Monday, 24 August 2009

Alright, so here's the plan.

We stay up late and talk about our dreams
Oh how they differ,
But we'll make them meet
See, she's got ambition
And I've got vision
She's doing hers,
I'm doing mine...
Keep tellin' her that we'll be fine.

The decision was made as I drove home from the gym that night. It stuck in my mind like a bogey up a child's nose. "PICK ME! PICK ME! OHHH, PICK ME!"

There are clearly two options available to me, I thought, as Bedroom Eyes by Natty bounded out through my car speakers. I can sit at home, searching for a career that will encompass everything I've wanted to be since leaving university. More likely, I'll move from temp role to temp role until something becomes permanent, then move further into central London. I can help the Writer in my spare time. I can save up, do little bits of travelling as my job and finances allow. Perhaps I'll do that with a new boyfriend, or - as I'll continue to hope for a little while longer if I choose this option - an old one. I can stay put, and eventually the future I'd imagined for nearly three years will drift entirely from my mind and be replaced by something new.

Alternatively, there's option 2. Let's call this option 'Sod all that'.

'Sod all that' involves a night of lying in bed wide awake, with my mind getting more and more taken with the thought that just occurred to me. It means I can do anything I want, that being single and not having a permanent job can entirely work in my favour. 'Sod all that' requires me to be the most independent I've ever been, even if that means I don't veer too far off the beaten track.

This evening, after three weeks of planning and the odd protest from parents, I sorted it. Booked, deposit down, done.

On 29th October I 'sod all that' and fly to Australia for a few months. Starting in Perth, making my own way over to Sydney via Adelaide and Melbourne. Then I'm heading to New Zealand where I'll stay, travel and hopefully work for a while, eventually getting over to the USA, Canada and flying home from New York at the end of it all.

So yeah. That's what next. It hasn't sunk in yet completely, I've just told my friends - including the ex. Last time I backpacked without the ease of online banking, a credit card (ahh! now you see!), digital camera, facebook or err, blog - so this time some things will be a bit different.

But I'll be on my own again - some things never change.


Anonymous said...

Wow. I am very envious Jo. You'll have a great time without a doubt.

Please tell us you're going to take lots of photos and keep us updated along the way?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!

I've already said how I want to do this a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I haven't got the finances to do it right now, but hopefully I won't be too far behind you.

Good Luck! I'm full of jealousy now, grrr ;)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Perp - Of course. No doubt there will be lots of things to keep me occupied (and irritated) while I live out of a backpack...

Cynical - Yeah I saw your post the other day and thought ooh I want to say go go go because I am!

Tell you what though. Now I've written all that, I'm absolutely shitting my pants.

(not literally)

Keep the encouragement coming please!

Helen said...

How strange, I made the decision a couple of weeks ago to do exactly the same thing! Only starting next February!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Great minds think alike!

And if you find yourself where I am then I'm all for swapping Lonely Planets over a beer or three.

Kirses said...

I'm headed there myself, 2nd Oct, for 5 weeks. sydney, brisbane, wellington, christchurch, queenstown, london. of course I was supposed to be going there with him, now its just me. lucky then that two of my best friends live in aus and my entire family lives in NZ...

I cant wait to get away... and i bet you cant either.

Robbie said...

WOW. Thats a plan. Not just a bit of an idea but an actually real plan.
I think all plans should use your plan as a yardstick to see how much of a plan they are.

Good Luck Jo. I hope it works out for you.
Will be one of heck of an experience.

Huw said...

Thank God for that. I was worrying you were just going to do an internship or something.

You told your ex too soon though. October 27th would have been much more stylish.

Grump said...

You must drop in and see me in Melbourne. Let me know dates you will be here. I would love to meet you.
Mark x

Anonymous said...

Nice simple plan.

p.s. you don't know anything about £40m worth of jewels do you.

db said...

Fantastic! Travel is always the best antidote for anything. And you are right--the time to do it is now. I've been in a relationship for over a decade and though I love him dearly, I never was able to do something like this and certainly regret it. Have some fun with your life. I'm down with the "sod all that" plan!

Oh...and come to San Francisco--the best city in the US.

arbyn said...

OK you HAVE to make it to Vancouver. We'll show you a right good time! Good on you for venturing out, I'm so happy for you!

- Robyn

Brennig said...

H, we have some contacts in Melbourne which might be handy for you, help you get your feet on the ground thereabouts?

Elaine said...

WOW! I am just a teeny bit envious. I've done a lot in my 41 years, but this is the one thing I missed out on. You'll have such a great time!

I see a book on the horizon....

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, have fun! I intend to do that in 2 years time (when I no longer have exams!!)

Homer said...


Anonymous said...

That's a pretty good plan! Better than any plan I've ever had!

Blonde said...

Gosh, how exciting. You're going to have such an incredible time... *Green*

Blue soup said...

That is so so exciting! I am so jealous. Take me with you!!

