on Jul 16th, 2007
Well, it was two weeks ago that I arrived in Heathrow airport, rather tired and dazed following 24 hours of flight.
The day I got back I managed to stay up until 10pm, having had a great day with my brothers (who both turned up at the airport with my folks, despite stating that actually they weren’t going to be able to – that was really ace) and a lovely evening with the whole family playing games, watching telly, eating take out pizza and drinking Strongbow from cans (ah, the good ol’ days…).
I’ve never slept so well in my life. I was in a room by myself. There were no people shouting in the corridors. There were no doors being banged in the middle of the night. There was no “boom boom boom” coming through the floor from whatever neighbouring backpacker bar was having another late night party. There was noone turning the light on in the middle of the night, or snoring, playing their iPod at full blast, or snoring, or rustling with plastic bags as they packed at 5am, or snoring, or having sex, or snoring, or talking on their phones, or snoring. Or snoring.
It was bliss :-)
Waking up at home was a strange experience. It really did have that “I’ve never left” feeling, although in the back of my mind I was still convinced that, like most places, I’d only be there for a few days before scarpering somewhere else. That feeling ebbed away over the next few days, of course.
Getting back in my car was wonderful – and although it did take me a few seconds to get used to clutch control and gears again (all the hire cars I’d been driving in Oz were automatics), as soon as I was off my drive and onto the road it was as if I’d never stopped driving it. One thing I did notice though: people in Essex are in a BIG rush when they’re on the roads. I’m not sure where they’re going, but wherever it is it must be bloody good…
Another minor gripe I’ve had with Essex is that people working in shops (particularly chain ones) are miserable as sin. At best you can get a “hello” out of them – but by God you must be insane if you expect to, say, have a polite conversation with them! That’s been a bit of a shock to the system. I’d got used to people being friendly everywhere you go.
Tell you what’s also funny – just how true it is that (despite all the things I’ve done and how I’ve changed perspective on things) bugger all changes back at home. It takes people about 30 seconds to fill me in on their news inbetween me boring them to tears with hours of traveling stories
Anyways, it’s good to be back with family and friends. Although I do miss the people I’ve met on my travels, I’ve been missing various traveling companions throughout my trip anyway (given that I’m not always with the same people anyway and plenty of people I traveled with headed home long before I did) so it’s nothing really new or difficult to deal with. In a way it’s better, as many folk I met on my travels are now within driving reach!
So what next?
Well, now that about 2 weeks worth of socialising has been completed I can start focusing on… well… a bit more socialising, to be honest, but also the various projects / business ideas I’ve got on my mind. I’m not going to go into details here, but there are projects to do with radio, drawing and live DJing (btw if you or someone you know needs a party DJed, let me know! :-) ). I’ll no doubt fill you in over the coming weeks – although probably on the new blog I’ll be setting up now I’m no longer on The Big Adventure.
Depending on how these all go I’ll be able to support myself on these for a fair while to come, but I’ll deal with that when I come to it. I do miss my friends from work (I went into the office a week ago to say hi to people and spent the entire day catching up!) so going back there wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world – but I want to follow my dreams before that, whilst I’ve got the opportunity.
And I’ve got the opportunity now. Just once I’ve finished chucking out all the crap I’d left at home that I now realise (following living out of a bag for a year) I really don’t need anymore. Yes, that includes these 150 floppy disks… and if I find another copy of my 1995 QBasic computer game “Squage and Co” I think I’m going to go crazy. Just how many copies of that did I feel I needed?!?!?
Almost time to go but before I do, let me just say this:
I’ve spent an awful lot of money in the past year. I was in a position to buy a house with a nice deposit. I’m now not in that position. The future (both short and medium term) is uncertain financially.
But you know what? I don’t feel any regret whatsoever.
The Big Adventure was the most amazing experience of my life. I’ve done things I never dreamed that I’d do – challenging my fears and showing myself that being scared of something isn’t anything to be embarrassed about but something to be PROUD about when you “feel the fear and do it anyway”. I sight bungy jumping, sky diving, harbour bridge climbing and standing on cliff edges as examples of this. I’ve learned that there are so many awesome people out there from all walks of life and that, despite my times where I feel like I’m a bit of a tool, I’m not actually that bad a person to get on with. I’ve seen some truly stunning places and as such have learned that the world is a beautiful place and something we need to look after (by not taking international flights from Sydney to Heathrow, say… :-o ). I’ve understood that life is about living, you’ve got to enjoy your life at the end of the day – and I’ve got a better understanding about what I want to get out of mine.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson: if you don’t take risks, you don’t gain anything. Sometimes you have to stop making excuses, realise the road blocks you see can be moved around and do something that you really, really want to do. After all, how many shots have you got at life?
If you’re unhappy, do something positive about it. I did and I’m glad. Hell, the future is uncertain for me and as I say financially I’m in a worse place than before – but I feel much happier and feel that actually, I’m in a much better place to follow my dreams – now that I know what they are.
Anyway, enough lame preaching, I’m off to wipe a Windows 95 Boot Disk.
Did I mention I was living the dream? :-)