So you’re itching to go travelling but have no one to go with? All your friends settling down? Getting married and having babies? Or just not interested in the whole backpacking scene?
But you’re too scared to go on your own in case you get lost, robbed or are never seen again?!
This was me back in 2009. I desperately wanted to travel. I’d been backpacking a few years before around Australia with my friend (who ended up staying and marrying an Aussie guy! Nope not jealous!!) and it really opened my eyes to the world of travel. Being back home and falling back into the same old routine and the daily life of 9-5 dragging me down, my mind constantly drifted back to the experiences I’d had and I wanted more of the same.
“Please come travelling with me” I’d beg my friends. “Think of the fun we’d have!” But for various reasons or another they didn’t see the appeal like I did.
I couldn’t go on my own, with my scatiness I’d no doubt end up lost in a foreign land, even getting round an airport sent me into a fluster. How would I cope eating alone at restaurants and speaking to people who didn’t speak my language? I was aware how many people you met in hostels from when I was in Australia but I was getting on for 31 and even though I’m up for a good party, the thought of sharing dorms on my own with 18 and 19 year olds filled me with dread!
I was determined not to give up on my dream and one day, whilst out of my mind with boredom at work, I stumbled upon a site called Gapyear.com and hurrah! There were lots of posts from like-minded people who wanted friends to travel the world with!
I had a specific itinerary in mind, I could only go for three months because of work but wanted to see as much as I could, California, New Zealand, Asia and anywhere in between, a proper round the world loop. I decided to create my own post and advertised for friends to share the experience with. So far so good! I didn’t really think it would happen until I began chatting to a girl who shared the same interest in the route I wanted to do, was around the same age and only lived a few hours from me. After a brief meet up in London and each going our separate ways home with our arms loaded with brochures we began planning our trip. Less than a month later our tickets were booked!! Eeek!!
Mixed reactions came from friends and family when I told them I was going away for three months with a complete stranger. Some thought I was brave, others just rolled their eyes as if to say now what’s she up to. Concerns about whether we’d get on, whether she was some sort of psycho, a pimp, drug trafficker you name it, all got brought up. Sometimes I’d wonder if I was doing the right thing but I listened to my gut and four months later I arrived at Heathrow with my bulging backpack frantically searching for my travel buddy.
Was I late? What if she’s gone without me? What if she doesn’t even turn up? What does she look like again?? I felt sick with nerves and excitement, I was really doing this! Finally, after a few frantic phone calls (we were both waiting in the wrong place!) we checked in our bags and headed straight for the bar! Even though we had a fixed itinerary we had only met up once before so wasn’t sure what would happen in the months to come, whether we’d stick around with each other or go our separate ways, but decided to just chill and see what would happen. “Here’s to the next three months” we sang, chinking our glasses. “First stop San Francisco!”
The moral of this story is – don’t give up on your dreams. If you really want to do something you will find a way to achieve it. Don’t let others put you off or make you feel you’re doing something silly, you only get one shot at life, make the most of it!!
And did we stick together? Keep following future articles to find out 🙂
Author : Kellie – The Globetrotting Addict
About the author:
Having recently quit her desk job to travel once again, Kellie is now back in the UK teaching English. She loves sunshine, yoga, beaches, prosecco & house music