out which car I wanted to run after, or how I was going to escape to make that happen.
There would have been some internal moping. One minute I had been in the middle of the Bowron lakes, miles away from anywhere, watching the stars move over the mountains, and the next I was on the couch of my friends house, wishing to go to sleep as early as possible because right there and then, there wasn’t anything else to do. Plus I didn’t have to think about the adventuring I wasn’t doing when asleep.
After a couple of days something inside changed. I would snap myself out of it. “What the fuck am I waiting for”. This yo-yo of emotion between big highs and lows whilst travelling had condensed feelings I had over many years making it so much more in your face. I had the money, and therefore the means to do whatever I wanted. And I did it like this:
- Relentlessly decide on a destination / activity
- Book whatever needed to be booked (car rental, hostel, camping spot)
- With plan in place, relax and enjoy the city for what the city had to offer – coffee shops, Kitsilano Beach and good food
- DO ADVENTURE
This is how I went to Whistler for a week. I realised there were no barriers. I didn’t have anyone to go with. Go alone. I didn’t have a car. Hired a car. I’d booked my accommodation and then I was off. In 2 days I would leave.
It was early September and I needed to be in Toronto in 3 weeks as I had tickets to the World Cup of Hockey and Baseball. So I spend a week trying to buy a car. 2 days later I take a road trip from Vancouver to Toronto (via the US ) and push onto Montreal.
There are some things that I don’t let get in the way of me – doing things alone. I realised years ago if I wait for someone to do something that I want to do then I’ll never get anything done. It’s always good to share but you can’t rely on others for fun. I’ve been lucky enough for things that I want to do have never really been out of budget.
My main blockage has usually been logistics or “ah well”. Until recently I’ve not had a driving licence, meaning that most things, especially adventurous, became out of possibility (trains and taxis are costly). I’d then convince myself that I probably didn’t want to do it that much anyway and leave it at that. Excuses
This wall has been broken now. There are no excuses any more apart from ‘being bothered’. This new found freedom has opened up a new world to me. I still of course need to kick myself to do something, and surrounding myself with people who will push me to do what may not already be a regular part of my life (e.g. ice skating or gigs) is always going to be helpful.
All I need to do now is make sure I continue to plan and Do.
But WHY? WHY does this bother me so much?
It’s about creating a sense of purpose, something to aim for and then making sure to follow through with it. It may seem like a first world problem, but it’s also about keeping that fire in your belly alive which in turn will lead to genuine happiness that goes beyond existence. THAT’S why. It’s about LIVING.
For me it’s learning new skills, or improving existing skills. I have done this by travelling and doing fun Adventures within the realm of what I love doing: General outdoorsy stuff (cycling, hiking, canoeing, climbing) and photography. On a day-to-day it’s also about keeping fit, learning bass and when it comes to it work (in a non-restrictive way). Writing this blog and everything that goes with it (learning WordPress!) is another. For you it could be your family, dancing, knitting, writing, web development, drawing etc. The list is endless, as can your ability be.
Listen to that fire and make sure it doesn’t go out.