Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Mission accomplished

All in all, I reckon its taken me three months to fully adjust to life post-travelling.

It takes a few days to restart your running commentary on the British weather, and a few weeks to accept the parental's house rules; long forgotten while you tended to polo ponies and fell off surf boards in Australia.

You spend a few more months fine tuning a CV that now includes the words

2009 - 2010: Lying on beaches, tending to hangovers, sunning oneself, seeing countries etc etc

...and hoping someone still wants to hire you because (or in spite) of the gaping hole in your work history. Finding a job is relatively easy. Trying to stick to the promise I will not, not, not, not get another admin job as long as I live, is harder. But in the end, the oft-uttered statement "Yeah, well, the economy is bad, and err, I'm going travelling to have a break from it, and err, you know, decide what I want to do" is now actually true, and not just the bullshit excuse I imagined it might end up being.

To be honest, once the job was sorted, the next thing to panic about was my social life. Upon returning home, every girl and your dog will want to fuss over you, but don't expect it to last. Social lives need careful cultivating, and they don't grow themselves while you're out of the loop for eight months. It didn't take long to realise that the busy social circle I'd once been a part of was now AWOL, and I didn't know how to get it back.

Truth be told, I spent recent weeks worrying that it was just me being left out before the penny dropped: things had just changed. A few friends had left London, others had moved abroad, some had gone travelling. The unemployed had got jobs, the bored got busier, the singletons got attached. C'est la vie.

Given all that, last weekend was the first time I felt truly settled since getting home. Employed, attached, and surrounded by friends who had finally managed to get their arses out of town and in the same vicinity for an hour; I stood in a chilly park in St Albans watching a massive fireworks display, with my Boy behind me, and a group of six good mates laughing in the background. The clincher? A text message from ex uni housemate the Stingray, newly engaged that night, and asking me to be her bridesmaid.

So, exactly a year after I left - am I glad I said 'sod all that' and went travelling?

Hell yeah. No doubt. Ipso, facto.

Best thing I ever did.


Anonymous said...

ahh, that didnt make me feel queasy, its fab!

Anonymous said...

I have followed your journey this past year with envy and as you know, I have been toying with a similar sort of idea for a while now. I could just up and leave the UK. I have enough money in the bank to disappear for a year - and my boy could come with me if he just saves up for a flight. I can cover the costs of renting a one-bed flat whether I'm alone or he's coming along for the ride.

Your trip and how it all turned out made me want it more. I don't feel I can just go just yet - but it could be real in maybe a year. I just want to have been at my current place for long enough that sodding off for a year wouldn't look too offensive on my CV.

Thanks for writing your blog before, during and after - it's showed just how tangible those sorts of dreams really can be.

And really, welcome back properly.

Anonymous said...

Nice post Jo :)

nuttycow said...

Echoing what Soupy said slightly, I'm glad you're now settled back into life again. It must be very strange (but my, what a great experience you've had in the last year!)

Here's to the next year?

lapa said...

that's why I love you, Jo.

lapa said...

You went arroud the world and the corruption still goes on at Coimbra.
No other news at all.

Anonymous said...

Nice to have you back Jo.

Would you ever think of doing such a trip again?

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

monkey - hurrah! thought it may have been a bit vom inducing.

soup - You are the ideal candidate for a spot of travelling. A change of scene does so much - it changes your perception of whatever situation you are in.

cynical - Thanks :)

nutty - Indeed. Onwards and upwards!

Lapa - Fo sure. I travelled round the world, didn't profess to change the place..

Perp - Honestly, I don't think I'd do it again right now if someone said here's £10k, and a ticket, off you go. I was really ready to get on with life. Travelling's great but it does feel like you're stalling / putting off real life while you're doing it. But ask me in a couple of years and I'm sure I'll change my mind ;)


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