Yesterday it finally occurred… everything had been leading up to that moment… I finally booked my flights!!
On November 13th I will be off (via Dubai to visit my friend there) to Melbourne to commence my working holiday adventure. Suddenly everything feels so real and it got me thinking about why this stage – when everything (or almost everything) is set in stone and you can just allow yourself to be overcome with excitement (and nerves) – is one of the best bits about going on a trip.
1. There’s no going back
Even though I’ve wanted to work abroad after uni for as long as I can remember there was still a teeny tiny part of me that thought I might not go. I’ve just graduated uni so perhaps it’s time I should get a proper job, I have already had a gap year and it was a 4 year course so I’m already older than the others out there applying for jobs, can I really leave my friends and family for that long, not to mention my boyfriend of over 4 years… these were some of the things going through my mind making me think I might not go. Obviously I wanted to go, but there was still this niggling feeling that something might stop me. Nope. It’s booked, I’m going, see you in November Melbourne!
2. You can start making endless lists
I bloody LOVE a list. I make lists of lists to make. I’m not actually that organised and making lists at least tricks my mind into thinking I am. I rarely get round to ticking anything off but, hey, the list is made and that’s all that counts. Packing lists, things to do, who to call, places to stay, job sites to browse through, shopping lists, to-do lists, ALL THE LISTS.
3. You make the most of everything before you go
It sounds a bit silly, like missing something before you actually have to go without it, but just before I go away I always really really appreciate everything back home. Just chilling on the sofa with my Mum watching the Bake Off, going for dinner and drinks with my boyfriend, seeing my friends and gossiping with them for hours. You just have this permanent fuzzy haze around you reminding you that these people you’re spending your time with are pretty great. Sure, you’ll be sad to be without them but, for now, you’re just enjoying their company.
4. You can start planning the finer details
A bit keen of me, but planning things like who will take me to the airport and what will I wear on the plane really makes it sink in that it’s nearly time to go. Now that I’ve taken care of the big things like sorting my visa and booking my flight, it’s time for things like insurance and my backpack and where I’ll stay for my first few nights. Eek!
5. Nervous excitement
Sometimes, actually feeling scared/nervous/perhaps even sad about going is actually a bit exciting. Even though I’ve done lots of backpacking before, it’s always been with a friend and this will be my first solo-travelling experience. That, plus the fact that my already long distance relationship (a 3 hour drive) is about to become a whole lot longer (around the actual world), means I do have nervous butterflies about it all. I know it will be fine and that you just need to adjust to these things, but I still have the fear. That said, I kinda like the fear. Where would we be without the fear? Stuck always doing the same thing in the same routine with the same people. I’m ready for a bit of fear. Bring it on.
6. Having something to look forward to is the BEST
There’s no denying it, it’s the best feeling. When you’re a little bored at work or you’re getting annoyed at your run-down car or sick of looking out the window and seeing grey and rain and more grey, you remember you’re going away! Soon it will all be sun and fun and wonderfulness. The few months pre-departure are always especially boring because inevitably you’re saving for the trip which actually, for me, just makes the looking-forward part even better. Who cares if all I do is work and I’m clocking up over 50 hours each week with no time for a social life, it’s all for an adventure which is coming around so soon!
7. Your weekends are full of fun-filled activities
You can’t possibly feel guilty about it, you have an actual obligation to do fun things. I know number 6 is all doom and gloom and long working weeks, but you gotta have some time for your friends and family because soon they won’t be so near. When you do get round to having a social life, you absolutely have to make it count. Do all the fun things before you go! Every single bit of free time between now and when I go has been planned in my head with all the stuff I’m gonna do with my friends and I just love that feeling. Plus, I get to start planning all my leaving dos and, let’s face it, everyone loves a party that’s all about them.
8. You start planning your return
A bit premature of me I know, but thinking about coming home is another great feeling about going off on an adventure. As much as you know the trip will be amazing, coming home is pretty damn good, too. You can start picturing banners at the airport, tears from Mum and what will be I’m a sure a very long-awaited smooch with my boyfriend. Ultimately this reason is pretty self-indulgent but whatever, it’s exciting to think people will be excited about your return.
9. New clothes
I never learn. Every time I go away I wish I had packed lighter and just bought clothes out there rather than doing a pre-trip shop. The clothes back home are boring and everyone has them and 99% of the time way more expensive. Clothes when you’re away and new and exciting and will always remind you of your trip. I say all this but I know full well I will go shopping before I go to get a few bits and I can’t bloody wait!
10. Endless research that results in zero planning
This is quite possibly the best bit about pre-travel excitement. As stated earlier, I’m not that organised and I’m not actually that big a planner. I know I’ve said how excited I get making lists and planning the details, I actually don’t tend to book that much before or have a proper plan. What I do love to do is all the research that would go into making a plan… I just lose the enthusiasm when it comes to actually booking anything or setting anything in stone. I’ll read blogs, watch videos, stalk people on Facebook that I know have gone to that particular place before. I’ll read articles and speak to friends and read reviews. I LOVE all the stuff that goes into planning, I just hate actually planning. Trips are always best unplanned anyway!
For the next two months (actually less than!) I am just going to be walking around in a bubble of pre-departure excitement. I’m excited to be excited. This is such a good stage, made only better by actually getting out there and starting my adventure!