“I wish I could travel”
“You’re so lucky”
Two phrases I used to hear frequently. When I lived and worked in the UK. When I was miserable. When I was in debt. When I despised my job. When I was concerned about the likelihood of a pending drug and alcohol addiction.
You went travelling years ago, maybe as a ‘budget backpacker’ (as I did). You returned from that trip full of energy, motivation and determination to catch the nearest plane straight back to that beach in Thailand.
In reality, you succumbed to the same mind numbing horror that I did. LIFE. Or more accurately, the life society expected of you. You know the drill – mortgage, career, marriage.
You would spend years blinded by gridlock on the M25, or by the stench of stale alcohol on the 6am Piccadilly Line tube to Holborn, surrounded by other mindless automatons scrolling through Linked.In, skimming through the latest escapades of ‘Jane’ in the ‘Good Deed Feed’ in the Metro (who had mostly likely lost a heel or been dumped over WhatsApp in Pret A Manger), reading the latest spoilers for Mercedes in Hollyoaks or concocting an elaborate reason why you’re going to be late for work (undoubtedly involving something ludicrous such as alien abduction or a circus elephant crashing through the window of your rapidly depreciating shared ownership property in a less than desirable area of London).
In short, this was me.
On Valentine’s Day 2014, at Gloucester Road tube station, my appendix detached from my large intestine in a somewhat violent manner, as a result of being more concerned with passing a Right to Work audit, than my health. I spent a week in hospital. Upon my return to work, I had an epiphany. Basically I am Jesus.
Enough was enough. I set about developing a cunning plan (Blackadder style) to leave the UK and return to my traveller roots.
The reality of quitting your life is not all fluffy bunnies and unicorns. Quite the opposite. It takes time, planning, ambition and perseverance.
I sold my property and left my career behind in mid 2016. The Travel Life (I refuse to utter the word ‘#wanderlust’) began in November that year.
Since then I have travelled to 17 countries and set up a Travel YouTube channel with the aim of helping other ‘older’ travellers realise their dream of living a life society DOESN’T expect of you.
Things to Do, City Basics, YouTube advice and more are covered on my channel and will continue to be on my blog which will run concurrently.
Leaving everything behind was hard. But there are no excuses – I am living proof.
Nothing’s impossible if you want it enough.