I can't wait for your observational blog posts from around the world - take on Bill Bryson!!

blueskies2day said...

Thats brilliant! Congratulations. I hope you have a fantastic time. It's reassuring to know that someone else is going alone and isn't letting that get in the way of your plans.
I'm planning something similar for next year, looking forward to hearing about your trip x

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Woo-hoo! I approve! [Oh. Waitaminute. You don't need my approval. So sorry. I got carried away.] Let me know when I you land in New York and I'll buy you a soda pop.

miss*H said...

ahh thats amazing. I did almost the same route 3 yrs ago and it was the best experience ever. I am very envious right now. Is there room for me in your backpack?

Helen said...

I'd definitely be up for that! Who did you book your flights with, if you don't mind me asking?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Kirses - Brilliant, same goes for you too. And props for going on your own so soon after the break up. It's taken me this long to pluck up the courage after mine! If our paths happen to cross then give me a shout for beer o'clock.

Robbie - It was much easier devising a plan without anyone in RL knowing. These sort of ideas have a habit of being highjacked.

Huw - Ahh, I couldn't have him being the only one I didn't tell! It was in a big group message though - does that give me brownie points?

Mark - I'll be sure to keep the updates rolling. The only dates I have are flights in and out of various countries at the moment, but it's good to know you're around!

Ninety nine - Who me? Graff who? Jewels? Motorbikes? Hammers? Hostages? don't know what you're talking about.

db - San Fran is on the list! It's one place I'm really curious to see what it's like.

Robyn - I may call on you for Canada travel advice actually, as I haven't researched getting in and around Canada at all yet and you seem to be a knowledgable source of info (as well as for places to party on down woop)

Brennig - I love all this travel comradery.

Elaine - A book! Now there's an idea. '101 things to whinge about on a world trip before you die"? Title suggestions please.

Chapati - It's all about taking the leap.

Homer - wooooop! Cool and extremely scary.

PJB - Oh I don't know, moving to Spain is quite a big plan as far as plans go. Let's fight it out.

Blonde - I hope so. Just gotta keep an eye on the old finances...

Blue - Well if you'd like to come, I was going to hire someone to carry my bags the position's there if you want it. I pay in socks and stuff. Interested? ;)

Blueskies - Yeah it's a bit daunting going alone, but deep down I know that once I get out there it's the only way I'll want to do it. I'm a solitary beast really. Good luck with your plans and feel free to get in touch if you want some rubbish advice.

Unbearable - Soda pop and Broadway tour, please.

Miss H - Why of course! Hop on in. There's room next to my curling tongs and straighteners and high heels, I'm sure.

Helen - I booked it through STA travel. They're very helpful. I booked an appointment and sat with a consultant for about 2 hours and sorted it all out.

Miss Milk said...

Fantastic! You should change your plans and skip working in NZ in favour of Melbourne though. Haha!

Hails said...

I'm a little late, but well done on the Plan. I remember the liberation of making the Sod All That decision myself! I've had an amazing year of travel and am looking forward to the next year in Asia. It's a fantastic lifestyle - you will have a blast. Blog it all and go make some great memories. Have fun! x

All Mod Cons said...

Fantastic! Sounds like a perfect idea. In fact, I've been saving for exactly the same thing. Only, in the other direction. Off to Canada at some point in the next few months. Maybe I'll bump into you in Vancouver! Just a little more saving and I'll get someone else to book my ticket. Refuse to have a Credit Card. Bastard things. Looking forward to reading all about your journey! *thumbs up*

Zstep said...

If you want any suggestions about the western part of the US, I'll be glad to give you some ideas. Lived near San Francisco for 20 year and in Texas for 15 years. Been just about everywhere west of the Rockies.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Miss Milk - Ah I'd love to stay in Oz longer and work, but I used up my working holiday visa last time I was there so can only stay for 3 months at a time now. No working allowed...playtime only!

Hails - Yeah I've been following your adventures, good to know it's a tried and tested way to happiness.

All Mod - Re the credit card, I did consider not having one, after all I survived without one last time, but it's a weight off my mind and nice to have a back up. Especially as there were a few scary moments with no cash last time!

ZStep - Email address duly added to the contact book. I'll be in touch when I start thinking about the USA - thank you.

Kirses said...

Unfortunately I fly back to the UK from Christchurch 4th november, shame we're not coinciding, could have shown you some of the delights of NZ.

My ticket was already bought when we broke up, (he has rerouted his thankfully), and is non refundable. Its also a premium economy ticket, so I would have lost a lot of money on it (i would have booked cattle class, but the ex wanted something better...).

Ellie said...

When you get to London, let me know! I can buy you a pint.

Oh, wait. You're not going visit here. You are here! Let us know the departure date so we can flash mob you the departure lounge.

"Bon Voyage!"

xx, e

ps - must be the time of big decisions because my man and I are also plotting.


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